On the first day God created light, and saw that it was good. On the 18th trillionth day he created mods, and saw that they were better. ModDB, a site that serves as a nexus for mods of every flavour imaginable, has branched into publishing. "Modularity is a new games publishing division", they say, "with a focus on investing in and supporting games that are created by modders, inspired by mods, or have strong modding support themselves."
They've already teamed up with devs Vox Games to launch Meeple Station on Steam Early Access, a cute-looking space station sim styling itself after RimWorld.
ModDB is actually one arm of DBolical, who also run IndieDB. They're not storefronts - they're portals to information and download links. I don't know what the DB stands for either, and would rather keep enjoying the mystery than find out for you.
Here's ModDB announcing Modularity. After the obligatory 'mods are great and important' bit, it goes on to say this:
"Modularity is looking for the next generation of games that have the chance to stand tall as mod-focused titles. Games with a fierceless independent streak. Games that dare to do something different. Games that, in finding success, steer the industry in a whole new direction with their creativity, innovation, and strong sense of identity."
I do like the idea, both as a channel for supporting one of the most interesting aspects of PC gaming and as a way of instantly identifying moddable games. Although that quote might be a tad too grand an introduction to Meeple Station, which seems neat but not immediately genre-defining.
As with Rimworld, inauspicious beginnings turn into involved and meteoric ends. You're supposed to build your base from a lonely bunkhouse into a "sprawling, multi-levelled station", where you can get up to traditionally spacey activities like "trade, mining and research".
The info on the Steam page seems keen to invoke the kind of cascading failures you see in similar sims, where incompetent engineers could lead to airlock failures that could lead to suffocation that could lead to death. There are also "face-eating space-squids", which you can meet if you strap an engine to your station and go exploring. Good luck with that.
Meeple Station is available on Steam Early Access for £13/$17/€14.