Home Forums General Discussion Let’s get the mod idea kickstarted

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Lynchman 13 years, 7 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #2858

    meedja
    Participant

    Hi All.

    This is going to be a long one. Grab a coffee, a notepad, put your thinking cap on, sit back and read…..

    —————–
    BACKGROUND
    —————–

    There has been some suggestion on this thread and on a much more extensive thread over at IGDA.org (here) that we get a mod team together.

    To date, this discussion appears to be well intentioned but somewhat fragmented.

    I’m writing this in an effort to focus everyone and concentrate minds on putting a plan together.

    I think it would be a good idea to put some structure on the efforts. Thus, I’m suggesting we use this thread to agree a plan.

    Please don’t post mod ideas, skills etc. here. Let’s use this thread to discuss the project approach itself.

    Below, you will find several suggestions I propose. Please do use this thread to discuss these and offer suggestions of your own for debate.

    ——————-
    GROUNDRULES
    ——————-

    One of the principle threats to an effort like this in the early stages is the risk of fragmentation. One or more polarised groups can develop and the project could fall apart before even commencing.

    SUGGESTION 1:
    The early stage work on the project is public, open and conducted in a sprit of mutual respect.

    Lets try to be open to all sugestions. Treat it as brainstorming – don’t discount anything.

    ————————–
    GETTING ORGANISED
    —————————

    SUGGESTION 2:
    Subject to the approval of gamedevelopers.ie admins & hosts, we use this forum to get organised.

    i have already stated that the “start a new chapter” section of the IGDA forums is not an appropriate place to discuss a specific mod, particularly if there is another thread dedicated to perhaps organising a local chapter.

    SUGGESTION 3:
    We request the addition of a new MODs section in the Games Development Topics area of the forums.

    This would faciliate the generation of multiple project threads without the noise that would be associated with using, say, the PC Game Development or General Discussion areas.

    SUGGESTION 4:
    The mod project should be run as a proper software development project.

    This has multiple advantages as it serves to ensure no duplication of effort, ideitiefs dependencies etc. It has the added benefit of allowing those interested in particpating but with no industry experience to gain an insight into how software development works etc.

    As a (very) board overview, I’d suggest the following stages;

    1. Team assembly & role definition
    2. Call for formal design submissions
    3. Vote on design to be implemented
    4. Define project dependencies & deliverables
    5. Assign project members to deliverables
    6. Create & agree project plan
    7. Set up development infrastructure
    8. Develop!
    9. Test :-(
    10. Release :-)

    We’re at the early stages here, lets focus on steps 1 & 2 for now;

    ———————————————
    TEAM ASSEMBLY & ROLE DEFINITION
    ———————————————

    SUGGESTION 5:
    A forum thread be set up dedicated to gathering expressions of interest from people interested in participating.

    A very focused thread is required where people submit there interest in the following format; (please don’t post this info here and now, we’ll set up a thread later – this thread is solely for discussing the big picture))

    Location:
    Current Job:
    Skills:
    Prefered Role:
    Projected Time Availability (p/w):
    Preferred Development Engine:
    Other Info:

    With a succint posting from everyone interested in a structured format, everyone can immediately see who’s on board and whre they might fit in.

    SUGGESTION 6:
    There should be a time limit on submissions to ensure that this is not an everlasting process. (end of Oct?)

    It’s possible that with all names in the had, we have more than enough people. Perhaps then we can look at two or more mods running simultaneously based on skills/interests etc.

    ————————————–
    FORMAL DESIGN SUBMISSIONS
    —————————————

    SUGGESTION 7:
    A thread should be set up to discuss the required format of project submissions.

    It’s probably important to put a structure on the mod proposal so that all may be compared on a level footing.

    It’s important that we discuss the best format for submissions so that we do not get poists of wildly varying length etc.

    SUGGESTION 8:
    Mod design proposals are submitted to a dedicated thread.

    With the proposal structure agreed, we create a dedicated thread for proposal submissions, again with a time limit.

    ————————-
    SELECTION BY VOTE
    ————————-

    SUGGESTION 9:
    A thread be set up to discuss the ideas after the submission date has elapsed.

    A short period of dicsussion in which anyone may poke holes in ideas, offer suggested enhancements etc.

    SUGGESTION 10:
    The mod to be developed is chosen by public vote of gamedevelopers.ie members.

    ———————-
    A NOTE ON SCOPE
    ———————-

    SUGGESTION 11:
    The first project tackled be quite small in scope so as to facilitate the development of the team, the infrastructure, familirsation with process & tools etc.

    ——————
    OTHER ISSUES
    ——————

    Please post suggestions on any other issues that occur. I think one biggie that needs to be discussed is the notion of people publicising ideas they feel may have commercial potential.

    Closely associated with this is a discussion on legal issues of ownership etc. What happens if a mod is wildly successful and has commercial potential???

    ———————–
    MOVING FORWARD
    ———————–

    Well, that’s it. Discuss!

    As noted at the outset, please limit discussion here to the big picture. No “Yes, I’d like to be involved” posts; that will come later.

    Also, as we progress, we’ll be replicating to an extent some of the postings on IGDA. It’s proabbly a good idea, however, to have everything in one place, no?

    Finally, if there have been any further advances by other means (IM for example) perhaps the participants could share?

    (please forgive typos and obvious mistakes!)

    Regards

    Peter

    ————–
    DECISIONS
    ————–

    As discussion progresses, I’ll maintain this section with a list of items people are in general agreement with, saves a lot of time searching through what might be a long thread.

  • #9720

    Skyclad
    Participant

    Thinking Cap point 1:
    —————————
    Before either setting up a team or suggesting any ideas, I feel the goals of any work should be defined. People will have different ideas as to how much work they are prepared to put in and what they hope to achieve from such a project. E.g. is this mod going to be built on a major game engine with the goal of making it a competitive online experience, or is it something smaller that people want to do to get that all important notch on their cv?

    If different people have vastly different ideas to each other then they may end up committing to something they didnt plan to, or may become disillusioned with the scope of the project before its completion.

    I haven’t done any sort of mod before, though I have been writing small games from scratch recently (soon to be freely available to all). Therefore the goals I would have in my first mod would be:

    (1) Learn how to modify a base game (I’ve read up on but not performed this action)
    (2) Work on a project with a short timeframe (2 months?), with very few big changes to the core game, a small amount of additional gameplay, but tackling the core elements of making a mod.
    (3) Make it a fun mod accessible by all, not a niche interest.
    (4) Achieve the goal, no matter how small, within a pre-defined length of time.

    Thinking cap point 2:
    ————————–
    For any mod, surely it will want an independent webpage to advertise its presence as soon as possible. While recruiting from these boards is probably a very good idea, any design/developmental work should probably take place on a separate boards as soon as the project is underway.

    Current Job: I run around a field dressed in armour killing blue people with axes and swords. Apparently this makes me an “Artiste” in the new King Arthur movie.

    Skills: Programming. Interested in developing my understanding of AI.

    Prefered Role: Programmer

    Projected Time Availability (p/w): 10-15 hours, maybe more.

    Preferred Development Engine: HL, q3 etc.

    Other Info: Dublin based.

  • #9723

    meedja
    Participant

    Skyclad,

    i agree fully with your first point. I think taking things easy at first with very well defined goals on a small project is crucial.

    If the project is too ambitious, it will be difficult to control and will most likely fall apart.

    On point 2, I also agree that another site might be a good idea. Any suggestions anyone?

    I’m quite happy to donate space on http://www.meedja.com for this purpose but I understand people might not want the project too closely associated with a particular company.

    Of course, I should declare that our interest in being involved in the project is;

    1. To enhance internal skills
    2. To have a non-commercial project to try out new ideas
    3. To identify potential future employees!

    Should have said that at the start.

    Also, skyclad, it’s probably not a good idea for people to post their skills & ideas in this thread. Let’s keep it at overview at this stage and discuss how the project should be put together – we can elicit interest at a later date as per my suggestion above.

    Finally, as people post here, can they cite approval or disapproval for all the suggestion people make.

    I’ll maintain the first post with a list of decisions so people can get a grasp of where we’re at by reading that first post.

    Peter

  • #9724

    Thraktor
    Participant
  • #9750

    Eoin
    Participant

    I don’t have a whole lot of experience in mod development, but I’m interested in giving it a go.

    I’d like to think that managment tactics like two competing teams wouldn’t be necessary with a team from this community. Also, perhaps this is what meedja meant but I’d incorporate a standard interative process into the development cycle.

  • #9768

    Ronny
    Participant

    I think it should be made clear as too what level of expertise is needed for this project. At only seventeen years of age I have yet to have any mod experience and obviously my peers on this forum are quite experienced.

    I would be willing to help with producing and any management related jobs. Dispite the wishes of others I feel that it is best that we clear up a few things such as the experience requirments. I will post at a later time in more detail so I can throw in my two cents but in this haze of tiredness I am barely able to stay awake. So right now all I ask is that this matter is brought out into the open and discussed. Thank you.

  • #9769

    Skyclad
    Participant

    I reckon it is safe to say that everyone that would be involved in a mod such as this is hoping to come away far wiser for the experience, and noone knows everything they need to know to get it underway. An opportunity like this is one for learning, and it is far more important that people are willing to contribute from start to finish then ignore parts of it since they dont believe there is any benefit in them doing it.

    Dave

  • #9837

    boadle
    Participant

    Hi all,

    nice to see this gathering momentum. I would like to record my commitment to being involved in this.

    Current Job: Web Designer

    Skills: Photoshop (Advanced), 3D Studio Max (basics, UVW etc), Traditional art skills (Concepts etc – Advanced), Web Design (HTML, Flash)

    Prefered Role: Concept / Texture Artist

    Projected Time Availability (p/w): 10-15 hours, maybe more.

    Other Info: Dublin based

    URL: http://www.boadle.com, http://www.onemorego.com/suwonshootout

  • #10353

    Ronny
    Participant
  • #10432

    Thraktor
    Participant

    While I’d love to get involved, I’ve got my Leaving Cert coming up in a matter of months, so I simply won’t have the time for it.

  • #10433

    boadle
    Participant

    I would seriously consider taking part in a mod in the near future – if I felt the circumstance and gel of people were right. There is nothing more infuriating than investing time in these things, only to see them fall apart.

    I’m working with UnrealEditor at the moment – but find the lack of documentation a real problem (anyone know of any online manuals?).

    Perhaps it may be worth holding off until the HalfLife2 Dev kit is released, as the screen shots make this look really user-friendly? It would be equally frustrating to have to change toolkit halfway through.

    Anyway, look forward to seeing where this goes. Certainly, if we could all match Ronny’s enthusiasm – we’d have a mod finished already!

    Lewis

  • #10449

    Lynchman
    Participant

    Hey Lewis,

    We use Unreal Ed at my college for making a mod in a team as a class project so to speak. Anyways, for a site that has a lot of how to use Unreal Ed; I dunno if you know about Epics own site, which is super handy and has helped us many times,

    http://udn.epicgames.com/Content/WebHome

    Theres a lot you can get the engine to do but just be prepared for many crash buttons, and non implemented features that look like they could be used, but end up doing nothing.

    Chris

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