A Toast to Video Game Modders Everywhere

Friday, May 20, 2011
Activision has become known for its hit and miss proclivities, and for the love-hate relationship it has with its consumers. In 2001, Activision commissioned Troika Games to bring to life White Wolf's pen and paper World of Darkness in video game form. Despite many challenges in the development, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines was officially brought forth (though still with several problems) into the public world November 16, 2004. While plagued with several scripting errors which caused a horribly unstable program, Bloodlines, for its diversity in game-play strategy, in-depth story line, excellent soundtrack, and interesting characters was still playable and fun even if it was a near impossible task just to get the game to run for over an hour at a time before crashing.

Since Bloodlines still had several glitches, Troika Games was able to release 2 official patches at the behest of Activision prior to disbanding in 2005. While this fixed several issues, even more remained. Enter, the mysterious Wesp who stuck around and attempted to fix the base game through patches where Troika Games left off to patch 7.4a and solving several annoying problems before calling the modding game quits.

Others had the same dream of making this "flawed gem" of a game more fun and less tedious to play. On top of what Wesp left behind, more fixes and added mechanics (to bring Bloodlines closer to it's pen & paper feel) were added in a neat little bundle released in 2009 by a talented tinkerer Zer0Morph (Brad Bolenbaugh) titled Camarilla Edition 1.0. Until the end of 2009 Zer0Morph released several versions of Camarilla Edition (up to 1.2) and decided to take a break from modding Bloodlines. Having been alongside Zer0Morph since the beginning, Childe of Malkav took over the Camarilla Edition project.

A few months later in March 2010, Zer0Morph decided to return to the Camarilla Edition modding scene; however, he also came to the conclusion that he was tired of modding the base character models and types. Realizing this would be a large task and outside of a lone modder's ability, a super team of VTMB fans/modders was formed. Activate superhero team style introductions! Zer0Morph: team founder from America, Childe of Malkav: expert Python scripter from Germany, The Philosopher: .lip puppet master from Brazil, Scarecrow: voice actor from Bulgaria, and theRaven: touch ups from California. With their powers combined they formed Team Camarilla International!

Wanting a new game play experience, this Team began a year long project of creating new NPCs,
adding quests, changing item placements, making vendors sell you things you actually want to buy, skinning and retooling all playable characters, and improving the entire game play experience whether it be little changes for ambience, or major changes for effect. Vampire the Masquerade: The Final Nights was the end product of this undertaking. All the little changes in this new version have come together beautifully and have drastically redefined its Bloodlines roots.

In fact, playing through The Final Nights was so different from Bloodlines I hardly recognized it!
Bloodlines was an ugly duckling of sorts and has finally grown up into a beautiful, badass swan of a game like it was always intended to be. Thank you, Team Camarilla International, this is a masterpiece!

It takes a great commitment of time and patience to take a game with potential and to make that game fulfill its potential. People who possess this dedication to improvement are a rare commodity and extremely valuable to the gaming community. Without people like those at Team Camarilla International we would be stuck with games with infinite potential and no one to bring out what these games were meant to be. In a world where DLC and regular updates are becoming more and more common, it's important to remember the unaffiliated individuals who have been providing similar services to the gaming community for no better reason than the love of the game. It's people who connect to the medium and struggle to grow it solely for its own benefit who have created the community that we have today, who formed the atmosphere that allows us to see games realize their potential instead of dying stillborn on the shelf.