WASD: Modding is (Sort of) Dead, Long Live User-Created Content

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Shalbatana

 I'm a little unsure as to the exact difference between modding and User Created Content.

Can someone enlighten me, and give an example or two of each?

Thanks

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"There's no time like the future."

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Vahn16

Modding usually involves coding/programming and other such difficulties. User-created content errs more toward the simplistic side of things -- map editors, for instance.

 Edit: Velcrow wins. 

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Velcrow

Basically, User Created Content as mentioned here is any content that is created within the confines of a boxed editor. You can only use the models, textures, etc. that are provided. No more.

At the most basic level a 'mod' is anything that extends a game beyond it's original state. It can be as simple as the ability to jump higher, or as complex as changing the entire structure of the game, such as making a flight simulator out of the CryEngine 2. Depending on the amount or complexity, you may need to write code (generally c++), design your own models and textures, and create you're own physics algorithms.

You can see examples at www.CryMod.com for crysis, or a database of many games at www.moddb.com.

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Shalbatana

 Makes perfect sense, I just couldn't work out the dividing line in my head.

Thanks!

_______________________________

"There's no time like the future."

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visibly_stealthy

very well said spider-mom.

In the hands of a master, anything can become a field improvised, lethal object.

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Bravo_18

User Created content is too limited, and only desirable for the average gamers and last only for a while till you get bored on ways you can create over the very limited tools you have..

Mods are for serious gamers, not likely the same as the one who wrote this article. I own a PS2 and i enjoyed playing with it on the games i could not find in the PC games. This article is too Bias over console games...

Mods will never die, why?...because they push the boundaries of what the game has to offer. The possibilities are endless....in creativity and originality. CryEngine 2 will always surpass FC2...

I agree with the first post...

Never compare console games with Diablo III, it will always stay on the PC realm, its more like a template of most console games right now.

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Nycromes

I agree 100%, MODs are much more fun than user created content. The only problem... you and I are in the minority. There is alot of money in the mass market for these companies and if that means screwing over the modding community then so be it.

 

Personally, I think user generated content can be really cool, but it isn't going to have me playing a game for long periods of time... it gets old very quickly because even in a game like Spore, you are doing the same thing over and over again. Mods on the other hand increase the playability of a game for longer periods of time... do devs care about this? I don't really know. Me playing the game for 200 hours vs me playing for 10 probably doesn't phase them much... they got their $$$ when I bought it. I still play BF1942 with some mods and new maps... yet I have dropped games like Spore because I just don't have much interest in it anymore.

 

Overall, Mods > User created content. But I don't know if the masses feel the same way. 

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Spider-Mom

So how much money are the consoles making? M hmm, and now how much money is the PC raking in? Whats that, single titles on the PC are earning more money than all the consoels combined........and your reaction is that PC is six feet under because of a feature in one game that wil be popular because its has a cute character. No. And the map maker in FC2? Its a sad sick unfunny joke. Theres no way I could ever bring any of my crazy ideas to life with that stupid thing.

What Max PC compleatly fails to realize is two things.

 

One, the marketing in user created content for kids ala FC2 is in creating it, not playnig the user created content IF you are their target adiance. This is for people who never have never would or ever think about serious modding. If any one actually thinks this is going to satasfy the same types of people who have been traditionly creating mods they are wrong. This new breed of user created content is an integrated part of the games as they are, nothing more. The tools in the game for user created content are never going to leave their own scope or pourpose.

I mean HELO? Is any one or any thing at home in the heads of MPC here? The point of modded content is that its something the game never would or could give you. User created content in a game where the object of the game is user created content is never going to be very special. In the end, it will get old for allot of the player base and they will want some thing else......like maybe mods......Just because your game has user content doesnt mean there wont be things about the game that people wont like and want to change, there for mod. Your compleatly missing the point of user created content. Its just a game mechanic not unlike anything weve already seen.

Secondly, most players are not professional game designers. Quite frankly, I wouldnt want to play a game that was made by most of the idiots who are out here. If the map maker for FC2 was as good of an idea as you seem to think, then the reason would be because we get to play new maps that are going to be tottaly awesome and well enver get board. Well, thats not going to happen because by definition no matter how you build a map in that thing is still going to be a canned experiacne. There wont be any Zombie mods, there wont be anything that isnt made from prebaked in game assets in one of the limited ways theyv given people to use them. No on will ever even get a server with vanilla Quake voice overs that every game worth playing has always gotten.

Most "mods" are not just maps, because uhh.....those are just maps. There will never be Desert Combat type of mod for FC2 with its pedestrian tools.

 

Yser created content is marketed to and for the people who already ARNT modding. User created content is a canned experiance and this article from MPC has not showen in any way how it will lower the demand for mods nor how it will keep people from wanting to mod. 

If your so sure that PC gaming is dead then you should just close you doors and stop bloviating instead of making assinine statments.

 

I plan on buying a PS3 JUST FOR LBP. But I have known about it for a very long time already and I dont think any one else has come to the same conclusion as MPC. I decided to get it before i even knew it has user content. The art and GFX were awsome, Sack Boy is cutter than hell and the game play looked like fun. User content had no roll in my desision and wont for allot of other people as well. Its simply just another cool thing to do in a game. And further more, is average Joe type of game modding is PART of the game, why would they release a real editor or SDK to go with it? They wouldnt want people being disracted from that part of the game the way its suposed to be.

 

And another thing. You make it sound as iff Fallout3 isnt going to have an editor because "it just isnt a priority any more." Thats ludacrist. Do you have any idea at all about the sky rocketing cost of development for good user tools with the complexity and scope of the games going even further? Its huge! If games were still all being made on the Q3 engine maybe it would be a prioty but thats just not how it is any more. I mean look at the map editor for FC2. They had one of their inters make that think in one day during his lunch break and he will still alowed to do it on his laptop at the closest bar in town. The "river" tool is just a terrain brush that sets the ground level to 0! Thats not a river tool! Thats a freaken landscape brush! Just because there is water in the level and you set the ground level below the water does NOT make a landscape brush a "river tool." I dont think the people who made FC2 even have the skills to create a set of public tools like the ones Crytek has.You make it sound like they can "just do it" but they "just dont" because its not important. Thats so wrong on so meny levels.

 

Spell chek this latter im going to bed! Its 4am!

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Vahn16

"Just because your game has user content doesnt mean there wont be things about the game that people wont like and want to change, there for mod."

This bit elaborates on where I think modding is headed. As with games like Oblivion, where players didn't like the game's level-up system, mods will always be around to change inherent game systems. I never said they wouldn't be. However, a lack of tools will almost certainly cut down on the frequency and timeliness of such mods. 

 "And further more, is average Joe type of game modding is PART of the game, why would they release a real editor or SDK to go with it? They wouldnt want people being disracted from that part of the game the way its suposed to be."

This is basically the point of my article. Because developers are including user-based content creation systems in the their games -- "Average Joe" stuff, as you put it -- mod tools seem less necessary. Simple tools are more accessible to a wider range of people and can accomplish a portion of what modding can. Thus, when it comes down to deciding between which to include -- mod tools or user-created content -- and which to kick to the curb in order to cut down on costs or get the game out more quickly, mod tools get the short end of the stick. 

"You make it sound as iff Fallout3 isnt going to have an editor because "it just isnt a priority any more." Thats ludacrist. Do you have any idea at all about the sky rocketing cost of development for good user tools with the complexity and scope of the games going even further? Its huge!"

See my above statement. Additionally, developing mods is becoming a more complex process due to increasing advances in technology, so the market for those expensive tools is only shrinking. 

"Spell chek this latter im going to bed! Its 4am!"

"ludacrist" is one letter away from being a rapper :D

 

 

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Antilogic81

Gotta say that I really agree with this sentiment through and through.

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