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Modder'S Manifesto


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#1 Lee200

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 05:32 PM

Some Thoughts From An Old Modder:

Many of you know me, but to those who don't, I've been around Grand Prix Legends for about 13 years now and have been actively engaged in making utilities and working on mod teams for most of that time.  I've also been honored to serve as the leader for a couple of major mods although I'm a bit uneasy with using the word "leader" as we really are a team.  So I've got a good bit of experience with the mod process.

After reading some recent posts in threads here, I thought I'd make a few comments about mods.  These thoughts are mine alone and some modders may have different ideas, but the mod team members I work with feel the same as I do.  My thoughts may come across as being rather harsh and insensitive, but I want to be as clear as possible so there is no misunderstanding.  And when I say "YOU", I mean the Grand Prix Legends community at large; not necessarily you as an individual.

So here goes:

1.  MODS ARE MADE FOR THE MODDERS:  One of our mod teams once had a discussion about why we mod.  The seemingly obvious answer is that we enjoy receiving praise and gratitude from you for a job well done.  That is certainly a part of it; however, it is not the main reason.  The true underlying reason is that we simply enjoy making mods.  It's our hobby, it's our passion, and sometimes it becomes our obsession.  While we certainly listen to feedback from those outside the mod team, deep down inside we don't really care.  We are making mods for our own enjoyment; not necessarily for anyone else although we are certainly happy to share the fruits of our labor with you.  We will continue to make mods for only as long as we enjoy doing so.

2.  MODS DO NOT COME WITH A GUARANTEE:  No mod is released with any warranty or guarantee, either expressed or implied.  We do not promise that you will like it, we do not promise that we will fix it, we do not promise to ever update it, and we certainly don't feel the need to justify nor defend it.  It is a free gift from us to you and we expect absolutely nothing in return.  If you don't like the gift, then just don't use it.

3.  MODS ARE MADE BY TEAMS:  The mod process is too complex and time consuming to be done by any one individual.  It is a team process where a loose knit collection of individuals bring special knowledge, skill, experience, and work ethic to the table.  As with any team, individual desires often have to be compromised in order to reach a common goal.  In my experience, we have been lucky to have a core group of people who work very well together in a group situation.

There are some individual members in the Grand Prix Legends community who may have the abilities needed to do parts of a mod; however, they don't have the personality to work well with others in a team environment.  These people simply are not asked to join a team.  We reserve the right to choose our team members and with whom we work.

4.  YOU ARE SPOILED:  Over the years, you have been fortunate to be on the receiving end of numerous, high quality mods.  Beginning with the 1965 F1 mod up to the most recent 1971 CanAm mod, our mods have upheld the highest standards possible.  You have come to expect that each succeeding mod will be as good or better than the previous one and that this stream of mods will be endless.  And all this has come at absolutely no cost to you other than needing a computer and an internet connection.

Other racing sims have come and gone and yet Grand Prix Legends still flourishes.  Why?  Because there is a small group of dedicated modders who spend countless hours working tirelessly behind the scenes to produce the next great mod.

5.  CRITICISM VERSUS CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM:  There IS a difference between the two.  Sometimes it's difficult to tell one from the other because we are forced into using typed words to convey our meaning.  And we also have the language barrier because English is not the native tongue for many of us which can lead to misunderstanding.  However, let me give you two hypothetical posts which I think clearly shows the difference.

A.  "This mod sucks.  If the team is only going to produce arcade games, then I don't want to see another mod."

B.  "I enjoy the mod, but the Lotus seems to have too much horsepower."

Now to which of these two posts do you think I will respond with a helpful answer?

6.  YOU ARE FREE TO MAKE A MOD:  There is no Supreme Wizard of Grand Prix Legends that sits behind the curtain, pulling all the strings, and deciding which mod to do next and how it will be done.  There is no Grand Prix Legends police force or law that prevents you from making a mod.  Everyone here can modify the simulation and make it whatever you want.  If you feel strongly that something needs to be changed, then do it yourself.  If you are too lazy or ignorant to do so, then don't expect me to change it for you as I'm under absolutely no obligation to make you happy.

7.  FINAL THOUGHT:  This forum is a special meeting place for us GPLers.  We can freely voice our opinions with the comfort that these opinions will be respected.  Others may disagree with our opinions, but it is normally done with civility and courtesy toward each other.  There are many other forums, inside the sim racing scene and without, where this simply isn't true.  Unfortunately, I'm starting to see a bit of disrespect being displayed toward fellow members and I sincerely hope this isn't going to be a future trend.  So far, there have only been a few individuals who have acted this way and I hope that doesn't continue.  If it does, then I reserve my right not to read their posts nor respond to them.

Again, these thoughts are directed to the Grand Prix Legends community at large and not to any specific individual.

There is so little time and so many mods to make so I will get back to doing it.

#2 dangermouse

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 06:07 PM

Very well worded! I wait with anticipation for the next mod.

Thanks to all the guys that make stuff for GPL!

#3 davef

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 06:16 PM

Thanks Lee200 & all the specialists of GPL for all the great extra's you have so generously shared with us over the many years
of this great Sim's existence, at no cost to us . We all need to remember that !

:applause:

Edited by davef, Jan 28 2013 - 06:57 PM.


#4 John Woods

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 06:23 PM

View PostLee200, on Jan 28 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

If it does, then I reserve my right not to read their posts nor respond to them.

B.  "I enjoy the mod, but the Lotus seems to have too much horsepower."

Seems just letting those things be is the only resolution.

But there is no such thing as too much horsepower.

"Don't waste time confusing the ignorant," someone once said.

Thanks for everything, Lee, all the best.

Edited by John Woods, Jan 28 2013 - 06:24 PM.


#5 Saiph

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 07:02 PM

Some thoughts from an old (since 1998) GPL driver:

[quote name='Lee200' timestamp='1359415955' post='85923']
Some Thoughts From An Old Modder:
......
1.  MODS ARE MADE FOR THE MODDERS:  .......  While we certainly listen to feedback from those outside the mod team, deep down inside we don't really care.  We are making mods for our own enjoyment; not necessarily for anyone else .......

2.  MODS DO NOT COME WITH A GUARANTEE:  .......  We do not promise that you will like it, we do not promise that we will fix it, we do not promise to ever update it, and we certainly don't feel the need to justify nor defend it........
......
4.  YOU ARE SPOILED:  Over the years, you have been fortunate to be on the receiving end of numerous, high quality mods.[/quote]
As the mods are only made to satisfy the mod teams, the term "high quality" is mostly your own subjective opinion, based on your own standards of "quality". It may not accurately reflect what the community thinks. But generally yes, the mods are well-received and well appreciated.

[quote name='Lee200' timestamp='1359415955' post='85923']
Beginning with the 1965 F1 mod up to the most recent 1971 CanAm mod, our mods have upheld the highest standards possible.[/quote]
Again, "highest standards possible" is your own subjective judgement of your own standards within the modder community, which may not necessarily be the standards of the outside GPL community. But generally, yes, they do coincide with each other.

[quote name='Lee200' timestamp='1359415955' post='85923']
You have come to expect that each succeeding mod will be as good or better than the previous one and that this stream of mods will be endless.
[/quote]
There is no real expectation of what mods will be released, or what quality they will be, or when they will be released. 'Teasers' are sometimes posted on SRMZ, but have proved to be completely unreliable in the past. Statements are sometimes made by modders and track builders (for example about an update to "Road America" being ready "in a few days"), but these are most often unreliable too. Most of the time we have absolutely no clue as to what is going on. Experienced members of the GPL community like myself simply take everything with a large pinch of salt, and are just pleasantly surprised when a new mod/track is actually released.
EDIT: It's shame that some less-experienced GPL community/SRMZ members seem to regard 'teasers' as some kind of 'promise' about what will be released, or when it will be ready, and they get disappointed when mods/tracks aren't released according to their expectations. They will have to learn! (But then, who is it who raises the expectations in the first place? :think: ;) :D )

[quote name='Lee200' timestamp='1359415955' post='85923']
......
Other racing sims have come and gone and yet Grand Prix Legends still flourishes.  Why?  Because there is a small group of dedicated modders who spend countless hours working tirelessly behind the scenes to produce the next great mod.
[/quote]
And from point 1, you're obviously still enjoying it a lot, so good for you!

[quote name='Lee200' timestamp='1359415955' post='85923']
5.  CRITICISM VERSUS CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM:  There IS a difference between the two.
..........
[/quote]
This is a good point. Some people seem to think that it's ok to be rude and condemnatory when they're pointing out something that they think is "wrong" with their free gift. I hope the majority show more respect and use better manners when commenting about mods/tracks that they're using.

[quote name='Lee200' timestamp='1359415955' post='85923']
..........
7.  FINAL THOUGHT:  This forum is a special meeting place for us GPLers.  We can freely voice our opinions with the comfort that these opinions will be respected.  Others may disagree with our opinions, but it is normally done with civility and courtesy toward each other.  There are many other forums, inside the sim racing scene and without, where this simply isn't true.  Unfortunately, I'm starting to see a bit of disrespect being displayed toward fellow members and I sincerely hope this isn't going to be a future trend.  So far, there have only been a few individuals who have acted this way and I hope that doesn't continue.  If it does, then I reserve my right not to read their posts nor respond to them.
[/quote]
Hear hear, I agree.

[quote name='Lee200' timestamp='1359415955' post='85923']
Again, these thoughts are directed to the Grand Prix Legends community at large and not to any specific individual.

There is so little time and so many mods to make so I will get back to doing it.
[/quote]
Interesting thoughts Lee, thanks for sharing them.

Thanks to all the GPL modders and track builders who continue to enjoy making new things. I can assure you I will continue to enjoy using them!

Edited by Saiph, Jan 28 2013 - 07:09 PM.


#6 Bo Bruce

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 07:50 PM

good post.. there are still some new people coming to GPL and all its glory, so a re-stating of how it got to be where it is and the respect of modders needs to be so stated.
i read on other forums, Non GPL, too much disrespect- language confusion is NOT the issue there.. its simple disrespect.  i hope as you stated (you the mod community, not YOU personally) will also take into account those that are not representative of the Community that has been around for quite a few years (like since the 1st demo was released in '97)  and separate the men from the children ;)    thanks for ALL you do to keep GPL in the front!  its all been good ~

#7 Bob Simpson

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 08:36 PM

I think also that some people don’t realize how hard it has been to make a GPL mod.  It wasn’t intended to be modded unlike many other Sims.  There’s been a lot of reverse engineering, detective work and trial and error.  But there seems to be something about GPL that makes it all worth the trouble.

#8 Claudio Pablo Navonne

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 03:10 AM

I agree with you Saiph.
Thanks.

#9 andpan

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 04:03 AM

We should be very thankful to those who spent their skills and time to keep GPL alive !!

#10 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 05:44 AM

Great thread and post, Lee.  We...the entire GPL community...is(are)in debt to you and all members of any edit team.

I love this line from your initial post...

"...as I'm under absolutely no obligation to make you happy."

Thing is...  You do.  :)

Edited by Manfred Cubenoggin, Jan 29 2013 - 05:42 PM.


#11 Lee200

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 06:45 AM

Hi Saiph and thanks for your's and everyone else's comments.

Just to be clear, in the manifesto I was referring to our car mods that have upheld the highest standard possible.  Although the team members have changed over the years, the very best and most talented GPL modders at that time worked on those car mods.  That continues to remain true today for the ongoing mods that I'm aware of.

I was not talking about tracks.  Although there are many talented track makers such as Jim Pearson and Ginetto, there have been many tracks that didn't meet the standards set by them.  I don't mean this as a criticism, but am just making an observation that there have been wide differences in track quality.

And of course, I'm putting all this in context within the GPL community as we have no way nor intention to compare ourselves with other car racing sims.  We certainly can't compete directly with newer sims such as iRacing as we don't have the same technology or resources available.  I do feel though that GPL still looks pretty good considering how old she is.

As for releasing teasers, that is a double edged sword as you noted.  I could post screenshots today for future mods that may not see release for five years from now.  That would just raise unnecessary expectations which, as you say, some would consider as a promise.  It's better not to reveal too much of what's going on behind the scenes in my experience.

I agree that we sometimes see highly touted "vaporware" although I don't think that has applied to our car mods as much as perhaps tracks.  I too am waiting to see certain tracks released or updated.

Edited by Lee200, Jan 29 2013 - 07:05 AM.


#12 kestrel

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 06:47 AM

Very valid thoughts and comments Lee:  those of us who enjoy GPL should be so very grateful to you and all modders for the wonderful way GPL has progressed since first inception.

In making mods for your own enjoyment you bring great pleasure to others.

My own thoughts are that the enjoyment would be enhanced further with tracks improvement and it’s great to see that Spa and Road America are being worked on.   I wonder if some of the fabulous tracks created for GTR2 could be converted eg:  Road Atlanta, and most especially the Nordschleife.

Once again Lee, great post and thanks to you and the team for all your efforts.

#13 Clutch

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 07:08 AM

I think Lee's comments seem completely fair to me.

I've been playing GPL for 5 years and don't feel i've scratched the surface with all the Mods, so i'm never in a rush for a new one, i'm just thankful we have so much choice - and importantly - it all seems to be to 'GPL Modder standard' which is a high standard in my opinion.

I read on the P&G forum on SRMZ that P&G3 had been voted as being the best Mod of the year on a website (you can find the link on the post) in the P&G forum, but its also worth noting, after reading the very interesting article about Mods over all SIMs this year, the GPL Can Am 71 Mod did get its own paragraph and i remember the Mod Team were praised for their continued high standard of work - worth reading.

For me, i've always appreciated the organised way the GPL Mod Team goes about its business in terms of release. Dedicated website, factual information, installer..etc. Its all in keeping with the original game's feel, and thats why i like the work. Also, if there's a more helpful SIM forum on the web, i've not found it yet.

Good luck to the Mod Team in anything else you create

Cheers

#14 RacerBG

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 07:41 AM

This post proves me that we can expect future mods and of course future enjoyment of them.

To all modders here (I was a F1C modder so I know how it is): Keep up the good work and keep in first place YOUR life! The games are after it.

#15 burt

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 08:04 AM

View PostManfred Cubenoggin, on Jan 29 2013 - 05:44 AM, said:

Great thread and post, Lee.  We...the entire GPL community...is in debt to you and all members of any edit team.

I love this line from your initial post...

"...as I'm under absolutely no obligation to make you happy."

Thing is...  You do.  :)


Manfred's post says it all for me.

You and the team make us all very happy and grateful that you share your work with us. For me GPL is one my great simple pleasures - get home from work stressed, crack open a beer, do a few laps, check whats happening at SMRZ, result = not stressed :)
I can't put it anymore simply than that.

Thank you Lee and the team.

#16 bingo

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 08:17 AM

I think this is an excellent message to send new and GPL experienced players alike.
GPL is and hopefully will continue to be friendly towards all those who give their time generously towards it - but it did need a bit of a kick in the right direction.

Long live GPL!

Edited by bingo, Jan 29 2013 - 08:18 AM.


#17 twinpotter

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 11:02 AM

GPL is my passion,hobbie and interest all rolled into one and without people like Lee and all the modders I would have gone somewhere else to do other things.So thanks for keeping my interest alive.
SRMZ is where I like to come and gpl is my favourite sim to race. As Burt said, it is a great de-stress tonic at the end of the day.I like to treat this site and other members with utter respect, as we all should do and hope that everyone pulls in the same direction to keep the majesty of Gpl/srmz alive.
Thanks again Lee for opening up with this interesting thread and some very good points.
Respects-Twinpotter :hat-tip:

#18 DARoot

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 11:38 AM

And now for, perhaps, a slightly different viewpoint...

I have no issues, in general, about Lee200's OP.
My concern is about how it may (or may not) affect the SRMZ Forums.

It has always been my firm belief that Internet Forums are a place where individuals -- whatever their "expertise level," can freely express their thoughts and comments. If nobody else agrees with them, that's their lookout. As Lee200 stated, nobody has to read everything.
..
End-Users ALWAYS appreciate the hard work that Modders put in, and DEFINITELY appreciate those Modders who make their creations available, free of charge, to them... Even if they do not specifically say so, publicly, in many cases.

HOWEVER

"Modders For the Public" need to realize a few things ...
---- Some of us End-Users are fully capable of "editing" whatever you decide to release, to suit ourselves. Many (if not most) cannot.

---- Many of the "comments" Modders may get are not necessarily directed at THEM, personally (or their "Modding Team."), but ONLY at the "End-Product" they have publicly released. That is what the End-User has, so that is what they are evaluating.
If it "won't run" on their system, they will be disappointed (and may post a "question"). If it runs, but doesn't (for one reason or another) meet their expectations, they may post a question, or a comment. [There is a WIP thread, elsewhere on these Forums, wherein about 10 people posted "This is Great!" type comments, before that Mod was even released, and they had actually seen/experienced it ... 'Nough said... "Sycophants" are no more help to Modders than "critics" -- they're just nicer to have ...]

---- I have a hard time with the "Criticism vs. Constructive Criticism" issue, although I DO agree with it's basic tenents.
Sometimes, End-User comments are just that -- comments -- and require NO action (or even, regard) by the Mod Author. They are just posted because, to the End-User, that thread seemed like the best place to post them. And some SRMZ Members post comments, not for the Modder per se, but for whoever else might be reading that particular thread...
Many times, such comments require NO action on the part of the Modder (either to possibly "change something" in the next "update," or even to respond to...) unless the Poster specifically says/asks for that...
Often enough, some posters are just not as "experienced" or "savvy" about GPL than some others. Does that make their expressed problems or questions less valid?  I hope not ... Tolerance ....

---- Often, End-User "disappointment" can be related to a couple of things -- too much WIP "Hype," or a poorly-written ReadMe. Both of these are "controllable" by the Modder/Modding Team (as has been previously discussed).

---- Some Modder or other who (may) take an otherwise innocently-intended comment the "wrong way," and then proceeds to castigate the SRMZ Member poster publicly, may be reflecting worse on him/her self, than on the intended victim (all Posts on this Forum currently stand on their own, and are subject to interpretation in the eye of the beholder...).

I would be VERY concerned if SRMZ started "censoring" Member posts, based on some "Constructive vs. Non-Constructive" criteria.
[But, if they do, I hope they make it VERY clear, in their Member Guidelines area].

For Modders, I say only this --
-- The World is a big place, with lots of different people in it.
-- Some may agree with you, and your close friends/colleagues. Some may not.
-- Accept it, and move on. Do what you enjoy, and don't worry about it.

For End-User posters --
-- Get a Grip! And, remember what your Mother taught you as a child -- "common courtesy" is NEVER "out of style"...
-- If you have a question, you will always catch more flies with honey, than you will with vinegar (Words to the Wise). And, be sure to say "Thank You" (or, "No, that didn't work for me") whenever somebody tries to help you here.
-- If you value your reputation on a Public Forum, do think twice before posting ANYTHING, and do read your prospective post (write it up in Notepad beforehand, if you must) before hitting that "Submit" button.

DARoot

[As an aside, is ANYBODY currently working on a workable "groove" for Oulton Park?]

#19 Border Reiver - guest

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 01:00 PM

View PostDARoot, on Jan 29 2013 - 11:38 AM, said:

...
[As an aside, is ANYBODY currently working on a workable "groove" for Oulton Park?]

No. I tired to sort it out but with that released track, due to how it was made, it seems that it is impossible to do. Guru, who wrote the regrooving software, also tried with the track and found the same as I did that it will get so far and then it crashes and nothing we tried would get around that.

Remy, Paul and I did do an update for the track to improve the graphics, but we could not fix the groove on the original files as released. I did also start reconstructing new build files for the track to allow it to be recompiled and thus regrooved. That work got so far and then we either got bored of it, or moved on to doing something else or something happened such that we lost interest in doing editing in general or whatever. I know I was having issues with the rebuild, in that the new version was a lot larger in terms of file sizes and polygon count than the original and that wasn't helping with frame rates.

Rob

#20 sky

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 01:14 PM

dunno where to start here :) anyway.... i agree with most points being made in this thread so far. regarding comments / criticism. to me it is as much about the content as the delivery. i don't mind someone dissing whatever it is we did or released as long as he/she/it explains properly why he/she/it thinks so. just saying "this is poo and xxx can do that better" (where xxx maybe another game, another team or something else entirely) is very likely a comment that annoys me to the point where i may chose to ignore further comments from said individual. now i realize english is quite possibly not the native language of the majority of users here (it isn't mine either) yet we all communicate using it and as such something written might come across as something it wasn't intended to be just because the nuances of that language are not known to the poster - "have a nice life" being one of those that i have been taught via the mishap of a friend who actually used that phrase thinking it meant what it reads - which it doesn't ;). so i try to give people the benefit of doubt with their posts. if they accumulate, i tend to ignore them. but that is just me being me.

as a bit of an answer regarding "highest standards", etc. yes, that is our goal. however at times we need to sacrifice the ultimate goal we had in mind when starting or that developed while we were working on a mod for the simple reason that you can spend an eternity trying to improve things without ever getting to the magic 100%. along the way you will find other things that need improvement now that the rest has been improved. at some point you just have to draw a line at where to stop and what to not do to eventually "finish" a mod. in all honesty a mod is probably never ever really finished. looking back at some of the mods i was involved in, i would like to change a few bits here and there, but again - when to stop trying to improve? also there is always the option for the community to improve the things we may have left to improve ;). a few of our current lineup got themselves recruited that way.
but in general "highest standards" is, of course, objective. not everyone may agree and some are more vocal about it than others, which is just as well. anyone feeling a change is necessary or actually wanting to change a thing is invited to do so - for the most part all it takes is time and patience.
in some cases we might have done better, but again - where to stop? eventually you have to move on or burn out - something that has happened, too. so while i might be grumbling about why release now instead of in, say, another two weeks, i see the point of eventually considering something "done" when it matches our ;) standards. individually we may have standards that differ from what is set as the team standard, but that is to be expected.

as has been said and shown before, there are a lot of things in the pipeline and which comes next might not be the one most anticipated or the most interesting but simply the one most of the team could agree on doing next as a team effort.




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