Mod Tools & game structure

IMHO, if Owlcat is serious about wanting us to mod the game, the following things need to be taken care for and provided:

Exposed ruleset: that is, do not hardcode stuff. Allow us from the get-go to build new spells and feats, metamagics and classes. And eventually to go into “epic” levels - in brief, do not prevent us from going “beyond the rules”. New Mythic path could even become possible.

Actual tools + in-game modes to use them: think of what Neverwinter nights did, which allowed us to build us our own campaigns. Tools required include worldbuilding tools, including lighting & SFX control when areas, ways to introduce our own area assets (for new places to visit in our adventures).
Not to mention, a “Custom Campaign” menu could also use the same framework for further DLCs (ala NWN2).

Unity Unpacker & asset importer-explorer-exporter: explanatory. However, Unity is free to download so perhaps this could be the least problematic issue.

Ease of use for resource and asset format: again, try avoiding incomprehensible formats if possible at all. I’m personally a huge fan of OGG q10 for audio, as it is virtually lossless - but of course that’s just my preference. Also knowing how audio works, whether loop points or if similarly to Infinity Engine games, would be appreciated. As long as it’s not Oblivion-like.

In short, putting more effort in a mod-friendly framework at this stage means nowhere as many headaches later.

EDIT: add an easier way to create player/NPC soundset - including a template. More situational voice instances would be nice too.

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Owlcat, the alpha is out, have you given some thought about this?

Hello? any news at all?

No known information as of yet. I imagine we will hear more about that once the Beta is halfway through.

The only thing they talked about was mod support but never mod tools. So I really doubt they change their mind midst production

The person who answered the AMA said, in March, that they’d provide more information and clarification as the answers provided during the event were, for the lack of a better word, lacklustre. Coronavirus happened then, but I don’t think they have never touched the subject.

Their reply was actully really clear they have no intetions of making an mod tool or editor whatsoever, the biggest differnce to Kingmaker will be that you no longer need Unity Modmanger to install mods.

They didn’t say anything of the such.

You don’t get it do you? The answers were evasive because they don’t want to tell you that they have no intention of adding mod tools.

Ah so from “the answers were clear” we are now at “read between the lines”.

I’ll wait for official confirmation, or disconfirmation.

You’re talking about this as though (a) mod support is a major feature and selling point of WotR, and not a social goal that was added in during the Kickstarter - not even a stretch goal, (b) as though they should be able to tell the community exactly what that mod support will look like while they are still developing the game and checking what kinds of mod support they have the time and budget to make, and © you’re also literally asking them to possibly change the tools that they have now spent months using in order to give the best tools possible to mod creators.

There was a discussion on the forum in the past about including a campaign editor, and one of the developers confirmed that the tools Owlcat are using are designed first for their own use and not for just giving out to the community. Changing that - to make something like what Shadowrun Returns or Divinity Original Sin 2 did - would take a ton of work, and while there would definitely be a lot of people who would like that, that’s not Owlcat’s focus. Mod support was a social goal from the campaign, not a full stretch goal.

Owlcat is probably being quiet about what mod support will look like because they need to make sure what it will include. If they say “we think it will include this feature” and then it turns out that adding that feature would take too much time and money or cause problems with other parts of the game, then they would have to either break a promise to their players or lose time and money that could hurt the entire project. And since Owlcat doesn’t have a lot of experience with adding in stuff like mod support, it’s hard for them to make accurate predictions about what they can include.

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I suspect this will be added as a feature eventually, but am almost certain it won’t be in Wrath. This is more or less their 2nd game for a relatively new and small studio, which means they’ll have to manage their scope because of resource limits and will likely want/need guaranteed wins (ie they won’t have a cash cushion to survive a flop, eg BioWare with Anthem). Also, they know that the Pathfinder community has both loyalty and durability (which, in business terms, means there is a durable fan base who will stick with you and continue buying future adventure paths). In addition, if they succeed here, they also solidify themselves as the go-to studio for future PF games and IP licensing.

The soundest strategy to tap this long-term income stream would be to take what you know worked, ie Kingmaker, and improve upon it. A lot of the technical assets—terrain, character models, combat system rules—already exist and have been tested by this point. And the development team has done that before and usually there’s learning by doing. You should read these as free/lower-cost development and reduced risk of error/bugs.

While Kingmaker did a great job implementing many of the core features and classes of Pathfinder, it is nowhere near complete. Classes, archetypes, spells and feats were omitted; the game’s combat systems omit a lot of the complexity and creativity that exist in PNP, and the game was a buggy mess with tremendous balancing issues at launch. . That means adding more classes and abilities, improving their coding consistency, testing process, and dependency management to minimize errors in the game, and then probably working on a tutorial to introduce players to the PF system. It’s a steep learning curve, which can drive away players. And every player lost on this game is someone who won’t buygame 3 or recommend it.

While a mod tool might be great for community content, the goals on game 2 will almost certainly focus on refining the KM model, expanding their implementation of the PF universe, improving a first time players ability to learn (and therefore stay) with this game system, locking up their ability to get IP licensing for future games, and demonstrating their studio’s ability to improve and grow by solving their bug issues in KM. Building a community takes priority over giving that community mod tools. And building a complete PF system takes priority over developing tools to let people create their own content with that system.

Then they shouldn’t have been so vague with “mod support”.

What should they have done? If they can’t provide a detailed explanation, then they have to be vague. If they don’t talk about it, then they would get months of people requesting mod support. If they left it out of the Kickstarter, the people interested in mod support wouldn’t have gotten the message that Owlcat was including it. If some of my theories are correct, Owlcat literally cannot give more information, but not saying anything creates just as many problems.

Mod support is a vague term in itself. Imprecise questions earn imprecise answers. And I suspect that oral development decisions had been finalized or approved for communication to the public. Sometimes a vague answer just means they don’t know the answer, there isn’t an answer yet, or they can’t say the answer because they don’t want to anger their boss or cut someone out of the decision making process. People should have some empathy for game studios that engage with the public. Too many gamers have the temperament, impulsiveness, and self-centeredness of my toddlers and are far too inclined to Monday-morning quarterbacking.

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Oh do get over yourself. They are their own bosses. And it’s been months with no further clarification.

I suspect they’ve been busy on others tasks…like building alpha.2, developing a console version of KM, and then working on the bug fixes to stabilize that. These tasks generate revenue or future revenue by developing or expanding content.
Answering impatient critics on the internet does not.

Impatient? They said they’d give a proper answer since the first Q&A. That was months ago. Maybe you’d stop being so deliberately contrarian.