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Re: Make Menu only for Modded items = saving BAC and other large mods I would be satisfied with a hypothetical 'O' *MOD* parent menu. If the maximum limit were 25 submenus multiplied by 25 recipes per submenu, that should be room enough to reserve 625 modded entries.
(And the option of putting additional entries under *MAKE* and *COOKERY* menus will still exist, even if later game updates do deplete available space for custom submenus.)

But I'm wondering whether the existing menudef structure will require a new file prefix to handle items under *MOD*. Seeing that *MAKE* needs diy_, *COOKERY* needs cookery_, and the building skill menu needs biy_, it would be natural for *MOD* to need mod_.

Rather than completely cloning diy_ capabilities, it would be nice if mod_ files could, for example, extend the building entries. Currently, the building menu can only handle one recipe per construction/terrain tile type. BAC offers alternate .Shelter. recipes, but each of these must be enabled/disabled manually by editing/erasing the biy_ file prefix name in order to overwrite the default recipe when the player deems the situation to be appropriate. But this is not the only friction involved with biy mods.
If the player were to leave the modded recipe active, interacting with constructions generated on the zoom-in map would result in unintended consequences - such as failing to return the expected raw materials upon deconstruction when the game's object dictionary doesn't recognize modded item names.
In this case, it would be preferable for modded buildings built by the player to be considered distinct from buildings generated according to the default recipe.

May 03, 2024, 10:41:12 PM
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Re: [3.84] open mire tiles under tree lack mossy groundcover
In these cases the ground has been created in the water for the tree to stand on
Interesting... I suppose that must be the underlying mechanism for the Netherlands-style land reclamation exploit in this old thread! ;D
It's a fun side-effect which several players would sorely mourn the loss of.

If considered necessary this could be tidied up so that the trees would appear straight out from the water, with no ground showing at all.
Now I'm wondering whether a randomly-placed tree may possibly overwrite a spring tile in the current iteration of the terrain generator.
This hypothetical situation could be attributed to bad RNG luck. But I think that accidentally erasing the chance to discover a water source is more saddening than if a player simply failed to notice water tiles which happen to be concealed by the trees or flora growing on top.

May 04, 2024, 08:12:14 PM
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Add springwater to starting scenario maps involving homesteads and camps I think generating guaranteed springs for these start-up scenarios would contribute to immersive design:
  • Lonely settler
  • Not all who wander are lost
  • Runaway slave
  • Abandoned camp

May 04, 2024, 08:37:27 PM
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reflections from a modding enthusiast on external assets vs. core Thanks for providing more insight on what remodeling mod support might look like from a developer's perspective. It really is a beast that requires careful thinking through several possible modes of approach (if it must be approached at all...!)

I currently use Weathereye's Mod Loader for Windows to set the priority of my active mods and perform other simple mod management tasks.
This tool would surely be at risk of breaking if a major rewrite of game versus modding data should be undertaken, but the pain of its loss will be lessened if mod management were to be handled natively.
(The rest of this post is largely a testimonial about how I use the the mod loader.)

Graphic edits make up the bulk of my modlist in determining overwrite priority. Outside of my game directory, I maintain a spreadsheet that keeps track of which mod source should be overwriting what image file.
But once I have the modlist order sorted out, my method veers into micromanagement: whatever images not being used in my load order get moved to the mod's name-root folder to ensure these specific files never interact with truetile + truegfx subfolders. This step may seem redundant since overwrite priority is in place, but at least I can go browsing through fairly tidy subfolders.

One ardent wish I have on the graphics-side of modding is support for additional truetile variant indices. As much as I enjoy seeing the sprite artworks that members of the community were inspired to create for replacer mods, the impossibility of simultaneously using all these files feels unfortunate.
For instance, tree terrain tiles are limited to displaying 2-3 variants at most (including broadleaf trees in winter mode), but I would love to wander through woodlands populated with a mix of Krutzel's Spirited Sprites having both its tall and standard-height trees alongside kullervo's trees.

As for crafting, it's honestly a lot easier for me to dump a distribution of BAC (or other recipe-heavy mods) into a separate folder where it remains inactive but still available as reference material. With my active "BAC lite" folder, I'm at liberty to adapt excerpts from the parent mod and reorganize recipes according to my own idiosyncratic sense of order.
I give a similar treatment to new releases of URW: my Steam installation stays clean, previous versions are backed up in compressed folders, and the copy of my updated directory with the external mod loader will have as many or as few add-ons as I desire depending on which modlist is enabled.

In general, I consider mod-induced compatibility issues to be a natural consequence that players will inevitably struggle with. Building around the existing architecture is the furthest extent of what the majority of us are capable of; both the naive newcomer and the returning veteran will be in for a shock when they realize a particular modded setup happens to clash with the introduction of new standards in the metaphorical 'building regulations'.

I try to keep my own build flexible, but there's no pressure on me because I'm the primary beneficiary whom my modding endeavors are centred around. Brygun's passion for documenting and preserving the self-sufficiency tradition has an unfortunate side-effect of painting a target on his back since it's his username that people mainly associate with the modpack (and thus, there'll be someone available to blame when something goes wrong, however unfair that attitude is.)

Now, it certainly won't be detrimental for a person to learn how to read the modding syntax or do tests to figure out how to troubleshoot, but not everybody is equally motivated to invest in these skills 'just to play a game'. This subsection of players will definitely miss out on a lot of gems that are found in the game's primary source of documentation: news.txt
It surely adds to one's enjoyment to find out how things work under the hood, but even without the external assets URW is super engaging on its own. (I personally spent 3 years completely ignorant of mods because reading forums seemed less interesting at the time...)

Streamlining mod integrations may sound nice in theory, but I'm worried that it will be a rocky road for a while before we reach a smooth grade. Rolling towards the destination might not feel worth the effort if the external tools I'm using now should cease to function before a replacement is ready - but a fear of future discomfort oughtn't impede me from enjoying what already exists in the present (especially since I exercised responsibility for preserving my current 'quality of life' through having a bunch of backups.)

May 05, 2024, 03:05:03 AM
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