Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
GoatLord

What direction is modding going?

Recommended Posts

The most visually complex games of today require large teams to keep track of all the detailed effects--character muscularity, particle systems, destructible areas, fluid, physics, motion capture, light and shadow, fur/hair shaders, displacement mapping, collision detection, etc. Imagine making a mod for a game with that level of detail, compared to the 90s, when a group of amateurs could make a reasonably decent modification without much trouble. Does this mean it will become increasingly difficult, perhaps impossible, for anyone except experts to modify games in the future? Or will the amateurs simply be forced to brain up and learn how to implement modern effects and design?

Share this post


Link to post

Some developers are being dickish (EA/etc) and others (Fractional) are still giving the user choice on modding. I stand for the development of third party modding over the ridiculous "DLC" they call addons for many games today.

Fuck having to pay for new content, I'd prefer the community to make it.

Share this post


Link to post

Depends on the game, and depends what you want to do. Modding stuff like new weapons or characters into something like an Elder Scrolls game is still not very hard. But if you're talking about making new content, levels, characters, sounds, visuals.. that's a whole different story.

Even games from a few years back now are complex enough that it takes a long time and lots of talent to produce quality work. Look at Phobos - it's a top quality product, but it's taking a long time with a small group of people, because there's a hell of a lot to do to get it looking and playing great.

So yes, that process is happening now, and has been for some time. I think as technologies become more complex, it becomes more difficult to reproduce them at home. There'll be a lead time, and then it'll be more possible to work with some things. But by that point, not many people will be playing those games, they'll have moved on to newer, more complex things that are more recent.

Share this post


Link to post

Well as a Doom mapper, I can honestly say that the complexity of video games these days are a definite drawback. In fact, I wouldn't even go as far as Quake to start mapping in. I've glanced at map editors for things like Half-Life and Retribution Engine and true 3D is really confusing for me unless someone sat down and explained it to me.

Drawing flat geometrical shapes and turning them into rooms is way more simple, way faster, and way more fun. It takes me a few hours to create a whole new world. It may not be the most intricate, detailed, and interactive world you've ever seen, but it leaves enough to my imagination to be what I want it to be.

Share this post


Link to post
GoatLord said:

The most visually complex games of today require large teams to keep track of all the detailed effects--character muscularity, particle systems, destructible areas, fluid, physics, motion capture, light and shadow, fur/hair shaders, displacement mapping, collision detection, etc. Imagine making a mod for a game with that level of detail, compared to the 90s, when a group of amateurs could make a reasonably decent modification without much trouble.

I don't agree with that. So yeah, the games become more complex with time. But if you're given powerful enough tools to deal with it, it becomes easy again to work on it. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that such tools would cost a lot of money, because they're complex. However, you may be lucky if the developers did supply you an editor and it's functional enough. But if you have them, you'll have no more reason to complain that it's too difficult, especially if there's documentation to help you. There's also a rewarding feeling in succeeding making complicated things like those.

Share this post


Link to post
40oz said:

Well as a Doom mapper, I can honestly say that the complexity of video games these days are a definite drawback. In fact, I wouldn't even go as far as Quake to start mapping in. I've glanced at map editors for things like Half-Life and Retribution Engine and true 3D is really confusing for me unless someone sat down and explained it to me.

Drawing flat geometrical shapes and turning them into rooms is way more simple, way faster, and way more fun. It takes me a few hours to create a whole new world. It may not be the most intricate, detailed, and interactive world you've ever seen, but it leaves enough to my imagination to be what I want it to be.

Meh, I find that drawing stuff in a 3D space is actually easier than drawing stuff flat and then extruding into a 3D space, heh, and a hell of a lot more natural, especially when complex 3D structures, or overlapping structures are involved. 3D structures in a Doom environment are annoying to work with (though portals in EE are a bit nicer in ways, but still not as natural as building 3D structures via a Quake level editor). This may just be me, though.

Share this post


Link to post

I also find that modeling simple 3D environments, such as those in Quake or Unreal, is usually much more natural than trying to capture the equivalent architecture in a Doom map. I think the simplicity of Doom's "2.5D" design gives it a shallow enough learning curve that a chimpanzee could churn out decent maps with a little patience. The tradeoff for that simplicity is that you'll often have to wrestle around with the engine to approximate certain designs and effects that would be trivial to achieve in a true 3D environment, even though working in three dimensions might require a little more mental involvement for the designer to conceptualize the space to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't see why developers think mods will stop people buying their DLC seeing as the people making mods aren't getting paid and in return aren't doing them in tripple A quality, people are still likely to buy DLC regardless of mods.

Share this post


Link to post

Its going more for pay. I'd rather the developers make the content... quality content that add things to the gameplay instead of just map packs. Now I'm playing a Half Life 1 expansion and wow they added a lot of content and new gameplay to an already great game.

Oh and if you don't want to pay for it, just wait a year and you don't have to.

In fact I'd pay $5 for ameture 32 level Doom 2 wads so I can play them on XBOX. I'd pay for Eternal Doom, Scythe, Scyte 2, anything from Team TNT.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm surprised there aren't a bunch of companies with an app-store scheme for mods. Let people mod the crap out of your game, so the publishing and split the revenue somehow. If a team turns out awesome you can poach their guys before they start a competing company. Console gamers could potentially have a nice stream of mods this way too, though developing complex mods for console games is more difficult even if the game itself is less complex.

There are all kinds of potential drawbacks to such a system, but I still think it would be better if companies like EA did that rather than release the sort of DLC that only pleases the passive-consumer segment of their market.

Sadly, Carmack made a good point with Rage about how the high barrier to content creation for new games is likely to result in maybe two big mods for it. I can't see a way around this in the near future for games with that level of visual detail.

Share this post


Link to post

I think there will be modding as long as there are new games out there. There will always be former and aspiring game developers with time on their hands who have learned all the latest tricks of the trade, and diehard hobbyist modders at the very least.

Doomsfall said:

I don't see why developers think mods will stop people buying their DLC seeing as the people making mods aren't getting paid and in return aren't doing them in tripple A quality, people are still likely to buy DLC regardless of mods.

Then again, there are games like Oblivion where all the DLC is crap, yet there are many "must-have" mods.

I think the key for appeasing the fans while still making money is to give new modding opportunity with each expansion pack. A good example of this is The Sims games, where they'd add a new mechanic or two with each expansion that modders could play around with and add content for (like pets for example). The Sims games have always encouraged a lot of user content (at least the first two), yet they've made a shit ton of money off of them.

Share this post


Link to post

$15 map packs scoring a company $15,000,000... each is a good reason to not let the community map. But those are top tier games.

And yes Oblivion official mods tend to be crap. But the expansion packs are better.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×