Saint’s Row is a game that’s brought a rather odd assortment of open-world experiences to the fingertips of PC gamers for several generations. It’s a game that exists in the Grand Theft Auto-like universe of open sandbox playability: here offering a place for gamers to run around like wild, doing whatever they might, driving, interacting with fellow characters, and everything in-between. This world is strange, and with Saint’s Row IV, it’s about to get a lot stranger: but up until now, the game has been closed to the modders of the world.
What it means to modify a game in today’s hardcore environment of developers is to create a full-on different version of a game. Back when the game Half-Life was introduced, a community of modders changed it into the game we now know as Counter-Strike. Once the modified game became more popular than the original, the original creators of the game took notice – the modders “Gooseman” and “Cliffe” were contacted by Valve who then began to take part in creating the first real store-bought release.
Will big things happen when Saint’s Row gets mod support from the current studio in charge of the game series? The folks at Idol Ninja Games and Volition seem to think so.
What’s going on here is that the team at Idol Ninja were hanging out with the team at Volition play-testing Saints Row IV, having a chat. One of the team at Idol Ninja suggested that the Volition team offer up an SDK (Software Development Kit) to the public for Saints Row along with a public contact for developers who had questions about modifications.
Volition’s team suggested Idol Ninja write up a proposal – they did – and here we are today: modification time!
“Jeff Thompson, the Studio Director of Programming at Volition, is putting together a package for us containing documentation, file formats, tools, and more on the Saints Row: The Third engine. Myself, Minimaul, and gibbed will be working closely with Jeff over the coming months to use this information to create a robust set of modding tools to supplement our existing ones and creating what is essentially a full sdk for the game!
But, that’s not all! Saints Row: The Third is only the beginning! Jeff has confirmed that he will also be digging up all the Saints Row 2 info that he can so we can do the same for it as well, and that this undertaking is actually a “test run” for Saints Row IV.” – Idol Ninja
This situation has taken off already – there’s a xenForo thread started by Volition Staff member “Knobby”, aka Mike W, the first programmer in charge of helping those folks out in the public that want to grab on to this opportunity. Randall from Volition is also in the thread as a sort of secondary contact – he’s also been with Saints Row from the very beginning!
So welcome to the next generation. The creators of this game have opened up their already expansive to the world to let it grow exponentially. Sound like a good enough reason to pick up Saints Row IV when it’s out? Either way, you’ll be seeing some very strange stuff in the near future.