Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

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Vudjun
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Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by Vudjun » Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:35 pm

Rather than saying "You don't have the right mods installed", it would be convenient if servers auto-downloaded and used the right mods directly from the server along with the save game.
The downloaded mods would only be used with the multiplayer server, and not affect the client's other worlds.

I don't believe there is a security problem with this, as servers can already send custom scripts to clients through the save game's control.lua.

I know there is already a plan for a Modding Portal, but this sort of thing isn't mentioned in any of the related forum or blog posts.

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by AntiElite » Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:21 am

I also thougth about that and I think it'd be a great feature. I love the idea and it has already been proven in "don't starve together" as far as i know.

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by ske » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:06 am

I read in another thread that one thing holding this back is copyright. For some games, they have a central repository for the mods where developers have uploaded them since the copyright terms did not allow redistribution via local game servers. So the problem is more legal than purely technical.

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by Zeblote » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:13 am

ske wrote:I read in another thread that one thing holding this back is copyright. For some games, they have a central repository for the mods where developers have uploaded them since the copyright terms did not allow redistribution via local game servers. So the problem is more legal than purely technical.
There aren't any legal problems with creating a framework that downloads player created content from the server. Just like bittorrent by itself isn't illegal.

It's already planned for a future update.

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by Vudjun » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:26 am

Zeblote wrote:
ske wrote:I read in another thread that one thing holding this back is copyright. For some games, they have a central repository for the mods where developers have uploaded them since the copyright terms did not allow redistribution via local game servers. So the problem is more legal than purely technical.
There aren't any legal problems with creating a framework that downloads player created content from the server. Just like bittorrent by itself isn't illegal.

It's already planned for a future update.
That's good to hear, I did search myself and all I could find related to mod distribution is that they'd be creating a Modding Portal. Could you link me to where they said this was planned?

If they're worried about unauthorized mod distribution, then requiring mods to have an "allow-distribution": true in their info.json if they want to allow the mod to be distributed in this way could solve that.

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by Zeblote » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:31 am

From the roadmap:
"Allow loading games with different mod settings (and automatically download the mods if necessary)"

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=678

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by ratchetfreak » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:39 pm

One way to get around the copyright is to change the license that if you release a mod you also give a license to distribute the mod through the server.

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by Hexicube » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:18 pm

ske wrote:I read in another thread that one thing holding this back is copyright. For some games, they have a central repository for the mods where developers have uploaded them since the copyright terms did not allow redistribution via local game servers. So the problem is more legal than purely technical.
I highly doubt mod developers would object to a change that makes it easier for people to use their mod, and you could also require them to accept new terms that allows end-users to distribute mods via hosting servers.

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by ske » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:55 pm

Hexicube wrote: I highly doubt mod developers would object to a change that makes it easier for people to use their mod, and you could also require them to accept new terms that allows end-users to distribute mods via hosting servers.
Ther might be one modder who disagrees and then that's a problem.

I'm not deep enough into it but maybe it's possible to require the modders to agree to terms which allow distribution.

Another solution is to host the mods on a server (factorio or 3rd party by the modders themselves) where they are downloaded from by the clients. The person who uploads to that server has to agree to some hosting terms which makes things safe. That solution should be pretty safe but might not work in all cases (e.g. LAN-party).

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by ssilk » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:40 am

@ all: Please read this article, before continuing "useless" :) posts:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6202 "Managing" mod licensing
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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by bobingabout » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:26 am

As a modder myself, and I'm sure I've pointed this out before, I have no problems at all with players redistributing my mods, as long as they remain unmodified (Bar minor tweaks to the JSON file (Specifically the dependency line) in order to make it more friendly with other mods, or config.lua(Which is now solely in config mod)).

I think a server being able to transmit a mod package isn't such a bad idea... though should probably come with some sort of warnings for filesizes, I've seen some mods as big as the game is itself, you wouldn't really want it transmitting such a thing without warning.

To help with some of these technical issues, there are a few safeguards you could put in place.


1. Server config option to be able to turn mod uploads on/off
2. A tag within the mod's JSON file (as part of licence information, I do believe this should have a specific tag in in there to display licence info ingame) to dictate if that specific mod is able to be transmitted (Though people could just modify the mod to let it be sent)
3. One of the things the game will complain about is if you have multiple mods with the same name in your mods folder. Add a mod locker as a sub directory within your mods folder capable of housing downloaded mods, and other versions of mods that are not part of your active mods list. These can be used directly if the mod config says they should be.

As for mod support of the game itself: currently, a full client restart is required to reload mods... it even does it automatically now. I can understand why this is done, however, a slight improvement would be a cleanup and reload, rather than a full close and re-open, basically so that when you change a mod config, the game doesn't unload and reload, it can be annoying if someone on steam is reloading mods a few times, because you'll keep getting toast popups telling you they're starting the game, over and over and over.

One final point, that is probably unrelated to servers... Mod config options. Currently, my config mod is a mod that changes contents loaded in my other mods, by changing the config mod itself. It would be useful to have an in-game gui capable of changing the values of what is currently my config.lua. My concern with my config mod, and hence my suggestion, is mostly for servers, and redistribution of the modified mod. It is currently possible for every person to have a different modified version of my config mod, and the game can't tell until they actually try to connect, and the game finds that each player has slightly different contents.
Creator of Bob's mods. Expanding your gameplay since version 0.9.8.

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Re: Auto-Download required mods when joining a server

Post by onebit » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:19 pm

Everyone runs their own server so from a development perspective mod licensing isn't a concern.

It's the same as nginx. They don't care about the license of the content on servers that run nginx. It's the operator's responsibility. nginx doesn't get sued because of the pirate bay.

If you run a mod that doesn't allow redistribution it's the operator's responsibility to only allow license holders to access it.

This is kind of an imaginary scenario, though, isn't it?

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