I have finally changed the way some of the graphics are generated on the website: now, certain mods are treated as full games and listed on the games graphics.
This move was needed because many full-fledged games based on the HL2 engine – games such as TF2, Counter-Strike:Source, Day of Defeat:Source, The Ship, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, among others – are listed as HL2 mods. Technically, they might be mods after all, but since they’re sold as separate titles – with different SKUs and all – it makes sense to have them listed separately.
However, I went ahead and took the separation a bit further. Some original HL1 mods – Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat and Team Fortress Classic – are also separate now. This one is a bit controversial, as they are HL1 mods, and one can, technically, get them installed without the need to buy anything other than the original HL1 game. However, they’re also sold separately and generally considered to be very different games with separate communities and all. They also take a huge chunk of the online player base. So, as such, they are now treated as full games.
Due to this change, it’s now finally possible to see what kind of impact a few recent releases had on the online player base, specially comparing TF2 to the rest of the games. For example, it’s possible to see TF2 managed to get to the 4th place in online popularity quite fast, but now has dropped to 6th. I’ll have some more in-depth posts about this game and others in the future, as soon as December is over.
Finally, I will probably tweak these graphics – and what should and shouldn’t be considered a full game – a bit further in the future. The data remains the same – all mod-to-game “upgrading” is done when the graphics are rendered, not when the data is read – so I can always go back and undo anything.
The HL2 and HL1 mods are still listed on their original game pages, but that will probably change soon too.