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Op Ed

Planet Half-Life - Expecting Too Much?
The bottom line with any type of game, whether itís professional or amateur is, itís being made for your enjoyment with a lot of hard work being put into it. You arenít guaranteed a single thing, so stop acting like the developers who make these products work on your unrealistic schedules and concede to your overly-ambitious goals. They donít. There will always be a better development team that can produce something that looks nicer, but those less-than-perfect products may be a thousand times more fun, and youíd know this if you didnít judge a book by its cover.

Gamesquad.com - Captain, Report to the Bridge.
Personally, I believe gaming is all the poorer for the choice. While cockpit space sims have a lot to offer, so does the bridge simulator. There is a world of difference of being responsible for a crew of one and being responsible for a crew of hundreds; a situation that requires the need to set watches, organize boarding teams, and dispatch repair crews. Letís face it; if you die in a fighterÖyou die alone. As a bridge commander, you are not just playing with your life, but the lives of your crew. What is more, as the operation of your vessel is very much a cooperative effort, success is a warm feeling shared with your virtual cohorts. As such, bridge simulators often evoke more than a bit of role playing on the part of the player, something commonly underwhelming in most go-it-alone cockpit sims.

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15. Re: Op Ed Apr 25, 2009, 10:13 DG
 
The article argues that most players expect far too much from mods. I'd argue that much of the time it's the other way round - many mods are extremely over-ambitious. There's lots of major ideas which, good as they may be, simply aren't achievable with the resources available.

With any organisation, if there is strong threats over resources (usually funding being cut; the mod equivalent would be contributors leaving) what you do is focus on your core function. Basically do everything you can to get as close as you can to your primary goal with what you have, and cut anything that's secondary. Thus if the resources are cut you have done as much as possible, and furthermore having something worthwhile to show is often what will result in obtaining new resources.

Why have 6 map guys working on 6 maps? Have two teams working on a map each. Firstly, 4 good, complete maps are far better than 6 incomplete and poorly tested ones. Secondly, it's much more satisfying/motivational to have a high rate of progress on something small than glacial progress on something bigger. And thirdly, it spreads the load for the map tester guys so they have a relatively continuous supply of work rather than long periods of nothing then suddenly 6 90% complete maps all at once.

Team Fortress Classic's "2Fort" versus Team Fortress 2's "2Fort."
Do the updated graphics mean that TF2 is superior?
Or it is that TF2 is functionally complete, a step ahead and has all the momentum?

People, including you, Danny, need to learn to be patient and learn to lower your expectations when you try something thatís ahead of the curve.
He then goes on to outline why most mods are behind the curve.

I see in the article a perspective I came across often when I was paying attention to modding: the idea that the pricetag is of overwhelming importance. Players are still expending a precious resource when playing a free game: their time. Saying that players should lower their expectations for the mod admits that in some way the product simply isn't as good a use of the players time.

He talks about still playing an old favourite, but a more relevant example would involve starting to play old games that he hadn't played before.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Apr 25, 2009, 01:17 Silicon Avatar
 
You don't need a team to make a mod. You need a team to make a BIG mod.

Individuals craft cool stuff for various games all the time. I'm thinking Oblivion and Fallout 3 mods here. Many of those were made by 1 person and many of them are quite good.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 18:36 J
 
Thank you for not calling me a troll!  
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12. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 15:40 Creston
 
A book is a device used to send data from one person to another. It uses archaic DRM technology which only allows one person to use it at a time. If something happens to your copy then you have to buy another one. It is likely because of the DRM that books tend to be dying out in both quality and quantity.

That was funny

Creston
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 11:54 Fang
 
As a huge fan, though, all I could do was wait for AHL. I was dying for that game. CS came first.

You do know that Minh Le and Jess Cliffe (the creators of CS) were members of the AQ2 team, right? I was a big fan of AQ2 also, but I always viewed CS as the sequel to AQ2, even though Minh wasn't the leader of the AQ2 team. More like the sequel in spirit, the next step in evolution that AQ2 began. I guess more accurately, it's a continuation of Minh's work, which it seems we were a fan of.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 11:21 theyarecomingforyou
 
No, the real reason is that subsequent generations of games have required more and more effort to put out a decent mod. Where before one or two people could put out something decent, now you need a full team. And sustaining the interest of a full team for the length of time necessary is exceptionally difficult.
Exactly. Half-Life 2 has very good development tools and has been around for years but we've seen what, one decent mod for it, and that was Fortress Forever - the problem being that it took so long that when it was finally released TF2 was launched just days after. Black Mesa Source is another one and again it's taken a huge amount of time. It's simply too difficult for most teams to even come close to the quality of a retail title and poor management usually brings most crashing down.

NEway, that article was unbelievably whiny. I absolutely despise the "well you couldn't do any better" argument. I couldn't care less if I couldn't do better... if it's shit then it's still shit. The point is why should gamers have to wait years for a substandard product when they can pick up retail games, many of which at bargain prices?
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 10:10 space captain
 
No, the real reason is that subsequent generations of games have required more and more effort to put out a decent mod. Where before one or two people could put out something decent, now you need a full team. And sustaining the interest of a full team for the length of time necessary is exceptionally difficult.

not only that, but devs are increasingly reticent to make the full range of their tech available for mod purposes.. for whatever reason

i remember making all kinds of Q2 maps on qoole and things like that.. these days the technology is so much more capable, the actual tools could easily become just as high profile as the games

you have to look to people like Garage Games, etc.. unfortunately no one has really come to the table with a serious production using their tools (i.e. heavily updated torque engine and so forth)

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 2009, 10:11.
 
Go forth, and kill!
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8. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 10:05 Bhruic
 
but the real reason is the fact that very few AAA titles that are released hardly ever feature some kind of SDK kit.

No, the real reason is that subsequent generations of games have required more and more effort to put out a decent mod. Where before one or two people could put out something decent, now you need a full team. And sustaining the interest of a full team for the length of time necessary is exceptionally difficult.
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 09:43 InBlack
 
Did anyone stop to consider the fact that the decline of good, well supported and moddable PC games has anything to do with the decline of modding???

Graphics and short attention spans might be a part of the reason, but the real reason is the fact that very few AAA titles that are released hardly ever feature some kind of SDK kit.

Wait for Valve to release the SDK for L4D and witness the reneissance....
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 09:28 Beamer
 
There are many problems wiht mods. I've mentioned their somewhat irrleevance here and peeved people. I love them, but they're so flawed right now, mostly in ways of convenience. They can be very hard to find, as general sites (like here) only cover them minimally compared to the past. They can be a pain to download and install. They're usually multiplayer only and, if they don't have many players, completely useles some parts of the day. And they can take so long that often they're released for games people have long since uninstalled and possibly lost/sold the discs to.

It's a shame, as they're definitely the best way for new people to learn how to develop games and get into the industry...

CounterStrike probably takes some blame for what the author is saying. Probably more than some. I was a huge Action Quake 2 fan. It was the first game I remember being able to hide in shadows sniping people, and one of the only games smart enough to know that if my shotgun blasts someone off a rough and he dies from the fall I should get credit for the kill. The maps, though, looked awful. Even then. More brown than the usual Quake 2 stuff, and the scale/perpective was so far off. Everything was the right height but too wide.
As a huge fan, though, all I could do was wait for AHL. I was dying for that game. CS came first. Yeah, the game had issues at that time, particularly with people running out of ammo and having nothing to do, but it played well and looked good. AHL finally came out a bit later. I remember thinking the gameplay felt very dated, very "last gen." And I remember thinking the models looked awful. CS was, even at that point, ahead of the game. A year later it had snowballed so far that it was nearly professional (and soon was just that, too.)

In comparison, everything seem(ed)s amateur. So yeah, lots of people probably looked at screenshots and passed. It's a valid point.
Also proof that more people should learn modeling, haha.
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
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5. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 09:01 InBlack
 
Keep on trolling and troll on outa' here...

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 2009, 09:01.
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 08:57 J
 
what's a book?

A book is a device used to send data from one person to another. It uses archaic DRM technology which only allows one person to use it at a time. If something happens to your copy then you have to buy another one. It is likely because of the DRM that books tend to be dying out in both quality and quantity.
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 08:53 eXFeLoN
 
what's a book?  
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2. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 08:24 J
 
Yeah, I expected more from that article  
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1. Re: Op Ed Apr 24, 2009, 06:21 Nucas
 
it makes me feel old to think back to when the planet network of sites were relevant.  
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