You know what's cool? Mods. Know, what's also cool? The people who make them. That's why we want to learn more about them and chatted with VertexDezign, who are an active part of the Farming Simulator modding community for, believe it or not, more than 15 years. Since 2008, to be exact. That's a lot of mods and people behind them…
Give us a quick introduction!
We are a German group of modders, consisting of 23 people who have been creating mods for more than 15 years. Our artists, scripters, and integrators are using their spare time to create and implement their dream machines and buildings into the game.
Over this period, we started collaborations with more than 25 companies from across Europe to create even more real and detailed vehicles and buildings. Over this long period we were also able to create one of the biggest Farming Simulator communities with more than 10,000 members on our discord and about 16,000 followers on our social media channels.
How, or why, did you decide to work with Farming Simulator?
Most of our members started out as regular players. After some time, the urge to make changes to the game became greater and so they started to create modifications, which over time have become better and more detailed. But we also have members who were working as engineers for one of our partners and joined our team after a cooperation.
What does Farming Simulator mean to you?
It's in some ways a stage of life. Some of our members have been playing the game since 2008, so for nearly 15 years. The average age in our team is somewhere around 27, so, Farming Simulator has been accompanying some of us for more than half of our lives.
We have met awesome people, saw the game develop, and the community grow. But most importantly, we met many new friends. You can say with certainty that it shapes your own life if you are part of something like this for so long.
Can you talk us through your creation and design process? How do you decide what you want to create?
In most cases, an artist has a specific idea, a machine, or building that he likes. If it isn't from one of our partners, we reach out to the company and introduce ourselves, the game and our work to them. This can happen at industrial fairs, online or when we meet them at their company premises. If they are interested in a collaboration, we sign an NDA, and they provide us CAD construction models and other information and data about the machine.
The artist then begins by rebuilding the model and adjusting it to fit the game requirements. He also creates the textures like a normal map to add visual details or the dirt and wear map to get the machine dirty in the right spot during field work in-game. After that, an integrator animates and programs the static model to get a fully functional mod. After internal testing, it gets sent to the ModHub for the final review.
How much does the Farming Simulator community influence what you create?
Community influence is an important part of choosing a project. We don't work on specific mod wishes like “hey can you please make tractor XYZ because we got that one at home and I want it in-game”.
But, we are looking at what is interesting and what is needed in the community mod portfolio. In every game, there are vehicle types that are missing or needed, like a specific working width on sowing machines or a missing brand.
We try to pick our projects to fill those gaps, and mostly those match the mods, which the community is also interested in. In the end, we are also players and part of that community, so our wishes often match the ones from the crowd.
What's your favorite moment from Farming Simulator 22?
Definitely the beta testing at GIANTS Software.
Do you have a favorite piece of equipment?
Some specific examples are the John Deere 4755, the 7810, Lacotec or the machines in the Platinum Expansion.
What tip would you give a new player of Farming Simulator?
Start with easy settings, try the functions for yourself and don't lose your patience. It's an awesome and detailed game, you can't explore it fully in a few hours of playing. And if you need help, join one of the many FS Discord servers and you will get it.
What changes would you like to see in future updates of the series?
In our case it would be a more transparent game development to get faster help with modding problems, especially in the beginning of a new game version like special requirements for different shader variations etc. Also, we would like to get more atm non-public modding tools.
This interview was first published in the official Farming Simulator Magazine.