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How to be a mod maker

I WANNA BE MOD MAKER by Snake Man, PMC.

So you want to be a mod maker, okay. Well are you 12 year old who gets excited about some ninja movie and wants to make modification out of it without any idea how much work a such modding is?

If you are, we suggest you take a deep breath and think twice before running into forums posting that you have just started a mod.

Why to be mod maker?

If you want to be a mod maker, ask yourself why, why do you want to be a mod maker?

  • Is it because you want fame and recognition?
  • Is it because there is lack of this certain addon in the community?
  • Is it because you love to edit addons?
  • Is it because you think you can do better job than XYZ mod group?
  • Is it because you want to have a hobby?

As you can see there are several reasons a person might want to start a mod. When you have reached a decision that modding is really what you want to do, then the next logical step is to decide what you start to mod on.

What to mod?

What mod type are you interested in, WW2, Vietnam, Modern, Sci-fi, Future? What?

If there is nobody in the community modding this addon/area, then naturally you are the first and there is nobody to do cooperation etc.

Joining a mod team?

However if you are interested in mod that already has a team working on it, or maybe several teams, then naturally you should contact them and offer your help. The mod teams might decline your offers to help, which leaves you sort of in bad position, if you really and deep down want to mod this certain addon/area but are not welcome in a existing team, then you need to decide either to drop the idea or just do it your own creating duplicate content which honestly is bit of a wasted time.

It always is wise to work on something others aren't, or to join a existing team to help them finish the addon/area you are interested in.

Finish your mod!

Most important thing is that if you take the first step and start a mod, FINISH IT. You are the ultimate lamer if you start a mod with big news site & forum posts and then two weeks later you post “mod canceled.”, trust me on this.

Managing your team

On ideal conditions you have some people joining your mod, perhaps you start the mod with your friend or even friends. Don't be too optimistic that if you start a mod, you instantly get people to join your team and follow through its development to the end. It might be that you never get any help as its proven to be really difficult to find skilled people on various editing areas.

When you are a mod leader, naturally you need to be nice to your team mates, but it is also important that you show that you are the leader for a reason. If there is heated debate on some issue regarding the mod, its your word that settles the issue at the end. Being a mod leader is great responsibility and should not be taken lightly. You cannot abuse your power, do not “bully” your team members.

Think before you act, many issues feel different after you take a deep breath (and who knows maybe your team mates change their minds/moods at the same time) and think things through. Many times wrong decisions are made in heated anger which could have been avoided by calm thinking.

It also helps greatly if you are highly regarded community member or a “good guy” which everyone likes, most likely you get much less grievance for anyone when you are in such position as nobody dares to “confront” you or be the bad guy saying bad things about you.

There is no simple golden rule for being a good leader for a mod, you could go on to the internet and read various articles about being a boss and managing a project, its going bit beyond the scope of this I want to be a mod maker article however. But still, don't forget to try to do your best as team leader (if you get a team).

Public Relations

There are mod's that are over hyped and never gets released. Then there are mods that never even post any hints what they are working on until they just release it or wait until they really have something working before posting public information.

Don't hype. Just don't do it man, there are so many examples of mods that over hyped their work and made a complete fools out of themselves when they finally released the piece of trash addons they were so hyping in the forums just days before.

It is recommended that you only release screenshots of stuff that is ready to be released if everything goes bad. What this means, is the addon doesn't need to be release ready in the sense, but if you suddenly need to get a new job, go to army, get married, get sick, get killed etc… you could just RAR up the addon and release it. That is what it means. When you have addon in this condition, then you can post a screenshots, but don't do it for work in progress “maybe” addons which has no fool proof assurance to get released. You only piss off community members and make a fool out of yourself.

News Sites

News sites are one of the major ways to promote your mod, they are considered the word of fact, I mean what gets into news on a major site must be good right? Well not always as its known that the current ArmA news sites post pretty much any news gets submitted to them.

Write down the major news sites news submitting contact info to your project documents so you can always easily update them when you have released something.

News sites are also the main places to host your mod files.

You should always be very friendly and humble with the news site admins, no matter how bad day you or they have had and things go the wrong way fast, always… always be calm and nice to them. Once you piss off a major news site, you're screwed big time. Don't do it.

Forums

You should post at least release topic into the BIS forums. You can do the addons & mods: discussion topic too, but as we already warned in the over hyping, you should only talk the talk if you can walk the walk.

When you post into the forums a topic from your mod, write down the link to your bookmarks or your project documents, so you can always easily find the topic when necessary. Keep the topic updated, there is nothing more bad looking than absent mod maker from their own topic, users tend to read that as “thiz mod is dead!!1” quite quickly.

Replying to feedback

Some community members are very verbal on their feedback if not completely rude and disrespectful. Do not sink to their level and start to sling mud with them, do not defend your mod “too much” as that just angers the trolls even more. Sure if you know that there is no bug XYZ you can state that, kindly ask screenshot or demo mission to reproduce this bug, but dont go defending things you're not sure or are otherwise questionable. Always stay humble and thank people for their feedback (not individually but when its appropriate) and constructive criticism.

Never ever get into heated debates about who's best, or does your addon suck or does it not, that gets you nowhere except out of the community, fast.

Notes

After you have fully read the above and understand it, proceed to read How to mod article which helps you on the basics how to mod.

arma/howto_be_mod_maker.txt · Last modified: 2009-04-29 22:57 (external edit)