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mod.io is a new open API for cross-platform Steam Workshop-like mod support

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This is really interesting. The guys behind Indie DB and Mod DB have announced mod.io, a new cross-platform API to give any game Steam Workshop-like mod support.

It's aimed to be a drop-in solution, that requires no external clients or anything. So it will enable players to upload, search, download and so on easily from within any game that supports it. The API is open, the SDK is on GitHub under the MIT license and they have a plugin coming soon for Unity. They plan plugins for Unreal, GameMaker and Lumberyard too, although since the SDK is open anyone can help build them.

"For too long there has been a lack of tools that help developers support creators in an agnostic manner, restricting modding to a small percentage of tech-savvy users. mod.io removes that barrier, enabling creation, curation and sharing, providing a way for developers to interact directly with their community," said CEO and co-creator Scott Reismanis.

It's completely free, just like Mod DB and Indie DB are. It seems they're hoping to make a bit of money from studios that want a private system, as they're offering their "licensed whitelabel solution" to anyone as well.

What's exciting, is that the open source RTS 0 A.D. has already announced their support of it, which will come with Alpha 23. They also have the sandbox game ECO and the virtual world game Sinespace that will support it.

This is brilliant stuff, can't wait to see it gain more support.

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17 comments
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Caenth 15 May 2018 at 11:01 am UTC
I suppose as a gamer you don't have to do anything with this, just hoping more developers will support and use it?
liamdawe 15 May 2018 at 11:10 am UTC
CaenthI suppose as a gamer you don't have to do anything with this, just hoping more developers will support and use it?
As a gamer you don't do anything, no. It's up to game developers to integrate it if they wish.
minaka14c 15 May 2018 at 11:55 am UTC
Wow, this is great. Over the years I've worried about mods, multiplayer, and now VR becoming too centralized to the Steam platform. I keep this in mind for my current project.

Competition breeds excellence!
14 15 May 2018 at 1:12 pm UTC
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This sounds sweet for gamers.
chipgw 15 May 2018 at 4:13 pm UTC
Sounds really cool. Hopefully people will start using it.

Quotethey even have plugins ready for GameMaker, Lumberyard, Unreal Engine and Unity.
As far as I can tell the plugins aren't actually ready yet. The Unity one says coming soon and the others all say something like "we require an Unreal Engine plugin. Interested in building one? We'd love to hear from you".
liamdawe 15 May 2018 at 5:12 pm UTC
chipgwSounds really cool. Hopefully people will start using it.

Quotethey even have plugins ready for GameMaker, Lumberyard, Unreal Engine and Unity.
As far as I can tell the plugins aren't actually ready yet. The Unity one says coming soon and the others all say something like "we require an Unreal Engine plugin. Interested in building one? We'd love to hear from you".
My bad, blame the lack of coffee, adjusted the text.
Ananace 15 May 2018 at 6:26 pm UTC
I looked through their API and SDKs a bit, looks mostly aimed towards higher-level mods - texture packs, localization, models, scripts, etc. Though their built-in virus scanning with VirusTotal is nice for the lower-level ones.
They do seem to lack a robust system for version dependencies as well as inter-mod dependencies too.

Really happy to see someone working on providing a reference for how to do mod handling though, this does tend to end up far too big of a mess usually.


Last edited by Ananace at 15 May 2018 at 6:27 pm UTC
cprn 16 May 2018 at 8:39 pm UTC
Wait... being an indie dev you now need to implement a modular integration for multiple workshops if you want to support e.g. mod.io and Steam? And mods from one system won't work with the other because of different packaging? I get the target audience is software that doesn't release on Steam at all but let's face it: most of games sooner or later does. Especially games from independent studios because these need money more than AAA molochs. Other than that, seems great for open source.

P.s. I get how people don't like gaming services getting "centralised" around Steam but it's often due to having a wrong idea. It's like saying PC is centralised around Windows.
minaka14c 17 May 2018 at 12:31 am UTC
cprn....
P.s. I get how people don't like gaming services getting "centralised" around Steam but it's often due to having a wrong idea. It's like saying PC is centralised around Windows.

How's this for ya: monopolized

It's rather condescending to think that you, above anyone who disagrees with you, have the "right" idea.
tuubi 17 May 2018 at 8:24 am UTC
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cprnI get the target audience is software that doesn't release on Steam at all but let's face it: most of games sooner or later does.
And they can still keep using mod.io, unless they absolutely need Steam Workshop for the Steam client integration. I don't really care if the game provides their own mod manager using some other service.
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