After spending years playing various games, I've spent the last few months learning how to get involved with the developmental side of games. Currently I am part of the Freeworlds: Tides of War Development team.
I have a personal gripe.
I really don't like how front page articles are sorted for ModDB. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate this place, and what they do for mods to get them out there. Getting on the front page for news is pretty important for all mods, given the exposure if gives.
But what really annoys me is the need for pictures. Why does it have to be always about visuals. Sure, a picture can often tell a thousand words, but I feel like it dissuades people from going in depth with their texts, due to the fact it gets looked over.
It's probably my background in journalism that causes the gripe. It's a bit frustrating to write a good article, only to see it 'archived' due to a lack of images. Especially when picture heavy articles get trumped up all the time.
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Six months ago, I didn't have much of a clue of how to mod. I had a general idea, like any wannabie coder. But if you sat me down in front of a flat lot of text, my eyes would glaze over and a migraine would appear.
To look back now and seeing how far I have come, it is astonishing. The watershed moment for me has to be the engine effect project for Freeworlds. It was essentially my own project. Nobody on the team had much history with it so it required me to learn as I went. It definitely gave me the confidence I needed to move around within the modding team to help out with other things.
Even if we were to finish in one hundredth place, it would be achievement for us. We are here and that is victory for us.
Looking over the forums on the MOTY, I see a lot of people calling out for unique ideas to be separated from mods which build on pre-existing ones. I do see the logic behind it. Most people are likely to look for mods that play on popular games. Perhaps giving the Indie games their own awards would give them more recognition.
At the same time though, it is to be expected. People traditionally follow the herd and play the popular games. It will always be an uphill struggle for new ideas and concepts to break into the popular market.
I wouldn't be a fan of some of the ideas been bandied around concerning locking out games based on pre-existing ideas from the MOTY. I'm sure I can be called bias on this, given that I actually work on such a project.
One of the reasons given was that ‘fanboys' will blindly vote for their favourite, even if it isn't any good. I would contest that. ‘Fanboys' have extremely high expectations. They comb over a mod with a fine tooth comb. If you screw up, they will be the first to tell you. So while people think that some mods have an ‘advantage' using a pre-existing idea - there are still different pressures on such mods.
I just felt like putting that out there. I don't necessarily think there is a right or wrong on this topic. There are plenty of valid opinions. At the end of the day, there will never be a case where everyone is happy - that is just life.