Blender 2.57 save game as runtime "feature"?

For the past while I have been making a blender game, and it has reached the point when I want to release it for testing to a bunch on non-blender users.

Because of it being a rather big game project, I have multiple .blend files, and separate textures. These are linked to the blend file using the “relative path” button enabled. (I also used the external data->all paths relative button just before I exported)
With the blend file this is fine, and when you move the folder containing all the files, they stay linked correctly.
However, when I export it to .exe (windows, yes I know) it then looks for the textures in the absolute location I placed them in.
I think that in 2.49 it kept the image textures relative. So what has changed?

I do not want to pack the textures, as this would make updates harder. (this way, if I change something I can just give them the new image, and tell them where to put it)

Do I have to pack the textures into the blend file? or is there a way to keep the texture files relative?

10 characters.

i have the same problem… if i have 78 textures it will take some time too load before playing the game. if a pack it. i’ve been working on zipping the packages and putting them all in to the zip and having the blend look for it there then pack it into the blend. the package is in file called colours so even if i move it to the cd it finds it. some how i liked it to the game… i don’t know how. i’ve been having trouble with my blender…i’ll have to reload it if i want to work on my commercial game GALAXY.

I have a similar problem, my run times wont open images at all, relative or absolute paths. I am running 64 Bit Blender.

Right, here’s the solution:
Have a simple blender file that uses the “start game from file” after a delay of 0
Then you keep the blend, and it mantains it’s linking, and it can be run from the .exe