Donut mod review

Posted in Donut Mod
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Hi all. Finally got around to trying the Donut Mod (latest version, including Seaside, so all three game levels).

I had tremendous fun playing through this! In some ways more fun than I've ever had with the game before, because as you now know, playing missions you've made yourself isn't the same as playing ones that others have made and tuned for you. I'm still playing but have gotten through most of the story missions (I'm on L3M7). In general I am stunned and amazed at the sheet amount of work went into this mod. I was a mission scripter on the original game, so I've got some idea just how much work is involved in completely redoing three levels of an open world game. Not just the story missions but all the extras, collectibles, etc ... very impressive!

I also love the result. I see from the patch notes there have been several passes of difficulty tuning. The result is quite nice, just what I personally wanted from a mod. Missions a bit harder than the original, and definitely longer and more involved, but not crazy hard. Very nice. One detail I was particularly impressed with was the placement of objects in collectible missions. I remember that is was very easy to get that wrong in a way that would lead a player in the wrong direction, and that never happened here.

Some specific details I noticed while playing:
- Homer pink shirt - haha
- Homer's car having a roof - two thoughts,
"That is great!" and "Why didn't we do that?". I honestly can't remember.
- Starting missions are really nice for a mod ... a bit harder and more gamey (more objectives) than the original but is what you want in a mod, as we've all played the game
and so can handle it. Nice use of existing assets and objectives in a way that feels compatible with the story/objectives/dialog.

- Bees in level 1 is new I think? nice
- Having new card locations is big plus, reason to explore the levels again (still haven't found the all)
- Hit & Run mode maybe tuned a bit more difficult?not sure
- Station wagon is that a new car?
- Team Donut skin that is new! I like it

- Destruction derby "mini game" in level 2 in place of a race is awesome ... not even sure how you did that!
- Level 2 .. love how the missions are longer, multi-objective, more gamey ... is what I want!
- Level 2 mission 7 ... haha iPhone items I KNOW we didn't have that in 2002! And new cell
phone booth asset, and I also really like this mission, much more involved and interesting.

- Level 3 missions continue the trend of more gamey, more objectives in missions
- Mission 7 new dialogue hahaha, love it! Cleverly written to fit with existing lines.

Overall just really loving the mod, very impressed with the quality, I'm falling in love with the game again (this time as a gamer rather than developer) and can't wait to see what you do next.

--Joe
Joe,

Thank you so much for the kind words. It truly means so much to us. We can't wait to push out our level 4 update, which is going to have new levels and fully custom characters and you can see our most top notch . I'd love to talk more about what we have planned right now, but not in a public setting hehe. Regardless, We're so happy we've made something that someone who worked on the game can say you're enjoying yourself.

So to answer some of the questions you asked:

> - Hit & Run mode maybe tuned a bit more difficult?
Hit and Runs were tweaked a bit and are somewhat more aggressive, they're not tweaked too much as there are limitations we're working alongside with. But hey, in the future maybe we'll be able to do more with it if we find a way around those restrictions :)

> - Station wagon is that a new car?
This is actually from Road Rage! We felt the car was awesome and did a port from it. :) There's quite a lot of cars in Donut Mod. Right now we're working on revamping the selection for the next release, but check out the phone booth and make sure to hunt down the secret cars! Haha.

Thank you so much.

Sincerely,
Jake
First of all, thank you for playing Joe! I'm glad you could return to a game you helped make and find new enjoyment in it through this project my teammates and I have worked on and put many hours into making.

We've worked really hard to make the entire experience feel familiar but also new at the same time. That is in many of the ways you mentioned including the story missions, bonus missions, and challenges (we renamed them from Street Races since they're not strictly races in our mod).

As for some of things you'll noticed I'll elaborate some on why and how we did some of them.

- Homer pink shirt - haha
Homer's Pink Shirt is actually meant to be a reference to this scene here:


In the version you played, it was just a recolour of the shirt since what we were able to do with character skins up until a couple weeks ago was fairly limited (just recolours and attaching props to them).

This costume is actually going to get a bit of a cosmetic upgrade in our next version of the mod alongside a whole slew of entirely new costumes for all of the playable characters since we've recently made it possible to fully edit characters outside of their colour swatches. I think you and everyone else will really enjoy what we have in store.

Here's a preview of it that I posted the other day on our Discord server to get you excited for these new costumes:


- Homer's car having a roof - two thoughts, "That is great!" and "Why didn't we do that?". I honestly can't remember.
I liked your version of the car a lot though we all thought it was a bit strange you guys opted to not have the roof, so we went ahead and created our own. It's based on Skinner's sedan as you might be able to tell with some of the models from the family sedan you guys made and some other props added to it.

- Bees in level 1 is new I think? nice
We added 20 additional wasps on top of the ones you guys had, and decided to recolour them to black like a Blackjacket wasp.

- Destruction derby "mini game" in level 2 in place of a race is awesome ... not even sure how you did that!
This new type of mission was actually my idea originally and the team liked it a lot so we decided to have one in each level. It basically works by taking a destroy vehicle objective and making the AI target you, so it's basically a battle between cars. It's a simple but overall pretty cool idea and I'm glad you liked it.

- Level 2 mission 7
This mission is maybe my favorite one we've created so far. It's the combined work of 3 of us (Chris and I made the bulk of the mission initially and Kenny went back and rebalanced the difficulty of it). It's a truly awesome finale to the level in my book.

We fell in love with your game as players so I'm glad we could return the favor. :)

- Loren
Hey Joe! Nice to see you back here again and we're even more excited to see you adore our mod!

We're glad to see you really enjoy the variety we've added to each Level. Originally, Donut Mod was aiming to make missions harder, and as such we feel the "game-y" like objectives sort of came naturally, so the missions weren't more of the same with lower timers.

When lua was introduced, however, we went ahead and tried to divide the game into two difficulties to make things more "fair". We later realized Normal Mode needed some further tweaking, and only recently became a lot more "relaxed" in the last few public releases. Earlier versions felt a bit too similar to Level 7's difficulty - even in Level 1! I was mostly responsible for most of the Normal Mode readjustments seen in the latest updates, and I heavily looked towards the original game's scripts as much as I possibly could to get an idea of how to balance things. We're glad to see that things aren't "crazy hard" now.

Loren has done some outstanding work on Level 1, and pretty much redesigned Level 1 from the ground up each time we decided to "clean up" the code base. Some missions were completely scrapped and redesigned for the sake of making room for better mission ideas. Hopefully Loren might be able to elaborate further on this. A lot of the content you see here is great, and this is coming from my own personal playthroughs.

Level 2 isn't the only place that has a derby minigame...You might want to go back to Level 1 and talk to that little weirdo...Milhouse, I think his name is? I think he's also somewhere at the Squidport if you're on vacation...The rest of the content seen in Level 2 was mostly done by Chris, and he took the original mission concepts and worked pretty hard on stretching everything out.

Level 3 was my work, and I'm simply flattered to see you enjoy my work! I'm glad you enjoy the more "game-y" objectives and I definitely tried my hardest to flesh out the mission objectives. After an incredibly satisfying L3M1 (from a developer and content perspective), I was pretty motivated to work on the rest of the Level and feel pretty satisfied with all of the missions I developed. I still plan to smooth line the experience a little more with Level 3, so you might want to go revisit the Squidport when the next update drops!

As you can probably expect, the "plot twist" not present in the original game where Grampa gets kidnapped was inspired by Loren's twists with Level 1 (Taking Out The Trash). I wanted a mission that deviated a little from the original game's script, but not by a whole lot. This is why Grampa is found 2 missions later, so the Level can still "wrap up" with Lisa trying to find Bart. Working on a full length Wiggum mission where the player has to play "detective" and take advantage of the disabled Hit & Run meter was great fun! I dare say it was one of my favorite missions that I worked on while developing this Level.

The dialog compliments towards L3M7 is great to hear. I apologize for the slightly low quality of the lines, but I plan on sometime re-recording them with a higher quality microphone. I thought the whole concept of bribing a crew member fit The Simpsons universe with the slightly selfish behavior, and the rest of the team thought it was really solidly laid out. Jake in particular thought it was a fantastic improvement over the original mission I had, and Loren loved the little "twist". My personal favorite thing other than working as the voice actor for the crew member was making an entire mission based off of the C-Spanker about to set sail. It creates a more realistic threat that I think motivates the player to finish up the Level.

I'm really glad to see you're liking where Donut Mod adds to the original game! We couldn't be where we our now without the amazing work you and many others poured into the game. We aim to add more nods to the TV show, while expanding upon the original game even more. You'll love what the team has in store next!

- Kenny Giles
Very interesting behind-the-scene stories there everyone! Every game developer in the world has gone through that cycle of "Ok I'll make this a little bit hard (for me)" and then find out it's like a hundred times too hard for regular players. Including us on the original missions.

And wow, full custom character editing, wow, that is truly awesome! Looking forward to that. A new level I can hardly imagine - at this point it's pretty much a new game. "Hit & Run 2" anyone? ;-)
Hey Joe
Welcome back to the website
I'm part of the modding community and doing a let's play on the Donut Mod:
m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEpE_ai6T4DaiV9xABMXbVGdeklPuD87V
Were I try to do a 100% completion of level 1
Sorry for the skip missions, I try not to let that happen in level 2

Sincerely
Supercoolpem
Hello there, Noviwan, will you make another reviews on community mods?
Hello Joe, it's awesome you're taking the time to playthrough Donut Mod. the other community mods are just as impressive!

cheers,

Thomas Donofri (formerly hipporeno)
Hi Gordon,

Not sure I have time to review them all, but are there are some in particular you'd like feedback on?
(It's not an ad!)
Well, I knew only 3 Mods that I can advise you to review.
Well, I have a mod, named "The Return of the Cars", it returns some cars, you can find it here: " donutteam.com/forum/topic/725/ ".
Yellow Shift, Max Walker's mod, that changes plot, you can find it here: " donutteam.com/forum/topic/740/ "
And Some Challenge Mod, that removes plot, replacing it with challenges, you can find it here: " donutteam.com/forum/topic/105/ "