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From another team whose main focus is a game, and secondary as a base that other people could hopefully use to build small missions(there is still a small hexen 1 mod community) I can say this. It is much easier to advertise "A New Game" to the general gaming public than it is to advertise "A New Toolset with Fan Missions". The largest chunk of gamers don't care about the tools or random fan missions. You can reach the swath of gamers who just play games with a campaign. You will never hear from this group of people, they won't join your community, they won't contribute, but they will play if it's easily installable, and advertised appropriately.

 

The TDM community is far larger than the Hexen community. We are lucky to have 1 post a week on our public forums but on our last(only) release we distributed some 10K downloads in the first few days and hold a pace of about 1K per month currently. We are lucky to hear back from 0.25% of those people but people are indeed playing the game. They just have no interest in the community as of right now. I have a hunch we, Hexen, can change that with our next extended campaign, standalone, and toying thoughts with some type of mulitplay.

 

Long story short - the mass of general public like free games and they typically care less about tools or mods. Make your mod a game, more outsiders will care.

 

While these are all valid points, do we (as the mod team and the community) really care about getting another 10K silent players? On theoff-hand chance that maybe 5 of them start to contribute?

 

In the past, getting more players usually mean that we'd not get much more contributions, but a lot more support questions. I guess with a stand-alone TDM these will be reduced substantially (no D3 hassle, no patching, no ATI interference etc), but still, I wonder if it is really worth getting the attention of people who just want a free game? It's not like we have a business plan that says "once we hit the 1 million mark we shove adverts in their face and roll in the big money" - because making money with the mod is legally and practically impossible (it jus starts with the "who would get what percentag" and goes quickly complicated from there).

 

So, I wonder, how does that work out for Hexen? Are the free players good for something except download statistics? (Serious question!)

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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In 1972, while at the University of Texas for a graduate computer science degree, I signed up for a class in computer graphics. I happened to pass the open door of the graphics lab one afternoon soon

Let us put it like this: TDM is still alive. Many mods die prematurely. Therefore TDM has been a success. Since we cannot know what would have been the other decisions fate, we must assume, because TD

Perhaps you should simply stop to engage every month in another lenghty "this mod is dead" discussion? You are doing that now since about 3 years frequently? Who cares if some people at TTLG dont like

It honeslty depends on what your projects goal(s) are. Is it for community, or simply to know people are playing(and hopefully enjoying) your hard work? While verbal/written feedback is great and we all eat it up when we get responses from the small people who want to talk, a large part of our personal gratitude is simply knowing lots of people are playing our hard work. "Download Statistics" to one person is is simply a statistic, to others it's knowledge that X amount of people are seeing and playing years of hard work.

 

Plus there are members on our team who are using this project as a stepping stone to the industry and portfolio builder. So it's important (to me especially as resposible for public relations) that I can spread the project out to the most amount of eyes as possible. They've all certainly earned it.

 

I guess that is really the question. What gets you guys feeling like it is worth your time. Is the knowledge that people are simply playing enough? Or do you need verbal, personal recognition to feel justified. For most of us at Hexen, people simply playing is quite gratifying. The small percentage who want to engage in community is sort of the frosting on the cake(and we do love it when it happens, don't be fooled!).

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To be less bitchy than my previous posts and to reflect on deadite4's posts:

 

I think the end goal of modding (for any kind of mod, not just computer games) is shared creativity. I contribute something, you contribute something, and the end result is greater than the sum of all parts because there is a supply of entertainment every member of the community, including people who are only in it as an audience (which is nothing to scoff at) can benefit from. It is about participation and community. Someone gets to enjoy a fan mission I made, and I get to enjoy the fact that people appreciate it.

 

The question we should be asking should be - does a specific decision contribute to the above? How? Could we do something more, or something better?

 

I think the crucial issue we are facing here is critical mass. We need a critical mass of people doing their thing and releasing missions to sustain our community and draw people into it. We need improvements in the basic infrastructure that makes missions possible and attractive in the first place. Work on a map is only enjoyed by a subset of players, but it is a concrete result and easy to translate into entertainment. Work on the core mod is enjoyed by all players, but it needs the context of a map for people to make sense of it. The resources, talents and time of the people contributing are a finite resource. We can redistribute it all we like among priorities, but that's not going to be enough. We need to enlarge the quantity of time spent on contributions, and I think that mainly needs new people. We need to attract those people one way or another. And with that, we are back to the original question.

Edited by Melan

Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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Yeah I built a house for my girlfriend. She wanted a big library out in the garden with some creatures frolicking in it, with a balcony from her room overlooking it, a river running through the middle of her room with a little bridge, a secret tunnel to my room behind a big fountain on one side of her room... It's a special thing building with someone, because it's creative and freeflowing and when you know the technical stuff they'll give you a strange idea and you can bring it to life for them. But it's a special thing just building period. I don't know any other fields where you can literally bring a world to life and let another person explore it without you holding their hand, as in a movie or a book. It becomes a kind of real world in its own right too; I'll dream about it. It's definitely artistic, creative, and a kind of expression, but it's also a kind of way of life. I always come back to it too. Unfortunately I have to focus so much on real life these days, I'll have to get some stability before I can get back to it, but I'll get there.

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What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Exactly, thats a beautiful way of putting how it is mostly about the need to express your creativity, and to feel that you can relate to others through this creation, rather than anything else. I think this relation that Deadbite, Melan, Grayman and demagogue talk about is the main force driving anyone to any creative role. I speak for myself, but I guess many would agree, that in artistic creation it is more about actually saying something, and producing a fragment of your imagination or emotional realm, than necessarily having that product experiencing success (not that it isnt important or rewarding). The reward is often the product itself, and the proccess of conceptualising and giving form to that something, and in the end, the feeling someone might just relate to and identify himself with it.

 

In this sense, the mod has been a great success, like many have said, and its still growing. What deadbite says is a very valid point, however. There's a vast group of people who just wants to play and enjoy themselves. Only a handful will actually feel the need of contributing with their own vision, creating their own fantasies. This is not good or bad, but I think its a different issue, people who contributes to the mod itself, and people who contributes with their own maps and stories. I think mostly what we want is people to come out and start using to mod and all its tools to produce their own stories, and realise the vision of a fleshed out TDM world full of spaces, people and situations. In this case I see why "default" missions (=the campaign) would be desirable, providing the standard for what this world actually is and how it could be expanded, which I assume happened to Thief and every other modded game, how could I improve this story, or how could I elaborate on this or that. This is not to say the mod is doomed without a campaign. My guess is even a set of "getting started" maps would have this effect, of guiding you into knowing the universe of the mod and relating to it in a more personnal way than just jumping from one mission to the other without little context (which is what happens when you first get the mod and wants to discover it, what is offers). Maybe you guys could consider having a number of linked maps that would form this introduction, you already have at least two very interesting demo maps that could easily be patched inside the mod and conduct the newcomer through the TDM world as a starter - Thief's Den and Saint Lucia (heard something about even others). This is not to say its the mod's fault by any means, its just the way its structured and how it works, but one must admit that whenever you find yourself looking through a list of missions and choosing which one to play next, you are in a limbo of immersion that could put people off before they get connected to what the mod really has to offer as a whole, and Im guessing connecting (with permission) a few well chosen missions for any occasional player to go through could be a good way of having him "hooked" and motivated enough to ask for more and to get to know the mod and maybe even feel tempted to actually create something himself.

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I'd say that almost everyone on these forums contributes something to the mod in some way. I mean, even Shadowhide did.

 

You miss him! Hah! Got'cha! ;p

 

But seriously boys: After letting the posts from STiFU, deadlite and grayman coming to your hearts - don't you think the discussion is unnecessary..?

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"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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I just want to say that I'm happy with what has come out of this mod and I've played, and in some cases re-played, every FM that has been released so far.

 

I know I've said this before, but I really feel this mod has more publicity problems then problems with the mod itself. I just feel it doesn't have very much exposure for a mod its size and scope.

I don't know if there already was a push to make the mod known to more people a long time ago and there hasn't been much of an attempt since then, or if whatever is put out just doesn't spread as much for whatever reason.

 

I see things like Cry of Fear (Half-Life 1) and The Nameless Mod (Deus Ex), and they seem to do more to spread the word than TDM, or at least it appears that way. That leads me think that something more can be done, though I'm not entirely sure what.

 

 

On a related note, and I'm kind of afraid to even mention this, but I have been messing around with and learning how to use DarkRadiant lately. I don't know if I'll get a decent FM out eventually, but I think I'll give it a try when I get the chance. :)

Edited by Professor Paul1290
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That leads me think that something more can be done, though I'm not entirely sure what.

 

I've made a few suggestions...promo videos, mission reviews, etc, that could be posted in various forums. But that also requires time and effort.

 

I don't know if I'll get a decent FM out eventually, but I think I'll give it a try when I get the chance. :)

 

Great! :)

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Today I continue to marvel at the ability to build scenes, buildings, worlds. Walking through them at the end of the day still fills me with a sense of wonder.

Yeah I built a house for my girlfriend. She wanted a big library out in the garden with some creatures frolicking in it, with a balcony from her room overlooking it, a river running through the middle of her room with a little bridge, a secret tunnel to my room behind a big fountain on one side of her room...

That demiurgic feeling makes real memories of unreal places, happy to see other folks see things in same way I do.

 

TDM don't have constant soul like Thief games, so ppl are aware that random FM concepts can spoil this universum. Besides it is not recognisable, maybe instead of 'campaign' TDM need a single map showing all fractions and overall mood in micro scale, just a pocket sized world. Something exaggerated but catchy, so gamers/ editors will not be forced to play Thief-bis thing. Just like going thru this wiki thread http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=Universe and making interactive presentation.

Edited by ERH+
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Springheel, I could certainly offer my services as a reviewer and for the popular maps, expert mode walkthrough provider ;-). Especially if you don't mind hosting them on the FM section?

I'm in yur forumz,

Makin' them frobbable.

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I wrote a campaign specifically for introducing each faction & major city district (and the 2 other major cities in the region, the capital & Menoa). But just looking at it, it's painfully clear how much work it'd take. I can visualize the missions, and I *really* like the story (biased as I am), but just thinking about all that building & testing ... brrr.

 

On the other hand, I feel much better about my folder of one-shot mission ideas. Now those are things a single person could kick out in a few months.

 

That's an interesting idea to have like a mini-introduction to everything though, a little encapsulated "mini-campaign", maybe 2-3 missions, or even a campaign of mini-contest sized FMs (edit: or I guess what you'd do is fit multiple areas in a single mission with teleports, so it'd work a little like a sequential campaign of little mini-areas, but all in a single big mission, unless you wanted stats between them.)

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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But seriously boys: After letting the posts from STiFU, deadlite and grayman coming to your hearts - don't you think the discussion is unnecessary..?

 

That demiurgic feeling makes real memories of unreal places, happy to see other folks see things in same way I do.

 

TDM don't have constant soul like Thief games, so ppl are aware that random FM concepts can spoil this universum. Besides it is not recognisable, maybe instead of 'campaign' TDM need a single map showing all fractions and overall mood in micro scale, just a pocket sized world. Something exaggerated but catchy, so gamers/ editors will not be forced to play Thief-bis thing. Just like going thru this wiki thread http://wiki.thedarkm...?title=Universe and making interactive presentation.

 

I am not sure how we come always to that the problem we have (dwindling developer resources) is solved by throwing more time at the problem from people we don't have. :rolleyes:

 

It is grea that we have so many busy mapers (we could use more of them!) turning out very good maps, it is good that a campaign is in the works, and it certainly good that we have so many people with so many ideas.

 

But the proposition from Springheel was specifically "what if there is no next release of TDM?" and "What if the development team of 5 people working 25% of their time on TDM vanishes or gets cut down to 2 people"? What if our main animator leaves? One of our two modellers? The only AI programmer? What then? :ph34r:

 

And please don't come up with other grand ideas like "oh how about we make a promo video, we just need to find someone who does *crickets*"

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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Everyone who has a facebook account (or similar) should start promoting TDM through facebook. Post the facebook-page et cetera. That is the best publicity. You have to be aggressive about it! Also the facebook-page needs to be updated more frequently I guess. Posting the news from the mainpage there as well is mandatory.

 

By the way, I second the question of BlueSkyBullet: Where is Fidcal?

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Springheel, I could certainly offer my services as a reviewer and for the popular maps, expert mode walkthrough provider ;-). Especially if you don't mind hosting them on the FM section?

 

Sure, I'll take care of hosting. I think I'll start another thread somewhere about this tangent.

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Even if it isn't a high quality promo trailer or anything like that, I still think publicity is quite problem right now.

 

If you're a curious outsider who out of curiosity looks up mods like Cry of Fear or The Nameless Mod then you get a pretty clear idea of what the mod is about and what to expect if you decide to download and play it.

This still isn't quite the case with TDM right now, though it has been getting better. The visibility of TDM still seems really low when compared to other mods of similar size.

 

On a related note, perhaps this video should be put on the front page somewhere as it's the closest thing to a recent up-to-date trailer right now:

(I couldn't easily spot this when searching "The Dark Mod" and had to find Springheel's youtube account to easily find it..)

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Yeah, the search function on youtube is not very good, and TDM is not very visible there - even if you selec one video already. (Plus TDM stands for "team death match" and is very popular with shooters, so we are drowned by a couple thousand videos all having "tdm" in their title).

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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Cool, but: Is this available in 1080p maybe?

 

No, I mostly made it from existing youtube walkthrough videos, so it had to be low res. It's the kind of thing I would love to see more of...you don't have to be a developer to make one.

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Damn....i've been gone for so long i had no idea things were this bad around here :( , its too bad TDM hasn't gotten more popular but i doubt a campaign will make a difference, there's already plenty of FM's to play. I think the others are right, the mod needs more publicity

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