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T O P I C
The Future of Mod Making
August 9th 2000, 09:51 CEST by andy

One of our regulars, Chris "Mankovic" Stanley, has been giving some thought lately to the mod making community. Following his recent visit to QuakeCon, Chris decided to write about the subject for PlanetCrap...

The Future of Mod Making
Chris "Mankovic" Stanley

I've been around the mod community for close to four years now, and things have started to change. PC games, and the tools used to shape them, are becoming more complex, both in scope and in application. With each new release we see a "ramp up" in the difficulty level associated with modifying a game's code and graphics.

I got the idea to write about this from attending the Mod Makers Roundtable at this years QuakeCon. Early on in the discussion, topics centered around general problems that most of the teams present have encountered at one time or another, from getting new talent to maintaining focus on current projects.

Enter John Carmack...

Carmack sat in on the last 20 minutes or so of the roundtable and added some interesting insight on how Id Software views the mod community overall.

The discussion turned to the tools used by mod makers, and how a company like Id could best serve the community. Carmack brought up the option of paying mod teams and then countered with the possibility of giving away the software tools as a means of support.

The term 'professional' was even applied when referring to certain mod groups and the amount of skill and talent that is now required to produce a quality mod.

After the roundtable, I was present as "Blix" from Team Evolve interviewed members of a certain mod team and asked why they chose to do what they do. Many of them expressed that they felt this was the only way to break into the gaming industry and saw no other way to make a name for themselves.

Blix relayed some of his experiences with Team Evolve and offered some advice for those looking for the limelight in the gaming industry. Most of the team being interviewed were faced with a reality check they had not planned for, and I could see an ego deflation taking place as Blix explained the harsh realities of being involved with a commercial venture such as the Zaero mission pack that he was a part of.

My personal view of the mod community is that the model now in place is best for the time being, that is: People will make mods for the games which they love to play, the cream of the crop will always float to the top, and those people responsible for making those mods will receive the much deserved kudos, as has been done in the past.

My question(s) to the readers of PlanetCrap is this:

As games get more and more complex, mod teams are faced with either packing up shop or hopping on the learning curve to become familiar with the new code and graphics abilities of a new and improved engine design.

If the mod community is to continue to flourish, do they get paid for their work, considering the amount of skill that will be required in future games? Or do companies like Valve and Id bring in top mod makers as a part of their own collective and give them open access to the professional tools they use themselves?

And most importantly, will those people who buy Quake4/5/6, etc, be able to walk into the community and make a mod without much effort? I'd like to think so, but I highly doubt it.

C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: The Future of Mod Making

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#1 by "Jason Hall"
2000-08-09 09:54:09
Hall@lith.com http://www.lith.com
First! WHOOP! :)

I'm sooo lame... Yes I know.

King of teh MONSTARS!
#2 by "godZero"
2000-08-09 09:55:05
godzero@gmx.de
Fuck! I was almost there!!!
#3 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-08-09 10:27:13
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net/
I don't think mod making is getting that much harder. No matter how advanced games become, mod making is still simple game logic modification at it's core. And logic remains roughly at the same level of complexity. The only things becoming more complex are models and graphics, you should be keeping up with game developers... Actually, lack of good modelers is a thing that keeps many good ideas from being completed. Apart from that, it's all the same thing, maybe using more and more advanced tools.

As for paying mod authors... Imho, that's a bad thing to do. Everyone should be doing it for fun, and if someone has some special talent he might be noticed and accepted in the industry. That possibility is a big enough reward, modding should not be centered around getting some cash, but it is a very good way to get known in the community, if of course you are above average.

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "Mark Asher"
2000-08-09 10:30:13
marka@cdmnet.com
The whole mod scene is interesting to me, and it doesn't just start and end with FPS mods. People have made whole new Starcraft campaigns, even recording new mission briefings, there's an active TA mod community, and an upcoming RPG like Neverwinter Nights will spark a lot of mod-making.

If it does get harder and harder to make mods, you probably will see some people start to drop out at some point. It would be nice if mod makers had a way of selling their work. That would add some incentive to keep plugging away at it. Wasn't Valve going to allow people to sell mods at some point?
#5 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-09 10:56:34
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
'Blix'? I don't recall any 'Blix' working on Zaero. Has someone changed their nick, or are they telling porky-pies?
#6 by "Andy"
2000-08-09 11:00:20
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#5</b>, Tom Cleghorn:
<QUOTE>
'Blix'? I don't recall any 'Blix' working on Zaero. Has someone changed their nick, or are they telling porky-pies?
</QUOTE>
I was thinking the same thing. I didn't recognise the name either, but I figured it must have been someone who joined after I... "left". :-)
#7 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-09 11:04:57
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
Nope, there was definitely no 'Blix' by Christmas of '99.
Anyone care to enlighten us?
#8 by "Paul"
2000-08-09 11:10:18
paul@paulbullman.com http://www.paulbullman.com
Mark Asher:
Yes, Valve contacted numerous developers months before Half-Life was on the shelves for just that. At one point, I was contacted by Valve over a "conference" to be held in Seattle just for prospective mod makers going in on a commercial Mod Cd.

A big reason why I believe mods aren't doing so well is that people see TFC, and now CS, and wonder how can they ever compete? So they make gigantic plans(as mods have always, but i think more now) which they just can't live up to. Then they get frustrated, and thus no mod.

- Paul
#9 by "Mankovic"
2000-08-09 11:40:31
mankovic@jellico.net http://
Tom,

I e-mailed this to andy already.

The guy displayed a nametag at the convention with the name "Blix" written on it. He mentioned that he did some sound work for Zaero and mentioned a nasty falling out in the offices of Team Evolve, but said he preferred not to elaborate. He did say that he was now doing self produced video features, and was currently working on a piece having to do with the game community, hence the interview...he did say that he had interviewed several other people at the convention...sorry I can't tell you more about him.

As I sat in on the interview, I had this gut feeling this guy might not be for real, but I have 5 of the members of the Mod team he interviewed that will tell you the same thing....heh..this is getting interesting now...:)
#10 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-09 11:45:26
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
<b>Mankovic:</b>
<quote>The guy displayed a nametag at the convention with the name "Blix" written on it. He mentioned that he did some sound work for Zaero and mentioned a nasty falling out in the offices of Team Evolve, but said he preferred not to elaborate. He did say that he was now doing self produced video features, and was currently working on a piece having to do with the game community, hence the interview...he did say that he had interviewed several other people at the convention...sorry I can't tell you more about him.</quote>
Sound work on Zaero was done by David Spell. I don't recall him ever using the name 'Blix' before (that's not to say that he might not be these days), and I'm also pretty sure nobody else worked with him on the sound. Did this chap say he was currently a member of TE, or had been in the past?
As for the 'nasty falling out'... that comes nowhere near close to it. It was caused by certain people's idiocy and selfishness, and I'll say no more about it.
#11 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-09 11:46:33
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
<b>Some moron:</b>
<quote>As for the 'nasty falling out'... that comes nowhere near close to it.</quote>
...by which I mean that that phrase comes nowhere near close to an accurate description of events :)
#12 by "Graham Reeves"
2000-08-09 11:55:42
reevesg@cableinet.co.uk http://www.quadmonkey.co.uk
if theyre really good mod-makers, they shouldnt get paid for their mods, being hire by id, valve, etc should be the way t get money. if its a big pro team, they should start up a company and sell their product; maybe id/valve/ritual etc could help that way, help with publishing support, accountantcy etc.

im sure publishers would have much more confidence in publishing modifed games if back by the big names...
#13 by "Mankovic"
2000-08-09 11:58:26
mankovic@jellico.net http://
Tom,

He mentioned it as if it was past tense, I should have been more clear in that.
He did mention a sum of money that he was paid for his work...but I wont elaborate on that here.

Stocky built guy about 5'10 or so with dark hair......???
#14 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-09 12:00:23
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
<quote>Stocky built guy about 5'10 or so with dark hair......???</quote>
Dark hair - as far as I know, yes. As for the rest, I never met David, so I don't know. Where was his accent from?
#15 by "Mankovic"
2000-08-09 12:03:40
mankovic@jellico.net http://
Tom,

He mentioned that he lived in California now if I recall correctly. American.
#16 by "Illbuddha"
2000-08-09 12:04:33
colin_kawakami@bossgame.com http://www.databass.com/ck/
The concept of developers (or publishers) financing mod development for a specific game could become a HUGE factor in a game's marketing and success.

For example, if Epic was to make a deal with Gooseman to bring counterstrike2 exclusively to the "platform" of whatever their next game happens to be, a large portion of the CS crowd would buy the title for that reason alone.

Mods have already become a marketing feature; there is a significant portion of q3 <I>punters</I> who bought the game hedgin their bets on the mod community. There are plenty of people who bought half-life just to play counter-strike.

Mod teams will be the true indie artists of the next decade, and during that time, I bet we see better mods than we do "professionally" developed games during that time.

On the PC at least.
#17 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-09 12:08:09
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
<quote>He mentioned that he lived in California now if I recall correctly. American.</quote>
OK, sounds like David Spell :)
Weird, I don't recall him ever using a nick like that... the only one I remember him using was 'Whitejazz'. Ah well.
Damn, I was hoping for a sinister plot to uncover there :)
#18 by "Mankovic"
2000-08-09 12:17:13
mankovic@jellico.net http://
Tom Cleghorn wrote:<quote>Damn, I was hoping for a sinister plot to uncover there :) </quote>

Heh, you haven't seen his video documentary on the gaming industry yet either...:)
#19 by "dave__lister"
2000-08-09 13:09:23
dave__lister@hotmail.com
<quote>Most of the team being interviewed were faced with a reality check they had not planned for, and I could see an ego deflation taking place as Blix explained the harsh realities of being involved with a commercial venture such as the Zaero mission pack that he was a part of.</quote>

care to elaborate? what _are_ the harsh realities?

i believe that the money comes once you've proven your self. if you have a knack and display dedication for the scene, you'll be noticed.

i've always thought that the making of mods was to learn, gain experience and add a personal touch to game/community you care for. this has allowed some games to live an extremely long time which is great for the people that plopped down their $40 - $50 (u.s. of course).

guess i'm just an incoherent idealist
#20 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-08-09 13:54:11
appliedavoidanc@triton.net
<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote this stuff"
<QUOTE>People will make mods for the games which they love to play, the cream of the
crop will always float to the top, and those people responsible for making those
mods will receive the much deserved kudos, as has been done in the past.</QUOTE>

And it will remain this way, for as long as people are allowed to make mods. Maybe even after that, I know several people who are working on mods to a game that the publisher tried very hard to make unmodifiable.

<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote this stuff"
<QUOTE>


As games get more and more complex, mod teams are faced with either packing
up shop or hopping on the learning curve to become familiar with the new code
and graphics abilities of a new and improved engine design.</QUOTE>

Hasn't it always been this way? You cannot tell me that people didn't have to go back to the drawing board after Q1 was released. After Q2, unreal, half-life, any of them.

And haven't the developers been making their tools easier to use, or at least allow somebody else to make them easier to use?

<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote this stuff"
<QUOTE>


If the mod community is to continue to flourish, do they get paid for their
work, considering the amount of skill that will be required in future games? Or
do companies like Valve and Id bring in top mod makers as a part of their own
collective and give them open access to the professional tools they use
themselves?</QUOTE>

Since most of the mod makers are either doing it for God and Country, or doing it to get their foot in the door, I do not think getting paid is all that important.

<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote this stuff"
<QUOTE>


And most importantly, will those people who buy Quake4/5/6, etc, be able to
walk into the community and make a mod without much effort? I'd like to think
so, but I highly doubt it.</QUOTE>

I believe that they will. They'll just have to learn about whatever changes are made, just like everybody else.

I am looking at this from the perspective that every thing delineated as a problem here for the future of mods, has been a problem for mod makers all along. Changes in tools, complexity of programming, originality of ideas, all of these had to be dealt with previously. Nothing is truly different. And we get mods all the time. As long as the dev/pub people are allowing it to go on, people will put up with the time and effort to create new ways of playing their favorite games.

I could be wrong.



<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#21 by "Andy"
2000-08-09 14:06:47
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#20</b>, VeeSPIKE:
<QUOTE>
<B>#Main Post</B> "andy" wrote this stuff"
</QUOTE>
No. He didn't. :-)
#22 by "asspennies"
2000-08-09 15:26:24
asspennies@coredump.org http://www.coredump.org
Remember that the best mods are made not to be popular, but because the mod developers have a real desire to make something.  Take CS for example - all along Mihn Le has said that he wanted to design a game that *he* wanted to play.  That it became popular is both a blessing and a curse, but it was never his intention to become the biggest FPS online.  

What about Team Fortress?  Again, this was designed so that the authors had a cool game they could play on a lan.  It was never designed to be popular, just to be fun.

I think that the grants for modmaking are a good idea on Valve's (and, I understand, on Epic's) parts, but it may give some people the wrong idea.  There is a lot of complaining in the mod community that CS is *too* popular and thus lowers the amount of people who will play a different mod.

While this is ridiculous logic in one sense (there is not a *finite* amount of people who play half-life), it is also wrong-headed.  Mods shouldn't be about who is more popular, but rather about the makers wanting to make something fun that they themselves can play - anything else is icing on the cake.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#23 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-08-09 15:29:42
palutkek@asme.org
Illbuddha Wrote:

<quote>For example, if Epic was to make a deal with Gooseman to bring counterstrike2 exclusively to the "platform" of whatever their next game happens to be, a large portion of the CS crowd would buy the title for that reason alone. </quote>

You really think so?  I'd say this would be true only if CS2 were <i>exactly</i> the same as CS.  Considering the amount of TF players who refused to play TFC because it 'sucked' (meaning it changed something they liked, and didn't want to learn to play differently), I wouldn't be suprised if CS players continued playing their preferred flavor (and driving HL sales) regardless of CS2's status.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-09 16:55:39
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#3</b> "PiRaMidA" wrote...
<QUOTE>As for paying mod authors... Imho, that's a bad thing to do. Everyone should be doing it for fun, and if someone has some special talent he might be noticed and accepted in the industry. That possibility is a big enough reward, modding should not be centered around getting some cash, but it is a very good way to get known in the community, if of course you are above average.</QUOTE>

I agree - getting payed to develope mods is only going t decrease the quality of mods. There was an odd experiment early on in cognitive science that showed that the more physical rewards you get for a task the less you see as you doing it for fun. The best idea is actually to give token amounts to mod authors. Thene these mod authors get some rewards that so obviously don't match the work they put in so thir minds convince them that they are doing it because they love it --> therefore better mods. I think goods/tools and possibly comps are the limit of what should be given<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#25 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-09 17:03:02
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#22</b> "asspennies" wrote...
<QUOTE>While this is ridiculous logic in one sense (there is not a *finite* amount of people who play half-life), </QUOTE>

actually - yes there is :P


<QUOTE>Mods shouldn't be about who is more popular, but rather about the makers wanting to make something fun that they themselves can play - anything else is icing on the cake.</QUOTE>

should but are ? I know of a few people who created mods simply so they could demo stuff to companies. Other people "mod" because of popularity/ego boost that it gives them (strangely they rarely complete something and if they do they will pimp it to you for the rest of their life). While there are some people who do it to make something fun - very few (at least in my experience) have that as main objective. <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#26 by "asspennies"
2000-08-09 17:09:19
asspennies@coredump.org http://www.coredump.org
<b>#25</b> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
<QUOTE>
<quote>While this is ridiculous logic in one sense (there is not a *finite* amount of people who play half-life), </quote>

actually - yes there is :P
</quote>

Ok, in the purest sense, yes, it is limited by the amount of people in the world, but, as evidenced by TFC and Counter-Strike, people will buy Half-Life just to play your mod, if it is good enough - And there are plenty of people who own Half-Life and do not play any of its mods.  There's a much bigger audience out there then *just* the people who play Counter-Strike and TFC - in other words, you don't have to take from that audience to reinforce another.

<quote>While there are some people who do it to make something fun - very few (at least in my experience) have that as main objective. </QUOTE>

And that's the problem.  If you make your mod with only the desire to be popular, it's simply not going to work.  Period.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#27 by "Baytor"
2000-08-09 17:36:57
baytor@yahoo.com http://www.geocities.com/baytor
<b>#3</b> "PiRaMidA" wrote...
<QUOTE>As for paying mod authors... Imho, that's a bad thing to do. Everyone should be
doing it for fun, and if someone has some special talent he might be noticed and
accepted in the industry. That possibility is a big enough reward, modding
should not be centered around getting some cash, but it is a very good way to
get known in the community, if of course you are above average.

</QUOTE>
From a business standpoint, it might make some sense.  A story from the dismal days of disco to illustrate.

Many disos, in an attempt to be an exclusive hip place to be like Studio 54, would hire people to hang outside the disco behind the velvet ropes.  The logic being that if potential customers saw a bunch of people trying to get into the disco, they'd think it was the in place to be and try to get in as well.

So, if you're some new up and coming game, it might be good to hire the guys responsible for some of the more popular mods to make a version for your game, so people don't walk into the local PlanetSite and say, "jeez, this game is dead, let's go somewhere else."

I... AM BAYTOR!!!!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-09 17:37:11
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
<b>dave__lister:</b>
<quote>care to elaborate? what _are_ the harsh realities?</quote>
The creator of the original game being obstructive - having to redo the <i>entire</i> texture set for a game, two months before shipping, because it looked a bit like the original's set.
The publisher of the original game being obstructive and unreasonable.
The publisher of the mission pack being unreasonable - having three months to churn out a <i>complete</i> add-on.
Never seeing any money from the product.
Need I go on?
#29 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-08-09 17:40:03
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net/
<b>#24</b> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
<QUOTE>The best idea is actually to give token amounts to mod authors. Thene these mod authors get some rewards that so obviously don't match the work they put in so thir minds convince them that they are doing it because they love it</QUOTE>

Now I know what is the driving force behind planet* business ;)
Let them believe that they are doing it for fun and no one makes money. Sure. Good dog. Here's your bone.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "deadlock"
2000-08-09 17:54:04
deadlock@eircom.net
TomC, are you referring to id in that last post ?? Just curious.

A mod is the sum of its' parts, right ? So the success of a big mod, like Q3Fortress, or TFC is going to be based on its' models, maps, textures and code implementation, no ? If any of these aspects are below par, the mod will suffer overall. How much it suffers will depend on how important that aspect is to the mod. Models for example are (to a certain degree) luxuries, in that they don't have to be out of this world to do their job. Maps on the other hand are fairly important. Bad maps will undermine the mod completely. Code implementation is obviously crucial.

I had a point with that but can't articulate it. Maybe someone else will. Ahem.

deadlock
#31 by "J."
2000-08-09 17:59:29
j@drtwister.com http://sb.drtwister.com/
I'm surprised no one's talking about Gunman, the Half-Life TC that will be packaged and sold as a standalone project with Valve's full support. It even ended up on the cover of the last PC Gamer as one of five games that might save the PC market.

http://gunman.telefragged.com/

I know this isn't bound to happen every time, and not every mod is liable to be this "professional," but not every game company is as cool as Valve, either. And I guess we'll have to wait to find out how good Gunman is compared to any other HL mod.
#32 by "^mortis^"
2000-08-09 18:29:54
mortis@goddamnindependent.com http://www.goddamnindependent.com
on a somewhat related topic:

is it just me, or does it seem like often times when developers release editing tools for their games, the tools end up being buggy, broken, or crippled in some way?  

UnrealEd comes to mind first, but also one i remember in particular was the model viewer for the Heretic II tools.  I emailed the contact person at the time (can't remember who...) telling them it just plain DIDN'T WORK and they mentioned something to the effect of "yeah, the older in-house version actually worked...sorry this one's so messed up."

I assume that a lot of this may come from porting it to be usable on consumer-level machines, and not some kind of conspiracy to thwart MOD makers...i don't really know.  any ideas?
#33 by "Warmonger [AI]"
2000-08-09 18:46:20
warmonger87@hotmail.com
I've mentioned this before but it seems more relevant on this topic. I'm part of a mod team for Shogo. The project is called Legacy of the Fallen:Resurrection. I'm doing the music and the sounds, and we have 2 other people to work on everything else. One thing I should metion before I go on is that Legacy of the Fallen was a mod started by a company that was going to sell it as an expansion pack to Shogo, and that company released some of their materials and source when they dropped the project. Anyway, we've been working for about 6 months now, in our free time mostly, and we're to the point where we have enough to release the game as a mod. Pretty much all we have left is to make the levels, and I need to start slacking off and do the music.

The point of all this is that it doesn't have to take a terribly large team to make a mod in a decent amount of time. Sure, we did have a head start from the released materials, but if we didn't, we could simply go and get someone to model for us.

As long as the group stays focused and doesn't set sights as high as John Romero did with Daikatana, then the group can get done quickly enough that they don't need financial compensation. <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "avixe"
2000-08-09 18:47:11
jsg@fiam.net
#24,

Wasn't the best method to ensure reliable repetitive task performing in those types of experiments rewarding on a purely random basis? Heh, that's kind of what's going on now.
#35 by "None-1a"
2000-08-09 19:17:56
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#31</b> "J." wrote...
<QUOTE>I know this isn't bound to happen every time, and not every mod is liable to be
this "professional," but not every game company is as cool as Valve, either. And
I guess we'll have to wait to find out how good Gunman is compared to any other
HL mod.
</QUOTE>

I can remember a few mods for quake II that where sold as commersial products (not talking about extrimities here), not many sold all that well.

Also about the tools being given to the mod autors, it's a nice start but isn't full infomation about how the game works (or at lest how the engine interfaces with the game logic) a much more important goal to have released publicly. It take some to learn this stuff and many are put off by this aspect.

--
None-1a.

Sure the spelling looks stupid, but how stupid do you look, after all your only argument is that I'm spelling poorly.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#36 by "Zarathustrian"
2000-08-09 19:18:07
tarbour@canada.com http://powered.at/stooges
35th!  WHOOP!

Sheesh, guys..hehe, have you always rushed to be the first poster?  When did it first start?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#37 by "Zarathustrian"
2000-08-09 19:18:50
tarbour@canada.com http://powered.at/stooges
Haha, I wasn't even the 35th poster....

36th, Whoop!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#38 by "superion"
2000-08-09 19:30:44
zaero wasn't a 'mod' like q3f, cs, was it though? it was a somewhat commerical product, to be sold in stores. (im sure i'll be corrected if im wrong)

most of this bickering in the 'mod' community comes from all these fat american high school kids trying to play mr big dick game maker. not enough talent, skill, or desire to make a decent mod, compared to the first quake mods. Zoid had (has) the talent to make the maps, code the code, and just do it. nowadays you just end up with hanger-ons, 'webmasters', 'ideaguys', and thats why all these projects fall apart or come out and suck. too many people with their hands in the pie, but only one or two guys actually doing anything (like cs).

and that is why laser arena rules.
#39 by "lechifre"
2000-08-09 19:31:18
lechifre@btinternet.com
Surely some kind of ( good ) free market economics type thingy is going on here.

The games ( mods ) that are the most popular are popular because more people like playing them than other mods.

If companies give money and dev tools to the individuals who made these mods, then surely we'll see more of these mods, and made faster.

The end result seems simple and good to me, put in hard work, reap the rewards.

And at the end of the day its how much fun I get from playing a mod not how much fun a developer had making a mod or his reasons for making the mod in the first place that matters the most to me.

Any money grabbing bastards out there who want to make a mod that blows me away just to try and get some cash, you carry on, just make it fun for me.
#40 by "Illbuddha"
2000-08-09 19:42:16
colin_kawakami@bossgame.com http://www.databass.com/ck/
<B>#23</B> Karl Palutke wrote:

<QUOTE>
For example, if Epic was to make a deal with Gooseman to bring counterstrike2 exclusively to the "platform" of whatever their next game happens to be, a large portion of the CS crowd would buy the title for that reason alone.


You really think so? I'd say this would be true only if CS2 were exactly the same as CS. Considering the amount of TF players who refused to play TFC because it 'sucked' (meaning it changed something they liked, and didn't want to learn to play differently), I wouldn't be suprised if CS players continued playing their preferred flavor (and driving HL sales) regardless of CS2's status.</QUOTE>

The classic TF crowd was a much more mature and discerning audience than your average CS player. You can read counter-strike.net's own forum for the proof of that hypothesis. I seriously doubt you could muster any type of consensus among CS players about CS2 boycott even if it was coming exclusively to the Messiah engine. (well... that might be overstating things)

My point doesn't really hinge on current CS players migrating to CS2 on a different engine either... my point is that CS2 is destined to be more widely played than CS, as TFC was more widely played than TF.

With that type of weight behind a mod, developers or publishers competing to get popular mod teams to publish to their "platforms" is an eventuallity. Smart mod teams might even work with agents over the next decade.
#41 by "Baytor"
2000-08-09 19:49:23
baytor@yahoo.com http://www.geocities.com/baytor
Not to pick on our #1 poster here, Jason Hall; but with three LithTech powered games which have never caught on with mod makers or with on-line players in a serious way, Monolith might be the type of company who should pay some mod makers to port their creations over to one of their games.

Of course, that's dependent on them making a very serious effort to capture a part of the MP pie.  A serious effort should include built-in bots for practice and solo DMers IMO.  Not sure if they're spending that much time on MP with NOLF, but I could see Monolith using such a model to infilitrate the MP market in the future.

I... AM BAYTOR!!!!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "avixe"
2000-08-09 19:51:08
jsg@fiam.net
Of course, charging $0.25 for downloading the most popular mod on servers [and less for the others in the top five] at any one time is a terrible idea .. <I>but</I> it would also get people to try more mods as soon as they come out so as to not need to pay the fee. Also, there'd be some incentive for mod makers.

Hmm. Or something like that.
#43 by "Warmonger [AI]"
2000-08-09 20:01:18
warmonger87@hotmail.com
The main reason that Lithtech powered games haven't caught on to the mod community is because they don't sell. Quake 3 sold at least 10 times as much as Shogo. Shogo had 3 quality mods (so far): Bloodbath, Defending the Monolith, and Squishie. All of these kicked ass, but since there weren't any people to play them or to run servers for them, they went pretty much unnoticed. As for NOLF, no, the MP isn't gonna be a huge focus, simply because Monolith is doing what they do best first: A strong single player mode with a good story. There won't be bots shipped with the game, because this simply isn't that kind of game. There are supposed to be really cool MP modes, but SP is obviously the primary focus of the NOLF development team. Personally, I like it that way, but I know other people don't.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#44 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-08-09 20:06:05
palutkek@asme.org
Illbuddha Wrote:

<quote>With that type of weight behind a mod, developers or publishers competing to get popular mod teams to publish to their "platforms" is an eventuallity. Smart mod teams might even work with agents over the next decade. </quote>

I agree with this to a point, but I think mod teams having 'agents' is probably going a little too far.  If a mod team has that many companies interested in 'exclusive' mods on their platform, they can probably get a deal directly with a publisher and make an entire game (if they don't mind the higher risk/reward).

Besides, even with CS (or whatever mod) 'exclusively' on Platform X, there will be copycat mods on every other platform.  I'll concede that the quality of these mods will vary, and they probably won't be as popular as the original, though.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#45 by "dave__lister"
2000-08-09 20:19:12
dave__lister@hotmail.com
<B>#28</B><quote>The creator of the original game being obstructive - having to redo the entire texture set for a game, two months before shipping, <b>because it looked a bit like the original's set</B>.</quote>

it seems odd to me, prolly cause i'm not in the know, that a 'commercial' project would fall subject to strong arming because a texture 'looks a bit' like and original. i would think a lawyer, who would obviously be consulted with in a commercial venture, would be able to easily stifle this. unless of course the textures were modifications of the originals, which of course would be stealing. wouldn't it?

<quote>The publisher of the original game being obstructive and unreasonable.</quote>

i guess this would need more detail to comment on. were they involved? did they view the 'mod' as theft of their product in part or in whole? did they feel that enough of their material was used to warrant a licensing fee?

<quote>The publisher of the mission pack being unreasonable - having three months to churn out a complete add-on.</quote>

a contract is a contract is a contract. if you state in contractual form 'i will create such and such a widget for x amount of cash', then you best believe your customer, the publisher, will expect their due.

<quote>Never seeing any money from the product.</quote>

what, no contract?

<quote>Need I go on? </quote>

prolly not. it almost sounds to me like a commercial venture like this would be viewed by a game developer as a groups' attempt to monopolize on their product and avoid licensing fees.

maybe i'm wrong, l0rd knows it wouldn't be the first time, but these sound like harsh realities that could easily be avoided by incorporating sound business practices. after all, commercial means business.
#46 by "Mankovic"
2000-08-09 20:33:14
mankovic@jellico.net http://
illbuddah wrote:<quote>With that type of weight behind a mod, developers or publishers competing to get popular mod teams to publish to their "platforms" is an eventuallity. Smart mod teams might even work with agents over the next decade.</quote>

This is exactly what I was thinking as I wrote this piece. I see this type of manuevering to be a somewhat legit bussiness model considering the amount of competition that is growing in the Multiplayer market, and it worries me.
#47 by "flamethrower"
2000-08-09 20:35:00
flamey_at_evil@hotmail.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
Quake C and Worlcraft rocked.

Where once there was an inclusive scene, raw talent, and leftfield ideas (QuakeRally!), the talent got hired (often at ION), the inclusivity diminised to those willing to brave Radiant/C++, and fewer groups were left merely remaking the same things the Quake pioneers, erm, pioneered.

And occasionally something new jumps up.

But what's the BIG THING recently? Quake III Rocket Arena? Or YET ANOTHER Team Fortress clone?

:(<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#48 by "Mark Asher"
2000-08-09 21:06:27
marka@cdmnet.com
"I'm surprised no one's talking about Gunman, the Half-Life TC that will be packaged and sold as a standalone project with Valve's full support. It even ended up on the cover of the last PC Gamer as one of five games that might save the PC market."

Anyone know the financial details of this? Does Valve get a royalty? Also, isn't anything Half-Life also based on an id engine, and wouldn't that mean that Gunman owes something to id?

I guess Valve could be taking care any royalties owed to id, but if anyone has any light to shed on this, I'd be interested in knowing more.
#49 by "asspennies"
2000-08-09 21:06:34
asspennies@coredump.org http://www.coredump.org
<b>#46</b> "Mankovic" wrote...
<QUOTE>
This is exactly what I was thinking as I wrote this piece. I see this type of manuevering to be a somewhat legit bussiness model considering the amount of competition that is growing in the Multiplayer market, and it worries me.
</QUOTE>

Change is good.  Competition is good.  I don't know why this should worry you - the idea that small groups would start to make inroads in the PC industry "boys club" - in fact, I think it's exciting and refreshing.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "El Asso Wipo"
2000-08-09 21:33:03
stupadasso@hotmail.com http://www.whitehouse.com
<b>#7</b> "Tom Cleghorn" wrote...
<QUOTE>'Blix' </QUOTE>

Sounds like one of Santas Reindeers, you know, the gay one.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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