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The Obligatory Ding0 Thread


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#1 SimDing0

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 09:11 AM

There was some attention in chat today to the subject of LoI's development, and as the community hate figure, I was nominated to post the thoughts.

A fair number of people are somewhat concerned that with the amount of material planned, not a lot's gonna get done any time soon. Now, there are certain aspects of LoI that I'd be very intrigued to see, so the concern of myself and various others comes to light...

In the past, mods that attempted to do thousands of awesome things at once haven't been very good. Modern modding has generally come to settle on the fact that for stuff to get done, it's often wise to focus mods around a set of similar ideas, rather than a mish-mash of quests, kits, items, rules changes, and so on. One suggestion has been that LoI might stand a better chance of being completed sooner if it... was no longer LoI, but rather a series of subsidiary mods.

You're planning to add loads of NPCs. That's all well and good, but NPCs make mods on their own, and aiming to add several just as a nice afterthought isn't going to help matters. I'm not saying abandon the LoI NPCs, but rather that it might prove more sensible to separate the NPCs into individual mods looked after by their respective developers.

Similarly, the LoI quests (and here's my ulterior motive, because it's the quests that appeal to me in LoI) could be separated into something of a similar design to my Quest Pack.

Customisation of PCs is all well and good, as is revamping kits, but it doesn't really have much to do with the NPCs, quests, or other ideas in LoI. It too would quite easily warrant being a separate mod.

I hope it's vaguely understandable what I'm saying. WeiDU means that there's really no reason to mash lots of stuff into one big mod. Smaller chunks is a far nicer way to handle things.

#2 jester

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 12:49 PM

I must say that the community hate figure has a point there. I'd rather see small chunks (May you rest in pieces. :( That is what too much IWD2 does to you) of the mod and pronto! :p You would also benefit from the earlier feedback from finished parts which can seep into ongoing projects.

#3 Domi

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 01:08 PM

Well, as a do-it-in-phases person I have to caution that there are pro's and con's to dividing it and releasing parts sequentially. Most pro's will be on the doer's side, wile most con's will be on the distributor's side;

Pro's:

1) Quicker turn around time for individual parts
2) Easier testing
3) Eliminates "overwhelming" factor "we will never get it done" thing
4) planning and reporting is much simplified

Con's

1) "more popular" parts will not support "less popular" parts (ie Quests component will not subsidise the interest in kit component
2) dwindling player interest from Phase to Phase
3) more difficult to introduce changes into released component; on the other side of the coin maintenace and bug fixing of a previous component will often slow down work on a new component which is rather frustrating.
4) risk of premature termination of the parts of the project if released parts did not gain enough approval.

Edited by Domi, 12 August 2004 - 01:09 PM.

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#4 jester

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 01:36 PM

Thorough and thoughtful as always. A pretty good list.

#5 Galactygon

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 02:11 PM

I might say the best idea is to make several beta releases in small chunks, and when you (and your testers) are satisfied enough, you can make an all-in-one public release.

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#6 SimDing0

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 02:24 PM

1) "more popular" parts will not support "less popular" parts (ie Quests component will not subsidise the interest in kit component

I disagree. A modder's name counts for a lot, and the DLTC demo was a nice exercise in gaining support for a project by releasing something.

2) dwindling player interest from Phase to Phase

See above.

3) more difficult to introduce changes into released component; on the other side of the coin maintenace and bug fixing of a previous component will often slow down work on a new component which is rather frustrating.

It's still rather superior to just spending ages finishing it all in one go. And I don't see why it's hard to make changes to something that gets released; it's no different from Weimer maintaining Solaufein and Valen and working on Weimer's New Harder Battles Mod IV all at the same time.

4) risk of premature termination of the parts of the project if released parts did not gain enough approval.

I think the risk's probably less than giving up because you've just got too much work on your hands, personally.

#7 Andyr

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 02:52 PM

Actually, I made a topic in the workroom suggesting a pruning of stuff, and what we actually *do* want to do. We have an awful lot of ideas at the moment, and we do need to decide what is feasible/decent and what isn't. So in short, I agree with you, Sim. :(
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#8 SimDing0

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 02:55 PM

If you need help deciding what sucks, the Ding0 is definitely your man. :(

#9 Domi

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 03:08 PM

...

#1 I can only speak from my own experience. I near worship Wes Weimer, but I have only seen his battles in Sola V20 because it was included and inseparable. As soon as he branched it out I never dl'd anything from him which had a word "tougher" or "battle" in it. In fact I ran screaming from it. Neither I dl'd Valen - but if it was included in Sola V40 I would have had.

#2 you would have to release from the least interesting components to the most interesting then, because, hand on the heart, would you replay BG2 *again* because a mod that you loved now has a new component that you do not care for all that much? Quest component might catch your attention and you play with it, but if in 6 months a kit component shows up... I doubt that many people are so dedicated as to fire it up again for it. Those who would include it into their 50+ mod combo on their 100th run through ToB are core players who'd probably play it no matter what. But the numbers come from the majority of the audience though, who replay BG once in a while when an shiny enough toy shows up - and who never "surface" in the community (unless they got a disturbing bug, lol).

#3 no different, yes, and can be done, no doubt. Yet it is a hellish job and frequently boring. Wes or JC are those who maintain old and work on new stuff simultaneously, but there are larger proportion of people who either do not start a new project or abandon the old one etc. The more complex is the released part, the more upkeep it will require - and more time.

#4 it depends on how much you want it done and how strongly you hope that the mod is going to be a success. You can pace yourself just fine with "too much work on your hands" and work on schedule, striking things out from the do-list as you go. Intermediate release is not a necessary step in this.
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#10 Andyr

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 03:11 PM

What are people suggesting? That they'd like to see quests, kits and NPCs as largely separate mod releases?
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#11 SimDing0

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 03:14 PM

I'm saying that I'd encourage completely separate releases. Keep the LoI name so people get the idea, but...

"LoI Quest Pack"
"LoI Class Revisions"
"LoI NPC #1 - Dave the Dimwit"
"LoI NPC #2 - Sally the Slut"
etc.

#12 Andyr

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 03:17 PM

I had thought about something along those lines before, perhaps expanind Cleric Remix by adding our other kits as components too.
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#13 icelus

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 03:43 PM

Here's something to think about...

If I had waited to release Unfinished Business until *all* of the various components had been completed... it'd still not be out. I probably would have lost interest, and many people would have given up on it ever being released.

Just a thought. :(

#14 bpfan

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 06:28 PM

FWIW....

I'm not a modder, just one of the folks who really appreciates their talents and contributions.

I've played many mods. Right now I'm testing the Extended Redemption. I've got a BP/NeJ/CtB game going and an BG1NPC game in progress. I'm probably closer to hard-core and have no idea how representative I may be of the mod consumer.

Frankly, I'm not terribly interested in new NPC's. I'll play Delainy and the Tiefling sisters at least once, for example, but there are already so many NPC's to choose from, and I'm going to miss content no matter which ones I take. At this rate, I'll never be able to play through all the new romance options available or in development.

What I am most interested in is new or expanded quests, more plot content, that is not dependent on what class or which NPC's I choose, that I can enjoy any or every time I play through the game.

LoI in particular has many interesting plot-hooks suggested in the information publicly available that I can't wait to try. I'd certainly hate to see them abandoned because the project was just too big. They may never get done because they're of less interest to the team than the kits or NPC's or what have you, and naturally people are going to work most on what they're motivated about. So FWIW, I'd rather see (and try) components as they go, and hope the feedback keeps you motivated to keep developing your project.

#15 Guest_Chev_*

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 10:11 PM

What could you release next week? in 2 months? in 6 months?

"LoI Class Revisions" I want to be able to add them to other mods that not comp. for some reason.

"LoI Quest Pack" New areas, stories, and adventures are what keeps me comming back. What if I have something installed that is incomp. with class revisions, but the quests would be?

"LoI NPC #1 - Dave the Dimwit" Thats my PC! Why would I need a nother one?

"LoI NPC #2 - Sally the Slut" When can I meet her?



I 'm with you bpfan!



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