Poll Question 270 – Are you a big-mod snob?

14th April 2012

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

Here is a question for you. Are you a big mod snob?

I have a feeling that many of you are.

You “look down” on anything that’s not longer than 60 minutes with derision.

Recently I have been reading Somerset Maugham’s short stories and whilst they have a familiar feel they are set in many different situations and settings. Reading these stories reminded me of Miigga’s work. All too often you see comments from readers asking for a longer mod from him.

It seems a natural and fair question. I know the reason for his lack of longer mod and you will too, if you lsiten to the audio interview with him.

But I wonder if we are right to “expect” him to make something longer.

Have we become big-mod snobs without realizing it?

When did we stop enjoying and respecting smaller mods? Was it because a few authors started making much bigger mods and then we unconsciously believed that anything short was inferior?

You only need to look on places like ModDb to see comments like I really enjoyed it, but since it was so short I only gave it 6/10.

That’s very unfair in my mind. Things should be judged for what they are, not for what they could have been or what we wanted.

Time to vote


  1. Ionel Tudor

    Big or small, the fun you have playing it is more important.
    There are mods that should be longer, but you shouldn’t make a criteria on that, I agree scores get unfair when they judge on playtime/replay value.

  2. It really doesn’t matter how long a mod is as long as it has good gameplay and is fun!

    A recent example of a long-ish mod was Ground Complex, the gameplay was awful and it was far from fun, the only reason I finished it was I was already very bored that day. City 21 on the other hand, although slightly shorter was a joy to play as it was fun.

    For me longer mods are hard to judge how long they take as even if I play them from start to finish I take frequent breaks of around 10mins (coffee, smoke or bathroom Etc), but shorter mods I do play in one go.

    One of the good signs (to me at least) of a short mod is when people comment that it should have been longer and I hope the authors recognise that as a compliment.

    At the end of the day even though we get these mods for free, we as players need to judge on quality not length.

  3. Gypsy_Jim

    I have, since my first discovery of HL mods, been the opposite, and actually prefer the shorter ones.

    I agree with the comments above, story, quality of design, playability, and challenge all come into it, but if a mod just goes on…and on…and on for no better reason than to demonstrate the fact that the author has way too much time on their hands, rather than their technical expertise, then I will only play for a set amount of time, or until I get bored, then save and come back to it. This might be days or even weeks later….

    The original HL2 broke itself down into playable chunks, or chapters if you prefer, and as far as I’m concerned as a low to medium level player each more or less fit a play session, they’d been nicely judged. Some mods can occasionally go on just a bit too long for me.

  4. I do like long mods but I’ll do with short mods.

  5. Soylent Bacon

    I generally prefer big mods, but whether or not my opinion of a mod would be affected depends on the mod. Some short, completed mods don’t feel complete, but this isn’t always the case.

    For example, I feel that Whoopservatory should have been a longer campaign that made increasingly complex use of the basic mechanics that were introduced to the player. On the other hand, mods like The Stanley Parable, Radiator 1-2: Handle with Care, and Too Many Crates feel like complete, self-contained experiences without the need to download a large number of maps. Whether or not the lack of length affects the quality of the mod depends on the content and pacing of each mod.

  6. s.anchev

    Big mods are good IF there is a storyline.

  7. Big mod don’t means good mod. Azure Sheep is big AND good but Dopusk 31 is big and a little annoying to me cause it is repetitive. On the other hand the little mod Affliction is short and pretty good.

  8. I don’t see the length or amount of content in a mod as relevant to its quality in fact the more stuff a mod does the more stuff there is to go wrong. But I may have become a bit snobish about the appearance of mods and whether the environments make sense, never used to matter to me.

    I remember a set of maps for Jedi Knight II (when it was new, so a while back now) by a mapper called Zeus, it was a collection of huge battles with lots of enemies, ridiculous boss fights and random gameplay elements like jump pads and environments that just didn’t make sense. It made no sense but at the time I thought it was awesome. However I was about 12 so that may have been a factor aswell but I think that I am definately more concious of maps not looking realistic.

  9. Nah im more of a quality snob. Although yes the more of something that is quality, the better.

  10. I once played a HL2-themed pinball mod which lasted under a minute, but it was fun and was worth the ten minutes or so to download and set up. Short mods are great entertainment and because you do not have to invest weeks of play into them, more people can enjoy and finish them. The modder can be more creative in a short mod and this has led to some fascinating game-play mechanics and innovative puzzling.
    The same can happen with the long mod, but the investment in time is enormous and I applaud those teams and individuals that bring us such gems like, “Minerva Metastasis”, “Strider Mountain”, “The Citizen”, “Human Error”, “Nightmare House 2”, to name a small few and the amazing Cyber-punk classic that is “G-String”.
    I did not name any short mods as I have played what feels like hundreds, from HL to HL2 ep2! And being short I have replayed many and some quite a few times if they are entertaining enough.
    In short, ha, ha, mods is mods: You either like one or you don’t. either way they are free, but not “Dear Esther redux” which I gotta pay for, grumble, grumble, so try and if you like leave a review or comment.

    I am a mod snob in that I seem to prefer mods to new games thesedays!

  11. Unq

    If anything, I’m the opposite. There are many mods I haven’t played due to the time commitment they’ll need. And often longer mods do drag on too long and feel like they’re just full of filler material – quite often I think there should be a separate editor for a mod just like there are editors for movies (separate from the director, I mean).

    I am all in favor of short, focused mods that don’t drag on. I do enjoy many long mods as well, but a lot of them could use some trimming.

  12. I tend toward polished mods, but of these I prefer the longer mods. I like to see an extensive world, one that can be explored in its various facets and nooks and crannies, a world I can spend some hours in and look back at as an adventure (HL2 bears comparison). Well-polished bites are lovely, but on average they don’t really satisfy. I’m ready to keep going and keep seeing what’s out there, but the book is closed so early.

    1. LoneWolf65

      I agree with you all the way Botolf, I love long mods for the longer gameplay, especially the adventure and exploration options involved.
      Have a nice day!

  13. Hec

    I don’t know why being a passionate mod gamer should be conssider as being “SNOB”. I mean, I really like long mods but I know many of them has lots of bugs sometimes because of the same lenght they’re.

    No i’m not a snob, im just a passionate gamer that has the right to ask for more if I like what I played, i’m not a modder I know, that’s the point, modders decide if they extend their works or not, I have no problem with that.

    Also if I really love a smaller mod I just judge it as it is, I say ok that was brilliant!, and I recognize it. but I feel I still have the right to express the moder if their works could be longer, is just an opinion if they don’t listen, I never will get angry with that.

    I also recommend or review the mod for what they are and not for what they are not, but still belive in the right of give the modder my opinion about the lenght of the mod.

    1. I don’t know why being a passionate mod gamer should be conssider as being “SNOB”.

      Neither do I and I don’t know why you even mention this.

      Being a snob in this case is about only giving good score to the longer mod. Yes, most people like long mods, but that doesn’t mean a shorter map should get a lower score just because it is one map. That what this discussion is about, not about passion.

      1. Hec

        Oh yeah you talk about “BIG-MOD snob” yep so I agreeis stupid to judge it just for the lenght then. I only got focussed just in the SNOB Adjective, I tought like a “mod snob”only.

  14. Derbler

    Loved Stanley Parable. Loved Twisted Hazard Course. Short mods.

    Loved G-String. Longest mod I’ve EVER PLAYED IN MY LIFE!

    I have no bias with length. I have a huge bias with quality though. If a mod is good, then I don’t care about gameplay time. As long as I enjoy the experience.

  15. I don’t consider shorter maps as not worthy of play, but generally I won’t spend the time downloading the map unless I will get some sufficient time out of playing it
    If the map is shorter than 20 minutes, I will generally not bother.
    Unless of course it is something special like the aforementioned Stanley Parable.

  16. Ade

    I don’t think I played even half of the famous Strider Mountain so no, I for one am not for long mods and tend to go for quick fixes. Even though my all time favorite is Research and Development. While rating and commenting about a map/mod, if anything is mentioned about the length it’s usually because the mod itself has potential and the player/me wants to see more from the author. Don’t think I rated downwards something just for being rather short.
    On the contrary. And it’s why I’m surprised that the majority also answered “No” since I got the same feeling as Phillip had upon making this poll, that hl players enjoy longer mods.. Perhaps the snob term being too strong lead to this unexpected result.

  17. No way I’m a big mods snob I just hate to use maps via console.
    So go MapTap 2, go!

  18. Quality is what matters, not length. Although if the map is like 10 minutes long, forget it about it I wont even DL it. But if it has some fair amount of time to it, I would say 25 minutes or better, I’ll try it. Not a snob, but if it is too short I know I wont replay it, therefore I wont keep it. I only play maps that have the potential to be keepers.

    This rule of mine is already in practice. A mod called “Rebel Story” I found to be a nice mod, probebly about half an hour or mabye a little longer. But it has real quality. I kept it and I have it on my hardrive.

    I got an idea Phillip for a subject. How about “do you keep some mods and if so, which one’s do you keep”? Just an idea 😀

  19. I do tend to pass over the shorter mods…not because of snobbery, but because I like to stay engaged for a long time before I have to uninstall the one I am done with and then have to take all the time to install the next one..I like to get a lot of mileage. However, if I see good reviews on a shorter mod, I will definitely play ti

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