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Modding
#1
We've all, by now, seen the Kickstarter. Those of us in the mod community have seen the wording on the Kickstarter page on how the game will support modders. My big question is... in detail, how is modding going to work? Can we get some further explanation? Will there be 3D Model exporters and physics tweaking tools?
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#2
(02-16-2016, 07:52 AM)SPONGEZILLA Wrote: We've all, by now, seen the Kickstarter. Those of us in the mod community have seen the wording on the Kickstarter page on how the game will support modders. My big question is... in detail, how is modding going to work? Can we get some further explanation? Will there be 3D Model exporters and physics tweaking tools?

Thanks Marcus. Here is the detailed explanation:

There are two ways to get custom content in the game: In-game tools and modding tools. In-game tools are accessible for anyone who plays the game, it's simply a matter of going into a different menu in the game to create, rate and share custom content. We are set to release some of these tools in a standalone form on Steam as soon as our project has passed it's funding goals (fingers crossed). Some examples of in-game tools:

Driver Academy: Create the likeness of your drivers and team members. This is an extension of the player creators we have included in our previous titles, it's amazing the likenesses fans are able to achieve.

Decal Editor: Build up any piece of customized artwork for use on a car, overall, billboard or wherever. On PC there is mouse and keyboard support for editing and anyone who has done any work with vectors will find it familiar. All controls are built to work with game controllers as well, it's quite comfortable to work this way.

Track Editor: Set the geometry, number of turns, banking, start/finish, clay/dirt content, starting cushion position and size plus barrier and fence types to define the racing surface. A painting tool can also be used to pack or loosen up parts of the track. A simulation can be run to watch in real time how the track will respond to varying field sizes, weights and power.

For experienced modders and painters like yourself, we are offering a tool that allows you to build a DLC pack that can be used with our game. This requires some technical skillset and coordination with BigAnt so we will support these tools on a per-application basis. It works like this:

BigAnt will distribute our modding tools to you with examples of the texture formats, materials, model files, shaders and sounds that we support. It's all industry standard stuff like Collada, DDS, FMod etc.

The modding tool will build a DLC pack with any content that you have created. When the game starts up, it searches for any DLC packs and loads the content into a special area of the game that your DLC pack defines. You could distribute your DLC pack at that point or work further with BigAnt to get it ready to go out officially with a patch, possibly on console.

That way the DLC pack could be detected and loaded as official content. This way we could fund and develop new chassis, divisions and game features after the main release.
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#3
(02-16-2016, 10:59 PM)Charles Wrote:
(02-16-2016, 07:52 AM)SPONGEZILLA Wrote: We've all, by now, seen the Kickstarter. Those of us in the mod community have seen the wording on the Kickstarter page on how the game will support modders. My big question is... in detail, how is modding going to work? Can we get some further explanation? Will there be 3D Model exporters and physics tweaking tools?

Thanks Marcus. Here is the detailed explanation:

There are two ways to get custom content in the game: In-game tools and modding tools. In-game tools are accessible for anyone who plays the game, it's simply a matter of going into a different menu in the game to create, rate and share custom content. We are set to release some of these tools in a standalone form on Steam as soon as our project has passed it's funding goals (fingers crossed). Some examples of in-game tools:

Driver Academy: Create the likeness of your drivers and team members. This is an extension of the player creators we have included in our previous titles, it's amazing the likenesses fans are able to achieve.

Decal Editor: Build up any piece of customized artwork for use on a car, overall, billboard or wherever. On PC there is mouse and keyboard support for editing and anyone who has done any work with vectors will find it familiar. All controls are built to work with game controllers as well, it's quite comfortable to work this way.

Track Editor: Set the geometry, number of turns, banking, start/finish, clay/dirt content, starting cushion position and size plus barrier and fence types to define the racing surface. A painting tool can also be used to pack or loosen up parts of the track. A simulation can be run to watch in real time how the track will respond to varying field sizes, weights and power.

For experienced modders and painters like yourself, we are offering a tool that allows you to build a DLC pack that can be used with our game. This requires some technical skillset and coordination with BigAnt so we will support these tools on a per-application basis. It works like this:

BigAnt will distribute our modding tools to you with examples of the texture formats, materials, model files, shaders and sounds that we support. It's all industry standard stuff like Collada, DDS, FMod etc.

The modding tool will build a DLC pack with any content that you have created. When the game starts up, it searches for any DLC packs and loads the content into a special area of the game that your DLC pack defines. You could distribute your DLC pack at that point or work further with BigAnt to get it ready to go out officially with a patch, possibly on console.

That way the DLC pack could be detected and loaded as official content. This way we could fund and develop new chassis, divisions and game features after the main release.

Appreciate the response, Charles. Smile

The modding tools end sounds quite fascinating. With Collada support I can see a lot of people looking at embracing Blender3D as a dev tool since it's free, modern and has Collada export options built in. Of course have to see what your workflows involve but sounds like a really nice option if feasible. The ability to source Collada Tools for 3D Studio Max (2009-2014) also sounds interesting.

https://www.blender.org/features/

https://github.com/KhronosGroup/OpenCOLL...LADA-Tools

Will have to do more research on FMod. I'm rather unfamiliar with it as it's not a tool we've relied on in previous platforms but it does sound rather interesting.

http://www.fmod.org/

I much like the outlet for externally sourced content. Working on DLC's with you guys is a great potential asset but one of my fears for content that licensure would be cost-prohibitive of certain content, is lifted/eased a bit. This means that any work we put together that we want to release, without fear of it being cost-prohibitive to secure a license, is eased quite a bit.

When relying specifically on a software company as a distributor for content... it puts you guys in a serious state of liability (as a middleman) that could potentially be passed down to the content creator. I think for "unlicensed" content as has been the case in past dirt track modding... having a way for the savvy end-user to create and distribute free content to extend the game can have a significant advantage for the PC side, without much worry of litigation coming down on you or the end-user themselves. Most people that would have content licenses don't pursue people making freeware. The ability to keep freeware going sounds much more appealing than I'd previously seen in past discussions. This makes me a bit more intrigued by the platform going forward.

I would love to see the tools openly available though vs. on a per-application basis. That'd be one of my few caveats to what I'm reading above. I think in the spirit of growing modding, providing the necessary pieces so that anyone can have easy access is highly beneficial to helping improve the content we produce. Smile

All in all, feel like this was a very productive conversation. Would love to see more dialog continue if anyone has any further information or perspectives? Feel free to chime in. I think it can only increase the potential greatness of the platform going forward.
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#4
(02-17-2016, 08:52 AM)SPONGEZILLA Wrote: This means that any work we put together that we want to release, without fear of it being cost-prohibitive to secure a license, is eased quite a bit.
...
When relying specifically on a software company as a distributor for content... it puts you guys in a serious state of liability (as a middleman)
...
I would love to see the tools openly available though vs. on a per-application basis. That'd be one of my few caveats to what I'm reading above.

The short answer here is that if you can get agreements for any branding, sponsorship and IP in your mod then it can be released officially in conjunction with BigAnt. If not, then you can distribute your mod on PC by yourself in the traditional way.

The mod tools would be available for download freely but we would find it hard to support all the questions, comments and technical issues that would come from advertising the mod tools as a "feature" of the game.

We will provide plenty of documentation and help about how the modding works but there is a big difference between using an in-game tool and producing art with all it's technical details like UV maps, normal maps, model export settings, etc.
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#5
(02-17-2016, 09:25 AM)Charles Wrote:
(02-17-2016, 08:52 AM)SPONGEZILLA Wrote: This means that any work we put together that we want to release, without fear of it being cost-prohibitive to secure a license, is eased quite a bit.
...
When relying specifically on a software company as a distributor for content... it puts you guys in a serious state of liability (as a middleman)
...
I would love to see the tools openly available though vs. on a per-application basis. That'd be one of my few caveats to what I'm reading above.

The short answer here is that if you can get agreements for any branding, sponsorship and IP in your mod then it can be released officially in conjunction with BigAnt. If not, then you can distribute your mod on PC by yourself in the traditional way.

The mod tools would be available for download freely but we would find it hard to support all the questions, comments and technical issues that would come from advertising the mod tools as a "feature" of the game.

We will provide plenty of documentation and help about how the modding works but there is a big difference between using an in-game tool and producing art with all it's technical details like UV maps, normal maps, model export settings, etc.

Completely understood. I think as the community goes on the collective can do their part to contribute some of the tips/tricks and user-level experiences. That way we can sort of fill in as part of the support team for modding to ease a lot of the burdens on you guys. We've done our own tutorial work in the past for RFactor and Heat, whether textual or video-based. Maybe setting up some form of Wiki that could have contributions from higher-level modders could be beneficial as well, as well as members of BigAnt with their own knowledge and experience?
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#6
(02-16-2016, 10:59 PM)Charles Wrote: Driver Academy: Create the likeness of your drivers and team members. This is an extension of the player creators we have included in our previous titles, it's amazing the likenesses fans are able to achieve.

Decal Editor: Build up any piece of customized artwork for use on a car, overall, billboard or wherever. On PC there is mouse and keyboard support for editing and anyone who has done any work with vectors will find it familiar. All controls are built to work with game controllers as well, it's quite comfortable to work this way.

Noice... This game MUST happen!!! Smile
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