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cry_of_paine
08-17-2005, 10:01 PM
Before I even get into the idea, do row numbers in 2da files have to be consecutive? If so, stop reading now.

I don't know if this is a good idea or not, so I thought I'd throw it out there and see if it flew.

Basically my idea is that there would be some place where mod writers who think they're going to publish can go to ensure their mods are compatable with other published mods.

At it's basic, all you really need is some way to keep track of and dole out numbers for the rows in the 2da files. I realize there are other ways of conflicting (dialogs being the next most likely). Not much we can do there though. But it should be fairly easy for someone to keep a spreadsheet, and whenever you want to write a new mod, they could allocate row numbers for you to use. That way, you know that you're not using a number that someone else is using. And the people downloading the mods don't have to worry about knowing how to do things like edit uti or 2da files in order to use multiple mods.

stoffe
08-17-2005, 10:14 PM
Before I even get into the idea, do row numbers in 2da files have to be consecutive?

That varies between different 2DAs. Some are indexed by line number, such as for example spells.2da, feat.2da and placeables.2da, while others are indexed by the row label, like visualeffects.2da.

2DA's indexed by line number has to be padded with "****" lines if you want an index higher than the number of entries for some reason. For 2DA's indexed by row label you can just set the row label to what you want, as long as the value is unique.

Darth333
08-17-2005, 10:25 PM
Basically my idea is that there would be some place where mod writers who think they're going to publish can go to ensure their mods are compatable with other published mods.

We thought of doing this a while ago using the swk website but abandoned the idea as it would have been a mammoth task to maintain. We also anticipated some problems such as people working on the same files at the same time, inexperienced modders messing up the files. Someone would have to check every mod that is being made and double check the .2da files...

Also some .2da files such as spells.2da can be more problematic. Per example, when you add a line for a force power in spells.2da, the force power will automatically appear in the level up screen even if the person does not have the mod installed (a blank Icon appears and it looks pretty bad).

However, modders are more and more using TSL patcher made by Stoffe to help making mods compatible.

Darkkender
08-18-2005, 01:35 AM
Hey Darth333 I think what he's suggesting might be slightly different from what was being tossed around before. If I understand correctly his idea would be something akin to registering in something like a stuck thread for something like rows 1200-1400 in appearance.2da. So when others look at that thread they know those rows have a reserved status. I noticed this is a common thing with the NWN modding community. They refer to it as padding they typically build there mods with null entries in those rows that are padded in there. Of course they have the aurora toolset and hak files that enable them to merge without problems while we have to manually do it.

Of course I could be wrong he could be talking about a whole other methodology in which case I'll go ahead and stick my head in the noose and pull the lever myself.

cry_of_paine
08-18-2005, 03:12 AM
That was about it. Basically I was thinking somewhere to go to know who is using what row numbers. If it's easily accomplished with a simple sticky thread, that works. The problem with that is it might be hard to organize, and get anything useful out of it. I doubt it would be as simple as checking the last post, if people pick whichever numbers they want.

My original thinking was that someone would keep a record of what rows were being used. You'd send an e-mail in, asking for 5 rows in spells.2da, and 2 in appearance.2da. They'd send back that 904-908 in spells and 327 and 328 in appearance were free. If you want to make them compatable, that's the number you use. If not, do whatever you want (and forget e-mailing in the first place).

Of course, depending on how many people do this, that could be a big task.

Emperor Devon
08-18-2005, 03:54 AM
Why bother? Most modders use stoffe's (awesome) TSL patcher.

cry_of_paine
08-20-2005, 01:00 AM
Why bother? Most modders use stoffe's (awesome) TSL patcher.

You just answered your own question. Most MODDERS use it. Your average gamer though probably doesn't. The learning curve to use it is just as steep as it is to use the other tools to make the mods in the first place. In fact, it requires you to have those tools already (to know which rows you need to add), plus requires you to learn the language of the ini file.

I'm thinking of something for the users that have no interest in the behind the scenes stuff (which is probably most players) but still want to be able to enjoy all the cool stuff that other people have done.

RedHawke
08-20-2005, 08:06 AM
You just answered your own question.
No ED, anwered correctly... you are quite misinformed on what stoffe -mkb-'s patcher is... so let me clairify! :D
Most MODDERS use it. Your average gamer though probably doesn't. The learning curve to use it is just as steep as it is to use the other tools to make the mods in the first place.
Modders actually don't use the actual patcher program they only need to tell the installer what to do through the ChangeEdit program when they are fixing up their mod for release. Modders don't need to do anything else.

The average gamers are the ones who indeed benefit from this, as it patches the necissary mod files that are pre-existing in the users override folder so there is no need for end-users to do anything but run the patcher and play...
In fact, it requires you to have those tools already (to know which rows you need to add), plus requires you to learn the language of the ini file.
You don't need any actual tools to make the patcher work, I converted my 5 armors I did from K1 to TSL and never opened a single 2da file, or even used KT, I simply told ChangeEdit the 2da and uti changes to make, and I never had to edit a thing in any 2da beforehand. The only thing I used KT for is to extract a stock baseitems.2da so the patcher would have one to copy to override, if necissary.

The learning curve for modders to use stoffe's patcher is rather easy as the interface is GUI driven, and the ChangeEdit GUI program makes the actual .ini file.

All the end-user needs to do to install the mod is double click the Patcher exe and then point the patcher to their TSL install directory... "all to easy" -:vadar:
I'm thinking of something for the users that have no interest in the behind the scenes stuff (which is probably most players) but still want to be able to enjoy all the cool stuff that other people have done.
That is what a patcher application was so desperately needed by this modding community to do, and stoffe's was the first that is GUI driven and easy to use. ;)

Just a little FYI! :D

General Kenobi
08-20-2005, 09:25 PM
Agreed 1000% Percent RedHawke :thumbsup:

and it came out at the time when many MAJOR mods where coming out lots of robes, sabers etc.

For the difficulty of using it is well worth the little effort simply for no more than making mods look really professional :D

:ben:
General Kenobi

cry_of_paine
08-20-2005, 09:33 PM
Appearently I did miss the point then. So then someone who's writing a mod would include as part of it the .ini file for the patcher? Because I agree that it looked like it would do what we need - dynamicly change references based on what's already in there. But the getting it to do that was more than the average user would be willing to invest, at least as far as writing the appropriate ini file. But if that file is made already and included with the mod, then absolutely that would work.

Unfortunately, so far I haven't seen anyone including that file with their mods. Although I haven't downloaded all that many. I suppose I'll have to figure out how it works when/if I decide to publish. Since I brought it up. ;)

ChAiNz.2da
08-20-2005, 10:24 PM
Unfortunately, so far I haven't seen anyone including that file with their mods. Although I haven't downloaded all that many. I suppose I'll have to figure out how it works when/if I decide to publish. Since I brought it up. ;)
Some good examples for different applications (spells.2da, heads.2da, baseitems.2da, etc.) are:

stoffe's High Level Force Powers mod:
http://www.pcgamemods.com/13294

stoffe's Combat Arena:
http://www.pcgamemods.com/15360/

T7's Dopak Head:
http://www.pcgamemods.com/14028/

T7's Selectable PC/Reskin of PMHC01A:
http://www.pcgamemods.com/14187/

RedHawke's Armor Pack:
http://www.pcgamemods.com/14600/

My Bao-Dur's Charged Armor:
http://www.pcgamemods.com/13134/

My Hak-Pad cheat mod:
http://www.pcgamemods.com/14083/

Just a "few" to help you out...hehehe
(and in about 10 minutes, I'm about to release a new one using the Patcher...shhhhh) ;)

RedHawke
08-21-2005, 12:45 AM
So then someone who's writing a mod would include as part of it the .ini file for the patcher?
You do not make the ini for mod installation the ChangeEdit program that comes with the Patcher does this for you as you tell it what file changes it will need to make. ;) The only one who uses the ChangeEdit program is the original Mod Maker, the end user simply runs the Patcher.exe on their end.
Because I agree that it looked like it would do what we need - dynamicly change references based on what's already in there.
That is what it is for! :)
But the getting it to do that was more than the average user would be willing to invest, at least as far as writing the appropriate ini file. But if that file is made already and included with the mod, then absolutely that would work.
There is a very small learning curve, I had no previous expirience prior to my mod and it took me all of about an hour to get it working.
Unfortunately, so far I haven't seen anyone including that file with their mods. Although I haven't downloaded all that many. I suppose I'll have to figure out how it works when/if I decide to publish. Since I brought it up. ;)
What file? ChangeEdit?

You generally need the following files in the average published mods zip or rar file;

The Patcher.exe this file can be renamed to whatever you want according to stoffe.
Your readme.txt
And a folder named "tslpatchdata" in this folder you put your base mod files and stock 2da's of the types you need to modify, the ChangeEdit.exe run by the modder creates the ini file, and it is to be saved in this folder as well. There is also an rtf file, a example pre-made one comes with the Patcher download, that is what text the mod maker wishes to be displayed in the launcher window at the time of installation. Nothing more needs to be included.

The ChangeEdit.exe (Program to make your mod install) and TalkEd.exe (Program that has to do with any possible mod TLK editing) files do not get packaged with the released mod as they are the tools modders use to make the installer package, nothing more...

I hope this helps clairify! :D