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Mods On Console?

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The cost to buy the mods from authors and convert them to official is not even remotely close to the perpetual cost of supporting an open platform for mods on consoles.
perpetual expanding storage costs, development costs and time for infrastructure (Remember the consoles provide nothing for mod distribution), labor costs for curation in perpetuity, etc.
It means permanently devoting resources to managing it as well which means fewer hands working on our actual content.
All of these things add up to staggering costs.
That is assuming all logistics hurdles were overcome and nothing prevented every kind of mod from being on consoles. Which also won't happen (Currently), again look at the Farming Simulator mod curation to see what you should actually expect, at best, from most studios: content-only mods, which may be a hard blocking point since pretty much every ARK mod is, to at least some degree, 3rd party code.

The point of my original post in this thread was to point out the hurdles that any studio will have to come up with answers for, and to illustrate why the number of studios that have done so thus far numbers only to 3. ( 4 if you count us, but I don't as we're just sort of circumventing most of the hurdles by integrating the content offically)
If it were easy and without risk, as many seem to think, it would be a lot more common by now.

Also @invincibleqc
Slight point of clarification to prevent misinformation: We do have some restrictions on mods using our paid content. If you can spawn it via console command you can use it in a mod, but the actual official maps are restricted. The modders are aware of this though and we have provided ways for them to edit the official maps without breaking that restriction. We don't ban players or servers for using mods that break those restrictions though, we simply remove the mod from the workshop.

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22 minutes ago, ZenRowe said:

Also @invincibleqc
Slight point of clarification to prevent misinformation: We do have some restrictions on mods using our paid content. If you can spawn it via console command you can use it in a mod, but the actual official maps are restricted. The modders are aware of this though and we have provided ways for them to edit the official maps without breaking that restriction. We don't ban servers for using mods that break those restrictions though, we simply remove the mod from the workshop.

Yes, I was aware about the maps themselves, I was more talking about items and dinos. However, now that you mention that only "spawnable content" is allowed, does that means custom maps that uses assets from these maps that cannot be spawned (such as foliage, trees, and stuff) via commands aren't? Or are they only available to players that owns these DLCs or something?

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6 minutes ago, invincibleqc said:

Yes, I was aware about the maps themselves, I was more talking about items and dinos. However, now that you mention that only "spawnable content" is allowed, does that means custom maps that uses assets from these maps that cannot be spawned (such as foliage, trees, and stuff) via commands aren't? Or are they only available to players that owns these DLCs or something?

They can use assets from the maps, they just have to make their own map itself.

The "command spawnable" test was aimed primarily at items, creatures, structures, etc. (There is one item that is restricted, but it's also not spawnable). It's not a strict rule, just a good test to see if it's something the studio might take issue with. If something is explicitly made non-spawnable where it normally would be, it's probably under restriction.

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8 minutes ago, ZenRowe said:

They can use assets from the maps, they just have to make their own map itself.

The "command spawnable" test was aimed primarily at items, creatures, structures, etc. (There is one item that is restricted, but it's also not spawnable). It's not a strict rule, just a good test to see if it's something the studio might take issue with. If something is explicitly made non-spawnable where it normally would be, it's probably under restriction.

Kind of answers my question as well.

Now you have me trying to think of something that can't be spawned, not that I want you to mention it here, but I am struggling to think what it might be.

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3 minutes ago, CyberAngel67 said:

Kind of answers my question as well.

Now you have me trying to think of something that can't be spawned, not that I want you to mention it here, but I am struggling to think what it might be.

oh, it's no secret. It's the HLN-A skin that comes as bonus of the genesis season pass. Why that is restricted, I'm sure is easy to guess.

This is all a bit off topic now though, I just wanted to clarify something to prevent any misunderstanding about content restrictions.

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1 minute ago, ZenRowe said:

oh, it's no secret. It's the HLN-A skin that comes as bonus of the genesis season pass. Why that is restricted, I'm sure is easy to guess.

This is all a bit off topic now though, I just wanted to clarify something to prevent any misunderstanding about content restrictions.

yeah never even thought about that.

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On 10/19/2019 at 6:08 PM, ZenRowe said:

Consoles are not forgotten, but there is a lot more to it than just flipping a switch.

I understand the desire to want mods on console platforms, I really do. I'm going to talk about some of the hurdles. This is just general information for you to think about, not just for when vying for console mods for ARK, but any game. These are hurdles that every developer that wants to put mods on consoles will have to come up with an answer for and for some studios they just aren't worth the perpetual cost.

platform requirements: Publishing anything on a console comes with following strict rules about content control and reliability. Certification is that thing that often results in a delay in updates for consoles. It's where they check to make sure that every game and every update to every game follow the rules and requirements. This would be a hurdle for mods because mods will still have to follow all the same rules. For some consoles, certain kinds of mods themselves would be in direct violation. At least one console doesn't allow 3rd party scripting/code to run in the game (Which actually is a problem for ARK mods since to at least some degree all of them are code based). Additional to that, every mod would have to be certified by someone, and every update to every mod published on the console. With over 5,000 mods on the steam workshop I think you can begin to see where that could get out of hand without a lot of human-power supporting it every day.

Distribution: Consoles do not have support for mod distribution, they do the game distribution and any DLC and that's it. A studio would have to add their own distribution method into the game for storing, finding and downloading mods. Certainly possible, but far from trivial.

Development: No not for us, but for mod authors. This would primarily affect code based mods, but getting your hands on a devkit for every console in order to be able to properly debug any issues that might only be occurring on console would be next to impossible currently. Getting a devkit console for XB1 is pretty easy (Microsoft opened up a path for any XB1 to be turned into a devkit), but the resource access necessary for debugging on it isn't as simple, and I don't think mod authors would be able to get devkits for ps4 & switch at all. Nintendo and Sony are a lot more protective of their devkits.

Modder interest: I think there is sort of this weird assumption that all mod authors would want to publish their mods on consoles. They aren't being paid for it, and it quickly becomes a lot of extra tedious work to publish on multiple platforms that I think only a smaller subset of authors would even be interested in trying to manage.

There is also a trade-off that most people don't consider:
When you buy a console, you are also getting a reasonable expectation that any games you buy for it will run on it, and also that they aren't going to do anything sketchy, I think that is half of the entire reason for why consoles became so popular in the first place.
Now I'm going to be the last one to claim that modders go to the dark side, historically they've proven themselves largely to act responsibly, but there have been some bad apples.
The problem here is that opening consoles up to mods, regardless of their historical record, compromises that expectation. Additionally, anyone using mods whether it be on PC or on consoles absolutely should be aware that there is always some degree of risk associated with using them and neither the console manufacturers or the studios are going to let them selves be held responsible for if something bad does happen.

There's more, but this is already getting lengthy as it is.
Again though this isn't to say mods shouldn't become more prevalent on consoles, but these are some of the larger hurdles. Consoles have slowly started to become more friendly to the idea of mods, but they are still far from actually being "mod-friendly".

You aren't forgotten, not by a long shot, but consoles are a whole different ecosystem.

Could you guys try to implement the S+ mod and/or a way to pick things up without demolishing them? Cause it's really annoying when you're trying to expand or move to another location and have to destroy the stuff and gather all the material again to craft it again.

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3 hours ago, DemonicScribe said:

Could you guys try to implement the S+ mod and/or a way to pick things up without demolishing them? Cause it's really annoying when you're trying to expand or move to another location and have to destroy the stuff and gather all the material again to craft it again.

We have already implemented as much of S+ as we are going to. There is a short pickup timer when placing structures to allow for correction of accidental placement, but a persistent option to pick up any structure at any time is not something we plan to implement in the official game. It's far too easily exploitable and under normal playing conditions packing up a huge base and moving it to the other side of the map or another server should not be easy in my opinion.

If you are on single player or a private server I believe there is an override setting you can use to make that option stay, I don't remember what it is called though.

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On 10/18/2019 at 10:13 PM, invincibleqc said:

Alright, I've moved all the posts discussing about the fact mods are not available on consoles into another thread dedicated to that topic because I feel they fall outside the scope of what this thread is all about; showcasing the work of a talented modder. If you wish to continue that discussion, please do so in the following thread:

All new posts that are not related to the topic at hand will be moved/removed as well.
Thanks!

I’m not trying to be rude but this is kind of the Wildcard way always ignoring console and never giving us cool stuff. Yes I know that it’s more difficult to add mods like S+ and AA to console but we never get anything. (Removing this would only prove my point)

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21 hours ago, ZenRowe said:

We have already implemented as much of S+ as we are going to. There is a short pickup timer when placing structures to allow for correction of accidental placement, but a persistent option to pick up any structure at any time is not something we plan to implement in the official game. It's far too easily exploitable and under normal playing conditions packing up a huge base and moving it to the other side of the map or another server should not be easy in my opinion.

If you are on single player or a private server I believe there is an override setting you can use to make that option stay, I don't remember what it is called though.

I'm on Xbox One Single Player, but can't change that setting due to it being a Game ini. thing through PC and Nitrado.

Thanks for the info.

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