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Modding and Game Design


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I don't know where is a good place to put this thread. But i thought it was a really good discussion to have and I think it will be helpful.  Both of these videos I think are extremely helpful for game design and may help to give direction and focus to developers, modders and the project as a whole.

Here are some key points:
 

  • Many players of RTS only play Single player campaigns, and no competitive. For Starcraft 2, this was about an 80%/20% split.
  • Many extremely popular games are extremely moddable: Minecraft, Skyrim, Roblox, Team Fortress, Halo 3.


From this, I think that Modding, and sharing and playing mods co/op should be a focus of development. Single player campaigns are great, but this is something which comes after really good modding and mod sharing tools are implemented. Things such as balancing are much easier to do with modding tools, as makers can share their own versions of balancing. Some of these balancing settings could even be chosen from game setup(I'm not sure what to include yet).

 

 

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I really think that if modding tools are great, and the engine is developed more, then the mod community have the potential to bring tons of casual players to the game. The other things related to game success are about things which a good mod could fix. So mod sharing focus is key imo.

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28 minutes ago, myou5e said:

I really think that if modding tools are great, and the engine is developed more, then the mod community have the potential to bring tons of casual players to the game. The other things related to game success are about things which a good mod could fix. So mod sharing focus is key imo.

That's what I told Stan, that we should promote mods or modding.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

That's what I told Stan, that we should promote mods or modding.

Look at games like Minecraft and Skyrim. Even games like Dota which came from the modding community. If we can make the game so it's tremendous fun to mod, you could have an influx of user created "Hyrule" and similar. Anyone with the right assets can make their own game. I think the Engine itself could use more mechanics(old ones like stealth, attack ground, formations) and game performance(Level of Detail etc). If the options are there, the modders will work out what to do, and the community will vote with their play time. This engine layer would be one that people do not mod(much), or will be more difficult to mod. But templates and art are much easier and safer to integrate and version and pass around.

Edited by myou5e
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most of the work, for what I get now, is on the engine. modding support is pros-and-cons, but where the game is really lacking for me is spectacularity, among the three points that first video elists. by the way, those were good points, I also liked the videos on game design by the general gentlemen, that were posted by @Lion.Kanzen some time ago.

Edited by alre
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I mean I keep promoting mods :) I keep retweeting when people tag me, we have mod.io and moddb, I talk about mods at events, I even showed @maroder 's new UI at the Japan Tours Festival.

My issue right now is I'm maintaining too many of them. Warcraft Themed one, starcraft, wwII, american civil war, MLP etc... 

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49 minutes ago, Stan` said:

I mean I keep promoting mods :) I keep retweeting when people tag me, we have mod.io and moddb, I talk about mods at events, I even showed @maroder 's new UI at the Japan Tours Festival.

My issue right now is I'm maintaining too many of them. Warcraft Themed one, starcraft, wwII, american civil war, MLP etc... 

I haven't seen any of those mods :-p. You mean these mods are for 0ad? I have seen you support modders @Stan` so I am not complaining about this. Practically, the suggestion from me would be to implement something to do with sharing mods from the pregame scene. As I've said before, provided you are sharing certain types of files, dae, xml etc and these files are well formatted(which is testable), I think security issues can be solved. Even if you want to approve the mods manually and only have security checked mods from Mod.io, but those are available from the Multiplayer pregame, this would be a huge advantage. So the host would select a mod, it would get automatically shared with the others in the chat room(perhaps with a prompt about whether they wish to accept, but I don't think it's necessary, depending on the size.), and they can play with that mod.

If you like this idea, I can work on a single player version, but I have very little idea how to make it transfer in Multiplayer.

This is just another useful video for game design. The practical thing for RTS I think would be randomizing things. Random maps already exist, but ofc you want random + balanced. And also, there might be things other than terrain that can be randomized. Like start unit count or mercenaries etc. These things keep the game random enough basically that combos(or build orders) can't be memorized so can help to maintain the fresh feeling of the game.
 


 

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16 minutes ago, myou5e said:

I haven't seen any of those mods :-p. You mean these mods are for 0ad?

Yes. https://github.com/0ADMods 

 

17 minutes ago, myou5e said:

As I've said before, provided you are sharing certain types of files, dae, xml etc and these files are well formatted(which is testable), I think security issues can be solved.

Mods should be packaged sadly, some Linux users compile the game without NVTT so they cannot put textures in cache for instance.

19 minutes ago, myou5e said:

but those are available from the Multiplayer pregame, this would be a huge advantage.

I'm not sure, but you can probably access mod.io from the lobby with some GUI modding (ping @rossenburg) Do note you still have to accept terms and whatnot.

I see it as follows, you try to join a game you don't have the mods, it prompts you to open the mod selection, you download the mod there, restart the game and join the lobby again.

We sadly have to restart the game to add new mods, files or whatever.

 

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Just now, Grapjas said:

How does one get featured there?

You just ask me and we migrate your repo there :) 

Some people just like their independance so I don't force them to go on 0 A.D. mods under the council of modders. which I guess isn't really a thing anymore.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Stan` said:

We sadly have to restart the game to add new mods, files or whatever.

This really breaks the experience flow of the game IMO. Would this be hard to change?

I would expect it to be possible for it to reload the templates in the background. no?

Edited by myou5e
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2 minutes ago, myou5e said:

This really breaks the experience flow of the game IMO. Would this be hard to change?

I think so yes. @wraitii

2 minutes ago, myou5e said:

I would expect it to be possible for it to reload the templates in the background. no?

Template hotloading would be nice yeah.

The problem is you have to rebuild the whole virtual file system respecting the order of the mods, and whatever the JS code might be doing.

 

 

 

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On 03/07/2022 at 12:13 PM, myou5e said:
  • Many players of RTS only play Single player campaigns, and no competitive. For Starcraft 2, this was about an 80%/20% split.
  • Many extremely popular games are extremely moddable: Minecraft, Skyrim, Roblox, Team Fortress, Halo 3.


From this, I think that Modding, and sharing and playing mods co/op should be a focus of development. Single player campaigns are great, but this is something which comes after really good modding and mod sharing tools are implemented.

Seems contradictory to me. Wouldn't the lesson of the vids be to concentrate on single player and campaigns, while allowing the game to be modded?

And add flashy swoops and explosions for spectacle.

To promote mods in MP I guess it would be nice to keep the surface (lobby) running, while restarting the needed components for playing ~invisibly.

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8 minutes ago, Gurken Khan said:

 

To promote mods in MP I guess it would be nice to keep the surface (lobby) running, while restarting the needed components for playing ~invisibly.

You can't, what if the mods edits the lobby page ^^"

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6 hours ago, Stan` said:

I mean I keep promoting mods :) I keep retweeting when people tag me, we have mod.io and moddb, I talk about mods at events, I even showed @maroder 's new UI at the Japan Tours Festival.

My issue right now is I'm maintaining too many of them. Warcraft Themed one, starcraft, wwII, american civil war, MLP etc... 

we should have a focused video. you know in the engine. I kind video trailer of possibilities.

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1 hour ago, Stan` said:

I feel like we lack the visual tooling to do that. It's mostly text editing outside of Atlas. And even there for triggers and stuff.

Nah, still possible. The example from @Lion.Kanzen also showed plenty of text editing.

Make a montage with pseudo editing capturing and examples of what mods we already have. Cavemen, high fantasy, cheat units, medieval...

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