Modding possibilities in FTL

Discuss and distribute tools and methods for modding. Moderator - Grognak
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Modding possibilities in FTL

Postby Meshki » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:43 am

Hello folks,

I've stumbled upon this gem of a game two weeks ago and been playing it extensively since then.

As I'm passionate about modding, I would like to do some research about possibilities of modding in this game and would like you to help me figure out several questions before I start. I've seen quite a lot of mods have been made, so there are certainly people that could help me.

So without further talk, here are the questions:

1. Is it possible to modify the number of maximum power slots for each system? And is it possible to go beyond 10 or 20? How do you think the UI would handle it?
2. Is it possible to create short-term effects (like buffs or debuffs from other games) on ships. I can recall the Ion effect, disabling some systems for some periods of time. Examples: Missile that would lower dodge rate by %, laser that would disable sensors for short period without hitting them or weapon that would create additional extra shield when fired.
3. Is it possible to allow more weapon systems beyond 4? How do you think the UI would handle it?
4. Is it possible to modify the price of upgrades?
5. Is it possible to create new races and to create new race abilities that wouldn't be derivatives of the current abilities - for example, 30% reduction of damage from all sources
6. Is it possible to change the hull values for ships? Is it possible to have more than 100 or 200 hulls?
7. Is it possible to modify the way the shields replenish? Could it be nonlinear?
8. Is it possible to modify the maximum number of shields? Lets say to 10 or 20? How would the UI handle it?
9. Is it possible to create sector maps that wouldn't be random but predefined?
10. Is it possible to handle quest markers somehow? To differentiate the quests on star map.
11. Is it possible to create specific events with specific rewards, enemies, conditions etc?
12. Is it possible to create specific shop?

So far it's everything I can think of :-)

Thank you in advance
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Re: Modding possibilities in FTL

Postby DryEagle » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:01 pm

1. yes
2. not temporarily in the way you want
3. no, or at least not without breaking ui
4. yes
5. no, you can edit sprites on existing races though
6. yes, but the ui doesnt display it very well
7. no
8. 5 yes, more probably not
9. dont know
10. you can replace the 'quest' graphic for something else. there is only one though
11. yes
12. dont think so, you could use the event system to make a certain trade though
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Re: Modding possibilities in FTL

Postby GreenZanbato » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:34 pm

Just to elaborate, in most things that would go beyond the UI capabilities, it will just continue to add things outside of the borders, for example when adding more power to weapons you end up with powers bars sticking up over the power box. Hull just divides the bar by how many hit points you have, ignoring the amount of boxes.
Edit: Also #9 no. You can't make custom sector maps.
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Re: Modding possibilities in FTL

Postby thashepherd » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:06 am

For #9, you can't do a damn thing about arranging events inside a particular sector; you can just adjust the number and proportion of events.

BTW, even if you create a sector with NO events inside it, you'll still get events which are picked from the "NEUTRAL" list in newEvents.xml. Or possibly a CTD, depending on what the galaxy generator "rolls".

When it comes to arranging the sectors themselves, though, you can come extremely close to specifying the order and arrangement of e.g. nebula vs. Zoltan Homeworld vs. civilian vs. whatever you want.

I actually think it's provably possible to mandate any specific order or arrangement of sectors that you want. Not really in the mood to do the discrete math right now, I'm just saying that there's a LOT you can do, especially in terms of linear progression.
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Re: Modding possibilities in FTL

Postby alextfish » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:06 pm

You can tweak the UI so that drone slots beyond 3 look okay. (That's what my Starcraft mod does so that the Raven and Carrier don't look awful.) I imagine you can do the same with weapon slots beyond 4.
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Re: Modding possibilities in FTL

Postby Meshki » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Thanks everyone for insightful comments, I will take them into consideration when designing my mod.

I wanted it to be more "campaign" like, with predefined paths to take - eg. less randomization.

Also I would like to rework the current energy/damage system - as I believe there is currently not much wiggle space between 1-2-3 powered weapons and enhance the scale of damage and hull appropriatelly - for example a laser that does 1 damage now would do 3 damage in my system, but the hull of each ship would have 3x hulls. That would leave me with much wider options in weapon configuration.

I didn't do the math yet, but basically each energy would be 1/3 less powerful. That would mean that each shield would cost 3 energy, etc. The scrap cost would have to be readjusted as well.

I hope that will leave me with more options in the weapon department.
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Re: Modding possibilities in FTL

Postby alextfish » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:32 pm

A problem with this idea is that the ship's reactor has a hard limit of 25, and I don't think mods can change that.
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Re: Modding possibilities in FTL

Postby KuroSaru » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:57 pm

The reactor's limit of 25 is a soft-limit, aka you can upgrade past it but a ship can start with more than 25 power.
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Re: Modding possibilities in FTL

Postby shark » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:01 pm

You didn't check the model, yet you're already disappointed you can't multiply all data in the game by 3? huh?

Also, for all unanswered interesting questions you can ask Justin. After all, his name is all over the code... but don't be surprised to get a bunch of "no"s because alot in this game is hardcoded. Almost like this is just a vertical slice* and the rest will come in in about a year or so.

* which makes perfect sense for a Kickstarter campaign and as we know, this is one of the kickstarter success stories.
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