View Full Version : Proposition to all coders...

03-21-2003, 12:55 PM

I have a proposition to make to all modders who are involved in coding mods. It involves trying to combine our efforts in a way which doesn't involve full-on merges. (This isn't possible most of time, because we have different visions of our games. i.e. the mods still have to stay seperate most of the time...)

If you don't like it at the end, then no probs. But I think you need to see the proposition in full to judge it properly.

What I'm proposing is a loosely-based group of modding invidivuals or teams which agree to share code between themselves, so that we can effectively pool our resources

NOTE - this is VERY different to making your code publically avaliable. Members of this 'group' must NOT give out any code from other modders in teh group to anybody else except those inside the group.

This is something myself and Azymnn have discussed - and will probably do anyway. (Well, at least I know I'm still up for it.). I've also discussed it with other people who aren't so keen. But I'm hoping that if we can set some good ground rules, it might be a bit more exceptable to a lot of people...

At the moment, we have lots of different mods doing lots of different things. A lot of them are great mods. But people can only choose to have a sub-set of the features of these mods at any one time - because their completely seperate.
In short, were not getting the best mods we can out to the community, because were not combining our efforts to some degree.

On the flip-side, you have the concept of open source!! While this allows features to be spread around the community, it has great potential for abuse and lack of recognition for the original modders hard work!!

Any mod individual or team would give full credit to the rest of the group when releasing their mod.

For example, let's say we decided to call the group - 'The JKII Modding group!'. (Not very original, but hey! :) )

When announcing my mod - for example - I would say 'Movie Battles Mod for JKII - part of the JKII Modding Group' - or something like that.
i.e. The name of the group MUST be included in the title of your mod.

That way, we ALL get credit for ANY mod which ends up getting made...

Of course, we need an extensive set of ground rules. We'd need to decide these between ourselves, but here's a good start:

1. You must be able to bring something 'of worth' to the group. In other words, you can't join the group, nick a load of good stuff to make your mod with, but not have anything of your own to contribute...
Of course, somehow, the group needs to decide between itself what it considers to be a worthwhile contribution...

2. You can join whenever you like, AND YOU CAN LEAVE WHENEVER YOU LIKE. But if you use any code you gained while in the group in a mod you release after you leave, you STILL have to give full credit to the group...

3. THe only requirement to joining the group is that you make avaliable as much code as is deemed 'worthwhile' by the group to the common pool. It is up to whoever wants to use it to merge it in themselves. Of course, it would be nice if they could ask you questions now and again, but it not required of you...

We can add more as we see fit.

I just think it's a real shame that we have all these great mods with all these great features, but these 'features' have to remain closed within our individual mods...

Our mods will still be unique by their gameplay, how you use these different features etc. i.e. WE WON'T BECOME ONE BIG MOD.
BUT, each of our mods could become so much better...

And one thing I am sure of - a LOT of people who play our mods would LOVE us to make this happen...

Who's with me?! :)

03-21-2003, 01:08 PM
Another point:

A modding invidivual / team might say 'I want to contribute THIS feature to the group, but I want to keep THAT feature to myself...'

To me, this seems prefectly acceptable, As long as the group agrees that what you have contributed is 'worthwhile'.

In short, you don't have to include every single line of your source code to join the group. Only enough to get you entry...

But if you want to contribute all of it, your more than welcome to do that too :)

03-21-2003, 08:04 PM
I'm still open to this concept, but I don't really have a solid coder to offer in the first place :(. However I don't see why mods should have to put the group name in their title; I mean, I'm not going around saying "Rebel Operations - Mod By Chandler!". They could give credit in the readme file or in the in-game credits...

03-21-2003, 08:17 PM
Whether it has to be part of the title or not can be debated.
The important thing is it's VERY clear.

I think a good way to do that is just ammend it to your title. But this is something that can be decided between us...

As far as not having a coder at the moment, I can't really help you there. You will need to provide something to the group. I don't think that could be negotiable...

Unless we decide it's not just code that can be submitted...

And just to be clear - you don't submit the coder. (i.e. you don't share your coder man-power to other mods or something like that)
You submit the code itself...

03-21-2003, 09:12 PM
I'll pass.

1. The amount of work for an individual to join is subjective. One "cool" feature can take months / huge amount of code knowledge while others can be done in days.

2. Providing source code to the community has only resulted in a fragmented community with 50+ mods and little to no server support. Most mods fall into 3 or 4 basic projects and the rest is just in simple setting differences. All this would do is homogenize the member mods down to having mostly identical code.

In conclusion, direct code exchanges will only result in more mods that are seperate but basically the same. Otherwise, why exchange code in the first place?

This would make more sense as a documentation of the code project since it would result in the same desired result without the "seperate but equal" policy.

03-21-2003, 09:29 PM
Yeah, your right Razor,

It seemed like a great possibility when I posted!

But it hasn't taken long for me to see all kinds of problems - including the ones you mentioned.

I'm not particularly bothered about the features being spread out a bit more amongst the community - that was the point of the idea. Basically, I was trying to achieve the same thing as open source, but try and reduce the chaotic nature of it. Try and make sure it was contained within a group of people who had - in effect - 'earned' it etc. And make sure credit was clearly shown.

But, I must admit it's a non-starter now that I look at it again - and after listening to your points.

Oh well...

Let's get back to competing against each-other! ;)

03-21-2003, 10:22 PM

Well, it's like this. If you're trading code on such a intimate level anyway, why not just work together on a single mod in the first place? :)

03-21-2003, 10:36 PM
Because oyu are making two different things. There is no way that you could combine MovieBattles and MotF. They are two different things.

However you may want to share some of the features. Like say you really like Renegade's replacement for saber throw, and He thinks that your True Vision would be the perfect thing to go with his soilder class.

Its a way to combine source without giving everyone your hard earned work.

03-22-2003, 01:39 AM
I think you're overestimating the differences of MotF and Movie Battles. Our goals are very similar.

However, the MotF Team has different stance on LMS. LMS is great and all, but we don't think it's important enough to remove the respawn option totally. Phunk feels that it is that important and so we continue to work apart. That's ok thou. We doing pretty good on our own anyway. :)

03-22-2003, 07:46 AM

While there are loads of practical problems with my idea, surely you must admit code-sharing is different from merging.

Two mod teams may have the same code that perfoms the same 'feature', but either mod team can still use that feature very different ways...

I wouldn't have seen the mods who got involved in this code-sharing idea become as homogoneous as you propose. Yes, they would have similar features. One mod couldn't go 'You should play ours and not theirs because we have this feature and that feature and they don't'

If you see that taking away from the 'allure' of your mod, then you are right about that.

Our 'selling points' if you will would have come down more to gameplay and our 'visions' of what makes a good game. These would still be very unique to our individual mods.

And one last point - it's not like every single mod in the group would start taking every single code feature which has been submitted. You still have to go through the hassle of merging the code in the first place.
I think each mod team would end up choosing only maybe 1 or 2 features out of the collected pool - not ALL of them!

But anyway, like I say, let's just forget the idea.

I just find it a bit amusing that mod teams compete! In business, competition is nessesary. Because money is involved.

Mod teams DON'T have to compete if they don't want to. But they have to CHOOSE to think that way. Everyone would benefit - the mod teams themselves AND the players too - would benefit if we didn't..

But. hey, you can't change the reality of a situation...

03-22-2003, 07:48 AM
And Razor,

Please don't say we didn't merge JUST because of LMS again!! Look at the thread about saber-throw.

I think were as stubborn as each-other.

If we had have merged. people would be skating in hell before we would have agreed on the colour scheme for the menu's!! ;)

03-22-2003, 10:24 AM
Yawn - Hard Drive ... crashed ...
Work done on code since last August ... vanished ...
Work done on GLA tool ... almost completely wiped out ...
Will to try it all again ... almost negligible ...

Mod to Server support ... did it ever exist?

Servers ... depleting ...

Is it the end? Is this how it all ends?

03-22-2003, 10:46 AM

Wudan - I've been where you are before - although I don't think on the same scale...

Ever since then I've used DriveCopy religiously - but that doesn't help you now...

I can only offer my total sympathy - it's one of the worst things that can happen.

(Well, I guess getting bombs dropped on your head could be considered worse - but you know that I mean!)

Sorry man...

03-22-2003, 11:42 AM
Thanks man. I should've gotten a burner sooner, and should've read more reviews about the IBM DeskStar, aka IBM DeathStar - it totally annihilated me :(

Luckily, I was only beginning to move my small changes into the AotC:TC codebase - and most of those I wanted to re-write / work bugs out of, anyway.

Same thing goes for the GLA tool, although I think I might take some time off now. I'm pretty broken up about it.

03-22-2003, 01:33 PM

I guess it's time to backup my projects.

03-22-2003, 02:16 PM
Yeah, I know I wouldn't exactly submit my coder, but since I don't have one, I have very little code as well. Finding dedicated people is too hard. At least with a combined effort, there would hopefully be less laziness and incompetence... I assume it would be okay to tweak the shared code to each mod's liking, such as submitting a fairly generalized section of code and letting the mods customize it. That would allow for a bit more diversity.

03-22-2003, 03:34 PM
Yeah, of course, you can merge the code straight in, or you can adjust it as you see fit...

Well, it might work with a small, tight group I guess.
If anybody's still interested, let me know and we'll talk about it.

03-22-2003, 04:42 PM
Well, I have a few coding buddies, but even after some several months at this, I've discovered that I am not a Jedi ... yet!

So, hey, if I've learned any cool stuff along the way, I'll share it with anyone, just look at the ladder-hack I have posted up at the Compendium.

03-22-2003, 09:02 PM
No kidding. There's just so much code to know. I'm specializing in the ghoul2 API and the saber system. Wudan's doing the .gla format stuff and PyschoSith is the modeller dude.

03-23-2003, 09:12 AM
Regardless of the almost complete decimation of the GLA editing tool, I still know tons about GLA, and will re-build this tool, better than ever!