I’ve always been attracted by the screenshots. It’s pretty shallow of me because I should look deeper but I truly believe that a screenshot tells you a lot. Not just what you see but the effort put into taking them as well.
What attracts you most in a mod?
Anyway, not much to discuss here, so just get voting!
The reviews are the strongest point, since theres no better explanation than from someone who actually played the mod. Any one of the first three points listed below can override the other two. If it got bad reviews, but the screenshots look good, I would give it a try. I have to say that a video is the most important though. Just seeing a little of the game play can show more about a mod than anything else can, since you can then judge it for yourself.
In order of importance.
I think that the most important thing, to me, is the story. If a mod intrigues me with it’s story, I’m much more likely to download it.
However, reviews and/or recommendations are often the most important thing, because it’s unlikely I’ll even hear about a mod if someone I know recommends it or if it has been well reviewed, and, therefore, had its name spread throughout the community.
It’s the reviews most times, I don’t need a review to play a mod but do need a review not to play a mod.
I very seldom download a mod if it receives bad reviews from PP users, also I don’t bother much with arena type and stuff that wonders too far away from the half-life world of things.
I am also influenced by the author or mapping team and you learn from experience who releases good work and mods you want to play.
Screenshots show you both theme and the quality of the design. By looking at them you can tell if the setting is interesting looking and worth playing, as well as how dedicated the authors have been.
And even if they are still images, if something looks like its been built carelessly, the entity setups for gameplay are usually not much better.
If we are talking about a series of screenshots, they will also tell you how the story might change from one place to another, or if it actually takes place in the same warehouse the whole time etc.
I would have to say that it is the summery of the concept. When it comes to mods I either here about them through word of mouth (Natural Selection, Metastasis) or stumble across them. (Arrangement) If I see “team based multiplayer” I tend to be clicking back before I have even finished the sentence.
Although, of the choices, I think it would be screenshots or videos showing said concepts working.
I believe its all the catergories listed above but theirs another one that might have been missed:
Was it worth hearing about the Mod/Map announcement that was under development for a Certain amount of time making it & then they delay it too fix it up better & then we click download & then install.
2.Easy to Find & Read
Download File not so hard to find due to Word of Mouth.
Finding the map/mod after leaving it alone for say 6 to 12 months or deleting it & re-downloading.
A good readme file attached with more than enough infor inside
Im waiting on Combine D 2 & Strider M now with my new video card & monitor on a screen res of 1152 x 1024 im seeing the full picture.
Availability. If I can’t find a link to download a mod or if it isn’t even out, I can’t play it…
I kinda go out to play any mod I can get my hands on for hl and hl2 to pass the time.
But for replayability, probably screenshots. If the mod was so unremarkable first time that I can’t recognize it from a screenshot, then I know it was bad (unfortunately, only after I re-dl it).
When I’m just looking through the mods on PP I’d have to the reviews matter most to me since these people have already played it and can tell you the important details not listed in the summary. This includes gameplay time. Usually if I see a “short” in the reviews I just won’t D/L the thing. Also gameplay videos are important so you can see if everything looks like it works and it is what your looking for.
It’s between reviews/word of mouth (if they’re positive obviously) and screenshots (for the reasons Kasperg mentioned), I voted reviews though.
When you get out of the realms of the best mods (where it doesn’t matter) a close third is length; if the mod has reviews that suggest it’s okay but not amazing I’m more likely to download it if the length is short, as I know it won’t outstay its welcome.
When it’s about a mod, definitely the reviews and the screenshots are the best of all. In third comes the story. Reviews not only help improve a mod better, by constructively critisizing th author when there are fails in his mod, but it also shows aspects of the mod that marked the reviewer the most. For the screenshots, since its all about mods, they can tell alot and measeure the quality of the author work, so the viewer is able to know if he maps averagely, bad, good, or otherwise.
Without doubt, it’s the reviews that decide if I’m going to play a mod or not.
I do usually look at the screenshots first, but always read the reviews because great screenshots doesn’t always mean that it’s a great mod. Playability is the most important thing to me, and a mod that looks great, might be terrible to play, buggy, or just not worth the download.
The greatest benefit is that the reviews are from people who have tried the mod, and I’ve found that usually, they are 100% correct, which makes me trust their judgement.
Reviews, definitely, with screenshots a close second. If a mod gets a lot of bad reviews, and the screenshots look terrible, I’ll know not to waste my time. An exception to this is Wivenhoe. It got some pretty bad reviews because of the first part, the stealth portion- but I enjoyed the mod quite a bit.
Another exception would be a mod I played not too long ago, the name of which escapes me. Initial screenshots looked good, and the reviews were good, but honestly I found it a bit boring, the VA was horrid and the level design was far from polished.
On this site, even one “Play it now” is enough to get me playing it.
If evaluating blind then the first thing I look for is file size. Big files very rarely, if ever, disappoint: the large size pretty much guarantees varied environments, immersion, and some kind of story.
To be honest though the story is not that important – they’re usually very ad hoc. Compared with Deus Ex the stories in most games are pretty rudimentary! Including (I’m whispering because I guess this is heresy) – HL1 and HL2….
Thanks for the comment #6 Fragmaster. You’ll get to enjoy that new gear with SM before too long. Keep an eye here on PP for some exclusive updates.
For me, I love the replay value. A chance to see what I missed first time around and to play the game from a different perspective.
We are working right now on that feature for StriderMountain.
the sise and the storyline. I really like it when a mod maker makes another mod. for istance leons mods, the poke series, mystake of pthagorius, would like to see another from the invasion guys,
currently looking forward to retecks trap, the prison was hard and fun.
Every New Sourcemod brings something new or old to the table
Id perfer Meduim to Challenging gameplay thats not overwhelming & not so easy.
Visual eye candy of different textures & nothing all the same in a bland way.
Item & enemy placement & of course a storyline that doesnt distract the player for the actual shooting.
a Decent ending with end music & humor.
Finally the next Comming Attraction from that SourceMod Author 🙂
I chose the story because it did not have the option that I was thinking. What attracts me most to a mod is new content in the same old environment that I know and love. New weapons, enemies, textures, etc. Then the story. I dislike mods that are the same old thing just remade maps.
Some favorite Half-Life 1 mods include:
Heart of Evil
POV- Point of View
Puzzles or a story or setting that hasn’t been used in goldsource or source before.