Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Gratuitous Space Battles is a modding juggernaut (and I’m slow to catch on)

Well this is embarrasing in a way…

I am a big fan of supporting modding. I love the mods people make. Mods are why PC gaming is the best kind. Some of the ebst games out there started as mods, and many games exist purely on the backs of some incredible mods. I recall that when I was a firm Call of Duty 2 addict, we NEVER played the boring standard maps…

I made GSB as mod-friendly as I knew how (back then). I tried to nurture the mod scene as much as I could, then I needed to make a new game and pay the bills, and GTB became 100% of my life. It took me over big time (and still is…).

But today, for a spot of relaxing, I checked in on the GSB modding forum…

Holy cow…

There is a single mod with a 108 page forum thread about it. Just ONE mod. It has extra ship hulls, extra ship TYPES in some ways, it has new background art, new weapons types, sounds, it has a back-story, it has it’s own flipping music, it has it’s own flipping Trailer!


They have done stuff with the numbers to enable you to build corvettes, to build dreadnoughts, to include cargo modules (cunningly with negative costs… see what they did there?) to include anti-matter detonating power plants.

This mod is big :D It’s called Praetorian Industries. It isn’t perfect, there are some slightly amusing typos in the trailer (did I mention the trailer?), so maybe it’s done by a non-native English speaker, and I did get one occasional crash bug, possibly due to a texture missing? But who cares?

I find it incredibly inspiring that such a mod exists, and that  people have put so much effort into extending and enlarging the experience you can get from GSB. If you are a GSB player who hasn’t looked at the mod scene, go check it out, it basically lives around the GSB forums here, as far as I know. But what would I know?

I’ll be reading up on the mods a bit more over this weekend. This really makes me smile.


9 thoughts on Gratuitous Space Battles is a modding juggernaut (and I’m slow to catch on)

  1. Hey, Cliff. Long-time occasional GSP ‘player’, first time caller here. I have a question for you.

    I love the idea of mods (and this one in particular is looking amazing), but I am very lazy and a little hesistant of diving face-first into modding since I managed to smash my Minecraft install to bits through the power of misunderstanding instruction. While I understand you are likely a very busy man, is there any future chance of you imitating Gaslamp Games in rounding up the best and proven-to-work mods and releasing them ‘officially’, in cooperation with the creators? This would also allow these mods to reach an even larger audience.

    Kind regards,
    Jarenth.

  2. Well I agree that modding would reach a much wider audience if it was more obvious how to install them, and harder to screw up your game doing so.
    I do intend to address some of these issues with GTB which will, from the next patch, have mod/dlc browsing and management built into the game, so it will be much harder to screw things up, and much easier to find mods.

    The big roadblock to stuff like this is finding the time to vet mods, and ensure they work ok, and communicate back and forth with mod authors.

  3. Damn I just checked out the forum thread, that is a lot of work they put into this mod.

    Very cool that people do this kind of stuff, respect!

  4. wooow, thanks for writting about my, errrr… OUR mod cliff!!

    Yeah, this mod was my first real modding experience and it took around one year to be completed, but im forever grateful to that modding team that was formed with the time, some of their most important members were:

    >Darkstar076 CptFox Kalthaniell All the First GSB Modding Contest participants. They were the main ship designers that gave me some of the greatest hulls that i’ve ever seen!

    And obviously im thankful to you cliff, cuz with this first modding experience i’ve even decided that programming its something that i want to study and apply the rest of my life (im 19 years old, just entered to the university this year =D)

    And yeah, i’m a non-native English speaker, i’m actually from Argentina :P

    And once more, Thanks to everyone!

  5. The amount of time to develop back and forth would probably be substantial. Would it be possible to get one or two people who are contributors to do most of the work, then you just approve it toward the end? (think employees without the paycheck).

  6. Might be worth employing Praetors to do future DLC/campaigns – perhaps for GTB?

    Given he’s in Argentina, it could be quite cost effective.

  7. Wow wow i think you guys are going a bit too fast, i (basically) just changed some (lots) of variables!
    I didn’t (truly) programmed anything, the real hardcoded program is something that escapes my comprehension.
    Yeah im studying all of this to try to make a game by myself in the future, but that’s planned for a somewhat distant future.

    My real archievement here is the ammount of new ideas that i’ve implemented in the mod, all the modules are different in many ways, but more than half of the visual and sound stuff is not mine, i just compiled all the different files in to another GSB mod ^^

    But i’m glad you guys think i (and all my fellow modders) did a good job =D

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