Steam Workshop Woes

Discussion in 'Modding' started by r_b_bergstrom, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Man, Steam Workshop is a can full of worms. It's cool and all, but it's got some unexpected downsides.

    The most world-changing (read: frustrating) thing to me is the subscription button. I hadn't thought through all the ramifications of that button until today.

    There's all sorts of ways a new mod can break a game in progress. When people are getting mods from the forums, they can choose when to download the latest version, and if the mod's maker indicates it might break saves, they can hold off till they're about to start a new character. With Steam Workshop, if a mod-maker updates a mod in a way that might break games, there's some percentage of the audience that will just automatically be fed the new version without knowing it will hose their character.

    That's gonna take some serious caution when updating mods, or else you'll get a wave of angry one-line bug reports.
    OmniNegro and Kazeto like this.
  2. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    That's a good point. Unfortunately I don't think there's any way around this, and people should know that if they subscribe it's just
    like Steam auto-updating. Of course, that's not gonna stop the occasional rage report.
  3. Gabriel P

    Gabriel P Member

    For this and other reasons the workshop really seems to encourage releasing smaller, more modular packages. Unfortunately I don't believe there's any way to automatically sort mod dependencies or anything like that, so if you want to add elements that work with an existing release you pretty much have to post an update...
    r_b_bergstrom likes this.
  4. FaxCelestis

    FaxCelestis Will Mod for Digglebucks

    It's pretty much only for the interdependencies/duplication nightmare that I don't want to deal with that I haven't split up FaxPax. I guess you could make, like, a core Framework mod that has some basic stuff that your other mods utilize, but at that point you might as well just put it all in one mod.
  5. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    Right. I've already run into people complaining about duplicate Blood Knight and Radiant Wizard skills when they were running the standalones AND RR together despite me clearly pointing out in the description that this would cause conflicts.
  6. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    It's a totally different world out there.

    I've been working for a long time on ID2.0, splitting all the new content into these various sub-modules anyway, and this just makes that much more important to do so. If I'd realized a couple days ago how it was going to work, though, I would have just waited and not released to Steam Workshop until I had 2.0 and all it's parts ready to go.

    It's also kinda disarming to have this swarm of one-sentence bug reports complaining about something that I don't really consider to be a bug. Here on the forums if someone doesn't know about breakable walls, for example, I can educate them. On Steam, that doesn't seem likely to work as a general philosophy: there's too many of them and too small a text space to explain it.

    There were a number of things like that in ID that we intentionally left out of YHTNTEP because they wouldn't be good to spring on someone very new to the game. Putting ID up on Steam Workshop kinda undermined that decision. The "bug" in ID was released here for a whole month without a single complaint, but drawn to my attention there in less than 24 hours.

    The community here seems to have a slightly higher average experience level with the game - or maybe it's just that the community there is so much larger that even relatively rare misunderstandings seem numerous in comparison. Either way, it's a whole new audience with very different needs. I still reeling from the shock of that.

    *sigh* If I had it all to do over again... I'd approach it completely differently.
    OmniNegro and Kazeto like this.
  7. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    You could always put up a disclaimer for your mods saying that you don't respond to messages on the workshop, to post in your respective mod threads.
    r_b_bergstrom likes this.
  8. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Most people are stupid, and that applies to players as well. Which is why I preferred manual installation - instead of automatically getting everything and thus also getting things that one shan't have because they are over his apprehensive abilities, people had to be able to install things on their own, and unless they were some sort of savant prodigies, that was equivalent with being able to read the mod's manual.
    Of course we still got idiots back then, but we knew from the beginning that they were idiots, as instead of reading the darn manual or checking the guide thread, they created a whole new thread with a not-so-descriptive title in which they shouted about their inability to install the mod. And now there's no way to discern between idiots before they actually get to playing the mod, and comments are most definitely not something that should be used to provide bug feedback. But then again, most people are idiots, so it's easy to see why would they do that.

    And this forum, well...
    Most people here don't differ from the kind you find on Steam with their intelligence level. But most people also go away after getting a solution to their problem, and the ones who stay are those who have some sort of knowledge on the matter. We're an "elite*" group of people who know what the heck is going on, and thus can do things with the code. And that stems from our ability to find information on our own, whether it's by checking an appropriate thread or by using an internet search service.
    It's easily evident if you take a look at the member list - out of twelve "people with the most posts", six of them have either released or are slowly writing mods, one is a forum moderator, two of them report a lot of bugs and are generally active, one is DavidB1111 (who just likes to write a lot), one is a writer and one had a role-play thread to spam away. That alone should be enough to understand what kind of people spend time on this forum.

    * We aren't exactly elite, nor are we elitist, but we are people who actually know how to write posts without being an ass/making oneself appear as an idiot, and who know how to be crafty with the code, which does sort of make us into something like an elite group.
    Essence, lccorp2 and OmniNegro like this.
  9. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Kazeto beat me to saying it. ^^ This.

    I have been critical of Steam since the beginning. Now it is time to take a moment and be critical of the people who use it. I think they are mostly people who have no clue how to handle installations. That in no way means all of them are unable, but the majority of Steam users do not even understand the seemingly basic elements of Steam itself. Yet somehow they manage by sheer volume to find numerous bugs, half of which do not actually exist. But you cannot convince them of that.

    When I encounter a mod misbehaving in one way or another, the first thing that occurs to me is to check the documentation and see if I did something foolish or missed a required step in the mod installation. Too bad the workshop is not just linking to the mod threads here. That would negate 90% of such issues.
    Kazeto likes this.
  10. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Personally, i subscribed to everything and I don't care if my saves break. It's a damn Roguelike -- I don't invest enough into any one character to care if they die, whether it's to a Raven or a bug. :)
    Kazeto and OmniNegro like this.
  11. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    You can't generalize an entire group of millions and millions of people, though. There's usually 7-9 million people online at any one time. Go anywhere in any gaming software or community and you have the people you speak to. Just because they use Steam doesn't mean anything. Go anywhere in any community about anything and you have what you speak about.
  12. DragonDai

    DragonDai Member

    Hey, I just wanted to chime in here. I am not a DoD mod maker (yet, been looking into it extensively lately), but I wanted to say a BIG thank you to all the modders out there who have helped to make an amazing game even better. And I want to give a BIGGER thank you to those who put those mods on Steam Workshop and have to deal with all the problems that brings. I am sure there are some advantages to the Workshop for the modders (I know there are TONS for us mod users) but I am sure there is a ton of issues (like the ones listed here and more) as well.

    Now, I have used mods since before they were available on the Workshop, but man does the workshop ever make my life easier. So I just wanted to say an extra big thank you to those mod developers who took the time and effort to make my life easier. There are a lot of us who really appreciate all the awesome work you guys do. :)
    Dray`Gon, mining, Kazeto and 3 others like this.
  13. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Join usssss....
  14. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    We have the antidote to the poison that was in those cookies...
    TheJadedMieu likes this.
  15. DragonDai

    DragonDai Member

    But the cookies were DELICIOUS!!!!
  16. DragonDai

    DragonDai Member

    My only real concern with starting to mod this game is that while I am sure I could just look at what other people have done and figure out at least enough to make my own stuff decently well, it would just be a modified copy past. I have no clue about any form of programming or anything like that. This game makes me want to learn, but I don't know of any good place to go learn (besides collage, but damn, that's a lot of money for Dredmor...Probably worth it, but still LOL). Any of you know any "Whatever-programming-language-Dredmor-uses" for dummies website or whatever?
  17. Nicholas

    Nicholas Technology Director Staff Member

    is all yours for the taking.

    On a more pragmatic note: Okay, so there's the problem of breaking during updates. It's like having a new Dredmor patch every day! Goodie. I'm open to solutions as to how to fix this.
  18. FaxCelestis

    FaxCelestis Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Cache a copy of the mod with the save? It's going to make sav files huge, but at least they'll work.

    EDIT: YOu could cut down on size by not caching images and using a default image if it can't find one.
    r_b_bergstrom and OmniNegro like this.
  19. DragonDai

    DragonDai Member

    Yeah, I've been to It's an excelent resource for finding templates and the like (I have used it to help me make very small changes to some of the mods I have downloaded in the past).

    As for being on-topic...I think that they was Steam Workshop works, and how the other games that use it work, there isn't going to be a whole lot modders can do about it. It's certainly not their fault and I think it just needs to be stressed (maybe in the little bar at the top of the Dredmor Workshop page that currently talks about that by subscribing, you'll be getting auto updates that could theoretically break your saves and to use with caution.

    As far as I can see, it seems like the major issues would be with room/item mods and what not, correct? If a skill mod had a small edit (like balancing a skill or something) that doesn't seem like it would cause too much grief (that's the "very small changes" I was talking about above that I did, and I did them mid-save several times with no probs).

    I do think that it's a shame that the Workshop (especially since the addition of Skyrim mods) has sort of taken on a "subscribe to all the mods" feeling to it. But hopefully the Dredmor crowd will get used to it and the wonderful modders won't have to put up with too much whining. LOL
  20. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Also, you don't need to be a programmer or anything to get into it. I had zero modern programming experience, and I just jumped in long before there were happy mod validators and wikis and shit. Hell, when I made my first mod, you couldn't even add skills to the skill selection screen, so I had to replace Throwing to get Bushido to work. :)

    It doesn't take a lot of technical skill -- just passion.
    OmniNegro and Kazeto like this.