What Are Those Mods?
Probably you have heard of the word “modding” or “mods.” And probably you have seen games such as Garry’s Mod that allow you to interfere and mess around with game software. Modding is, pretty much, changing some software in order to make it function differently. And many video games have been modified by skillful programmers to perform different functions -and sometimes to the extent of being a totally new game and experience. In fact, someone could claim that the whole gaming industry began from modifications that some people did on pre-existing software.
Today, we are going to have a look at three game mods that were so good and so popular they became their own, standalone games.
The reason most of us know video game mods. The popular series of terrorism-fighting games started as a modification for the also popular Half-Life. For a long time, people would either download or go to net cafes all over the world to play rounds of this shooter game. The makers impressed Valve so much that they were hired to work on official games. But apart from just that, they paved the way for modern mod making. Counter-Strike, in various iterations, is, up to this day, very much alive in the competitive scene. We have talked about it in a previous article. Go read it, if you haven’t.
DotA is a game that popularised the MOBA genre (those games that you have to defend your base against other characters). Developed by a small group of people as a modification to WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos, DotA (which stands for Defense of the Ancients) was a huge success among players and received many spin-offs and versions. The also supremely popular League of Legends traces its roots to DotA. The game was so beloved, it even inspired a song by Basshunter. Nowadays you can easily find and play the official sequel, Dota 2. But if you weren’t there when it all started, believe us that it was a crazy time.
You all know the Super Smash Bros. series. There is one game in the series, though, that not many players talk about: Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The reason is that this game was not well-received by everyone, and fans believed that there were missing elements. Some modders fixed that by adding extra characters, such as Mewtwo, and tweaking a few things. The result was a modified version of the game titled Project M. The game was a big success in the tournament scene but suffered a big blow when a few tournament organisers decided to ban it. Some people suspect Nintendo’s involvement too. Oh, well…
Can I do it too?
For most of the mods, some technical skills are required. However, lately there have been multiple toolkits online that make modding software a bit more comprehensible (you can find a lot of help on Steam’s Workshop, for example). Still, video game modding is always a grey area. Some companies are very much against it, while others encourage fans to create stuff for their games. We advise you to look online if modding communities of said game exist and what the IP holder of the game permits. If it all looks good, you can join your community and start creating stuff.
Header image: Defense of the Ancients In-text image: Counter-Strike