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  #1  
Old December 18th, 2005, 02:45 AM
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Default Bug during modding

First, I love this game. I downloaded the demo, played it for two days straight, then I bought the full version. To the makers : kudos, excellent work, and a job well done.

I've been toying with ship stats, and I came across a very consistent, and annoying bug. I can set a ship's cargo to any number I want, but if I have 20 items in my ship's cargo, and I try to put one more in (increasing the number in cargo above 20), crash goes the game.

Is the cargo space limit hard-coded to 20? Perhaps a literal value snuck in somewhere. Either way, this crash is 100% reproducible.

- Pfhoenix
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  #2  
Old December 19th, 2005, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Bug during modding

Correct. The maximum cargo hold size is 20.
  #3  
Old December 19th, 2005, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Bug during modding

I see that. My next question is "Why?". From a modder's perspective, such an arbitrary line sets inherent limitations on what I can and can't do, for something that doesn't require said limitation in order to work (or does it?).
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Old December 20th, 2005, 12:11 AM

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Default Re: Bug during modding

It forces an upper limit on how much stuff you can bring back, increasing the value of certain allies and peridocially forcing the player to make decisions about taking the time to establish a loot dump or ditch something nice to make room for something nicer.
  #5  
Old December 20th, 2005, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Bug during modding

Of course it does all that. For the original game, that's desired.

However, from a mod perspective, what if my mod balance goes beyond the original game? The question here isn't one of "what's best for the original gameplay experience". I really think Digital Eel folks did a great job with that. The question is of "Why are modders force to the same gameplay limitations, when such limitations don't have to be so?"

Ideally, a game engine wouldn't hard code ANY number in such a case. Especially not one that's intending to be modded by 3rd parties.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Bug during modding

Modding is about working with the engine and its limitations. All games and game engines have them. To avoid such limits you need to program your own game or engine - probably imposing new limitations in the process since we don't live in an ideal world.
  #7  
Old December 20th, 2005, 06:51 AM
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Default Re: Bug during modding

"Modding is about working with the engine and its limitations." - Of course it is. I could never rationally claim otherwise.

"All games and game engines have them." - This is a complete non-sequitor. Only someone emerging from a cave, or having never seen or played a video game before, could possibly think otherwise.

"To avoid such limits you need to program your own game or engine - probably imposing new limitations in the process since we don't live in an ideal world." - And now to the real meat.

If I were to recreate WW, and being a programmer makes this easy to conceptualize programmatically, I would not hardcode something like MAXIMUM_POSSIBLE_CARGO_SPACE_FOR_ALL_SHIPS. Nor would there be other magical numbers, such as the maximum number of ships a race can possibly have. There are two aspects of a game engine - the core engine and the gameplay code. Most often, due to time of development and complexity of desired end-result, gameplay limitations will be implemented as core engine limitations. This is what WW shows : Gameplay limitations built into the Core Engine. Of course there are going to be limitations in any logic system; if there weren't, there wouldn't be a logic system to begin with, as the system is defined by rules, the limits placed upon inputs and operations, in order for an organized set of outputs.

At the core of my actual concern is the use of the word "modding". Defining new ships alone does not constitute modding. Defining a new quest does not constitute modding. Putting them together is changing superficial gameplay, but the basic gameplay mechanics are unchanged entirely. I'm not bashing WW on the grounds of not being moddable; I'm saying that all that WW allows a 3rd party to do simply doesn't constitute modding to begin with. I've done modding for Unreal Engine games. I've done professional contracted game development. I work on my amateur game projects (I call them so because I don't get paid to do them, and do not intend them to reach commercial viability). My point isn't to brag, but to indicate that I possibly know what I'm talking about.

My comments should not be construed to be slanderous to WW or anybody at Digital Eel. As I said before, I have enjoyed WW more than I've spent twice as much on a box from a store shelf. However, I also love to tinker with things, and calling WW moddable simply isn't the case - I can't even define new ship combat behavior. What if I want an alien race to behave differently in combat? What if I want to see a planet move? What about adding a new type of ship destroying object? What about adding a wormhole object? These things indicate a fundamental inability to change actual gameplay, not just the assets presented during gameplay. Why hardcode cargo space? You're defining ship limitations anyways. The player already has to balance the value of what he's carrying with what he wants to find or get. That aspect of the game is great; that I'm prevented by a magical number in the engine from expanding on this, isn't.

One final thing - is there up on any forum a list of the expected changes in the upcoming patch? Perhaps you (Fingers) could centralize a place for qualitative feedback on such a list, and the players can see what to expect at patch time.
  #8  
Old December 20th, 2005, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: Bug during modding

Weird Worlds isn't using the Unreal Engine, and "mod" means nothing more than "modification". Weird Worlds can be modified (and significantly so in many ways), and therefore it is in no way incorrect to label the game as moddable.

Would it have been great if the game logic was implemented and exposed in a fully-featured scripting language? Of course. But just because the system is limited doesn't mean the label is wrong.
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  #9  
Old December 20th, 2005, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Bug during modding

You're free to make your own game just like Weird Worlds if you'd like. Just don't infringe on any of our copyrights and so forth. But it took me a year and a half to program this game, and I know that if I were to program it in a way that avoids any hard-coded numbers it'd take that much longer. It's easy to say "would, should, could" but it's much harder to actually "do". How long can you go on a project that you aren't being paid for?

FYI I've been making mods and games since the 1980's. I know the limitations of FPS engines too, and they're based on the core gameplay of FPS games (it just happens I make FPS games for a living). Player bounding boxes are always oriented a certain way, level sizes are limited to a cubic mile or whatever, there's probably a hard limit of 1024 entities that can exist in the world and so on. That's why mods for FPS games are generally FPS themselves, and don't fundamentally change the gameplay. (I made a vehicle-based mod for Quake and it was a pain in the neck...)
  #10  
Old December 20th, 2005, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Bug during modding

wierd worlds is pretty mod friendly, but it could be more so. but ALL games could be more mod friendly - its a vicious circle.

there has to be some limit, wither its 20 or 256 or INT or signed-long-interger. I imagine that its partly an interface limitation, as well as a gameplay one. when Infinite Space 3 comes out, maybe some of the hard coded limitations that modders bumped into will be adjusted for more flexability. but then people will hit other limits, and request features to be patched in, or adjustments for Infinite Space 4.

Its just the way of things.

But while im on this thread, is that 20 a per-ship limit, or a per-flotillia limit?
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