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Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
11-03-2011, 05:13 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-03-2011, 05:28 PM by Crossroads.)
#1
zicon 2  Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
Decided to separate my little soap box from the Engineers thread as this has to do about modding in general, not adding units as such.

Please do have a look at the links I provided to have a peek to an alternative universe of modding an engine to a max.

(11-02-2011, 06:11 PM)Battle Kat Wrote: :soap:

There are very good points raised by all parties and this sort of brings me back to my original point, a game engine being mod friendly.

On one hand, JTCS is mod friendly to an extent as it has handy tools for almost any gamer to create his or her scenarios, with many cases imagination only being the limitation.

On other hand, to be truly mod friendly, this is unfortunately not enough. We would need more freedom for modders, and the capability to run parallel JTCS installations.

How far are we? It is my recollection Jason has put instructions somewhere as how to run parallel JTCS instances within the same computer. This is propably doable, then.

The next step would be the ability to bee free to mod all aspects of the game, and the one thing we are missing is the ability to mod unit specs.

With these aspects met, we would not run into these arguments as how to experience the game engine within the one instance we are playing, the JTCS basic installation.

There is of course plethora of mods available to mod JTCS, graphics, sounds, you name it. It is a good thing, but not perfect.

Example: the Total War series I've been lately spending quite a lot of time with.

Have a look at the Medieval:Total War (M:TW) http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=556

All those mods are independent exes, that run parallel to vanilla M:TW. Amazing, truly amazing.

And my current favourite Rome: Total War (R:TW): http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=214. If you don't find a Rome simulation to meet with your needs well I'll be damned! And the point is: you could create your own.

If we could achieve something similar with JTCS that would be truly awesome.

Here's my first candidates, just out of top of my heads:

JTCS Vanilla. Enough said.

JTCS Strictly come dancing A mod for those who want to stick to very essence of 6 minutes / 250 meters. Units would be modded to perfection, including the movement ranges Jason mentions, those would be put right. Scenarios would be tuned similarly. EA and VV would be disabled. (I am making this up as I go and I mean absolutely no dig at anyone!) An active community be sure.

JTCS Corps to rescue A community for those large scale scenario fans who would like to have more freedom as how they would like to have their large scenarios play out. For the Bulge scenario the Bullzozer engineers would be added, and similarly various other new types of bridge building, road building, what have you capabilities would be added.

KKR's Early war at Pacific series (just making this up again hope you don't mind). Units added and tweaked as how KKR sees best to fit. Enough said, surely. No more pesky truck problems!

JTCS WW I edition Enough said?

JTCS WW II meets Modern times for those who would like to pitch their Panthers agains Bradleys.

Patton vs Aliens :smoke:

You get my picture. I could have all the instances on my computer, and play one of HSL's excellent there-and-back scenarios on my Strictly dancing edition, perhaps run one of heavily modded VE Kursk or Bulge scenarios on another, and participate in Ladder with Vanilla.

More there is, more there are people buying the JTCS to have access to engine. I first bought Empire! Total War, got into mods, and now stock Empire, Napoleon, Rome, Barbaric Invasions, Mediaval, Medieaval Kingdoms CDs in my stock.

This would be a good business proposal to Matrix as well? :chin:

What I missed above was a mod often specifies not only the engine version but a patch level as well. Therefore it would be for an example possible to create JTCS MaxPain version based on 1.03 for you fans of hardcore Whip out there...

So, three questions:

- Is it possible to run parallel JTCS instances within a computer?
- Would it be possible to "open source" the unit encryption system?
- What do you think of the idea in general?

As for the unit encryption, I believe the original purpose was to prevent cheating, but without opening that can of worms at the end of the day there is nothing that can be done to prevent that.

Interestingly, related to Total War series, CA made a conscious decision to actually open up everything and to support the modding as well as they can.

Your thoughts? cheers
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11-03-2011, 07:32 PM,
#2
RE: Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?

I really like some of the mods out there and wish there was more available.The recent sound mods were great but I really missed the original sound of the German 88 when you walked into its LOS so I un installed the mod.Wonder if there is a way to use the sound mods but keep some of the original weapon sounds?The small arms sound effects I liked the best.One of the ones in the game that has the guy death moaning at the end tends to annoy me.I would like to see more terrain mods as well.

Cheers

Dragoon
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11-03-2011, 09:01 PM,
#3
RE: Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
With mod utilities it is of course easier to intall and roll back individual files. It is not a technical problem as much as a problem of identifying the correct one from the plethora of files.

I replaced most of the back ground music with old war movie classics, it was quite a pain to figure out how it works but at the end it was well worth the trouble.

I am not that much of a modder myself, rather someone who likes to use them. Therefore it would be interesting to have several JTCS installations in parallel. I could then try different things under different version.
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11-03-2011, 11:19 PM,
#4
RE: Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
(11-03-2011, 05:13 PM)Battle Kat Wrote: - Is it possible to run parallel JTCS instances within a computer?

Yes, you can run as many instances as you wish. Copying and Pasting the folder will provide you a duplicate game to mod with.


(11-03-2011, 05:13 PM)Battle Kat Wrote: - Would it be possible to "open source" the unit encryption system?

Feel free to send any modded OOB platoon files to me and I am happy to convert them for you.

(11-03-2011, 05:13 PM)Battle Kat Wrote: - What do you think of the idea in general?

With the exception of the platoon, weapon and movement files, everything else is completely moddable.

I have even been writing up documentation of a series of "How To Mod" that I will include with the Modern Wars: Volume I manual.

Jason Petho
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11-03-2011, 11:47 PM,
#5
RE: Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
(11-03-2011, 11:19 PM)Jason Petho Wrote:
(11-03-2011, 05:13 PM)Battle Kat Wrote: - Is it possible to run parallel JTCS instances within a computer?

Yes, you can run as many instances as you wish. Copying and Pasting the folder will provide you a duplicate game to mod with.


(11-03-2011, 05:13 PM)Battle Kat Wrote: - Would it be possible to "open source" the unit encryption system?

Feel free to send any modded OOB platoon files to me and I am happy to convert them for you.

(11-03-2011, 05:13 PM)Battle Kat Wrote: - What do you think of the idea in general?

With the exception of the platoon, weapon and movement files, everything else is completely moddable.

I have even been writing up documentation of a series of "How To Mod" that I will include with the Modern Wars: Volume I manual.

Jason Petho

Hi Jason,

What is the expected date of release for Modern Wars: Volume I?

Regards,
Ashley (Ashcloud)
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11-04-2011, 12:03 AM,
#6
RE: Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
(11-03-2011, 11:47 PM)Ashcloud Wrote: What is the expected date of release for Modern Wars: Volume I?

No firm date, but I am hoping early next year.

Middle East is nearly complete. Scenario testing is ongoing (going rather well!) and graphics are being updated. I need to complete a couple scenarios dealing with the fighting in Jerusalem and create another Linked Campaign Game.

Vietnam is in the middle of a complete rebuild. While the OOB's have been completely rebuilt, some tweaks are still required. Some scenarios have been built, but there are many more to come.

Jason Petho

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11-04-2011, 12:47 AM,
#7
RE: Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
Thanks Jason! Excellent news, I didn't realize running a parallel copy was that easy. :thumbs_up:

Would you be willing to hazard a guess whether you would consider opening the platoon movement and weapon files in some distant or not-so-distant future as well?

While I appreciate your continuous support and availability in this forum, opening them completely would enable a richer modding community?

In that world, my 13 year old could e.g. create a JTCS Transformers edition, leaving only trucks and halftracks (!) with awesome graphics sounds and fighting capabilities? After that, all kids in the world would queue up to buy the JTCS engine? :smoke:
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11-04-2011, 12:51 AM,
#8
RE: Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
(11-04-2011, 12:47 AM)Battle Kat Wrote: Would you be willing to hazard a guess whether you would consider opening the platoon movement and weapon files in some distant or not-so-distant future as well?

When the game is no longer supported, the encrytion files will be released.

The game will continue to be supported as long as I'm breathing.

Jason Petho
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11-04-2011, 01:07 AM,
#9
RE: Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
So until then, I would need your assistance (with encryption) in creating a version where men in cool suits drive around in white Saabs, killing everything in their way.

Regards Petri, a proud owner of a white Saab 9-5 Wagon.

Had the car modded to support flexifuel, by the way. All needed was a software upload + a different set of spark plugs! Any alcohol I leave over can be now used for driving around :)
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11-04-2011, 01:14 AM,
#10
RE: Modding JTCS - What is possible now, and how far can we go?
(11-04-2011, 12:51 AM)Jason Petho Wrote:
(11-04-2011, 12:47 AM)Battle Kat Wrote: Would you be willing to hazard a guess whether you would consider opening the platoon movement and weapon files in some distant or not-so-distant future as well?

When the game is no longer supported, the encrytion files will be released.

The game will continue to be supported as long as I'm breathing.

Jason Petho

May you keep breathing for a very long time...

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