Random observation

By on June 12, 2014 4:39:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

tjashen

Join Date 03/2009
+55

So, Brad dropped a sales number r.e. last week's LH sales.

He noted that 10,000 copies had been sold that week.  Admittedly, there was a Steam Sale going on last week, but nonetheless...

 

When we are poking around the Mods forum here, it seems ike we only have a few dozen people interested in our mods, which might give us all the perception that there are only at best a few thousand people palying the game...

 

So, I just wanted to highight the fact that there are a LOT of copies of Legendary Heroes out there, hence a lot of people playing the game at any given time.  I certainly appreciate the help Ive received from the Modding community from time to time, and certainly I throw out advice as well when I think I can be helpful. 

I'd simply like to suggest that  we all should be aware that there is a LARGE audience out there that is interested in what we do here, so anything we can do to make our mods more user/community friendly is a worthy goal to keep in the back of your mind. 

 

So I'm going to throw out some observations here, food for thought as you are compiling your mods.

One shouldn't have to have a doctoral thesis in LH Modding to understand exactly how to use your mod (if it's more involved than say simply dropping a single file into the Mods folder, and has several options/files), so I'd humbly suggest that those with more extensive mods should spend some time on your documentation, to make people feel more comfortable with your mod BEFORE they install it. People like to understand exactly what they are going to do to their game, and aren't always willing to make a lot of changes simply on faith...

The potential for 'Breaking' a game is a valid concern that I'm sure deters a lot of people from Mods.  Sure, as modders we do this for free, but nonetheless, since WE are quite comfortable working with the .xml for the game, we sometimes tend to forget how intimidating changing out game files and such can really be to those not steeped in modding lore.  Even just adding something in the Mods folder is a big step for the uninitiated...

Sorting through a forum thread(s) to try to figure out what the various files in your mod may do is probably not being as user friendly/helpful as you might think.  If you've been asked about something a few times, then it might not be a bad idea to mention it in a readme file, and include said readme in your mod.

Food for thought.  Personally I didn't realize we had this many players coming onboard the E:LH bandwagon this late in the game.  It's been kinda quiet around here new mods wise, so it's easy to get the impression that only a smaller number of people are still currently interested in the game...

Sure, a lot of people may never visit this (the modding) forum after they buy E:LH, but if even only 5% of them do, well that's still a large number!

 

This makes me happier about taking my time on my latest mod.  Even if I'm only working on a beta right now!  I always get excited when I crank out some new thing for y'all to try out, so this helps temper my enthusiasm a bit, to take the time to go after the loose ends.

 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, As The Shard Turns!

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June 12, 2014 5:30:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

good post.

i just want to point out that now that the game is on steam, any modifications to the core files can easily be repaired by "verifying their integrity" in the properties panel.

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June 14, 2014 1:30:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

These are the instructions for Children of Storm found in the readme.txt

More info available at http://childrenofstorm.wikidot.com/

To install this mod, a 64-bit capable computer with at least 4GB memory is recommended.

Install instructions:
1. To install the Children of Storm mod, extract all the folders to Documents/My Games/LegendaryHeroes/Mods
2. Take the files in /ChildrenOfStorm_TacticalMaps/ and move them to Documents/My Games/LegendaryHeroes/Maps/TacticalMaps
3. Make sure that you turn on "Use Mods" in the in-game Options menu.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you only want some parts of the mod, read the following:
Required folders are always required, you should always extract those.
Required folders are:
- /Gfx/
- /A_LHLIB_ClotheLootFix/
- /A_LHLIB_UnitStat_BG_vH/
- /ChildrenofStorm_Shared/

Optional folders are not required, but contain the actual content of the game. You can choose any of these folders that you want and ignore the others. If you extract no Optional folders, your game will play like Children of Storm was not installed.
Optional folders are:
- /ChildrenOfStorm_Factions/   (new fantasy factions)
- /ChildrenOfStorm_Champions/   (new fantasy champions)
- /ChildrenOfStorm_Monsters/   (new monsters and world resources with recruitable monsters)
- /ChildrenOfStorm_NoVanillaSov/   (removes the vanilla sovs from the game, such as Relias)
- /ChildrenOfStorm_Rivermod/   (new fantasy rivers and stamps containing burning lands and arctic terrain)
- /ChildrenOfStorm_TacticalMaps/   (various new tactical maps used in different scenarios - see install instructions 2.)
- /ChildrenOfStorm_Reliquary/   (new magical items for your champions and trophies for your cities)
- /ChildrenOfStorm_Events/   (new world-wide events)  

If anyone have any suggestions for improvement I'm all ears.

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June 14, 2014 2:47:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One shouldn't have to have a doctoral thesis in LH Modding to understand exactly how to use your mod

Fair enough, but..

 

The problem is the stupid way the mod folder works, as has been discussed at length in the past.

1) The separate Gfx folder under Mods means you have to split you mod content into 2 locations.  That's silly and pointless.  You should just be able to drop a single folder with xml and graphics files for you mod into the Mod folder.

2) Not everything works from the Mod folder, so for some advanced stuff you have to have files go into the Core directory.

Because of these things installing (and removing) mods is more complicated than it needs to be.  It not the the fault of modders, it's the stupid setup we have to work with.

 

I'd humbly suggest that those with more extensive mods should spend some time on your documentation, to make people feel more comfortable with your mod BEFORE they install it

And I know you're not having a go at modders, but....

The problem with this is, a lot of people don't read the doco.  Properly at least.

 

I don't know anything about Steamworks but wouldn't that be the best solution?  I thought there was some talk about that a while back.

 

 

 

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June 14, 2014 2:52:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I doubt the workshop has the capability to overwrite core installation files anyway. And as long as they're not willing to put time into fixing stuff like "must-have-core-overwrites", the gfx folder, the tactical battlemap folder and any of the other myriad problems... I doubt they'll spend any time on the steam workshop for FE:LH. Because those other things would need to come before that.

It is actually really strange not to have the workshop. I see much, MUCH smaller studios that added it to single-player games.

 

 

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June 14, 2014 2:58:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ah right it's Steam Workshop, yeah ok not used that before (me feels like an idiot).

 

 

http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/

Looks great!

That would be brilliant to have.

 

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June 14, 2014 3:02:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can't hurt to ask I guess:

http://forums.elementalgame.com/455160/page/1/

 

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June 14, 2014 3:04:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

HF,

I remember someone created a Mod Manager type thing for FE but I never tried it.  Was it any good?  How did it work?

I remember you had Stormworld using it from memory.

 

 

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June 14, 2014 3:09:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually just noticed someone over on the Steam forums just asked about this (Workshop) recently to:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/228260/discussions/0/540743757738145885/

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June 14, 2014 3:09:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh yeah... I don't recall any problems with it. The guy that made it never came around for LH if I remember right.

 

 

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June 14, 2014 3:46:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

http://forums.elementalgame.com/433841/page/1/#12

Quoting Derek Paxton,

The game assets aren't loaded on the main menu.  We don't know if you are going to start a mod, scenario, load up a save game with older assets, etc.  So we can't show the hiergamenon for them there.

Civ did load the assets at the main menu which had its own advantages and disadvantages (you had to restart the game to change assets (such as to load Fall from Heaven).

Not saying either way is better or worse, but it isn't simply an issue of putting a button on the main menu, I would do that in a heartbeat.  It's changing the way the game initializes to support that change that makes it tough.

 

_________________________

LH Mods by Primal

XtraDeconstruct

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June 14, 2014 4:12:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The reason you shouldn't put it all in /gfx/ is because it makes uninstalling mods nigh impossible, and modular mods go out the window. And if the game doesn't save gfx file locations anyway, they should just extend the on-client-start search to include all the folders in /mods/ instead of having a separate folder for gfx. All they'd need to do is change their asset manager so that it looks at /mods/ instead of /mods/gfx/

But, again, this is just one of many things that don't make much sense and would need to be addressed before workshop support.

 

 

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June 14, 2014 5:08:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hey Abob and other Modder types!

No, my intent here wasn't to 'have a go at modders', as you indicated it wasnt.  My thinking when I posted this thread was simply 'when I read the first post of the threads of a few mods, they aren't really all that descriptive'.  Oh, you'd be surprised, a lot of Mods do not include readmes, and the ones that do usually say 'here is how you install my mod', not so much 'this is what my mod does, in more detail'.

Certainly, in the interest of not cluttering up the regularly updated list of mods thread, I have chosen to keep things short (4 lines or less usually), and given the sheer size of that list now, it makes sense.  But as for the modding thread itself, well that first post is the first thing that a person is going to see when considering your mod, so the more comfortable you can make someone feel with your mod at that point, well I just think that's a goal to keep in mind.

Certainly, you don't want to give away all of the cool little secrets you may have included in your mod (example: an entire structure for a quest, no sense telling someone exactly what is going to happen when in that quest, otherwise it isn't an adventure the first time 'cuz you know the outcome already).  But, as I noted, if your mod has several variations that can be implemented, a more detailed readme explaining what your various files will do is perhaps not a bad idea.

Sure, some people will just drop your mod into the mod folder and hope it works on the first try, and for'simple modifications mods', i.e. the ones that essentially change just one thing, that's probably fine: I'll use Monuments XP as an example here, it modifies Monuments, Guardian Statues, and Guardian Idols, adding XP bonuses to them.  Pretty straightforward mod, one file, plug and play.

It's the more involved mods with multiple files that change a few things, well consider this.  I've seen the comment a few times that 'this mod looks like it changes too much, and I'm not sure what it does'.  The more involved your mod is, by definition the more things you are changing, and some people like the 'vanilla' E:LH experience and don't want to deviate too far from it, due to game balance issues or simple preference.  Essentially, they 'trust' what was done in the game already.

So, if your mod looks like it completely changes the game (it may not, but based on the number of files you have, it seems like it), well if you haven't made a good presentation at the front end (when people first see your mod), to let them more carefully consider what your mod does and if it is for them, well they simply take a pass and don't give your mod a whirl.  Which is a shame, because a lot of you have done some really cool mods, and put a lot of work into them.  But by not taking a little more time after you have wrapped things up to 'pitch' your mod, well you end up selling your mod just a little bit short.  So for those that WANT a little more info, they may just move on when the info isn't there.

Also, if you aren't showing off exactly what your mod is doing, well how are people supposed to know that it does this cool thing, this other cool thing, this umpteenth cool thing if you haven't taken the time to tell them?  THIS is I guess the point I was trying to express.  The more involved your mod gets, well if you have said 'and an assortment of other changes' in your mod thread, well that statement can make the uninitiated and/or more conservative players a little uncomfortable about your mod.

Also, and I'll admit it's a personal experience, sometimes when you see a mod thread, you download the file immediately, but aren't intending to try it out until later.  In some cases, MONTHS will pass before you decide to try out that mod.  So you see this .zipped modfile in your 'to try out later' folder, open it up, and there isn't anything in that folder that explains what the mod does (Sure, the .xml files could tell you exactly what is being done, but a lot of people won't comprehend the various gamemodifier, etc. .xml tags used in E:LH, so if you don't 'speak' .xml, it's a foreign language).  So you spend some time trying to 1) remember where you found the mod (in some cases, the mod may have not come from this forum), where the thread for it is, and then spend time reading a bunch of posts and replies to try to figure out what the mod was about.  Yes, this isn't a common occurence, but this is where a more detailed readme becomes invaluable and can save a lot of time.

OR, you tried a mod a while back, uninstalled it and forgot about it (but still have the .zip file in your download folder), and then are looking at the folder trying to figure out what the mod actually was... there are a LOT of mods for E:LH at this point, so if you download a lot of them, well when you are staring at 6 dozen+ zipfiles when you open your E:LH 'mods you've downloaded' folder...

Another thing that can be done is you could 'comment out' a statement at the beginning of your .xml  briefly explaining what the .xml file is changing/adding, and any interdependencies that file may have (a gfx file or whatever), but a number of people aren't going to dig into your .xml file looking for info, and if you have say a dozen .xml files in three or four folders... that just isn't practical.  The 'commented out brief synopsys' thing is often done more as a courtesy to other modders/coders, but certainly some others might see it there.  A detailed readme would be so much faster though...

 

I hope this better explains my thoughts on this, and my reasoning for posting the suggestion r.e. better documentation.  Some modders are pretty good with this, but not all of us think about the importance of good documentation while we are coding and releasing mods.

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