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Staring a "Beginner's Questions" board in Editing and Design?

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#1 Rooz



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Posted 05 May 2018 - 10:40 AM

Edit: aww jeez, typo in my first thread title...


I just discovered TDM around a week ago and it's amazing. The amount of documentation and tutorials in this community around Dark Radiant is astounding, along with the eagerness of experienced members to help us newbies.


I'm wondering if it'd be easy enough to create a dedicated "Beginner's Questions" board here. I'm sure there's been a staggering wealth of knowledge shared in the "Newbie DR questions" thread over on the TDM Editors Guild. At 327 pages and 8000+ replies though finding a specific answer to a question I might have myself is a herculean task. It'd be ridiculously more accessible to have individual questions asked on separate threads.


I also know how interested this community is to bring in new people and the effort you all put in to do so. Dedicating a board for those of us starting off with TDM/DR would be a highly visible sign of that eagerness. Furthermore, I think new people would be most comfortable posting in such a space, at least initially. Given how harsh forums on other site's can be to "dumb questions" it takes a little bit to overcome that hesitation here. I'd say the size of that thread is a sign of that.


The first pinned post on that board could be a thread for particularly beginner-friendly members to introduce themselves. Maybe say the maps they've created and highlight particular areas and mission mechanics that they think are of particular interest to new people. Essentially, that would be a good place to state their attitude is "if you like something and might be interested in incorporating it or aspects of it in your mission please contact me! My answer will almost always be an 'Of course!'"


(Yes, that last bit is a takeaway from the other discussion over an "unofficial mods wiki")



Edited by Rooz, 05 May 2018 - 01:05 PM.

#2 Springheel


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Posted 05 May 2018 - 11:09 AM

First, welcome to the forums! :)


I'm sure there's been a staggering wealth of knowledge shared in the "Newbie DR questions" thread over on the TDM Editors Guild. At 327 pages and 8000+ replies though finding a specific answer to a question I might have myself is a herculean task



I agree.  I prefer it when questions are separated, but that thread has taken on a life of its own over the years.  It's mostly useful when you are searching for information on a specific question (use google site search rather than the forum search...the latter is not that helpful).


For people just starting out, we have a lot of videos specifically targetted at new mappers.


There is my series for brand new mappers, starting with how to set up the Dark Radiant editor: 


Sotha also made an excellent step-by-step video for new mappers: 


There are lots of other great video tutorials out there but I think those are the two most clearly aimed at new mappers.


There is also a section of links for new mappers here: http://forums.thedar...-editing-links/


On the subject of a new forum, I'm not sure a newbie editor forum makes a whole lot of sense, as the difference between a newbie question and a been-mapping-for-years-but-forget-this-one-thing question is going to be very fuzzy.  That said, I'm not opposed to the idea if there is a lot of demand for it.


As you say, this is a very friendly and helpful community, so there really isn't anything to be afraid of. :)

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#3 grayman


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Posted 05 May 2018 - 12:16 PM

Welcome, @Rooz!


There's no such thing as a dumb question.

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#4 Rooz



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Posted 05 May 2018 - 02:11 PM

Yep, I've watched your tutorial series Springheel. It was the first I found and thank you for such a great introduction to DR!


Are many people here in webdesign and more specifically in UX? That's the angle I'm coming at this from. It's always great to make a good first impression and the discussions here do that. Making a great immediate impression takes it to the next level.


My first time here I checked out all the boards to see what people were talking about. Had there been a board with the phrase "beginner editors" I know I would have clicked on that first. After that, the next two clicks would have been on a pinned post along the lines of "Start with these tutorials" and then one that was something like "Meet members eager to help with your first mission" with the kind of introductions I mentioned I would have clicked that. It'd take about 30 seconds to get the same takeaways from my first time browsing.


Discussion-wise that board and the current editor's one will talk about a lot of the same stuff. The beginner's board could also be about making that great immediate impression.


Personally, this isn't something I'm passionate about so if members think it's too redundant no worries. 

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#5 Destined


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Posted 05 May 2018 - 03:14 PM

Welcome to the community! Most people use the Newby Darkradiant Questions thread for questions they have. I see the thread more as a "I just have a question and post it here" thread and less as a real repository for information. So, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them there regardless of them having been asked before. Other people just create their own thread with titles like "XY's mapping thread" in which they ask questions, so they have their own questions (and more improtantly the answers given) all in one place and don't have to search the whole forum for them. Regarding searching the forum: You will find that you have more success using google than using the search function of the forum itself. Just as an advice straight agead.

#6 Goldwell


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Posted 06 May 2018 - 12:28 AM

Welcome to the forum Rooz! :)


In terms of your original idea, I have felt too that the newbie questions thread is a bit of a mess, just a clump of thoughts and ideas over the years however I handle most enquires to what I don't know by either googling "site:forum.thedarkmod.com query" or attempting to use the boards search engine (which isn't all that great tbh).


Another idea as destined suggested to create your own mapping thread, most people here peruse the forums at some time or another and the overall vibe of the community is very helpful and nice so don't be afraid to ask something, we were all beginner mappers at some point.


Good luck with your mapping!

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#7 freyk


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Posted 06 May 2018 - 05:59 AM

Hello Rooz,

As Springheel mentioned, there are video tutorials.
We collected them on a page on our wiki, named "DarkRadiant Video tutorials"

#8 Petike the Taffer

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 06:44 PM

I'll confess that as a newb, I learnt the most about DarkRadiant from that (in some respects, fairly old) A-Z Beginner's tutorial on the wiki. Even when I deviated from it and did things my way, just trying out how different things are built, it was very helpful. The Newbie Questions thread, despite its sheer length, difficult searchability and free-wheeling nature, was also helpful.


As a newb, I will confess the sheer amount of information and "where to even start" dilemma can be daunting, but such is modding. However, a separate subforum that would be aimed at complete beginners would indeed be a very helpful addition for the long-term growth and quality of the project. I think TDM has started to move out of its "just a couple of devs and fans" development era. The game is now really viable. Expanding the fanbase and especially the number of willing and skillful modders/mission-makers is very important. To that end, making the tutorial and advice information even more user-friendly is a laudable goal.

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#9 Rooz



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Posted 24 May 2018 - 03:43 PM

Petike: my thoughts exactly. It's really not that the forums here *need* one. Between the boards, wiki, and the community eager to answer questions, there's more than enough info to pick things up quickly. Having one would just be an extra mile to demonstrate on people's first visit just how welcoming this project is.

What it gets down to is it's just good PR, and there's no such thing as too much of that.
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#10 stgatilov


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Posted 24 May 2018 - 11:20 PM

I'll probably say that making beginner's mapping resources even more accessible is not good  ;)

The reason is: playing is easy, mapping is hard.

It is much more important that the forum is easy to explore for newbie players than for newbie mappers.


First of all, I suppose that few people come to forums with mapping already in their mind. Most are only playing the game at this moment, and come to mapping later (if ever).

Second, I have heard that a lot of newbie maps never get released due to various reasons like: starting overly ambitious map / heavily underestimated the amount of effort needed.

So it is probably not a good idea to push mapping over beginners: it's better if they gain some courage and patience before starting mapping (enough at least for overviewing wiki, forums, videos).


#11 Rooz



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Posted 25 May 2018 - 12:19 AM

Stgatilov: I see your point and it's a difference of opinion which cool and why I let this idea go. I was happy to see Petike share my opinion, but I should have just liked it and sent him a PM I suppose. I didn't mean to rekindle this thread.

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