What modding support is planned?

So I can give some thought to future modding, may I ask what sort of thing is planned to be supported? For example, new ship types, new components for the designer, new races, new scenarios?

As there is currently no option in the menus (at least, that I’ve seen), is formal mod support planned at all? For example, Steam Workshop integration like we saw with Democracy 3?

Having had a poke through the game files, I note all the bitmaps are compressed into some kind of .pak. Will there be a way to extract these, or at least some examples given so that folder structures/file placement/file contents can be understood?

Any insight would be gratefully received, thanks!

How about this?

Yup, formal mod support, including steam, workshop integration is definitely planned, and actually I started some work on it today…

Sharing of ships will be the easiest and most obvious thing, but new scenarios, modules and ship components should also be pretty easy.

Making more progress today on the steam workshop integration. There will be a screen where you select a folder that contains your mod, enter a name and description, select a jpg to represent it, then you just click submit. voila!

Not sure if this is already implemented, but would it be possible to allow mods to create their own ship categories? It would be cool to have Starbase fight scenarios whereby Starbases need their own “ship” category to prevent, say, dreadnoughts from being able to use starbase parts. I know modders in GSB1 had some creative workarounds to this, but it would be better if there was official support.

Having seen a few videos, I had a thought: Will it be possible to mod in the original GSB1 races?

For example, I’d love to see Terrans vs Empire.

Or will it be released as some sort of “Classic” DLC?

I would also very, very much like to see those wonderful old hull sprites given a new lease on life. :smiley:
By way of such a gift, a wide vista of new modding possibilities will benefit the sequel game’s health and vitality.
I would be thrilled to have this become a moddable reality.

The GSB1 hull sprites will require the same kind of bumpmapping that the GSB2 ships already have. Otherwise, the fancy GSB2 shaders & other new lighting effects cannot be used by the old sprites, and that would instantly make them, to put it kindly, somewhat limited (i.e., rather ugly) in their visual appeal when placed in-game next to the “native” GSB2 ships.

Those original sprites were originally created as 3-D files and then converted into the original game’s 2-D environment. If the old hulls’ 3-D graphical files are still archived & intact, then it should be entirely possible for the developer’s artist to bumpmap them accordingly for use within GSB2.

I believe that the original game’s hull sprite files were downsized (for actual screen display) from a higher resolution. GSB1’s ship sprites’ in-game pixel dimensions (512x512 pixels, 1.33MiB) are rather on the small side by 2015 modding standards. If we could have access to something like a 2048x2048-pixel version of each bumpmapped sprite (16x more resolution for fine-scale modding!), that would be magnificent. Providing us with a much bigger one than the 512-size for serious modding pixel-surgery is crucially important; it gives us modders much more precision and control in how we alter and adapt the sprites for future ship creations.

Is there already a way to make a mod ‘package’ of sorts, e.g. a map or zip in the data/packages folder? How does this work?

Nobody but cliffski himself knows precisely how that will be implemented.

But as you’ve noticed, he’s extremely busy with other aspects of GSB2 at present. We have to be patient.

its more clearly implemented in 1.18, but its similar to democracy 3.
So there is a folder here:

\my documents\my games\gratuitous space battles2\mods

and inside there are a bunch of folders, one for each mod. Inside the root of a mod folder will be a single text file, for example ‘testmod.txt’ containing this:

name = testmod
path = testmod
guiname = Test Mod
author = Author Name
description = Here is where all the text describing the mod goes.
texture = testmod.jpg
enabled = 1

That will tell the new ‘mod control panel’ in the game all about the mod and where to look for files, and lets the game turn a mod on or off without uninstalling it.
The actual new mod data lies in subfolders inside that folder, so for example you might have a ‘ships’ folder in there with new ship designs, or a bitmaps folder, and maybe an ‘elements’ or ‘hulls’ folder, all of which get searched just like the core game folders do.