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Large-Scale Modding of Limit Theory

#1
Josh's latest steps toward externalizing functionality (variables, block scoping, function calls, return values, and loops [but what about conditionals?]) has got me thinking: just how customizable will Limit Theory wind up being?

To put it another way, let's say you're willing to try your hand at modding LT's functionality. (Beyond changing values in the node editor, I mean.) What would you like to be able to change or add through the functional editor?

As a test case, I'm thinking about Traveller. I'm wondering about the extent to which LT could be modified to emulate some of the core aspects of this classic tabletop game. (Note: Traveller is owned by Marc Miller and Far Future Enterprises. If I were to try adding Traveller-specific content to LT, it would be purely for my own enjoyment, and would not be released to anyone without explicit permission from Marc/FFE.)

There are a number of Traveller features -- some considerably harder to implement in LT than others, if not impossible -- I might try adding:
  • The many worlds of the Traveller Universe (zoom in!)
  • Convert Traveller sectors to LT regions
  • Constrain LT-verse to known Traveller map
  • Convert LT objects to Traveller technology
  • 7-day jump period (+ world simulation)
  • Canonical alien races
  • RPG elements
    • Character attributes
    • Skills that have analogues in LT mechanics
    • Five-character groups
    • Ship system operation for mid-sized ships
    • City/station/ground exploration/encounters
  • NPC patrons who give info/missions
The avatar/party-centric aspects of Traveller would likely be the hardest to do. But maybe the conversion of LT regions to predefined Traveller sectors (and their worlds), plus the conversion of LT object types/names to Traveller technologies, would deliver enough of the distinct flavor of the Traveller universe.

I should add that I wouldn't consider trying anything like this until I've played the vanilla version of Limit Theory extensively. I want to have the LT experience as Josh has designed it before I even start to think seriously about performing unspeakable perversions upon his code.

That said, all this is just an example of a significant modding project that came to my mind after reading Josh's latest notes. What about you?

What kinds of static and dynamic content would you consider adding to (or changing in) LT using the new modding capabilities described this week?

(What? Too soon? :D)
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Re: Large-Scale Modding of Limit Theory

#2
Too soon? We've been theorycrafting for well over a year here. =P

I'm mostly interested in AI and new mechanics.
Making a ship look different or a specific race having a "Traveller" name wouldn't motivate me to spend more than a minute on it.

Once I made X3 use race-specific weapons so that an argon HEPT was actually different from a split HEPT.
Alas, this bent the game mechanics a little too far past the breaking point. While it worked in principle, there were problems with hardcoded station inventories and the likes.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Large-Scale Modding of Limit Theory

#4
I have to admit that I don't know the current status and/or future plans for inter-system travel, but my dream is to create a Stargate mod to replace this system and maybe add some additional things.

Features would probably be:
  • Stargates, as a form of travel for small and compact fighters with "dialing" and one-way travel
  • Supergates, considering the scales of the ships :D
  • Weapons
  • Energy sources, i.e. ZPM's
  • City-ships (?) ;)
  • Organic ship designs
  • ...
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Re: Large-Scale Modding of Limit Theory

#5
I, as a long-time Classic Traveller player, would love a Traveller mod for Limit Theory, as well as even just general avatar and skill things. I'd imagine Hyperion's pareidolic faces suggestion could be modded in with the same general system. And as long as I'm in modding dreamland, I'd love to be able to add Captain's Logs for NPCs and even a communication interface, to make them interactive.
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Re: Large-Scale Modding of Limit Theory

#6
thedamngod wrote:I have to admit that I don't know the current status and/or future plans for inter-system travel, but my dream is to create a Stargate mod to replace this system and maybe add some additional things.

Features would probably be:
  • Stargates, as a form of travel for small and compact fighters with "dialing" and one-way travel
  • Supergates, considering the scales of the ships :D
  • Weapons
  • Energy sources, i.e. ZPM's
  • City-ships (?) ;)
  • Organic ship designs
  • ...
If I were to do anything, it'd be a random hyperspace jump mod. Sends you to a random planet somewhere in the universe every fifteen days(calendar time).
You have disobeyed God. Now you must pay the consequence.
[/i]
Post

Re: Large-Scale Modding of Limit Theory

#8
Here are some mod ideas I've come up with:


- The GoD (God of Destruction) comes by every certain amount of time, and destroys a randomly selected area of space, before retreating back to it's celestial slumber only to do it again after the time has come. This GoD would of course come in the form of a big glowing ball, since it only makes reasonable sense for a divine being, who would exist in a state of perfect unity. Every time it appears, you will see a bright light around it (similar to that of a sun), and you will see almost what looks like a heavenly rift opening, and out comes GoD, ready to devour a little piece of your world.

- There's an unknown alien faction who has somehow awakened and is going on a rampage to take over the universe and bring about apocalypse on the LT denizens. In this mod, you will not be able to fight them alone, and you will have to be nomadic in your approach to defeat them; unfortunately for us, they will not understand capitalism, so negotiating or money will not be any option with them. Can you team up and form a crash alliance with the fellow LT Fighters to put an end to this breach in the universe before it takes over your world for good? Better get started ASAP, you have been warned.

- The portal/doorways mod, where you can access different dimensions. Some will be cute, some will be creepy, and some will be just completely insane, while others will be surprisingly realistic and sane. Combat and ship stats will vary, physics will vary (every time you fill your ship with mass, you go faster instead of slower, as an example of a weird dimension.). Lighting could also change depending on what dimension you're in. Some dimensions may have what seem to be rather surreal and eerie lighting, will others may have regular lighting, while some may have inverted lighting, etc. This spontaneous nature of traveling to another dimension may increase your stress while playing, so unless you can handle the unexpected, do not cross into another dimension. Your blood pressure and cortisol levels have been warned.

- The "Super treasure in the space world" mod, where somewhere in the universe there is a big treasure. You will find many riches, from ore to diamonds, to even special minerals and materials that can bend the laws of the universe to their limit, thus having the potential to be used to create super technology. Want a ship that can go several times faster with the same thrusters? Well, you'll certainly be able to now! Or what about a meta-hull that can regenerate itself like a shield, while cloaking at the same time? But remember, use the special gifts wisely, because you won't be able to find them anywhere else, and the treasure won't have a limitless supply! But beware, wherever there is the booty, there will be booty hunters who will try to tap into it as well. Can you find this treasure and fend off the visitors?


I figured that since the thread is about major modding, that I would come up with some major mods. If you are easily distressed, heavily conservative, or generally not approving of anything random, unexpected, or potentially damaging to your ingame property, then I'm afraid you may not enjoy some of these mod ideas.

So what's your guys impressions on this seriously speaking?
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Re: Large-Scale Modding of Limit Theory

#9
there is an old space game that i enjoyed back in the day, escape velocity, and its sequel. would be cool to have a mod that adds different game scenerios that you could work your way through and at the end be all powerful, similar to escape velocity II.
"C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
- Bjarne Stroustrup

"A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems."
- Paul Erdos (1913-1996)
Post

Re: Large-Scale Modding of Limit Theory

#10
RageQuitKetchup wrote:Here are some mod ideas I've come up with:


- The GoD (God of Destruction) comes by every certain amount of time, and destroys a randomly selected area of space, before retreating back to it's celestial slumber only to do it again after the time has come. This GoD would of course come in the form of a big glowing ball, since it only makes reasonable sense for a divine being, who would exist in a state of perfect unity. Every time it appears, you will see a bright light around it (similar to that of a sun), and you will see almost what looks like a heavenly rift opening, and out comes GoD, ready to devour a little piece of your world.
This sounds like a major headache for any nation-builder. A literal god comes in and takes out a sector? Not cool, man. Still, it would provide a challenge for those who want it- to each their own.
RageQuitKetchup wrote: - There's an unknown alien faction who has somehow awakened and is going on a rampage to take over the universe and bring about apocalypse on the LT denizens. In this mod, you will not be able to fight them alone, and you will have to be nomadic in your approach to defeat them; unfortunately for us, they will not understand capitalism, so negotiating or money will not be any option with them. Can you team up and form a crash alliance with the fellow LT Fighters to put an end to this breach in the universe before it takes over your world for good? Better get started ASAP, you have been warned.
So, the Aztecs from CKII Sunset Invasion? Kewl. Sorta like your above suggestion- a force of destruction, out to wreck everything you hold dear. Great for those who like an extra challenge in their nation-building exploits, not so much for the traders and miners and pirates.
RageQuitKetchup wrote: - The portal/doorways mod, where you can access different dimensions. Some will be cute, some will be creepy, and some will be just completely insane, while others will be surprisingly realistic and sane. Combat and ship stats will vary, physics will vary (every time you fill your ship with mass, you go faster instead of slower, as an example of a weird dimension.). Lighting could also change depending on what dimension you're in. Some dimensions may have what seem to be rather surreal and eerie lighting, will others may have regular lighting, while some may have inverted lighting, etc. This spontaneous nature of traveling to another dimension may increase your stress while playing, so unless you can handle the unexpected, do not cross into another dimension. Your blood pressure and cortisol levels have been warned.
This sounds really fun. I'd love to play with altered laws of physics, and see what the AI would do under the same conditions. I've seen ideas like this bandied about on the forums, and think a mod would be the perfect place for it.
RageQuitKetchup wrote: - The "Super treasure in the space world" mod, where somewhere in the universe there is a big treasure. You will find many riches, from ore to diamonds, to even special minerals and materials that can bend the laws of the universe to their limit, thus having the potential to be used to create super technology. Want a ship that can go several times faster with the same thrusters? Well, you'll certainly be able to now! Or what about a meta-hull that can regenerate itself like a shield, while cloaking at the same time? But remember, use the special gifts wisely, because you won't be able to find them anywhere else, and the treasure won't have a limitless supply! But beware, wherever there is the booty, there will be booty hunters who will try to tap into it as well. Can you find this treasure and fend off the visitors?
Supertech is fun, though once again for a certain type of player. I'd be concerned with what would happen to the economy after the Big Score, and if the discoveries would be replicable- a supertech mod in general would be really fun, too, with alien artifacts to reverse engineer and crazy technology to stick to your ships and stations.

Lots of great ideas here for mods. All that's left is for Josh to deliver on the interface, and it looks like he's doing a pretty darn good job of that.
Post

Re: Large-Scale Modding of Limit Theory

#12
What with Josh's recent work on his UDF interface, which will allow players to change data and some functionality of Limit Theory, I thought it might be fun to resuscitate this thread.

Does knowing now that we'll be able to change not just data and functions, but to write new functions, change any ideas you have for projects to mod Limit Theory?

For example, after I give the vanilla version a good playthrough, I am curious to see whether it might be possible to remove the warp lanes and add planetary rotation. ;) (Orbiting the local star would be even better, but may be constrained too deeply in the core LT functionality.)

Also, this brings up another couple of questions inspired by the ongoing discussion in the Games sub-forum of modding Skyrim:

1. Will it be possible to include multiple files -- including UDF, image, and audio files -- in a single package file, similar to the .esp/.esm packages used in Bethesda games? This makes applying and removing changes vastly simpler and safer than needing to copy and manage individual files.

2. Will there be any facility or method for resolving conflicts between mods or mod packages?

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