Mods 101: Your Guide To Modification Creation
You've got a great idea for a new mod, but you have no idea
how to get started. The process can be daunting, but with the
right preparation and abiding by some advice, you can see your
project through to the end.
Now that your project has actually begun, you'll want to
begin assembling a team. One of the greatest problems facing
beginning mod designers is that they try to make team assembly
one of their first steps. If you try to bring a team together
before you've verified your commitment and dedication, determined
what you'll bring to the project, and begin to produce actual
work, you'll have some real troubles finding good talent.
Moreover, you'll be wasting a large amount of time for yourself
and others. It's critical that you prove the worth of your
project and yourself before you try getting others involved.
In order to bring the right talent into your team, you'll
have to show that you've already contributed something yourself.
People will have to be able to see what your work is like.
More importantly, they'll have to see that you're serious
about what you're doing. It's only when you can prove your
worth that you'll find others to help you with your project.
Here's some advice to follow when trying to bring a full
#1: Keep it small. I learned this one myself
during my Generations days. When I moved out on my own project,
Blast Chamber, I maintained a very small team (about six people).
Larger teams are harder to organize. They also increase the
chances of having people on your team drop out, from boredom,
apathy, or any of a number of reasons. Small teams are easy
to keep together, easier to keep in contact with, and far
#2: Find dedicated people. Anyone can say they
love your idea and would like to help. Make sure you only
work with people who are going to make the same sacrifices
you are. Nothing will kill a mod faster than losing your coder
to a Final Fantasy addiction.
#3: Only get talent you need. Don't bring on
board people who love your idea but can't offer anything significant
to the project. You have to bring together people like yourself...those
who have already contributed something interesting to the
mod community, who have demonstrated useful skills, and have
shown a desire to work.
#4: Divide up the work. Make sure that everyone
who joins your team has a clear understanding of what his
or her role in the project is going to be. Try to keep everyone
busy, but not overloaded. Team members that go for weeks with
nothing to do and no involvement in the project are likely
to begin looking elsewhere. Conversely, those with a large
portion of the project plopped firmly on their plate may get
frustrated if they feel their workload is not proportional
to everyone else's.
#5: Choose your team carefully. Don't accept
contributions from just anyone that wants to help. The result
is often a mixed-up mod that doesn't seem to have any solid
sense of style.
When finding a team, you must be proactive. You can't just
post a "Help Wanted" on your site and wait for the floodgates
to open; it isn't going to happen. Don't just post a small
notice on some messageboard, either. You're going to have
to get out there in the thick of it, hanging around on IRC,
and asking the help of other people whose work you've seen
and enjoyed. Don't get depressed about rejection...many people
already have projects they're working on and that they wish
to fully dedicate their time to. Overall, assembling your
team may be one of the hardest parts of your project, but
it's the decision that will make or break the rest of the
Next: throwing things into gear