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[WIP] Mod Picker


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#16 TechAngel85

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 02:49 PM

I recall the Nexus not liking the idea of automated downloads. Have you discussed with them at all Mator?

Correct. DarkOne was strictly against it which is why that automatic STEP project never took off.



#17 Octopuss

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 03:19 PM

@mator You're right, I don't get it at all (and I did read the description on your site) :D It's apparently even more complicated than I originally thought.


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#18 Van555

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 03:35 PM

I sometimes worry you'll burn out mator! If you to leave us it would be disastorous. Merge Plugins has only existed for 4months and I can't imagine modding without it now.

Hell I probably would have given up.

On the whole I welcome more options.
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#19 Mator

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 05:59 PM

I recall the Nexus not liking the idea of automated downloads. Have you discussed with them at all Mator?

I have talked with Dark0ne about Mod Picker a few times, but not specifically about the download part of the equation.  I'm not sure why the wouldn't like it, as both MO and NMM have a cap of downloading 5 mods at a time.  Also, with the fact that our setup utility will detect already downloaded mods and not download them a second time I don't think it really matters...

 

I suppose I simply need to see it in action. :^_^: From what you just said, it sounds very similar to the automated STEP project that was being developed a while ago.

Huh, never heard of that.  The key different between it and that is it will be generic, so it can apply to any mod list constructed by anyone.  MSGO does something similar too, but it also applies to a fixed subset of mods.  We're trying to apply generic automation to the process of downloading and installing mods, which is far more useful.

 

@mator You're right, I don't get it at all (and I did read the description on your site) :D It's apparently even more complicated than I originally thought.

Yeah, this is a big project and fairly complex.  We do plan on having a large number of showcase/tutorial videos on YouTube when we launch, and on having thorough help pages as well.

 

I sometimes worry you'll burn out mator! If you to leave us it would be disastorous. Merge Plugins has only existed for 4months and I can't imagine modding without it now.

Hell I probably would have given up.

On the whole I welcome more options.

Yeah, I'm constantly being careful to not burn out.  I wish I could clone myself, there are just so many things to do!

 

 

-Mator


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#20 Kelmych

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 06:18 PM

 

 

 

The discussion about LOOT is a long one.  I can assure you I have talked with WrinklyNinja about it and he acknowledges my perspective.  It's not that LOOT is wrong so much as the user experience is inefficient.  My philosophy is:

Instead of having users tune a complex automatic sorting process to get the load order they desire, have the users create the load order they desire and then advise them about mods they sorted incorrectly.

 

Here's a quote from my conversation with WrinklyNinja:

 

What I want to offer on Mod Picker is a tool that can aid users in sorting a load order with crowd sourced data (similar to LOOT metadata), but that also enables users to make a clean intuitive load order with mods organized into logical groups.  LOOT can't do that - it mixes everything up.  I could go on about this at length, but I might just quote my whole message to WrinklyNinja if you still take issue with my stance on LOOT.

 

 

 

This seems a bit like an automated version of BOSS (which grouped mods) but required a great deal of maintenance. The automation part, if I understand the FAQ, uses crowdsourcing to automate the building of the lists (unlike the manual approach used in BOSS). It also provides some automated recommendations based on analyses of the plugins (as LOOT does now).



#21 darkside

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 06:19 PM

Mod sites may not like automatic mod download due to lose ads revenue.
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#22 Neovalen

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 06:22 PM

Mod sites may not like automatic mod download due to lose ads revenue.

This. MO and NMM both require the user to visit and actively click. Nexus is an Ad revenue site. I could see possibly them allowing it for supporter/premium members though (since they don't see ads).
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#23 GrantSP

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 06:54 PM

 

 

  • You can download any public mod list in an installable format which can be run by a script/application to download and install all tools, configuration files, and mods associated with the mod list.  Mods will not be downloaded from the Mod Picker site - download will only be possible for mods which can be downloaded via NXM links.

This description needs to be examined more closely. Taken as it is, this will go against the Nexus stance on mod downloading as it infers the mod is provided in another format and downloaded outside of the Nexus framework. I'm sure it's just a case of wording as I am of the belief ALL downloads are still actively initiated from whichever site they are hosted. This is in fact the exact same method as the PcPartPicker analogy.

 

Since this tool is about providing lists of installed mods that "just work together", a situation we often see is, new MO users often are confused by the split nature of installed mods, ie. plugins and assets. LOOT only cares for the plugins and is said to be replaced by this tool.

What about the ordering of the installed mods' assets? How are these to be handled by this tool?

 

It is quite possible to have a correctly ordered plugin list but if, for example, the scripts supplied in a mod (either via a BSA or loose) are not the correct versions, or completely removed due to incorrect mod order (ie. MO's left-hand pane), the end result is a broken game.



#24 Mator

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 08:14 PM

Mod sites may not like automatic mod download due to lose ads revenue.

I didn't consider that. If absolutely necessary we can only allow this for premium Nexus members, and for other members we point them to the Nexus Mods page directly.
 

This description needs to be examined more closely. Taken as it is, this will go against the Nexus stance on mod downloading as it infers the mod is provided in another format and downloaded outside of the Nexus framework.

No, you misunderstand. An NXM link is essentially just a hyperlink, or a url, using a protocol which can be handled by Nexus Mod Manager or Mod Organizer. The file which would be downloaded from Mod Picker would essentially have a list of mod metadata, and in that metadata would be (for mods for which it is available) NXM links. These NXM links get executed and then NMM or MO queues and then downloads the mods from the Nexus Servers.
 

I'm sure it's just a case of wording as I am of the belief ALL downloads are still actively initiated from whichever site they are hosted. This is in fact the exact same method as the PcPartPicker analogy.

It is slightly different than PCPartPicker because with mods there is a lot more "bulk". To be specific, a computer build has between 6 and 24 parts. A mod list has between 1 and 1024 mods (with merging). Our goal is to reduce the cost (in time and effort) to build a mod list, and part of that is reducing setup time.  If the Nexus is concerned about this biting into their ad revenue we can talk about ways to encourage users to use their site, or restrict this feature to users with premium Nexus accounts.  This is a large discussion that needs to be happen between me and Dark0ne/Nexus Staff. I'm in the process of reaching out to them right now.

I think there is a way we could devise this feature to not bite into the Nexus's advertising revenue. We'll see.
 

Since this tool is about providing lists of installed mods that "just work together", a situation we often see is, new MO users often are confused by the split nature of installed mods, ie. plugins and assets. LOOT only cares for the plugins and is said to be replaced by this tool.
What about the ordering of the installed mods' assets? How are these to be handled by this tool?

Mod Picker will also crowd source Install Order notes - which are notes about the order in which mods are installed. It will also be able to advise on install order based on the assets in each mod, as we will have complete asset file trees for each mod submitted to the site (including the files inside BSA archives).
 

It is quite possible to have a correctly ordered plugin list but if, for example, the scripts supplied in a mod (either via a BSA or loose) are not the correct versions, or completely removed due to incorrect mod order (ie. MO's left-hand pane), the end result is a broken game.

Absolutely. We understand how important install order can be. :)


-Mator


Edited by Mator, 22 March 2016 - 08:17 PM.

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#25 GrantSP

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 09:03 PM

...

No, you misunderstand. An NXM link is essentially just a hyperlink, or a url, using a protocol which can be handled by Nexus Mod Manager or Mod Organizer. The file which would be downloaded from Mod Picker would essentially have a list of mod metadata, and in that metadata would be (for mods for which it is available) NXM links. These NXM links get executed and then NMM or MO queues and then downloads the mods from the Nexus Servers...

-Mator

No, I'm not misunderstanding what you're intending to do, what I'm saying is the way it is currently worded, some people may infer the downloads are being handled by Mod Picker outside of the NXM protocol.

This first sentence:

 

 

You can download any public mod list in an installable format which can be run by a script/application to download and install all tools, configuration files, and mods associated with the mod list.

might be misunderstood to mean actually visiting the site is no longer required.

However as you are in active discussions with @DarkOne about not restricting their revenue stream, I'll let you handle that aspect. The concept is sound, I'm just concerned about not getting anyone 'offside'.



#26 Terrorfox1234

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:53 PM

This is all outlined pretty clearly in the OP and progress reports that have been linked. 


Edited by Terrorfox1234, 23 March 2016 - 06:55 PM.

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#27 Mator

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 12:44 PM

Just wanted to let you guys know we updated the OP yesterday with some more in-depth FAQ responses and some elaboration about how the automated download/install feature will only happen with the blessing of the Nexus and Mod Authors.


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#28 Breems

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 12:45 PM

This is an excellent idea! I dreamed up a similar project a while back but it hit my backlog quickly. I'd love to join in on the project. Do you have room for one more on your staff? I have a lot of back-end experience with C#/.NET and some basic knowledge of HTML/CSS. Sounds like .NET isn't part of your stack, but I could assist where possible and perhaps learn some other languages.

 

Also, I'm curious where Delphi fits in. I haven't used it since Delphi 6 and thought it was pretty much on life support. Are you using it for web development?


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#29 Mator

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 02:37 PM

This is an excellent idea! I dreamed up a similar project a while back but it hit my backlog quickly. I'd love to join in on the project. Do you have room for one more on your staff? I have a lot of back-end experience with C#/.NET and some basic knowledge of HTML/CSS. Sounds like .NET isn't part of your stack, but I could assist where possible and perhaps learn some other languages.

 

Also, I'm curious where Delphi fits in. I haven't used it since Delphi 6 and thought it was pretty much on life support. Are you using it for web development?

Hi Breems,

We might be able to fit you in.  I can interview you on Skype, Steam, or Discord to see what you could offer the project.

 

Delphi was used to build an independent module - a command line application - to analyze and produce compatibility dumps on Bethesda Plugin Files.  Delphi was used because the xEdit framework is written in Delphi and was easy to tap into to produce this application.  You can see the module (called mod-dump) here: https://github.com/m...ternal/mod-dump

 

 

Regards,

-Mator


Edited by Mator, 30 March 2016 - 02:44 PM.

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#30 Mator

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 08:24 PM

Thread updated. Check out the r/skyrimmods Progress Report 4 for more information on our recent progress.


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