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I am developing a game, but as I am working on it alone, the amount of content I can create is very limited. Because of that I want my game to be modded, for this purpose I am planning to create a complete modding API which would be exposed for lua scripting. I would also create tutorials to get people started. And the "Original" game would also be a "mod"(similar to Warcraft III maps) .

My question is: What can a developer do to encourage modding of its game?

PS: my game is a sandbox-ish multiplayer survival(most things are procedural).

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I can not think any other answer than "make everything moddable". Modders love games which they can create new games out of. See what Half-Life 1 and 2 enabled for the modders to mod. Create easy to use editors. –  Lasse Oct 20 '13 at 17:49
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Make a good game. Modders work on the games they like which have lots of other players to enjoy their work. –  Sean Middleditch Oct 20 '13 at 18:01
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I was going to take this approach when creating my game. I realized that I had a game in my head that I really wanted to execute so I just decided to make my engine and game stuff easy for me to change. But for you, I recommend that you make a pretty good example game that shows EVERYTHING that your engine can do or create REALLY GOOD documentation and examples of what your engine can do. You want to look like you have a top notch and easy to use engine. –  TheNickmaster21 Oct 21 '13 at 11:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted
  • Make the modding tools very easy to use. There should be a tool for creating the mod, and a fast way to test the mod, ideally live creation if that's practical for your game.
  • Make the distribution and installation of mods dead simple (think steamworks). People are more likely to make mods if they know they'll be used! A rating system will give recognition to modders and allow people to choose the best mods.
  • Make many aspects of the game modifiable. If users can add levels, enemies, weapons, etc. they're more likely to make a mod. If the aspect of the game they want to change isn't modifiable, they won't make a mod.

And the most difficult task:

  • Make a game that people love to play. People won't bother modifying a game they don't like.
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And most important - make your game great to play and attract a lot of players. The more passionate players you have - the more modders you get. –  Krom Stern Oct 21 '13 at 5:44
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@KromStern This is definitely the most important point and should be edited into Byte56's answer :) –  sm4 Oct 22 '13 at 8:31
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None of the first 3 points is accomplished by Minecraft, yet it has very large modding community. –  Kikaimaru Oct 22 '13 at 15:54

Follow these two principles:

  • Make your game data-driven.
  • Make your data files human-readable.
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+1 for data-driven engine. –  Krom Stern Oct 22 '13 at 8:39
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I think the data driven engine is great, but I don't think it helps attract modders to your game, it just makes it easier for you to implement modding in your game. –  Byte56 Oct 22 '13 at 15:56

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