The USSFC is losing hope and losing the war, but the poorly equipped Legion are losing soldiers fast. This is the desperate last struggle of two clashing armies... This is Crimson Crow.

Report article RSS Feed Starting a project, and 'not' letting the project die

A summary over whats happened over the course of my indie project, common mis-conceptions of modding, and what to avoid or do during development.

Posted by ninjadave on Mar 3rd, 2009
Basic Starting a mod.

My project (almost) died a week ago. Luckily things are 'finally' getting back on track, but looking back at it all I've realized I've come a long ways. I've even managed to successfully hit some of the pitfalls of development and managed to go on to tell about it.

I'll even let you into some of my projects secrets. ;)

I thought this would be interesting read for any 'getting started' developers.

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I started independent game development when I was around 14. Me and my friends started a comic which we thought was decently funny at the time about two warring factions. This ultimately became the center piece of my future project. I was at the time very much interested in game development as one of my friends was a Half-life 2 modder. I made SEVERAL very bad mistakes with the start up of my project, and it ultimately hit me back pretty hard. After following my friends advice I decided to pick up game design. My friend told me to get a bunch of online people to do all the 'actual' work of making a mod while I supposedly sit back and watch my project be created.

Lesson Learned: Don't take advice from a failing HL-2 Zombie modder. A project requires a dedicated hard working leader, and some serious talent.

I joined his project to learn a little on how things work. Amazingly, the project died in literally a few days after I joined. Most of the team left because of (surprise) poor leadership.


My original mod project

After listening to this, I should have gotten the hint. But I did not.

I began my own project (currently Crimson Crow, Cc for short.). Originally based on the comic me and my friends started, I began to look at engines to use, hoping to find something a bit more suitable
for what I wanted to create. At the time, I was dead set on making Cc a MMO-FPS-RTS-RPG. I was more
or less interested in cramming features in than actually knowing how much work that is.

Lesson Learned: Start simple, and don't try and aim for an MMO at all costs.

After looking at a large variety of engines, I 'finally' found something worth-while. Torque (Torque-Game-Engine). However there was two problems.

  1.  I'm broke. 
  2.  I have dial-up. (500 bps. Not 'kilo'bytes a second, 'bytes'.)

I couldn't possibly see any sort of demo, barely even a video. So I took the chance. I sold some junk, and let the download go all night (and the next day.) I had never even SEEN the engine in action, yet here I was already buying a license and downloading it.

Lesson Learned: Do your homework before you get a game engine, or switching to another engine.

As soon as I got the engine set up, I began to post online that I'm looking for a large team. Don't forget, at this time I barely had a few concepts, a make-shift comic to base everything off of, and no prior knowledge to game development.

Lesson Learned: Don't ask for a large team. Ever. At least show you have something in order before you ask someone to join your team.

After some persistence, I gained a 12 person team (amazingly.) I was thrilled. After we had character models, sketches, and gun models rolling in, my team (very quickly I might add) saw that I really didn't know what I was doing. Suddenly realizing the project was a death-trap of certain failure, the entire team left within a month. I didn't know what to do. Everyone around me said, "Just give up." I was hesitant. I couldn't just 'give up'. Instead I attempted to learn everything I could about game design. Coding, modeling, everything. I spent months grinding through books, hours of code projects, and trying anything and everything to make Cc work. This was a great learning experience as I had to learn everything from the ground up. I really learned out to get work done in a pipeline, as well as plan for certain features in-game.

I came onto Moddb as ambitious as ever still aiming for an MMO- with too many features- project.
After a few weeks I took a few steps back and changed the game from everything in one to RTS-FPS-RPG. Mostly because of the critical comments I quickly found when I mentioned me creating an MMO. Most of which we're correct. People might not like it, but the cold heartless answers you get from various people online is sometimes the brutal truth. I support 'constructive criticism, but crazy ideas (like mine) really needed to be torn down.

At this point, I began attracting a few members that are on the team today. They saw something in my project. At the time, I really didn't know what. Also at this time, the comic me and my friends originally started was on a roll. On its 3rd issue, it was very popular and had over 7
artists all wanting to add even a picture of their work in it.


Character from Roundhouse Comics - "Shade"

We also began alpha testing. We had our first official alpha match with 4 members. It was decently glitchy, but a fun experience to play all that hard work in action. Alpha matches, as I've learned, are a great way to get some intense feedback on the way things are going. We had many comments which to-this-day we still remember and work on. Some of them were petty fixes. Others were major ordeals that we soon learned to deal with. As time progressed and I began to learn 'so' much more, we eventually saw the name of 'TGEA'. Torque Game Engine Advanced. It allowed more polys, normal maps, and much more.

So, learning from a previous mistake, I did my homework and got some demos. Pre-tested and stress tested the engine. I also took in the consideration of the extra time a more detailed engine would take. Something most developers sort of 'skip' over. It worked great. We took the jump to TGEA, in which we began to unleash our ambitious ideas into. 4K poly characters, normal maps on everything, over-doing the bloom.

We were living the good life...and then things took a turn for the worse. One of the team's modelers said he couldn't get the spec map working. Weird. After hours and hours of attempts, it turns out, TGEA didn't support spec maps yet.


Lesson Learned: Even when you think you've researched an engine enough, you haven't.

I sadly told the team that spec maps were out, but I happily noted that I was going to do a preview for an audience sometime that week. It was a random tech demo that I thought showing my project for the first time in action to the public would do some good. The mapper was thrilled, so he updated one of his showcase maps and made sure the map was 'overly-detailed' before I showed it off. I didn't have time to check the map out, so I headed to the tech demo with a surprise waiting for me.


Lesson Learned: Always polish your work before showing it off in a public demo. (Or at least check it.)

I told the group (20-30 people) a little about my project, what it was aimed for, and then launched the demo.

3...2...1.... Error!

The demo wouldn't start. Weird. I told the group I had a technical difficulty and went to a backroom. I googled up TGEA launching errors, only to find the current version didn't run on VISTA!! (At least, the earlier version I was using didn't.)

Lesson Learned. Even when you think you've researched an engine enough, you really haven't!

I came back to the group with an XP machine. Great, I thought. I launched the project. This time it worked. I talked a little then started the (previously un-seen) mapper's new show-case map.
Only...the map had to load....and load....and load. I counted 7 minutes before the map finally loaded. With a horrible frame-rate I might add. The group was un-impressed. I was un-impressed. The mapper went ballistic with the BSP shapes, and over-complicated every shadow known to TGEA. I left the tech demo angry.

The only good that came from it was the harsh reviews I got over the maps that I displayed. There was some very critical remarks, and I personally ended up fixing up some map sections and models. Although the tech demo was more of an embarrassment, it certainly set up some knowledge on what to do next time, and what not to do.


Rough showcase map in TGEA

Lesson Learned: Know your project's capabilities and flexibility on other computers.

We quickly got rid of TGEA and skipped back to (What I knew very well now) TGE. This transition made the modelers, who now couldn't use normal maps, very unhappy. But we moved on anyways hoping to see another alpha. Cc also turned from a RTS-FPS-RPG to a RTS-FPS. Only. RTS was also annoying so we threw that away too. We re-named it a 'tactical shooter.' Aka, 100% FPS.

At this time we had our own personal and private forum set up. By far this was THE most helpful thing we've ever had. If you do not have a forum or 'some' sort of communications set up, you really need to. This way you can type down every detail of your project and get the entire team on the same page all the time, and have it for reference. If you are a manager, your job should be to also organize 'everything' so that the team will not stumble trying to find anything, if even a little. Eventually I even created a wiki to get every detail jotted down into text. In the long run, this saved many hours of possible problems and really made collaborating work. Our personal forum alone had over 4000+ posts (From the team alone) until I recently cleared out dead threads.

Things were going well until we ran into another problem. We had a very unhappy team member. I won't say his name so I'll call him Jack. Jack was a part of the comic, and therefore saw himself as a large part to Crimson Crow. Jack decided his opinion was better than anyone else on the teams (even mine) and made sure everyone knew it. Now here was the real problem. I knew Jack in real life. Not just some online friend thing. Anything I said or did to him could drastically affect my social life as I knew it, and the entire comic Cc was based on. Instead of firing him, I let him continue on. He soon began heavily criticizing the modeler's work. Ultimately making that 3D artist quit. I was very irritated. I told him in person of how he was disrupting the team.

He saw this as threatening. So he decided to tear down everything Cc was as a project. He viciously argued that everything I had done was ruining Cc as a project.The worst part was, he was winning some of the team over. I finally did what I should have done. I fired him. In person. Straight up. I said it so he knew I really meant it.

Lesson Learned: Fire any problmatic, lazy, or argumentative team members. No matter who they are.

The team went on to a slow-ish restart. At this point, Cc began to change so much that it took an entirely new role. We re-wrote story-lines, characters, weapons, EVERYTHING. It was just about a new beginning. We did so much work within this time, the mapper even began making real-world maps. In fact, he made 4 Square miles of central Chicago. Looking back at this section, we made some great successful plans for this map, but we also made some major mistakes. On the bright side, we learned how to manage a 'large' scale map project such as this, and how to get a work flow working for something this intensely detailed. On the down-side, we didn't think out "why we were making the map in the first place." Ultimately the map was dropped because it was too big, and we found that players could not find each other easily.


A small section of the Chicago map that was discontinued

I began coding a dynamic camouflage feature for all players to use in-game. (Sorry, no pic) Once again, we had this planned out. Unfortunately, as I was creating this, we ran into a fundamental flaw. It turns out the human eye perceives shape better than color. So essentially... making dynamic camo did little to help the player. The feature was dropped about 75% of the way through.

Things were going well. Then we ran into another issue.

Our previous member, Jack, was very apologetic for what he did. But instead of telling me much about this, he convinced another team member to put him back on the forum so he could apologize.
Well, he did just that. He apologizes and promised to make it up to the team. We were skeptical, but he held true to his word... for a month. Then he began to 'note' a few things we 'needed to change.'
After months of Jack not doing anything and him eventually just remarking on almost everything we did, a few members asked me to fire him again.

Instead of firing him, I wanted to point out his critical remarks made no sense. I attempted to use some logic against his ideas. It backfired. He soon began page long rants over how everything we did was wrong, and used 'statistics' to 'prove' he was right. More of the team quit. They were just fed up. Cc was grinding on at this point. No one wanted to make anything as we'd just be criticized, and our team was too small to make any real progress. Once again, I decided not to fire him. I gave him a "Straighten up or GTFO" message. He replied with a very long and harsh message. I can't even begin to include what he said. After that, I made sure he was fired. For good.

Lesson Learned: Seriously. Just fire any problematic people. SERIOUSLY. It will save you hours of problems. You can argue with someone with no reason. Don't bother trying.

This is when I learned being the 'boss' around the development team means you have to be heartless at some points. You must work for the better of the project. People may disagree, people may argue, but if its better for the project it should be done. I should have done it the first second I saw trouble, but I was too late. The damage had been done. Me and the few remaining developers sat around. No one wanted to do anything anymore. I was sure Cc was dead. After a few days on being unresponsive, I logged onto the forum to announce Cc was forever gone.

...but before I added the thread, I saw that the prop modeler added a new post. He mentioned an episode release. In which we make a short and sweet release to make things work. I was thrilled! I jumped onto the idea, making who-knows-how-many props and concept sketches. Soon everyone began to join in, and somehow our small, meager team began working as a team again. Somehow, looking back at this, I realize that starting with a small episode style project, would have saved us HOURS and pains and headaches in the first place.

Lesson Learned: Keep it simple. Really simple.

Rough concept of the new up and coming Episode 1


So obviously my project has gone through some big twists and turns. I'm posting this to show some 'obvious' mistakes I made. Most of which are avoidable, and by all means avoid them. Well thanks for reading. I hope any up-and-coming developers have a good idea on what to do and what to steer clear on. I can't stress how important some of these are. More importantly, you should not give up a project. Projects can get tough. They can be daunting. As long as you keep the ideas simple, and stay dedicated, you will go far. Most developers run into major problems first starting up. (Like me.) I'm not the first and certainly not the last.

I hope this helps.

- Dave (Ninjadave)

Post comment Comments
leilei
leilei Mar 4 2009, 5:42am says:

I wish I could take those two second-to-last points of advice, but I can't fire myself :(

+6 votes     reply to comment
Herr_Alien
Herr_Alien Mar 4 2009, 5:57am says:

Oh man, you seem to have gone to gamming development hell and back. I found some of the issues you pointed to repeat across various projects.

The need for a leader that shows something in order to get people joining the team, it is something everybody realizes at one point. It really doesn't matter if you start as a leader that just sits back or one that jumps in. What matters is what you do when you realize that you have to do a ot of effort to have something running. That's the turning point that sepparates leaders from quitters.
You pressed on, and I want to congratulate you for this.
I didn't have to fire anybody. Well, almost: I had a totally different person in mind to handle beta testing for our mod, but when that person didn't show up, I just ditched him. Thank god Windebieste (our mapper) has his head on his shoulders.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that this article raised some memories. Good luck with the project!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kissaki
Kissaki Mar 4 2009, 6:32am says:

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
This really may help some newcomers :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
DJ-Ready
DJ-Ready Mar 4 2009, 7:50am says:

Pretty good read. Definitely brings back some memories...
I think everyone who has been modding for a while has to some extend similar experiences

+3 votes     reply to comment
SinKing
SinKing Mar 4 2009, 8:20am says:

Good thought to write those problems down, Dave. I'm not surprised how similar they are among all projects.
I think it's very important to establish a good discussion culture within a modding group. So one of my responsibilities as leader is to mediate between different point of views. Understanding other member's gripe of the project, helped me shaped my own vision and mine is just the most complete, not the most perfect.
Projects like ours live from change. Of course you cannot change the gamestyle over, or change the story to no end, but there are so many things, which are impossible to encompass in a first design document that it's necessary to stay open to change and ultimiately improvement.

To me a lot depends on how you interact with the team. So, if I get a finished Mech Model and right away demand it to be more detailed, I'll certainly **** the modeler off. I feel like we have to build up and encourage our teams and if you find good reasons to praise them, they will much more likely listen to criticism,too.

Making a mod, or a film is no ego-project.It doesn't help, if people are competing to be the most important part of a project. In fact, people who are eager to prove themselves too much will often fail. So that's another thing a mod leader has to know. What can you put someone up with and how quickly canhe do it? It may frustrate people and make them angry, when they cannot progress with an asset. Instead of taking the blame they go out searching for problems in other people. Luckily that hasn't really happened in our project, but the case you described with John seems that way.
I think you're doing fine and all the things you learned cannot be avoided easily. Even the finest teams die, when the leader sees no future, so what really keeps Cc going is your optimism!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord
Dragonlord Mar 4 2009, 8:26am says:

Nice read. Just go over the text once more. You have a couple of errors which are in some parts vital ( like can instead of can't ).

+2 votes     reply to comment
ninjadave
ninjadave Mar 4 2009, 2:07pm replied:

I was tired. :) I'll fix any noticeable errors, thanks.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Robots!
Robots! Mar 4 2009, 9:13am says:

Wow, great job! i better start working again asap...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Darknessvamp
Darknessvamp Mar 4 2009, 9:22am says:

Very informative. Eventually, it sounds like things have now worked out for you. I hope for your future progress on Cc that there will be less problem bumps than in the past

+2 votes     reply to comment
Hezus
Hezus Mar 4 2009, 9:26am says:

A pretty good read. A thing I would like to add is that a team-leader should be an octopus. Next to being able to manage multiple things at the same time, he should also get the knowledge from every aspect of game-making to co-ordinate between the different disciplines: sync modellers with mappers, coders with artists, etc. If the teamleader has all this knowledge, it also means he will always have a link to every teammember's work to either help out or control what he/she is doing.

The biggest flaw is of an amateur online team is that people can just disappear or quit, thats the way the Internet works. So make sure there are enough ways of communicating together (as mentioned, a forum is a golden tool) and find out how people are doing personally and workwise on a regular basis. What keeps an amateur team together is experiencing succes. Working for months and then testing an alpha version together is rewarding and leads to new idea's and motivation to tackle the next phase. Even more rewarding is releasing sneakpeaks to the public and getting positive reactions.

Last thing I want to add is, as you partly mentioned: Making something takes time; Rome wasn't built in a day. Even though players might run through your game within a few hours, it'll take a small team months or even years to create it. You cannot just quickly put a winning game together; it takes patience, pain, sweat and tears to do so.

Good luck with your project :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
AYANO
AYANO Mar 4 2009, 11:17am says:

Yea. All the problems described sound pretty similar. Even though I never operted as the leader of a mod developer team, I had other projects which died specially because of the 'lazy teammember factor'.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Whizzard
Whizzard Mar 4 2009, 11:20am says:

A really good read. At first I thought I just give it a glimpse, but you bastard made me read through all of it somehow. It's basically a story about how a newbie become master in leading with just one project. I wish you best of luck and good decicions for the future.

+2 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce
DuckSauce Mar 4 2009, 12:12pm says:

Some good points in there,
Especially the leader should be active thing, or at least not demand activity if he is gonna be a lazy bum himself.

I noticed that at times I get many things done(being the leader of my own mod) then get into a test, the activity of both testers and devs rises.
The less interesting stuff, the less active they will be, except for one of my mappers, who can only be demotivated as he's 200% motivated for some reason :D

Also there are some things my own mod which has been going great for over half a year has done differently, so some of your advice is good but it doesn't ALWAYS have to apply.

Interesting read you put up here :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
azultain
azultain Mar 4 2009, 12:54pm says:

what? mod for Hl2??? (dystopia take my lifetime) or mod for crimson crow?

+1 vote     reply to comment
ninjadave
ninjadave Mar 4 2009, 2:08pm replied:

Yeah, I was originally on a mod team for a HL2 mod called Zombie Chaos.
A few developers began talk of a Cc mod that was centered around zombies. I took the profile and began to unleash ideas, but plans fell through and we gave up on it.

As we saw it, why develop a mod for a game thats not developed?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kamikazi[Uk]
Kamikazi[Uk] Mar 4 2009, 1:34pm says:

This looks good. Make sure you backup data this time :P.

+2 votes     reply to comment
BadgerDeluxe
BadgerDeluxe Mar 4 2009, 3:43pm says:

Jesus Christ, man, what a great read. I think every up-and-coming developer should give this article a detailed read through.

Reading through this just opens my mind to the possibilities of future projects, both good as well as catastrophic. Thanks for posting this, this article definitely gives alot of insight into development.

Also, can't wait to hear more about Crimson Crow. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
L0K
L0K Mar 4 2009, 4:57pm says: Online

This was a really, really good read. I had a similar experience with my project. I've planned my game sense I was 14 (I'm 24 now), and when I finally got ready to do something with it... I realized I didn't know anything about game design! So I spent the better part of a year learning, redesigning and redesigning before I finally felt ready to form a team. Even then, It took me another year just to get the project onto solid ground. The whole time I was on the verge of quiting, but was always pulled back to the project by the great guys that I work with. Now, we have funding, professional artist and modelers, and an incorporated brand name. So If you don't mind, I'll throw my two cents in:

1) Never Quit! Consider that many commercial games plan their next release up to a year before even starting development.

2) Don't just build a team, build friendship. A leader has to be someone that does more than bark orders, he really has to care about who he works with.

3) Research! Seriously, everything that you do, every dessesion should be carefully researched and through more than one source. Before settling on the Neo Axis engine I looked at every one on DevMaster.net I finally settled on NA because the creator is a really great guy who will bend head over heels to help you.

That's all I have, thanks for the great read!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Annihilation_12
Annihilation_12 Mar 4 2009, 6:05pm says:

Why is this in PSP?

-2 votes     reply to comment
ninjadave
ninjadave Mar 4 2009, 6:35pm replied:

There are teams that develop on the PSP, and so this would apply to them.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Annihilation_12
Annihilation_12 Mar 4 2009, 8:34pm buried:

(buried)

No it doesn't.

-7 votes     reply to comment
Ryswick17
Ryswick17 Mar 4 2009, 6:12pm says:

pretty good read

+2 votes     reply to comment
evan0605
evan0605 Mar 4 2009, 6:14pm says:

I must say I understand your pain. I, too have started a group here called Bloodshot Games, which is going quite well. I do go to a game design school but the students there are just so freakin lazy. It's impossible to get any one to do anything there, let alone start up a game team to create a working game.

My school has TGE but the classes (so far) are not really hands on or getting a team together to build something. Epic Fail!!! Anyway so I thought myself Hammer, Flash, TGE, Unreal, and working on Game Maker *dont ask me why! :)* I have released two mods and releasing one more soon while revamping a previous mod. Plus my team and I have our next mod in pre-production, should be 6-8 weeks until production! So keep up the faith and soon you'll get this game out there, Good Luck w/ everything!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
SludgeFactory
SludgeFactory Mar 4 2009, 6:39pm says:

Great job :D So many good mods and indie games have failed miserably, glad to see you're succeding :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
Spycon_Fighter
Spycon_Fighter Mar 4 2009, 9:25pm says:

Great read

+2 votes     reply to comment
ÐiamonÐ
ÐiamonÐ Mar 4 2009, 10:54pm says:

Quite possibly the best read I've ever had. Ever.

Many lessons taught. I appreciate you posting this, Ninjadave.

Thanks! :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Chrissstrahl
Chrissstrahl Mar 5 2009, 5:17pm says:

You should write books dude :), very good Article!
I have to agree that many Projects do have these problems, most projects I'm involved in are suffering by a selfish and extremely lazy community, with heavy expectations and almost no activity.
I think as leader you should have a Idea about all the work, or at last you should be able to evaluate the work of each member.

+1 vote     reply to comment
The_Eliminator
The_Eliminator Mar 5 2009, 8:22pm says:

Supa sweet! :D
I'm not a modder/developer myself but I'd love to learn how. So I was wandering could you tell me and others like me what did you study with what books?
Thanks.

+2 votes     reply to comment
ninjadave
ninjadave Mar 5 2009, 8:46pm replied:

Well where to start?

Torque (My preferred engine) has a very steep learning curve. I picked up 3D game programming All in one by Ken, Visual C++ step by step, some pocket reference code books and some Linux phrasebooks.

If your looking for a start in modding, I'd recommend picking up something simpler like HL2's hammer and the SDK and just trying to see if you like it.

Hammer is a great for learning how to create maps, as well as learning the basics of picking up modding and applying techniques to actually creating stuff to use in a mod.

If your looking towards some 3D art, you can find programs like Blender 3D or Zbrush and try your hand at that.
Blender also has a high learning curve but its 100% free and fairly easy to use.

Programming is a whole other field, and can be very complicated. If you've had formal training in programming then your already a few steps ahead. If not, I'd recommend picking up a programming book and learning how some of the basics work.

If your not interested in any of the above, you can try your hand at one of the also helpful modding jobs. So as concept art.
I do concept art myself. Its great to learn, as it doesn't always involve computers and you can practice it almost any time of the day.
Art is virtually universal, so it can be used even outside of development.

Game development is not for everyone after all.

I personally started as a HL2 mapper. Then in the few months of grinding I picked up some light programming and some modeling skills.
I learned concept art a few months ago, as I can already draw architecture.
I applied this to my skills in photoshop (I've had year long classes in photoshop CS) and created much of the level concept art you see on the Crimson Crow profile.

If your looking to starting up a hobby in modding, don't forget any of the above mentioned points I made in the article. :)

Cheers, and good luck!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Calm_Wolf
Calm_Wolf Mar 5 2009, 10:04pm says:

Wow, very well written article. Just keep on trying, Dave. I'm sure you'll do great as long as you don't give up.

+2 votes     reply to comment
DarthNader26
DarthNader26 Mar 5 2009, 10:35pm says:

This really kind of helped me get a perspective on my whole project. I'll definitely be restructuring a bit after this. We really have to get off our *****...

+2 votes     reply to comment
1337FeRReT
1337FeRReT Mar 8 2009, 10:01pm says:

Great read, I now know what I must do. Thanks dave =P

+2 votes     reply to comment
leemstradamus
leemstradamus Mar 26 2009, 2:49am says:

Great read, I to am totally new to this world and would like to get a project off the ground in the next couple of years. I am currently cutting my teeth in blender because modeling is the most interesting to me.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Rigelblast
Rigelblast Apr 1 2009, 6:20pm says:

This tutorial provides lots of valuable information about starting a mod or game development. It covers many pitfalls, or the reasons for why the project may fail, and how to avoid them. Good job!

+2 votes     reply to comment
ibz
ibz Apr 7 2009, 11:27am says:

WoW! (not world of warcraft...lol) you have had some ups and downs. Hope the project goes well

+2 votes     reply to comment
PedobearNED
PedobearNED May 8 2009, 3:24am says:

nice tut and the pictures are nice mostly the 2 hand made or what ever

+1 vote     reply to comment
Highmist
Highmist May 9 2009, 3:16pm says:

Geez, all that. Wow. Never knew it could be that difficult. This is a very good read for newcomer modders. Thanks for the share mate :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
julz127
julz127 May 16 2009, 12:37am says:

Heh, That good 'ol prop modeler.

Nice work dave.

+2 votes     reply to comment
CommandoTotalGamer
CommandoTotalGamer May 21 2009, 11:37am says:

Very nice advice.

+2 votes     reply to comment
matthewdryden
matthewdryden Jun 16 2009, 11:59pm says:

Brilliant story. What a struggle!

+1 vote     reply to comment
AeroAstroArtsLtd
AeroAstroArtsLtd Jul 12 2009, 7:36pm says:

Thanks for sharing your story its very hard running a successful team and making all the hard decisions, I hope your current projects are going well.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Corylea
Corylea Jul 17 2009, 10:51am says:

Useful and amusing.

I was on a team where the team leader was in (unrequited) love with the problmatic, lazy, and argumentative member, so of course there was no question of firing her. God, what a nightmare!

Do not join a team where there's a lot of sexual tension between two of the members....

+1 vote     reply to comment
dill1233
dill1233 Jul 25 2009, 1:01am says:

Wow, this was one of the most helpful things I've read. I'm definitely going to take all of this guide into account when developing my projects. This is quite a life saver.

+1 vote     reply to comment
cooldude9509
cooldude9509 Aug 5 2009, 12:47pm says:

Great guide/story! This really inspired me! I know how it is having a game project dying. Me and my friend (yes, we were only 2) worked on a FPS game for long time ago. We struggle, struggle, but turned out to be nothing ("FPS Creator" sucks -_-' / The story sucked too; just a cheap mockoff of DooM) i REALLY didnt knew what i was doing this time...

years later, i've bought myself The Orange Box, and i loved all of the games in it! Then i played a lil bit around with Source SDK, and it was fun/ a great game engine (Source Engine is even now my hobby :D)! Then i was thnking for making a mod, i joined ModDB, talking, reading and all that stuff, and then i readed this :)

Thanks for such a great guide! I think newbies at making a mod-team (like me ^^,) will REALLY learn something from this. Because i did :)

Oh BTW...i will so much try the game out, when its released!

~Cooldude

+2 votes     reply to comment
Limbus
Limbus Apr 10 2010, 4:28pm says:

hey talk to me about this, i may have something that can help you make this go faster, look for my email that i send you or just send me an email if you want to know more...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kyou.
Kyou. Apr 30 2010, 8:56am says:

Helped me alot

+1 vote     reply to comment
MartinBergerDX
MartinBergerDX Sep 27 2010, 6:11pm says:

Man this is really an inspiring text. I thought "just another donts", but you put so much soul and life in it.

I am 26, been playing games and FRP's all my life, and the thing i am really interested is 3d graphics (DirectX | OpenGL). But as you probably know, that is HELL difficult. A lot of Linear Algebra, C, C++ are just a start. Pointers... 4 days... Bitwise operators... I was very dissapointed and discouraged. Being stubborn as i am, i somehow passed some of those limiting beliefs. Oh yeah, Win32... I never saw anyone beginning 3d programming at this age, even programming. Everyone began as kids. And i am kinda discouraged, what, i'll complete my engine at 32 of age? Screw that thinking.

Seeing your love for games and the pains you passed, i dont know why, makes me more inspired. As we gamers says, GG Dave! Just damn dont give up!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Johnchief117
Johnchief117 Oct 2 2010, 2:47am says:

Thank you very much for sharing this! To be honest, since job searching is virtually impossible where I live, I was thinking of making a small indie game company. This actually motivates me to continue my idea, to start small but go bigger over time..

+1 vote     reply to comment
charsh
charsh Jan 29 2012, 10:36pm says:

Your tutorial has been a inspiration for myself to really try this time. I don't know what happened to your project or goals.. I'm sorry if they didn't turn out for the better, but I hope you and your team members are doing okay.. Don't let things bring you down.. Listen to the very words you spoke back @ 2009. It's very true. There is no accomplishment too great for anyone to achieve. Your words of advice won't die and I'll try to hold 'em to my heart when I take my shot towards such a feat. When we fall, we get back up and try again, like we would in a game. Our chances are ****-loads better than trying to win a lottery. Thanks Dave, peace out!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Crimson Crow
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