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zzz72w3r

Do modders prefer sword&sorcery over sci-fi?

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I have been curious about this ever since the modding scene exploded after Oblivion.

 

In movies and games sci-fi tends to be more popular in general.  Yes, there are mega sword&sorcery hits but as a genre sci-fi brings in much, much more money than sword&sorcery.

 

The exceptions being MMO and modding.  But even MMO has changed as the derivative more popular MOBA mostly use sci-fi settings.

 

Modding remains the one area that sword&sorcery appears to be decidedly more popular.

 

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If I were to guess it's probably because swords & sorcery is a lot more fantasy than science fiction. It's really an "anything goes" scenario, compared to Sci-fi which usually feels confined to the scientific rules and meta naturally involved with it.

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If I were to guess it's probably because swords & sorcery is a lot more fantasy than science fiction. It's really an "anything goes" scenario, compared to Sci-fi which usually feels confined to the scientific rules and meta naturally involved with it.

 

That is the popular explanation but is it true in practice?  There isn't many distinctions between the kind of mods of FO and ES in terms of what they do.  The quantity is different but not in their nature.

 

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I wouldn't consider FO to be really sci-fi; it's an odd mixture of stuff, and an acquired taste.

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I wouldn't consider FO to be really sci-fi; it's an odd mixture of stuff, and an acquired taste.

 

This is actually a contrary evidence to the argument that sci-fi has more rules therefore less room for modders to maneuver. 

 

Sci-fi has far more sub-genres or cross-genres than sword&sorcery and the broader room for creativity contributes to its higher popularity.

 

FO4 has tilted away from post-apocalypse survival (a stricter sub-genre of the acquired taste) into a more generic sci-fi world but it seems even with F4SE and SKSE64 both still pending there is far more interest in the later. 

 

 

 

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Maybe...

Personally, I go bananas whenever I think of a world where the two can be mixed

Dont like flying unicorns farting rainbows all over the place but I prefer my magics a bit more... "realistic" is there is such a thing...  kinda like GoT... magic is rare...

Now add complex tech either by futuristic twin world or ancient extinct race and you got the makings of awesomeness.

 

In pure S&S you can have the benefits of magic, but the world is relatively smaller, unless you add portals and other dimensions and stuff...

In Sci-Fi your playground could be the whole universe, alternate dimensions included. Plus plasma guns, lightsabers, laser railguns and chainguns...

Oh gawd...

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I love both, but there are precious few sci-fi games to mod.

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Inverse-Proportionality; the more something is popular with the main-stream audience, the less it is with the core demographic. I mean outside of cheesy 90's fantasy shows like Hercules, Xena and Sinbad, main-stream always preferred Sci-Fi. We have what, GoT right now that is popular and that's about it? Almost everything else is Sci-Fi (even an average show like the Expanse got a second season and was picked up by Netflix).

 

People in general which tend to be part of the 'core' demographic prefer S&S settings since it's about fighting giant monsters, saving princesses and being an all around barbarian that can channel the fire of mages. They like the idea of simplicity under old tropes, the most complicated thing you will have in those genres is which prince will marry who and when will war break out before uniting for a common evil and you becoming king to rule them all.

 

Sci-Fi doesn't have any many restrictive settings as people claim. I mean Mass-Effect pretty much showed how to marry the idea of 'space magic', even Crysis had that element, with reality and you can still fight large monsters. I guess people in the core demographic just don't like the color blue and space-ships, or fighting Sci-Fi Dragons since princesses don't exist. Plus social politics, dystopia and question of human evolution are the main themes. We all know too well how Mass-Effect in the later games handled all that (let alone the newer Deus Ex series) so it's not surprising when it comes to games, the more Sci-Fi streamlined games are what work.

 

Same with War stuff. War games will always sell like hotcakes, the best we got recently was the White Castle series and even then it wasn't super popular. Main-stream demographic simply aren't interested in modding, core demographic will always be the ones to fire up a game 4 years later and mod it to play around.

 

Also, Fallout is Apocalyptic genre, hell, Apocalypse genre is the best when it comes to modding, since society both fills the roles of a barbaric world as well civilized progression. It makes sense that slutty outfits and even chain-mail would exist in a world like that, best of all worlds, but for some reason, it's in the mushy middle, where outside a few zombie main-stream things (ei; Walking Dead) and such it hasn't garnered much of a demographic base, Fallout did have a strong base mind you, but it petered out really quickly, even when compared to Oblivion or Skyrim, let alone Dark Souls in under a month.

 

Simply put, people prefer the simpler tropes of the genre, that's it, it doesn't make sense to have a Samus outfit in Skyrim, but I guess it does for them.

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I've personally always prefered fantasy over sci-fi. I guess it just depends. Skyrim was my first real modding experience, so I can't really say what it is like for FallOut. Personally the reason I like fantasy has not very much to do with what Acornus said at all. I've always liked historical fiction. Especially anything set during the 17-1800s. Medieval stories are always fun too. Add magic or anything fantastical to those and I'm really happy. I love Steampunk styled worlds too, though I think that fits more under sci-fi than Fantasy. I'm not a huge fan of the typical sci-fi tropes. I've never cared for Star Wars, though considering it's like a fantasy story set in space you would think I would but... I really don't. The usual knight saving the princess isn't the only thing that fantasy can encompass. One of my favourite shows growing up as a kid was "Gargoyles" by Disney. Which mixed fantasy and sci-fi, with deeper storylines than the usual kids show. I think ultimately something where they can share the same world is what makes it really interesting.

 

But I've never been into huge spaceships or really futuristic technology. As a short getaway in a movie, sure, it's fun and fantastical. But as far as something I might devote a lot of time to, not so much for me.

 

I didn't really explain this well (I'm battling a headcold right now lol) but, that's just my two cents I guess. Since I mostly like modding outfits, I definitely prefer the historical/fantasy aesthetic over sci-fi. Sci-fi feels very restricted to sleek lines and hi-tech, something that feels very limiting for me.

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I've always considered Sci-fi as a branch of fantasy. Any good magic system is like a script extender for real world physics. 

The distinction between high fantasy and low fantasy is "does it use Earth as a world in the system." The more it does, the closer to low fantasy it is. By this definition and as a semi-relevant tangent, you could define almost all fiction as a form of low fantasy (especially if you allow for the more generic definition of fantasy).Sci-Fi is usually low fantasy set in the distant future with science as it's tool for extending physics.

I believe that the appeal of developing and/or working with more complex extensions of real world physics is the appeal that spawned communities around D&D. Modding is a culture that is actually very similar to the culture of D&D. 

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 I definitely favor SciFi over Fantasy; anyone who thinks science fiction has too many restrictions hasn't

read enough science fiction. Then again, I get off on perverted doctors who perform obscene medical experiments

and modifications on their hapless victims. I also like machines and corroded metal, and menacing raider

types. I don't like hairy barbarians with swords, and I fucking hate horses. Mostly I'm annoyed that Skyrim

keeps interfering with modding for Fallout, first it cut the modding scene off at the knees for New Vegas, and

now SSE is pulling resources away from Fallout 4. I enjoy playing modded Skyrim, but I'd much rather be

hanging out in the Fallout universe.

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I prefer fantasy over sci-fi. Fantasy tends to be more "romantic". For example in a fantasy world you usually look the enemy in the eyes, you fight often with white weapons, fights are a personal thing, they are like a dance with your lover and i find this to be extremely romantic. In sci-fi settings you shot things you dont even see, it's like fucking a whore in 5 min. Sci-fi is colder and distant. Why is Star Wars so popular? Because they added magic and white weapons fight.

In fantasy settings things tend to be more little and personal. Sci-fi is more about universe at war. So much big things for small humans. Storytellers need to be able to make the universe something small for men to touch with their hands or it will feel a lot distant and not interesting.

I dont realy see this sci-fi being prefered over fantasy. The Witcher 3 is the game of year. I see games merging fantasy and sci-fi more and more.

Post apocalypse worlds are more similar to a fantasy ones than sci-fi. Fallout 4 is not a sci-fi game, it's a fantasy game.

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 I definitely favor SciFi over Fantasy; anyone who thinks science fiction has too many restrictions hasn't

read enough science fiction. Then again, I get off on perverted doctors who perform obscene medical experiments

and modifications on their hapless victims. I also like machines and corroded metal, and menacing raider

types. I don't like hairy barbarians with swords, and I fucking hate horses. Mostly I'm annoyed that Skyrim

keeps interfering with modding for Fallout, first it cut the modding scene off at the knees for New Vegas, and

now SSE is pulling resources away from Fallout 4. I enjoy playing modded Skyrim, but I'd much rather be

hanging out in the Fallout universe.

This.

Skyrim's nordic setting somewhat mitigated the issue for me but personally I don't care for medieval fantasy or generally speaking settings where things are explained by just saying "It's magic! Tada!".

 

There are exceptions though. I couldn't care less for Harry Potter but Ice&Fire, LotR and the Memory, Sorrow & Thorn trilogy all blew me away.

So ... I don't know, SciFi does interest me much more by default and yes, the restrictions and the limits it imposes on the author are a big part of why. There are authors like Vernor Vinge or Dan Simmons that are incredibly good in creating setting rules that are fresh and allow you to be surprised by the stuff they pull off with them though. These two happen to be my favorite SciFi authors too so maybe in my case the preference for SciFi isn't that strong.

There are just too many shitty fantasy books out there I guess.  :P

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I definitely favor SciFi over Fantasy; anyone who thinks science fiction has too many restrictions hasn't

read enough science fiction. Then again, I get off on perverted doctors who perform obscene medical experiments

and modifications on their hapless victims. I also like machines and corroded metal, and menacing raider

types. I don't like hairy barbarians with swords, and I fucking hate horses. Mostly I'm annoyed that Skyrim

keeps interfering with modding for Fallout, first it cut the modding scene off at the knees for New Vegas, and

now SSE is pulling resources away from Fallout 4. I enjoy playing modded Skyrim, but I'd much rather be

hanging out in the Fallout universe.

The same for me : I prefer guns over bows. Skyrim is too generic for my taste.

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i think it has more to do with most of the sci-fi games have crap modding support.

This. 

 

I'd love to play a sci-fi game with huge modding support. There really aren't any out there, though. 

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Modders aren't modding sci-fi because we just haven't had a Bethesda scale space opera yet. Star Citizen and Elite are essentially cockpit sims - Forza in space. I don't think of them in remotely the same terms as TES in space. But hose games constitute the meat and potatoes of living an intergalactic life currently. 

 

I'm thinking Simmons' Hyperion, Iain M Banks Culture, Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth, Niven's Ring Worlds....

 

We're still waiting for a genuinely top drawer cyberpunk experience, donkeys years after most of us read Neuromancer - that's tragic. 

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I always felt that Beth put in a little more effort into TES than into Fallout. 

 

Because TES is their pure blood children, and Fallout is just adopted child.

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Modders aren't modding sci-fi because we just haven't had a Bethesda scale space opera yet. Star Citizen and Elite are essentially cockpit sims - Forza in space. I don't think of them in remotely the same terms as TES in space. But hose games constitute the meat and potatoes of living an intergalactic life currently. 

 

I'm thinking Simmons' Hyperion, Iain M Banks Culture, Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth, Niven's Ring Worlds....

 

We're still waiting for a genuinely top drawer cyberpunk experience, donkeys years after most of us read Neuromancer - that's tragic.

Our hopes may be Cyberpunk 2077 ;).

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I have been curious about this ever since the modding scene exploded after Oblivion.

 

In movies and games sci-fi tends to be more popular in general.  Yes, there are mega sword&sorcery hits but as a genre sci-fi brings in much, much more money than sword&sorcery.

 

The exceptions being MMO and modding.  But even MMO has changed as the derivative more popular MOBA mostly use sci-fi settings.

 

Modding remains the one area that sword&sorcery appears to be decidedly more popular.

 

I think your view of the market may be coloured by your own tastes. Franchises like LotR, The Hobbit, Harry Potter completely overshadow any sci-fi release, even The Matrix didn't come anywhere near those numbers. And then I'm not even counting the Pirates. Of course Star Wars might throw people off but really, don't call that sci-fi, it's pure fantasy/magic/swordplay which just happens to be set on an interstellar stage.

 

As a modder though, it's more about the tools and freedom. I'm a huge sci-fi fan when it comes to books/movies myself and have little affinity with fantasy, but there just doesn't seem to be a sci-fi game that allows modding on the scale and freedom of skyrim. Also, when it comes to gameplay, I think game makers have a tendency to push gun combat into the FPS realm, because that's where traditionally most shooters come from. Big FPS titles are typically PvP, where modding is generally known under the term 'cheating' and considered a bannable offense smile.png

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 Urghhh! No like sci-fi!! Makes head hurt!! Give axe!! Kill men!! Rape women!! Eat meat!!  :P

 

 I got burned out on fantasy books a long time ago. It began with a morbid aversion to anything

in trilogy format.

 

 I play Skyrim for the pretty girls and the beautiful scenery.

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I have been curious about this ever since the modding scene exploded after Oblivion.

 

In movies and games sci-fi tends to be more popular in general.  Yes, there are mega sword&sorcery hits but as a genre sci-fi brings in much, much more money than sword&sorcery.

 

The exceptions being MMO and modding.  But even MMO has changed as the derivative more popular MOBA mostly use sci-fi settings.

 

Modding remains the one area that sword&sorcery appears to be decidedly more popular.

 

I think your view of the market may be coloured by your own tastes. Franchises like LotR, The Hobbit, Harry Potter completely overshadow any sci-fi release, even The Matrix didn't come anywhere near those numbers. And then I'm not even counting the Pirates. Of course Star Wars might throw people off but really, don't call that sci-fi, it's pure fantasy/magic/swordplay which just happens to be set on an interstellar stage.

 

As a modder though, it's more about the tools and freedom. I'm a huge sci-fi fan when it comes to books/movies myself and have little affinity with fantasy, but there just doesn't seem to be a sci-fi game that allows modding on the scale and freedom of skyrim. Also, when it comes to gameplay, I think game makers have a tendency to push gun combat into the FPS realm, because that's where traditionally most shooters come from. Big FPS titles are typically PvP, where modding is generally known under the term 'cheating' and considered a bannable offense smile.png

 

 

Of course if we count magical tales all the way back to prehistory then there is no comparison as sci-fi only started in the 19th century :)  Mythology is, has been and likely will be by far the most popular.  After all the father of modern fantasy LoTR is Tolkien's attempt to create a native British mythology.  If we look deeper Star Wars is more magical than sci-fi as there is very little science there even with Lucas fuck with the Force in the prequels.  Yet most people would consider Star Wars as sci-fi.  So it's about the world instead of whether magic is used.  Indiana Jones is adventure films with both magic and sci-fi elements because its world is still our own.  Harry Potter and super hero contents are harder to define and perhaps their label defying quality is why they are so popular.  

 

However, I have to draw a line somewhere so I am referring to "sci-fi" and "sword-and-sorcery" in place of fantasy.  Also we are talking about gaming so the timeline shouldn't start until the 1980s.  In the 80s and 90s sword and sorcery films were considered box office poison and not until LoTR in 2001 did Hollywood start to make those contents again (and faded fast as every similar film outside Tolkien has disappointed).  I have not tallied the box office since 2001 but I am pretty sure that from 1980 to date sci-fi outsold sword and sorcery by a huge margin.  In video games the difference is perhaps not as big but sci-fi should be comfortably ahead once all media consumption is aggregated.   

 

Having said all that, after read all the replies I think the best explanation is that the modding community can only do what is given and the fact is that there has not been any epic sweep sci-fi game that is moddable.  The sample size of moddable games is heavily skewed by Beth's preference of ES over FO so any generalization is suspect at best.

 

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I am completely setting agnostic. T

The only caveat is that Fantasy / Swords and Sorcery settings lend themselves to much more creative / sexual / interesting costumes / fetishes.

Hard to compete with a setting where Magic can be used to explain away anything.

 

There are only so many ways you can design "Space Suit" sexy ware.. and only so many tentacle aliens before the setting gets a little stale.

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I am completely setting agnostic. T

The only caveat is that Fantasy / Swords and Sorcery settings lend themselves to much more creative / sexual / interesting costumes / fetishes.

Hard to compete with a setting where Magic can be used to explain away anything.

 

There are only so many ways you can design "Space Suit" sexy ware.. and only so many tentacle aliens before the setting gets a little stale.

 

Well, remember Clarke's 3rd law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." It really shouldn't be that hard to accomplish the same advantages you name for fantasy in a sci-fi setting. I remember one good example of this in gaming which was anarchy-online, which had nano-technology to replace magic and managed to keep melee combat viable regardless of the massive amount of guns (and eventually even Mechas) that it had. Of course, being a MMORPG, it was not moddable, and unfortunately it never became big enough for any sequels or spin-offs. Funcom decided to put their resources towards Conan, yet another barbarian swordplay game, go figure.

 

In the end it's like zzz72w3r concluded though, as a modder you work with the games and the tools you get, and both games and tools are lacking in the sci-fi genre compared to the sword&hammer swinging. Economically speaking there's probably also a cause and effect chain running in circles. The TES series, The Witcher, Dragon Age, they all became such big (modder) hits, now we're in a situation where if you're a game company looking at the sales and player statistics it's probably hard to justify to your share holders that you're going the sci-fi way instead of the fantasy way (the recent No Man's Sky failure probably didn't help at all there). What we need is a (unexpected) sci-fi hit at the level of the TES games to swing the market around.

 

Who knows, perhaps the upcoming VR tech will change things, it seems to me that true 3D space combat will be a lot more spectacular than VR swordplay combat. That is, if they can work out the parallax issues and keep people from having to barf every 10 minutes of course :D

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