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[How To] Create A Mod Idea (Forums : Development Banter : [How To] Create A Mod Idea) Locked
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Dragonmaw
Dragonmaw modDB Ninja
May 12 2004, 12:12am Anchor

It seems to me that many of you are starting unoriginal mods based on popular stuff, like the many Dawn of the Dead mods, or anime mods, or anything that is extremely popular at the moment. This is just a small guide for you people.

Step 1
Ask yourself "Has this been done before?" Ignore all the gameplay features you "will be adding" and what you plan to do, and focus on simply the underlying history/story. Has someone based a mod off of this yet?

If you said yes, abandon your current mod idea. There is no real reason why there should be 4 DOTD mods being made. Ask to join a similar mod's team. You will get much more accomplished and may suggest ideas to the leaders/coders.

If you said no, congratulations! You have an original (Well, not done before) mod idea. God knows we need more diversity in the modding community. God bless you for carrying out your patriotic duty to ModDB.

Step 2
Research your material! I can't stress this enough. If it is a historical based mod, say off of the Vietnam War, research the Vietnam War! Read about the protests, the civil movements, the hippie culture, anything related to Vietnam. If it is based on external (Not your own) fiction, read the book! Then read criticism, study the symbolism, note the satire, remark on the tone. If it is based on internal fiction, and you have done step 1, flesh out the story into a full blown novel.

Step 3
The time has come for a features list. More often then not people do this first, and do steps 1 and 2 second or even never. That is an extremely large blunder. You ALWAYS do steps 1 and 2 first, because if you don't, you are just doing another "goddamed clone". Try and include unique features that are not featured in other mods. Instead of doing a "buy" system, do a "salvage" system. Make it similar to what you would want, but different in a way that makes it intriguing.

Step 4
Time to make the almighty design document. This is a chronicle of all you plan to do with the mod. Without one of these, you are lost. Your mod will never get done. The design document, or "bible", should include the following:

Name
Current Team Members
Platform
Ideal number of players
Description
Features
Current work done

And then annotate at the bottom with your name. More often than not you can skip the "current work done" part, because at this point you haven't done any work. You only really need to include that if you are updating the "bible"

Step 5
Had you going there for a second, didn't I! There is no step 5. You now have a fully fledged mod idea. You can release the design document to other people to attract interest, or recruit privately, or abandon it altogether. After this ESSENTIAL part of making a mod you are now ready to tackle the job itself.

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Warbastard
Warbastard Phox
May 12 2004, 5:27am Anchor

A good and helpful chart for the newer users to use :) Good job, seems to be a much tidier layout, and possibly a good base to go by ^_^

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chis
chis Old man.
May 12 2004, 7:00am Anchor

shortcutman made one of these already :paranoid:

But heck, i havent read either of them!

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May 12 2004, 7:54am Anchor

i doubt that the noobs will read this :(

Dragonmaw
Dragonmaw modDB Ninja
May 12 2004, 10:24am Anchor

shortcutman's guide covers getting a team together and attracting interest. Mine is about actually creating an original mod idea.

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May 12 2004, 7:03pm Anchor

I dont agree that you should focus on underlaying/story first. My mod has nothing really but gameplay features which is what makes it good. A mod should have unique gameplay, not a unique story. That is what is most important.

*Edit Spelling Errors*

- Edited By DigitalPunk On Wed 12th, May 2004 @ 7:03:30pm

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Digital Punk Studios

Elemental Online

May 12 2004, 8:21pm Anchor

digitalpunk: i totaly disagree with you.

you may be thinking of multiplayer mods, but they barely need a story at all in my opinion. The ONLY thing that keeps me playing a singleplayer game is a story. It could have awesome graphics, run DX9 on a 486,a player model wearing a hat and have 10,100 polygon vehical models and if it didn't have a story i wouldn't touch it.

I would glady play a mod that added no knew weapons or code to half-life if it had an entertaining and strong story.

For a singleplayer game at least a story is, in my opinion, nessary to keep them playing it.

PsychoFarmer
PsychoFarmer modDB King
May 12 2004, 8:26pm Anchor

eventually we will run out of features to add to a game. im pretty sure we wont ever run out of stories

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Pr0stSh0cKeR
Pr0stSh0cKeR ffff butts
May 13 2004, 2:20am Anchor

Monkey feces tossing tournament 2k4 hasnt been done yet

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JHHAAHA
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frosty-theaussie
frosty-theaussie Sonny Jim
May 13 2004, 2:47am Anchor

Nice. Reminds me of the first article in the first magazine of Game Maker.

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May 13 2004, 3:57am Anchor
Pr0stSh0cKeR wrote:Monkey feces tossing tournament 2k4 hasnt been done yet

Aw man, there goes my Fecal Wars mod idea :/

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May 13 2004, 8:47am Anchor

Theres something else though.. You can have an idea that's a little less original. But you should try and come up with features that are new to the game... The one way you can get away with using and un-original idea, is by making your mod better than the previous one of the same type released. People always want a better game than the last...

snow

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Dragonmaw
Dragonmaw modDB Ninja
May 13 2004, 10:45am Anchor

A mod without an original story is not a mod: It is merely a clone. If you want to add new features to a game that already has a mod of the same storyline, join someone else's team or suggest the features to them. We need more mod diversity. Don't think with your trigger-finger, think with your brain.

If you have an unoriginal idea, scrap it. We don't need more mods that are only features and no good story. I would rather play a mod with an excellent story that changes nothing than an unoriginal mod with bunches of features. For example, Azure Sheep is a great mod and it changes NOTHING except the story.

- Edited By Dragonmaw On Thu 13th, May 2004 @ 10:48:10am

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May 13 2004, 11:02am Anchor
duckedtapedemon wrote:For a singleplayer game at least a story is, in my opinion, nessary to keep them playing it.

Dude, just WHAT have you been smoking? Tetris is the best game ever created!

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May 13 2004, 6:56pm Anchor
duckedtapedemon wrote:digitalpunk: i totaly disagree with you.

you may be thinking of multiplayer mods, but they barely need a story at all in my opinion. The ONLY thing that keeps me playing a singleplayer game is a story. It could have awesome graphics, run DX9 on a 486,a player model wearing a hat and have 10,100 polygon vehical models and if it didn't have a story i wouldn't touch it.

I would glady play a mod that added no knew weapons or code to half-life if it had an entertaining and strong story.

For a singleplayer game at least a story is, in my opinion, nessary to keep them playing it.


TOTALLY eh? only if I am refering to single player mods, so you doesnt seem to actually disagree with me.

Singleplayer mods, I do agree they need a good story first.
Multiplayer mods need good gameplay first though.

A "mod" could be either singleplayer, multiplayer or mixed so I find it hard to totally disagree with me. I didnt see this tutorial specified as a "creating singleplayer mods" one. In fact, if you were creating a multiplayer mod you would do steps 1 and 3 in reverse. (minus the come up with an idea part)

***EDITED IN***

In addition, mod stories arent usually the things that get 'cloned' - it is the gameplay that is what gets cloned making it more important to have an original gameplay concept.

- Edited By DigitalPunk On Thu 13th, May 2004 @ 6:58:00pm

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Digital Punk Studios

Elemental Online

May 13 2004, 7:02pm Anchor

ya, sorry about the totally thing.

i do totally agree with you on multiplayer and i mean it this time.

in fact w/ multiplayer if there is unique gameplay the story IS ok to push off to the side.

hmm, i guess i need to think more.

May 13 2004, 7:11pm Anchor

its ok lol.

I really think it comes down to the type of mod you are making. There can easily be story driven multiplayer mods.

In the same respect though, a singleplayer mod with a not well thoughout gameplay idea might be hard to dig through.

As well, the story could be awsome, but when it is turned into game form, it may suck horribly.

A story is a good marketing tool though and also provides a lot of design for members to follow. It acts as enticement for new members as well.

So really, I think that all these parts are equally important to a mod - then again, the document wasnt rating them, this is just my opinion.

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Digital Punk Studios

Elemental Online

Dragonmaw
Dragonmaw modDB Ninja
May 13 2004, 7:28pm Anchor

Put simply, the crappiest mods have no story.

Example: Counter-strike.

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May 13 2004, 8:10pm Anchor

CS is the type of game that does not need a story because the gameplay fun and addictive.

Dragonmaw
Dragonmaw modDB Ninja
May 13 2004, 8:19pm Anchor

I'd have to disagree with you. Counter-strike is boring because, while it has aneato features, the gameplay is stagnant and there is no real seperation.

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Neo-Reloaded
Neo-Reloaded I think i'm BaCk! :) i'm 18 now :P 28/03 (H)
May 13 2004, 8:22pm Anchor

cs is cool, for example i couldn't care less about dod's story but i know its from ww2 and that its fun and have good models thats why i play, it doesn't matter if it has a story as long as its fun :D one mod that can prove that is svencoop, also bumpercars, the specialists and stuff :P

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May 13 2004, 8:23pm Anchor

Well 500,000+ people still play Counter-Strike and it has been going strong for 4 years now. I am sure they don't play for the "1337 graphixs"

- Edited By operativex On Thu 13th, May 2004 @ 8:24:09pm

Neo-Reloaded
Neo-Reloaded I think i'm BaCk! :) i'm 18 now :P 28/03 (H)
May 13 2004, 8:28pm Anchor
operativex wrote:Well 500,000+ people still play Counter-Strike and it has been going strong for 4 years now. I am sure they don't play for the "1337 graphixs"

- Edited By operativex On Thu 13th, May 2004 @ 8:24:09pm


gameplay and publicity, since most n00bies doesn't know other mods :P

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**wearing a christmas hat since xmas 2004 :)** ThAt'S ThE sPiRiT! ;)
thx 4 teh avatar cheap!:D
Back regularly! 8) i'm an adult in my country now! i'm 18!:O ... anyway...
I'm Back :) ... or am I? O_o

new e-mail addy, check profile :)

May 14 2004, 2:01am Anchor

I think gameplay is most important. If it's fun to play, who cares about the story? Do racing games or fighting games have stories? If I wanted to read through hours of text, I'd go read a book (ha!).

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May 14 2004, 2:08am Anchor

I hate cutscenes too. They annoy the hell out of me. I wish they made it more interactive like they do in halflife where there is no cutscenes and if someone is going to say something they say it to your face and you are free to move.

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