The Kitchen is a mod distribution system of mine that has been in development for quite some time. I’m somewhat close to a first release - but I could need a hand or two.
The first stage: What is The Kitchen, The Dishwasher and The Grater?
In the first stage, the Kitchen will consist of three components:
- The Kitchen: The server application. It’s basically your average content site. Modders can upload their mods with The Dishwasher and users can auto-update their mods using The Grater. It does all the magic to make the auto updater happen and may include more in the future.
- The Dishwasher: A simple program to upload a mod to The Kitchen. You simply tell it which folder it should upload, which mod, branch and password to be used and The Dishwasher and The Kitchen take care of the rest.
- The Grater: The public program of the three. Although not directly bound to The Kitchen - as a spiritual successor to Steve Cannon, it’s able to cope with 3rd party websites as long as they follow the protocol - it’s the opposite part to The Dishwasher. In its first form, it will be a simple console application. One click and it updates all your mods - if necessary.
So, you are saying that… (tl;dr)
- For modders: Distribute updates to your mods with one simple click (on a batch file). Release as often as you want. Future plans include support for GitHub and similar, so at some point you won’t have to click anything anymore.
- For players: A convenient way to keep their mods up to date. Later on, mods can have branches, for example to give developers the chance to have experimental releases that users can test.
And right now you need help because…
I’m not a content creator. I work more behind the scenes. My mods are not as widespread nor do they update that often - as they are mostly just demonstrations of something.
For the first stage, I need data to test the system thoroughly before opening it for everyone. In detail, I need to test The Dishwasher and The Kitchen. I can do that myself, of course, but the more the merrier - so if you don’t mind getting a little bit technical and want to help, give me a shout. The first stage of the test will be simply testing the upload process.
That means uploading mods to The Kitchen (with The Dishwasher) (and again and again…). Change something, upload it, see if it works. Don’t change anything, see if it catches that you didn’t change anything. That sort of thing. Ideally, your work flow stays the same, you just click the batch file from time to time to synchronise your mod with The Kitchen.
Very simply said, I will hand you a program and a batch file and ask you to click on that batch time whenever you feel like it (which is usually after you have made some changes to your mod).
What The Kitchen is not going to be
- It’s not going to be another community. There’s not going to be a forum and you won’t be able to register for anything. (Users who wish to upload things will need to register through me, which may change at some point)
- It’s not going to be a project demonstration site. It’s not the site to promote your mod or get it well known although there The Grater might offer simple ways of managing (i.e. downloading/installing and uninstalling) mods at some point.
- It’s not going to be a development site. It’s not GitHub nor does it intend to be. It won’t offer repositories, won’t keep backups for you, does not have a bug tracker or anything else that could help you develop a mod.
In the end, it’s a pure distribution platform. The last thing I want it to become is something like Curse, which does a lot, but with varying degrees of quality.
The next steps
The next step would be to have The Grater in action. The Kitchen is already pretty complete and for The Grater I can use knowledge I got from building Steve Cannon. The Dishwasher still needs to be built from scratch but I’ve already got code lying around that is doing approximately the same thing - so that’s done too.
After The Grater has been somewhat tested, The Kitchen and The Grater would go public. That means that modders and users can both update their mods easily and somewhat fast. If that system has proven to work (and is somewhat acceptable to use), there’s a few routes that can be taken from there. Examples:
- Extending The Grater from a console application to something with a little GUI that can display information about branches and switch between them. Perhaps add some sort of changelog support.
- Extending The Kitchen to have some preview things for mods before you even download them. This would include both code snippets and assets.
- Add an incoming API. For example, whenever you push something to GitHub, GitHub could tell The Kitchen and then a new (developer preview) of your mod could be compiled and shipped in a separate branch.
- Add an outgoing API. This would allow modders to store their files somewhere else, for example their own servers, or receive notifications whenever a new version is pushed through - a lot of possibilities.