Poll Question 245 – How do you choose a mod to play?

15th October 2011

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

Obviously, I play everything.

I don’t have to, but I feel it’s required of me.

My reviews don’t carry any more weight than other reviewers, except in the sense that everything I add now, I review, so regular readers can get a sense of how their tastes fit against mine.

But, not everybody plays everything. Or at least not immediately. They have to select which mods to plays because they don’t have time for all of them.

At that point, they have to make a choice and that choice will use certain criteria. Sure, more than one will be used, but my poll only allows one choice, so which is the most important one for you.

If I had to select one, other than “I try everything”, then I would probably choose “The screenshots or videos”. I am a sucker for beautifully lit, atmospehric screenshots.

What about you?

The Poll


  1. Kasperg

    Screenshots. It’s a very automatic way of seeing both the type of setting and the quality.

    Also, if we are talking about maps released here after Phillip has taken the screenshots, I’ve found the number of screenshots and variation among them is also an automatic indication of the mod’s length and scope. Sites like Moddb allow mappers to display only what is worthwhile about their mod, which is never as accurate.

    In terms of gameplay, it’s a non-written rule that carefully crafted maps which offer good looks have also been carefully (sometimes less, sometimes more) designed from a playable standpoint. Actually, most of these things (gameplay, looks, pacing, variation) go hand in hand with each other. If one can make a single room be interesting, they are more likely to be able to pull it off with a collection of rooms, a collection of maps and so on.

    1. I agree with this general operating principle. If someone is capable and willing to pour a lot of TLC into the environments, this will generally show in screenshots, and it’s a fairly safe bet that said person would also be capable and willing to pour a lot of TLC into the playability of his map or mod. Inversely: poorly constructed/lit, rough and less polished environments are a warning sign for me. A mapper unable or unwilling to make great environments doesn’t make a good first impression with his screenshots, and puts doubt on the playability of his map by extension. Exceptions can and do exist, but as a general rule I’d say it’s useful most of the time.

  2. Frohman11

    I basicaly have 3 factors that a mod needs if it wants my download.

    A) Be for a game I own. ( I dont need loads of useless data on my harddrive)

    B) Screenshots and commments. (I like to have a nice experience that I can review later , deliver constructive criticism and some compliments. So I hate fullbrighted maps made of 1 room with cinderblocks and a zombie)

    C) Out of beta. (But I mean more of being relased as a finished project , not a beta of some kind that is laggy , and that I would have to play later in the full version without experiencing any “Oh wow” moments anymore.)

  3. AI

    I voted “I try eveything” good or bad! If a person at least makes some kind of effort, it’s worth a shot! 😉 Anyway with 3 – hotswap 1tb drives I have lots of room!!

  4. Half decent reviews will get me to look at the screenshots, if the screenshots look alright, then I’ll play.

    I’ll often overlook bad looking screenshots if the reviews are really high though.

  5. Hec

    I voted for the screenshoots because i’m a very visual person, I mean I aalso conssider the review but I don’t tend to strictly be affected by them, I rather preffer to experience myself what it feels and then put my own review.

  6. For me it is a mix between the name, screenshots and general reviews. I voted for the name because if it sounds interesting I will click on it and check it out (screenshots and reviews) and so if the name doesn’t look interesting I wouldn’t have clicked on it in the first place.

  7. I base it on a few different things. I also playtest maps for Duke Nukem 3D (1996), and there are so many. That takes a lot of time, plus Im a member of a Red Orchestra/Darkest Hour tanking clan, so that takes time too. So I wont play every single HL2 mod. But I want all the one’s I would enjoy, so here is what I do…

    I first look at the pie chart and or color bar here at PP. If I see a lot of red and yellow, but only a little green, I’ll probebly skip it. However, if I see a lot of green, and better yet some blue, I’ll proceed to the screenshots. If they look good, then I will read a few reviews, and try to figure out if it has decent length. I wont dl a mod if it’s just 5 minutes long. I want at least a half an hour or better if I am going to download it. I am looking for mods that have replay value that I want to keep as part of my collection.

    What’s funny is there are a few mods that have 16 votes for personal favorites that I didnt end up liking at all! I mean most mods that have some blue I end up liking, but there have been exceptions. It comes down to what KIND of player you are. I’m more the explore/adventure type, not the heavy combat or puzzel solving type.

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