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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20); Blog post: GIF Roundup (04/11/20)

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Author Topic: Modding Guidelines  (Read 58021 times)

Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2015, 08:25:16 PM »

One thing you might add to this is something about drones
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Protonus

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2015, 08:36:43 PM »

One thing you might add to this is something about drones

I was hoping this category would exist.

As what I can see with the current Oculian Berserks being significantly weak on their own, their drones are simply so intimidating for the AI that they'd actually bother these flies first instead of the hosts that have more bite than the drones' bark (which are simply micro-sized PD weapons that only does damages about killing missiles).

EI and I could use some advice... While she recovers from stress.
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Nicke535

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2015, 09:00:59 AM »

Armor shall not be excessively high.  Fights with ships that have more than twice the armor of an Onslaught are uninteresting at best, badly broken at worst.
Mass will represent the ship's size and perceived weight.  Excessively high or low values can cause strangeness and erroneous collision damage calculations.
Hull points should represent the visual size of the sprite.  Durable or fragile ships ought to have hull adjusted up or down, respectively, but the baseline for hull is essentially how meaty the ship looks.

Well...oops.

Would 9000 armor be considered excessive?Even with 2000 hull?I hope not, reworking the Crystanite would be irritating...

On another note; good list of guidelines! It should help new and experienced modders alike.


*Cough* Even though i will go ahead and break most of the rules *Cough* *Cough*

Tartiflette

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2015, 09:37:01 AM »

The only things missing are,
Prices and rarity are NOT a meaningful balancing factor for strong ships and weapons, they only encourage grinding.
Extreme weaknesses do NOT compensate extreme strengths because they can always be exploited by a player and not the AI.
This is especially true when said strengths are one of the most important balancing factors: speed, range, shield efficiency, alpha strike damage. Extreme strengths also tend to become ridiculous with skills and hullmods, and reciprocally weaknesses can be compensated.
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HELMUT

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2015, 10:36:52 AM »

Extreme weaknesses do NOT compensate extreme strengths because they can always be exploited by a player and not the AI.
This is especially true when said strengths are one of the most important balancing factors: speed, range, shield efficiency, alpha strike damage. Extreme strengths also tend to become ridiculous with skills and hullmods, and reciprocally weaknesses can be compensated.

+1

People should be extra-careful about going into extremes stats, it's either not balanced or not fun. You can't just crank stat A up to 11 and lower stat B for the balance, it won't work. I played a bunch of mods that tried this and it was... Frustratingly un-fun.

As DR said, you have to get on the same level as the base game. The further from vanilla you are, the trickier it'll get to make it balanced/fun.
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Protonus

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2015, 09:40:24 PM »

Ship Design
  • The ship sprite will not be excessively large.  It is difficult to play the game with ships that are too large, the AI can choke, balance becomes an issue, effects can become problematic, etc.

"Oh my. The Galactic Empire may not approve of this outfit when they launch their star-fighters in front of those monstrosities."


Well, anyway, there are a lot of huge ships already in the community, also me. Mostly.


"What's the fun in that without those oversized buckets of metal raining upon the battlefield?"
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Lcu

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2015, 10:37:43 PM »

Ship Design
  • Sprite:
    • Empty (full-alpha) borders on the sprite will be avoided.  The extra pixels potentially use more video memory and can cause the AI to have trouble hitting the ship.  You do not have to edit existing sprites, however (unless it's way off), because you will potentially have to re-do the hull file.

I don't quite understand this rule, can someone provide a deeper explanation? Especially, what is the "full-alpha borders" that was talked about?
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Protonus

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2015, 10:49:46 PM »

He is referring to the png sprites you are using, as you notice them when you start making a size as canvas for your ship.

Those excess spaces should be avoided not only because it can eat up some memory, but it can also be slightly confusing when you have them dealt with on the Ship Editor.

Like this ship for example.

Notice how close the text are with the ship, this is the good example.

Edit: Minus the excessive weapon mounts, my "friend" wants them that way for some reason.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 10:57:25 PM by Protonus »
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celestis

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2015, 11:26:03 PM »

Quote
All ships that can be piloted by the player will have a ship system.
Hmm... Why? WHat's wrong in piloting low-end cheap ship with no system?
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Dark.Revenant

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2015, 11:26:41 PM »

Even the Hound has flares.
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LB

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 11:13:11 PM »

SS+ compatibility: include null checks as necessary to avoid NPE crashes for code interacting with shields, to account for ships that don't have shields or ships using Shield Bypass. I suspect Sundog is not the only person to have stepped on this particular issue; it might just have gone unnoticed elsewhere because Shield Bypass is such a niche option. This might also apply to things other than shields in the API, I didn't look closely.

A guideline on logistics to flight deck ratio would also be useful. It seems to be around 4 logistics per deck, +/- the ship's individual combat utility and survivability.
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Dayshine

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2015, 11:41:11 AM »

Ships should not use TwigLib.  Use it only when there is a good reason to do so, because using it is a lot of extra work, can cause problems, and is hard to support.

So, I'm looking at using TwigLib for "Ships" that only exist inside a custom BattleCreation/Encounter setup. I haven't quite got a grip on how TwigLib interfaces with other mods yet, could you clarify in what situations you've seen it cause issues?
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Tartiflette

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2015, 01:00:55 PM »

It's a sound advice rather than a rule set in stone. Twig ships are a lot of extra work, and scripted weapons can react weirdly to it if they don't check for Twig before applying their effect: For example a weapon that move a ship won't work unless it directly hit the parent ship, a weapon that hit all ships in an area might hit all the subships in addition to the parent ship... So don't use it for the sake of it.
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MesoTroniK

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2015, 03:16:35 PM »

I would also like to add to Tartiflette's point by mentioning that Twig Ships will mess with autofire AI especially PD weapons.

whatdoesthisbuttondo

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Re: Modding Guidelines
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2015, 06:23:33 AM »

Thank you, nice resource that probably should be a sticky. One small question though:

  • Hidden weapons should be avoided, except on drones and fighters.  These slots tend to have more issues than other types of slots, especially if missiles are mounted on them.

Can you elaborate a bit on this one?

I have a ship design that kinda depends on having two hidden, built-in weapon slots (hull-mounted phase lances that are supposed to always come with the ship and cannot be removed).

Having them as standard (non-hidden) slots looks really awkward and out of place on the sprite, so I integrated parts of the phase lance sprite directly into the hull sprite.

So far everything seems to work as intended when using hidden slots, although getting the position right was a bit iffy.

What problems should I be looking out for, specifically with beam weapons?
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