Some questions about general mod capabilities

I’m new to GSB, and have only jut looked into making my own mod, but I have some general questions about the overall capabilities of custom mods. I have a few ideas, but want to know if it’s even possible to do some of the things I’m interested in doing. Also, while I’m thinking of it, is there any comprehensive “official” documentation on the various components of GSB to allow making custom ones, or is it all what the residents of this forum have generously compiled here?

On to the questions:

  1. Is it possible to create entire new ship classes, or are you limited to the 3 basic types that come with GSB?
  2. If you can’t make new classes, is is possible to limit specific items to specific ship types within a class, or is it only possible to limit them to a specific race? E.g., if I make 3 fighter designs can I limit a particular weapon to just one of them?
  3. Is it possible to make a fighter require more grew than just a pilot? e.g., a bomber or gunship that requires 2-6 people to run?
  4. Can firing arcs be limited on weapons? e.g., can you limit them to one side of a ship, or even make them keel-mounted for straight-line firing only?
  5. Is there any provision for area-effect beam weapons? e.g., the beam is wide and hits anything it touches in range rather than having to fire at a specific target.
  6. Is there any provision for “omega-class” weapons? i.e., an area effect (beam or explosion) weapon that pretty much vaporizes anything in its area of effect.
  7. Do ships enter combat with weapons fully charged and ready to fire, or do they have to wait for the refire delay before first firing? If they start ready to fire, is there a way to set a minimum delay before they can fire, even if under fire (to force waiting before firing)?
  8. Can fighters be started inside of a carrier bay and not launched immediately, or will they always start out in the open? (I guess this isn’t really mod-related, but it could be).

Thanks in advance for any and all answers and assistance!


You are correct, there is no comprehensive “official” documentation on GSB apart from what the modding community has placed together. However the game is one of the easiest to mod and community is very friendly and should be able to answer most of your mod related questions :slight_smile:

No, you are limited to the 3 basic hull types
(Something to do with every time cliffski adds a new hull type the AI code has to be updated by cliffski, target priority and all that)
However within those three classes you can have hull subsets that have unique attributes that help give the impression of a seperate class etc. (this is accomplished by varying the slot count / hull bonuses)

However as my learned colleague has pointed out below - The catch is that it’s difficult & time-consuming to do it WELL.

At the moment you can only limit a module to a race by using the restrictions within the module file. restricted = “RACENAME”
However, as you have correctly identified, every hull in that class can use the weapon / module. If you want to restrict a module / weapon to a specific hull you have to use some subtle tricks like an increase in the cost / power / crew / weight / other attributes etc. Its not an ideal solution, but its all we have

Yes - If you introduce fighter modules that have a crew requirement, you will need to create a module that provides that crew.
(its a very nice way to seperate fighters from heavy bombers / corvettes - i am thinking of the same thing for my mod)

No . . :frowning:
(again more changes to the code / ai etc to make it work correctly)

While that would be awesome, unfortuantly not :frowning:

Yes, but.
We have a flak weapon that never misses which is designed for anti fighter only - you could modify it to be a tactical nuke launcher that fires an AoE warhead with a large radius and high damage - downside is - it would be one tough coookie to balance.

The moment the battle starts all weapons are hot and ready to fire. So you your ship warps in and there is a target in range, the fireworks will begin once the downjump turbulance clears (no matter how long the recharge cycle is).

Fighters start in the open and remain in the open unless they are being repaired. If they retreat then they retreat to the edge of the screen, not into a carrier bay.

Hope this helps

…ahhh, ninja’d by my good buddy Darkstar. :stuck_out_tongue: Nonetheless, here’s my $0.02 for you…

offsides, welcome to Gratuitous Modding.

There is no official GSB modding compendium. Our community’s “Modding 101 Guide,” while not an exact substitute, is still a superb resource.

No new hull classes. Cruiser, frigate and fighter hulls ONLY. Alas. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: If you want to counterfeit your own new hull class into existence, you need to base it upon one of those three and enter into a delicate & complex series of modding hacks to make said new hull class function as something tactically distinctive from everything already in the game. It’s definitely do-able; not impossible at all.

The catch is that it’s difficult & time-consuming to [size=125]do it WELL[/size]. :smiley:

You can add the restricted = “[RACENAME]” parameter to any module’s textfile.

As for limiting shipboard equipment to a particular hull type, that’s where the COSTBOOST parameters will save your bacon. Careful usage of those on the intended hull, when combined with relevant parameters in the module’s textfile, will help limit the use of the gadget to that one ship. It’s not always an absolute, though, and it can cause serious unintended problems if you use it wrongly, but it’s the best method we modders have.

Just add a crew requirement to the module in question. Of course that means you now have to create a brand-new Fighter Crew Module of some kind. I’ve never tried this, so i don’t know how nicely it’s going to mesh with the existing “1 pilot (crew) per fighter” paradigm.

Nope. All weapons have a full 360-degree engagement envelope. I wish that we could customize the feature, but only a total rewrite of the game can provide this. Best to just put it out of your mind.

Nope. Beam weapons only affect the targeted unit and no others nearby.

See above answer. BTW the sole exception to this is adding flak parameters to Bullet-type weapons. That’s the only way to shoe-horn any kind of AOE damage into this game. The fascinating AOE mechanics and their dangerous tactical implications to your own forces as well as the enemy are discussed in other threads in this subforum. I consider those to be required reading for new modders.

My understanding is that when a legal target enters the gun’s engagement envelope, it must cycle through its “reload” interval before firing the first shot. Corrections welcomed, though.
EDIT: Darkstar got this one right; not me.

Nope. They always start in the open. We have a psychological support group for players with such carrier-admiral aspirations. It’s called “all of us,” and we meet down at the corner tavern every night. :slight_smile:

Feel free ask us more specific questions.

heheh, The only reason why you got ninja’d is because you gave detailed explanations . .

I was just about to say ol chap - you do remember the field report i sent you of the first 10 seconds of a certian battle ? (it still gives me nightmares shudder)

True, true. But if I don’t go into detail for n00bz who do not yet know what’s going on, why should I even bother checking-in here anymore? :stuck_out_tongue:

Had a relapse of illness over the holidays, so my mind (let alone my blasted typing) is slow. I remember it now. Agree fully; God, yes. [-shiver of remembered terror and awe-]

(quoting Darkstar’s post since it was first, but my thanks to both Darkstar and Archduke Astro for their detailed answers!)

From what I’ve seen, it looks pretty simple (I LOVE the “everything is its own text file” methodology!), I was just hoping there was a single document I could study offline and use as a reference while working. Oh well, the sheer volume of info on this forum means I should be able to find my answers if I look hard enough :slight_smile:

OK, that makes sense. I figured that was the case, but it was worth asking. Guess I’ll have to fake it :slight_smile:

Yeah, I already thought of those, I was just hoping to better limit things. However, your answers below have mostly made this question moot…

OK, I can deal with that.

:frowning: - I wonder if cliffski would consider this capability for a future enhancement. I would think something like this would be useful for GTB…

Oh well, there goes my idea to make the SDF-1… :frowning:

I can possibly work with this, but yes, it does get harder to balance…

Hmm… that makes things more difficult, but I might still be able to do something about that.

OK - so no carrier swarms. Yet another concept shot down before I even started it :slight_smile:

Thanks for the detailed answers - this kills a bunch of my ideas, but at least I know it before I put any real effort into it and can change direction without too much
difficulty. One more question:

Is it possible to put a hard ammo limit on a weapon? e.g., fighters carrying 1 or 2 heavy torpedoes, or a limited number of missile reloads on a high-powered launcher…

Thanks again for the answers and welcome!


And this particular n00b greatly appreciates it!

I must admit, I’m quite curious about both this battle and the field report… :slight_smile:


Agreed and valid point, with the developer moving on to the next game and a handful of new mods in development the only incentive to browse through the forums is to answer any questions of the next generation of modders. (if any of you are wondering why it is an incentive to answer the modding questions of the newbies - its quite simple really. Answering modding questions / lending assistance can lead to a new set of mods to play :slight_smile:

There is no hard ammo limit parameter avalaible, however this can be simulated with a rather long reload time.

All that’s safe for me to say right now – in the interest of not psychologically scarring all of you permanently (lol) – is that eventually you and all the others will know [size=125]everything[/size] about it. Oh yes indeedy… >:) [-evil cackle of foreboding laughter-] That is mod content which will shake up this somewhat quiet & jaded old place.

I’ll need to verify that, Star. One of the weapons I use has a 15-second cooldown, and I notice if I start the map with a whole bunch of ships within firing range it’ll begin countdown from the zero mark.

I’ll see if I can make a video of it. I think PI has a map that’ll be perfect for that test.

By all means please do. In the scary scenario (which i mentioned above and can not talk about) the weapon types were beams and bullets.
I am not certian about missiles / plasma.

Another think i am not 100% sure on, but if the weapon has a “capacitor” it comes into the fight cold, so it will need to charge first (ie tractor beam)

It’s a beam weapon, and it does appear it had to cycle before firing. Oddly enough, the heavy missile launchers, with 10-second cooldown, seemed to fire immediately.

As an aside, I love MeGUI and x264. I compressed a 3GB FRAPS .avi into a 15MB .mp4.

While i am at work i can not see the youtube vid so i will have to wait till i get home.
All i remember from that experiment is that the ships warped in and the unity armada was vaporised the moment they completed their jump. (scary but funny)

I dont think they even had a chance to say “its a trap”

Take a look at the below image. I paused about a couple of seconds after the match began, and as you can see in the weapon stats in the lower right, they’re charging up.

See what you mean

<<Darkstar assumes “The Thinker” position>>
Ah well - when i get home i will see if i can recreate the event :slight_smile:

Shouldn’t be hard to do with your extended weapons. Just make sure to use one with a significant cooldown, haha.

That at least makes some logical sense - missiles can be sitting in the tubes waiting to fire and then have to reload, beam weapons have to be charged before firing, and it’s a waste of power and stress on the circuits to keep them charged when not needed. Of course, the game is called “Gratuitous Space Battles”, not “Realistic Space Battles”, so logic isn’t an absolute requirement, but it’s always nice to see :slight_smile:

Thanks for investigating that - at least a super-laser (a la the Death Star) is potentially doable, even if a Reflex Cannon or Wave Motion Gun isn’t… :slight_smile:

I must know, what race killed a uni-t fleet in 10 seconds. With my waaaaay overloaded Union fleet I can beat any Uni-T scenario, but it still takes a while.

Heheheh - while i have no doubt that Union now dominate the once Technical Terror . .
That was not the case in the 10 second slaughter.

Anyways - i did a few experiments on how long it takes for a weapon to fire when a ship warps in and my results were inconclusive.
I had a Dread loaded out with various beam weapons and some fired immediatly while others seemed to take longer to aquire targets etc. . .

While you cant 100% replacate the reflex cannon or Wave Motion Gun, you can make a good replica that would inspire fear into all that face it.

But yes, it would have been nice to have a beam that creates damage along its path
Maybe we shall see it in GSB 2

Could the difference possibly be related to if there is a target in range from the get-go? An unlikely idea to be sure, but the only thing that immediately pops into my head to be considered (and probably rejected near-immediately).