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Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 12:51:21 AM   
yummie


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Hello,

New to Distant worlds, Currently me and My Boyfriend Nick are working on a Modding tool for this Game. Right now we are in the designing phase and Have already started programing of the tool and had some nice success. Basically The tool Should be able to load any per-existing mod for Distant Worlds shadows and allow for quick editing.

The tool will make it easier to Make Quick Mods, with less errors. Making it virtually automated. All the while making sure that it will run with parameters of the game. The intent is to allow even greater amount people access to modding the game quickly and virtually error free. Also making sure every thing you need to make a mod is up date and will work. We where shocked no one had done this already. So we have taken up the mantle for this and in the months to come we hope to release it to the community and also several mods made from it. Any suggestions on what you'd like to see in this tool will be considered. This will take a little bit of time to get together. But we like to hear from modders on see what they like to see in this tool. But We have some what of an idea, of some of the tools that will go into this program. We also like to hear suggestions on a tool name. Please keep comments on subject and either me or Nick will answer any questions that are asked.
UPDATE
**** I Will use this tread to Keep you up date on How the development is going, Issues We are Running into, None so far, keep your fingers crossed. We are currently using the Modders manual as our template For making this tool. So rest assure if it says it can be Done We will figure out how to make that happen. While making it as easy as possible For Any one to try modding. This is a huge under taking and will Take time to do. But We are devoted to making this happen. As of this Up date, We are Populating All the drop Down Menus and, Checking Our Work. Please Understand This Huge Task, and only two People doing this in our spare time. If you Have any questions Please Fell Free to ask. As We check the forum When we need a coding break and Don't fell Like Typing. I also want to Note This tool will be free To everyone and That once It is finish We will Make it Open source So you can even tweak the source yourself. Thanks for taking the time to read this and Keep Cheking in to see how its going and giving me something to read When i need a break from Coding.*****

< Message edited by yummie -- 2/5/2014 7:57:24 PM >


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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 1:19:39 AM   
Darkspire


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Hi yummie, welcome to the forums

Project roadmap and current features would help folks a lot in coming up with the questions that could be asked or features that could be suggested.

Darkspire

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 2:11:59 AM   
yummie


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Well currently we are working on Loading every mod txt into the tool, While making it editable to the games parameters. The tool will generate all the necessary folders and files for your mod to work. Once generated, editing of the mod will also be possible. While not allowing you to go beyond the parameters of game. Pulling in your own custom mods may require a little extra work on your end, but the ease of any future editing should offset this. Currently We have are able to load the systems text easily and even add to it. We currently working on biases and loading into the tool. Once done Any biases mod can easily be added and expanded upon easily. That is where we are right now. Once that is done we will work on adding to that and starting from scratch. Giving great easy to making baises. After we are done with that we plan on moving on to race files, and so on. We should have some ruff screen shots in a few days, or week, depends how fast we move along. And of course work.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 2:25:09 AM   
yummiesslave

 

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yummiesslave...er boyfriend here. Just wanted everyone to know I've been programming for over 10 years in several languages, current favorite being c# (cause it's pretty). We just started today, and we're both very excited about and committed to this project. I am brand new to the game, but instantly became interested in modding, followed by my desire to automate anything I can. Yes I have a problem...but hopefully something good will come of it. Hugs.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 2:29:09 AM   
yummie


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Well of course you will be rewarded. And all the Villagers will rejoice. They will bow down and Kiss our toesies. Oh and I will to of course.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 1:03:42 PM   
Solarius Scorch


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Does it mean we get an automated biases.txt editor that will eliminate syntax problems with the file when it's edited manually (98% of all problems with modding)?
If so, you deserve to be paid for this. There's no higher praise in the modding community. XD

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 1:14:55 PM   
yummie


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Actually that was one of the main reasons why my boyfriend want to do this. He thought it was sloppy and would lead to a lot of errors. So he wanted to make it easier, We have already started tackling that issues. Have had a lot of success so far. But still some road blocks to over come, which are caused from loading modds not made by the program. Which will not do according to Nick. We have also Finished the about section Nick woke up early this morning and Knocked that out very quickly. It will check reg and add the mod folder and add an about section. will also convert any img into a .pgn format which is the acceptable format for this game, That is already done. After work we will work on Biases and get that finished. I would put up screen shots of it in action but I can not do so for 7 days. So in 7 days should have a lot done and a good bit of screen shots to put up.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 10:50:14 PM   
tjhkkr


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I do not want to throw cold water on this little project because it sounds like something FANTASTIC!
However, this modding tool may be outdated in March because of the fact that a lot more is about to become modifiable, and that may include tools.

May I recommend that you contact ehsumrell1 -- His is all over this forum.
A) Check how much the file formats are about to change.
B) Check to see what tools may be given to us.
Just do not want you to get frustrated.

The project sounds very neat though!

< Message edited by tjhkkr -- 1/29/2014 11:51:05 PM >


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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 11:11:34 PM   
yummie


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We will have a basic frame work set up By then and a working Mod tool. With the basic Frame work set up for us, we Can easily go in and change values to be able to work with What ever changes they do to the game then. At this Point no one even has A simple frame work set up that i am aware of. As of right now We are working from there mod Book and every customization option will be able to change quickly. So with us focusing on the mod book if changes are made We will have something to build from, when they release The next version. We also Will be making the Source code Public. As Me and nick both think that sharing is caring. We both love programing, This will be the base for versions of this tools for this game. As for frustration, It is a passion of ours. Yes of course we want to kick the cat some times, But That's how You keep sharp and learn. But any ways I am cat lover and i Love to run.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/29/2014 11:13:44 PM   
yummiesslave

 

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Sorry, I'm thinking about cats again. I really love all cats <3!

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/30/2014 12:30:20 AM   
ehsumrell1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tjhkkr

I do not want to throw cold water on this little project because it sounds like something FANTASTIC!
However, this modding tool may be outdated in March because of the fact that a lot more is about to become modifiable, and that may include tools.

May I recommend that you contact ehsumrell1 -- His is all over this forum.
A) Check how much the file formats are about to change.
B) Check to see what tools may be given to us.
Just do not want you to get frustrated.

The project sounds very neat though!


This all sounds great! At the current moment though, we testers are under a strict NDA and cannot
divulge any of that info just yet (We would be IMMEDIATELY transported just inside the event
horizon of the nearest Black Hole and all of our Romulan Ale stock would be forfeited to DATA's
protected stronghold.)


Be patient, you won't be disappointed. Erik or Elliot may chime in on this as well.

But as for me:

< Message edited by ehsumrell1 -- 1/30/2014 1:31:25 AM >


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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/30/2014 12:49:49 AM   
Igard


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This sounds quite frankly, insanely awesome!!!

In all honesty I'd given up hope of getting any shiny new modding tools. I didn't think anyone was interested in our plight!

Fantastic to have you guys on board!

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/30/2014 1:21:55 AM   
yummie


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Oh I know about secrets there and would never ask you to give up any thing like that. As for me, I can't keep secrets. I am sure it is worth the pain in the arse that it the developers are going through. Like I said when it come out, we will make an update.

I have some ideas I'd like to see for mods myself for the game and as I just started playing I am excited about making mods for it. The tool is more for me and Nick, but we will be sharing it with the dw community. I was seriously surprised no tool existed.

As for an update on our progress, right now it creates the about info/pic and the mod folder in the customization folder. We are 1/4 the way through creating/editing races.txt files and looks Sweet, it will probably take another day or two as there is a lot to that file that can be modded and setting it up is taking some time. One thing on our wishlist for a future version after the initial release is randomization of all the values associated with Race creation to make quick costume races. We're hoping to read existing mods in the initial release,but if not, it will be a quickly updated. Will be in next version we release.

< Message edited by yummie -- 1/30/2014 2:22:40 AM >

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/30/2014 10:03:49 AM   
feygan

 

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Seems like a potentially pointless endeavour with the new expansion having modding extensions. For all we know it may shift completely away from txt based files, or it could include suitable modding tools similar to Elder Scrolls. Either way though unless you already know from a dev/test source the format of the new modding parts of the expansion you could well be performing an exercise and nothing more.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/30/2014 12:13:05 PM   
yummie


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Yeah could have all that. But The real point of Us building this tool is so Me and my boy friend can make a clean mod. I my not buy the next DW till i get bored with this version. Did spend a lot on it, so get moneys worth out of it and if next one has tools Great if not Should be easy transition
.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/31/2014 3:29:58 AM   
yummie


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Okay long day, got a late start on The tool, So not much progress today also it being a special day not a lot got done Will add More to Race tab and then get some shut eye. So Will put a lot of effort into it tomorrow.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/31/2014 1:53:11 PM   
yummie


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Well good morning Forums Well Fell asleep last night With not much done today Should be able to know a lot at least the front end of the the Tool, As I dont have privs yet I cant Put up Screen shots of progress Still 5 days away from that. So on todays todo list Get the 63 more additions to the race mode and try and finish off the back end of it. Look at it Back end Should go fast front is Slow fun fun.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/31/2014 4:47:01 PM   
Igard


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Here's a pic yummie sent me of the basic layout of the race editing tool. Looks very simple. I like!



< Message edited by Igard -- 1/31/2014 5:47:32 PM >


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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/31/2014 5:42:01 PM   
Solarius Scorch


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Will this editor allow us to alter or remove the original races? The reason I'm asking is that I want to kick most DW races out to make a sort-of total conversion. I believe many people would be interested in this.
Also, if if is possible, what about the scenarios/special features involving Shakturi and Mechanoids? What if they're removed? What if they're left alone, but with a different number? (This is a more general question, I know.)

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/31/2014 5:49:41 PM   
yummie


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Well Made a few changes lay out And Will have roll overs and include all of the info from modders manual so will be very detailed. That is the plan That was a quick sneak peek and I have lots more and that is ruff lay out and probably be changed 3 or 4 more times before We get done. with this version of the mod. The hardest part Is getting all the labels and drop down menus on. After that it should be easy and fast. Just takes allot of time To set up the lay out. Igard, also Has the About pictures If he would be so kind as to post toughs also. The about section is done. It also works perfectly. Although It will place a stamp that it was made by the tool in it. Which it will allow for us to be able to load modds that it makes into it every easly. Only 40 or so more to go then work on back end. Well back to work.
Thanks again for posting it.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/31/2014 5:53:51 PM   
yummie


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Thanks for posting I'll send you a new link once a day and just post when you get some time. But think about what I said.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/31/2014 6:10:15 PM   
yummie


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Solarius Scorch

Will this editor allow us to alter or remove the original races? The reason I'm asking is that I want to kick most DW races out to make a sort-of total conversion. I believe many people would be interested in this.
Also, if if is possible, what about the scenarios/special features involving Shakturi and Mechanoids? What if they're removed? What if they're left alone, but with a different number? (This is a more general question, I know.)

Well as we Are following The modders Guide anything that it says you can do you will be able to easly with this tool. As for Total conversion That requires you to over write files not associated with the customization folder. We may release a tool that will allow you to do that after this one is released After We get to other wish list items that would be low priority unless that becomes most requested addition Because there are more files than can be altered in the customization folder. But We will only Make that version if we See a demand for it or that we wish to do it to our copy.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/31/2014 6:35:08 PM   
Solarius Scorch


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Sorry, I wasn't specific: in my case, the "total conversion" only applies to races. Basically I wanted to remove some races I don't like that much and add a bunch of new ones; AFAIK, that doesn't require going outside the Customization folder. Still, I know many people make Star Wars mods, Star Trek mods etc., so just changing the races wouldn't be enough for them.
Many thanks for your reply, good luck with your work :)

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 1/31/2014 8:57:06 PM   
yummie


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Solarius Scorch

Sorry, I wasn't specific: in my case, the "total conversion" only applies to races. Basically I wanted to remove some races I don't like that much and add a bunch of new ones; AFAIK, that doesn't require going outside the Customization folder. Still, I know many people make Star Wars mods, Star Trek mods etc., so just changing the races wouldn't be enough for them.
Many thanks for your reply, good luck with your work :)

If that is your question You will totally be able to do that you will have to do races and the biases section of the tool and it wont let you create the races with out doing biases so it will be error free but will be simple once this is done. But I think once you start using the tool I think you will let your imagination go wild. You wont want to stop there. tonight I'll send an up dated version of the tool to igard and you will see a close rep of what that portion of race.txt in the tool will look like.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 2/1/2014 12:39:58 AM   
Igard


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Here are the previews of the About creation tool.







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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 2/1/2014 1:10:42 AM   
ehsumrell1


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Looking GOOD so far Yummie!

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 2/1/2014 1:23:00 AM   
CyclopsSlayer


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Very nice!

I dislike the mod systems that require an intimate knowledge of some obscure scripting language, this type of tool shortcuts all that!

BRAVO!

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 2/1/2014 1:26:55 AM   
yummie


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ehsumrell1

Looking GOOD so far Yummie!

Wait till You see Latest Screens I will Be making Soon, they Will Be in Igard Box with in an hour And they are incredible I think You will be as excited as Me and nick are!!! The race tab is closing in on being done very quickly. Then its all About making it look nice as it will be functional soon. Then on to Next section.

Also Thanks For posting for me Igard they look great, Hope you Like them.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 2/1/2014 3:19:17 AM   
yummiesslave

 

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Just finished up for the night, races tab looking good. Spent usual 8 hours at work then 6 hours on the tool. Programming is fun! We are having a blast regardless of what happens when the next version comes out. It's brought us closer together so <3.

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RE: Designing a Modding tool - 2/1/2014 5:37:15 AM   
ehsumrell1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: yummiesslave

Just finished up for the night, races tab looking good. Spent usual 8 hours at work then 6 hours on the tool. Programming is fun! We are having a blast regardless of what happens when the next version comes out. It's brought us closer together so <3.

Shipping you both some Romulan Ale for your efforts!

(Just hope DATA doesn't get wind of this shipment!)






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