People doesn’t need to pay subscription they need to pay only once to get tools.
Yes 20$ for tools might not be that cheap for someone who is interested only in modding single game, but on other hand if someone is serious about it, is not that much either. It’s one pizza. Maybe half of it. Depends where you live.
You don’t need to expose entire source code, only the part, that you have created and distribute rest on binary form. What have you created can be distributed publicly as far as I know.
Besides it is bit of moot point. Most games do not allow modding for whatever reason. I estimate that people desperate for modding will be willing to even pay for it.
This approach to engine + tools + complete source via subscription is a completely new world.
Let’s keep an open mind as we go into this. For moddable games, I see great benefits to keeping the overall development community together with a common base of experience, common asset Marketplace, and common GitHub branching structure.
We can’t predict exactly how this will play out, but our experience with triple-A licensees is that everyone benefits by integrating with the mainline code regularly rather than diverging. For games that grow and are extended over time, you’re getting the benefit of 100+ programmers improving the Unreal Engine with each release.
Honestly, most (typical) modders don’t need C++ or know it. Your best bet would be to create a scripting system like V8 or Mono on top of Unreal Engine to give them enough power to do amazing things without them needing to have all the same tools.
At what point are they not creating mods for your game, but really creating a game based on your game?
One should look to Skyrim for example on how a modding community is sustained. It is still one of the most played games on Steam purely due to mods. And the modding tools are completely free. Any price attached to being able to mod is a barrier to entry, basically a paywall. I do not support such ways. There should be a way of giving tools for free without spending a year writing them or making your customers pay. Modders also do not need source, they are modding your game instead of writing a new one on top of yours.
I think Epic needs some time to make something more limited that is free for modding, because currently Unreal Editor is complete sandbox that let you do full game out of other full game.
But Engine it self is not mod friendly, then make your game mod friendly, C++ coding allows you to implement anything including your own scripting language Thru it requires more work. Virtually you could also make editor inside the game
Yeah you can do almost everything since you have access to the c++ code. But for an RTS for exemple what you want is users to be able to make custom maps at the very least. Some games will extend that to custom units/models, weapons and so on. I don’t think the epic way is viable option for this kind of case. Game devs could always do custom tools but one of the greatest thing with UE is the editor so I don’t see the point of doing that and I don’t know how the engine will do with dynamic generated content in a map compared with a map entirely done in the editor.
Things might change in a near futur, with UE4 released with the whole source code for almost free everyone else will have to make a move if they want to keep the indie market and Epic just proved to everyone that they do not only care about big companies. Seriously I don’t think anyone saw that coming and Epic will still adjust things as it’s go like they they did with royalties in UDK.
The first thing is always to prove that you are serious, start doing your game and show it to them and you’ll probably able to speak with them and maybe make a custom deal. Just don’t say I have a crazy idea for a game but I need to ship the game with the editor while showing nothing, no one will ever listen to that.
Hmm, if there is a way to let a modder download the engine with only gameplay C++ source code, I guess that’ll be good enough. At the end of the day, modders want to modify the game not the engine itself.
A modder’s version of the Unreal Editor could for instance only create exportable blueprints, but not actually compile a game.
That blueprint could then be imported by a moddable game. The blueprint could contain just a model, just some code, or any combination.
This wouldn’t be very different from KSP modding in Unity. To create a model you fire up Unity to import an fbx/blend file, place it in a hierarchy, and export it to a custom file format through tools provided by the KSP devs.
You never actually run the game in Unity yourself, just use some of the tools in that editor.
At least one reasonable sugestion in this thread. Modders don`t need C++ source code, they need simple tools to add/modify content. That means a relatively simple scripting language and 3D model import. Blueprint for that seems very appropriate. Add some kind of simplified level editor on top of that and you have the right recipe for a great modding community.
Yeah, we have no intention of distributing the C++ side to our game, as the vast majority of gameplay implementation would be handled using Blueprintable entities - our level generators and game objects are blueprints. The trouble is, that this means that the most effective way to allow 3rd party extension is to allow people access to create new blueprints, which would require a part of the editor to be included with the game. Implementing a scripting language on top of an existing scripting language (Blueprint) seems quite silly, and largely a waste of time when we just want to build a game.
I can easily other game wanting people to be able to map for them, so they would want to include a fairly complete working editor.
Sadly this isn’t realistic. I don’t know any AAA game that would continue to integrate changes post release (except perhaps taking specific changelists to fix important engine issues). Most developers will keep taking changes during early development, but then stick to a particular build as they get closer to shipping the title and only take critical changes. At Microsoft, we made significant changes to the engine, particularly the renderer and when a new build came around it would take a dedicated engineer about a week to integrate the changes in the new build into our own project. Each new build we took would introduce new issues and instabilities that needed dedicated fixing time, as you would expect.
In our case, we have neither the means nor the willingness to continually integrate changes post-release. I want to release a stable product mid-2015 and I expect the last build we’ll take and migrate to would be late this year. We cannot keep integrating new changes after that date - what if you change the a core system such as the lighting in 2018? Are we expected to go back and make significant changes to our three year old product just to keep our game accessible to modders?
The reality is that Epic’s engine version and our own will increasingly diverge and become increasingly incompatible over time. Epic’s tools, and content on the marketplace will become incompatible with our own game, so there is no benefit to us, or people wanting to mod our game for us to have access to things like the marketplace.
D@mn… No offense Tim Sweeny, but I think this idea may actually chase away modders than help them (unless they make their own game instead).
I promised my fanbase I would provide them user mod content support (obviously free of charge), but seeing they too have to pay the monthly subscription just to mod my game? Hell, they might as well just go ahead and make their own game entirely, since it kind of defeats the purpose of modding existing games if they are going to have the full access to making a full-fledged game at their disposal.
No way in hell will my fans want to do this just for modding, especially for a game such as this one:
When it’s all said and done, at the end of the day I guess it’s really up to the provider of the software. That being said, yes it does suck that there is no clear, EASY way to provide a mod friendly experience for the users of the product, without having to pay money, or sweat blood trying to compile a second language, on top of the blueprint language.
I agree that this is not ideal for a majority of us who would wish to allow our users to make mods with ease, however I suppose we’ll have to respect the decision of those @ Epic. If they find a way to integrate a non-subscription, mod friendly environment, (perhaps a ‘lite’ version of the engine, that doesn’t have access to the marketplace, and can only be used when opening it with a project that communicates with project [kind of like an ID card] that’s being modded). If that doesn’t make sense, I’ll try to explain myself again - I’m kind of bad at explanations.
I know this is an old thread, but very interesting one. I think that the engine has evolved so much in the last 3 months (wow 3 months only…) we can now have better answers, this is why I am resuscitating it …
I am trying to figure out moddability for my project but would like to have some guidelines from Unreal or more expert community members.
I see modding at 4 levels:
modding text / ini files per actor or component to change game behaviour (think about a vehicle game where parameters are adjusted by users)
creating meshes for a game (static/skeletal) to be loaded by an actor at runtime
creating new levels (I believe you will need the editor for that anyway)
I think that a common method/set of guidelines for modding UE4 bases games could have a huge benefit for anyone following the forementioned guidelines as we could use a common set of tutorials to mod several games, as long as they are UE4 based.
It would also make a very interesting Twitch topic…
Would allowing end users the ability to edit textures/add new meshes via some for of config that doesn’t allow them access to the source code or EU4 tool violate the EULA? I’m thinking of minecraft as an example - it’s easy for end users to create a texture pack simply by placing the right resources in the correct folder.
The problem with restricting modding to textures and data only pretty much guarantees a short lifespan for the game being modded, at least in terms of player community. The more moddable a game is, the longer people will play it. I think in most cases, if we want to support modding in our games, we’re going to have to come up with our own ways of enabling it, such as providing custom, external level editors.
If what i’ve seen in another thread is any indication, we’ll be getting .Lua scripting eventually, so that should make it easier, though i prefer to work with .xmls, though i’m not really sure how to use them in the engine,