From where I'm standing, the mod scene is in complete shambles.
Every day you hear about the latest-and-greatest Counter-Strike clone. I
wish I had foreseen the future back when I started on Night's Edge,
because the development cycle was so long that what seemed like a
wide-open market turned into a glut of realistic first-person shooter mods
for every game imaginable before we even released our first beta. And yet
people are still
starting up teams with the intentions of
introducing absolutely nothing new
, except maybe their own pet gun
which they feel has been overlooked by all the other mod teams.
Even worse, in my opinion, is the people who start up a project
like this with the sole intention of turning it into a commercial venture.
Again, with the success of Counter-Strike, everyone and their brother
believes they can reproduce not only the game itself, but its unfathomable
popularity and path to commercial viability. Talk about starting a mod
for the wrong reasons! The only other mod that I know of that actually
managed to be packaged as a separate produce was TacOps for Unreal
Tournament, and I haven't heard good things about it.
The problem is the age-old concept of jumping on the bandwagon.
Rather than putting some thought into a well laid-out original concept,
people find it easier to just mimic the successful patterns of the most
popular idea at that moment in time. Remember the deluge of first-person
shooters that arrived after Doom? Anyone else remember, with mixed
feelings, the flooded real-time strategy market that followed Command and
Conquer? It seems like every two-bit software company threw together a
rushed-to-market game in one or both of these categories, and gamers had
to shop cautiously as if stepping through a minefield.
There is a silver lining. Eventually, as we all should know by now,
the bubble bursts. It happened with the dot-coms, it happened with the
RTS games, it happened with the FPS games. Oh, sure, there are still
plenty of bad shooters being made, plenty of bad real-time strategy games
being made, and Zebulon knows there are still a mess of worthless internet
companies doing nothing more than taking up domain names. But the initial
boom has ended and their numbers are now back down to more reasonable
levels. So eventually, I think, the mod makers will return to what they
do best: making original mods that really test the limits of their engine,
not our patience.