Author Topic:   Transcript of Meeting Session
posted August 05, 2001 02:09 AM            
Okay, had an extremely small turnout folks. Was hoping for a bit better in the way of a show of support. Thanks to Kong, GoldAnt1, [BWL]Dreamer and LordByron for taking the time out to share their suggestions, opinions and comments. The following is a transcript of tonights meeting minus some extraneous commentary while we searched for a save function in the chat room. }:-)
If you would rather just jump to the summary, run to the end of this document and read my transcript follow-up.

Start Transcript:

Yahoo! Chat History -- Sat Aug 04 22:24:35 MDT 2001

Logging dnx_lorddrow into the chat system...
You are in grp*g.3567006:1
dnx_lorddrow is away. (Auto-Away)

dnx_lorddrow: Hey there all.

dnx_lorddrow: Sorry bout that, I have been working on the baneblade tank for the last little while.

dnx_lorddrow: Trying to get my tank pack built and ready to go.

bwldreamer : strange day... absolutely noone on icq

dnx_lorddrow: I have been there, but invis Dreamer

bwldreamer : so... where is everybody?

dnx_lorddrow: Well, not quit time yet. Its only about 15 after 6 my time.

dnx_lorddrow: Errr, 15 after 5 I mean.

bwldreamer : hmmm.... my time zone converter said you don't have daylight savings active in MST...

Edit for Brevity

bwldreamer : lol - 6:05 and noone around.

dnx_lorddrow is back.

dnx_lorddrow: hehehehe.... Just gonna wait patiently Several are supposed to be here for sure.

suspendk : hi guys

dnx_lorddrow: Hey there

dnx_lorddrow: Welcome back. Glad to see a couple of people here at least. Gonna give it 10 to 20 before I really start going into things.

bwldreamer : sup?

suspendk : figured since i opened my big mouth i better show up

dnx_lorddrow: LOL..... Thanks, the support really is appreciated.

Edit for Brevity

dnx_lorddrow: Well, I am putting together the Tank Pack for my server right now. What addon weapons would you folks like to see on the server?

bwldreamer : i still think we should have used the in-game chatroom

dnx_lorddrow: Welcome back LB.

lordbyron080808 : finally, I'm in.

bwldreamer : hiho

suspendk : hello lb

bwldreamer is away. (Be Right Back)

lordbyron080808 : hey guys... what'd I miss?

dnx_lorddrow: Not much yet. I have been logged in here almost all day. The people you see here now is all that has shown up so far.

lordbyron080808 : ok...

dnx_lorddrow: I figure give folks until about 20 or 30 after, then we start with or without them.

lordbyron080808 : sounds fair.

dnx_lorddrow: Really hoping swisher shows up though, said he would and some of this will specifically apply to Entegrity.

suspendk : hard enough to get them together for a game

lordbyron080808 : true

suspendk : does that mean i dont have a life?

lordbyron080808 : suspendk? havent seen u around. Newbie?

suspendk : kong

lordbyron080808 : ohhh.

dnx_lorddrow: LOL.... Talk about not having a life, I have been working on nothing but TM the last three weeks.

lordbyron080808 : so that your new name?

suspendk : just here, too many kongs

lordbyron080808 : I'm the same drow...except i'm trying to escape life by working on TM
bwldreamer is back.

lordbyron080808 : Building models helps me relax.

dnx_lorddrow: I just want to see TM reach its true potential. If I had a job, would not have anywhere near the time to work on stuff that I have.

dnx_lorddrow: Yes, same here. I lose myself to the moment when working on my models.

lordbyron080808 : I've been learning TMapper recently. Good tool!

lordbyron080808 : I'm trying to integrate theme maps w/ my mods.

dnx_lorddrow: Yes, TMapper rocks. I love the ease of use it has. Having problems getting meshes to show up like I want them to for some reason though.

lordbyron080808 : In what way?

bwldreamer : i didn't know you have to 'learn' that prog.... thought it was pretty easy to use. But then again i _know_ how it works.

lordbyron080808 : yes...there is a learning curve to it...not shallow, but a curve anyway.

dnx_lorddrow: LOL... I can't seem to figure out how to properly import new meshes and get them to show up.

lordbyron080808 : How do you build your own terrain?

dnx_lorddrow: The filename shows up, but the mesh doesn't change when I save it.

lordbyron080808 : Oh..I've had similar issues...sometimes.

dnx_lorddrow: I just use MSPaint, make a 256 color greyscale at 1024x1024. Import it with a map already open, and voila, instant new landscape.

bwldreamer : might be the issue that you have to change exactly one entities' class before TMapper accepts changes to any of them

bwldreamer : as for heightfields, 24 bit ones are accepted, too.

dnx_lorddrow: Hmmm, will have to look at that. Haven't really looked at the map entities yet.

lordbyron080808 : how do u import the heightfields?

bwldreamer : file -> import heightfield

lordbyron080808 : ok...

dnx_lorddrow: You have to have an existing map already open to import though.

lordbyron080808 : yeah...found that one out at least.

bwldreamer : I don't know whether I am going to change that - another thing that forces you to have TM installed.

bwldreamer : not really, but it encourages it.

dnx_lorddrow: Actually, not a bad idea. But I would like to have the ability to start a completely fresh map, and not need to start with an existing one.

lordbyron080808 : i agree w/ ld on that one.

lordbyron080808 : Having to find a relatively clean map makes thing a little more diff. than needed.

bwldreamer : how about a flat map only equipped with a heightmap and standard (ie ramp) texture rules

lordbyron080808 : better...

dnx_lorddrow: That would be a better way to start a new map at least.

dnx_lorddrow: Just include a starting point ved that it opens automatically when you choose the new map choice.

bwldreamer : k, I've taken a note concerning that wish

lordbyron080808 : thanks...

dnx_lorddrow: Flat plane with nothing on it at all. Maybe a couple of basic texture files.

dnx_lorddrow: Thanks Dreamer.

dnx_lorddrow: Okay, well I am going to give this another 5 minutes, and then assume that all truly interested parties are here.

lordbyron080808 : sounds good

bwldreamer : bad show.

dnx_lorddrow: This is actually what I was afraid would happen.

lordbyron080808 : very...anything we discuss wil have to be rediscussed later.

lordbyron080808 : maybe after the DDM tomorrow?

dnx_lorddrow: Possibly, but I have my doubts that anyone would show up then either.

lordbyron080808 : maybe, but even if 3-5 more stay, we are better than this.

lordbyron080808 : I thought encouraging players to bring their grocery lists would attract more people.

dnx_lorddrow: Agreed. Well, we can go through most of this now, post the discussion to the Forums, and hope others are interested enough to actually give some input.

bwldreamer : I think more people would have turned up if Jim or Tom had announced their presence in advance.

lordbyron080808 : the first question: "How to standardize mods, if at all?"

dnx_lorddrow: Agreed. Jim said he would try to be here. But gave no guarantees.

bwldreamer : lb - ENTegrety

bwldreamer : and no sharing files between mods

lordbyron080808 : not enough...what about licences et all

bwldreamer : licenses?

dnx_lorddrow: Thats my feeling, following ENTegrety is the way to do it. Give full credit to any from whom you have borrowed mod portions, similar to how I have done with Baneblade and Bonaparte.

lordbyron080808 : lda doesnt want any files except ents traded.

lordbyron080808 : I also think trading lwos is a bad idea.

bwldreamer : lb - those are shaerd anyway and everybody has them and nobody won't attempt to delete those to uninstall any of those

dnx_lorddrow: That is what I was also wondering about.... Takes us into a corollary question 'Is it alright to use existing entity code, as long as reference to the actually included with the mod file?'

bwldreamer : sure, why not?

dnx_lorddrow: That was incomplete. reference to the actual origination code writer is included with the mod file.

lordbyron080808 : true...but having 20 of the same ones is overkill, even non-lda lwos

dnx_lorddrow: My opinion is that new weapons should alway include new meshes for the mounted weapon.

bwldreamer : but that would make mod handling extremely complicated and we all know people DO want to uninstall mods

dnx_lorddrow: Reuse of the LDA meshes is a bit beyond the extent of what LDA is okay with I think.

lordbyron080808 : but at what cost?

bwldreamer : lb -> hdd space. an abundant resource.

bwldreamer : ld -> noone has done that so far, afaik

dnx_lorddrow: The cost is a bit of work. Repackaging old mods with the permission of original mod creators should be okay.

dnx_lorddrow: Lots of early mods just reuse LDA meshes and textures Dreamer.

dnx_lorddrow: the Flame wave cannon is one example. Uses the flamer mesh I believe.

bwldreamer : are there any that do more than reference the LDA files ?

dnx_lorddrow: So is the Gatling laser, just reuses the GAU mesh and skin, changing a few colors.

dnx_lorddrow: Gatling laser has a skin that is blue in area's that are brown on the LDA skin.

bwldreamer : circulating changed textures is fine with LDA

dnx_lorddrow: Same exact skin otherwise.

lordbyron080808 : this ithis is against lda guidelines.

dnx_lorddrow: Yes, LDA guidelines specify that changing of original LDA files is against the rules.

dnx_lorddrow: That includes modifying original meshes or textures.

bwldreamer : oh. just saw that too.

lordbyron080808 : this is y I am uncertain about re-packaging.

dnx_lorddrow: Same here. Also why I was hoping we would have a LDA rep here to cover things like that for us.

bwldreamer : weren't we all hoping there would be just about anybody here?

dnx_lorddrow: I think so. Seemed to generate interest, but real bad showing, as we have already discussed.

lordbyron080808 : yes. but LDA might be more/less flexible w/ a large group of interested players

dnx_lorddrow: True. A showing like this is actually bad in the overall scheme of things.

bwldreamer : but it fits the general mood of the TM community.

dnx_lorddrow: Means we have a far smaller group of interested individuals than some seem to claim.

bwldreamer : careful with that, ld.

dnx_lorddrow: LOL... Not stating a certainty. But that would be the current appearance.

lordbyron080808 : I agree. most just thought this was a modders convention.

bwldreamer : oh, didn't realize. maybe I should leave then.

dnx_lorddrow: I stated several times that it was not just for modders. Players was the first group I called out in the original posting.

bwldreamer : no need to defend yourself, man.

lordbyron080808 : This WASNTa modders convention, but many still thought so.

suspendk : just gave them a reason not to come

dnx_lorddrow: Just feel bad that others felt I meant them to be excluded.

lordbyron080808 : Many players, I think, don't see why these issues apply to them...
bwldreamer : players are so innocent....

lordbyron080808 : unmodding is more of a player's issue than a modder's issue

dnx_lorddrow: Okay, so are we agreed that ENTegrety naming conventions should be applied to all portions of a mod? Or is that still open to further discussion?

lordbyron080808 : still open i think?

suspendk : u must understand that they are going to play anyway with or without mods

lordbyron080808 : what about calls to other modsesp. meshes.

bwldreamer : good point, kong

suspendk : i played for 2 years on 1.0.1

dnx_lorddrow: I think calls to other meshes should depend on whether the originating modder or LDA is okay with that.

thegoldant joined the room.

thegoldant : IM LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bwldreamer : referencing stock models/textures is what makes pure server-side mods possible, after all.

lordbyron080808 : but w/o LDA unmodding these is unpractical.

dnx_lorddrow: hey GA.... Glad you made it.

lordbyron080808 : hey GA

bwldreamer : sorry guys, it's 3am for me. can we get on with this, please?

dnx_lorddrow: How do you mean that without LDA unmodding is unpractical?

thegoldant : what is unmodding.....

lordbyron080808 : the majority of calls go to lda stock files...how to unmod when some files are left?

lordbyron080808 : unmodding is removing mod files

dnx_lorddrow: Unmodding is having the ability to remove a modification without affecting other mods in a bad way.

thegoldant : oh

thegoldant : i sorta understand

dnx_lorddrow: WB Dreamer. }

thegoldant : like a switch to turn on stock weapons and tanks, and then a swithc to put the wild crazy ones back in?

lordbyron080808 : yeah..

bwldreamer : like the prog I'm working on....

dnx_lorddrow: Depends on the modification LB. My mods call out those files I know I did not originate, including files I used that are LDA originals.

suspendk : wouldnt that benefit server ops

dnx_lorddrow: But I do use code copied to the addons directory and renamed simply to make the unmodding work.

lordbyron080808 : so, u include them in the files?

dnx_lorddrow: Yes it would Kong. immensely.

lordbyron080808 : er..modpacks?

lordbyron080808 : this inclusion is forbidden by lda

dnx_lorddrow: Yes, if I have used code that LDA originated, I state in my readme which files they were and that I did not write the files, but used them as a part of the mod to simplify distribution.

lordbyron080808 : this is why i say unmodding w/o lda is impracticaL.

dnx_lorddrow: Again, why I wanted an LDA rep here. Clarify that exact issue.

bwldreamer : we'll have to do without
suspendk joined the room.

dnx_lorddrow: Yes, I do understand it is currently forbidden. You also need to realize that though borrowed from LDA, they are not exactly the same as the originals. Only base my code on them as examples.

lordbyron080808 : but altering too is a no-noo.

dnx_lorddrow: EX. The Streamer1.ent file is broken according to Entegrety using it as written by LDA.

dnx_lorddrow: I don't copy and past LB. I open up the original file. Look to see how the effect was made, then create my own version of it from there.

dnx_lorddrow: copy and paste that is.

bwldreamer : quote from LDA "Distributing edited Entity (.ent) files is okay"

dnx_lorddrow: I don't modify their original files either.

lordbyron080808 : Ents...yes...but meshes...this is the heart of my prob.

dnx_lorddrow: I just base my code on theirs and name it what I need it named.
thegoldant : so, lorddrow, yuor makieng an ingame or outgame switch to put mods in and out at ease without a big hasel

bwldreamer : meshes ARE the main prob, yes.

bwldreamer : but if you're going to use a stock mesh for your mod, you don't have to copy it to use it.

dnx_lorddrow: I NEVER use LDA original meshes though. I always make my own, or else borrow from the mod I am getting stuff from and call it out.

bwldreamer : scaling etc. can all be controlled via ents

dnx_lorddrow: Easier for a modeller to take a model, and rescale and position a mesh from within the program they use Dreamer.

bwldreamer : but forbidden.

dnx_lorddrow: Would be a REALLY drawn out process of scale in the ent file, start TM to see if it looks right, go back and rescale, come back to TM..... etc.

bwldreamer : if you have to use stock files, that's the way.

thegoldant : TreadMarks needs a mod refreash option

thegoldant : on the top right of the start screen it says none right?

dnx_lorddrow: Again, I have the same problem, with it. And again, I am not using LDA meshes in any of my mods. Making all new meshes of my own.

bwldreamer : good point goldant

thegoldant : Misc tools tools or soemthing it could say, all neato things to help refreash mods, etc.

bwldreamer : not a bad idea at all.

dnx_lorddrow: I agree, excellent suggestion GA.

lordbyron080808 : oh...a refesh option w/mods...sorry

Edit for brevity

lordbyron080808 : So in sum...what have we concluded?

Edit for brevity

suspendk : can i say something b4 anyone leaves

thegoldant : k

lordbyron080808 : go ahead.

suspendk : i might have said thi b4, bear with me make it sipler to install mods, self extracting?

bwldreamer : I'm currently working on that - efforts combining with ENTegrety

suspendk : one person on the bb took two weeks to unzip weapons

dnx_lorddrow: Back to the discussion at hand. We need to at least try to agree on a naming system for some kind of unmodding abilities. But we also have to let other modders know what naming conventions to use.

bwldreamer : kong - any specific reason for leaving?

Kong/suspendk left room at this point.

dnx_lorddrow: Another good point Kong. Should we make our future mods self extracting to simplify for those that don't understand how to use Winzip.

thegoldant : whos kong

thegoldant : suspendk is kong?

dnx_lorddrow: suspedDK

thegoldant : gone?

dnx_lorddrow: And why did he do that?

bwldreamer : dunno. maybe pissed off at not finding this chat as he expected it to be.

lordbyron080808 : i wonder what he expected?

dnx_lorddrow: This is basically the exact form I expected this to take. But not as many people as I had expected.

bwldreamer : more players, fewer modders, perhaps

bwldreamer : the chat interface is pretty crappy, though.

Edit for brevity

lordbyron080808 : but what can we hope to achieve w/ such a small group?

Minor diatribe from GA1 about turtle tank snipped. }:-)

dnx_lorddrow: Good point LB. I know more should be here. Best we can do is air our suggestions and post for others to consider.

bwldreamer : the TM interface is not better, imo

lordbyron080808 : agreed...dreamer

bwldreamer : concerning self-extraction vs. zip files.....

lordbyron080808 : i'm 4 self-extraction.

bwldreamer : I vote for zip files.

thegoldant : i vote for a little a both

bwldreamer : long-term.

thegoldant : self ewxtracting zip files

lordbyron080808 : this is an easy & tangible area of concensus.
thegoldant :

dnx_lorddrow: I would say self extracting would be easier for most users.

bwldreamer : zip files with a proprietary extension.

bwldreamer : and a mod handling prog that installs them for you

lordbyron080808 : hernh?

bwldreamer : like .umod for unreal

lordbyron080808 : ok.

dnx_lorddrow: There's a good idea Dreamer, but again, we would have to get a working utility to do exactly that.

thegoldant : hrmmmmm

thegoldant : guys

bwldreamer : I'll happily continue working on that.

thegoldant : i think im gonna leave............

dnx_lorddrow: Until we have the util, won't work.

dnx_lorddrow: Thanks for dropping in GA>

lordbyron080808 : so, zips till then...

thegoldant : errrrrrr i'll get

bwldreamer : how about NSIS till then?

lordbyron080808 : but self-extracting exe are easy to make.

dnx_lorddrow: Where can I find that util?

lordbyron080808 : same here.

dnx_lorddrow: Exactly LB.

thegoldant : a glass of water first

bwldreamer : nullsoft.

dnx_lorddrow: Self extracting very easy to make, whether you are using WinZip or PowerArchiver.

lordbyron080808 : i still root for the exe files

thegoldant : *dumps water on dreamer *

bwldreamer : http://www.nullsoft.com/free/

thegoldant : *water is free also its jsut wet*

bwldreamer : the installer scripts are easy to write

Insane commentary snipped due to length.

bwldreamer : and would make mod installing a breeze.

thegoldant left the room.

lordbyron080808 : but winzip does this w/o a learning curve?

dnx_lorddrow: Got it now Dreamer.

lordbyron080808 : I will take a look.

bwldreamer : the NSIS license is quite cool, too....

bwldreamer : that might make for a good start, imo

dnx_lorddrow: Just reading it on the side here. hehehehe. Looks pretty cool. You are correct, looks like it may be a great starting point.

dnx_lorddrow: Okay, Back to the actual discussion at hand. 1) Should we switch to ICQ so a transcript is easy to grab?

bwldreamer : just a suggestion. winzip is, afaik, shareware, correct?

bwldreamer : icq? good idea.

bwldreamer : what about the first bits of this?

dnx_lorddrow: Yes it is Dreamer. Same with the newest version of Powerarchiver. PA 6.0 is 100% free though.

lordbyron080808 : nah..this is ok.

bwldreamer : I have to go to sleep soon, anyway... starting this at 2am in the morning was not a good idea for me.

lordbyron080808 : sorry...

dnx_lorddrow: Sorry bout that Dreamer. Was thinking would be earlier for you.

bwldreamer : maybe we could reschedule this, personally inviting people like swisher or LDA members?

lordbyron080808 : so we are agreed on the idea of self-extraction, then?

lordbyron080808 : i agree dreamer.

bwldreamer : for now, yes. everything that makes a mod easy to install.

dnx_lorddrow: I think so for now. Self extracting would be excellent way to simplify for users.

bwldreamer : uninstalling will probably remain an issue.

lordbyron080808 : well...some progress at least.

dnx_lorddrow: How about naming conventions regarding entity files. I feel each mod should be a complete archive that has no need of pre-existing mods or LDA files.

lordbyron080808 : i disagree

lordbyron080808 : not imprinciple but in execution.

bwldreamer : me, too.

lordbyron080808 : with whom?

dnx_lorddrow: Could you give me more extensive reasoning though?

lordbyron080808 : the prob. is how to include other meshes into the pack.

bwldreamer : reference LDA files as much as you want, but stay away from other people's mods - that's what ENTegrety encourages, too, btw.

lordbyron080808 : which now we can't

bwldreamer : "a file referenced by a mod entity shall include the primary entity name in its file name"

dnx_lorddrow: Like the Cylon Raider LB, the use of the Plasma Pulser is great, but if a user does not have the Plasma Pulser mod, the Raider has no main gun.

bwldreamer : "except if it's not in the adons, but in the main TM folder structure"

lordbyron080808 : gotcha

bwldreamer : take this example: I have the beelzebub mrl and thor's hammer installed.

lordbyron080808 : yey....

bwldreamer : now I want to remove thor's hammer.

dnx_lorddrow: And the entities that make up the Pulser won't be included in the archive if they don't have the Cylon name somewhere in it.

lordbyron080808 : ok...

bwldreamer : how am I to know I must not remove the texture thor's hammer uses?

dnx_lorddrow: Perfect example Dreamer, because the beelzebub uses files that are named thor, by removing parts of the one mod, you break the other.

bwldreamer : i think it's actually the other way round, but in principle, yes.

lordbyron080808 : gotcha...

bwldreamer : I really would like to use ENTegrety's .unmod files as input for my mod handling prog.

bwldreamer : if everyone just sticks to those rules, we'll all be fine, even if a bit short on hdd space and a bit uncomfortable scaling and warping original models.

lordbyron080808 : uncomfortable...but I will meditate on it...

dnx_lorddrow: Thats why I am so adamant about naming conventions LB. Doesn't take away your Intellectual rights to make it do what you want it to. Just gives a framework for how to name the files. Has nothing to do with what is inside the entity except naming the entity type correctly.

bwldreamer : each file in the addons folder should belong to exactly one mod

bwldreamer : that's mo.

dnx_lorddrow: Thanks for backing me up there Dreamer.

lordbyron080808 : maybe just use all new meshes...

bwldreamer : but no file (except for modified ents) should find its way from the stock folders into the addons.

lordbyron080808 : the ents don't trouble me just meshes really.

dnx_lorddrow: Thats what I do anyway. I feel that some of the older mods should be pulled from distibution until new meshes and skins are made for them.

dnx_lorddrow: Especially the ones that use modified art made by modifying the LDA originals.

dnx_lorddrow: LDA has given express permission to use modified entities, as long as the original entity is untouched. Meshes and Art on the other hand are expressly forbidden to be modified.

lordbyron080808 : perhaps a convention to always use new meshes would mollify me.

dnx_lorddrow: That would make me much happier as well LB. But art also needs to be part of that convention.

lordbyron080808 : agreed.

dnx_lorddrow: Okay to reference existing art would be okay as well, but modifying art without the express permission of LDA or the original mod coder would be wrong.

lordbyron080808 : this way there can be no repackaging.

bwldreamer : I still say: referencing meshes is ok, copying is not. agreed?

lordbyron080808 : but repaackaging is copying?

lordbyron080808 : refwerencing is ok

bwldreamer : repackaging? I'm not sure I get what you mean.

dnx_lorddrow: I agree to that Dreamer. As long as the referenced mesh is something that exists in the main LDA directories.

bwldreamer : yes.

dnx_lorddrow: LB means that copying Meshes or art from LDA to include in a mod should be a no-no

bwldreamer : a definitive no-no.

lordbyron080808 : and others to I think.

bwldreamer : *needs some fresh air to stay awake* brb

bwldreamer is away. (Be Right Back)

dnx_lorddrow: Okay to reference to them, but changing either mesh or art should only be allowed if the original artist says it is okay.

lordbyron080808 : this sounds like a good compromise to me.

dnx_lorddrow: Referencing to other mods should be discouraged though due to my previous statments regarding what happens when one of the mods is missing.

lordbyron080808 : this is my point...

lordbyron080808 : altho' most of my mods do just this.

lordbyron080808 : And some...like the Djinni are impossible w/o it.

dnx_lorddrow: Should get permission from the originating mod maker(many actually do give permission to use their mods as long as you give the originator credit for his part in the creation of your mod)

bwldreamer is back.

bwldreamer : agreed

dnx_lorddrow: Using the 270 mm and 150 mm as an example. NOPeR/Oracles read me for the 240 mm(which is part of what both are based on) may be used by others as long as credit to the original mod authors is given in the new mods readme file.

bwldreamer : one more thing: each mod should include a readme including a valid contact email address of the creator and all pre-originators.

dnx_lorddrow: Agreed, and an excellent suggestion Dreamer.

lordbyron080808 : pre-originators may be hard tho'
lordbyron080808 : but otherwise agreed.

bwldreamer : i want to know whom to blame for the virus infecting my comp

dnx_lorddrow: Will depend on the person. Neither NOPeR nor Oracle are really in the loop right now, and I don't know of anyone that knows how to contact them.

dnx_lorddrow: LOL Dreamer, ooops, you mean I forgot to add that info to my readme's?

lordbyron080808 : So we agree to: self-extraction, conventional names, no repackaging of meshes/art?

dnx_lorddrow: Agreed. Naming conventions to be based on ENTegrety naming rules?

lordbyron080808 : agreed

dnx_lorddrow: Good, two birds down now. A whole flock of 'em still in the air though.

lordbyron080808 : But enough for now...let dreamer sleep.

dnx_lorddrow: Next question. Regarding copyright notices.

dnx_lorddrow: Okay, if we would rather hold this off til later, can do.

lordbyron080808 : I think we should...

bwldreamer : thx guys. I was actually drowsing already...

dnx_lorddrow: Okay, reconvene tomorrow after the DDM/CTF?

lordbyron080808 : agreed.

bwldreamer : sorry, I'll be in bed then

bwldreamer : need sleep.

lordbyron080808 : night dreamer!

bwldreamer : cya guys.

dnx_lorddrow: How about you choose a time tomorrow and let LB and I know Dreamer?

lordbyron080808 : good for me...

bwldreamer : not a good idea, I'm afraid - that might be very early morning for you...

bwldreamer : lb - you got an icq# I could add to my list?

dnx_lorddrow: I am usually up by no later than 9 am My time. About 5 or 6 your time Dreamer.

dnx_lorddrow: 5 or 6 PM your time that is.

lordbyron080808 : oh...we'll try to set up a better time later then.

lordbyron080808 : please add ne dreamer.

dnx_lorddrow: Night Dreamer.

Non pertinent final commentary snipped.

End Transcript:

A few requests made by and for players regarding simplifying mod installation and management have been made. To this end Dreamer is working on a program to manage mods easily that will work hand in hand with ENTegrety and TMapper. (Hope I have that right Dreamer)

In summary on the modders side of the discussion, the few of us that made the meeting have agreed to follow these simple conventions:

1)All new mods will have all pertinent files named according to ENTegrety rules. Any new modifications that require a mesh, should preferably have a new mesh built for it, but reference to original LDA or mod author's meshes are okay if permission from the original author has been given.

2)Copying, renaming, and distributions of LDA original files is a big no-no (should be obvious, but restated here for confirmation)

3)Usage of LDA original entity files as a TEMPLATE for modified weapons is okay. Directly copying the file and simply renaming is not okay.

4)Making references to LDA original unmodified files in the standard LDA directories is fine as long as those files are things normally included with a standard install. This include entities, meshes, art files and sound files. They may NOT be repackaged and distrubuted in any manner.

4)Use of other mod authors code is fine, as long as either express or specific permission has been given by the original author. Additionally Credit to the originating author should always be given. A valid e-mail address to the original author should be in the readme if available.

5)New mods shall be packaged by preference as an executable installaion file if possible. Right now discussion of a packaging standard and specific software to do so is still open to discussion.

Looking forward to any comments, additional suggestions and opinions eagerly. Hope to see a lot more of you at the next couple of meetings.

Thanks for surviving this long read!


Shannon Bentley
AKA =MM=LordDrow
AKA LordDrow


The Weatherman
posted August 05, 2001 02:38 AM         
appologies for the no show , LD. From the transcript, most of the issues were beyond me, quite frankly. Probably the best implementation of of these ideas is though the modding guild - like thinking modders trying to standardize the craft. Most people thoughtfull enough to work on mods will no doubt follow and contribute to these guidelines. if you get the majority of modders to follow standard practice, upcoming modders will probably be fine working within that framework.


posted August 05, 2001 07:30 AM            
Now I'm really wishing that I'd shown up...

Personally, while I can see why referencing other people's meshes is bad form, not to mention a little sloppy (assuming that the user has the mod installed), I've always been under the impression that referencing LDA's meshes wasn't a problem. If it were, I'm sure that we would have heard about it long before now, seeing as most mods still use stock TM meshes/textures/sounds.

Personally, I think that the notion that a new weapon must include new meshes is a complete crock. Not only would it cause file sizes to increase needlessly, it would completely destroy the idea of a server-side mod (as was mentioned in the chat).

For instance, the stuff I released is entirely server side. If you didn't download my weapons, and you join a server, the only thing you'll be missing is the pickup sound for the Peacekeeper. All the other stuff is stock TM meshes, textures, sounds, etc. Not only do I not know the first thing about making anything other than ENT files, I actually wanted to make my stuff server side. Not only that, but why are meshes causing such a stir, and not sounds or textures/sprites? Those were both created by LDA just as the meshes were.

I've always loved Treadmarks not only because it was a great game, but because of the pretty loose community. I can understand naming conventions for ease of uninstallation, but the whole commotion about using TM meshes in mods just seems a bit weird. Unless LDA actually mentions that there's a problem with referencing a mesh (with the occasional scalematrix command thrown in), I don't see why anybody should stop doing so.


posted August 05, 2001 08:44 AM         
my comments on that -

  1. If I remember right, we had come to the conclusion that referencing other mod's meshes can not be ok since it would make mods impossible to remove without damaging others. Referencing LDA files is OK without any doubt - noone would want to rmeove those files and they are not likely to cause technical problems...
    C'mon folks, stick to ENTegrety.
  2. Agreed.
  3. Instead of just copying a file, you could, of course, referennce it from one of your own entity files. That would make the distributable mod packages smaller, too.
  4. If you use more than one mod or the mod you are using as your own mod's base already credited other authors for their original work, so should you.
  5. The ideal mod would be installed with four mouse clicks. (double click to open, one click to say "yes, that's the right directory", one click to close the installation window.


posted August 05, 2001 09:32 AM            
Sorry I couldn't make it -- wife, kids (nearly) always take priority.

  • Server-side mods are just that -- meant to be server side requiring only .ent file syncronyzation (no custom art/meshes/sounds). Since Tread Marks doesn't support real-time downloading of any art/meshes/sounds files, these are really the easiest to use for the community for this reason: ONE install on the server and you're set; users connecting to the server to play need nothing installed.

  • Sounds like ENTegrety escaped the meeting fairly well (sigh).

  • I've contacted Matrix and he is working on a "ENTegrefied" graphic image that can be displayed next to downloadable mods that have been validated by ENTegrety. It will be small (icon sized or slightly larger).

  • In reply to:
    dnx_lorddrow: EX. The Streamer1.ent file is broken according to Entegrety using it as written by LDA.
    See the new faq #34 on the ENTegrety web site for a very full explanation.

  • Dreamer: Sounds like you may need the .unmod file created by ENTegrety outboard of the .zip file. No problem. Let me know what you need if this is the case. Perhaps a new location specified in the ENTegrety.ini file ([WinZipping]/UnModFileLocation=).

Swisher - Check out ENTegrety for mods.

[This message has been edited by swisher (edited August 05, 2001).]


posted August 05, 2001 09:38 AM            
I don't know if I agree with the whole "4 clicks" thing.

What's wrong with Zip files? We've only had one person have any trouble so far. Zips are pretty much everywhere, and anybody who's into games enough to know what a mod is probably already knows how to use a zip file. If we make EXEs a standard, and if the community get bigger, things could get messy. A large group of anon people sending small exes everywhere just asks for trouble.

I say we stick with Zips as a standard. Winzip isn't that hard to use. It's not as if we're asking people to pkunzip everything..


posted August 05, 2001 01:16 PM            
Okay, now you all might understand why I was so disappointed with the showing, AND why I felt so strongly that this meeting was needed. There were only a total of FIVE truly interested parties that showed up in the first place. Nobody else showed, said hi or anything, even though I saw several of you show and dissappear in ICQ while we were talking.
We did have suggestions for ENTegrety Swish, but held some of that stuff back since you weren't available.
I mention in some spots in both the text body and in my summary that art, sounds and other files from the LDA root directories, by copying them to the addons folder directly you are wrong. referencing them is okay, as long as it is a stock unmodified file that exists where LDA originally placed it.
There are a large number of mods from the early days that did just that. Copied LDA files to the addons directory and modifies them directly. Which is a breach of the agreement that LDA has placed on the TM website.
New meshes for each mod, it makes server side mods harder, but also covers all our asses far better regarding Intellectual property. Many mods don't even say thanks to LDA for a neat program, let alone crediting for ANYTHING they may have borrowed from LDA or other modders. This is one of my biggest headaches right here due to two things.

1)ALWAYS give credit to persons you have borrowed entities, meshes(ONLY if you have permissions), sounds(Again ONLY if permission) and art(Once again ONLY with permission) that have been used and/or modified for use in your mods.

2)If you have built a mod that references to other mods to make it work. What happens to someone that only has the new mod, and not the original derivative work? The new mod never works right in the first place. Missing entities, missing sounds, missing meshes. Any could happen by relying on using other mods existing on another machine. By making each mod all inclusive(doesn't need ANYTHING else to function) You are saving the user and yourself headaches in the long run. More work for the modder initially, but in my opinion far more desirable than having everyone yelling how your mod is broke and you just being able to scratch you head and rebuild it anyway.

We settled on executables (again we are discussing some kind of a packaging system the we can use to simplify installations of mods.) for simplicity on the user side. Just because we can all do it, does not mean it is fair or just of us to assume every user will be able to figure it out. And at this point, it is more than one newbie that has had problems installing mods. Some have never posted in our forums simply because they could find one of us on ICQ and just ask how to do it.

Look, I am making these mods because I enjoy doing it. I want my mods to be fair, fun and easy to install. I try to give credit to anyone including LDA that I have used entity bits from. But I also want to protect my personal work on meshes and art, as well as the copyright holders of anything that I have derived from inspiration while reading. I have obtained permissions for building the tanks I have already created and a ton more. Directly from the company that created the original tabletop game. I may use any works I thus create, so long as I give credit to them and make no money directly from what I have created based on their works. I have express permission to use their intellectual properties otherwise. Others don't even try to contact original authors and just use things (meshes, sounds, art, etc.) without even thinking about it.

Look, if you are that displeased about our choices, maybe next time you will show up. I called the meeting because there are some very serious things which need discussing and agreeing upon within our community. Your arguments against our choices being another example of exactly why you should have shown up. Only FIVE persons showed, we gave all plenty of time to make a showing before we started discussing things. These are guidelines we will be following for now. You don't have to if you don't want to, nothing myself or any other attendees can do about it other than not install mods we feel are a bit on the dubious side.

I just hope to see more show for future meetings. This one won't be the last, but if you want to have a say in what we come up with, then you will have to make the time to show up. I tried VERY hard to make the hours reasonable for all, but even then, Dreamer(I applaud and thank you Dream) was up until nearly Four AM just to attend. He felt LordByron and myself had enough intelligent arguments that it would be worth being there to make sure he got some input. So did Kong and GoldAnt.
But think folks, what kind of support does it look like when a meeting of the minds is asked for in an intelligent manner, to help the entire community AND LDA, then basically NOBODY shows up?
Jim did not make it, but he had reasons. If you check my original thread though, he states he planned on being there, but had an emergency that kept him from making it.(Again, thanks for letting me know over there Jim).
Now THINK, if future meetings continue to meet such a laxidaisical attendance, I don't think I could fault Jim for feeling that interest just isn't there, and new versions of the TM engine just aren't worth the financial and personal efforts to produce. I for one sure as hell don't want to see that happen! I am not putting words in anyones mouths either, but looking at it from the perspective of a developer, if the interest isn't there to generate revenue after completion of the project, then sometimes it is just better to let the project die.
I sincerely don't want that to happen. I would rather see this community work together, show some real excitement and spirit. Help LDA make the best damned game ANYONE, Strategy/Action/FPS player or anything else has EVER seen in their lives. I know it can be done, but without the support of our community and our suggestions. Jim is just fencing in the dark with an electric fence so to speak.


P.S. If I offend anyone, well sorry, but I have got to get some of this crap aired or I am going to go batty.


posted August 05, 2001 02:08 PM            
I’m just reading through the transcript of your meeting and will clarify a few things:

1. We don’t want LDA work modded and still named as the original LDA material. The reason for this is to avoid confusion….i.e. We don’t want either the credit or the blame for your mods.

Thus, the idea is for modders to rename the entity file or any other LDA file that they use and modify, acknowledging any changes by commenting in the entity file and in any readme docs.

e.g. An easy mod is to make a new bmp for a flag. Take an existing LDA flag entity, change the name, and reference the new bmp....Just comment out the LDA bmp... We made many of our entities by making a copy of a previous ent file and just renaming it and commenting out any unused bits…(You’ll notice all the extra textures etc. that are commented out in various entity files.) Copying ent files and renaming them minimizes typo errors.

Note: We included many extra models, etc, not used in the game, to give you templates and bits and pieces to play with. That’s also why the files were left in raw bmp, lwo, etc. formats. Use them as is or change the names if you modify them. I’ll elaborate more in later posts.

If you take an LDA texture and modify it in a paint program and use it…then in the entity file, (where it is referenced) you should include a commented out line that states something like “...texture created by xxxx by modifying an original LDA texture...” and of course your texture must have a different name.... (You could include your initials as part of the modified file name for example.)

...and when you can use LDA models, do, as it keeps file transfers down...again, just acknoledge that the model is LDA...

2. You can’t sell any of your mods....and here’s the big part....”without permission”. What this means is that if you do some amazing mod pack that stands on its own, or an amazing utility that has retail value on its own or when combined with LDA material, then we talk contract, deals, etc. (Of course, Tread Marks will have to shed its obscurity and grow a large user base before that will be practical.)



posted August 05, 2001 02:22 PM            
Thank you very much for your commentary Jim. You have covered several of the grey areas that most concerned us. We have more questions for future session and I hope that a meeting of this type will become at least a monthly thing, if not bi-weekly. Would really love to see you, Phillipe or any other LDA members that are interested make these meetings as well, since with your input, we will most likely be able to come to real conventions and rules regarding mods and addon programs.
As I have said before, and will keep saying, thanks for one of the most fun games I have ever played in my life. I look forward to helping any way I can to make it better and more fun for everyone involved.

Shannon Bentley
AKA =MM=LordDrow


posted August 05, 2001 02:41 PM            
sorry lorddrow , tried to be there , but for some reason , i went on at the wrong time or sommit and nobody was there


posted August 05, 2001 02:46 PM            
No problem Oli. Just hoping for a better turnout next time around. Thanks for letting me know.

Shannon Bentley
AKA =MM=LordDrow


posted August 06, 2001 07:24 AM            
cool, but by the looks of things you had a very good meeting


posted August 09, 2001 09:05 PM            
hrm, this all reminds me of something... can anyone say "G" "N" "U"... GNU public liscense, that is. What about all that stuff, we certainly should take some pointers from that, after all, it's been around FOREVER it seems since the beginning of electronical beginnings, and it's sure to be as good as it gets for being around so long IMHO.


posted August 10, 2001 01:59 AM            
Actually I would tend to agree with you on that point Dudy. But remains to be seen.



posted August 10, 2001 07:43 PM            
ld- i think that u should have a modders meeting and then post here to get players input. afterwards u could have a followup modders meeting. when u guys get going most people, myself included have no idea what u guys are talking about.


posted August 10, 2001 07:51 PM            
Sorry about the tech talk Kong. Didn't mean to bore you with that. But that is just the modders portion. I and I hope other modders would like to see players involved as well though. Meetings of this nature will be an excellent place to catch all the modders and put in requests for specific mods, make suggestions and generally get an idea of what we are up to.

Thanks for the input.



posted August 11, 2001 03:38 PM            
Remember, I'm not saying go with it exactly, but take some time to read it over and when it is fresh in your mind, suggest stuff and come up with a modification license... maybe we could start something BIG that made caught attention of a buncha games and they all started using it . Why don't we all take the time to read some of it, or let's post which parts we'll read and brainstorm. If you do this, you'll make an AWESOME game, and maybe tack on two more years of fun to have with it.


posted August 12, 2001 01:31 AM            
Speaking of Mods I have an intense craving for a Tornado Ally Map now *yeah JVortex*!!!! A map where Tornados pop up every 3 or 4 minutes Better not get caught hehe lol


posted August 12, 2001 02:30 AM            
That would be cool, but the tornados would have to able to travel from the north to the south edge of the map I think.



posted August 12, 2001 09:44 PM            
Yeah, that be nice. *imagines everybody dropping the battle and fleeing from an incomieng tornado* Ok now I *REALLY* WANT Tornado Ally map!!!!! Soembody make it soemhow Only problem is how to get tornado's to move and then.............. We gotta make rain clouds and fog clouds that just float around the level, Make them REALLY heavy so they get stuck in low valleys....etc nice looking effect And have few that VERY slowly follow and move after the neraest tank. Make those clouds a bit lighter, just light enough to climb hills but not float without the above ground option thing.