The Tyranid Mod is an ongoing additional race modification for the original Dawn of War series, based on the Tyranid army from the Warhammer 40k tabletop game.

Report article RSS Feed Modding, and when feedback becomes harassment

A public service announcement about feedback, harassment and how not to act towards people. Also crime. Crime is bad. Don't be a crime...inal... a criminal.

Posted by zahaqiel on Sep 20th, 2011

So apparently we need a public service announcement on acceptable behaviour within the modding community.

Mod teams like feedback. Feedback is how mod teams learn what's not working, and also often how they get ideas they wouldn't have otherwise. We at the Tyranid Mod have gotten a lot of fantastic feedback over the years that has helped us spot bugs, balance issues and come up with new ways of doing things. It's how we know what you guys want and what you want to hear about. And good feedback (like what we got from ND999 which was interesting and insightful) gets you many kudos.

But there's a point at which feedback stops being feedback and becomes harassment.

Harassment is actually a wide variety of behaviours, but generally speaking it is considered to be any form of intentional and repeated behaviour which is offensive, threatening or disturbing. And it's a crime.

Many people don't seem to get that last bit: Harassment is criminal behaviour which can lead to restraining orders, fines and possible jail time.

Mostly how far that goes depends on how persistent someone decides to be with their harassment and whether the people being harassed want to take it that far. In extreme cases, you can be leveed with a restraining order which prevents you from ever owning or using an internet connection.

The Tyranid Mod has had two major incidents (and one or two minor incidents) of people deciding to harass us. One was just recently as many of you saw with TriniXjin who has subsequently had all of his accounts except for one banned from ModDB (an outcome which we all think is stupid given the amount of warnings he got). The other we still use in our forum FAQ as an example of how not to ask if you can make a mod that uses our mod because he wouldn't take no for an answer.

So good rules of thumb:
If you need to say "no offense", please rethink your post - it's probably not the best way to say what you're thinking.
If people have asked you to leave or to stop posting, please reconsider continuing to post - you probably crossed the line of acceptable behaviour quite a few posts ago.
If people have started removing your posts or had to threaten worse things please stop and think about what you're doing, because you're clearly doing something very wrong.

We make mods because we want to see something cool in a game we like. Modding teams form around these kinds of ideas because they all want to see it happen. If you don't like their idea or want something slightly different, that isn't their fault OR responsibility and doesn't mean you need to come in and try to boss them around to "fix" it for them. Suggest ideas, that's cool. Trying to force ideas on people is not.

And just because they're letting you play their mod doesn't mean you now own it or have more say in its direction than they do. In actual fact, they legally own the rights to their own work - even if they're not making you pay to use it.

So hopefully that clears some stuff up. Don't harass people, it's just generally a bad idea.

(NidMod Update: ETA on 0.5b1 is currently unknown because our primary coder has been kidnapped by a wild baby, but the animation side of things is coming along really well. We may have to make the first release just a rebalance/art update. More news to come.)

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Predalienator Online
Predalienator Sep 20 2011, 11:50pm says:

Hell a rebalance/art update would be fine enough for me,i keep getting tired of the giant warrior placeholder for the Tyrant...

+5 votes     reply to comment
Vengefulnoob Sep 21 2011, 1:24pm says:

You lads keep doing your job. It's sad to see people harassing devs, it honestly is.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Bludger1 Sep 21 2011, 11:00pm says:

Hopefully that will clear things up with some people, and will stop you from having to put up with their behavior.

As you said, it is your mod, your property; and they have no right to tell you how to make it.

Keep up the good work ;)

+3 votes     reply to comment
FlySpyGuy Sep 28 2011, 2:11am replied:

Can you make me a burrito? I mean in your mod? *asks 100 times* j/k...That sucks that you're getting harassed, I've never seen that before in a mod, must mean you're doing something right though...right?

Edit: This wasn't supposed to be in reply to anyone...sorry...

+1 vote     reply to comment
zahaqiel Author
zahaqiel Sep 22 2011, 3:54am says:

As a general 0.5b1 update:
Consensus seems to be yes, we'll do a baseline release with rebalance, new art, bug fixes and whatnot because that's just as useful to us as it is to you guys.

I'll be pinging mod team members for their particular contributions over the weekend and then I'll do a news update sometime next week on that.

+2 votes   reply to comment
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