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Sheepy

New game vs modding?

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Not wanting to derail a feature discussion thread so I'm opening a new thread here.

11 hours ago, drages said:

What is the difference (from post-release modding) for a new game? We talk about every (feature) possibility here with possible examples. You can't discuss a mod so detailed because a mod is limited by the game itself. Now we don't have any limit so we are free to say anything. 

A few differences.  A new game is constrained by a vision and theme to maintain a consistent identity.  All non-optional features it provide will be forced upon all players and must be explained, balanced, meet players expectations, not too tedious not too hard no death trap etc.  The dev also needs to balance limited resources.  Mods are less constrained by these factors.  Mods actually have more design freedoms.

Instead, mods are more constrained by technical issues.  Some features are easier done in a new game by the dev team for this reason.  Equipment addon and locational damage for example.  Some features, like adding fragments and refining research tree and item/event triggers, are likely to involve more planning and balancing than coding, and in my eyes are better fit for mods.  Then there is the issue of UI modding which I tried to raise but seems to be ignored.

If you are a modder, I have a recent example.  I just modded a game's resource loading engine to cuts its work by perhaps a factor of 10.  Players are crazy.  A quick hack on two low-hanging cpu bottlenecks, arguably easier done by a mod since a mod can be less stable.  In other words, I can move faster than the dev.  Everyone happy.  But there is a whole tree above it.  I didn't systematically rewrote its dependency management, and I can't feasibly make it load files asynchronously.  The later, another factor of 10, would mean rewriting the initialisation code of every single data structure and the whole loading pipeline, and should absolutely be done in the development stage rather than by modding.  Something a developer could have done before it is too expensive, instead of features that can be done in a later patch or by a mod.

If you are not a modder, don't worry.  It is hard to tell.  Sometimes even to coders.

Edited by Sheepy
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For those reasons, game should be open minded for all possibilities and should be implemented by devs for maximum stabilisation. As we have mod support now, i just tell everything in my mind so the devs would not have any problems to add later. They can even use those ideas at the base game too.

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There's a very pertinent comment that Chris made in another modding-style thread 

Quote

I'm not sure we're going to support multiple damage types for weapons out of the box; we don't have any real use for it and it might make the UI rather more complex. Possibly something to note down for the "extra modder support" feature wishlist though.

The developers make the environment that suits them for the scope of the project they want to engage in. The more open minded they are for features they don't intend to use, the more expensive it is for them to implement and maintain those features through successive iterations. At this point in development, given that there's every indication there's a already implemented framework it may already too expensive in terms of man hours to be open minded. The time for open-mindedness may have been a few years ago.

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1 hour ago, Max_Caine said:

The more open minded they are for features they don't intend to use, the more expensive it is for them to implement and maintain those features through successive iterations. At this point in development, given that there's every indication there's a already implemented framework it may already too expensive in terms of man hours to be open minded. 

For that "manpower" and "expensive" additions, we got that "mod support" from kickstart. The reason i am telling all the ideas i have, i don't want to add more manpower when the game is done and "mod support" started. Chris or any dev could say that "why did you not say that when we are developing the game? we could easily add it when coding/planning ******* part of the game. But now we will need/change/edit/rewrite ********* part of the code..." 

As the game is still early development, any idea can be implemented for base game or a possibility or added later as mod support. So nobody should just stay silent and wait to tell their ideas or solutions for any problems. I never say that "you need to put that ****** idea for sure into the game!".. i share my experience with games and modes.. i can see possible future implementations.. some little code at this early state can save even a possible DLC/Expansion feature..

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It is not that early, and most things are not that small. It's early in the sense that there's still at least half a year to go until the game is released, but it's not early in terms of budget and the timeplan. If you read about the game's development, it's clear that the team doesn't have the ability now to spend weeks on unnecessary experiments or supporting features that they do not plan to have in the game.

Also, most things that you imagine are easy to support usually aren't easy in reality. I know for example you love larger 2x2 or 3x3 units. This is not a small effort - assuming that units are 1x1 allows a lot of simplification, supporting larger units is significant work in terms of pathfinding, targeting, map construction and so on. For things that actually are simple, you should trust Goldhawk that many of those will be implemented, and then there will be X2:CE which can add further mod support.

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4 minutes ago, Solver said:

It is not that early, and most things are not that small. It's early in the sense that there's still at least half a year to go until the game is released, but it's not early in terms of budget and the timeplan. If you read about the game's development, it's clear that the team doesn't have the ability now to spend weeks on unnecessary experiments or supporting features that they do not plan to have in the game.

Also, most things that you imagine are easy to support usually aren't easy in reality. I know for example you love larger 2x2 or 3x3 units. This is not a small effort - assuming that units are 1x1 allows a lot of simplification, supporting larger units is significant work in terms of pathfinding, targeting, map construction and so on. For things that actually are simple, you should trust Goldhawk that many of those will be implemented, and then there will be X2:CE which can add further mod support.

Hey solver..

As i said, i throw those ideas here and there.. there is 3 steps that we can have those ideas and devs, you and us will put those when it's fit.. I never want or force devs to add something to hinder their development progress.. 

Step 1: Development Phase: Ideas could be used at game itself and could be added/softcoded in the way..

Step 2: Mod Support: Ideas for things which not be used at base game but not big to give much time to code.. probably more softcoding and richer options which game already got..

Step 3: X2:CE: Crazy new things which even the devil not imagined.. 

Note: I gave up for bigger units as the main game won't have any, i will just go for "big creatures/mech armors which fits to 1.5 tile" trick, if i can add new units to the game.. and dogs.. there should be dogs.. people will fight harder to save civillian dogs rather then humans.. who cares human anyway? :)..

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2 hours ago, drages said:

Note: I gave up for bigger units as the main game won't have any, i will just go for "big creatures/mech armors which fits to 1.5 tile" trick, if i can add new units to the game..

That sound like it'll have the same problems with multi-tile units, unless you want your to clip pass each other when they are adjacent, or clip pass walls and cliffs.  Making them multi-tile squares and have an odd grid size (instead of even) may be easier.

 

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