Welcome
Ladies and Gents:

These forums are now closed and registration disabled.

Please join us at our new forum on Proboards. Our hope is that these new forums are more stable, provide more and better features, and allow continuation of the project forums in a safer, more secure, long term environment.

me3explorer.proboards.com

--The ME3Explorer Team

[Article] ModMaker

Help build and maintain the new ME3Explorer Wiki on Wikia.

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby KFreon » 23 Feb 2015, 20:08

Ahh fun stuff to read :D Unfortunately, I have work now, but I'll update this post when I get back (saying this so you don't think I've run away. ETA 10 hours)

NOW
Q/A
KFreon wrote:
Pathing is only an issue during installation too.

Oh really? Hm, ok. That makes sense, I guess, b/c if you are making the MOD you're likely in Texplorer or PCCEd2 or something, right?

- Correct, but also a job doesn't contain paths. They're added at installation time.

As for my failing at keeping tutorials up to date, I apologise. Drop and drag should have been working, and if I misled people with the valid flag, I do apologise. I'll try to make things more clear in the next version of modmaker.

These aren't the droids we're looking for. Move along.

If a mod updates, then it is correct, yes :) ASSUMING I remembered to update the templates correctly...


GUI stuff
1. Panels -- I like the fact there aren't borders cluttering up the place but if you think it'll be easier to read/find stuff with them, I'll add them in. I'll definitely be adding more description and direction to everything as well. Problem is it's been years (forever?) since I've thought like a normal person :P


2. Resizing -- The miserable resizing is a large part of the reason for my technology switch. The new stuff won't have that problem, though if you make things too small you won't be able to see anything...nothing anyone or anything can do about that except disallow small sizes.
Now, the text wrapping, content moving, etc -> I can probably make this happen but there are problems.

Text based stuff: Text and textboxes etc can do this for certain, but I'm hesitant to allow it, as if a textbox with a path wraps it can get huge vertically such that it's the only entry in the list that's visible. Now, there is an option to simply wrap the text INSIDE the textbox, so the box itself doesn't change height, but the text inside is on multiple lines. The issue there is that you can miss that operation, as in you might not notice that that's happened and think your pathing is wrong.
The good thing is, it's a simple thing to change, so what I might do is run the whole lot by you to play with once it's done and you can decide which way you think it should be.

Content rearrangement: Sorry, but this just isn't going to happen for a bunch of reasons. Coding this with a complex GUI like I have won't work, but more to the point, the consistency of arrangement is important I think. That, and screen real estate is precious enough as is, let alone having things squishing into other elements when things get small :P


3. Script Slider
I suppose I could, but that could impact the real estate issue above. The other reason I wanted it as part of the panel, was to elucidate it's purpose without further instruction. I mean, if it's part of some other panel, it's going to need indication as to what it does, rather than an implicit understanding. That was the idea anyway, might work better with pane borders?


4. Update Job
This has been redesigned in the new version. Much clearer as to its purpose and when it can be used.


5. Move Up/Down
New version removed these buttons in favour of Page Up/Down keyboard buttons. I'll leave it in there just cos it's already in there. Won't be confusing in the GUI anymore though.


6. Valid?
This will be redesigned in the new version to better explain it's purpose. I'm trying to avoid tooltips as much as possible though.


7. "Details"
Oh that's extra poor design KFreon...That's supposed to be bold and centered as a header for that area. How'd I miss that...


8. "Texname"
I wonder if I can make it the object name. That way, it would give the texture name if it's a texture, and the mesh name if it's a mesh.
Either way, I'll do something with it.


9. TOO OLD TO FIX
It can't be fixed, but it can definitely be greyed out/disabled in some way. I'll make sure anything invalid about jobs is either really obvious but still enabled if not gamebreaking, or disabled completely.


10. "Select All"
I'm uncertain as to what to do with this button at the moment. I kinda don't want there to have to be one, but at the same time, it makes the option really obvious. I'll come up with something.


11. Help Menu
Oh I have big plans for the Help menu, but first the simple stuff.
Yes, I was planning on having the default option go to the new Wiki tutorial for the tool, but I was also going to have a forum entry there. You don't think that should be there?

Now the exciting part :D
My plan is to have a built in Tutorial mode for each of my tools. The user would click "Help -> Begin Tutorial" or something, and the tool would load a tiny sample .mod and take the user through the basic features, pointing out important bits along the way. People thought I was weird at work when I got all excited after I figured out how I might implement this :D


12. Game Found
Fixed in new version :)


Extract data gets whatever the job is supposed to install, so for textures it's always a .dds image, but I didn't know what the format for meshes is, so it doesn't have a default extension. If users wanted to extract meshes, I'd hope they'd know what to do with them.
That function exists to allow stuff to be used from invalid/old jobs. So say the only copy the user could find was the job you showed in the Wiki, where it's too old to fix, the data could still be extracted and rebuilt into a new job if they wanted.

I'll try get some screenshots and stuff of the current version and stick them somewhere. I was hoping I'd be able to put them in that Microsoft code page thing, but I can't find anywhere...

I like these Q/A things :) Makes me think about what I'm doing instead of getting all wrapped up in the coding fun.
User avatar
KFreon
Toolset Developer
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: 16 Apr 2013, 00:57
Has thanked: 83 time
Have thanks: 520 time

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby giftfish » 23 Feb 2015, 20:25

KFreon wrote:Ahh fun stuff to read :D Unfortunately, I have work now, but I'll update this post when I get back (saying this so you don't think I've run away. ETA 10 hours)

Soon...

Lol...np.

FYI, I made all the changes, with the exception of mentioning the drag and drop. This has never worked for me; I remember trying it when you released the new UI last summer and to just tried it again, but it still doesn't work. So, before we pop that detail up on the wiki let's make sure it works, lol. When I try dragging a .mod file into the ModMaker window Windows just makes my mouse point turn into the "not allowed" symbol. Boo.

I'm going to mess with some modding work I have to do over the next couple days, so I'll be getting back to the "Create a mod" section later this week. One major question I have about that is what types of game edits does ModMaker *not* work for? I don't really understand what a binary vs non-binary edit is, so will every edit made with the toolset work with ModMaker or no? Do all edits have to be "recorded" with mod maker "in real time"? Or can ModMaker compare two files and create a "patch"?

I have to be specific on the wiki. And, uh...know what I'm talking about, lol :)
giftfish
 

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby KFreon » 24 Feb 2015, 07:55

@ drag and drop - Orly? I'm certain that worked at some point, though perhaps it was on TPFTools...
Modmaker can only use .mods, so any tool that can create them can have it's edits applied with modmaker.
EXCEPTION Texplorer: Since it doesn't directly create .mods, it just throws them into modmaker for the user to save but ONLY when Modmaker mode is enabled.

WV tells me anything can be put into modmaker technically. Installers, and the lot, but you have to have a script.
So to clarify, Modmaker is just a generic installer. Tools like TPFTools and PCCEd2 grab data of any kind and tell modmaker what to do with the data. Very basic/clever from a programming standpoint.

Also, updating/updated previous post.


EDIT:
Further question: What are you're thoughts on being able to view Texplorer stuff without having gamefiles?
That is, you have a tree, thumbnail cache, and you'd have an info cache of some kind that stored the details of textures, so the game files would only be needed for installing, extracting, and big previewing.
Just a thought I had that might be worth it.
User avatar
KFreon
Toolset Developer
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: 16 Apr 2013, 00:57
Has thanked: 83 time
Have thanks: 520 time

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby giftfish » 24 Feb 2015, 16:59

@Kfreon -- Quick follow ups :)

Yes, yes, yes about the panels, lol. It's just too unformatted for folks who aren't already familiar with the tool (or are making it, lol!). Borders, just a background color if you want to go the Windows 8 look, or something. They need definition. If you want to run a couple screenshots past me of you tying different ideas, I'm happy to take a look. Post them here.

Resizing. Any improvements on resizing will be helpful, and you're right that people can't make windows that are super skinny and expect to see everything; that's not going to happen.


Script Slider. I'm not suggesting you move it anywhere else. It's fine where it is and I like how you've made it maximize/minimize via sliding. What I was trying to explain is that at least on my PC, when you "minimize it" you can actually still *see* it. And that's because (I think) the arrow buttons have to stay on the screen the entire time. So, if those are relocated, then maybe the panel can slide all the way off? Or, is this just a limitation of the slide mechanism? But, yes, borders/colors will help, too :)


Texname. Object Name sounds like a very good idea. I had that thought also...but was then distracted by the "Details" and how that fit into things, lol.


Help Menu. An in-tool tutorial sounds great! Fantastic idea.

When it comes to the wiki/forum situation, what might work best is to create a new thread for the updated tool like you normally do, but then link the tutorial on the wiki in the OP of that thread. That way it's there to streamline questions, but you aren't duplicating the tutorial. We don't want to do that for two reasons.

First, explanations of tool usage are a main reason we wanted to update the wiki, they *must* be placed there, so why make more work for yourself by putting them in two locations? Second, and more importantly, "tool use" tutorials are incredibly important and heavily used. If we have the same tutorial in two locations then the information must be updated and managed in both locations if we are going to point people to both. Otherwise, we'll run into the situation where they say different things and people will be confused. We don't want that to happen. We want the wiki to become the "new authority" on how to use all the tools and we need to get people used to going there first for instructions. Then, if they have questions, they can ask in the corresponding forum thread (or make their own when they fail to search the forum, lol). That make sense?


ModMaker Creation stuff. Yeah, check on the drag and drop and get back to me. Otherwise, you can focus on making sure it works in the next version and then when we update the wiki article, it can be added then. So basically it seems like the "mod building" has to be captured in real time, b/c that's how the script is made. I know there's some old forum posts on creating mod files, so I'll look at those once more before I ask more questions. Right now I still don't understand enough to explain it well.


Texplorer. Hm. So, that means right now Texplorer basically reads the game files whenever it's open? If you changed that would it affect any of the features currently implemented?
giftfish
 

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby KFreon » 24 Feb 2015, 20:23

Script Slider. It's how I designed it, that it stays there, cos otherwise you wouldn't be able to open it again.
Why do you want it to be closed further?


Help
I agree with the forum help stuff completely. It will be done.


Texplorer
It would mean that you could, for example, start vanilla'ing game files while still looking through stuff in Texplorer. I don't know if it's any good, but it could be a side effect if I find that this info cache improves performance. No features should be affected by this. All gamefile related functions would be disabled/error on use.
I'm trying to figure out if there's any benefit to doing this at all.
User avatar
KFreon
Toolset Developer
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: 16 Apr 2013, 00:57
Has thanked: 83 time
Have thanks: 520 time

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby giftfish » 24 Feb 2015, 23:23

KFreon wrote:Script Slider. It's how I designed it, that it stays there, cos otherwise you wouldn't be able to open it again.
Why do you want it to be closed further?
Ah, got it. It's all good then. I wasn't sure it was supposed to be that way or not.

KFreon wrote:Help
I agree with the forum help stuff completely. It will be done.
Wewt!

To recap for other folks reading this thread (and who perhaps skipped over the long posts, lol), K's tool tutorials will no longer be placed on the forums. The "tutorial" will be the wiki article for that tool (just like his current ModMaker 2.0 tutorial I'm in the process of transferring right now). He will still create a new forum thread associated with the new/revised tool when it's released, but the OP will just contain a link to the wiki article to give people a heads up. Then, if folks have questions, they can post in the thread :)


KFreon wrote:Texplorer
It would mean that you could, for example, start vanilla'ing game files while still looking through stuff in Texplorer. I don't know if it's any good, but it could be a side effect if I find that this info cache improves performance. No features should be affected by this. All gamefile related functions would be disabled/error on use.
I'm trying to figure out if there's any benefit to doing this at all.
Hm. While I understand a lot of the mechanics about Texplorer, I actually don't use it very much...since I don't have time to play/mod -_- So, I don't think I'm the best person to answer this specific question, K. You'd be better tossing it out there for some other folks to comment on that use the tool more than I do :)
giftfish
 

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby KFreon » 25 Feb 2015, 08:10

@texplorer: Hopefully this tool doesn't get used again tbh. I don't know why anyone would go in there unless they had problems, and I hope there's no problems :)
User avatar
KFreon
Toolset Developer
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: 16 Apr 2013, 00:57
Has thanked: 83 time
Have thanks: 520 time

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby giftfish » 26 Feb 2015, 16:17

@Kfreon -- I'm researching the creation aspects of ModMaker, and I'm noticing some serious functionality differences between the current SF tool (rev 653) and the current SVN. Namely, the entire "Create Job" menu & submenu has been removed.

Remember when I asked in my previous post about whether ModMaker can create a "patch" of sorts, or whether the file changes always needed to be recorded in "real time"? This is what I was asking about:

making-a-pcc-comparison-mod-t205.html

B/c when it comes to content modding, there's a lot of trial and error involved. "Recording" everything "live" to create the script on the fly doesn't really work. What content modders need is the ability to compare a finished PCC with a vanilla PCC. Then, have a .mod "patch" generated from the difference between the two files.

However, it appears that the PCC comparison tool and all "Create Mod" aspects of ModMaker have been removed from post-653 revs. I don't see any way to use ModMaker to create a .mod -- and very, very few tools actually have ModMaker built into their own menus. Only DLCEd2, Texplorer, and PCCEd2. That means unless I'm missing some phantom menu option (lol) there's no longer a way to start Mod Maker and record changes any other tools make to the files. Tools like Soundplorer, Conditionals editor, Sequence Editor, etc. None of these can be used with ModMaker anymore.

So, uh...am I missing the "Create" option somewhere? If not, why was this functionality removed, and more importantly, can it be returned? These are useful features to have for content modders who's mods don't warrant creation of a full DLC mod. Making a .mod file is best way for these folks to go for compatibility, as it prevents them having to overwrite an entire PCC -- especially if they've made only a few changes to that PCC.
giftfish
 

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby KFreon » 26 Feb 2015, 22:49

The problem I see with this is that it requires a full, 100% vanilla copy of everything.
The other thing I don't like about it is that comparing entire file data for a 26gb game takes forever, so lets say you can specify a set of pccs. That still takes forever.
I don't deny that a global patch system thing sounds kinda cool, but here's the idea with modmaker so far (in my tools at least. I'll talk about other tools later).


My Tools
I am aware there's trial and error, which is why you can delete from Modmaker.
Example:
You go into Texplorer in Modmaker mode and replace a texture. At present (I think), your game isn't modded here. The info is just sent to Modmaker. This allows you to do a bunch of stuff without actually breaking your game and requiring the mod maker to vanilla their files.
Now say you replace the wrong texture or with the wrong texture. You just go to Modmaker and delete the job. No harm done.

Other Tools WV's I guess...
I can see how this would be useful for all unsupported tools, rather than trying to add support in each of those tools.
The other big thing with other tools is the script. For the other tools, the developer has exposed the necessary functions, making the tool accessible from external code (scripting).
If those tools don't have that functionality, modmaker can't be used for them in a modular way (it'd overwrite things).
I can look into this if you want, but it'd be better for the devs of the more useful tools to add this functionality themselves. Otherwise I'll be fiddling in code I have no understanding of :)


Also just fyi. I don't even remember this compare functionality. I hope I didn't remove it :\
User avatar
KFreon
Toolset Developer
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: 16 Apr 2013, 00:57
Has thanked: 83 time
Have thanks: 520 time

Re: [Article] ModMaker

Postby The Fob » 26 Feb 2015, 23:31

Just a side note here: Since we now have the DLC method and hopefully, we'll get it to work well together with texture mods soon, I would not recommend to make any content mods with mod-maker anymore. IMO, there are a lot of pitfalls involved, especially when using multiple mods at the same time and I can't really think of a reason not to use DLCs (unless you really want to mod the main menu or something like that)..

I know, I should be the last one to point this out, given that it took me over a year to convert my own stuff to the DLC method but generally, I think the way to go from here on out is:
- Content mods as DLCs
- Texture mods as tpfs

On a different matter:
KFreon wrote:@texplorer: Hopefully this tool doesn't get used again tbh. I don't know why anyone would go in there unless they had problems, and I hope there's no problems :)

Uh ... Texplorer is still the goto tool for the initial treescan though, right? Or did I miss something?

Sorry if this is a bit off topic, just thought I'd throw it in here.
User avatar
The Fob
Modder
 
Posts: 702
Joined: 08 Oct 2012, 04:37
Has thanked: 242 time
Have thanks: 212 time

PreviousNext

Return to Wiki Development

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

suspicion-preferred