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DBolical

Developer & Publisher

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Every year we make the annual pilgrimage from Australia to San Francisco to attend GDC (Game Developers Conference). 2019 is no different, we look forward to immersing ourselves in video gaming culture, meeting plenty of developers, playing games and discussing trends in the industry.


As well as providing a bit of coverage of the event, this year we are lucky enough to be invited to help judge Best of the MIX on Monday night. I look forward to playing a stack of indie games, hopefully not embarrassing myself and showcasing some of our favorites.

Mon MIX image


My primary goal at GDC is to continue to introduce mod.io our open modding API to more developers, publishers, platforms and partners. We've had a busy year building out our tools, and are in a great place where we believe we are ready to scale and really help games at every level succeed with mods. Some of the key functionality we've recently added includes support for Steam and GOG authentication, a drop in Unity Plugin with Unreal Engine support next. Join our community on Discord to stay up to date.

modio trans

One of the hardest parts of indie game development comes after the actual development has finished: getting your game noticed. Whether than means by players, YouTubers, streamers, press, and any others who would find what you’ve made interesting and enjoyable – there’s only so far that you alone can spread the word.

While IndieDB as a whole exists to help indie developers share their projects, there’s one particular part of IndieDB that we think you should know about: our giveaways. Easily one of the smartest things you as a developer can do to encourage others to tell their friends and followers about your game is to give them a copy of it – and our giveaway system is designed to make that easy, smooth, and guaranteed to get noticed.

Here’s how it works. Developers can submit their game to IndieDB’s giveaways system, specifying what game the giveaway is for, the time the giveaway starts, and which digital storefront they want the winners to redeem their copies on. Since each giveaway runs for 24 hours, IndieDB will guarantee 24 hours of promotion for it on our homepage. Think of it similar to how a Steam Daily Deal appears on the Steam storefront.

The available storefronts include:

  • Steam
  • GOG.com
  • Origin
  • uPlay
  • PlayStation Store
  • Xbox Marketplace
  • Unity Store
  • Itch.io
  • ...and more!

While IndieDB requires at least 20 keys per giveaway, we recommend you provide 100 keys to cover the 24 hour giveaway period for maximum exposure and engagement.



A new addition to our giveaways system includes the ability for entrants to follow your game on IndieDB with links back to its profile. This is a powerful system for driving people to not only enter the giveaway itself, but to stay tuned regarding future updates, patches, or demos you may post in the future.

For more developer info about IndieDB’s giveaway system and how it might be better for you than buying an ad, check out this page. For IndieDB users, consider becoming a subscriber – because not only will you get to visit the site ad-free, but you’re 5 times more likely to win in each giveaway that you enter!

At DBolical, we are huge believers that mods bring out the best in games. From the moment we launched ModDB in 2002 and started playing mods like Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Insurgency, Killing Floor (and so many others) we were hooked. Today, indie games like RimWorld and Cities: Skylines with incredibly active modding communities inspire us, and reinforce our belief that enabling the creativity of the community is a very powerful thing.

Two years ago we started working on mod.io, an open mod API for game developers (much like Steam Workshop) that allows user-friendly browsing, uploading, and installation of mods. With mod.io we are building a highly customizable drop-in platform to support mods (for studios large and small), that has allowed us to work closer with game developers than ever before.

Now that mod.io has approached the point where we are ready to onboard games to further our vision and help developers succeed, we are proud to announce a brand new initiative: Modularity. Modularity is a new games publishing division with a focus on investing in and supporting games that are created by modders, inspired by mods, or have strong modding support themselves.


Some of the biggest games that still reign supreme today were spawned from mods: recent smash hits like PLAYERUNKNOWN's Battlegrounds coming from the ARMA 2 mod scene; Dota 2 having its roots as a Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos custom map; the highly-moddable Cities: Skylines becoming the true city-building genre successor; or classics like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive rising to the top of the Steam charts from its humble beginnings as a Half-Life mod.

Modularity is looking for the next generation of games that have the chance to stand tall as mod-focused titles. Games with a fierceless independent streak. Games that dare to do something different. Games that, in finding success, steer the industry in a whole new direction with their creativity, innovation, and strong sense of identity.

Modularity is thrilled to announce its debut title under the label, Meeple Station - a highly moddable space station building simulator which, after already seeing great success as a top-selling beta on itch.io - is launching on Steam Early Access today. Inspired by deep and creative simulations like RimWorld and Dwarf Fortress, Meeple Station lets you build and manage a habitat for your meeples, all while surviving the dangers of deep space like meteors, pirates, and deadly alien encounters.

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If you're a developer who has found their start in the mod scene, is working on a game with strong mod support, or is inspired by other mod success stories, get in touch with Modularity and tell us why you think your game is incredible, and what kind of assistance you need to realise your modding-powered vision.

modularity logo top color

Versioning the mod.io API

News

Behind the scenes at mod.io (an API for developers to support mods in-game) we have been slowly determining the best road forward in regards to versioning our API which we recently concluded and announced. You would think this is a simple decision, but there are multiple ways to do it, each with their own pros and cons - read on for our requirements and eventual decision.

Our requirements

The key to our eventual versioning decision was a flexible versioning scheme, that would allow us to push breaking changes at no detriment to our API consumers that ticked the boxes for both development convenience, reliability and familiarity.

  • Full backwards compatibility
  • Version is required in every request
  • Clear version progression with changelog
  • Easy to get up running and make API requests and test
  • Ability to deploy breaking changes without impacting API users

Version in URL or HTTP request header

We value developers more than anything, so we wanted the version to be easy to see and test by simply copying and pasting a URL from our documentation into your web browser. We opted against requiring a version header, because this approach forces API developers to write code or use a tool to get up and running, and instead chose to require the version be explicitly included in all URLs calling the API.

https://api.mod.io/{YourApiVersion}/games?api_key={YourApiKey}

Version format

There are a surprisingly large number of version formats in use by the industries largest APIs. Common ones include:

  • Option 1: v1, v2, v3
  • Option 2: MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH
  • Option 3: YYYY-MM-DD
  • Option 4: YYYYr{0-9}

We wanted a version format that clearly shows when a change was made, how many changes have been made and only increments when a breaking change is deployed. We felt that including the year solved the first requirement, and including a release number solves the final two requirements, allowing developers to know how many versions they are behind.

https://api.mod.io/YYYYr{0-9}/games?api_key={YourApiKey}

Conclusion

As a business we want to move quick and continually update and improve our service to give developers the most powerful mod API on the market. Achieving this will require breaking changes from time to time, so minimizing the impact to our API consumers by really thinking through our versioning system was critical.

We believe the solution we have arrived at balances this need well. If you are interested in implementing mod.io API in your game, we'd love to talk to you and have included a deck below with a little more information about it.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Indie Boost, to help developers sharing updates and content on IndieDB - reach more YouTubers and streamers!


It's easy to get started if you've already got a game profile setup on IndieDB. Just click the link below, enter your IndieDB game URL then Indie Boost will automatically set up a game page on their platform, and match your game with verified YouTubers and streamers who can request interviews or game copies directly from you.

Indie Boost makes it easy to connect with press, creators, and streamers. Manage requests and track all engagement with your game with one easy-to-use dashboard.

You can also use boosts to give your game the best chance of getting noticed by delivering review copies right to the inbox of creators and press who are most likely to cover your game. Boosts work alongside your existing outreach efforts, so you can choose to exclude journalists and influencers who you have already reached out to.

Indie Boost has helped more than 400 games reach over 200 million views on YouTube, Twitch, and Mixer, and now they’ve automated the process for you.

Thanks to Indie Boost for supporting our community and helping developers with their outreach. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership for all.

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