[Daring proposal] Rename the Hive's "skin" concept

In favour of this change?


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1.32 finally did it, pulled in the new meaning of "skin" and reskin into this game. What Hive calls skins became even more misleading to newcomers and all non-Hivers alike. It may be time to change this name.

What Hive calls "skin" was always "retexture", with a lot of attention as this community makes good quality content, but never "skin".
For those not closely following what skin means in other game-related places, I'd approximate it to all changes that do not affect gameplay. This includes changing models, textures, sounds, UI, and more (which you can also see by the skin systems present in 1.32 if you'd rather not venture out far to gather this info).

If we choose to disregard modern commercial naming and even the game itself, "skin" in the modelling sphere clashes with one more term that is much more widely (even globally) accepted, skin from "skinning", as skinning is the practice of assigning vertices to bones, and from it "skin" also means the mesh being attached to the bones. (Of note for this part of the clash, some programs call "bone weights" "skin weights" as well, adding even more "skin" terms to partially clash with Hive's)

Due to these confusion-inducing overlaps, I propose that we change the name of this concept (and of course its section) to a different one. Be it just "retexture" (which is what it is, once stripped of all context), or any other term that the community agrees on.
 

Chaosy

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I don't think it is misleading.

Arguably you could rename "skin" to "texture" but I don't think skin is unclear.
But let's say I am biased as fuck and is just used to it.

Even then, renaming the section would cause a gigantic backward compatibility problem.
One of the big reasons Ralle only allows one name change per account (EVER) is because it fucks up old posts.

For example, when I made this account I was 13 and decided that Darkgrom was a cool and totally not cringe username.
To this day, there are posts from 2011-2012 that reference the user Darkgrom which can be confusing.
The same goes for credits, if you are a resource creator and has a lot of popular stuff, changing the username will invalidate a lot of credits.

The above example would also apply for skins there are thousands of help threads that mention skins.
 

Ralle

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Even then, renaming the section would cause a gigantic backward compatibility problem.
Not really. Try this:
Code:
https://www.hiveworkshop.com/repositories/skins.552/
https://www.hiveworkshop.com/repositories/textures.552/
https://www.hiveworkshop.com/repositories/you-have-eyes.552/
One of the big reasons Ralle only allows one name change per account (EVER) is because it fucks up old posts.

For example, when I made this account I was 13 and decided that Darkgrom was a cool and totally not cringe username.
To this day, there are posts from 2011-2012 that reference the user Darkgrom which can be confusing.
The same goes for credits, if you are a resource creator and has a lot of popular stuff, changing the username will invalidate a lot of credits.
When someone changes their name, all credit lists die and people have a hard time tracking your name change. It's mostly a human thing, not technical.

I am not opposed to renaming skins to textures. But retextures seems too technical for me.
 
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I'll say even name changes are trackable as long as the people involved are tagged with an @, same reason as why repositories you illustrate work (ids being unique), but credits not tagging people is probably less of a ping headache which is why it's not done too often :D (this is a bit off-topic, sorry)

On the human part of "skins", all discussion about skins has already become ambiguous (even though I know renaming would make this marginally worse still), and any potential questions people may have have already become harder to find an answer for because of questions about actual (Blizzard) skins.

Textures sounds good, and illustrates perfectly what it actually is, just a new set of textures to utilise. That name not only evades the technicalities of why it'd even be a re-texture, but also brings the name closer to what's already used (both by us and globally), removing artificial separation between original and replacement textures. I am completely in favour of "textures" as the new name for the section.
 
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Not worth for name changing tbh, while i would either call texture or skin. It's simply the concept of a wrapper and a context.
You got the context (which is the model or og model) and the wrapper (you know, the skin).
Under normal circumstances, i call texture if they weren't any context to be rely on. (terrain, UI, and of course the components of the model). Skin is applied when you make it to wrap the original model.
If Hive does change that section name, you still end up confusion and post related to skin will still refer as Skin. I don't think Archian (or anyone else) will take his time rename all the mention of "skin". But this is my opinion at least, i am neither against either decision.
 
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Skin has its own meaning when not talking about Hive's section. I proposed the change to clean this up for the future, not the past. Discussions go out of date all the time, and skin was always a weird name for me, even before I was familiar with modelling. I always asked why not call them something with texture in the name because that's always been what they are.
On the topic of old discussions going out of scope, that can even be for the better sometimes.
For the exact example given above of "how to change a skin for a specific unit" there are two large issues with it: skin (out of Hive's terms) also refers to the model AND soundset, so that question not only still makes as much sense if not even more, but its answer also contains the "texture" part in some cases. Second issue with even considering backwards compatibility with that question is how non-generalisable it is: everything you "learn" from it only applied to where that unit's textures were stored at the time of asking, patches change where things are, and HD stores textures in different places than SD. FileAlisases are also a thing so many textures have two correct answers, which to choose, why? Patches change answers to this kind of question a lot. Any answers given are also by other people, so they may seem okay to utilise while not being fully correct, so even half-facts remain until someone else stumbles upon a scenario where what is said is no longer close enough to the truth.
As much as a person might be lazy to look up for themselves, it's much better to go into the game data and find the model whose textures they plan to overwrite (models are in predictable places at least), or even to accommodate for laziness, just see the paths provided on the textures' page. I think not enough people are aware that models and textures have paths written in their file attachment bubbles, those are extremely useful.

If/When the name gets changed, people won't randomly be unable to ask what they need answered, and now the questions will be much less ambiguous even to people knowing skins as they actually are elsewhere. I'd say this is a plus for the future even if many questions don't hold value other than retelling what's already on the textures' pages.

For Shido's reply of it just not being worth it, I am planning for a future where the community doesn't die out, but through any magic continues to grow, with people that may never have played (much less modded) Warcraft 3 before. Skin is a very bad term for those people because it already has other meanings in other places, none of which are the texture. Context exists only once someone is familiar enough with surrounding circumstances, and people just coming in may not be. A perspective of a Hiver will always be different than of an outsider, so this is meant to help them stop being outsiders easier :psmile: In a world where I, or even better some collective we, had infinite time to spare, we could try to make some kind of complete terminology list so we can keep more of these specific terms, but even then I'd be against stuff like "skin", "classic" and "reforged" for patches, and a few other terms, only because of the amount of ambiguity they bring cannot be undone with just one post stating otherwise. Not even a post from the Hive bot itself would (or in my opinion should) be enough to go against what a term means everywhere else (for skin), and there are some terms that just aren't defined well enough for precise use (classic and reforged) and trying to redefine them clashes with my position on not trying to overwrite what is generally accepted otherwise.
 
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I ate a word there it seems, what I meant is that a skin for any unit/hero in a game can mean changing its model and soundset, it can also include changing its ability icons and the abilities' models in some cases, so the term is very general and not good for referring to this specific change (the change of a set model's textures). Sorry for the bad wording.
 

deepstrasz

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I ate a word there it seems, what I meant is that a skin for any unit/hero in a game can mean changing its model and soundset, it can also include changing its ability icons and the abilities' models in some cases, so the term is very general and not good for referring to this specific change (the change of a set model's textures). Sorry for the bad wording.
Sure. I guess skin was used because some models have more than 1 textures.
The issue remains with what others mentioned, older threads containing the word skin meaning texture(s).
Also, skins would mostly be a sort of resource packs since they'd have to contain more than a model and its textures? Skins basically appeared in newer games where models are recycled and edited to get more or less parts and different or edited textures.
Now, if we rename skins to textures, we need another resource section called skins which then requires moving a lot of already uploaded models in there.
 
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As it stands i dont think it makes a big enough difference, though i was thinking the term Skin makes enough of a sense for what Hive is doing, people go there to find reskinned models its insanely effective to get the message across "Want reskinned models ? Boom", and the UI skins are its own location.

But about the term skin, maybe consider having a section which might be a bit of a hassle to come up with, that basically acts like a form of resource location that takes a primary product and reskins it, so even models, models pre loaded with different sounds, entire maps reskinned, like idk a winter version of Turtle Rock or idk maps that work as local file overwrites and so forth can be included in this section, far more directly acting as a location that it does what its suppose to... but at that point i think i went ahead and made alot of other places redundant by suggesting that.

And upon further thinking my idea could literally just completely validate all "Useful" models, and regular reskinned and approved maps in the map section to turn into a weird mumbo jumbo of a confusion to figure out initially, but i hope the person who is genuinely able to understand my idea, will. and i know atleast Ralle and Boggy would understand what i mean. then we can think about turning Skinz to Texturez.

But until some form of wizardry like this happens i'm going to stick to voting for Skins being just fine.
 
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I don't plan on us changing what the (previously) skin section is for in any way, so I'd say we don't need a skin section only if we materialise the name change, but it could be a very nice addition regardless of whether this proposal is accepted. Renaming the replacement texture section would allow for making the "unit pack"/"character pack" section just being called a skin section, but this kind of asset pack is also a very large project and not completely defined at this time (would it be any model with soundsets, or could it also include object data and/or ability icons and/or effects, would we want a filter for which types of optional assets are included), so I don't expect too many uploads to happen. I actually didn't think of the prospect of also allowing for a new section when writing this post, but I'd call it a possible benefit rather than a flaw. Thank you for that! I'd also say models wouldn't necessarily need to be moved, but moving may be automatable by detecting soundsets or similar files in the model's post (per whatever our requirements for a skin end up being).

The whole idea of a skin section is very attractive but it may involve more planning and voting than I'd like to start at once, and I'd rather not push in my ideas for everything there as well😅
I'd support the new section as well though, as having full ready-to-use characters at our fingertips is nothing short of amazing

Edit after Storm's post, as it happened a sec before mine
As it stands i dont think it makes a big enough difference, though i was thinking the term Skin makes enough of a sense for what Hive is doing, people go there to find reskinned models its insanely effective to get the message across "Want reskinned models ? Boom", and the UI skins are its own location.
The issue here is that you imply "reskinned models", while skin as a word on its own doesn't. I agree with most of the rest of your message, but my proposal targets exactly the part you assume differently than I do.

Only people on the Hive will know what skin stands for just by looking at the name, so people thinking it's some much larger kind of custom asset may go there for different purposes, or not go at all. Changing them to texture is meant to prevent exactly that, by accepting the general use "skin" over the Hive's "skin" because any random person is much more likely to know of the latter.
Even if you're saying that you're indifferent by saying it doesn't make a big enough difference, I'd say why not change then?
I have tried moreso than succeeded in writing the many different meanings of skin, which is still precisely why I would like us to move (re)textures away from that term.
 
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We should totally get a thinking emoji as part of the like feature in this site.
offtopic i know. but it would be nice.

consider me thinking on Bogdans latest reply... infinitely 🤔
(Bogdans love reaction was directed towards this statement specifically) 👆

Update.
Even if you're saying that you're indifferent by saying it doesn't make a big enough difference, I'd say why not change then?

I did say i dont think it would make a big enough difference to validate a beneficial outcome other then just clicking refresh and making people used to the new term, that's not exactly an instant benefit more like "hey so we have to get used to this now" type of thing. while i might take you up on your word that Texture is a more professional term, whether or not its a more popular term compared to Skins is very much up for debate.

The simple concept stands, people look at Skins, they get there, they find models that are reskinned with new textures, and yes i unironically used both those terms in one sentence 😅 because its not that distinguishable unless some elaborate plan like what i suggested comes along with it xD

"The Puzzle Box" as i invision it, the location where people have puzzled together special ready to use templates from existing War3, Hive, or otherwise resources as a ready to use thing. but again i need to stress this is a ... like a year long big project of restructuring i need to deeply thinking about whether or not if what i'm suggesting is worth it and i'm not mentally ready for that task yet.
 
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(which you can also see by the skin systems present in 1.32 if you'd rather not venture out far to gather this info)
Is there a way to download a 1.32 skin as a package, anyway? What is a skin?

I think we can all agree these are skins of Archer, right? (See below)
1641420278131.png

And these are skins of Knight:
1641420364135.png

And these are skins of Pit Lord:
1641420405914.png

Skins of Bear:
1641420443669.png

Skins of Necromancer:
1641420482633.png

So we know what skins are but for example years ago when I was doing a lot of Warcraft III modding the software was not storing them as skins. Is this fixed now so I could import a skin in my map? Let's say for example a creative user makes a Fire Archer. It's like the archer, but she's made of lava and on fire with all the flashy fire flowing everywhere and her voice is different and cackly like a firelord and she leaves lava footprints when she walks. (Similar to how the Dark Ranger archer skin leaves black clouds behind her when she walks.) Can someone maybe put that into a bundle on Hive that I can just download as an Archer Skin into the asset manager of my map? That way there would be a skin section and it would add a lot of user convenience if I tried to make a map and I wanted new skins.

But so when I go on Unit Editor on my 1.32 installation I don't see any kind of Skin Editor. Maybe someone could make that for us?
1641420689723.png



Edit: But even then if it was in the unit editor like that, then maybe it would be inconvenient to import them. So maybe it's better if they were just a .skin file in the asset manager. Can someone do that?
 
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Is there a way to download a 1.32 skin as a package, anyway? What is a skin?

I think we can all agree these are skins of Archer, right? (See below)

And these are skins of Knight:

And these are skins of Pit Lord:

Skins of Bear:

Skins of Necromancer:

So we know what skins are but for example years ago when I was doing a lot of Warcraft III modding the software was not storing them as skins. Is this fixed now so I could import a skin in my map? Let's say for example a creative user makes a Fire Archer. It's like the archer, but she's made of lava and on fire with all the flashy fire flowing everywhere and her voice is different and cackly like a firelord and she leaves lava footprints when she walks. (Similar to how the Dark Ranger archer skin leaves black clouds behind her when she walks.) Can someone maybe put that into a bundle on Hive that I can just download as an Archer Skin into the asset manager of my map? That way there would be a skin section and it would add a lot of user convenience if I tried to make a map and I wanted new skins.

But so when I go on Unit Editor on my 1.32 installation I don't see any kind of Skin Editor. Maybe someone could make that for us?
View attachment 392790


Edit: But even then if it was in the unit editor like that, then maybe it would be inconvenient to import them. So maybe it's better if they were just a .skin file in the asset manager. Can someone do that?
Your questions actually show quite well how a word like "skins" can mean many different things, I'll try to answer some of these to the best of my extent, just to try and clear up the confusion this whole ordeal creates. The skins system of 1.32 is extremely unfinished, even to the point of causing bugs, and while some of your examples above could be done as skins in some game, they're not skins in Warcraft 3. The only easily showable examples of Warcraft 3's skins are those toggleable from the "collections" menu in 1.32: "Nightmare Cenarius" (for KotG), "Daughter of the Sea Jaina" (for archmage), one "Arthas" skin (for paladin), one "Thrall" skin (for the far seer), and the female variations of the Death Knight and Demon Hunter.
What makes this situation even worse is that every object in the game has a skin attached, a skin with its own values, and the skin system is also how SD vs HD (and additionally teen) was done without having to duplicate all SLKs which contain non-gameplay data; removing this system (Blizzard's side) or completely disregarding it (our side) is thus not an option.

As this is inching closer to off-topic with every sentence, I'll take a moment to augment what I've said before, a skin section to go for Warcraft 3's concept of skins is an awful idea unless the skin implementation gets reworked (due to it being files that currently cannot be overridden by a map AND the current ways to add skins requiring manual merging for every new skin), only a section providing what's globally noted as a skin makes any sense with what is left in 1.32 as the skin system, which is why I wanted to focus on the global meaning of skin even above Warcraft's, and trying to distance what you amazing people create from the War3 "skin" concept and systems where possible.
We will need to document the whole set of skin systems more before we plan any interaction with them.
 
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We will need to document the whole set of skin systems more before we plan any interaction with them.
Huh. So you're really only suggesting at the moment to change that "Skins" button on Hive to "Textures", right?

I imagine as I open up Hive the first time and see a "Textures" section, my thoughts would be that if I was a 3d model artist then I would go to that section to get textures to use for the surfaces of the models I was going to create. Would the way to use the section change to mean this? Would I be able to upload a Texture to the Textures section that has no associated model file to use it? For example if I just drew some nice surfaces. Here's a lava texture I drew in Microsoft Paint just now:

1641422830979.png


Obviously this is not a very good lava texture. I am not suggesting anyone should actually use it. But it is a lava texture. Soon if there is a texture section, can I upload a texture like this or a texture bundle for 3d model artists to use if they are about to draw a model and don't feel like making a unique texture asset for their model, but want to use something custom?

Or is the texture section going to be constrained to only and specifically have retexture overlays that replace the textures that are already in the game?

Actually the more I think about this, the more I can see how it's a hard problem. Maybe I'll stop posting and leave it to the experts to figure this one out...
 
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You provide a good counterargument to the name "texture", I proposed "retexture" even back in the original post to get over this exact issue, but it got put on the bench due to being too technical (it's still a candidate for me). What I'll say is that "skin" also didn't have much meaning as a section before its rules and guidelines were read by any one particular person, so no matter the name chosen (as long as it's not one used for widely different things as skins now are, and yes, this whole problem exists only because other gaming communities developed the term we already used, but for something else), it's still up to the section's sticky posts to be precise about what it's for.
 
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Only people on the Hive will know what skin stands for just by looking at the name, so people thinking it's some much larger kind of custom asset may go there for different purposes, or not go at all. Changing them to texture is meant to prevent exactly that, by accepting the general use "skin" over the Hive's "skin" because any random person is much more likely to know of the latter.
I'd say that most random people won't be able to tell the difference between a skin and a texture. Heck, I'm quite familiar with both terms and still I got confused a number of times reading your arguments. But maybe it's just my brain having faulty wiring. Regardless, what I do know is that a "skin" for a lot of people who aren't familiar with the technicalities is simply something that alters how some model looks.

For these people, I think, "skins" is probably more intuitive than "textures" or "retextures". And since I think these people would have a harder time figuring out what is what than a person that's familiar with proper terminology, I'm afraid this change might ultimately cause more confusion.

I imagine as I open up Hive the first time and see a "Textures" section, my thoughts would be that if I was a 3d model artist then I would go to that section to get textures to use for the surfaces of the models I was going to create.
I'm not an artist, but as a casual user - seeing the term "textues" would give me a similar impression: that it's a repository used for something else that I have absolutely no clue about, not things I could potentially import to my map to change how a given asset looks.

Also, another point against - there's been numerous threads and tutorials on the site about using "Skins". As it stands right now, all of these are quite easy to understand because we have the category called "skins" - like, it's obvious that any thread or advice about "skins" refers to the assets found in the "skins" category. If we change the name to whatever then suddenly all that becomes more confusing to people unfamiliar with the proper terminology.

---

Ultimately, reading this thread, I've seen two solid arguments for your proposition - it helps to avoid confusion with the Reforged skins system (which I don't think is used all that often) and is more technically accurate. Other than that, I really fail to see how this would help anyone in any significant way, but I see how it could screw people who are either used to the current name or who aren't familiar with all the technicalities (see above).
 
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I'd say that most random people won't be able to tell the difference between a skin and a texture. Heck, I'm quite familiar with both terms and still I got confused a number of times reading your arguments. But maybe it's just my brain having faulty wiring. Regardless, what I do know is that a "skin" for a lot of people who aren't familiar with the technicalities is simply something that alters how some model looks.

For these people, I think, "skins" is probably more intuitive than "textures" or "retextures". And since I think these people would have a harder time figuring out what is what than a person that's familiar with proper terminology, I'm afraid this change might ultimately cause more confusion.

...
I think this is mostly what others said as well, but one of your sentences strikes through my thoughts very elegantly a "skin" for a lot of people who aren't familiar with the technicalities is simply something that alters how some model looks.
This assumption is very different than all of the viewpoints I consider, but feels just as valid. I still think "skin" has all the issues I've been writing about these past few days, and I still don't think they can be evaded with anything different than a rename of the concept, but I see the whole situation a bit better now.

As for the forum posts going outdated, we've already discussed this and I still think they are not of significant enough value not to be replaceable by any new questions/tutorials. The original "how to import a skin" tutorial has gone outdated in many different ways anyhow, with links no longer being useful (some broken, some malformed, some leading back to Hive), BLP being specified despite this never having been required and even less with 1.32, as well as the tutorial not mentioning that the (currently) skin section has paths provided in the posts AND not having updated links to the software used to detect unknown skin paths (BOTH of those links no longer work).

Edit: I also found out not even the skin's download page is accessible anymore, so my "updated" version had to use a different replacement texture altogether, link here.
 
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This assumption is very different than all of the viewpoints I consider, but feels just as valid. I still think "skin" has all the issues I've been writing about these past few days, and I still don't think they can be evaded with anything different than a rename of the concept, but I see the whole situation a bit better now.
I'm talking from a very casual perspective - I don't dispute that on a technical level you're probably right, I just wanted to describe how it feels in the eyes of someone who doesn't know much the technical mumbo-jumbo like me. And it's pretty simple - I launch some other game and it has "skins" and they change how some base model looks. I don't really analyze if it's just a different texture or if parts of the model were altered.

Thus, I think, that if someone completely new comes to the site and just wants to change how, say, a Footman looks in their map, they will take one look at the "skin" section and instantly make the connection - "oh, it's something that changes how something else looks!". And I'm worried that just "textures" or "retextures" might not carry the same familiarity for less knowledgeable folks.

Anyway, not to be a negative Andy - how about a compromise? Something like "Skins (retextures)" or "Skins / Textures"?

P.S. Fair point about tutorials / posts.

EDIT: Yeah, compromise idea probably sucks, because it seems too long and wouldn't really fit visually :D
 
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Like what others have posted in this thread already... there isn't a good reason to change the term 'skin.'

Renaming that section would be an easy change and wouldn't make a significant enough difference, in my opinion, but why go through the trouble to make this thread and have this poll?

The first post makes the assumption that the term 'skin' is 'confusing' for people outside Hiveworkshop. I just showed my roommate the skin section and they caught on to the concept almost immediately.

I'm a little out of the loop here so I'd like to know more about what's going on here:
On the human part of "skins", all discussion about skins has already become ambiguous

I don't feel strongly whether or not the section gets renamed or not so I won't vote and influence it the poll. But the way the poll is phrased begs the question: is 'skin' a confusing term? It seems like a lot of people don't think so - including my roommate who doesn't even play or mod for wc3.

Personally, I think that what's really confusing is how Vendro managed to get two tileset specific skins to appear in the same tileset.
 
But the way the poll is phrased begs the question: is 'skin' a confusing term?

The confusion is related to mapmakers making use of the new “skin” functionality in the editor. This functionality alters multiple things on a unit that are non-essential to gameplay, like the model, soundset, projectile appearance (on ranged attacks) and probably more things… not only the texture.

But now that I’ve seen both sides of the argument I think the cost of renaming the section “Textures” outweigh the benefit. Though, as mentioned earlier, a good alternative would be “Skins/Textures”.
 
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what's really confusing is how Vendro managed to get two tileset specific skins to appear in the same tileset
Haha, I guess you were the second person to ask. I tried replying on @Xetanth87 's profile to avoid going off topic but all I did was export PolarBear.mdx from my game and change the model texture path using MdxPather. Only took a minute or two -- it was not a big thing. I'll attach the model in case you're interested.

What about the term "Reskins" for the section? Somehow "Reskin" sounds like it would be less used in other places, although maybe I am wrong about that, not sure. Again though, I'm just throwing that out as a brainstorm because somebody else's ideas on this are probably going to be better than mine.
 

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Reskins still has similar problems as skins in my opinion, still being a general "different graphics, no gameplay changes" rather than precisely replacement textures as the section is. And I respect your attempts to stop the off-topic, alas it wasn't going to stop before the answer was given :plol:
 

deepstrasz

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Edit: I also found out not even the skin's download page is accessible anymore, so my "updated" version had to use a different replacement texture altogether, link here.
There I was talking about what actually is War3 skins, per the file specifications. This is exactly why it's bad to use the skins term anywhere around War3
Isn't that in the tutorial thread just a retexture? That's what we call skin pre-1.32. I don't understand.
 
I used to agree with this proposal, but given the replies, I think giving it the term Textures felt too technical (unlike Skins), so I am not quite sure if we can get something that is as 'non-technical' yet not 'confusing' at the same time at this stage. So, for now, I'll go with not agreeing until something more reliable for naming can come up. I am thinking for less tech-savvy people in the modeling department.

Speaking of skins and 1.32 skin system, that thing is another layer of unnecessary confusion that Blizz left us with. Regardless, I think it's not a big deal in this matter.
 
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