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Author Topic: [0.7a] Citadel v0.8.3 - On Hiatus [2/18/2016]  (Read 229315 times)

AxleMC131

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Re: [0.7a] Citadel v0.8.3 - On Hiatus [2/18/2016]
« Reply #345 on: December 21, 2018, 01:12:29 PM »

With all due respect Mesnomer and Cyan, I have to agree with Soren because I think the point he's trying to get at is "If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well." If he comes off aggressively, it's cos he's a damn decent modder with a genuine passion, who doesn't want someone to do a half-assed job of bringing back what is apparently one of the old favourite mods.
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: [0.7a] Citadel v0.8.3 - On Hiatus [2/18/2016]
« Reply #346 on: December 21, 2018, 01:30:30 PM »

You're either being very disingenuous or you just don't realize how condescending this sounds. If you're actually interested in people taking the initiative to start tinkering with old mods to get them working, why are you being so hostile?

I know how condescending it sounds. "You don't know what you're talking about" is a factual assertion that his posts showed to be true. He doesn't understand what he's talking about, and he isn't volunteering to do it himself, so his input is worse than useless.

I'm actually a complete agnostic on reviving old mods. If someone 1) wants to do it, 2) actually does it, and 3) does a good job instead of producing bug-ridden, unbalanced garbage, I'm completely in favor. Otherwise, it's better not to raise a broken zombie mod that's going to shamble around for a version or two and then die again.

Everyone starts somewhere. If the community has reached the consensus that people shouldn't even attempt a revival without knowing 100% that they'll be able to meet your standards from the get-go, it's not a lack of work ethic that's keeping them from starting -- it's probably a culture of elitism that scares folks off.

You know where is a great place to start? With an original idea. Make something of your own instead of riding on the coattails of an existing mod. You'll learn more, you'll make better work, and you'll be more invested in what you produce. People might not like your idea, and your idea might genuinely be bad, but creative learning processes involve making a lot of terrible things on the way to making something good. And making stuff is inherently fun, even if it sucks.

I'm not against people getting involved in modding - quite the opposite, I think more people should make mods. But they should push themselves to learn how to make good mods; nobody benefits by lowering the bar until you're already a success just for making something barely work. And nobody benefits from backseat modders who don't understand the game's systems, the API, or the scope of what they're asking clamoring for something to be done without lifting a finger to do it. None of the learning or creation or, you know, joy of modding is embodied in the dull gruntwork of just barely getting a mod working again.

Speaking as someone who has been quite interested in getting involved with Starsector modding, I really, really hope you aren't speaking for the community as a whole, because it sounds like getting started would be a pretty miserable experience.

I'm the nice one in a lot of ways. Yeah, that's as frightening as it sounds.

If you pop by the Discord, I'll happily answer modding questions. You can ask Nia, Vayra, or anybody else I've helped out with their mods. And you can look at the community resources I've put up there, like the blank AI Core and Blueprint backdrop pack (which, now that I mention it, really ought to go up in the relevant forum, too). Unlike Cyan Leader or the now-banned Lopunny Zen, I've put my money where my mouth is; if I think something should exist, I put work into it rather than filling up the forum and my post history with 'somebody should do this!' posts.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 01:33:45 PM by Soren »
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Mesnomer

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Re: [0.7a] Citadel v0.8.3 - On Hiatus [2/18/2016]
« Reply #347 on: December 21, 2018, 02:19:27 PM »

Fair. I think I'm just reading this more harshly than it was intended.

That said, I don't think it's a bad thing for someone to do the grunt work of bringing something up to speed as long as they're transparent about when they aren't willing to continue updating it. If the mod is an old favorite, then maybe there's someone else willing to take up the torch and continue refining/polishing it. And if nobody does right away, at least that gives the next person coming along a better starting point -- or they can make the choice to go back to the last "authoritative" update and start from scratch.

I'm just not seeing how this is a mutually exclusive arrangement. If the updater does a terrible job, it's not like the mod was playable beforehand. Not much to lose as long as they don't wipe out the original files or something. But maybe I'm missing something.

You know where is a great place to start? With an original idea. Make something of your own instead of riding on the coattails of an existing mod. You'll learn more, you'll make better work, and you'll be more invested in what you produce. People might not like your idea, and your idea might genuinely be bad, but creative learning processes involve making a lot of terrible things on the way to making something good. And making stuff is inherently fun, even if it sucks.

This is probably good advice for most people, but here's the thing: I am not an artist and I have no intention of developing that skillset. And it ain't just an execution thing -- my sense of visual aesthetics is a terrifying thing to behold. Like if Frank Frazetta tried to draw manga with nothing but neon crayons and black velvet.

However, I really enjoy tweaking and refining systems to help them do what they do better (I'm a writer/editor by trade. Go figure.), so not having to worry about the art side of things helps me a ton.

If you pop by the Discord, I'll happily answer modding questions. You can ask Nia, Vayra, or anybody else I've helped out with their mods. And you can look at the community resources I've put up there, like the blank AI Core and Blueprint backdrop pack (which, now that I mention it, really ought to go up in the relevant forum, too). Unlike Cyan Leader or the now-banned Lopunny Zen, I've put my money where my mouth is; if I think something should exist, I put work into it rather than filling up the forum and my post history with 'somebody should do this!' posts.

I might just take you up on that. Thanks.

Edit: Let me put it this way: When you're teaching writing, starting someone off with a writing prompt and a blank page is only one way of approaching it (and not always the best). Some people respond better to, say, taking a prewritten paragraph and telling them to write what they think should come next, or giving them a completed short story and asking "how would you write this?" Are you getting original content? No, but you're not asking for that, are you? You're asking for them to start critically thinking about the content and using that as a starting point for their own creative work.

This isn't a one-to-one metaphor, obviously, but that's kinda how I'm looking at this.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 02:35:10 PM by Mesnomer »
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: [0.7a] Citadel v0.8.3 - On Hiatus [2/18/2016]
« Reply #348 on: December 21, 2018, 03:20:50 PM »

I'm just not seeing how this is a mutually exclusive arrangement. If the updater does a terrible job, it's not like the mod was playable beforehand. Not much to lose as long as they don't wipe out the original files or something. But maybe I'm missing something.

It's not mutually exclusive; it's that a revival that's half-assed doesn't stay revived long, isn't really worth playing, and doesn't teach a newbie modder much about modding. So the collective opinion seems to be 'why bother?' both from people who do have the skills but have mods of their own, and from most of the people who don't have the skills but who genuinely want to learn.

It's telling that calls to revive this or that mod are almost never from people who intend to do any of the work themselves, who have no relevant skills and no idea what they're asking for, and who insist that they're constructive rather than childishly entitled. The difference is pretty stark, because constructive people actually make things.

However, I really enjoy tweaking and refining systems to help them do what they do better (I'm a writer/editor by trade. Go figure.), so not having to worry about the art side of things helps me a ton.

Great! Do your thing. Find collaborators. Pitch your aesthetic vision and see who wants to do art for it. Or sit down and start learning what it takes to update an existing mod. Daylight's burning.

Without art revisions, just to deal with the hidden-slot issue, a mod revival of Citadel isn't going to be minimally balanced or fun to play in 0.9. The same goes for most mods that have endlessly debated possible revivals on the forum; if you just want to make it load successfully, fine, if you actually want it to be compelling to play in the current build of the game, you're committing to some work. You can listen to the voice of experience, or you can try it and find out.

I like a few of the ship silhouettes in Citadel; I wouldn't be averse to doing a visual pass on it - if I weren't both hip-deep in DME for the foreseeable future and chock-full of original ideas of my own, both of which are more fun to work on. I'd demand creative control, and my first step would be to pare down the ship and weapon list by a lot. Otherwise it would be a waste of my time. I expect a whole lot of the forum would start filling their diapers at the idea of making changes to a Beloved Old Mod™, which would make it extra-stressful.

If a task is not worth doing (or well down their to-do list) to anybody who has the ability to do it, that says something about the desirability of doing it. Others are of course welcome to disagree, but in a volunteer environment, the fun of doing something is the currency it pays in.

Unless you're offering actual pay. My hourly rate is pretty reasonable.

I might just take you up on that. Thanks.

Please do! Starsector is a really fun game under the hood, I promise, even if documentation is sparse.

Response to your edit: You're comparing paid teaching to a creative hobby. Not only is it not one-to-one, it's completely inapplicable. You can't teach someone who doesn't respect your knowledge, who thinks that the years of work you've put in don't prove that you know what you're doing, and you certainly wouldn't do it for free.

I've spent enough time around writers to know that comparing other creative fields to writing in order to convince yourself you have a grip on them is a warning sign that you don't. Modding a game involves very little use of writing skills; it involves a lot more programming skills, art skills, and above all, design skills. Maybe some of it looks superficially similar to writing an essay, but I promise you that it's almost nothing like writing an essay. And I've done plenty of both.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 03:41:56 PM by Soren »
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AxleMC131

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Re: [0.7a] Citadel v0.8.3 - On Hiatus [2/18/2016]
« Reply #349 on: December 21, 2018, 04:42:31 PM »

This is probably good advice for most people, but here's the thing: I am not an artist and I have no intention of developing that skillset. And it ain't just an execution thing -- my sense of visual aesthetics is a terrifying thing to behold. Like if Frank Frazetta tried to draw manga with nothing but neon crayons and black velvet.

However, I really enjoy tweaking and refining systems to help them do what they do better (I'm a writer/editor by trade. Go figure.), so not having to worry about the art side of things helps me a ton.

The "Spiral Arms" Sprite Dump exists. (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=12896.0) Many modders and would-be-modders post ship and weapon sprites on there for anyone to use, so you don't have to move a single pixel if you aren't comfortable.

That said, you'd still be encouraged to try spriting for yourself. Kitbashing (taking vanilla ship sprites, cutting them up and pasting them back together in new and original ways) is actually very easy: it's a method with a low skill floor and a high skill ceiling, so it's super-easy to pick up and can produce some amazing sprites. And it's arguably the single best method for matching the vanilla art style, if you're pedantic about such things.

And, as Soren has already pointed out, the Unofficial Starsector Discord chat is a treasure trove of advice and tips of all things modding, spriting included.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 04:46:55 PM by AxleMC131 »
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