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Thread: Mod tools and user generated content - Why isn't it more popular?

  1. #1
    [Level 2: Human] johnmasterlee's Avatar
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    dtoiddisco Mod tools and user generated content - Why isn't it more popular?

    So I'm conjuring up a new indie game (and writing about it on Dtoid's community blogs, thanks to a suggestion from Niero!) and one of the things I'm pretty adamant about is creating mod tools for users so they can create their own content. There's been recent studies that clearly demonstrate how user generated content can dramatically make a difference in a game's success, and I think anyone who has been in the modding scene on PC over the years knows how much fun it is to either create content or play it.

    Yet... the whole scene still isn't as popular as I would expect it to be. As an example, if you ask most publishers what they think about mod tools, most treat it as goodwill to keep their community happy. And it shows: As an example, less than 1% of all games on Steam even support Steam Workshop.

    So for all you modders and gamers who love playing mods, add-ons, etc.

    • What do you love about the mod scene?
    • What do you think prevents greater adoption from gamers and developers?
    • What about the modding do you wish worked better?

  2. #2
    That's not a knife...
    Mighty Hatman's Avatar
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    Most games on Steam are a lot older than Steam Workshop so that statistic is no surprise. Modding is becoming more popular but most of the content that's out there is still awful retextures. If someone has the skill and dedication to add meaningful content to a game they should definitely do it because everyone gets more content and the modder shows future employers they are able to make content worthy to go in a game, even if it's just a new weapon model. I am surprised it not more of a common thing for people to have in a portfolio.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnmasterlee View Post

    • What do you love about the mod scene?
    No one can complain about free shit. Personally I like to see how something was made. I prefer mods that try to do as much as they can while taking up the least resources. Stuff like HD texture packs are so wasteful.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnmasterlee View Post
    • What do you think prevents greater adoption from gamers and developers?
    Not enough people complaining about it. We're all aware what really makes publishers and developers listen.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnmasterlee View Post
    • What about the modding do you wish worked better?
    It needs to be easier to install for everyone but still maintain an amount on customisation during install. The Nexus Mod Manager does this pretty well.

  3. #3
    [Level 5: Mech]
    Fandango's Avatar
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    •What do you love about the mod scene?

    Would it not be enough to simply say great mods? More seriously, games with a vibrant modding community can often be fixed, tweaked and customised to a ridiculous degree (Skyrim on PC is unrecognisable from the game I played on PS3 for example). Unofficial patches, quests, companions, texture packs, armours, locations etc. Much of it good, some of it great, all of it free. Much better than shelling out for overpriced item packs, that’s for sure.

    •What do you think prevents greater adoption from gamers and developers?

    The variable quality of mods. Risk of virus'. Publishers.

    •What about the modding do you wish worked better?

    These two probably go hand in hand but I wish that the scene was a little bigger and I wish that modding tools were a little easier for the layperson to use. What Hatman said.

  4. #4
    [Level 2: Human] johnmasterlee's Avatar
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    So here's an interesting question: Is there some incentive that would encourage greater support for mods? Would you pay to encourage a developer to make mod tools for a game, or to make them more easily usable? Or would you pay for a user to create mods? Seems like many of the issues relating to adoption and ease of use stems from a lack of standards, or incentives for devs or mod creators.

    One thing that gets my goat is how game publishers are trying all sorts of tricks to block out the used games market, like locking out whole features if you buy a used copy. Wouldn't it be better to encourage gamers to pay for mod tools so that it creates a lot more content to enjoy and thus people are less incentivized to sell their games?

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