The story of Some Challenge Mod

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I've been meaning to do this for a while. I just never remember. Actually, I only wanted to do the very last section of this post. But this post also explains why I'm not bringing back SCM.

So a few people still have faith in Some Challenge Mod despite being made 4+ years ago. Sure it was the first(?) community mod that featured brand new missions, but it has aged poorly. That's not why I don't like the mod now. I'll explain the reason after this story of why SCM existed.

Some Robot Emerges

Years ago, I heard SHAR was starting to get mod support. I never cared for the simple mods like the Family Sedan re-textures and some of the things Lucas made at the time (i.e. fake traffic chasing Homer, and Wiggum chasing an AI Homer). But when I first heard Donut Mod was a thing, I really wanted to get my hands on the brand new missions. I enjoyed Donut Mod 3.0 maybe too much. So much that I wanted to make a mission mod of my own. I found this forum and had a very nervous and awkward first impression here. Hell, I previously had the name "SomeBot." Can my first introduction get any more embarrassing? My name was intentionally stupid when I first made my account because I wanted people to get the "Don't judge a book by its cover" idea. The point is my first impression was already fairly bad and my name just made it worse.

Enter This Challenge Mod

Holy s***! I'm making my first mission mod! I made a video of my very first custom mission in SHAR. I was really eager to show this off just because of the idea I used in the video. Something like that hadn't been done before, and I was excited to have people play something like this for themselves. Basically, I wanted SCM to be as unique as possible, so I've been adding useless s*** left and right. I added stuff like new menu sounds (Road Rage menu sounds), Ned, Carl, and Lenny as an ambient characters; new lines for playable characters, and custom music.

At the time, I was hoping to have all SEVEN levels done upon release. That, of course, was a dumb idea even though I really wanted a great first impression in my mission-designing skills. After some thinking, I decided to just finish Level 1 and make a public release for once.

Unfortunately, Level 1 had a rough start. There were a bunch of considerations that I never took into account until after I released Level 1.
  • The mod was too hard. Back then, there were only Normal and Hard modes like DM 3.0's Normal and Hellfish modes. I was balancing my missions the way DT did in theirs. Back then, DM3's Normal mode was pretty difficult. In that mod, you'd normally have 20 seconds left when you complete a goto objective. I never played DM on Normal until I started making SCM, so I thought that was the ideal way to balance difficulty. After numerous complaints, I made an Easy mode, and apparently that was too hard as well.
  • The mod featured custom music. No RMS builder existed, so I had to rely on f****** HEX editing after DT taught me how to make it so that custom music wouldn't surprise me with a "Pleez inserrt d*** 1 into CD driv" message. Some people had a problem with the music because it wasn't Simpsons music (but it was still orchestra music). I never cared for anyone nitpicking the music. I just wanted new music so that SCM would feel unique. But the main problem about the music is that a lot of the music files were unchanged. Every soundtrack that I was planning to edit was included in the mod even if I hadn't touched them yet. This increased the mod's file size to God knows how much, so downloading SCM would take ages. All that waiting for a mission mod? And I refused to make the music its own mod after being advised to. Even when I did finally listen to the advice, I wanted the correct music to play in each mission. So you still needed both SCM and its music mod to play the former.
  • The length of some missions were drastically different. I remember L1M3 was just a race against Smithers to the Power Plant starting at the Kwik-E-Mart, which took only a minute to beat. Then L1M4 was a long Follow and Collect mission that took three times as much time. L1M3 was redesigned to start the race at Burns' Mansion and take the long way around to the Power Plant.

After a bunch of tweaks, I was finally satisfied with how Level 1 is now (keep in mind, that's how I felt in 2015). Level 2 was already in development before I released Level 1, so I got back to making Level 2's missions. For the most part, I was more satisfied with how I finalized the future levels when I released them. Level 2 had the most mission revisions, but I don't remember what got changed. I still liked how that level's missions turned out. Even though one of the missions in Level 3 had to be cut after its first release, I'd say I was more comfortable with their state when I released the two levels.

So you're satisfied. Then what's the problem?

Looking back at SCM now, a lot of things left a lot to be desired.
  • The difficulty of missions were unbalanced. Some objectives were unnecessarily difficulty. For instance, in L2M6 completing the long-ass main objective took about 3 minutes. But following it was a goto objective with an extremely strict time limit. So unless you knew exactly which item you should collect last, you would have already failed. Some missions were essentially trial-and-error; they're not difficult unless you've played the mission enough times.
  • There were several ways to crash the game. I still have no clue why they happened. They never occurred when I was playing on my development build of SCM. That build is long gone now.
  • Some missions were just blatant copies of each other. L2M4 and L2M6 were collect-a-thons in different locations.
  • The humor. This is my biggest issue with SCM. I'm looking at you, Street Race intro conversations. Removing those conversations was impossible, so I had the idea to replace those lines with incredibly stupid things. I remember Level 1's convs were just a sped up clip from Family Guy where Quagmire rants about Brian. The other levels, most of them were just random clips that I watched recently. I can't stand remembering those, so don't ask what they were. Also, the mission names. I tried to reference other media like how vanilla SHAR and DM do it. I hated how they turned out.

F*** o**, SCM

Some time after Level 3 got released, I started genuinely losing my mind after realizing SCM's flaws. I was so sick of it that I ceased development of the mod altogether. I didn't actually announce that publicly, but I knew what a mess SCM was. If you remember how I acted in the past, you'd remember that I hated it when SCM was ever brought up. Fortunately, I don't make those complaints anymore. Thank the Lord for that. The download links were still available way after SCM's discontinuation. The reason why it took me so long to remove the links is a funny story, but I'd rather not get into that. All I will tell you is that me and a friend were fooling around. However, I'm not bringing those links back because I want to be known for a mod that greatly improves upon SCM.

When I was developing my second mission mod, Metal Arms in Springfield (the original version, not the remastered one where Glitch actually has his voice), I did my best to address most of my problems with SCM. The missions didn't feel as bulls*****, but the Mil Challenges still had their SCM-esque dialogue (which were removed in a much later version). A lot of the ideas in MAiS were actually stuff from SCM. MAiS's original L1M3 (a mission where you would've prevented several vehicles from reaching a certain destination until time ran out) was an idea I had for Level 6 in SCM. The point is MAiS is just SCM done right. I was much more satisfied with how it turned out after learning from what I made previously.

Rip-offs

Unfortunately, my hatred for SCM had given trolls an opportunity. Everyone knows how much I hate the mod. Those who can take a hint will know that I don't ever want this mod to be brought back. (I may have an exception to that which I'll explain later.) Occasionally, someone will make their own version of SCM just to spite me. Their versions blatantly rip off the same missions I made in the original. They use the same vehicles, very similar mission structures, and even the exact same mission names with some exceptions. They even used the newspaper textures and mission briefing images I made, albeit poorly edited in. There have been several releases of these mods, and they were all made by the same infamous troll who has been banned many times making alts and uploading low quality mission mods that steal assets from other mods since 2018. I can never get enough of this, can I? The mods Several Challenge Mod ("Challenge" misspelled as "Challange") and Super Challenge Mod are a couple of examples. Hell, the latter's description is a rip off of what I wrote on the original thread. That should be enough proof that these mods are meant to troll me. The troll behind these mods is still making mods like this to this day. I probably would have been okay with remakes if all the dumb jokes I made and references to the original SCM were gone (like the mission names, the dialogue for the optional missions, and that story in the last section of this thread). Though, this isn't a guarantee. We'll just have to see who makes the next SCM rip off. Hopefully, it's not made by a recurring troll.

Fun Facts

  • L1M4 had numerous revisions. The Nuclear Waste truck had its path changed many times.
  • L2M2 and L2M3 were swapped.
  • L2M5's idea, a collect-a-thon but you had to stay close to someone, was reused in MAiS.
  • L2M7 originally took place in the middle of the highway, and you had to fight Barney in his Plow King while Bart was forced to use Mr. Plow. The reason the fight was moved was because Barney sometimes turns around for no reason and wastes time going nowhere before choosing to target Bart again. I also changed the forced vehicle to the Plow King because I wanted people to hear the lines I gave Barney when he's the driver.
  • L2SR3 was originally about holding something (like how the waste barrel works in SHAR's Level 7) and surviving against bullies until time ran out. The item couldn't be positioned properly, so the mission was changed to be about surviving a certain amount of time against an OP School Bus. That mission was just too easy to cheese, so that too was cut.
  • L3M1 originally had you jump and stay on top of the Plow King and collect floating Buzz Cola cans while the truck is moving. A lot of people kept falling off without reason (because they had Frame Limiter enabled?), so I had to think of something else. The mission was replaced with something planned for Level 6: Guiding the Hover Car to its destination while avoiding hostile vehicles.
  • L3M4 and L3SR2 were swapped. I guess this change was made because I loved the Rocket Car mission so much that I didn't want people to miss it.
  • L3M6 originally took place at the beach, where L3M5 ended. The problem was that the sedan Bart was trapped in was so stupid that it was easy for it to destroy itself.
  • L3SR2 originally took place at the Squidport. It was changed to take place near the Aztec Theater because there were more paths to take than the Squidport, and that involves more strategy.
  • The base of Level 4's main missions were already complete. I just didn't have the chance to adjust the challenge to each difficulty setting.
  • One of Level 4's optional missions involved pushing a stationary vehicle to their destination. This idea migrated to MAiS in a way.
  • You originally needed to pay for skins and vehicles to start certain missions. You'd be happy that those got removed.
  • The idea of Ultimate Challenges was that they were variations of previous main missions. But this time you were under more strict conditions. These were the hardest challenges in the mod. Replayable Bonus Missions weren't a thing yet, so I came up with the idea to make these challenges replayable by making them be slight revisions of other missions in a way that players can easily replicate them in the missions they reuse.
  • The loud, cartoony kicking sounds I added were meant to make it more clear that you ran over a pedestrian. I almost never heard the original sounds when running people over, so the replacements made events like that more apparent.
  • There was supposed to be a fourth difficulty mode called "Donuts of Steel." Before MAiS's Nuts of Steel, SCM had a mode even more difficult than Hard. I was eventually going to release that mode, but it took too much time in developing the other missions. So I put that mode on hold. Parts of Donuts of Steel still exist in the Ultimate Challenges. Some of the vehicles use that mode's stats instead of Hard's.
  • The Larry The Looter gag had a custom movie that seems to self-promote SCM. This movie is actually a hint to how to beat a certain optional mission that never came to be. How? The phone noises. I remember I made an earlier version of that movie that made even less sense. You'd hear the phone ringing while the letters in "CHALLENGE" would change into "#'s".
  • Boost rings were going to be a thing in this mod. The boost rings worked since I made them with jump triggers like in this video, but it was ineffective when racing against the AI, so I got rid of them. Its first appearance would've been in L1SR1. The problem was that they only worked one way, and the mission was designed so that it didn't matter which path to take first.
  • Ralph's challenges were meant to simulate real-life references in an exaggerated or relatable way.
  • Insert last section of this post.


The "Plot" That Never Was, And For Good Reason

When I said that SCM had absolutely no plot. That was both true and false. Prepare to question this fan-fiction.

There was going to be a little story where Homer has lost his mind and is doing dangerous things. The rest of the Simpson family had to try and figure out why. In the later half of Level 2, he kept ambushing Bart in each mission. Homer kept driving the 70's Sports Car. Bart had helped Homer in a race in an earlier mission when he was using the old Family Sedan. The idea is that Homer "won" the sports car for winning that race. In Level 3, Lisa found Homer near a red empty Ferrini. Then a random sedan comes out of nowhere and reveals that Bart is trapped inside. In the last mission, Homer ambushes Lisa and Bart in the middle of an unrelated mission. Lisa and Bart manage to lose him.

After some irrelevant missions, Marge spots Homer driving recklessly. She follows him and collects whatever Homer drops. During the process, a driverless Hearse ambushes Marge. After she loses it, she goes to ask Mr. Burns and Smithers about Homer at Burns' Mansion, but she had to race Homer there. They said that have no idea what has gotten into him. Marge follows Homer again, but she finds Professor Frink at the Power Plant parking lot. Frink needed Marge's help to disable his WIP "Omega Hover Car" which he claims was possessed by a hearse.

In Level 5, Apu does the usual irrelevant missions. He finds Marge who tells him about Homer. They work together to spy on him. Marge had the idea to find that hearse that possessed Frink's Hover Car, but she needed a way to stall Homer to do it safely. So Apu goes to find some Duff Beer to hopefully calm Homer down. Marge was not able to locate the hearse, so she goes with Plan B. They find Burns and Smithers near Town Hall. They accuse them of being the culprits to Homer's behavior. Angered, Burns goes ahead and dukes it out with the two. Smithers also fights with Burns. Burns and Smithers are defeated, but they were honest when they said that they don't know what has gotten into Homer.

Again in Level 6, irrelevant missions. In one of those missions, Bart gets ambushed by his school bullies and gets robbed by them. Bart steals them back and loses them, but on the way to the next irrelevant mission, the bullies managed to catch up to him. Bart had an idea. He went to go look for that crazy Homer so that he can deal with the bullies. Bart successfully lures the bullies to Homer, and he scares them away. Back to the intended mission, Bart finds Homer and his Family Sedan suddenly where the next mission begins. Bart thought Homer was still dealing with those bullies, but Homer says that the Homer Bart found was a fake. The fake Homer uses the green sports car as opposed to the real Homer's pink sedan. Homer needed help to get back a beer can Fake Homer stole from him. Homer rams Fake Homer's car multiple times and steals back the can. Hitting Fake Homer would've revealed that he was actually a robot. Homer goes to finish off Fake Homer in a fight. All well that ends well, right? WRONG.

In Level 7, all the missions had something to do with that Fake Homer. Very early in the level, it was revealed that there are tons and tons more of fake Homer bots already made. And a few of them were planning to kill the Simpsons in their home with bombs. Homer takes them out before they reach his house. Homer acquires a nuclear waste bomb after taking out the last bomber. He needed help to stop the rest of the bots, so he goes to find Frink. But the bots were now planning to take out Frink instead. Homer races them to Frink with the waste to scare them off. Homer asks Frink how to get rid of the bots for good. He helps Frink find some tools to build a transmitter to find the true culprit behind the bots. After finding the tools, Frink needed time for the transmitter to find the culprit. In order to keep Frink safe, Homer comes up with the idea to challenge the bots to a long race so that they're away from Frink. Homer wins the race and goes back to Frink. Frink's transmitter reveals that a mysterious person has a master controller for all the bots. If the controller is taken away from him, the bots could all be disabled. (I hadn't yet come up with who this mysterious person would be.) They go to find this mysterious person and take it away from him. Then Homer settles the score with this mysterious person. Homer defeats him, but the mysterious person had one more trick up his sleeve. The hearse that Marge found earlier invades the Power Plant with a bunch of possessed vehicles. Homer struggles his way to destroy the Hearse and the vehicles it possessed. But one last opponent appears, a dark and oversized monster truck that's even bigger than the Obliteration Big Wheel Truck. Homer takes out the big truck.

Mod over. Roll credits.

I... uh... can't believe I planned all that since Level 1. It's such a stupid plot. Nothing makes sense, and it's only there to make SCM's intended finale more exciting as an excuse to avoid making more and more "unique" missions. This may seem too ridiculous to be true, but try invalidating CustomText's evidence.