Poll Question 141 – In Development SP Mods: Do you…

4th October 2009

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I wish I had more time, but then again, who doesn’t?

My problem is that there is never enough time to follow and keep up to date with all the interesting mods.

Every mod should ensure that they have an RSS feed available to help interested players get the latest information as soon as it’s released.

Even if mods do have feeds, or they use ModDB, it can be hard to follow all of them. I get mod-update-overload!

I am often surprised at how much conversation goes on with ModDB and mods’ forums about their updates and then some updates seem to get ignored.

Personally I glance at the updates and look for something outstanding. Perhaps in the past having an update was enough to generate interest but now, with so many, it’s got to really “pop” or it’s past over for something better.

The Poll


  1. Sortie

    Personally, I use RSS Feeds to keep updated with everything. This way, I stream all the newest updates from sites I frequent, like PlanetPhillip, ModDB, PlanetHalfLife and more. Lately, I’ve noticed that ModDB is the place where you can find most updates, unlike other websites, where only selected updates are posted. ModDB is better because the modders themselves post their updates there.

    But having limited time, I need to filter uninteresting posts away, as well as avoid looking at newly started mods that usually won’t get anywhere. Using RSS Feeds, I receive a headline and, say, the first 50 words of the post. If these fails to impress or interest me, then I disregard the update and look at the next entry in my RSS Feeds.

    I think that a lot of people aren’t paying attention to the importance of these first 50 words, and the amount of attention their updates get. The modders need to make their updates interesting, if they want to successfully compete for the attention of the community.

    A problem with RSS Feeds from ModDB, for instance, is that the headline does not necessarily contain the name of the mod. So updated called “Blog 150-152” doesn’t get any interest, because it doesn’t contain any information on whether the post actually contain anything interesting. On the other hand, posts like “Opposing Force 2 Developer Interview 2” tells exactly what the post is about, and is more likely to get attention.

    In conclusion, if modders want my attention to their updates, they need to take great care to make their posts look as interesting as possible, and make sure the headlines describe the posts as precisely as possible. Otherwise, it’s very unlikely I’ll pay their posts any attention.

  2. I use RSS Feeds and visit some sites from time to time.
    But as we all know, some mods seem like to take forever to get any progress ( Combine Destiny 2 ; Resident Evil Twilight)
    If there’s no progress or news at all , they loose my interest .

  3. I try to visit 10 websites daily with PP and Moddb being 2 of them which I always visit daily.
    Once you get the hang of the sites, it does not take long.
    Mostly I look for releases of finals, betas and demos. Very rarely, if I see a promising development only, do I leave an encouraging copmment.

  4. demoneyeoffire

    I go to a mapping site and if a mod pops up there I keep half an eye on it but I don’t go to any modding sites,

  5. I’m always looking at my favourite mod site; hlportal.de, and for sure on PP and I look from time to time how black mesa source is running, but that’s all.

  6. Grey Acumen

    I actually think that you shouldn’t even advertise a Mod until you already are in pre-betatesting phase, unless it’s a REALLY BIG mod.
    Ultimately, the release of information to the public only serves two real purposes, both of which can be just as much of a detriment:

    1.) Fans are cheerleaders and releasing info gives them something to cheer about. This in turn gives positive feedback so that the devs don’t feel like they’re doing all that work for nothing. However, this is not certain proof against a mod going under. In those cases all you end up doing is disappointing and jading fans and possibly making it even harder for someone else to attempt an idea similar to yours.

    2.) Constructive feedback. Fans can suggest ideas and make comments on what information you have put out, which can in turn be useful for methods of improvement that the devs might not have initially thought of on their own. However this is RARE and requires enough info to be put out for fans to actually be able to GIVE constructive feedback on it. This also requires devs that know how and care enough to discern constructive criticism from trolling. It is entirely too easy to either take trolling to heart and end up making changes that make the mod worse, or to pass constructive criticism off as trolling and not make changes that could have greatly benefited the mod.

    The IDEA is that the longer you advertise, the more people you get interested, but this is the internet. You may not get as large of a “first day downloads” but as word of mouth spreads, by the end of the week or the month, the number of people that have heard of you will likely have evened out. If you aren’t totally certain of what your server load can handle, then it may actually be a boon to not have as big of release date download rate, and instead have it spread out over the week.

  7. Hoyy

    I generally dont watch mods but I do try to keep on track with then and comment, review, rate, it helps to avoid the solitude to comment and since im a gamer for a long time then I do come by to PP and moddb from week to week ocasionally.

  8. Ol" Scratch

    I stumbled on this site a couple years ago, and it’s been pretty much the only place I go for my mods, and I rely heavily on the opinions of Phillip and the other regulars here for info on which ones are the worthy mods to play.

    And I agree with Grey, somewhat, that mods should not be advertised until they are nearly ready for release–look at Black Mesa, and how long we’ve been slathering over its release; or at Strider Mountain, and how long it took them to get released after they advertised the idea.

    And I agree with Grey as well, that the “cheerleading” from the fans helps egg on the developers, but sometimes can backfire, and lead to a mod coming out incomplete or damaged. A solution would be to invite certain players into beta testing, and then let them release some info into the wild, including screenshots, until the beta phase, where a full-on announcement can be made, and then those players can really help drum up support. Also, during early development, bringing on extra testers as the mod develops can help drive support and advertising as well, since that sort of word-of-mouth can spread info faster than any concerted advertising campaign.

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