Immersive sims are a strange genre. Ultra influential, utterly beloved, but relatively thin on the ground. They’re a delicate instrument: a difficult thing to get right and even when you nail it, certainly nowhere near as lucrative as your live-service whatevers and open-world thingummies. So every time we get a new one—and it’s actually good—it feels like a bit of an event, as was the case when procgen detective sim Shadows of Doubt hit early access in April.
But here’s the good news: It sounds like you’ll be able to use the game’s own tools to gin up your own immersive sims in the relatively near future. Developer ColePowered Games is targeting a December release for Shadows of Doubt’s modding update, and has put out a bit more detail about what, precisely, the new tools will look like.
First up is the very same text editor tool that the game’s devs use to create the game’s dialogue, emails, and other verbiage. By using it, modders will be able to tinker with “citizen chatter, conversations, v-mails and more,” as well as set dialogue to trigger based on particular citizen traits and situations.
On top of that, ColePowered is also set to release an “in-game city editor,” which is probably the most intriguing tool of the bunch. It won’t be fully fleshed out when it releases in December—you’ll only be able to rename buildings and streets and, a bit more exciting, decide where buildings are placed—but the devs “hope to expand on it in the future.”
Sounds great to me. Call me cliched (and I am), but I’m pretty excited for the inevitable recreations of Deus Ex maps when this thing hits full strength. Plus, Shadows of Doubt is a very flexible game. I bet the things modders could turn it into with access to a proper modding toolkit will be properly mind-bending.
Tools aside, ColePowered is also breaking out a separate “mono build” of the game you’ll be able to access via the properties section of the game’s Steam library entry. There’s not much to talk about there, but it’ll be a version of the game with “slightly lower performance” for people to “mod the game to their heart’s desire.”
Oh, and Steam achievements are coming. Normal people probably don’t care about this, but I do for reasons I can neither justify nor explain. I like it when my computer tells me I did good.
Sign me up. Shadows of Doubt is a good time that has—I reckon—the seed of a proper classic in its foundation. Throwing modders into the mix can only lead to great things, and we’ll find out what they have in store for the game when its modding tools hit in (fingers crossed) December.