would it be easy to have a “mods” directory at the same level as “data”, and containing (potentially) the same directory structure?
then the first-pass data scan would check the ‘data’ directory … and then would run again over the ‘mods’ directory. this would enable all modifications to be kept quite seperate from the vanilla data - and also for any mods to be flagged internally as they’re loaded.
this would lead on to:
challenges - it’d be easy to see if any modules/hulls in a challenge were mods then, and flag the challenge. (then you could filter on vanilla/extended challenges)
what’d be really really nice then would be if the challenge packed any modified/additional data files into itself so anyone could play the challenge without having to aquire precisely the mod setup of the challenger.
If I am understanding correctly, this is essentially how Sins of a Solar Empire handles its mods and it works brilliantly.
SoaSE has the mod directory with any data files that are modded in exactly the same structure as the original game (and only those files) then in its options it has a “load mod” option so that mods can be turned on or off. When a mod is turned on the game loads its data files over the vanilla game, and since only the modded files need be included, it can make mods extremely lean (or extraordinarily beefy in the case of some TC stuff). And option similar to this would be quite nice.
One more thing. I would to be able to enable several mods at once. Liability accepted if they aren’t compatible with each other. I’m sure people would very much like to pit various mod races against each other.