Console Modding. An under-informed subjective opinion.

I start with this title because I'm not an expert in this and may well make wrong assumptions, so I apologise in advance to anyone who may know something I talk about better than me. I'm just thinking out loud and maybe making some folks consider some factors they may previously not have. Apologies also for any typos.

Alongside the whole "PC vs Console: Which would win in a cage fight" pissing contests, there's so much talk about "Why no console mods?" that I couldn't help but throw my tuppence-worth (ok more like two hundred bucks, I talk a lot) in. Anyone expected a short story, save yourself the pain, I'm in the mood to yabber.

Before we all take sides and start chucking muck at each other like so many monkeys, just remember our love of our differences are what make us all the same. Android/iPhone, PC/Console, XBox/Playstation, PC/Mac, McDonalds/Burger King, Pepsi/Coke, North/South, you get the picture. It's nice to have a choice isn't it? Accept you're biased for the moment and consider the bigger picture.

Putting aside the PC vs Console argument, consider console gaming 'as is'. Yes, there are significantly more restrictions in place than you would find on PC but for very good reason. They aren’t running in an open environment. Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo have invested a massive amount in these gaming platforms. The cost of the hardware is kept low to provide an entry point. A large part of their repeat revenue is based around online multiplayer gaming (XB Live / PS Plus / Switch). Modding provides a potential entry point for creation of exploits. This risks ruining that multiplayer experience (loss of level playing field), people lose interest in playing online and the labels lose this revenue.

Even if you don't consider modding exploits to cheat online, I wouldn't be surprised if the decision is made as often by the publisher not to mod as by the platform.

A lot of effort goes into game and level design and pre-release testing to ensure a game is well balanced and playable and has the right level of challenge to draw you in and keep you playing. Opening up modding provides an opportunity to mess that whole balance up. Although the player may not realise it, it ruins the game for them.

Yes, it might be good for the player who's clocked the game, or wants to customise the experience and I'm all for that, but you will also get those people who start by downloading everything, end up not liking the experience and complaining about the game or leaving early. You see it all over the internet already. "Man, this game sucks, it's so slow and the trucks always get stuck". "This game is rubbish without my Fiat 500 monster truck". Miss the point much?

I also saw another post on here where somebody was noting about an aspect of the game (vehicle spawn points I think) that was broken when a moderator responded something along the lines of "I think the issue is you are using a custom map which didn't add them". Not everyone is able to understand or take ownership of the changes they make to ruin their own experience.

Modding takes the creative control away from the developers who spent a lot of time and effort on it. Ok fine when you have a franchise so big that it won't harm you (Skyrim, Fallout) but MudRunner is still pretty new, so I totally appreciate that the devs might want to control the experience in the beginning.

I started the game like everyone thinking "Where's my e7310? Gimme gimme gimme gimme!" Would I have bothered with the B-130 if I hadn't have needed to complete every map before I finally got the prize? I bloody love that B-130 now, bless it's bouncy, crappy little cotton socks!

Releasing 'mod' content as DLCs, as suggested in the last update, makes a lot of sense. It allows the game to be extended significantly whilst still being able to control the look and feel and game balance so everyone can enjoy and co-op on a level playing field. I just hope that the community content creators all support this to increase the content and playability on all platforms.

The final thought I would raise is copyright. Sony and Microsoft are huge brands known for protecting their identities through legal means. I'm sure they are very aware of and sensitive to the idea of hosting content that could infrige others’ brand identities the same way.

The fact that someone made an awesome model of a Ford Bronco doesn't necessarily mean that Ford won't have something to say about it being made available to play in a game without their consent. A talented person (and there are many in the community) can make a fantastic model in a 3D application and upload to the internet without having to think much further than their own creative expectations. To do that litigation free on in a commercially viable way is another story entirely.

Everyone screaming for MudRunner USA might want to think about how long it would reasonably take and what it might cost to acquire these kinds of rights from big name companies. Why would you think that these won't come at a cost? Of course (in my opinion) MudRunner USA will come as a new game or perhaps also as a paid-for DLC. Someone has to pay for the additional development and work and the wages of the people who will be working for several months to make those licensing deals happen. If not for that, the game is targeted for a different market, even if existing players recognise the value, you couldn’t successfully market this level of development to a new customer base as a DLC of another game.

I love Unimogs to a point that might be considered legally inappropriate, but can imagine that even if Mercedes were OK with their vehicles being added, the potential level of effort to engage with a company of that size and ensure all their expectations on 'correct brand representation' are fulfilled is possibly greater than the resource available, or the return on investment from doing so. And at the end of all that effort I will have my weekend of fun and ask ‘where are all the Land Rovers?’.

I'd be interested to know what kind of commercial deals are done to acquire big brand rights for games like Forza or Fifa. The legal teams alone are probably larger than the whole MudRunner dev team lol. The one thing that perhaps MudRunner has in its favour is that some of the brands are less 'precious' about themselves and happy for the promotion or just for the hell of it. But I'm thinking (guessing) of the likes of Tatra or Kamaz or Bowler or maybe Scania. Start to consider same for the big names like Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet, Toyota, Mercedes.

Anyway, I guess my point is that I love the idea of having the complete freedom that modding would give me in an open sandbox environment like MudRunner, and I’m slightly jealous of the guys with PCs who can have that fun and wish them all the best with it, I might join you one day if I can be bothered to buy another but I can't justify it at the moment. In the meantime I still prefer to play on my XBox in my living room, in my lazy chair in front of my 60 inch TV and be two button presses away from playing. I pay for that convenience by compromising elsewhere. And I’m fine with that. If I only had a PC and a desk, or actually preferred to play that way, I see no issue there either. I would accept compromises elsewhere.

I’m also fine with paying 'what something is worth'. I have, to date, had about three to four weeks gameplay and enjoyment out of MudRunner. That was well worth the purchase price. I bought a copy for my mate. We played on two afternoons so far. It was hilarious. That was worth the extra money. You can pay five bucks for a pint of beer or a cup of coffee. Pick your own example of something you spent more money on that lasted less time. I'm equally fine with paying extra for additional content that increases my enjoyment or extends the game longevity. Especially if I take a little time to consider what it cost to deliver that experience to me.

More Beer. Peace. Out.

🙂

@zoglet
Yeah buddy, I've seen it happen. A major auto manufacturer flat out refused to license their brand to EA for use in a previous Need for Speed title. It had nothing to do with money either (Jeebus knows EA has more than enough of that to throw at people/companies). They declined based solely on the fact that said NfS game included semi-realistic damage modeling, and did not under any circumstances want people to be able to destroy a vehicle with their name on it. Petty and stupid as far as I'm personally concerned, but as you say it's up to them to decide who gets that license and who doesn't. Can you imagine the legal poo-storm that would've followed had EA opted to include that manufacturers vehicles without prior approval? Big company like EA wasn't willing to take the chance, so no way will a smaller company like FHI try it since they've got a lot more at stake...
Appreciate you weighing in on this stuff, perspective can make the difference! 🙂

@zoglet said in Console Modding. An under-informed subjective opinion.:

I bloody love that B-130 now, bless it's bouncy, crappy little cotton socks!

Apart from the achievement, Why? 😵 Do you have a masochistic streak? Ahem, in all seriousness, I am genuinely curious because I've never used that truck or its options fully.

I love Unimogs to a point that might be considered legally inappropriate,

I may have to say, Amen, brother! A couple of the local (local to me anyway!) tree surgeon companies have these portal-axled ambassadors of bad-assery!

The rest of your Console-modding thesis 👨‍🎓 Absolutely spot on.

Haha yeah. As per the other post on making things harder for yourself. Don't get me wrong, I'm far from competent in it. Empty it's a nightmare. But once you get a bit of weight over the axle it just seems to boing happily along through almost anything. Still a LOT to learn though.

@zoglet The reason you will more than likely never see mods for this game on console is mostly about the lack of an option. Yes, mainstream games have made mods to console. We aren't talking about MR like its a mainstream game are we? Because that would be silly. The reason why mods on consoles probably won't happen for MR is the fact that the option of mods is not cost effective for a small game. The development of mods for such a niche game wouldn't be worth the effort. If it were easier to get mods on consoles in general--- I'd guarantee a lot more games would have mods.
Thats my opinion.

I agree that you don’t add modding to make money but I maintain that I think the main issue with open modding in multiplayer environments remains that someone other than the developer, potentially without the same intended end goal, could alter the look, feel, and balance of a game and its interaction completely, also potentially the stability. This is questionably tolerable for a one person experience, but may not be what the other players in a multiplayer scenario came online for.

I for one love the look and feel of the game as it is and would probably be put off if 75% of the games I joined are full of people driving anything from a 2017 Dodge Ram, OP Lamborghini Aventador, or who knows whats next.

Yes MudRunner is an awesome game and anyone who’s played it can immediately see the potential. The problem is they all have their own idea of what that is.

Imagine your favourite bar or club, but where anyone walking in the door can change the playlist, even if only to piss you off. I’d rather find a place where the manager shares my idea of what’s enjoyable and meet other people there with the same opinion.

Even if modding ever did happen, I would want the multiplayer content and the gameplay to be strictly categorised and controlled so I could still choose to play pure, extended with controls like type/decade specific, not only a free for all. Who’s going to manage that?

last edited by zoglet
Community Moderator - Spintires

@zoglet
Because I agree with you with the rest, I can tell you just who is going to manage mods: Nobody.
This is how it already works on PC and, honestly, only way I've found is to play with people I know. Yes, it is a BIT restrictive, but I can't see any other option to prevent OP mods, maps I don't like, host leaving game after 20 minutes and other stuff.

I see only one reason for the mods is not made available on console, the gain appetizer of the devellopeurs.

They make money only with console versions.

I am not against the fact of paid dlc. But why prevent the output of more content made by modders.

This is not a licensing problem, since it does not pose a problem on pc. And focus is perfect on farming.

No, it's just the bait of gain.

@mike-flanagan said in Console Modding. An under-informed subjective opinion.:

I see only one reason for the mods is not made available on console, the gain appetizer of the devellopeurs.

They make money only with console versions.

I am not against the fact of paid dlc. But why prevent the output of more content made by modders.

This is not a licensing problem, since it does not pose a problem on pc. And focus is perfect on farming.

No, it's just the bait of gain.

If it was Focus/Saber releasing these mods, then I assure you it would be a huge legal problem. The auto manufacturers aren't likely to waste time and money on litigation against every individual person who's copied their trucks, which is the only reason we "get away with it" on PC. Also, if they weren't making money on the PC version as well, it wouldn't be a thing either. Why is it that so many of you come in here and rant about this without doing some research first?? If it was as easy to pull off as you guys think THEY WOULD HAVE DONE IT ALREADY... Get a clue...

@zoglet To make my stance clear; I don't care if console mods happen. If they do; good for them (and for the game, probably), if not; didn't expect anything else. I play this game on PC and occasionally mod my games.

That being said, I disagree with most of this.

Multiplayer cheating/imbalance is a non issue. Modding can easily be restricted to whatever the developers prefer. Just look at the workshop. We couldn't share maps until now because they had not provided us with the tools to do so. Console modding would obviously have to happen through something similar to the Steam workshop.

Risk of ruining your own experience sounds like a poor excuse. Players should be able to be held accountable for their own actions. It's not like you can accidentally mod your game.

Players failing to understand that mods aren't officially supported is somewhat of an issue, but not enough to completely detract from implementing mod support, imo.

Unlicensed vehicle mods I can agree with, though. I don't really know how that works. I think I've heard about the odd case where someone was asked to take their mod down due to lack of licensing. I can see why the console manufacturers wouldn't want to host such content. Valve are clearly not as bothered, though.

Your other paragraphs regarding licensing I don't really understand. What's your point? Licensing won't happen effortlessly, no. That goes for any developer. The thing with Forza and FIFA, I believe, is that motorsports and football is huge. Everyone can relate to racing and football. Licensing is a nobrainer. Racing and sports games are made all the time. Both racing and sports are forms of entertainment (watching it, that is), and it just makes sense to let people make video games out of it. Now compare this to a mud simulator. It probably doesn't help that you're not a huge publisher, either. SCS (Euro Truck Simulator) face similar issues, with new licensing deals being hard to strike. Manufacturers don't care for their trucks being used for entertainment. Their trucks are used for work and should represent the most modern truck engineering. Meanwhile any developer can get licenses for their racing game.

(above paragraph is mostly my own perspective)

I think having mod support (keeps the game alive community wise) while also selling official DLC (keeps the game alive development wise) is by far the best solution. There will always be people who prefer official content. SCS has had incredible success with ETS. The modding community is huge, and they keep releasing content and feature updates even five years after release, with no sign of stopping anytime soon.

@mexican_420

So it would pose problem on console, but not on pc. Not very logical. Focus lets pass though quantity of mods for farming on console, I doubt that they have asked the license to all the manufacturers.

In addition if have listened saber, since 6 months they say to think about it, to implement in the form of dlc the best mods. So if I follow your logic, saber should acquire the license for these contents ...

@mike-flanagan said in Console Modding. An under-informed subjective opinion.:

@mexican_420

So it would pose problem on console, but not on pc. Not very logical. Focus lets pass though quantity of mods for farming on console, I doubt that they have asked the license to all the manufacturers.

In addition if have listened saber, since 6 months they say to think about it, to implement in the form of dlc the best mods. So if I follow your logic, saber should acquire the license for these contents ...

Stick with me here, dude... The publisher releases mods to consoles which is a MUCH more restrictive process from a legal standpoint because they need to get cleared/approved by Sony/Microsoft, and they also need permission/licenses from the manufacturers to have in-game representations of that manufacturer's real-world vehicles. PLAYERS/MODDERS release mods on PC and that's outside of the control of the publisher. I'm sure if any given manufacturer thought it would be worth their time or money, they very well could go after those players/modders, but it would be a huge expenditure on their part for very little reward (so the modder gets forced to pull his truck down, meanwhile Ford (for example) has spent thousands on legal fees and such to accomplish it. Doesn't seem like a very feasible business decision to me...)
And I 100% guarantee that Focus has obtained licenses for ALL real-world manufacturers featured in the Farming Simulator games, otherwise those companies who are featured would've already sued Focus into oblivion.
And yes, if one of the popular mods happened to be a replica of a real-world vehicle and Focus intended to use that mod as part of some official DLC, Focus wouldn't so much require the permission of the mod maker to feature their content, but both the mod maker AND Focus would be obligated to acquire a licensing agreement with that real-world manufacturer to use their vehicle in-game, which falls back to the info above. Intellectual Property is a complex (and sometimes slippery slope) thing to work with legally speaking...

@mexican_420 said in Console Modding. An under-informed subjective opinion.:

@mike-flanagan said in Console Modding. An under-informed subjective opinion.:

@mexican_420

So it would pose problem on console, but not on pc. Not very logical. Focus lets pass though quantity of mods for farming on console, I doubt that they have asked the license to all the manufacturers.

In addition if have listened saber, since 6 months they say to think about it, to implement in the form of dlc the best mods. So if I follow your logic, saber should acquire the license for these contents ...

Stick with me here, dude... The publisher releases mods to consoles which is a MUCH more restrictive process from a legal standpoint because they need to get cleared/approved by Sony/Microsoft, and they also need permission/licenses from the manufacturers to have in-game representations of that manufacturer's real-world vehicles. PLAYERS/MODDERS release mods on PC and that's outside of the control of the publisher. I'm sure if any given manufacturer thought it would be worth their time or money, they very well could go after those players/modders, but it would be a huge expenditure on their part for very little reward (so the modder gets forced to pull his truck down, meanwhile Ford (for example) has spent thousands on legal fees and such to accomplish it. Doesn't seem like a very feasible business decision to me...)
And I 100% guarantee that Focus has obtained licenses for ALL real-world manufacturers featured in the Farming Simulator games, otherwise those companies who are featured would've already sued Focus into oblivion.
And yes, if one of the popular mods happened to be a replica of a real-world vehicle and Focus intended to use that mod as part of some official DLC, Focus wouldn't so much require the permission of the mod maker to feature their content, but both the mod maker AND Focus would be obligated to acquire a licensing agreement with that real-world manufacturer to use their vehicle in-game, which falls back to the info above. Intellectual Property is a complex (and sometimes slippery slope) thing to work with legally speaking...

You really believe that focus acquires the license of all mods out farming? Even those on console via the modshop? I have a huge doubt because some brand no longer exists ...

There are only some big, very fussy builders on the property of their brand. Porsche for example who signs exclusive contracts to use their models.

And all these are not complex problems to work around. Remove the badge from the brand, do not use the name of the model and change very slightly the hestic. Rockstar with GTA mastery has wonder.

So yes if saber really wanted it, there is no problem to propose mods on console.

Many games do it, skyrim, fallout and focus with farming.

So either saber does not want it, either the console versions are lower than the pc version or simply, saber wants to take advantage of the dlc which sells better on console than on pc.

You only have to see how they were turned on by the PC community when they had to propose mudrunner, when the development of spintire had been abandoned.

@mike-flanagan said in Console Modding. An under-informed subjective opinion.:

You really believe that focus acquires the license of all mods out farming? Even those on console via the modshop? I have a huge doubt because some brand no longer exists ...

There are only some big, very fussy builders on the property of their brand. Porsche for example who signs exclusive contracts to use their models.

And all these are not complex problems to work around. Remove the badge from the brand, do not use the name of the model and change very slightly the hestic. Rockstar with GTA mastery has wonder.

So yes if saber really wanted it, there is no problem to propose mods on console.

Many games do it, skyrim, fallout and focus with farming.

So either saber does not want it, either the console versions are lower than the pc version or simply, saber wants to take advantage of the dlc which sells better on console than on pc.

You only have to see how they were turned on by the PC community when they had to propose mudrunner, when the development of spintire had been abandoned.

Yes, I do believe that Focus is licensed to use mods that are exact replicas of real-world equipment. Granted I'm also sure that it's a distinct possibility that some of the lesser known brands were happy with the recognition and may have authorized Fous to use their brand and likenesses without financial compensation (free advertising, why not?). As far as any brands go that "no longer exist" it's a safe bet that SOMEBODY still owns the rights to that brand and has subsequently been contacted for licensing. If the brand has become what could be considered "open source" insofar as the rights have become public domain, then that aspect of the discussion is completely moot since licensing wouldn't be required in the first place for those brands.
As for games like Skyrim and Fallout4 having mod support on consoles, Bethesda happens to be a multi-billion dollar company with enormous development teams at their disposal to work on things like testing and quality control, something a smaller company like Saber simply doesn't have. As an example, sure a couple of guys with sufficient knowledge, skill and financial backing could build a house, but it's going to take them a heck of a lot longer to complete than it would take a much larger construction company to do the same job. It's just a matter of logistics...
Regarding the "remove the badge and alter the appearance, problem solved" approach, it does take some interaction with the license holders in order to figure out "how similar is too similar, legally speaking" which, again, can be very resource (financially and manpower wise) intensive. Possibly (probably?) too much so for a smaller development team to accomplish. I'm confident that I speak for the majority when I say those resources would be better used to improve gameplay and stability elements instead of slogging through the miles of bureaucratic red tape in court that is the copyright game...

@mexican_420

When I talk about farming mods, I do not mean dlc. But of the contents made available by the modders. Example blacksheep, which is modders and offers content, I doubt that it is the license for all that it offers, tractors, trucks, agricultural equipment ... And yet focus allows this content in the modhub.

When done saber is a smaller studio, ok no problem. But the basic game on pc accepts mods, so the console game also accepts them normally. Finally if they are the same versions.

Well, they would not have so many people who slow down on the addition of mods on consoles, if saber spoke clearly on this subject. And not just tell us for 6 months "we think about it".

There is no technical problem, and if there were, the focus teams have the know-how to help them.

So it is time that saber expresses himself very sincerely on the subject, yes or no. The console players would not stay in a wobbly situation.

So to summarize,

saber has been thinking for 6 months about the possibility to put the mods on console. But they have no concrete plan for the moment.

They think in the form of dlc, paying or nothing is said. But to get inflated by them by charging for content they did not create.

A dlc like the valley is under development, to see because the map was nothing terrible and the new vehicles.

They work on the possible extension or new games usa.

And they work on the switch version, which for me is a waste of time and money.

I know what I have to do if I want to take full advantage of the game. Switch to pc, and like 80% of players, take a cracked version.

Sorry saber, but in view of your interest in console players, I will not support you financially in the futur.

@mike-flanagan what did they charge you for that wasn’t created?

@sodoma Totally agree with you on all those points. Re your last point, only playing with people you know, that works well if you're a seasoned gamer with a huge network but that's not what console gaming is about, and what percentage of the overall buying market will do that? Consoles are like toasters. That's what I like about them. You switch them on and play your game. The MP experience needs to be the same. The only way you can guarantee that balance is by keeping it closed.

Regardless of what somepeople say, I get a good feeling from the developers that they do listen to the community and are looking to fulfil their demands as best as they can whilst (naturally) following their own business and release strategy. I'm fine with that, and if mods aren't feasible, I look forward to the next DLC. What? Did you say free? Wow, that's a refreshing change! 😉

last edited by zoglet
Community Moderator - Spintires

@zoglet
You don't need a huge network, being an introvert who don't like people is good enough 😂
But seriously: I agree with you and definitely like your comparsion with toasters. That is the thing, that lot of people doesn't realise.
On the other hand, I think that variety of trucks is decent, but some "map pack" may cheer-up community, especially consoleros...

BTW, I've tried both and playing with friends is definitely way better than with some random people...

@sodoma Sorry, my last reply was badly worded. Yes playing with friends you can rely on is the way to go but for a game like mudrunner which is a bit more ‘niche’, your network shrinks. i guess the longer you play though, the more people you find. Definitely agree on map packs and I too would be happy for any content that keeps the feel of the game and provides a few new views and challenges. Still, there lots of ways to enjoy the content we already have,

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