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lujate

How "mod-friendly" should Unbended be?

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lujate    375

I saw this question over on the official forums (http://forum.unbended.zone/threads/wie-mod-freundlich-sollte-unbended-sein.432/#post-5904), and I did a "huh, I never thought of that".

 

I always played Closed, so most mods weren't allowed. The only one I ran was the one that made the health bar more visible (a huge plus for HC). Of course, you don't have to read darkmatters.org for long to see that modding is big for Sacred 2 I&B.

 

So modders, what do you dream of for Unbended?

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SX255    628

And maybe make a couple of fun chain quests for the rest of the community to enjoy. I have 4 on standby in my head right now.

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Flix    2,918

My concern is mainly for ease of fixing and patching after official support is abandoned - and it will be abandoned before people stop playing it. I see game after game after game transformed from "good except for the bugs" to "great if you make sure to install the fan patch." Even AAA titles have their fix patches. There's no RPG so polished and so well-made that players can't improve it. Maybe developers don't like to hear that, or they get protective of their creations, or they have restrictions placed on them, but nowadays you'd have to be crazy to actively prevent modding in your game. Unless you staunchly decide to make your game multiplayer-centered and online-only (like Diablo 3) there's just no excuse.

 

And if you actively support modding, well then in we're all in for good times. Modding extends replay value and longetivity of the game, pure and simple. And that's not just a player perk. There's a reason the Elder Scrolls games pack in so much mod support for their titles: people buy it expecting all the great mod content that fans will make for it. CD Projekt Red gave us Djinnii for The Witcher 1 and bent over backwards to get the REDkit modding tool for The Witcher 2 released to players. Divinity Original Sin proudly released with a custom modding editor, and rightly so. So yeah, I think of it for every new game I want to play, and hope for the best.

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gogoblender    1,465

I saw this question over on the official forums (http://forum.unbended.zone/threads/wie-mod-freundlich-sollte-unbended-sein.432/#post-5904), and I did a "huh, I never thought of that".

 

I always played Closed, so most mods weren't allowed. The only one I ran was the one that made the health bar more visible (a huge plus for HC). Of course, you don't have to read darkmatters.org for long to see that modding is big for Sacred 2 Ice and Blood.

 

So modders, what do you dream of for Unbended?

I'm with you on the closed, and never really "got" the mods, as I was all for hc or nothing...but, as you say, Sacred 2 has taken off here at DarkMatters because of all the modding happening, and I'd never thought that this would be such an important part of our daily day. CM Patch and all the modders efforts here has, as a poster here once posted years and years ago, become "The new future of Sacred 2."

I'm curious as to what a modder would "need" for a game to be created more mod friendly?

 

:)

 

gogo

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Flix    2,918

 

I saw this question over on the official forums (http://forum.unbended.zone/threads/wie-mod-freundlich-sollte-unbended-sein.432/#post-5904), and I did a "huh, I never thought of that".

 

I always played Closed, so most mods weren't allowed. The only one I ran was the one that made the health bar more visible (a huge plus for HC). Of course, you don't have to read darkmatters.org for long to see that modding is big for Sacred 2 Ice and Blood.

 

So modders, what do you dream of for Unbended?

I'm with you on the closed, and never really "got" the mods, as I was all for hc or nothing...but, as you say, Sacred 2 has taken off her because of all the modding happening, and I'd never thought that this would be such an important part of our daily day. CM Patch and all the modders efforts here has, as a poster here once posted years and years ago, become "The new future of Sacred 2."

I'm curious as to what a modder would "need" for a game to be created more mod friendly?

 

:)

 

gogo

 

Yeah I get you. Mods can ruin a multiplayer game. If multiplayer is going to be a big part of Unbended (not sure?), then there will need to be a way to ensure they don't encroach on the MP experience.

 

Honestly as a modder I don't know what I would request from developers, apart from the obvious awesomeness of releasing development toolsets and editors. Read about the editors and toolsets officially released for The Witcher series (Djinni and Redkit), Dragon Age (here), or Divinity Original Sin to get an idea what I mean. The list of games that have built-in support is bigger than you might imagine. Titan Quest continues to thrive and has cool mods being released (like recreating Diablo 2), despite being almost as old as Sacred 1, because it has built-in mod support and they released a toolset for it.

 

Sacred 2 had no such tools released, but it is easy to mod in part because the scripts are in a simple text format that are easy to understand and edit. Likewise the textures and models are easy to access and edit. So basically they avoided using lots of encrypted files that people couldn't view or change. I'm sure they didn't do that for modders, maybe it was just easier for development. But it works out great for me! :D For adventurous players and even moderately skilled modders, PC games can be a real wonderland above and beyond what they are out-of-the-box if there is modding potential.

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SX255    628

Why mod? Because the game is not fun enough as it is for me to try. I wouldn’t play Titan Quest, Torchlight 2 or Dragon Age otherwise.

It's VERY annoying to play a good game with just one small piece missing for your full enjoyment.

 

I'm curious as to what a modder would "need" for a game to be created more mod friendly?

 

As a mod maker I would request these from any developer (and preproduction is the best time to do it):

 

No DRM – if the game checks for file tempering, it becomes a “take it or leave it” deal. So don’t be surprised when people chose to “leave it”.

 

Low or no encryption - a lot of early games cannot be refurbished because noone knows what the KMF file is anymore.

 

Easy mod integration – Sacred, Sacred 2 and Titan Quest can swap files by placing them in the correct folder tree. Many games, like the GTA series, require you to remake the file in full.

 

Tools to convert game data format to universal format – if Sacred 2 didn’t have its meshes in GR2 format, textures in DDS, or sound in OGG, you would not have your Item Mod without format converters.

 

Not be stupid in development – if the file organization is a mess, the tools look unfriendly, or they cut corners, it becomes hard to create even the simplest mod. Case in point: my Titan Quest Jackalman mod. I only wanted to swap out the PC for a jackalman, but the PC animations were hardwired to the NPC guards... and 4 month later I’m still making it (I’m 75% done).

 

Build me these files to save me time and effort - I paid lots of money early on Unbended to get the needed meshes in the game for my mod. :devil:

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gogoblender    1,465

There's a reason the Elder Scrolls games pack in so much mod support for their titles: people buy it expecting all the great mod content that fans will make for it.

Ahhh... maybe this kind of takes some of the pressure off of the devs in having to come up with all the end game content then... as, if the mod tools are made well and with some imagination, they allow the fans to be a part of a game's constantly evolving world...in fact unlimted content?

I am consistently surprised with how Sacred 2 here with all the mods created now has become

 

:blink:

 

gogo

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gogoblender    1,465

Why mod? Because the game is not fun enough as it is for me to try. I wouldn’t play Titan Quest, Torchlight 2 or Dragon Age otherwise.

It's VERY annoying to play a good game with just one small piece missing for your full enjoyment.

 

I'm curious as to what a modder would "need" for a game to be created more mod friendly?

 

As a mod maker I would request these from any developer (and preproduction is the best time to do it):

 

No DRM – if the game checks for file tempering, it becomes a “take it or leave it” deal. So don’t be surprised when people chose to “leave it”.

 

Low or no encryption - a lot of early games cannot be refurbished because noone knows what the KMF file is anymore.

 

Easy mod integration – Sacred, Sacred 2 and Titan Quest can swap files by placing them in the correct folder tree. Many games, like the GTA series, require you to remake the file in full.

 

Tools to convert game data format to universal format – if Sacred 2 didn’t have its meshes in GR2 format, textures in DDS, or sound in OGG, you would not have your Item Mod without format converters.

 

Not be stupid in development – if the file organization is a mess, the tools look unfriendly, or they cut corners, it becomes hard to create even the simplest mod. Case in point: my Titan Quest Jackalman mod. I only wanted to swap out the PC for a jackalman, but the PC animations were hardwired to the NPC guards... and 4 month later I’m still making it (I’m 75% done).

 

Build me these files to save me time and effort - I paid lots of money early on Unbended to get the needed meshes in the game for my mod. :devil:

I remember all the furor about Sacred 2 when it was released, as compared to Sacred for modding... sacred's secrets were locked up so tightly, while Sacred 2's all of a sudden released much more to the public... I even remember feeling a little miffed that all the silly messages could be read at a glance ... this changed though, as I began to see that this didn't really limit the wiki's scope but enhanced it, as it gave us more opportunity to create fan pages in different ways from different angles, with the fun of documentaion still being preserved.

Do you think Sacred 2 is a good model for Unbended to use while making it mod friendly ?

 

:)

 

gogo

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SX255    628

Do you think Sacred 2 is a good model for Unbended to use while making it mod friendly ?

 

Yes, but it can always be better.

I liked how the files are organized in the PAK folders of Sacred 2.

 

But we constantly get people asking for "global.res" editors for one reason or the other. Maybe there are things in there that should be made public? Maybe not?

I leave that for the developer team to decide on what mods can and can't do.

 

Ironically, this same topic has just been started on the Undended German and English threads. I recommend all moders to go there and contribute your know-how.

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lujate    375

I posted this after seeing the German thread. I guess this thread prompted the English one on the official forums.

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Miquin1    19

I love strong mod support on games. Most of my favorite games have had strong mod support. A company can only support a product for so long, but a strong modding community can keep even a very aged game quite viable for a very long time. Some publishers may fear that if people are playing old games because they can mod them, they won't buy new ones. That is silly. The same people who played modded version of Morrowind and Oblivion were qutie eager to buy Skyrim...and they will still buy the next Elder Scrolls game. By having a dedicated modding community constantly breathe new life into a game long after it's publication date, it only increases the value of it. In an age of digital distribution, I think having that long-term value that a modding community can bring is a VERY useful strategy for a developer and publisher.

 

I first played Sacred 2 on the 360. I now have Sacred 2 Gold on PC and with the expansion and the HUGE amount of content that the Community Patch provides, it's just so much better. The advantage a modding community has is that there are a lot of talented, skilled and imaginative people who enjoy doing this and a major advantage that they have is not having a publisher standing over them telling them to hurry up and hit a deadline.

 

Now the other side of the coin is on Multiplayer. The temptation to create gamebreaking mods would be strong...particularly in a competitve type of multiplayer. I personally feel that if it is cooperative multiplayer and people want to play with gamebreaking mods, then why not? I'm not big on overpowering myself (my favorite mods for games like Skyrim or Fallout tend to address balance issues), but I view Co-Op in very much the same way as I do Single Player. If both people have the same balance-destroying mod that lets them do crazy things...then why not? They are just having fun laying waste to the game world.

 

But then I think about games that allow mods that DO have a competitive Multiplayer element to them like Left 4 Dead 2. The Confogl mod just applied strict rules and limitations to both teams and made the versus mode a bit tougher for whomever was playing Survivors. The Realism Mode in that game was inspired by a Mod made for the first game. The benefits of well-thought out Competitive MP mods should still be considered...but the danger is that if you do allow rule-changing in a competitive mode, this does open the door for people to create triggers that would benefit one team more than another...and then you have to do extra work to develop anti-cheating tools, etc...because a company is not going to want a competitive game's reputation to be ruined by rampant cheat mods.

 

Given that most of my gaming is Single Player or Co-Op, my bias is to have games be as mod-friendly as possible. Since Unbended is the spiritual sequel to Sacred 2, I imagine the social element will be more cooperative than competitive and if that is the case, I would love for them to leave the keys to the kingdoms for the modding community, because supporting that community will make your game continue to become greater even many years after it releases...and people who buy your games will be drawn to that qualitive aspect and be more inclined to not "wait for it to go on sale". I didn't wait for Divinity: Original Sin to go on sale because I trusted the developers and I knew it would have long-term value. A game without that benefit has to work much harder to get past my usual willingness to wait.

 

This is why I am in no hurry for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Not much modding support and they are gonna trickle out a slew of DLC anyway to the point where I won't even be able to keep up with what the final version of the game is. I lack the patience for that, so I'll just wait a year or so when the complete version is for sale. Fallout New Vegas was going to have DLC and I knew that...but I nabbed it anyway because Bethesda releases toolsets and that added to my sense of value for the game...even though you can pick up the complete version for a song nowadays.

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Spock    195

I feel that strong Mod support is almost required for any new game. As far as HC is concerned, just do a quick check to ensure any mods applied for one player are also universally applied to any other player joining in a game with that player. Then everyone will still be on a level playing field.

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