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Open-Source Modding Processes

Today I came across a very interesting interview by Daniel Shumway of several people (including the original developer) active in modifying the game Battle for Wesnoth.

What makes it interesting is that it's being done in an open-source way. Once someone has demonstrated that they're for real, they can edit the game code.

Please note: I'm not suggesting that Limit Theory should be open source! I don't even care to discuss that.

The reason I'm posting a link to this interview is because it highlights what I think might be some good practical points on the process by which multiple people can make changes to a game. Some of those ideas could apply to modding Limit Theory.

For example, the people interviewed pointed out that while it's tempting to solicit design ideas, you'll frequently get so many contradictory suggestions that you may be worse off than before you asked. Instead, for small-to-medium sized changes, they found what works best is to just make whatever changes you want and put them in their own section of a test server. This gives others something concrete to evaluate.

There were enough practical observations of that kind in this interview that I wanted to bring it to the attention of the likely modders of LT. What do you think? Are there some ideas here for the process of publicly modding LT worth considering?

Re: Open-Source Modding Processes

Fair enough. :)

I'm just sort of thinking out loud about what might help encourage LT mod development. A central location not just for distributing production-quality mods (e.g., Nexus) but for hosting test versions... that doesn't sound like a bad idea to me. Having one place where those can be easily found would mean more eyeballs trying them out and providing feedback.

Again, I'm not advocating a full-frontal open source model for LT modding. I'm just wondering if some elements of that model might be useful for helping LT modders.

Re: Open-Source Modding Processes

Flatfingers wrote:Again, I'm not advocating a full-frontal open source model for LT modding. I'm just wondering if some elements of that model might be useful for helping LT modders.
Don't hit me with a brick. But - depending on the size - i think the Forum would be enough for smaller projects. And if it gets bigger perhaps a combination with SourceForge sounds good for me (BUT i've never worked with SF so far, i always only downloaded the final "products").

Re: Open-Source Modding Processes

I'd say just use git, is still the easiest for development and distribution of such small code-only projects, at least as far as i know.

how would one even make a closed source mod project?

at the latest everyone can access and read the .ltsl files which contribute the mod

We'd need some kind of packaging system that doesnt allows for unpacking and reading of the source files to make CS mods

Re: Open-Source Modding Processes

Really interesting read. I've spent a lot of time playing westnoth and tried modding at one point but didn't really get into it. One thing we should try and avoid is becoming like the MC modding community, in which modders frequently squabble about other modders changing their mods and creating deliberate incompatibilities. (There are plenty of stories of modders feuding and destroying users' worlds as a result)

It's hard to say for sure what caused the MC modding community to be so bitter, but once LT is out we should be careful not to emulate MC. I think this would be best accomplished by some strict rules about what mods that are hosted on the forums can and cannot have in them. For example, if we decide right away that mods can have adfly links and donation buttons, but are not allowed to charge for their mods, this could keep a fight from happening later when the issue comes up.

(I don't have any funny quotes to put here yet. Somebody say something funny.)

Re: Open-Source Modding Processes

The license LT ships with will(should) determine the ownership rights of mods, that's the simplest way to keep things in order. Ideally something that says modifications you make are open and copyable by others regardless of how you feel about it.

Barring that, include licenses in your source, which isn't always respected. Frankly though you're releasing 'how you did it' you should be thrilled if others want to do it like you did.
woops, my bad, everything & anything actually means specific and conformed

Re: Open-Source Modding Processes

It's extremely easy. Just type /join #LimitTheoryDev or whatever name you want to call the channel.
The first person entering will get an @ automatically. He's then able to register the channel with chanserv (a kind of bot that does ACL for the channel).

If you need any help, yell at me on IRC. The current LT related IRC channels are on I don't know if this is the best network for developing speak. Personally I'm quite fond of
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

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