Author Topic: FF7 Questions about the possibilities of modding  (Read 1342 times)

Clangeddin

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FF7 Questions about the possibilities of modding
« on: 2020-01-03 11:58:09 »
I'm not sure if this is the correct section of the forums to post this, but basically what I'm interested in is if (theoretically with the tools that the community currently has at its disposal) it would be possible to mod FF7 in a way that the following changes could be made:

1) Increase party size from 3 to 4.

2) Fix the W-item materia glitch.

3) Make the limit break gauge reset after every battle.(I always thought that saving limits for boss fights made the game way too easy).

4) Change the limit break system so that all 7 limit breaks are usable in the end, but with different gauge costs. (for example, if you set L4 limits, you can use L1 limits for 25% of the gauge).

5) Change the flow of in-battle time so that wait ATB works as a proper turn based system a la Final Fantasy Tactics (for example). FF7 Wait ATB is not a proper turn based system and, while it can approach to a similar system with the battle speed turned to minimum, the time flows during animations casts regardless, potentially wasting time of both characters and enemies alike. Time should not flow while the player is selecting the main actions either (atk, magic, ecc).

6) Add new playable characters.

7) Add new content (as in maps, dungeons, ecc without recycling old ones.)

Do not misunderstand me, it's not as if I'm under any illusion of undertaking any of these tasks personally, I know almost nothing about FF7 modding, this was more a curiosity I wanted to ask of FF7 mod veterans, and maybe it might give them some ideas for their future works. Thanks.
« Last Edit: 2020-01-03 15:34:47 by Clangeddin »

sithlord48

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Re: FF7 Questions about the possibilities of modding
« Reply #1 on: 2020-01-03 14:45:29 »
I think DLPB fixed the W-Item glitch for part of his project.

Im pretty sure you can do #3 and #5
#4 maybe possible
#1 I think may be hardest for you to do

NFITC1

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Re: FF7 Questions about the possibilities of modding
« Reply #2 on: 2020-01-03 21:13:10 »
1) Would require rewriting nearly everything. No joke. So many mechanics and functions depend on there being no more than three party members. You might as well rewrite most of the game from scratch.

2) Item duping in general is about ~98% fixed with current mods. There are some weird niche cases where items can be duped without W-Item, but it's impossible to predict.

3) This is quite simple. Probably changing one byte from a relative jump to an absolute jump or an assignment to nop

4) Possible, but requires significant rewriting of some menu items.

5) I'm not sure how FFT's ATB differs from, say, FF10s. That would be possible by pausing the ATB while the menu is up and progressively calculating the next actor to take a turn. This would make skipping/deferring action more difficult to implement.

6) Maybe. Easier than 1, I'm sure. However, there's not a lot of space for more weapons. At least as far as the PC is concerned, the weapon array is fixed length. You could double up on certain weapons, but that wouldn't make new character very unique.

7) Possible now. It takes a lot of work, though. Walkmeshes, entrance/exit points, scripts, layers, etc.

Kaldarasha

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Re: FF7 Questions about the possibilities of modding
« Reply #3 on: 2020-01-06 09:29:41 »
Some heads up from my side there will be a tool in the very far future which will break the limits which the game has. Quantumpencil is working on it, the name is Sister Ray. More weapons will be a piece of cake. Nevertheless atm we can't mod the game as much as we want to and if SR will be ready one day isn't also sure to 100%. But I cross my fingers.

quantumpencil

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Re: FF7 Questions about the possibilities of modding
« Reply #4 on: 2020-01-11 07:39:29 »
Some heads up from my side there will be a tool in the very far future which will break the limits which the game has. Quantumpencil is working on it, the name is Sister Ray. More weapons will be a piece of cake. Nevertheless atm we can't mod the game as much as we want to and if SR will be ready one day isn't also sure to 100%. But I cross my fingers.

Oh yee of little faith. It's definitely coming. I'm having to work on it a little more slowly than I expected but my motivation has not faltered.

Anyway, everything you have mentioned is fairly doable except for the first, which is possible but I'll have to literally have the whole battle engine re-implemented first (and probably much more than just that) I will be adding in battle party member switching (think FFX) though, but the game hardcodes checks and loops over the party as by index range bounded above by 3 like 391513053 times, so even with my extensive rewrite of the engine it'll take me years to have all of that code under my control so I can actually expand the number of party members.

2 is trivial, it's been done several times. I've done it and DLPB has done it.

3 just hook in on battle end/reset and set it to 0, shouldn't be that hard.

4: Not that difficult if you understand battle engine well, I've basically solved all the parts of this (and much more actually, I can get entirely new animations into the game and have them played however I like, so limit break model animations are usable outside of the context of the "Limit Break" command as a subproblem)and this will be a default option with sister ray.

5 is possible and not all that difficult. The simplest implementation would to to disable atb switch (I've already got the entire battle menu re-implemented w/ a widget system so this is easy)  which is bound to an input handler in the battle menu input handler routine, and then not update the ATB gauge when the menu state-machine is set to select -- which also takes place in a battle menu update handler (The one associated to state 0 of the state machine), I already control all this code. Could even add a "pass" command if you don't want to act with a quicker ATB recovery divisor than if an action is taken ti simulate "Wait" in that kind of game. You could then create a new widget ala FFX and display the turn order without too much trouble.

6 hard to do "properly" but possible. I've solved many sub problems but not quite there yet (I've rewritten the battle/menu inventories and got the game reading from my own weapon registries, so more weapons/items/gear is no problem EXCEPT that you can't easily give them to your party outside of SR code.) I believe the solution here that i'll use is modifying Makou Reactor so that it outputs an intermediary form of the field scripts which contain symbols representing items/weapons a specific modder has added, and then just substitute in the true indexes in the various registries I've got holding all this information in an extensible way.

7 is possible but very time consuming. Better tooling is needed
« Last Edit: 2020-01-11 07:58:28 by quantumpencil »

quantumpencil

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Re: FF7 Questions about the possibilities of modding
« Reply #5 on: 2020-01-13 21:38:15 »
You'll find it's a lot harder than you imagine.  I know it seems like everything's possible and is round the corner, but I know from experience that you find out otherwise ;)

And even with a tool in place that does more, you still need modders to use them.  I've seldom seen a single mod around here get to completion - and that even includes my own (though it is healthy).  Most mods that try to edit scene.bin and kernel quickly die off when the daunting task of balancing through the entire game becomes clear.

Even translation projects came and went.  The only reason mine succeeded is because I am a fanatic, have supreme will power, and the help of two others who put enormous time in.

Noted, but I've shipped much bigger projects than this (in the 500k + sloc range). Also don't underestimate the power of good abstractions. It took 3 months to re-implement the menus as a set of widgets/events, but now that I have them working in terms of that abstraction it takes me less than a day to create an entire new menu from scratch. I'm building the project so that I get similar force multipliers everywhere.

Big projects like this sort of work that way; to make them healthy in the long tail, you have to put a bunch of effort into abstractions upfront which make the work needed at later stages easier. And I can always hire people to help whenever I decide that makes sense.
« Last Edit: 2020-01-13 21:41:24 by quantumpencil »

codemann8

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Re: FF7 Questions about the possibilities of modding
« Reply #6 on: 2020-01-26 09:00:23 »
#7 I had considered making a walkmesh editor for modifying world map or field map walkable planes, but there were only crickets when I was gauging the interest for it here. I was considering simply making a tool that takes all the triangle vertices and exports it to a universal 3d file (like .obj or .u3d) that you could import it into any generic 3d editing software and modify, but it gets a bit tricky because the game applies certain attributes to each triangle that typical 3d editors don't really have a use for. But coming up with a tool to do so, is doable, but a bunch of work, and I didn't see the value in it with the little interest at the time.

Kaldarasha

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Re: FF7 Questions about the possibilities of modding
« Reply #7 on: 2020-01-26 09:16:29 »
#7 I want to create a tool every one waiting for...

A much better idea is to work on MakouReactor's field BG editor and implement it in there.