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DooM_RO

Why I think releasing "proper" mod tools later is a good thing

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So last night, at the end of the dreadfully boring Doom Panel, there was a very interesting tidbit about the future of Doom modding. It has been hinted that Id are still planning to release "proper" modding tools that will allow us to go deep into the code (so to speak).

Looking back on Doom 3 modding, I think this is the best course of action possible. Back when Doom 3 came out there were a ton of very ambitious mods, a lot of which were made by diehard Doom fans who had been used to the easy to use Doombuilder. With Doombuilder you can just have an idea and work on it and have something substantial. You can just make a cool layout, put a few interesting shapes and textures, have good monster placement and BAM, you have a quality mod. Of course, very large Doom mods take a long time but I have always considered Doom mapping to be a kind of Metagame, a kind of Dungeon Keeper.

With Doom 3 modding, this was no longer possible. The quality of a map/mod is determined by comparing them with the original game. A very detailed Doom map might "not" be beautiful (at least not in the same way) in comparison with the latest Crysis game (although that is very much subjective), it is very much so when compared with the STOCK maps.

When your reference is Doom 3, things are a heck of a lot harder. No longer is mapping a "game", it is a part-time job and no matter how commited you are great results are not guaranteed. This, coupled with the extremely unwieldy nature of the Doom 3 editor prompted many overly-ambitious projects to be canceled. Only 2-3 remain and they have been in development for over a decade.

What Snapmap will do is make mapping easy enough for the average user so that it's still fun AND possible to make something of quality. Since you are snappin prefabs, the game will take care of making it look good. You will just have to add decorations, lighting color and most importantly focus on the LAYOUT and GAMEPLAY.

What I think this means is that modders will not be lost in an overly complicated editor (for their skill) but will still be able to produce relatively high quality content and maybe even original game modes like DOTA was for Warcraft 3. This will allow modders to not only graps the basics of modding in a friendlier manner but also act as a stepping stone for much more complicated modding. When you were a newbie modder and had an ambitious Doom 3 project idea you MIGHT have succeded but the road to progress and learning was often too rocky for the average user. I think Snapmap will make the transition from Newbie to Master a lot smoother than Doom 3 ever did and we might see high quality and original content just from Snapmap and by the time Id releases the more advanced editors, players will have already learned the basic (or maybe even intermediary) concepts of modding and game design.

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Bethesda always has this thing where they release mod tools later in a games life rather than at the start like some ID games have had.

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I'm kinda surprised they plan to release mod tools for this. After all, Quake Live has no mod support if I'm correct? That was always a bit lame.

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To be fair, Quake Live is literally a reworked Quake 3 Arena which already has mods, and QL is intended to be primarily multiplayer on their own servers and factors in a sort of F2P-esque system, so it makes sense why that's not moddable.

My concern is whether this 'larger-scale modding' for Doom 4 is going to end up like RAGE's mess of gigantic ass modding tools from the devs themselves in the worst way possible.

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Honestly, I think they will release the tools at some point. Snapmap looks fun to mess around in, and will be great for the console players out there, but releasing regular modding tools alongside snapmap would just overshadow it. They probably want a little bit of time for people to get to use bethesda.net and to show off their stuff before letting users go nuts on their own.

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ManthonyHiggs said:

Honestly, I think they will release the tools at some point. Snapmap looks fun to mess around in, and will be great for the console players out there, but releasing regular modding tools alongside snapmap would just overshadow it. They probably want a little bit of time for people to get to use bethesda.net and to show off their stuff before letting users go nuts on their own.


Or they just simply do Duke Nukem Forever 2.0, as far as modding is concerned (never release the tools) because consoles kill gaming. Seriously though, all the "no modding blabla" is directly because of consoles and their stupid high sales expectations.

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quakke said:

Or they just simply do Duke Nukem Forever 2.0, as far as modding is concerned (never release the tools) because consoles kill gaming. Seriously though, all the "no modding blabla" is directly because of consoles and their stupid high sales expectations.

You need to present evidence to support your claims.

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I agree with the OP.

But 2 concerns come to mind.

1. It's still very possible advanced Modding Tools may never be released. I may not be into advanced modding myself but I definitely love the extra content.

2. SnapMap may still be too basic. It might be something like: choose your room size, edit ceiling height, choose one of 12 prefab wall textures that cycle to help give variety, place a choice of 20 props, 20 monsters, 15 triggers, 30 world effects, a few elevators / platforms and select gamemode with start positions.

Let's hope it is more advanced with more freedom available. Let me individually select props and alter their size, color and position then place it exactly where I want hassle free. Allow me to modify sounds and even import custom music. Let me mess with Monster stats as well as the player (health, ammo, speed etc). Also, allow me to make my own messages on computers and pads.

If I get all that described above I should be mostly satisfied and can make various maps to suit my mapping needs.

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ManthonyHiggs said:

They probably want a little bit of time for people to get to use bethesda.net and to show off their stuff before letting users go nuts on their own.


That's assuming Bethesda.net doesn't suffer from backlash. As Quasar mentioned in another thread:

Quasar said:

I believe they want to use Doom as a testbed for modding as a platform/service, particularly after how miserably their effort at monetizing mods on Steam failed. By saying it would be part of the new "Bethesda.net" system (of which we have NO details so far AFAIK), this was pretty much confirmed in my view. Shades of "Battle.net" anybody?

If this turns out to be the case, then everything I've said will be a lot more likely. If not, then it's a lot less likely.


I'd like for Bethesda to release more details about their service and see if they actually learned from their attempts at monetizing mods (or if Bethesda.net is another attempt at that with some tweaks and a new coat of paint). Otherwise, I can see the modding scene for Doom 4 becoming very small, much like it has been for Starcraft 2 compared to StarCraft on Battle.net.

I really don't like the fact that modding for the new Doom is actually tied to a service/platform. However, that's the world we live in now. :\

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Both methods have their ups and downs, the simple little map editor makes things easier and more streamlined while the full fledged editor gives you more control to customize and do things your own way. The obvious solution is the one that Portal 2 opted for, have both. It has both an ingame editor and the Hammer Editor itself to make maps with, it gives you the freedom to choose.

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