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Encyclopedia > Mod (computer gaming)

Mod or modification is a term generally applied to computer games, especially first-person shooters, RPGs and real-time strategy games. Mods are made by the general public or a developer, and can be entirely new games in themselves. They can include new items, weapons, characters, enemies, models, textures, levels, story lines, music, and game modes. They also usually take place in unique locations. They can be single-player or multiplayer. Mods that add new content to the underlying game are often called partial conversions, while mods that create an entirely new game are called total conversions. A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ... This article is about video games. ... This article is about games in which one plays the role of a character. ... -1... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Online gaming redirects here. ...


Games running on a PC are often designed with change in mind, and this consequently allows modern computer games to be modified by gamers without much difficulty. These mods can add extra replay value and interest. The Internet provides an inexpensive medium to promote and distribute mods, and they have become an increasingly important factor in the commercial success of some games. Developers such as id Software, Valve Software, Bethesda Softworks, Crytek, Relic Entertainment and Epic Games provide extensive tools and documentation to assist mod makers, leveraging the potential success brought in by a popular mod like Counter-Strike. id Software (IPA: officially, though originally ) is an American computer game developer based in Mesquite, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. ... Valve Software is a Bellevue, Washington-based video game developer made famous by its first product, Half-Life, which was released in November 1998. ... Bethesda Softworks, LLC, a ZeniMax Media Company, is a developer and publisher of computer and video games. ... Crytek is a video game development company founded in 1999. ... Relic Entertainment is a game development company that specializes in 3D real-time strategy games and has released a number of innovative PC games. ... Epic Games, also known as Epic and formerly as Epic MegaGames, is a computer game development company based in Cary, North Carolina, United States. ... Counter-Strike (CS) is a popular team-based mod of Valves first-person shooter (FPS) Half-Life. ...


Mods can significantly outshine and/or continue the success of the original game even when it is dated. Playing a mod might even become more common than playing the unmodified original. In those cases, players might have to clarify that they are referring to the unmodified game when talking about playing a game. In some cases the term vanilla is used make this distinction, "vanilla Battlefield 1942", for example, refers to the original, unmodified game. For vanilla games, prefix "v" or "V" is commonly used together with acronymed game title, eg. VQ3 stands for "vanilla Quake 3". Battlefield 1942 is a 3D World War II first-person shooter (FPS) computer game developed by Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows (2002) and Apple Macintosh (2004). ... In linguistics, a prefix is a type of affix that precedes the morphemes to which it can attach. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ... Quake III Arena or Quake 3, abbreviated as Q3A or Q3, is a multiplayer first-person shooter computer and video game released on December 2, 1999. ...


It should also be noted that some people point to games such as Doom and Quake as having pioneered the current mod scene. One particular mod, Counter-Strike, in which the foundation for the concept was first laid in the form of a Quake mod called Navy Seals and featured real-world weapons and headshots, was also from the same developer.[citation needed] Doom (or DOOM)[1] is a 1993 computer game by id Software that is a landmark title in the first-person shooter genre. ... This article is about the original video game. ... Counter-Strike (CS) is a popular team-based mod of Valves first-person shooter (FPS) Half-Life. ... This article is about the original video game. ...


As early as the 1980s, computer game mods have also been used for the sole purpose of creating art, as opposed to an actual game. This can include recording in-game footage into a movie, as well as attempting to reproduce real-life areas inside a game with no regard for gameplay value. See artistic computer game modification, machinima#Precedent and demoscene. Artistic computer game modification involves the use of a computer game for the creation of a digital artwork. ... A scene from the popular machinima series Red vs. ... The demoscene is a computer art subculture that specializes itself on producing demos, non-interactive audio-visual presentations, which are run real-time on a computer. ...

Contents

Total conversion

A total conversion is a mod of an existing game that (usually) replaces almost all of the artistic assets in the original game, and sometimes core aspects of gameplay, in some cases creating a game in a completely different genre from the original. Further information: Game classification Video games are categorized into genres based on their gameplay interaction. ...


In some cases, the goal of a group that sets out to create a total conversion is to sell their end product, which necessitates the need to replace the original content to avoid copyright infringement. The Cathach of St. ...


A few total conversions have managed to become stand-alone games. Since most total conversions only share the engine in common with the original game, if the engine becomes Free Software, the total conversion can be playable without having to own the original game. A few examples of these include the Tremulous mod for Quake III Arena, a trio of mods for Command & Conquer Renegade, Red Alert: Apocalypse Rising, Red Alert: A Path Beyond, and C&C Reborn, Battle For Dune; the D-Day: Normandy mod for Quake II, and Counter-Strike for Half-Life. Counter-Strike is notable as it has far exceeded the popularity of the original game. Team Fortress, one of the most popular mods ever, was originally a Quake total conversion. It has been so popular that a sequel, Team Fortress 2, has been developed. Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... Tremulous is a free and open source team-based first-person shooter with RTS elements that was released on March 31, 2006. ... Quake III Arena or Quake 3, abbreviated as Q3A or Q3, is a multiplayer first-person shooter computer and video game released on December 2, 1999. ... -1... Counter-Strike (CS) is a popular team-based mod of Valves first-person shooter (FPS) Half-Life. ... This article is about the video game. ... Counter-Strike (CS) is a popular team-based mod of Valves first-person shooter (FPS) Half-Life. ... Team Fortress is a team and class based online multiplayer computer game modification based on id Softwares Quake. ... This article is about the original video game. ... TF2 redirects here. ...


Development

A great many mods do not progress very far and are abandoned without ever having a public release. One of the most famous vaporware mods was Star Wars Quake, which was never released despite six years of development. Some are very limited and just include some gameplay changes or even a different loading screen, while others are total conversions and can modify content and gameplay extensively. A few mods become very popular and convert themselves into distinct games, with the rights getting bought and turning into an official modification. Vaporware is software or hardware product which is announced by a developer well in advance of release, but which then fails to emerge, either with or without a protracted development cycle. ... Gameplay includes all player experiences during the interaction with game systems, especially formal games. ...


A group of mod developers may join together to form a mod team. An example is Team Reaction, one of the most prolific mod teams to date, most notably known for QPong and Jailbreak. QPong was a Quake II mod (computer gaming), created by Team Reaction, released in the summer of 1998. ...


Mods are made for many first person shooters, most notably the series based on Quake, Doom, Tribes, Unreal Tournament, and Half-Life. Real time strategy games such as Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Total Annihilation, Rise of Nations and the Command & Conquer series also have many mods. A first-person shooter (FPS) is a computer or video game where the players on-screen view of the game world simulates that of the character, and there is some element of shooting involved. ... This article is about the original video game. ... Doom (or DOOM)[1] is a 1993 computer game by id Software that is a landmark title in the first-person shooter genre. ... For the biological concept, see tribe (biology). ... Unreal Tournament, abbreviated UT, (sometimes referred to as UT99, UT Classic, UT1, or UT:GOTY to differentiate from Unreal Tournament 2003, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Unreal Tournament 3) is a popular first-person shooter video game. ... This article is about the video game. ... Dune 2 (1992), an early RTS A real-time strategy (RTS) game is a type of computer strategy game which does not have turns like conventional turn-based strategy video or board games. ... Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2002, is a real-time strategy computer game and the second sequel to Warcraft. ... Total Annihilation (abbr. ... Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy computer game, developed by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft on May 20, 2003. ... The most recent version of the series logo, which appears in Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Command & Conquer (often abbreviated as C&C or CnC) is a series of video games, mostly of the real-time strategy style as well as a single first-person shooter game based on the...


Among popular mods, none is more well known than the Half-Life multiplayer mod Counter-Strike, which was released shortly after the original game, and upwards of 1 million games per day are hosted on dedicated servers. Counter-Strike is probably the best example of a modification that turns into a retail game. Counter-Strike (CS) is a popular team-based mod of Valves first-person shooter (FPS) Half-Life. ...


Mods in general are required to be non-commercial (free) when they include any parts from another mod, or the main game, which by their nature they always do. Some mods become open source as well. Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ...


Tools

Mod making tools are a variety of construction sets for creating mods for a game. An early mod making tool was the Bard's Tale Construction Set, released in 1991, which allowed users to create game designs in that series. Much more successful among early mod making tools was the 1992 Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures from Strategic Simulations, Inc., which allowed users to construct games based on the game world that was launched with the Pool of Radiance game. Bards Tale may refer to: The Bards Tale game released by Interplay Productions/ Electronic Arts in 1985. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures, also known as Unlimited Adventures, or by the acronyms FRUA or UA, is a computer game originally released on March 17, 1993 by Strategic Simulations, Inc. ... Strategic Simulations, Inc. ... “Pool of Radiance” redirects here. ...


Later mod making tools include The Elder Scrolls Construction Set which shipped with Morrowind, the Aurora toolset which was included with Neverwinter Nights, FRED and FRED2 the Freespace and Freespace 2 mission editors, and the Obsidian tool set for Neverwinter Nights 2, and the Valve Hammer Editor which is used to create maps for Half-Life and its sequel, Half-Life 2. The Elder Scrolls (TES) Construction Set is editing software for the video game The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, which was shipped with the game. ... The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, also known simply as Morrowind, is a first-person (also playable in third person) computer role-playing game in Bethesda Softworks The Elder Scrolls series. ... The Aurora toolset is included in the game Neverwinter Nights, allowing players to create their own adventures and share them with others by using a module (a game made in the toolkit), potentially more advanced than the campaign included with the game. ... This article is about the 2002 computer role-playing game. ... Neverwinter Nights 2 (NWN2) is a computer role-playing game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Atari. ... Valve Hammer Editor, formerly known as Worldcraft and now commonly called Hammer, is Valve Softwares map creation program for their first-person shooter computer game Half-Life and for all of its mods, sequels, and expansions, as well as all games using the Source engine. ... Level design or game mapping is the creation of levels—locales, stages, or missions—for a video game (such as a console game or computer game). ... This article is about the video game. ... Half-Life 2 (commonly abbreviated to HL2) is a science fiction first-person shooter computer game that is the sequel to Half-Life. ...


There are also free content delivery tools available that make playing mods easier. They help manage downloads, updates and setting up the mods so that non-technical people can play. Examples include Steam (content delivery) for Half life 2 mods and CrosuS which works for the Half Life series, Unreal Tournament, Doom, Quake, Zero Hour, and Battlefield 2 mods. Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. ...


Mod-Friendliness of Games

Two examples of game modifications in GTA:Vice City: 2004 Jaguar XJ8 and 1994 Jaguar XJ6. Real-life makes and models are not included in the game but can be created and added by modders.

The potential for end-user change in game varies greatly, though it can have little correlation on the number and quality of mods made for a game. For instance the Creatures 2 computer game executable was essentially an interpreter for the in-game scripting language, and could potentially have allowed almost any 2D game to be built upon its basis. Other games, such as The Sims, will allow modification to certain aspects, such as adding new items and clothes, but not others, such as altering a character's skills or occupation (although it's possible with a third-party program). Image File history File links XJ8_and_XJ6. ... Image File history File links XJ8_and_XJ6. ... Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (released in October 2002) is the fourth video game in the hit Grand Theft Auto series. ... Creatures 2 is the second game in the Creatures a-life game series made by Creature Labs. ... This article is about a computer game that was released in year 2000. ...


In general the most modification-friendly games will define gameplay variables in text or other non proprietary format files (for instance in the Civilization series one could alter the movement rate along roads and many other factors), and have graphics of a standard format such as bitmaps. Civilization 4 is the most open of all, letting the user make entire scenarios and whole new sets of rules through Python.[citation needed] Publishers can also determine mod-friendliness in the way important source files are available (some programs collect their source material into large proprietary archives, while others make the files available in folders). For the complete series of games, see Civilization (series). ... 1. ... Civilization IV is a turn-based strategy computer game currently being developed by Sid Meier and his studio Firaxis Games. ... Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language. ...


Games have varying support from their publishers for modifications, but often require expensive professional software to make. One such example is Homeworld 2, which requires the industrial-strength program Maya to build new in-game objects. However, there is a free version available of Maya and other advanced modeling software. There are also free and even open source modeling programs that can be used as well. Homeworld 2 is a real-time strategy (RTS) computer game, the sequel to Relic Entertainments Homeworld from 1999. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


For advanced mods such as Desert Combat, that are total conversions, complicated modeling and texturing software is required to make original content. Advanced mods can rival the complexity and work of making the original game content (short of the engine itself), rendering the differences in ease of modding small in comparison to the total amount of work required. Having an engine that is for example easy to import models to, is of little help when doing research, modeling, and making a photo-realistic texture for a game item. As a result, other game characteristics such as its popularity and capabilities have a dominating effect on if mods are created for the game by users. Desert Combat (DC) is a popular mod for the first-person shooter (FPS) computer game Battlefield 1942, created by Frank Delise, Brian Holinka and Tim Brophy. ...


A game that allows 'modding' can also be called 'moddable'. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion as well as its predecessor The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind are highly moddable, because the editor is available to download off the internet. Daggerfall was much less moddable, but some people released their own modifications nevertheless. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a game currently under development by Bethesda Softworks for the PC, Xbox 2, and Playstation 3. ... The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, also known simply as Morrowind, is a first-person (also playable in third person) computer role-playing game in Bethesda Softworks The Elder Scrolls series. ... The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall is a first-person freeform computer role-playing game (CRPG) for the PC, developed by Bethesda Softworks and released in 1996. ...


Supreme Commander set out to be the 'most customisable game ever' and as such included a mod manager which allowed for 'modular modding' - having several mods on at once. Supreme Commander - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


Portability issues

For cross-platform games, mods written for the Windows version have not always been compatible with the Mac OS X and/or Linux ports of the game. In large part, this is due to the publisher's concern with prioritizing the porting of the primary game itself, when allocating resources for fixing the porting of mod-specific functions may not be cost-effective for the relatively smaller market share of alternate platforms. For example Battlefield 1942, ported by Aspyr for Mac OS X had file access issues specific to mods until the 1.61D patch. Unreal Tournament 2004 does not have a working community mods menu for the Mac OS X version, and until the 3369 patch had graphics incompatibilities with several mods such as Red Orchestra and Metaball. In addition, mods which are compiled into platform-specific libraries, such as those of Doom 3, are often only built for the Windows platform, leading to a lack of cross-platform compatibility even when the underlying game is highly portable. In the same line of reasoning, mod development tools are often available only on the Windows platform -id Software's Doom 3 Radiant tool and Epic Games' UnrealEd being the most notable examples. This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... Battlefield 1942 is a 3D World War II first-person shooter (FPS) computer game developed by Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows (2002) and Apple Macintosh (2004). ... Aspyr is a company that specializes in porting Windows games to the Mac platform. ... Unreal Tournament 2004, also known as UT2004 or UT2K4, is a futuristic first-person shooter computer game developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes. ... Doom 3 is a science fiction, survival horror, first-person shooter video game. ... id Software (IPA: officially, though originally ) is an American computer game developer based in Mesquite, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. ... Epic Games, also known as Epic and formerly as Epic MegaGames, is a computer game development company based in Cary, North Carolina, United States. ... UnrealEd (UEd for short) is the level editor used to create levels for Unreal. ...


Mod teams which lack either the resources or know-how to develop their mods for alternate platforms sometimes outsource their code and art assets to individuals or groups who are able to port the mod. Some mod teams such as the ones for Forgotten Hope and Red Orchestra have hired Mac-specific coders and have even purchased Mac hardware for testing purposes. The mod team which developed Last Man Standing Coop performed an in-house port of their mod, but encouraged someone else to create a Mac installation/launching utility. This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...


The mod specialist site for Macs, Macologist, has created GUI launchers and installers for many UT2004 mods, as well as solving cross-platform conversion issues for mods for other games. Macologist is a website on gaming on the Apple Macintosh platforms. ...


Unexpected consequences of modding

In January 2005, it was reported that in The Sims 2 modifications that changed item and game behaviour were unexpectedly being transferred to other players through the official website's exchange feature, leading to changed game behaviour without advance warning.[1] This article is about the computer game. ...


Nude patches

One of the most common mods is a nude patch, also known as a nude skin. This is a software patch designed to modify software, usually a game to allow the user or gamer to see the character in the nude. The first such patch was designed for Duke Nukem 3D. Lara Croft, the voluptuous heroine of the Tomb Raider series, was the one to popularize, or promote, the nude patch. Duke Nukem 3D is a first-person shooter computer game developed by 3D Realms and published by Apogee Software. ... Lara Croft is a fictional British video game character and the heroine of the Tomb Raider series of video games, movies, and comic books. ... This article is about the original video game. ...


Such patches are almost never authorized by the software's maker and are usually created as mods by players and distributed over the internet. There is at least one website that specializes in this area, as well as the sites created specifically for the mod.


Foxed

Some total conversions and mods based on copyrighted franchises, like Star Wars or Alien, caused their owners to take a harsh stance towards modders. Some strictly non-commercial mods appear to be tolerated, for example the Star Wars mods Galactic Conquest for Battlefield 1942, Warlords for Homeworld 2, and Troopers for Unreal Tournament 2004 (Troopers was later given the rights to continue production of their mod). It appears to be dependent both on the direction of the modification (does it use official characters in a story or cause conflicts with canon information, rather than merely taking place in a pre-established universe) and on the company that owns the title. Fox's notoriety for a zero-tolerance policy against modifications and other possibly questionable infringements are the sources of the term foxed.[2] This article is about the series. ... This article is about the first film in a series. ... This article is about the series. ... Canon, in the context of a fictional universe, comprises those novels, stories, films, etc. ... Twentieth (20th) Century Fox Film Corporation (known from 1935 to 1985 as Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation) is one of the six major American film studios. ...


Modders

The term 'modder' is sometimes used to refer to a person who creates a mod. The latter is especially true in cases where someone in a multi-player game is using a mod to give them an unfair advantage. Examples might include an auto-targeting modification in a shooting game or a mod which allows the player to move faster than others. Colloquially, within the gaming community, such modders are often called "hackers". Such mods are generally considered cheating, especially if the match is ranked or will affect the statistics of the players disadvantaged. Cheating in video games is a process whereby a player of a video game creates an advantage beyond the bounds of normal gameplay, usually to make the game easier. ...


However some mods can have an effect on all of the players in a multiplayer game. Such mods give every player the same increase ability and/or extra item(s) and therefore is sometimes not considered cheating, although it is possible that only the modder would use the changes especially if the changes are subtle.


Most modders do not consider themselves to be "hackers." A modder makes mods in order to increase the entertainment value of a game through making new maps, levels, power-ups, and weapons that can be used by all players.


See also

Screenshot of Lunar Magic, a level editor for Super Mario World, illustrating how a user can modify the game. ... In software engineering, a project fork or branch happens when a developer (or a group of them) takes a copy of source code from one software package and starts to independently develop a new package. ... Modding is a slang expression that is derived from the verb, modify, and the noun, modification. The term can refer to the act of modifying a piece of hardware or software to perform a function not intended by someone with legal rights concerning that modification. ... Sandbox Editor for Crysis UnrealEd is the level editor for Epics Unreal series of first-person shooters. ... Screenshot from the Rivers of Light adventure in Adventure Construction Set Adventure Construction Set (ACS) is a program used to construct Ultima_type games, written by Stuart Smith and published in 1984 (or 1985) by Electronic Arts. ...

References

  1. ^ Supernatural powers become contagious in PC game by Will Knight, NewScientist, 2005-01-07
  2. ^ foxed - definition on whatis.com
Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 7th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
mod: Information from Answers.com (4586 words)
Mod or modification is a term generally applied to computer games, especially first-person shooters and real-time strategy games.
Mods in general are required to be non-commercial (free) when they include any parts from another mod, or the main game, which by their nature they always do.
Mod teams which lack either the resources or know-how to develop their mods for alternate platforms sometimes outsource their code and art assets to individuals or groups who are able to port the mod.
video gaming: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (5832 words)
The term "computer game" also includes games which display only text (and which can therefore theoretically be played on a teletypewriter) or which use other methods, such as sound or vibration, as their primary feedback device, but there are very few new games in these categories.
The popularity of computer and video games, as a whole, has been increasing steadily ever since the 1984-1987 drop-off caused by the video game crash of 1983, and the popularity appears to be continuing to increase.
Games running on a PC are often designed with end-user modifications in mind, and this consequently allows modern computer games to be modified by gamers without much difficulty.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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