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Moonpod Homepage Starscape Information Mr. Robot Information Free Game Downloads Starscape Highscore Table
Is this game mod-able?
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Lobomoon



Joined: 23 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 1:43 am    Post subject: Is this game mod-able? Reply with quote

Would be cool to mod it closer to Star Control 2. Is it mod friendly? Are there any mod tools?
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Goober
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Joined: 11 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There aren't any mod tools for Starscape, and there probably won't be. The game isn't really written with modding in mind, so there'd be a huge amount of work to make it moddable (which we can't afford, sadly).

One question though, why would you want to make Starscape into Star Control 2? Couldn't you just play SC2? Wink
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Lobomoon



Joined: 23 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 1:01 am    Post subject: Mods Reply with quote

I finished Starcon2 3 times. Embarassed And I did some work on Starcon2 mod for Civ2...

At least explain how to open that big data file of yours... Confused
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Goober
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, you are a SC2 fan! Wink

We deliberately mangle/obfuscate the data in the data file to stop modding. It's hard enough supporting the game as it is (we don't have a dedicated customer support department like the big companies), mixing modding in would be a nightmare.

Sorry, the format of the data file will remain a mystery (even to Poo Bear and Fost Very Happy) for the forseeable future.
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Travis Wells



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 3
Location: Horse Shoe, NC, US.



PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a challenge Smile

EDIT: Zip?
EDIT EDIT: Ahh, funky-zip.
Seems like you messed with the header to make it not readable on standard unzippers.
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Goober
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, some of the data is encrypted using a proprietary encryption scheme, so even if you do pull the files out they'll be useless to you.

We really didn't intend Starscape to be moddable in any way, most of the behaviour of the game is in the exe itself, not in the data, so hacking around with the data file is ultimately useless. You'd be far better off writing your own game than trying hack around with ours Wink
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Travis Wells



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
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Location: Horse Shoe, NC, US.



PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natually, I just wanted to see if I could figure out your archive format. Smile

(Although I'm interested in "Killsource.bat", it's odd that you'd have a batch file saved in an archive)
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Goober
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a really funny story about that actually. It involves a mule with 3 legs, the Moscow State Circus, 3 bottles of vodka and a club called Corporation. But I won't bore you with the details.
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Travis Wells



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Business as usual, eh?
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Lobomoon



Joined: 23 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 2:33 am    Post subject: Formats Reply with quote

Well, if people really wanted - they'd crack your format. After all - they did crack Blizzard's mpq... Cool
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Fost
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: Formats Reply with quote

Lobomoon wrote:
Well, if people really wanted - they'd crack your format. After all - they did crack Blizzard's mpq... Cool


The problem is that the game isn't really built around modding. If you change one sprite (sprites themselves being a proprietary format) and don't get it exactly right and make sure it's setup file matches you will be likely to introduce instability into the game. Also, so much of the game is hard coded that exposing the data file format would only allow you to change the colours of a handful of sprites.

Don't get the impression that we are trying to stop modding, we are really into the concept, it's just that exposing the file format on its own would be pointless. What would really need to happen is for us to release a robust toolset, documentation and spend time giving support to people who are interested. To do that for Starscape would take a minimum of 6 months programmer's time, so it's obviously not something we are in a position to consider.

It's something we will constantly re-evaluate as time goes on. If we get in a position where we have time to do it the way it should be done, then there is a high chance we will do so.
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CidHighwindFF7



Joined: 31 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly, I think there shouldnt be a game that isnt hard-coded.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there are obvious benefits and disadvantages, but I wouldn't want to start a flame war over it Smile

When done right you can get some amazing results i.e. HalfLife and NeverWinterNights. Both of which had an enormous amount of development effort put into supporting modding properly. It's bad when added as an after thought and a lot of people waste their time trying to mod something and just get frustrated by the poor results.

This is why we don't encourage it with Starscape, we didn't intend it and therefore it doesn't have the support or functionality modders deserve.
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omechron



Joined: 04 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldn't it have been a lot easier for you guys to just refuse to provide support for mods than to put 143 different compression and encryption methods in?

If you'll allow me a moment's wild speculation, is it at all possible that the reason your code looks like Goregon's Knot has less to do with modders and more to do with thieves? I mean, if you're code wasn't reorganized with an egg beater, wouldn't it be pretty easy to reverse engineer the registration code and register without paying for it? Or to hack the score board code and submit impossible scores?

Don't get me wrong, I support your decision... but let's call a spade a spade.

And about those robust tools... would anybody else here pay 30 bucks for something like that separately sometime down the road?
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Goober
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you're right. Our code and data are compressed, obfuscated and encrypted to stop piracy, we've never said otherwise. Our lack of mod support is simply because we never intended the game to be modded, so it was never built with that in mind. A mod for Starscape would basically consist of taking the entire source code and hacking around in that (and before anyone asks, no we're not going to release our full source code Wink). See my post earlier in this thread for this immortal quote

Goober wrote:
We really didn't intend Starscape to be moddable in any way


I can categorically say that Starscape is not ever going to support mods. Sorry and all that, but it's just not going to happen. It might happen with future projects, but it's all down to circumstances at the time. With Starscape we couldn't afford the extra time it would have taken to build the game in a fashion that robustly supported modding, we almost didn't have enough time/money to release it as it was.

Building in mod support is a great idea, modders deserve proper support and a game designed around that from day1 with a nice editor, etc. Lack of time and lack of money means Starscape did not fit that bill and we don't want people to get frustrated trying, its nothing to do with piracy prevention.

hopefully this clears things up,

cheers,
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