Poll Question 316 – How do you feel when a mod limits access to the console?

Does anybody else remember how in The Citizen 2 when you tried to noclip around, almost immediately you ere taken to a jail within the mod?

It was kinda cool and pretty clever too. At least at first. But then later on I remember feeling that I needed it. I’m not sure if there was a bug or a script didn’t start or something, but then I became a little frustrated. I don’t remember what happened but I must have alsoved the problem because I definitely remember finishing the mod.

It seems we have become accustomed to haivng full access to the console in mods and mods games but not all games even have a console.

This whole episode reminds of a post I wrote back in June 2006 called IMALAZYBEEOTCH and I’ll never forgive that game.

Anyway, how do you feel about console access in mods? Is it a right that modders shouldn’t take away?

Be sure to vote and feel free to comment with your detailed thoughts and experiences.

Your chance to vote.


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33 Comments

  1. Unq

    It annoys the hell out of me. Developers forcing their way onto players doesn’t work out too well in general. Perhaps they are just too shortsighted to understand that people using the console and “cheats” aren’t just looking for ways to actually cheat – sometimes it’s just for exploring, or getting screenshots, or whatever.

  2. For me it really depends on the mod. Generally, it shouldn’t happen, period. Players should be able to use cheats if they so desire, and if they do end up using them a lot to get through your mod, it’s probably your fault. It’s the equivalent of an AAA developer getting flamed and shamed for “locked to 30fps/missig features on PC/omg shitty console port/etc”. However, there are sometimes some really good reasons why you don’t want your players to use any cheat, and the best example of this is The Stanley Parable. TSP relies on some pretty delicate tech to work – not just smart placement of trigger volumes (IE areas that make things happen when you go into them), but also things like world portals – without getting into the specifics, these are the way that “impossible spaces” like infinitely right-turning corridors are made in TSP. That stuff breaks easily, and, if things get really hairy, it can break the whole game – in TSP there a few scripting conditions that are valid through multiple playthroughs, not just the map you are currently in – break one and the whole game may stop working properly.

    When you see features missing in a mod, like “Oh why can’t I jump/sprint/use the flashlight” and there doesn’t seem to be a valid gameplay reason, it’s not that the modder just likes being an an a**hole. Sometimes the reasons are gameplay/stability related, but are very complex so the average player may not see them. For example, ever wondered why you can’t jump when using the cloning machine in the Whoopservatory mod? Take a look here. Jumping or sprinting had a tendency to break your clone due to pathing detection issues.

    In the same way, the console can be missing or gimped for the same or similar reasons. You may say “oh but if you want to introduce a feature you should do so properly/you shouldn’t sacrifice standard features for gameplay” – true, but keep in mind that these are mods. They just re-use existing assets and systems of another game. Most of the time they’re just rearrangements (especially in terms of scripting and code, which are much harder to modify to suit your needs in a mod than, say, adding a new model), so by their very own nature, they are going to be “cobbled together” in some parts, with all the consequences.

  3. I guess I never tried to noclip in Citizen 2. Assuming what you say is true, and considering what a train wreck Citizen 2 was, it’s quite remarkable that the mappers decided to spend their time on something like that instead of focusing on the gameplay.

    The only instance I can remember of the console being altered in some way was in The Stanley Parable retail release. I wanted to noclip around and see how they built some of their amusing infinite hallways and how they could alter the layout of their maps. What this wound up achieving, however, was leading to an entirely different ending – the “cheater ending” – where the Narrator scolds you for trying to cheat your way through his all-important story. Supposedly, users who found a way to work around this discovered that noclipping was quite crash-prone (probably for the reasons Blazer explains above). But since The Stanley Parable was all about finding ways to break the Narrator’s story, I found it entertaining that they had an actual ending for if you tried to cheat. And it’s probably a good example of leveraging a weakness into a strength.

    But in general, it sucks. Don’t do it.

  4. bobdog

    Maybe one of the most egregious examples of the author limiting your ability to use the console was on the original “The Gate”. If you tried to use the console, you’d wind up in a black box with some sort of message like “you’re a wuss because you had to cheat.” As mentioned above, this only serves to enrage the player, not to engage them. And there were no real reasons for denying the console that I recall, except maybe due to the stealth section.

    Again, it comes down to the author limiting the console use for a legitimate purpose — not to be a butthead against players who might actually NEED the console to get past certain parts of the mod that the author has made too challenging for the majority of players.

    1. Unq

      Haha, oh god yes I was about to post about The Gate. I remember loading up a map while writing my Ten Four review (my last!) and trying to simply noclip to get a good screenshot. But then you get teleported to a black room and scolded like bobdog mentioned. It was just the topping on the cake for that godawful mod though.

      Side note, looks like Ten Four is offline, probably for good. Oh well. My scathing Gate review is perhaps lost to time.

  5. Zekiran

    As others have said, I’m not a fan of having certain often-vital ‘rescue features’ missing from any mod. I can *understand* it, but… with that understanding, the developer needs to have fully tested and made extra extra sure that their mod *is completely, totally functional* without those things.

    Whoops got stuck in the scenery, not trying to get around something, just exploring. Noclip – um, why’s noclip not working?! Start over from where?!

    The console is a feature that I don’t *like* having to use, but it’s rescued a lot of lesser or mediocre mods for me, in such cases where difficulty level is much too high or places are too confusing to get around conventionally.

    Or as someone mentioned: just to get a screenshot. I want to see the layout, I want to see what map elements are there, how it was wrapped around itself, or where I took a wrong turn. To me, it’s not the end of the world if I have to switch to god-mode, it just means I’ll be considering that factor when I write a review. It’s certainly not the end of the world for a mod if I have to noclip, but that’s usually a more dire situation.

    Not being allowed to do so, in order to figure out what should be obvious or at least sensibly forthcoming in a mod? That’s stupid and arrogant on the part of the developer.

    Even Valve allows us to noclip. It’s a way of ensuring satisfaction in a game, rather than having it just remain ‘as is’. Static standing around in a map is great, most other games I’ve played I don’t even know HOW to activate noclip or ghost mode. But if something prevented me *for no apparent reason*, ugh. Turnoff.

  6. Anon_1397618

    I liked what Underhell did, upon opening the console there is text in the console that says something along the lines of “While we have allowed you to use cheats, as this is a heavily story based mod, interfering with the game in ways that aren’t intended could lead to severe problems so please close the console and have fun”, this makes it so that the player knows what they’re getting into before using cheats to mess around with the game.

    1. Yes, that’s a nice idea.

  7. 2muchvideogames

    your tenfour reviews are gone? they are pretty funny to read, maybe you should save them using web archive? Anyway I remember INVASION, the huge french mod, had some kind of crash-on-noclip thing in there as well. That was annoying and prevented me from getting thru that mod. Long story short, I was playing in software and the keypads dont show up so I couldnt get past the first keypad door in the mod. Tried noclipping and the game crashes. Given the wavering quality of mods I think noclip should not be disabled, along with any other console command. Especially in half life mods where any tiny non-square shape could potentially get you stuck with no hope of escape. Dont even get me started on elevators and poorly done level transitions. The console is simply a must have if you want to play thru every mod smoothly.

    That said, I think modders want to disable these cheats because they want the mod played ‘properly’, the way they meant for it to be played. Unfortunately for them, there are a number of players who simply cannot play the game without a bucketload of cheats. Whether its because of lack of skill, patience, interest, etc, some players have to cheat thru almost every mod. Like the Gate, for example. I actually managed to play the whole thing without cheats, but if you ask me to play thru the whole thing again I will most likely get cheating (especially thru those ridiculous stealth sections).

    In the end it’s all about control. This is the same sentiment for how AAA games like to ‘railroad’ you. Control the player to do what the dev wants you to do, and ONLY what they want you to do. The player meanwhile wants control in terms of how much freedom they have over their own game. At this point you can see that developer control and player control are two opposite ends of the same scale, have more control for one means less for the other. Half life, even in the vanilla game, grants a large degree of control to the player, so I think half life mods should also follow the vanilla example. But of course everyone is different, so some developers will still want more control over the player. And so it goes.

    1. Unq

      your tenfour reviews are gone?

      Seems Atomic Gamer (who inherited the telefragged sites) died. So yeah, Ten Four is gone.

      That said, all of the Ten Four HL reviews (as excerpts) are posted here as comments on each mod, so at least something remains.

      1. Ah, Telefragged. I ran a site in their Retrofaction community a long time ago. Was a nice group of guys. Pretty much let us do whatever we wanted. They wound up surviving much longer than I would have thought, given the direction things have been going lately.

  8. Hec

    Well, I guess having the console should be really mandatory, in almost every mod in there….

    You know, specially if that mod is particularly difficult as hell. You know like many Portal mods in there, almost all of them are pretty difficult because those portal modders think is very smart to lay out them that way!! So when you’re not allowed to use the console that’s very annoying and in personal is the main thing that discourages me to keep on play it…

    This post is peculiar, because I was thinking something like this recently. I’ve been playing a quite old school mod called Riot in Progress, only playable in the HL1 WON version, so the point is, that this mod is sometimes difficult as hell!!!! And besides that, the gameplay limits the game quicksaves so you’re penalized if you don’t collect enough gamesave-gems… So you know, I’m actually replaying this mod, because when I played it around 8 years ago, I was a really dumb player and I didn’t have idea of how to use the console or the cheats. So now, I’m just hacking the game by providing myself with tons of savegame-gems… in order to complete the mod, and you know… THANK GOD FOR THAT!! I’m actually enjoying the mod so much. If that mod wouldn’t allowed to use the console I even never try to consider replay it, that’s for sure. So in this case the console have become my best friend.

    1. bobdog

      Oh my gosh — Riot in Progress?! That’s the game that eventually forced me to uninstall HL1 off my computer forever, because the mod was so awful. Good luck with it!

      1. That is so funny. That’s like saying after I tasted “something really disgusting” I decided to stop eating.

      2. Hec

        Yeah that is. lol Your decision looks like quite radical, no??? I’m actually liking the mod with some patience and the excellent walkthroughs on youtube, and the console I’m’ beating it.

        Soon I’ll review it here in RTSL.

  9. Dias

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m personally fine with it, since it’s not really a part of the game. It’s a “Developer Console” meaning the whole purpose of it is to make developing & testing easier for the developers & the more mod-friendly a game engine is, the more likely the game will even have a console. If you’re a modder releasing the game, there’s no reason to have a developer console & disabling the console helps discourage others from modding your mod & releasing it as their own. When you install a mod & play it, you’re agreeing to play the game by somebody else’s rules, for better or for worse.

    If I released a game I deliberately designed with no save states, or only allow saving at given times/places, or a limit to the number of saves, should I be blamed if I disallowed saving via the console? A feature of one game fundamentally alters the gameplay of my own design, so I removed it. Can I not make a HL2 mod without the gravity gun?

    Edit: (I just read your IMALAZYBEEOTCH article, and just for clarification I did not make Pariah, or any other game for that matter)

    1. The difference is that in a released, retail product, the presumption is that everything is supposed to work. Progress in a level shouldn’t be stymied because of logic gaffes. QA weeded them out. The player trusts that if they don’t get it, it’s not because the solution doesn’t exist. They’ll struggle with one of Valve’s Portal puzzles for an hour because they know the solution must exist.

      You won’t get that level of trust in a mod. If a player gets stuck for several minutes, they’re going to start assuming they broke something. No game is perfect, but mods especially aren’t. They don’t have a massive QA team at their disposal, paid to find ways to break their work. And when players run into gamebreaking bugs – or if they perceive that they’re stuck – they’re going to get mad at you for it. Especially if they come to find you’ve actually gone out of your way to deny them the ability to keep making progress, all because you have some philosophical vendetta against the console.

      disabling the console helps discourage others from modding your mod & releasing it as their own

      People who worry about things like that typically don’t have things worth stealing. In this age of Steam Workshop, it’s inevitable that some unscrupulous people will try to post your work as their own, but it’s not an epidemic. You go after them as it happens. It’s happened to me about 3 times in the course of almost 20 years. I don’t worry about it.

      When you install a mod & play it, you’re agreeing to play the game by somebody else’s rules, for better or for worse.

      Not necessarily. You’d be a bad designer if you adapted a “my way or the highway” approach to design. If you’re going to defy the player’s expectations for how things are supposed to work, you need a good reason for it.

      Great design is about finding clever solutions given the limits you have, not running roughshod around established rules whenever they inconvenience you. Every game has “that level.” The one where you wonder if its designer was on the same page as everyone else. The one who couldn’t get with the program.

      But the keyword here is expectations. If you’re trying to market something as an HL2 mod, then there are things players expect with that which they wouldn’t with, say, an art mod.

      I do criticize the exclusion of the Gravity Gun in cases where it seems unjustified. The Gravity Gun is as fundamental to HL2 as the Shotgun is to Doom. So, if you’re going to exclude it, you need a good reason for doing so. I can get behind some reasons – intentionally trying to evoke pre-Black Mesa East gameplay, the fiction that the player isn’t Gordon Freeman (sometimes), or trying to be an art mod – but not “It’s going to break my scripting that’s held together by duct tape,” which is often the actual reason.

      1. Dias

        You won’t get that level of trust in a mod. If a player gets stuck for several minutes, they’re going to start assuming they broke something. No game is perfect, but mods especially aren’t. They don’t have a massive QA team at their disposal, paid to find ways to break their work. And when players run into gamebreaking bugs – or if they perceive that they’re stuck – they’re going to get mad at you for it. Especially if they come to find you’ve actually gone out of your way to deny them the ability to keep making progress, all because you have some philosophical vendetta against the console.

        Ironically enough, Phillip’s IMALAZYBEEOTCH article is entirely about a retail game.

        Imagine if you run down a corridor in a game & every time you try you end up getting shot to death half-way through it, so you decide use godmode only to encounter an invisible wall 3/4 the way through the corridor & noclip through to the other side of it causing a bunch of other events to trigger that weren’t meant to until near the end of the map turning the mod into a completely broken mess. Sometimes what the player thinks is a bug isn’t a bug. There are only so many ways to stop them from ‘fixing’ that bug.

        People who worry about things like that typically don’t have things worth stealing. In this age of Steam Workshop, it’s inevitable that some unscrupulous people will try to post your work as their own, but it’s not an epidemic. You go after them as it happens. It’s happened to me about 3 times in the course of almost 20 years. I don’t worry about it.

        Maybe it’s you who doesn’t have anything worth stealing. In general, if a mod has a massive SMOD-like Lua scripting system there’d probably have more people stealing the mod, if there’s no console or even disabled use of custom content entirely, there’d be far less theft.

        But the keyword here is expectations. If you’re trying to market something as an HL2 mod, then there are things players expect with that which they wouldn’t with, say, an art mod.

        I do criticize the exclusion of the Gravity Gun in cases where it seems unjustified. The Gravity Gun is as fundamental to HL2 as the Shotgun is to Doom. So, if you’re going to exclude it, you need a good reason for doing so. I can get behind some reasons – intentionally trying to evoke pre-Black Mesa East gameplay, the fiction that the player isn’t Gordon Freeman (sometimes), or trying to be an art mod – but not “It’s going to break my scripting that’s held together by duct tape,” which is often the actual reason.

        I never said anything about marketing a game as a half-life 2 mod. I said if a game was a Half-Life 2 mod. The Stanley Parable doesn’t need the Gravity Gun, GoldenEye: Source doesn’t need the gravity gun & there’s no reason to expect it. Black Mesa removed the code for the gavity gun entirely & I’m sure you remember how often people requested it be kept in on the mod’s forum before release, but if they’re never going to use it in the game, why have it? I believe modders should be just as free to remove content as they are to add it.

        1. Zekiran

          ** use of ‘general’ you in this post**

          Imagine if you run down a corridor in a game & every time you try you end up getting shot to death half-way through it, so you decide use godmode only to encounter an invisible wall 3/4 the way through the corridor

          I’d stop playing the mod right there, because whoever would do such a thing to players is a fool and shouldn’t be designing levels.

          The point trying to be made here is that just because your special snowflake modder thinks their mod is “all that” (worth stealing, perfectly made, whatever) they usually aren’t. That kind of arrogance is why I would avoid not only a mod made by someone who would do your above example (not that there are many… well, no I know there ARE out there), I would dissuade others from doing so.

          It’s the mark of a *bad* modder, to do so. Being so sure that your mod is perfect? Yeah, I … just… don’t think so. Nothing is, particularly when we’re talking about PC gaming. And, what more to add to that idea: an old mod, after an update to the engine? Broken as hell (like so VERY many still are) – and now even if you get some of them running, maybe noclipping is the ONLY way to do something after the engine changes? Maybe those triggers are broken. Maybe that map can’t be completed without seriously changing the damage taken.

          Variables such as those are things I believe some modders just do NOT take into account, when they decide “thus far and it is perfect without such things as console commands”. It’s never going to be perfect and it’s certainly never going to be perfect ENOUGH for all rigs, and all future variables.

          1. Dias

            I never said it was to fool the player. If the player was unarmed & the hall was full of metrocops with stunsticks, it’d be pretty obvious to you, wouldn’t it? Another example I was going to use was a person trying to swim across the water in Portal, confused why they couldn’t since they could in HL2. I think you’re the one who needs to account for more variables.

            1. I never said it was to fool the player.

              It doesn’t matter if you intended to fool the player or not. There are countless scenarios where the designer intends for one thing to happen and the player does something else instead. Often the complete opposite.

              If the player felt misled because you did not clearly signal your intent, it’s still your fault as a designer.

              If something is supposed to be a hard progression blocker, then make it one. Don’t use a soft progression blocker and then spite the player by making it impossible to circumvent anyway. Just install a forcefield or a signposted, locked door and remove the ambiguity. There’s nothing to gain by throwing down an invisible wall.

              Another example I was going to use was a person trying to swim across the water in Portal, confused why they couldn’t since they could in HL.

              Maybe I’m forgetting something, but I thought all “water” in Portal was steaming toxic sludge. It never looks inviting.

              1. Dias

                Maybe I’m forgetting something, but I thought all “water” in Portal was steaming toxic sludge. It never looks inviting.

                My point exactly. You got this one a lot better than the other example.

        2. Ironically enough, Phillip’s IMALAZYBEEOTCH article is entirely about a retail game.

          One retail game where the developers were too lazy to set up a proper save or checkpoint system doesn’t negate the fact that the majority do. Developers are gamers too. They know the frustration of having to redo a part over and over again. It’s not fun and there are a multitude of ways to address that.

          Imagine if you run down a corridor in a game & every time you try you end up getting shot to death half-way through it, so you decide use godmode only to encounter an invisible wall 3/4 the way through the corridor & noclip through to the other side of it causing a bunch of other events to trigger that weren’t meant to until near the end of the map turning the mod into a completely broken mess. Sometimes what the player thinks is a bug isn’t a bug. There are only so many ways to stop them from ‘fixing’ that bug.

          Well, first of all, that corridor is a really crap design. It relies on an invisible wall and damage to create a blocking mechanism. If you don’t put a forcefield there – something that clearly reads as “you can’t go this way” – some players will believe it can be passed with enough persistence or attrition. Placing an invisible wall on top of that is therefore spiteful. They tried to call your bluff and you gave them the middle finger anyway.

          Second of all, yes, if a trigger is missed, you can start a cascade of failures where scripting fails because something that was expected to happen didn’t.

          I am fine with this.

          The player is essentially breaking their warranty by typing sv_cheats 1. All bets are off at that point. If they want to noclip into the next area, then they should to do it responsibly and not blast halfway through the level and then wonder why things don’t work. I think most players realize this. It’s not a feature I would deny all players just because of an irresponsible few. And in the end, if you have a good product, the people who enjoyed it and beat it legitimately will outnumber them anyway.

          Valve built pretty much everything without fear of the console and what it could do. Their levels will break just the same if you warp around too much.

          In most cases, a modder should try to script things in a modular way – self-contained events with minimal dependencies on past events. It makes it easier for testing and balancing and it means less can go wrong. It is also beneficial to create areas the player must visit in order to progress and do clean-up tasks when you know they’re there.

          Maybe it’s you who doesn’t have anything worth stealing.

          Please, spare me the ad hominems.

          I believe modders should be just as free to remove content as they are to add it.

          Sure. And by that same token, players are just as free to criticize a mod for having done it. You can remain steadfast in your beliefs, or you can decide they’re right and change them. But you can’t get bent out of shape when they express criticism because you’ve decided to dismiss a long-held standard or expectation.

  10. “Putting the cart before the horse”, “missing the forest for the trees”, “treating the symptoms but not the problem”, “security through obscurity”, there’s a vibrant catalog of metaphor to choose from when discussing this stuff, but it all boils down to “this infuriates me”.

    Disabling cheats, or the console altogether, is as aggravating as games that force a keyboard layout on me, games that don’t let me invert the mouse, or websites that disable right clicking. The interface belongs to me, and should be under my control. Games that explicitly want to break the fourth wall are easier to forgive, but there’s a reason those are not uncommonly taken to be navel gazing, pretentious nonsense.

    It’s about respect, from my perspective. I’m reminded of the South Park episode where the kids are held hostage in 1800s-reenactment Frontier Village, and a stubborn, pig headed employee won’t let anyone break character to call the police on a phone, despite the extenuating circumstances. Even when directly addressed he treats the visitors like idiots.

    I also remember seeing Blue Man Group for the first time in 2001. For those unfamiliar, it’s a comedy/music theater show, with three characters dressed all in black with deep blue face paint on. They’re meant to be stone faced, silent weirdos, and despite audience participation throughout the show they never smile or speak. My parents took me as a birthday gift, and afterwards my then fifty-something father approached one of the performers in the lobby. He thanked them for a good show, explained how much fun he had, and the fellow smiled, shook his hand, and struck up a conversation.

    Both examples serve the same point: when I make a conscious effort like dropping down the console, or trying to turn on a cheat, I’m taking active steps to accomplish something, and I expect to be acknowledged as capable of handling myself, not told I don’t know what’s best for me.

    By the time players have reached for cheats, either they’re curious development-minded parties who want to poke around behind the scenes, or they’re ordinary players who you’ve desperately failed. In either case, we deserve to be treated like adults. You’re locking the former group out of your gated community, “no you may not learn anything, my pride and joy is not to be examined!”, and you’re assuming the latter group can only possibly be reaching for the console because they’re impatient children. “Well they obviously don’t understand that cheating eliminates the challenge, so we’ll force it down their throats”, completely ignoring the clumsy geometry I got wedged in, the flaky scripting that broke when I didn’t do the one thing you demanded I do, or the monstrous difficulty spike of an inexcusably unbalanced combat setpiece.

    “But the incredibly fragile structure of my game might break if players cheat”, yes, of course, but finding and fixing the reason they felt the need to cheat in the first place is the solution, not slapping more bailing wire and duct tape on the rickety wooden scaffolding of your designs.

    It pains me to admit I feel this way when two of my absolute favorite games do something along these lines. Gstring has logic_autos that disable cheats at every map start, but mercifully you can just turn them back on if you want. E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy is a worse offender, printing some silly message to the console when you try to enable them and refusing to let you. As I had worried, one of the missions in E.Y.E broke for no discernible reason, and a door was closed that should have been open. Without cheats to just noclip the 32 units or so and continue the mission, I had to restart from a save and lose half an hour of progress.

    The thing to take away from these examples, however, is that despite both being diminished by the intrusive limitation, I rarely felt the need to cheat. I was so wrapped up in the world of Gstring that I didn’t care about anything else, and E.Y.E is such a bizarre game that you have to play through several times anyway that it wasn’t too bad. Most maps, mods, and games are dramatically less compelling.

    1. Zekiran

      ^^^^^ everything you said. I don’t like being told ‘no you can’t see what’s behind the curtain’ – I AM curious about how the level was laid out, I AM curious about where that last door might have gone. I am patient enough, but if something’s obviously poorly designed or not tested well enough to expose the problems with it (which let’s face it is more than half the good mods available, let alone most of the ‘ugh’ ones), I want the option to help myself finish playing the mod. That’s all I want, to FINISH PLAYING it.

      That’s why I am never hesitant to explain when I give a review, “I god-moded through this” or “I had to x or y” because I know my limits and I’m going to want to finish the mod in order to provide better feedback. If I can’t even get that far? Not only is the mod crap, but the modder is worse for not having the patience to listen to feedback.

  11. It really does depend on what you want to do with the console. As a modder I kept the console for FIREFIGHT RELOADED enabled because I wanted the mod to be as customizable as possible.

    To be honest, if you have a extremely hard part in your mod, at LEAST allow people to use noclip to speed through that part so they can enjoy the rest of the mod.

    Stuff like The Stanley Parable executes this very well and it fits in with the rest of the game. However, it would be kinda stupid if other mods do that but up to the next level.

    1. To be honest, if you have a extremely hard part in your mod, at LEAST allow people to use noclip to speed through that part so they can enjoy the rest of the mod.

      In those situations, I thinkg “god” mode would be better, just in case the player moves out of the palying area and then misses a script trigger or soemthing.

  12. DaZ

    Mods/maps/games should never do this. It screams arrogance and elitism from the roof tops. Not to mention the fact that if the user feels they have to cheat in order to make progress in your level/mod/game then that is a pretty huge failure on your part to create a fun and enjoyable experience.

    Yet another reason why extensive play testing is so useful and essential!

    1. I disagree. I think Project: Blue Room had a very valid reason for stopping players accesing the console.

      1. DaZ

        I’d argue that in that case they disabled cheats to stop people from contaminating their results. It’s probably one of the very few exceptions I could stomach on this topic. If it had been a straight up level with no research motive I would call bullshit instantly.

        1. I don’t think you need to argue anything. That’s exactly why they did it. I was disagreeing with your statement that “Mods/maps/games should never do this”. It seems to be there could be a few reasons why it’s sensible to limit or outright deny console access. However, I do agree that in general, it would be abad thing but not necessairly related to a lack of beta testing.

  13. I personally don’t like when access to the console is removed. Sometimes a mod has flaws that I need the console to work around. Also, if the mod is difficult and I keep dying somewhere then being able to flick on god mode to get past it is helpful. If you have a fast-paced mod sometimes you rush through it without appreciating it. It’s nice to go back and replay it with god mode turned on and occasionally using noclip so you can explore the entire thing.

  14. I can see why some modders may choose to disable cheats, it’s not always a fair assumption that a Half Life 2 mod will or even should play like Half Life 2 or share the development philosophy of Valve. I think Valves philosophy of ‘power to the user’ is great but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way of doing it.

    It can be useful to have cheats available in bad mods, if they’re poorly balanced or where the player gets outside the map. However no one sets out to make a bad mod and unfortunately players often don’t have much faith in mods. This makes them more likely to assume that a map is broken when actually the player has simply failed to learn what they needed in order to progress naturally. Unnatural progression only serves to exacerbate this problem if the unlearned mechanic persists throughout the map. So while I generally prefer to let the players approach a mod however they like, too much freedom can mean that the player ruins the experience for themselves and this is what modders no doubt are trying to avoid when they apply such restrictions.

    In summary I don’t think disabling console is right or wrong in any overarching sense it depends entirely on the mod but when people feel the lack of console commands it is generally the last straw rather than a serious problem in itself. At worst it is a symptom of design philosophy that is perhaps too restrictive on the player. The key is really just knowing why you’re applying the restriction.

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