Benefits of Game Modding

Computers & TechnologyTechnology

  • Author Miriam Lynn Mcgovern
  • Published May 28, 2021
  • Word count 1,136

It’s hard to forget the controversial release of Cyberpunk 2077 last year, where bugs plagued the futuristic world. Cars flew down out of nowhere, NPCs glitched onto their T-poses, and quests were almost impossible to complete without it shutting down. The supposed Game of the Year contender has now downgraded to a viral meme.

Obviously, the game needed a fix and extensive adjustments. Cyberpunk players were begging for it to become better, while other players wanted to try to have a little more fun with it despite the numerous bugs and glitches. Thus, mod builders entered the scene to save the day.

Mods are embedded codes that change the way the game looks or how it can be played. When Cyberpunk 2077 came on the scene, mods got to work by creating a code that players could install within the game’s folders. Players couldn’t wait for the game developers’ updates anymore as they saw mods could fix AI problems and even make character creation more specific.

The Witcher III, though already a beautiful game that’s won multiple awards, including Game of the Year, still had the opportunity to become better than it already is through a wide range of mods. Weather enhancements and better graphics, AI-specifics, and new items, were modded for the game. There are new stories that fans can play as if buying official downloadable content.

The Witcher III’s developers decided to place chosen mods within the game interface for players to download instantly instead of using third-party installers or coding it into the game’s folders if installed on their PC.

Besides fixes, mods allow some games to deliver a better quality of life experiences. Stardew Valley, for example, is played both as a single and online multiplayer game. Online multiplayer, however, can only hold up to four players. An existing mod that players can install into Stardew Valley can change this to allow ten players instead.

Sims 4 is another familiar game. Despite it already being a life simulator, mods found exciting ways to make it feel more realistic, such as introducing AI interactions, new pets, and emotions the Sims can feel and express. Before expansion packs or further updates from its developers were released, the odds were that mods have already published theirs.

A Creative Outlet

Game modding isn’t just about fixing bugs or improving the game’s quality of life for both offline and online games; it’s also about adding a flare of imagination and out-of-the-box creativity.

Those familiar with mods know the numerous content available for Skyrim, one of the most popular and heavily modified games that helped begin this trend and even spearheaded its beginnings. Players love to play around with this open-world, fantasy-adventure game, creating funny antics or adding more to the story. Skyrim is a meme in itself but in the best of ways.

Some mods have created entirely new characters to add to the story, mods that change NPCs into funny characters, mods that can change monsters and dragons into something more hilarious, and mods that provide costumes or give your character limitless power. There absolutely is no limit, as more are still being created by coders worldwide.

Minecraft, the remarkable survival, adventure, building block game, has various mods that can change how the entire game can look. It’s rare nowadays to find players booting up the game in its vanilla mode or original state. Minecraft worlds can range from Pokemon characters or new texture packs to new mountable animals like dragons, cars, and flying saucers.

Teenagers and kids alike, Minecraft’s primary target market, have learned to install mods and code themselves to generate their ideas into a game they already love.

Another example of creativity at play is the ability to make a game ridiculous. Left 4 Dead is an online, multiplayer, zombie shooter that features multiple character selections. The objective of the game is simply to go through each level, blasting zombies left and right. Mods have found a way to make this grueling task enjoyable by designing and coding new character designs—including characters from Smash Brothers, and most terrifyingly, characters from Teletubbies.

Grand Theft Auto can have your character fly and appear as a Super Saiyan from Dragon Ball Z, be as strong as Superman, or even possess a Bat Mobile like Batman.

There is boundless exploration when it comes to the types of mods that can be created. This ongoing trend has created an ecosystem of young and old coders helping build creative and talented minds.

For the coders-to-be or those already in the field, how does gaming and modding exactly benefit you? Developers acknowledge the growing capacity modding a game brings to young coders and gamers trying to evolve their skills and creativity.

Some games have begun because of mods, while others were inspired by the mods they originated from. Bunk beds, for example, were mods before the developers decided to update the product into the Sims 4 permanently. Counter Strike was a game that was born out of a mod from Half Life 1. The popular MOBA game, Dota, was inspired and created from a mod made for Warcraft III.

Gaming with a Learning Experience

Experienced game developers and companies don’t see mods as intrusive or destructive to the original game; they’re acknowledged as content addons and possible enhancements. For modders, they allow them to experiment in a vast playground and elevate their skills as artists, designers, and programmers.

Modders have begun using their digital creations to build their portfolio, with the bonus of having others enjoy their work. Game companies all over the world see the potential of modders in their lineup. If they can build and code something that can completely change an existing game, then the possibilities of creating a game themselves are exponentially higher than that of someone who hasn’t tried to code something on their own.

Modding is seen as starting points for children to learn to code themselves, giving them both the fun of playing games and the educational value of understanding basic languages and computer science.

Learning how to mod is also open-sourced material. The ecosystem of modders is collaborative, and present forums and mods sites have various tools and teachings from experts who have been creating game mods for decades. Mods themselves encourage others to do the same, build, design, and let their imaginations fly.

Modding makes the industry of gaming so exciting and entertaining; there are limitless ways for it to improve, change, and welcome many young and talented hopefuls into their world. It’s not just aspiring developers, but even artists who dream of designing characters and beautiful landscapes within the game as mods require the imagination and artistic flair to draw and digitally color the virtual world in front of them.

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