Modding Community Rules/Guidelines [Updated Feb 24 2015]

Discussion in 'Starbound Modding' started by mollygos, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. Base forum rules still apply to Mod rules.
    Use common sense when uploading a mod!

    Respect Mod Authors.
    If you're making random suggestions in a mods thread it's cool - but if the mod author asks you to leave or stop, it's his mods thread so please respect that. Anyone caught breaking a mod authors decision on mod pack/mod assets permissions will be dealt with swiftly and surely. Not cool!

    Aaargh, no offensive content, no 18+ material, etc.
    Again, use your logic. We strive to keep this community as close to PG-13 as we can. Don't post offensive and crude mods.

    We decide.
    Moderators and Administrators have the right to remove/edit/delete your mod from the official mod repository for any reason. If you wish to re-upload a removed mod, contact a moderator first!

    When using an external host.
    If you're using an external host for your modpack, please try to keep it to the basics. Dropbox is probably THE optimal choice for an external host. Mediafire, Google Drive, Sendspace are all gravy. No external host that's a link to another link to AdFly or linkbucks or whatever.

    Nothing that executes.
    No .bat files, no .jar files, no .exes in the official mod repo. You may create a thread in the Modding Discussion/Help section with a "Tool" thread prefix section linking to your file off site.

    Try to make sure your mod is as compatible as can be. It's understandable if it's a huge overhaul mod, but if you're just adding Peach's dress and it causes incompatibilities with a mod that changes how weapons are handled? What?

    Mod/Mod pack names.
    "Betty Whites Amazing Big Starbound Mod Pack" isn't a descriptive title, unless I'm looking to play as a smokin' old lady with multiple Emmy awards and a Grammy Award. Anyhow, try to be original while still being descriptive with your mod/mod pack name.

    Declare it finished. [ Permissions on Outdated Mods ]
    All mods require permission from the original author if you wish to continue development of the mod, regardless of the time that has passed. Most likely if you've got a good mod -someone- would want to pick it up and continue your project, don't just throw it away! Ask some one to take over before you leave or change the permissions of the mod before you leave.

    Removing assets.
    Don't make mods that completely wipe/delete Starbounds base game assets as that's just gruesome and is one of the main reasons of incompatibility.

    Bundle if you need to.
    We can understand releasing a rubber-ducky-shooting rifle as a standalone mod, but sometimes it just makes it easier for everyone if you partially bundle your mods, especially if they're small mods that only add single items.

    Be a community.
    This is a big one, honestly. Chucklefish developers and moderators alike love the mods and content the community is making, and what we love to see even more is seeing the community interact with each other. Letting someone help you out on your mod, making suggestions, two users working together to make their two standalone mods into one better standalone mod is amazing to see.
    Just try to remember that - you're all part of an amazing community.

    Just follow basic etiquette, essentially! Be excellent to each other!

    Thanks, everyone!​


    Recently some modders have begun to create mod compilations or mod packs consisting of other mods grouped together for easy installation. This is great! However, a few things to note:

    We've added two required fields to the mod upload page. You must choose out of these options when uploading a mod to the official database:
    • Usable in mod packs without consent
    • Usable in mod packs with consent
    • Do not include in mod packs
    • Mod assets editable without consent
    • Mod assets editable with consent
    • Do not edit assets
    Once you've chosen one of these options, you cannot change your mind.
    Credit to original mod authors is a requirement. Use the @ function to tag the author in the compilation's credit section (e.g. @mollygos) so the author can be notified.

    Mod authors: It's a smart idea to also choose an appropriate license ( and paste it into your mod description.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2015
  2. michealv

    michealv Industrial Terraformer

    I was just thinking about this very thing today...
    Aidan likes this.
  3. Silento

    Silento Guest

    excuse me, if noted delinquent BRAWW is found putting my mods in a mod pack i will file a lawsuit. we dont need HIS kind in this community,,
    Aeon, krail, ernestopresto and 2 others like this.
  4. BentLent

    BentLent Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Is he crediting you???
  5. krail

    krail Void-Bound Voyager

    Can we just ban mod packs completely? We don't need 100 different compilations clogging up the site, and it's so easy to download and install mods as is.
    Mylos and Kyrosiris like this.
  6. Thundercraft

    Thundercraft Phantasmal Quasar

    If anyone bans anything, it would be a moderator or administrator, correct? And if you ban one kind of mod... where will this trend lead? Where do you draw the line? Seems like a rather slippery slope to me. And it seems counter to the mod-friendliness of Starbound and the friendly modding atmosphere some want to engender.

    Besides I do not see why a mod pack is a bad thing, so long as they follow the rules as outlined in the OP. Generally, I think the more mods we see the better. Let the player base weed out the crummy ones by giving them bad ratings and reviews and otherwise ignoring them.

    "We don't need 100 different compilations clogging up the site"... :unsure: Seriously? I have read through the majority of Starbound mods available here (far more than half) and I've stumbled across maybe two mod compilations. If they are so prevalent, then why can't I find any more? Can you even name a few examples?

    "...and it's so easy to download and install mods as is."... :confused: Um... no, it's not! :( From my personal experience, I can say that installing mods can be a real headache! Even mod managers can be (and sometimes are) plagued with bugs or compatibility issues. Just getting even two or three mods to work together or play nice can be a real challenge, especially for anyone who is not very computer savvy.

    The new features like "__merge" and playerbase.config merging should - in theory - go a long way towards resolving some of these issues. :geek: But it might be a while before all modders understand and use them. And it can makes the modders' job more challenging, which leaves more room for mistakes.

    Heck, with how frequent updates to Starbound are and how frequently mods are changed or updated for issues, just putting together a compilation that works is a challenge of it's own. Such compilations would not be up-to-date or useable for very long!

    My two cents: Seeing more mod compilations would be a good thing. More power to them! :up:

    PS: I suspect that those who make mod compilations tend to be those who do not have enough technical know-how to create much original content. But they're clearly motivated enough to produce something. And they need to learn the basics to get their compilation to work, have it documented, respond to reviewer and player complaints, etc. They'd have to educate themselves to do that. In the long run, I think it motivates them to learn modding and produce original content.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  7. Westeller

    Westeller Space Penguin Leader

    I have to agree with thundercraft here. __merge functionality has gone a long way to eliminating mod incompatibility, or it will have when everyone starts using it, but mods still conflict in many different ways that make mod compilations a very practical and necessary thing to create for multiple mods that conflict.

    Speaking of compilations, there's a compilation of modding guides that's just a taaad outdated. :rolleyes:
    Thundercraft likes this.
  8. Zanarias

    Zanarias Orbital Explorer

    I don't think there should be mod compilations at all on these forums, if you want to release these sorts of things you should keep it to whatever community you're already working with.

    It's different if a bunch of mod makers decide to put their mods together into some sort of super mod, but in that case they've all agreed to work together to make something big.
    krail likes this.
  9. fabsen

    fabsen Void-Bound Voyager

    Nice netiquette!
  10. Thundercraft

    Thundercraft Phantasmal Quasar

    So far, I see 2 opinions flat out against any sort of mod compilations being allowed and at least 1 opinion supporting my own in favor of mod compilations. (One could extrapolate further on opinions: My comment had 4 likes...)

    Thing is, both myself and Westeller gave our reasons why mod compilations are completely forgivable if not understandable and why banning any sort of mod that follows the rules is a bad idea. But, those against mod compilations did not explain themselves at all.

    I'm really curious now: Why - in your opinion - would seeing mod compilations on this community be a bad thing? What is inherently wrong with them, even if they follow all the netiquette at outlined in the OP?

    It just bothers me that nobody against explained their reasons. I can't even fathom what their reasons could be.

    If mod compilations are strictly to be released on other online communities, then most of us would never know about them and never find them. Yet some of us would prefer to use a compilation over having to download and install several dozen mods. (Not to mention the hassle of making sure they allow place nice with each other and trying to follow the updates for all of them.)

    How is that very different from just one person approaching several other mod makers for permission to include their mod (or just part of their mod) in his package? They gave their permission, so it's clearly okay with them. And if nobody wants their mod compilation, then nobody would download it. I fail to see the fundamental difference and I fail to see who a mod compilation supposedly hurts.
    Aeon and Gerdon like this.
  11. krail

    krail Void-Bound Voyager

    Because I don't see any real reason why they should exist given the game's current modding capabilities.

    Mods are extremely trivial to install now, don't say they aren't. Just choose what mods you want, download, and stick them in the mod folder. It is the responsibility of the mod creator to make sure that their mod doesn't conflict with other mods whenever it can be avoided.

    So the only reason for having mod packs is the slight convenience of having them all in one download. Is that really worth the added inconvenience of having a whole bunch of redistributed versions floating around? I know if I were to make some kind of mod, I would not want it to be redistributed without my express permission. If you have played minecraft in the past you know how much trouble mod packs have caused.

    The only valid reason I can think of right now is packs for community servers, so that players can all use the same mods, but soon servers will be able to push mods to clients. At any rate, those sorts of packs shouldn't be on this site.
    Kyrosiris likes this.
  12. Chalky

    Chalky Void-Bound Voyager

    How about simply not wanting to spend a ages searching through hundreds of mods if you want to populate your game world with a bunch of new creatures? Wouldn't a "new creatures" modpack, containing new creatures from a large number of authors be far better? What about a UI tweaks mod that picks the best UI tweaks and makes them all compatible?

    Modpacks have not "caused" trouble in minecraft - they have always existed for every single game that has allowed modding. The only thing that's different about minecraft that's made this sort of thing cause a fuss is the immaturity of a minority of mod makers who seem to have forgotten that they're modifying someone elses work in the first place. Make mods for the good of the community rather than to funnel people through seedy advertising gateways and everything will be fine. You might even make some money off them through donations from people who want to support you! That would certainly be a nice thing - note I said "nice thing" rather than "god given right".
    Yuuma, Sirithil, Aeon and 7 others like this.
  13. Grugore

    Grugore Tentacle Wrangler

    From seeing these types of requirements in other mod communities, I'd have to say they are an overall detriment.

    Asking permission ends up being impossible in many cases because there is usually a high turnover of regular modders. You will never get a response from many people you contact because they move on.

    I think the requirements of crediting and linking to the original author should be enough, even if you change the code. Which in compilations is just making them compatible.

    I'll just use Evil Genius as an example of a modding community that was hampered a great deal because of this type of thinking.

    If anyone wanted to use more than one type of mod at a time, they ended up having to figure out how to combine them on their own. Which made it a huge unneeded hurdle for the average user. Especially as the game aged and the community shrank.

    It turned a small modding community into a dead one. New modders were never able to build off the old work of previous people in the community.

    Regardless, I doubt modders legally own the game code they modify, so all the 'don't use my code without asking' stuff just seems slightly misplaced and arrogant.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
    Yuuma, reconix, WoxandWarf and 3 others like this.
  14. Zanarias

    Zanarias Orbital Explorer

    I wasn't totally clear, actually. My main issue with mod packs as listed within the rules of Molly's post was that crediting isn't really enough in my eyes. If you have full permission from all of the mod authors to include their mod in your pack, then whatever, obviously everyone agreed and the original creators know what's going on. Same with alterations in that respect.

    What I've seen before in other games is where one mod pack becomes a pretty commonly installed thing, but then those mods aren't frequently updated within the mod pack by the mod pack author. So, you've got a bunch of people using outdated mods by some guy who doesn't keep up with everything or just straight up disappears completely. This kind of screws over the original mod author, since popular compilations obviously detract from direct downloads from the source itself. People might not even be aware updated versions exist.

    I've also come across some mod pack authors (in Minecraft particularly) who try their best to downplay the fact that they didn't actually create anything in their pack. This is really crappy, and bound to happen with or without these rules in place.

    Again, I don't have as much of an issue with them if full permission is requested and granted for these things, although I still think they work better as a community oriented thing. Crediting the author is not sufficient, especially if the author doesn't wish for their mods to be included in any pack at all.
    Rukrio likes this.
  15. ohgoditburns

    ohgoditburns Void-Bound Voyager

    At the same time, people should be aware that some fairly obvious ideas might be independently thought of by multiple people, and similar mods aren't necessarily dupes. (Example, making all/most moons use the moon biome).
  16. Zizzy

    Zizzy Void-Bound Voyager

    it is not against the law to take a mod and put it in a modpack sorry guys. Hell even giving credit is just a "nice" thing to do. no law says you cannot take a mod and put it in a pack and give it to people. I would like to clarify one other thing. If you try to copyright a mod technically chucklefish has the right to sue there. The company is being nice by even allowing such things. So no it's not against the law the whole point of a mod community it to well...MODIFY.
    Aeon and Grugore like this.
  17. ohgoditburns

    ohgoditburns Void-Bound Voyager

    In the US any creative work you make is automatically copyrighted, so yeah, there is a law that says you can't redistribute another person's work without permission.
  18. ohgoditburns

    ohgoditburns Void-Bound Voyager

    I don't actually understand why altering requires more diligence than repacking though. Altering another mod involves significant development work, and it could be argued that it's an entirely new thing (except for maybe some art assets). I'd still think it's polite to credit, but I don't see the need for permission on that front.
  19. ImprobableLobster

    ImprobableLobster Void-Bound Voyager

    I'm not seeing a problem if the original author is being credited. It's not like you're being paid to mod.
  20. everythingWasBees

    everythingWasBees Usually not an angry person

    I don't see anything wrong with any of this. The only benefit of direct downloads is increased exposure if you list mods by download, or the potential for more ratings. There's no reward for having a popular mod, and the only thing it gets you is the satisfaction that your mod is well rated or receives a high number of downloads. That's it. And if the mod isn't down right broken, there's no need for you to download an updated version. If somebody's really interested in a mod, the link to the mod is right there in the compilation , as per the rules stated in the OP.

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