Improving the FAQ

Anything related to PR, release planning and any other non-technical idea how to move the project forward should be discussed here.
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Ravenwing
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Re: Improving the FAQ

Post by Ravenwing » 13 Nov 2018, 06:40

Currently writing a guide explaining modding for absolute beginners. May end up just folding it into our current mod installation guide to reduce redundancy, but there is also something to be said for having both a verbose and a quick version of something this important. While writing it, I didn't want to get off track, but I also wanted to make some distinctions. Decided to reference this as an FAQ item. Hopefully it also helps settle some arguments!
Is OpenMW a Mod?

The short answer is no, not in the sense most people mean by it.

OpenMW is an entirely new engine, which extends beyond the scope of a typical game modification. A game is made up of two components:
  • the game content, which contains the files that make up what you see, hear, and do in the game,
  • and the game engine, which reads and interprets the game content for the player to interact with.
This means there are two types of modifications you can make:
  • Game content mods, which would be the typical ESP/ESM plugin-based mods, or content replacer mods such as mesh/texture replacers.
  • Game engine mods, which would be things like MCP, MWSE, MGE-XE, etc.
Game engine mods work by hacking int other existing Morrowind executable (Morrowind.exe) and modifying the ways the existing engine functions. When we say OpenMW is an engine, not a mod, we are not merely being pedantic. We are implicitly stating that it does not rely on the existing engine, nor will engine mods written for Morrowind work with it.

We acknowledge that this doesn't mean OpenMW does not make any alterations to the game of Morrowind in any way, shape, or form - we're trying to point out that OpenMW is unique in it's installation, usage, and scope from any other way of playing Morrowind. This is not to demean other projects as being less in scope, just that their scope is different. Lastly, and probably most definitively, the fact that OpenMW aims to be a general purpose game engine further differentiates it from being considered a "mod".
Interested to hear what other people think / how this can be improved further.

I've also started writing some other FAQ entries (finally), one of which defines what a "game engine" even is. I remember being unclear on this when I first started following the project so figured others might benefit. These will come at a later date though so we can review more at once.

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lysol
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Re: Improving the FAQ

Post by lysol » 13 Nov 2018, 12:53

I like that one. Good job.
Game engine mods work by hacking int other the existing Morrowind executable (Morrowind.exe) and modifying the ways the existing engine functions.
One thing I found. I found something else too actually, but I forgot during the time I wrote about the first one. Alzheimers?
Normal mapped texture replacers, exclusive for OpenMW:
My Nexus page

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Ravenwing
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Re: Improving the FAQ

Post by Ravenwing » 13 Nov 2018, 16:05

lysol wrote:
13 Nov 2018, 12:53
Alzheimers?
Probably :lol:

But this is why I shouldn’t post things while sleep deprived! Thanks for the catch! Any content critiques?

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Thunderforge
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Re: Improving the FAQ

Post by Thunderforge » 14 Nov 2018, 00:06

The question is good, but right now it's longer than anything else on the FAQ page (aside from the "Legal and License Stuff"). How about this shorter version of what you wrote?
Is OpenMW a Mod?

No, OpenMW is an entirely new engine, which extends beyond the scope of a typical game modification.

A game is made up of two components:
  • The game content, which contains the files that make up what you see, hear, and do in the game. Game content mods would be the typical ESP/ESM plugin-based mod or mesh/texture replacers.
  • The game engine, which reads and interprets the game content for the player to interact with. Engine mods would be things like MCP, MWSE, and MGE-XE that directly modify Morrowind.exe
OpenMW does not modify game content and is a completely different game engine, not a modification to the original Morrowind.exe game engine. It has a different goal and scope than game content or engine mods. Moreover, OpenMW is designed so that one day it can play game content aside from Morrowind.
Does that convey all the points that we are trying to make? When we have a final version, I'm happy to add it to the FAQ.

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Ravenwing
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Re: Improving the FAQ

Post by Ravenwing » 14 Nov 2018, 16:06

Yep, I like that and agree we should keep lengths capped more consistently unless we have a very good reason. I’d like to give this a proper look through this evening in case I have any more thoughts, but don’t think anything needs to be changed. Also, I’ll go through and see what our typical FAQ length is and maybe decide on a word count and line count cap.

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Ravenwing
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Re: Improving the FAQ

Post by Ravenwing » 15 Nov 2018, 07:22

So I read through it again, and I still like it. My more refined opinion is that this is probably better suited for a general FAQ than my answer was. Mine was meant as much as a preemptive counterargument as it was an FAQ just because I know we've had to argue with people about this in the past. For some reason people think they're being clever when they say "but it modifies Morrowind from it's purely original form" :roll: while ignoring the nature of the question when someone actually asks it. I think we're good to use your version under the general section right before "Can OpenMW run Morrowind mods?" (but I honestly don't care enough if you feel it should go elsewhere).

For future guidance, the stats of our FAQ page are as follows:
Average Word Count: 98.3
Standard Deviation of Word Count: 42.5

Stats don't include the simple redirect answers.

Using this thoroughly overly analytical approach, by adding two standard deviations, we should probably do our best to keep answers below 185 words. :geek:
Disclaimer: for anyone who actually cares about statistics, this was for fun, and I am totally aware of how silly it is.

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lysol
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Re: Improving the FAQ

Post by lysol » 15 Nov 2018, 09:53

Ravenwing wrote:
15 Nov 2018, 07:22
For future guidance, the stats of our FAQ page are as follows:
Average Word Count: 98.3
Standard Deviation of Word Count: 42.5
Lol :D
Normal mapped texture replacers, exclusive for OpenMW:
My Nexus page

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Thunderforge
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Re: Improving the FAQ

Post by Thunderforge » 16 Nov 2018, 06:48

Added to the FAQ. I also modified slightly "Can OpenMW run Morrowind mods?" (now "Can OpenMW run mods built for the original Morrowind engine?") to be less repetitive of the new question, and to use consistent terminology.

Thanks for the contributions! I'm happy to make additional changes to the FAQ as needed. But keep it below 185 words ;)

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