25th Nov2022

Moddability as the Future of Gaming Systems

by James Smith

One of the best parts of any video game is the ability for players to express themselves. Depending on the game and genre, this expression could be limited, or it could be extensive, but there’s always going to be a hard limit. The nature of interactive entertainment means that content can’t last forever. In the age of mods, however, this isn’t always the case.
Video game modifications can massively change a game’s style and systems, building on even a humble basis to create significant new experiences. With the industry filled with many historical examples, the usefulness of these features likely illustrates a direction forward for major developers, opening exciting opportunities for players along the way.

Why Games Allow Modifications

As a basis, video game developers and publishers want you as a player to experience carefully crafted worlds and events. A good developer knows that, no matter how far they go, they can’t cover everything. This was the case in a famous early example with the original Doom, launched back in 1993.

Understanding that players would want to modify their games, project leads John Romero and John Carmack developed their system in a way that would be open and accessible to their players. They even released the source code, giving outsiders full knowledge of what makes Doom tick. Resulting mods like Star Wars Doom are still available more than a quarter of a century later on long-running websites like DoomWadStation.

Whilst game engines were much simpler back then, the same idea of extra functionality remains today, with many major titles being developed with modifications in mind. It’s not just video games that have embraced these ideas either, as the purpose of moddability is reflected in other forms of contemporary software design.

Flexibility and Use

With the internet now an integral part of the business landscape, it’s natural that an emphasis on flexibility would result. Just like in traditional gaming, iGaming software developers like PlaylogiQ have similarly ensured that their projects offer maximum choice. In this instance, various systems are offered in the form of additions like odds trading, risk management, and B2C trading, each of which clients can explore and build on as they require.

Apple have been experimenting with these ideas according to rumours about upcoming UI changes to their classic layout. According to MacRumors, these new changes add an unprecedented level of customisability to iOS user interfaces. This puts more power in the hands of the users, creating an ecosystem which is more personalised and efficient than previous interfaces.

The primary basis behind these systems is that no matter how great a developer’s vision is, they can never predict or accomplish everything. Moddability in games is desirable because it allows us to test the waters beyond strict visions, extend ideas, and try new experiments. Some of the most popular titles of all time, such as Dota and PUBG are the results of mods. So it’s clear that potential, when placed in the hands of users, is too great to ignore. While some developers will retain a tight grip on their systems, the one thing we know for sure is that for upcoming games like the next Elder Scrolls, extensive moddability for the coming title is all but guaranteed, and this will always be an important part of the vast gaming arena.


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