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According to this accepted answer, modding is on-topic on GameDev.SE. The posts didn't explore the topic very much. Should modding be covered by GameDev.SE? Why or why not?

The possible solution is to give modding communities their own sites or . Should prominent modding communities be given their own site and if not, what is a better alternative and why is it better?

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Modding varies too much

I would argue no more than game development as a whole. There are lots of engines and paradigms to do things within the scope of making games, as well as different disciplines that also fall under our existing umbrella.

Either way, I don't see how "too much variety" is a valid excuse. There are lots of other StackExchange sites that cover lots of different topics. Just look at the list of languages and frameworks on StackOverflow, or the number of games (of all sorts of genres) on Gaming.SE.

Game creators aren't mod developers

That's a presumptuous statement. I personally know a couple of full time professional game developers who also have mod projects on the side.

If your point is that mod developers aren't knowledgeable enough to contribute to the site, you could just as easily point to the hundreds of closed, low-quality questions from so-called game creators who don't know anything either.

The Modding Culture is different from the GameDev culture

Your examples are just that some vernacular is different. So what?

should modding be covered by GameDev.SE? If so, why?

The tools are often similar (and in some cases, better), the end results are often similar, and more importantly the people you would want to get answers from are often similar.


I would say that the crux of your argument could be similar to web development vs native development on a site like StackOverflow. If you are not personally involved in it, just ignore some tags that you know won't have questions you care about, and move on.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ (Respectively numbered) 1. While Unity and Libgdx share many things in common, many concepts can still be applied to both. The same cannot be said about moddable games. 2. Sorry for the presumptuous statement, but my point isn't that mod devs aren't as competent as game devs - rather, mod devs go through a very different process and experience to create their product. 3. "Vernacular" is important. \$\endgroup\$ – JPtheK9 May 25 '15 at 3:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Continued) 4. Relating to point 1, many tools are not similar. For game creation, there are many engines but they all have relatively low-level access and follow an entity-component system. Unity and Unreal is an obviously similar comparison but Unity and GameMaker also share many features and designs as well, even though they are made for games of different dimensions. SC2's map editor is worlds different from Portal's map editor, which is galaxies away from MineCraft's modding IDE. \$\endgroup\$ – JPtheK9 May 25 '15 at 3:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JPtheK9 your point about game creation engines follows a very programmer-centric view. If I were a level designer, for example, the tools that the modding community uses and the development community uses could be very similar, if not identical. \$\endgroup\$ – Tetrad Jun 1 '15 at 23:31
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Should prominent modding communities be given their own site and if not, what is a better alternative and why is it better?

This is not a discussion that is appropriate for the Game Development community; this community can discuss the topic of whether or not this site should be hosting modding-related questions or not. Area 51 is the appropriate venue to discuss whether or not modding, or game-specific modding, should have it's own site. That happens independently of Game Development.

Given the reasons I proposed, should modding be covered by GameDev.SE? If so, why?

The subject is already on-topic; the community doesn't need to re-iterate why it should be. Instead, you (or others who agree with your position) need to provide compelling reasons why it should no longer be on-topic and win a community consensus.

When talking about whether a specific existent subject should remain on-topic on a specific SE site or not, you generally need to address two issues:

  • where that topic might otherwise be on-topic, if anywhere and
  • why hosting that topic actively harms the site community or is otherwise detrimental to on-topic subject matter elsewhere on the site.

In the case of modding, it's not on-topic at gaming as of this writing, and that's probably the only other reasonably site that would cover it. So there's no basis for banning it here on the grounds of "it's covered elsewhere."

The crux of the issue, then, is: does it harm this site? I don't see any hard evidence as such in your post. Only opinion and conjecture. I'm therefore not particularly inclined to agree with you.

You say that the main reason you think modding should be off-topic is that the audience isn't there or isn't suitable to answer the questions. But of the 100 or so modding questions we have, approximately 80% have at least one answer. That doesn't seem like an unhealthy metric to me. Further, "audience size" isn't a good reason for banning a topic anyway; a small audience for a subject is rather an opportunity for the site to attract more users. We don't want the user base of the site to become stagnant or to get too much of an "in-crowd club" appearance, and supporting a diverse range of topics is therefore ideal, even if the practical audience for those topics is not currently large. We also expect and desire users with lots of different areas of expertise; not all users may have familiarity with all mod tools, but not all users have familiarity with all graphics or physics APIs either (and so on). There's absolutely nothing wrong with having pockets of non-intersecting expertise on the site. It is, in fact, desirable.

Your arguments regarding culture seem mainly to do with terminology, which is already an issue within the realm of game development and is easily handled by asking clarifying questions to provide specificity in the use of terms that may have different meanings in different contexts. The relatively slow growth of modding-related questions and users focused solely on answering those questions doesn't cause me any concern that there will be a sudden significant shift in jargon on the site that will create a Tower of Babel effect.

You are welcome (and encouraged) to start a game mods proposal on Area 51. But I don't see anything in your argument here that would make me think we should reconsider our stance on game modding questions on this site at this time.

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I'm only familiar with modding SC2 and a select few other games and from that experience, here's why I think GameDev.SE should not cover modding:

Modding varies too much

Introducing modding to our community would mean introducing moddable games - too many to count. What do the SC2 Editor, MineCraft, and Portal Puzzle Creator have in common? Not much. The variety in high/low level access and concepts are too great to be covered by our site that also covers building games from scratch.

Game creators aren't mod developers

The biggest reason why I think modding shouldn't be on-topic on GameDev.SE is that the audience is not suited for answering questions about modding. While I might be familiar with the SC2 Editor, most game creators certainly are not. I don't know anything about MineCraft modding but I know Java, while MineCraft modders might not know anything about getting a standalone game off its feet.

The Modding Culture is different from the GameDev culture

More modders showing up would further exacerbate this issue by leaving those game creators clueless concerning the modding jargon and culture. Scripts become interchangeable with triggers. Missiles are no longer missiles but projectiles in general. Etc.

Solution

Giving modders their own site on StackExchange might work well but because of the aforementioned variety, it might also lead to several communities dumped in one - not very productive. I think that ultimately, the best thing that should be done should be done based on the benefit of the audience. If a game's modding community grows to superb heights, they should get their own site (i.e. MCMod.StackExchange.com).

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