Sometimes you'd just like to satisfy that creative urge (but not as much to leave your computer, of course). For that, level editors, modding, ROM hacks, basically any games where players can do more than just play, hit the spot. In brief, this page is for listing games with a significant community producing new content. The description should include links to such communities, as well as info on how the reader could participate (does the game include an editor, is it open-source, how conveniently it can be modded).
For rom hacks, try http://www.romhacking.net/ for your needs, it includes translations, fan hacks and some rather good things for those who want a new twist on an old game.
The List Edit
|Doom||FPS||1993||Played a major part in the development of modding culture. New content, ranging from single levels to complete makeovers, comes in the form of WAD files. The source code was released to the public in 1997, further encouraging players to modify the game. Quick results can be achieved with various downloadable editors.|
|Duke Nukem 3D||FPS||1996||You can find a lot of quality user maps, episodes and mods at the Duke Repository. The community is still active and new stuffs come out every now and then. To play DN3D on a modern OS you need to use a port, eduke32.|
|The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion||RPG||2002/2006||Bethesda's games since Morrowind have been known for their huge and dedicated modding community. Planet Elder Scrolls is a good site to go to for Morrowind mods, and Morrowind Expanded has a good guide for those who are just installing the game and want to know the key mods to install.The Elder Scrolls Nexus is the go-to site for Oblivion mods, and the dev/akm mods site is a good resource for choice texture packs (Texture Overhaul), 'quest' mods (Quest List), as well as a guide to installing FCOM, a compilation of overhaul mods.Planet Elder Scrolls and TES Nexus do host mods for both games on both sites, but PES is better for Morrowind mods and TES Nexus is better for Oblivion mods. /V/'s recommended mods for Oblivion|
|Fallout 3||RPG||2008||Another buggy and awesome game from Bethesda. Some /v/ bro has put up a so-called Ultimate Fallout 3 Mod Guides to get you started (it's pretty well-covered). From there you can venture further into Fallout 3 Nexus and fuck up your Fallout 3 game anyway you want.|
|Fallout: New Vegas||RPG||2010||For New Vegas' mods, the go-to place to get them is New Vegas Nexus. /V/'s recommended mods for NV|
|Freespace 2||Space Combat||1999||With Blue Planet and Wings of Dawn at the forefront, the 2 currently biggest mods, FS2 modders have done something other modding communities have never dreamed of: They excelled the original game in every way. Getting into FS2 might be a bit tricky, but this guide should handle it. When you're done, the Campaign List will be your treasure trove.
Interestingly, while the original game was a PC-exclusive, the modding community has made it possible for Linux and Mac computers to play it as well.
|Half-Life||FPS||1998||As the large amount of mods proves, modding Half-Life is easy, so get to it.|
|Jazz Jackrabbit 2||Run-and-Gun Platformer||1998||Includes a level editor, Jazz Creation Station, which supports custom 256-color tilesets and tracker music. Most of the community creations can be found here, with new material still being released today.|
|Jetpack||Platformer||1993||Free to download, comes with a very straightforward level editor. Countless levels are scattered all over the internet. Here, have about 3000 I've collected over the years.|
|LittleBigPlanet / LittleBigPlanet 2||Platformer / YOU CAN DO ANYTHING||2008/2011||Very popular platforming game on the PS3, with a focus on user generated content. All kinds of levels are created every day, from puzzles to survival challenges to exploding cat races, so there's always something new to play. Offers 4 player local and online multiplayer, and is best played that way, with a couple of bros and a couple of beers.
As of January 2011, a sequel is out. All levels created in the old version are playable in the new game, so if you're a newcomer, there's no reason not to buy the second. Graphical effects have been enhanced, and a lot of options have been added to the level editor, making for an even greater variety of stuff to do. An updated version of 2 is out as well. This one is like the first one's GOTY edition.
|Marathon trilogy||FPS||1994-1996||The year is 2794, you are a security officer aboard a spacecraft converted from one of Mars's moons, on the way to Tau Ceti colony when it gets attacked by aliens, and to make matters worse, something very fucky is going on with the ship's artificial intelligences.
If you had a Mac during the 90s, you certainly know Marathon. Very likely you LOVE it. Good thing it was open-sourced and ported to Windows and Linux since then, so now everyone can enjoy this series, especially its notoriously abstruse plotline. Also, there is a lot of fan-made content, especially after Bungie released Anvil and Forge, their in-house editors (for classic Mac only). Tons of maps, even whole original campaigns.
Get it here.
|Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos|
and its expansion
The Frozen Throne
|RTS||2002-2003||Arguably the best RTS to have been created, this game still has an active community which plays the regular game as well as making mods (aka "map-making"). The WC3 modding community can more or less be accredited for inventing the Tower Defense and Hero Arena game genres, and has churned out more than 4,000+ unique maps in it's 7-8 year life thus far. The modding tool which is used in this game, called the World Editor, was rather robust for it's time, and modders continue to prove that the boundaries for what's possible are still nowhere in sight with maps ranging from roller coaster creation, FPS's, RPG's, horror survival, and even a Diablo III demo! This game is simply a must-have for any gamer.|
|ZZT||Puzzle/DOS||1991||The first ever game made by Tim Sweeny, founder of Epic. It uses simple ASCII graphics and is limited to 7 colors. Despite this it's a great puzzle game. Comes with a built-in level editor and still has a an active community today. In the mid-90s, by exploiting glitches, users of the level editor found a way to use more than the standard 7 colors which made ZZT worlds a lot more appealing. The editor comes with a simple programming language called "ZZT-OOP" which is capable of creating not just puzzle games, but RPGs, platformers, simple shooters, etc. There are over 1000 user-made ZZT worlds to play.|
|File:TheNamelessMod.jpg||The Nameless Mod||Deus Ex||Link|
|File:Impse.gif||10 Years of Doom||Doom||Not a singular mod, but a good collection of them.||Link|
|File:Mobaplayers.jpg||Defense of the Ancients: Allstars||Warcraft III||The Warcraft III mod that was inspired by an earlier Warcraft III mod that was inspired by a Starcraft mod. It eventually became the inspiration of LoL and HoN.||Link|
|File:Nam.jpg||Network Addon Mod||Simcity 4||Considered obligatory to install for Simcity 4.||Link|
|File:Halfscrewed.jpg||Half-Screwed||Half-Life||Half-Life mod that takes nostalgia and adds gamebreaking guns and other weird shit. Tourneyfags beware.||Link|