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To what extent can/should mods be expected to provide gameplay?


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#1 liquiddark   Members   -  Reputation: 321

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Posted 20 January 2002 - 09:07 AM

As the title suggests: to what extent is it reasonable to expect your mod community to dredge the depths of your engine for new gameplay? A secondary question: To what extent should those developers have a right to expect your support? thoughts? ld

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#2 Damocles   Members   -  Reputation: 133

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Posted 25 January 2002 - 12:30 PM

Hey liquid, fancy meeting you here

IMHO I think new or at least quality gameplay should be the backbone of any mod. People don''t expect mods to be the best looking games in the world, but gameplay is what will make or break them. As for whether or not developers expect this is another matter. I think most developers will give the tools, and see what happens. not all games are easily moddable (as you know with DX)

As for expecting support, no they don''t expect it they just hope for it. A decent mod community can make or break a game. Especially these days where mods are the only thing keeping most games alive. I think more developers should submit more resources to continued support after release, and I dont just mean patches. Improvements to available tools is what made the UT community enormous. They upadated do much to keep on improving the community. I just hope they are that helpful with unreal2/UT2.

#3 liquiddark   Members   -  Reputation: 321

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Posted 30 January 2002 - 04:38 AM

quote:
Original post by Damocles
Hey liquid, fancy meeting you here


Great minds think alike, I suppose.

quote:
IMHO I think new or at least quality gameplay should be the backbone of any mod. People don't expect mods to be the best looking games in the world, but gameplay is what will make or break them. As for whether or not developers expect this is another matter. I think most developers will give the tools, and see what happens.

I'd agree that gameplay is the backbone of a good mod. It seems to me, however, that modding tends to be heaviest around games that bend or break the paradigms of game development - games which already have all kinds of gameplay. Unreal, UT, Half-Life, DX (for the SDK we were given, there are an awfully large number of modders remaining) - perhaps my perception is skewed, but it seems to me that these games, with "groundbreakingness" in spades, have immense mod communities. As you say, however:

quote:
not all games are easily moddable (as you know with DX)

Some games have excellent toolkits yet their commercial failure seriously limits the modding activity - I'm thinking of Vampire: the Masquerade in particular. I'm wondering, then, whether mod authors in particular should have that pressure to provide a reason to buy the game placed on them.

I think not, but from what I've heard V:tM really does sound like a case of modders not knowing what they're missing.

quote:
As for expecting support, no they don't expect it they just hope for it. A decent mod community can make or break a game. Especially these days where mods are the only thing keeping most games alive. I think more developers should submit more resources to continued support after release, and I dont just mean patches. Improvements to available tools is what made the UT community enormous.

I have a real dichotomy going on this one: Yes, as a modder, I agree completely, but as a game developer I think that time spent on modders is time that could have been spent ensuring a bigger paycheck with the next evolution - which, despite idealism, is important. For a small studio - especially one dedicated to *staying* small (and hence agile) - that's a resource set that's not necessarily available. Moreover, you end up with the problem we have in DX: if you licence a 3rd-party engine, your ability to support modders is seriously compromised, because you sometimes can't distribute the low-level access modders need.

ld

Edited by - liquiddark on January 30, 2002 11:44:09 AM

#4 Damocles   Members   -  Reputation: 133

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Posted 02 February 2002 - 02:04 AM

I agree in the sense that licensing third party engines compromises the ability to provide further mod support, but in the case of DX that just isn''t so. The UED2 editor released for UT was freeware, with all the source code placed in the public domain. As such it would have been a fairly simple case of re-writing UED2 to work with DX. I know that JP9900 has been dabbling with this for a while but without the full spec listings of the DX files he has hit a few obstacles.

I think that UED2 would help vitalize the community as the editor is modular so people can (and have) add new features to it as they see fit.

I think the real error came in the choice of 3d editor used for DX. Lightwave used to be the tool for games modelling, but in recent years 3ds max has taken over and as such most 3d game artists use Max. Fortunately Steve Tack released an update to the Unreal 3ds importer, so we don''t have that problem, but for the first 6 months or so, mod teams didn''t have much hope of getting models into DX. Which in turn resulted in a ton of MP mods sprouting up because they didn''t need much in the way of new models. now the models can be imported, the mod community has shifted to SP mods and most of the MP mods have died out. In my opinion, that''s several months of mod time wasted simply because ISA chose Lightwave over 3ds.

I know that ISA were a reatively young company so decisions like that one are to be exepcted. they were concentrating on making deadlines and meeting design briefs rather than thinking about the long term. Hopefully now they know they have a winning franchise with the DX series, they''ll look to the long term for DX2.




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