The ODF Debate -1 reply

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#1 10 years ago

[COLOR="Red"]Before reading, please note that the following is my opinion and I'm entitled to it. I havent singled anybody out or named any particular person.[/COLOR]

[COLOR="DarkRed"]If you reply, please take by my lead and: - dont mention any names or single anyone out - dont blast others for having their opinion - they are entitled to it just as much as you are. instead, break down and understand their argument and state your idea's - dont use hyperlinks to mods as it conflicts with the first pointer - keep it friendly[/COLOR]

A little thing I was wondering about. Is rescripting or editing a ship's odf really modding?

Whilst some would would argue that it alters the game and therefore is modding, some argue that it takes no skill or practise and simply edits the game to suit the users needs..

For me, I dont really thing being an odf editor makes you a modder if all you can do is change the weapons or give a ship a cloak.. I personally dont think they should be released as 'mods' either. They are basically a file which has had one piece changed in it to suit one players happiness.

For example, an imaginary modder releases a mod that gives the norway class x2 the amount of torpedos and makes its shilds stronger. Would you, the reader, class this as a mod that others would want to download?

If you edit the odf of a nebula or a less exploited area of legacy modifications, are you a modder then? I think personally yes. Say someone makes nebula's a bit more realistic, since its not a common piece of modding and it benefits people who dont know how to edit these particular odf's, I think it becomes a valid mod. Ship odf editing - whcih is easy and common knowlegde, in the meanwhile - should not.

This also raises the question of whether or not odf editors are needed in mod teams. As i said, most modders can edit an odf or rescript it to suit a new model. Say I were to make a port or model, I'd be able to make an odf for it in 10 minutes. Its easier for me also, as I will have the .ms3d file and all the filesnames so i know what weapons to use and what hardpoints go where. Where would an odf editor fit into the production of a ship?

So the question is raised once again. Are ship odf editor's really modders? is there such a thing an 'odf editor'?

What are your thoughts on this?

I dont want to be blasted for raising this issue. Its my opinion which im entitled to... Its a valid question and Im eager to hear your thoughts.

If you reply please refer to the guidelines above




IKS

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#2 10 years ago

Is rescripting or editing a ship's odf really modding? Yes, sincerely, unanimously and wholeheartedly Yes

Some of the best and most important mods are those that deal with ODF changes. Any modification is a mod in my book, regardless of what people say or think, it is.

What I believe is when you start editing ship stats and you get the hang of it...move on. Attack the GUI files which are really challenging and can make the Interface look totally different. Attack the physics and AI files which are still ODFs. ODFs are vital, take the risk and modify every bit of script you can do in Legacy - don't limit yourself. learn, adapt, overcome - best ways to go about modding




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#3 10 years ago

ODF editing should be a generic modding ability for any modder in Legacy. Although there are different types of odfs as you have pointed out. Though with the odf's, there is a degree of difficulty within them. Some are easier than others and some are just outright pains in the ass.

Ship odf modding there is a fine line with that though. I think if people just make uber ships by bumping the stats up and nothing else then by basic definition its still a mod as you changed something but the ethics behind it; a 2year old could do that. Its a safe, easy and stress free way to mod Legacy. We all start somewhere. At the same time though, its a wasted opportunity as there is so much more you could have done to give it more depth.

I honestly think odf editing is a requirement for all Legacy modders. If you cant make changes to an odf file then there is something seriously wrong. The odf files are at the bottom of difficulty in Legacy but can also stretch out to being very difficult. If a modder cant nail that then they will struggle with the other types of files.

With regards to just odf files, theres many types of them. You have the following and in the difficulty from most diffucult to least difficult to how I see it:

-AI related odf's -Physics odf's -Behavioural odf's (chunks, explosions) -Weapons odf's -Ordinance odf's -Class odf's -Ship odf's

The top 3 share difficulty, weapons sits in the middle but the gap between the least to most difficulty is worlds apart. The odf's code ranges from pretty basic code to highly advanced code.

zthough making the jump from odf to xml is not a good idea as that is a too high of jump for anyone. XML compared to an odf file will run people into brick walls, even more experienced modders will struggle with XML as it contradicts itself.




IKS

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#4 10 years ago

tjoz;4617244 The odf's code ranges from pretty basic code to highly advanced code. [/quote] I wouldn't say any ODF file is advanced code, its just a file with variables. Mission files are actually C++ code and only those that either have an interest in C++ or have done it in college will be able to make the best from it. ODF file is just a generic file saved in the open document format. Its not a .cpp or .h file, there is no real programming skill needed in modifying them but having said that it does take some time to figure out what is being done with them. The header files in the Legacy root directory control the game alot more than the individual odfs.

[quote=tjoz;4617244] zthough making the jump from odf to xml is not a good idea as that is a too high of jump for anyone. XML compared to an odf file will run people into brick walls, even more experienced modders will struggle with XML as it contradicts itself.

I've done alot with XML in college and I found the Legacy XML to be difficult because there is a lot of redundant code that just keeps throwing you off the track.

I know how to program but if I am going to do any "scripting" in Legacy its going to be with the mission editor outright, messing around with ODFs is too easy though I still believe if someone feels they have acheived something by modding them then fair play. Alot of these ship ODF mods are done by first-timers and its great when you see your work done on the site for the first time but for all intense and purposes move on to bigger things after that.. Don't just keep playing the same tune.




fangoriously

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#5 10 years ago

You don’t seem to know what an art odf modding can be, do you? Every single thing that you interact with in game has an odf file that you can be modified and changed to act totally different. Now by change, what do I mean? Up the stats a bit? Make it use some kind of super phaser? No, absolutely not. That kind of stuff has been flooding in lately and gives odf modifying in general a bad name. I consider myself an odf modding expert, in fact I don't think I have an equal, and it pains me to be grouped with such low level editing. Now, there are several areas of odf modding I have never bothered getting into, for example explosions and physics files. Not trying to claim I’m the best at all categories, only those that really effect gameplay, as they need the most attention.

The shear level of change you can bring to legacy using just odf files is staggering. I’ve released a couple of large mods that deal mainly with odf modding were I fundamentally changed all the weapon and ship files and make the game play almost completely different. You can change legacy with odf files more than you can change legacy with any other type of modding, period. I know this thread is mostly for calling out low level odf modders, but I was grouped into it and I felt compelled to give my take on odf modding as a whole.




IKS

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#6 10 years ago
fangoriously;4617287 You can change legacy with odf files more than you can change legacy with any other type of modding, period. I know this thread is mostly for calling out low level odf modders, but I was grouped into it and I felt compelled to give my take on odf modding as a whole.

Tom I don't think Acid was referring to you though you have valid points

Also it might come across that I might be referring to ODF's as being easy to mod but thats me, I really do have a strong programming background and doing that is easy.. I think texturing is easy yet most of the community can't really get around to doing it correctly - I'm not just talking about retexturing, I'm talking about building textures from scratch too. Doesn't mean I think any less of ODF modding, just its something I learnt to do years ago with Armada 2.

I just want to point out one thing for everyone, Legacy community has been blessed to have very little modder elitism in it since it's inception, I despise modder elitism with a passion. Its wrong. It has no place in any community yet some people (and I am not talking about anyone in the community as its not an issue) let a bit of exposure go right to their heads and believe they are the best thing since slice bread - newsflash, whoever you think you might be, you are not. You started out the same as everyone and always remember where you came from. Last thing the community needs is for modders to begin to form elitist attitudes about others. I know Olly has felt like this for sometime about the ODF refit mods (the uber-ships). In fact it was mentioned by Olly that all uber-ships be taken out of the Starship category and put into a ODF refit category but I am not 100% convinced about this action.

I just don't want to see elitism forming between individual modders..If I see it becoming an issue under my watch I will do everything in my power to stop it. I truly mean that.




F/\}{I´3$

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#7 10 years ago

Clearly it is modding, modding means modifying the game and that starts when you change any content of the Legacy directory. Adding ships requires moddeling and textureing too, but these two things do not modify the game. So the modding part of adding ships is the moment when you edit the odfs so that your model can appear in the game.

i can remember how great a simple handling mod in GTA-VC was, so ...




fangoriously

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#8 10 years ago
IKS;4617312Tom I don't think Acid was referring to you though you have valid points[/quote] Acid is aware I exist? I doubt it. I know it’s nothing personal though.
IKS;4617312Also it might come across that I might be referring to ODF's as being easy to mod but thats me, I really do have a strong programming background and doing that is easy. [/quote] odf modding is easy. The stuff that's often uploaded is easy, the level of detail i go into; all the testing, all the perfecting, it’s easy. But it takes time. So much time. Great odf modding isn't the product of talent, as much as its about an input of time. Though the speed at which I was able to give the aftermath ships the makeover they got surprised even me. Bottom line, I’m extremely good at it, I can get a lot of stuff right the first try anymore, but anyone could be doing what I’m doing, if i showed them what’s needed to do it. But next to no one in the whole modding community has made a quarter of the attempt that I have. And they don't have too! I have done sooo much of the work already, what could be back engineered from just what i've released so far would put them a year ahead of where I was when I first started out. Bradihawk tried, but I let him flounder. It’s my fault really, if only I could’ve been bothered to write up tutorials, like I always meant to, and point out to the beginners what I had done so far, to encourage growth from that point, and not from woefully pathetic stock. If I could have been bothered to do that, what’s being uploaded now may be more worth downloading. Great, I’m sounding elitist again aren’t I? [quote=IKS;4617312]I think texturing is easy yet most of the community can't really get around to doing it correctly - I'm not just talking about retexturing, I'm talking about building textures from scratch too.
that is truly a talent, don't sell yourself short there. I’d rank that as some of the hardest things to mod, and in the shortest supply. if I had you texturing and an importer to reprograms hardpoints, we could really come out with some cool stuff! [quote=IKS;4617312]I just want to point out one thing for everyone, Legacy community has been blessed to have very little modder elitism in it since it's inception, I despise modder elitism with a passion. Its wrong. It has no place in any community yet some people (and I am not talking about anyone in the community as its not an issue) let a bit of exposure go right to their heads and believe they are the best thing since slice bread - newsflash, whoever you think you might be, you are not. You started out the same as everyone and always remember where you came from. Last thing the community needs is for modders to begin to form elitist attitudes about others. I know Olly has felt like this for sometime about the ODF refit mods (the uber-ships). In fact it was mentioned by Olly that all uber-ships be taken out of the Starship category and put into a ODF refit category but I am not 100% convinced about this action. I just don't want to see elitism forming between individual modders..If I see it becoming an issue under my watch I will do everything in my power to stop it. I truly mean that.

You called me by name, I KNOW who you’re giving this friendly warning to. I’d say about 90% of the time I’m the most humble guy you will meet. But this subject is a personal thing, and all I see is pollution and denigration and dismissal of this extremely important aspect of legacy. I’m the best at it. I am. I can say that because I have put in the time. Do I think I’m better than anyone else? Absolutely not. I’m not trying to compete with anybody or crown myself king of modding or something. I’ve never had any real success or fan fare, nothing has gone to my head. Really, what I want to do is pass on what I know, (someday) I don’t want to be the best, I want equals, competition, and a lot more obsessive compulsive attention to detail! All these scripted missions, and maps and game mods are all lipstick, the stock game play isn’t fixed by them. Why everyone has skipped over odf modding to focas on the substantially harder scripting is a mystery to me.




IKS

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#9 10 years ago

fangoriously;4617371 You called me by name, I KNOW who you’re giving this friendly warning to. I’d say about 90% of the time I’m the most humble guy you will meet. But this subject is a personal thing, and all I see is pollution and denigration and dismissal of this extremely important aspect of legacy[/quote]

I actually call people by name alot, its just who I am. I was raised that way.

I wasn't addressing anyone actually and certainly not you :), I was speaking in general. I wasn't speaking to anyone specifically, hence I said everyone. I rarely ever mince my words, what I say is what I mean.

I've been part of modding communities where elitism was rampant..and it was total nonsense. Legacy doesn't even scratch the top of the pile when it comes to elitist modders...we simply just don't have the same numbers of elitist sh*ts that other communties have and thank the gods it stays that way.

[quote=fangoriously;4617371] if I had you texturing and an importer to reprograms hardpoints, we could really come out with some cool stuff!

Well ask me for help, I am known to be helpful. I can promise to help you out like I have done for many people but I can't promise you the world of textures.




gdata

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#10 10 years ago

I can't agree with you, acid. As FahreS and others already said modding means modifying the original content of a game (and adding new content), so if someone makes the Sovereign twice as powerful as it's supposed to be, because he likes to win the battles he fights, it's a modification of the game. And if someone textures a ship in rainbow colors it's a modification of the game. If someone adds 20 nacelles to a ship it's still a modification of the game. Thus the person who did the modification is the modder...even if it's just a tiny number that has been modified.

But I can understand your opinion. All modders are perfectionists - at least to a certain degree - since trying to get understand how the game or parts of the game work just to improve something obviously unimportant like the power of the Sovereign class means getting the game closer to perfection, or what one considers perfect.

But the main argument is still that most modders have to start somehow and that's usually odf-editing - especially since it is one of the easiest things. Some modders expand their skills in odf editing and some just go further and learn how to create models or port them and odf skills are still required for that. I most cases those who improve their odf skills and do not learn new things such as porting are still a necessary part of the community or a mod team, since the development of total conversion or other 'larger' mods including major modifications to the odfs requires people who have the ability to understand the collaboration between all the files and modders who know what they need to change in order to achieve a certain result.

And that's why I think that odf mods and the modders who create them should be respected in the community as the modelers, texturers and programmers are - even if it is mod that can be done within 20 seconds by those who (believe to) have more experience.

All these scripted missions, and maps and game mods are all lipstick, the stock game play isn’t fixed by them.

I assure you that it is the goal of every total conversion development team is to make the game what they consider to be best or at least fixed.