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Majiir

Community Mod Repository and The Majiir Challenge

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Before I address your points in detail, I have to say I think you've missed the point of simplicity. There is no lack of feature ideas here. What we lack is a cohesive set of core features.

Huh? At least from a user's point of view, yes, we have a cohesive set of core features - a text field describing the mod and a big red button to start the download. Practically everything else is pure gravy.

As a user, I'm not at all fond of all the extra krep and requirements some folks are trying to burden mod authors with. Whatever feature set is implemented, anything beyond a basic text field should be completely optional to avoid raising the bar on mod developers. Now, that may sound odd because raising the bar is certainly desirable... but we don't want to even unintentionally discourage the guy who comes up with a simple reskin or .cfg change of a Squad part, he may be the next Majjir or Ferram or Sarbian. Make it simple, make it accessible, and let the forums sort the good from the bad. For Replaceport to succeed, it's not enough to simply work where Spaceport doesn't, the inertia of the simple solution of hosting your own files has to be overcome as well. If it's not as easy and straightforward for the developer to use as it is for the user - "KSC, we have a problem".

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you missed out the 3rd

3. why aren't people using this Nexus.

I've seen people slatting Nexus because of A, B, C. and others saying they love it because of A, C, D. and others saying they never heard of it - me included. What would an extra mod site accomplish that Nexus couldn't?

I've used Nexus for other games. It's quite useful but ferram makes the good point that it raises the barrier for mod-making, and lows it for mod-installing. Some would see this as a good thing but ferram and Majiir are cornerstones of our modding community and if it makes them uncomfortable it's going to get off to a bad start.

Good God I wish Squad would get off their high horse and use SteamWorks.

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Whatever feature set is implemented, anything beyond a basic text field should be completely optional to avoid raising the bar on mod developers.

So why do we need a new site again then? Just use the forums. A basic text field allowing anything you like.

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So why do we need a new site again then? Just use the forums. A basic text field allowing anything you like.

We can kick one feature in the face with a request: Blizzy, is it possible to use your Toolbar, already so widely adopted, to notify of a mod update using the same UI that you have used for your own mod when it updates? The only issue with this is that I'm fairly sure Squad are implementing their own version of your Toolbar - plus a general UI feedback thingy majig - in 0.24, but that remains to be seen.

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Blizzy, is it possible to use your Toolbar, already so widely adopted, to notify of a mod update using the same UI that you have used for your own mod when it updates?

Sure, it can be done.

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Not being a web developer at all, I have no clue how hard of a suggestion that this would be to implement, but I've seen other repositories in which registered users were able to suggest adding or removing specific tags for items. While I can see where something like this could have the possibility of being abused, with proper limitations (Registered users only/Uploaders only/limited amount per user, etc) it could be a way to farm out the policing of tags to the crowd and maybe keep the tag spam under control.

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Good God I wish Squad would get off their high horse and use SteamWorks.

You won't find many people to stand next to you for that one. SteamWorks is bad in all sorts of ways, the biggest one I've seen is that SteamWorks makes it very difficult for creators to own their creations, the second biggest one is that I, as well as lots of other users, don't want steam to have anything to do with my anything; Steam just doesn't work very well and every game that I have had to use Steam to play I have eventually decided not to play because Steam was too much of a hassle.

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I've used Nexus for other games. It's quite useful but ferram makes the good point that it raises the barrier for mod-making, and lows it for mod-installing. Some would see this as a good thing but ferram and Majiir are cornerstones of our modding community and if it makes them uncomfortable it's going to get off to a bad start.

Good God I wish Squad would get off their high horse and use SteamWorks.

This post is actually kind of funny, since SteamWorks stands for everything ferram and others have complained about. Apart from that, this would mean depending on Steam and more importantly that Squad actively hands over its potential customers to Valve, thus helping them to dominate the world (of digital game distribution). A lot of digital services, stores and social networks trend to do so... but having a single company dominating a market is bad (though i have to admit that i would prefer being owned by Valve over most of its competitors)

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This post is actually kind of funny, since SteamWorks stands for everything ferram and others have complained about. Apart from that, this would mean depending on Steam and more importantly that Squad actively hands over its potential customers to Valve, thus helping them to dominate the world (of digital game distribution). A lot of digital services, stores and social networks trend to do so... but having a single company dominating a market is bad (though i have to admit that i would prefer being owned by Valve over most of its competitors)

Tested service bad, fragmentation good, got it.

Valve doesn't 'own' most/any of the third-party games on Steam. It is perfectly possible to implement SteamWorks and have your users ignore it - you can use Nexis or your own file organisation to install mods in games like Skyrim. The reason I mentioned it at all is that, again and again, when the choice is between Nexis and SteamWorks, users choose SteamWorks. SteamWorks is Nexis, but done with the polish, reliability and server power of an AAA publishing house. You may have gather from my tone that I don't particularly think it's a good thing that people are against Nexis, and I think even the skeptics would be won over.

Nice companion cube, by the way...

the second biggest one is that I, as well as lots of other users, don't want steam to have anything to do with my anything; Steam just doesn't work very well and every game that I have had to use Steam to play I have eventually decided not to play because Steam was too much of a hassle.

I will never understand this, though I see it so often. This isn't 2004, Steam is no longer Valve's buggy content distribution program, it's the largest, most popular online gaming store in the world, the only one with the power to compel people to make consoles for it, rock solid and tested by millions of users every day. There are 6,298,308 million users online right now, presumably most of them not thinking that it 'just doesn't work very well'.

Edited by GavinZac

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I will never understand this, though I see it so often. This isn't 2004, Steam is no longer Valve's buggy content distribution program, it's the largest, most popular online gaming store in the world, the only one with the power to compel people to make consoles for it, rock solid and tested by millions of users every day. There are 6,298,308 million users online right now, presumably most of them not thinking that it 'just doesn't work very well'.

And yet it still works so poorly that not two weeks ago I decided I didn't want to play any of the games I have on steam because steam was too much of a hassle.

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Let's not break too much into a discussion about the quality of service Steam provides.

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Steamworks would be impossible as KSP is available outside of Steam. Would leave out a fair chunk of the playerbase.

Nexus? Please not. That would end up a greater mess than SpacePort.

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I think the steam discussion is completely irrelivent, not all of use have our copy of KSP on steam. So steamworks is useless for KSP.

The big question is why isn't Squad in this thread showing us how everything we're talking about it almost done in Spaceport 2? Where is spaceport 2?

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Spaceport 2 fell down a hole and they buried it in asteroids

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Steamworks would be impossible as KSP is available outside of Steam. Would leave out a fair chunk of the playerbase.

I've just named 1 game with SteamWorks integration that works fine without it, and even with something as entirely-Steam-centred as Garry's Mod can be played and modded without SteamWorks.

However, Squad seem very unlikely to budge on that matter, so let's leave it bet.

TL;DR: N3X15 got sacked.

Eep. His last devnote was 3 months ago. Full 'steam' ahead with Replaceport then, I guess!

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Hi everybody, I haven't had a chance to read all of this thread but wanted to let you know we are working on a future mod portal right now. We don't have anything to share at this time, other than we will be looking at this thread for what people want and see how much of it will work on the updated portal.

I also want to stress we have been quiet about SpacePort because, well, we just haven't had anything new to share. We all know it's not fitting our needs but were still trying to fully understand what we want and need. Developing, producing and publishing the game takes a lot of effort so we do appreciate your patience when things remain in flux for far too long.

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Wow, there's some really great ideas here! It's like the School of Athens, but with KSP modders :)

Agree with everything that's been discussed here.

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Hi everybody, I haven't had a chance to read all of this thread but wanted to let you know we are working on a future mod portal right now. We don't have anything to share at this time, other than we will be looking at this thread for what people want and see how much of it will work on the updated portal.

I also want to stress we have been quiet about SpacePort because, well, we just haven't had anything new to share. We all know it's not fitting our needs but were still trying to fully understand what we want and need. Developing, producing and publishing the game takes a lot of effort so we do appreciate your patience when things remain in flux for far too long.

I'm just going to be callous here and say it is as it is. We don't care.

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Hi everybody, I haven't had a chance to read all of this thread but wanted to let you know we are working on a future mod portal right now. We don't have anything to share at this time, other than we will be looking at this thread for what people want and see how much of it will work on the updated portal.

I also want to stress we have been quiet about SpacePort because, well, we just haven't had anything new to share. We all know it's not fitting our needs but were still trying to fully understand what we want and need. Developing, producing and publishing the game takes a lot of effort so we do appreciate your patience when things remain in flux for far too long.

Thanks for the acknowledgement!

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There are a few pages I want to comment on, but I'll get to that another time.

Hi everybody, I haven't had a chance to read all of this thread but wanted to let you know we are working on a future mod portal right now. We don't have anything to share at this time, other than we will be looking at this thread for what people want and see how much of it will work on the updated portal.

I also want to stress we have been quiet about SpacePort because, well, we just haven't had anything new to share. We all know it's not fitting our needs but were still trying to fully understand what we want and need. Developing, producing and publishing the game takes a lot of effort so we do appreciate your patience when things remain in flux for far too long.

Calisker,

You're likely to get some negative responses to this, so I'd like to illuminate why.

In the first place, you've given us some vague information about yet another mod hosting project, but the first public indication of this is in a thread dedicated to a community-driven replacement. It seems like damage control, not sincere interest.

Squad has a habit of making bold statements and not following through. This is certainly the case with Spaceport. This new project is yet another initiative with no stated time frame, and many of us frankly have no confidence that Squad will get the job done. Bringing this news only makes it harder for us to motivate the creation of a community platform since a Squad solution will always feel right around the corner. I have some experience with this feeling: I author Kethane, a resource mining mod. Many of us resent Spaceport's continued existence because its inertia makes establishing a superior alternative more difficult.

There's a deeper problem, though. The modding community has long tried to have some influence on Spaceport, or some transparency in its development process, to no avail. I've requested many times that Squad have detailed discussions with modders about what we want out of Spaceport. I've communicated specific requests (e.g. change of uploading terms) on behalf of the community, and they've come back with assurances of resolution followed by long silence. (It's particularly bewildering because most recently, Squad approached me about the modding community's grievances, and yet no public action has been taken.)

From its inception, Spaceport was a Squad project to further Squad's goals. That's fine; it's Squad's duty as a business to work in its own interest. However, it's become clear that the modding community needs to look out for itself and its interests.

Personally, I think it's not worth Squad's time. Let us handle it. Spend your resources on building the game. If you want to help now, a few people are curious about Spaceport traffic statistics. If you want to help us later, you can help me recoup my server costs. In the meantime, I ask that Squad follow up on its prior promises to the modding community before getting involved in a new undertaking. (I have documents for your reference if you require.)

As always, feel free to get in touch. You've got me on Skype.

Cheers,

Majiir

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Hi everybody, I haven't had a chance to read all of this thread but wanted to let you know we are working on a future mod portal right now. We don't have anything to share at this time, other than we will be looking at this thread for what people want and see how much of it will work on the updated portal.

I also want to stress we have been quiet about SpacePort because, well, we just haven't had anything new to share. We all know it's not fitting our needs but were still trying to fully understand what we want and need. Developing, producing and publishing the game takes a lot of effort so we do appreciate your patience when things remain in flux for far too long.

All I know about Spaceport is that it is an utter pain to search and that craft files seem to rule the day. Get rid of craft files completely, fix the search, and you'll have an okay interim solution.

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One thing that really bugs me on the current Spaceport is the "Most Popular Addons" box on the front page. I think we should avoid that at all costs. My reasoning is that because those mods are popular, they don't need all the attention. But because they are features all the time, they "steal" attention away from other mods that might be new, but just as interesting. That of course is frustrating for new modders.

On the other hand, it's useful for new players, or players who are new to modding. "Most popular this month" might be better. In any case, I think multiple such indexes are a good idea. This kind of feature is quite easy to duplicate with different flavors.

As far as these concerns go, I think Spaceport has the right idea. Every mod should be packaged in one file, .zip only, no rar, tar, or anything else.

I agree. As far as I know, .zip is the only archive format supported by all platforms.

Here's my stab at first and second tier feature sets. The required features are required just to have a working system. The major features are what makes it better than spaceport. I think all of these make it past the "minus 100" check.

I generally agree. We could go back and forth on the metadata requirements, but I'll agree that every mod should have a name, date, author and version. What you've outlined is a great starting point.

My main problem with the Mod Nexus is the fact that it has a mod manager; unlike most people here I really don't think that a mod manager is a good idea

I also don't like mod managers. Moreover, Nexus has been around, and yet there are just two mods there. It clearly doesn't meet the needs of most modders.

I think we should take a moment and step back from things we'd like to have and focus on things spaceport does wrong specifically that replaceport must not faff up.

Absolutely. Negative requirements are important. Consistency with statistics and uploads is fairly easy to accomplish; it just means not screwing up caching. As for your last point, I will personally guarantee that at least half the content available on the server is pretty girls.

One thing I thing will be very nice is some kind of "manifest" file format to enable mod-managers set stuff up, update, remove, etc, without guessing. Most mods are very easy to install anyway, but sometimes, there's something else.

This is getting at a few issues simultaneously, but this is an important takeaway: the site should have a machine-friendly API. A mod manager should be able to query the site for structured information. (Luckily, this is easy.)

At least from a user's point of view, yes, we have a cohesive set of core features - a text field describing the mod and a big red button to start the download. Practically everything else is pure gravy.
So why do we need a new site again then? Just use the forums. A basic text field allowing anything you like.

You both make good points. Version indication and notification seems to be an important differentiating feature. Without even that, the site is just a file repository. With it, the site can resolve an often-requested community wish list item.

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I was hoping when I saw Maxmaps discussion with mod platform provider that that was actually related to this (thread), but that's not sounding hopeful.

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