Author Topic: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon  (Read 2819 times)

Tsunamix

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The Tsunamods Community is extremely excited to announce that we are starting work on a brand new Mod Manager!
It is still in the development phase and could take some time to be completed.
However we have a good idea of how it'll work and what it will bring to you.
Which I will explain below.

So lets start with driver running the whole thing.


Introducing the new FFNx Driver!

The new manager will be ran using the new FFNx Driver created by TrueOdin
This driver allows the game to run using 4 different render engines.
Of which you can choose from.
  • Vulkan
  • OpenGL
  • DirectX11
  • DirectX12

FFNx also allows the use of the DDS texture format.
Which is the standard texture type for many triple-A titles!
PNG is also kept as a stable backup.
Using DDS mods will reduce the stress on your GPU freeing it up to work on the other mods that may need it.
Which in turn will reduce the chances of receiving a Texture Memory crash!

FFNx also centers your game along the Vertical axis so you won't have that annoying thick black bar at the bottom anymore.
The game will sit in the center of the screen!

As well as this FFNx comes with the following features:
  • Full screen battles.
  • Natural Menu Cursor alignments.
  • Multiple new Video Codecs such as WEBM and H.265.
  • Multiple new Audio Codecs.
  • Compatible with Final Fantasy 8.
  • Mod debugging using RenderDoc.


Built in backend option for the new Sister-Ray!

Sister-Ray extends the Final Fantasy 7 engine itself allowing us to take full control over the game.
Created by QuantumPencil this system allows many mods that were once impossible a piece of cake!

For example:
  • New commands
  • New attacks
  • New animations
  • Playable summons
  • In battle PHS

You name it. It can probably be done.
The original boundaries that FF7 once gave us have been broken opening us up to a whole new world of mod creation.

Wanna see it in action? All we ask is that you remember that these all still WIP and at this point is simply a proof of concept:

Playable Ifrit:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpBbCvpqwQ8

Punisher Stance + Counter Attack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA9JuVCtmRE

Battle PHS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE8tXUWI1W0&



The Mod Manager (Has no name yet)

Now on to the mod manager itself. First of all,
The manager is still in the development stage, so everything I list here has a small chance of not appearing in the final product.

We are confident that these things can and will happen after much discussion but just keep in mind that we aren't promising these things.
Our aim with this is to make it as multi-use as we can. Whilst keeping it as easy and simple to use as possible.
So, what will it be able to do?


Modding FF7, 8 AND 9!

First we're aiming to allow it to mod Final Fantasy 7, 8 AND 9! All in 1 program!
Using the FFNx driver to support both FF7 and 8 simultaneously.
You'll be able to swap the game you wish to play at any time.
It'll even keep separate saves of your personal mod setup for each game.


No more Catalog!

You know that list you click on to download the mods from in 7th Heaven?
Won't be needing that anymore.
You'll still have a nice list to choose from, however let me tell you why ours will be different.
The way the Catalog works is that specific people have access to its files, and for you to get a new mod to show up, you have to wait on them to add it.
This could be annoying for both types of people. Check it out:

The owners of the Catalog:

They have to keep in touch with every mod creator and manually set up their mods so you guys can use them.
I imagine this can be pretty annoying. Especially if the mods get updated constantly. They have to deal with that too.

The users:
While you may not always know if a new mod is out there. There pretty much always is.
And for you to be able to use it you have to either wait on them to add it to the Catalog.
Or, you have to learn how to add it yourself.


So we're gonna remove this entirely by adding a fully community driven mod Library!
A place where someone like me, a mod creator, can just go, upload my mod, and boom.
You all have instant access to it!
And for the users, you'll be able to play mods the second the creator thinks it's ready to upload!
No longer will we have to rely on other people and place stress on them to keep us up to date.
This community page will be accessible from your web browser, or the mod manager itself.
It's just the same as using the Catalog, with less hassle.
And everyone can use it too!

Have you got a mod you wanna put out?
You can! Just click upload, and.... done! Everyone will have access to it.
You can even use the new Whitelist feature. Which allows for easy Beta testing.
I'll explain.


The Whitelist Feature

Inside the new Mod manager you'll be able to "Sign-Up" and make a profile.
Connecting you to the database.
You'll then have your very own ID number. What this'll do is if a mod goes into Beta,
the creator will simply just add your ID to their whitelist and boom!
The mod they made will suddenly appear on your list. Your officially a Beta tester!
You can even talk to each other and leave comments about the mod via the manager.

Need another reason this is cool, how about this. Mod creators, you listening?
Mod creators need to earn money too right?
For some of them, it helps pay their bills. Which is simply awesome!
Well if everyone had access to everything all of the time then... how would they make money anymore?

The Whitelist!
If people wanted, they could only allow Patrons for example to see their mods.
Or donators via Paypal. Whatever it may be. This system has you covered.
All you need is their ID number and you're set.
Best of all, they can't share them either.
Only you, as the mod author, can add ID's to the whitelist.
We could even have the mods show up but listed as "Whitelist only" to help entice people to want it more.
Entirely up to you mod creators. It's your choice.


Mod storage + download speed

So by now you might be wondering where mods will be located?
If everyone can just click upload then where do they go?
Well we have 2 options for you. When you click the upload button you'll be presented with them.

"Upload to public shared server"
Paid for by us. This will also come with options for you guys as mod users or creators to assist us with. They will host them as best we can. The server we have for this is charged based on download usage and not overall content. So if the server really starts to kick off then it could become difficult.
However we have option 2 below.

"Upload via external link"
This will allow you to upload your mod anywhere you like.
Just give it your download link and it'll add it to the list giving everyone access to it.
You'll be able to update it, remove it, whatever you like super easy.

By having these 2 options you'll run into bandwidth limits far, far less.
Because the mods are spread out.
Not only that but the speed of downloads should increase too!


Knowing what mods to download
So another thing we've considered is that, if everyone can upload mods whenever they like.
Then how do we know if:
A. They're safe?   B. They work?

A
The manager will be capable of scanning every file that comes through it for you.
And as a double layer of security, the public shared server also has one too.
Combined with your own systems Anti-Virus they wouldn't have a chance.

B
We have a special system coming for that.
As much as we want access to mods to be super easy for everyone,
it of course comes with the downside of mods that don't work, or are simply just buggy.
Well when you use a mod for enough time, which will be given by the author.
You'll be prompted with a message.
This message will ask you if the mod has been working as intended.
So as a community you'll be able to help them out by giving your answer.
If a mod gets enough "Yes" votes then the mod will become "Verified" and gain a little icon informing
you guys that the mod is working.
We, the Tsunamods team are also capable of just assigning a mod as Verified too to help this process.

So what about trolls? Valid question.

For the most part we hope that you guys, the players, will respect the mod authors that provide you the entertainment you use and give faithful votes.
If you select "No" then you'll be asked why. Which must contain an answer.
These answers will be logged into our system and sent to both the mod author, and us.
Allowing us all to check if in fact they are correct.
The mod Author may also provide us at Tsunamods, evidence of the vote being incorrect and we'll be able to remove it. Thus eliminating the problem!


Native Steam compatibility!

Do you ever wish you could still get Steam achievements?
I know a lot of people do.
Well that'll be possible too! The manager will not require a Game Converter, Fake ISO's, nothing.
Not even built into it. It just isn't needed at all.
Meaning you can still get up that playtime and earn those achievements.
This'll work for all versions too! As long as they are PC versions.


Full Controller support!

How many of you wish your controller would just work?
And if it's not that then, what about your D-pad?
I can safely assume that if I asked you to reply to this post with an image of a controller if this applied to you. There would be a few of them....
Well this is in there too! Plug and play, easy as that. No more external programs.
No more messing around, just easy street, straight forward. Play the game.


Will 7th Heaven mods work?

Simply put, yes! They will!
You'll be able to use this manager and still have all of the great mods provided by 7th heaven.
I cannot however promise this the other way around.
At this point in time the only thing I can even guess, is that you would be able to unpack mods from this manager and perhaps recreate them inside 7th Heaven.
It is still very early days yet so do not take this as my final word on the subject.


Fully customizable UI

Everyone likes to be able to change up the way their program looks.
And we're no different, so you'll be able to do that too.
I can't go into too much detail about this yet as the design isn't final right now.
But you get the idea.



For now, that's all I'm gonna share.
It's still early days and I don't wanna give away everything just yet.

Again I ask you to please remember that these features may not appear in the final product.
This only applies to the Mod Manager section. Sister-Ray and FFNx you can safely expect that everything listed above will be there.
And in fact already works.

We are confident that these features will come through but on the off-chance they don't,
we don't wanna promise anything yet.

If you'd like to keep the closest possible eye on the development of this please consider joining our
Tsunamods Discord Server

Over there we create and share mods, help each other with bugs, share tutorials or just have a laugh.
If you do decide to come by though please be sure to check out the rules chat.
The server is far bigger than it first appears, you just can't see it until you interact with the last message posted there.

I'll keep you updated here as bigger stages of progress is made.
Thanks everyone and hope you all have a great lockdown!
« Last Edit: 2020-05-03 23:44:58 by Tsunamix »

OatBran

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #1 on: 2020-05-03 22:42:44 »
I was wondering when this was going to go fully public. Amazing to see the evolution of FF7 modding. FFnX is absolutely amazing and increased my enjoyment of the game and mods by an immeasurable amount.

Thank you so much for all your hard work!! TrueOdin, Tsuna, Satsuki, ect.

Can't wait to see what the future brings with this

TheOmegaFactor

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #2 on: 2020-05-03 22:43:22 »
NICE! this is awesome news! can't wait for the release <3 GG guys on your hard work!

quantumpencil

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #3 on: 2020-05-03 22:54:35 »
I probably should make an announcement thread about SisterRay now...

Glad to be a part of this project =)

Tsunamix

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #4 on: 2020-05-03 22:57:17 »
Yeah maybe worth doing haha. Or you're totally free to use this one.
I know it's, it's own thing but never the less. It's nice to offer.

Insight

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #5 on: 2020-05-03 23:02:24 »
Sounds great. I wondered when this comes up, since there are / were several ppl creating or intend to create mod managers. That's why I had no interest in investing time into a 7th 2.0 months ago. Would be a waste imo.

How are you accomplishing mod compatibility? So far, an author had done this. I guess, it depends on the mod author itself from now on. So you are having luck... Or not. Probably other users can create mod compatibility patches? ^^"

The only bad side I see, is the possible paywall for mods. depends on the mod author if he/she wants to use it... (No, I don't want to discuss it, just mentioning it...)

Tsunamix

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #6 on: 2020-05-03 23:10:56 »
Mod Authors will be able to make their own compatibility options, and users could even do it themselves if they know how and have the time.

At this point in time I can't really give a solid straight answer. With Sister-ray coming it could change the way a lot of things work.

However, I can for sure say that if worst comes to worst, it'll be no different than the way that 7H does it.
So there's concern on a downgrade regardless. It can only get better.

I'll reiterate the paywall thing a little.I know you said you didn't wanna discuss but just so others so can see it too. I'll go a little deeper into explaining it.

Mod authors will be capable of using the Whitelist to give certain user ID's access to mods that otherwise would be hidden. Legally, I don't think a mod can be behind a paywall. However, it gives them the chance to earn some money while getting Beta testers. That's the main focus.
Then once it comes out of Beta it's safe to say they will come out of whitelist too.

Many authors may use this feature and not charge for it.
Its just a nice way to get testers without the extra hassle.
Or if they're testing it themselves before publishing it the add the whitelist tag just so nobody but them can see it.

cmh175

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #7 on: 2020-05-03 23:20:49 »
I remember discussing this with the developer in the modding discord, so psyched to hear this is being released! I’m curious, since this allows the game to render using Vulkan and the others, will the game be able to support PBR textures, or updated skeleton rigs and animations? Being able to import models without cutting them into pieces would be incredible.

Tsunamix

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #8 on: 2020-05-03 23:25:42 »
Ohhh I haven't considered that. That'd be HUGE!
All the questions are gonna be about Sister-Ray now aren't they haha.

I warn everyone in advance, any Sister-ray related questions are much better off being answered by QuantumPencil. That's not my area of expertise and I'll probably butcher it.

Sorry I'm no help there haha

OmniTaff

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #9 on: 2020-05-03 23:43:41 »
Da da da da du da da du da !
[Celebrate]

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk


Tsunamix

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #10 on: 2020-05-03 23:43:49 »
Update to the controllable summons already :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpBbCvpqwQ8

sl1982

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #11 on: 2020-05-04 00:11:57 »
PM me if you are looking for a seperate subfoum. Ill be glad to set one up

Tsunamix

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #12 on: 2020-05-04 00:17:38 »
Probably will at some point. As of right now though none of the manager truly exists so I'd say we'll wait.

JFax88

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #13 on: 2020-05-04 01:39:27 »
OH MY GOD! PLAYABLE IFRIT!!!! CASTING SPELLS!!! How? Will this happen for every summon?

This is unbelievable! Amazing work, I do not know if a game has ever been modded to this big extent, it is basically new game! Does only quantumpencil do Sister Ray?

Tsunamix

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #14 on: 2020-05-04 01:47:00 »
This will happen for every Summon yes. And yes QuantumPencil is currently the only one working on it.

Dark_Ansem

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #15 on: 2020-05-04 07:01:04 »
very excited about this especially the Sister Ray integration

SonicB00M

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #16 on: 2020-05-04 11:28:55 »
Everything about it sounds awesome! Could you give some insight how far in development you are? Are we weeks, months or years away from release?

kotecome

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #17 on: 2020-05-04 12:52:43 »
Just by looking at the description has made me so excited
« Last Edit: 2020-05-06 13:26:37 by kotecome »

Tsunamix

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #18 on: 2020-05-04 16:15:39 »
Hey Sonic, for me personally I'm on the outside of the technical aspect of it.
But at this point in time we don't have even a guess just yet.
In the coming weeks we'll have a better idea. Right now with this being 3 separate projects merging into 1 we have to be sure all 3 are completed and stable before we can safely say it's done.

May I ask why Kotecome? With it still being brand new opinions are very welcomed and in fact wanted.
« Last Edit: 2020-05-04 16:24:43 by Tsunamix »

kotecome

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #19 on: 2020-05-06 13:25:23 »
Hey Sonic, for me personally I'm on the outside of the technical aspect of it.
But at this point in time we don't have even a guess just yet.
In the coming weeks we'll have a better idea. Right now with this being 3 separate projects merging into 1 we have to be sure all 3 are completed and stable before we can safely say it's done.

May I ask why Kotecome? With it still being brand new opinions are very welcomed and in fact wanted.
No sorry I used the wrong words  :-[
I was going to say I was very excited to see the release of this project

Tsunamix

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #20 on: 2020-05-06 17:42:00 »
Ahhh, haha. Fair enough

AuthenticM

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #21 on: 2020-05-07 03:49:15 »
Just saw this.

I want to say congratulations to everyone involved, and a big THANK YOU. This is the kind of development that will make this modding scene thrive even more and for longer. This is amazing and it brings me so much joy. Thank you!!

I have two questions about the possibilities of this project:

1. Would it be possible to add a fourth party member during battles? I'm talking completely playable just like in previous pre-FF7 FF games.

2. Would it be possible to make the menu of FF7 to be like the one in FF7 Remake? I'm talking how the menu of the Remake pops up over the screen of the game, allowing the player to still see the game screen underneath the menu. I think this is much sleeker than having a menu that is in its own completely separate screen.

Thanks!

quantumpencil

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #22 on: 2020-05-07 14:35:38 »
Just saw this.

I want to say congratulations to everyone involved, and a big THANK YOU. This is the kind of development that will make this modding scene thrive even more and for longer. This is amazing and it brings me so much joy. Thank you!!

I have two questions about the possibilities of this project:

1. Would it be possible to add a fourth party member during battles? I'm talking completely playable just like in previous pre-FF7 FF games.

2. Would it be possible to make the menu of FF7 to be like the one in FF7 Remake? I'm talking how the menu of the Remake pops up over the screen of the game, allowing the player to still see the game screen underneath the menu. I think this is much sleeker than having a menu that is in its own completely separate screen.

Thanks!

1: While it is possible, in the strict definition of the word, it is extremely difficult to do. This is one of the most hardcoded aspects of the game (and is hardcoded not just in battle/menu code, which is where the bulk SR's current re-implementation runs) and thus I will need near 100% engine replacement before it can be attempted.
2: It has never occurred to me to attempt this. I want to say "yes" but I'd need to test some things first to be certain.

AuthenticM

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Re: [FF7, 8 + 9 PC] A New Mod Manager Is On The Horizon
« Reply #23 on: 2020-05-07 15:54:16 »
1: While it is possible, in the strict definition of the word, it is extremely difficult to do. This is one of the most hardcoded aspects of the game (and is hardcoded not just in battle/menu code, which is where the bulk SR's current re-implementation runs) and thus I will need near 100% engine replacement before it can be attempted.
2: It has never occurred to me to attempt this. I want to say "yes" but I'd need to test some things first to be certain.

Alright, noted.

I'd hugely appreciate it if you could test a Remake-like menu. It'd just look super cool,  you know. It could even use the original character artwork where the new character models are displayed in big on the main screen. So many possibilities!

Thank you very much for answering!