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confusing question about mods

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if a mod is a tweak in a game's source code, then how do you make mods for new games like doom3 and halflife2? theres no way anyone has that kind of source

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For both Doom 3 and Half Life 2 the companies that make the game provide an SDK which gives you source code to modify. They don't give you all the source code just the game specific stuff (e.g. things like weapons, game rules, AI behavious etc). In the case of HL2 the source code from the SDK is compiled into two different DLLs (client and server) that are then loaded by the HL2 engine and used to run the game. I've no experience with modding D3 but it probably works in a similar way.

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Also, not all mods are alterations to source code. Many are written in scripting languages that are supported by the engine.

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"For both Doom 3 and Half Life 2 the companies that make the game provide an SDK which gives you source code to modify."

that makes more sense

do you know where i can get such a thing for the original doom?
i heard of something called the "doom builder"
or is it already gone as i am guessing?

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I don't think ID ever released an SDK for doom, all mods were altering the maps/textures/sprites etc. However the doom source code has been released by ID so you can do whatever you want with it. The doom source code is avaiable on ID's ftp server ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com. Google also gave me this page which seems to have a lot of info on editing various aspects of Doom.

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