Why is it that every mod has to be the next "great new thing"? Whatever happened to the days when I would sit down and play a mod that was, to be honest, just a bunch of really crappy models/decals focused around a central, simple, fun idea? It's like every mod wants to be retail-quality these days, and don't get me wrong, that's a fine long term goal to shoot for, but the vast, VAST majority of the mods that aim for perfection fail. They die, and when they do, they go down hard in spectacularly quick fashion. But at least they leave behind beautiful screenshots of the wasted hours their creators put into making top notch models, textures, and landscapes for us who waited with baited breath at the slightest hint of "release signs" to sigh at heavily over the course of the next month or so and whisper "what-if" questions to ourselves in the dark and friendless night. Beautiful pieces of computer art that will never see the light of day on anybody elses computer because all the development went into making the game beautiful and by the time anybody realized that it had to be functional as well, the driving wind behind the projects gloriously beautiful ship of initial enthusiam had long since left the sails.
Here's an idea for modders, and yes, it sounds crazy in todays age of idiots who go around verbally and viciously ripping apart poor looking mods (ignore them, but I'm sure you already do that anyways), make creating a game that functions and is actually "fun" to play your primary objective. I know that this is the least appealing part of the game-making process, spending hours typing novels of code into your computer, but it is best to get the boring crap out of the way first anyway. Then, when it's close to the way you want it, throw in some cheap crap graphics and release it to the public in alpha/beta form (whatever you want to call it). Don't "pretty-it-up," don't "fine-tune" it, don't waste my time making the fricken thing look better, just release it and make it clear that we, the community, are to try it out and report errors, bugs, dislikes and such. As we do this, begin the process of making it pretty.
Another novel idea, don't try to make games that are incredibly complex in nature unless you have an ungodly amount of free time on your hands or a staff of incredible size. (Inexperienced modders are trying to recreate Zelda, or PokeMon, or other hairbrained ideas without realizing that they are doomed from the start just by the shear enormity of what they are getting themselves into.) Don't promise me the world and then fail to deliver because I, as the person who gave you nothing but my attention span for a couple minutes and am now expecting the world from you, will then proceed to hate you if you give me anything less than the heavenly, jewel encrusted experience you promised me. Start simple and grow from there. Not only will you exceed my (the freeloader's) expectations, but you very well could end up exceeding your own. Start small. My favorite mods that I have come across so far (Garry's Mod, Synergy, Sven, Counter Strike: Source Zombie Mod, etc.) are the ones that ended up giving me the world after first just promising me a cool way to kill a couple hours. Good luck to all of you for you're surely more dedicated and creative than I (or your mod is doomed).