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 Forum index » Modding Central » C&C: Remastered Collection Editing Forums
Composition-based modding
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niflthaena
Civilian


Joined: 12 Jun 2020

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:25 pm    Post subject:  Composition-based modding
Subject description: Should it exist? Can it exist?
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I've been working for a bit on some polish features - audio cues, mainly - but the more I dig into the game, the more I'm struck by how little support there appears to be for mixing multiple mods.

The main codebase, obviously, is uniquely loaded. One DLL at a time.

Units and structures have lots of hardcoded references in that codebase, so unit mods are also uniquely loaded.

Data loaders - the XML that holds metadata, references to outside assets - these also seem to be unique. A modded copy of, say, SFXEventFiles.xml must include all the standard entries in the file, or the game crashes - which also means only one active mod may modify SFX.
This one is particularly unusual - considering the engine already includes load orders on mods, it would be no more difficult to simply load each mod's data loaders in sequence (and the base game) rather than only loading one of them.


All of this leads mods to override each other. Only one can typically be active at a time, and as a result, composition-based modding ranges from difficult to impossible. Even simple content or polish changes conflict with seemingly unrelated Quality of Life updates.


But EA/Petro supplied a menu and integration with a service that both allow multiple registration and activation - as though they wanted users to enable multiple mods at once.


Does anyone have some insight here? If composition is relevant, it's possible to write solutions for content - runtime registration, and composition rules over a rules.ini-like structure - but I don't see good solutions for the core code. And it's rather demoralizing to have the mods I want to write be simply incompatible with mods that add basic QoL.

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Nyerguds
General


Joined: 24 May 2004
Location: Flanders (Be) Posts:300000001

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Assets-only mods do not require a dll. While you can have only one core gameplay DLL, many asset mods can be stacked together without any issue.
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niflthaena
Civilian


Joined: 12 Jun 2020

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

May I ask how? While the individual assets are in unique files, their references seem to be either aggregated into single huge files, or split into smaller files which are only loaded by a single core file. And those referencing files can conflict.

From my experimentation, a mod that extends one of the base asset XMLs (but doesn't change the XML list file) would be compatible with a mod that changes the list to add a new base asset XML, but at that point neither of them could load with any additional mods that affect the same system - there don't seem to be any more ways to get file references into the game.

Am I misunderstanding the XML loading process?

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johnnyjigglez
Civilian


Joined: 20 Feb 2017

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm not up to snuff YET on my own knowledge of the DLL relationships.... but it is my vague understanding that the game.dll we can now upload as a mod can invoke other mods that is other dlls...  Or is my understanding incorrect?

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