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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    Indie games often do cost that much- Humble Indie Bundle.

    Are you suggesting that a game is better because it costs $60 ? The indie devs are fully entitled to charge such a big fraction if their game plays better than CoD. And that's a pretty low bar to hit. I'm talking about playing the game, not watching a movie.

    I'd much rather play Teleglitch, made by 3 people from Estonia, than another rollercoaster CoD, with bullshit voiceovers telling me shooting in a game is affected by air humidity, wind, and coriolis force.
    SO. MUCH. ATMOSPHERE.

    I was super impressed with the demo.

    Makes me nostalgic for the 90's too ;_;

  2. #62
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    So your entire point comes down to, "Because it's hard no one should be allowed to do it"? Is that it?
    ...
    No. Not really.


    As I have said repeatedly (so feel free to stop paying attention at this point. It might hurt your strawman): I like modding tools. But if I were a developer or a publisher, I wouldn't bother making them. Why? Because it costs money and they probably won't be used for all the reasons I have said repeatedly.


    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Exactly. Total conversions of the Doom/Duke3D days, or even extensive SP mapping projects, have somewhat died out lately. A lot of modding teams focus on MP play (due to the more limited art asset requirements I guess?) or stick to the smaller mods. It's a trend that's been going on for a while. Take a look at the modding scene for Half Life and then Half Life 2 (collectively since it was released). HL was thriving. Source modding never quite managed the same volume.
    Well, I think it was all the games released around that time. Since they all started to shift toward "If you build it, they will come" and relying on people to make their games playable for them. UT3 is probably just the worst example (and the last real mainstream game with a focus on mods that wasn't a TES game).
    Again, I totally agree :P but I guess part of that has to do with introducing new rendering methods that rely on more complex geometry being quicker to render as a static mesh than being made out of blocks. One thing that annoys me about Unity for example is that it pretty much demands that you make your level mesh in a 3D modelling app and import it. 3D modelling apps are atrocious at level designs, which seems ridiculous because fundamentally there's no big difference in terms of actually laying the basics out. Except that there's a ridiculous amount of effort that goes into making that mesh efficient, particularly if you use a texture atlas to reduce draw calls. It's a nightmare.
    Yeah, I love everything about Unity except for that aspect of it. But I don't think that will be as big of an issue for "kids these days" since they don't know any better :p




    And I think that's probably the more important point, even though when I suggest it I get shouted down. Why would people make mods these days? It's not a significant leap to work with a tool like Unity, especially when Unity is free up to a particular point. That way your audience is not limited to people who own the game, and you're not limited to the constraints of that game (or what the devs are willing to let you mod). Although there's less to start with, as you point out there's a lot of help around for it too. There's even a complete visual scripting solution (quite a few actually) so that you don't even have to learn to code so long as you can understand flowcharts. If you're going to go through the effort of making all those assets and significantly modifying a game, you might as well just work on your own game.
    Doesn't matter. If a game doesn't have mod support it is garbage and it is all the publishers being evil and we are stupid for thinking anything else :P

    To be fair, I think it is because we are "old farts" in terms of gaming. We remember the old days and we LIKED the mods for UT and the like. To us, "modding" still sounds like the world of wonderment it used to be and "making your own game" still sounds like learning DirectX or OpenGL. And it is hard to break away from that.


    Also: I think UE3 started introducing some form of visual scripting approach? I lost interest during UE2, but I recall reading about some cool stuff a while back with some form of scripting engine to make gametypes?
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  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Yeah, I love everything about Unity except for that aspect of it. But I don't think that will be as big of an issue for "kids these days" since they don't know any better :p
    Goddamn kids and their fancy Blenders and three-dee maxes. I mapped on graph paper and hand-typed sector coordinates!

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    To be fair, I think it is because we are "old farts" in terms of gaming. We remember the old days and we LIKED the mods for UT and the like. To us, "modding" still sounds like the world of wonderment it used to be and "making your own game" still sounds like learning DirectX or OpenGL. And it is hard to break away from that.
    Fair point I guess, the landscape certainly has changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Also: I think UE3 started introducing some form of visual scripting approach? I lost interest during UE2, but I recall reading about some cool stuff a while back with some form of scripting engine to make gametypes?
    Yeah Kismet came out with UE3, though I don't really know how far you can take it since I took one look at the pipeline for UE3 and put it in my too hard basket. I know you can do some simple things like control an elevator... so I think it's limited to level scripts rather than being a complete solution.

    For Unity probably one of the better ones is Playmaker and its FSM flowchart style. There's also a kind of Kismet-style one called UScript (how inventive!) but I have no idea if it's really any good. It does output directly to C# code though.

  4. #64
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    ...
    No. Not really.


    As I have said repeatedly (so feel free to stop paying attention at this point. It might hurt your strawman): I like modding tools. But if I were a developer or a publisher, I wouldn't bother making them. Why? Because it costs money and they probably won't be used for all the reasons I have said repeatedly.
    If they were being used at all then surely that's worth something. That's the beauty of mods in the first place - it's something someone else does for free in their own time. Of course there's going to be more crap than decent stuff, but that's just Sturgeon's Law at work. I can't imagine that it would cost that much more to make the tools available to people if you're already far enough in the game's development to be making them.

    Why take that option entirely off the table? Especially when it should be easier to use it considering how advanced the tools and users are these days? Why restrict something that does little, if any harm?
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  5. #65
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    If they were being used at all then surely that's worth something.
    Yes, it is worth something. The question is: Is it worth the added development costs? The added maintenance/support costs? The added QA costs?


    That's the beauty of mods in the first place - it's something someone else does for free in their own time. Of course there's going to be more crap than decent stuff, but that's just Sturgeon's Law at work. I can't imagine that it would cost that much more to make the tools available to people if you're already far enough in the game's development to be making them.
    Yes, the MODS are done "for free in their own time". The tools are done on the company dime.

    And again, the devs most likely AREN'T using "mod tools" to make stuff. Most likely they are either using proprietary stuff that came with the engine (that they probably can't release) or they bootstrapped something together that probably depends on multiple terminals/command lines open.

    And that is not even questioning the security aspect of it. "Proper" software engineering means you hide anything that is not absolutely required to complete the task. "Nobody" does proper software engineering :p. That is one of the reasons that so many security holes exist. Becuase a coder/developer realized they could save time by doing their "good enough". And when a tool is originally developed for internal use: You can be damned sure everyone is doing their "good enough"

    Why take that option entirely off the table? Especially when it should be easier to use it considering how advanced the tools and users are these days? Why restrict something that does little, if any harm?
    For the umpteenth time:
    Money and time. It costs money to develop tools that are even remotely user friendly. It costs time to develop said tools. It costs money to pay the QA team to search for bugs and what not. It takes time for them to search for bugs. It costs money to make sure you aren't making a huge security hole/releasing your multiplayer key generation algorithm to the public. It takes time to do that right. And it costs even MORE money and time to fix the bugs your QA team missed and to plug the security holes you ignored :p

    So the choices are: Spend all that money and time for something that most likely won't be used by any worthwhile percentage of the PC Gamers who purchase your game. Or spend it on something that WILL benefit everyone (all the platforms, all the gamers) and that you can control the quality of (for better or for worse).
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  6. #66
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Yes, it is worth something. The question is: Is it worth the added development costs? The added maintenance/support costs? The added QA costs?
    How much could those possibly be if the game is so far along in the development process they can make those tools?


    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    And again, the devs most likely AREN'T using "mod tools" to make stuff. Most likely they are either using proprietary stuff that came with the engine (that they probably can't release) or they bootstrapped something together that probably depends on multiple terminals/command lines open.
    I know that, that's why the mod tools don't let you make an entirely new retail game. That wasn't an issue I brought up. What I did bring up is how much time and money could making things like those cost considering the game is already near completion and everyone knows it inside an out?


    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    For the umpteenth time:
    Money and time. It costs money to develop tools that are even remotely user friendly. It costs time to develop said tools. It costs money to pay the QA team to search for bugs and what not. It takes time for them to search for bugs. It costs money to make sure you aren't making a huge security hole/releasing your multiplayer key generation algorithm to the public. It takes time to do that right. And it costs even MORE money and time to fix the bugs your QA team missed and to plug the security holes you ignored
    Again I ask, how much could that possibly be if the game's that far along? Is it really that much of a massive undertaking? Then why are lower-budget games more likely to include them since they have less money to work with? It's bizzaro-logic.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    So the choices are: Spend all that money and time for something that most likely won't be used by any worthwhile percentage of the PC Gamers who purchase your game. Or spend it on something that WILL benefit everyone (all the platforms, all the gamers) and that you can control the quality of (for better or for worse).
    Correction: Or spend it on something that will benefit only the publisher because you control every aspect of it and can sell new pieces of it someone else could have made cheaper.
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  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Yes, it is worth something. The question is: Is it worth the added development costs? The added maintenance/support costs? The added QA costs?

    What maintenance and support costs? Modding tools are released as they are and that's it. Rarely do they receive updates if ever. Support for modding is almost entirely community based.

    Development costs, these are already included in making the tools in the first place. All you're doing is then handing that tool over to the public. QA would fall under here too.

    Of the majority of tools out there for modding games, and Dragon Age and Elder Scrolls both just to the top of the list, they're pretty much identical or scaled down versions of what the developers actually used as opposed to "Babies first toolset". They're already user friendly. They're very powerful and user friendly. Morrowind came with a toolkit and at the age of 14 I was able to use it to build a house for myself using the very basic help guide that came with it and a giant Daedric Warrior who patrolled the grounds.

  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    How much could those possibly be if the game is so far along in the development process they can make those tools?
    A not inconsiderable amount?

    But fine, let's ignore the monetary costs (which is stupid :p). When is the game "so far along (...) that they can make these tools"?

    When the engine is done and the level designers are building stuff? Then you better HOPE that you don't need to fix any bugs or improve the tools that the level designers are using.
    When the levels are done and the art team is just doing some polishing of the assets? Again, you better hope that the QA team don't find any bugs that need fixing.
    When the game is done and you are waiting to go Gold? If a purely digital release: That is time spent making tools that might not even be used that you could be selling the game. Hence, you are losing money. If retail at all, you might also miss your "slot" and have to potentially wait almost a year to release again (what almost happened to Elemental), which is a LOT of lost profits.

    That is WHY DLC is so popular these days. Excluding some VERY shady people (Capcom...), it is safe to assume that the DLC work is done in parallel in a "backburner" style approach. When a team finishes their responsibilities for the released version, they work on the DLC. If they need to switch gears, nothing is hurt because the DLC is not "mission critical" to release.
    And while it is true that the mod tools can also be worked on in such a fashion: The longer you wait between release and release of tools, the less "people" will care (which hurts the only sales you will ever release to your share holders and the public). And from a cost:benefits perspective, multiple people have already pointed out that mod tools are a roll of the dice, at best, these days. Whereas remotely decent DLC is almost a guaranteed sale.


    Again I ask, how much could that possibly be if the game's that far along? Is it really that much of a massive undertaking? Then why are lower-budget games more likely to include them since they have less money to work with? It's bizzaro-logic.
    Really? Would you care to provide some examples of those?

    Note: Unreal Engine games ARE special and are a case where this holds true. Because the "low budget" devs probably didn't really "develope" the engine at all. They essentially made their game as a "mod". So there is no problem and no tweaking for them. Whereas a larger studio might want to optimize stuff and provide "secret sauce" that could potentially require tweaks or bootstrapped fixes to the UED-based toolchain.



    Correction: Or spend it on something that will benefit only the publisher because you control every aspect of it and can sell new pieces of it someone else could have made cheaper.
    Still benefits the gamers too. We can argue about who benefits more, but let's just look at the current king of modding: Skyrim.

    For mods
    XBOX: They don't have mods
    PS3: They don't even have DLC because Bethesda have no idea how to properly utilize the PS3's hardware :p
    PC: Mods

    Whereas, with DLC
    XBOX: Check
    PS3: Ha ha, no :p
    PC: Check, a month later

    Even if we assume a straight even split (and that is stupid...), the CS only benefits 1/3 of the userbase. But at this point, Bethesda has no choice. AND Bethesda are in the rare position of knowing their tools will be used (albeit, to a lesser and lesser degree every generation).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    What maintenance and support costs? Modding tools are released as they are and that's it. Rarely do they receive updates if ever. Support for modding is almost entirely community based.
    Patches to the tools. Pretty sure the NWN editor (whose name I forget. I am shamed) got a bunch of patches, they just came with the game patches too.

    Development costs, these are already included in making the tools in the first place. All you're doing is then handing that tool over to the public. QA would fall under here too.
    Assuming you are having the public use the same tools that your devs used. And I sincerely doubt Paradox spends even a single penny on QA for their internal tools. Why? There is no point, and the QA teams/companies can be better utilized on something where quality and "user friendly" matters.

    Of the majority of tools out there for modding games, and Dragon Age and Elder Scrolls both just to the top of the list, they're pretty much identical or scaled down versions of what the developers actually used as opposed to "Babies first toolset". They're already user friendly. They're very powerful and user friendly. Morrowind came with a toolkit and at the age of 14 I was able to use it to build a house for myself using the very basic help guide that came with it and a giant Daedric Warrior who patrolled the grounds.
    You ARE correct there (except for on the DA editor being user friendly :p). Because those games were made from the ground up with modding in mind. Morrowind because TES3 came out when devs and publishers still believed in modding (2002, so the original UT was still going strong). DA because of how it saved NWN (but notice how there are few "meaningful" Dragon Age mods...).
    Which is something that has already been discussed repeatedly in this thread :p

    My point is more that "just adding modding tools" is not a trivial matter. Maybe it should be (user friendly tools make development easier), but it currently isn't.
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  9. #69
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    That is WHY DLC is so popular these days. Excluding some VERY shady people (Capcom...), it is safe to assume that the DLC work is done in parallel in a "backburner" style approach. When a team finishes their responsibilities for the released version, they work on the DLC. If they need to switch gears, nothing is hurt because the DLC is not "mission critical" to release.
    And while it is true that the mod tools can also be worked on in such a fashion: The longer you wait between release and release of tools, the less "people" will care (which hurts the only sales you will ever release to your share holders and the public). And from a cost:benefits perspective, multiple people have already pointed out that mod tools are a roll of the dice, at best, these days. Whereas remotely decent DLC is almost a guaranteed sale.
    So it's all down to a matter of squeezing more profits out in most cases. I don't like it, but it does make fiscal sense if you're really into squeezing everything you can out of margins.


    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Really? Would you care to provide some examples of those?
    Killing Floor, Torchlight 2, Minecraft, Amnesia and the upcoming Overgrowth.


    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Still benefits the gamers too. We can argue about who benefits more, but let's just look at the current king of modding: Skyrim.

    For mods
    XBOX: They don't have mods
    PS3: They don't even have DLC because Bethesda have no idea how to properly utilize the PS3's hardware :p
    PC: Mods

    Whereas, with DLC
    XBOX: Check
    PS3: Ha ha, no :p
    PC: Check, a month later

    Even if we assume a straight even split (and that is stupid...), the CS only benefits 1/3 of the userbase. But at this point, Bethesda has no choice. AND Bethesda are in the rare position of knowing their tools will be used (albeit, to a lesser and lesser degree every generation).
    Let's take a look at the DLC though. Dawnguard was not very well recieved and most people said there were user-made mods which did the same things better.

    Hearthfire? Barely worth mentioning. If you're going to pay $10 just so you can build a house in a game then you are a very strange, sad person. Also mods did it months before if you were a strange, sad enough person to be interested in such a thing.

    The user-created content is actually vastly superior to the creator-made DLC in both cases. There is almost no benefit of Skyrim's DLC to this day compared to mods which do the same things.


    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    My point is more that "just adding modding tools" is not a trivial matter. Maybe it should be (user friendly tools make development easier), but it currently isn't.
    I get that now. But I'm still not buying all the excuses some people are making for not even attempting when they still charge $10 later for a spit-shined older game's map especially when developers with much smaller budgets don't seem to mind letting customers do their own thing. Because they're not saying, "No one's going to use our mod tools anyway" they're saying, "Why let someone do it for free when we can sell it to them later?"
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  10. #70
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    So it's all down to a matter of squeezing more profits out in most cases. I don't like it, but it does make fiscal sense if you're really into squeezing everything you can out of margins.
    So if you are running a business in an industry where the large companies are more and more in danger very year?




    Killing Floor, Torchlight 2, Minecraft, Amnesia and the upcoming Overgrowth.
    All of which are indie(-ish) titles made exclusively for the PC.


    Let's take a look at the DLC though. Dawnguard was not very well recieved and most people said there were user-made mods which did the same things better.

    Hearthfire? Barely worth mentioning. If you're going to pay $10 just so you can build a house in a game then you are a very strange, sad person. Also mods did it months before if you were a strange, sad enough person to be interested in such a thing.

    The user-created content is actually vastly superior to the creator-made DLC in both cases. There is almost no benefit of Skyrim's DLC to this day compared to mods which do the same things.
    I am not sure if I would say "vastly superior" as opposed to "they both equally suck, but it is easier to swallow lackluster user-content than lackluster bethesda content" :p
    (Also, there are strong arguments that just about everything "new" in Skyrim were done by Modders as early as Morrowind. The key difference is polish, which is usually ignored when people want to bash something).

    My point was more along the lines of: With DLC, 2/3 of your userbase (assuming the stupid even split) are able to enjoy it. With Mods, 1/3.




    I get that now. But I'm still not buying all the excuses some people are making for not even attempting when they still charge $10 later for a spit-shined older game's map especially when developers with much smaller budgets don't seem to mind letting customers do their own thing. Because they're not saying, "No one's going to use our mod tools anyway" they're saying, "Why let someone do it for free when we can sell it to them later?"
    The excuses are: It is a non-trivial investment of time and money that only MIGHT benefit a comparatively small portion of the fanbase.
    Are there other benefits? Yes. But modding tools were "dying out" long before Premium DLC became a "thing".

    Crysis 1, HL2, and UT3 never had premium DLC. They also have anemic (at best) userbases of modders.
    DA:O DID have premium DLC and, while a bit questionable in terms of marketing, were warmly received in terms of quality. It also had mod tools that comparatively few people used.
    The Witcher 1 had mod tools, very few mods (even with a CD Projekt Red sponsored contest), and no DLC.

    DLC and modding tools are not mutually exclusive. But when you have a budget AND responsibilities toward a large number of employees (that is the big advantage indie devs have: They are responsible for themselves and maybe a few other people. Not a huge company with support staff), you need to maximize profits and returns. And that means "skip the stuff nobody is going to use". It sucks, but that's the way the world works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    The Witcher 1 had mod tools, very few mods (even with a CD Projekt Red sponsored contest), and no DLC.
    They also put some of the best mods into a game patch as additional adventures. It wasn't paid DLC, but the inclusion was used in marketing for the patch.

    Frankly I'm surprised the companies don't abuse the modders more. Insist that anything created by the modding tools instantly gives them the right to use however they see fit, then bundle up a bunch of the best mods and release them as a paid DLC/expansion. I'm still surprised Bethesda didn't take some of the best Oblivion mods (texture pack, better cities, unique landscapes, some new quests), tart them up, and put out a PC-only Oblivion special edition.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    They also put some of the best mods into a game patch as additional adventures. It wasn't paid DLC, but the inclusion was used in marketing for the patch.

    Frankly I'm surprised the companies don't abuse the modders more. Insist that anything created by the modding tools instantly gives them the right to use however they see fit, then bundle up a bunch of the best mods and release them as a paid DLC/expansion. I'm still surprised Bethesda didn't take some of the best Oblivion mods (texture pack, better cities, unique landscapes, some new quests), tart them up, and put out a PC-only Oblivion special edition.
    To be fair, Bethesda also have been relying on unofficial patches since Morrowind...
    Although, in Bethesda's defense, there are reasons not to for them in particular. Using Morrowind (since I have no idea which cities are popular in Oblivion and Skyrim): Doing ANYTHING to Balmora would have potentially broken dozens (possibly hundreds :p) of mods. It is one thing for a popular mod to have limited compatibility, but any time their DLC breaks crap they get yelled at by whiners. And, unfortunately, those whiners ARE the modding community (and are potentially the really talented members of it). I suspect this is why all the Fallout 3 DLC (with the exception of Broken Steel) were just NPCs who teleported you to a new map.

    And I think this still boils down to the lack of a guarantee of returns. If you can get modders to make your game better, more power to you. But more likely than not people will ignore the tools or just make random crap.
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