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5 (simple?) things to make modding better. (Frogboy's Ask)

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2019

To quote Frogboy in another thread:

"If someone wants to start up a thread with say 5 *simple* things we could do to make mods more robust and tradeable, please do so and I can ask Cari, our lead developer, to see how doable they are."

As (most likely) the longest running/surviving mod/modder, I feel a certain mantle of responsibility to try to answer this question. The challenge though, is knowing what is or is not simple... I'll do my best.

 

 

1) Move the "Enable Mods" button to the main screen. This occasionally gets turned "off" during various installs/updates, and players often forget it, and claim something is wrong with the mod when really... they are just not thorough.

2) Create a new DLC folder for "Crusade+Retribution+Intrigue+Mercs" duplicate ALL files the game is reading within it. This consolidates what files a player should reference when creating a new mod that is up to date. 

3) Documentation of what is and is not possible. For example... one cannot properly add new Ship Hull Types... the game lets you, but the side effect is any design you save with the new hull type reverts to a default when reloading said save. 

4) Fix the fleet editor. It is still missing ship types (drones, namely). Custom fleet editing via XML is ALMOST unnecessary, and is very time consuming because the Fleet Editor is too flawed.

4.5) With custom ship styles I have to add the "Preview" object file manually to the zip file for such inside the game's directory/designs... also I need to do similar for all the Merc Designs... this forces me to modify the game's actual directory... something I consider "barbaric".

5) Begin supporting Nexus Mods via your game launcher's ads. (I would also prefer you support Mod downloading via steam, but you asked for simple.)

 

 

 

Other specific items that would be nice...

 

6) One cannot modify home-system choices with an append file... one must use StarSystemDefs.xml    ... this creates conflicts between mods and forces additional updating. If we could create "MyMod-StarSystemDefs.xml" files and add to the

"<StarSystemGroup>

<InternalName>FactionStart</InternalName>"

Without using the core file, that would be nice.

6.5) Home System Editor.

7) Allow for the modification of Hull's various stats via triggers, techs, abilities, etc.

8) Separate technology additions from the abilities into their own category of abilities... IE you have "Racial Traits with X points, Abilities with 2 Points, and "Tech Selections" with X points for selecting the somewhat hidden "trees" you have embedded with abilities. This will help you in trying to balance the ability choices.

9) Allow the modding/creation of new ship hull types. So I can have "Gigantic" and "Worldship". You can make them visually identical to Huge if you like.

10) Fix the flavor text editor or remove it. It doesn't properly upload to steam, you can't download them from steam, you can't load them into a race... it's UI is pretty difficult... just kill the poor thing... it's a distraction.

11) Simple documentation on EXACTLY what files got updated by Steam with every update. (Should be automate-able)

 

I'm sure Horemvore will have his own list and his own perspective...

 

But honestly... if you really want to understand the problems... download and install GRM or Horemvore's Mod. Then think of what you could do to streamline it. 

Gauntlet's Race Mod at Galactic Civilizations III Nexus

 

Feel free to reach out to me privately if you'd like to discuss the issue more in-depth over Discord/Skype/etc.