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Do Hardcore Players (non-modders) need User Friendly Modding Tools?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Kruelgor, Apr 26, 2011.

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Do Hardcore Players (non-modders) Need User Friendly Modding Tools?

  1. Yes

    55.1%
  2. No

    44.9%
  1. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Emperor

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    Excellent. Works for me. Nice chatting with you.
     
  2. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    And it's not something I can do, nor will I ever be able to most likely; It takes artistic talent. I can manipulate models to some extent (recolor them, apply effects/new weapons/etc), but I am not capable of creating wholly new models, nor do I ever see myself able to. Sadly. :p
     
  3. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    I believe I've told you that a good 20 times now. Doesn't change the fact that I do not think time should be spent on those tools now.
     
  4. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Emperor

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    I'm talking about a completely new generation of a Civilization game, something so amazing and powerful that implementing it into the current version is unfeasible. I'm talking about in the next title, Civilization VI. The traditional method of modding would essentially be a thing of the past, an old obsolete primitive technique, albeit still have it available for "pro modders" so they will be happy.

    Something that will literally blow the socks off of any previous Civ title.
     
  5. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Then IMO you are living a pipedream.

    Little Big Planet is successful because it allows you to use premade objects to sculpt environments, for a platform game.

    The same capability does not and cannot exist for a turn based strategy game. Your tools would be limited to adding new civs/units/buildings/etc, something that will NEVER be as intuitive, NEVER be as engaging.
     
  6. DSChapin

    DSChapin Warlord

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    I have to say, reading your points, that I don't find them terribly convincing. It's true that a modding GUI would probably be restricted to handling the XML files if they didn't want it to be a huge endeavor... but it could handle the XML files without being a huge endeavor, such a tool wouldn't need to be extensible (all the XML files already exist), and XML edits would likely be enough for 95% of the non-professional modders.

    Now, it's true that such a limited design for a modding UI wouldn't be of much use to people who wanted to make big DLL modifications... but as you have so passionately pointed out, those people wouldn't need a UI anyway.
     
  7. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Honestly, my primary point is #3. The rest is simply side issues.

    Edit: Also, to be honest my primary concern with #1 is not the people making the large mods themselves, but those who want to make modmods based on them. Just look at the number of Fall from Heaven modmods, and how many of them are limited to xml and a little python, and you see why I'd want it extensible.
     
  8. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Emperor

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    It would be super awesome to have an ingame feature where you can create your own units looks, without the use of 3rd party software. As well as creating new buildings, technologies, leaderheads etc...Heck, even trees and mountains for that matter.

    It can definitely be done because I've seen it done in other games.

    I can easily see how this could be incorporated into a CiV game. Not Civ 5, but Civ 6, because yes I agree there are other foundation problems that need to be fixed.

    I want to see CiV 6 taken to a whole new level for custom made scenarios. CiV 5 is a bit of a disaster.
     
  9. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    The only game where that is done well, is Spore. Which involves a LARGE amount of detail, something not quite viable for Civilization games. Being able to achieve both detail and low polycount... That's out of the scope of any such tools, for the foreseeable future.

    And no; Civ5 is actually quite easy to make scenarios and mods with.
     
  10. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Emperor

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    That's where we will disagree, and we'll just leave it at that.

    I have a scenario I created and posted here in the forum 4 months ago, and there's only been like 2 new scenarios posted since. That's a disgrace.
     
  11. Civ4Brains

    Civ4Brains imperfectus

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    you realise of course that this would never happen - 3D software is not just gonna be bundled with the next CIV game for free! let alone any kind of software that comes close: what you would call gamer friendly modding tools i guess? (something that Firaxis would have to develop themselves).

    To this end I see little point simply because if their [firaxis] tools are gonna do the job of 3D software (you're example) then really you should be using the far superior programmes that are already available.

    Blender has been mentioned - now I've not even spent that much time using it but I can safely tell you that Blender, whilst at first glance may seem complex, is in fact not. It's about intuitive as they come, outdone only by Maya's software in terms of simplicity (which may sound ironic but there ya go). So why would I use tools created by Firaxis over something like Blender when I know it can do a better job and with a lot less hassle.

    Plus, why are we even talking about 3D software? The best you can achieve with this kind of software is creating art assets (as mentioned - more an artistic skill once the technology has been understood) which is all well and good for something like LBP, but for CIV (at least imo) the most useful thing mods have proven to do is completely overhaul the vanilla game by changing fundamental game mechanics for which Notepad + SDK would suffice.

    If you were the kind of person who wanted to mod the game to improve it in this manner you would of done it already, not sat there waiting for Firaxis of all people to supply you with their "user friendly" tools.
     
  12. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Emperor

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    The "free" reference you're talking about is something different. I was using that as an example to prove a point that the price doesn't matter and is irrelevant to the fact that players need user friendly tools.

    I'm not asking for $10,000 software to be included with the game. That kind of software can be used to make a blu-ray animated movie. It's not necessary.

    What I'm asking for is propriatary built-in functionality to allow the players to create their stuff.
     
  13. roguepro92

    roguepro92 Warlord

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    if the base of the game isn't well founded and amazing.
    no matter the amount of program and access others are allowed to it. it'll still be crap.
    both you guys arguing for the same point from different points. its kinda funny to read tho :D

    this is pretty much up to Civ6 being developed very well otherwise unless someone wants to remake the game, mods aren't going to improve a whole lot even if all the right tools are provided.
     
  14. Selous

    Selous King

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    i agree with these 2 points, "most" civ players dont touch mods anyways (although i believe that the majority of people here play with mods eventually). Civ has always stood on its own 2 feet and has never been required to mod to your personal taste. IMO a move to a "everyone can mod" approch would lead to a less than polished final game that we recieve, this would also have the effect that each player would have a very different experience from the player next to him (not the worst thing in the world ... just sayin)

    and do you really want any ol hack (aka me) making mods? what would these add to the community? any mod worth its salt takes a great deal of time and effort to create, far more than the majority of players are ever going to have time to dedicate to making a mod, so the time spent making these uber moding tools would be wasted and much better spent on fixing a game from the onset
     
  15. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    Civ 5 modding should be like in Civ3, with a civ edit document.
     
  16. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Again, the only such software currently existing either relies entirely on mix and matching prebuilt items (which wouldn't work here, not well), or is proprietary software about which an entire game (and at least one new one!) is built around, owned by EA (a competing game publisher).

    You are asking for a multi-million dollar bit of software.

    Most people who go to CivFanatics will eventually try a mod or two, yeah. But that's a minority of the overall players. ;)

    Honestly, if anyone could make mods you'd end up with a sea of poorly made civilizations and scenarios; Very few people approach design from the point of view of designing a rival, rather than what sounds fun. As a result, it's often very poorly balanced. That said, it doesn't detract from the fun the original designer will have with it.
     
  17. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    No... for a very specific reason -- hard-core gamers play what they're offered.

    Quality modding can be achieved with plenty of expertise in a number of areas that *must* surpass imagination or ideas.
    I invite you to visit this blog for a quick summary of some of the essentials.

    Anyone can use whatever tools, RTM, and gain gameplay knowledge... skills of structured language(s) & coding is a different beast. Which i paid for in the late 80's.
     
  18. Civ4Brains

    Civ4Brains imperfectus

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    I guess I never quite understood what you were saying in the first place because the 3D software IS available for free and for anyone to use. Most likely Firaxis know this and see no point spending the time, money and effort creating their own proprietary version when what is currently available does the trick (and very well). The current modding community has proven this with much success.


    As to the elitism question well I'm not part of the the modding community so I know nothing of your internal quarrels:) I just play the game using functional mods like CivWillard, but I would personally find it disconcerting if in designing their proprietary modding software Firaxis removed (or at least made it tricker to implement) traditional modding methods which are always going to be more powerful, flexible and versatile.

    Fewer better mods is more encouraging than a plethora of crap ones.
     
  19. Kaosprophet

    Kaosprophet Warlord

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    I suspect that's a gross oversimplification, perhaps even an outright strawman.

    I recall the situation with Neverwinter Nights. The first one was panned for being "too complex" in it's modding capabilities. NWN2, apart from having other issues (which I never really looked into) was panned for lacking utility in it's modding capabilities.

    The problem is that simple, easy-to-use modding tools traditionally come at the expense of flexibility and robustness. Hardcore modders do not find that sacrifice acceptable - not because they want to keep anyone out, but because they want the tools to do more.

    Little Big Planet is interesting, but it's hard to say if it's really an indication that the traditional sacrifice doesn't have to be made, or if it's just an anomoly that's limited in scope of application.

    Could it really be done with Civ, or would you have to sacrifice reams of what makes the base game Civilization in order to allow for that kind of user-friendly build-your-own-game application?

    If the latter, that is also not a sacrifice I'm willing to accept. I'd rather see a good base game with a small but dedicated modding community, than a mediocre base game with a large modding community struggling to overcome the limitations of the foundation rather than the complexity of the modding tools.
     
  20. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I imagine giving the average player the tools to easily create customisable civs or new techs and units wouldn't be in the same ball park as hardcore modding. Ideally you want both, of course, but if you have to sacrifice modding capability for ease of access, I'm not entirely sure it's worth it, and it's not like it really needs to be high priority in any case.
     

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