Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by TimmiT, Jul 23, 2016.
I don't think any Sega game has ever had real mod support. So I'm guessing that's a no.
Steam Genesis Sonic games have official mod support, don't know about official tools though...
Perhaps I should have phrased it as official endorsement and a finished product which leaves enough room for modding without too much ripping apart of the various internal files.
Also several of SEGA's PC games (like Total War) have mod support as well.
Please forgive me. I guess by mod support I meant mod tools. Maybe Total War has that. I don't know.
Sega gave a lecture on mod support at the most recent dev days. Their position - fans will make mod tools better than they (or any dev) can in the end, anyways.
That would maybe make sense, but we still end up having to figure out all the file formats to MAKE those tools.
The least they could do is give us documentation on all the file formats they use.
Sometimes those types of formats aren't theirs to document.
Also, what kind of self-respecting mod tool creator doesn't know how to reverse-engineer? =P
The point is, if it's one of THEIR formats, they ought to share it, if they seriously expect us to believe they support the mod community. And just because it CAN be reverse engineered, doesn't mean it should have to be. It's a lot of effort that could be expended elsewhere.
Kind of have to agree, if SEGA wants to be open about it they can provide whatever they can share to speed up the process in creating those tools.
Unfortunately I didn't have anything to do with it and I don't think Sky and Lange did either. I wish I did, it's grand.
Right? Saying it's ok is one thing, but by the time the community makes the tools interest may fade which turns some people away.
Kinda first world problems to complain they don't make the games moddable enough. Biting the hand that feeds you n all.
Personally, I find this argument to be silly. Without someone going "Won't someone please think of the Modders! :specialed: " the modding of a certain title may end up in a limbo unmoving state.
That said, while I'm hardly adept at coding, I think developers handing the keys to filetypes may take some of the fun out, the wonder of discovery, even if I can't make those discoveries myself.
A Sonic Mania modding API would be awesome, but the first Sonic hackers didn't have one.
An inbuilt modloader on the other hand as well as a Steam Workshop support? That I can get 100% behind. :D
Yeah that's a fair point. I guess I'm just pointing out that saying it would be awesome is one thing, complaining and saying "they ought to" is another. This is because I doubt they're actually trying to nurture a modding community like it's whatever hip game is modded these days. They're just happy to allow it and that's as far as their interest takes them, no? So I don't think "the modding scene might perish" is actually a thing they care about quite as much as modders hope they do. That's what I had in mind when I made my remark.
And the counter is it often isn't THEIR format.
That's not a counter, and you've said it already. I don't care if they don't own some of the formats. If it IS one of THEIR proprietary formats, they can share it. And they should. It takes very little effort to dump some documentation onto the internet, and directly aiding the modding community is nothing but good PR.
It could be the company's propriety format, therefore the developers would be breaking some kind of contract or agreement to provide internal documentation on it. As well, the Motorola 68K certainly wasn't SEGA's. :v:
Still, it's nice that they're not going to crush support for mods in updates to their games, even if the fans have to make the tools themselves. I remember the Dark Souls fanbase going through tussles about mod support when DSFix was blocked in an update.
I don't often say this, but this sort of attitude is pretty entitled. Frankly we should be grateful that Sega is supportive of people editing their games/making fangames, by leaving them be. Just look at Nintendo.
The balance is just right here - they're not offering the formats on a silver platter, but they're not stopping anyone from breaking it, either.
A few other considerations:
- These games were never made to be modified in the first place. They're fixed binaries with no inherent support for changes and no expectation that anyone outside the original dev team will ever need to know anything about how they work
- There are always like 50 </hyperbole> different departments of the same company with related stake in something like this and they won't always agree (Marketing, internal dev, legal, etc). Any one can only do so much without the full support of the others, and they're like whole separate worlds
- 20-year-old formats for out-of-date hardware/software aren't necessarily something that needs to be kept handy even if the appropriate people were willing to make them accessible. Time spent crawling relatively-ancient archives is better spent elsewhere; we're not talking "modern" record-keeping
- Enough of SEGA knows that their relevant private hardware documentation was leaked around two decades ago anyway. Even if the appropriate group wanted to release them, they may not have access to the originals and can't directly endorse the leaks
- Enough of SEGA knows that there have existed user-created tools for the bulk of this stuff since like the dawn of time </hyperbole>. In the case of these games, they had practically no tools and usually worked raw binary. Why blow time and money having their devs research and learn out-of-date technology to redo what's already or likely to be done by someone else?
- Several formats used by many games indeed were created by/did belong to other entities, such as the "Kosinski" compression (in actuality, LZ77[?], which is well-documented and was under patent until about 2004), "Nemesis" compression (in actuality, "Huffman" or a variant thereof, if I remember correctly), and even the PCM format broken down by jman (in actuality, a form of ADPCM)
- I mean for people to create with HCGE and I still don't keep documentation on my binary file formats because it's an unnecessary use of time to maintain it (in my case, I understand them and have source access, there are utilities and modifying them directly is unwieldy, and they also might change)
Given what we're dealing with here, what we ended up with is more generous than anyone could ever have expected, even if it is a mutually-beneficial arrangement
...and I'm assuming that all this recent "banning" mess is some kind of mistake
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