Mod News: Dead Mods

By Lewis Denby on April 6th, 2011 at 9:37 am.

News! About mods!
Since reading it last night, I’ve been thinking a lot about a particular blog post. Specifically, one by Robert Yang, with the rather controversial statement that modding is dying – and that this is a good thing. It’s linked at the bottom of this post, and it’s got me thinking about what mods can offer that fully-fledged indie games can’t. Is there anything? Help me out in my thinkings, people, but first: read on for all the latest news from the mod scene.

NEWS

So, there’s a whole bunch of stuff going on at the Bloodlines Resurgence HQ. Resurgence, you may remember, is a community effort to port Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (which, now that it’s patched and ignoring the ending, is the greatest PC game ever made) to the latest build of the Source Engine. New info, videos and screenshots await beyond this link, along with an apparently bug-ridden demo. Despite those glitches, it’s looking lovely.

Meanwhile, Far Cry: Alternative is – you guessed it – an alternative to the original game. There’s a new story, a heap of graphical improvements, and a load of new cutscenes and scripted sequences. Very little to go on so far, save for a very quick pair of videos, but I’ll keep my eye on this, as it looks quite pretty.

MERP, the Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project, continues onwards. This ambitious mod for Oblivion attempts to turn it into The Lord of the Rings, offering an open-world adventure filled with Elves, Hobbits and Dwarves. There are countless (well, lots, anyway) new images, videos and pieces of music for your perusal over on the team’s latest ModDB news post.

FUEL: Refueled came out last week. And now, the team has announced a Lite version. What this basically means is all of the bigfixes and patchy goodness of Refueled, but without any of the actual new stuff the team added. So if you just want the original game, but a better version of it, this will be your one-stop shop.

Also, there are a couple of new screenshots of Half-Life 2 single-player mod The Gate 2. This one seems to be looking a little bit healthier each time I see new media from it, which is promising. This one’s been in development for a while, but there’s no release date yet.

And finally, there’s been some news about part two of unusual Crysis mod The Worry of Newport. Which, I think, I may have managed to miss when it was apparently released in February. But anyway. Find out some bits and bats about the second part of this story over on ModDB.

RELEASES

Has there been anything interesting released in the past seven days? I haven’t seen anything mentioned on any of my usual voyages around the mod spaces of the internet. Maybe I’m just dreadful.

UPDATES

Lots of new Blade Symphony stuff this week, with beta build 6 having been released. Looks like it’s not too late to get in on the beta, either. This time, the HL2 mod team have introduced a currency system, as well as tweaking a bunch of stuff that was already there. Check out all the latest talkings on ModDB.

AND THE REST
So, yes. Robert “Radiator” Yang has been a-writin’. Specifically, he’s been writing about why modding is dying – and why this is a good thing. The crux of the argument: mods emerged because it was too difficult to make your own game from scratch. Now that Unity, UDK and the like exist, it isn’t, so mods are increasingly irrelevant. Some astute points, well argued, and some great food for thought.

‘Til next week, pretties.

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61 Comments »

  1. JackShandy says:

    I’d say that modding games gives you a great framework to build off and experiment with in a way that unity and other easy game-making software doesn’t. I also never want to see the demise of the kind of mods that just make games better than they were at release. Haven’t read the article though – might do that and then come back.

  2. Dominic White says:

    Modding as a framework for building a whole new game? Yeah, that’s on the way out. Stuff like FUEL: Refueled highlight why traditional modding is still important, though. Some games need changes, and when developers are unable/unwilling to do so, mods step up.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      This. TCs are dead; going the way of the dodo thanks to the increased graphical requirements of Source and upwards. I’m surprised it comes as a surprise to anyone, really. :(

    • Dominic White says:

      Why is the death of TCs-as-mods a bad thing, though? Look at the rise of incredibly polished UDK standalone titles like Sanctum, the Ball, AFF: Planetstorm and such. They can be released independently, either as freeware (much more widely accessible than a mod) or as a commercial release (impossible as a mod). Far as I can see, everyone wins.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Dominic: well, apart from the people foolishly still working on TCs, of course.

      If anything, it’s a bad thing because it’s one less medium for non-professional developers to create games in.

    • dsi1 says:

      TCs aren’t dead, one game: Mechwarrior Living Legends. If MWLL tried to go indie with UDK or Unity or anything else they’d get shutdown and/or swallowed up in lawsuits surrounding Mechwarrior in general.

      Not to mention that if you create a TC on, for instance, Source, you can tap a huge community of players who already own a Source game. IndieDB is a step in the right direction, as well as Desura, but I still only visit ModDB and only use Desura as ‘Steam for mods’.

  3. StingingVelvet says:

    I completely agree with Yang. I want to see top-notch indie projects made on things like the UDK, and the lure of actual payment should keep some great projects on track to actually release as well as being higher in quality.

    That said I do love modding in the sense of updating classic games to look better and play better on modern machines, and I hope that aspect of modding never goes away.

  4. Fwiffo says:

    The mod as a total conversion is dying, yes. The mod as a means to customise and improve a game is still very much alive. The smaller mods as seen for the STALKER series or Bethesda’s RPGs are released daily and are downloaded sometimes by the hundred thousand by canny PC gamers looking to alter graphics or mechanics to suit them.

    I like it that way to be honest. It leads to people personalising their games and – if the developer is astute – community inspired improvements in the base game or its sequels.

  5. Dominic White says:

    I’d just like to chip in and say that there really is no reason for a ‘lite’ version of FUEL: Refueled to exist. That game was pretty broken at launch, and anyone enough of a hardcore purist (if such a thing exists, regarding FUEL) enough to want to retain everything from the original release is probably best off just not playing a mod at all.

    It’s a pretty great game with the Refueled mod, and only $10 on Steam. The mod also works on the demo, so you can try it for free!

    • Stompywitch says:

      My issue is that the latest Refueled crashes on startup :(

      Which is a pity, because I really liked vanilla FUEL, and I’d love to play the fixed up version.

  6. Hides-His-Eyes says:

    Take something like Project Reality for BF2: they could have developped it from scratch, sure. But instead they’ve had a tight community of players for what, 5 years? They’re still not at v1 of the MOD, but they have this massive community.

    • evilbobthebob says:

      I agree. Community: that is the most important thing for modding. A AAA title already HAS a community, people who own the game, and people who want to play the same game but with changes/improvements. If you set out making a new indie game on a new IP, you always have an uphill struggle to get recognised by players. This is obviously significantly more important for multiplayer mods which require a community to function.

      Total conversion mods are certainly on the decline, but I suspect that is due to many new games not having the correct tools for such projects or just opaque engines, and old game engines not being graphically interesting enough to grab a new generation of modders.

  7. kit89 says:

    Death of modding? I don’t believe so. As with everything it takes new shapes and moves to other products. Many stand-alone games on the computer started off as Mods and simply evolved. Some modders moved to another platform, PS3 : LBP and ModNation Racer come to mind.

    The bare foundations of what makes Modding, Modding has not changed, only the where, what, and how, one can mod has.

    kit89.

  8. reticulate says:

    I think mods still play a specific and vital service to gamers – they can fix games that are broken, and more than this improve them.

    Look at just about anything by Bethesda, as an example. Or Simcity, even – which is long in the tooth and still sees a healthy mod scene.

    As long as the tools are provided, budding developers will play around with things and possibly release them on the internets for others to enjoy. Sure, an indie team can probably get better results from Unity or UDK or similar; but it seems Robert is focussed more on the total conversion scene which is a completely different kettle of fish.

  9. MrEvilGuy says:

    Robert Yang’s argument can also be applied to “modding” in the sense of “moderators” on internet forums and the like.

    Okay, so: Before, there wasn’t really anything. So, we modded.

    There were just a few automatic bots filterers and moderators, but no widespread adoption because they sucked. Want to lock that disturbing thread? Lock it yourself!… So, we modded!

    Modding has changed the face of the internet forums, but we only know that in hindsight.

    Now, everything has changed.

    There are new, powerful machines who moderate not just internet forums anymore, but also all sorts of interactive sites like Wikipedia.

    In this sense, modding is dead… because we don’t need individual discretion on a case-to-case basis anymore. We’re now “conformed” into what is accepted as appropriate behaviour depending on the specific website and targeted audience.

    There will still be many human moderators, of course, but they are definitely no longer the center of innovative “ban” practice by non-professionals.

    What grows from the charred corpse of human moderators? Trolls.

  10. bogeymanuk says:

    Mods are one of the main reasons I recommend PC gaming over console gaming to my friends. There are games I would have given up on long ago if it wasn’t for modding. My playtime on Diablo 2, Torchlight,Titan Quest,CnC games, Total Annihilation, Stalker, Dawn of War 2 and many more has been enhanced and lengthened considerably (why does that phrase remind me of spam emails?)
    Maybe with easier development tools we will see the death of total conversion mods, but I hope the tweaks, fixes and improvements the awesome modding community comes up with live on.

  11. Srekel says:

    Modding is an incredibly powerful way to make games. If you try and learn the UDK it’ll be a long time until you get where you want to be. There’s a shit-ton to learn.

    I’ve got some 10-20 small to medium sized finished hobby projects made in various languages and with various game libraries. A couple of months ago I felt like trying out learning Starcraft 2 modding. From basically scratch (I’d read/watched a couple of tutorials before) I was able to produce a new game in not much more than ten hours. Obviously, it’s still Starcraft, and obviously it’s quite limited, but I did create a new map, introduce a core game mechanic, add a cutscene/tutorial, win/lose conditions, etc. Very, very powerful. And quite fun.

    On a sort of side note, I’m not sure if UDK is such a good toolkit for new teams trying to make a game. First Steam takes 30%, then Epic takes what, 30%, so you’re left with much less. Especially if you also have a publisher which will also take something like that. (please correct me if I’m wrong). (not saying having a publisher is not worth it)

  12. Cael says:

    I disagree with his entire post, mods aren’t dying out. Modding a game gives you access to all the art and sound resources of the game to use, freeware engines cannot compete with that. Even total conversions still make use the underlying games assets. It’s true that now it’s possible for modders to go professional, but they will be the exception, not the rule.

    Plus there’s always going to be the need for modders to improve the core game mechanics. There are a lot of mods that make good games into phenomenal ones; the mods for bethesda’s games and the stalker series come to mind.

    There’s always going to be a demand to update older games to look better and run on newer hardware.

    If modding dies it will be because of developers who refuse to make/release mod tools for their games.

  13. Nostromo says:

    I wonder where the hell is Black Mesa!

  14. Mman says:

    I think modding is dying in a sense, but not for the reason given in this article; the thing is that modding for newer games is so prohibitively complex that it’s incredibly hard for a lone-developer, or even a few, to make anything unless they’re talented or/and dedicated to an absurd degree. In that sense, stuff like Unity IS taking over simply because at this point it’s pretty much easier to make everything from the ground up with simpler assets (not to say that it’s the slightest bit easy overall) than it is to do it for a new engine where even the smallest of details are expected to have thousands of polygons and similar.

    Modding is still plenty alive (more alive than most newer game’s modding communities) on older games where this isn’t an issue. The fact that mods to tweak and modify base visuals, or add small amounts of content, are still popular on newer games also provides proof, as that is relatively easier than building stuff from the ground up, even if it can still be challenging. I think there’s a decent chance some sort of revolution in asset creation will pop-up that changes this at some point, whether it’s sooner or later.

  15. Alexander Norris says:

    Incidentally, without wanting to be a shill, if people are interested, I could provide some Blade Symphony beta codes for RPSites. I’ve been holding off making a forum thread since it’s still a closed beta, but if people are interested I’ll throw something up.

  16. Olero says:

    Heh, modding is as alive as it ever was! And the total conversions mods have never been the main part of the mod-scene as far as I can remember. Most “conversion” mods didn’t change a game completely, but merely the graphics, weapons or models. True total conversion mods were, are and will be a very small part of modding; the greater part will be mods that add new guns, characters, update graphics, fix numerous bugs, improve AI etc. And that side of modding is very much alive (see the Fallout, Oblivion and Dragon Age nexus for example, or Jagged Alliance v1.13), and hopefully will be for the rest of my gaming life :)

    I’m very interested in the Vampire mod by the way; seems really could be my chance to finally play Bloodlines and even with great graphics!

  17. Quirk says:

    I’m a Unity developer. Used to work in other 3D engines. Unity isn’t particularly easier to work with, and sure as hell isn’t the first engine to have a physics package. You still need to create the content, write the code. You still want to be writing it in C#, because trying to maintain large projects written solely in JavaScript is a fast track to madness. You don’t get the mod savings of already created content, large chunks of functioning code. You have to write your own AI, for instance.

    Yang’s assertion, in fact, makes no sense. If modding had waned five years ago, he could have said exactly the same things about Flash, with every bit as much or little justice to them. The tools have little or nothing to do with the current indie movement, with the possible exception of Game Maker. I could quibble some about his choice of examples, too – I wouldn’t have regarded QWOP or Tale of Tales as particularly influential (the latter might be a good example of how not to do art in games, I guess).

    If we’re looking for causes for the indie explosion, I’d be tempted to look more at the shift to digital downloads, the caution in dealing with the PC from big game development studios and yes, the publicity small studios can get. It’s possible that people who would have made a mod in years gone by see small projects succeeding and getting wide acclaim and are inspired to greater ambition as a result. But claiming it’s all a result of Unity and UDK, when pretty much nothing major has been done with them as yet? Claiming that tools are getting easier and easier to use and soon everyone will be making games? Yang’s a fantasist, and probably shouldn’t be taken as a reliable source on anything technical.

    • Quirk says:

      I should clarify a little – Unity makes it possible to get a “Hello World” type app showing a box or whatever up and running with less knowledge of code than you’d require for Ogre, say.

      To do anything much more serious than that still requires knowing how to code, and content still needs made from scratch. The effort to make an actual game is still what it was, it’s just that the shiny 3D window and lure of JavaScript make it look more straightforward to the total novice, or the poorly informed writer.

    • Archonsod says:

      It’s not so much the tools getting easier as the parity between the tools. I mean what you just said could equally be applied to say Civ; it’s easy to tweak a few variables without any coding knowledge, but if you want to do anything more complicated than that you need to understand Python. In effect, we’re approaching the point where if you intend to do much more than tweaking you’re required to have a similar skillset to what you’d need for Unity. And that being the case there’s no good reason not to go down the Unity route; you lose the pre-existing assets you were unlikely to be using anyway and in return have the option of going commercial without treading on anyone’s copyright claims.

    • Robert Yang says:

      Quirk: You’re still making this distinction between what’s “serious” and what’s “not a real game.” That strikes me as kind of elitist.

      In fact, a lot of the attitude here is elitist. “UDK games aren’t real games, they’re just mods.”

      I define mods as this: whether you need another game installed in order to play it. That’s it.

      And it makes all the difference. That’s why The Dark Mod has such a small player base when it should be exploding. That’s why no one plays those great Crysis mods. The benefits of having an asset library and code base are getting outstripped by the difficulty and hassle of getting a mod running.

    • Quirk says:

      @Robert Yang:

      “Hello World” is not a game. When I say “more serious than that” referring to Hello World and its ilk… well, I struggle to see what interpretation you’re putting on my words.

      Let me condense my points, in case my verbiage confused you:

      None of the indie games you cite as examples of this bold new age of indie are written in Unity and UDK. Citing Unity and UDK as causes of the indie boom seems flawed.

      Unity has a shiny front end. It does not save a game developer much in the way of work over using existing 3D engines and indeed if you’re ambitious can even hold you back. It has the same problem as they do vis-a-vis mods: a lack of pre-written game logic and no already provided art assets or interface. It does not replace mods, and it is not easier to write your grand game idea in Unity than it is to do it as a mod unless the mod in question is an incredibly ill fit to the original game.

      At no point have I compared the seriousness of mods and games.

    • dsi1 says:

      No one plays (though that in itself is an exaggeration) Crysis mods because no one could play Crysis, and now that they can, ‘better’ (newer) games are out.

      Have you heard of Desura yet? You should check it out, essentially Steam for mods, though it has Indie games as well.

  18. RagingLion says:

    Reading Yang’s blog post he’s mainly suggesting there be a changing of emphasis and visibility in mods compared to indie standalone games. That sounds quite possible, so fair enough.

    As for me, I decided I’d start designing a small game for the first time a little while ago (still 2 years out at a guess) and am planning on doing it as a Source mod. The reason is that I’m no artist and I wanted to keep the production of new assets down to a minimum which can best be achieved by using the Source engine art and sound assets. It helps that those assets will fit for my setting so I don’t need to worry about that issue.

    So that’s the reason. It means I can just focus on the interesting design, scripting, narrative stuff which I can more easily be adept at.

  19. Navagon says:

    Total conversions are pretty pointless now people can just use the Unreal Engine for free (until they start making a profit from it at least). But mods that expand and improve the game will hopefully live on. If nothing else they serve as an entry point for those who are not keen on creating a new project from scratch. Titles like Bethesda’s pretty much need mods.

  20. MadTinkerer says:

    If you’re deciding whether to do a mod or a from-scratch-with-someone’s-engine-Indie game, mods still have a few HUGE advantages over Unity and the rest:

    1) If you want to make a short fan-fiction style game set in the same universe, you already have tools designed to do that right there (unless it’s a game where the devs foolishly have not released any editors or modding tools). If you want to avoid continuity conflicts but want the story to be something very similar in style, again, your favorite moddable game is a good starting point.

    2) Whichever game you choose to mod, by definition it comes with all of the in-game assets already. If your game would need a whole bunch of zombie models, consider making it a Left4Dead mod or one of the other zombie themed games. If your game is a fantasy RPG, consider making an Oblivion mod.

    3) Whichever game you choose to mod, it starts out extremely focused: Starcraft 2 is good for RTS (though the editors are ridiculously versatile, even more than with previous Blizzard RTSs), the Civ games are good for empire building, and Source is good for Half Life fan fiction. No need to buy books on game physics programming and rack your brain for months to try to make something like a portal gun when you can just say “Start a new Single Player Orange Box Engine Mod and I want portals enabled.” to the Source SDK. So if you only want to deviate from a formula a little bit (or not at all), then mods are better than starting from scratch.

    In short: it really depends on how much work it takes to make something as a mod vs. making it from scratch on a multi-purpose engine. For example, I was only half joking about HL fan-fiction: if you really want to do that, it’s simply best to use Source rather than trying to recreate all the HL2 assets in Unity. If your idea has nothing to do with any existing franchise and would require making a bunch of assets from scratch even if you did start a mod, then you should consider a multi-purpose engine.

  21. dragonhunter21 says:

    Was I the only one that saw this article and went “Ooh, something by the Radiator guy. Maybe I should check his blog for news about Radiator?”

  22. torchedEARTH says:

    Modding is still one of the best ways for someone to showcase their work if they want to work in the games industry. Either solo or as a team.

    Have you seen the Minecraft release mods forum?

  23. Nameless1 says:

    Thanks, I always appreciate these articles…bloodlines resurgence is a really pleasant dream, I hope they’ll succeed in their epic struggle also because it would open A LOT more option to (easily) mod the main game

  24. Nippur_de_Lagash says:

    Of course there’s the modding to improve/unlock things that developers didn’t bother to do. These recent examples come to mind:

    RE5 Split Screen:
    http://z6.invisionfree.com/Resident_Evil_4_PC/index.php?showtopic=16219

    RE5 Versus Mode:
    http://z6.invisionfree.com/Resident_Evil_4_PC/index.php?showtopic=14728

    P.S: In fact this article just gave me an excuse to comment for the first time and share this with you guys!

  25. Simon Hawthorne says:

    What’s the difference between Mods and other User-Generated Content (e.g. maps, etc)? As far as I can see, things like the new maps for Super Meat Boy increase the value of the game and aren’t dying.

    Also:
    Minecraft is one big mod kit. Discuss.

  26. Basilicus says:

    Modding is dead.*

    *Until Skyrim comes out.

  27. Dreamhacker says:

    Sounds like “Radiator” should step down from his ivory tower and actually bother to take a look at the mod-verse before he jumps to conclusions…

    • Lewis Denby says:

      You do realise that Robert Yang is one of the most prolific and central members of the mod scene, right?

    • DrGonzo says:

      I wouldn’t say he is prolific. He writes a whole lot, and has some kind of sense of artiness about his work. But I would say his work just screams “Take me seriously! I’m art!” to a point where it’s just up it’s own arse.

  28. Lusit says:

    As for mods coming out, Tomerk released a new water shader for Oblivion which uses OBGEv2 and is completely revamped. It adds 3D water waves dynamically generated (featured prominently in Morrowind Graphics Extender), and is quite beautiful. OBGEv2 is quite the thing.

  29. Stardog says:

    TC mods are on life support. Addon mods have never been more popular… I would credit this to Oblivion/Fallout/Stalker.

  30. Dervish says:

    TCs have always been rare, though. How many mods can you think of that you would call “total conversions” for Half-Life? I can easily think of a dozen great mods that changed the game significantly, but only a couple that I think truly qualify as TCs.

  31. MrTambourineMan says:

    I still see content made in UDK or any opensourced IdTech engines etc. basically as mods (even though they technically ain’t they’re made by pretty much the same community). We could even argue that doing game in UDK actually IS modding, since you don’t have access to source code and whatnot.

  32. Olivaw says:

    I don’t think that mods as total conversions will ever really go away, or that just because there is the promise of money at the end of the rainbow that this will somehow encourage mod teams to stick together and finish a better quality product.

    Look at Painkiller: Overdose. That was a mod, then it got bought up by the publisher of Painkiller and put out as an expansion pack halfway through development. Good for them, except their game was fucking dreadful.

    It doesn’t matter whether you’re working for free or getting paid, or working on a new engine or an old one. What matters is that you are talented, and that you can put out a quality product.

  33. Om says:

    Um… wow. This is the first time I’ve heard of UDK or Unity. Just how easy are they to learn/use? Or would I be better off simply learning python and coding a new engine from the ground up?

    Edit: Loving the Gogol reference as well. If its nothing to do with Gogol then I can at least be happy that people know that I know Gogol. And hate me for it

    • Quirk says:

      You wouldn’t write a 3D engine in Python. And no, it is not worth writing your own 3D engine and has not been for well over a decade.

      You’d be best advised to learn some C# or C++. The first will give you access to Unity, though you will need to learn some of Unity’s quirks specifically; the second will give you access to a very wide array of game engines including Ogre3D, the free engine Torchlight was written in.

      Depending on what you’re looking at doing UDK may be an option as well, but that requires learning a proprietary script which is a less transferable skill to other things.

      Pretty much no matter what you do, you’ll need to learn how to code.

      If you’re willing to sacrifice 3D, Game Maker has been responsible for a few interesting things including Spelunky, and I believe that it’s somewhat simpler to get to grips with.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      3D is quite complicated, regardless of the language. OGRE is fantastic if you’re an OO person, and if you like Python too:

      http://python-ogre.org/

      But still. 3D is hard. You need lots of art resources, they need to be in the right format, you have to deal with a ton of non-obvious details. You have to know at least a bit of linear algebra. Blah blah etc etc. Which is why I recommend Pygame:

      http://pygame.org/

      It’s dead simple, and since it’s just a wrapper over SDL, you can build just about anything you can imagine in 2D. And it’s a *lot* easier to find half-decent placeholder art in 2D.

    • Ricc says:

      I feel like XNA deserves an honorable mention here. You will have to use C#, but the learning curve is rather low afaik. You are restricted to Microsoft’s platforms, but porting between them is also supposed to be a simple process.

  34. Derpentine says:

    Totally haven’t read any posts and or articles. However I have worked on a number of mods (currently only The Dark Mod) and a few mod-esque projects like Exult, Pentagram and OpenMW. The reason I enjoy these projects so much is that it’s a homage to the developers of great games and to the community which form around them (the ones that care, not the current fanboy jizzerthons). Even if you are only using the engine, its most likely an engine that’s unique because it’s been crafted for a single game or because of the great assets. This link to pre-req quality means that your project also has a far higher chance of surviving “Absent Leader” and “Poisonous People”.

    Games based on the UDK are all very well, they’re similar to mods and whatever else… but in my book a lot of them are simply trying too hard, attention seeking “hire me” posts, tryhard ~look at my indy cred~ devs are pretty annoying, once all is said and done they are absorbed into the machine and form no homage. Ogre and Unity etc are just the same as any software project, almost certainly to look terrible, play badly if they’re one of the 20% that even reach a state of playability… sure it might be a personal project, but at least be realistic. IF you can pull in help and IF you are strong willed, go wild.

    In the end : *hack* on what feels right – but make a cold, calculated and realistic effort that aligns to what you want to get out of it.

  35. werix says:

    I sure hope mods are not on the decline, because there would go the 25 page research paper on mods I’m writing in law school.

    I do agree that total conversions do appear to be on the decline. My fav. game playing memories involve total conversions like Desert Combat for BF:1942. Plus it was a lot of those older total conversion mods that got many a developer a job in the business.

    That being said, mods still can act as the same sort of “resume building” that the old total conversions can. Even if it just gets a teen making a mod to decide to go to the game design schools now taking hold, it has fulfilled an important purpose.

    Not to mention the added fun mods can add. Every few years I like going back to all my Bethesda RPGs to see the kinda mods made, and how drastically they can change the game.

  36. DOLBYdigital says:

    While I don’t think mods are ‘dying’ they are certainly declining in volume. I still think modding is one of the few areas of pure passion and hobby left in gaming. Its where talented people take a game they love and make something else out of it just for experience or the love/passion. Gaming started out as a hobby for passionate people to create games. Then it turned into a business and industry and we can see where that’s going, same direction as Hollywood.

    I am biased since I love the modding scene and hope it never dies. Its where I see true innovation and creativity being explored. Long live modding!!

  37. The Dark One says:

    I don’t agree with your take on Bloodline’s ending(s), Lewis. They tie in nicely with all the plotting and conniving going on throughout the game. I’ll admit that the levels leading up to the end are pretty awful, though.

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