The following is a re-post and re-edit of a post on I made on Race Department, some time ago (June 1, 2019), during the pre-release period of Automobilista 2. This followed on the news that AMS2 would likely not be an openly moddable platform (due to using the Project Cars 2 Madness Engine), as opposed to how AMS1 was openly moddable. There, I brainstormed some ideas that I think are still valuable to this day and encouraged devs to get creative and help maintain a healthy modding scene. Here, I clean up the writing and present it, again, to raise awareness and to keep it for posterity.
Sims – A Mod(erate) Proposal
How getting creative and resisting binary thinking
can foster and grow sim racing further and faster
Getting Creative Again
I wish the discussion would go deeper than this simple moddable vs not moddable binary choice. There are options that keep modding on the table.
Reiza was creative when they crowdfunded AMS and very generous up to this day. I have no complaints with them. So why can’t we repeat that magic. Let’s get creative again.
Who is this for?
This is really for the devs, perhaps the publishers, and maybe for other simmers, to encourage us all to support open moddable platforms by showing you their benefits, and showing you the drawbacks and consequences of closed sims. By supporting modding, we help grow a healthy, vibrant sim community that brings more value to users and more reach and profit to devs and publishers.
Why should I care?
Mods unlock vast potential on both the business side and the customer side.
On the business side, the shelf-life and therefore sale-life of your product is extended by a significant amount. Consider Codemaster’s yearly release F1 games which might have a shelf-life of 1-2 years after which it’s not worth supporting anymore and customer goodwill for that particular product has dried up. In contrast, consider Assetto Corsa, an openly moddable sim, with a shelf-life of 5+ years, and showing no signs of stopping, growing customer goodwill, and a continuing healthy sale-life. Furthermore, a longer contented customer may be more willing to pay for first-party DLC.
On the customer side, there is greater content volume, extending the enjoyment life of the game, and content is produced and updated for longer, resolving worries about a game at a deadend. Additionally, customers traditionally not served by modern products (think vintage racing series) now have the possibility and access to options to acquire content that the dev or publisher would never think of producing. Customers also receive a warmer and more active community to get involved with which leads back to more engagement and more enjoyment out of the game.
Ask yourself, are you ok with your sim dying within a few years, having limited content, no support, and no possibility of extensions or addon content? Or would you like to see your sim going from strength to strength 5 years from now? And, in some cases like GTR2 or Grand Prix Legends, going 10 years, even 20 years, still selling, and users still enjoying the game and its community?
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Here are just a few ideas I’ve been thinking of that keep sims open to modding…