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Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup
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Mudbill Offline
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Post: #1
Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

Hi.

I'd like to talk about an idea that I think would make using IFC mods, well, better, if I may say. It might be a bit ambitious and most people probably won't use it, but if you are making a full conversion mod right now I'd love if you check this out.

A unified mods folder.

Normally when you install IFC mods, you place the mod's folder in the main Amnesia directory and run a laucher file from there, or add a start flag on Steam. If you install a lot of mods, the folder could be a bit cluttered. This works the same way, it just runs the mod from a subfolder and it's much cleaner in my opinion.

It works like this:
Create a "mods" folder in the Amnesia directory. If the mod is made to use such a folder, I think it would be a great place to collect them all in one place. In the mod's resources.cfg file, all you need to add would be the line:

PHP Code: (Select All)
<Directory Path="/mods/example" AddSubDirs="true" /> 

That should give the game access to all the content in the mod, but not the content in the other mods, which could cause conflicts anyway. My example looks like this:

[Image: kJjSc3S.png]

If you'd like to explore it further, you can download my example mod here. It also includes launcher files for Windows, Mac as well as Linux, so feel free to snag them and place them in your own mod if you wish to use them too.
I have some other things in the example mod that you might wanna check out as well if you wish Wink

By the way, it's fully functional and should work by placing in the above mentioned location and run it, either via launcher or Steam.

If you have any thoughts about this, I'd love to hear them. Even if you just think this is a stupid idea and why. It doesn't make the biggest difference, but I really like to keep things organized and I'd love it if people actually did this. An issue would probably just be that there would be inconsistencies with different mods.

Perhaps FG could have a built-in functionality like this for SOMA? Angel

(This post was last modified: 07-08-2014 04:38 AM by Mudbill.)
07-08-2014 04:35 AM
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Daemian Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

I think it's a great idea, and actually it could be a little better:
Instead of using /mods dir, we can just use /custom_stories directly.

And we could make a small app in java to manage those mods.
To launch, delete, read description, whatever.

Why /custom_stories instead of /mods:
  • Because everybody has /custom_stories in their resources.cfg already. So nobody has no edit anything to use this app. And you can choose whether you want this app or not to keep your mods organized.
  • Players can keep placing their mods there, like they always had. Plus, with this app, they wouldn't have to worry about the type (CS or IFC). The app could just look for the main_init.cfg inside the folder, and consider it valid as IFC. If there's no main_init.cfg, then the app just runs Amnesia with no arguments. In case of having a main_init.cfg somewhere, it uses that path to launch the game. And we could even have different buttons for win/mac/linux.

I wouldn't worry about mods sharing resources, each IFC have their own resources.cfg. And we all make sure to put our own mod first on the list. To avoid this kind of problems.

What you think?

07-08-2014 07:19 AM
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The chaser Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

This is simply plain brilliant.

THE OTHERWORLD (WIP)
[Image: k6vbdhu]

Aculy iz dolan.
07-08-2014 02:18 PM
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Mudbill Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

(07-08-2014 02:23 PM)Robosprog Wrote:  Or, people could simply start creating isolated full conversions instead of FC's, and isolated full conversions seem to function from anywhere.

Yes, this works the same way as if I had run my example mod directly from the Amnesia root folder, I just figured it'd be better to collect them and keep them separated from the game's data files and other mods (even more than they already are).

@Amn
I don't think the custom_stories directory is added to the resourses.cfg file by default. I always have it there, but I also see many people having to fix that manually. For example those planes that keep disappearing when loaded from the custom_stories directory because it isn't added to that file. It would be sweet if FG added it by default though, I don't think there would be anything negative about doing so, as long as it looks there after looking in the main files, in case anything were to be replaced.

I actually did think about how an app could make this tons better as well. It sure would. A Mod Loader of sorts. It would be cool to see done, but it would only work for mods done this way, so perhaps not that many would end up utilizing it. Ah well, won't know without trying.

But wouldn't it be kinda confusing if both mods and CSs were in the same folder? It could be difficult to tell them apart without looking inside them. Perhaps that's just me.

(This post was last modified: 07-08-2014 09:53 PM by Mudbill.)
07-08-2014 03:44 PM
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Daemian Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

(07-08-2014 02:23 PM)Robosprog Wrote:  Or, people could simply start creating isolated full conversions instead of FC's, and isolated full conversions seem to function from anywhere.
Yep. But if Mudbill succeeds in this app we can forget about worrying about launchers, launchers for different OS, mods sharing resources, etc.

(07-08-2014 03:44 PM)Mudbill Wrote:  @Amn
I don't think the custom_stories directory is added to the resources.cfg file by default. I always have it there, but I also see many people having to fix that manually.
Yes, but it's fine, they have to do it anyways at some point.
And you can include a button in your app to do that.
Options menu > Generate resources.cfg (or whatever)

And then when someone says he can't see his textures or whatever, you can tell them to use that option in your app. (Which makes a working copy of a resources.cfg you included)


(07-08-2014 03:44 PM)Mudbill Wrote:  but it would only work for with mods done this way, so perhaps not that many would end up utilizing it. Ah well, won't know without trying.
Mmmh, what you mean only mods done this way?

This is how I imagine the app should work for users:

1. You take any mod, old/new, cs/ifc/fc whatever, and you put it in /custom_stories
2. You Run the app, and just double click the mod from the list to launch it.

Here how the app handles it:
The app shows the list of mods you have available in your /custom_stories dir.
When the player double clicks the mod from the list, the app locates its main_init.cfg and uses that path to generate the string to launch Amnesia. Like this one:
Amnesia.exe ModOfDoom/Config/main_init.cfg

I can't see any problem. If it fails to find any main_init.cfg, then it's a regular CS. We can't generate any command string for that, so you just run Amnesia with no arguments.

(07-08-2014 03:44 PM)Mudbill Wrote:  But wouldn't it be kinda confusing if both mods and CSs were in the same folder? It could be difficult to tell them apart without looking inside them. Perhaps that's just me.
You shouldn't worry about that, the app handles it.
It looks for a main_init.cfg. There's any, it's a IFC/FC, if not, regular CS.

Example:

I download a mod called ChocolateCake, and another called PuddingPie.
One is a regular CS and the other is a FC.

So I unzip ChocolateCake.zip and PuddingPie.zip in /custom_stories, I get two folders:
custom_stories/ChocolateCake
custom_stories/PuddingPie
I go to the app and I see both in the list.
Good, two new mods. So far so good.

Now, I got no idea which one is a IFC or CS. And I shouldn't care.
I just play one and when I see a whole themed menu I will know it's a IFC.
I'll go 'whoo look at that. whatever'
But I didn't need to know beforehand. Know what I mean?

Anyways, that's what I think. It's your call.
Also I can't help with the code, I'm not good at java, unfortunately.

07-08-2014 09:55 PM
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Mudbill Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

If I do end up making this app, I can see what you mean Tongue
Actually, instead of listing all CSs and mods in the app, it could just list the mods alone, since it will check if main_init.cfg exists and if not, exclude it. CSs can be launched from most mods too, although not recommended since the mod may have edited how the game works, which will affect it.

I did have a vision on how it could look and work. Perhaps I could include a feature where the list will include a description and icon for the mod, but only if the mod creator makes those resources available. If they're not present, this feature could just be ignored.

Oh, and if it has a feature to patch the resources.cfg file, then it could also add a /mods section, though I guess it would be unnecessary. I just liked the idea of it. /custom_stories could work the same.

Though making something like this might be a bit of a stretch for me as well, so I'm unsure if I'd be able to, but I could of course give it a go. It would certainly be good practise.

(This post was last modified: 07-08-2014 11:42 PM by Mudbill.)
07-08-2014 11:38 PM
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Daemian Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

Sounds great.
I'm totally sure you can do it, you did that animation app. This one is cake in comparison. ^^

07-09-2014 12:11 AM
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MrBehemoth Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

I've been thinking about similar things lately - regardless of whether you make the app Mudbill, a unified folder would be sensible ... but I think it's important to keep a distinction between mods and CSs. I mean for players rather than creators. Putting mods in the CS folder seems like mislabelling and might ultimately lead to new players getting confused and asking "Why isn't my White Night (or whatever) custom story not showing in the menu?" I say have a mods folder just for FC/IFCs.

It would also separate custom assets from vanilla CSs, and help people to protect their IP if they want to.

Also, what about mods that have their own custom stories? That might get tricky...

(This post was last modified: 07-09-2014 11:32 PM by MrBehemoth.)
07-09-2014 11:16 PM
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Mudbill Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

(07-09-2014 11:16 PM)MrBehemoth Wrote:  I've been thinking about similar things lately - regardless of whether you make the app Mudbill, a unified folder would be sensible ... but I think it's important to keep a distinction between mods and CSs. I mean for players rather than creators. Putting mods in the CS folder seems like mislabelling and might ultimately lead to new players getting confused and asking "Why isn't my White Night (or whatever) custom story not showing in the menu?" I say have a mods folder just for FC/IFCs.

It would also separate custom assets from vanilla CSs, and help people to protect their IP if they want to.

Also, what about mods that have their own custom stories? That might get tricky...

I also think using a "mods" folder would be better. If I can that easily patch the resources.cfg file to use custom_stories, I might as well patch it to use "mods." I figured this confusion could occur as well, so yeah. Maybe I'll even add a feature to define the location yourself, with mods as the default directory.

As for the custom custom story thing, I think it could work just as well. I guess you can get a better impression of it if you take a look at how the example mod's main_init file looks like:
Spoiler below!
[Image: HrkcHrv.png]

CustomStoryPath becomes now the custom path within the mod's folder within the mods folder xP
If they are located in there, they can be loaded only from the mod itself. You can even edit the entire Custom Story aspect and just rename it Extras or DLC. Didn't you have plans of doing something like that?

(This post was last modified: 07-13-2014 10:05 AM by Mudbill.)
07-09-2014 11:52 PM
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MrBehemoth Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Proposal about Full Conversion mod setup

(07-09-2014 11:52 PM)Mudbill Wrote:  You can even edit the entire Custom Story aspect and just rename it Extras or DLC. Didn't you have plans of doing something like that?

I did do something like that Smile I changed it to "Re-play Modes" for The Trapdoor and added 3 alternate mode as CSs, which is why I mentioned it. (Maybe you're remembering the thread where someone was asking about hiding the CS menu.)

Might be a good idea for your app to search for config files outside of the mod folder too, that way it would pick up older FCs that don't use the proposed convention.

If you're interested, the reason I was thinking about launchers etc is that I was planning a fancy installer/launcher for Black Aether, designed to handle the episodic releases.... But I'm now swithering over the whole episodic thing anyway. So maybe not.

07-10-2014 12:43 AM
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