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Vintage Story Work

TLDR

left is darker, right is brighter

left is more foliage, right is less

Introduction

Vintage Story is a fantastic voxel-based hardcore survival game based around an old mod for Minecraft known as TerraFirmaCraft. It has a strong focus on community modding and mod-support. I learned about this game via various comments talking about its much more community-driven development pattern that exists as a stark contrast to Minecraft.

I've played a few bits of the game but ultimately I found it to be too slow, which many people see as a plus side? As someone who likes to hop on a game for maybe an hour a day at most, I don't really see the appeal. Instead, like many other people who choose to mod Vintage Story, I decided to try to provide solutions through modding the game.

Optimized Mods

My initial frustration with the game came from how long it took to create leather and preserved foods. Like I said before, I disliked the overall slow-paced nature of the game. To solve these problems I created Optimized Leather 2 and Optimized Preservation. An in-game day is 48 real life minutes, and normally leather takes a minimum of 8.5 in-game days (6 hours 48 minutes); Optimized Leather 2 reduces this to 1.42 in-game days (1 hour 8 minutes). A similar modification is done with Optimized Preservation, which reduces the time of creation of wines and picked foods from around 14 in-game days (11 hours 12 minutes) to 3 in-game days (2 hours 24 minutes).

Night Light

Another frustration in game came from the extraordinarily dark nights. For some reason, unless the moon is on a certain phase, nights are basically pitch black, which is darker than a night in the country in real life. Most survival games have brightness settings that make it easier to see, if only for accessibility purposes, but not Vintage Story. One of the first mods I created, Night Light, solves this problem by overriding some vertex shader code. By default, the mod makes the game about 10% brighter (which is just enough to see without ruining the ambiance), but this value can be set up to 100% to provide full visibility even at midnight (useful for creative-building).

Here's a screenshot of the base game (left) compared with Night Light installed (right):

left is darker, right is brighter

Seizure warning, there's also Chaotica Graphica, a mod I submitted as a joke upon request (after making a shader-error when developing Night Light) that hyper-deep fries all the graphics in the game.

Less Foliage

Yet another frustration came with foliage models, which always loved to escape their own cubic bounding box. To resolve this problem, I made Less Foliage, which very simply reduces the size of foliage significantly (left is without the mod, right is with):

left is more foliage, right is less

Prospecting++

One final frustration came from the grind of in-game prospecting. Because ores are much more scarce and tightly packed into clumps than in Minecraft, Vintage Story provides the ability to use a special tool called a "Prospector's Pick" to do broad searches for where ores might be located. While this method generally works pretty well, there's still a lot of needless mining that needs to be done to locate ores. To solve this problem, I created ProspectingPlusPlus, which adds two new prospecting modes with double and triple range to make prospecting a much more math and skill based game.

Early Mod Tool Kit

My most ambitious and recent mod to date is Early Mod Toolkit (EMTK), an in-game mod browser, downloader, updater, profile manager, and more. Normally mods have to be managed by downloading them from the ModDB and putting them in a folder on your computer; however, EMTK changes that by giving the comfort of managing mods when in the game itself.

EMTK is not a mod, and does not get placed in the same folder as all other mods. Instead, it's an executable that, when launched, launches Vintage Story and adds all this extra functionality to the title screen.

This mod took many hours of frustration to create, but I'm extremely happy with the result; you can easily browse, download, and update mods super easily. Vintage Story's interface system was especially not easy to program with, but after making dozens of tweaks EMTK is on version 3.0. I'd like to thank everyone who contributed by submitting bug reports and working with me to get it to be stable on Windows and Linux.

The Plans for Gluon

While it's still very much in the planning phase, I have plans on creating another ambitious mod for Vintage Story called Gluon. It's goal is to act as a one-stop-shop for the most common tweak mods to increase server-support, popularity, and ease-of-configuration.

You can read up on the plans on this Google document here.