Think like developer! (when MODing) -1 reply

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I didn't make it!

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#1 10 years ago

Hi, (I originaly checked this tread for different personal reason, but now I browsed it and also few other mod forums and conversations and I can't hold back to give some feedback and maybe advice to the comunity in general.)

I detected one similiar pattern in many (all?) mods. I think its wrong and dangerous thing (especialy for player who uses this mod). Most of the mod description by authors start with something like: "I dont like how the game is not realistic. Why don't stalkers suits don't have camo?-So unrealistic!-so I added it. Why the AI cant see better\worse\.. in the dark?-I moded this and that so now the dog can hunt you sooo far. Also I added "invisible killing spot" that can't be seen and will instant-kill you and I think it had cool effect and is so cool!" etc. I think some of you can get now, what Im aiming at. ;)

Now, I am long time game developer. (I have even worked on 2 profi, commercial FPS games) I know how you have to think as developer to create a nice experience for player. I know how hard it is to balance thing in game.

Now, believe me that the guys who created Stalker knew wery well, why AUI can se this far and reacts this way. - because it creates certain difficulcy at certain areas in game.

They knew whythings cost so much and can be obtained only here. - because it creates right "economic microspace" in game and right difficulcy for obtaining new equip - so player only has this and that, this far in the game - and also creates right "tension" so player is compelled to go on in the game or take side mission to get a better (but not instantle best) equip etc.

And the conclusion ? A lot of people who are modding the game imho totaly fail to recognize this aspects and connections in game design and gameplay. And by moddig the game unnecessarily or in no-second-thought way they are making it not "more cool", but making it less balanced, too difficult (or too easy), less polished or just simply less fun to play.

Im affraid most of the mods are so in full or in some aspect.

So my advice is: When you really want to create good mod, dont think like noob, dont think like player. Think like game developer. And that means no "I want" and a lot more "what might people really want the game to feel like" and a lot more "will this fit?" and "what will this do if I'll add \ remove \ mod this?".

I understand that a lot of people might reply now, that this they know of course. But are you really using it when creating your mod ?

Also please don't take this as me picking at the mod community. I appreciate that you spend a lot of time to create new experience for this (or any) game fans.

Just thought a little feedback and insight might help you make even better job! ;)


Dread pwns me!

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18th July 2006

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#2 10 years ago

The mod makers here are making the kind of mods they'd like to play. They are changing the game to something they would have liked the original to be. Their ideas don't please everyone, but it's not like they're forcing people to play a mod the way it is. They do take suggestions, and things do change based on the players feedback.

Sometimes complete balance and realism isn't the way to go with a game. ABC, AMK, OL, Rebalanced, they all add a different way of playing the game, and they're all extremely popular, which means a lot of players agree with the developers of those mods.

Namedropping aside, some mods do add a lot, but I don't think any of them go over the top.

Personally, I don't think modders should think like the developers, I think the developers should think more like the modders.


Oblivion Lost supplier

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25th March 2008

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#3 10 years ago

Hi Riva_art!

First: I really appreciate your feedback as a developer!

But from your other post I take it you are currently playing STALKER for the first time(?). You probably don't know STALKER as well as the guys here who played it a lot and also with various different mods. You expect that GSC did know quite well what they are doing, but the more you play STALKER, the more it seems to you that they didn't know exactly what they are doing }> - and especially if you look through their code, you notice they changed things often and in the end published something that was not supposed to be that way.

I hope you don't work for GSC, because I don't want to offend you. :)

Now I agree with you that some mods make things incredibly tough, while others are true cheat add-ons. I think it's the bonus of mods that they can focus on certain things, can make things easier or harder, because people who install the mod will know what it changes and can decide not to install this mod or pick another. So noobs and pro-player should find a mod that will fit their style.

Of course GSC balanced a lot and maybe they even did a good job at it, but in my opinion they didn't balance for the pro-players, so pro-players get bored by certain issues of the game. Now for them there is Oblivion Lost 2.0, as an example.

On the other hand casual players (polite word for noobs) are getting bored after they've played the game more than once or twice, because they know everything already. So for the latter players there are mods out that make the game more fun, fast paced and cheaty (e.g. ABC Inferno).

I also agree with what you wrote here:

.. a lot more "what might people really want the game to feel like" and a lot more "will this fit?" and "what will this do if I'll add \ remove \ mod this?".

But I'd say as a modder - in contrary to a commercial game designer - you also have to make a mod that fits your game-play, because there is some reason you didn't like the original gameplay and started modding. Most probably other players will dislike the original gameplay also, because of the same reasons as you did and they will like your mod, because of the same reason as you do.

Now I think I've focussed too much on mods that are only fixing STALKER, instead of creating something unique. I don't know if there are STALKER mods out there that create something unique, maybe Priboi Story, because it removes the original storyline and creates its own. You see the Zone from the eyes of a soldier. So this can be compared to "Half-Life: Blue Shift", which also started as a mod (at least in my agonized brain there is this memory).

When creating such a mod, like blue shift, you surely have to think like a developer and balance the game for any kind of player, to make it a huge impact and get rich like Valve. :p

PS: If you are searching for a skilled coder/scripter and a guy who thinks about gameplay a lot, PM me! :cheers: