Mods: Ideas, Thoughts, Questions

I know nothing about LUA. Apparently it’s complicated but let’s set that aside for a moment and pretend it isn’t lol… With all the recent discussion on future updates, I’ve been thinking about how mods can keep things fresh for everyone. Things I’d like to discuss:

  1. Is anyone here planning to make mods?
  2. We can’t do anything on the testing server currently, right?
  3. Are there general modding communities out there where people like to take on new games?
  4. Would anyone be down to make a site for sharing mods?
  5. Will we be able to buy/sell them legally to support the modders?
  6. Turns out I only had questions, so this one is a statement.
  7. What are some mod ideas you’d like to be reality?

Number 7 there is the real reason I’m making this thread. What is the simplest little addition you’d like to see first? How about a huge, complicated game-changer?

I have a million ideas but here are a few quick ones:

  • Ancient corruption deals about 1/10 of the damage of lava when you walk on it, so you’d be forced to keep moving in things like Reaper Trials. (simple)
  • Make one of the blocks impossible to grapple so it can be used as dungeon walls that would prevent cheating. (simple, I think)
  • Some kind of ball to make a sport with… or the bigger idea would be spawners, then hoppers can be used as the above-referenced round object. (probably complicated)

I guess those are all athletics based but that’s pretty much what I’m hoping for. I really want to make a functional stadium for something. Let’s hear some other stuff!

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Specific blocks doing a tiny amount of damage when bumped into or walked on, such as Ancient corruption (like you mentioned) and thorns.

More interactive blocks, The simpler the better. My favorite would be an interactable Book shelf
That had like 4 states of textures depending on how many books were placed in it (0-3).

An additional Opaque Water liquid to enable colored water via gleam without removing the clear default water. Could even be THICK water, which is from IRL… craft water with xanthium gum to make thick water :stuck_out_tongue:

Pets.

Small mobs that are not hostile ever, that just provide life to an area.

Ocean and lake mobs. Both hostile and non-hostile.

I REALLY agree with a block that cannot be grappled, my dream build is a forest with a wall around it and it defeats its existence if players could grapple into it from the side rather than the designated entrance. Perhaps it could be a type of spray can, that when sprayed on a block simply makes it ungrappable. Not sure how one would know its ungrappable afterward without testing. this ‘seems easy’ but at the same time seems ‘super hard’ :confused:

This sounds hard but…more chisel types, i.e. 100 degree blocks and the missing ‘inside corner chisel’ all rooftop builders desire.

Also, blocks that can speed up or slow down a player walking or running over them.

Ladder blocks of varying types, i know at one point a dev made fun concept art for the idea.

I’m sure given more time i could think of more but this is what popped up in my head and what i thought about over the last year.

As for mobs i would not want real life animals in the game, but ‘boundless’ originals.

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Based on the documentation I read, you won’t be able to add objects or blocks, add chisels, etc.

You could add damage radiation to blocks, make certain blocks ungaplleable, maybe find a way to make ladders. Probably by either making an existing block into a ladder or having a block combo trigger ledderness.

  1. If the tools are strong enough, I’ll make mods. I just got a promotion that means I won’t be writing as much code, so I should have the mental bandwidth for it.
  2. Since we don’t have the planned server executable, I don’t think so, but I haven’t tried - I was waiting to see if there were changes or documentation at first, but then I switched to “well, if this never comes out, I don’t want to have made un-useable mods”
  3. It’s probably better to use one of the existing mod community site. I believe they let you add games and post mods.
  4. Usually no, buy accepting donations or having a patreon for access to dev blogs and/or ability to give feedback.
  5. This statement is false.
  6. If possible, and I think it is, I would like to add in some kind of ritualistic magic system to create forged tools in a deterministic way. Think building a shrine structure that you can place sacrifices on to create specific forged items.
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Congratulations on your promotion!

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Would love to make mods, but like already mentioned the current scripting API is a little restricted.

But that’s not to say tools couldn’t be made by the community (for example to add blocks which would only require file modifications I think?), since anything to do with modding is going to need a private server and modifications to that server and it’s files.

We do have the dedicated server executables for both testing and live (in your steamapps/Boundless folders), and they can be run independently of the game, which is a start. In theory, by modifying a few files on both sides, adding a block type wouldn’t be that difficult, but new behaviour and functionality definitely would be.

From the EULA we have these two paragraphs:


The first seems to stand in the way of any kind of unofficial modding API the community could create to extend the capabilities of the current api, but who knows whether this would be enforced, especially in the context of a harmless community modding effort :man_shrugging:.

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Those terms may be adjusted a bit once modded servers are official. Like you said “in the context of harmless community modding effort”.

Has anyone played the game Kenshi? It has the best modding system I can imagine because the devs first wrote that then actually built the world with it. No coding needed. Every single faction, city, character, weapon, triggered event, everything is in the menus and simply uses drop downs and relative (0-100) scales for attributes. You can change attributes of anything in the game, create a new file, or even copy and paste a file then simply alter that to make new stuff. You can also write dialogue that can have consequences, and random comments people say when you pass by.

My coolest mod set was a faction of OP warrior monks for myself, then a rival faction I created to make my own endgame, since it’s a pure sandbox with 0 actual direction for the story (the two big empires are big on slave trade so in the base game my endgame was to topple them and free everyone). Then I added one guy who travels around and if you kill him it triggers the other faction attacking you. Haven’t actually completed that tbh, I kinda miss it.

So I say that to say this… first off it would be so much cooler if all the block attributes in the game were in a simple list that you can alter. If you want corruption to burn your feet, you just open the file for it and set its damage value from contact to something above 0.

Secondly, regardless of how it’s laid out for us, I think we may be able to do triggered events of some kind. We’ve seen @georgegroeg insert the Elder in the sanctum. Imagine a dungeon that tests your athletic skills, grappling abilities, and critical thinking. You get to the end and see the Elder in front of a lavafall, triggering a little monologue about corrupting yourself with power and imploring you to strike him down. You hit him with your wooden sword and he vanishes, triggering a trap door to cut off the lava flow and revealing a legendary diamond sword and a portal out. You come to the surface to see every mob is aggro’d, even the wildstocks. They do near-fatal damage with one hit (except the cuttles due to homing shots), but your sword one hits everything. Now your mission is to find the Elder’s castle using clues and whatnot while dealing with legitimately challenging mobs.

The ability to add new blocks and mobs would obviously makes things much better, but I believe whatever this ends up being will at least give us enough to create something engaging that we can’t do in the live servers. Positive feedback could lead to future development on the mod side that could open things up to even greater possibilities.

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Me, The Elder, and I

I think a lot of what you said is possible with the existing modding scripting I’ve seen. It would just take a lot of manual work, I believe. I can’t remember if it’s possible to generate forged weapons with a script, but it’s possible to set an entities HP to 1.

I think that it’s possible that getting some framework mods made right out of the gates would be a good idea. Something to make it easy to add block damage, something to make it easy to insert and control NPCs, etc. But we’ll see if there are changes to scripting when servers are released.

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Oooo you can add yourself too? How much can you change about the look? I guess we could add a number of helpful people.

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You have to manually set each attribute, but it has all the options from character creation and accessories. You can spawn any number of them and make them do animations on either loop or on trigger (or both). With scripting, which I don’t know how to do in sanctum, I believe you can also move them around, but you would have to carefully start and stop animations or it would look funky.

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Yeah I definitely think stuff like that could be done.

In case you didn’t see this.

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Sure I haven’t looked at the API yet, but are message popups like the level popup in the API? Would be interesting to make servers with some sort of story that you can pop up like that.

Since we’re discussing more in-depth here, here is the documentation we have. It’s been around for a while, so we don’t know if there is more coming if we get proper servers in 249
https://docs.playboundless.com/modding/server-scripting.html

Note that I have looked through this doc, but haven’t spent more than a passing glance at actual scripting.

There is a “chat access” section at the bottom. I don’t know how the messages actually display, but it appears to be able to show something to the player, at least. I think it can read chat as well.

I suspect there are objects available to this scripting system that aren’t documented, but I won’t experiment with that until/unless we get fully released server software, since I don’t want to spend time reverse engineering something that can’t really be shared.

So, there’s not really much of an API. It’s Lua. They have specified available properties/methods/whatever for a lot of boundless objects and there are certain things you can’t do in terms of having full access to the local system - but overall it’s just a Lua interpreter ready to go.

A lot of the heavy technical people who made the first generations of mods(./hacks) for boundless are gone though. Once they have a system out there will be some evolution, and certain mods will build on top of others. A sort of ‘framework’ might develop but it depends on how much community materializes.

But for a minute it’s only going to be people who want to do the more heavy technical stuff.

It looks like health is adjustable, and since some of the earlier scripts made things happen on contact with a block/point, it seems like you should be able to make poisoned blocks. But I doubt if it can easily be proximity over time type stuff, it would probably be more like -(x) health on each contact or something, at first.

I don’t know how much additional LUA work it would take (not sure if it’s reasonable at all) to scan every block within a certain radius of your character for possible effects at all times. It could mean a check of a couple hundred blocks every time you move 1m.

Then once you have that for proximity, you would have to implement some sort of time tracking for effects with timed exposure.

EDIT: IDK the “event system” section is pretty sparse. I don’t have enough lua knowledge to know if “onEnterFrame” could be used to trigger this sort of thing as a player moves around.

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The main issue I see is how the mods are run. You need to run a private server and have the same files on the server as your client. There is no UI in boundless to connect to a private server, so there aren’t any around. They won’t be able to communicate or switch between the live universe and the private one.

On top of that the limitations are pretty harsh, there isn’t too much exciting stuff you can do. I contemplated machine automation and switches but neither of those was really possible to do.

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