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StellarRat

Has any one come up with a good way to keep mods up with version changes?

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I don't have any good ideas on this. As the game is updated it's quite possible that a mod with damage or remove changes that Goldhawk is making. The only thing I can think of is to write an actual program that can merge the contents of files themselves without removing/changing anything that is not part of the mod. OR we can just wait until the game is actually finished. I've been hesitant to release anymore stuff as there is good chance it will wreck peoples games AND I don't want to keep updating my stuff every time a new release comes out.

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The closest thing we got is QM's Armoury prog, and that's dependant on QM having the time and the desire to expand and update it.

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I have an idea in my mind of how a program could merge in mods, but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble as this is only a temporary program (once the final version is out it becomes a non-issue.)

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I have an idea in my mind of how a program could merge in mods, but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble as this is only a temporary program (once the final version is out it becomes a non-issue.)

I'd suggest you to wait until beta, when files formatting will (hopefully) become definitive.

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I'd suggest you to wait until beta, when files formatting will (hopefully) become definitive.
Sounds good to me. I believe I can just use the some of the XML tags and file names to create a program that can run through the whole asset folder and update only the XML that a mod effects, but I don't know if I'm going to take the time to write it. Not while we are pre-beta anyway.

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The game will have a mod manager won't it?

Vaguely remember a drop down menu somewhere with a (non-functioning) mod list.

Yeah, but most mod managers are just fancy file swappers. They backup then replace the official files with the modded files and vice versa. If the required files, the file structure itself, or required contents of the files, change because of a new version then even a mod manager isn't going to help too much until the mod maker updates their mod to match the new game version. At best you will get back to a vanilla, but functional game. That might be the best we can hope for. Now that I think about it, my idea for a program wouldn't even work 100% of the time.

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The mod support thread that was running a while back had suggestions for how the mod manager could work to make things easier.

I think the suggestions were for the original files to remain unaltered but mod folders to be created that would be loaded up after the vanilla files.

Any mod files that had updated information, for example Pinetrees soldier names mod, would then add to or replace the previously loaded information as required.

I don't know if that was what Chris ended up trying to use but there were other suggestions in there as well.

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Will there be an approval system where chris looks at mods and certifies them as an offical mod? Otherwise we will get many different varients of the same game!

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Will there be an approval system where chris looks at mods and certifies them as an offical mod? Otherwise we will get many different varients of the same game!

Seriously?; You have any idea how much work that creates for Chris??

Otherwise we will get many different varients of the same game!

That's the whole idea of mods...

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I doubt Chris will be playing Xenonauts much,

He certainly won't be doing testing work on other peoples mods for certification :)

A better way might be to use a mod site somewhere with a rating system so players can rate the mods they use.

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Well, Xen IS the brainchild of Chris. I'm sure he wouldn't want it thought of badly if it became judged on a poor mod that crashes the game continuously or makes it too easy. So we are going to have versions floating around where some have the use of blaster bombs, whereas some will be playing set to chrisses rules etc...

I suppose allowing modding can work both ways - to either extend the life of a game or make it very easy (essentially cheat in other words). I'm sorry, but I've become vexxed by modders that have wrecked games like MW2 for everyone else by giving themselves super powers etc. Just my opinion!

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Well, Xen IS the brainchild of Chris. I'm sure he wouldn't want it thought of badly if it became judged on a poor mod that crashes the game continuously or makes it too easy. So we are going to have versions floating around where some have the use of blaster bombs, whereas some will be playing set to chrisses rules etc...

I suppose allowing modding can work both ways - to either extend the life of a game or make it very easy (essentially cheat in other words). I'm sorry, but I've become vexxed by modders that have wrecked games like MW2 for everyone else by giving themselves super powers etc. Just my opinion!

But MW2 is multi-player capable. So when someone makes themselves super powerful it wrecks the game for everyone. In Xenonauts if you make yourself super powerful you wreck the game for yourself, so you are totally in control. Some type of mod detection/protection makes a lot more sense in MMO and network games than it does in a single player game.

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I liked how the Silent Storm games handled mods. You would copy the mods folder to the game folder (ie there was no overwriting of games files) and then select which mods to play with when you started a new game.

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I think the plan for Xenonauts is specify which mods to use at the start of the game through the user interface (i.e. you won't have to copy files yourself in Windows.) That should make it easier to add and remove as you please. Whether or not the mod is any good, wrecks your game, etc...will be left up to the user.

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Well, Xen IS the brainchild of Chris. I'm sure he wouldn't want it thought of badly if it became judged on a poor mod that crashes the game continuously or makes it too easy. So we are going to have versions floating around where some have the use of blaster bombs, whereas some will be playing set to chrisses rules etc...

I think people that decide to download and install mods are aware that they are doing so and that their enjoyment of the game could be affected by it. I don't think any certification is needed to prevent the situation you describe.

I'm sorry, but I've become vexxed by modders that have wrecked games like MW2 for everyone else by giving themselves super powers etc. Just my opinion!

Have they modified the rules for everyone on the server or given themselves unique advantages? The second is not really modding. It's just straight up cheating.

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Have they modified the rules for everyone on the server or given themselves unique advantages? The second is not really modding. It's just straight up cheating.

I've seen both (contray to what Infinity Ward says, you CAN be matched to players that are using hacks). It's a good point about xen being a single player though by stellarrat - yes, you really are cheating yourself, but a lot of people (youngsters) don't really see any problem with this. To me, buying a manual or looking up how to get past an obsticle in a game on the internet is pointless, because you rob yourself of a bit of the game (I'm very old-school though).

Maybe my mind has been tainted to err on the dislike of mods because of things like MW2. On the PC there are mods all over the place for certain games, but most seem to be there to increase the playability of the game, which, of course is good.

I suppose if someone feels the need to mod the game so that there are many varients of the MP5 etc. then there can be no harm in that.

Maybe I'm thinking too much in terms of my WWII turn-based strategy game (plug!) that will be finished fairly soon. If someone modded the units in that, and the data they added was inaccurate, it would annoy me if I recieved quotes such as "your game is innacurate - all German tanks seem to be Tigers!". That wouldn't have been my doing, but would be associated with me because I wrote the game. Maybe Chris would think the same too.

I suppose that's just the chance you take if you allow (legal) modding as xen does.

Edited by ooey

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I don't think it's fair on Chris to take responsibility for mods. He makes the original game and the modders make mods, I hope most people would understand the difference and not blame the developer for bad mods. If someone was stupid enough to blame Chris for things a mod (which they choose) added, I would disregard it completely.

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But others may not... and thats the problem! Still, I havn't come across anyone in these pages that have nothing but love for the game and its original incarnation. It's the outsiders, the outsiders I tell you ;-) I'm bevering away at Metro/gamecentral to get this project a higher profile but so far it's falling on deaf ears.

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How would any of that change by having approved mods and unofficial mods?

All mods at the moment are unofficial.

These 'others' you describe who would criticise the devs for the content of an unofficial mod would surely do the same even if there were a couple of approved ones around?

The vanilla game is the only official content.

That draws a perfectly clear line that anything you download and add yourself is unofficial content and therefore outside of the influence of the dev team.

Allowing some to be classed as official/approved and others to remain unofficial appears to muddy the waters.

That would seem to make the sort of confusion you suggest more likely rather than less likely.

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I donno, ya know. Maybe it is me that's confused! Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've read in this forum, the ability to mod has been built in to the game. If mods are not going to be vetted by anyone concerned with the game then that would make them all unofficial, yes?

Yes, they would criticise the game if the mods were bad, that's my point. I take your point though.

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But others may not... and thats the problem! Still, I havn't come across anyone in these pages that have nothing but love for the game and its original incarnation. It's the outsiders, the outsiders I tell you ;-) I'm bevering away at Metro/gamecentral to get this project a higher profile but so far it's falling on deaf ears.

I don't see how anyone would make a connection from the mod to the original developers... Especially if the mods are hosted on a mod site or similar.

If they did they would be told (probably harshly so) by the community that they need to learn how to read. Every mod comes with a "mod by <name>" line, at least.

I donno, ya know. Maybe it is me that's confused! Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've read in this forum, the ability to mod has been built in to the game. If mods are not going to be vetted by anyone concerned with the game then that would make them all unofficial, yes?

Yes, they would criticise the game if the mods were bad, that's my point. I take your point though.

what do you mean by built in? Currently you have to change text and numbers in .xml files and add images and stuff.

Other than quartermasters unofficial weapons editor there are no modding tools to my knowledge. (well there is the map editor if you count that)

Modding is supported in the sense that not everything is hardcoded and some things are accessible in editable files. But there's no in game menu for modding.

Yes, every mod will be unofficial. And I don't see how anyone would miss the modder taking credit for his work and judge the dev team by the changes made by the mod. How will the user/consumer/player even get the mod downloaded and installed if they don't know what it does?

Edited by Gorlom

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I suppose what I meant to say was 'mod-friendly', in such that the dev team are actively encouraging us to mod the game, or add bits to it etc. Map eds and the like are fine etc. they don't change core gameplay.

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They do if you make wide open maps where the only cover is directly around the Xeno dropship and you provide all your troops with precision rifles and rocket launchers :P

Although if you download and add that map to your game then you would still have no reasonable right to blame the devs for poor map design, although others probably would ;)

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I LOVE sniping, so I would like a map like that! Actually, there are plenty of real world situations where you would find that sort of map (a crash site in the desert perhaps?).

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