Poll Question 109 – Are Mod Clones A Good Idea?

31st January 2009

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Who Doesn’t Love a Great Clone?

The screenshot above is taken from Mirror’s Edge, a new style of first Person game. I have seen a Source Mod for this recently and there are plenty others; Start Trek, Stargate, Golden Eye, Perfect Dark.

My first thought is that generally it’s a bad idea but if mod teams like those mentioned above didn’t exist then we wouldn’t get to play games/mods in those fictional universes

The problem starts when modders create mods of games that already exist, then I worry that there is not enough creativity around. The poll is a little unfair because often It Depends is the best answer. But as I mentioned somewhere before for the first few months of 2009 the poll questions will be straight YES or NO answers, to focus your mind.

Of course, when you think about it Black Mesa (Source ssh!, don’t use that word!) is exactly that – a clone, but I doubt that is one HL fan alive that doesn’t want to play it. In fact is there anybody out there that doesn’t want to play it?

I digress. Back to this poll. Should modders work on their own ideas rather than using somebody else’s?

Poll QUestion 109


  1. Kyouryuu

    It depends. XD

    Seriously, though, I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong in mod teams cloning an existing idea. However, by that same token, they can’t turn around and complain when they get a cease-and-desist, as they often do. That’s the risk you take when you choose to mingle with the intellectual property of others, especially without their permission.

    Their tendency to grab the headlines is perhaps what bothers me most about mod clones. The Left 4 Dead mod that seeks to recreate Resident Evil made the rounds all over the gaming blogs and got a lot of people excited, but it feels like such a cop-out to take someone else’s franchise and get all this attention for it. I’d much rather see original ideas get the spotlight.

  2. firba1

    I said yes, but only for older games or franchises that aren’t mainly games (Star Trek, Stargate, etc.). I think that the Mirror’s Edge Source clone is not a great idea because Mirror’s Edge only just came out. However, the others that you mentioned, I believe are actually a good idea to do. GoldenEye is a really fun game, but it’s graphics are severely dated now. Same goes for Half-Life and Perfect Dark. This, I think works in commercial games as well. For example, I loved the original Metal Gear Solid, but I find it more fun to play the remake, The Twin Snakes, which has several gameplay and (significant) graphical improvements.

    As for the others, I know that there are some “franchise” mods out there for things like Star Trek, Star Wars, etc., which I think is great. Even though we get many games from the owners of the IP themselves, it’s always fun to play another Star Wars or Star Trek game (or mod).

  3. feckineejit

    I honestly just found out about mod clones from this article. I think if there are guys who want to copy a game in another engine either for attention or for practice it shouldn’t be a problem. But I say that because now I’m psyched to go look for these games.

  4. Dylan Holcomb

    I dont think there is anything wrong with it, I just don’t like clones…

    I dont know what it is about them, if it’s the unoriginality or what.

    I consider BMS a remake though :D, I prefer mods like Dystopia, and Decadence who really become there own game, it’s really cool to see all the custom content.

  5. Berrie

    I voted yes, but it really depends on the franchise itself.
    Creating a Mirror’s edge clone shortly after it’s launched doesn’t fit right. Maybe use the principals of Mirror’s edge for your own mod, but don’t just out right copy a new game.
    Resurrecting classics or making a game out of a movie/series has my support however.

  6. Henry Swanson

    Considering the virtually non-existent Gameplay on Mirror’s Edge, a mod clone could do no worse!

  7. Anonymous

    There is a difference between a clone and a remake.

  8. Sorry, I feel there needs to be a line drawn between straight clones and actual upgrades and tech demonstrations to show that these other games can be handled through different engines.

    Half Life: Source is a clone. All they did was do the same game using the upgraded engine. The whole point of Black Mesa is to be MORE than just a clone.
    On the other side of the equation, I can’t really play Mirror’s Edge on my PC. It’s just too damn slow, even at the lowest graphics options. It also has shitty gamepad customization and pretty much only works with the 360 controller. I’d love be able to play it using the much more scalable Source Engine that will also accept input from my PS2 controller.

    Clones are a bad idea, but if you’re attempting to upgrade the actual experience of the original game, then you have something worth doing. I loved turok when it came out, but I find the controls frustrating to try to go back to after having played Source games. Heck, I’d even be happy upgrading it just to the goldsource engine. If the Goldeneye Source team would actually get around to recreating the SINGLE PLAYER side of Goldeneye, I’d be all over that too.

    1. Also, doing a clone is a great way for someone to learn how to use the source engine. It gives you a clear goals to work towards that can’t be modified or scaled back just because the developer is finding it a little difficult to implement.

      Creativity tends to flourish better when you know what tools you have to work with and what those tools can be used to accomplish.

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