I've just finished uploading new test beta 0.987b, which now supports modding! It also has a handful of fixes to issues discovered in the last build. I've also promoted the previous 0.986b test build to default build status.
The build is available to anyone who owns the beta at bluebottlegames.com, or on Desura and Steam. Desura (and therefore, Groupees) users can use Desura Connect to gain access here, or even get their Steam keys and try it on Steam.
To access the test build on the official site, simply visit the beta page, and click any of the download links below the usual Windows, Mac, and Linux buttons.
Steam users can access the test build by opting into the beta for it.
Updates Included in the Test Beta
Test beta 0.987b includes the following changes:
Seriously, this is as much a surprise to me as it may be to you. I've been exploring different ways to bypass Flash's security limitations, but haven't had much luck. However, in the past week or two, I found a way to make the downloadable versions load external data from the file system.
It turns out that Flash's projector format will allow limited loading of local files. It has to be packaged a certain way, and I had to do some voodoo to make it work across all three platforms. However, the game now loads data from an XML text file, and images from a folder. No more flaky editing of EXE files!
"Now what?" you ask? Well, I'll have to write some documentation to help intrepid modders understand the data format. For now, though, just poke around. Some of it should be pretty intuitive.
In addition to the above:
Most of these are fixes to issues discovered in 0.986b, so this should represent a more stable version of that build. I changed the way terrain resources (lakes, etc.) work, so now they just get "used" instead of containing items and requiring emptying each time. And I made a few more UI improvements.
A small list this time, but with big implications! Finally, folks can start tinkering with game data, trying ideas, and I'm excited to see what you can do with the game. Do keep me posted on the forums with any cool mods you've done or hear about!
As always, let me know what you think of the changes, and if you notice any issues with the new build!