yesterday I realized I hadn't played Psychonauts this year yet, so I remedied that. And while playing I thought about modding it.
So I've looked around a bit - what do we know? There are a couple of different types of archives and the Psychonauts Explorer can open those (although the ppf reading seems to be broken?). Is there anything else? Are there any mods yet? I think there's one that replaces the Keyboard prompts with Xbox 360 pad buttons, right?
And what else do we know about Psychonauts? It uses Lua, and it uses it a lot - I remember reading/hearing the script bytecode got too big for one of the consoles so they had to use custom, shorter opcodes. I don't suppose anybody has looked into whether the PC version uses this customized version of Lua, too? As long as it's standard it'll be fairly simple to work with, but I guess they'd have kept it the same across all platforms.
Here's something that might help: Have you ever noticed how the Steam version takes up over 9GB, when it shouldn't even be 4GB? Ever taken a look at the files? It would appear that a lot of loose files are included in addition to the archives. Removing them doesn't keep the game from running and changing them doesn't change anything in the game, so they're likely from development. This includes all the images, mostly both as .dds and .tga (and occasionally .psd), and, more importantly, all the uncompiled Lua scripts, complete with "Proprietary and Confidential" comment at the beginning.
Peeking at some of those scripts I found a couple of print statements - apparently there's some kind of debug printing in the game, does anybody know how to display that? Also, did anybody notice the "Nonsense" language? There are texts for it, but setting language to "nonsense" in psychonauts.ini doesn't seem to enable it.
Currently I'm just playing around, I'm not trying to get something particular to work. Maybe I should decide on something to start with... Any ideas on what to concentrate on? I guess the logical first step would be a texture mod, just seeing if I can get changed assets into the game at all, i.e. pack them up correctly etc. After that, I could go after the scripts, the models or the levels, I think.
Well, do you have any thoughts or insights? Is there even any point to this? I can pretty much only think of 3 kinds of mods that would be possible: HD Mods, i.e. changing textures and possibly models, changes to the difficulty (number and strength of enemies etc.) and adding new levels. There's no need for the former, the game looks nice enough as it is, and the latter is too much work for anybody to bother/finish, so maybe I should focus on Brütal Legend since that's just coming out on PC anyway? Creating custom multiplayer maps for that seems much more achievable.