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    PlanetQuake | Features | Rants N' Raves | Mod Authors
   

Mod Authors
Why do they have to be so stingy?
  — by Pappy-R and the PQ Staff

Throw caution to the wind again people and get ready to love or hate us once again in the PQ Rants n'Raves. Remember that you get to speak your mind and so do we. This week we have Stealthc giving us his rant on the mod community, so take a minute to get the full story before writing your thoughts down.

Mod Balance

I know this one's been tossed around a few times, but my rant is that mod authors are so protective of their coding (even older versions) and won't give other people's ideas a shot sometimes. I have tonnes of ideas but I'm not the greatest coder, and to have to go through a flame war every single time to prove a point is my problem. I'll suggest something to improve balance, and people will bitch and whine because their little game balance exploit won't work any more. Boo hoo, cry me a river, I think we should encourage creativity amongst the community, not keep it locked.

If mod authors are worried about people ripping their code and making a better version of their exact same mod, perhaps asking the person what code they require, what they plan on doing with it, and perhaps sending over their mod plans would help. I mean it sure beats holding back the code....besides that most code is ripped off from other people's code anyways. So if it's OK for "Mr. Mod Author" to rip code, why does he have to be so protective about his little tidbits. Should he be making a contribution too before the bloody game dies out completely and nobody is making mods for it? Who's really going to want the source code then?

  — Stealthc (aka [CS2]Rage)

I'm going to hand this one to Ash first since he's in the mod making community with Fragbait Studios where he's the project lead.

Hmmm, this is an interesting rant to me, primarily because I am a coder, and this is a completely different perspective. And while I completely understand that great ideas come from all sorts of people, not just the the technically skilled, I'm going to have to disagree with Stealthc here.

While great ideas can come from anywhere, ideas are just a dime a dozen and everyone can have great ones at times. But there is always a difference between the ideas that the technically skilled community members develop and just players, because skilled a community member's idea is also usually the most feasable.

When offering feedback to a mod developer, you have to remember that the mod is just a hobby project that the developer has been spending his/her time on. When you suggest an idea, there are a number of possibilities. First, the mod author might not like the idea. That's the author's prerogative. After all, the mod is just being made for the developers own enjoyment and only needs to fit into the mod authors concepts. Second, it might be difficult or impossible to code. It may be that the structure of the three part code doesn't allow for that type of control, or it might be too difficult for the mod author's current skill level, or it might just be something that would take more time than the author feels is appropriate.

  — Ash

Thought provoking stuff from a guy that shows up late for our PQ Challenges because he forgot what day of the week it was, but a good reply anyways. All anti-Ash comments are done with love except when I have to phone Kansas from Canada to get him online when he should be. Now I feel better, let's move on to Spyke who tells me his response will revolutionize the creative community.

Hey! Let's make a Napster for source code! But seriously folks.. wouldn't it be cool if developers released their game sources under the GPL, so that any modifications would HAVE to have source available? I think it could do great things for the community; instead of searching for days trying to find out how to do something cool, debugging, searching code archives, and all that, you could just STEAL it from someone else's mod! Of course, you'd have to give credit to the person who wrote the code, just like all other open source projects, so when it comes time for a new developer to hire mod kiddies, they know who to turn to (the smart kids, not Jeff K). Just think of all the cool stuff you could do! Development time would decrease exponentially, and encourage new innovation. Damn, that would be cool!

  — Spyke

Well the boy had his thinking cap on this time, and this little plan may get more reader mail than the original rant here, but we'll take care of all that later. No it's time for my little California blonde and techy temptress, Love2Play to have a stab at the topic at hand. Do it to it!

Next up, more PQ opinions, including Pappy himself...


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