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Forum » Mod exchange

Mod exchange

Amarth 14 years ago
As a reaction on the Maps topic, but I don't want to hijack that thread.

Ville, will there be a more smooth way to create, export, import and play mods than in Notrium? Making people unpack zip files in a program files directory really isn't the way to go. IMO, ideally, you'd want to have it all ingame, with a submenu to discover (complete with ratings, download statistics, ...) and install mods, all integrated with the website. Probably also something like "submit to" in the editor.

It'd be a shame to have such a great editor and then make map exchange not be as smooth as possible. Perhaps not everything should be ingame, but at the very least installing a mod shouldn't be a multi-step operation.

On another note, you (or others if you allow it) might even earn some money with mods and downloadable content. It seems all the hype these days.
Crazy 14 years ago
Oooh, yeah, i think an ingame mod manager'd be a great idea.
Anonymous1157 14 years ago
In-game download centers can get extremely annoying. If you dare include one, it needs to actually have some thought put into where it goes and how it works. Two examples:

1 ) The in-game store for Burnout: Paradise is horrible. While scrolling through the menus, if you aren't paying attention and scroll to the store page, it makes you stop what you're doing for a few seconds while it loads. The content you haven't purchased yet is mingled in with what you haven't, but trying to use it brings up the store and makes you stop what you're doing for a few seconds while it loads. Accidentally driving onto the bridge to the island before you buy it brings up the store and makes you stop what you're doing for a few seconds while it loads. The same files are accessible through MS's existing browser in the dashboard. The game just SCREAMS "Buy all of me, asshole!" Have I said it enough?

2 ) OpenTTD now includes a content browser. There is one clearly labeled button on the main menu. The browser itself is fast, and the downloads are either relatively small or relatively fast. It didn't REALLY need one in the first place because most content is in clearly labeled threads on the forums, and there is already a tracker website.

In short, I generally think it's NOT a good idea. However, what I would greatly appreciate is a function on the right click menu for renamed ZIP files (Assuming that's what the mods will ship as) that says "Install Driftmoon mod" that runs a script that does everything for you. If you still want a download managet, I would want to use an external general-purpose Driftmoon mod manager (Import, export, change container, browse and download, etc). If the game became big enough, it could eventually be upgraded to support browsing for SVN'd mods and everything, and you'll never have to touch the game binaries. What I'm generally thinking of as I describe this is SpringDownloader, which I like very much except that it does manage to crash if I abuse it enough (Prolly .NET's fault).
Venom31 14 years ago
I'd rather agree with Anonymous1157. The built-in additional things cuddle the code for nothing (since there are almost/no mods). So, just as Anonymous1157 said, maybe make a small utility later on like in Morrowind, that managed mods and current add-ons.
ville 14 years ago
Basically we have two levels of modding here, to just edit maps for the normal mod, and to make a new mod. My plan is to include a built-in browser for mods/maps, and also a way to upload these to your account on I haven't given this much thought yet, but it's definitely something that needs to be done before getting more public.

I will likely try to keep the mods/maps system free for everyone by default. If you're interested in getting money for your mod, I'm sure we can arrange something.

The reason I'm considering a built-in system is that it's easier for beginners to get the content. In their day some popular Notrium mods could get up to 200 downloads per month, but that was peanuts compared to what the game was getting. I'd like more people to be able to see what you're making.

But as I said, I haven't given this that much thought yet. I'm open to suggestions...
Anonymous1157 14 years ago

I'd find it kinda hard to miss.
Vacuus 14 years ago
Not all of the >700,000 downloaders of Notrium made it to the forums, obviously. Having mods here restricts accessibility to a point where modding is more for the actual fans who bother to look for such a thing rather than casual gamers, of which I'm sure there will be many.

As for your concerns Anon, I'm pretty sure ville and anyone else working on it will realise if it's not working the way it should. Having mentioned the paradise thing and others will make that easier anyway

I like the idea, though. Hell, even an interface to a modding subforum here would be a start.

Having a context menu entry feels sorta like bloatware to me. It's a feature that's unnecessary and will be noticeable every time you right click a file (how often do you do that again?).

If it doesn't end up happening, a mention of mods (and your forum) in the installer might be an idea. Writting an NSIS or other script for such a thing isn't particularly difficult and I wouldn't mind doing so for general consumption anyway.
MageKing17 14 years ago
Built-in mod management a la Return to Blockland is actually quite useful, convenient, and detracts in no way from making mods available. The only problems are making the manager and running the servers, which are nontrivial problems.
mexis8 14 years ago
Why not just create a new directory in the site for modification for driftmoon? so just create a download manager that way when you open it, it has all the mods from the site in one list, download them from the download manager and it should just unzip it for you via the programmes directory? like most games nowdays? less complicated when it's actually completed

Edit: to be honest i had a old game not so long ago that had a downloading manager with mods already in the manager for downloading, you just select the mod you want and it was all set out in date form, from oldest to newest? isn't that less complicated? or why not create a download messeger that informs you when a new mod has been released via the website the mod was posted on?
LunaticNeko 13 years ago
If you feel this post is long, there's a summary below. ^ ^"

There could be in-game "mod-store" for mods that are complete, near-complete (where its updates won't force you to restart), and "safe". (both in terms of literal safety and "safe for minors") But I would only find it appropriate if:

- Some mods are paid-for, and if you let them download .zip there could be major piracy
- You can hot-swap them into play right now, or some functions to let you do so like big green "Play Now!" that streams the mod to the player's computer and start the game quick.

Personally I don't have problems with downloading a .zip and extracting it to /driftmoon/mods/ or similar tasks, but it could give newbies a break they need. The problem will begin if there's someone who decides to make a mod that requires other mods and "content packs" to work. Yeah, I'm staring at Oblivion.

@Ville Non-$0 mods should only be possible with your explicit authorization. You can state in the EULA that "players are not allowed to charge for mods unless explicitly authorized" or something just to be safe. I don't want to pay $4.99 or $2.99 for sub-standard mods, or those that don't worth it.

Summary: If there's nothing special except an in-game browser, just make a link from the game. Paid-for DLCs should be heavily and carefully considered.
ville 13 years ago
If someone really wants to make money for a mod, I'm all ears. It would obviously be good for Driftmoon if someone took such a professional approach. But I guess it will take a while for anyone to start such mods.
Amarth 13 years ago
It would hardly be a good investment, I fear. Driftmoon is probably going to remain a somewhat niche game. Even if it becomes big in the indie scene, it's stil fairly small. To spend hours, day, weeks on a mod that is worth the money, and then sell it to a few hundred people max might not at all be worth it. And this requires probably some form of DRM or security (again taking much of your time to implement) or no-one will be willing to try making something for money, only to see it being copied around.

Making it a sales platform requires a lot more effort which I don't believe to be worth it. I don't even believe it to be worth it for Starcraft 2 which is *slightly* bigger than Driftmoon. Your call, of course, and I might be horribly mistaken (I wouldn't want to take away a potential source of income), but think it through.
ville 13 years ago
Yes, if anyone wanted to make a commercial mod for Driftmoon, it would obviously have to be a stand-alone game and not require the original Driftmoon to play. To me the important part is that we have some good free mods for Driftmoon, I've greatly enjoyed playing all the Notrium mods I can get my hands on.
Forum » Mod exchange

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