Questions here: an inquiry thread! [Updated Sep 15th, 2014]

Discuss and distribute tools and methods for modding. Moderator - Grognak
Gmr Leon
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby Gmr Leon » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:34 am

Hey guys, I've just assembled a guide for introducing users to modding FTL on Steam and was wondering if any of you here that are also on Steam might like to be provided access to it to make any revisions or add anything you feel I missed.

Here's the link, if you're interested. I'm sure some of the wording could be improved in it, but I tried to go over each section at least once or twice to be sure it was as accurate as I understood what I've read around here.
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kartoFlane
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby kartoFlane » Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:34 pm

Nice write-up, covers the very basics of FTL modding pretty well, and that's usually what people have the most troubles with ;)

However, I think the "Appending is everything" section could be improved... I'm under the impression that you've focused too much on reasons why people would want to use .append, but not how to actually do it :P
Also, a minor error -- metadata.xml has to be placed inside a folder named mod-appendix.
For explaining how to show file extensions, I've found that this site is perfect, as it explains how to do that for every Windows version (except Win8, but I think it's the same as Win7?)

Also, I don't think that a backup install is really needed, since the only way to break it is to install mods after FTL has been updated, without previously updating SMM's own backups... Though I guess it's always better safe than sorry ;)
Superluminal2 - a ship editor for FTL
Gmr Leon
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby Gmr Leon » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:57 pm

Ah, thanks for pointing all of that out. I kind of got the same sense myself from the appending section, but I couldn't figure out how I wanted to revise it to make it clearer, and I was trying to be as concise as possible without losing too much info. I know when I'm reading guides that sometimes, if they drone on, they lose me and I wanted to avoid that for others if I could.

As to getting to file extensions, I might toss that in as a link around where I mention that stuff. I should probably dig up how to do that for Mac and Linux too, I suppose, but I suspect Linux users might not have that issue as much (and if they do, they may already know how to work around it).

As to the metadata file...Yeah, I've not gotten around to finishing up my own mod idea, so I hadn't really looked into that very much yet and only glanced over it upon the writeup. Guess that's what I get for writing in a little bit of haste! D=

You're probably right about the backup install, for sure, I just know it's my own personal policy for a game like FTL where mods aren't explicitly supported and thus it may not be entirely as easy to isolate problems. Then again, if memory serves, Slipstream does revert the game to its original form upon repatching the game without mods selected, so I may want to throw that in instead...

Edit: How would you recommend I explain how to append the files? I was going for a bit of a vague approach there to not get caught up in specifics, as to do this for each file differs a little, ship files and event files concern different elements. One is more dialogue and reward, whereas the other is ship stats amongst some other stuff that I've personally not looked into too much as they're not my area of interest. Either way, to affect either is generally to retain the original tags (e.g. <event> </event>), but rewrite the original contents in-between with your own, and save it as [adjusted filename].xml.append.

I mean, that's all I've ever really found I had to do, anyway. Which is part of why I really enjoy trying to work on stuff for the game, it's much more accessible than other games I've tried to learn how to mod.
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kartoFlane
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby kartoFlane » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:42 pm

I guess what I meant is explaining what appending entails -- ie. you only want to include the blueprint you're actually modifying, and not the entire file. Possibly with an example to make it clearer?
Either way, this is a good guide, and it's a good thing that it's concise :)
Superluminal2 - a ship editor for FTL
Gmr Leon
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby Gmr Leon » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:16 am

I see, I see! I can fit that in as a little note somewhere in there, like, by the way guys, you don't need to copy over the core files or anything, you can write your own clean file just with the same filename, .xml.append, and it'll work like a charm.

Thanks again for your input, I want this to be as helpful and clear as possible. The more that know how, the more neat content we can see, and the more content the more fun we can all have, which is as far as I'm concerned what gaming's all about! =D
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NarnKar
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby NarnKar » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:39 pm

I've been trying to work on a mod, and I think I've done everything right, but for some reason SMM gives me an error when I try to install the mod on vanilla FTL:AE. It's basically this mod, but with the layout slightly tweaked to include AE content. I used Superliminal to create the room, shield, weapon, cloak layouts, etc. Then I copied the custom weapon data from the old mod to the updated version.

Here's the resources of my mod.
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id= ... =drive_web

I'm using Java 64, if that's relevant at all.
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kartoFlane
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby kartoFlane » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:31 pm

It works fine for me. Perhaps the archives got messed up -- check this post.
Although admittedly, it'd much easier to pinpoint the cause if you could post the error message that SMM gave you.
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NarnKar
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby NarnKar » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:31 am

@kartoFlane The specific error (which I meant to include when posting but then I forgot and then it was pending for some reason) was "unexpected character in line 1, column 93"--it turns out that using WordPad to edit the .APPEND files also added some hidden style info, such that everything looked like

Code: Select all

{some encoding info | more stuff
lorem ipsum} <actual data>
/tab<data>


and it looked fine in WordPad because it would hide that style info.

I fixed it up in Notepad++, and it worked. Then I forgot about that post, and it was approved just today.
Snow Job
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby Snow Job » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:22 am

Is it possible to mod crew attributes, such as Increase/decrease a skill's XP requirement, or to add/remove characteristics from a species? I don't see any obvious .xml file that would contain the relevant details. It doesn't look like the crew data in blueprints.xml allows for modding much of anything.
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kartoFlane
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Re: Questions here: an inquiry thread!

Postby kartoFlane » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:25 am

Nope. Sadly crew modification is very limited. The most we can do is change how they look.
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