What makes a great mod?

Written by Antony Leather

January 11, 2010 | 11:20

Tags: #cygnus-x1 #modding-competition #mod-of-the-year #neptunes-trident #the-best-mod

We're hoping to see 2010 be a year of many a budding modder take to our forums with scores of new and fresh ideas. With Mod of the Year in its final week and having recently started my own project, I’ve had modding on the mind for the last few weeks or so.

Something that’s got me thinking though is how some mods and scratch-builds get masses of attention, while others, equally deserving and no less amazing seem to fade into the background. [break]

I’m deliberately not mentioning specific projects here but there have been a few that we’ve plucked from the community and had featured in Mod of the Month, that personally I thought were epic. However, despite regular updates from their makers, they fail to gain much attention.

Originality might be one factor. However, even if an awesome-looking mod isn’t entirely original in design, we’ve still seen them become massively popular. Add to this the fact that a lot of work has gone into the build and it's a bit harsh to discredit a modder for being inspired by another’s work.

What makes a great mod?
Great photography goes a long way to making your project log more interesting

Past history certainly seems to be a big factor. If a modder has a record of producing great projects then the chances are they’ll get some serious attention with their next project. Even this trend can fall over though.

An appealing project log can also make a difference. A nice intro with design images, perhaps rendered in Google Sketchup help to set the scene. Good photography always has benefits too - no-one wants to see dark, blurry images.

What makes a great mod?
Designs and planning add professionalism and anticipation to a project.

Lastly, perhaps the amount of attention a project builds up boils down to a matter of taste? You only have to look at the comments of some of the mods featured on our site to see some people appreciate the work but think a design is hideous, whilst others think it’s the most amazing thing they’ve seen.

With evidence of the latter there for all to see, what does it mean for us modders? Well for starters, if someone says something negative about your project, it’s just their own personal taste that’s talking. After all, if we all liked the same things, it would be a pretty boring world right?

More importantly though, it means you’re mod is about you, your ideas and your tastes so never be afraid to go overboard, or be excessive or overzealous. Do what you think is awesome.

What do you think makes a great mod? Let us know in the comments.
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