Home » FULL CONTROL GAMES » #JAFDEV » URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions (We need to get organized when it comes to modding)
light45.png  URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338800] Wed, 07 January 2015 18:53 Go to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3516
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
I've been talking to FC about modding and now that v1.1.2 is a pretty stable version of the game I think we need to have a list for them with the core modding needs. Let's compile it here, please. I'll start:

1. We need a way to import into JAF map editor the default maps in order to modify them (either an import tool or a pack of maps in Unity format)
2. We need the default quests in ChatMapper format or, again, a way to import and modify them.
3. We need an updated guide of all Lua functions
4. We need more externalized JSON factors or a way to plug into the core functions that control factions, combat, stealth, skill progress, item wear, etc
5. We need a time frame for re-externalization of the sound files
6. A way to alter and tweak the AI scripts would also be greatly appreciated
7. A solution to import new 3d models in the game (without Unity Pro would be awesome, but even a solution that requires Unity Pro will do)
8. We need a guide on reusing present 3d models by duplicating them with new IDs (like they FC with Barrett, same 3d model + different UI picture = new weapon)
8a. A way to add clothing as equipment models for quest/RPG purposes (disguise)
9. A way to further tweak difficulty settings by switching to alternative enemy inventory and skill settings (including allowing grenades for AI).
10. A detailed mapping guide, especially on making the new types of underground sectors.
11. A way to edit and mix the effects attachments have in order to allow adding new types
12. A way to edit and mix the bullet effects in order to add new ammo types
13. A "stealth hit" critical defined in JSON (defined as first strike damage on a target that hasn't spotted your merc, be it 1st bullet or 1st melee hit, but with separate factors for each maybe)
14. Addressing the issue of close source code that keeps off most of the coding talent by offering limited access to certain parts of it to select programmers?

.. carry on

[Updated on: Sat, 10 January 2015 21:02]



Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338889 is a reply to message #338800] Sat, 10 January 2015 16:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
crnine
Messages:1
Registered:January 2015
Location: ger
Maybe extra json files for only AI values(timeouts, min max ap use, min percentage to shoot,...) and for all money related things(rewards, income and mercprice) would be nice.

Also a simple value representing how many key sectors(cities, mines, others) would be nice to have and added to the income calculation.
with this we could build something like loyality-based income, e.g. income calc for farm: 1000+100*CONTROLLED_KEY_POINTS(=farm+prison=2) =>1200 income per day. this will controll and force more thoughts on how and when to use money and fits to progression ingame as you have less income at the start and more later when equipement is more expensive.

Also when such values would be in files, you could create difficulty level mods and spare the money for more important proging tasks of FC.
Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338890 is a reply to message #338889] Sat, 10 January 2015 17:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3516
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
StrategicMap.json has the definitions you want, resource-wise:

 	{
    	"pos": "A11",
    	"name": "Bushy-Pointy Farm",
    	"envType": "Jungle",

   	"class": "Resource",
    	"income": 3680,

    	"roads": "S",
    	"control": "Enemy",
    	"locked": 1,
    	"quest": 0,
    	"secret": 0,
    	"forcePassagePlayer": 0,
    	"forcePassageEnemy": 0,
    	"overrideIcon": "",
	"musicName": "town",
    },


Loyality/progress multiplier considering number of towns liberated, number of towns with fully trained militia, stuff like that... it's a great idea.

[Updated on: Sat, 10 January 2015 18:00]



Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338895 is a reply to message #338890] Sun, 11 January 2015 00:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chris K

 
Messages:13
Registered:March 2012
Location: Germany
I am not a modder. I've only done a couple of really small, really easy mods and the most programming I've done was this an internet page, where most of it is just a copy of another site (can't post a link), so I am a bit lost when it comes to what will be needed for those features, but I think a good plan when it comes to priorities would be to follow the top 3 features threat (again - can't post the link, but I guess you know what I'm talking about) as much as possible (easy things probably have to come first, even if they are less requested).

I did not count the last 2 guys that had too many requests (because I can not know what 3 they would have chosen if they did obey the 'rules'), but they were mostly in line with this. Even though I tried to account for this, since some people have posted twice, I might have counted wrong on some parts, but that shouldn't change the picture all that much.


On the absolute top of the list were (7 requests)
- merc relationships and
fighting with militia,

followed closely by (6 requests)
- town loyalty and
animated portraits,

then the count goes way down:
3 requests:
- more animations (death, walking etc.)
fighting with multiple squads
increased immersion with environment (mostly doors + lock-picking)
sector inventory
2 requests:
- mercs keep their setup when you are attacked (more a bug, but I didn't wanna leave it out)
UI (I think that would have been mentioned quite a bit more if that question was asked on Steam)
real explosives (mortars etc.)
improved AI (also something that I think would have been asked more on Steam)
1 request
- jobs on map (training etc.)
more hotkeys
retreat system


I think some things would have been asked for on Steam quite a bit more (I read them in a lot of threats, reviews etc.), mostly
UI + retreat system (part of UI)
AI
However, those things are probably impossible to mod right now and would take a lot of work by FC I would guess.


One of the main concerns is the atmosphere of the game (I might not be quite objective on this one, but I think that really is a main concern of a lot of, if not most players).
I actually think that should not be all that hard to at least improve quite a bit. Once the sound files are externalized again, we should just be able to give JAF a lot of the JA2 sounds and voices that fans are familiar with. If people (that are able) are willing to do so, we should be able to voice the game as well, right? So I think that should be at least one of the highest priorities right now.
Other things that would greatly improve the atmosphere and are way at the top here are the merc interactions. That and getting cutscenes into the game would imho be more than enough to improve the atmosphere enough for most players to be satisfied with (again, as long as people are willing to work on them). I'd have a hard time to produce something new, but I could probably cut the trailers into a decent intro video at least. If we wanted to do a remake of JA2 (I think that might be a project a lot of people would be interested in), that would probably give us the options to put JA2's cutscenes into the game.


The other main issues:
- Fighting with militia: I don't think that can be done by modding, can it?
- Town loyalty: already mentioned above, shouldn't be all that difficult to add, I guess.
- UI: hard coded and a big issue for quite a few people. Can anything be done about that?
- AI: already mentioned above, would certainly be great to have
- Explosive weapons (same goes for other new weapon types): A cheaper way than Unity Pro would be great for new assets. What about animations? Are these possible to mod right now? I don't think so. If that's the case, that should be kinda high up the list as well imho.
The rest are smaller things that shouldn't be too big of a concern unless they're easy to do (and would probably be FC's job).


That's it from me for now (apart from what you already wrote)
What else would we need to create completely new worlds with an immersive story in JAF? I think those are the type of mods that would truly help this game to live on (more or less) forever and therefore help the game the most in the long run.

[Updated on: Sun, 11 January 2015 00:30]

Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338899 is a reply to message #338895] Sun, 11 January 2015 02:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3516
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Good points, keep the coming.


Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338903 is a reply to message #338899] Sun, 11 January 2015 12:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chris K

 
Messages:13
Registered:March 2012
Location: Germany
I forgot one of the most important things - how are things when it comes to NPCs? You can of course change any character in the game, so we'd have a decent pool of NPCs we could shape into whatever we want, but what about creating additional ones? Can you just create a completely new character and put him where ever you want? Can you do that with the editor? That would be perfect. It being just some preset character that you have to edit in json to get the way you want him/her would be enough.

Also - a way to add / edit quests without chatmapper would be perfect, although not a high priority since the price is not all that bad. We could offer to get other player's ideas into the game with the program we bought, so that they don't have to buy it (I wouldn't mind doing something like that). Brainstorming on Steam could yield some interesting results (although people rather seem to like to bitch than come up with actual ideas angry).

[Updated on: Sun, 11 January 2015 12:21]

Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338904 is a reply to message #338903] Sun, 11 January 2015 12:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3516
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Yes, you can add new NPCs. You define them in JSONs and then you place them into maps by name or ID.

I dunno if ChatMapper allows you to edit JSON files of the existing quests. It can certainly export projects to JSON, but editing... Maybe someone who owns it can confirm/deny. You can edit the quests without CM, but the chance to mess a comma or a semicolon somewhere are much higher.


Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338906 is a reply to message #338904] Sun, 11 January 2015 12:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
grim

 
Messages:319
Registered:July 2006
Location: France
As far as i remember, Chat Mapper exports as JSON, but don't work with the exported files, only with the original (project) file. You need that file to rework the dialogue and export it again as JSON.

Same goes for maps unfortunately. It would be nice to have the original files to improve things, but FC might not be very keen on sharing those.
Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338909 is a reply to message #338906] Sun, 11 January 2015 13:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chris K

 
Messages:13
Registered:March 2012
Location: Germany
That makes things a lot more complicated. That means you would have to re-create the complete quest only to change a couple of things (unless you're in possession of the original file of course or you only want to change something extremely simple like spelling). Some kind of tool for that would be prefect of course, but probably way too much to ask. :-(

Great that you can create as many characters as you like. Still, a way to do that with the editor would be great. That would make it accessible for a lot more people. For example the editor creates random character 001,002,003 etc. in the correct spot and you just have to look for that character in the json and edit his/her look (perfect of course would be to create the character completely with looks and name in the editor).

Same goes for the maps. A tool to import them into the editor would be perfect. That would make it possible to edit any existing map, be it from the original game or from a mod. Again, probably too much to ask, but it would be nice.
Just trowing around a couple of ideas that would make modding easier and more accessable to hopefully invite more people to create mods.

[Updated on: Sun, 11 January 2015 13:44]

Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338914 is a reply to message #338909] Sun, 11 January 2015 16:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3516
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
A lot of people complain that the CtH indicator is flawed. A recent example comes from KS, where someone repeated a 67% 100 times and he expected something close to 67 hits out of 100. Which is a completely flawed test, because for the computer each shot is a separate event and not a series of 100 shots. If you'd make it a series of 100 shots and force 67 of them to be hits and 33 to be misses it would rather retarded CtH system. But that's how most people expect the system to work.

First, you need to determine what a "poor/average/good" shot is. And convey that information in classic color to the player (red/yellow/green). Second, when the computer and the dice gods decide to troll the poor player and throw a bad miss, you need to "pass the blame", like both JA2 and Wasteland 2 games do. JA2 warns you the shot is bad using merc commentary, W2 has snicker comments like "You aren't missing on purpose, are you?" from the other members of the group. So the player feels less inclined to blame the game (or math). You could even go further and keep a track of the recent string of good luck or bad luck of each mercenary and add an extra layer of RPG immersion to the game by triggering even more snicker comments. Such as "Yes, give the blind a sniper rifle...that's smart" or "Reading glasses would help Hitman more than a scoped weapon".


Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338930 is a reply to message #338914] Sun, 11 January 2015 20:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chris K

 
Messages:13
Registered:March 2012
Location: Germany
I agree about the CTH indicator. I like knowing the exact percentage and even though I understand the luck component and therefore don't fault the system for not hitting, it does make the luck factor feel more predominant and people love to blame the game for it. In JA2's system, whether it's the original one or 1.13th, you can always see that the shot is not perfect (if it's not). When you see the exact number, let's say 90%, you give it a lot less slack. In your mind, 90% easily becomes 100 and when the last 90% hit, 80 seems a lot closer to 100 all of a sudden. I don't really get caught up in this too much, but I still feel that. A different CTH indicator should help with that.

Great idea about the snicker comments, but we would need additional voice acting for that (I doubt text alone would help much and it would hurt the immersion).
I dreamed a dream in time gone by when hope was high and JA seemed to have decent fans. I dreamed that people might be willing to voice act....
Just kidding, don't try to sing this, it sounds terrible big grin, but seriously, that would be really hard to get going. You either would need voices perfectly in line with what we got right now (or had in JA2) or you'd have to completely voice all the mercs with good voices. Imho one of the first goals should be to get JA2's voices with all their commentaries into JAF (or commentaries like this in addition to the ones we got already). Then we could think about adding additional ones.

[Updated on: Sun, 11 January 2015 20:04]

Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338931 is a reply to message #338930] Sun, 11 January 2015 20:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3516
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
W2 uses text. They're easier to miss, true... but funny nevertheless. I don't think we can do much about voices at least when it comes down to a free community mod. So text should do. But for text to work, we need new Lua triggers tied to new actions. And that's what I want to ask FC to provide (if the whole Steam drama settles down).


Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338933 is a reply to message #338931] Sun, 11 January 2015 20:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chris K

 
Messages:13
Registered:March 2012
Location: Germany
The problem is that JAF doesn't use text when it comes to the mercenaries. Don't get me wrong - that's great, but when you suddenly add text, I imagine that that is going to feel quite out of place and I doubt it's gonna help much with this problem because of that, unless you add tons of other stuff in a similar fashion. The player has to be used to get those, also from your guys (they are used to get them from the enemy, but not from their mercs). Just my opinion, I could of course be wrong.
We are of course going to need new Lua triggers either way, even just for getting JA2's level of merc interactions etc.
Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338934 is a reply to message #338933] Sun, 11 January 2015 21:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3516
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
No, it doesn't use much when it comes to mercs. But it uses text on AI and NPCs for those quotes. That's 90% of the work done.


Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338943 is a reply to message #338934] Mon, 12 January 2015 06:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headshot

 
Messages:176
Registered:May 2002
Location: Los Angeles ( Hollywood )...

Hello all

Been a long time since I was active on any of the JA forums. Back when the start of 1.13 I pushed for a way to change or make new quest and end game triggers so entirely new campaigns and games could be designed. It never happened with JA2 due to its being hard coded but with this developer still being around maybe they could allow this as well. Just a thought.

Headshot
Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #338948 is a reply to message #338943] Mon, 12 January 2015 13:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3516
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Headshot wrote on Mon, 12 January 2015 06:25
Hello all

Been a long time since I was active on any of the JA forums. Back when the start of 1.13 I pushed for a way to change or make new quest and end game triggers so entirely new campaigns and games could be designed. It never happened with JA2 due to its being hard coded but with this developer still being around maybe they could allow this as well. Just a thought.

Headshot


There are a defined set of Lua triggers that's pretty generous and that allows us to create a lot of quests (give item, check for item, check for certain stats, check for certain merc/npc ID, check for goal done/failed, spawn enemy, spawn/despawn a different NPC and make him aggresive/hireable, etc). Of course, we want even more, but even with the default set we can add a lot to the story. This is definitely one of the huge pluses of JA:F compared to JA2, considering not even v1.13 managed to untangle the mess that JA2 quest system is.


Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #339010 is a reply to message #338948] Sun, 18 January 2015 22:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sxdemon

 
Messages:22
Registered:January 2015
Location: Russia
sorry for my english.
------------------------
editing animation (objects, characters, etc.)
creating a merchant tutorial
editing interface
------------------------
adding a tank or APC in the game. (at least its a test version)
Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #341776 is a reply to message #338800] Fri, 17 July 2015 12:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SharkD

 
Messages:358
Registered:July 2003
Could someone explain the differences between the JAF and JA2 world/strategic maps?
Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #341777 is a reply to message #341776] Fri, 17 July 2015 13:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3416
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Eh... what? Those are two different games, so... everything, kinda. I don't really get this question.



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: URGENT - Need a compilation of core modding tools/guides/functions [message #341778 is a reply to message #341777] Fri, 17 July 2015 13:31 Go to previous message
Shanga

 
Messages:3516
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Well, JA:F world map is easier to mod without programming skills since it's basically just a collection of PNG buttons that link to sectors and server as an overlay for strategic movements. I've already uploaded to Steam a mod for it and it took zero programming. Hacking JA2 map is a bit trickier (not for Flug, for the rest of us).


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