Titanfall dev will 'evaluate' mod support after launch

The life of many a PC game has been revitalised and extended by player-made mods, but not every developer has the resources and inclination to officially support them. Respawn Entertainment has confirmed that Titanfall won't have official mod support at launch, but it's open to the possibility of sorting that out later.

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The life of many a PC game has been revitalised and extended by player-made mods, but not every developer has the resources and inclination to officially support them. Developer Respawn Entertainment has confirmed that Titanfall won't have official mod support at launch, but it's open to the possibility of sorting that out later.

Asked whether the FPS would support mods or user-made maps, Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella responded "not at launch for sure" on Twitter (via Eurogamer). "Will have to evaluate after launch," he added.

Well, at least that's not a no. Given that the game's built upon Valve's Source engine, which has been heavily modded for--gosh--almost a decade, it seems fairly likely that industrious modders will figure out how to get some things into the game unofficially, at least. Large-scale mods would likely require an official toolkit, though.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 3, 2014 7:15 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Titanfall dev will 'evaluate' mod support after launch.

    The life of many a PC game has been revitalised and extended by player-made mods, but not every developer has the resources and inclination to officially support them. Respawn Entertainment has confirmed that Titanfall won't have official mod support at launch, but it's open to the possibility of sorting that out later.

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      January 3, 2014 7:52 AM

      [deleted]

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      January 3, 2014 7:58 AM

      I don't buy it.

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      January 3, 2014 8:04 AM

      Yeah, this is pretty much what they said back when they were about to release MW2.

      Let's be clear: Respawn's first priority is to finish this game, release it, and get paid. They own the Titanfall IP, so a sequel might not even be published by EA (IIRC, Titanfall is the last "EA Parterns" game to be published, aside from perhaps another Crytek release).

      They have a little more of an excuse with their, "Hey, we're basically a large independent developer starting from scratch!" pitch. But I don't think Titanfall will have mods.

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      January 3, 2014 8:05 AM

      so, the answer is "no", why not say that?

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      January 3, 2014 8:06 AM

      Fat chance in hell

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        January 3, 2014 10:05 AM

        Fat chances in hell are pretty good.

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      January 3, 2014 8:09 AM

      Well sense this is a Source game its most likely will be easy for the mod community to get in to this game themselves.

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        January 3, 2014 8:55 AM

        Unless they super lock it down, replacement art and sounds and things may not be too difficult.

        Things like SourceMod, which 'hack into' the Source engine so people can make minor mods for games without their source code, may also work.

        But it's all more of a mess and more restrictive than it would be with official source.

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          January 3, 2014 9:00 AM

          I don't know if Source is the same way, but in Unreal Engine 3 there's ways to lock it waaaay down. Ever try adjusting the FOV on Singularity? You have to hex edit a binary file (coalesced_int.bin, IIRC), compute the SHA1 checksum of that binary file after the modification, THEN hex edit the SHA1 hash of that binary file in the executable. Thankfully, Singularity was just CD check DRM, so it essentially meant that the game was now single-player only (which I don't mind), but if it was Steamworks, it would essentially be impossible to adjust the FOV in the game without it getting flagged as a hack.

          I don't know if Valve has a feature set to lock down into checksummed binary config files for a console-friendly locked-down environment, but I can see Respawn going for that if they were ultra-paranoid about config file edit hacks. They just need to state their position to the community, which I doubt they want to do this far before release.

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            January 3, 2014 10:32 AM

            That shit in u3 is annoying as fuck.

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      January 3, 2014 8:10 AM

      I remember cod4 pc with all the tactical and zombie servers, such a great mod community

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      January 3, 2014 8:22 AM

      If Microsoft had not killed off GFWL, Origin for Windows Live could have been a thing.

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      January 3, 2014 8:23 AM

      so to translate that means fuck no

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      January 3, 2014 8:30 AM

      so will this be Origin only?

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        January 3, 2014 8:37 AM

        I don't think they've announced. It's an "EA Partners" title (if that's even a thing anymore), so I guess it's up to how deep EA gets to shove their hand into this cookie jar.

        I doubt that it'll be playable by only connecting to Steam (which is hilarious for a Source engine game, but Valve already got their money from engine licensing fees, so they're happy). I invite Zampella to surprise me.

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          January 3, 2014 9:04 AM

          It's an Origin exclusive and requires Origin to run just like BF4 and ME3.

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          January 3, 2014 4:26 PM

          I think it being origin or not is up to EA as the publisher, so I assume so. I doubt Respawn has much pull in that area after they already made their deal. They could have made a deal that it has to not be origin exclusive but I doubt they care enough to have included that in the publishing deal. Respawn said something about not even knowing that it was going to be exclusive to Xbox or something like that, that EA just decided that so I doubt Repspawn has really any control over where the game ends up.

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            January 3, 2014 5:40 PM

            At the very least we know that Respawn retains the Titanfall IP (after all, IP ownership and being able to make they game they want to make is why most of the original Respawn staff ran away from Activision). But all the other details sound like bits in a publishing contract that the public never gets to see, but only witnesses the effects of its clauses as they're carried out, whether those conditions are announced via PR, or just shoved out there as they happen.

            The whole Respawn / EA thing seems a little dated, in terms of the huge mulitplatform project by an independent developer being funded by a megapublisher. I think Insomniac is the only developer in that condition, of that size, making AAA games. Also, the idea of doing a PC only multiplayer shooter game only sold via digital distribution would have been laughed at back in early 2010 (much like the commercialized "Nexuiz" got laughed at back in 2010), but now it's realistically possible, as long as the design ambitions fit within the budget that funding can gather (Extraction, Blacklight: Retribution). Thing is, the guys at Respawn seem to really like making mega-budget games, and they have executive staff who make the pitch to a megapublisher CEO... or at least that's how it worked in 2010; I don't know if it's that possible now, from scratch.

            We'll have to see what happens in the months and years after Titanfall's release, if they actually follow through on the ambitions of going on PS4, and if they correct the missteps on their release.

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              January 3, 2014 9:47 PM

              They like making mega budget games because the deal IW had with activision was insanely good considering the amount of copies they were selling. You had non leads making enough money they could just leave and start their own business or whatever. They are in such a position now that I bet they made a similar deal with EA that I'm sure would make other EA employees eyes pop out of their heads.

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      January 3, 2014 9:43 AM

      No big deal

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      January 3, 2014 10:29 AM

      I literally never expect this from games anymore.

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      January 3, 2014 12:26 PM

      Seems like the "not balanced for lean" and "It's going to be a good PC port because it was made on a PC, silly!" Infinity Ward attitude has made the transition then.

      Yay.

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      January 3, 2014 12:31 PM

      do we really care about this? when was the last time a good mod was made? the best ones usually involve modifying the actual game's resources/code anyway.

      the modding community for source is dead, those heydays are over

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        January 3, 2014 12:51 PM

        There haven't been good mods because 99% of games are closed these days. Anyway, the last "good" mod was probably DayZ and that wasn't so long ago. We may not need mods, but the best ones have spawned new genres (Counter-Strike, DOTA, DayZ), so it's hard to argue with their historical significance, and I think it'd be silly too to argue that we won't lose anything if modifications disappear entirely.

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        January 3, 2014 1:21 PM

        I'd be more interested in tools for custom maps. If the game takes off, there are map makers who know Source and will be able to do cool stuff and extend the lifespan. The pay DLC only thing the big shooters have been doing for new maps has been a drag.

        It's not going to happen if EA has any say though.

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        January 3, 2014 1:54 PM

        [deleted]

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        January 3, 2014 1:58 PM

        You mean beside DayZ (Arma II), the prototype for Gone Home (Amnesia mod), Nexenta (Oblivion/Skyrim mod), Morrowind in Skyrim (Skyrim mod in Alpha), The Stanley Parable (HL2 mod, eventually full release), and all of the shit for TF2 servers.

        Let's not discount the Shadowrun, Starbound and Minecraft mods, of course.

        So, beside those, when was the last time a good mod was made? The answer is: all the time.

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          January 3, 2014 1:58 PM

          Oh, and Just Cause II multiplayer mod.

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            January 3, 2014 2:51 PM

            JC2 was done without modding support which is my point completely. The truly good stuff will find a way in regardless. No point getting mad about nothing

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              January 3, 2014 3:18 PM

              So you ignored the list I provided of excellent mods made possible by mod tools, and pointed to the example where the actual developers helped the mod team work with the engine.

              Okay.

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                January 3, 2014 3:36 PM

                You listed two great mods, a prototype, and alpha, and some mod I've never heard of.

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          January 3, 2014 4:00 PM

          Now make a similar list of 3rd party only multiplayer mods that are actually good.

          Of those you mention DayZ, the TF2 stuff, Minecraft and JC2 are the only mods that are even remotely multiplayer.

          DayZ is kind of its own thing due to the nature of it's development. It's also a TC that had an unprecedented amount of success and time put into it. Certainly a good thing but an extremely rare one as well.

          The TF2 "shit" you mention, to the best of my knowledge, I would categorize as mostly bad but perhaps I just don't know enough about them.

          Minecraft mods are cool but that game (and really most sandbox games) lends itself to being modded much more than a game like Titanfall ever could.

          JC2 I wouldn't really count as a mod for multiplayer because it adds the entire component which I suppose is still a good thing but doesn't really fit both because of that and because it was accomplished without mod-tools.


          I would still argue that mods for multiplayer-centric games are usually a bad thing. Hell they weren't great even when they were good. We got a lot of amazing things out of them, like Counter-strike, Rocket Arena, and Team-Fortress but we also got tons and tons of pure garbage.

          I honestly believe (and I would love to be wrong) that mods would ruin a game like Titanfall. Even really basic server-mods have ruined other games (Black Ops comes to mind - a huge portion of servers were completely unplayable because of arbitrary, and often really stupid, rules were so prevalent that good servers became impossible to find and splintered the player base to the point that people stopped playing) and I have a hard time thinking of a modern situation where they have helped anything.

          Even in CS:S with it's limited modding abilities it got way out of hand really fast and fractured the shit out of the player base. I suppose skate servers, ffa servers, gun game, deathmatch, zombies, low-gravity, etc were all liked by some people but effectively they ended up fracturing the player base entirely which hurt the game as a whole.

          Now I will probably never argue against mods for single-player games but I really just want my multiplayer games to have standards settings and rule-sets across the board.

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            January 3, 2014 4:43 PM

            Multiplayer mods are a different thing. I'm kinda the wrong person to ask because I do not play multiplayer much anymore, and, I like the silly hilarious things. I love the hide as a object mod for TF2 'Prop Hunt' and some of the silly maps.

            Also, my multiplayer is mostly social, in a game designed around player control and modifications (Second Life).

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              January 3, 2014 4:48 PM

              So are we not talking about Titanfall now?

              I guess this sub-thread moved more off-topic than I realized.

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                January 3, 2014 4:53 PM

                Notice the post I replied to. 'There are no good mods anymore' is what I was addressing. I didn't assume it was in context to Titanfall, but a general statement that I see incorrectly made here all the time.

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                  January 3, 2014 4:56 PM

                  Yah, fair enough. My head was still centered on Titanfall =)

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        January 3, 2014 2:21 PM

        Only reason I'm still playing Skyrim is mods.

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        January 3, 2014 2:29 PM

        all the skyrim shit?

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        January 3, 2014 2:35 PM

        I hate to admit it but I'd much prefer no mods.

        Mods for single player (ala skyrim) are good and awesome but mods for multi-player are just bad news these days. All they end up doing is fracturing an already small player base and opening the door for even more exploits than we already see.

        It worked back in the day when there were far less options in terms of games to play and the games themselves were far simpler and easier to modify.

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          January 3, 2014 3:32 PM

          Custom maps are potentially less fracturing to a community than paid DLC packs, because they're free to everyone. If the server allows downloads like other source engine shooters then it's as simple as joining a game.

          I hope they at least consider offering that functionality. Mods themselves are unnecessary if the gameplay is top-notch, but new arenas are always welcome to keep things from getting stale.

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            January 3, 2014 3:44 PM

            While I suppose custom maps fall under the "mod" umbrella that isn't what I was really referring to.

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              January 3, 2014 3:46 PM

              Well you can't have them without tools, and new maps can often lead to new game modes and new styles of gameplay, they're often intertwined in shooters.

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        reply
        January 3, 2014 2:45 PM

        Good mods get made all the time, especially for multiplayer games. Doesn't have to be a total conversion to benefit from a mod API.

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        January 3, 2014 3:16 PM

        Seeing as how I've spent nearly twenty hours over the last week playing Star Trek Armada III for Sins of the Solar Empire: Rebellion, yes. Mods are still a thing.

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          January 3, 2014 4:34 PM

          Fuck yeah, I'm loving that mod so far. Have you had issues with the Klingons sitting on their fat Klingon asses and not actually doing much though?

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            January 3, 2014 6:21 PM

            The Borg always wind up mopping my face off the map before I feel advanced enough to really push out. Maybe up the difficulty? It could also be something the devs are working on. There are quite a few broken features.

            Still, man they did a great job so far.

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              January 4, 2014 12:26 AM

              Yeah, I saw quickly how ridiculously overpowered the Borg are at this point, so I've been sticking to playing with Fed/Romulan/Klingons.

              Yeah, the mod is looking really good, and I'm definitely looking forward to their future improvements. One of my favorites for SoaSE so far.

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            January 3, 2014 6:27 PM

            Its probably broken. The alliance sharing stuff is broken, lots of other UI stuff too. Damn is it pretty though.

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        January 3, 2014 3:21 PM

        DayZ? The game that was the number one seller on Steam throughout the entire holiday sale despite not being discounted?

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        January 3, 2014 4:02 PM

        yes.

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        January 3, 2014 4:33 PM

        I spend a fair amount of time playing modded games. Most recently I've been playing some Sins of a Solar Empire mods that are tons of fun, such as http://www.moddb.com/mods/star-trek-armada-3 .

        I also like to go back and play classics with mods like this Empire at War mod: http://www.moddb.com/mods/thrawns-revenge

        or this Homeworld 2 mod: http://www.moddb.com/mods/homeworld-2-complex

        And so on. You're insane if you think nobody cares about mods.

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        January 3, 2014 6:08 PM

        r@zzle the vocal autistic minority must be heard. we need MODS!!!!!!!

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        January 3, 2014 6:40 PM

        Says the guy with... how many hours played in Dota2? Yes, we care.

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      January 3, 2014 3:12 PM

      That sounds like a good thing to say if you don't plan to offer mod support but you want to sell the game to people before you piss them off.

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        January 3, 2014 6:44 PM

        yea, my thoughts exactly

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          January 4, 2014 12:34 AM

          It's pretty much true. DICE said the same shit before BF3 and BF4.

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      January 3, 2014 6:55 PM

      You know what looks amazing? Titanfall. I'll 'evaluate' the problem of the possible lack of modding tools after I've played the shit out of this, Dude-bro! *fist bumps a frat brother*

      ... seriously though, this game looks great. I hope the "Brahs" haven't achieved enough sentience to leave COD purgatory.

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      January 6, 2014 10:27 AM

      lol like that will happen, its the same guys who a while ago told their audience that they don't need dedicated servers and should play p2p. they even were not willing to implement something simple like a fov slider or allow it per console.
      now its on ea and origin so they ill nickel and dime you for content and season passes like they planned for bf4 (before that kinda blew up in their face because they released the game broken) and chances are they are going the way of the halo given how they already were bought on the console side from microsoft. ms isnt going to spend shitloads of money to buy the first game exclusively and market them as the next big thing to risk having sony buy them up on the sequel.

      this said we all know ea/ms great contributions to the mod community and pc gaming. i still praise the heavens for their gfwl campaign. so awesome, the worst enemy in dark souls wasnt even in the game but the endeavour to even log into gfwl. its a brilliant meta joke on their behalf.

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