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Taking Professionalism in Modding Too Far

MrMattWebb Blog 42 comments

Day to day we see plenty of junk mods out there. Mods that cant appeal to anyone and just look like a total mess. We all know it is way better to appear coordinated and professional when it comes to modding. Okay, it makes sense. We are all for professionalism in modding. Its vital so as to not look like a total noob when it comes to portraying our media. But what if we take it too far? We have seen previously on what happens when you set up a "facade" for your development team. If you are not a legit professional development studio but take it to the extreme and start dubbing yourself a "CEO" than you may have taken professionalism in modding a bit too far.

The other day I saw a mod on moddb (I wont disclose the name) that had a real problem with associating itself with companies that most likely didnt return the favor. The instant that I pointed out what I blatantly saw, my comment recieved downvotes from anonymous trolls. Now remember, This was a mod and not an indie title. In fact, it was not even an original mod. It was another one of those "DBZ/AlienPredator/Star Trek/Star Wars/C&C" Source mods.

While it did have decent media to stand up straight on it own, one thing kept IRKING me to death. What exactly did I see? Every single piece of media and news article was plastered with various logos of companies that this mod had no affiliation with. It looked almost as if this mod was officially sponsored by companies that everyone is familiar with. Similar to going to a gaming tournament sponsored by Nvidia. Having the logo everywhere.. etc.

Now every once in a while we will see the occasional "brandishing of the source logo." There is nothing wrong with that in my eyes because we pay homage to our mod engine. We see it in various high ranked mods. Same goes for the HL2 logo.

But what if we take it a bit farther? What if we decide to start plastering the Valve logo on all our media... As if we were sponsored by Valve themselves, or maybe to appear as if we are even a branch of Valve itself... Gimme a break. This is no "paying homage." This is simply using another companies intelectual property and trademarked logos to glimmer up media so as to make it look more "official."

Okay, so that makes sense. The mod has nothing to do with Valve therefore they shouldnt be allowed to post that logo. What if we go even further?

Ahh... Common badges of officialness. Often used by REAL development studios who PAY or get PAID for this kind of stuff. A lot of times these real studios use real technology licensed by Creative or Nvidia and therefore also brandish these logos at the intro's of their games (the ones you cant skip, ya those ones). But for some reason, these logos are being spotted on a non profit mod. Hmm...Now I havent looked into this mod a whole lot but I can guarentee to you that I highly doubt this mod is certified by either Nvidia or Creative. The other day, one of the mod staffers was looking for a programmer as well. The fact that they are in between coders tells me that I dont think they are coding on next generation mod content for X Fi or Nvidia architecture. C mon people. Mods are cool but we must admit that some stuff just cant be modded. Especially when it comes to the really deep stuff within DirectX.I pointed this fact out and what did I get in response from the fanboy? Something along the lines of this... "They use XFi and Nvidia cards so its legit"Just because I use an Nvidia card doesnt mean that my mod will run "the way its meant to be played" only on Nvidia cards like the brandished emblem states.Which brings me to my next point.

This one was the worst of them all. I can understand, okay, yeah. We all mod our games on a windows platform. We play games on Windows XP or Vista. But you dont seem to understand that Games for Windows is a specific group of games certified by Windows themselves. Not any game (and especially not a mod) can simply affiliate, use a magical sdk (similar to steamworks) and use the Games for Windows platform and Live service. Similar to the usage of the Nvidia logo, we really cant tune our mods to work better for one over the other. We change content and some code. We dont make or change the core of the engine. So why they would plaster this logo on their mod is Beyond me. Infact, after numerous complaints, they removed the Games for Windows logo from some of their mod media.

So please think before you start product placement in your mod. You may have the average person fooled, but the rest of us modders will call you out on it.

- korge

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