Welcome to the 7th Annual Mod of the Year Awards - the premiere event that celebrates the best creations within the modding and indie gaming scene. Developers have poured their blood, sweat and tears into creating new gameplay experiences that truly "change the game". Now its time for the gamers to voice
their opinions and select their top picks of the year.

**Presenting the 2008 Winners**

From now until Feb 28th, the MOTY will present to you the cream of the crop for 2008 as voted by the public. The top mods and games will win the honors of being placed alongside other projects that have gone on to become commercial successes and cement their place in ModDB's hall of fame. And to the winner goes the spoils; ModDB has teamed up with a whole lineup of sponsors that have provided prizes ranging from software to servers to commercial engines. Everything to help budding developers excel at their craft.


Report article RSS Feed 2008 Upcoming Mod of the Year Winners

After 114,000 votes, you have chosen this years best upcoming mod.

Posted by INtense! on Feb 28th, 2009
Event Coverage

Everyday, ModDB's front page fills with news of recent development updates for projects on every platfrom. Many mods have recognized ModDB as the #1 contributor to the well-being of the community around their mod. The gathering of both gamers and developers that make up our audience and the easy accessibility to them have been the main tenets behind ModDB's success.

The players' choice awards were designed to gauge which mods and indie games hold the most clout among ModDB's community. 2008 saw a large number of quality projects come to fruition, with yet many more to see an eventual release in 2009. The mods listed here are the top five choices ModDB members are anticipating. We've already seen one release since the close of voting (Mideast Crisis 2) and there's a very good chance we'll see the rest release sometime this year.

Honorable Mentions

We would like recognize the mods Black Mesa (Half-Life 2) and Mechwarrior Living Legends (Crysis) who both polled extremely strongly and would have made the top 5. However, because each has already made this list in past years, they are ineligible from making the top 5 again in this category.

Surface Tension Promo Catapult in the woods

5.Third Age
Medieval 2: Total War

Third_Age wrote:'Third Age - Total War' is a total conversion modification for Medieval II: Total War that brings you into the world of Middle-Earth. The Production has been going since March 2008 and the mod is currently well under development and boasts a variety of new features:
Play epic and strategically demanding battles with the armies of middle earth and there respective heroes. An extensive playable campaign map of middle earth featuring locations taken straight from Middle Earth Lore. 12 unique factions, including Gondor, Rohan, High and Silvan elves, Dwarves, Eriador, Dale, Isengard, Mordor, Rhun, Harad and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains. There is lots more to discover including Improved AI, unique sounds, music, movies, custom artwork amoung many other new features. Nearing the last stages of development, with an active community, the Third Age is a must have for all fantasy and Lord of the rings fans alike.

Falls of Rauros Isengard Preview Isengard Preview

4.Mideast Crisis 2
C&C Tiberium Wars

Mideast_Crisis_2 wrote:"Mideast Crisis 2"(MeC2) is a total conversion for "Command and Conquer 3: Tiberian Wars" by Isotx as the sequel to its "Command and Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour" conversion "Mideast Crisis". Isotx teamed up with Derelict Studios, in which the staff for MeC2 is largely composed out of core team members from past SAGE engine mods such as; Blitzkrieg 2, Halogen (now known as Asylum), Mideast Crisis and Rise of Rome. Features include 3 distinct factions; Israel Defense Forces, the Guardians of Islam and the UN Peacekeepers which you can play in both multiplayer and singleplayer spanning maps (and missions) from Beirut to Jerusalem. MeC2's gameplay focuses on occupation warfare within cities using 3 types of resources; money (from occupation taxes), fuel (from oil derricks and gas stations) and special ammunition (from ammo crates). We're also bringing back secondary resources in the form of; embedded reporters, settlements and hacking.

February MEC2 Screenshots GOI T-90 February MEC2 Screenshots

3.Renegade X
Unreal Tournament 3

Renegade_X wrote:Renegade X (formerly known as Renegade 2007) is a mod dedicated to recreating C&C Renegade in the new generation engine, the Unreal Engine 3. We all believe the Command and Conquer series is a very special one, and its fans have been following its games for over a decade now. C&C has been one of the most successful videogame series in the RTS Genre. Our modding team believes that C&C Renegade is truly a hidden gem in the FPS genre.
C&C Renegade's specialty was its multiplayer mode, because it was not mindless killing like most games. A player was thrown into a battle as soon as he joined a server, in which teamplay was the only way to win. The game revolves around a war between the Global Defense Initiative, and the Brotherhood of Nod. Each faction would have their own base of operations consisting of buildings. A team had to work together to destroy the enemy base, while keeping theirs intact. By simply switching engines, our team will have fixed many of C&C Renegade's faults. The original game had many problems such as bad netcoding, poor graphics, glitches, etc. Our main goal is to bring this great gameplay to the masses, all the graphical enhancements is merely just icing on the cake.

Nod Engineer ingame on Field Renegade-X Vehicles 2009 New Years Update

Half-Life 2

Neotokyo wrote:Neotokyo takes place in and around a fictionalized Tokyo approximately 30 years in the future. Mankind has begun to fuse with technology. Government and corporate corruption have transformed Tokyo into a deadly dystopian nightmare. After a near-successful military coup by ranking members of Jinrai, the National Security Force (NSF) is formed - answering directly to the Prime Minister, it's mission is to investigate and eliminate all threats to Japan, both abroad and at home. The initial core of the NSF is made from an exodus from within the intelligence branch of the military. With this betrayal begins the war in the shadows between the NSF and Jinrai. Neotokyo is a first person shooter that aims to provide a visceral & realistic combat experience in a rich futuristic setting.

NT Jitte_Short Weapon Preview NT_Gensai Map Preview NT NSF Recon01 Preview


1.Dead Before Dawn
Left 4 Dead

Dead_Before_Dawn wrote:Dead Before Dawn features Crossroads Mall as a replica of the mall in the movie, Dawn of the Dead. Originally created for the HL2 Mod, No More Room in Hell but has since been undergoing major changes to be ported to Valve's Left 4 Dead. The campaign sports various locations from the movie, including:

  • The Crossroads Mall
  • Andy's Gunshop
  • Anna's House
  • The Park
Dead Before Dawn Poster Crossroads Mall Crossroads Mall

Post comment Comments  (50 - 100 of 268)
f0rqu3 Feb 28 2009, 6:39am buried:


I kissed a zombie and I liked it

-5 votes     reply to comment
MrTambourineMan Feb 28 2009, 6:47pm replied:

Why all the negative Karma? I had a laugh reading this comment 8)

+1 vote     reply to comment
AlCool Mar 1 2009, 1:08am replied:

It's been overused and spammed all over the place, people care little for unoriginal comedic actions.

+2 votes     reply to comment
f0rqu3 Mar 1 2009, 5:28am replied:

but being an internet hate machine never gets old...

-2 votes     reply to comment
Lucífer Feb 28 2009, 6:51am says:

Dead before Dawn took me be surprise, but well done to them especially anyway. :D

0 votes     reply to comment
qpac Feb 28 2009, 6:56am says:

A map pack as the winner... there must be an error in the system. Whatever.
Congratulations Renegade X! Can't wait the mod come out.

+3 votes     reply to comment
AoP Feb 28 2009, 7:08am says:

Not exactly the results most of us were expecting I guess. Nevertheless, congrats to all the teams.

Congrats to the Black Mesa guys as well. Seems like MechWarrior: Living Legends is in good company ;)

+3 votes     reply to comment
noyart Feb 28 2009, 7:23am says:

awesome, dead before dawn rocks!

-4 votes     reply to comment
dukka Feb 28 2009, 8:21am says:

Dead Before Dawn; the Florida of MOTY '08.

+4 votes     reply to comment
sbnewsom Feb 28 2009, 1:32pm replied:

First of all, that is a miscalculation. Second, this is the viewers choice. I doubt Intense or any other staff would give a left nut to only one specific mod. This is YOUR choice. Not one persons.

Again, this BS from everyone is what you get when you give people a choice.

+2 votes     reply to comment
AlCool Mar 1 2009, 8:18am replied:

No this is what you get when you give people choice in a matter that they barely actually have a choice in, then break your own rules and kick them in the crotch then run away without a reason why.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Henley Staff
Henley Mar 1 2009, 8:51am replied:

Ah maybe you should have re-read your post before you post it, there are a tonne of successful map packs with a story thrown in that have both won awards and be so very successful... Take for example Minerva and Portal Prelude. Both maps only with a separate launcher for them, both have won some awards, both had made a splash on the internet.

From what I can gather what your implying is that the staff somehow changed the rules of how an "UNRELEASED MOD" should go about developing for an SDK that is about to be released, and how this said mod should be handled within those said rules. The fact of the matter is that they are only working with what they have received officially, and they are counting themselves as a mod and until that point in time when an SDK can be released they will continue to do what ever they can to keep on developing the mod. Who are you to judge what they will do after the SDK is out? Who are you to deny the people who are making this mod the same right as Portal Prelude or Minerva? People had the choice to vote for released and unreleased mods and indie games, people have seen the work already put into this mod and they decided that it was worth there votes.

Also for all those people saying that it is a waist of prizes giving DBD a game engine I was not aware so many many people on the internet could tell the future. Who said any of the winning mods/indie games will use the same IP on the new engine? Who said anything about the potential of each of the winners? The winner is a shock I get that but this site prides itself on having a large number of respectable members of the community, don't tell me all that respect for fellow modders goes out the window when you don't get your way?

I'm more shocked by the overall attitude of most of these members, Duck Sauce I have to give props to you for correcting your harsh words and I would almost hope that everyone else would do the same...

+1 vote   reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 8:45am says:

After some discussion on the Jailbreak forums, I have something more to add to the discussion of what is a mod and what isn't a mod.
There are singleplayer mods that are in a way just map packs, like Dead before Dawn, but what they have definitely added is their own STORY, usually with dialogue, either written or voiced. And they have NPC's that are part of the story.

What does Dead before Dawn really have in this sense?
- Does it have new voices for the characters, to make them different and to make it suit more to the story of the movie it's based on?

- Does it have NPC's representing characters from the movie?

- Does it even modify skins to make the 4 L4D characters more like the movie characters?

- Does it have actual events from the movie happening?

- Does it modify or exclude zombies so it fits more like the movie?

If it has at least 1 or 2 of these things I suppose it could be considered a mod in the slightest sense, but if it doesn't then it's really Left 4 Dead on different maps that are based on the movie but without the story from the movie.
So basically maps from the movie, but with the Left 4 Dead story... infection, zombie hordes, francis, louis, bill and zoey have to survive and they're immune to the infection.

So conclussion: Even when a mod only really has maps, it should at least have it's own story. If it's the actual game just in a different map then it's really just that.. a MAP, even if billions vote for it, it's not a mod!

so assuming Dead before Dawn is just a map pack, and moddb is gonna really let it stay the winner, then tell ALL the MAPPERS in the whole wide WORLD should be told that all their maps can count as MODS from now on, because if not you're making a VERY wrong exception for this map pack, if you're gonna include this map pack, then do so for ALL maps out there, cause it's not fair to consider one map a mod while the other would in that sense be equally a mod.

+12 votes     reply to comment
Ryswick17 Feb 28 2009, 8:57am buried:


We were the ones that voted for it though =/

-8 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 9:58am replied:

and I voted for NeoTokyo because NeokTokyo is not deceiving the awards by claiming they're a mod when they're not.

+10 votes     reply to comment
stenchy Feb 28 2009, 10:43am buried:


Has it been released yet?

Can you be sure you know all the details of the mod?

Have you looked exactly what goes into making a L4D CAMPAIGN?

Not pretending to defend any of the choices of MODDB'S COMMUNITY, but simply stating that you should respect the winners and know what goes into making the mod if you want to hash out specifics and start introducing your own definitions. Please refrain from making broad assumptions. Thanks.

-5 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 10:54am replied:

considering the L4D SDK ain't even out no one except valve can state what it's really like mapping for L4D afaik.

also you may have noticed I was asking if had those things in a questions form? and stating for both cases of whether it being a mod or not, without really saying OMG THIS ISN'T a mod, so how am I making assumptions?

+8 votes     reply to comment
stenchy Feb 28 2009, 11:09am buried:


Your comments are aimed at introducing all sorts of technicalities that would serve to disqualify Dead Before Dawn (among many other mods) and make MOTY a convoluted mess of rules. The purpose behind player's choice is for people to individually discern the entertainment value behind all mods, no matter how small or large, and nominate/vote for their favorites.

Saying the winner isn't a mod is the most damaging assumption you can make provided you do not know all the information behind it or what goes into making a full campaign for L4D.

-7 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 11:16am replied:

you got a point, btw further on top of the comments:
maybe an idea would be to consider naming all maps "mods" since there seems to be a very very thin line between what is simply a map and what a mod, also allowing all maps to be listed as mods would potentially increase the amount of people that will enter the larger modding community as a whole.

Also there's no denying that each map adds something new, even if's the same textures as the original game, in this aspect you could really consider every map a mod of some sort.

+4 votes     reply to comment
AlCool Feb 28 2009, 9:49pm replied:

Have you gone to the Dead Before Dawn page? Have you remembered that the whole thing is being done by ONE mapper? and hes just MAKING the map? All he can do when the SDK comes out is add events that are default to L4D maps?

Letting a MAP win is saying that MODDB believes ALL L4D maps are mods, and that's garbage and shouldn't have even been considered for this award.

I seriously thought the admins here had more sense then that after all these years of MODDING.

+6 votes     reply to comment
TheMegaMaster Feb 28 2009, 2:49pm replied:

You are damn right!
DBD isn´t a mod, so it IS against the rules to let it win here.

+7 votes     reply to comment
Mastix Feb 28 2009, 9:22am says:

It is kinda sad that a TC lost to some mappack... =X

+9 votes     reply to comment
DjBourgeoisie Feb 28 2009, 9:55am says:

Thanks to those who voted for Neotokyo.

+14 votes     reply to comment
ThErAp1St Feb 28 2009, 10:03am says:

Great! Renegade-x made it in the top 5.

Also gratz all other mods :)

+7 votes     reply to comment
JeepRubi Feb 28 2009, 10:19am says:

Dead Before dawn shouldn't be on there. Sure it's a good addon for L4D, but it doesn't modify anything whatsoever! It shouldn't be classified as a mod, it's a map pack!

+10 votes     reply to comment
pvt.Johnson Feb 28 2009, 10:28am says:

I think its sad that the other people put so much work into there mods, only to be beaten by a map pack for a game that voters love just because it has zombies in it. Props to NeoTokyo and RenegadeX :]

+10 votes     reply to comment
zawmbabwe Feb 28 2009, 10:31am says:

********. Maps are not mods.

+16 votes     reply to comment
Torabi Feb 28 2009, 10:43am replied:

I must agree on that, ********, there is a great diffirence bitween maps and mods, this is no diffirent than a Counter-Strike map, it's still Counter-Strike but a new enviroment to play in same with this, a few new maps to play. So yeah, ********, that's what it is.

(I'm not saying that the maps are bad but it's clearly not a mod and therefore should not win or even enter at all.)

+13 votes     reply to comment
stenchy Feb 28 2009, 10:33am says:

Fact is, this is what you guys voted for - members votes were the main determining factor for all the finalists you see. I bet everyone thinking Neotokyo should have won didn't cast their vote for it. The results weren't a landslide by any means.

+1 vote     reply to comment
f0rqu3 Feb 28 2009, 10:55am buried:


and how come they know that DBD is maps only. I mean it is not even released lol..

-8 votes     reply to comment
zawmbabwe Feb 28 2009, 11:14am replied:

Valve never releases source code so you can make new weapons etc, for their multiplayer games.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Minuit Feb 28 2009, 11:34am replied:

Doesn't mean it can't be a mod just because additional code can't be added.

+1 vote     reply to comment
f0rqu3 Mar 1 2009, 12:31am replied:

I said "yeah
and how come they know that DBD is maps only. I mean it is not even released lol.. "
sorry if you got me wrong
Let me restate; DBD is not released. Thus there is no way to tell if it is a mod or a map pack. So, How do you claim that it is just a map pack?

+1 vote     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 12:07pm replied:

just so you know, I thought it should have won, or at least not be beat by a map pack and I definitely voted for it, both before the top 100 and also after in the second voting stages.
Also I wonder, if it won by so many votes, and long time member votes count for more, then there must have been an INSANE amount of people voting to overcome the votes of many longer time members here?
Also surprising to not see zombie panic source then, considering the amount of zombie fans?

0 votes     reply to comment
um-tiki Feb 28 2009, 12:45pm replied:

why are you surprised that you didn't see ZP:S (A released mod) in the upcoming category?

+2 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 1:03pm replied:

woops haha!
I just committed the same mistake Jayjack made on the JB forums
he was like: WUT NO JB ON THE LIST?
then later: oh wait this is upcoming...

heh my fault

+1 vote     reply to comment
JeepRubi Feb 28 2009, 10:38am says:

The prizes are aimed at game developers, not mappers. What is a map "team" going to use a game engine for?

I'm thinking that dead before dawn should get an honorable mention

+9 votes     reply to comment
Aydynbek Feb 28 2009, 10:39am says:

Congrats guys you made it into the top 5!

+4 votes     reply to comment
broadsword Feb 28 2009, 10:56am says:

A ******* mappack won? WTF?

+12 votes     reply to comment
Spycon_Fighter Feb 28 2009, 11:22am says:

The three mods that I have been watching zealously made the top 3 :)... though I must say... I am surprised at #1

+2 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 12:04pm says:

anyway concerning the mod or map discussion I'm out, it's rather pointless, it won and moddb isn't gonna change it, but I for one think that if anyone should try to attempt to make some clear lines as to what is mod and what isn't then it should be ModDB though, I can't think of any site bigger then this that's really about mods in such a great way.

So my final remark is: please ModDB, try to get some sort of guidelines or a border as to where mapping, skinning, texturing, etc ends and where modding begins, I think for one that more clarity on what is a mod and what isn't would make it easier for new people to get into mods, rather then get confused on the differences between a maps/skins/textures/etc and a mod.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Torabi Mar 1 2009, 4:45am replied:

Listen to this man, he knows what he is saying! I am rather suprised that a place like this fails to see the diffirence of a mappack and a mod.. n offence stenchy and the rest of the staff though, you guys are running the site and therefore you are awesome.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ÐiamonÐ Feb 28 2009, 12:05pm says:

As much as I resent the results of this year's "best" upcoming mod of the year, it's not anyone's fault that this decision was made mainly because it was YOU, the community, who voted for it.

If map packs were mods, then I could constitute quite a few great map packs for CS or CSS as a mod. Even though they aren't necessarily defined as modifications, since they just make environments in a already made game.

In any case, everyone in this list of 5 has done great amounts of work and effort in their free time to provide everyone here with a free mod/mappack. So I give my utmost respects to everyone's works here.

Kudos to Dead before Dawn!

+2 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 12:38pm replied:

superbly said :) +1 to you

+1 vote     reply to comment
AlCool Feb 28 2009, 9:52pm replied:

What I find stupid is the fact that it's already been said that Dead Before Dawn was only set as a mod on this website cause there was no SDK out for L4D, and it isn't one. If it SUPPOSEDLY might randomly turn into a mod when it releases I think it would have said on its page besides "4 MAP SEQUENCE + LIST OF 4 MAPS"

Anyone who's arguing these what if scenarios should really consider THINKING before they make dumb assumptions for something that is obviously not there.

+4 votes     reply to comment
reybag Feb 28 2009, 12:13pm says:

funny how moddb dont know whats a mod jajajaja,i got an idea i will make some zombie skin for half life or other firts person shooter so next yeat i can be at the mod of the year,maeby i could win.
after the joke,now lest go to the real facts:

a mod is any kind of modification to a game(including add maps,textures,etc)so Dead Before Dawn is a mod.of course its not the best mod because it just a map,no mather how much work take,it just a map.a good mod is the one which made more modifications to a game.the more different the mod look from the real game,better is the mod.
now to the question if mod diserve to win this,the reason is yes because this is a popularity contest,the more fans you got ,the more votes you got ,more posibilitys to win you have.this is not about which is the best uncomming mod,this is about which is the more popular uncomming mod.
and yes this means if someone made just a new skin for a game but that skin is about a real popular character and lot of people love it ,and they vote for it,not only this will be a mod,it will be able to win the contest,no mather other mods are real good modifications that totally change the game

+1 vote     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 12:41pm replied:

aside from the spelling errors, you put it very well there Reybag and you're quite right there, anything that gets the most votes can win here I guess. It's just a darn shame that people who put years of hard work in their mods got pushed back a spot in the top 100 and top 5
+1 karma to you :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
reybag Feb 28 2009, 6:13pm replied:

sorry for languajes error,english is not my main languaje

0 votes     reply to comment
Lithium-Powered Feb 28 2009, 12:24pm says:

man neotokyo got robbed

+8 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Feb 28 2009, 12:30pm says:

Now that had been a huge let down compared with editors choice. It's like having had some epic meal and how you get a filthy cheese burger. How the L4D map pack got 1st spot is beyond me though. Not to say that map packs can be good but if you see then real mods like TNM for example which totally change anything and poured years of work into something ready to deliver and then a map pack sweeps them away... that's rather disheartening. This gives people the idea that modding is not getting you anywhere since a mod pack wins it all.

+12 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 12:45pm replied:

Very well said, the editors choice awards were great, the outcome of this however wasn't very satisfying.
Like reybag said though, this was more a popularity contest then a best mod contest, so you could say Dead before Dawn won fair and square...

+1 karma to you :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Feb 28 2009, 1:06pm replied:

That's correct, it is a popularity contest. But check this out. Editors choice does not net the winners a monetary price ( no matter if in the shape of money or some hardware/software ) but players choice does. It somehow breaks my heart ( as an indie game dev ) to see a price handed over to a map pack instead of a mod project which took years to complete. For me a monetary price is a reward for your work. I think it should be swapped. Monetary prices for editors choice and players choice only for the fame.

+3 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce Feb 28 2009, 2:26pm replied:

oh right prices, yeah editor's choices should really get the prices.
oh well maybe they'll change it next year... I hope

+1 vote     reply to comment
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