What Can Game Mods Teach You as a Game Developer?
There’s no question that video games are fun. In fact, the global video game industry’s revenue was estimated to be$179.7 billion in 2020 alone. Wow.
One could say that gaming has become more popular than moviesand traditional sports.
Perhaps it’s due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but while the video games industry saw a surge of 20% in revenues, the global film industry earned just $12 billion in 2020. That’s only about a third of what it earned in 2019.
Meanwhile, the North American sports industry only had estimated earnings of around $75 billion over the same period.
The numbers are still huge (in billions!), of course, yet given that video game revenues amount to more than the sum of these two other really popular industries, it’s safe to say that gaming is the new king!
If you haven’t done some gaming these past years, perhaps it’s time to get a console or even a new PC game, huh?
For many beginners, gaming can be exciting, but ifyou play a gamerepeatedly, it can geta little boring.
As you go for it again, you might notice things that you want to change in the game. Perhaps you’d like the weapons to be more powerful, or you notice that the map looks too simple and could use some upgrades. Sometimes you might think that the characters are too bland or their dialogues are repetitive or predictable.
That’s how you start thinking likea modder!
Finding New Balance in Game Development and Modding
The advent of computers introduced video games whose quality and diversity improved over the years.
As more games were made, modding became a favorite pastime for people now called ‘modders.’ These people created game mods to upgrade their gameplay experience. Soon, they shared their mods with others, and so a robust modding community was built.
But what do game mods bring to the table?
For modders, these tweaks help improve their game development skills and allow them to invent things that they wish the game developers had.
No longer do people have to wish that something was added to a game. Now they can do it themselves! If you don’t believe me, just search about what you want to mod fora particular game. Chances are, there are at least a dozen similar mods out there focused on the exact same thing you’ve been thinking about.
Modding has become an accepted aspect of gaming. So much so that much software has been released to help moddershone their craft and make their jobs easier.
To be a good modder, you should be ableto think like a seasonedgame developer.The best game modders:
- Are imaginative and creative
- Have excellent problem-solving and communication skills
- Understand their target market
- Are fluent in coding and the use of software
- Have excellent development skills
- Are passionate about video games
The last one is very important. You can’t just seek to improve video games; youhave tolovethem!
Finding Your Niche
To become a good game developer or modder, you mustfind your niche.But the game industry is so vast that this can seem likea daunting task.
A good place to start iswith the game you love best. Think back to the first thoughts you hadabout thatparticular game, the reasons why you loved playing it over and over again, and the things that you wished the game developers had created to make your gameplay experience better.
Then, try to apply those ideasto the game. Of course, it won’t be easy at first, particularly if you picked a game that not too many people have attempted to mod. You might have difficultyfinding tutorials to create your mod for that game, but the more you try and learn on your own, the more it will come naturally.
These are the basic types of game mods:
- Art mod
- Music mod
- Total conversions
- Unofficial patches
- User interface mod
Unsure of whereto start and which modsto try? Well, why not try them all? But we suggest you take asystematic approach.
First, familiarize yourself with the basics of modding, the platforms and tools you need, and the stepsyou need to take to accomplish your goal.
Practice makes perfect, they say. That’s why you’ll probably need to do a lot of game modding before you finally find your niche or establisha good career.
What Can Game Mods Teach You as a Game Developer?
Branchingout as a modder gives you better insight intothe skills you required to excel as a game developer. There are plenty of different careers in game development, but onceyou’ve found your niche, you’ll know where to focus your efforts.
Have you noticed games with bland, forgettable backgrounds and dull characters who could use some digital fashion items from DIGITALAX to make them look really good?
Ifyou’re already part of the game development community, keep that in mind;go ahead and make those game characters interesting!
And when you’remaking a game, think like a modder. Look for ways to improve it from the outset.
Learn from the Best
Read up about famous game developers who’ve taken their careers to the next level just by dabbling in game modding.
Icefrog, for example, is probably one of the most recognizable names in the game development and modding industries. He’s the lead developer for both Dota 2 and the original Defense of the Ancients.
Although deeply entangled in a controversy between Blizzard (the original owner of Dota 2) and Valve (the company who bought rights to the mod), Icefrogcreated a really impressive mod that’s still popular many years after its release!
We’re not saying you should get involved incontroversy to make a name for yourself, but the goal is to create better careers in game development from the skills you learned in modding.