On the topic of Modding

General discussion about the game.
Justin
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On the topic of Modding

Postby Justin » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:03 pm

We have been asked a few times about modding support and a subforum.

Here is our situation:
Unless I'm mistaken, modding currently requires the redistribution of our data files (which include our hard work: ben's music, the art, tom's writing, etc) in order to distribute a mod. Until such a time as a modding tool which doesn't involve the redistribution of our data files is created (by us or by you guys) there's no way we can fully encourage the current modding methods and a subforum is a form of endorsement. (As a comparison, imagine sending the entire soundtrack of Skyrim every time you want to share a sword you made)

We realize that this situation is a result of how we manage our data but we never anticipated the strong response that we would receive from the community so soon. Currently we are extremely busy with post release support and press so it will be some time before we can determine our future plans (which means deciding between working on updates, supporting modding, trying to port the game and pursuing other projects that we want to work on).

I hope you understand our viewpoint. We are still in awe at the effort you all are willing to expend to mod our game and the amount of enjoyment of FTL that it implies. We just cannot encourage distribution of the game's data files.


EDIT: So it looks like GMM already distills those worries so we went ahead and set up the modding subforum. I just please ask that we phase out the older way of distributing mods. Thanks, i'll unsticky this soon.
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thomasfn
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Re: On the topic of Modding

Postby thomasfn » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:29 pm

I am in the understanding that Grognak's Mod Manager distributes mods without distributing the data and resource files (mods in this case are essentially file patches).

Additionally, FTL: Overdrive is a rewrite of the engine with a focus on modding (mods in this case consist of a set of Lua scripting files and any required assets).

Your post makes absolute sense though and I understand your position.
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Kieve
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Re: On the topic of Modding

Postby Kieve » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:28 pm

thomasfn wrote:I am in the understanding that Grognak's Mod Manager distributes mods without distributing the data and resource files (mods in this case are essentially file patches).

Additionally, FTL: Overdrive is a rewrite of the engine with a focus on modding (mods in this case consist of a set of Lua scripting files and any required assets).

Your post makes absolute sense though and I understand your position.


Simply this. GMM does not require the distribution of existing assets, so even at the time of your post there's already a solution to that. Granted some mods are doing the full-repack, but hopefully their authors will revise their work to be GMM friendly, and not require full redistribution (most of these mods are "day 1" early work changes anyway).

Justin wrote:Until such a time as a modding tool which doesn't involve the redistribution of our data files is created (by us or by you guys) there's no way we can fully encourage the current modding methods and a subforum is a form of endorsement.


In light of this... well, such time is several days ago. :? I do completely understand that you don't want your assets widely distributed, but in light of this information I do respectfully ask you to reconsider, since we have the tool you mentioned already.
icepick
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Re: On the topic of Modding

Postby icepick » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:11 pm

Just have to be patient. I want mod support as much as anyone.
marksteele
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Re: On the topic of Modding

Postby marksteele » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:45 pm

I think it would be possible to do this on the condition that all mods that are posted in the section use GMM. This means that the files are not being redistributed plus its simpler for the end user
Hissatsu
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Re: On the topic of Modding

Postby Hissatsu » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:47 pm

Well, if modding requires redistribution, then fix it. Seriously, its so easy to make the game first look for files in the folder with the .dat archive, and then look for files in the .dat archive that comes with the game (and contains your precious assets you no doubt do not want to allow to redistribute). This isn't a huge change (actually, its a very tiny change), but it will fix the only problem that, as you say, prevents you from fully acknowledging modding.

Enthusiasm can wear down, you know. Today, a lot of people want to take your game futher, and time to synergise with that is now. It may be not very much so in a month or two.

And, as pointed out, there is already a tool done to workaround this limitation, so even now you dont have to distribute assets to distribute mods.
Last edited by Hissatsu on Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
icepick
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Re: On the topic of Modding

Postby icepick » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:48 pm

I think it would be possible to do this on the condition that all mods that are posted in the section use GMM. This means that the files are not being redistributed plus its simpler for the end user

That's practically making the gmm official, when they don't even know if they want to support modding yet...

Patience, my friends. Have patience.
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Re: On the topic of Modding

Postby Whale Cancer » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:52 pm

thomasfn wrote:I am in the understanding that Grognak's Mod Manager distributes mods without distributing the data and resource files (mods in this case are essentially file patches).


This. The tool already exists.
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Hissatsu
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Re: On the topic of Modding

Postby Hissatsu » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:01 pm

icepick wrote:Patience, my friends. Have patience.


I'd like to challenge that.

Why should people have patience, when all they ask is a recognition of something already done by other people. You dont have to make any tool officlal, you just have to state "we allow any kind of mods that do not redistribute assets (list which) that come with the game". This is a simple matter of saying yes - and since official position was "we cannot allow mods because it means distributing our assets" - why not say yes on this?

Why should people have patience anyway? This game is great, and its cool if you're clueless about how to play it, and it took you 70 walkthroughs to win on easy, and 100 or so to win on hard, but for those who "got it", this game gets old fast. Not because its bad - but because its essentially just an engine, filled with not that very much content. Events repeat themselves a lot - thus, we need more diverse events. Personell combat is very simple - we need an extended version. We need more items, balance of existing ones, we need away missions. This game has huge potential, but its not the only one in the universe you can spend your creative time on.

It comes down to people's time, and they can put it elsewhere. Why should i be patient and wait for game A to acknowledge modding, when i can find game B and enjoy playing it/patricipating in community/modding in it? One human only has so many hours of his time, so he can choose something else to do if he's not welcome here.

I know you can say "have patience" when something is being worked on, but is done slow - in such cases, yes, better have patience than annoy developer with questions "when will it be out" and in worst case receive an unfinished buggy product (which is how most games nowadays get released). But here, why have patience when issue isnt worked out on at all? Seriously, how hard is it to read this reply by forum users above me, understand that whole point of the OP was based on false information ("Unless i'm mistaken..." part), accept that yes you are mistaken, and change your point? What's to be patient about?
icepick
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Re: On the topic of Modding

Postby icepick » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:08 pm

I'm not going to bother responding to that, sorry.

The tool that does exist unpackages and repackages the games data files. This is a pretty big gray area, really. I'm pretty sure this would count as violating subset games' copyright on the assets. (though I don't claim any expertise). That's not to say they couldn't allow it specifically for modding, but we don't even know if they want to support modding at all yet. It's not a trivial thing to do, no matter what any forumite may think.

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