Aftershock - A core content pack to restore removed content and drift the game towards sci-fi

Thanks for your creativity Esther. I really enjoyed using the mod, especially the atomopot. Good luck with your future projects.

Also, it was renamed the bag of holding.

Were it possible, I would create my own fork so that I could have a different design vision than what already exists, but I don’t have the time or the energy to work on the tangled ball that is DDA’s engine alone. I’ve always specialized in content, not backend work, and I can’t do that on my own.

For the time being, I hope whatever’s there still in mainline is fun.


I’m sorry to hear that. Do you mind expanding on what you mean about the practices and attitudes? I’m sad to see another great contributor go.


In no particular order-

  • Players having little to no input on how the game they play develops. Multiple sources and developers have cited that how much people like something has no input on what happens to it. For an open-source, contribution-developed game, I think this is unacceptable.
  • Developments being made for the people making them instead of to actually be played. More and more changes have shown, in my eyes, that a pretty sizable portion of active contributors do not play the game. A large amount of changes add nothing but tedium to the game, but because people don’t play to realize this, it’s overlooked.
    • Edit: I feel like I should provide evidence for this. The most obvious one that comes to mind is the occasional feature removal, typically by Kevin, that is created almost directly after that feature comes to light. The best example for this is bionic crafting, which was removed the same day that someone on Discord discussed it (and the removal was so shoddy that it didn’t even catch all the bionics!) Other examples in my eyes include the reinforcement of hard materials being removed (extremely easy to catch with any length of gameplay), CTDs caused by regular gameplay not being fixed for months, and prying item popups existing for the length that they did.
  • Complete, absolute focus on realism. I understand that this is the direction of the game, but I’m not happy about it. Out of every person I’ve spoken to about Cata, realism isn’t why they got into the game, and I stress out over the fact that it’s drifting away from what made it great into making it more simulationist for… why?

I could go on, but I honestly don’t think I need to. My words won’t have any power in the grand scheme of things, and nothing I do will change the status quo - the healthiest thing for me is to just look for greener pastures. I’m sick of seeing the contributors for the game regularly clash with the players because so many changes are almost entirely negative to the play experience, and I think that I need to step out of the room and get fresh air.


I know you’ve already made up your mind at this point and it’s not really the thread to discuss this - but I’d like to point out that pretty much anyone that still plays the game does so because they enjoy it and anyone that continues to play the game in the future does so because they like the direction it’s going in.

That might seem obvious written like that, but it’s something that is frequently unmentioned in these sort of (paraphrasing) “I quit CDDA because of K***n” posts. So yes, there are many people that don’t appreciate the simulationist direction, while there are many people that do; and there are many people that don’t like the skew towards harder sci-fi while, again, there are many people that do. So please don’t discount the rest of the playerbase with dismissive snide remarks like “for… why?”.

With that said, I think most of the mainline mods that are bundled in are great examples of how the developers actively try to please everyone (though it doesn’t always succeed). The base game is flexible enough (code-wise) to facilitate content that appeals to players that lean towards more or less “realism” or those that want a more mundane world or a more sci-fi/fantastic world or whatever they feel like at the time. I’ve noticed that this only improves over time as more and more aspects of the game are JSON-ized rather than hardcoded. Aftershock is/was a prime example of this.

As an aside, I’ve been playing Cata in some form for what’s creeping up to a decade(!) now - do you know what my most hated, absolutely despised change is that Kevin made in that time? It was the swap from the old simple machines forum to discourse, I think my very first post was just me complaining about the forum…

Hope you find something else to sink your teeth into.

(I want to flesh this post out a little more but I need to pee)

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And that’s alright. I don’t begrudge folks for not having the same view as me; I just haven’t met any players besides you and many of the contributor team that enjoys the simulationist aspect completely. I maintained Aftershock because I wanted to keep a variant of the game that wasn’t reliant on realism, but I’ve found the codebase increasingly pushing back against those changes, despite them being part of a mod, and have lost the drive ot keep doing it.

If I do update Aftershock more, it’ll be here, not in mainline. I’ve no desire to update my game anymore - the build I’m on is a great one, to me - and I’ve also no desire to contribute to the Cataclysm codebase in any way but making it more moddable. (A lot of those jsonization changes you mentioned were from me!)


I’m (for better or for worse, and somewhat to my amazement) a fairly prominent developer and contributor. I play the game - sometimes more, sometimes less - and have made contributions to address issues that I discover while playing and mentioned that more than once in What’s happening in YOUR randomly generated apocalypse? Part 2!

I like the current push towards realism, both as a player and as a developer. I know there are a few people who miss the days of cars traveling at Mach 3, but I think that most people appreciate that cars have realistic speeds now. I’ve had conversations with Esther when I was encouraging her to take up the work that became Aftershock, so I’m somewhat miffed to be dismissed.


I’m not intending to dismiss you, specifically. Your views are as valid as my own. On top of that, I made a point to mention that it was clear that some developers don’t play - not all of them. Among the ones that come to mind that I know for a fact do play the game are you, DracoGriffin, nexusmrsep, and Erk.

My grudges towards those who don’t play and support the realism push are entirely my own opinion, and far from fact. I’ve spent a while thinking and hurting about this push (which I shouldn’t, but I’m not all that smart, so…) and I’ve developed sour opinions towards a few folks. I apologise for any hurt feelings on your end, especially because I know you and your pull requests show that you are mindful about the game and how its mechanics intertwine: something a lot of the contributors I’m upset about don’t.


You ve probably heard that before but :

  • If player don’t have a voice in the game being a contributor seems to be the best way to make your voice heard

  • When stuff are pushing against you you should start pushing sideway : if something you made is not accepted then tweak it untill it is. Also you have aftershock so you can always add your ideas to it.

But sure, if it’s not fun for you anymore there’s no reason to keep doing it.

I’ve heard it from other people before but I have to say I don’t get the view that “players” should set the direction of a game. Leaving aside that “players” includes a broad spectrum of people, often with contradictory opinions, and how following the advice of vocal fans can potentially ruin things, there’s a simple fact that these kind of games are being built for free by people who are passionate about it. They don’t get any compensation apart from enjoyment of what they do, so why should they work on something they don’t want to do? Why should some random loudmouth on reddit or wherever get to tell other people what to do with their free time?

Nobody has the right to tell you you have to keep working on Aftershock even when you’re not feeling it anymore, but in the same way, nobody has the right to tell Kevin to make this game work the way they want. Neither of you owes anyone anything here.
It sucks that it’s come to this, though. I wish you well in whatever you choose to do in the future.


That’s alright. You’re right that nobody owes anyone anything, and I’ve done a lot of soapboxing before. I’m happy that people are enjoying the game, and I hope they do in the future. I’m just having difficulty doing the same, anymore, and I don’t want to corrupt that enjoyment for anyone else.

My development itch continues, and I’ve been having to hold back from making additions to the game, but I’m ultimately at a mental crossroads where I want to make the game more fun but I don’t actually enjoy the game anymore personally, and I don’t know what to do.

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Well, what’s missing? Why isn’t it fun?

Dish out a design doc for yourself and do things whenever you feel like it. I dunno. Personal fork? Big bag of everything and then some released when it’s done™ or never at all.
Just have a good time, I guess.

I’ve already said why I don’t find it fun in previous posts, and while I’d love to do something like a personal fork as a pet project, I’m just not smart enough. I don’t know the engine or its code well enough to manage it, and I’m terrible at pinpointing bugs. When it comes down to it, I’m a content designer, not a backend programmer.

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This is unfortunate, since you’re clearly talented and Aftershock honestly feels like a mod that deserves to run parallel to mainline DDA.

I’m one of those people that really like the hard realism, but as a matter of course I try the alternative big mods, and this one was excellent. I liked it far more than Bright Nights and it still felt like a balanced game experience.

That being said, no game is worth the human cost of someone’s happiness. You deserve to put your sanity first. Especially given that you do this for free.

If you decide to scratch your development itch here then remember one thing; this mod is yours and you shouldn’t be held to the direction of mainline CDDA.

I guess my point is just to do what you want, but at least know that the contributions you made to the codebase and Aftershock were appreciated. You did good work all the while. Take care.


I want to continue additions to mainline Aftershock, but I just don’t feel welcome in doing so. Whenever I make a change to it, I feel like I’m being merely tolerated - that if the mod got too expansive, I would be shut down from making it. Kevin has stated several times that he has “no interest” in maintaining certain features, and I constantly stress that Aftershock is going to hit that list. I would want assurance from a maintainer that that wouldn’t happen before I would feel comfortable working on it again.

Otherwise, I encourage folks to add onto it who aren’t as sensitive as me.

Will this ever be compatiable with Bright Nights? I really like the content of this mod because it subtlely adds quite a bit, but doesn’t really cross boundries harshly into future post–apcolyptia.

If I do place the two mods together, is there a chance I could mess up a world majorly? Or will it just give nominal errors every so often?

As a fore note, I would like to say sorry if you’ve answered this question already, I’m just super lazy and don’t enjoy reading through every comment.

The two mods will error if you try to load into a world that has both of them right now because they share a bionic in the form of Solar Panels, and mods don’t like duplicate item definitions between them. If you want to use Bright Nights with it, removing all mentions of that bionic from the code of either mod should work fine, but keep the bionic itself ingame as long as the other mod still has the code for it.


Honestly, I can see why you stopped. Pretty sure Kevin had the last person who annoyed him killed with an ice pick.

(That’s a joke by the way. Probably. Hopefully.)

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The level of entitlement you’re displaying here is staggering. No, I’m not going to guarantee that I’m going to continue supporting your modifications to my game indefinitely. I’ve given you the output of thousands of hours of work to do with as you will, and you demand more. If you want to make additions to the game that are going to stay in the game, they need to fit in the game. Otherwise you need to commit to maintaining them.

You could have tried not being an entitled jerk if you wanted to feel welcome. You’ve been disparaging my work on a regular basis for as long as I’ve seen you posting. What did you expect the result of that hostility to be?

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It’s not a good sign when a project lead can’t hold themselves to their own project’s code of conduct. It’s on the project (and in particular, project leadership) to make others feel welcome. It’s your job to do that, even in the code of conduct that CDDA has adopted.

You are also standing on the shoulder of every other contributor to CDDA, and the credit ain’t all yours by a long shot.

On a personal note: outbreaks like this on part of the project’s point of contact in the Code of Conduct are why I’ve decided not to contribute to CDDA directly, but to keep my distance.