Special K - "Kaldaien's Mod" Special☆K
Special K - "Kaldaien's Mod" Special☆K
May 23, 2016
ABOUT Special K - "Kaldaien's Mod"

Special K v 0.9.0 Officially Released

Introduces several enhancements for video capture software as well as even more Steam integration ;)

Feature growth will slow down with 0.9.0, and I will instead focus on documentation and making sure the features that already exist are easier to use.
Please (re)learn What "malware" Means
    Software is "malware" if and only if harm is purposely being done.

Accidental harm is not malware; we call this kind of software defective. DRM (i.e. Steamworks, uPlay, Origin) and related obstacles (i.e. Denuvo), though a major inconvenience, are not malware. Even though I could swear anti-virus software does nothing beneficial (it usually breaks stuff without telling you and then wastes your time), it also is not malware.

Circle back to the definition of malicious software and you will find that neither DRM nor Special K qualify. While DRM deliberately conceals its innerworkings, it is not there to harm you and we need not consult any source code to know this.

    Special K is not designed to harm you, even if you are a swashbuckling pirate.

The next time you claim SK does one harmful thing or another, you know where to find the source code and you are obligated to point to the exact line of code that does what is being claimed. You won't find any because I have much more productive ways to spend my time.

Even my very thin layer of piracy detection has to do with YOU not wasting MY time troubleshooting an unstable version of the game I do not have. From this perspective, pirates are the malicious entites leeching resources I could have spent on something else.

Special K Celebrates Another Year
      --standalone Special K turned one year old!
    I had an opportunity to review Special K's progress over the year since it broke out as a standalone product to enhance / fix / have more fun with games.
After a bit of introspection, I realized I am every bit the full-stack game programmer now that I was in the late 90's and early 2000's when I was developing game engines at Lyra Studios.
    I know low-level audio, graphics, input, network (somewhat dated) and even have machine learning (AI) under my belt thanks to post-grad education I did not have back then.
I realize I would be an asset to any game development company, but am more interested in writing tools I retain full ownership of. Helping our little piece of gaming on PC with technical issues is also important to me. I feel a stronger sense of purpose helping, rather than creating technology for a soulless publisher :CrowdControl:

    With that, I would like to put to rest any ideas that I might start consulting for game port developers. I am open if ever presented an attractive offer, but let me make it clear, that stuff takes a backseat to my mod project and would likely only serve to finance this.
I have taken a step back and looked critically at the "design" of Special K -- hoping that if I squinted just right and believed hard enough I might find something -- but it simply does not exist.
      :NAUTILUS: The infamous captain Ad-Hoc design seeks to pilot our vessle aground!
    I feel the only way to move this project forward for long-term continued development is to begin modularizing the project and actually spending quality design time on this thing, rather than writing throw-away debug code to reverse engineer individual games and then tacking useful features onto something with no maintainable or even discernible design.

I Will Be Isolating Various Functions

  1. My Custom ImGui Implementation and Input Management System

    • Offers a more intuitive input experience using gamepad, keyboard, mouse than seen in other projects using ImGui (i.e. ReShade)

  2. Performance Data Collection and Profiling

    • For advanced modders or tweakers looking to improve performance, Special K has a few unique features not seen in other non-developer oriented tools

  3. Shader, Texture and (in some mods) Mesh Modification Systems

    • Special K covers a larger range of APIs than any singular project I am aware of; these systems have not been unified and are in many cases sitting uniquely in specific game mods not being useful to the gaming community as a whole.

  4. Installation, Auto-Update and Mod Content Add-on Infrastructure

    • Tales of Symphonia "Fix" has support for custom texture packs downloaded from GitHub, but the system is not extensible and only I am able to author such add-on content at the moment.

  5. Debug Backend

    • I have built a sophisticated debug engine (in addition to D3D11 graphics debugger) into a piece of software whose primary application is not software development. I would like to capitalize on this and polish off the design of these systems to make writing mods easier for other small and large scale game mod projects.

  6. Plug-Ins

    • The real powers of Special K are its plug-ins

        They are non-standard at this point :pointless:

      I am continuing to learn good and bad design principles for a general purpose plug-in system and I really want developers to be able to write small plug-ins to Special K the same way I write my game mods. This is my biggest design goal and I expect will finally encourage open source collaboration once I fill-out and stabilize the design of the plug-in API.

I am eager to continue providing developer-grade tools in a relatively easy to digest form that give "normal" gamers the best possible gaming experience free from as many technical worries as I can help smooth out for you.

    I hope you are looking forward to year 2; I know I am.:harley:

Special K - "Kaldaien's Mod" reviews
"Technical problems; solutions and game enhancements."
Here are a few recent reviews by Special K - "Kaldaien's Mod"
Kaldaien 4 hours ago 
Anyway, I am glad I could help. Much of this was already learned by casually looking at Assassin's Creed Origins :P They, uh, are going to be giving us the unoptimized D3D11 render path indefinitely I think. The engine's actually designed for D3D12 and PS4's GNM under the hood, it's not even remotely efficient on PC in D3D11. Xbox One gets D3D12, we get this silly thing.
Kaldaien 4 hours ago 
Yeah, I really should have known better by now. Nothing good ever comes from participating in the public Steam forums for a high-profile game. The niche games I have the most fun modifying are generally pretty civil.

Ubisoft's moderation is very unprofessional, their copy-and-paste message even refers you to Steam's Customer Support. Steam will promptly inform you that they had nothing to do with the matter and send you back to Ubisoft.
Martha Pepper 6 hours ago 
Seriously, thank you SO much for this mod Kaldaien. It transformed my AC: Odyssey from a "stable-framerate-but-framepacing-nightmare" to a perfectly smooth experience. Took a while testing settings, but I got there, & am so happy with the way it plays now.

I really appreciate the work you have put into this. It's a world which I am enjoying exploring, taking photos, walking around in & experiencing. After a sh1tty 11 hours of work that's all I want to do without the bother of sub-par performance.

I think your ban from the AC: Odyssey forum was absolutely ridiculous. The source is available to pore over & no "malicious software" is involved. I think that Ubisoft reaching out to you and saying "Hey, we would like your input on this as it's obviously an issue that you have dealt with on several other games, & it's something you have experience in, maybe we could come to some agreement?" would have been the right course of action.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling post, thanks again :)
Spacedublin Oct 17 @ 4:28pm 
Thanks for the AC: Odyssey mod, i'm probably not using it right, still messing with the settings, but I appreciate you making the tools to better improve the game for anyone willing to download it. I have the game straight from Uplay and it works and loads just fine. Will definitely be downloading other special k mods for a few of the other games you made it for!
brunogm0 Oct 16 @ 5:39pm 
Just dropped to tell about HDMI1.3 XvYCC, it can reach 100% Pointer Gamut (100% DCI-P3 only 86.9% of Pointer) the implementation basis support is scRGB; So besides improving things for VESA HDR PQ2084 display users, a SDR++ mode can be made maximing legacy displays.

Comparison of normal gamut SDR and remastered XvYCC working on old display.
The high bit of hdmi1.3 has a different gamma curve but then again HLG is still a possible tonemap target with "near" legacy curve.

Awesome work will get better
Reinhard Von Hamid Oct 16 @ 5:14am 
Hey Kaldaien! Just dropped here to tell you how much i (and the majority of the PC gaming community for that matter) value your work. I've been using your great Special K mod with great success in many of my games since the disaster that is Arkham Knight, and i have to say that i am absolutely outraged and appalled by your ban in the AC: Odyssey Steam forums and the stupid claims that swirl around it. I think it's just a pathetic attempt from Ubisoft to hide the fact that you've exposed their sh!tty PC development practices and they can't handle people finding out the truth. Sorry for the long message, and keep doing you buddy! :)