Only see a popularity gain in engine use if it is made available as a learning tool. If developers want to have a stake in licensing their engine to other developers, you only need to look at source and unreal.
any companies who do not have any interest in licesing their engine to game developers won't give a crap.
Bethesda in fact licensed so much of their current engine from middleware providers, it is impossible to get an SDK out of them. Almost every developer is in this boat.
Don't kid yourself just because there's a few bright sparks out there in the more open modding communities; developers/publishers like Valve, Epic and Bethesda are few and far between and mingled with the rise of the money power houses like EA, Activision/Blizzard and Zenimax and the rise of DLCs modding as we know it is very much under threat.
Epic and Valve own a propitiatory engine This is the only circumstance where you will see a feature full SDK that is useful for modding. Those engines were developed to be useful to build many game types, have many features, and often the games can be modded, to some degree, without the need to recompile the exe. Would it be wise to allow redistribution of a modded game exe... not really.
Unless moddability is a game feature and the game developed with that in mind. If they develop a front end interface world editor like the CS GECK the better. again rare, as most developers are licensing theirs.
EAs various developing houses.. probably have no interest in releasing an SDK. < most of these engines are probably purpose built for that game and are u documented, as with most engines, and the rewards of releasing the SDK for madden or fifa football is probably nill. everyone just buys the newest in the series every year. games won't be moddable unless either its built in a modular way in the first place. For example, there would have been nothing wrong with hard coding the number of outfits the game recognizes. if oblivion was limited to 10 outfits? This is a scenario i have encountered.
Winners in the future will be modders seeking to move onto platforms that are catered for indie game development. And those Developers
everyone else will carry on making and selling games as normal, simply because its' not worth it and/or they do not have the rights to release an SDK
Morrowind was released with not only an SDK but 3DS MAX3 and 4 exporter tools and DDS texture tools. Oblivion was released without additional tools and a slightly gimped SDK compared to the original Construction Set. Bethesda made no mention of releasing an SDK for Fallout 3 until several weeks after the launch of the game and then finally did out of the blue. New Vegas has an SDK as it's basically the same SDK as Fallout 3's. Is this going forward? Is this progress? Of course it isn't, it's going backwards. Bethesda's gripe is (perhaps understandably) with the seeming ungratefulness of certain elements of the community who are upset with these steps backwards despite my attempts to try and make people thankful for having an SDK at all.
Are you kidding?
the cs is increasingly feature full from MW>OB>F3. these missing features are removed because you will have to go ask facegen, havok, speedtree, gamebryo, and lord knows who else to get those features released in the world editor. these features never existed in MW CS, so how can that be a step backward. The exporter for max is likely impossible for them to release as almost certainly gamebryo stock max tools. With custom bethesda export scripts.
while without going out of their way, I have noticed that bethesda has graciously released some features from the exe. this means several impossibles are possible with F3 rather than OB. or complex or hacky workarounds are no longer necessary. And afaik they even added extra empty weapon animation slots now for new vegas, this means hard coded features were, in my mind, added solely for modders. Or not :shrug:
they have definitely taken on board modders contributions, as i see features and ideas made in mods creep into their games. NV is a prime example.
TES5 is probably going to be like a modded oblivion
at the least its good R&D for beth to see what moddders do in their spare time
. I'm worried that Gamebryo going out of business will force a new engine on them and they'll use that as an excuse to pull the tools.
i wouldn't worry about gamebryo folding. That piece of middleware, they may have a perpetual license. And the renderer can just go pretty easily. the only thing that would change might be things like the nif format and the light model would be a different. Remember Gmaebryo has nothing to do with bethesdas current engine cept for the scenegraph, nif format and the lighting model... all of which is modified now anyway.
they'd just code their own if it went. I imagine the world editor would be fairly intact. they'll keep doing what they are doing regardless. makes no matter right now. what they release as tools is gamebryo independant... and if they dump gamebryo, they will still probably want to impliment a system of world building like they currently have.... so they will have a CS. the releasing it to modders is another question
I don't see TES5 modding in jeopardy.
Edited by Ghogiel, 05 December 2010 - 09:04 PM.