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Possible solution for modding on iOS?

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  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,415
    edited December 2015
    Well, the article says "Then, press the big Run button — it looks like a Play button from a video app. This builds the source code and packages into an app which will appear on your Home Screen." So, it definitely sounds like you need the source code. This is basically just using developer tools to compile and "side load" an app.

    Also, f.lux's page (https://justgetflux.com/sideload/) says:
    Apple has contacted us to say that the f.lux for iOS download (previously available on this page) is in violation of the Developer Program Agreement, so this method of install is no longer available.

    We understood that the new Xcode signing was designed to allow such use, but Apple has indicated that this should not continue.
    So, they can't get into the AppStore because they use undocumented APIs. But they had to stop this "side load" distribution because Apple objected to the method of distribution. If Beamdog tried this, they'd also likely be in violation of the developer agreement. Sounds like a dead end to me, even if Beamdog were interested.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited December 2015
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Illustair
  • IllustairIllustair Member Posts: 866

    I know I would pay twice as much for the iOS games if they were moddable.

    I won't even mind having a moddable iOS EEs as a feature DLC with cost thrice as much as the base game. What made BG survive this long is IMO mostly because of its moddability. While having BG in my ipad is nice and all, it feels a bit empty without mods, which is unfortunate really. Surely this is not an impossible to overcome limitation?

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,415

    On the first point, I am uneducated and trust you.

    On the second point, I disagree: the whole F.lux app itself uses unapproved APIs. I hooks into the iPad's display system to alter the hur of the screen. The methods used involve areas of the OS and hardware that are off-limits to app developers. That's why it was originally only available via Cydia.

    In making F.lux available for users to compile in XCode, the F.lux devs had signed the Apple Developer Agreement. As I understand it, simply providing code that users can compile and install on their phones is not a violation of the Developer Agreement; but using barred APIs while you do that *is* a violation of the Agreement.

    Eh, this is just so frustrating, I'm casting about looking for any kind of solution. The Override folder can have read-only permissions - the game just needs to poll it as it generates in-game assets, to see if any changes override the vanilla assets. It presents no security threat, and it would be easy to prevent any user-added files from executing any code. There's no reason the modding instructions for this game can't be:

    1) Apply mods on the desktop
    2) Copy the /override and /lang folders. Set their permissions to read-only
    3) Drop those folders into a user-accessible area on the iPad
    4) When the game is started, it will look for the existence of these folders and, if they exist, check their permissions. If the permissions are read-only, the game will use them while playing.

    I bet you would even see people buying the desktop game just to use for modding the iOS game (you would need to generate that modded override folder somehow). Thus goosing sales a bit. I know I would pay twice as much for the iOS games if they were moddable.

    You're probably right on the reason Apple had the developers pull F.lux. But, everything I've seen about this "sideloading" for iOS requires Xcode to build from source. You can't distribute .ipa files outside the App Store. Unfortunately, I'm going to assume that's a non-starter for distributing the EE games.

    It would be nice to be able to mod EE games on iOS, but iOS and Android are so locked-down compared to a desktop OS that I certainly never expected full modding capability. Of course, it should be better (save game transfers, custom portraits/soundsets, etc.) but considering that Apple won't even let Baldur.ini be in a user-editable folder (https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/647412/#Comment_647412), I don't have high hopes for the EEs on iOS to ever be as moddable as the PC/Mac versions.

    Hopefully, I'll be proven wrong. :smile:

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