Amateur Development
Descent 3 Mods


The first major mod for Descent 3 produced by fans was a remake of the Descent 2 gameplay mode, Team Hoard. Hoard was a simple mod, whereby players who got killed dropped a green orb, and anybody could pick up these orbs like any other powerup. Carry the orbs to a goal room and score, with each orb you carried being worth more than the last, up to 12 maximum. Team Hoard pitted two teams against each other.
Team Hoard for Descent 3 was designed and coded by Pardsbane. I consulted on the rules and gameplay balance for Pards, while Chris Ledwith produced the objects and textures needed. Thus, a three-way collaboration led by Pardsbane.
Pards came to me for help with a second mod that he planned to code, one designed by a player by the nick of Rogue. I found a number of things wrong, in my view, with the design of that mod, and said so. Rogue didn't agree with my assessment, and things got confusing from there. I withdrew from that project, but I was partially inspired by its concept of "guarding something" to create my own mod idea, which Pards offered to program for me.
I blended gameplay concepts from three team mods: Capture the Flag, Entropy, and Team Anarchy. I fused these concepts into a mod design called Guardian, which then sat on the drawing board waiting for Pardsbane's help to program it for me. I waited, and waited, and waited, but nothing happened.
In the spring of 2000, Chris came to me for help on his mod. He had designed a cool mod called Duel, but it needed custom levels. And to whom would Chris turn for help on levels but me, his lead beta tester for D3edit? So we struck a deal. I would produce three missions for Duel, plus consult on the rules and help to test, and he would program my mod design for Guardian. This turned out to be a productive trade, since both mods needed more than what either of us could do for them alone.
I produced the three levels for Duel, giving each a different gameplay balance so that players would have variety from which to choose. All of the 300baud Productions mission packs, especially the 3-team and 4-team missions, had support for Guardian already built in to them. Chris programmed Guardian.
Alex Diaz supplied the logo art for Guardian. He had been working with Chris and I, and Joe Brown, on Consortium.
Chris also designed a second mod for Descent 3, an upgraded version of Team Anarchy that he called simply Teams. Teams allowed for friendly fire, which added a lot of strategy to the action (one had to be concerned with not harming teammates). Teams also added more support, better scoring displays, and more. I consulted briefly on the Teams rules and helped Chris with beta testing. I also promoted the mod along with the 300baud missions because every new team mod was one more reason for folks to be playing my best levels.
All told, then, I helped bring four Descent 3 mods to the community: one that I designed and three on which I consulted and assisted. Chris Ledwith was essential to the same four mods, so one might think of us as the elder statemen of Descent 3 modding. The Descent 3 community began to shrink a year after the game's release and faded down to just the diehards, after which little new was done to support it.

- Sirian

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