To CEP or not to CEP, that is the question (Module Building)

I’ve been pondering this over for awhile now as I am constructing the foundations of a module I am working on. Do overly large custom content packs/haks deter/discourage players from wanting to try a module? I myself have experienced the annoyance of having to install packs from several links, only to be disappointed when finally playing it after setting it all up. CEP or Project Q is fine for me but they are quite large and may be an issue for some. Then there’s also the issue of it being the first or first few module(s) made by the user.

For new/inexperienced builders, is it better to make do with vanilla assets (with maybe a bit custom content) or go full on custom content as desired?

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I’d say go with CEP as most players already have it, or will need to get it to play many top modules. It would be a shame, and unnecessary, to go vanilla.

Q is not that different in content these days, but isn’t so widely used.

My Dark Energy module has a 100Mb custom download which has reportedly put some players off, but I’m more interested in quality than quantity.

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Personally, unless the whole module plot is heavily reliant on custom resources (like a full Asian setting or Alien or something) I would prefer for new builder mods to start with vanilla resources. I like to “read” the story first.
Also I have a habit of creating customized content for every module I like, I dont release it, its just for me, to practice making CC and its easier to do if its in vanilla.

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That said, the most annoying and persistent consumer of my time are Proleric’s modules. The diverse worlds, cultures and stories are a bottomless pit of custom content inspiration and I feel even the CEP is a bit lacking ( despite being insanely large). Someday I hope to complete my Proleric pack and give it to him as a sign of my appreciation for his work.

Custom Content works if its necessary, but if one is new I strongly suggest they focus on the story. A lot of people will help with the eye candy if it’s good.

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Thanks for the advice, Proleric and Stonehammer. I’ll go ahead with using vanilla assets first and if it’s not enough to create or greatly enhances it what I want then I’ll add in the CEP.

If you’re still looking for advice…

Also speaking from personal experience, I find the presentation of the required content (read: measured in perceived amount of my work needed to prepare it) more important than the download size. Like a lot of players, I have CEP already installed so I don’t care if a module uses it or not. It will just make it longer to load in the toolset.

Click for more tips for module builders from William Shakesman.
  • Few haks with the same name pattern (mymodule_top.hak, mymodule_anim.hak, mymodule_tile.hak, etc) are easier to handle than some random names. Just by looking at them I can tell they are module-specific and can be safely discarded along with it. This naturally applies to packages within the same Vault entry.

  • Follow-up to the above: it is important to give matching names to the Vault entry content. Sometimes I’ll download the module and haks and find it some time later on my drive. How I’m supposed to remember that somehaks.7z is meant for supermodule.7z?

  • Some authors (names withheld) leave a lot of files on the Vault page, sometimes with similar or confusing names, similar content inside, or with no straightforward version control. I also like my download counts but then I know if I make it harder for users to understand what to download they ain’t gonna download anything.

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