I'm taking advantage of this quiet spell to post about the mods to date, and comment on the general direction of development where it will affect mods/modding.
First the mods:
Cataclysm+ was downloaded about 150 times, since it's been around the longest (and having extra stuff in Cataclysm is always fun).
Aggression 56 times.
Assault 20 times, though it's only been available for a little over a week.
So people are playing, though there's little to no discussion about the mods to be found. Of course, currently only about 1/5 of people who download X@COM also try out at least one mod, and there isn't even much discussion about X@COM itself at this early alpha stage. That will change once I open up the community more and we can get discussion going here, but I'm not ready to do that just yet.
Some highlights of new things to expect in the upcoming version include:
FOV/SR modifiers from armor
ASCII overriding for items
quite a few more ability triggers and effects
global lists for spawn scripts
I'll update this thread with similar general info in the future. Others feel free to chime in with general thoughts, or a hint at whatever it is you're working on.
A couple days ago I finally started proper work on my own mod, that after spending some weeks updating the game with the kinds of things I wanted to be able to do. So once 8.3 comes out, you can do those things, too ;p
So the poll has gone well and will end soon with a good showing for X@COM. (Obviously you should vote if you haven't already!) Not at the top, but hey, we're still small for now, and that's a good thing. The support was at least better than last year, which was all I was hoping for at this early a stage.
It has definitely attracted some more attention to X@COM since people browse the list for games with high vote counts, so we've been getting even more downloads than usual lately (as has Cogmind, for that matter). All the mods have been downloaded another few dozen times as well, and I can tell that some players are fairly interested because they return to the site to download mods / look for more playable content after having tried the demo already.
I'm going to release M3 along with my own mod and R8.3 no later than the weekend of Jan 5/6. Before then there's a good chance I'll upload a near-complete version for preview/playtesting (exclusive for forum members), mostly to make sure it works.
So R8.3 is coming out soon, and I thought I'd pre-announce that from this version I'll be changing the way mods are handled.
I originally thought it'd be a good idea to update all old mods so that they are running on the newest version of the game. That's a bad idea.
It's not like old versions of X@COM are buggy, they just don't have all the newer features, so updating old mods is pointless since they probably don't/can't take advantage of those features anyway. On the contrary, updating an old mod for no reason other than to allow it to play on the latest engine may unwittingly introduce new problems in something that already passed playtesting. (Regressions are bad.)
The game files are fairly small anyway, so it seems more prudent to instead host mods as standalone packages that can be downloaded and played directly. They generally won't be updated unless the author really wants to add a bunch of new features, essentially a new expanded version, that would make updating worthwhile and require more playtesting, anyway.
I'll be converting all existing mods to standalone packages and identifying them as such on the download page. Even my own mod will be handled this way, since I certainly wouldn't want to risk introducing new errors for no real benefit.
On the eve of the biggest release in a while, time for a mod stats update.
The mods really show number of players with the highest current interest, since they're mostly people who already tried the basic demo missions and came back for more. Of course many more out there are waiting on the sidelines for the game to be out of alpha (still a long time coming, I'm afraid).