Why do single man mod developers try to take on a game such as GTA IV or GTA San Andreas for mod purposes without doing proper research, or making proper preparations for work on said mod?
All this results in is mod development hell, or abandonment, which is always depressing to see, as there are so many mods that come and go, a ton full of potential. A prime example of unfinished mods are the many attempts at making a proper zombie conversion, or an I Am Legend mod since around 2006 on San Andreas. These attempts at zombie mods often end up in CLEO mods that hardly work right, or don't work at all, or end up abandoned, or half way finished and up for someone else to finish.
My two cents; don't start a mod you know you cant finish on your own. Here are the basic steps you MUST take if making a substantial modification for GTA, or any game for that matter:
- Come Up With a Solid, and Promising Concept for Your Mod!
All too often, I see a mod put up with a slight idea of what the creators concept might look like. This goes for any game from Doom to Skyrim. It doesn't matter; the mod is probably not going to be successful if you post it while the concept still isn't on paper yet! There is no mod to see if you don't make up a concept or outline of some sort first.
1.5. Be Ready to Spend A LOT of Time on Your Mod
- After Making a Concept, Sketch up Some Storyboards or Character Sketches.
If you can't make sketches yourself, try and find a friend or someone willing to do it for you; worst comes to worst you'll need to commission someone to do it, but in my opinion, this is essential to do for your mod.
Plus, it will help you in the long run anyways, because with a visual representation of possible characters, you open up a whole new window of potential. Of course, this may be a little more limiting if you need to commission someone to do artwork for you, but if you can simply write an outline of ideas for potential character appearances down on paper, heck, if you can write any sort of simple description of what a few characters might look like: you should be set.
- Find a Team of Modders That You Either Know, or are Willing and Able to Help.
Now, really this should be step 2.5, because this can take place during, or after step two. This is essential if you plan on doing a mod that involves texture work, scripting, animations, modeling and so on. Even if you think that you can do all of those things on your own just fine, doesn't mean you can accomplish all of that on the grand scale of a TC. Sometimes its tough even for whole teams to do mods, as the process is very, very time consuming. There are some that can and actually do accomplish such feats on their own, but often times a team is great to have.
- Don't Let Road Blocks Get in the Way.
Often times, I see a mod team totally give up on a mod just because something in life happens, or something sets back progress, or something off putting happens to make morale go down.
A) Another mod (or even a retail game) similar in concept maybe looks better. This is always mind boggling to me because often times, these mods (or games) end up being much different from each other.