There is a community of gamers who take first person shooters to a new level of intensity. These players will spend hours on a single massively multiplayer campaign, but only see actual combat for a few minutes at a time. This community of calculating tacticians center themselves around a genre of games known as Military Sims. Most players within this community enjoy the moments of quiet preparation before a massive fire fight and refuse to play shooters where every player is Rambo himself. “Sqaud” is one the premier military sims available on steam, but in recent weeks has seen a swarm of killer Sylvester Stallones invade their game. The reason: Star Wars Mods. The mod completely undoes alot of the core tenets of Sqaud’s traditional means of play. Avoid detection, conduct strategic military maneuvers, and under no circumstance should you EVER play the loose gunman. Star Wars on the other hand by intrinsically over the top, unsubtle, and a chaos storm of green and blue blaster shots.
In their book on how mods alter means of play Schleiner describes this very change, “Padia can coalesce into an ordered goal-oriented game, only to disintiregrate again into chaos”(Schleiner 2018). However, this modification of Squad is not simply the migration of polar opposites to a new outlet, it is the culmination of insightful mod design and the empty market demand created by AAA game studios. Many of these padia loving terminators have been treated as simple consumers for nostalgia by larger game studios. Thus, resulting in shallow offerings in the traditional consumer shooter market. Modders understood that the merging of these two communities would result in a massive player base covering both ends of the shooter spectrum.
The mod alters play to accommodate both of these demands. Using the depth of mechanics offered by Squad, but delivering the thrilling moments of an epic Star Wars conquest.
Schleiner, Anne-Marie. The Player’s Power to Change the Game: Ludic Mutation. Amsterdam University Press, 2018.