We are looking for people interested in modding UFO:Aftershock with experience in one or more of the following: SQL (preferably Postgress), Perl and VBA.
In Aftershock, we used a relational database to hold our entire game configuration data. This approach had many advantages: data are always consistent, it is easy to see their mutual dependencies, makes localizations easier, etc. We now want to make this system available to the players.
The unfortunate feature of the system is that is very complicated: it uses three different text formats for data exchange, set of Perl and VBA scripts, Linux distribution of PostgreSQL and MS Excel for Windows. This is really an artifact of the way the system was developed, without a proper plan or architecture, than of the complexity of the problem.
We now want to know if there are some fans of the game that would undertake the necessary simplification and streamlining of this system. Our idea is that we would supply this group with all our data, scripts, database dump, etc. and support them while they try to come to grips with the system. The outcome should be a system that would be easy to install and understand yet would not lose anything of its underlying strength.
The reason why we are not releasing the whole bundle ‘as is’ is that we do not think that it can be used without extensive explanation and cooperation on our part. We would like to make it more accessible first, then release it, but unfortunately we do not have the resources to do it on our own. Therefore we are looking for the volunteers within the community. This work is strictly voluntary, without remuneration (other than a copy of the game or some other token of our gratitude). We would require the volunteers to sign NDA, however we do not want to keep any information secret, there is not part of the game data that may not be modded.
Few words about the system: the database contains 100+ tables and covers everything from weapons stats, technology times, trainings and abilities, experience awarded to in-game events. This is the true soul of the game.
If you are interested in this project, please contact me, martin _at_ altarinteractive _dot_ com and please try to outline how you could contribute to the project. Many thanks to everybody who considers this opportunity.