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Mailbag

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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | September 1, 2000
   

PQ Mailbag

Mr. Lee'Mon's Neighborhood

Lee'Mon: Greetings, everyone! Some people have complained that they aren't always getting their weekly Lee'Mon dose here at PQ. Well, that's about to change, as I'm now here for you every Friday for the PQ Mailbag!

L33t'M0n: And you're not alone.

Lee'Mon: [sighs] Unfortunately not. With everyone else receiving promotions of some sort, L33t'M0n threatened to hold my "skillz" at ransom and sick a JackBot at me unless he got a new job too.

L33t'M0n: So, I'll be hooking onto the Mailbag like spit on llamas. Oh, wait. Wrong metaphor. At any rate, I fully intend to make all the wise-ass quips that lame-mon over here is too goody-two-shoes to make himself.

Lee'Mon: Can we get this started? These people don't have all day.

L33t'M0n: You obviously haven't read your emails closely enough. Let's get it on!

This Is MY House

In an editorial I need to recommend to more than one smart-ass mod maker, Hellchick posed the question: are too many mod makers bitching the hand that feeds them? After all, nobody said this whole mod thing ever had to get this big...

From: Eric
Subject: Mod community article

Hah, hah, ha!!! You are sooooo going to get flamed for this. I agree with what you said about mod developers expecting things handed to them as if they deserved it, no, having the right of God to have these tools. If these guys, the conceited ones, are so [FRAG]ing great they wouldn't need a Q3 or Q2 to come out. If they were so [FRAG]ing great they could just do their game from scratch and make money off of it. Of course, the fact that they are unable to do this proves they are no where as good as they think. It's just a frick'n mod, a slight alteration in the original game code. With out the game itself these hoblegobbers would never be able to do what they can. The ones who demand, or think they deserve, commendation need to have their egos checked. That kind of attitude is like someone wanting to be pronounced King just because they can pat their head and rub their stomach at the same time. What a joke.

L33t'M0n: A fan after my own tastes.

From: density
Subject: houseidbuilt article

I tend to believe more and more now then ever, that the mod teams think of themselfs as professionals developers. I'm currently developing my own game with a group of friends (with our own 3d engine) and I can easily agree that that hard work is done for them.. I'm not saying that making a mod is easy, as you have to build it within the limits of the current code and design given to the programmers, but they don't have to deal with DirectX,opengl, a 3d software renderer coded in assembly (wow, I wonder if anyone still does that these days)... saying that. some mods have "pushed the button" of some developers, take Counter Strike, I don't like it much (hey I'm a quakeworlder :p) but the 20,000+ online players love it, I think that in a way they are pushing the designers but as for the programming :) JC has givening them a "basic" program to play with :)

From: RiO
Subject: Hellchick's Editorial

You said it, Hellchick! Some mod teams are too high brow for thier own good. I think that mod teams should have r33t p1mpage in order to get themselves players - why else release the mod online? - but I think you're right in saying some guys are taking this too far. Thanks... great editorial!

From: Screamer
Subject: A House That id Built

Being an avid gameplayer, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to modmakers for prolonging the life of my games. For a while I was busy playing Quake 3 and Half Life mods, and had all but forgotten about what was once my favorite game...Quake 2. Recently though, I found a mod called Dday, and my interest in Q2 was renewed yet again. A game that was just taking up space on my hard drive was once again put to good use, and I now stay up all night just to play it. However, I must agree with Hellchick on the matter of how modmakers wish to be treated when compared to not only the actual producers of a game, but to the gaming public in general.

I know it's not polite to point, so I won't mention any names in a negative light in this reply. But yes, as Hellchick pointed out a few hosted mods at PlanetQuake are pushing the limits in their demands as to how they are treated. All too often I've gone to message boards to criticize a particular aspect of a mod, in hopes of helping the team out in improving their overall game, and have been flamed by the moderators for whining. They have kicked me from irc chats just for making suggestions (yes, you heard me right) and often act like their mod is the ONLY one out there.

Now before any claims that I'm using this reply to simply vent my hostility toward mod makers, rest assured I'm not. Many times I've gotten close with hard working mod makers and supported them every step of the way in developing their games (which are almost always the mods that no one hears about). It's teams like this that know what mods are about, and that is having fun. When a team lets the promise of fame get to their heads they dont want to listen to us, the little people anymore. And now, with mods such as Team Fortress and Counterstrike (two mods which I do enjoy I may add) being bundled in with copies of Half Life, one may wonder how far off it is until you can no longer buy Quake 3 without a particular mod included. This is a frightening thought to anyone who enjoys the freedom of choosing which mod they want to play, and not being told which is the best. For if the people that make the actual game choose a select few to represent them, then the little guy that makes mods just for fun is sure to become extinct.

From: Stephen Howe
Subject: A house that id built? Darn tootin!

The Quake (and several other communities, such as the Half-Life and Unreal) should be very greatful that they get those level editors and source code to edit from Valve, id, GTinteractive... Where ever they get them from. The developers of those games thought that the public were smart and responsible to use and understand those tools. The mod authors of games like these should not recieve press realeases or hero worship. Does the man who makes a nice spreadsheet with Mocrosoft Excel recieve hero worship for providing something from a tool someone else made? No. You know who should be recieving hero worship who isn't part of those game developer companies? The people who see something that isn't there and make it. I'm not talking about mods or levels, i'm talking about the people who make the tools for us to edit these wonderful games. The guy who made GameIDE, the people who made QOOLE, Worldcraft, etc. Those people deserve more credit then the mod authors. Did you know that for Aliens vs Predator Fox and Rebelion didn't release a level editor, or the source code? The level editor is totally 3rd party! The AvP fans were told they couldn't understand the way the game was made so they were denied tools from the company, so the fans MADE the tools! Have these mod authors done that? Granted, a few have, but not most. I ask, when will the people building the solid toold these mod authors use get as much credit as the mod authors who do the "easy" work.. of building off soemthing pre-exicting.

It's been awhile since an editorial has caused me to do a little self-reflection, but "The Chicker" pulled it off. All of us in the mod community (particularly those that are looking to turn pro) need to remember that until the day (if and when it ever occurs) we're hired, we're doing this as a hobby. We're using tools that were created, first and foremost, to be a self-standing game. As was said above, some game companies don't even offer mod tools, leaving mod authors to resort back to the days of Doom. The more support we get, the happier we are, and better we can create our own wares. But games aren't mod machines first, they're games in their own right. So, while we can ask for the tools we desire, we should understand if the company wants to focus on making the best stand-alone game possible... particularly if it's their next game.

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