Post news RSS Team and Contributor Rules

About a year ago, just after Tour of Duty was started, one of the team members left the mod because he was not happy and decided to take everything he had with him. We realized that this could be a problem in the future, so at the time we created a set of team rules and a second set of rules for contribution

Posted by on

About a year ago, just after Tour of Duty was started, one of the team members left the mod because he was not happy and decided to take everything he had with him. We realized that this could be a problem in the future, so at the time we created a set of team rules and a second set of rules for contribution to the mod.

Recently we have seen the work of several mods set back months because of similar events. We have even seen a couple of mods set back so far that they closed their doors. This sort of behavior is extremely harmful to the mod community and we would like to do what we can to put an end to it.

To help, we are offering our policies and rules to any other mod that would like to use them. Any mod is welcome to use our rules and modify them as they see fit, all we ask is that they give credit to the Tour of Duty team when they post the rules. Together we can put an end to this sort of childish behavior and make the mod community stronger and more productive.

The team rules are at and the contributor rules are at

Flewda - - 2 comments

No way! They are so full of it!

I tell you, if they treated their team with respect, they wouldn't have anyone leave, and if they did...I'm sure they would leave their work..

ToD team treats a lot of people on their team like crap, and then what makes you want to let them have the stuff you made???

This is bull crap people! Don't buy into it!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
[ToD]Commando Author
[ToD]Commando - - 7 comments

Differences arise on all teams and sometimes some team members get in fights with each other. This sort of thing happens on most teams and is unfortunate, but for the good of the mod community, disagreements shouldn't destroy a mod.

Most of us do what we do for the good of the community and are happy to give it away for free. If one member is allowed to come back months after a mod is released and request that materials be removed from the mod, it hurts the whole community, especially the fans of the mod. If this sort of thing continues, then people will get fed up and stop making mods. That is why we are offering our rules to the community. This is not about Tour of Duty, this is about all the other mods out there that may run into similar problems.

Making a mod requires cooperation from everyone involved and a great deal of teamwork. Sometimes teamwork requires accepting decisions made by the majority of the team even if you do not agree with them. One team member should never be allowed to try and get their own way in these decisions by threatening to remove their work from a mod. That is what this is about.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
sluggo - - 12 comments

It's odd that if you ask the 10 or so people that are still on the team about respect and how they are treated, I think you'd find they disagree with the assertion that the team doesn't respect each other, or somehow treats members like 'crap'.

In fact, we've had to work hard to keep the team composed of individuals who are serious and respectful towards each other. Those that didn't fit in either drifted away or were asked to leave quite simply because they did not fit that mould.

Creative people disagree now and then. Mature creative people don't hold grudges, and realise that in any disagreement what is important is not 'who is right' but that the problem can be resolved. Mature creative people don't 'take their bat and ball and go home' when they have a problem with a group.

Mod teams should be wary that they cannot be destroyed by one upset persons' actions, that is all this is about. Otherwise, years of work can be scrapped by a personality conflict, which is sad really.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Sajt - - 1,641 comments

These rules almost seem a bit selfish...
You make it seem like people who contribute to the mod aren't part of the team, because when they submit it, "it is the property of the mod team and not the contributor". :/

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
[ToD]Commando Author
[ToD]Commando - - 7 comments

Yah, it may sound like that and it is unfortunate that mods need to be tough, but in our experience it is the only way to protect the work of everyone on the team. The rules don't make the people less a part of the team because the stuff becomes owned by the team. They still have an equal team vote over their stuff and the stuff that every other team member has contributed. They are also still involved in all team decisions. Every decision may not always be to their liking, but that is what democracy is about.

And anyway, it is less about the stuff being owned by anyone and more about making sure that everything continues to be freely available to the fans. Mod teams are large diverse groups or people coming together for a common purpose, in any large group, fights arise between individuals sometimes. We try and stress that it is the team and mod as a whole that should be protected from such disagreements. That is what teamwork is about.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
sluggo - - 12 comments

Selfish is 'for me and me alone', selfless is 'for the good of others before myself'. Contributing work to a community effort means that the effort owns it. If the person that contributes work to the community effort can revoke that work at whim, the entire spirit and point of community efforts ceases to be valid.

Imagine the linux operating system. It is very much like a mod. Several people work on this effort. No one person owns anything, their work is rolled into an effort for the greater good. If one person had the right to sabbotage that effort by pulling out say the hard disk driver then Linux would cease to be a valid community project.

It is completely the opposite of selfish as I understand the word. What it means is that you are contributing towards a collective goal. When you leave, the credit and contribution that you put forth stays (you did it 'for the community', not for yourself), it would be unfair if the mod team pulled the credit for the work when someone left. We don't suggest that. What we suggest is that mods protect themselves from selfishness by asking people that want to contribute to realise their contribution persists beyond their working relationship with the mod.

Certainly people expect programmers to work under those assumptions. Should mods delete all the lines of code one programmer did when they leave?

The point isn't nastiness, it's clarity. The goal or objective of a mod is to make a team effort to produce a work. That work includes and is inseperable from all the files that make it up.

Anyway, as always by over explaining a simple idea, I may have confused the matter.

Ok one last kick at explaining this idea. Let's say you work in a factory that produces widgets. You get paid by the factory. At some point you quit the job because you got your MCSE and you want to go reboot Windows NT servers all day for a living now. Does the company have to take all the widgets the factory made that you ever worked on and return them to you? Of course not.

All this 'agreement' stuff is just putting into words that basic concept. That basic concept is a fundamental part of any team or group effort. Some people don't understand that concept so it's best in our view to put that in writing before they contribute to the effort. With mods, the payment is just the credit that 'so and so did this pretty model', or 'so and so did this sound file', or 'so and so wrote this code', etc.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.