So what now? How do we continue?

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by raystuttgart, Jul 2, 2021.

  1. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

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    Looking back:
    Spoiler :

    After RaR, its modders had fallen apart into more or less independent modmods.
    Then WTP pulled them together again and at least achieved to keep RaR alive and improve it.

    But before WTP Release 2.7.2 WTP was more or less just a community with several independent branches that shared.

    Then we pulled WTP together again and slowly but surely developed Release 2.8.

    After WTP Release 2.8 WTP had basically again fallen apart again into several independent branches that shared.
    Then again, we somehow merged our efforts again and finally - with much discussion and effort - we published Release 2.9.

    Now after WTP 3.0 WTP has basically again fallen apart into a community with several independent branches.
    So what now ? I am not willing to repeat the story of Release 2.9 ...

    ---------

    Each time we pulled together we had some great progress and great releases.
    But it is simply not working like that. We simply fell apart again after each big release.

    It is obvious to me that we do not share enough common vision to stay "One mod that rules them all !".
    That is perfectly fine and different personal tastes are completely normal.

    ---------

    At the moment
    each of us "core members" basically has a branch of his own.
    Accepted - perfectly fine that all of us can implement their own stuff freely.

    Each of us is now exited about the stuff he always wanted and can now implement freely in his modmod.
    And that is indeed the most important thing: Modding is about having fun.

    We can easily share, cooperate and do some cherry picking of the other branches.
    But if I understand correctly, none of us still wants to be responsible for publishing WTP core mod ?

    ---------

    Is there still one of us feeling responsible to go through the hell to merge, test, finalize and publish all of that stuff all others create?
    Is there still one of us that is actually interested in spending time finding a consense instead of just creatively modding?

    I am not ... simply because it is way too much effort to do that if the others that created those other branches do not coordinate ahead of time.
    And it is almost impossible if the others later do not help to merge, finalize and publish the "merged monster".

    ---------

    About the modding community:
    Spoiler :

    We always thought it might inspire other community members to also become modders themselves.
    But we achieved the exact contrary. Most of the community just leaned back and waited for the next release.

    Maybe if community really needs to start modding itself because it otherwise can not merge the content of our branches, we may actually also get a few new modders.
    Maybe this really has to transform into a "modding community" where many modders just share and maybe some of them also publish ...

    We may not have a "big WTP core mod" anymore ...
    But maybe we will have instead many smaller "WTP modmods" ...


    ---------

    So let us speak honestly:

    Are we modders even still interested in the merged monster "big WTP core mod"?
    Or should we instead become a modding community of many cooperating "WTP modmods"?

    Whoever wants to publish his modmod shall do so.
    Whoever does not could of course still cooperate.

    We may not be as efficient as in the times when we pulled together as a team.
    But we might have a lot more fun and a lot less stress by simply being a sharing modders community.

    ----------

    And to continue being honest:

    In the last months it did not feel as a team anymore anyways.
    It felt like 2 stupid programmers and 2 text creators trying to still save the WTP core mod ...

    Personal "Thanks" for the last months:
    Spoiler :

    @Nightinggale:

    You are basically the only one still believing in WTP team - I think I am not anymore.
    Everytime I had gained some hope again to get WTP team started up again and find a common vision that hope was smashed to pieces again shortly later.

    Thousand thanks for your efforts for Release 3.0 and Release 3.0.1. :hug:
    Your dedication and efforts in the last months was basically what had kept me going ...

    As I promised:
    I will continue to mod privately, to cooperate and to share my work. :thumbsup:
    • If WTP core mod continues to exist, it is free to use and publish my work in any way it wants.
    • If WTP core mod will not continue to exist, I hope for good cooperation with all other Civ4Col-modders.

    ----------

    Otherwise considering the differences of a team and a community see here.

    ----------

    So again:

    What now?

    The most important questions for me:
    • Does a WTP core mod or a WTP team still exist? Who is it?
    • Is there still somebody feeling responsible for merging our branches and to publish it?
    If yes, that is great.

    Then we can forget the questions below.
    Because then I know who I can share and cooperate with.

    Otherwise:
    • I guess we are still cooperating though, right?
    • How are we going to work and cooperate in this modding community?
    • Which modders are even still around to cooperate and share?
    • Is there still somebody around that actually wants to publish?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  2. CptBadger

    CptBadger Warlord

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    I've dipped in and out a few times over the years, since early RaR and even TAC days. As you know, I have zero currenta ability.. largely because of time. I don't have enough time to work at my play, because I have maybe 15-20 hrs of play at all in the last 6 months. And I /definitely/ don't have time to learn how to work at my play... 50hr work weeks, campaigning for Governor in a state the size of France, and 3 kids.

    I've told myself that come next November (of 2022), election day, unless I win I'm stepping away from all politics for a couple years. I need a break from the grind. Id love to take that freed up time and energy and contribute, learn how to do the work yall have done, and "pay back" all I've gained from yalls hard work by helping to continue the project. Clearly, though, thats a long time from now, and even then I'll be just starting to really learn.

    TL;DR= I hope yall don't disband completely, and I do plan to eventually be able to help, but thats a long ways away and understand if 3.0.1 is the last major release, at least anytime soon.
     
  3. modmod

    modmod Warlord

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    For this part as I see:
    First:
    There was planned/ approved so much features, often in that way when one rely on/ build on others.
    So off course people tend to wait for the upcoming mainly when re-definie how stuff worked/ will work.
    Like I had the plan to adjust my modmod for 3.0.X but it is pointless before the new terrain features/ bonuses implemented in the next one (hopefully will be that release).

    Another aspect is to keep modding details internal between releases:
    Like about goodies: HERE/ HERE.
    In that way hard to expand something which is work in progress (before next release).

    The third aspect:
    Community get used to that: if team likes something will implement it properly -> without involve the person(s) who suggested that -> even if the person(s) are ready for that (even in text/ tiny details (usually cannot in programming).
    Often was the way: "we are the WTP team, experienced modders, and trust us we know how to implement stuff".
    Ok, you know, while even the ones who are ready to involve themselves in parts let out -> and team takes care to everything.
    So if people conditioned to that team takes care everything -> will lean back and waits.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
  4. modmod

    modmod Warlord

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    As for: how to continue?

    I wish WTP team can/ will at least complete the features which are "work in progress" like: terrain overhaul, health overhaul, Combat System Overhaul Part 1 , multiplier for different yields per same profession.

    So at least one more release.
     
  5. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

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    The current status is this here:
    Currently there is only @Nightinggale who might really keep something like a WTP team alive and maybe also try to rebuild it.
    Once we know if it still exists we other remaining modders need to define how we want to cooperate with it.

    I will gladly share and cooperate with WTP team and I would be happy if it from time to time publishes some of my stuff.
    But for that I need a WTP team first that I can share and cooperate with.

    If there is no WTP team anymore we remaining modders should still figure out how we want to continue.
    Because for most of us modding is still fun and we will still continue to mod privately.

    -------

    I have no idea what the remaining modders (public or private) now want to do.
    I do not even have any idea who the remaining modders (public or private) are.

    I only know of myself and another experienced modder that are now private modders.
    Both of us want to continue supporting WTP though if it continues to exist.

    -------

    Maybe the remaining modders will answer these questions the next days ...
    If they do not that is also an answer ...

    -------

    Until then, I will simply continue to work on my private modmod.
    The internal cooperation between the modders more or less also still works.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
  6. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    I'm working on data structures to clean up the code to use less memory and be better at detecting bugs while compiling. I'm also adding code to allow retirement of older classes for the same purpose (like JustInTimeArray) as they are slower and more prone to bugs. I'm also making the functions work universally and not just for the cases we need meaning when we need to make a call in some future code, it will just work. This is not intended to be "my modmod", but rather something used by everybody once I'm done and view it as stable enough to be merged back into the shared code.

    I would prefer to share as much work as possible. With all this recent talk about modmods and modmods generally being short lived, I'm considering what options we have to make WTP the core game and then use the module system to add a more modern modding system. Something where non-code files (xml, graphics, audio) can be added as an optional addon. Ideally multiple modules can be added, each with one purpose and then the player can optionally turn each on/off. While not ideal, I would rather have that than downright splitting the team into multiple mods.
     
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  7. Ramstormp

    Ramstormp Warlord

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    Whatever, I am still willing and gradually more able to help. I especially want to help with anything to get the social progress system started. I have never been much of a group project person, and do poorly when performing under some kind of negative scrutiny by people who enjoy making other people feel small; but I think if I am given some directions I can accomplish many of the things that need to be done. I am also getting ok at merging new WtP updates with my modmod using Smartgit and kind of enjoy the process (though I am sure there are more efficient ways to do it than the methods I have been using).
     
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  8. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

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    Most good modders have first started with little more than motivation. :)
    Once you have made the first successful steps - as you already did - things will get easier and easier. :thumbsup:

    -----

    By the way:

    Maybe talk with @Nightinggale and the remaining WTP team first about the things you all want. :)
    There might be stuff from you might want to do first together. Try finding a common vision. :thumbsup:

    E.g. this here (Ehtnically Correct Population Growth) sounds like something you could like as well.
    But there is probably a lot more and most likely also stuff that the WTP team has not planned or even discussed yet.

    Spoiler :

    Since I am still around and do not stop modding myself, I may of course cooperate with remaining WTP team when it fits.
    But first I need to finish the work I already started ... I will be busy for the next 2 months at least.

    As I said, I am not gone. I am just "private" now.
    If WTP continues I will gladly share and cooperate.

    The rest is now up to you guys. :)
    Until then I will simply enjoy creating my own crazy ideas.

    Most importantly:
    Have fun modding. :badcomp:
     
  9. modmod

    modmod Warlord

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  10. modmod

    modmod Warlord

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    Have no clue it is possible with this game or not, but examples from other games for multiple mod compatibility:

    1. Bethesda games traditionally use a simple overwrite rule, when plugin files which are in the begining of the list provides the basics (both master and plugin files), and plugins after them overwrite, so basically the last plugin can overwrite all before.
    Actually the most usable, people can use up to 50 (sometimes more mods) in the same time, and in case of values (like balancing) there are no possibility of conflict because this overwrite rule.


    2. Clausewitz Engine:
    Original game files can be overwrited usually just once (so one main mod - there are some exceptions when multiple times).
    BUT: multiple (unlimited) game files can be added to the make certain effects (often needs to placed to certain folders).
    So here can (?) be a similar effect if there are for example CIV4UnitInfos.xml AND CIV4UnitInfos_2.xml
    And also the mod option file where need to mark the certain mod active or not.

    But again no clue what is possible in Civ 4 Colonization, the ones above are only examples from other (mod friendly) games. :dunno:
     
  11. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

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    Civ4Col is extremely mod friendly. :)

    It is just not "multiple mod friendly" because our mods are usually too complex and thus conflict.
    You also cannot just drop "Crusader Kings" and "Stellaris" into one folder to simply get a new game. ;)

    ----

    Mutliple XMLs are not even the problem as long as the DLL understands them.
    But as soon as XML does not match the DLL (and XML Schema the DLL expects) the game crashes.

    Other issues e.g. come with GameFonts, Maps, MapScripts, Screens ...
    As soon as XML does not match GameFonts, Maps, Screens the game either also crashes or it will look really ugly.

    Other issues e.g. come with the 3D graphics, 2D graphics, file structure, ....
    As soon as XML does not match 3D graphics, 2D graphics, file structure, the game either also crashes or it will look really ugly.

    ...

    ----

    Please do not think that the modding we do is always just XML. It is so much more than that ...
    XML is actually the easiest part of everything we do. XML is absolute beginner's level of modding.

    The illusion that "big achievements in modding" come from just messing a bit with XML is actually pretty ignorant of real modding reality.
    Because without adjusting DLL, Python, graphics, ... that XML would basically do nothing you have not already seen dozens of times before ...

    ----

    Summary:

    The idea of having "plug&play" mod-components of my work just does not work.
    Even if somebody could resolve the uncounted dependencies in all the uncounted XML files of my features.


    1. There is only 1 DLL containing all the actual game logic
    2. For each XML there is also only 1 Schema
    3. There is only 1 version of Gamefonts
    4. Maps / MapScripts need to match the XML
    5. Screens / UI needs to match (DLL and XML)
    6. Atlasses / graphics / folder structure, ...
    ...

    ----

    I personally never made and never will make "plug & play mod-components" for that reason.
    It will always need a really skilled modder to adapt my work to another mod.

    For WTP I will try to support in everything WTP wants to have.
    If WTP does not want to have it, community will simply never get it.

    ----

    Guys, let us please stop this here. :)

    We are discussing about making stuff compatible that has not even been created yet. ;)
    We are discussing about making stuff compatible instead of actually creating stuff.

    ----

    Everything I do can be merged / adapted by another skilled modder. :thumbsup:
    It just may take time to do so depending on the differences of the mods and the size of the concept.

    And it would be less effort than creating such a "plug&play" system that does not even work in theory.
    Simply because nobody will created "plug&play" mod components of real complex features because it restricts their design too much.

    ----

    Can we now all simply continue modding? :thumbsup:

    What will be published is a seconday question actually.
    Because first somebody actually needs to create new stuff.

    ----

    Summary:

    Move your butts and create stuff first. ;)
    Once that has happend we might actually discuss about merging and publishing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
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  12. Mr. ZorG

    Mr. ZorG Prince

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    I'll deposit my 50 cents.
    I can only make any suggestions for the mod and test the ready-made, giving feedback. unfortunately I'm not a programmer.
    Well, until the problem with the encoding is solved, I cannot translate the mod into Russian (although I am constantly asked about this).
     
  13. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    Guys,

    I just wanted to point out that all my recent stuff is completely XML compatible with 3.0.1. Indeed, my development branch is being continuously re-based on the head of WTP's develop which means that it is strictly speaking a super-set of what has already been released. In principle, we could merge all of my stuff into WTP proper and call it 3.1 if we wanted to.

    Also, in case you are wondering what my develop branch contains:

    - The K-Mod pathfinder, adapted to WTP (formerly the pathfinder branch)
    - Parallel processing of the job assigner (formerly the task_parallelism branch)
    - (extensive) Logging based on the K-Mod / AdvCiv 's adoption of the BBAI logging scheme.
    - Incremental merge of AdvCiv (this is an on-going process and only minor bits have been ported so far)
    - AI fixes (straight up bug/defects)
    - AI improvements


    This is likely the most performant version of WTP so far... :crazyeye:
     
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  14. Mr. ZorG

    Mr. ZorG Prince

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    to be honest, I don’t understand why to discuss this here. these are working moments that can be discussed in the working chat ...
     
  15. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

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    Then why not merge just the stuff you and @Nightinggale created recently and publish it as WTP Release 3.1. :thumbsup:
    Additionally maybe a few small fixes of course where I could contribute as well.

    If it is only DLL changes it should be completely savegame compatible.

    Sounds all great. :thumbsup:

    Looking forward to see your improvements. :hug:
     
  16. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    It might end up like that. Time will tell and what we release next time is likely mainly based on stability testing. It's a lot of changes and we need to ensure we didn't break anything.
     
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  17. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

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    Last week I hardly heard anything of any other modder. :undecide:

    Seems like everybody takes a summer break at the moment.
    That is actually also perfectly fine for me.

    I will reduce all my active modding of new content to a minimum for the next 2 months.
    During that time I will simply play some other games again as well.

    Maybe I will even play a bit with my private WTP modmod. :dunno:
    But since I know how much is still missing to make it "perfect" it is a bit unsatisfying currently for me ...

    So if there is some issue or if you guys want to merge some of my content into WTP core mod let me know. :thumbsup:
    I am still around and will read messages, posts, mails, ...

    Othewise see you guys after the summer. :wavey:
     
  18. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    For the record I was busy, but didn't take a break in general. I will continue working. For the time being I'm doing something where I'm working alone anyway and will continue that for a while.
     
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  19. brettschmitt

    brettschmitt Warlord

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    @raystuttgart
    if your team here is vanishing and the project may stop, you would allways be welcome to the PAE development team!
    We are just about to integrate the Kmod into PAE and could need someone like you with such a great experience! We are not many, but highly motivated!

    I just wanted to at least mention it, although I know you will probably not be interested ;)
     
  20. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Please don't kill off an active project like that. The members aren't fleeing and there is more activity than you make it out to be.
     
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