Some thoughts about [MOD]s...

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zup
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Some thoughts about [MOD]s...

Post by zup »

I was surfing the Jet Set Central page and some things came to mind...

What makes a game a MOD?

IMHO, a MOD should be a "datafile" that modifies/runs the original game (like WADs in Doom). Another term I learned is a "Total Conversion" that is (almost) the same but changing almost every asset of the original game (that is, levels, music and graphics). Should we have a TC tag?

Most Manic Miner/Jet Set Willy MODs seems to fall in those categories, with no modifications to the engine, but...

Henry's Hoard is tagged as [MOD] because it shares engine with Jet Set Willy. It is really a MOD? I mean, did they started with JSW, some hacking tools and puth only their data? Or did they started it as a new game using the source code of the engine? In this case, it should be not tagged as [MOD] (like Castle Master that runs on Freescape engine or any adventure running on GAC/PAW/The Quill engines).

Other special cases would be the Harry S. Price games... strange beasts. From what I read, those games seems to be TCs of published games but there are two things that always amazed me.
- They got published and sold on stores, so they wouldn't qualify as "amateur" jobs. It's strange that he didn't got sued.
- Was really faster/cheaper/lazier to hack a game than to program a new one? I mean, studying others code takes time and abilities that are beyond what you need to program your own games...

BTW, I'm separating all those Manic Miner / Jet Set Willy mods from the rest of my games... is there any way to get a list of ALL the mods in Spectrum Computing (and the original games they've modded)?
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Einar Saukas
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Re: Some thoughts about [MOD]s...

Post by Einar Saukas »

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
What makes a game a MOD?
Hacking someone else's game to create a different game.

It usually means replacing some of the original graphics, level layout and/or sounds, while keeping (most of) the original game code.

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
Another term I learned is a "Total Conversion" that is (almost) the same but changing almost every asset of the original game (that is, levels, music and graphics).
TC means a MOD that replaces almost all of the original graphics, level layout and/or sounds. This way, the resulting game will look as different as possible from the original.

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
Should we have a TC tag?
I hope not. We would spend ages discussing if certain MODs deserve the TC tag or not (the distinction between "almost all" and "a lot" is very subjective). Then after all this work, I doubt anybody would use this tag in practice.

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
Most Manic Miner/Jet Set Willy MODs seems to fall in those categories, with no modifications to the engine
Right.

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
Henry's Hoard is tagged as [MOD] because it shares engine with Jet Set Willy. It is really a MOD?
Yes.

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
I mean, did they started with JSW, some hacking tools and puth only their data? Or did they started it as a new game using the source code of the engine?
They reverse-engineered the original engine, modified it, then put their own data.

Therefore they hacked someone else's game to create a different game.

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
Castle Master that runs on Freescape engine
Reusing your own engine to create another game is not hacking.

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
any adventure running on GAC/PAW/The Quill engines).
Using a development engine is not hacking.

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
Other special cases would be the Harry S. Price games... strange beasts. From what I read, those games seems to be TCs of published games
Correct. Therefore they are MODs.

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
- They got published and sold on stores, so they wouldn't qualify as "amateur" jobs. It's strange that he didn't got sued.
Almost:

https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/page.ph ... 57&page=10

zup wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:29 pm
is there any way to get a list of ALL the mods in Spectrum Computing (and the original games they've modded)?
In the SpectrumComputing homepage, you can use advanced search selecting "mod only".

Or you can download ZXDB and run this query directly:

Code: Select all

select * from entries e
inner join relations r on r.entry_id = e.id
inner join entries k on r.original_id = k.id
where r.relationtype_id = 'm'
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