So how modable will it truly be?

By on July 24, 2009 1:26:59 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Ploeperpengel

Join Date 07/2009
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So far I read about modtools launching with the game and a lot of scripting being done with python. Fine that seems like easy modding, but when it get's to serious modprojects this will still limit them a lot. So my question is:

Will there also be some sort of SDK so we can mod the game on a sourcecodelevel(like including new AI routines) and import/export scripts for 3D applications(like Maya/Max or best would be Blender) to modify existing models but also get complete custom models and animations into the gameengine?

I really loved the possibilities Firaxis opened up for modders with Civ4 and as Elemental seems to me the most promising strategy title on the horizon so far(and civ4 is starting to get old) I wonder wether this now might become fun for years to come or just an intermezzo till Civ5:P

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July 24, 2009 7:41:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

All units, races, features, events are believed to me moddable.  As is the AI.

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July 24, 2009 9:38:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm sure it will be pretty darn modable.

In terms of SDKs, they will have tools to help with the modding process, I don't see why an SDK (or something like it) wouldn't be available in some form by launch.

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July 24, 2009 1:05:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well I hope its easy like spore but not so simple that kids can do it. I also hope that stardock monitors the creations there not a bunch of crap.

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July 24, 2009 1:12:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As far as adding your own races, creatures etc They said you could import stuff from Maia or possibly some other 3D object creator. So it is not going to be like Spore. At least that aspoect is going to require a decent amount of know-how-skillz.

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July 24, 2009 1:53:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The game is being built the exact same way you would mod it.  There's no reason to alter the source code.

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July 24, 2009 3:12:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ozu08865,
Well I hope its easy like spore but not so simple that kids can do it.

Isn't that an oxymoron?

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July 24, 2009 3:15:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There's no reason to alter the source code.

Do you mean the source code for the modding engines, or the source code for the game algorythms?

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July 24, 2009 6:29:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm pretty sure he was asking about something much lower level than you were all answering.  Unless I missread something.

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July 24, 2009 7:06:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, if it's something like units or spells or whatnot, then no, you can get by without any alteration to the game itself (unless you want to do something REALLY drastic like add a fifth element or make poisoned arrows).

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July 24, 2009 7:20:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, if it's something like units or spells or whatnot, then no, you can get by without any alteration to the game itself (unless you want to do something REALLY drastic like add a fifth element or make poisoned arrows).

That's the point. In Civ IV you have access to the actual source code, and so you can do all sorts of crazy things not even dreamed of by its developers. No matter how good the built-in editors and python accessibility may be, there will still be things people will dream up that they won't be able to do without direct access to the source code itself. Especially with the editors, because there you can pretty much only do permutations and combinations of things that the devs have already thought of. That still might be extremely powerful, but nonetheless fundamentally limited.

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July 24, 2009 8:36:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The game is being built the exact same way you would mod it.  There's no reason to alter the source code.

There will always be reasons one might want to alter the source code. The game will never be as flexible and moddable as building a new game from scratch.

Well, if it's something like units or spells or whatnot, then no, you can get by without any alteration to the game itself (unless you want to do something REALLY drastic like add a fifth element or make poisoned arrows).

MoM has 5 elements.  I definitely want that.

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July 24, 2009 9:42:52 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting pigeonpigeon,

Well, if it's something like units or spells or whatnot, then no, you can get by without any alteration to the game itself (unless you want to do something REALLY drastic like add a fifth element or make poisoned arrows).
That's the point. In Civ IV you have access to the actual source code, and so you can do all sorts of crazy things not even dreamed of by its developers. No matter how good the built-in editors and python accessibility may be, there will still be things people will dream up that they won't be able to do without direct access to the source code itself. Especially with the editors, because there you can pretty much only do permutations and combinations of things that the devs have already thought of. That still might be extremely powerful, but nonetheless fundamentally limited.

That's the point I had in mind. My question is specificly if there'll be ways to mod this game beyond recombinations of existing gameimmanent mechanics in a way you can also teach the AI to use entirly new functions unthought of by the devs. For this kind of new functions some sort of access to the sourcecode is allways required. It's not necessarily the entire sourcecode, as in civ there is also still hidden code in the exe but the more the better(and Firaxis exposed really almost everything into a SDK and this very much to the advantage of the game - countless bugs were exposed and fixed by the community and afterwards those fixes were merged into official patches and the official release of the third expansion featured a completly new AI, rewritten by a community member, it also reduced the turntimes by 1/3 which actually made larger maps playable -to mention just some community benefits). I wonder wether the devs might be willing to reveal some info on this subject.

 

cheers

 

Ploep

 

 

 

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July 24, 2009 9:54:14 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Denryu,
As far as adding your own races, creatures etc They said you could import stuff from Maia or possibly some other 3D object creator. So it is not going to be like Spore. At least that aspoect is going to require a decent amount of know-how-skillz.

That's interesting to read. I'd still be curious what applications exactly are thought of. Blender as a free tool would be best for custom art by the community allthough it's understandable if devs decide only to provide export/import scripts for applications they're experienced with themselves - of course - if at all...

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July 24, 2009 10:01:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Blender as a free tool would be best for custom art by the community allthough it's understandable if devs decide only to provide export/import scripts for applications they're experienced with themselves

Well, although the devs prefer to use 3DSMax, they put all of the models in GC2 into so-called "X" files that are essentially "program-neutral". However, every Blender script I have tried is incapable of importing them, so if they really wanted to make life easy for the modders they would either switch formats or provide their own working script.

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July 25, 2009 2:18:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

MoM has 5 elements.  I definitely want that.

There are already 5 elements. Fire, Air, Earth, Water and Life/Death.

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July 25, 2009 9:16:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There are already 5 elements. Fire, Air, Earth, Water and Life/Death.

Not exactly. Life/Death is not like the other four shard elements: it has more to do with essence.

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July 25, 2009 11:30:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

*sigh* Here we go again...

"A: Channelers are beings who can harness the magic locked inside the elemental shards that are scattered across the world. When your faction (or an ally) controls a shard, you gain access from its type of mana (which is either earth, air, fire, or water magic). Channelers also generate on their own either life magic or death magic depending on the path they’ve chosen.

The maximum amount of mana a channeler can accumulate is based on their essence. At the beginning of the game, a channeler currently starts out with 20 essence points by default (though this number will change during the beta and will depend on how you construct your faction).  When channelers gain levels, their essence increases."

The Sovereign/Channeler is an "elemental shard". And all the mana (of any kind including life/death) is limited by essence. I count five (six depending of point of view) elements in that answer. Or is my English so really bad?

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July 25, 2009 12:07:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
  1. It's "so very bad"......
  2. All I'm saying is that life/death is seperate from the other four true elements. I used to think it was a "synthesis" of them, but now I realize that it is completely different.
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July 25, 2009 4:45:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

All I'm saying is that life/death is seperate from the other four true elements. I used to think it was a "synthesis" of them, but now I realize that it is completely different.

It's an element like the rest, it just happens to have a different mana source. That's my interpretation, anyways. Life/Death is a type of magic, with its own spells and mana type - just like earth, fire, air and water. There is a thematic difference, sure, but it looks like life/death will function exactly like the others in practice aside from mana generation.

Basically, if someone complains that there are only four elements (and MoM had 5!!) because they don't think life/death counts, they deserve to be smacked.

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July 25, 2009 6:21:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Smack me. I suppose it's all in interperetation..... I still feel that since it doesn't behave like the others, it shouldn't be classified with the others, but so what. As the game evolves, I will be able to make more accurate destinctions.

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July 25, 2009 6:40:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Smack me. I suppose it's all in interperetation..... I still feel that since it doesn't behave like the others, it shouldn't be classified with the others, but so what. As the game evolves, I will be able to make more accurate destinctions.

Really it comes down to this: the only real difference we know of between life/death magic and the other four elements is that there are no life/death shards. So if you don't consider life/death magic to be a magic element, then you believe that to be an element there must be a corresponding shard type. That's just silly to me... The earth, air, water and fire elements all have different sources - they just all happen to be bound up in shards. If the ancient powers that were decided to bind the different magical elements into separate vessels (one might have been in a crystal, maybe one in a table, they could have bound one in a race of people, etc). Those four elements happened to be bound into crystals, while life and death magic are not.

And ultimately what really matters from a gameplay perspective is the function. From everything we know, life/death will function exactly like the other elements regarding spells and the like. Seriously, anyone who complains that life/death don't count as magical elements or schools because they don't come from shards is being a nit-picking baby whingeing for the sake of it. The notion that some people might say "you don't get life/death magic from a shard, it's not an element!" even though everything else about it functions exactly like the rest of the elements just makes me mad. Especially if those same people would all of a sudden breathe easily and say "phew, now Elemental is five elements just like good 'ol MoM" if Stardock decided to include life/death shards.

If you go around saying that thematically there are four elements and one other 'school' of magic, fine - I couldn't care less. But if anyone actually tried to accuse Stardock of false advertising by claiming there to be five magical elements in their game because one of them isn't based around shards - ugh.

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July 25, 2009 10:29:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If you go around saying that thematically there are four elements and one other 'school' of magic,

That's exaclty what I am saying. I know very well that it has no bearing on gameplay, and I couldn't really care less if there were five thematic elements (aside from much-needed i-told-you-so ammo against GWSwicord). The people who for whatever reason demand five thematic elements always struck me as a bit obsessed.

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July 25, 2009 11:15:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The same as those who demand four?

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July 26, 2009 10:15:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Where are they? I'm the most extreme four-elementer on the forums, and while I'd lose bragging rights if they put five in, I don't think it would affect the gameplay at all and wouldn't contest the devs decisions if they did it that way.

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July 26, 2009 10:52:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Complaining about those who understand that there are five elements, is to be so obssesed as those who complain about those who understand that there are four elements.

At the end of the day, they are just gameplay mechanics.

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