Modding Discussion Mod Packs: An Open Discussion

Discussion in 'Mods' started by ShneekeyTheLost, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. ShneekeyTheLost

    ShneekeyTheLost Existential Complex

    This is some forward-thinking on my part (albeit not very forward-thinking, all things considered) concerning multiplayer and how mods will work with it. This is also based on my experience with the modded Minecraft community and my participation in maintaining mod packs for Minecraft.

    This is intended as a venue for communication between Mod developers, who deserve credit for their hard work, and mod pack developers, who wish to include those mods in their packs for everyone to use.

    When Multiplayer comes out, there's going to be a significantly increased demand for mod packs that end-users can use to make sure everyone has the same mods so they can play together. The vast majority of all modded minecraft users these days are using mod packs on one of the several popular launchers, and one of the major reasons for this is for multiplayer support.

    I want to make sure that we learn from some of the growing pains that modded minecraft went through so we don't have to make some of those mistakes ourselves. I want to make sure that no one feels left out or taken advantage of, and I want to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

    Most especially is on the topic of redistribution. There were some... unpleasant drama situations that came up around this topic, so I'm wanting to nip it right in the bud. One of the things that has given the Curse Twitch Launcher such power lately is that the mod packs don't actually redistribute curse-based mods, it just finds them from the files on the curse website, and pulls them directly from where the mod author posted them. In SDV terms, it would probably simply pull from either the chucklefish board or from Nexus, since I don't know about the possibility of downloading releases from github automatically.

    I'm assuming that for multiplayer modded to work, all players involved will need to have the same mods, and same versions of all mods, for it to be possible. Which means SMAPI is going to need to do some checking on that front, and I'm sure that @Pathoschild already has that on his mountain of 'holy crap, multiplayer is going to change this' list.

    I worked with @yuukiw a bit on helping her update the SDVMMR (Stardew Valley Mod Manager Reborn) to be more linux-friendly, and really I should work some more on that project to help polish it off before multiplayer comes out, because I think it is really going to help average users get into the modded scene a bit more easily. And if we can get automatic downloading of a pre-determined set of mods set up, this could solve the problem of distribution before it ever starts. Then all we would need is some sort of file that SDVMMR can 'read' that tells it which mods belong in this 'pack'.

    Until that time, however, and even if it ever happens (which it may not, I don't want to put any pressure on yuukiw for this), I'm wanting to formalize a way of doing mod packs that everyone is happy with.

    The safest, but least convenient, is simply make a forum post saying 'this is the suite of mods we use' with links to every individual mod, and let the end user download them themselves. This has the advantage of making sure there's no redistribution without permission, but also involves a lot of clicking for the end-user, and upgrading to newer versions of a pack get complicated because end-users will need to constantly check the forum post.

    The more convenient way for the end-user is to go get permission from every mod author, zip up all the mods after permission is received (keeping copies of said permission on file in case of disputes), and distribute the pack's zip file. Obviously, this involves redistribution, so you need permission from every single mod author you wish to include, which (having done so in the earlier days of modded minecraft pack production) is an enormous amount of work for the pack maintainer. It also doesn't solve the problem for updates to the pack, which may well end up needing a whole new slew of permissions to be had for each update, unless pack authors are willing to state "until I say otherwise, you have permission to redistribute my mod in your pack" when they give permissions. This starts wandering into some risky territory, with the potential for stepped-on toes, but with care and deliberation, should be able to present a more user-friendly approach for the end-user at the cost of an enormous amount of extra effort on the pack maintainer's part and the risk of issues. There would also need to be a formal way of registering complaints about packs who don't follow the rules.

    If anyone has any ideas on this topic, please share them. Multiplayer IS going to create a greater demand for mod packs, so that people can play modded SDV together, and I'm wanting to make sure that demand can be met with full cooperation and involvement from the entire modding community. If anyone is in the least bit uncomfortable with having their mods in a mod pack, please speak up! If anyone doesn't mind their mods being used in packs, I'd like to know that too. Comments, critique, any input is welcome.
     
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    • yuukiw

      yuukiw Scruffy Nerf-Herder

      the implenting of something like modpacks/modProfiles is a idea i already played around with and wouldnt be that hard to actually implement.
       
      • Entoarox

        Entoarox Oxygen Tank

        In the case of a situation where mod authorisation is requested and given, such authorisation should be given to either the -pack- or the -creator- as a whole, that'd solve any update issues.

        Further, as things currently stand there is no way to guarantee that multiplayer modding will ever be properly possible - it will completely depend on how CF implements the multiplayer mechanic, and if mods can make use of it.
        (Although, I do believe if that is not possible, that @Pathoschild will add multiplayer support for mods directly into SMAPI, but there are no real guarantees on that)
         

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