Author Topic: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers  (Read 23834 times)

Fishbone

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Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« on: October 13, 2004, 05:28:48 PM »
So, you have a cool idea and want to make a mod out of it.
Before you start working on anything, compile a list of features you want in your mod.
for example:

feature list
--------------------------------------------
- single player campaign (10 mission)
- 1 new race (balanced to the 2 existing races)
- multiplayer maps (both Strat and DM)
- ability of some units to do something special
- etc.

now look at your feature list and compile a unknown list, where you list all the things you have on your feature list, but do not know how to do, or have never done it before.

let's say I know how to make maps and build new models, but do not know how to code dlls or balance a race. my unknown list would look like this:

unknown list
---------------------------------------
- making missions
- making a single player campaign
- balance a new race
- etc

Now take this unknown list, and try to learn what it takes to make what you want.
for example:

making missions
--------------------------------------------------------------

You know that you will need to code dlls. so learn all you can about dlls by looking at the tutorials available online. once you have found BSer's dll scriptor, you will have to start making a demo mission, to establish that you can do it. Just give the player an easy objective and let him win if he completes it. Thus, you established that you can build missions.
so you can scratch this from your unknown list and go on to the next item.

if you don't have a clue for where to look for a certain item on your unknown list, ask in the forums. They will send you to a tutorial that will help you. However, expect to have to learn alot by doing.

so, when you through with your unknown list, you should have established all the know-how you need to complete your mod according to your feature list.
Often, things remain on your unknown list, that are not possible in the bz2 engine. Once you have established your final unknown list, you have to review if it makes sense for you to make the mod even though you cannot have all the features you wanted. Adjust the feature list accordingly and then decide if you want to go ahead and start work on the mod. (yes, up to now you just assessed, if your mod is feasible)

if you are ok with the feature list, and only now, I would announce the mod and the feature list. Now all it takes is grunt work to get everything working the way you think it should.

This mod management tutorial will continue when I feel like adding more info. future topics will include:
feature list adjustment during development
alpha testing
beta testing
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 09:36:05 AM by AHadley »

Jetfire

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Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2004, 08:12:05 PM »
*clap* very well done Fishbone!
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Juvat

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Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2004, 02:44:45 AM »
Juvats idea of making mod's

Very good Fish, here's my thoughts

To many times I've seen guys come here with big ideas and go no where, probably through frustration and aiming to high.

If you wanna make a mod start simple,  start tinkering with things, like odf's, an xsi (model) and adding it to the game, and just slowly build on your knowlege, soon enough you will have enough skill's to complete a mod.

DON'T AIM TO HIGH TO SOON

Cheers

Huscar

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Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2004, 09:49:19 AM »
Yes, before you start, make sure you have done some things in the modding world.

I would also add that you should make sure you have the time to work on it, and resources.
And make sure you have fun in making the mod, you can't make a mod if it totaly bores you, you'd probably never take the time.
http://www.freewebs.com/hec2/Home.htm
Translations here. Just started with it though so kinda empty.

Slaor

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Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2004, 08:32:58 PM »
One thing that should be encouraging is that almost any battlefield functionality you think of can be done in BZ2 to some degree.

There are a few arbitrary walls you will run up against, but there is usually ways around - it requires a little lateral thought at times to figure out how to bend BZ2 functionality to your will but what we accomplished with FE is the tip of a rather large iceberg as far as potential for new function goes, especially in 1.3.

However you also need to realise that after 5 years of dedicated modding by some very smart and talented people, there isn't much left that hasn't been tried. This may be a good or a bad thing for you depending on what it is you are trying to accomplish. There's lots of cool little ODF tricks and AI configs etc floating about that you can use, but just reusing other peoples work and making nothing new is a bit lame.

If you want to eg: make a new race - unless you are prepared to put time into really experimenting with some new ideas or trying old stuff in new ways, there's little point - unless of course you are just trying to improve your design skills in which case go for it.

Also realise that the time involved in making this stuff properly is staggering, especially if you have other commitments like work and school and life. Fishbones advice above about learning what you need to know is spot on however - for the time required to build a mod worth the name, it is senseless to not also use that time to develop skills that are useful to you in other areas.

Cut pasting stock models in Threed will do very little for your design skills. Go get GMax instead.

I've used my 5 years of modding time with BZ2 to learn terraforming, 3D modelling and skinning and animation, particle scripting, interface design, sound design, video mixing etc etc - and I have the paypacket in RL to prove it, even though I don't work in the games industry. BZ2 modding can be like an intensive and comprehensive course in all of the above if you choose to treat is as such.

I kinda figure that if you aren't actually learning anything by modding then you are wasting your time for no good reason - and your mod won't be very good either.
And remember kids - Always explain, explore and expose that which is FORBIDDEN.

Huscar

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Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2004, 07:36:40 AM »
Unless you're dying to make something (a race from a moovie or something) know others wanna see and help with it too and have all the skills, but that ain't ever gonna happen.

Also, I recall there was a free version of 3ds MAX (not Gmax), that might be better.
http://www.freewebs.com/hec2/Home.htm
Translations here. Just started with it though so kinda empty.

JonathanS

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Re: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2005, 04:11:22 PM »
Do you know the name of the other 3D studio max?


JonathanS



Fishbone

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Re: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2005, 04:15:02 PM »
for bz2 modeling, please go and read fish.xsi
http://www.bzuniverse.com/~fish.xsi/
it has all modelling info
you have to have specific programs to get working models into the game.
especially when we talk about animated models you will need MAX 3 or 3.1 OR softimage 3D Version 3.6 - 3.9
anything else CAN give you working animations but I have heard positive and negative comments about them really working.

JonathanS

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Re: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2005, 04:18:22 PM »
Ah, I see.

So, since Gmax information is on your site, I assume then that works well, but 3D studio max is better?
JonathanS



Fishbone

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Re: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2005, 04:21:30 PM »
you can use virtually any 3d program to create models for bz2.
you can only use 2 very specific 3d programs to create animated models for bz2.
There are 2-3 people who can manipulate 3D models and animation in notepad. But none of them ever wrote a tutorial on animations and I dont expect them to ever do it.

JonathanS

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Re: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2005, 04:23:32 PM »
Ah, LOL.

I noticed that some of the people didn't finished tutorials too. Like BSer's Map Tutorial on Bzuniverse. :D I'm glad he wrote that much down. It has helped me in starting. :D
JonathanS



Fishbone

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Re: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2005, 04:57:41 PM »
find Lizards map tutorial. it is by far the best and most comprehensive one.
I think there should be a link to it on BZU.

OvermindDL1

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Re: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2005, 06:16:52 PM »
It is mirrored in full on my site, need the hosts line I've been espousing the past few days to see it though.

JonathanS

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Re: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2005, 12:25:07 PM »
Got the link?

I've get a 404 error trying to go to the site on the BZuniverse.
JonathanS



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Re: Fishbone's guidelines for mod makers
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2005, 03:23:22 PM »
Yea, because it's on my site, again, add the hosts fix I've talked about on bzu and bz2md.