Software Inc. Forum

Software Inc. => Modding => Work in progress => Topic started by: smudge202 on February 03, 2016, 04:50:31 AM

Title: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 03, 2016, 04:50:31 AM
News - 25 Feb 2016
I've just finished moving the repository to it's new location on GitHub. Get Involved!

https://github.com/software-inc-modding/devbot (https://github.com/software-inc-modding/devbot)

I've also updated the README for modders looking to contribute but are not very familiar with Git[hub]. I hope it helps!


Compatibility
The mod runs as intended on alpha 7.7.

I'll be working extensively over the coming weeks to make some adjustments, and more importantly to integrate the mod with alpha 8.1. As part of the 8.1 integration, we'll be able to collapse several of the software types into single software types, in some cases using categories. This is thanks to @Khornel's excellent update to the dependency system in this alpha!

Hype

Let me start by saying I love Software Inc, even in it's relative infancy as it is now (alpha 7 at time of writing). I've completed a couple of playthroughs of the base game now, and tried a couple of the mods out there. I must admit that whilst some mods have been a great source of inspiration and reference material, I didn't find one that fitted my play-style or was balanced enough, in my opinion, to warrant playing to end-game.

Khornel is obviously very busy implementing lots of neat new features, not to mention dealing with my ever growing number of requests.  :-* Whilst the ability to modify gameplay is a little limited in areas, I want to utilise every feature at our disposal (not to mention, can't wait for many upcoming features planned for beta 8 ), to create the most comprehensive, balanced, thought out and tested overhaul I can.

With my pre-marketing hype complete, let's move on to design!

Design

This mod is a complete overhaul of the software types available. I've removed all existing software with the exception of the OS, which itself has been tweaked, extended, and abstracted. The goal is to introduce a much greater level of replayability by introducing several new branches of company specialisation and a tiered software structure.

Specialisations

Whilst I haven't fleshed out all the branches yet, the options will be the following (or a combination thereof):


If anyone has any suggestions to add to this list, drop us a reply on this thread or head over to GitHub and create an issue (https://github.com/software-inc-modding/devbot/issues/new).

Tiering

For each branch there are multiple tiers. The lower tiers have fewer dependencies, are easier to produce, but are less popular. As you create or purchase better development tools, server capacity, and network bandwidth, you unlock the ability to produce higher tier, much more popular software.

The particulars of tiering is much too big to fit into a forum post, but hopefully the above description is enough to wet your taste buds, and the following diagram gives you an idea:
(https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/2247869/12900571/fda473f8-ceae-11e5-8921-df1b542ffd68.png)

Development (Progress)

Whilst further design and refinement will be an ongoing process, I'm a fair whack into the development of the mod. The source is available on github (https://github.com/software-inc-modding/devbot) under the GPL licence (hope that's correct/ok, Khornel?).

I try to commit regularly so feel free to watch the repository for updates. For those looking to get involved (looking at you, pokmon987), please fork the repository, have a crack at anything not yet implemented, and drop me a pull request. I expect there to be some to/fro, but any help will of course be duly accredited when this mod makes it to release.

If several people want to help out, I'm happy to put a kanban board up on waffle and write up the outstanding work in github  issues to better organise things.

Beta testing

I'd really like any and all feedback regarding the mod. Currently, I'm especially interested in the 1970-1980 period (see later posts in this thread for tips on how to install).

If you get an error loading the game after installing the mod, it's because you've got the wrong branch of the mod. Make sure you switch to the latest branch on github, which at time of writing is alpha 7.7 (https://github.com/smudge202/software-inc/tree/alpha7-7).
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: drock577 on February 03, 2016, 05:53:21 AM
When you talk about a gaming specialist, do you want to flesh-out the type of games to make? Like adding new categories to existing software types? Or new software types or just focus on  companies?

Also for the cloud provider do you want to create new software types to offer for sever hosting?

Consider extending the README.md to explain the purpose of the mod, or atleast link back here.

I would love to help out!

EDIT:
why are you removing Game, Game-Engine, and Web-Game?
Why not extend all parts of the available ecosystem as well?
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 03, 2016, 06:21:54 AM
drock,

All very good questions. I'll do my best to answer.

To answer two of your questions, I removed the existing game software because I intend to add my own versions. I may end up overriding base types, but removed them until I make that decision. The intent is to  split Online gaming out from Games because the introduction of network services allows additional/finer grained requirements with regards to bandwidth. As of alpha 7 I cannot remove features from overriden software types which makes Multiplayer/MMO features an issue. I'll likely end up splitting PC, Console, and Phone game types and set up genres for each accordingly (RPG's on phones for examples, if even applicable, would need a different popularity to the PC variant).

The split of game types will purely be to necessitate popularity differences between platforms and bandwidth requirements where applicable.

With regards to cloud provisioning, I need to differentiate server load (and popularity) between cloud service types (VM's vs Dedicated Servers vs Website Hosting vs Cloud Service Workers, etc.)

Hopefully that answers your questions?

Currently I'm working through the network provider branch to balance everything. First attempt proved it to be HUGELY overpowered so I'll be working on that for several hours yet. I welcome you to make a start on gaming (or anything else you fancy), though appreciate I haven't provided much in the way of a specification.

Fair point regarding sorting the readme. Everything is still very fluid so I'm trying to put it off as long as possible.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: drock577 on February 03, 2016, 06:31:40 AM
Thats a really interesting idea to split popularity between console types, but how does the game identify which type your developing for. Currently, does the game know the difference between a console and phone OS, or is that a Update 8 thing?

Also will you include the audio and visual tools, and approach them the same way with popularity, feature changes, and a company type?

I will send a pull request in tomorrow once I get around to it.  :)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 03, 2016, 06:40:13 AM
I look forward to your PR.  :)

I can think of two ways to let software to detect whether the OS is console/pc/phone, but I've tested neither. I'll check it out  when I get a chance and let you know which way works (if any). Otherwise I'll have to rethink things because os categories can't be overridden until alpha 8.  :-\ *crosses fingers*
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 03, 2016, 08:43:47 AM
I had a quick look at this, drock. Here is a possible solution:

Code: [Select]
<SoftwareType Override="True">
<Name>Operating System</Name>
    <Needs></Needs>
<Features>
        <Feature Forced="True">
            <Name>PC Drivers</Name>
            <Category>1</Category>
            <Description>Drivers for running PC hardware.</Description>
            <DevTime>0</DevTime>
<Innovation>0</Innovation>
<Usability>0</Usability>
<Stability>0</Stability>
            <Unlock>1970</Unlock>
<CodeArt>1970</CodeArt>
            <Dependencies></Dependencies>
            <SoftwareCategory>Computer</SoftwareCategory>
        </Feature>
        <Feature Forced="True">
            <Name>Console Drivers</Name>
            <Category>1</Category>
            <Description>Drivers for running Console hardware.</Description>
            <DevTime>0</DevTime>
<Innovation>0</Innovation>
<Usability>0</Usability>
<Stability>0</Stability>
            <Unlock>1970</Unlock>
<CodeArt>1970</CodeArt>
            <Dependencies></Dependencies>
            <SoftwareCategory>Console</SoftwareCategory>
        </Feature>
        <Feature Forced="True">
            <Name>Phone Drivers</Name>
            <Category>1</Category>
            <Description>Drivers for running Phone hardware.</Description>
            <DevTime>0</DevTime>
<Innovation>0</Innovation>
<Usability>0</Usability>
<Stability>0</Stability>
            <Unlock>1970</Unlock>
<CodeArt>1970</CodeArt>
            <Dependencies></Dependencies>
            <SoftwareCategory>Phone</SoftwareCategory>
        </Feature>
    </Features>
</SoftwareType>

I'll be adding this to the OS override in the repo shortly.

The problem with it however, is it utterly destroys market simulation; the game crashes when you try to start. You can work around this by disabling simulation with a scenario:

Code: [Select]
<Scenario>
<Name>Recommended</Name>
<Money>
<Amount>1666</Amount>
<Amount>5000</Amount>
        <Amount>10000</Amount>
        <Amount>20000</Amount>
        <Amount>50000</Amount>
        <Amount>500000</Amount>
</Money>
<Goals></Goals>
<Years>
<Year>1970</Year>
</Years>
<Events>
</Events>
<Simulation>False</Simulation>
</Scenario>
note the <Simulation>False</Simulation> attribute.

I can't get a crash report for this issue, the game simply stops responding.

I see on the wiki regarding CompanyTypes:

Quote from: wiki
If you pick a name of one of the built-in company types, you can override it.

If I can work out the name required to override the operating system company type (perhaps I should just try "Operating System"?) then I may be able to tweak something to get around this issue. However, I suspect the actual issue will lie in the Company files themselves; we know the game seeds companies at the start of the game, and despite there being no wiki documentation, the format for companies (according to the test mod) is as follows:

Code: [Select]
<Company>
<Name>Test Company</Name>
<Money>10000000</Money>
<Reputation>3</Reputation>
<Founded>2-1975</Founded>
<Products>
<Product>
<Name>Test OS</Name>
<Release>1-1980</Release>
<Type>Operating System</Type>
<Features>
<Feature>GUI</Feature>
<Feature>QA</Feature>
</Features>
<Quality>0.5</Quality>
<OpenSource>TRUE</OpenSource>
<InHouse>FALSE</InHouse>
<Reception>1</Reception>
<Popularity>1</Popularity>
<SequelTo></SequelTo>
<OS>
</OS>
<Needs>
</Needs>
</Product>
<Product>
<Name>Test product</Name>
<Release>5-1985</Release>
<Type>Test Software</Type>
<Features>
<Feature></Feature>
</Features>
<Quality>1</Quality>
<OpenSource>FALSE</OpenSource>
<InHouse>FALSE</InHouse>
<Reception>1</Reception>
<Popularity>1</Popularity>
<SequelTo></SequelTo>
<OS>
<Name>Test OS</Name>
</OS>
<Needs>
</Needs>
</Product>
</Products>
</Company>

Note that products are seeded with features in these files. The operating system company will be trying to seed software according to the base features for operating systems, but by introducing a new Forced feature, the game freaks out as the seed tries to add a product without the feature.

Hopefully that makes sense, and hopefully Khornel sees this message!

Any advice anyone has on any of the above is hugely appreciated.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 03, 2016, 07:59:49 PM
The above information has been moved to a bug report.

For now, I'll continue with the mod without platform dependencies. I'll try to keep track of known issues with links back to bug reports. (I've added a known-issues.md file to the repo).
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 03, 2016, 09:10:27 PM
I've spent some time balancing and testing the Hosting providers today, wondered if someone wanted to give it a crack and let me know what you think?

1970-1972 is a bit slow as there is only 2 features available in the specialist category for this period. More than that, it's HIGHLY competitive and popularity, in my opinion, is pretty well adjusted. If you use the Hosting scenario supplied and start in either 1970 or 1972, breaking out onto the market is real tough. If you hold out for outstanding quality products at the start, your competitors will beat you to the market with mediocre products and because they are the only service provider, will basically swallow up all your consumers (I love the bucket based market simulations).

If you release a Good/Great product you should beat them to the market and make a few thousand, which will be enough to hold out.

Note, the market simulator crashes very regularly. 90% of the time, at midnight, the game will pause and you'll see an error notification in the bottom right. Hopefully Khornel can check this out soon and let me know if there's anything I can do about it.

If you survive until 1973 and get to market quickly with a T1 business line rental, you can make over 50k which you'll need to use to expand your server capacity.

Note, I've done very little balancing in any other category yet.

I'm open to suggestions on additional generic features that can be introduced into the hosting branch.

Feedback on other branches/specialisms, whilst appreciated, probably isn't necessary. It's important to note, I don't want any over powered branches; I think at least for the first few years, hosting is pretty well adjusted. I haven't played past 1975 yet, but the ratios for all features are maintained throughout.

I'll test consumer line rental (available from 1993) now.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: pokmon987 on February 06, 2016, 02:00:00 AM
Do you guys actually wanna use Trello just to help layout the ideas?
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 06, 2016, 04:14:37 AM
What do people think to the following tech tree?

The colours indicate "tier" (complexity writing software due to dependencies; more complicated = more popular).
White > Grey > Blue > Yellow > Green > Red > Purple


(https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/2247869/12864898/96bdf85c-cc93-11e5-94fa-2c754c45acdf.png)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Darckknight on February 06, 2016, 01:44:58 PM
Hello,
I have not really figured out how to install the mod.
I can not have that mod could to start in 1970.
Could you help me thank you.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: pokmon987 on February 08, 2016, 12:53:51 AM
Tech tree looks good. So do you guys wanna use Trello or not? 'Cus I'm gonna use it anyway...
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: pokmon987 on February 08, 2016, 12:58:11 AM
Darcknight, the mod is still in the works and is probably somewhat buggy, but I will help the best way I can. You have to download the mod from the GitHub website, then you have to extract it from the zip folder, take out from that folder the folder entitled "devbot", goto Windows C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\softwareinc\mods and put the folder in there. I'm not sure about other OS's, maybe Smudge or drock could help.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 08, 2016, 10:05:21 AM
Thanks for responding to Darckknight, pokmon.

The mod as per the last commit had all the basic features and software types required to play from 1970-1980. It would be really cool if you could have a crack at those first 10 years of play (use the recommended scenario) and let me know what we're missing.

EDIT: Sorry for the confusion, make sure you get the alpha-7-7 branch of the mod if you're trying it out!
https://github.com/smudge202/software-inc/tree/alpha7-7

Feels like we should add more games, but I want to ensure that for each game feature added, we add a feature to the Enterprise T1 software so that the two are balanced and both plausible avenues of playthrough (do you want to developer games, or do you want to develop business/enterprise software). So far, the two are as popular as one another and have equal number and complexity of dependencies.

Some things I've noticed:
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Mpdude on February 08, 2016, 07:43:57 PM
 So I've just booted up the mod, copied the folder over to mods then when I launch the game this happens: http://imgur.com/u5Mt6Zn Not sure if I'm doing something wrong or what. I go to select a mod and there is nothing there. http://imgur.com/2xGXs84
Thanks,
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: acronodz on February 08, 2016, 07:58:22 PM
@Mpdude
got the same error ..
____________________
@smudge202
i liked the tech tree :)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 08, 2016, 09:26:08 PM
On the mod page, switch the the alpha-7-7 branch! Sorry, I should have mentioned that!

Top left in this pic there's a drop down letting you switch branches
(http://puu.sh/n0LdL/6968eafba3.png)

Easier yet, the link to the branch directly is:
https://github.com/smudge202/software-inc/tree/alpha7-7
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: KiefBC on February 08, 2016, 09:51:49 PM
This looks very interesting.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: pokmon987 on February 08, 2016, 10:15:21 PM
Mpdude, thanks for letting us know! We are working on fixing that right now!
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 08, 2016, 10:16:16 PM
Mpdude, thanks for letting us know! We are working on fixing that right now!

What are we fixing? :D
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: pokmon987 on February 08, 2016, 10:39:32 PM
I DIDN'T SEE THAT SECOND PAGE...  ;D
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Mpdude on February 09, 2016, 11:16:51 AM
Ah, I see, thank you very much :) Edit: I have been playing around, and sometimes when I switch teams for support etc this shows up in the top left corner: http://imgur.com/J5mZMoh : not sure what's causing it but I wanted to let you know anyway.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 09, 2016, 05:18:36 PM
Not sure what you're referring to in the top left corner? The message about not being competent on design work? That's a normal part of the game afaik. You just need to send them away on a course for whatever the message says they're no good at.

Anyone had a chance to run through from 1970-1980 yet? Keen to get some feedback so I can see what to balance; getting the first 10 years right will shape the balance for the remainder of the game. :)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Mpdude on February 09, 2016, 05:57:49 PM
I mean that it says not compete with TigerX even when not developing anything especially TigerX.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 09, 2016, 06:17:37 PM
I see what you mean now. No idea. Not sure if the mod caused that or if it's a problem in the game...

I see you were over 20mill by 1972, I assume by going all-in on OS's? Might see if I can tweak OSs more and make it harder... :P
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Mpdude on February 09, 2016, 09:32:06 PM
Actually, don't tweak it, I added cash to build a company and sped up time to see what sort of stuff was in the game, I'll do a proper run at some point :P
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Skullex3 on February 21, 2016, 11:45:01 PM
Hey !

Im playing with your mod, and I think I have a kind of bug with Specialist Networking : 0 sale, each time I try to dev it. It worked 1 time, and then just 0 sales each time, which is a little bit annoying ^^

PS : sorry if my english is not perfect, I'm French :P
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 22, 2016, 07:53:47 AM
That's not a bug skullex. The market for specialist networking is *very* small. You can make a few thousand at the start of the game if you beat your competitors to the market.

To confirm, if you check all software, did another company release specialist networking in the last 6 months?
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Skullex3 on February 22, 2016, 11:27:06 AM
I know the market is small, but when I do outstanding software with 0 sales and in the same time AI do bad or mediocre softwares and sell them ... In my game there are 2 other companies that provide SN, and people buy them ;)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 22, 2016, 01:36:16 PM
I don't think it unrealistic though. If there's a market out there for a niche product for which there is no supplier, the second a product is brought to market (low quality or otherwise) the customers have no choice but to buy the awful product.

For Specialist Networking, I recommend starting it on day 1, and not bothering to go beyond "Good" quality if you want to get it on the market in time. It should be about the same in profit/time as running contracts over the same period? The difference being you deny your competitors that money. ;)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Skullex3 on February 22, 2016, 02:18:44 PM
Well, I experimented another strategy : buy the competitors ^^

I'll try to dev in my next save to dev it on day 1, I'll keep you aware ;)

EDIT : I just noticed that, in fact, my SN dont appear n my serv, even in unsupported processes, is this a bug or ? I was hosting like all the competitors with deals, but now, all the SN (I bought all) are just invisible in my servers ...
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 22, 2016, 04:02:13 PM
Interesting. Needs further testing. To confirm my understanding:


Does that sound about right? Arguably, in the latter case, would it be considered that you bought the company, including it's assets (building, servers, employees, etc.) and they continue to operate as an independent (invisible) entity? In such a case, I wouldn't anticipate any load on your servers because it would be managed by the company you own.

Make sense, or am I miles off? There could be some interesting concepts/features there regarding resource sharing/allocation between owned businesses, but nothing I'd imagine being a priority.

Thanks for spending time on this; I'll be looking to make a lot of changes the second beta8 goes into test but the core principles (such as this niche market stuff) will likely remain.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Skullex3 on February 22, 2016, 06:07:39 PM

  • Creating "software" (I appreciate Networks wouldn't fall into that category, but we're bodging the system here), that should require Server resources, do appear to utilise server resources when the software is created in-house and published as normal.
  • Buying a company that has software on the market that should require server resources, doesn't induce server load on your servers.


In both of these case, they dont use any server ressource after being published. In fact, the processe seems to not exist at all on my servs.

Does that sound about right? Arguably, in the latter case, would it be considered that you bought the company, including it's assets (building, servers, employees, etc.) and they continue to operate as an independent (invisible) entity? In such a case, I wouldn't anticipate any load on your servers because it would be managed by the company you own.

The thing is that I was hosting their soft on my servs, and the processes disappeared when I bought the company. On this case, maybe it comes from the game itself that just create, as you said, a kind of autonomous company ...

Thanks for spending time on this; I'll be looking to make a lot of changes the second beta8 goes into test but the core principles (such as this niche market stuff) will likely remain.

No problems, you made an amazing work, all I can do is help you make it perfect :P

I hope I'm understandable ^^
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 23, 2016, 11:27:58 AM
Oh I see. When you created your own software, were there any active users showing? Only software with active users and a server requirement should generate load.

I'm not sure what you mean about hosting their software on your servers. Did you accept a Deal? If so, might be worth checking the Undelegated Processes in the Server dialog to make sure it's not sat in limbo?

You're very understandable, don't worry. Appreciate the comment. Looking forward to overhauling the mod now that alpha 8.1 is here!
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Skullex3 on February 24, 2016, 12:13:48 AM
Hey !

Oh I see. When you created your own software, were there any active users showing? Only software with active users and a server requirement should generate load.

There it is, no active user (still I don't know why I cant sell it, people may not like me ^^)

I'm not sure what you mean about hosting their software on your servers. Did you accept a Deal? If so, might be worth checking the Undelegated Processes in the Server dialog to make sure it's not sat in limbo?

Exactly what I was meaning, and when I bought the company, the processes disappeared !

I'm really waiting for the 8.1 version of your mod, since it is very a bonus for the game :P
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: SaltyPotato on February 24, 2016, 04:45:37 PM
Compatibility
The mod runs as intended on alpha 7.7.

I'll be working extensively over the coming week to make some adjustments, and more importantly to integrate the mod with alpha 8.1. Woot! As part of the 8.1 integration, we'll be able to collapse several of the software types into single software types, in some cases using categories. This is thanks to @Khornel's excellent update to the dependency system in this alpha!

Hype

Let me start by saying I love Software Inc, even in it's relative infancy as it is now (alpha 7 at time of writing). I've completed a couple of play-throughs of the base game now, and tried a couple of the mods out there. I must admit that whilst some mods have been a great source of inspiration and reference material, I didn't find one that fitted my play-style or was balanced enough, in my opinion, to warrant playing to end-game.

Khornel is obviously very busy implementing lots of neat new features, not to mention dealing with my ever growing number of requests.  :-* Whilst the ability to modify gameplay is a little limited in areas, I want to utilise every feature at our disposal (not to mention, can't wait for many upcoming features planned for beta 8 ), to create the most comprehensive, balanced, thought out and tested overhaul I can.

With my pre-marketing hype complete, let's move on to design!

Design

This mod is a complete overhaul of the software types available. I've removed all existing software with the exception of the OS, which itself has been tweaked, extended, and abstracted. The goal is to introduce a much greater level of replayability by introducing several new branches of company specialisation and a tiered software structure.

Specialisations

Whilst I haven't fleshed out all the branches yet, the options will be the following (or a combination thereof):

  • Development Specialist - These companies are responsible for creating Programming Languages, Development Tooling, Database Systems, and so forth. These software types are the tools on which all other software depend (akin Visual/Audio Tools in the base games). At time of writing there are 3 software types and 31 features available in this branch.
  • Business Specialist - These companies focus on fulfilling the needs of businesses with bespoke business software and mainframe systems. At time of writing there are 2 software types and 16 features available in this branch.
  • Network Specialist - These companies focus on providing network / internet services (think ISP). At time of writing there are 2 "software types" and 19 "features" available in this branch.
  • Cloud Provider - This late game branch provides cloud services (think Azure/AWS) that make great additions to Business or Network specialists. This branch is not implemented yet, but should house 10-15 features for the first release.
  • OS Specialists - These companies focus on operating systems. Akin the base game, OS's have 3 categories and have been extended to have more than 20 features.
  • Gaming Specialists - These companies focus on gaming. Although not implemented yet, my intended design for this highly competitive market is to provide 4 software types, dozens of categories, and many features.

If anyone has any suggestions to add to this list, say now or forever hold your peace.  ;)

Tiering

For each branch there are multiple tiers. The lower tiers have fewer dependencies, are easier to produce, but are less popular. As you create or purchase better development tools, server capacity, and network bandwidth, you unlock the ability to produce higher tier, much more popular software.

The particulars of tiering is much too big to fit into a forum post, but hopefully the above description is enough to wet your taste buds, and the following diagram gives you an idea:
(https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/2247869/12900571/fda473f8-ceae-11e5-8921-df1b542ffd68.png)

Development (Progress)

Whilst further design and refinement will be an ongoing process, I'm a fair whack into the development of the mod. The source is available on github (https://github.com/smudge202/software-inc) under the GPL licence (hope that's correct/ok, Khornel?).

I try to commit regularly so feel free to watch the repository for updates. For those looking to get involved (looking at you, pokmon987), please fork the repository, have a crack at anything not yet implemented, and drop me a pull request. I expect there to be some to/fro, but any help will of course be duly accredited when this mod makes it to release.

If several people want to help out, I'm happy to put a kanban board up on waffle and write up the outstanding work in github  issues to better organise things.

Beta testing

I'd really like any and all feedback regarding the mod. Currently, I'm especially interested in the 1970-1980 period (see later posts in this thread for tips on how to install).

If you get an error loading the game after installing the mod, it's because you've got the wrong branch of the mod. Make sure you switch to the latest branch on github, which at time of writing is alpha 7.7 (https://github.com/smudge202/software-inc/tree/alpha7-7).

Looks like a very big mod! Mustve taken alot of time! :) Will test it out soon!
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 24, 2016, 05:45:16 PM
Thanks for renewed interest in the mod Salty and Skullex.

Yes, it did take quite a while, probably through fault of my own because I decided not to use any of the tools for creating mods. Speaking of which, consider this a sneak peek of something else in the making...
(http://puu.sh/njTku/4722ba4970.png).

Anyway...!  :-X  ;)

With regards to pushing an 8.1 update, I'm still thoroughly testing the 8.1 release of the game itself which to be honest is looking very good. Before reworking the mod I want to make sure I understand all the important aspects!

I expect to start working on the 8.1 migration of the mod this weekend, and if I don't get too drunk I'm not too busy, might see an early release of the 8.1 mod compatibility by the end of this weekend. I'm aiming to have something very stable together in time for next weekend, as I'd like to take the time off and play it myself! :)

Hopefully that all makes sense?

Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: SaltyPotato on February 24, 2016, 05:59:44 PM
Compatibility
The mod runs as intended on alpha 7.7.

I'll be working extensively over the coming week to make some adjustments, and more importantly to integrate the mod with alpha 8.1. Woot! As part of the 8.1 integration, we'll be able to collapse several of the software types into single software types, in some cases using categories. This is thanks to @Khornel's excellent update to the dependency system in this alpha!

Hype

Let me start by saying I love Software Inc, even in it's relative infancy as it is now (alpha 7 at time of writing). I've completed a couple of play-throughs of the base game now, and tried a couple of the mods out there. I must admit that whilst some mods have been a great source of inspiration and reference material, I didn't find one that fitted my play-style or was balanced enough, in my opinion, to warrant playing to end-game.

Khornel is obviously very busy implementing lots of neat new features, not to mention dealing with my ever growing number of requests.  :-* Whilst the ability to modify gameplay is a little limited in areas, I want to utilise every feature at our disposal (not to mention, can't wait for many upcoming features planned for beta 8 ), to create the most comprehensive, balanced, thought out and tested overhaul I can.

With my pre-marketing hype complete, let's move on to design!

Design

This mod is a complete overhaul of the software types available. I've removed all existing software with the exception of the OS, which itself has been tweaked, extended, and abstracted. The goal is to introduce a much greater level of replayability by introducing several new branches of company specialisation and a tiered software structure.

Specialisations

Whilst I haven't fleshed out all the branches yet, the options will be the following (or a combination thereof):

  • Development Specialist - These companies are responsible for creating Programming Languages, Development Tooling, Database Systems, and so forth. These software types are the tools on which all other software depend (akin Visual/Audio Tools in the base games). At time of writing there are 3 software types and 31 features available in this branch.
  • Business Specialist - These companies focus on fulfilling the needs of businesses with bespoke business software and mainframe systems. At time of writing there are 2 software types and 16 features available in this branch.
  • Network Specialist - These companies focus on providing network / internet services (think ISP). At time of writing there are 2 "software types" and 19 "features" available in this branch.
  • Cloud Provider - This late game branch provides cloud services (think Azure/AWS) that make great additions to Business or Network specialists. This branch is not implemented yet, but should house 10-15 features for the first release.
  • OS Specialists - These companies focus on operating systems. Akin the base game, OS's have 3 categories and have been extended to have more than 20 features.
  • Gaming Specialists - These companies focus on gaming. Although not implemented yet, my intended design for this highly competitive market is to provide 4 software types, dozens of categories, and many features.

If anyone has any suggestions to add to this list, say now or forever hold your peace.  ;)

Tiering

For each branch there are multiple tiers. The lower tiers have fewer dependencies, are easier to produce, but are less popular. As you create or purchase better development tools, server capacity, and network bandwidth, you unlock the ability to produce higher tier, much more popular software.

The particulars of tiering is much too big to fit into a forum post, but hopefully the above description is enough to wet your taste buds, and the following diagram gives you an idea:
(https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/2247869/12900571/fda473f8-ceae-11e5-8921-df1b542ffd68.png)

Development (Progress)

Whilst further design and refinement will be an ongoing process, I'm a fair whack into the development of the mod. The source is available on github (https://github.com/smudge202/software-inc) under the GPL licence (hope that's correct/ok, Khornel?).

I try to commit regularly so feel free to watch the repository for updates. For those looking to get involved (looking at you, pokmon987), please fork the repository, have a crack at anything not yet implemented, and drop me a pull request. I expect there to be some to/fro, but any help will of course be duly accredited when this mod makes it to release.

If several people want to help out, I'm happy to put a kanban board up on waffle and write up the outstanding work in github  issues to better organise things.

Beta testing

I'd really like any and all feedback regarding the mod. Currently, I'm especially interested in the 1970-1980 period (see later posts in this thread for tips on how to install).

If you get an error loading the game after installing the mod, it's because you've got the wrong branch of the mod. Make sure you switch to the latest branch on github, which at time of writing is alpha 7.7 (https://github.com/smudge202/software-inc/tree/alpha7-7).

This mustve taken a long time to make. Woah, i surely want to trry this out.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Skullex3 on February 25, 2016, 02:05:31 AM
Hey !

Take your time bro, we dont pay for it ;)

If you need help, I think after nearly 3 years studying informatic sciences, I can provide you some help :P I'm gonna take a look at your already done code if I have some time tomorrow, see if Im still able to understand XML ;)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 25, 2016, 12:03:49 PM
I've just updated the first post, but I know updates are hard to spot.

Good news everyone!

https://github.com/software-inc-modding/devbot

Checkout the readme too!  ;)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: pokmon987 on February 25, 2016, 10:15:16 PM
Hey everyone!
      We need some beta testers for this mod to make sure the play through from 1970-1980 is balanced and not overpowered or under-powered.
             Thanks!
                   Pokmon987
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 26, 2016, 10:58:09 AM
With regards to the 1970-1980 feedback, more is most definitely welcome though we have had some feedback. I think people are finding it pretty tough, which I'm actually in favour of. I typically have 2-10 million in the first 12 months of gameplay which is just massively OP (alpha 8 ). I want things to require more thought and strategy, hopefully you guys agree?

I'll be working on the alpha 8 compatibility this weekend (which involves several changes to our software types) so if you have any feedback, the sooner you get it to us the more likely you'll see the change in the first alpha 8 release. :)

Pokmon and other contributors, let's try and breakdown some issues to make it easier to collab? At the moment I have an "Alpha 8 Compatibility" issue which needs to be changed to a couple dozen issues. I'll have a crack at doing that tomorrow morning/early afternoon, but if someone wants to make a start, feel free.

If you need anything from me quickly, tweet me @Smudge202 - I answer those much quicker than forum posts. :)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: KiefBC on February 27, 2016, 05:24:36 PM
I'll be venturing into this soon. Been away from home for the past few weeks. Will give feedback post-1980.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on February 27, 2016, 05:27:57 PM
Thanks Kief
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Dryhtscipe on March 28, 2016, 01:49:02 PM
Hi there!

I've been, for the last few days, beginning work on a mod. But I hadn't really had a proper look into what was already existing.

I've come to the conclusion that really what I'm doing is not horribly dissimilar to what you're doing: attempting to flesh out the different "eras" of computing to enhance gameplay challenge.

Perhaps collaboration should be a thing? I think you're much further along in design, so it would make sense!

What my mod currently has:

8 additional software types
Features that unlock every <2years for all of the new features ranging from when they launch to 2010
All of the original software types modified
The inclusion of "Text Editor" as a requirement to make just about any piece of software, adding a relatively cheap piece of important software to develop right from the beginning of the game (with short-ish dev time in 1970 and more extensive dev time later, thanks to feature growth)
The inclusion of a group of types of web sites (market, forum, search engine, video sharing, and webmail) all with relatively tuned bandwidth needs
New company names, sometimes a bit... funnier
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: AlbinoStoic on March 28, 2016, 02:11:44 PM
So I've just booted up the mod, copied the folder over to mods then when I launch the game this happens: http://imgur.com/u5Mt6Zn Not sure if I'm doing something wrong or what. I go to select a mod and there is nothing there. http://imgur.com/2xGXs84
Thanks,

The mod author has not updated it for v8 it would seem.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on March 30, 2016, 07:34:35 AM
That's correct. I will come back and upgrade the mod at some stage, however myself and a couple others are working on something a little grander (some mod tooling) which will make migrating this mod to alpha 8 a little easier.

@Dryhtscipe, I'd certainly be interested in some collab. I too was keen to introduce dependencies throughout the eras starting with text editors and working up to full blown IDE's (think Visual Studio). Hop over to github and create an issue; let me know what you think we can introduce/change? I'm liking your idea of branching out websites, think that could work well!

https://github.com/software-inc-modding/devbot
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Dryhtscipe on March 30, 2016, 02:02:04 PM
I'll have to investigate your mod more thoroughly first - I've just glanced over it at this moment. Going to try actually playing it in a moment as I'm taking a break from the early part of working on my own, which really needs a massive reworking to make everything more consistent and blah blah blah...

Testing is fun though. I must say the game definitely really works a lot better if ALL (or wherever realistically possible) features unlock in drip fashion rather than just all being there right from the off.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on March 30, 2016, 05:07:03 PM
To test, I'm afraid you'll have to run against alpha 7. The mod includes a scenario which unlocks a 1970 start date; I recommend going from there if you want to be drip fed. The mod hasn't been tested into late game yet and is fairly tough, so good luck! ;)
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: pokmon987 on March 30, 2016, 11:36:26 PM
Sorry for not helping much... Well.. At all... I got hyped for Factorio and started playing that and stopped doing anything related with Software Inc... I will help though, just tell me what you want to be implemented, revamped or integrated!
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on April 01, 2016, 12:29:08 PM
Not to worry pokmon, I know we all have other things to do (myself included). :)

Step 1 would be to do an in-place alpha 8 upgrade. It's a bit of a nuisance but actually shouldn't be too difficult to do. Once it's migrated to alpha 8 hopefully between those interested such as Dryhtscipe we can look at increasing the feature set and implementing cool ideas.

I'd like to do the alpha 8 migration before any other changes for a couple reasons. For one, it makes it easier to test with the current game version, but also there's another project in the background that I'm collabing on to create a cool new mod website. One of the features is an automatic migration utility (to upgrade versions) so I'd like to compare the hand-crafted upgrade to alpha 8 with automatic output.

There's loads more to do, but certainly the alpha 8 work is where we need to start. Should mostly entail correcting all the "Needs" attributes. Once that's done we can actually collapse several of the software types into a single type because the new dependency system removes a lot of the need for all the software types currently implemented.

All that make sense?
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Dryhtscipe on April 01, 2016, 08:08:09 PM
I've actually converted a mod from alpha 7 to alpha 8 already (my own... since this became necessary exactly 5 minutes after I made the first test version and I realised it would be utterly pointless not to do it immediately). It's frankly a bit hideous (unlocking and dependency becomes a bit more complicated to keep track of) but it does deepen the system a lot and should make things more interesting down the line.

On the downside I'm utterly unfamiliar with github. I'm doing some deeper learning of how the simulation works by playing it anyway at the moment, as well as bugfixing the basic build of my own mod (played all the way to 1990 with no problems... and then realised I'd totally messed up how websites worked).
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Dryhtscipe on April 01, 2016, 08:47:37 PM
I've got a working loading version on the current test. I'll see if it REALLY works... and it seems to. I think. Maybe.

At any rate, I'm wrestling with github and think I managed to make a thorough mess of that, so that's a bonus. ;)

Update: weirdly it isn't working. Everything LOOKS fine, but then the game refuses to run the simulation, at all, and I can't see a single reason why. Everything looks frankly fine.

Update2: even more weirdly, I can get the sim working so long as I remove office software after a slew of other fixes to things-that-were-broken. I have no idea if anything "after" office software (IE that has an office-software-dependency) is also broken or not, as I've not yet checked. Once I figure out what the hell is broken in office software...

Not that I have even a single clue. There's no actual issue that I can spot. -.-

Update3: ahahaha! Talk about a wild goose chase. After rechecking my work from last night I discovered the cause: I was tired/I am an idiot/I am taking antihistamine and the prior two factors combined. Pick whatever. I think I have it fixed and will be committing it to my fork on github shortly after testing.

Update4: too enthusiastic, clearly. Now I've discovered that for no particular reason I can fathom, two CompanyTypes refuse to generate any actual companies... as a result, trying to force the dev of those types of software results in the sim not running at all. But the CompanyTypes files are identical except for names. I can't see why the hell it doesn't work for those two.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: pokmon987 on April 02, 2016, 02:49:53 AM
All right, thanks
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Dryhtscipe on April 02, 2016, 06:39:58 PM
Latest update: hurrah, it works! It really does work!

I have however changed some names to enable me to work with it and not get seriously confused. Furthermore, the major difficulty turned out to lie with dependencies; it is not possible to have two dependencies to forced features, for some reason. Whether this is a bug or WAD I am not sure?

But regardless, I had to remove the "Operating System/PC Drivers" dependency from the ARKANET feature to get the sim to run and network specialist companies to correctly spawn. This also of course was preventing the next tier from working.

I will note that the balancing has not been touched at all and makes absolutely no sense on the current build of the game unless it is intended that in 2010 the biggest Office seller would only have 1 million active users. ;)

At any rate I have committed it to my github fork. You can find that here (https://github.com/Dryhtscipe/devbot).

Sidenote: the words "office" and "network" no longer look like words to me at the moment. :D

For an encore I got bored and combined the two Office and 2D Editor types into one type and fixed all resulting dependency changes/categorisation. This is not uploaded anywhere yet.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: smudge202 on April 03, 2016, 01:04:52 PM
Awesome, AWESOME job, Dryht. I'm coming down with something and not feeling too clever, but if I can get some meds to kick in I'll take a look at your fork later today.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: Dryhtscipe on April 03, 2016, 05:50:44 PM
There's some big problems with it, I should note. There's at least something, somewhere, that is broken - I wasn't aware of this yesterday - that prevents multiple softwaretypes in one companytype, if you see what I mean. I'm not sure if this is a game bug at this point or not; I couldn't entirely reproduce it while working with my mod which suggests it might be something in this one. But I don't know what as I'm REALLY out of practice with modding.

Secondly, the market sim is totally broken with the existing numbers. It needs balance work.
Title: Re: Devbot Mod
Post by: pokmon987 on May 04, 2016, 11:05:58 PM
Are you still looking to work with this mod or not? If you are still working with it then I will start actually working with it then.