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

Hmmm. Maybe not workshop support then…

Dang. I ad hoped to get steam workshop support in to Democracy 3. however, today is the first time I’ve really looked into it in any depth, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem ideal for the kind of modding Democracy 3 is based around. It is ideally suited for games with a built-in editor, with a publish button that then publishes games to steams cloud save, and which can then be grabbed back from cloud save too.

This is problematic. Mostly because D3 is edited primarily in Excel or other spreadsheet / csv editors. And it involves making new graphics using graphics programs, and generally it involves putting together a collection of 20 or 30 files for a new country, and uploading them as a group, not a single file. To add to the woes, Steam workshop obviously would be separate to my existing efforts to support modding, and is obviously only for steam users.
Democracy 3 is also on sale direct, and through GoG and the MacGameStore. If anyone at apple can be bothered to reply to my emails, I might put this top-selling strategy game on sale through their app store… but that’s another story…

Anyway… as a result of my investigations I’m tempted to put the time I had mentally set aside for workshop integration into just far far better mod-browsing and support within the game itself. It wouldn’t be too difficult to list the current ‘official’ mods in a database and have the game show a list of those, and their installed/available status. Theoretically I could unzip all of the mod files on my server and have the game manage the downloading of those files itself automatically, negating any need for installers, or the possibility of people screwing up installation…

Sometimes thoughts like this lead to a spiral of 18 hour work days and depression, sometimes they lead to 3 hours work, and a great feeling of achievement. You never know till you try it.

Meanwhile Democracy 3 sells like hot cakes. I don’t want to become one of ‘those people’ who keeps going on about sales figures, but it’s doing very nicely and I’m very happy about that :D

10 thoughts on Hmmm. Maybe not workshop support then…

  1. Can you have the “editor” be notepad, publish = “zip”, and then just add a “mod installer” within D3 that unzip the file into its content that D3 would use?

    Obviously I have not look at the workshop requirements, and am being very simplistic about the whole thing. Regardless, I think the mods should not overwrite game files, and the user should always have the option to turn the mod(s) on or off. They can be buggy as heck, especially when you start using LISP or other embeded languages in them :).

  2. I’ve always found it symbolic of the video game industry that your two best selling titles are a politics simulator and Gratuitous Space Battles.

  3. There must be a way to integrate it in the fashion you intended. An example of such is Skyrim’s Workshop integration – the mods consist of meshes, textures, sounds, and configuration data. None of that is made within the game itself, it’s all in the usual programs one would use for such things. Whether this was easy or hard to set up I have no idea, though. Bethesda do have slightly more resources and manpower to throw at it than you I suspect ;-)

  4. The way mods are setup in the game (with a folder for the mod + a descriptor file) looks similar to how it’s setup in PDS games and they implemented Workshop support just fine for EUIV. Modding there is also almost exclusively done outside of the game.

    The part of EUIV that handles the Workshop basically just zips the folder and descriptor of the selected mod and uploads it, while subscribing to the mod in the Workshop makes the game download that archive to the mod folder on game start.

  5. I am realizing now that steam workshop may be possible after all, I didn’t realise you could still use it with external editors…am investigating further…

  6. I’m pleased that Democracy is selling well. Hopefully it can set you up to do more work on space battles :P

  7. Have you looked into the Nexus for supporting Democracy 3?
    Their mod manager might be more supportive for D3 mods.

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