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Author Topic: Design Issues : Scoreboards and Player data versus modding  (Read 5208 times)

Kornel Kisielewicz

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Yes, we have a new subboard waiting for the release of DoomRL's modding capabilities. This will surely prove the most exciting feature of DoomRL, hence I really want it to be implemented "right". So I decided to call up on the help of you guys to sanity check and discuss some problems that will surely arise, or have already arosen. Let us discuss the first one then.

DoomRL has both a score file and a player data file that records data in between games. However, once mods are available, I don't really know what to do with them. We have two situations here -- mods that are "total conversions" (abbr TC), and mods that just add some additional stuff to the basic game (levels/campaigns/uniques/challenges). I make that distinction here, because we might agree that these should be handled separately.

What are the solutions:

1) Neither scores nor data is recorded on modded games -- easy but boring
2) Scores and player data are recorded normally -- may prove quite tricky, because mods may add new monsters/uniques and the format of the player data files should handle it *somehow*. Also this would provide a ground for really easy and cheesy cheating (like one-leveling challenges or mass BFG drops in a room of monsters that one needs for the next rank).
3) Each mod would have his own score.dat/player.dat -- this might work for TC's but not so for other mods :/.

Also a question arises about challenges -- should challenges work for modded games at all? Think about the consequences of this one :/.

All you future modders, and mod-players -- please help!
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Kornel Kisielewicz

DaEezT

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Re: Design Issues : Scoreboards and Player data versus modding
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 14:46 »

1) Neither scores nor data is recorded on modded games -- easy but boring
2) Scores and player data are recorded normally -- may prove quite tricky, because mods may add new monsters/uniques and the format of the player data files should handle it *somehow*. Also this would provide a ground for really easy and cheesy cheating (like one-leveling challenges or mass BFG drops in a room of monsters that one needs for the next rank).
3) Each mod would have his own score.dat/player.dat -- this might work for TC's but not so for other mods :/.
1 + 3: No data is tracked unless the mod specifies it and then DoomRL is able to track all the Vanilla content /monsters, uniques, levels, wins) and offers a function for modders to insert new stuff into the player/score files. Make it so that every mod needs an internal unique ID that identifies it to DoomRL and DoomRL uses that to create, separate and manage the player/score files. That way you also prevent mods from overwriting other mods' files and things like that.

Also a question arises about challenges -- should challenges work for modded games at all? Think about the consequences of this one :/.
Challenges = mods that ship with Vanilla DoomRL -> no mods inside mods.
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007bistromath

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Re: Design Issues : Scoreboards and Player data versus modding
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2008, 15:48 »

For the most part, I think DaEezT has the right idea. Having separate .dats for everything solves many problems at once. Not recording anything would definitely eliminate any issues, but introduces the problem that you don't have a pile of entrails to pick through if you want to tweak the balance in your mod, which seems problematic.

I don't understand why they shouldn't work with challenges or other mods, though, assuming there are no actual conflicts in the specific configuration. It's your game/mod, you screw it up all you want, I say. Backup your files!
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zaimoni

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Re: Design Issues : Scoreboards and Player data versus modding
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2008, 06:29 »

Challenges = mods that ship with Vanilla DoomRL -> no mods inside mods.
Alternately, mods may specify that they must not be in other mods (and/or vice versa -- whatever makes challenges work).
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Blade

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Re: Design Issues : Scoreboards and Player data versus modding
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 08:41 »

Well, most often used professional way - is to make default content a mod too. That is fully handled by an engine as a mod, not separately from other mods that could players do. That's the way of games with most powerful modding capabilities like TES 3,4, Fallout 3, OFP, Armed Assault 1,2, Cortex Command, and others. So all challenges, weapons, monsters and other stuff should be placed in a separate mod file. Game should be possible to run without anything from it's original content.

Now about highscores and stats. I think that each mod should have it's own pair of highscores file and player info file. And that file should only be loaded if that mod is loaded. That file should contain all the things that are related to that mod - monsters, weapons, uniques, player ranks, achievements, and, practically saying, everything. Because ranks, achievements and stuff should be possible to change from mod to mod, and it would be a pain in the ass to check incompatibilities. What is without doubts - weapons/monsters should be output when viewing stats only from the mods that are currently loaded.

So, what we get in the end - pair of files for each mod. Now, the main thing: if you are running one mod, all the achievements, kills and stuff would be recorded to the according files. BUT if you would run 2 mods at a time, nothing would be recorded anywhere.

Pros:  No cheating. Stats are recorded only if you are playing clean game, in the way that was supposed by it's author.
         No restrictions in activating many mods. If you want - you can activate as much mods as you want and they won't ruin your stats, or anything, even in chaotic configurations.
         Mods with just new monsters and items won't get any issues because they don't need special achievements anyway.

Cons: That would be harder to make mod that is just an expanding to some basic mod. Like mod that add several more high-level player ranks, or achievements. It would need to copy all the content of original mod (which wouldn't be hard), and it would still need to make some kind of converter of player stats from default mod to his one. Because otherwise it would require to start everything from the zero in that new mod.

So, if someone is making something big and want to use there his own achievements and ranks - he just copies required content from original mod file, and everything else makes by himself. And if someone wants to make just mod to play old DooMRL challenges with some new weapons, maps and features - he won't need achievements and ranks for that anyway.

So or make TC with everything included, or make small mods that won't be a pain to make/manage/add to the game.

What do you think?
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Drukqs

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Re: Design Issues : Scoreboards and Player data versus modding
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2009, 07:27 »

#1 or #2 is fine. If people want to cheat then let them cheat, it's not like DoomRL is a multiplayer game and cheaters are ruining the experience for everyone else. I really doubt anyone will cheat, to be perfectly honest. I don't think even 5% of the community would do it. Why? Because who wants to ruin their player.dat with garbage they didn't earn? Definitely not me.

If you can do #2, go for it. Otherwise, #1 is perfectly fine.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 07:29 by Drukqs »
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