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It was nice to see a stretch goal dedicated to the editor. As someone who has had a high interest in it since the first Kickstarter, I just wanted to share my own personal feedback on what I would like to see if we reach the target and indeed get a couple of developers devoted to it. I highly encourage others like Baardvark and SniperHF to chime in here as those who seem to have progressed the furthest with fully completing a mod. Burgee too if he is still around.

1) Compatibility

Creating a standalone adventure with a modest amount of playtime at decent quality will perhaps take an average minimum time investment of somewhere between 8-12 months (just judging by past experience with NWN/DA and having dabbled in the DOS toolset). If I'm going to invest that kind of time, I'd really like to know that my labors are not going to end up in vain because of changing interfaces or deprecated versions of the game. This was the primary reason for halting my efforts with D:OS. When Larian went AFK after the initial batch of information, I had a sneaky suspicion that the modding community was going to get orphaned, and it has. It's not just because the editor is 'complicated', it's also because there is little confidence that any work invested will see the light of day if Larian keeps moving forward without any communication about, or consideration for how its decisions will impact people working with the editor.


2) More building blocks, less reliance on your campaign scripts

This kind of follows up on the compatibility issue, but it would be helpful to have better building blocks that are not inherently tied into your main campaign systems, which are more susceptible to change and consequently break our own mods when they do. Take a look at the work done for the standalone project template to get an idea of the kind of fundamental building blocks that could help people begin with a template to build their own mods.


3) Modularity

Help modders help each other by making it easier to integrate multiple mods and import/export individual components. Share with us your best practice suggestions on how you integrate perforce into your workflow so we can model our own source control sharing into our projects.


4) Hang out with us from time to time

It would be nice if we could have a post in the modding forums now and then to verify when we have understood things correctly, acknowledge those items most needed by the community, and get some kind of handle on what changes, if any, are coming to the editor.


5) Features

I put this last because it's so obvious, but I actually don't think it's the highest priority anyway. I know a lot of people have expressed their desire for the toolset to be more friendly, but that is probably going to require the greatest amount of effort on your part and if the aforementioned items are not done in conjunction with that effort, I don't think it will have much of a return on investment anyway.


I'm looking forward to what the others have in mind who have invested time with the original editor. Thanks for your consideration, and I hope we meet that goal!

Last edited by Windemere; 11/09/15 03:44 PM.

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Originally Posted by Windemere
I put this last because it's so obvious, but I actually don't think it's the highest priority anyway. I know a lot of people have expressed their desire for the toolset to be more friendly, but that is probably going to require the greatest amount of effort on your part and if the aforementioned items are not done in conjunction with that effort, I don't think it will have much of a return on investment anyway.

You know, the return on investment is bigger than you think.
I mean, more user friendly tools for the community would also benefit us working on the game.
For me, it's a win-win.
The Divinity Engine is pretty much the same as what we use to create the game. Which, I can concede, can be pretty hard to handle at first when you are not a professional.
Having a dedicated team for this would probably be pretty cool for everyone outside and inside Larian.

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First off, I'm stoked that Larian is showing that they care about modders by dedicating not one, but basically two whole stretch goals to them (since, IMO, the DM mode is basically a form of modding). Thanks Lar!

Agree with the points and the order of importance. Compatibility is a serious issue, though it's probably quite difficult to ensure that older versions of things don't break in the updated engine. Just look at the Shadowrun Dragonfall scene. There's lots of UGCs, but it probably would've been even bigger if patches didn't constantly break the campaigns, especially ones quite different from the main campaign. But now that there's Shadowrun HK, the community might sort of get split up between people who want to stick with Dragonfall, which probably won't be updated anymore (but who knows?), or people who want to move on to the HK editor, which has a number of improvements. However, I think DF campaigns are still fairly compatible with the HK editor, so that's good.

And, co-creator of the standalone mod template here, I am inclined to agree that an official version of that would be helpful. :P Cool things to include in it would be: tutorials and lots of explanatory text for the code, extra levels or areas that went unused, any systems that coders designed but ended up not using in the main game.

Also, can we get a peek at the new dialog editor please smile Heard it's new and shiny (I can't imagine making all those huge dialog trees with the old one).

Originally Posted by norD
Originally Posted by Windemere
I put this last because it's so obvious, but I actually don't think it's the highest priority anyway. I know a lot of people have expressed their desire for the toolset to be more friendly, but that is probably going to require the greatest amount of effort on your part and if the aforementioned items are not done in conjunction with that effort, I don't think it will have much of a return on investment anyway.

You know, the return on investment is bigger than you think.
I mean, more user friendly tools for the community would also benefit us working on the game.
For me, it's a win-win.
The Divinity Engine is pretty much the same as what we use to create the game. Which, I can concede, can be pretty hard to handle at first when you are not a professional.
Having a dedicated team for this would probably be pretty cool for everyone outside and inside Larian.


Thanks for the response norD. Following through with Windemere's 4th point already smile Always thought the easier you make things for modders, the easier things will be for Larian too.

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Originally Posted by Baardvark

Thanks for the response norD. Following through with Windemere's 4th point already smile Always thought the easier you make things for modders, the easier things will be for Larian too.

It's a pleasure.
Following Windemere's 4th point. I'll speak for myself, but I think a lot of people, after a full day of work, don't really want to go on their job's forum and still talk about work. But on the other hand, there are some people like me who likes to do it.
I know, has a gamer myself, that I really like to see devs passing here and there on forums and such on a game I spend time on.
Even more, I think, on a game with mod tools.

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Originally Posted by norD
Following Windemere's 4th point. I'll speak for myself, but I think a lot of people, after a full day of work, don't really want to go on their job's forum and still talk about work.


Well, my intent was that Larian would make a commitment so that developers could devote some fraction of time to the community as part of their work, not outside of it. It was never my expectation that developers would take time out from their personal time to do it.

Thanks for your feedback in the thread.


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Originally Posted by Windemere

Well, my intent was that Larian would make a commitment so that developers could devote some fraction of time to the community as part of their work, not outside of it. It was never my expectation that developers would take time out from their personal time to do it.

Thanks for your feedback in the thread.

We'll see what Swen has planed if we reach the stretch goal. Which I hope we will!

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this stretch goal is probably the most important to me (apart from the undead hehe )

i certainly cannot make large campaigns like DOS or DOS2 (no time), but to be able to quick build some kind of dungeon/overland crawl mixed with a little story line i come up with and then play it, all done within a couple of hours would be uber aweseome!

first i did not like it, but sword coast legends concept of pre-made randomly assembled maps has the pontential to do exactly this. mix this with DOS open class system, open game play, some tile-by-tile editing of the map portions i dont like and "the answer to life the universe and everything" is not 42 but the DOS editor hehe

Last edited by 4verse; 12/09/15 01:36 PM.

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oh, and btw: maybe then some dedicated guy(s) could finally do a remake of divine divinity/sword of lies using the DOS(2) engine hehe


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Let me increase the "Yay, for modding!"-crowd by one.

I really hope the stretchgoal is met, but TBH I'd exchange the 1,5m and 1,65m goals.

I can't highlight enough how important modding support is... even the best sports car is worth nothing with a flat tire. So give people the tools to fix it themselves and keep enjoing it!

And "Thumbs Up!" for finally having some dev contact.
It's not needed to babysit the fans all the time. But a comment now and then helps the other side to understand specific aspefcts and also get better into the projects vision.

PS:
Btw... hearing "engine" and DD... I'd still love to see it open-sourced and give the one or other aspect a nudge...

Last edited by Seelenernter; 15/09/15 01:50 PM.

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Hi peeps, I've a question for you.
I had an idea during the weekend that I'll propose to Swen at some point but 1st I wanted to know if that could be nice to some of you.
I was wondering if there could be an audience if some people at Larian would "stream themselves" working on the game.
Is it something interesting that some of you would watch?

If the idea sounds cool to you, reply ^__^.

*Remember, this is just an idea I had. I've no idea if it'll happen*

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My first reaction is to jump at anything we can get, naturally. I'd certainly watch it. If it were an unedited stream though, it could have a lot of downtime if your development environment is anything like mine. smile If it's not unedited, then that adds extra work for you that may be more of a time investment than it pays back. Hard to say without seeing it.

There is also the issue of spoilers if we're watching you do things that unveil parts of the game we haven't seen yet. I also wonder if some of your colleagues might be more reluctant to have their work publicly scrutinized. smile

So like I said, I'd certainly be interested, but I suspect it might be more work and/or have some other ramifications that would make it tricky. Thanks for posing the idea though!


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There is only one teensy problem - game development isn't very entertaining to watch. The same way the act of composing or writing a book isn't entertaining to watch. I predict the reaction to be "somewhat interested" and go fairly quickly to "neutrally disinterested". The question also arises - what's the point of us watching you? It seems Orwellian in some respects and I'd be creeped out if I was working there with you. I doubt an unedited stream will yield any kind of interesting information that you guys can't convey in a press release or something. If the idea is to show different aspects of game development by focusing on specific ones then it's going to be interesting for people who want to get into the video game industry. I suppose it depends on how you guys do it and for what purpose.

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In my mind that would mostly be "What you see is what you get".
There are not a lot of downtime when I work normally. Few seconds hangup when I save because of Perforce but apart from that it's pretty straight forward (except when I crash... haha).
Edited videos, IMO, would be for official tutorial if the mod support stretch goal is achieved.

My idea would be basic like that. We announced it a few days before and then camera on, twitch on and go. During a few hours.

There could be potential spoilers for sure but I'm pretty sure we could work something out ^__^


@Lacrymas, good point of view. That's why I'm asking. Maybe that's a bad idea after all. I know that some artist stream themselves while painting for example. So that's why I had this idea. There was stream live, in the past, made by Larian about how you do stuff in the editor. People were asking for stuff and they would do it.
I guess that could be the same.

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Originally Posted by Lacrymas
There is only one teensy problem - game development isn't very entertaining to watch.


I believe the intended purpose is for education, not entertainment.

Last edited by Windemere; 21/09/15 04:07 PM.

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I think it'd be interesting, for one. It would give modders a good idea of what the whole experience is like. And yeah, it can be a little tedious sometimes, quite often even, but anyone serious about modding will realize that. Anyone you'll discourage with "boring videos" is almost certainly not going to mod anyway. And I imagine people experienced with the editor can actually do things reasonably fast.

Spoilers are a concern, sure, but there must be some little side quest you could work on that wouldn't be too big of a deal to show some stuff for. Unless, of course, it's in a brand new zone or something.

I reaaaallly want to see the new dialog editor. And proficient terraining would be interesting. Scripting a quest would probably be the hardest thing to demonstrate without 99% of people's eyes glazing over, but some people would like it.

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well thing is I did not have time to use the editor that much so far (only few tutorials) but yeah that would be a really good motivation for me to get my hands on it ^^


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I do not know how game developers work, but I created 2 games for the RPG maker and looking at me would have been very boring.

I would like when the developers make a tutorial video. People who work with this tool all the time show us what can be done, what cannot be done, what were the problems they faced most and what strategies did they use to solve those problems. They also make a small map with a small quest and explain what they are doing and why step by step.

I would not watch somebody work for a long time. And if I was a developer I would not like to have a camera watching me all the time.

Last edited by Madscientist; 21/09/15 04:59 PM.

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Originally Posted by Madscientist
I would like when the developers make a tutorial video. People who work with this tool all the time show us what can be done, what cannot be done, what were the problems they faced most and what strategies did they use to solve those problems. They also make a small map with a small quest and explain what they are doing and why step by step.


That would be better, but they can't even do that, because they haven't even reached the "make it usable for non-Larian developers" stretch goal yet, never mind started the re-design. So any tutorial videos they make now will be useless by the time we get our hands on the new-and-improved toolkit.

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Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by Madscientist
I would like when the developers make a tutorial video. People who work with this tool all the time show us what can be done, what cannot be done, what were the problems they faced most and what strategies did they use to solve those problems. They also make a small map with a small quest and explain what they are doing and why step by step.


That would be better, but they can't even do that, because they haven't even reached the "make it usable for non-Larian developers" stretch goal yet, never mind started the re-design. So any tutorial videos they make now will be useless by the time we get our hands on the new-and-improved toolkit.


well actually yhey did : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE13woN-fNgu6IuHZguk-VJE6xWCHh9bJ

(I know it because, as I said, I tried few things watching those vids)


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Originally Posted by Stabbey
That would be better, but they can't even do that, because they haven't even reached the "make it usable for non-Larian developers" stretch goal yet, never mind started the re-design. So any tutorial videos they make now will be useless by the time we get our hands on the new-and-improved toolkit.

Yes, this would need to be done when the editor is up for "release" to people outside Larian if we reach the next stretch goal.

Again, thanks for your feedback on the questions guys. ^__^

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