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HPL3 - Getting Started (WIP)

Just before we begin...

Well, firstly, welcome to the Community modding section. Here, you and others can contribute to the wiki; thus information may not be as heavily detailed and sophisticated as Frictional Games' official details; but as members, we'll do our best to provide precise and detailed steps for you.

This is the Getting Started page, which will contain various links to places which should be of great advantage to you to get introduced into HPL3. Of course, whatever your qualities are, you may be able to get instructions specifically on those since this will be a generic introduction; but once you learn something, ADD IT TO THE WIKI! We need more information, and anything you can provide is beneficial!

I want to create a mod! What should I do?

Personally, I believe the best way to learn is to see how others do things. In this case, doing some research, understanding how to structure code, exploring levels and determining the relationships between the editors and third party applications will be of great benefits to you. '

Here are some of the things you'll need to get started:

  • An installed Windows System (7/8/8.1/10), either as your main OS or a secondary OS (for example, dual-booted through Boot Camp). Virtual copies may not work due to virtual drivers' OpenGL support, though so far it's untested. You can use VirtualBox for such. Wine may also be of use for Linux users.
  • A Windows installation of SOMA, as the editors are only present with Windows. You can buy SOMA from Steam, GOG or the Humble Store.
    • The editors are included with the download. You do not need to download them seperately.

These two mods which were officially released by Frictional Games should also be handy.

  • Custom Loading Bar: A graphical mod and allows you to get an idea of folder structure when creating graphical adjustments to SOMA. This particular Add-On changes the Loading Bar you see as the game starts up.
  • A Campaign: A Stand-Alone Content modification which can assist in putting together your own custom story or full conversion.

And these official pages from Frictional Games within the HPL3 wiki should also be of good use:

Other Links:

  • A post from Luis about setting up config files in your modification: Forum

What can I make?

In terms of a modification scope, for now, you have two options:

Add-Ons: An addition or modification of files. These are the kinds of modifications which can be broken down into various subcategories - such as texture modifications, GUI mods, script mods, map mods, model mods, sound mods, core modifications… anything really. The aim of an add-on is merely to adjust or, as the name suggests, “add on” to the experience in various ways. Furthermore, it can be just.. different - you could make a playable game of Chess on one of the PCs if you wish!
Stand-Alone Content: These modifications are where your Custom Stories, Full Conversions or even an entirely different game comes in. This is what you're looking for if you're willing to create a campaign for people to play with. You can essentially create whatever you want here as well, but what files and what content you use from SOMA is dependant entirely on you.

What can I use?

In terms of what is included with SOMA, you can use everything and anything as you wish. All assets included with the game are available for use. However, outside the scope of SOMA, there's a few things you should consider when releasing anything. You're allowed to use:

  • Any assets released by Frictional Games to be imported into SOMA (The Penumbra Series and Amnesia: The Dark Descent assets to be specific).
  • Any assets released by TheChineseRoom as used in Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs.
  • Any assets which have been created or provided by you. Models, sounds, music, voices, textures, etc.
  • Any assets provided to you which have been created for you. This could also be anything, but you need to heed any requirements (crediting, for example).
  • Any assets which have their Rights of Use acknowledged in some form within your modifications.
    • This could mean creditting an author for their work, paying for an asset or making use of Royalty Free Content.
      • (I recommend, when finding assets from unfamiliar sources, you look for Creative Commons symbols or Licences which are included with a download).

What can't I use?

There's not much stopping you from using anything in your mod you're not supposed to should it be a personal project which will not be released in any way whatsoever. However, once something is released, you may be prone to consequences and accusations of using content you shouldn't be. Most websites, including the Frictional Games Forum, Steam Workshop and ModDB, have legal policy agreements which deal with copyright infringement. In most cases, your creations will be removed from being downloaded if you infringe the rights of another individual or company by making use of assets without permission, but it can escalate to termination of accounts and/or legal dilemmas which will occur beyond the scope of this activity.

To avoid such circumstances, it is wise to be aware of the following

  • Do not use anything that may be copyrighted. Think hard about this. Anything which is used in another game for the purpose of that game should not be included in your modification when you export it, no matter how desired it is. There are some exceptions, for example, if a creator states that you can use models, ideas or information for inspiration or direct use (A good example would be the SCP Foundation, as all SCP stories use Creative Commons (More specifically: (CC-BY-SA)). I personally state this example, as there are many games based off various particular ideas which can be found on the SCP Foundation Wiki.
  • Do not use anything that you do not have permission to use. These are different to copyrights as some assets will not have a copyright or trademark on them, but may have a statement such as “Do not use or redistribute without my permission”. While it is difficult to prove this as a developer, contacting an author and screenshotting a response is almost always enough evidence to show proof of permission.
  • Do not use anything without crediting unless otherwise stated. You should always credit anyone who contributes to your mod. Not only is it courteous, but if someone wants to use your mod to find someone or something (such as, contact a voice actor or voice actress), they have a place to start.
  • Make a commercial product - that is, sell something made on the HPL3 engine That would mean reselling an already commercially licenced product, which would in many cases, be illegal.
  • Not sure? Ask someone! Have a close look at the source of where you're getting the asset from. If you can't figure out if what you're using is copyrighted or not, ask someone else or contact the creator if you are able to. But remember, if you're still unsure, don't use it.

–For now, end here. WIP post–

hpl3/community/hpl3_getting_started.txt · Last modified: 2018/01/20 11:15 by romulator