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The 'how to make using mods easier' suggestions thread

Discussion in 'Loader' started by sby, May 26, 2014.

  1. sby

    sby Club Regular Content Creator

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    I have asked various new users about the topic, about time i made a thread for it.



    essentially, i try to get suggestions from the people that have freshly learned how to use the loader / animtools / mods on what they found useful, and what information helped the most.

    some things actually taken into account from these types of questions have been re-organized loader mods thread, usage of pictures, creation of videos, and small tweaks to documentation. it is sort of an ongoing thought whenever i decide to release something, and so feedback is helpful.



    although it may seem obvious to others, it is not so much to those of us who learn the stuff we are creating .. through its creation. this is that gap between the devs and the end users, and this thread is here in hopes to help bridge it. so yeah, here's the place to point out how convoluted our stuff is and how to make it better/easier.
     
  2. Zalord

    Zalord Potential Patron

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    I guess I'll be the first one to start this off. I have a few ideas. I'm currently on the most recent loader, v5.36, so everything I say applies to that.

    I'd like to be able to use folders like Mods\$INIT$ or Mods\$OVER$ in deeper directories which would overrule the ones already in the Mods directory.

    ex: Mods\Costumes\$OVER$ could have a settings.txt which would be used instead of the Mods\$OVER$\settings.txt. Possibly even go further and allow even deeper $DIRECTORIES$ to overrule those ones (Mods\Costumes\Set1\$OVER$\Settings.txt overrules Mods\Costumes\$OVER$\Settings.txt)


    What I'd hope to accomplish with this would be to give different folders different settings or be able to easily apply a single mod to every character in a folder without having to add it to each individual character.

    ex: In Mods\$OVER$\Settings.txt, I have "resetCharOnChange=1".
    If I have a directory Mods\Costumes which has multiple costume mods, I could have Mods\Costumes\$OVER$\Settings.txt which says "resetCharOnChange=0" so that only the costume changes while leaving the character code unchanged when I select different costume mods.
    Then when I go back to any other directory, it uses the default Mods\$OVER$\Settings.txt so that Mods will load normally again.

    I guess this is really only something ModGuy could implement since he makes the Loader
     
  3. ModGuy

    ModGuy Club Regular Content Creator

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    Your request is mostly fine to implement using a dynamic path for $OVER$ but...

    Therein lies the problem, allow me to explain:
    AS3 is a sandboxed language in that we have no real information of the user system outside of assumed knowledge like the CharacterFolders.txt being in a specific place.
    To load a file in the "root" directory is easy, we have a hardcoded path for it. Now to override a file is easy, we simply load from the current directory.
    However, do we then continue to keep checking up a folder for a file until one is found? Easy enough, simply call the functions in a cycle until termination or a file is found.
    Now the real problem, AS3 cannot detect directories AFAIK. While it's possible to step backwards until a Settings.txt is found we cannot do the same for directories.
    If for some reason the current directory lacks $OVER$ all proceeding file calls will silently fail, the only indication of there being a character would involve checking every single loader for failure then backing up a folder.

    So yes, it's possible to implement your request but until I implement some kind of "$EMPTY$" file check there's no way to guarantee that a folder is empty or doesn't exist.
    Real filesystem control is available in AS3:

    http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FlashPlatform/reference/actionscript/3/flash/filesystem/package-detail.html

    But only by adopting the AIR runtime which is undesirable for various reasons.
     
  4. jase

    jase Avid Affiliate

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    The moreclothing mod simplified things a lot for me, and I'd consider it such a critical import to the loader that documentation for it should go in the earliest tutorial/guide.
     
  5. wands

    wands Potential Patron

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    Wait, SBY said this is for "newbs" to make it easier right? Hold your hand kind of thing when loading mods? So start with the basics for the new people?

    Mod folder (aka total dormant memory of mods)
    Settings folder (aka how to read initialize, or positions)
    $INIT$ folder (aka initialize at start)

    are the keys to the kingdom right?

    First you have to determine what you want to change or modify, one thing or all things.

    The mod folder is designed to do many things but if your just starting, out stick to the basics,
    this is the place you copy a complete mod folder or any mod.swf you wish to end up in game. A mod can refer to a single modification or a complete overhaul. For example an outfit, background, extras (neck collar, glasses), hair, skin codes even dialogue. but putting them in the right places and calling them up when you want them can be at best confusing!

    The settings folder determines what the loader will see and use, so a mod or a position as well as others is what you use this for and where you will put .TXT files.

    The $INIT$ folder is used as the primary loading folder for all the things you want the game to start with. that's not to say all of them will work! Given so many things by so many people are written, but a good place to try and or start.

    So you read and downloaded something you think would be cool, now what?

    Start with a basic one Skinny Stomach (Light).swf, I love the Skinny Stomach mods but try as I might have never gotten it to auto-load with the $INIT$ folder, so for something like this you would only add the Skinny Stomach (skin tone).swf into the Mod folder and call it up in game by clicking the modding tab, and then clicking the swf mod button, find the mod directory and double click the .swf your wanting to use. and bingo it should have been applied.

    A more complex version would be the superbellyV1settings. This one needs your help, after you download and unpack it you have many files to deal with...Take a deep breath...Step by step you do this to get this...

    If you want it to be a "use when you want" kind of thing you, just copy the entire folder into the mods folder. Then when you want to call it up in game you click the modding tab, and then click the swf mod button, find the mod directory and then the superbellyV1 folder, then double click the superbellyV1.swf to get it loaded...STOP!!! The instructions tell you to activate the feature you must hit the period key, drag the belly to desire, then hit the period key again to resume the game. See some have extra things to do, not just load, so some people think they don't work because READING instructions is not something they were taught to do! LOL

    If you wanted it to be a "load it always" kind of thing you, copy the entire folder into the mods folder. Inside the folder you find a file called superbellyV1settings.txt you must copy this file into the settings folder so the game knows what the hell you asking it to read. The file superbellyV1.swf must be copied into the $INIT$ folder in order for it to be launched at start up. To tell the game to launch it at start up you must add the superbellyV1.swf to the list of things to to. Inside the $INIT$ folder is a file called Mods.txt this is the list of things to do, open this file, add superbellyV1.swf (just type it) to the list (or as the start of the list) Now REMEMBER! to active in game it you must hit the period key, drag the belly to desire, then hit the period key again to resume the game. It dose work, Will you?

    All these things have been written before but this is a great thread idea so I hope this helps.
     
  6. americanole

    americanole Potential Patron

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    For me examples work the best.

    You can write as long and descriptive text files as you wish but a simple example of something makes it much more clear. So, for moreclothing you could give out more examples (it already had lots of them, but just the ones missing, mostly how to deal with >, hair to headwear, that leftshoulder body piece into top etc.), also I'd imagine it could be useful to have a simpler way to tell you which parts does particular .swf contain (while extractloaderpieces does that, not everyone's using it and it's difficult for hairs), so if there would be a different program where you could drag an .swf file to and it would just tell you which modtypes it contains. That's mostly how I got errors with moreclothing.

    Let's see, for animtools honestly the only information I used was keybindings because the description of 'HER TWEEN START X' didn't really help out much, however I think it's the type of mod you have to screw around with yourself to get how everything works. Perhaps more visual representation of everything would do.

    For loader, I think we could use, again, more examples, a couple of character folders, one having all the possible (hair, bg, mods, charcode, animtools pos) and one with just a few. That would surely solve most questions regarding 'how to save character'. Other than that I felt it was really straightforward, you just use different .swf to start everything and you throw in most of your mods into INIT and write their names down into Mods.txt.

    For reset folder you could throw in the example of Dante's 'hishead' mod, it needs to be placed in both INIT and RESET folders so that his head shows in animtools position after each 'reset' button you press.

    Settings, well, I think the regular ones for every mod and loader tend to be fine, the only way I can think of to make it easier would be to have couple of 'most used settings' from here added somewhere so people can try different stuff out without really changing any values they have no information of. Also, I suppose small video clips of how different gravity and crap works with cum etc. could really help but I'm not sure who'll do that and I'm not sure whether everyone will use that, perhaps make a poll about whether people really change settings a lot.

    For modding, again, just throwing one already made .fla of with most clothing into the template archive would really solve most of the issues people tend to have, you could simply use same layers and draw ontop of something that already works so there would be no way of screwing it up.

    For other mods I think I'm using just the tiltswallow and breastfirmness and both of them are pretty straightforward.

    Also, slightly offtopic, but , sby, you said to me earlier that moreclothing should always be last mod to load, I think using animtools as last would be more helpful (it is for me at the very least) since then it would have the 'load position' button straightaway in the last loader tab.
     
  7. SyntaxTerror

    SyntaxTerror Swell Supporter Content Creator

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    My grandmother always said:

    ::)​

    Never forget: Writting large blocks of text may seem fine, one can think "Yea, with all this I'll never have to answer a dumb question for ever" and become proud of oneself.

    Then a random noob arrives and says "it no work explian me".
     
  8. ModGuy

    ModGuy Club Regular Content Creator

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    The reason behind users finding the loader difficult to use are probably innumerable but I believe two are most common:

    Example is used over explanation in the base configuration of the loader. For this reason, users make a lot of assumptions when it comes to setting things up.
    Since there's no onscreen guides to walk through the process of saving it's sort of guesswork for those who decide against reading the included text files.
    The variety of mods on the forum don't follow a consistent setup procedure either, some stuff sits in $INIT$ and requires an external settings file whereas other stuff is loaded from a standard path.

    The second reason is just me being judgemental but it probably holds up, users who learn about the game offsite make little effort to familiarise themselves with the correct procedures for loading mods and configuring the loader to the point where they have trouble with the base game. The loader import password is often provided which pretty much puts inexperienced users in an awkward spot where they have access to everything they can get but no idea how to use. For this reason I normally disapprove of helping users who find content on another site since it has been removed from the appropriate context in terms of both authorship and environment. To say mod X on site Y isn't working is really an exercise in futility.

    Walls of text are fine really, but if you think a user who skips over the included guides is going to read what you've written then you have more patience than I.
     
  9. sby

    sby Club Regular Content Creator

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    hmm, that is some uncharted area right there. i haven't made anything from scratch that was its own entity, always using the loader framework. i imagine a lot of it would be typical framework code, i just don't know it xD



    i never actually use the modpage, always using f2 to load and f1 to reload the position
    it is there for just-in-case moments where somebody has some different keyboard where the keys are wildly different