Oswald Rant: Stingy Mod Authors

While I cannot hold my tongue until Friday I felt a real need to express my thoughts on the recent question posed over on PlanetQuake’s Rants n’ Raves. Stealthc posed the question, “Why are mod authors so stingy?” With the help of dokta8 we attempted to answer this question and give futher incite into our development.

Stingy? Uncooperative? Unwilling? Unresponsive? These words probably best describe the attitude or response you get when you attempt to correspond with a mod development team. Now that I have experience as both a gamer and developer, I have a better understand of why development teams are so protective of their work. Unfortunately as a gamer, we rarely see the big picture in terms of development plans and sometimes feel the mod team is leaving us in the dark.

Why do we have a stingy attitude and not release our code? That is best answer by Silicon Ice Development Lead Coder, dokta8, “Bah. People who want source code released will kill the development of the best mods. You reckon Gooseman [Counter-Strike] would have spent hours on CS coding if everyone else was ripping off his hard work? Nup. I wouldn’t do Urban Terror.” He goes on to say, “I mean, yeah, we spend 6 months developing beta 1.0, and we release it, and while we take a break to develop 1.2 some guy takes 1.0, fixes the bugs in 4 weeks and has a more popular mod straight out of the can. I’d have to be a complete moron to spend 6 months developing a mod for that.”

When it comes to our community, we respect those who play our mod. Urban Terror is as much the community’s mod as it is our. We have a very open and working relationship with our gamers. The development team is highly visible on the forums and game servers to help promote the mod. You must do everything you can to foster development in order to gain popularity and work your mod into the mainstream of the Quake III Community.

Feedback and ideas are what help to spawn new and improved versions of mods. While any development team has the final say in what features will be add and how the mod turns out, many of those same ideas come from a knowledgeable and experienced community. For Urban Terror, we keep a running list of ideas that have been brought up, not only by Silicon Ice Development but by the community. Strangely enough, the two groups think alike. I wonder why? Because we are all gamers at heart and know what we want in our favorite mod.

We have had numerous groups approach us and ask to use our code base as the basis of their planned mod. Of course we respectively denied their requests as our development is just beginning to rally make progress.