The 14th Annual Mod of the Year Awards are kicking off today. Mods are alterations to computer games made by regular people—usually fans of the original games. Mods can range from entirely new games to minor alterations to a game.
Sponsored by Mod DB, the largest website supporting independent game development, the contest will run for four weeks. Between now and then, players will vote on the top 100 mods, which will be announced December 11. The overall winner will be announced “shortly after Christmas.”
Mod DB has a live scoreboard and information on how to vote. More than 10,000 mods have been nominated.
Modders don’t expect fame and fortune for all the work they put in modding games—although they do learn a lot about developing games. Most modders do the hard work of developing a mod because they love a game and want to add features to it. Or they want to riff on the original game and make something different. Modding can involve one or two people or larger groups of designers, programmers, writers, and more. Sometimes a successful mod can be good for the original creator of a game and spur new sales of the original game. However, some developers discourage mods and shut them down.