Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Return to Infinite Modding

My favorite video game is once again Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space, the game that lets you explore an entire galaxy on your lunch break.

For nearly a year I couldn't play it. My old computer died, and I'd somehow failed to backup my download of it.

A couple weeks ago, I got the game again. So! Much! Fun! I'm left wondering why I didn't rush out and buy a new copy the second I lost the old one.

And, of course, I immediately felt the desire to mod welling up inside me. Feeling the creative urge...

I very quickly released a new version (v 1.3) of my old "Teeming With Life" mod. No real new content, but several bug fixes. It's amazing how problems and solutions stand out so clearly after taking a year off from something. Download Link

I followed that up with a quick and dirty little mod called "Tech Transparency". It's significantly less ambitious than my other mods (and you can tell by the generic text-only banner).

After a year off, I just found I no longer knew which weapons and items were worth the trouble, and which ones were total junk. I realized it'd be a simple task to make a mod that displays all the relevant game data in the pop-up-window for each item. If I was going to make such a tool for myself, I might as well make it available for others, and thus Tech Transparency was born. Download Link

Now, some would say this mod is almost against the spirit of the game. Weird Worlds is all about style and mystery, not comparing game stats to maximize your efficiency. Those folks are right, but they have the main game and plenty of other mods they can enjoy. I will admit the mod certainly lost some of the cleverness of the original game, even a few of the sci-fi in-jokes had to be cut for space reasons, but I think it's worth it to figure out which three-coin beams are worth installing, and which ones are just trade-bait.

Does this mean I'll return to full-blown modding? I don't know. Those were both easy to implement, and took just a couple of hours. I've got plenty of ideas for mods, but the loss of my Weirdyssey mod before it could even be released was pretty heart-breaking. I'd put way too many hours into that thing, and never got to show it off. Not sure I'll try anything that extreme again, especially considering how dead the WW:RTIS modding community is. I'd love to see the mod forums become active again, but that seems unlikely. Then again, I wasn't playing for a year, so maybe some of the other prolific modders will return, too. It's hard to mod with your fingers crossed. :)


Anonymous said...


Thank you for talking about this game just before the holidays -- I ended up getting it for my husband for Christmas. :-)

r_b_bergstrom said...

I hope he enjoys it. It's a great and goofy game, totally unique.