Permanent Debug Menu Remover

I want a way to remove the debug menu from my game kind of like how its done in Rimworld where it deletes it. I feel like whenever I discover a game has a debug menu in it and it doesn’t punish me upfront for using it the game becomes less fun. I don’t want CDDA to turn into what Skyrim did where it was fun on the XB360 because the most cheaty thing I could do was go under Whiterun and rob the merchants. Then I got Skyrim Special Ed and now I cant play Skyrim without cheating with mods which basically ruined the game.

Well, just don’t use it? No self control?

The debug menu is great if you play experimental Occasionally something might be broken.

Plus, it’s kinda fun to spawn in bunches of enemies and let them duke it out while you are in a safe location!

Now, I could see it if we have CDDA tournaments and leader boards kind of like the old Hall of Fame that the Civ Fanatics board had for older versions of Civ… yeah. They used to make you play with a special mod that detected save scumming and trickery.

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The debug menu is hardcoded into the game and can’t really be removed.
However, unless you explicitly assign a key to the debug menu, you can’t actually use it (well, it allows you to create a screenshot and a game report, but nothing more).

It also punishes you by deactivating stats and achievements if you use it.

As others have already mentioned, you have to actively assign a key to it to use it, and it’s very useful for fault finding, working around bugs, and development. If it was moved into a (developer) mod you wouldn’t be able to use if for the two first purposes as you wouldn’t know before you created your world that you would need it, as you wouldn’t know you’d encounter bugs (well, you can basically be assured you will, but not that you may actually want/need to investigate them or work around them).

Moving it into a mod that’s in the default set would work, as that would allow people who have trouble with impulses to deny themselves the ability to act on them by actively removing the mod from the default list. However, I’m not sure if the work involved would be worth it.

Not really a punishment. It just disables it so testers are not bombarded with achievements when testing.
They can be re-enabled any time at no cost.

You can add mods to a world at any time, so that’s not really a hurdle.

Uhm, it is a sort of punishment to some if they can’t show their stats to others.
I explicitly didn’t mention that they can be enabled again, as that’s basically what Orkin didn’t wanted to know.

Also, since you seem to know what a “real punishment” is: What would be a “fitting” punishment for using developer tools?

Thanks Valase, I didn’t know you could add mods on the fly.

And I would assume the guilt trip involved in using debug tools is an assistance to some players who need some support in reigning in their impulses.

We already have the same thing - cheat functions in debug menu are not available unless you do specific action - assign keybinding to command that opens debug menu).

To permanently disable it, you would essentially need a custom build of the game, if you’re interested I wouldn’t mind working up a patch that you can put in the code that would result in such a build, but I don’t think there will be sufficient interest to support a distinct release of the game with it disabled.

It could probably be done with an external option to automatically close the full debug menu when it’s opened, but at that point it’s just easier to not bind the debug menu key.

It’s great to know that it is a possibility.

If there ever was a great “CDDA Challenge Series” that was done for the public like some of the old 4x game communities did, you would want such a patch installed. Just to keep an honest nerd honest.

“Oh yes, Mr. Forum/Reddit/Discord/Whatever contest runner, I got 4000 kills in 10 days! Look at my save! Honest!”

But you are right, might not be overwhelming interest, and if there was it would probably be for stable.

I mean, such a patch would not help preventing save game editing… so you’d still be able to cheat in such an event (aside from running an version that has the debug menu enabled).

So… how would you be able to enforce a non-modified, non-debug menu used save?

Is it possible?

Technically; yes and no…
Yes, because it would be possible to obfuscate the save and slap a checksum onto it that would make tempering really, really hard.
No, because “really, really hard” isn’t impossible. Since the project is open source you can reverse engineer the save file and the way it calculates the checksum, and/or feed it with parameters that creates you a fraudulent save file in the first place.

I think “cheating” is and will be always possible, no matter what is done (as it is with almost any game), in one way or another.
All these methods would do is to make it harder than just “assign a key” (followed by abuse of the function)…

Also keep in mind that this is a single player game. Complicating things for people who “cheat” for their own enjoyment or debug purposes just to satisfy a hypothetical competition scenario doesn’t seem like a balanced choice.

If someone wanted to run such a competition it would be better if they created their own version of the game, provided the executable for it, provided a scenario save, and added their own save game obfuscation to it. However, I don’t know if it would violate the terms of the license to only provide the executable and hide the source code (and it’s still possible to reverse engineer the code from the executable for determined cheaters).

Well, the only time I have seen it was the old game of the week and ladder competitions that existed for Civ 4.

Way it worked was this…

A starting save was generated. Starting Leader and opponents were pre-selected by the contest runners and the starting map was the same for everyone.

You downloaded a provided save and you had to play it with a special mod that detected if you save scummed. I believe it did other things as well, but not sure.

They would post a picture of the start to entice players. The discussions on starts on the forums could get quite deep. Rather to settle in place or move spaces over. What to rush. Sometimes going on for pages of armchair strategy. Theorycraft city.

Usually, it had some victory condition. Get culture victory only, corner all of a certain resource, etc.

Then people would play and submit winning (and losing) saves.

There was much nerd cred to be had and hundreds played.

Not saying CDDA should have one. But seeing people play through and struggle with it or own it would be interesting reading.