Igard -> The Modder's Masterlist (7/19/2010 3:19:32 PM)
Post your suggestions for new mod suppport features to be added. I'll update the list as new suggestions come in.
1. Races - Changes to the races.txt file
1a. Ability to set a race's homeworld to ALWAYS be it's starting homeworld. Playing as Klingons who don't live on Quo'nos or the Galactic Empire that doesn't live on Coruscant, is a problem. However, multiple factions of the same race does present a problem. Perhaps the largest faction, will get the homeworld. Or there could be a checkbox on the player, and galactic empire selection screens for 'Start on Homeworld'. - Igard
1b. Moddable families. Race family should also be modifiable (ie I can create feline race family if I so desire.
1c. Additional race stats. These might include:-
- Expansionism: Ability to set the rate at which each race expands their empire.
- Offence: The species offensive strength. Affects the species ground troop strength as well as ship design (high offence means ships get more guns, higher speed, less shields).
- Defence: Species Defensive strength. Affects ground troops and ship design (more shields and manuevre).
- Cunning: Modifies Spies and ships will gain additional electronics.
- Toughness: Ground troop modifier. Tougher they are, the higher their firepower. This is very important, as currently we can only adjust troop strength by changing aggression and intelligence. This makes sense in human terms, but an alien race could have many different characteristics which would enhance it's fighting ability.
- Subtleness: bonus modifier for spies and diplomacy.
- Xenophobia: Modifies diplomacy, also higher Xenophobia increases the chances that the species will start wars, or be willing to bombard planets. (This would be a good stat for Boskara or Sluken for example).
- Economy switch that gives the following options (as a 0, 1, 2 or 3)
0: Capitalist Economy: Lower tax rates, more robust private sector.
1: Socialist Economy: Higher tax rates, less robust private sector.
2: Military economy: Higher tax rates, normal private sector, cheaper fleet or troop maintainence rates.
3: Standard Economy: Uses the default tax and private sector modifiers
Addendum: Tax rates still affect happiness and growth. This will NOT bypass those modifiers.
1d. Options for multiracial colonization/conquering.
i) Quarantine: The Aliens are allowed to live on their home planet, but may not leave it and may not intermingle with other races of the empire. You gain their bonuses only for that planet, and only at 25% of normal. Can colonize new planets.
ii) Transmutation: This would occur when a race requires another species to procreate thier own. An example of this could be the Borg from Star Trek or the Cybermen from Dr Who, but also for lifeforms who require a host body for their embryos, such as the xenomorphs from the Alien films. The effect would be that most of the present population would begin to 'turn' into that of the attacking/colonizing species.
iii) Parasitic-- A racial trait which a race eats other organic races to grow stronger and reproduce.
1e. Negative values for race stats. This would allow us to reduce a race's resource extraction, ship and troop maintenance etc. - Nedrear
1f. A different image format for Race Flags. wmf files are a pain to work with and it would be nice to add more colour to our flags.
i) Web safe colors, #RRGGBB format. - Arkblade
ii) Jpeg, PNG, or compressed image files would also be good.
1g. Pre-space/Pre-industrial civilizations. Ability to check/designate a race that can NEVER form its own independant colonies or be a starting colony race. This would represent a pre FTL civilisation such as our own 21st century Earth or even less advanced.
1h.Ability to define ship design theory for each race
- Race 1 favors lasers and will never use torpedoes.
- Race 2 will always have at least 2 shields on every ship.
- Race 3 will always build ships of certain speed and manuevre.
1i.Race bias and casus belli modifiers This is on top of the biases.txt file which was implemented in the ROTS expansion. A casus belli type modifier for extreme occasions where there is a love or hate relationship between the races.
Casus Belli modifiers :-
0 = Neutral, no change to relations. Races can interact normally
1 = Love, + 100. Races are guaranteed to form a MDP. War may still be declared and dislike could still be forced.
2 = Hate, - 100. Races are unable to trade with one another/Trade sanctions in constant effect. Highly likely to war. Likely to bombard rather than invade. Concessions must be made to maintain the peace.
An additional text file to supplement the bias.txt file.
The casusbelli.txt file would appear like so :-
1j. Racial policy settings. Define what each race will and wont do based on some of the racial policy settings and a few more as follows :-
- Ratio of constructors to colonies. When there are X amount of colonies, build X amount of constructors etc.
- Prepare preemptive strikes? (Y/N)
- Attack enemy target types, colonies/spaceports/mining/fleets. (1=low 2=medium 3=emphasize)
1k. Fix the Expanding Y/N flag.This flag doesn't do what you would expect:
Sure, it stops the empire from using colonizers but it also enables the characteristics used by the ancient guardian race.
Instead of this flag I propose to break it up into the functions that is now indirectly enabled by this toggle:
"Expanding Y/N" - Should only do what it is supposed to - prevent the empire from using colonizers and troops to acquire new planets.
"Isolationists Y/N" - the race does not migrate to other empires worlds, but can still travel between their own worlds (currently the expanding flag disables all population transports. The transports are not even used to relocate populations)
"Influence factor 0.5 - 2" - Reduces or increases the size of influence spheres
"Pirates can copy designs Y/N" - Prevents pirates from copying and using this race designs
If a flag is still needed to enable other minor "behind the scenes" functions for the Ancient protectors, then it should be called "Ancient Protector Y/N". -Arcatus
1l. Multiple Dialogs. Ability to define multiple dialogs for each situation. -Arkblade
2. Tech - Changes to allow for modifiable technologies/components
2a. Moddable technology. Edit the names, images and properties of each tech. Below is a list of new tech properties that could be added to the game for us to assign to our new technologies:-
- Tech that adds a bonus to a planets quality. This would be a 'station side' tech almost like terra-forming, but on a less grand scale. The planet quality should, however, be capped at around 60%.
2b. Ability to add/remove tech. Define their position in the tech tree. This includes new weapon types, shields, everything.
2c. Option to flag a tech as untradable and hard to obtain via espionage. Tech trading advances the research much more quickly than it should and it would be nice to be able to turn it off. These techs will be a closely guarded secret and will be very hard to steal using spies.
2d. Option to assign a tech to only one certain race. This would allow for races to have their very own unique tech tree. This could take the form of a table, tech.txt file. Each tech could be numbered along with the race number. A value of 0 would indicate the race cannot research that tech.
3. The Ship Scaling Issue
3. Ability to mod ship sizes. I would like to set each ship with a modifier, perhaps 3 settings, 1=small, 2=normal, 3=large. This would allow huge ships to be created for races such as the Galactic Empire or the Borg, when compared to other empires ships like the Tholians.
4. Ships - Changes to the way each race designs their ships
4. More ship types per ship role. This would activate the unused ship images MIL1A etc. What I would like to see happen though, is each new ship image can be activated once the empire reaches a certain tech level. This would create the illusion of an evolving race. It would allow the player to start a game with Captain Archer's Enterprise and then by the time they are ready to build 500 size ships, they can move on and build Captain Kirk's Enterprise.
4b. New Design Text file. The Design.txt file doesn't seem to work. Could we have the ability name each ship role with a small list of names. For example; Frigate = Lancer, Nebulon B. This would mean that when designing our new frigate, we can select from a drop down list either Lancer or Nebulon B. The designs of all races should be named from a master design.txt file. I have still to test the stablity of this with Legends, but the feature to select from a list is still pertinent.
4c. The ability to set each empires starting ship designs. This would allow the player to start playing with a preset design tailored for the race of his/her choice. The player could also change this file to suit their style of play.
Example of a tech tree
Lets say we have the Race0TechTree.txt :
Tech_____________Postion in tree____ Unique
1. Laser____________ L1 _______________ 0
2. Blaster__________ NULL _____________ 0
3. Pulse Laser______ L2 _____________ 1
4. Lightning Cannon_ NULL _____________ 1
This way, you can use one format with all the techs, but by either setting a Level (in case L1 or Laser 1) or Null not present in the tech tree. The Unique modifier would signify a tech that can only be researched by this empire or stolen via spy missions (if it is NULL for position in tree for this race). Also this would be even easier if it were done in an excel spreadsheet.
So that is one Master Tree with all tech available and not unique as the BaseTechTree.txt or .xml (if you use the excel) that would be the default as current. Then you could override it in the customization folder for only certain races or all races by simply making a Race0TechTree.txt, etc to define the tech trees. This combined with giving the player the ability to define new techs would give modders a lot of flexibility in making each race unique research wise.
5a. Moddable weapons. This includes the weapon images. Different types of weapons such as Star Trek style beams, mass drivers etc.
I would like to have optional weapon modifiers.
Damage to Armor
Damage to Shields
Rate of Fire
Size of component
Overload (if energy is available the weapon can be set to do more damage)
5b. Ability to change weapons image size. The sizes of each weapon effect seems to be hard coded. Could there be some method of changing the sizes of the weapon effects so they don't appear so small?
6. Moddable types of government. I'd like to add more governments, change stats etc. Each race should have a list of the governments it can use. This means that the AI and the player are restricted to certain governments. This will prevent, for example, the Borg, from changing government to a republic. Or the Galactic Empire to a democracy.
7. Space Creatures
7. Moddable Space Creatures. Add more space creatures, edit their stats, give them ranged weapons, make them capable of interstellar travel.
8a. Moddable resources. Change names, images, characteristics.
8b. Ability to add and remove resources.
8c. More resource slots. - Nedrear
8d. More resource effects. - Nedrear
9. Galactopedia and other on screen information
9a. Editable Galactopedia. Allow addition of new pages and images.
9b. Modify the game fonts Allow the user to add new fonts to the game and set their size and style for each theme/mod.
9c. Galactopedia Character descriptions. The ability to add lists of characters and descriptions for them in the galactopedia. -Arkblade
10. Story - Ability to change the backstroy and add events
10a. Modifiable galactic history. The ability to edit the galactic history so we can create our own backstory.
10b. Ability to add event triggers.This could be anything from ruins to spaceports and ship graveyards as well as testing zones. Discovering these will trigger the next galactic history message.
10c. Modifiable ruin events. Basically additional events that occur when ruins are discovered. These events would not be randomly generated but could be included by the modder when creating new galactic history. For example:-
- A race that is only available in a game through a triggered event. This would be one of the standard races but would not be able to be independant and would show up similar to the 'sleeping race' when triggered.
- Discovery of a new resource type (previously unavailable, not necessarily a rare resource).
- Trigger a new race 'invading' the galaxy (large fleet moves in and attacks planets and colonizes planets).
10d. More Events. More event choices in case of characters and populations... for example you can gain traits, but not lose them in an event? Why not let a character die in a race event? I can create races that would get rid of old for new... there is a lot of space. -Nedrear
10e. More Event Slots.
11. Galaxy Map
11. Customizable galaxy map. I'd like to create custom maps for the game. This would probably be best done using the existing editor to make a map. Race's home systems would be the location for their starting positions.
Just an option on the main menu, 'Map Editor'. Upon entering the editor you could select to generate randomly. It would be most helpful to also have a search function so that we can avoid duplicate system/area names.
There would then be a 'load map' button on the new game galaxy settings.
11b. Strategic Icons. The map icons that denote military ships, construction ships etc. Make these modifiable for each race, thereby making raceA's military ships icon a different shape from race b.
12a. Moddable planet types. Ability to add and edit new planet types and their distribution/rarity.
A text file that allows the player to define any number of planets for special cases
- Planet name
- System in which it will always appear
- Resources that will always be found at the planet
- Habitability and Quality can be hard-coded
- Planet size hard coded
- Ability to set a specific graphic to use with the planet IE: a pointer to 0001.png in the PlanetArt folder.
Let's say I want to create the planet Eden in the Paradise system, the most perfect paradise (Quality 100, Habitability 100) in the known galaxy. Eden is a huge terrestial planet (size 600) that everyone wants to live on when they discover it, not to mention 1 or more rare resources are located here, along with large quantities of gold, gems, etc. This is the planet everyone is fighting for control of. You might even make a graphic for it of a beautiful lush, paradise to be the jewel of the galaxy.
12b. The ability to add new planet images. Simply add new planet images with a new filename in increasing numerical order.
12c. Additional planet types. It might be nice to define a few new planet types.
- Forested: heavy Forrest, limited growth
- Rocky/Mountainous: Lots of rocks, lots of minerals, limited colonization potential.
- Irregular: Think of Kessel from the Star Wars Universe. Can have an atmosphere, but multiple asteroid/meteor strikes have less it anything but perfectly round.
12d. Moddable Facilities. MinFacilities/MaxFacilities would be the minimum/maximum amount of facilities on a planet. MinFacilities/MaxFacilities would be an integer with an additional flag stating the min/max facilities per planet, system, player, or game. For example, a player can build a unique facility (like the Selay Mustering Base in BotF), but the first player to build this would be the only one built in the game (one per game). Maybe a spacedock facility could have a limit of building one per system. A planetary shield facility would have a limit of one per planet.
13. Space Anomolies
13. Region name list. Could we have a separate text file for naming regions like nebulae, corridors, gas clouds?
14. Modifiable sound folder. This would be a folder in the customization folder to change the effect sounds for the theme. It would simply replace the sound files in the Distant Worlds/Sounds/Effects folder. Default sounds would be used if the file is not found in the customization folder.
15. Main Menu Changes
15a. Save file for other empires list.
It would be useful to have a save file for the list of other empires screen so that we can load a specific list of empires including every field for each empire. We could then include this file with our mods.
15b. A Galaxy editor that doesn't require you to start a game first. Be able to create custom galaxies that you can load up with new games, rather than having to edit a savegame and load it up as a savegame. This would allow us to create a custom galaxy save file that can be loaded at the galaxy set up screen. Including such a file with our mods would greatly increase the realism of the mod.
15c. Menu graphics and UI. Ability to change the menu graphics and all the UI graphics such as build/research/diplomacy/trade screens.
16. Customization Structure
16a. Improved Customization folder. The customization folder should have the exact same structure as the Distant Worlds base folder. This would allow us to edit every file without replacing such as planets, weapon effects etc.
17. Colony name txt file. Ability to make a colony name list so a player can build a list of names he/she wants to use for newly colonized planets. As a planet is colonized, the name is assigned from the list. A simple comma deliniated list, just like the ShipNames.txt would suffice.
Paradise, Utopia, Eden, Sanctuary, etc, etc, etc
18. Changeable starting date. The possibility to change the date at which the game starts.
19a. Life expectancy. Dying is important. -Nedrear
19b. Character files Appearance order. If you use "?" instead of number. that character Appearance order is randomly change when each game started. -Arkblade
19c. Character Status. A character may become 'injured' or 'MIA' for a period of time. - Arkblade
19d. Random Portraits.Random characters can use random portraits. They can be defined by race and provided gender to the names and random portraits. -Arkblade
19e. Re-appearing Characters. Can define "reappear". When a character with this flag is removed from the game, he is put to last(or random) "Appearance order" and can reappear in the game later. (any number of times). -Arkblade
19f. Ability to Enter Random stats. Predefined and random. If you use "?" instead of number/text (appearance order, name, portraits, skill, trait), that value is randomly changed when each game started. (More precisely, each time when they appear in the game) -Arkblade
19g. Absolute leadership. A leader who doesn't lose the leadership position. For example the Borg Queen. Assassination and war can kill them. -Arkblade
Note: This list is not comprised solely of my ideas, the list used to be colour coded to denote which users made which suggestions. I removed the colour coded usernames from each article as it was all getting a bit untidy.
From Legends on-wards, I'll place a name in bold alongside each section. [:)]