Ayria is a platform for developers and modders to create interesting and innovative changes to games through a plugin system. Each plugin should focus on one aspect (e.g. adding an in-game console) so the end-user can select only the mods they want. For the user it can be seen as a search engine for mods which will install them for their games.
We've noticed that a lot of companies these days are starting to crack down on mods. Be it because they infringe on their artistic vision, get more popular than the vanilla version, or just extend the shelf-life of a title when the publisher would rather sell a new game every year. It seems every other month another good mod is shutting down because of threats from publishers, but we aim to change this.
Introducing Ayria - a platform where developers can mod in peace without being bothered. We offer full anonymity for both developers and users to ensure that everyone feels safe. While the users utilize the project a social hub and a client for downloading their favorite mods; our main focus is on the developers who make the magic happen. We provide the systems and infrastructure for free, so the developers can focus on what they love, innovation. All while, Ayria will be fully open source allowing a wider range of developers to contribute to its quality, content and functionality.
Our philosophy when it comes to modifications are that mods are best when they are optional. Therefore we provide a simple yet powerful plugin interface. The user can simply drop a plugin into their games ./plugins/ directory and it'll work out of the box with no tinkering or technical experience needed. Or, just install it via our desktop-client which will give the user an easy to use interface to select mods, and it will also keep them updated as well. The developers can download the template from https://github.com/AyriaPublic/Extension_Template and have their first plugin running in minutes.
We do of course provide some plugins of our own to deal with the more time-consuming aspects of modding. Some of the more prominent are listed below:
AyriaNetworking - This simple plugin can emulate servers locally; so no more 'always online' or laggy backends. All packets get handled in real-time. By processing the data locally, the developer can also give the user access to the game files and let them modify the files as needed. Not to mention that reading from disk is a lot faster than waiting for a server halfway across the world.
AyriaIntegrity - Modern games often use obfuscation and anti-tampering systems to prevent cheating, and while most devs would rightfully question how effective these systems are; they do make it harder to mod games. They also tend to slow down the game and are pretty bad all around. So this plugin aims to remove some of the more common systems resulting in a better optimized game.
AyriaPlatform - As games become more reliant on proprietary platforms like Steam, Origin, and UPlay, it becomes increasingly more difficult for developers to maintain the user-experience across games. This plugin provides an abstraction-layer for the platforms so the mod developer have a single interface and the user’s information is consistent across all games.
Security and economics:
As some publishers are rather hostile towards developers, we do take our clients anonymity very seriously. Therefore, all publicly displayed data is opt-in and we do not save any data that is nonessential for the systems to function. The little data we do store is hashed client side and once again server side. This ensures that even if someone were to gain access to the server, they can't get any useful or identifying data.
Providing the infrastructure and services does of course cost money. As our main source of revenue is advertisements on the forum and the odd donation, we encourage mod developers to keep discussions about their mods on the forum; and if a mod is especially popular then the developer can of course request to have a dedicated section for their mod along with their own moderators. Any profits will be reinvested into the infrastructure, community, bug-bounties, and shared with active developers. Like our code, our books are open to the public so they can review where the money goes.