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More mods should be open source.


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Thought I'd try to liven up the forum a bit with a debate.

I personally think JKA modders should be more willing to release their source code / map files / models to the wider community.

Why, I think plagiarism if you can call it that in JKA is not the issue it used to be. I also think a lot of fantastic modders have made amazing stuff but they have not shown anyone else how to do it. So as a result, stuff doesnt get built on and improved and tweaked with.

I personally, learn best by seeing how someone else has done something. I'm sure many others do as well. Being able how to see a creator has made a strafe map then making your own is such a good way to learn. That's a poor example but I think you get the idea.

I think the biggest issue for new modders at the moment is the lack of knowledge because a lot of the resources and guides have long since died. Players being able to mess about with other players creations is just a fantastic way to learn.

 

Also, I remember when KOTF first came out. If I remember right, it was some turkish dude who basically stiched up a lot of other peoples mods and created KOTF out of it. At the time there was outcry. I disagreed with it as well. But now I think about it... The harm was minimal and I think KOTF brought new players into the community.

That's my take anyway, I could of thought this out more but I thought I'd just throw this out there.  I'd also acknowledge that alot of JKA projects are now on github which is fantastic.  I think more creators should be willing to release their project files either for learning or for personal use.

Droidy365, Smoo, Jeff and 1 other like this
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While the idea of making source files more accessible to the community isn't bad, I think it should be up to the authors. I can understand if many of them are not willing to do that, because they've already spent so much of their spare time making something.

Technically, playermodels, weapons and props already are already source files. The model files can be opened with Blender, while the textures can be edited with any image editing software. In other words, anyone has easy access to those files. And if the original author has permitted the free modification of those files, anyone can get to work straight away. Once you know how to work with both, anything else is straightforward.

It's a completely different thing with maps. In most cases, they have to be decompiled in order to access the source files, with the downside of having the textures scrambled and losing several scripts. Only very few authors have released the source files for their own maps. But at least we have some source files, such as the ones that come with GtkRadiant.

I think that releasing source files is better for huge mods, such as total conversions. You've already mentioned the original KotF made by Timfx, which is one example. He really missed an opportunity, because instead of releasing the required source files for the mod, he flushed all the files down the toilet. He may have had his reasons, but if you think about how much that mod was anticipated in the community, it was a dumb decision.

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28 minutes ago, Lancelot said:

It's a completely different thing with maps. In most cases, they have to be decompiled in order to access the source files, with the downside of having the textures scrambled and losing several scripts. Only very few authors have released the source files for their own maps. But at least we have some source files, such as the ones that come with GtkRadiant.

Ye, I think its mainly targeted at Mappers. Because it is quite rare to see mappers release their source files. Which is a shame.

I'd also say that if a mod is dead. Consider releasing the project anyway. The amount of amazing mods that have been developed but never made it is countless. The majority of the time the developers never release the stuff they did make which is a pity.

In the end it is down to the individual but I think it could benefit the community.

Lancelot likes this
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12 hours ago, Bubbles said:

I think the biggest issue for new modders at the moment is the lack of knowledge because a lot of the resources and guides have long since died. Players being able to mess about with other players creations is just a fantastic way to learn.

Which resources and guides are you referring to? I think there are more tutorials and guides today than there ever were back in the day. Modding JK2 and JKA was always more of a "learn by tinkering" and any guides were more of a "point you in the right direction" sort of thing, until the last 10 years or so. Tutorials have become much more straightforward and hold you hand a lot more than they ever did, especially with YouTube tutorials.

13 hours ago, Bubbles said:

Also, I remember when KOTF first came out. If I remember right, it was some turkish dude who basically stiched up a lot of other peoples mods and created KOTF out of it. At the time there was outcry. I disagreed with it as well. But now I think about it... The harm was minimal and I think KOTF brought new players into the community.

This is a bit misinformed. The problem with Tim's KOTF was that he took all of those mods, put them in his giant menu mod, and didn't give credit to anyone that made any of it, implying he did it himself. In addition to that, the launcher had a trojan virus in it, and he had essentially switched to charging money for the mod right before it went down and he disappeared. Charging money for mods he didn't even make. It was a terrible situation and he was a scummy dude. The issue was never with the overall idea, it was how he went about it.

13 hours ago, Bubbles said:

Why, I think plagiarism if you can call it that in JKA is not the issue it used to be. I also think a lot of fantastic modders have made amazing stuff but they have not shown anyone else how to do it. So as a result, stuff doesnt get built on and improved and tweaked with.

There are a decent amount of tutorials out there for various things, but tutorials take time to make, and most modders would prefer to use that time modding. With that said, I definitely think people shouldn't be afraid to reach out to someone and ask them to make a guide on how they did a certain thing, or point to one that already exists, to help others. If you think of something that needs a guide or tutorial, feel free to request it in the request section. Some people just don't think about it unless they are asked.

 

Also, keep in mind that most mods are art, and artists are entitled to keep their works as their own. I don't think a lot of people in JKA would feel strongly about that necessarily, but I personally don't really want to release a source of one of my maps only to have someone take it and change it up slightly and release it as their own. There's always that worry, albeit a small one.

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2 hours ago, Circa said:

 

This is a bit misinformed. The problem with Tim's KOTF was that he took all of those mods, put them in his giant menu mod, and didn't give credit to anyone that made any of it, implying he did it himself. In addition to that, the launcher had a trojan virus in it, and he had essentially switched to charging money for the mod right before it went down and he disappeared. Charging money for mods he didn't even make. It was a terrible situation and he was a scummy dude. The issue was never with the overall idea, it was how he went about it.

This i can only say is the hold truth, i was there when it happen as i was a Admin on KOTF forum back in the days, Tim was a scummy dude for sure, and the way he earn that money was also a really nasty way doing it, said he could not finish the mod if he didn't get a new PC. i remember it like it was yesterday lol, plus he didn't want to release the mod after he did get his new PC the community had payed him to finish the mod with, his greed got over him again as he  wanted 200k views of his video on YouTube, that showed where he live, So me and a sec mod in there got mad and there after did a web script that would get the view counter up faster so the release could happe, when it happen he didn't want to release it right away, and i got mad at him Tim, because he promised his community that it would happen, and he released it, some time after that a lot of stuff happen, and he had no respect for anyone when i was there. it ended up with that i moved a lot of fans and some mods in there away from his forum, and things only went down after that by his own mistakes and greed. it did end up with a new mod that aim for what he did. and Star wars Chronicles got form out of that. sad as things got mention in this topic the source of the models, maps and so on never had a release, witch is sad because it could get out to a lot players,/modders in there hands to fix, play, and do more with it 🙂

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2 hours ago, Stoiss said:

he wanted 200k views of his video on YouTube, that showed where he live🙂

I must correct you there: He wanted the 200k views for the 30 minute Ultimate Trailer. I remember how people went nuts over it, and they shared the video with anyone possible. Once the viewer count was reached, everyone got super excited - for a good reason, because after all, he said that once the video hits the mark, he would release the mod. But he then accused his fans that they cheated in order to get the counter up. This was yet another moment were everyone started throwing tomatoes at him. Nevertheless, I still had the faith that everything was not as bad as it seemed. I had this feeling years before, and I maintained it at that time.

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10 hours ago, Lancelot said:

I must correct you there: He wanted the 200k views for the 30 minute Ultimate Trailer. I remember how people went nuts over it, and they shared the video with anyone possible. Once the viewer count was reached, everyone got super excited - for a good reason, because after all, he said that once the video hits the mark, he would release the mod. But he then accused his fans that they cheated in order to get the counter up. This was yet another moment were everyone started throwing tomatoes at him. Nevertheless, I still had the faith that everything was not as bad as it seemed. I had this feeling years before, and I maintained it at that time.

correct. wont disagreed on it. i don't think the mod was bad, but Tim was not legit about his action, i talk with him a lot on MSN messenger every day about this stuff, and he didn't only lie to the community he lie to his staff as well behind the screens. any who its not about KOTF past here so lets keep it to the topic 🙂

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On 1/26/2021 at 11:27 AM, MagSul said:

I think I'd be a little embarrassed to share the .map and .icarus files of my projects; they're not the the most efficiently put together! 🤭

Yours are probably golden compared to mine. 😛 

{JoF} Atlas likes this

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I'd definitely release all sources with my mod. Sure, I spent years crafting it, but, I did it for the community (and a little for myself XD). I'd love to see what the community comes up with from my assets. Also, the amount of teaching it would do, is just priceless. I don't own licensing to anything LucasArts related, so holding onto any aspect of it seems disingenuous.

{JoF} Atlas likes this
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On 1/30/2021 at 5:03 PM, dark soul said:

I think that is a choice of the creator whether he wants to release his source files or not for whatever reasons he has. 

Totally agree. I'd still encourage people to do so though.

 

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