Last updated: December 10th, 2018. Latest version here.

What can be modded

Modding tools looking strong. Are they that strong that the community could even create a sci-fi Version of the Game?

All the major game features like building, farming, the classes, AIs, etc are built and ship as "mods" that we just happened to write. So modding will be VERY powerful. It would be a huge effort to do a total conversion to sci-fi or whatever, but it will be possible.[1]

Can we start modding with the Beta?

Yes, modding support will be there right from the start of the beta [Note: beta here meaning alpha, terminology changed]. It's so baked into the game that honestly it would be hard to turn it off. The fancy editors will be a little immature, but if you don't mind rolling up your sleeves and writing some LUA and JSON, you'll be able to write mods yourself from day 1.

Are they primarily aesthetic items & stats or is there a scripting component?

There's definitely scripting. We're trying to build as many gameplay systems as possible using our own modding tools. Ideally, anything you see in the game you can replicate and put your own twist on using the modding tools. So you can add your own item, give it a cool animation, and make it do something unique with scripts. Want a pair of magic boots that make your worker run 3x as fast? No problem!

Can I add a new item in a mod? What is moddable?

Yes, you can make a new item as a mod. We're working very hard to make everything as moddable as possible. Basically we're writing all of the game systems and content using the same tools that we will make available to you guys as modders. Here are some of the things you can do in a mod:

  • Make new items
  • Add new monsters
  • Add new classes and abilities
  • Add new RPG-like scripted adventures
  • Reskin or add to the UI
  • Tweak the AI of your settlers or the monsters

Can we, besides creating custom items, also create a custom supply chain? For example - Custom armour made from Giant beetles which will need to be hunted and then processed?

Yes, that was one of our first design goals for the crafting system. In fact, the trees you see in the concept video, the wood they generate, and the fact that wood is a raw material to make the house are all driven by the mod system. Making items which require beetle carapaces which must be looted from giant beetles you've slain in the field (or even harvested from the exoskeletons your pet beetles have outgrown) is definitely possible.[1]

Modding rules

Quoted from the official message at the Discourse forums[2]:

Hey Everyone,

As the Stonehearth Game Engine solidifies beneath us, we're nearing the point in our development plans where making and playing mods will become an increasingly important part of everyone's experience.

We've seen some truly inspired creations already - and we fully expect the world of modding to explode in the coming months. So what better time than now to establish some rules - okay, really just one rule - to guide your efforts.

We want everyone who wants to mod to feel able to do so. We also want everyone to provide an appropriate level of respect and consideration for others' creations. We don't want to exercise a heavy hand with this, but we do think it's important to establish our expectations on how you, a modder, should interact with other modders' work.

So here's The Rule: If someone wants to use someone else's work, then they must get explicit written permission to do so. If the original creator does not grant that permission, it's not okay to go ahead and use the work.

In other words, if you ask and they say no: don't use their work. If you ask and they don't reply: don't use their work. If you ask and they say yes: then go ahead. Pretty simple, right?

Respect other people's efforts; they'll respect yours. We don't want to get all tied up trying to adjudicate who stole from whom arguments. (That'll make us angry. And you don't want to see us when we're angry.)

We thank you in advance for your cooperation... and we can't wait to see what you're going to make!

-- Brad (for Team Radiant)

Modding unreleased content (pre-release)

Quoted from an official thread at the Discourse forums[3]:

You are completely free to use our (Radiant's) stuff, with one caveat. That is, you can use any item that is in the game, or any playable feature -- but we ask that you not modify or otherwise use unreleased features or content. We know that in some cases code for an unreleased feature may be present in a given release, though in a dormant state. Please wait until something is official and playable before, um, playing with it.

You don't need to ask us for permission to use our stuff... but we'd appreciate a credit when you let your creation loose upon the world.

Legal questions (pre-release)

What about modding things that are planned to make it into the game? Official reply at Discourse forums[4]:

Actually, this is exactly covered in our EULA, which you can find in the about section of the game:

"If you make any content available in or through our Game, including (but not limited to) buildings, building templates, items, and other content, you give us permission to use, copy, modify and adapt that content for any use, including in-game, on our website, and for marketing or other purposes. Your permission is irrevocable; if you do not want to give us such permission, please do not make content available in or through the Game."

This clause is exactly to protect us from a situation where some mean-hearted person makes a mod of something that they know we're planning to be in the game, and then sues us for copying them. At the same time, as game creators, we respect the fact that the stuff you built has your soul-essence and creativity infused into it, so we're careful to only put stuff into the game that we know we created. If we do ask someone from the community to add something they've created to the game, as in the case of @Froggy and @RepeatPan 's holiday mods, we make sure to call out who really made the stuff. Thus far, it's just the holiday mods, and fountains and lights that @relyss made before she joined our team officially, which you can find in startermod_items.

We also ask that you not make mods of stuff you know is on the roadmap, because we think your time would be better spent on non-redundant efforts.

References

[1]: From https://discourse.stonehearth.net/t/questions-answers-stonehearth-information-thread-updated-31st-july-2014/279/8

[2]: From https://discourse.stonehearth.net/t/one-rule-to-ring-them-all/16926

[3]: From https://discourse.stonehearth.net/t/one-rule-to-ring-them-all/16926/5

[4]: From https://discourse.stonehearth.net/t/modding-legality-vs-final-product/32017/2