I create content on the Wiki-page for the game "Star Trek Excalibur". I also help out on other fronts like game mechanics, balancing and community support where I can. For more information, please visit: stexcalibur.com
when I was young, I practically lived in the woods in a small village in the middle of nowhere and the only access to the world out there was the television and the radio. When I was 7 years old, I watched Star Trek for the first time in my life and was completely engulfed by that SciFi wonderland that opened a new door in my mind. In short: I was instantly addicted to Star Trek. Growing up watching TNG and later DS9 and Voyager, I did not only became a fan, but also read into the topic. It inspired me, thrilled me (and was also the reason why I became an engineer) resulting in the dream to give something back to the franchise.
I've started to buy model kits, games, books, technical readouts... all that stuff. I still have them all up to today. But one thing bugged me: The games. There were only a few ones out there I really enjoyed, namely Starfleet Academy, Klingon Academy, Bridge Commander and Birth of the Federation. Even games like Elite Force were just mediocre for me, as they looked like a shortcut of real shooters with more SciFi painted on it. It was a real bummer - from all the series and the deep and rich background, the books I read and the fan-fiction, the games only scratched at the surface. True, it is not easy to design a whole working universe, esp. if you have limited time and funding, its just not possible to create a Star Trek derivate of Assassins Creed combined with Civilizations and the X-series.
But suddenly, 2 years ago I came across the fan made project "Star Trek Excalibur". After reading through the forums, I got quite interested in the project and joined the team to help out as a Wiki-writer. Today I help out on many other fronts after gaining some experience in game design from the team. They teached me a lot of things that were going on in the background, so I started to try creating game mechanics myself. Watching this project grow is really something, esp. if you are part of it.
I also watched other games made by fans, like the Fleetops-Mod, Birth-of-the-empires, BotF2, Sacrifice of angels, the Star Trek mod for Homeworld 2, all the Mods for Klingon Academy etc. I've learned, that fans dream together. They even exchange ideas through the different mods to create something that is more like the sum of its subparts. They work together, create, enhance and are happy if something gets out that works. The collaboration is the sole reason, why Mods can be created in the first place, as well as self-written games from scratch, like Excalibur.
But everywhere, where people are gaining reputation, there are always people who envy those people. While I think, that jealousy is the highest form of respect and copying ideas from oneself is the greatest compliment someone can make... (think about it: People practically say it through their action: "I couldn't think of anything better than you did, so I take your idea because its better than mine.") ... this jealousy can result in grudges, esp. if people try to compete with each other - and copy ideas in that competition. Then the term copying instantly switches to the term "stealing" and heads go red and crash into each other.
And this is just wrong. Fans do not compete if they work on Mods, they dream together. Building a mod for fans is a present, something someone does in the spare-time to create a token of respect to the franchise and to give people something they can be happy about.
So let me get this to a point now: If you copy from someone, credit him, send him an E-Mail on about you think how awesome the idea is and everyone will be happy. And while I like redheads, this only counts for the color of the hair and not for the skin. So - be friendly to each other and respect each other.