Love your game. I am currently poring through the file structure to figure it out. I’d like to make a mod that adds a persistent element to the game; that is, I want to add crew experience and let you take your ships from one battle to the next and to tie this into a story mode.
Indeed, anyone with the source code could remove any traces of work from cliffski and sell it as their own game, with nothing but a graphics overhaul, and that wouldn’t be particularly nice, both to Cliffski and to the sales.
I really doubt someone would steal code, mod the game, then sell it as their own. Someone who has the ability to do that may as well just make their own game anyway. I’m too old and busy to write a game like this myself, but boy I would love to tinker with it and learn how it’s all put together.
You want to make a mod (which really does sound cool; i’m not kidding) whose scope goes beyond the alteration of user-changeable textfiles and into access to the core GSB codebase. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that access to be granted to anyone. Why?
Because like the rest of us, you bought only a limited license to run the game program on your PC. You did not buy the game. We’re all just tenants here; Cliff is the landlord. It’s his copyright to defend and it’s his financial viability in the balance. All that your money or mine buys is Cliff’s permission to use his property in a certain limited way. I can’t see that he’d risk that for the sake of anyone’s convenience.
As a related point, there’s a world of difference between “moddable to a certain degree” and “open-source community property”. All of us here can hack together some fun homebrew content that’s ultimately minor in scope. Cliff would have to be nuts to let anyone else have access to what makes the app run.
To put it mildly. Once the codebase has left Cliff’s exclusive control for any reason, that’s the first pebble in the avalanche; regardless of what anyone else’s stated intentions might be.
Or remove choice parts of it which are deemed “of interest” and then subtly incorporated into someone else’s game. A wholesale pirate rebranding of the game is not the only danger that Cliff would be opening himself up to.
If there’s any other way in which your mod could conceivably be realized, I’d truly like to know. Player-generated content is nice, but not at that cost.
Please understand that I am not slamming you personally. I’m in favor of mods and those who create them, but not at the cost of letting the code into the wild. Please read Cliff’s game dev blog here. It shows that he is not the king of a major developer enterprise. Positech is just a one-man shop. No game designer should be expected to jeopardize their copyrights and earnings over a player mod, no matter how ambitious or original the idea behind said mod. That’s the kindest way I can put it.
Sheesh, you guys, this is not so crazy a request. There are a lot of game developers out there, both big and small, that release source code and development kits to interested modders.
If Cliff isn’t interested, then so be it. However,there is a lot of middle-ground between just giving everyone the code and not releasing code at all. There can be limited releases to certain parties who sign NDAs or whatever.
Ultimately, GSB has inspired me to boot up old DevC++ and SDL and to get cracking on a game very similar to this one, but with the added elements I want. GSB is not rocket science code-wise, but there should not be a need to reinvent the wheel to push the modding ball forward.
Cliff is already implementing a campaign system. I don’t know if it’ll have a story. However, story or no, this isn’t Quake you’re talking about. Name a small studio that is still in business that released source code within a year of launch. If you want a story mode to the campaign that you can mod, ask for it in the Suggestions forum.