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I'm new to game development. I was thinking of different ways to create a game. I discovered Unity3d as much preferred indie game engine and yet so powerful. Then I read about game mods, which I found pretty exciting too. So, I now have two questions.

  1. Are Mod creation Software/SDKs developed by the same company which made the original game? Are there any custom made (recent) mod sdk? Is it even possible to make one like that?
  2. Is it possible to port a model from one mod sdk (say, Halflife) to another mod sdk (say, Skyrim)?
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What models? What do yo mean by custom made sdks, all SDK's are custom made... – Mikolaj Marcisz Mar 31 '13 at 18:31
@MikolajMarcisz Thanks Mikolaj.. By 'custom made', I meant 'developed by the public'.. So, from your answer, I believe mod SDKs are developed by the public, and not by the company which created the original game.. – Vishnu Vivek Mar 31 '13 at 21:15

Is Skyrim Nexus (mod SDK) custom made? - Yes. It was made specifically for TESV Skyrim And you are not allowed to take any models from there unless you are going to use it with the game itself, or give it into the official modding society. Otherwise it would be considered stealing intelectual property/breaking the EULA you accepted upon installation of the software.

Mods are MODIFICATIONS made to some kind of game. So 99% of times if there is a mod SDK it is created by the company, or by the game fans and they rely completely on the game content + are not allowed to distribute/resell anycontent they get their hands on.

Is it possible to use the models in your published game? - NO

Can a modding SDK be made? Yes, as long as you have a +-finished game, otherwise it wouldn't be a modding sdk. But just an SDK.

Porting 3d "models" between sdks: the models are compressed in the Data folder (almost all the time). And they are saved in some format for eg. .FBX or .OBJ once you can export those outside the model container you can convert them into a model that the MOD kit supports.

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Thanks Mikolaj.. By 'custom made', I meant 'developed by the public'.. So, from your answer, I believe mod SDKs are developed by the public, and not by the company which created the original game.. – Vishnu Vivek Mar 31 '13 at 21:19 Custom made meant to me - created precisely for the game. There are mod SDK's "Community made" for games and they are made by players. For example there are open source engines made from scratch that work nearly identically as the originals like the Tibian openserver ForgottenEngine. There are community made game map editors, scripts and other mods. But normally an SDK is a hard piece of programming and the company has to do it itself. But being more precise, what would you like to do? Because I feel that I got lost in those questions. – Mikolaj Marcisz Mar 31 '13 at 21:29
That's more clear :) Well, to be precise, I initially thought of taking models from other games (like halflife or skyrim) and making a game in Unity3d. (Not for publishing/distribution purposes, but just to get the feel of it). But from your answer I believe it is illegal. So, I'll just start learning modelling first. Btw, is there any open source games that offers all its models for free? – Vishnu Vivek Apr 1 '13 at 18:26
You can learn using the Unreal Tournament models provided in the Unreal Engine - Unreal Development kit. It would be fully legal. If you want to unpack skyrim models and play around them you will need the "Fallout extension unpacker". I am not sure how is it with the models but the game engine of the Morrowind Engine is open source. Just google for models. :) – Mikolaj Marcisz Apr 1 '13 at 19:15

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