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.

Gratuitous Tank Battles patch 1.010 released

Right… so at last this patch is released.¬† It seemed to take a while, but that’s because I kept suddenly managing to trigegr bugs that I’d heard speak of (like legends of dragons in them there mountains) but never seen with my own eyes. A bit like Darth Vader and his son…


Here is the fix list, and it’s one that pleases me a lot :

version 1.010
1) Fixed some issues with corrupt uploading of challenges and removed ability to decide whether or not map is uploaded with a challenge (now handled automatically).
2) Balance: Small turret hulls cost reduced by 25%, Large turret hulls cost increased by 25%.
3) Balance: Damage from flamethrowers has been substantially boosted to 30(small) and 40(large).
4) Balance: Turbo launch missile system damage has been slightly reduced.
5) Balance: Scenario 12 (Tuchola Forest) has been made slightly harder as attacker and much harder as defender.
6) Fixed bug where the accuracy stats on the unit design screen did not correctly show the effects of augmentations or targeting modules.
7) Support added for enabling and disabling installed mods.
8) Fixed bug where airstrikes that had not triggered yet rolled over into the next battle.
9) Fixed bug where the final row of items on the emplacement picker on map edit screen could not be scrolled to on all screen resolutions.
10) Fixed bug where shift-key state could be misinterpreted when selecting units. 
11) Fixed bug where right clicking to deconstruct during deployment phase (rather than left clicking) also is instant and refunds the full unit cost.
12) Added a new tutorial hint to explain the unlock choices a bit better.
13) Nightvision button below minimap is now disabled if nightvision is not available for a given map.
14) Fixed a number of crash bugs relating to going back and forth from the unit design screen.

My final final-playthrough before uploading suddenly let me spot a few things I’d like to improve/change, but they will be in the next patch, which will also finalise the mod support stuff, possibly allowing for modded campaigns even, who knows? This patch also adds a whacking big document on how to mod the game.

In unrelated news, it suddenly occured to me today that due to some complexities involving friends in other countries PLUS the arcane planning process we are going through to get some work done on the house… the only timeslot for me to go away on holiday between now and next year is pretty much… right now. So if I could teleport, I’d be on a beach in St Lucia right now sipping cocktails.

And yet I’m here, emailing people to chase up Gratuitous Tank Battles review coverage.