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ModDB is a website that aims to create a lasting database of mods, games and indie games. Somestimes, as a developer, you feel it necessary to have a customized design for your content, to represent it effectively. Thus far we never published any tutorial on the way to do it properly, and that is what we aim to help you with today.

This tutorial is considered as "advanced" and will use words and terms about web customization, such as CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and HTML (web coding). Worry not, we will explain how it works.

Phase 1: Understanding how customization works

First of all, please notice customizing requires some specific skills, particularly when it comes to programmation and design. Hopefully, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox now propose a web inspector, which would be really useful for this tutorial. We'll be using the one provided by Google Chrome, as it appears to be faster and more user friendly than Mozilla Firefox. That doesn't mean you can't do it with Mozilla Firefox, not at all.

Here is a list of what you need to know about how customization works:

  • Customizations won't replace the main CSS of ModDB. Your modifications will be added into another one, which will be implemented into all of your pages.
  • Your modifications need to be staff approved, that means you will need to give your customized CSS to the staff, by sending a private message to Erayser [EDIT: NB, a private message to feillyne, as Erayser is MIA]. Modifications are generally approved and applied within 2 business days.
  • If you want to use a customized design created by someone else on the site, you will need to get the express authorization from the author.
  • If your modifications break the site in a sense of conflictual CSS and/or HTML elements, your modifications won't be approved until you solve them.
  • The ModDB logo and the user bar can't be removed. However, you can edit them, visually speaking.
  • Your modifications can be applied on both ModDB and IndieDB.

The circle of media

In our previous tutorial, we discussed about why it is important to create an effective profile (for your mod, game or engine). It means you are capturing the attention of your visitors and keeping them there for as long as possible to generate interest. And designing your pages in correlation with the identity of your project is a part of it. That why it is necessary to design a page that can represent it perfectly.

As an example, you are not going to make a modern design for a medieval project, aren't you? That's why to optimize your identity, you should focus on creating a design that is similar to what you're doing, as it would seriously impact the attention of your visitors. Remember, we want to help you succeed!

Here's a great example of what you can achieve thanks to this tutorial:

There are three different kinds of customizations

Whether you are an artist that wants to make a complete design or someone that just want a different background, you can all customize your profiles. What truly matters is how you will proceed.

Here is a list of three different kinds of customizations before we start:

  • Complete customization: That means you want to change everything on your page (like Sins of The Prophets). This advanced customization requires a lot of time, as you will need to be methodic and organized. Worry not, we'll show you how to do it properly.
  • Medium customization: That means basically you just want to change the colors, the backgrounds, some images and stuff like that, which is not really complicated.
  • Light customization: That means you just want to change your background, and add a background picture from your project.

Phase 2: Web Inspector (or DevTools)

So you had a fantastic idea about a new design for your project and you want to have a stunning page to represent effectively your stuff. Perfect! You'll need to use the web inspector from Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to follow this tutorial. I'll be using the one provided by Google Chrome for the reasons shown above, mostly for compatibility between browsers.

Open the web inspector

To open the web inspector, simply use Ctrl+Shift+I on Windows or Cmd+Opt+I on Mac OSX. You can do it as well with a right click somewhere on the site, and then click on the button "Web Inspector" or "Inspect this page". For this tutorial we'll be giving explanations on how to edit your page, so let's use your own page.

So, you are on your page, the web inspector is opened but you don't know what to do. On the left, this is your page, in HTML5. On the right, the columns represent the codes from the main CSS. You don't need to use other tabs such as "Network, Sources..." as we just want to change the design.

Let's change, for example a single element, but you don't know how to pick one. You just need to click on the search icon, so that when your cursor will be on an element of the page (such as text, images...) the web inspector will show you where it is in the programmation.

Once you clicked on the icon, we will move the cursor on the project name. Then, you should see a blue background color which represents the position dedicated to the name. Click ...

... and then the web inspector will show you the exact position of your element in the HTML code.

Changing elements

You will notice on the right that you have design properties attached to your title. This tab will be the one you are going to use the most when you'll be customizing your page. There are plenty of properties (background, border, text, color...) but we won't show all of them.

Remember the "name of the element" represents the property you want to change. Be careful, because If various titles on your page are using the same property (element), all of them will be changed. The unique reason for some of them to be different is that they have a specific modification, applied with their respective section/div. It's getting a bit complicated here, but worry not, I'll explain how specific modifications work later.

For example, let's just change the color (click on the color property), and replace "#FFF" by "green" or whatever you want as long as it's a recognized color.

Saving your modifications

Congratulations! You made your very first modification. That's one small step for you but one giant leap for your page. Now that you have a customized element, you'll need to save it into a .CSS file. We recommend you to use Notepad++ for Windows or TextWrangler for Mac OSX to save your modifications.


Phase 3: Preview

It's done! You believed you customized what you wanted, that it's the time to see how it looks. There are plenty of ways to do it, but let's use the easiest one.

Using the source code as a reference

Get back to the summary page of your project on ModDB such as "moddb.com/xxxx/xxxxxxxxxx". Then, right click and select "View source" or if the button doesn't show up, click on the URL at the top (browser) and add before it "view-source:", like that:

view-source:

You should be able to see thousands of lines representing the source code of your page. What we want to do is to test your modifications. To do so, we'll need to implement the latter ones in this code. Listen carefully as this is a bit difficult. First of all, save the whole source code in Notepad++ (Windows) or TextWrangler (Mac OSX). Once it's done, you need to implement all of your modifications in this portion of code, just before the div called "Column Span-all".

Once it's done, your code is ready to be previewed. All you need is to save your file as .HTML and then open it with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. You will be able to see if your code works perfectly fine or not.

Phase 4: Common issues and solutions

You now understand how customization works. Brillant! Like I said previously, we can't give you a list with all the possibilities you can do with your CSS. There are plenty of tutorials on the internet from specialized websites. Now, let's focus on the problems you may encounter.

Usage of the "!important" property

If you're making a stunning design, you will notice that some specific elements won't change despite your modifications. It's normal, in fact you will need to use the "!important" property for each element that doesn't show up properly. You will recognize them as they are likethat.

However, the fewer "!important" there are, the better. Remember these are exceptions. To make one, you will need to proceed like that:

div.headerbox ul.menu {
  background-color: #000!important; // LIKE THIS EXAMPLE
  list-style: none;
  margin: 0;
}

Compatibility with browsers

It is essential to ensure your code is compatible with all browsers. Although today a lot of elements are automatically compatible, some of them are still irritating for all web designers, like specific gradients, keyframe animations, box-shadows, text-shadows and so on... Fortunately, a lot of tutorials on the web have solutions for that. Worry no more!

Phase 5: Design examples

Here's a short list of pages using a total customized design, if you don't have any inspiration or if you'd like to contact their respective authors, to get the authorization to use one. Click on the pictures to see the pages on the site.

Phase 6: Send us your CSS modifications

That's it! You made it, your awesome modifications are ready and you want to publish your customized design. Therefore, you will need to send a private message to Erayser (website editor) [EDIT: NB, a private message to feillyne, as Erayser is MIA]. As we said previously, modifications are generally approved and applied within 2 business days.

We recommend you to upload your CSS file somewhere else like Dropbox or to paste your CSS modifications on pastebin.com, unless you only made minor changes.

Feel free to ask any questions about this tutorial or the problems you may encounter while customizing your respective profiles. Good luck making great profiles! Remember, do or do not, there is no try!

Our objective at ModDB is to preserve modding history when possible. It's a rewarding challenge that requires 10 servers to run, 15 terabytes of space, and 10 gbps of bandwidth (all constantly growing). Occasionally communities close down as happened with GameFront (which some of the original creators are now painstakingly restoring) and unfortunately it's happening today to withSIX.com.

withsix post


For the unaware withSIX.com is a modding community and application that began 10 years ago, with a passion for ARMA mods. As ARMA grew and mods like DayZ and PLAYERUNKNOWN's Battle Royale burst onto the scene, their popularity exploded. But over time change has come, and rather than do a poor job summarizing their history, it's probably best you read their teams farewell post on Medium:

Despite many efforts to introduce interesting and innovating features over the years, we must concede that the costs to maintain and run the servers have become too high. As less and less users are using our services, we reached the point of no return. We are at a point in gaming history where the results of modding have never been felt greater, but sadly only a few true supporters remain and its future remains uncertain.

When we discovered this news we reached out, and their team graciously volunteered their time to help us archive content submitted to their site, which you can browse here on withSIX. Unfortunately we were unable to keep their mod launcher and custom code running, but did our best to organize the mods in an easily accessible manner. NOTE: We attempted to filter out mods pulled from 3rd party sources and only keep a handful of mods available via withSIX.com. If you are the creator of one of these mods and would like to claim ownership of your content or have it removed - please reach out, we'd be happy to assist.

Finally we'd also like to acknowledge the other amazing dedicated ARMA modding communities (like withSIX), which continue to go strong today: Official Bohemia Forums, ARMAHOLIC and their Workshop communities. You'll be missed withSIX, thanks for supporting such an amazing mod community for so long!

six updater logo

Meet us at E3 2018

News 7 comments

You may not be aware, but the DBolical Network of sites which includes ModDB.com, IndieDB.com, GameFront.com and mod.io is proudly Australian made. We reach over 5 million people monthly around the world but so rarely get to meet anyone down under. Occasionally we manage to fight our way through the snakes and kangaroos and E3 is one such event.

modio roadshow e3



If you happen to be in LA from June 11th to 14th and are keen to have a chat, please reach out to hello@dbolical.com. We are in town and will be taking our latest creation mod.io on a road show for game and engine developers, that want to take control and grow their modding community across all platforms. Of course if you just want to chat about mods or your indie game thats fine too!

See you there.
❤️ DBolical Team

For this recurring segment, we will be highlighting the five biggest stories on ModDB for the prior week. Whether it's new mod announcements, major mod releases, or important stories that affect the mod scene as a whole, you'll find them rounded up here each week.


The Week of June 1 2018



For the 4th year running the time has come to kick off Mod Appreciation Week 2018 and talk about our favorite mods. Nothing is more motivating than knowing something you've built is being enjoyed by others. So this week if there is a mod you love on Mod DB (or anywhere else), make the effort to shout out to them, mention and link their mod in a tweet, blog, forum or facebook post with the hashtag!


A redux of the cancelled mod from August 2016. Utilising content from developer repositories and some originally created parts, Half Life 2: Raising the Bar Redux will aim to recreate at least part of the vision the original developers had for the game. RTB:R centres around a thematic melding of the HL2 Alpha, Beta, and Retail concepts, as well as our own ideas, to create a unique and complete experience.


Forgotten Hope 2 is an award-winning World War II modification for Battlefield 2TM and is based on the original Forgotten Hope, a modification for Battlefield 1942TM, one of the most popular multiplayer games ever. Battlefield 1942TM featured land, sea and air combat in a way never before seen. It was the goal of the development team to maximize the game experience by adding both a realistic and enjoyable gameplay to FH and now to FH2.


This is a GTA III mod that brings the original GBA game to PC platform. And while doing this, never causing / creating any continuity errors between GTAIII and LCS, and always comparing mod screens to the original game.


“QC: Doom Edition” is a mod that brings the weapons from the latest Quake game, into Doom, with delicious pixelated flavor. More than just weapons, it also brings the “Champions” mechanic -- different player classes, each one with unique status, speed, active and passive abilities

Mod DB Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook Watch us on Youtube Join us on Steam


modlove2018 jpg


For the 4th year running the time has come to kick off Mod Appreciation Week 2018 and talk about our favorite mods. Nothing is more motivating than knowing something you've built is being enjoyed by others. So this week if there is a mod you love on Mod DB (or anywhere else), make the effort to shout out to them, mention and link their mod in a tweet, blog, forum or facebook post with the hashtag


Get involved

Just click any of the handy links provided, then post a message with a link to the mods profile to help raise awareness and appreciation for your favorite mods. Or follow these steps:

  1. It doesn't matter where your favorite mod is hosted be it on Run Shoot Think Live, GameBanana, Curse, Workshop, Nexus or Mod DB.
  2. Copy its URL then write a post explaining why you like that mod (you could write this post on your blog, in a forum, a tweet or facebook) the more we share the better.
  3. Tell us about your post by linking to it in the comments here.
  4. At the end of the week we shall be picking a few lucky members who left a comment following these rules at random, and giving them a key to one of the games listed below as thanks for helping us celebrate mods!

Game giveaway

We have partnered up with some friends of ModDB (want in?), who have always been mod-friendly and deserve our love, and will be giving them away to participants. We've got a handful of keys for the games listed below - just follow the steps above to be eligible to win! Game developers, do you share our passion for mods and want to giveback? Get in touch and we will add your game to our #modlove collection. We promise to promote your game whenever we run an event like this, by giving away a handful of keys each time to the participants.

Win games

After you have linked to a mod in a tweet, blog, forum or facebook post, let us know by leaving a comment with a link to your post. At the end of the week we shall be picking a few members at random who followed these rules, and will send them a key from one of the above games.

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