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rdwpa

Community Projects (Discussion)

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Restriction projects and more loosely organized 'assorted grabbag' projects have become the go-tos in recent years, but I'd like to see more CPs in the vein of the in-progress Mutiny, where contributions are unified by a strong set of thematic ideas -- as opposed to dimensional limitations, or broad-scope concepts, or the willingness to make a map, or the gullibility to end up doing a noob's work for them. There are a couple other active projects that are like this. The Ty memorial project and Doomed In Space are two I noticed.

Random examples: it would be cool to see an episodic megawad project patterned after S2, six separate themes chosen by the project organizer. Or, on a more humble scale, since all CPs shouldn't aspire to megawad length, a seven-map collection of Vracky starbases. Or an 11-map wad starting with Egypt levels and moving into surreal levels set on floating structures and landmasses in a sunny blue sky. Stuff like that.

Anyway, I'm also curious about people's thoughts on community project formats, so shoot. What are your ideals?

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I wish there was more stuff like BTSX, where the very existence of the project is kept secret from the public for a long time and no downloads are available until at least the beta is done. When all the discussions, bug reports, internal dramas, etc are in the open, there is no magic feel of any kind. Whereas if a big wad suddenly surfaces out of nowhere, it looks exciting and alluring.

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Then you're not going to like how I'm working on my project.

It's so secret, it doesn't even exist!



...yet. ;)

HavoX was losered for 6 hours for this post.

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kuchitsu said:

I wish there was more stuff like BTSX, where the very existence of the project is kept secret from the public for a long time and no downloads are available until at least the beta is done. When all the discussions, bug reports, internal dramas, etc are in the open, there is no magic feel of any kind. Whereas if a big wad suddenly surfaces out of nowhere, it looks exciting and alluring.


Speaking of BTSX, what's the deal with episodes 1 and 2? As far as I know there hasn't been a final release yet. Are they finished or is there going to be additional changes being made to them? I'd just rather play the final product than a beta.

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I agree with rdwpa that projects centered around a specific theme are from the most interesting ones. I disagree with kuchitsu about projects kept under wraps, though. I like reading how in-development projects are openly discussed by their creators and seeing the work-in-progress. The creators may benefit from it too, by getting more feedback early enough.

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That's like if Steven Spielberg was shooting a new movie and every day he would post all the filmed materials, reveal the dirty secrets behind the budget, publish the script in advance, etc. Where's da mystery?

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I'm all for the idea of a group of people getting together and creating mapsets with maps from different "members" of said group. One of the more interesting things about CPs to me is the interaction and sharing of feedback involved.

As far as announcing the project early on is concerned, though, I'm kind of torn. In a sense, it is interesting to be able to follow the development of a CP from the outside, so to say, but at the same time, there's the risk of drama ensuing (as mentioned somewhere above) which might hurt not only the dev team's integrity but also the spirits of the people outside the dev team who actively follow the progress of the project.

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I always think about running a project, setting up an outside board and an IRC room and curating everything fairly strictly, auditioning mappers rather than just saying "well, yer map's complete so I guess it goes in the finished product", but from watching other people's efforts at creating a big megawad-type deal, I've noticed that for every 1% you increase your standards the time you work on the project doubles =P

I guess my ultimate project idea would be a psychedelic version of Hell to Pay - concurrent levels tied together by a story thread (something about Doom-guy feeling used and trying to go truly and definitively AWOL but always stumbling upon other firms and private armies which are ultimately run by the UAC) but rather than having standard breezy gameplay, do something with a bit more scavenging, exploration and puzzle-solving. probably keep the basic Doom 2 textures, weapons and enemies but provide a new set of props and tunes.

as for keeping projects under wraps: I approve! I noticed just from posting screenshots that people will try and criticize, constructively or otherwise, a single element from a whole they have no information on whatsoever, so just don't give 'em the screenshots either and they can't mislead themselves =P

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I also wish that there were more strongly themed projects out there. That was one of the reasons Going Down was so excellent - the levels had recognizable themes and internal narratives, instead of just being Generic Well Made Doom Map #17824.

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Linguica said:

Generic Well Made Doom Map #17824.


I knew there had to be someone insane enough to actually keep count of every Doom map ever made.

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kuchitsu said:

I wish there was more stuff like BTSX, where the very existence of the project is kept secret from the public for a long time and no downloads are available until at least the beta is done. When all the discussions, bug reports, internal dramas, etc are in the open, there is no magic feel of any kind. Whereas if a big wad suddenly surfaces out of nowhere, it looks exciting and alluring.


I disagree. I don't believe theres really any reason to keep things a secret. Internal testing is often biased and getting community opinions about things beforehand can reduce the likelihood of committing many months/years/decades to a flop.

Maybe I'm unique in that I usually keep out of project threads and refrain from downloading anything until /idgames entries are made or public betas are released.

To address the OP, a challenge for community project leaders is motivating people to make maps at all. So usually limitation projects spark interest in something that is a challenge for the mapper than "make a map that looks like this" would. Though in my experience with Mutiny the biggest challenge is motivating people to finish their maps. In hindsight, it was kind of silly of me to assume that mappers taking turns working on their maps with no chance of miscommunication would lead to maps getting done faster.

I think the types of projects you're interested in are much more likely to be accomplished by friends with mutual interests, (this is how things like Sunlust happen) rather than strangers in the community wanting to be independent and unified in a single project at the same time. I tried my best to make a community project that was thematically consistent, because I knew that was something the community could use. Still Mutiny isn't quite the manifestation of that as I once imagined it would be, but it's been quite a challenge and I think it's the best I could get. I don't think you can count on me leading more projects like that in the future.

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40oz said:

I think the types of projects you're interested in are much more likely to be accomplished by friends with mutual interests, (this is how things like Sunlust happen) rather than strangers in the community wanting to be independent and unified in a single project at the same time.

If you're talking about "thematic ideas" based projects, I can't agree with you. If the project guideline was "make a map that looks like this and plays like that" and the project accepted any sufficiently quality maps fitting the guideline, why would "friends with mutual interests" be any better at following the guideline + making quality maps than "strangers wanting to be independent"? As if "mutual interests" implied that those people would all interpret the guideline the same way, or that "wanting to be independent" implied that those people would fail to follow the guideline "properly", neither of which is neither universally true nor universally a good thing, IMO.

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I would love to see more "focus" in community projects too - they have the most manpower but focus is also divided by the number of participants.

But it is entirely possible; people work together all the time in all kinds of mediums and those that "reach the top of the hill" are the ones that could unify all participants to a common drive.

In movies it's presumably the director who is the key to maximum success, and in wads it's the project coordinator who has to coordinate everything from start to finish, and excuses don't exist but they're in fact just challenges to overcome, like the Titanic that could not evade the iceberg.

It's essential for the coordinator to have a clear goal in mind, and the finesse to handle the challenges along the way.

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