Interested to hear what other people think / how this can be improved further.Is OpenMW a Mod?
The short answer is no, not in the sense most people mean by it.
OpenMW is an entirely new engine, which extends beyond the scope of a typical game modification. A game is made up of two components:
This means there are two types of modifications you can make:
- the game content, which contains the files that make up what you see, hear, and do in the game,
- and the game engine, which reads and interprets the game content for the player to interact with.
Game engine mods work by hacking int other existing Morrowind executable (Morrowind.exe) and modifying the ways the existing engine functions. When we say OpenMW is an engine, not a mod, we are not merely being pedantic. We are implicitly stating that it does not rely on the existing engine, nor will engine mods written for Morrowind work with it.
- Game content mods, which would be the typical ESP/ESM plugin-based mods, or content replacer mods such as mesh/texture replacers.
- Game engine mods, which would be things like MCP, MWSE, MGE-XE, etc.
We acknowledge that this doesn't mean OpenMW does not make any alterations to the game of Morrowind in any way, shape, or form - we're trying to point out that OpenMW is unique in it's installation, usage, and scope from any other way of playing Morrowind. This is not to demean other projects as being less in scope, just that their scope is different. Lastly, and probably most definitively, the fact that OpenMW aims to be a general purpose game engine further differentiates it from being considered a "mod".
I've also started writing some other FAQ entries (finally), one of which defines what a "game engine" even is. I remember being unclear on this when I first started following the project so figured others might benefit. These will come at a later date though so we can review more at once.