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This is in response to;
The Modular Release Model; A tutorial on game design and mod management
Posted: Dec 9th, 2007 by: Crispy
First, I've worked in the gaming industry - meaning I've been paid for several
years to work for a gaming company not a mod team.
Second, I played Counter-Strike in it's Alpha to Beta 3.5 stages from 1999-2001, this so called 'Golden-age of modding' was more like the 'Stone-age of modding'. And frankly, one of the main reasons CS has been alive so long, is the mod creators willingness to please those playing it, and then virtually wipe their hands of the original plan.
If you played during those times, which most who play now never have but like to pretend, CS team's original goal was to have realistic gameplay within a realistic environment, real world weapons, and dedicated servers - 'unlike' R6 at the time. (In fact 99% of all sounds in CS, even today are from the R6 sound files.) At the time, there wasn't retail games out/being developed that currently had this going for it. Though often times my friends and co-workers would talk to eachother about how if Rogue Spear had dedicated servers and not player hosted servers, CS probably would of never existed.
The game was much different in its beta stages, all the changes you mentioned happened years later in regards to weapon, accuracy and damage system changes. A lot of these were NOT intentional changes, they came with age, suggestion and most of all - to appeal to a larger demographic of novice fps gamers prior to a Valve buy out.
Valve caught on to Counter-Strike's popularity in it's early stages, a lot of turmoil and disagreement took place between members of that mod, enough to where most of the original developers left to form other mods (funny how this is rarely spoken of). Goose took over, and now all you have is a mod that sold out their original plan for money and popularity - Which has always made Valves statements about "What makes a good team" such bullshit, because like EA, they bought CS, they didn't develop it.
So, if this is what you want, if your ultimate goal is to make money, you will no doubt have many problems due to supply vs. demand, money vs. resources, and one very important aspect as stated;
"I know what you're thinking, though: that was then and CS was made in the 'golden age of modding' where players were so much more accepting of unrefined gameplay, where ideas and techniques were shared from one team to the next completely altruistically, and where money and portfolio building were the last things on a modder's agenda."
It is no longer these times, anyone and their sister on a Mac can start a mod (which sadly makes the cs team comparison irrelevant in your post). But this statement is absolutely correct, and this is what has predominantly changed, and if a game like CS were being developed today it would fail. You must remember that they took a chance, a lot of mods took a chance but since the amount of mods were so few and far between at that time, CS had a lot of support + word-of-mouth
longevity. Nobody was making a game like this, it was a new idea.
The process of modding hasn't changed, the environment in which it takes place has, and this provides many difficulties to new modders.
I suggest that if you want to have a look how to create your mod, depending on what you're going for, have a look at Infiltration for UT. Or otherwise known as "The best mod ever made but played by so few."
<!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->This was in development at the release of UT99 and continues even to this day. This team and its community have been the most dedicated to the progression of the teams vision of the mod from start to finish. I.e. They took a chance - a chance of sticking to their original plan regardless if it paid off or not. Conviction. And the mod is amazing because of it.
All in all, if you want a successful mod, you need a successful idea and you need the team with the competence and patience to fulfill the idea. If you have conviction, the community support comes with it.
<!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->This one goal should be priority, everyone supporting and working towards that goal with equal enthusiasm and no personal agendas, dedication, is what makes a good team in any industry.
So if the goal or plan is solid, you have conviction and you reach that goal, regardless if you make money you're going to be successful.
(*this blog tool is horrid.)