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Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Basic questions on how to achieve certain modding goals with the toolset. Texture and mesh-related questions have their own subforum. Answers not guaranteed.

Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby ElysiumFic » 31 Mar 2016, 03:42

I'm making a series of mods to make popular clothing and armor mods into DLCs and group them together. Part of it is a community service thing, just to make modding easier on the users and thus reducing the number of support-type questions modders get. Part of it is the fact that I just don't like that the only option for modding gear is to replace something that's already there. Sure, there are certain outfits and armors no one would ever miss, but modding many of them means affecting NPCs, which limits our options as to what we can mod. Sure, we can change the intro outfit and the sweatshirt, but come on, that freaking worker's outfit that's the female equivalent of BroShep's puffy leather vest thing? We can't touch it without affecting half the background characters in the game.

Anyway, I've got cloning clothing and armor down pat, which means I can add an endless number of possibilities without replacing anything. Probably more possibilities than any one person really wants (esp. if they're ODC like me and hate having their closet cluttered with stuff they don't want.)

I figured it would be inefficient to release Every. Single. Outfit/Armor as its' own DLC, so at first I thought I would group them together in small bundles, of, say, 3-4 outfits. We could have a dress pack or a fatigues pack or a sweatshirt pack, etc. But that means you get 3-4 outfits when maybe you only want one specific one from that pack. And if you want one from each of two separate packs, you're getting 6-8 outfits and and and... meh. Also, it means lots of mods with the slightly modified versions of the same file in them, which doesn't seem like a great idea either. It works, but it's clumsy and I'm not happy with it.

I could tell people to edit the DLC's coalesced but again, that's really not ideal.

So my thought was to make ONE mod, with ALL the items in it, with something else that makes it customizable--like the settings text file that goes in the binaries folder when you install EGM that lets you determine when you want certain plot events to launch. Or the MOAM keybind manager, that sort of thing.

Basically, I'd have a text file listing all the different outfits and a way for people to turn them "on" or "off" with regard to whether or not they show up in the closet.

Problem is, I don't know how to do it, and if there's a tutorial on it, I haven't found it yet (and I've looked several times.) I probably don't need anyone to hold my hand and walk me through the whole thing, but maybe set me on the right path so I can figure it out? Or make a suggestion that might work better, something I haven't thought of yet?
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Re: Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby Kinkojiro » 31 Mar 2016, 14:13

By far the best and most immersive way would be to put them in a Citadel store and people would be able to be peruse and unlock as they choose.

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Re: Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby ElysiumFic » 31 Mar 2016, 15:08

Ooh, there's an interesting idea. I'll look for tutorials on that, too.
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Re: Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby The Fob » 31 Mar 2016, 17:43

That sounds like a very cool mod!

Are you mainly concentrating on casual outfits or are you also planning on including armors, like Getorex's ME1 armors, retextures of new ones like the Ajax or Inferno and mesh replacements like the Cat6 armor, Zaeed's armor and, etc.

If so, it would be great to add them as chest pieces for the modulatory armor like it's done in MOAM, so that we can combine them with all sorts of headgear.

In any case, looking forward to the result.
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Re: Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby ElysiumFic » 31 Mar 2016, 17:48

I have already released an armor version of the mod (FemShep's Closet and FemShep's Armory, respectively--*sigh* BroShep is gonna be a lot harder.) And I am planning to include as many of the popular mods as I can get permission to use.

Early versions of both mods are already available. They work, but they're crude. I took a brute force approach because I was learning how to do things as I went. Now I'm working on refining it.

And yes, the armors will all be able to be mixed and matched with the helmet of your choice. Of course, a lot of them don't HAVE matching helmets (like the Ashley armor or the Customizable Asari Adept armor) so part of the armory is a DLC that has the breather masks set to be the default piece of headgear.

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Re: Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby The Fob » 31 Mar 2016, 18:42

Ok, that sounds awesome!
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Re: Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby giftfish » 31 Mar 2016, 19:04

Now, if we could only get Otte or someone to make retextures for the godawful dresses. They are some of the most horrid textures in the series.

Considering how popular it is to mod these into Femshep's closet, I honestly can't believe there's no decent retextures of these out there. I'd do them myself, but I have enough projects right now, lol >.<
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Re: Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby ElysiumFic » 31 Mar 2016, 20:10

There are a few dress retextures out there, available on Nexus now. My favorite is Ele and Otte's version of the Kasumi dress, which is part of the FemShep's Closet series of mods. I've gotten permission from a couple other modders to use their dresses also and so if I don't completely restructure the Closet, I'm going to release a dresses-only module.

(If I had the ability I'd do them myself, too, but me and anything artistic are not things that will work together.)
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Re: Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby ElysiumFic » 31 Mar 2016, 20:33

Kinkojiro wrote:By far the best and most immersive way would be to put them in a Citadel store and people would be able to be peruse and unlock as they choose.


The more I think about this the more I like it. Now I have this idea of putting it all in the kiosk of the guy who sells the blackmarket weapons in the Blue Suns quest, because of course designer human clothing is going to become a scarce commodity with Earth occupied (my day job is as an author, so of course there has to be a story behind it all.)

Now I just have to find a damn tutorial. I'm sure one exists somewhere, I'm just not searching in the right places or with the right queries I guess.
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Re: Best way to enable a user to customize the mod content

Postby giftfish » 31 Mar 2016, 20:43

@EF -- I'm talking about all the NPC dresses modded in via the coalesced (which I'm guessing you're also talking about, but maybe not). The pixelation on them is truly awful -- especially the ones with belly cut outs, and there are no re-textures I know of for these :(
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