One of the main benefits of ditching game consoles to play instead on computers is that you can play around with the gameplay, look, and structure of your favorite titles. The term for this is “modding.”
“Modding” is simply vernacular for “modifying” (altering) video games. Clever fans get to introduce new elements, update graphics and fix bugs on their favorite games through the back end. Fans even create entirely new games sometimes (we have eyes on you “DOTA”).
To make the process smoother for some of us who are not so code-inclined, some online services like Real Dudes Inc provide custom “mod tools” for their games. If you’re going to play a mod (including the ones that are basically full games), you will need the original game on your computer. The mod runs with the original game in the background. The original game can be likened to the foundation on which the mod is built on top of like a house
The term mod is a derivation from the process of modifying a game. Modding a game means creating custom characters, assets, levels, or even distinct or stand-alone games out of an existing game engine. There are a lot of games that include an editor which enables modding. The term used to describe a person that mods games is “modder.”
During the DOOM era of PC gaming, also referred to as WADs (Where’s All the Data), some of the oldest video game mods were developed. They offered players some unique and exciting modifications inside the vanilla engine. Today also, there is a solid modding community in DOOM that contains a wide range of distinct and interesting mods for the enjoyment of everyone.
Over the years, modding has seen some growth and whole communities have been created all over the internet because of it. There is a whole element of creative implementation introduced by modding and as a result, talented individuals can share their work with the rest of the world.
The Importance of Modding
In the world of today, it would be odd for no form of modding to exist for a game. Nearly all games that are released on PC give room for modding in a way, whether art, design, programming inclined.
Developers are beginning to realize the importance of modding and are now creating room for modding on their games because this would be of benefit to them in return. Modding is not only an advantage to developers but also introduces players to a whole new library of creations. These creations can contribute to extending the lifespan of video games and even introduce a bigger player base, which would be of benefit to both parties.
In the absence of modding, there wouldn’t be such a thing as multiple intellectual properties today. Some game studios have been formed because their mods were successful and ended up being developed into whole new games.
Modding can be a gateway for the talented to work together as a team and achieve life-changing results.
Some famous games that were initially mods include:
- Team Fortress series (created originally for Quake)
- Counter-Strike series (created originally for Half-Life 1)
- Red Orchestra (created originally for Unreal Tournament 2004)
- Dota (created originally for Warcraft III)
- Natural Selection (created originally for Half-Life 2) Chivalry: Medieval Warfare (created originally for Half-life 2)
Why You Should Mod
- Are you a Game and Level Designer?
- Are you a Programmer? Are you an Artist?
- Do you have the creative flair, drive, and passion for game development?
If your answer is yes to any of the questions above, then you really should consider modding as a way to express yourself creatively both on a personal and professional level.
Develop Your Portfolio!
Intending game designers, artists, and programmers get introduced to the field of game development modding and it provides them with an understanding of the key concepts of what makes today’s games fun. While “fun” is a relative term, it helps modders be able to understand the elements that make different video games exciting and how to implement new approaches that will align with the present situation of the game and professional custom.
Put simply, modding is proof that you understand what makes a particular genre and subgenre fun. It shows that you can bring out elements and mechanics currently in the game and make them a part of what you’re trying to make, and/or add to the current build to make it more fun.
Modding helps to introduce the iterative process to specialized teams who have a very professional approach to their work. The knowledge of such processes as SCRUM for developing, as well as testing and meeting goals, is a key part of understanding the process of game development.
Making games is not a piece of cake and if you’re going to land a job in this industry, it is necessary for you to have previous experience working with SDKs and other related software. Modding provides individuals with the opportunity to create well-grounded games in the industry and to handle the professional engines as well as other software being used in the industry. It is a practical way to learn software and improve your skills in game development in the process.
Modding also brings on teamwork as a concept and shows how significant it is in the field of video game development. Most times, serious teams work through the process by keeping track of assignments and tasks for team members through the use of specialized software. This is often practiced in the industry and it helps modders get familiar with this concept as well as the division of workloads among different positions.
Most importantly, your online portfolio can feature the number of weeks, months, or years invested in your projects. When you build a good portfolio that shows all your work and processes, you get to display your skills that are relevant to the field. Most times, modders start getting to participate in indie projects, which is usually a big advantage because it provides them with more material for their portfolio.
Modding shows how much you’re willing to make the effort. You are open to critical responses to your work and are willing to make repetitive adjustments to satisfy your intended audience. It is evidence of your courage and also shows how much you are passionate about what you do. You won’t be earning any profit. The only reward for your hard work is a pat on the back.
This is passion in its best form.
In general, modding lets employers see your creativity, dedication, and passion. It shows them that you are a practical learner and are self-driven and willing to put in the work to create high-quality content for game projects.
Where To Begin?
Modding is more conspicuous in games today than it was in the 1900s. Nearly all games through Steam offer modding in some form and most players have access to the game editors to use.