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Re: JetCraft

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:17 pm
by Pr0nogo
lul

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:42 am
by Lavarinth
This is getting out of hand, but to clarify for everyone:

The term mod has an olden definition to have the ability to completely rework a game, which is of course technically impossible as some data will be hard coded. (StarCraft showed examples of this.) Of course we have "mods" like IskatuMesk's Armageddon Onslaught which introduced a tremendous amount of new units alongside a ridiculously hard AI system, then we have the never-to-release "here let me tease you with spiffy code and then stop working on this altogether because I will never finish anything" mod STF by Hercanic who injects extra code into the game to add interface features among standard modding of adjusting tech trees and units creating a relatively new gaming experience. I suppose you could define it as an altered gaming experience.

Problem these days for olden gamers is that same gaming experience can be completed using maps. Sure, the term "mod" meant to alter the game originally, but to what extent is purely based on opinion: I recall "mods" that were simple graphical adjustments to units, or purely changing Marine to shoot paintballs (brightly colored bullet sprites), while others were highly complex masterpieces. To that extent of opinion based definition, there should technically be no different in WarCraft 3 modding or mapping: One could create an MPQ to alter the size of a transport ship using data alterations or import/replace a model, or they could do it from within the editor in a map or universally applied to a list of maps (aka: campaign). Some will argue however, that because the adjustment in the map is not created by an outside factor (ie: an executable file) that it is not a mod.

The same logic would apply to altering all the names in StarCraft 1's unit list to colored fanciful names with altered stats such as 999 armor. As this would be done in an editor, it would not be a mod but instead a map. However, perform only those edits and apply them to an MPQ, and magically it is a mod.

It's a term to vague to debate over. It's an old argument, and it must be put to rest.

Everyone has their own definition of a mod or a map, and no one is right (or wrong).

If someone creates what they themselves wish to call a mod and you want to call a map, don't belittle someone's own creation. It takes blood, sweat, and tears to get something complete and for someone to raise the argument of "well you just created a map, that's no mod" is no way to treat anyone. I'm not saying that's occurring here, but I see it occur outside of here, so this is more of an early statement to be courteous to others.

While I don't know, nor care, if Hercanic was trying to pinch IskatuMesk's buttons, I do know that putting aside whether this is a mod or map, it is one thing: A creation. Something more than any of us have managed to do in StarCraft II because most of us can't understand the editor, once again regardless of whether or not we think it's amazing or a pile of junk.

In other words, put the map/mod discussion aside and focus on the topic at hand: The damn video.

Overall in regards to JetCraft, I'd like to note that within the limitation of StarCraft 2's ability to publish maps, it does a great job of making a unique experience far from StarCraft 2's default gameplay. It's obviously not an RTS, and while unaware if it's multiplayer, I can say it holds infinite replayability (until you get bored) which is obviously a major factor to any creation on Battle.net. As an obvious statement- it reminds me SNES and Genesis era sidescrollers which definitely brings back a large hit of nostalgia.

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:43 pm
by IskatuMesk
There is actually no vagueness in the term, and it does imply a significant difference in experience. Age actually has about zero relevance.

In case you missed it, here it is again. The technical definitions as determined by however many titles you wish that support custom content.

Image

This has nothing to do about my opinion. That's just the way things are, as defined by the games and environments themselves. There is no argument to speak of. I'm not even mad.

From my understanding, there are several users who visit this forum with equal or greater understanding of the editor than anything conveyed by that video. I can say for a fact that Ricky's work easily exceeds that demonstrated, and I am sure there is at the bare minimum two more users more than capable of such that I am personally aware of. "All of us" is simply an unnecessarily blanketing statement.

Anyways, that's my last word on the matter. The facts are there. To players they may be irrelevant, but to developers they are important. I already know what the most of you are, and I realize it is just semantics to you.

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:31 pm
by Pr0nogo
Why is this so hard to firmly grasp? Anything within the confines of a standard map is not a mod, and anything that affects things regardless of what map you're playing is a mod. I thought Mesk stated that rather brusquely on the first page.

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:47 pm
by tf-
I don't understand Jetcraft, all this effort to what end? If you just made a platformer from scratch or with something like GameMaker you would have an easier time and you would own your work at the end.
About the only thing it does is provide some okay PR for Blizz, and not really enough to resurrect its mapping scene.

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:00 am
by Chriso
a

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:13 am
by Hercanic
@IskatuMesk:
Haven't you heard? Maps are mods now. Get with the times, dude!


@Lavarinth:
If the distinction between a map and a mod is the "extent of [gameplay] change", where does that line lie?

If a map places the starting position of players 3x further away from their main's resource nodes, that would certainly constitute a gameplay change. Is this now a mod, or just an imbalanced melee map (favoring Terran)?

What about an island map? Is that a mod? The entire game flow is changed, from terrain alone.

I'm going to assume that you would agree with me in calling both of these examples maps, not mods. But why is that? They change the experience, don't they? The reason is because the term "mod" has never referred to the extent of changes. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion has a mod that gives every book type in the game a unique, hi-res cover. Some would say this is a relatively small, insignificant change, but it is still a mod.

How about changing all the SC1 workers to flying units? Yeah, that's a mod.

What about something really simple, like changing the SC1 Marine's damage from 6 to 7? Yep, still a mod! You'd call this one a 'balance mod'. However, you can do this exact same thing in SC1's map editor. Does that mean such a change cannot be considered a mod? No; it does not matter that the same type of change can be done in either environment. But if done in the map editor you would have a custom map, not a mod.

You can do many things in maps that can be done in mods, and vice versa, but that isn't the point of the distinction in terms. What is changed, and the extent of those changes, doesn't matter. What does is the architecture level that the changes exist at. 'Map' refers to content at the map level. 'Mod' refers to content at the engine level.

The difference in architecture level has many implications, the most prominent being the ability to integrate mods into the original experience, such as the Oblivion book covers.


Lavarinth wrote:then we have the never-to-release "here let me tease you with spiffy code and then stop working on this altogether because I will never finish anything" mod STF by Hercanic who injects extra code into the game to add interface features among standard modding of adjusting tech trees and units creating a relatively new gaming experience.

Both the original STF 2.4.4 and the newer STF 0066 are available for download.


@tf-:
tf- wrote:I don't understand Jetcraft, all this effort to what end? If you just made a platformer from scratch or with something like GameMaker you would have an easier time and you would own your work at the end.

I cannot say for certain what the creator's motivations are, but I can say that grabbing attention matters. If he did this as just another platformer in Flash or Game Maker, who would notice? What about a SC2 map? A map that has an actual editor built inside it for custom level creation, its own scripting system, and more? It grabs attention because it stands out from its immediate competition -- other SC2 maps. It becomes more impressive by association.

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:06 am
by Pr0nogo
Anything made in SCII would have to completely rework the game itself at a mod-based level of intricacy in order to impress me, and nobody can do that because they'll be banned.

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:24 pm
by Hercanic
@Pr0nogo:
Pr0nogo wrote:Anything made in SCII would have to completely rework the game itself at a mod-based level of intricacy in order to impress me

Hey, whatever floats your boat. What I see, though, is a creator who met head-on with the limitations of SC2 mapping and delivered an end-user experience that includes a game menu, a sidescrolling game, an options menu to set keybindings, a fully-functional level editor with a trigger editor and custom scripting system, and the ability to save and share user-generated levels. By all accounts, it is a full game, made within the confines of a map.

It is a map on Battlenet, but the experience is more akin to a game on Steam. The author has capitalized on the map distribution system of Battlenet. To me, that's pretty impressive.

I don't care about what architecture level he made his changes on; I care about what those changes are.


@Everyone:
What I object to, which I see here and from Blizzard itself, is the disparagement of maps. As if the label "mod" is somehow more respectable and elevates a project to a "higher" status. Why is it insulting to call JetCraft a map? It is a map. Call a spade a spade. Why would this detract from it?

Furthermore, why is Blizzard so keen on appropriating the term "mod"? The definition they put forth at BlizzCon is unsound, based entirely on subjective interpretations. The word ceases to have meaning when treated this way.

Lavarinth's attempted diplomacy perfectly illustrates this breakdown of meaning:
Lavarinth wrote:"It's a term to [sic] vague to debate over."

"Everyone has their own definition of a mod or a map, and no one is right (or wrong)."

"...putting aside whether this is a mod or map, it is one thing: A creation."

The distinction as described by Blizzard is so confusing that we cannot even use the word. We must regress to a basic word, "creation", just to agree.

We already have a healthy vocabulary to describe custom content. I explained the difference between mods and maps in my above post, but we also have adjectives to further differentiate content. "Melee map" and "Custom map"; "Balance mod" and "Total Conversion" each tell us something about what we can expect. Using "mod" as a blanket term to describe all of those gives us no real information. We might as well sub in 'creation' instead of 'mod' for the same effect.

If Blizzard wants a term more descriptive than "custom map", it needs to come up with a new word and not co-opt an industry-established lexeme.

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:50 am
by IskatuMesk
Hercanic wrote:The distinction as described by Blizzard


Hercanic wrote:distinction as described by Blizzard


Hercanic wrote:described by Blizzard


Image

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:05 pm
by mark_009_vn
It doesn't really matter whether you think maps are mods or not, the thing that need to be made clear is that "a mod on a map level" is severely limited compared to "a mod on an engine level". This is why we need to set a distinction to clearly point that out, hence why "map based mods" are custom maps and "engine level based mods" are mods. It deserves this distinction simply because it is far superior in any aspect compared to a simple map with mod contents embedded. No matter how much you say it, maps are indeed inferior to mods in the technical term.

When custom contents are placed on a map, it severely limits it's versatility, you cannot run other maps with that content, you cannot manipulate that content by conventional means, and you cannot constantly update or release quick patches of that content without having to remove and replace the map completely... For modders and players alike, as well as people who are interested in creating contents for said mod, this lack of freedom halved the maximum potential of the content just as much as hard-coding does.

With BNet 2, this is even worse, you literally not even in control of your mod any more, to distribute your mod, you have to give the rights to use the content you created to Blizzard through BNet 2. Given that BNet is a piece of shit with the popularity system and the censorship, this adds even more restrictions and discourages modders from doing any good.

This has been discussed for so many times now, it shouldn't be invoked again, again, and again.

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:31 pm
by IskatuMesk
Technically speaking, any and all mods are already property of the game's company. At least, anything that interacts with their engine or whatnot. Any single thing you make in Staredit for example belongs to Blizzard, and anything created for Skyrim belongs to Bethesda, regardless of where you distribute it.

Also interestingly, you don't actually own the games, either. You are licensed the games.

I don't know how well that stuff would hold up in court, but legalese is definitely the language of dicks.

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:43 pm
by UntamedLoli
I always giggle when I hear about copyrights and anything related to bethesda game modding. Somehow using reverse engineered tools based on their tools/formats makes it any different in their alternate universe.

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:13 pm
by Chriso
a

Re: JetCraft

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:15 pm
by IskatuMesk
I don't actually know. That's really what it sounds like. Why do they have that there? Do they actually ever intend to enforce it? Is that even possible?

/edit

As for the last comment, it's probably just legal belt tucking. They're basically covering wording loophole bases.