There are many times that I have covered mods in this post. From adding Ray Tracing to classic games to transforming the experience of titles like Dark Souls, the modding community He has always shown two things: imagination and dedication in equal parts. To this day, the phrase “they will make a mod for that” is something that is directly linked to PC video games, and has become part of the DNA of playing on a computer.
After all, of all of us who play, who has never thought about what their ideal game would be like? Have you ever been playing a shooter and said “it would be cool to have a level like this”? These thoughts not only they are not newbut that they already occurred in the 80s, and represented a new frontier to explore that could only occur on one platform: the PC.
From then until now we have seen a great evolution within this scene. the mods they have grown up with us and have become a multipurpose tool. What decades ago was simply creating new levels (which is no small thing!) has quickly become commercial games or even new genres thanks to Dota. Mods are, in effect, a unique way on our platform to interact with the games we love the most, let our imagination run wild and become more than just gamers.
Id Software, the company that changed everything
But where did all this start? Well, it’s difficult to talk about a specific title as the root of all this, but one of the first was Lode Runner, released in 1983. Being something practically unthinkable until before, it made history by bringing a level editorand, although it was not the origin of any boom, it was a sign of what was to come.
Like many things that have to do with video games, and especially computer games, the real modding scene started with id software games. Although Wolfenstein 3D had no official modding tools, gamers found ways to make their own mark on the title. That’s why, when the original Doom went on sale, the North American company left the door open for user-generated content. And what a door!
Like any scene, early Doom mods were more stripped back, focusing on individual levels. Later on, the scene evolved into big, huge campaigns and my favorite thing: total conversions. These, as the name suggests, are based on changing the visual aspect and the mechanics of the titles to turn them into something completely different. Examples of this are Batman Doom, Fallout Et Tu or even the original version of The Stanley Parable.
As if this were not enough, these projects were also all free. The mods were made by and for the enjoyment of the community, and that is something that, fortunately, has not changed until today. And it is that one of the engines that drives modders is that everyone can enjoy their work.
A welcome full of imagination
While giving this creative freedom was a conscious decision by the developers, the way players came to express themselves it was amazing even for them. In an interview conducted by the Slashdot forum with John Carmack (one of the main Doom programmers), he talked about his reaction to seeing the projects that fans carried out with his game:
“I still remember the first time I saw the original mod of Star Wars DOOM. Seeing how someone had put the Death Star in our game was incredibly cool. I was so proud of what we had made possible and I was totally sure that making games that could serve as a canvas for other people to work on was a valid decision,” said the programmer and creative.
The impact of modding on the industry
Since then, the mods They have evolved a lot. The journey of this scene has been very extensive and has given rise to a great variety of very interesting projects and events. Despite the fact that these creations are often associated with graphic improvements, we also still have level sets like those that exist within Minecraft and total conversions like Skyblivion or Beyond Skyrim: Cyrodiil. As if all this were not enough, the importance of this side of the hobby has permeated the middle, reaching the highest spheres and marked industry forever.
Counter Strike, which started as a mod, has created one of the most popular franchises.
Counter-Strike, which started as a mod in 1999, has created one of the most popular and successful franchises in all of PC gaming, DOTA, the most popular Warcraft 3 mod in history, ended up not only giving birth to a new genre, but also brought us League of Legends , one of the most popular competitive video games ever made. Titles like Minecraft and The Elder Scrolls saga have given modders home in which to expand and create impressive projects that demonstrate not only the imagination of their fans, but also how important it is to take care of this facet and those who are passionate about it, providing them with the necessary tools to grow.
A much bigger hobby than you think
On the other hand, unfortunately spoil the modders so much it’s not standard, and these are used to creating their works despite not having official tools with which to do so. Dark Souls is a great example of this. Starting with fixes for its PC version thanks to DSfix, Souls fans didn’t stop there and soon began to release all kinds of modifications: visual fixes, tools to detect and avoid cheaters, alternative campaigns and even sequels are in the game. FromSoftware’s portfolio of RPG mods. The more open a game is, the more it lends itself to mods, and if you have community support behind it, there’s hardly anything that can stop amateur creatives.
In modding there is room for all kinds of projects.
There are a lot of games that have received cool mods that you wouldn’t expect. The Simpsons Hit & Run, Metal Gear Solid V, A Hat In Time or Sonic Generations have seen all kinds of expansions created for them. From total modifications of its gameplay to new maps and challenges, you can find everything. There are even mods that add virtual reality to titles like Resident Evil 2 Remake! Although it may seem that the most popular works are the ones that monopolize the entire scene, this hobby is so immense that there is room for all kinds of magical projects.
Personally, I encourage you to search for one of your favorite video games on PC followed by the word mods in Google or NexusMods to see what you find. Going one step further, I’m going to be completely honest, modding has grown so much and touched so many works that it would take 4 articles like this to represent all its aspects the way they deserve. But this should not be imposing, quite the opposite. Today you can start your journey through the creations of countless people who share your same passion for video games.