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Charon

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Everything posted by Charon

  1. I tend to take charge of projects is participate in, so that has advantages and disadvantages. Here is just my 2 cents. The most important part that is missing in this thread are end users. People who can NOT program but want to mod. You need 2 groups of people. One group of people who can make the actual program, and the second group of people who can not program but would like to produce creative content. People who want to mod and can program are put into the group of people who can program. The question that you have to ask yourself is what is the target audience. You could propably answer that by saying that the target audience are people who are willing to produce creative content. This target audience will propably be somewhere beetween people who can program, and people who cant. The big discrepancy is not in the quality, but the quantity. The overwhelming amount of people who want to create creative content cant program, even if the quality is not on par. If you want to have a high quantity of creative content make tools which are designed for people who dont know how to use computers, if you want to get high quality mods you have to increase the capability of the tools. One of the examples of a very programmy system is @ Illunaks modmerging system: https://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/11156-documentation-modular-mods-system/. Very handy for programmers indeed, but nobody else used it because nobody understood how it worked. The other problem is that the modular mod system is actually a chain. Have one faulty mod in your mod loading order and everything may break down. Even worse, without actually notifying the user of it. 20 hours into the campaign and it breaks. If your software can be misused, the users will misuse it. Simply put you need QA. Otherwise you will simply end up with wolves designing a barn for sheep. Very handy for wolves indeed ... Other thoughts include: Proprietary or open source ? Version Control ? Git ? Public hosting ? Licenses ? Dependencies ? Contracts ? Which GUI library ? Programming Language ? This post does not express my interest in participating, merely my interest in getting quality tools running. Otherwise you will simply end up with dead code ... Cheers Charon
  2. Dieser Beitrag sollte jetzt nur noch funktionierende Links enthalten. Man darf @ Solver danken.
  3. @Solver Please delete the links: OP link works
  4. Ive downloaded every single link in this thread and its always 0 bytes. Except for my own one, which i uploaded: This ones works correctly. The confusion comes from the fact that this thread is full of links which dont work. I recommend removing all links in this thread which actually dont work, with a note that a moderator edited each post, in its post, and move my own version into the OP. Currently no links in this thread work except mine. Cheers @ Solver <3 PS: I can assist in the german language, if the need arises.
  5. Surprisingly, I have to agree with Solver on this one. Nothing is more fun killing than knowing exactly what the map is going to be like, and with that you dont really need to pay attention anymore, and that lessens the fun. During the development process of X-Division we took on what needed work the most, and for maps it was the terror missions. Because we added so much aliens the relatively small terror maps felt more cramped than usual. One of the things the team did was create different leveled versions of the same building. Eg: Additionally we simply alternated the vanilla layout. That was a very easy copy and paste job, as we simply copied one level as textdata and pasted it one level higher. Given that terror missions are quite hard, the added variety felt like a good reward for taking on a difficult mission. Keep in mind though that we also forbid the aliens from starting inside of a building, vanilla does not contain any spawn points on higher levels, and the more aggressive AI meant that the player never really had to search for the aliens (thus we also removed the reveal after 20 turns mechanic, and later added it with 40 turns back in again). However we could do better. All of this is based on illunaks contribution of allowing submaps to load other submaps. This technical aspect alone makes a lot possible. Want to make an asset which contains all other boxes ? We can do that. Want to make another asset that loads said box mix with 20% possibility ? Just put and add 2 of the box mix as a file, and 8 empty ones. I am familiar with all the map packs and how they work (mostly) and its not an understatement to say that without the lovely added chaotic and unpredictable maps X-Division would have never come to be. Before people would add additional unit content if no map variety would have been present the gameplay loop would have quickly burned out. Nothings more fun killing than "Been there, done that, seen everything". Imagine playing 200 hours of X-Division on the vanilla maps only, and you will see how much core the mapping scene is to the modding community. Unfortunately, Illunaks contributions came way too late. By the time the functionality was added, all the other maps had already been written, and no map content which utilises this system has been published today. The mapmakers moved on, and thats just that. It came around that that somebody actually implemented this system, and improved on other aspects of vanilla maps too, focusing on the battleship map. Here is showcase of how that could look like: More images of actual implemented variations can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bY-FRNoOYGcEpiQ4ILPaWGlFoagedOtU/view?usp=share_link Here i talk roughly 2 hours about proper game design and explain the ins and outs of the system specifically for maps. And the presented idea visualised in a CAD: This was all done with the functionality that XCE and Illunak provided and is already possible in X1. Now this shouldnt be an argument because it is possible in X1 it should be possible in X2, just showing that the concept removed from the implementation works. Put to the test the procedural generation of battleship maps increased the loading time by 50%. That sounds long, but if you realise you will play at least an hour on such a map its usually worth it. However as Solver once noted, the increased loading time fundamentally shows that something wrong happens in that system, and it should really not take more than 300 ms between a procedurally and non procedurally map generated. Performance is still a factor, and the faster a map loads the happier the players are, as you break immersion less with lower loading times. However, the system will have to be build with procedurally generated content in mind, otherwise you will just end up with scaling issues like in X1. I strongly advise follwoing points: Hire somebody that actually cares about procedurally generated maps. Whether you like it or not, randomised maps are THE factor for the longevity of a game, and a healthy modding scene. Just take a look at Wacraft 3, the public map editor kept the game alive until the game company literally killed its own modding scene, and spawned entirely new genres, like DOTA. Some programmers just really dont like to do procedurally generated maps, others do. If you cant do it yourself, hire somebody who cares for randomised maps. You will have the highest return on gains on this. Make a public map editor available on day 1. Before anything else can happen for a game, there need to be maps. That means before any other modding can happen, you need the possibility to increase the map variety by the community. Just like Illunaks technical achievements were unmatched, as unmatched was the lack of actual modders who used it. By September 2015 the community scene mostly moved on to other things. So that people feel attracted to the vanilla game, and the modding scene, you need a public map editor. The more map variety there is on day 1, and/or the possibility to make their own, the longer you will attract players. The longer you attract players, the higher the chance for them to buy the next game, the higher the chance they really like your content, and the higher the chance they will start to add to the modding community. Because people WILL move on, the question of it is just "when". Providing a bigger variety increases the time window people spend on your creative content, and therefore increase the time window you can paint yourself in a positive light. All of this is a statement about the biggest bang for the buck that the IP can get, not necessarily how possible it is to achieve it. I have not been filled in about the details of the legal issues for a public map editor, or the situation GI is in. But again i have to stress that the least amount of effort is required to implement the system I presented. The modularity of the system is fully accessible, how much effort the map creator spends on any particular asset is a free choice, assets can be reused on other maps ( additional to the "one map, different biomes" idea), and the gain of the system is exponential. By creating only 36 small submaps you can create 5 figure variations of meaningful and good looking maps. Sincerely, Charon PS: I had to chuckle at @Komandos post again, he put it, as other people would say "most expertly", in very few words. PPS: I do love handcrafted maps, but as Solver said, simply turning an asset in all 4 directions can provide immense value, with little to no effort. As a matter of fact most 4x variations i produced are the same asset rotated in 4 directions.
  6. Coming from here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/223830/discussions/0/3466109393877511518/ In a weird way it feels a lot less usefull than Firaxis XCOM. The reason for that is that in Firaxis XCOM the entity overwatching has the advantage, since it can shoot first. This matters because of who dies first. In Xenonauts if you are moving at all, you already spent TU to lower your initiative score. In the aliens turn they get their full TUs, and will almost always more likely have more initiative than any Xenonaut soldier that spent any TUs on anything. Imagine 2 equal entities with a certain distance from each other. They are out of firing range, but could move into range, but that would mean spending TUs on moving, instead of firing. Everything else being equal the entity that moves first is statistically loosing the engagement, because some of the action was spent on moving, instead of firing. Obviously you could shoot back after being shot upon, but the lethality of the weapons makes that an statistically unlikely behaviour. All of this combined puts a lot of stress on knowing where and how close your opponents are, making the best tactic to stay out of sight, and to know where your enemies are. And given the lethality of most weapons its usually the first to shoot wins. This makes most situations very, very campy, and very realistic, as military tactics is first and foremost about information. Here is another example. Lets say you have the chance to cover a door, but you would need to spend TUs in order to move into position. However, since you spent some TUs to move into position you cant effectly cover the door, the aliens pops out with full TUs, you have the lower initiative score, and get blasted. Most of what the game is about is to play hide and seek, and gather information about potential threads. It however nullifies everything that falls under the term positional advantage, offensively speaking. The best defensively positional advantage you can get is to not spent TUs. All of this gives the benefit to the defensively playing side, and makes the game a slow crawl. META is to play hide and seek, take risk/reward chances to uncover information, and be in the right spot to punish it. Overwatch offensively however, is mostly never worth the risk, exactly because of the initiative formula.
  7. As a matter of fact, X-Division downloads linking to @ Solvers servers are also down.
  8. The landing page for the download section is a bit empty. You might think of revising that. Some pictures in there got eaten by the bots. The community edition got its own category, which ... i dont know how i feel about that but i think it should be properly represented. I can confirm the 0 bytes bug addressed on reddit when trying to download the 35.1.zip. Propably something for @ Solver.
  9. You cant see the number of upvotes somebody has below the profile anymore, though whether that information is actually informative, or just an ego thing is up for debate. You cant directly see activity when hovering over a name anymore. Might be minor.
  10. I dont have the right to edit my own posts, therefore the double posts. Some other user rights might be missing. Edit: Wait, i do, its just somewhere else.
  11. I looked at the wrong color scheme problem again, and i have come to the conclusion that rewriting the thread is problematic, not only because i cant edit some posts, because they are not made by me, but also because we are solving the wrong problem. Excluding X-Division there are a lot of mods which presentation was based on the light theme, and they would suffer from the same problem. Some threads are made based on the dark theme, and some are based on the light theme. The proper solution is to enable users to switch to the appropriate background, of which the basic themes are dark letters on light background, and light letters on dark background, and not to edit each individual post. Apart from that setting a custom background color, which is possible, is neat, but not required. The fluidth width and bigger fonts options are a great addition. Profile pictures are loading in abnormally slowly, and late. Additionally sometimes they have weird representation. You might want to look into that. You want to load in pictures first, then the rest. This is a common nitpick with software that i have, and that extends to the whole unviability of windows 10, but if you want to load a "window" of any kind, and you render the window first with a white background, you flash the user, especially with a dark theme. The solution to that is pretty simply. You load the window per default with a black background. This is present on this forum as well, and is a minor point, but one that i would wish software would have per default.
  12. @ Chris The completed mod section has a section to the right with some stats. It looks good at first, until your realise that it takes 30% of the space away. Would be much obliged if that got removed, for all instances across the forum. While "i" dont really need a light/dark theme switch, i think its a functionality that a forum should have. As i know from experience it is possible to activate that switch, as it was switchable before. So maybe you look into that when you have some time.
  13. Anyway, the major issue i can see is that the colors of the X-Division main thread are all messed up. Im not sure how to fix this yet, or when the forum is stable enough to start fixing it. We want to keep it presentable, in both themes.
  14. Cuz things keep changing constantly. Rights, Layout and stuff. Lost the right to change between "Light" and Dark theme again. Also lost the right choose the Solid Background color. Need a hand ?
  15. So I guess i will wait until @Chrisis finished changing stuff in the background and then come back ? Come back tomorrow and comment ?
  16. If you are not adding visual content than you can delete all .pngs, since they are getting loaded with X-Division anyway. Just use some powerful tool to search and delete all *.png, windows usually isnt too fast with searching. If you are adding new visual content you can add it once, and it will overwrite pngs defined in X-Division. That should decrease the mods size to a few mbs.
  17. Most people dont code in C#. Most people cant code at all. So the common basis of extrapolating data sheets to the non coding audience will still be a necessity. Harmony has its limitations. Mostly that if the source code doesnt extrapolate an hook you cant change it. But also that you can only change objects or functions. If something is written inline you dont really get access to it. Implementing support for Harmony is the next big step for moddability for a game. Rimworld does it. Amazing Cultivation Simulator does it. And it does amazing things with the game and the community. Also as i mentioned the worry about source code got thrown out of the window fast when you use Unity anyway. Nothing which is coded in Unity stays a secret for long, Unity is simply too well known for how it works. So harmony could be the next step forward for the people who can do more than just alter spreadsheets, software could get closer to becoming a true platform to enable the players and modders to have the experience they want to have and to give.
  18. Since Xenonauts is written in Unity, and Unity is written in C#, and C# compiles to IL i can potentially see the creation of hooks that people can take advantage of with Harmony. For all important functions and data there could be hooks written so that people can splice in their own code. That would especially include map generation, but also all other important parts of the game. After the game is finished developing mod compatability with Harmony could increase the value of the software to unprecedented levels, and give modding capabilities never seen before without having to reveal the source code ( though no code written in Unity is ever really unknown - cuz of IL ). Just something to think about.
  19. Called in some favours. Got it fixed temporarily. Moved permanently to the download section. <3 to the german playing community.
  20. Version 1.06

    353 downloads

    Reupload for Humax┬┤s German translation for Xenonauts. I dont take any credit for it. Version uploaded is the V1.06.
  21. Steam Workshop has never been the "proper" way of sharing mods. Steam Workshop fucks up more than it fixes. The "proper" way to share mods has always been a unified place, like this forum. A place that people designate for mods. Goldenhawk Interactive actively designed this place for mods to be uploaded. But there is no penalty for uploading them to other places, for instance MEGA, Nexusmods, or google drive. The only thing you "technically" cant upload is the executeable. "Technically" you cant upload anything that would create a standalone running platform, but since all mods are based on having to have the base game all mods are allowed all around the internet. Intellectual property is a different matter, and a grey area. But the worst case scenario is that somebody can ask you to stop hosting the content, or remove intellectual property from your content. So, this place is the designated place for mods to be uploaded, but there is no penalty for uploading them anywhere else. Oh yes, about the license. If you would know anything about licenses you would realise you cant put a license on something that you dont own. You dont own any intellectual property that goldenhawk owns. So you cant put a license on that. I mean you can, but its irrelevant. You can put a license on your own intellectual property, but thats your own buisness. And the rest is not intellectual property. Changing a line in the gameconfig file is not an intellectual property in the same way that the letter "5" is not anybodies intellectual property.
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