Steam Workshop Launches!

Chinese Translation Upload Workshop!!!

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I’m afraid I have to agree with this. As much as I appreciate the good intentions, acknowledge the necessety of the functionality and understand the decisions about resource allocation, I fear it will be good and functional only for steam players, and not everyone else. :slightly_frowning_face:

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GitHub is a source code repository, not a mod repository. It does not solve the issues of deployment (or building for that matter - which is, admittedly, likely just “zip it”), distribution, listing/searching/tagging or discussions and ratings. For anyone with a git client and a knack to use git pull it might be convenient, but it’s not as convenient as just starting the game and having it updated/downloaded with no other action required by the user.

I’m not necessarily advertising for the Steam workshop, but I would like to point out that there’s no alternative and for Stonehearth, there hasn’t ever really been. Because you can’t really mod a proper, third party mod repository into the game either, there’s not going to be any platform that could get close to Steam’s functionality or comfort - unless the developers decide to allow that in some form, of course. Not to mention that Stonehearth has too small a community to realistically pull off two modding repositories (some people might even find one a bit too big).

Personally, I don’t think that this will mean an increase in mods or modders. The documentation on modding, while nice and definitely overdue, is still only barely scratching the surface.

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quick question: will it be compatible with mods not on the steam workshop? I imagine not every modder wants to use it.

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Yes, non-Workshop mods will continue to work fine. However, you won’t get automatic mod sync for non-Workshop mods in multiplayer once it’s released.

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Wait, are you serious?
I mean,


and
https://www.curseforge.com/
Not to mention dozens of smaller sites that, unlike these two, have no auto-updating utility.

Out of these three I actually prefer Nexus. Surely it has its own flaws. But there was an attempt to create a similar tracking/updating utility for SH.

On the size of community, I agree. I understand I tend to be biased here, but I view things as an occasional modder myself, and a repo without version control… eugh. As a modder I need a bug tracker and git push more than I need discussion (and definitely more than I need ratings).
It may be useful strictly for stable releases, which is… problematic… when the game itself is in Early Access stage and updates frequently. Unlike games, there is no “unstable” or “beta” branch for mods (actually, there are no branches at all - correct me if I’m wrong), which is the effect of Steam’s “one game, one version” policy. Meaning, you either release a mod for latest stable version, or post the same mod twice, one for each version.
Then there’s a question of licensing and source code which is especially useful for resource exchange within modding community.

Long story short, Steam is mostly convenient for casual mod users, not hardcore mod developers :glum:

Still, it’s better than nothing. I imagine many people will use it.

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Ehm…I’ll stick with Discourse as the additional, but ^ is correct, there’s plenty of options for those who aren’t using Steam to still be kept in the loop, so long as the modders are willing to use both or allow permission to repost their work in specific places that are accessible to both.

The Workshop support for Stonehearth doesn’t seem to be too bad compared to other games; I have been playing around with it a bit, just had real life (attempts to find/get a job) get in the way of testing it properly.

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I was about to be really angry about this news, but your reply has pacified me. For now.

Please do not lock the game into Steam. I don’t mind extra features, but don’t take third party mods away.

Hm i have upload my mod but i dont find it ?!?

needs some time until steam shows the mod in the overview - but if you search for it you can find it

THX

(Ja habs gerade auch so gesehen, ist ja mein erster Workshop in Steam. War auch nicht so einfach rauszubekommen wie das geht.)

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Da ich schon schlimere Erfahrungen mit den Steam-Workshop von CallToArms erlebt hatte - kenn ich mich ein wenig aus xDDD

Because i have experienced bad experiences with the steam-workshop from CallToArms - i know a little xD

I for one find the ease of use and automatic updating of Steam Workshop to be a benison. While I’d still love to see my Hearthlings continue to farm and feed themselves and function beyond 22 or so population, as far as new unexpected features go I was happy to see this surprise. Given that the game is going to be multiplayer, this function of the Steamworks toolkit will be really great for anyone who uses Steam.

There are a lot of cool mods out there for Stonehearth, but I often haven’t had the patience to track them down and keep them up to date and so on, so I look forward to a more automated mod experience with the Steam Workshop.

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If users are used to steam, will they bother downloading thrid party mods, or does every mod maker have to go to steam, if they wish to have their mods noticed/downloaded by the community at large. I mean, ptherwise it’s a hassle. I know it might be a little overworrying, but it is the main question I have now.

Alright, apologies for the dissection in advance, but I like to highlight the individual points I’m replying to instead of writing a wall of text roughly directed at everything.


I am, and the options you have listed fail the game integration check. Plus, thank you for listing two sites - which just shows that the whole modding community is a fractured mess, where everyone and their mother makes their own repository and client. I mean, to each their own, but as I’ve said - SH lacks the critical mass to pull something like this successfully off. The dead, previous repositories speak of that, as well.

In the context of SH though, they don’t either - unless we count “download and start the game through their launcher” (which requires quite probably an own account, too) as “auto update”.

There was an attempt, but yet again, an integration as smooth as Steam won’t be possible for third parties - because of the lack of API abilities.

That’s fine and as developer, I wholeheartedly agree - however, it’s a few dozen developers versus literally millions of players for some games (Hello, Minecraft). Take a look at the average Minecraft player, then think about whether any form of git, inclusive GUI clients, are the right choice for them. Stonehearth won’t be heading in a very different direction; due to the design and the theme, it will attract the attention of kids/younger people as well - people who don’t want to, or can’t, use git for that stuff. Again, I don’t think it’s a viable distribution option at all.

This is correct, but a bit irrelevant, as Stonehearth itself does not exactly have an awesome release management when it comes to mods/APIs. There’s also the aspect of time. Are we talking about releases right now, or in the beta/stable phase of Stonehearth?

Right now, APIs are a mess, undocumented, change all the time, get created, get wiped, and so forth, as expected of a product in development. Yes, modding isn’t fun. However, it’s also straight-forward in a sense that a new version completely replaces an old one. Nobody is going to continue modding for v23 once v24 is there, which means there’s only limited incentive to support different versions. The picture would be different if versions were really branches in SH too, and v23 continues to receive updates once v24 is out, but that is highly unlikely/very rare.

In that sense, you can claim the release management is simply “Mods aren’t updated until the game hits stable”. If you wish to play with unstable mods, the mod can offer a second, different version that is for the unstable version I suppose. Is this pretty? Not at all. With conditional loading, mod authors might be able to include both versions into one mod though, so that would be a design decision to be made by Riot.

The question is whether other mod managers can handle this mess any better - after all, they’re even more decoupled from the game. Seeing as most of these products are run-of-the-mill tools, I wouldn’t expect special integration for SH’s possible quirks in that regard either, but I’ll openly admit that I have not worked with third party tools a lot. I know that the Twitch client is quite awful to use, though, and that Nexus wasn’t exactly friendly to use back when I’ve used it the last time.

I don’t think we’re particularly disagreeing in this part here. From my point of view, there’s not a pretty solution anywhere.

This is an issue completely unrelated to the modding repository and applies to all repositories/clients though. Even Steam does not “hide” modded content, but rather puts it into some folder (that is rather easily findable if you know where to look). I think some games are copying the files from that Steam folder to their local directory too so it looks more “normal”.

I don’t believe there’s a difference between any of these products in that regard. All of them require you to agree that they get a license to distribute and copy your content indefinitely and the juristic lingo is probably awful in all of them. What the mod’s license is like is completely different from that.

Yes, but since we’re talking about mod distribution, the focus should be on the users, not the developers. An awesome modding repository that’s like GitHub, integrates with the game, allows for branches, auto-updates and more would certainly be interesting, but nobody except modders and hardcore users would use it. There’s also the game developer aspect to it: You can’t really claim that “your game is moddable” and “easy to do so” if it requires users to jump through twenty hoops just download the starter mod.

From my point of view, that’s a horrible idea. There’s various things that can go wrong:

  • Authors are expected to support their mod on different platforms - platforms they might not even have heard of. Imagine the fun of hearing “Your mod isn’t working and completely and utter garbage”, just to find out that the other guy messed up the upload in that other portal.
  • You cannot guarantee updated files across the board. If somebody takes a mod and uploads it somewhere else, he “becomes responsible” (wink wink) to keep it updated there, too. The result could be that out of five platforms, two have the newest version, one has the first alpha of the mod, and two have the previous version.
  • The integrity of the mod isn’t guaranteed. This can range from simple handling errors (wrongly zipped, wrongly uploaded, somewhere a bit got lost) to “extensions” and “updated” versions that were modified by the inofficial uploader to make the mod “more awesome” (e.g. “I have boosted the damage by this sword by 10000% because it looks so cool and it needs to be super cool too!!”) up to straight forward, but unlikely, sabotage (hello, Elsagate). There’s nothing more depressing as a developer to me than having your product ruined because somebody is using it wrong, or is using something completely differently and thinking it is your fault. Also, the internet can be cruel. Super cruel. Especially in comments sections.
  • Uploading it yourself to half a dozen places still won’t upload it at that one crucial point that one user is using who now complains about it because the three other mods he uses are on it.

So bottom line, it’s a curse and a blessing. What’s most important from my point of view is that there is an unified platform, however - and that platform seems to become the Steam Workshop now. I doubt there will be enough modders in the foreseeable future that could influence the community to use any site. It all depends on Riot in the end and how convenient they can design the workshop tools. If they’re a hassle to use (looking at you, GMod back when you’ve started), people will have a hard time migrating and likely other distribution forms will take prevalence.

Keep in mind that none of this is in any form exclusive. You can have Steam Workshop subscriptions and manual mods at the same time, and I would heavily object against it being any different. It’s likely going to be a bit of a hassle for mod authors, who are now expected to distribute (and keep up-to-date) mods with two platforms. There will be people asking for a .smod and there will be people asking for a Steam version. And updating them is fun, too.

If Riot could provide some form of command line publishing tool (ideally that can also be passed a credential in form of an access token or similar), then the whole process could likely be streamlined (a lot).

Of course, an interesting project could be a mix of all of that. Have a service that acts as “centralised” service for mods, able to pull mods from various sources (GitHub hooks, REST updates, …), build/compile them (kind of like what Smodify did), and then push them to various other sources (Steam/some Nexus/Curse/whatever). However, because the credential stuff would get really icky, I don’t think that I - as a modder - would use that platform at all.

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Probably is, yes, but my PoV is a very jaded one. Especially since it includes the expectation that it’s going to happen anyways, with/out permission of the modder(s).

Again, I’m jaded and willing to lose all my points - “Sorry to hear you feel that way, don’t use my mod then.” would be my response if someone told me that.
If asked to support platforms I don’t know and am not comfortable with, I really don’t have enough qualms with stating that, no, sorry, it’s not available. If someone else wants to use my content to try to make it available, power to them, but be sure to talk to the person who does so if you get it from there and have issues. I’ll do my best to help within my ability, but I support X and Y, and can only do so much for Z, R, and Q.

Probably part of why I’m jaded and limited willingness, yes.

“Sorry, that one user. I’m not comfortable outside of X and Y. If you aren’t willing to use X and Y, here’s my direct link, thank you for contacting me. No, I’m not willing to work with site N just because mod1, mod2, and mod3 are. Truly sorry. Have a nice day.”


Frankly, at the end of the day…they’re mods. Use at your own risk.
Be it this game and platform, or any other.
Would it be nice if they could reach more people, have more regulation, etc?
Sure. My content would probably cease to exist given how much I already struggle, but I imagine it would be good for others.
But at the end of the day, mods are a luxury, not a necessity.
So, probably unsurprisingly now, I fully disagree with this sentiment:

Because it has to be for both, but, no, the focus should be on the developers being able to use it. Otherwise, many will simply stop developing. No, I can’t speak for all modders, but I wouldn’t continue if it was too difficult to share my mods. It’s already difficult for me to even make them; I keep at it because right now my reasons to do so outweigh that difficulty. But it’s why I don’t mod for other games that I would like to, or a few that I have modded my personal copy and…that’s the extent of it, because the mediums for distribution are much beyond my ability.


One of the other things I noted the most in here that I’ll get a quick comment on… “It isn’t distributed just on Steam” - no, it isn’t, very true. Quite a growing number of games are on multiple platforms. As a result, they have different amounts of support options available for this sort of thing. That shouldn’t result in not having the option to use Steam Workshop for Steam users and modders who are willing to deal with it.
Or the option to post mods to Discourse, or wherever else. Again, blunt as stone; I feel it’s a user-beware situation. The modders are providing additional content that is nice to have. Like almost anything else anymore…yes, there’s going to be re/distribution issues, including illicitly, and yea, people are going to be fickle in how they feel about what you provide, where, and what other people do about it without you necessarily even knowing. It’s a shame. It’s still not a great reason to limit the options.


But I’m just a feline of chaos rambling out my reaction, so take it with a grain of salt and two black cat hairs.

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I’ve had a few workshop items on Steam for the last six or so years, and if I have learned anything, it’s that people sadly don’t read, and they don’t understand either. I couldn’t count how often I was asked something that was stated in the very first line of the description. After a while, I just stopped answering, which isn’t a nice thing to do I believe, but I just couldn’t be arsed anymore.

No disagreement about the difficulty - like I’ve written in the original post or so, Stonehearth still has a very long way to go. It was fun dabbling around when it was much smaller, simpler and could be overseen much easier, but right now, with all the hidden traps and pits that are in the game, I wouldn’t want to mod it anymroe. The time has passed, and I’m not sure if even a proper documentation could make up for it by now.

It’s a difficult choice regarding modders vs. users. I would argue that you can expect from a modder that things are a bit more rough, as they ought to be a bit more resilient to bumps in the road. Users on the other hand - and this isn’t meant as an insult - are mostly the last tech savy people you could imagine, so catering to them is more necessary. From an UX experience, Steam is probably as easy as you can get - which also means that some features (such as branches) are not available. Either because they wouldn’t be used, or would be too hard to understand - it’s certainly not a storage issue, because I’m pretty sure Steam keeps copies of everything you’ve uploaded nicely archived.

Ideally, it would be nice for both parts. From my experience with other games though, I can say that pure download portals survive a lot longer than communities catering to developers - probably because it’s such a volatile environment to be in. Just the jump from SVN to git, for example, probably killed quite a few sites.

What I can tell you here is that out of all platforms I’ve used, Steam - probably because it is a walled garden to some extent - is absolutely amazing for developers. I have stats and graphs that I absolutely adore. Thanks to these, I know that over 231k people are currently subscribed to one of my items, and 507k have been in total, as example. It’s quite a weird feeling to know that something I made has been downloaded by more accounts than there are people living in my vicinity.

At the same time though, various games that were available over multiple distribution channels have either stopped supporting non-Steam versions, or are not developing new content for it. It’s heading in both directions, I guess and the next few years will be very interesting in that regard - especially since VR is opening up and everyone and their mother is starting a new store for that.

I’ve never said that it should be one or the other. I think that it’s important to support manual installation of mods (which then kind of implies 3rd party applications as well). However, in terms of integration - unless Riot provides some sort of API for modders to use, 3rd party tools will - in terms of convenience for your average Joe - always be worse.

I’ve actually proposed an API, or rather requested a few methods, that would make such an integration possible in the past, but that was denied. The reasons back then weren’t satisfying at all, but basically I could imagine attaching any kind of mod manager if the SH API would offer the following:

  • A HTTP API to make HTTP calls, including setting verbs and headers as well as content (text/json and binary blobs)
  • A configurable whitelist of domains that HTTP calls are allowed to. This would avoid building weird stuff with it. A user would have to configure, for example, that calls to https://stonehearth.mysupernexus.io are allowed.
  • A method to get the binary content of .smods, and one to write .smods. Writing can have a validation (e.g. “it’s a valid zip file”, “it contains a manifest.json”, “it does not contain any executables”) to avoid writing arbitrary files
  • Something to restart the game/reload the mods/activate or deactivate mods. I think this is already handled with the built-in modding manager though.

Given these APIs, I could very well imagine writing an auto-mod-updater that works with a proprietary service and is not tied to Steam. Plus, everyone could write one (or an adapter to an existing one) if they pleased. HTTP calls would allow for quite amazing experiences too, especially if we could get Websockets to run - but now I’m being greedy. This is a pipe dream from the get-go.

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Very quick response for clarification sake:

I apologize, I did not mean to implicate that you personally stated such.

It was aimed at the general sentiment to that extent, which has been lingering in the air around the Workshop and in the thread.

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Yang & Co’s Mods Are now live on steam workshop!

Great working bringing the workshop for stonehearth!

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Confused when i subscribe it downloads a tiny 50Kb file but no mods are found in the mod folder or ingame
Or does it perhaps not work with the Rickety_Building release?