Xelerus mod standards and some rules

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digdug
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Sun May 31, 2009 7:00 pm

Hi modders,
I have a request to you all about Xelerus and additionally this is my little "rant".
Recently a number of mods with errors have been uploaded to Xelerus.
These mods received a somewhat large approval by the community, so they have been downloaded, modified and reuploaded with the same errors by multiple modders.

In particular I'm talking about:
---Overflows
mining9999; momentum999999;disintegration99999999;
hitPoints="99999989790850670658"
cargoSpace=" 900000000"

To the best of my knowledge, the maximum value of variables inside the damage attribute is 7 (seven). So WMD7, mining7 and so on.

---UNID errors and duplicate UNIDs
It's true that the UNID of a playership can be the same of the resource graphics used or the same as the UNID of the extension itself without causing a crash. However this is not good. ENTITIES must be unique. Tomorrow (Transcendence 1.0+) could be more strict with UNID errors and the mods could stop working.

---Poor knowledge of hexadecimal numbers.
primaryColor= "0xgg, 0xgg, 0xf1"
Nothing much to say here, learn proper hex and don't upload mods with such errors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexadecimal

---People uploading broken mods and requesting help.
Uploading a broken mod is not good. Please ask for help here on the Forums and/or on IRC. We are all here to help you guys to create beautiful mods.


---Fire arcs as entities
<!ENTITY hvyfirearc_min "356">
minFireArc= "&hvyfirearc_min;"
They are not working, and they are present in so many weapons on Xelerus! Please stop that. :(
-------------------------------

Xelerus is a mod repository.
To explain myself I will make an example: the playership mod (the simplest mod ever)
At the beginning of Xelerus, if a playership was there, it had animated graphics or special properties.
A playership containing a single dvlenk6's ship (thank you dvlenk6, your models are beautiful, btw) is not contributing to increase the value of the game or the knowledge of modding. I've personally seen in the last 4 years multiple version of all the dvlenk6's ships.
I don't want to say that uploading such a playership is wrong, I'm just saying that is not useful to the community due to the extreme easiness of creating such a mod.
On the contrary, for example, a full package of dvlenk6's ships is welcomed, it's new, and could be an interesting mod.

The first ship I did was this:
http://img269.imageshack.us/my.php?image=image2enl.jpg
I couldn't upload it because it's taken from original graphics of space empires 5, but the rotations were horribly wobbling and the ship had no shadows (just the flat image) :lol:
Recently there are ships on Xelerus that are worse, unfortunately.

Moreover what I noticed is that some people uploading mods on Xelerus are not contributing to the mod community, they are NOT posting anything on the Forums, not partecipating to discussions, they are simply closed on themselves and uploading mods with errors like a strange comepetition between themselves.


So, I've taken a decision: from now on I will delete any mod containing the previous examples of errors. No exceptions, and no comment will be given.
If you think that your mod has been erroneously deleted, please ask politely on the Forums and/or IRC and explain your reasons.
Blatantly stolen mods and mod edited and reuploaded without permission of the original author will be deleted also.

Please note that deleting a mod is painful for me too. I've learned the hard way how to mod Transcendence. Today, thanks to a number of high quality modders and veteran players we have many tools (Tutorials, Wiki, Function list on Xelerus) that made modding easier and accessible to more casual players and modders.
I'll welcome everybody that is approaching the fun activity of modding Transcendence, but please, before uploading something completely wrong, come here to the Forums, search for help and discussion, I'm sure you will enjoy your stay here in this community exactly as I did it around 3 years ago when I posted my first message. :D

Thanks to all. Comments are welcome.


-----------------------------------------------
[COPIED AND PASTED FROM WOLFY POST]
"minimum standard of quality" guidelines for xelerus mods.

GRAPHIC STANDARDS [ok, I'm sorry if these may seem a bit harsh/high, and I'll acknowledge that I'm one of the better ship makers around here (I don't mean to be arrogant, just frank), however, as much as anyone, I don't want to download an ugly ship. Also, I used "ship" but these actually apply to ALL custom graphics, including stations and planets and stuff like that]
- no use of used ship graphics (george's) as a totally new ship. OK use: using the tripoli graphic as a tripoli-II ship or using the mikeno graphic as a superfreighter (since its unused). BAD use: using the phobos graphic to make a freighter for korolov.
- no new mods w/ one or two dvelnk6 ships (digdug already said this though)
- no uncolored ships (unless the ship is supposed to be like that and ACTUALLY LOOKS GOOD IN GRAY SCALE) (*cough*rabies*cough*)
- no ships that look like they were done in paint
- no ships that wobble
- no ships whose model I can reproduce in under 1 minute (this includes the rabies)
- no ships that don't have masks
- no ships with obvious mask errors (ie, major transparency issues, big black areas where there are not supposed to be... etc)

XML STANDARDS
- no bad hex (0xgg)
- no illegal use of UNIDs (illegal as in using another person's UNID, reserved UNIT or occupied UNID, not illegal as in breaking laws, but that shouldn't be allowed either (though it is a rather hard feat to accomplish))
- no mismatched tags
- no overflow errors

GENERAL QUALITY STANDARDS
- a mod that includes new graphics MUST have a link to a screen shot or an uploaded screenshot. (I HATE downloading buttloads of mods just to find they have ships that look like some 5 year old with MSpaint drew them)
- no mods that crash on load
- no mods with glaringly bad bugs (its ok to have one or two MINOR typos that will get fixed at a later date that could have sneaked pass in testing unnoticed, such as a weapon that weighs 10 tons instead of 1 ton, especially with mods that have 1000s of lines of code, but nothing that is totally game breaking (ie, crashes game/corrupts save/locks game/is totally unbalanced and shows that the mod was obviously not tested at all)

ETHICAL STANDARDS
- don't steal another modder's content. It's just totally wrong. I think it should be allowed to reuse content if and only if: a) the modder has totally left the community for good (ie, been inactive for well over a year or something) and/or b) if the modder does not respond to any requests to use content and is known to be active (they should still be obligated to say "no, you cannot use this) UNLESS they explicitly state ON XELERUS AND ALL OTHER PLACES THEIR MOD CAN BE DL'd that their content CANNOT be reused. (people who blatantly steal mods should be banned from xelerus after say, a couple WARNED offences, but the mods should be deleted)
- no mods that contain illegal content (ie, hiding a virus, key gen, adult content, etc in the mod)
Last edited by digdug on Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Wolfy
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Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:32 am

THANK YOU! :D
You have my full support in this venture.

Broken mods =/= fun

over-use of dvlenk6's ships also get rather tiresome
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Betelgeuse
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Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:05 am

one helpful thing instead of uploading a broken mod to Xelerus for someone to look at it upload it to
http://transcendence.pastebin.com/

That is intended for temporary things and makes it easier for people to fix your mod.

This is for simpler mods but for the most part you should be doing simpler mods when you run into problems. (reduce your problem as much as possible to see what is going wrong)


Also the number one rule of mod making. Test your mod before uploading!
Crying is not a proper retort!

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alterecco
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Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:47 am

I too stand behind you on this one.

I am very often on IRC (when i'm awake) and will galdly try and help anybody struggling with a mod. As Betel says, that is what the pastebin is for.

And thx Digdug for the work you are doing moderating xelerus. I guess it's not all fun and games (almost).

.]

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Prophet
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Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:47 am

Fantastic!

There are plenty of people willing to help new modders make quality products and learn the ropes, not to mention the pages and pages of tutorials and references.

Xelerus should be a place for new players to safely download working mods to enhance their gameplay or find a few neat examples of how to start modding themselves. Downloading broken mods and watching the game crash on load does NOT make someone want to play the game again or try to sift through to find and download working mods.

I feel this is a move in the right direction and will hopefully motivate the community to upload mods of a higher quality rather than pure quantity.
Coming soon: The Syrtian War adventure mod!
A Turret defense genre mod exploring the worst era in Earth's history.
Can you defend the Earth from the Syrtian invaders?
Stay tuned for updates!

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Wolfy
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Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:22 pm

Since digdug told me to repost what I said in IRC here, I came up with a number of suggested "minimum standard of quality" guidelines for xelerus mods.

GRAPHIC STANDARDS [ok, I'm sorry if these may seem a bit harsh/high, and I'll acknowledge that I'm one of the better ship makers around here (I don't mean to be arrogant, just frank), however, as much as anyone, I don't want to download an ugly ship. Also, I used "ship" but these actually apply to ALL custom graphics, including stations and planets and stuff like that]
- no use of used ship graphics (george's) as a totally new ship. OK use: using the tripoli graphic as a tripoli-II ship or using the mikeno graphic as a superfreighter (since its unused). BAD use: using the phobos graphic to make a freighter for korolov.
- no new mods w/ one or two dvelnk6 ships (digdug already said this though)
- no uncolored ships (unless the ship is supposed to be like that and ACTUALLY LOOKS GOOD IN GRAY SCALE) (*cough*rabies*cough*)
- no ships that look like they were done in paint
- no ships that wobble
- no ships whose model I can reproduce in under 1 minute (this includes the rabies)
- no ships that don't have masks
- no ships with obvious mask errors (ie, major transparency issues, big black areas where there are not supposed to be... etc)

XML STANDARDS
- no bad hex (0xgg)
- no illegal use of UNIDs (illegal as in using another person's UNID, reserved UNIT or occupied UNID, not illegal as in breaking laws, but that shouldn't be allowed either (though it is a rather hard feat to accomplish))
- no mismatched tags
- no overflow errors

GENERAL QUALITY STANDARDS
- a mod that includes new graphics MUST have a link to a screen shot or an uploaded screenshot. (I HATE downloading buttloads of mods just to find they have ships that look like some 5 year old with MSpaint drew them)
- no mods that crash on load
- no mods with glaringly bad bugs (its ok to have one or two MINOR typos that will get fixed at a later date that could have sneaked pass in testing unnoticed, such as a weapon that weighs 10 tons instead of 1 ton, especially with mods that have 1000s of lines of code, but nothing that is totally game breaking (ie, crashes game/corrupts save/locks game/is totally unbalanced and shows that the mod was obviously not tested at all)

ETHICAL STANDARDS
- don't steal another modder's content. It's just totally wrong. I think it should be allowed to reuse content if and only if: a) the modder has totally left the community for good (ie, been inactive for well over a year or something) and/or b) if the modder does not respond to any requests to use content and is known to be active (they should still be obligated to say "no, you cannot use this) UNLESS they explicitly state ON XELERUS AND ALL OTHER PLACES THEIR MOD CAN BE DL'd that their content CANNOT be reused. (people who blatantly steal mods should be banned from xelerus after say, a couple WARNED offences, but the mods should be deleted)
- no mods that contain illegal content (ie, hiding a virus, key gen, adult content, etc in the mod)
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Hatsuya Kanzaki
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Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:45 am

I feel like being kicked in my butt, ow!

Say, I'd rather do my mod ships on Pixel art versions then, 'cause most of my mods were a fusion of different original ships, and I can't make 3D yet for I've been playing around with Wings3D and the Japanese 3D thing.

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Wolfy
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Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:08 am

Hatsuya Kanzaki wrote:I feel like being kicked in my butt, ow!

Say, I'd rather do my mod ships on Pixel art versions then, 'cause most of my mods were a fusion of different original ships, and I can't make 3D yet for I've been playing around with Wings3D and the Japanese 3D thing.
You're doing a Total conversion. Total conversions can make as much use of dvlenk6 and original ships as they want. :wink:

[edit]
Also, I think that development, example, WIP and concept/tech-demo mods are exempt from the graphics standards as well as TC's.
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Wolfy
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Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:16 am

btw- bump... I think that you should sticky this digdug >.> (maybe rename it too, possibly name it something like "New Xelerus mod standards and rules)
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digdug
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Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:06 am

There is a new mod on Xelerus.

It has been carefully crafted to have all the possible errors I pointed out, plus even more bad modding and it still works! :shock:
A magnificent example of bad modding. :lol:

If you want to have a good laugh and see "how NOT to mod":
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=497

I have nothing against this guy, but after all the threads on improving the quality of modding and wiki pages, it really seems to me that he's mocking us. :?:

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Betelgeuse
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Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:26 pm

plus even more bad modding and it still works!
err no even if it loads that is not enough to say something works.
Crying is not a proper retort!

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Wolfy
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Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:15 pm

"it work.NOT DELETE!"

:lol: ok, this has to be some sort of practical joke...
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Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:56 pm

ANNOUNCE :

XELERUS MOD MAINTENANCE AND CLEANING

Dear all, 2 weeks has passed and we didn't get any new junk mod on Xelerus.
It seems that the new rules started to work well. Thanks to all for following the rules for posting new mods on Xelerus. You can find a copy of them on the Wiki too:
http://wiki.neurohack.com/transcendence ... _standards

However there are still some "mods that can be done in less than 1 minute" that should be removed if we want only quality mods on the repository.

Hopefully this is going to be the first cleaning and the LAST one too.

So, by Friday 19th June 12:00 GMT I will delete the following mods:

Customable Version of the CSCAntarctica
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=231

Aquila Explorer
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=207

Hoft Scout
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=257

Naming contest winner: Rabies
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=331

Playable Capital Or Normal Ships
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=483

Krowgus Defender
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=481

Imperial-Class X-Wing
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=239

Daimajin Fighter
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=233

Molotok (BlackMarket ship)
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=221

Derogma class mini-ship
http://xelerus.de/index.php?s=mod&id=493

Comments are welcome.
Please reply politely if I put your mod in this list and you don't want it to be deleted.

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