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GameSpot's The Lobby : What's the most impactful mod ever?GameSpot's Danny O'Dwyer, Ben Howard and Peter Brown share their judgments of the most impactful mods in video game history. Beyond Skyrim and Day of Defeat, see what made their list.
[MUSIC] I wanna talk to you gentleman about modifications. Mm. Modifications for video games. I don't know where this came from. I think there might have been a Reddit thread maybe during the week. Mods have been out of my mind since Overwatch. Cuz I've been sort of thinking about all the weird little directions, first person shooters back then. And then we talked about Battefield on here last week, and we were talking about You know, some of the mods that came from there and had [UNKNOWN] fed back into Battlefield. I was just, sort of had this idea just having a talk about some of the mods that have been the most influential in terms of the sort of lasting impression they had. At on video games, after the fact. Ben, what is your favorite mod? Or, what's the biggest, most impactful mod you think you've played? Well, the one that sticks out for me, or in terms of my memory's I played the most was Day of Defeat. Right. Which was way back in the Half-Life one days. Yeah so like '99 or 2000 or something yeah. Yeah and really preceded a lot of the kind of World War II first person shooters. I mean it was really before a lot of that stuff came through. Quite a long time before any of that stuff came through, and particularly the Normandy Beach landing Levels of that mod was something that became, at the office I was working at at the time, just a huge deal. That is what we would play every day. Played a little bit of Action Quake and some other things at that time. And Counter Strike obviously But that mod, Day of Defeat, was the one. So that one, for me, would be nice to hear. Half-Life. That engine seemed to spawn mod after mod after mod. We had Team Fortress classic which Obviously, goes back to QuakeWorld Team Fortress before that. And, but obviously that had a massive sort of, that whole class-based online shooter, everyone of them can go back to that. And we're seeing that in Overwatch a lot now, where as, it's not just a classified shooter, but instead of just five or six It's different classes. You've got this crazy 21. I mean people look at Mobiz and go its hero thing. But it's like a direct evolution of what's happened there. And Pierre, what are some of the mods that you sort of enjoyed playing growing up. I guess you were mostly a console gamer growing up so. For the most part yeah, I mean I played a bunch of pc games but The one mod I will never forget is the Randy Savage Skyrim mod. [LAUGH] The most impactful mod of them all. Yeah, no, so for me, because I still am primarily a console gamer. The way I look at mods is sort of evidence of how great and passionate the gaming community can be. And I may not play DotA. Right? I may not play Counter-Strike. But I can really appreciate. The sort of time and energy that people that put into this. And the enjoyment they get out of it. It makes me wish that I had more time. To be involved in it. To be honest with you. So to hear you talk about that. Like with such passion. It's like that's a game that is only possible because of the fans. And here it is sort of coming full circle. It was purely art, people really wanted to play a World War II shooter. Right, cuz it was around that time Saving Private Ryan had come out, like people really wanted to experience. That map particularly Normandy Beach landing map on there, feat, it was an attempt, it was purely like what can we do to kind of encapsulate what we're loving in the movies at that time. I think Skyrim's a really good pick though because I think in terms of popularizing mods I mean some of the Oblivion mods were pretty awesome. Actually some of the modding that was going on there. But really Bethesda's Foresight to really include and encourage modding the way they've done. It has completely changes the landscape right? I mean not just form stupid mods like the chicken mods and- Yeah And the Macho Man Randy Savage mods. But, like level creation, the entire mapping of morrow wind, all it's kind of crazy stuff that comes from that. Absolute passion. I'm gonna be very interested to see how Skyrim or. Fallout. Or Fallout can do on console. Real soon. And cuz a lot of that stuff involves anyone who's installed the Skyrim mods knows how much it chugs your PC. Even if you're running Skyrim now on a very beefy PC. You start stacking those mods in there, it slows that thing down pretty quickly. Yeah. So I don't know, it's gonna be interesting to see what they do there. Yeah it's weird, it's like this strange little incubator for creativity that you don't usually get in games, because games like take so long to develop. Like they're ideas that you just don't see the end result of for like two or three years later. But mods allow people to like Just like tweak with the rules a little bit and sort of make interesting-you know like you said like data fees. It wasn't the most polished thing ever when it first came out. And then you look at things like desert combat for Battlefield 1942 which was again, when it first came out it was pretty rough around the edges. But then that game ends up inspiring them to go back and basically do Battlefield 2 which was Desert Combat. Yeah well it's quite interesting cuz like game design as in game developers, modding is quite antithetical to what they do, right? They have every right to be very protective of and proud of their creation and don't necessarily want us. As fans messing around with the most ridiculous things with it. You know a lot of game creators, its not in their nature to do that. They're presenting to you something that they've crafted and created. And so that sort of shift Modding used to be sort of black, the dark side. Right. Yeah, yeah. People doing it, sort of without the knowledge. Particularly on the PC, where they were just taking it into their own hands. For it to actually be encouraged and become part of the game cycle is something pretty unique Mm. I think. It's progressive. And one of my favourite modding stories comes from one of my favourite game series I guess, Unreal Tournament 2003. There was a mod that was made for that ware. I think it was like one of the background files. There was some sort of textures for trucks and cars and then the mod community got ahold of it and started building these car games within it. Then, some of those people including David Hagewood were brought into the fold at Epic and they were like, all right with these cars let's make a mode out of it. And that was [UNKNOWN] tournament 2004's onslaught mode. And then he eventually left Epic, started his own company called Scionics. And then last year, we got a rocket league, which is basically the like, natural evolution of Dash, because all these weird football mods came out for, or soccer mods, cane out for Tournaments sort of in the interim. That's something that happened over the course of 15 years. Your recent piece on mobile watch. The video you shot down at Blizzard. Those guys talking about how a lot of the map designers and those guys didn't come out of Designing, necessarily a studio. They came out of developing apps for the action quake community, and actually the modding community. That very much grass roots level of designing fps stuff. Yeah, its strange like the sort of seeds that get planted sort of blossom years later. I just thought of something as you guys were talking. Go on. So, before I miss my opportunity, one of the best games from last year was Super Mario Maker. Right. Right. But, years before Nintendo was doing that, there was a website called SMWcentral.net. People have been hacking ROMs for a long time. Mm. But this website catered to a really hardcore audience of people who modified Super Mario World. And he created editing engines, multiple versions of them over the years to allow this happen. And some of the games people made are, in my opinion, maybe better than Super Mario World, at certain points. So comparable gamers actually had that and you even had people taking burning e-proms, putting them on circuit boards, making cartridges of their favorite Super Mario mods Mario Maker is the perfect example of how far modding has come. Nintendo, the most protective company you could ever imagine, could build a game which is just a modding tool for their biggest IP. That biggest license would've been impossible to think of happening ten years ago, I think. Yeah. We can't talk about mods and the impact they've had on the industry without talking about a certain Warcraft 3 mod, though. [LAUGH] I mean, Dota is Probably the poster child for what can happen if you mod something and come up with a unique idea and then sort of follow through to its end point. I mean DOTA was like a popular, Defense of the Ancients was a popular mod within certain communities for a long time. And the same way [UNKNOWN] probably was where it had very sort of core passionate group of people that were very, very into it. For a long long long time Before we saw the sort of explosion with obviously League of Legends and then eventually the rebirth of DOTA through Valve. It's very easy to forget that that's the origins of the modern MOBA. That it comes from a modding community. And it Again, it shows how far that stuff has come that now we have things like League of Legends and Starcraft. You know, and DOTA 2, and we forget about the origins of the MOBA stuff. But yeah. It's strange. And then sort of following Some of what we same from Half Life. Half Life 2 also had a large modding community coming [INAUDIBLE]. And Natural Selection 2 came out which was, I guess that actually an original Half Life mod as well and they sort of just made a new version of it. Gary Small as well of course. God I didn't even have that on the list yeah of course.>>Doesn't he make like a million dollars a day off that?>> [LAUGH] Still? I don't know but at some point he's making too much.>>They don't like his new game.>>Minecraft.>>Bit of a backlash Teenage kids like 13 14. The things they play they play Mindcraft and they play [UNKNOWN]. Mental. [INAUDIBLE] played half life. No no I can tell you absolutely The kids I spoke to who I was chatting to about Gary's, cuz I was just fascinated by the fact that they were playing Gary's Mod and that's all they wanted to talk about. Yeah. Was they've never played Half Life 1, they've never played Half Life 2, and yet Gary's Mod is something which is they're most played game. So yeah, it's It's really strange yeah Because like some of the biggest, with half life one, all these massive multiplayer on line sort of connected worlds, you know, on line shooters came out Of that, but then with Half Life 2, [LAUGH] What we actually saw was, the walking simulator genre, sort of burst out of it. Games like Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable, which sort of burst their own little subgenre out of that. Well, even Portal, essentially- Right! Was built on the skeleton of Half Life 2. Yeah, Narbacular Drop was kind of a Digipen game, and then yeah, they Sort of went, okay, can you do that with this engine that we have. Mm-hm. I mean, I think they probably wanted source too, or whatever, that version of source which is just an up, I mean source still to this day has pieces of Quake code in it. But I think they probably wanted us to be more of a modding tool and then it ended up Sort of becoming, am oddly enough. Yeah, it was in the wake of Skyrim. Unlike Portal 2, they really tried to encourage Steam Workshop. I never really caught fire. I remember that time we were doing the Skyrim mod show on Gamespot over in the UK as steam workshop was expanding, we were like, what else can we roll in? And like Portal 2, felt like the obvious Next big thing in terms of modding. But it never. Map design. Yeah, never really seemed to catch fire in the same way. It's weird how. Hard to predict. Yeah totally it's hard to predict. And I was even surprised when Counter Strike came back and I'm like a huge Counter Strike fan so I was like, when source came out even then there was this massive backlash and some people never came off 1.6. But CS GO, I don't know what happened, did they hit a new generation or something? That just completely took off all over again. So it's really hard to sort of tell. Especially with these full conversion mods you're seeing less and less of them. Uh-huh. Yeah so I guess having a look at that, and there's loads we haven't talked about. I think about games like Red Orchestra or like Science and Industry I remember in Half Life for one There's so many of these monster [UNKNOWN]. If we were to say what was the most influential mod that has ever been made, if you were to pick. Well I think you would probably have to go with Dawns of the Ancients right. Simply because What it's lead to, I mean there's nothing there. There's nothing else which in completely created a completely new gaming genre, particularly one which has taken over. An industry, not just a genre. An entire industry, right. So it's like. I mean I see the MOBA industry, and competitive gaming now is a result sitting next to what we traditionally cover and think of as games. I mean I don't think the two audiences really cross over. Maybe as often as we'd like. Yeah. You know, and there's a lot of money to be made, and a lot of people who have a lot of jobs [LAUGH] you know. Yeah. As a result of this. Like it's intense, you see like some of the venues these guys fill, like the numbers they bring in. All because some guy had that idea one day like hey, I'm gonna **** with Warcraft III. Yeah. And it's, consistently it's not even like a We've seen with, say Starcraft or some other FPS's, where they've had their time in the sun and then they've got away again, but DotA's been around for a good decent while and seems to continue building. I'd love to be able to say Counterstrike but use DotA. [LAUGH] Anyway, we can go play that some other time. Let us know in the chat what you think is the most Influential mod-able time. Is it though, or is it something else? Is there a weird mod that we didn't mention at all that you'd like to get some eyes on? Put it in the comments below.