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Oh, and as has been said, stop trying to compete with mainstream multi-million dollar games when it comes to graphics.
Get the graphics to be polished, but don't overdo it.
Spend your time on planning, organization, teamwork, and getting the gameplay to work well.
Set reasonable milestones and meet them, and avoid too many ideas creeping in.
Define your core point of satisfaction in a game design so that even if the mod doesn't completely finish, you still have a playable and fun game (like sourceforts).
Simplicity is the hallmark of genius.
The argument that there's "too much competition" has no merit.
Because it's a marketing issue and nothing else.
You must consistently promote your mod and promote it often AND it must be well polished and fun to play.
It used to be that you could make a mod and post it online and you'd get a bunch of players.
Now, you actually have to TRY and get attention.
But with the internet, is it really that hard?
No. You just have to do it more.
Also, if your mod project fails, its entirely your fault.
Not your lack of funds, not your team, not your computer, not your mom or your ex girlfriend.... only you.
For every person who fails I've seen another who takes the time to develop THEMSELVES enough to know how to handle a problem that comes up.
If nothing else, elance.com is your friend.