Tim Sweeney, Epic Games’ head honcho, has been giving a talk at GDC about the exciting features of the studio’s new Unreal Engine. For Epic, Unreal 4 is the gateway to a wonderful new land for modders. Any game built on the Unreal 4 engine will be able to provide the tools and source code for any modders to tinker away on their own projects.
Modding should be a “first class platform,” according to Sweeney. My oh my, are we about to start reliving the modding heyday of the early 2000s?
Sweeney’s idea of the future of modding with Unreal 4 is that it would become comparable with indie development. With every Unreal 4 game shipping with mod tools, a wide spectrum of opportunities would be there for bedroom coders to create their own games using existing games as a base. Instead of entering the aggressive land of App Stores and attempting to get notices among the crowds, Sweeney hopes that a revitilised modding scene would become a platform for indie developers.
Mods made in the Unreal 4 engine will be allowed to be sold on or given away for free. Steam Workshop is “industry leading” says Sweeney, and thus the ideal platform for Unreal 4 mods to appear.
Modding is one of the great joys of PC gaming, and whilst there has been a ‘dry spell’ in recent years, Steam Workshop has certainly shown that the appetite is still very much there when developers provide the right tools. Does this commitment to modding from Epic inspire you?