Mini Mods Spotlight

On the 29th November we have our first Mini Mods Tournament, so it’s time to shed some light on these awesome mods. We asked the authors some questions about their work, and trialq of pa-mods.com made an excellent overview video for each mod.

Round 1: Boom Bot Wars

A mod by burntcustard

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

What is your mod about?

Boom Bot Wars is a gamemode for PA centred around throwing Boom Bots at your enemies. To keep the mod simple and accessible to newcomers it keeps the economy and unit statistics similar to vanilla PA, e.g. if you build a metal extractor it still gives you 7 metal/s, and if you see a Vanguard (called a Boom Tank in this) it probably has a lot of health and does a lot of damage! It also sticks to some basic principles: unless it’s a commander it doesn’t have a gun; every Boom Bot costs 45 metal.

Why did you make this mod?

A long time ago, when there weren’t quite as many units in Planetary Annihilation – and the units that were there were all better than the poor Boom – I played quite a few large free-for-alls where we all agreed to only build Boom Bots. It was a lot of fun! There were a few variations of the rules, games where we were allowed to build walls, games where we were allowed to build air fabricators and transports, etc. A combination of wanting to see a standard rule set for this type of game, and the work being done in RCBM to make Booms jumpy at the time, inspired me to start work on this mod.

What advice can you give to players of your mod?

Read the unit descriptions. Those, along with the name and stats of the unit, will tell you everything you need to know. One explosion can take out multiple enemies, area patrol and attacking from multiple angles really help. There are 3 different commander weapons, in addition to an upgraded Uber cannon. They all have advantages and disadvantages, so give them a try and choose a commander that best fits with your play style.

What’s been your favourite experience of the mod so far?

There was a Boom Bot Wars free-for-all I played in recently where I managed to use the special traits of all the units really effectively, shooting over impassable terrain with Boom Lobbers, soaking up enemy Booms with my Boom Tanks, wading across a lake with a Giant Boom into an enemy base, and shooting halfway across the map with the modified-to-rapid-fire-booms Holkins. It was great fun and I think even everyone I defeated that game enjoyed it too.

What would you like to see added to the game’s modding capabilities?

The ability to spawn units when a unit or projectile dies – allowing the Booms that get fired out of the cannons to start walking around if they miss their targets, and potentially letting me make an interplanetary giant Boom-based nuclear missile.

What is your favourite mod that isn’t yours?

Planetary Reclamation was really interesting when I played it, but I also like parts of other mods, like the effects in RCBM and Energy Wars, or some of the very subtle balance changes in relatively unknown mods like Expansionist.

Round 2: Statera Naval

A mod by SquishyPon, TheTrophySystem, Stuart98 and others

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

What is your mod about?

This mod is about large groups of units, very distinct units. It’s about unit composition and diversity among the tiers, tier one or “generalist” units are the most… generalistic units, they still have some half niches but are certainly more well rounded. Tier two, known as “specialist” units are specialized, built to do a task; excelling at said task and failing at others. The economy is metal limited and units last a bit longer encouraging people to actually have some amount of control of their units.

Why did you make this mod?

I originally had created this mod to get another taste on balance. I’ve had the framework for this thing running through my head for months before server mods even existed. I wanted to make the balance I sought after, and I wanted to let others experience it as well.

What advice can you give to players of your mod?

I hate to mention vanilla, but I know that it’s where this fear of teching up has come from… Don’t be afraid to build a specialist factory, it’s only about twice the cost of a generalist and gives you all your niche units that can really help out in particular situations.

What’s been your favourite experience of the mod so far?

Mph.. That’s hard, I’d say practically every time we get a new unit into the game, or well it’s new model. Every time I see that unit with the model I made, I can’t help but feel a teeny bit proud.

What would you like to see added to the game’s modding capabilities?

Oh man, where do I begin? There is so much more that can come, the game has so much potential… Biggest things are probably a new hover layer (All surface layer) as well a bit of an easier model/animation implementation procedure, no secret .papa files. Though I assure you if you really wanted to know everything I’d need to write up a whole book about it. Ooh ooh, and if Uber were super magician, something to edit the engine.

What is your favourite mod that isn’t yours?

Server or Client? If client I will of course have to say PA Stats, bringing us the ladder and in game statistics! If server then it would be one of the terrain editing mods, as they’re all pretty epic and really can change game play. (Not to mention they’re all interchangeable with balance mods!)

Round 3: Base Wars

A mod by zxo

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

What is your mod about?

It’s about managing your army rather than your economy.

Why did you make this mod?

I wanted to play something like this.

What advice can you give to players of your mod?

Don’t waste units by sending them at your enemies in small groups. Don’t turtle either.

What’s been your favourite experience of the mod so far?

Whenever the AI works!

What would you like to see added to the game’s modding capabilities?

A lot. I would like it to be possible to mod Supreme Commander in…

What is your favourite mod that isn’t yours?

All the new biome mods. Especially Cliff Planets.

Round 4: Orbital Mini Mod

A mod by Captain Conundrum

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

What is your mod about?

  • The commanders can fly to other planets. Go make as many bases as you can as fast as you can!
  • The commander’s health has been reduced to 1250 (down from 12,500). Umbrellas kill the commander fast, but avengers have trouble hitting it due to a small bug that actually leaves things balanced exactly the way I want.
  • The commander spends most of it’s time up in the orbital layer. You can s-move down to the air layer, but as soon as you give a new order the commander will move back up.
  • The commander has a 15 second cooldown upon arriving at a new planet, during this time you are extremely vulnerable. Without doing this the game would never end.

Why did you make this mod?

I made this mod because we needed a filler in case nobody else made mini-mods. Proeleert just forgot to remove it once there were other options. I would have made this sooner or later though because I always wanted to see how games would play out if you could expand to other planets faster in the early game.

What advice can you give to players of your mod?

If you get in trouble, you can s-move the commander down to the air layer. He won’t be able to move in that layer though.

What’s been your favourite experience of the mod so far?

Watching the commander wiggle around on his way up at the start of the game is really funny.

What would you like to see added to the game’s modding capabilities?

What is your favourite mod that isn’t yours?

PA Stats is great because it is the foundation of a whole modding ecosystem. But I also like Hotbuild2, Awesome Projectiles and Boom Bot Wars. Does PA Mod Manager count?

Round 5: Planetary Reclamation

A mod by wondible

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

What is your mod about?

It removes metal spots as a source of infinite metal and adds reclaimable features so it’s available, but still finite.

Why did you make this mod?

Metal seems really abundant in vanilla – wreckage has been removed because nobody used it and metal storage is a rare sight. I have a few fond memories of Dump, the garbage moon in TA where all the resources came from the scattered wrecks.

What advice can you give to players of your mod?

Watch your metal – you might want to take it easy on infinite build. Think about a metal storage before your attention gets pulled away and you start wasting. Energy storage may also be useful for reclaim attacks. Junkyard Dogs (Combat Fabs) are good for early game income, but they are fragile and unarmed. Most factories have a reclaim modified unit, which often means a nerfed standard weapon, or no weapon at all. Unfortunately the game doesn’t have auto-reclaim so they require a lot more micro. On that note: learn or rebind the reclaim hotkey. You have to target units, but use area commands for features.

What’s been your favourite experience of the mod so far?

I really ought to stop modding and play the game some time ;^) Perhaps testing Firefly reclaiming on an AI commander. I think I used about 400, but could probably do it with less.

What would you like to see added to the game’s modding capabilities?

I think 2D-3D translations come up the most often. When it’s possible (if not optimal) to make a client-side AI we’ll have a good start on the client.

What is your favourite mod that isn’t yours?

Save Server Browser Filters.

Round 6: Comm Yard

A mod by trialq

Author: Mod Type:
Discuss on the forums
Provided by CMM

What is your mod about?

Manic snipes and counters. The commander being an avatar factory has many implications:

  • The commander is static, weak, and has no defense capability of its own
  • You start with insane amounts of economy production
  • The avatar factory can build all mobile units near instantly

Why did you make this mod?

I was looking for fun game modes that were easy to implement and maintain; this fit the bill nicely.

What advice can you give to players of your mod?

Get every counter you can conceivably manage quickly, then scout out your opponent and look for a weakness. Bear in mind that if you spawn on land you cannot build naval, trying to do so means you have to cancel the current build queue to reset it.

What’s been your favourite experience of the mod so far?

Realising that spawning along a coastline allows you to build both naval and land from the avatar factory, and that it “just worked”.

What would you like to see added to the game’s modding capabilities?

A way to give units orders which doesn’t involve piggybacking on the selection system used by the player.

What is your favourite mod that isn’t yours?

PA Stats. As well as the multitude of features it has by itself, other modders have built upon the stat tracking in interesting ways; unofficial ladders, irc bots, and streamlined tournament reporting to name a few.

Published: 18th November, 2014

About the author

eXodus Staff

Creator of hotbuild2, building further on the amazing work of Cola Colin. Loves Tournaments, Bots, collecting tickets and finding typo's in Quitch articles. Also built some Tournament Tracking stuff and some bots.

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