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89157Z

Stripmod Project

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I am intending to produce and release a 'stripped game' mod for Academagia. It will reduce the game to the bare-bones, removing a lot of features and simplifying things intensely. I am creating this to assist in my own future modding projects. I believe that the stripped-down mod will be easier/faster to run, to test, and to modify. I think it will also help highlight and demystify the game features that remain.

 

I think the game has gotten a little crufty, frankly, but it is not beyond my power to assist.

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Just keep in mind that after release the game engine was optimised to handle the most curent DLCs and so there where even some strange reports from people who didn't enable the DLC on gamestart.

Also not every Computer is able to handle Publish mod of the Mod Tool.

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Just keep in mind that after release the game engine was optimised to handle the most curent DLCs and so there where even some strange reports from people who didn't enable the DLC on gamestart.

Also not every Computer is able to handle Publish mod of the Mod Tool.

 

It's unfortunate that the game doesn't run well if the current DLC isn't enabled on gamestart. Identifying and spurring fixes for such issues is part of what I hope to do.

 

EDIT: Also, I have access to computers good enough to do so, I think... And if not, I'll save up and buy better systems. Having a cutting edge computer would be pretty sweet anyways.

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On the suggestion of a friend, I'm starting the stripmod project by removing a bunch of backgrounds from the game. Because the Owl is my least favorite 'standard' familiar, it's also going the way of the dodo. Removing all traces of the Owl familiar was an interesting exercise: I took down its adventures too, and the special items/abilities associated with said adventures (The Creation Orb and the Shield of Basal). The Owl Bond Adventure was utterly ludicrous, by the way. Totally crazy. I've no clue if I really got every trace of Minister Hiboux removed, but I tried.

 

The list of punted backgrounds:

Academies: Baltagio, Blackheath, Chameil

Apprenticeships: Bookbinders', Drapers', Local Wizard (Note, the file lists "Bookbinder's Guild", but that's grammatically inappropriate. Unless the entire guild is owned by a single person named Bookbinder, it should be "Bookbinders' Guild".)

Aptitudes: Cooking, Hunting

Astrologies: Midnight, Noon, The Eclipse

Deeds: Bane of Bakeries, The Town's Pageant, Town and Familiar

Discoveries: Forges

Exploits: Monteon Mercenaries, The City of Mineta, The Society of the West

Familiar Bonds: Owl

Familiar Escapades: All!

Familiar Trainings: All Things Ancient, Bookworm, Enchanter Extraordinaire, Helpful Spy, Sports Enthusiast

Families: Helpful and Attentive

Friendships: Female Students, Male Students

Heritages: All!

Histories: Locally Notable

Inheritances: (These are on my chopping block, but I do not yet feel wise enough to remove them.)

Omens: Flight of Birds, The Storm

Prodigies: None

Spells: None

Stations: Nobility, Up from Destitution

Tutoring: All

Wands: None

 

This is hardly all the backgrounds I will probably end up removing. It is merely the ones I have removed at this point. When I remove more, I am likely to update this post rather than making a new one.

I got worried when it bogged down at 50% published in the middle of the night and was using so much RAM, but it seems I needn't have worried about that: The mod published successfully. Now if only it actually worked. I'm very glad I started with Backgrounds; it makes testing really very quick. Just load up the program and see if all the Heritages are gone. Now I need to figure out if it is even possible to make a mod with less data than the original game the way I want to do.

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Maybe if I try publishing it as an 'official content'? Couldn't hurt; trying that now.

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How do I make this work? I'm trying to remove data from the base game. It doesn't seem to be working. The mod loads and runs fine... it just doesn't DO anything.

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89157Z;

 

My suggestion is that you modify the AMO directly.

 

If you are deleting things, in particular, you should not make a mod. Instead, work directly in the AMO, and publish as Official Content. Doing it this way will replace the game's base files.

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89157Z;

 

My suggestion is that you modify the AMO directly.

 

If you are deleting things, in particular, you should not make a mod. Instead, work directly in the AMO, and publish as Official Content. Doing it this way will replace the game's base files.

 

I've created an Official Content for this work. Now, how do I make the game use it? When you select 'Publish Official Content' it creates a single hefty file.

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You unpack it into your Official Content folder; it's a zip, as I recall, although not given that file extension.

 

Yes! It's working! Now that I've proven the concept, I can start removing even bigger things. Thank you for your support.

 

I really feel that the StripMod project will be valuable, even before I get to the 'reconstructive' stage.

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Next project: Deleting Forge events.

 

First year classes don't use the Forges much and first year crafting is mostly unimplemented. Therefore, first year students shouldn't stumble across the Academagia forges so often and so randomly. I'm going to be explaining my justifications as I remove the events. The Stripmod is partially a critique project, after all. I won't necessarily be removing all the forge events.

 

Removed Events:

Random Event Forge 14: In which the player has the chance to steal an iron dagger or an iron mosquito from a forge. While this event doesn't require one actually be permitted in the forges to make sense, it is poorly implemented. The 'Benefits' section lists just the obtuse 'your honesty is rewarded'. Meanwhile, stealing the dagger results in an expansion to composure, and nothing else.

Random Event Forge 13: In which the player dodges a hammer thrown by a thief. The 'investigation' option and its continuance are silly.

Random Event Forge 10: In which the player is going to a forge they shouldn't be visiting, and trips on an anvil discarded among a thorny thicket. The anvil is an expensive piece of equipment! Not to mention too heavy to easily carry around. The Academagia wouldn't just lose one like that. Not to mention that 'in which the player trips' events are a little silly to begin with.

Random Event Forge 9: Event only makes sense if player can use forges for crafting projects.

Random Event Forge 8: See above. Excellent event, excellent year two event, not really year one appropriate. The Forgemaster really ought to be an Instructor someyear. A minotaur instructor would be awesome.

Random Event Forge 7: See above.

Random Event Forge 6: See above.

Random Event Forge 5: See above. Without formal classes or duties that require using the forges, and without a well-implemented crafting system, the player really has no excuse to find themselves randomly in a forge carrying a basket of red hot coals.

Random Event Forge 4: If Everwine von Zoedorf were THAT dangerous, he'd hardly be allowed near the forges at all. And as a first year student... Well, I'm currently laboring under the delusion that first year students have (or at least ought to have!) restricted forge access anyways.

Random Event Forge 3: What.

 

 

Surviving Events:

Random Event Forge 1: This is explicitly an Incantation class visit to the Forges. It works great thematically even if first year students aren't usually in the forges. It does need a prerequisite added so it only happens to players who actually have Incantation classes.

Random Event Forge 2: The player is requested by a professor to go somewhere they ordinarily wouldn't, which fits fine with my idea of the Forges being a bit more restricted.

Random Event Forge 11: The player isn't going into the forge, they're just passing by. This could happen to anyone.

Random Event Forge 12: See above.

 

 

Removed Items:

Iron Mosquito: The iron mosquito is described as being a mosquito-shaped blade concealed inside a dagger to do extra damage, which seems several kinds of silly. It would damage the integrity of the dagger and I can't imagine it would add much. Use of the thing independently would be a little silly too. It might be a nasty little caltrop, but a sharp-thing that hides inside the handle of a dagger can't be big enough to be very intimidating.

 

 

I wish there was some way to select an item and 'trace' it, see all the things that refer to it, so that I could know for sure if my removals would be stable enough and thorough enough. As it is, I just have to hope that I'm lucky and that I know the game's systems well enough. It's like a Luck + Modbase skillcheck.

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I also would remove most of Random Event Potions because of the very same reason but even worse Brew Class was complet droped from game.

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I wish there was some way to select an item and 'trace' it, see all the things that refer to it, so that I could know for sure if my removals would be stable enough and thorough enough. As it is, I just have to hope that I'm lucky and that I know the game's systems well enough. It's like a Luck + Modbase skillcheck.

 

Each time you operate the mod, you gain a skill step! Unfortunately it doesn't increase your modding speed ;)

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I also would remove most of Random Event Potions because of the very same reason but even worse Brew Class was complet droped from game.

 

Good point! Thank you for suggesting it; I'll do that next.

 

Removed Events:

Random Events Potions 22: In which a bunch of forest faeries ruin your cauldron-work. A fine event, if only the player actually were doing potioneering yet. Might also not be remiss to have as a prerequisite that the player actually owns a cauldron.

Random Events Potions 21: In which Enchanting (?) professor Matain Leith requires you to brew a potion in front of the class as an example.

Random Events Potions 20: In which Matain Leith (?) requires you to visit the aviary and acquire a songbird's feather for a potion. I like this event. I would note it has a missed comedic opportunity in how the failures are written. I hope REP20 will come back in improved form in Year Two, but for now, it's gotta go.

Random Events Potions 19: In which... you know, I'm just going to shorten these to "Leithy Breweries, Inc" for future justifications.

Random Events Potions 18: Leithy Breweries, Inc.

Random Events Potions 17: Leithy Breweries, Inc. The Sleight of Hand exit on this one made me laugh out loud.

Random Events Potions 16: There is no Random Events Potions 16.

Random Events Potions 14: In which the player character is brewing a nonspecified slippery potion and nearly drops it because it is (go figure) slippery. Not a bad event.

Random Events Potions 13: Leithy Breweries, Inc?

Random Events Potions 11: In which the player... Hmm. We'll call these 'player brewing nonspecified potion' events "To the Moonshine".

Random Events Potions 10: Err. I seem to have accidentally deleted Potions 10 without looking at it. Loading up alternate files to look at it... Ah. "To the Moonshine"

Random Events Potions 9: Leithy Breweries, Inc

Random Events Potions 8: Leithy Breweries, Inc

Random Events Potions 7: Paichalt Potions? What? Flush!

Random Events Potions 6: To the Moonshine!

Random Events Potions 5: To the Moonshine, Curt Aining edition.

Random Events Potions 4: Maybe it's petty, but I just don't like this one.

 

 

Surviving Events:

Random Events Potions 1: Assaulting someone with a healing potion? Genius!

Random Events Potions 2: An excellent example of why Firsties aren't supposed to work with Potions.

Random Events Potions 3: I am not a fan of GigAnts, but the event is structured fine, so in it stays.

Random Events Potions 12: This one specifically mentions Firsties not generally working with Potions, so I approve of it as a First Year Event.

Random Events Potions 15: This isn't really a Potions event, it's more of a Botany event.

 

 

Removed Items:

Smoke Cover Potion: Available only as a result of Event 11, I'll strip it rather than leave an orphaned item in the database.

 

 

I've noticed that Matein Leith is in many of these... and honestly, it reminds me of something. Brewing is clearly dangerous, and it makes sense that it wouldn't be a first-year thing for the same reason it makes sense Forgework wouldn't be. At the same time, Enchant doesn't seem like a good first year project either. It relies too much on being able to do other kind of craftwork first off and secondly, without first establishing knowledge of other magical schools it is difficult to demonstrate the value of enchantment techniques.

 

It's not that Enchanting is dangerous the way Brewing and Smithing is. It's more that Enchanting relies too much on other knowledge.

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Just a word of warning in case I inspire anyone: I've already accidentally trashed my Academagia install once while working on this project. That's why I backed up all my files before I started work. If you want to mod, put the files somewhere safe before you start messing with them.

 

On a related note, if publishing mods weren't so slow, there's all kinds of little tweaks I'd publish. With as slow as modding is though, I just don't feel like making little tweaks, and I don't want to release anything unless it's pretty big.

 

EDIT/Update: Meaning I accidentally trashed my Academagia install TONIGHT while working on the events. Yeah, it's been fun.

 

Update: Just for curiosity, I tried combining the stripmod with the DLC. Nope. The stripmod works on its own, but in conjunction they're super crash brothers.

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is this still going on?

 

This is officially dead as of today. I just deleted the files associated with it. I wasn't documenting myself well enough.

 

I still believe in the project, and I most especially wish the Potions stuff would be officially patched out of the game, but it was very hard going. The mod tools are quite slow, and even without adding new content, this is an extensive project.

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I think the most viable way to do this would not be to delete anything outright, but rather make it impossible for it to trigger. That's because almost everyone wants to use the latest DLCs and content for fixes. As it is, you could still only assure that your mod was compatable with DLC15- not the content patch- but it would still be better then just having to use the base game, which would be horribly buggy.

 

What I mean is like taking a potions event and setting it's prereq to having a Potions skill of 20 or whatever. No one is going to get that in play (Revision, on the other hand...). Then, simply, that potions event won't be allowed to trigger. You could do that with all the potion, forge, or whatever events that you feel are out of focus, then have people load your mod above the latest official patch. You'll lose all fixes from that patch, but you will allow all the new stuff in that patch to trigger (I heard rumors there may be an adventure hiding in content patch 3, but I may just be imagining things).

 

On the other hand, I think a better route for this is first year students might not be encouraged to study potions, but that doesn't mean they don't. Look at Emilia and Cante. Set potion events so you have to have a Potion skill of 3 or whatever to trigger them- your interest in the subject would control whether they show up or not. Same thing with forge events.

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