Mod layout & organisation thoughts


#1

Please make mods live in their own separate subdirectory with whatever layout inside that your engine requires - so inside each mod directory is the config file, README (please, I know this is an out-there wish but enforcing a README so people provide something giving a URL to find out more info about the mod would be a real win!), a “models” subdirectory with the models, a “scripts” subdirectory with the Lua code, and so on. The game engine scans and collates all those subdirectories, easy-peasy.

This will make mod installation, management, uninstallation and distribution significantly simpler than most games that currently provide modding capability. No problems with collisions between mods either.

If possible, allow mods to exist as .zip files which have an internal layout matching the engine requirements. Then users just have to grab the .zip mod file and place it in their mods directory and go! No mess, no fuss!

Also, a good website with tagging, rating, feedback and community moderation right from the get-go would be a big win.


Mod selection screen?
#2

I was going to ask something similar to this as well. Seeing as the nature of Stonehearth basically encourages having tons and tons of mods installed, there needs to be a really streamlined way of adding them to your game. Do you already have a clear vision/design in mind for the whole mod market that takes this into account?


#3

I appreciate your concern as I have seen too many bad mods implementations.
But since the Devs have indicated that most of the game is and will be made of their own mods I am sure they already have a solid structure to build upon.


#4

A user interface built into the game allowing mod management and discoverability - so that users don’t ever have to muck about with files at all - backed by a solid website would be awesome. I’m thinking LittleBigPlanet2, but slightly better…

And yes, I’d be happy for the devs to hire me to construct this for them! :slight_smile:


#5

Yeah, totally agree with your ideas on mod management. I hope they end up using maybe something like (http://nexusmods.com/). It’s free, open source (Nexus Mod Manager download | SourceForge.net), pretty much everything a modder might look for. Just my thoughts.

EDIT: My view is that time shouldn’t be wasted trying to “reinvent the wheel” if there is no need to do so.


#6

The way I see it, modding is more fundamental to their game, and relying on a 3rd-party site like nexusmods is probably not the way to get the best user experience. It’s a site that grew up around the unsupported, hackish modding built into most games. I would personally like to see significantly better support for mods in this game than any of the games supported by nexusmods.


#7

They said they are using CSS to design the UI and JQuery/ JQuery UI for button functions and UI animations. This way they can run the UI in the browser without having to start the game each time when testing.

They use chromiumembedded to overlay the UI right over the game. I was very impressed to see how well this works.


#8

Well even if they don’t make a streamlined Mod implementation method someone or a small group could make a mod that does just that ;3 for example there is a mod for ARMA 2 and then there is a mod called Dayz and then someone made a Dayz mod manager so that other mods can be added and un added easily anywho just putting it out there


#9

With what they’ve said and how important modding will be I’m fairly sure they’ll think this through.
Since we have an in-game mod creator, there will be probably be an in-game mod installer/downloader too, no?


#10

OK, there’s an official word in the stream that Tom just did: they have a strong commitment to a good framework around modding, though the exact details are to be determined. There will not be a situation like Elder Scrolls games “we’re moddable … now fend for yourselves!”


#11

Glad I did a search before I made my own thread.

During the leave Livestream I believe I heard something said to the effect of (not exact quote) “So essentially I was thinking you put the files in a folder and they are then active in your game, but we are still tinkering with everything”

And then I was thinking “oh no…”. I know Elder Scrolls a lot of times has compatibility issues but I do like their Data Files system where you have a list of all of the mods you have and can turn them off and on at will. So something along the lines of what you said, Meshes go in one folder, script in another, ect. And then with like a built in installer/uninstaller would be awesome (that way from inside the program you can install and delete them without worrying about leaving files behind or something).

Another issue I was wondering about is how to control balance in multi-player. I know it was thrown out there that maybe there would be a leaderboard of the best attackers/defenders or something, but say I modded my troops with the ultimate sword that burns villages, destroys castles, and slays any man or beast with ease, what could be in place to balance that out?


#12

@Dash Your concerns have been addressed by the mods in some streams. They would like to offer some kind of “manager” for mods, i.e. a repository of some kind where you can offer / download mods and a system where you can see which mods you have installed (maybe even to activate / deactivate).

Regarding multi-player it was highlighted that you will see / need the mods others have in your multi-player-game. So no issue here in terms of owning a sword of uber-skills to one-hit your enemy. Based on that I would guess that you will be allowed a set of mods for ladders.