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    More Pasty Goodness


    covaro

    Another sad story as to why you should back-up.

    My level editor, Sean Roy, posted me the following letter today...

    "Here it comes, my computer is (was) completely fried, I lost everything.Two days ago I just finished installing Windows 98, then eventually, Doomand Doom2. I lost my level editor (DCK 3.62) and all its files, includingthose of Speed Demons. Between school work, and my personal life, schooljust eats up way... too much time. I'm in a deep hole here, so I apologizeand I resign from the team, I am truly sorry. Good Luck on the TC, I meanit."

    Whilst obviously there's nothing he could do about it (apart from maybe backup his files once in a while...) this leaves me in a bad mood and minus onelevel editor. Thomas Sturm, of Desktop Doom, is still doing a couple, andTomi Rajala's sent me a demo of a level that looks great, but I still needanother level editor.

    If there's anyone out there, preferably an expereinced level editor(Afterglow, I love your stuff, hint hint...) I really need another member onthis team.

    Check out the Icarus.

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    Guest Levendis

    Posted

    I don't want to sound like an asshole but I know this is something everyone's thinking. This is the pattern I've seen for like 90% of the projects that have been started:
    1. Put up crappy website with storyline to your TC and perhaps a couple of level screenshots, mostly done in SHAWN2 or other default textures.
    2. Wait a couple of weeks. During this time do nothing but tweak your first, unfinished level, having run out of creative juices.
    2. Suddenly develop skills. Put up spiffy new "coming soon" website and drop out of the community to work like a madman. Produce a demo of your levels or put up some screenshots.
    3. Leave your webpage unupdated for a month or so.
    4. Hard drive crash! Everything is lost and the project is cancelled. Release of resources to date optional.

    Apparently it's become SOP to mask failure to produce a product with a systems crash of one sort or another. I'm not ragging on guys who just run out of creativity or time, but I don't think I'm the only one getting a little tired of people who sit down one day and jot down a storyline for their "all new TC with new textures, monsters, weapons, music, sounds, and 32 new levels," then give us the same old lame excuse when they realize down the road that they don't have the time or ability to follow through with it.

    Levelsets like Darkening E2 have proven that one person with mediocre skills or any kind of life outside of Doom (school, work, etc.) is not going to create any kind of groundbreaking uber-WAD. It takes dedication, patience, and a LOT of hard work. I wonder if the authors of Securitron, Neo-Doom, and Covert Ops, not to mention Ninja Doom, have done ANY work lately besides load up their wad once or twice a day and play it before quitting to go wank or play Q3A.

    Like I said, I don't want to rip on the people that ARE busting their asses to give us something that we'll enjoy playing. But dammit, if I see one more "I had a cool idea for a doom TC, now I just need a team to make it a reality for me" I'm going to kill myself. No, not me. Them.
    --Levendis

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    ... and the lesson is to back things up regularly. I can honestly say that I've not backed things up in... oh, about four years, and I should be more careful. However, in those four years, I've not lost anything to any crashes whatsoever so I've been very lucky with my machine. Please, people, LEARN from the mistakes of others. Myself included.

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    What can I say? For the most part, most projects have no need to be announced until they're at least 75% done, if not more!! QDoom may be a fitting exception. He's been working full tilt for the last year, and I'm sure he BACKS UP his stuff.. Right?? He keeps us on edge with suspense! It's a good kind of waiting.. Anyway, this is a valuable lesson: Don't announce your project until it's almost done!! :-b

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    Nothing against Sean Roy or anyone else, but a strange number of people in the DooM community are having hard drive crashes once in a while, and I really wonder why. Are you kicking you HD around or stuff like that? I've never had a HD crash with my computers.

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    I backed up my stuff just two nights ago! A 4-GB backup tape works like a charm!! :D Do it, people! Spare yourself from the tragic, excruciating pain of data loss!! :-b

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    Levendis why don't you stop bitching and do something productive yourself? I love the whole let's rant on every fucking msgboard around but don't do any work whatsoever yourself.

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    Guest Levendis

    Posted

    Afterglow--
    It seems your skills lie in mapmaking and not in reading, or in common sense. Whether or not someone makes maps has no relation on whether they can spot the truth. However--
    Every so often I get an idea for something and I'll monkey around in ZETH for a while getting it to take shape. After that it usually rusts on my HD because I don't have the time or the skillz to bring it to fruition. Unlike 99% of mapmakers, though, I don't assume that every new ACS trick or interesting architectural feature I dream up is going to develop itself into a finished total conversion or megawad.

    Don't you think it's just a LITTLE odd how very often projects end in hard drive crashes? There are only two ways a project gets done--with very tight team organization or with very skilled people working on it, and most projects have neither, but still string people along for as long as possible before some or another disaster ends their project. Then they can always say "Hey, our TC would have kicked ass, too bad we dropped the hard drive in a bucket of acid." This is doubly suspect since the DW crew have been urging everyone to back everything up every Thursday. All I'm saying is, it takes a lot of talent & work to bring a project into reality, and I'm getting a little tired of people using the same lame assed excuse when they finally realize that they lack one or both.

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    Guest zsignal

    Posted

    yeah that's right. about two months from now, i'm gonna accidentally delete my project and go away.

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    With your first post - why would anyone bother to setup a TC for a couple of months and then end it with a HD crash on purpose. What is that going to do for them??

    Second post - you better believe it's dodgy, or people are just really, and i mean, really stupid. What is wrong with people that they can't back up a few files...

    Share your work with other people - that way if you lose anything you can ask that person for the copy you gave them.

    "all new TC with new textures, monsters, weapons, music, sounds, and 32 new levels,"

    It's possible - Millennium has all that, and _everything_ except some levels are completed.

    "For the most part, most projects have no need to be announced until they're at least 75% done, if not more!! "

    No, I definitely disagree with that. Project news and developments are a major part of all Doom news.

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    It will have all new weapons, new monsters, a humungous dehacked patch, and 100 new levels!!!!!! That's right 100, not 32. I need some help though. E-mail me at imacomplete@frad.com if you're interested!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    Somebody's liable to say "Hey, I like this RPG!" then set upon announcing a TC taking place in a huge, strange new land called Britannia! ;-) But seriously, yes, it is STUPID to lose all/most of your data in a hard drive crash, but no less unfortunate, or sad. And Chief is 100% right on two counts: (1) Why would you lift some people's hopes up so high, for so long, and clearly invest some work in this project, then end the project, and other's hopes, on such a STUPID incident---knowing the heat they'd face, AND on purpose?! Don't think so. (2) Yup, news of upcoming projects, no matter how small, or how much in their infancy, is what keeps sites like this---and Doom itself---going. Massive losses of data will keep occurring because of infrequent, or neglect of, backups. And the message to backup often (heck, I myself oughta listen!) will be repeated even more so. Stupid humans! Damn, dirty apes! :-P

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    Guest Levendis

    Posted

    Ok look, I feel I need to clear up a couple of points...

    First of all, I don't think people are intentionally starting projects just to kill them after a few months of, as I put it, strining us along. But hard drive crashes are apparently to some people a great way to bow out gracefully. That's just not how it is, dammit. There are lots of people who have great creative impulses, but actually bringing their project to fruition is just not as important to them as maintaining a life, or what have you. And so, the project dies a slow, lingering death before the authors tell the facts straight to themselves and realize nothing's ever going to come of it. Then the hard drive gets eaten by bears.

    Second, I don't want to sound like "Waaaaaa! Bring me new creative things to gawk at! I'm too lazy/uncreative/etc. to do my own work!" I know that that's what it can sound like, especially to Afterglow, an outstanding mapmaker. Look at it this way:
    The darkening team has just completed a project that he probably feels deserves some acclaim. Just look at the facts--E2 has fan-fucking-tastic levels, beautiful architecture, outstanding textures. And look how the community is right now: it's been whittled down over the years to the point where EVERYONE is either an mapmaker or a frustrated one, and I think a lot of people who didn't at least think E2 was pretty good are sniping at guys like him and Ola just because they can't pull off something this good. He's probably seen this attitude a lot in the community, and I dont' want to sound like I'm joining in in the sniping. So, my apologies to Afterglow if he felt I was insulting on this account. That goes for zsignal too; no insult was intended.

    That said, I'm going to stick by my guns on this issue. All I was bitching about earlier is that I think hard drive crashes are a particularly slimy way to back out of delivering.

    Like it or not, when you announce your project and your intentions, you make a committment to the community, in the same way that a filmmaker is committed to making a movie once production has begun. Also, consider that in our particular community, pretty much everyone is into editing. The problem stems from the fact that a lot of people lack all the resources needed to bring what's in their head to the screen in front of them, and in front of other people. An author friend of mine stated it this way: "There are lots of writers. Most writers also want to be authors--they want to have published already without going through all the work. It's just really a disappointment to be looking forward to a project and then find out it's cancelled when you thought it was going strong.

    What I think the community needs is to drop all the posturing, sniping, bickering, and bitching and get down to work on something. Start small. I put up a little page for you to take a look and see what I mean--[url="http://www.supergood.f2s.com/doom.html]here[/url]. Write me and tell me what you think.
    --Levendis

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    Interesting page, but I question whether doom can possibly 'bust back onto the scene'. Can you think of a game that has ever done that, short of a totally new sequel??

    "It's just really a disappointment to be looking forward to a project and then find out it's cancelled when you thought it was going strong."

    There is only really one way I can see around this, and that is to have some sort of Doom project's 'home'(The Doom Community Project Site or something) where all projects would be registered. Then the site would keep track of all the projects and their progress - also with a list of all the active designers in the community.

    With everyone working under the one umbrella fewer but stronger projects would be formed, if things went slow new members could be allocated or projects merged. Resources could be shared between projects, and basically everybody would be helping eachother out.

    That could work, in theory...

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    Guest IcarusWing

    Posted

    First off, I do backup my work. It was Sean's fault that he didn't, but he's only one team-member. Stop bitching about how no project ever gets finished and help, damnit. By the way, I can't update Speed Demons at the minute due to server problems, not because nothing's being done.

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    Guest IcarusWing

    Posted

    I wasn't talking about you. My comments were about Levendis, whose thread could have just been read off a tape, I've heard it so many damn times.

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    Guest Levendis

    Posted

    First of all, any criticism is constructive, just as any experience can be learned from regardless of whether it's good or bad. You need to learn from both success AND failure.

    Second, excuse me? Talk about encouraging internal divisions in your team. "It's all THAT guy's fault!" I dont' really care whose fault it is, your project is still dead. Sending out a call for help when you run into a snag midway through is no different from asking people to join your team when you first get the idea. You're still asking other people to do work you should by all rights be doing.

    If people do join you, that's great. Like most teams yours probably needs all the help it can get. But don't go bitching at me for not being "supportive." I support every project that is going to bring new life in this community, but when you talk about how cool your work is going to be and then bow out--you can forget about it.

    And by the way--has it occurred to you that the reason you've seen this kind of complaint over and over is that perhaps people are tired of teams like yours using the same lame-assed excuse for why they can't finish their project? Just a thought. Think about it for a bit.
    --Levendis

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    Guest IcarusWing

    Posted

    Look, I'm sorry if I've caused any offense, but as you can guess, I'm in a pretty bad mood, as you can imagine. The project is not dead, as you say, but it is in trouble. And hell, if the porject dies, no it's not Sean's fault - it's mine for not organising it better. All I blamed on him was losing his files, which I think he can take full credit for. And yeah, I'm tired of hearing about hard drive crashes, and they do seem like a lame excuse, seeing I have a 486 that hasn't crashed once yet. But the point is this: the porject is not dead, it just needs help. So I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, but we can't all be saints all of the time.

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    Guest IcarusWing

    Posted

    Sorry, that should be project not porject. Sometimes my fingers just type to fast for my brain...

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    I can't emphasize this enough.. There are two kinds of hard drives; those that haven't crashed, and those that will. Learn from other's mistakes, people!! :-|

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    I think the idea of a new engine getting full advantage of the other ports features is just neat. But I think the OGRE project won't succeed... There are too many people involved in it. The coding stuff should be made by no more than 5 or 6 coders. Retro-engineering needs a global vision of a project and a code patched by a hundred people would be a mess. Anyway, I'm interested.

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    I think the idea of a new engine getting full advantage of the other ports features is just neat. But I think the OGRE project won't succeed... There are too many people involved in it. The coding stuff should be made by no more than 5 or 6 coders. Retro-engineering needs a global vision of a project and a code patched by a hundred people would be a mess. Anyway, I'm interested.

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    Hell, I don't know either, but I've run a few to completion, and the one thing common in all of them is that we had periodic "builds" that incorporated everyone's work to date, no matter how incomplete it was. We're about to do build 31 for Doom2000, and I know that because that file exists and is on a web site somewhere, it's not up to me or the individual author to have to keep the only copy.

    I wish I could remember if I have to put a <p> in here for paragraphs or not. Oh, well, I will...

    Sure, individuals should have their work (and perhaps whole systems) backed up, but the truth is that many don't. It's great that DW reminds people that Thursday is Backup Day, and it has probably helped someone. I use a different approach by copying it across the network to another machine, but I'm not safe, just safer. The key to all of this from a _project_ point of view is that neither I nor the author is the sole point of failure.

    So, I don't know if Levendis is right, that people who give up use this as a convenient unprovable excuse, or if people are having problems that people with undoubtable integrity like Rick Clark have had (his system at least smoked--heh), but the point is, that from a project manager point of view, it's your responsibility to be sure nothing can get lost beyond redemption. I hope it turns out to be a lesson for budding projects, and not just a discussion on this board.

    Now I'll go back and do some more inadequate textures for D2K.

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    So, that was me. I get to be Anonymous if I can't remember the password. Hmmph. What happened to error messages?! Would that be so hard?

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    Guest Levendis

    Posted

    Does it really matter if the code is elegant as long as it works? Look at ZDoom...yeah, it's about as shady a port as you can get. It "borrows" stuff from just about everything. But it works and it's got features nothing else has, long before other ports have it.

    So, if we were to take and integrate the source code of all the ports in existence to get the features I outlined here, with the goal of getting the best features of each, and it worked, who cares if the code looks like a pile of crap? Optimization aside, if it works, it works. I'm just starting to get tired of everyone thinking they have to start from scratch--for instance, OGRE and EDGE. I'm looking forward to both of these, and given that coding seems a little less needful of a creative impusle than authoring levels, I think they have a good shot of becoming a reality. But so what? Then we'll have two new ports with features the creators think are cool, but probably missing a couple that other people want. I think we should all be working with ONE port, with ALL the features everyone's come up with since the source release, and let people decide what features they want their game to have.

    Just my $0.02.
    --Levendis

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