Lua – The Nightmare (Mod)

This is a video from awhile back that someone did showing off my mod

The Nightmare was a mod that I worked on back in 2015 for the game: Don’t Starve Together (A multiplayer version of Don’t Starve).

It was one of the first big projects that I had worked on at the time and something I’m still quite proud of to this day. With the help of a friend to do the art, I released the game onto the steam workshop and managed to achieve a 5/5 star rating from the community which still blows my mind. The mod was a new character that the player could play as. They were a sort of demon cat that would have to rely on shadowy pets to fight for them due to themselves being quite weak.

The mod was written with Lua which is the primary language used by Don’t Starve to create content for the game. The game engine itself is written in C++ but due to how it is setup, you don’t need to touch the engine at all.

You and your shadowy pet

Even with all the mods success however, it definitely wasn’t without its flaws. The mod suffered from quite a bit of feature creep as I started to believe that adding more and more features to the character would make them better. This wasn’t a case. as it in fact made the character more confusing and opened up areas for more bugs to appear which they did.

Back in 2021, I decided to fully rework the character as an attempt to redesign them from the ground up. I wanted to remove the unnecessary features that were a simple addition to give the character more advantages and focus on their main gimmick: The shadowy pet.

Instead of singular shadowy pet that would follow the player around and do the fighting for them. The player could now tame multiple found throughout the world with special resources that they would have to gather. This allowed the player to tame a number of shadow pets to aid them for a price, which allowed the character to become a bit more balanced.

An army of shadowy pets

Along with this change, the characters preference for the dark that boosted their sanity (An important stat that all character have) was kept from the original version of the mod… just with a bit better coding. The main feature that was removed was the character ability to see in the dark which made them incredibly overpowered due to the main threat of Don’t Starve being the darkness.

In the end, I am quite happy with the rework. Its a great feeling to go back to something you did during your rooky days of games development and be able to just go in with a much better understanding of how everything works. Back then I would often ask for help with my coding from people on forums. This time it was all myself and my improved ability to be able to reverse engineer the codebase.

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