[size=150]Edit Jan 2013: I’m attempting to bring GSBEdit back if people are interested in using it. Skip to page 15 to see what’s going on.[/size]
Being a programmer at heart, I’m thinking of putting together some modding utilities to help with the boredom of manually tweaking the various text files used by the game. However, first I felt I should ask if anyone is already looking into this. I wouldn’t want to duplicate the effort made by someone else. So, with the exception of the built-in hull editor, are there any other tools that people are using currently?
I’ve actually started work on a modding utility which may be useful to people. See my signature for a link (GSBEdit). This thread is now the general comment and feedback thread, while the one linked in my sig is for me to provide information on new releases and so on.
I think the only tool available for modifying the txt files in an easy way is the in-game editor. If someone is a expert programmer, he can make an editor by himself, unfortunately that is not my case. For editing txt files i use notepad++. For editing sprites, Gimp. Thats the only 2 tools i use for modding. O well, and sketchup for modelling the 3d models i make from scratch.
The in-game editor is a bit crappy, it need to be improved, but i dont know if it will be someday. The only thing we can do is to wait.
Your proposal has caught my eye. I am fairly certain that you aren’t duplicating anyone else’s effort. The active modding community is fairly small (though energetic), and I think that if such a delightful app were under development we’d be aware of it by now. Anything to make modding less painfully tedious and frustrating would be only too welcome around here!
I can’t describe this very well in text, but the way I see this working is:
You have a main window which offers controls for switching between the available mods (or creating a new one). A mod is defined as anything with an “installs” entry.
Controls in this window also allow you to create/edit/delete new modules, races, etc.
Creating a new module (for instance) will bring up a brief wizard to handle all the required options and boring setup. This will be followed by a window that allows you to fill out any other details you need.
Unfortunately, I’m not so great with graphics, but hopefully I can help in removing the tedium of text file editing.
The main problem is to make a visual interface for the sprite/turrets. Even if u have a window that let u to introduce the module type, and other things, u still need a graphic interface of the sprite to write the coordinates. Since the only ones who can do that are the game developers, i dont see the possibility to see another visual module editor. But, after all, the actual in game editor is very useful and for now, in my case i dont need anything more. It can be improved in a lot of ways, but for now its enough for make the modding easier for everyone.
Duplicating the in-game functionality is low on my list of priorities, but on a technical level it’s not hard to do. It’s actually possibly easier to do outside of the game than inside from some points of view. As I say though, that’s low on my list currently due to Cliffski’s existing work on it.
On a slightly unrelated note, would anyone be interested in a “Mod installer” type program? I’ve noticed at least one post from someone who doesn’t like manually installing mods. It could help with activating and deactivating various mods at will also.
if you would do that, i would give you all of my cookies (::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(::)(:
yeah i have alot of cookies…
and yes, it would be great to have some sort of installer. it would make everything seem alot more professionall.
Actually working would be good, yeah. But first I’m making sure I get all my back-end code straight so it can manipulate the various files in a sensible way (even if such manipulations aren’t exposed to the user yet). That’s the part that takes a long time and doesn’t give you anything to show anyone. The list of modules there is being generated from the actual files though.
I’m using Python, my favourite language. Users won’t need Python installed themselves though because I can compile it into an exe before making it available. Also, if anyone is wondering about the window decorations - the screenshots are from Ubuntu not Windows. My tool will run happily under either, I just happen to be in Ubuntu at this moment.
Keep a watch on the image directory - files.iualdii.net/GSB/ - rather than posting small things on here I’ll sometimes just upload new screenshots. If anyoned has suggestions, critisism, or any other feedback just let me know.
Module sub-type: depends on the option selected above. For example, if you select weapon above then this will list beam, missile, etc
Size: the type of ship the module is for - cruiser, frigate, fighter
Based on those three options, some of the values can be automatically filled in, and the editor can also indicate which fields are required (to stop you either missing some or adding fields not applicable to that module).
Not to nitpick your much needed work for the gsb modding community, but considering that modders can place beams in the Engine category or engines in the Weapons category (yea, is a bit stupid doing that :P) I think that choosing the module class shouldn’t be determined by its category. Choosing the Category could go later. (It’s not like it’s that hard changing that later manually with notepad)
If you need help with which stats has each module class I have a few notepad templates for some modules I made recently to help me in adding new modules. Making modules with them has also made it clearer to balance the stats of some modules (it’s a chaos balancing stats when you can’t remember were was the weight stat in a module ¬¬)
It certainly is possible to put things in the wrong category, and the tool will allow you to tweak that after module creation if you so wish. The initial selection is to allow it to set up some sensible defaults for you and so on, I don’t intend to restrict access to extra values you might want to set. Also, feel free to nitpick. I’d like more feedback from people “in the field” as it were.