You might have caught a glimpse of the modding editors available in the game of Soulash in our latest Kickstarter trailer, so today we're going to go a little in-depth about what cool things you can make in them. I always wanted to create worlds since I was a kid playing WFRP and D&D, that's why it was very important for me to spend time on the toolset that will help me build the games that I envisioned.
The first editor that will welcome you as you start your own mod is the Map Editor. Soulash is an open-world game, but to achieve the scale that we desired we've split it into chunks of 64x64 tiles, that are reloaded in the background as the player moves between maps to preserve the feeling of one big map. You can read about the details here, if that sounds interesting, but we're not going to go deeper into the topic here. To the left of the editor, you can see a list of created entities that you can place, and spawn groups that you can define. We'll cover both in the next editors, but the important thing about the entities is that you can place them on the map and one of the groups assigned to the region will be picked when a player starts a new game. This allows us to create alternatives for the same location and make consecutive playthroughs feel fresh. The top left of the screen is where you can input coordinates to move between regions in a 3-dimensional world map. The 4th dimension is for the alternative maps that work the same way as alternative groups - one of the maps for the region is picked when starting a new game.
The editor has basic functionalities that allow for quick iterations, like copy-pasting, cutting or deleting selected tiles, placing tiles in a selected area, highlighting duplicates and invisible tiles, and reordering tiles in the same position. You can also see a couple of buttons at the bottom left that will fill the whole map with a selected tile, display an overlay of the map below or on top to help to build structures in 3 dimensions. The map will save automatically, however, to make it be used during world creation it needs to have a name (bottom left). You can also assign a unique music track there if you place the path in the assets.json file.
The Entity Editor is another one where we'll be spending a lot of time. In this editor, you will be creating anything that builds the world of your mod. This includes background tiles, inanimate objects like stones, trees, items that you can carry or use, or AI NPCs. There are ~50 components to build and configure your entities - quite a lot. But it's also easy to start modding by simply pressing a "Duplicate" icon close to one of the entities in the list, to apply all of the settings to the new entity, change what you need, and have a new working enemy or item.
The group editor is rather simple, its goal is to define a group of enemies that will spawn on a given region map. You can select how many enemies should be included, who is the leader of the group, the color of the marker on the world map before the player discovers what's there, and potential restrictions for the alternative maps. The restriction is optional, but it can help to create 2 very different alternative locations at the same spot, for example, a village with farmers or an orc war camp.
There are quite a few editors, right? Now we're diving into abilities. Abilities are unique actions in the game. Soulash right now is very combat-oriented, but combining this system with crafting recipes in Entity Editor it could be possible to even add building into the game. You can summon things temporary or permanent, deal damage in an area or single target, have positioning-related movements like teleport or charge, add healing, movement, apply fear, burn or poison, add resistance, deflect shots, immobilize, knockback, chain targets close to each other, and many more. Soulash has now over 100 abilities and those can be assigned to specific player professions to be unlocked on level up, or they can also be assigned to items that will give access to them.
The last of the modding editors available, although not the last thing you can mod in Soulash, is the Animation Editor. Animations are used for abilities, weather, but in the upcoming update v0.6, it will be possible to use them as animations for static glyphs, like a fireplace or AI characters. There's a lot of options to create different particles, and this is the most complex editor that could use an article of its own, but there are quite extensive possibilities.
Bonus: Content tables (WIP)
Since you've lasted this long, here's a bonus for you. A little preview of a new screen we've been working on. As you can see, it's still ugly, but accessible in the game with a very hidden key that nobody knows about (psst, it's F6). It provides a list of every weapon, armor (and who wields and wears them), enemy, resource, and ability. These are very helpful to compare enemies of a similar level, check how often an item is used or not, or compare ability power to keep balance in check.
What about races, professions, weather, assets, dialogues...?
Everything else is moddable through JSON configuration files but we hope to move it to the editors at some point as well. If you would like to help us out, we're running a Kickstarter campaign to continue our work up until the Steam release next year.
Anything cool being done by the players?
There were some interesting mods in the past, like the no-durability mod for those who didn't like the items breaking or a shaman profession. As the game is becoming more and more popular we're seeing some great ideas being realized by passionate modders. Below you can see a couple of new videos from vitokin, creating a new profession - the Witch, and a completely new set of locations somewhere in the mountains.
The Witch profession
Monastery in the mountains
If you would like to know more about Soulash, you can find us on our Kickstarter page or leave a comment below.
Till next time,