When I began taking notice of new action based, realism mods which were to succeed Action Quake 2, there was a modest list of possible candidates. By no stretch of the imagination did I think I would find myself on the “inside” looking out, answering questions and pimping a mod like Urban Terror. But something has been bothering me since the days of Quake 2, while involving myself in Action Quake 2 and associated web sites, until now. It deals with the professionalism, or lack thereof and respect between competing mods and people in the community. This is something which has to be dealt with in the only way I see possible, by voicing my opinion.
When it comes to developing mods, only the people behind the scenes know what is false and what is fiction when it comes to their mod. While many people see the beta and eventually the finished product, there is a considerable dedication and effort put forth to create a mod/total conversion that will give you a sense of accomplishment and create excitement in the gaming community. Unfortunately, respect is something every team must earn, either based on previous experience or their current project. It is not something which happens overnight. You must work to achieve it. Now that I am a team member of Silicon Ice Development, I feel it is my responsibility to defend the mod when slander is turned upon it. Like most forums, there are some who not only use the First Amendment of the Constitution to their advantage and speak their mind. But before engaging your literary skills, indulge us all and use that mushy, gray mass between your ears. It was put their for a reason.
In a strong, player backed community like Quake or Half-Life, both of which are sponsored by GameSpy Industries and their affiliated Planet System, there are many who seem to think making an impact means saying what is one their mind without hesitation. While hearing it from prospective players is to expected, getting an earful from other development team seems to lower the level of professionalism. This fact is compounded by team members returning fire of their own in defense of what they work long and hard on. In hopes of making it successful.
When it comes to criticism, the cold, harsh realism may be difficult for some to swallow. Others look upon it, accept it and attempt to better themselves with it. There comes a time when some lob salvos in search of attention, or to make themselves look, “high and mighty” by talking down to a development team. Is this really needed? Does it serve any sort of relevance? No, usually not. It is just that need to stand up, pound you chest and feel dominating. Now sit your ass back down and take notice!
The only thing talking down to a competing development team does is make you look unprofessional. It basically becomes a, “my dad is bigger than your dad” type of argument, one which makes both teams and all participating look quite childish. What sort of message does this send to those interested in the mods? Not only am I talking players of all ages, but gaming web site giants like PlanetQuake and PlanetHalf-Life, big time developers like id Software and Epic. It makes everyone involved look foolish and immature. This scope can also be expanded to include the rivalries between gaming communities, like the aforementioned examples.
What’s the solution to this ever increasing enigma? Remember back to your childhood, and heed those words of your mother, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, do say it at all.” Or if you mother never said that, listen to Fargo from PlanetQuake when he says, “STFU!” I am sure most of you can identify with the latter saying. This does not make you look intelligent or cool. It makes you look like an idiot.
While this rant is not directed at any particular group, it has been something I have noticed becoming more and more of a problem. I can remember my first early experiences with Quake 2 DM, finding a good server and fragging with the same group of people on a regular basis. Somewhere, somehow the community seems to be coming apart at the seams because there are no morals or etiquette to be followed. Basically it is every man/woman or every mod for themselves. A battle to the death, like Captain Kirk and that green alien from Star Trek.
If you remember one thing, remember this. What makes a community, like Quake, so strong is the continued support from avid gamers. It is also the development teams that come together to show off their talent and go above and beyond the call of duty to create what many of us come to find exciting. Mods. Without mods, games like Quake 3 and Half-Life would be just another game. Which, after awhile would collect dust sitting on the shelf above your computer.