Currently at gaming meta there are discussions about Do “mod-development” questions belong here? and Do “map-editor” questions belong here?. There was also a suggestion to send these questions to gamedev.

Should these questions be accepted here? Is modifying an existing game part of game development? These are definitely questions which could not be asked on SO or SU, and if gaming won't accept them, this would could the SE site for modding.

up vote 44 down vote accepted

I would say absolutely yes--modifying existing games to create new games or content has everything to do with game development.

well, we as the community are the "admins", so any up-vote for your answer means consensus. – Tobias Kienzler Jul 19 '10 at 9:59
good point, edited that out – Sean James Jul 19 '10 at 11:40
Some awesome games started as MODs to great games. – Nate May 19 '11 at 17:17


I'm going to dissent, since I just came across a mod question that really didn't seem to have much to do with game development. To me, modding seems more like a creative use of an existing game, not game development per se.

I'll cave to the peer pressure if necessary, but I'd rather not see modding/map editing type questions here.

Which question was that? – Colin Gislason Jul 23 '10 at 15:36
I suspect he means…, which was definitely borderline. – Cyclops Jul 23 '10 at 15:40
on the other hand, modifying existing games/creating new levels - has sometimes been the basis for new commercial games ( As well as getting people hired by companies, for their demonstrated game-development skills. Sounds relevant to me. – Cyclops Jul 23 '10 at 15:49
I think it probably hinges on the audience for the site. This question is more towards the consumer/gamer end of the spectrum, whereas a modding question is more towards the game dev end. I think we should welcome this type of question because one path to game dev is map making -> modding -> full game dev. – Colin Gislason Jul 23 '10 at 16:03
I apologize for this borderline question, I just wanted to push the limits a bit... I hope I came up with a better question now, if that still counts as modding – Tobias Kienzler Jul 26 '10 at 8:02

In practice, most on gamedev are programmers who write games (from scratch), rather than modding them. And they (we) are who you tend to find on gamedev far more than you'll find modders. For those who are interested, I put up a proposal for a separate modding site on Area 51. Whether it comes to anything, only time will tell.

maybe. but did you try asking a modding question here? none of the (admittedly few) questions tagged mods has been closed or downvoted to oblivion – Tobias Kienzler Sep 8 '11 at 8:41
Yes, I had a look through the questions backlog a while back. Things like MineCraft tend to get a good-ish response. UDK? So-so from what I remember. And so on. In general, it's nothing like the response you see for more typical game development questions (more closely focused to building product from scratch). There's a qualitative difference in the sort of tasks being performed in each of these distinct areas. So in theory? Yes, keep 'em together. In practice? Not so sure it's working out as expected. It may be as much how gamedev is marketing itself as anything else. – Arcane Engineer Sep 8 '11 at 8:51
One reason I'm in favor of leaving them open is to help attract more non-programmers (as distinct from bad / inexperienced programmers). Otherwise I have trouble seeing the mandate of this site separate from Stack Overflow. – user744 Sep 8 '11 at 17:30

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