PC Modding Fast Track?


New Member
Feb 28, 2015
United States
I want to learn how to make my own mods for games. I don't want to learn how to max out my stats and items using Modio or Horizon, my goal is to actually make my own mods like using a first person view in games that only have the nifty over-the-shoulder camera and playing as an enemy instead of the main character. I read this https://gbatemp.net/threads/so-you-want-to-learn-to-program.371255/ and I've opened and bookmarked some of the links to read tomorrow. But I was wondering, is there a fast track for learning how to mod? I'm not a literal genius like comprehending computer science might require but some of the people who make the coolest mods can't spell correctly or use proper capitalization to save their life, so I guess me not being a genius might not be a huge problem. But is there a way to learn how to mod now before I sink weeks into trying to comprehend computer science and C++ and all these other subjects I have absolutely no background in?

Edit: Weeks? Let me change that to months. And of course I realize I won't be able to mod if I haven't learned how to do it by learning all this new stuff. I'm asking if there are tutorials I can follow to accomplish one of my goals instead of trying to learn a whole new world of stuff before I can actually mod anything.


Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
For modern PC games, assuming you do not run into DRM or anti hacking measures, then there might be some things you can do for some of things you list. Older games might also work but they might also use odd engines or techniques* where modern directx or opengl (the two main ways of doing things with 3d) afford more options.

*first person to third person (and vice versa for basically the opposite reasons) is not always a matter of just shuffling the camera -- if you have ever gone on a multiplayer game and watched the second player character model do very different things to what their screen shows then you have likely seen the overlay method of doing things. One of the better examples is probably Goldeneye on the n64. You can see more subtle things in games like left4dead where the torches/flashlights of the other characters do not stack as that would be a nightmare to code network code for.

Game developers do often provide tools for you to mod things, many will also have some slightly more hidden options you can play with as far as views and rendering go. It is not quite what you want but the same stuff underpins it so I will link up http://www.wsgf.org/and say have a look at some of the slightly older games (new ones are more concerned with 4k, field of view and more complex stuff).

"playing as an enemy instead of the main character"
If you want to make a whole campaign from an enemy perspective that is one thing, if you just want their skin/textures that is another. Depending upon what was done for multiplayer or general game coding then you might run into issues with animations (or the lack thereof), other times it can be as simple as copy and pasting the enemy skin/model/texture over the original player character one.

Generally though hacking is hard because compiling code is something of a one way process. This then tends to make modding, once you step outside whatever the developer (or someone else*) provides tools or (hidden) game options for, a harder activity than you might like. I would also suggest you do at least learn the basics of cheats, save mods, stat mods and the like as a lot does stem from it.

*someone else can put in the spadework and make tools, other times "this game also uses the unreal engine" comes into play and you can adapt techniques seen for other games using a similar engine.

To that end if you want easy then pick a game that has modding tools already made for it (there are any number of them), http://www.moddb.com/ being a reasonable jumping off point there. Many of those will reduce it down to 3d modelling, general artwork, being able to use a reasonably what you see is what you get level editor, using a somewhat simpler scripting language (C, C++ and assembly are some of the harder languages used in computing, many games themselves will use simpler things like lua and python -- http://modiki.civfanatics.com/index.php/Civ4_Python ) and then whatever game theory, game/level design and general art skills you need to do what you want to do.
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