Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Not about OpenMW? Just about Morrowind in general? Have some random babble? Kindly direct it here.
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openmwfan27
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Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by openmwfan27 » 27 Apr 2016, 18:52

If someone were building a mod manager for OpenMW what features and functionality would you like to see (aside from the obvious things like, install a mod, remove a mod etc..)

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Amenophis
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Re: Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by Amenophis » 27 Apr 2016, 20:16

I'd like to have a mod manager that allow multiple game installations: I have one for an old TC, another for the OpenMW, and another for vanilla Morrowind.
OpenMW requires that I backup my cfgs, saves and reimport everything when I want to test the Example Suit, for example.
My fixes and tweaks on vanilla and modded quests for Morrowind.
http://www.nexusmods.com/morrowind/mods/43107/?

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openmwfan27
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Re: Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by openmwfan27 » 27 Apr 2016, 23:13

I had thought about this too, it would be good to have profiles for different sets of mods for each game, and the ability for it to work like this not just for Morrowind, but for other games that get built on OpenMW, a mod manager that handles everything built with the engine (more or less) would be good.

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AnyOldName3
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Re: Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by AnyOldName3 » 28 Apr 2016, 13:35

I'd like something pretty much exactly like Mod Organizer, but with mods being immutable within the VFS. I know OpenMW has a VFS (although, of course, it doesn't support hooking into external programs), so it makes sense to me to at the least base any mod manager off a similar tool, as it's an example of something else that works well with a VFS, and also it means modders will be using something resembling a familiar tool.
AnyOldName3, Master of Shadows

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openmwfan27
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Re: Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by openmwfan27 » 28 Apr 2016, 14:59

AnyOldName3 wrote:I'd like something pretty much exactly like Mod Organizer, but with mods being immutable within the VFS.
Can you go into more detail on this?

One thing i've been thinking about is how to identify mods when they are packaged up by different people. You can't just search for .esp's as some mods are texture mods for example and don't have those files.

You would also need to establish whether the mod files sit in the root of the archive, sometimes authors like to put readme's and things in the root of the archive and then have a folder named 'data' or 'data files' or something which contains the actual mod.

Then you have mod's where the main mod might be packaged up in the root or a subfolder of the root of the archive, but in that directory there is a folder called 'optional' or 'compatibility' or whatever the author chooses which itself may contain many sub folders each containing a separate optional add-on, and may / may not contain an esp file (e.g if the optional extra(s) are additional textures or an alternate version or a compatibility patch with another mod..

There are many ways to package them up, now as a human being with a brain it's not difficult in most cases to look at the folder and know which files to put where and which one's to ignore, but when it comes to a mod manager figuring all this out by itself and then presenting the user with one or more mods to 'enable' from that archive is a bit more challenging, what would be the best way to go about tackling this problem?

I'm not sure its possible to handle every edge case automatically, but it would be good for the mod manager to get it right most of the time, and then prompt the user to confirm it's findings, and if something's wrong have some UI for the user change the mod managers decision.

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AnyOldName3
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Re: Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by AnyOldName3 » 28 Apr 2016, 21:19

Most of my actual modding of things is with Skyrim, New Vegas, and Fallout 4, with a little bit of Oblivion, too. Most complicated mods for these are packaged as a FOMOD or OMOD, but I guess you're saying that such a thing didn't exist when Morrowind was contemporary? Anyway, what Mod Organizer does is it checks if there's a scripted installer in the archive, and, if not, it gives a popup allowing the user to pick what happens next, such as checking and unchecking certain files/folders, moving things around, and setting a particular folder as the data folder (by default it uses the root of the archive).

To be honest, in my opinion, there's not much point writing a whole new mod manager. Instead, I'd just write a plugin for Mod Organizer so it can recognise Morrowind and OpenMW files, and maybe make it also use OpenMW's built-in VFS, as it's cleaner, and probably more intuitive than MO's.
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openmwfan27
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Re: Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by openmwfan27 » 28 Apr 2016, 23:38

Does Mod Organizer work on linux though? Really an OpenMW Mod Manager needs to run on Linux, Mac and Windows like OpenMW does.

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AnyOldName3
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Re: Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by AnyOldName3 » 29 Apr 2016, 11:39

Currently, no, but I'm sure TanninOne would accept a pull request that let it build under linux. The only thing that's likely to have major issues is its VFS implementation, which is Windows-dependent, but as OpenMW has its own already, this can be skipped. I'll admit that I'd totally forgotten that it wouldn't work under Linux when I was making my suggestion, though.
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icyjiub
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Re: Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by icyjiub » 29 Apr 2016, 20:00

If OpenMW got a mod manager, it should be part of the launcher. I LOVE the fact that I can just make a folder, drop the files in there, and control load order within the INI files.

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Re: Mod Manager Features & Functionality

Post by darkbasic » 29 Apr 2016, 20:14

I never used any mod manager, but if I was going to write one I would make it like a linux package manager plus additional file collision logic. It means it should keep track every mod's file and automatically resolve file collisions doing a checksum first (and if the checksum is the same not bothering the user at all), otherwise asking which mod should be the preferred source for such file and save the preference for later reinstallations/upgrades. If mod A and mod B both owns different versions of "some_file" and the user chosed B's version of "some_file", then if later the user decides to uninstall B it should automatically replace "some_file" with the A version, instead of keeping B's one.
That's what I expect a mod manager to do.

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