How long until video game mods are just banned?

The complete lack of modding in Doom, Bethesda's creation club and just DLC and micro-transactions in general worry me. In the past game mods weren't considered a threat to the publishers/owners of the games because they did not see them as being in competition with their own (generally better) expansion packs and sequels. But now in the era of paid DLC and micro-transactions, developers are actually selling stuff that in the past could as well have been a simple mod. And this makes me wonder...how long until publishers just drop any attempt at giving a shit about modders and just flat out ban modding for their games so that free game mods won't be able to compete with their DLC and micro-transactions? I know this has already happened to a degree, but how long until it becomes industry standard? 

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25 minutes ago, Edward850 said:

That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. There is nothing illegal or restricted about modding games, and nothing you have said has anything to do with how modding functions.

You can have engines hostile to modding as a concept, but this has always been true. Not all DOS games were automatically running plaintext parsers and scripting languages and came with map editors. You will also note very few actually did. You can't automatically design every engine to make it automatically approachable, and performance wise some certainly couldn't afford to either.

 

Also it's rather confusing you complaining about modding being banned and listed Bethesda's creation club as a reason. Despite the execution and reception of the Creation Club, what you have said was an absolute contradiction. Maybe you should stop hitting the blunts before posting.

 

I know many games don't support mods. But in the past game developers/publishers were a lot more friendly towards modding. Basically what I was originally asking was if there might come a time where the majority of publishers won't allow mods for their games because they don't want them to compete with their DLC and micro-transactions.

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Personally, I don't think the devs would become that butthurt about third-party mods. Their DLCs and all that will sell, since it's made by the official devs with excellent tools. They're human too and so are we. We drool over whatever upcoming products the devs release.

 

In fact, a large number of devs usually started out as hackers, modders, etc. Everyone modder shows potential for officially working in the industry. This is true for several people within the Doom community, who went onto Valve, Activision, etc.

 

Mods are also another form of advertising. If you want to play a mod, you have to get the game first, which means more profit to the devs and publishers. 

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48 minutes ago, Voros said:

Personally, I don't think the devs would become that butthurt about third-party mods. Their DLCs and all that will sell, since it's made by the official devs with excellent tools. They're human too and so are we. We drool over whatever upcoming products the devs release.

 

 

But the thing is though, a lot of modders also have great tools and talent. Lots of mods are actually better than much of the often mediocre DLC that devs make.

 

48 minutes ago, Voros said:

In fact, a large number of devs usually started out as hackers, modders, etc. Everyone modder shows potential for officially working in the industry. This is true for several people within the Doom community, who went onto Valve, Activision, etc.

 

True but I'm not sure how much of that matters in this case. You think those are the people calling the big shots in the industry?

 

48 minutes ago, Voros said:

Mods are also another form of advertising. If you want to play a mod, you have to get the game first, which means more profit to the devs and publishers. 

 

As if they need mods to market their games. They have huge marketing budgets and also get lots of free PR in the form of youtube let's plays. 

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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I don't think hardcore_gamer is implying that modding is illegal or restricted, rather being concerned that it could head almost imperceptibly in that direction in the future.  There are many areas in life where rules are being progressively tightened on risk averse grounds, including some areas of copyright.  Some years back, I had a very similar fear that the big publishers would see third party mods as competition for paid DLC.  However, that fear has receded recently due to the rise of digital distribution combined with the points that Vorus made above.

 

I don't think the DOOM 2016 situation is evidence of this- the reason why it doesn't support modding is mainly down to the mod-unfriendly format of the textures.  SnapMap has been a pioneering effort which has shown potential but proved too limited, but the likes of id and Bethesda can learn from this and come out with something more versatile next time around.  Similarly the Bethesda creation kit is designed to support modding as well as micro-transactions.

Edited by ENEMY!!!

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5 minutes ago, ENEMY!!! said:

I don't think the DOOM 2016 situation is evidence of this- the reason why it doesn't support modding is mainly down to the mod-unfriendly format of the textures.

 

This is actually an interesting topic. How much sense does it even make to make your modern game moddable now anyway? Look at Doom modding Vs Quake modding (well ok, Quake is a bad example since it has tons of mods, but still fewer than Doom), and then look at Quake modding vs Doom 3 modding. As games become more complex the effort and technical skills needed grow, and we are now at a point where most people just won't even bother.

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2 minutes and 53 seconds, precisely, starting from the moment you read this.

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18 minutes ago, Gez said:

2 minutes and 53 seconds, precisely, starting from the moment you read this.

Not sure I understand.

 

EDIT: Ah, I get it now lol.

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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3 hours ago, Edward850 said:

That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.

You are beautiful.

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1 hour ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

This is actually an interesting topic. How much sense does it even make to make your modern game moddable now anyway? Look at Doom modding Vs Quake modding (well ok, Quake is a bad example since it has tons of mods, but still fewer than Doom), and then look at Quake modding vs Doom 3 modding. As games become more complex the effort and technical skills needed grow, and we are now at a point where most people just won't even bother.

 

I think this is the case far more than publishers preventing it. While some big budget games support modding (e.g. GTA V, ARMA) many modern games are just too huge and too complex for an amateur modder to be able to make much headway. 

 

The flip side too is tools like Unity and UE are now user friendly enough that if someone has a great idea for something it's easier than ever to just make it themselves. That's why modern breakout hits like Player Unknown's Battlegrounds are stand alone games whereas 15 years ago it would have likely been a mod for something else.

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1 hour ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

This is actually an interesting topic. How much sense does it even make to make your modern game moddable now anyway? Look at Doom modding Vs Quake modding (well ok, Quake is a bad example since it has tons of mods, but still fewer than Doom), and then look at Quake modding vs Doom 3 modding. As games become more complex the effort and technical skills needed grow, and we are now at a point where most people just won't even bother.

 

It's now looped around to the other side, where Doom 4 has snap map, and games like Fallout have the G.E.C.K that is like snap map and you can set up events, lighting, an overworld, etc. the ease of modability is never the question if dedicated souls want to put an effort into making GUI editors for others to use. Pixels used to be forced onto the screen but with the advent of 3d graphics cards, increases in memory etc. every new level of technology brought so many things to the table for game design, the small dev houses of the early 80's and 90's couldn't keep up.

 

The tasty topics like on-disc DLC have arisen from gaming becoming mainstream and a business, imagine if Marvel charged an extra 25 cents to unlock an extra chapter at the end of a comic book you bought at the pharmacy back in the day. There are many articles in gaming magazines about this topic in the early to mid 90's when folks could see the train coming down the tunnel. It doesn't have to be a bad thing, the creator of the game "Shadow of the Colossus" and "The Last Guardian", when questioned about the idea of games as art or product, said that they have to be more of a business idea or they will not sell copies. This from the guy who made Ico essentially by himself and a small team. It's a very heated topic and difficult to see all sides of at once...

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Game mods allow publishing companies to profit off of the unpaid work of their fans, whose creations extend the shelf life of their games. For that reason alone, game mods probably are not going anywhere.

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On 10/7/2017 at 11:12 PM, esselfortium said:

Game mods allow publishing companies to profit off of the unpaid work of their fans, whose creations extend the shelf life of their games. For that reason alone, game mods probably are not going anywhere.

 

They could though, in theory, no one at apogee makes any money from the Wolfenstein 3d mods that are still being made, for example. You hear about musicians getting small royalties whenever their song is played, why can't video games or other art be in the same realm of finance? The more technical loopholes people have to jump through to publish mods discourages community and doomworld is proof that things are generally best left to their own devices, as far as "user content community" goes.

 

 

Edited by reflex17

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I actually think modding has INCREASED over the years.

 

Skyrim

Witcher Series

GTA

Fallout

 

just to name a few recent games known for mods.

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Um what about the contentious increasing mod support that is call Steam Workshop that supports a LOT of games.

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58 minutes ago, Philnemba said:

Um what about the contentious increasing mod support that is call Steam Workshop that supports a LOT of games.

add nexusmods to the list too.

and moddb.

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On 07/10/2017 at 6:24 PM, hardcore_gamer said:

The complete lack of modding in Doom, Bethesda's creation club and just DLC and micro-transactions in general worry me. In the past game mods weren't considered a threat to the publishers/owners of the games because they did not see them as being in competition with their own (generally better) expansion packs and sequels. But now in the era of paid DLC and micro-transactions, developers are actually selling stuff that in the past could as well have been a simple mod. And this makes me wonder...how long until publishers just drop any attempt at giving a shit about modders and just flat out ban modding for their games so that free game mods won't be able to compete with their DLC and micro-transactions? I know this has already happened to a degree, but how long until it becomes industry standard? 

Considering we've went from buying game discs in stores to buying a box with a download code on a piece of paper I'd say the chances are pretty high.

 

Sad.

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2 hours ago, MINDustry said:

Considering we've went from buying game discs in stores to buying a box with a download code on a piece of paper I'd say the chances are pretty high.

 

Sad.

  1. Can you please tell us how these two things correlate? Logic dictates that the distribution format changes nothing the moment the files are on your hard-drive.
  2. Last game I bought in store had a disc. That was DOOM'16, by the way.
Edited by Edward850
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3 hours ago, Edward850 said:
  1. Last game I bought in store had a disc. That was DOOM'16, by the way.

Yes, but dind't this contain only a fraction of the game's content?

In any case, the problem is not the distribution format but the invasive DRM that's being employed to 'protect' the game's content. One has to wonder what will happen if the creators declare some game obsolete and discontinue DRM management which would effectivlely render the game unplayable.

 

Sloppy implementation nonwithstanding, which may create compatibility issues with more recent hardware and OSs, games from 15-20 years are generally still playable without too much of a hassle. Wanna bet that 20 years down the line today's games will just be digital garbage?

 

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1 hour ago, Graf Zahl said:

Yes, but dind't this contain only a fraction of the game's content?

Well seeing as it was only a DVD, and the game is at least 60GB, that kind of answers your question. Unless PC users start adopting Bluray drives overnight, this is a trend that will ultimately continue, and in fact may reverse as PC users have increasingly started to not get any sort of optical drive at all.

But yes, ultimately has nothing ever to do with modding.

 

1 hour ago, Graf Zahl said:

Wanna bet that 20 years down the line today's games will just be digital garbage?

Sans some rather specific "AAA" developers, i.e EA*, I'm not seeing this as being likely, and probably even the reverse due to the stricter requirements of upholding SDK specifications. Most of the compatibility problems with older software was either ring-0 access or undefined SDK behavior, so as long as that continues to decline, backward compatibility should be improving. The DRM specifically keeps getting patched out in a number of games, and there's been a few cases where even services have been patched out, with some games replace GFWL with Steam as a notable example. It's easy to speak Doom an Gloom but there's been a few cases where publishers would actually go back and make sure the game can keep running, outside of multiplayer titles.

 

*And only because of online services, need I point out Crysis 2's multiplayer which lasted all of 2 years I believe because they couldn't be bothered replacing GameSpy. The rest of the game is still playable, but yikes. Weirdly enough Bungie even went back and updated Halo1 to replace the Gamespy Master server with their own, and even patched in fixes for modern GPUs.

Edited by Edward850
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On 10/8/2017 at 2:12 AM, Edward850 said:

That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. There is nothing illegal or restricted about modding games, and nothing you have said has anything to do with how modding functions.

 

Not true, many games used to have (and some still have) pretty stringent clauses in their EULAs about prohibiting "derivative works", "modified versions" etc. and especially distribution of the latter, for free or (especially prohibited) for a fee, regardless of how easy or difficult it was to mod them. Now, in an age where such modding would almost certainly have to go through .EXE or ROM hacking at one point or another, the prohibition made more sense if you thought it in terms of fighting piracy and cracking, which were the true targets of such prohibitions.

 

OK, the devs/distributors of a non-moddable or mod-unfriendly game might be perceived as "uncool" today, but that wasn't always the case, and it's still the norm on game consoles.

Edited by Maes

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I really REALLY wish there was modding and real map making for Doom 16.  Snap Map only gets us so far.

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I thought we finally got PC capable enough to handle Megatextures without issues seeing most of the issues present ingame in RAGE have been eliminated, But looks like I was wrong, It's just slightly wider draw distance, wonder why they don't give us custom build with traditional texturing support.

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Well, when the details of the engine go into the public domain, it shouldn't be long until "generic" editors appear, if the asset format is common between major games that use it. But there won't be any simple "snap & map" frills there, and not everyone is attracted to the idea of mapping polygon by polygon...

 

If you think about it, that's exactly how Doom mapping started, but the engine and map geometry was simple enough that nearly everyone gave it a go. But how many of those mappers made the jump to e.g. Quake after that? That additional third dimension and nearly unlimited freedom can really be too much. It either kills creativity, or even stunts it at birth.

Edited by Maes

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43 minutes ago, Maes said:

That additional third dimension and nearly unlimited freedom can really be too much. It either kills creativity, or even stunts it at birth.

 

How does unlimited freedom kill creativity :/

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1 hour ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

How does unlimited freedom kill creativity :/

There’s only so many E1M1 remakes you can tolerate. :\

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1 hour ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

How does unlimited freedom kill creativity :/

By overwhelming the mapper with so many possibilities, that only the truly determined or talented manage to push on. And also by taking away any "crutches" offered by simpler or more beginner-friendly tools.

 

Happens a lot in other sectors, really: A/V production, sports, hobbies, cars, etc. where the "pro" gear is, yes, more capable, but also not for everyone.

Edited by Maes

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30 minutes ago, Maes said:

By overwhelming the mapper with so many possibilities, that only the truly determined or talented manage to push on. And also by taking away any "crutches" offered by simpler or more beginner-friendly tools.

 

Happens a lot in other sectors, really: A/V production, sports, hobbies, cars, etc. where the "pro" gear is, yes, more capable, but also not for everyone.

A fair point. I also think a part of the reason might be that making "realistic" levels is much harder than making abstract ones such as the ones in Doom. In Doom you can literally make an empty room with a few things in it and call it a day and it might actually look ok. But for 3D games such as Quake, Half-life and Doom 3 an actual effort to make the level look more real has to be made, and it makes everything so much more complex and hard to do. Doom 3 is probably the best example, but making a decent looking level for half-life or Quake is no walk in the park either.

Edited by hardcore_gamer
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Source, Unreal 4, and Unity, those are also 3D Engines with full 3D Geometry and people still make levels for it, It's not because of the added dimension, and Doom 3 is an unfair comparison, it's motivation, Just needs proper mod support with a more traditional texturing.

Edited by dmg_64
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