Tool Hey Race Modders! A Little Something To Use For Racial Descriptions.

Discussion in 'Starbound Modding' started by TheOnlyRen, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. TheOnlyRen

    TheOnlyRen Phantasmal Quasar

    Hi! I'm Ren, author of the Avali Objects+ mod, currently available on Steam and soon to be integrated officially into the wildly popular Avali Triage mod.

    Making a race to play in Starbound is far from easy! What with all the little details you gotta make bits for- sprites, armor, villages, ships, etc. I've been kicking around since Starbound was in beta and the one thing I see a lot of race modders neglect is scan descriptions.

    And I get it! Starbound has a lot of crap you can scan. More than is reasonable. You have to make a lot of little patch files and it's tedious, boring, and seemingly has very little payoff.

    I'm inclined to disagree with the last point. Scan texts are easily one of the best ways for your race to gain character and to immerse players. It adds a lot of depth and flair to your race where there would otherwise be generic boringness. Without writing scan texts, the game defaults to the basic description you can see by hovering over furniture objects in your inventory, and that's not fun at all.

    Considering scanning objects is necessary to the progression of the game's main story line, it'd be nice to see more race makers put a higher priority to scan texts, but as mentioned, it's tedious work and lacks a quick way to get it done, right?

    Well do I have a tool for you!

    That was the download link in case you missed it.

    This is the Racial Description Batch Editor, or the RaDBE (Rad bee!) for short! I picked up this handy little tool from Kawa, who used it to write all of Felin Object+, and likewise I used it to write all of Avali Objects+. It neatly extracts, organizes, and allows you to write custom descriptions for any race you make and can play in Starbound!

    So how's it work? I'll show you!

    When you freshly load up the program, you'll get a screen that looks like this:


    This part is pretty straightforward.

    The Starbound Object Folder Path is asking for, well, Starbound's Object folder. You yank this out of Starbound>Assets>Objects, assuming you've unpacked all of Starbounds assets (google how if you don't know)!

    The Mod Object Folder Path is asking for/where it's going to dump all the patch files you're about to create, this can be in a new folder (which you can make from the browse option) or the objects folder of the race you're modding in question.

    Personally I put both folders on my desktop when I was making Avali Objects+. One COPY of the Objects folder from Starbound's assets and the Avali Objects+ mod itself in an easy to access spot (Then I repacked the assets, trying to load Starbound with your assets unpacked makes it so the game takes forever to load for me).

    You can click the Load All Racial Descriptions button if you want, as it's nice to be able to see what the other races also say about objects so you have something to work off of (except Avians, the program doesn't load those for some reason).

    Once you got the folders selected, the editor will load everything and you should get a screen like this:



    On the top right of the screen, where it says "Racial Description Value Name"-


    By default when you click the drop down it should have the option of selecting something that says "felinDescription" You'll want to replace this with "raceDescription", replacing the word "race" in there with the name of the race in question, in lowercase, so "avaliDescription" "slimeDescription" etc.

    Once that's done, it's time to actually get to work on the objects!

    Objects in RED have default descriptions for all vanilla races, these are all basically action figures, bug jars, etc. Essentially, the program's telling you that you don't HAVE to write a description for these by default, though there's nothing stopping you!

    Objects in WHITE have no custom patch text written for them! So scroll down until you see the first white one, which should be "alpacacomponentrune" Click that and you should get this:


    Now the work begins! As you can see, the editor loads an image of the selected object (sometimes it can look a bit wonky, this is fine, don't worry), the proper in game name of the item, and the default description of it. Clicking the little "+" button on the top right of the Object Description field will load a side-window on the right of the program that displays the description for the rest of the vanilla races (again, save Avian, for some reason).

    At this point, all you have to do is delete the basic text, write in something new (make sure the racial description value name is set!) and hit the commit button! You should automatically shift down to the next object and the object you just wrote for should appear as grey on the list, which means there's a patch for it in the folder you specified at the start!

    BE AWARE That this tool covers most objects in the game, but by default you will NOT be able to make custom descriptions for upgrade-able crafting stations! So whatever you write for the basic furnace will stay that way all the way to the Atomic furnace! Same for the anvil, inventor's table, foraging table, etc. You'll have to find another way to write in scan texts for those. Probably some finagling in notepad++ or whatever.

    When you're all done, it's just a simple matter of publishing the work as a mod, wherever you like, either in the race you're making, or as a separate mod for the race you're writing for!
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  2. Marinebeast

    Marinebeast Existential Complex

    I've been doing tons and tons of descriptions by hand for my mod, and yet... now this exists.

    Really, though, this is awesome + I'm going to start using it right away to finish up all the stuff I don't have descriptions for! Squids everywhere are grateful for this.
    I'm really glad it shows which things you've already made patches for, too-- because that means I don't have to pick and check on everything.
  3. Sparklink

    Sparklink Ketchup Robot

    I was going to start adding descriptions for my own race very soon, this arrived just in time. I once calculated the number of objects in Starbound; I came out to a little over 2,500 objects and an estimated 95% of those objects have scan descriptions on them. I was expecting a long project, but this will cut it down by a few hours. Did you say that Kawa created this? I will have to thank him later for this.
  4. TheOnlyRen

    TheOnlyRen Phantasmal Quasar

    Kawa didn't create it! I merely picked it up from him!
  5. Sparklink

    Sparklink Ketchup Robot

    Okay I see, I misunderstood what you meant by "picked up". Thanks a ton for this.
  6. DraikNova

    DraikNova Spaceman Spiff

    Dang this is helpful. This is going to halve the workload needed to get my race mod to a presentable state, since not only are these descriptions about 70% of the characterization of a race, but laid out like this, they're also a good source of ideas for subjects to base codexes around.
  7. DrPvtSkittles

    DrPvtSkittles Master Astronaut

  8. AmazonValkyrie

    AmazonValkyrie Spaceman Spiff

    Thanks for this! I'm definitely gonna take advantage of it's uses ^_^
  9. Inf_Wolf14

    Inf_Wolf14 Parsec Taste Tester

    Dang, not too long after I finally put placeholder patches in for every object, an easier way to do it comes around... :fireball:

    Oh well, maybe now those placeholders can finally have actual descriptions, lol. :iswydt:
  10. katana

    katana Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I'm curious as to what might be causing the Avian issue. Got the source up anywhere?
  11. Stormalisk

    Stormalisk Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I was going to manually remake my smarter Floran investigation mod, but i'll give this a whirl.

    Two questions though, does it work for modded objects' descriptions as long as you point it to the correct folder? And, is there plans or does it already work for block descriptions?
  12. TheOnlyRen

    TheOnlyRen Phantasmal Quasar

    You'll have to ask Kawa as far as where and who made the program. I didn't! Don't know the first thing about coding!

    I haven't tried using it for modded objects, so I couldn't tell you. But I do know that you can't use it for scanning blocks. Even so, most blocks have standard scan texts for them anyway, barring for Glitch and Florans due to verbal tics. So not having unique texts for blocks is generally par for the course.
  13. bk3k

    bk3k Oxygen Tank

    Well it asks for the path to the objects, so you could just point it to the mod's object folder. That should cover your mod objects.

    I suppose for practicality sake, you might make a new folder, copy the vanilla assets into it, and merge all the mods you intend to support within it too, then point this program at merged folder.
    TheOnlyRen likes this.
  14. TheOnlyRen

    TheOnlyRen Phantasmal Quasar

    If you wanna got he extra mile, I suppose that would get the job done, wouldn't it? Especially with mods like Frackin' Universe, which adds a ton of items.
  15. TheOnlyRen

    TheOnlyRen Phantasmal Quasar


    One thing I forgot to mention and will likewise make note of in the first post!

    This tool covers most objects in the game, but by default you will NOT be able to make custom descriptions for upgrade-able crafting stations! So whatever you write for the basic furnace will stay that way all the way to the Atomic furnace! Same for the anvil, inventor's table, foraging table, etc. You'll have to find another way to write in scan texts for those. Probably some finagling in notepad++ or something.
  16. Simon_The_Miner

    Simon_The_Miner Void-Bound Voyager

    Ive gone through and added some descriptions for the race making but I dont know where the patch files save (Or even how to save) and I dont want all my work to go to waste, do you know how to find it? (Ive checked where its supposed to "Dump" all the files but nothing was there when I did a test)
    edit: it also only lets me choose files that direct through the objects folder im using, which will only work if i go through the starbound directory. Im not sure if ive done something wrong
    Second edit: turns out it was just me being stupid and forgetting i saved the files somewhere else than I originally planned
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  17. tastelessintrovert

    tastelessintrovert Void-Bound Voyager

    Bless your heart, I was just puzzling over how to do this effectively last night! Thanks so much!
  18. Cloudspun

    Cloudspun Big Damn Hero

    This is fantastic, thank you!
    (Also, it took me three days and restarting twice to figure out that it saves progress. DON'T BE LIKE ME!)
  19. Zamboozle

    Zamboozle Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Thank you so much for this tool! It's monumentally useful~!!!
  20. DeadSomething

    DeadSomething Subatomic Cosmonaut

    this tool could use one more feature:
    adding additional objects folders from mods which alter or add items/objects.

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