Why New Profile for each Mod?!

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Rampage Starfire
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Why New Profile for each Mod?!

Postby Rampage Starfire » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:18 am

My First Post! Hi Mom! :lol:

I bought Darwinia a on Jan 31st finished the original game in 2 days (Loved it too much to stop) made a new profile and played through again. :D

Now I have moved on to investigating the mods because the basic campaign wasn't nearly enough Darwinia for me. I even have one or two ideas myself which I may implement in time.

But I have a question already and the modding guides don't seem to have provided me with the answer (I admit I haven't Thouroughly mined them for each and every possible nugget of information but they did get a good eyeball).

Why do you need to create a new profile for each different Mod? I belive that it has to do with the game.txt created in each profile, but why isn't there made a mod specific area inside the general profile? is this something being discussed for a future patch or has IV stopped doing fresh patches for Darwinia?

Additionally, on a separate question, is it possible to grab the research levels in another profile and import them over to another mod? I find that as I play some of the mods I wish that I could've brought my researched programs from the original campaign with me and find it thoughly frustrating to have to work with ver1.0 programs again, especially when the mod storyline states that it is a continuation from the original/other-mod (I miss my Airstrike v4.0)
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Postby daset » Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:01 am

Most mods have the research set to a certain at the start by the creator. This is most probably due to the fact that you would have nothing to research and the mod would be made too easy.

As for the mod file, good idea! :)

Too bad it hasn't been implemented yet, if ever. :(
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Re: Why New Profile for each Mod?!

Postby xander » Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:27 am

Rampage Starfire wrote:Why do you need to create a new profile for each different Mod? I belive that it has to do with the game.txt created in each profile, but why isn't there made a mod specific area inside the general profile? is this something being discussed for a future patch or has IV stopped doing fresh patches for Darwinia?

Additionally, on a separate question, is it possible to grab the research levels in another profile and import them over to another mod? I find that as I play some of the mods I wish that I could've brought my researched programs from the original campaign with me and find it thoughly frustrating to have to work with ver1.0 programs again, especially when the mod storyline states that it is a continuation from the original/other-mod (I miss my Airstrike v4.0)

These two questions actually have the same answer. Things like what levels are accessible and what research you have access to are located in your user (profile) directory. This directory is located in different places for different OSes, you can probably find it by searching. The problem is that a game.txt file from one mod will not work with a game.txt file from another mod, because the level names, mission names, and script triggers will not be the same. Thus, you need to create a new profile. When you start modding, you will become intimate with the structure of the users directory, and (hopefully) will begin to understand why you can't use the same profile from one game to the next.

As to stories for mods that take place later, and having no research, I would assert that this is very common in many games. In StarCraft, for instance, you finish the original game with access to certain abilites and research, and start BroodWars without much of that. It even changes on a level by level basis (I am thinking particularly of a Zerg level with no flying units, though there are other examples). In any case, what research you have is dependent upon what the creator of the mod intended. You will have to live with it, or hack the mod files (which I, personally, would be offended by).

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Postby Rampage Starfire » Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:57 am

so basically it is IV's fault for designing the game in such a way that each mod has to have it's own unique game.txt file

and as for starcraft you have a point there, but at least there they usually have a justification storywise for why you lose tech levels or types of units. if it is the zerg mission I am thinking of then they explained it was due to the unusual atmospheric effects that screwed with your flyers.

So Basically I am blaming the creators of the mods for not remembering that fact and telling us why we suddenly don't have all the cool toys we used to have. Should I forget this fact myself when I build a mod I invite people to flame me poor foolish self.

Edit - Assuming that one assumes a specific OS can one extract the previous research levels from another Game.txt if we had the user copy it to a specified location from another profile? One would most likely alter/reduce the precise values at that point so they have something to research.
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Postby xander » Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:20 am

Rampage Starfire wrote:Edit - Assuming that one assumes a specific OS can one extract the previous research levels from another Game.txt if we had the user copy it to a specified location from another profile? One would most likely alter/reduce the precise values at that point so they have something to research.

Why do you need to "extract" the research levels? If you alter the game.txt file for a mod, you can start with whatever research you want. Once you have started a game, you can set your research to whatever you want by decrypting the game.txt file in your user folder (search the forums for "redshirt2"), and changing values in the appropriate places. It will be obvious what you need to change once you open the file. Once you have decrypted game.txt, you don't have to re-encrypt it, by the way.

Now, as to requiring a different game.txt for every mod, how would you suggest it be done? Remember, you have to keep track of what levels are available, what scripts have yet to be run, what research is available, and what levels and missions there are -- for each mod. You need a new game.txt for each mod, whether or not it is in the same directory as another. Keeping each profile to only one mod helps modders debug (because there is only one set of files to look through), and decreases the probibility of some player monkeying with stuff and breaking a profile, thus breaking not just one, but several mods. Certainly, the current system is not perfect, but it is a very workable, and reasonable solution.

As I said, if you really don't like the way that a person has set up the research levels that they set up in their mod, you can change it. And, as for storyline justification, I always felt that those things were an afterthought -- Blizzard created a neat level, but decided that they needed a way to explain away the lack of flyers. It always felt very contrived to me. But that's just me.

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Postby The GoldFish » Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:20 pm

\Users\[ProfileName]\Mod\

Checkbox/similar to switch between the two modes, patch defaults to on.

You're quite right, it's one of among many things we'd (I'd) like to see implimented that wouldn't take 6 months to code that would make modding alot nicer.
-- The GoldFish - member of former GIT and commander in chief of GALLAHAD. You could have done something, but it's been fixed. The end. Also, play bestgameever!
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Postby xander » Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:42 pm

The GoldFish wrote:\Users\[ProfileName]\Mod\

Checkbox/similar to switch between the two modes, patch defaults to on.

You're quite right, it's one of among many things we'd (I'd) like to see implimented that wouldn't take 6 months to code that would make modding a lot nicer.

But you are talking about data locations, right? You could have one profile, from the perspective of playing the game, but the data would be, fundamentally the same. You would have a different game.txt for every mod, correct? And could not change research around, right?

While I think that this would be a great way to manage the files, but I don't think it would address Rampage Starfire's desire to trade research levels &c. between games.

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Postby The GoldFish » Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:22 pm

Oh right, that, yeah. Yes, I was talking about removing the *requirement* for new profiles for mods, as this is a clumsy solution and often creates difficulties with mods (would you play a mod that made your game crash on startup?). Profiles are simply a way of allowing effectively multiple people to play the same game, or one user to play it over while maintaining progress. They're not supposed to be one big story thing, this isn't NWN! (though sometimes I wish it was, keke)

Mostly, I'd say it's assumed that the full scale weapons of mass destruction would be, in general, removed from Darwinia after the war by Dr Sepulveda - it's what you would expect. You'd also expect him to probably not be too eager to break out the big guns so quickly - unfortunately though there's only so much you can do with Darwinia and whatever you do do, it'll probably include research. That said, alot (edit: ok, a few...) of mods DO offer some sort of reasoning behind not having things, program servers being unstable, you're someone else completely, you're not a power user, Dr S doesn't want you to break the super delicate systems you're working around... So like, I'd stop worrying about having Airstrike v4, and review the playability of the mod, if you can't possibly enjoy it without Airstrike v4, tell the author. If you want to call the people who've actaully made mods foolish for not giving you max everything or explaining precisely why you don't have max everything, go ahead, I don't really care about direct plot correlation like that and, in fact, enjoy things that take that in their stride, rather than pretend it doesn't exist.

You'll note that Stricken starts you off with highest level weapons and such... hehe
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Postby hitm4n » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:54 pm

data can still be held in one file in one profile.

profile name = hitm4n

profilehitm4n.txt includes...

if loadedmod=insurrection
loaddata.... bla bla
endif
if loadedmod=Hitm4nsUberModComingSoonButNotReally
loaddata etc etc etc
endif

i know this is like code, but you see what i mean. The profile can hold the game.txt for many mods in one file. The game code just looks up the correct data for whatever mod is currently loaded. No more profile switching.

Seems simple to me, maybe i'm missing something here ?
I realise this doesn't let you transfer research and levels, but thats not the aim. Mods can't be made easy by simply importing a lvl4 airstrike. You have to earn it, just like in the real campaign...
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Postby The GoldFish » Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:12 pm

Yes, but then, the same thing is achieved by appending the current modname to the profile folder. Which requires little testing and doesn't require much in the way of additional coding in Darwinia.

So frankly, it seems very needlessly complicated to me :P
-- The GoldFish - member of former GIT and commander in chief of GALLAHAD. You could have done something, but it's been fixed. The end. Also, play bestgameever!
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Postby Rampage Starfire » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:44 am

I'm not overly concerned about having Airstrike v4 in any mod I play, I just think that it is a very fun thing to play with. (heh heh Big Boomers fun)

However, I was thinking that if one wanted to create a mod that was intentionally supposed to be a continuation of a previous mod or the original campaign it would be appropriate to have research levels set at the same or near to what they were in that previous mod.

Edit - Also I agree that having to restart for each mod and create a new profile for each mod is quite irritating and truthfully a great waste of time. I'm hoping that we get another patch that fixes those two problems
Last edited by Rampage Starfire on Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rampage Starfire » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:49 am

The GoldFish wrote:
Mostly, I'd say it's assumed that the full scale weapons of mass destruction would be, in general, removed from Darwinia after the war by Dr Sepulveda - it's what you would expect.


About the removing of the big weapons, personally I'm not so sure about that since he created all the weapon research before the viral infestation occurred in the first place and before he even considered that it could happen.
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Postby xander » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:50 am

Rampage Starfire wrote:I'm not overly concerned about having Airstrike v4 in any mod I play, I just think that it is a very fun thing to play with. (heh heh Big Boomers fun)

However, I was thinking that if one wanted to create a mod that was intentionally supposed to be a continuation of a previous mod or the original campaign it would be appropriate to have research levels set at the same or near to what they were in that previous mod.

It might be. On the other hand, there is more to consider than just the possible story requirements of having access to research. There is also gameplay. The first couple of levels of Insurrection would be trivial with squads or more powerful lasers. Demo2 would be much easier if the player had Armour. Anyway, as TGF said, most mods justify the lack of research reasonably well.

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