Modding Support

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Ftoomsh, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    We all see matters from our own point of view. This post will be from one modder's point of view, namely mine. I understand that developers have many other priorities to cater for apart from modders. Clearly the players of the vanilla game are the most important priority. Having said that,what does a modder want from the vanilla game and the developers?

    The modder wants;

    (a) a robust, flexible and reliable game engine which can be molded in the way required for the mod;
    (b) tools for modding all aspects of the game; and
    (c) some access to developers or admins when having problems.

    Cossacks 3 goes a long way to providing these things but there are still facilities and tools lacking.

    1. The game engine still lacks some reliability and there are bugs (many being small bugs) still in the game. As a modder I see content being added (like new nations) and this is good but sometime I would like to a consolidation push where instead of content being added, reliability and bug fixes are added.

    2. The scripts system does provide modding flexibility and for this I am grateful. The simple mod management tool in Steam is great too. But have all the tools originally promised to modders been delivered? Is it possible to bring forward more of these promised tools?

    3. Access - Bodun has offered help with a mod bug I have at the moment. This is great and I hope this access continues. Of course, I am not the greatest programmer in the world. Indeed, I am mainly a parameter modder. If I make silly mistakes I usually ask other modders for help first. But it is great to have the next level of help available too.


    With respect to the robustness and reliability of the engine and the fixing of a number of outstanding bugs, big and small, can I offer this suggestion? Call a temporary halt on new content, including the re-balancing of vanilla. This halt may be for say 1 or 2 months. Two things can be achieved with such a halt. First, it provides a clear period of stability (of engine and balance) for rounds of competition. This is where competitions can be held on an unchanging game.

    During this period do two things. One, collect stats on competitive game results in vanilla and keep these statistics for analysis related to rebalancing. Two, proceed with work in-house to improve robustness of the engine and to fix known bugs. I would suggest a top twenty bugs list where players vote on which are the most annoying bugs. Fix the bugs which annoy the most people and/or are the easiest to fix. Some bugs are easy to fix and some modders have already fixed some of them. It would be worth looking at modders' bug fixes and simply lifting the code if it is good.

    Perhaps a beta, separate from the vanilla game, could be run to test re-balancing, enhancements and bug fixes.

    Also, which promised modding tool not yet released can be released relatively soon? I am not a graphics modder but I see little graphics modding happening right now. Is this due to a lack of tools in this area?

    I think too that people want to see more re-skinning of units. This would really refresh the game. More historically realistic units on a nation by nation basis would give the game a new lease of life. There are C1 units needed (examples say Swiss Halberds and Bedouin). Many new units could be added via re-skinning perhaps along the lines of Baddog's Mod1 of C1. If the units are historically accurate and with new artwork then there can be no copyright issues. New splash-screen art is nice but new units art would really refresh the game and give a great new visual experience.

    Finally, I think the rate at which patches break complex mods and cause the need for re-merging and fixing mods, does exhaust some modders who have jobs, families and lives. Not everyone is a retired old layabout like me with lots of spare time. How can this be addressed? Maybe we need;

    (a) Fewer patches with more in them. Lots of little patches can break mods or work against the intention of mod parameters in game-play.

    (b) A bit more attention to non-destructive hooking (code hooking). Can methods of non-destructive hooking can be set up? That would work really well for "mere" parameter changes. Parameter changes can be finicky and tedious. It's hard to check lots of long lines of code that go off screen only to find that it's just the mod's different parameter that causes the mismatch not a logic change. Sure, you know your own stuff and this is precisly what makes one careless and causes one to skip a known parameter line or block only to find later in tests that some part of the original code has changed. It's this tediousness and repetitiveness of mod maintenance that reduces the amount of new, creative work and learning that the modder can do.

    Of course, as I said, this is all from the modder's point of view and I understand that developers need to cater for more than modders. But I believe the whole game can benefit from helping modders more in the structured method outlined above. The benefits will flow back to the engine and the vanilla game.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  2. Wralth

    Wralth Active Member

    Im ok with requesting more stuff but as far as im concerned right now only my laziness would be what truly holds me back from immediately adding all my planned content.
  3. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    What is your planned content? I am interested to know what you are considering.
  4. Wralth

    Wralth Active Member

    Adding new countries like Greece

    Also implementing a system where you can set your own storage limits for resources because right now its hardcoded to be 1000 for most materials (so you can always go and afford officers or something like that)
  5. Burak Damgacı

    Burak Damgacı Well-Known Member

    Very interesting idea. Greece is good you can add maybe The Republic of Dubrovnik. Do you change, resource Wralth? For example: silver to instead of gold. New fields? Just I'm asking. Developers should give modding tools.
  6. Wralth

    Wralth Active Member

    Adding new resources should be easy and editing current ones to be displayed differently even more easy. Although there is hardly any point for doing that right now imo.

    Maybe adding special resource types you earn by killing enemies or something but seriously idk.

    Its not impossible tho but i never really thought about that so far.
    Burak Damgacı likes this.
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