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 [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods 
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Post [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
This is a guide to getting help with making mods. It's not as easy as you may think, so read on.

You've just found Cortex Command. It looks like a world of infinite possibilities - everything is destructible and physics-based and there's even Lua scripting to take care of anything the game's engine limits! While playing the game, a wonderful idea dawns on you - perhaps a weapon idea, or maybe a fan mod of another one of your favorite games. So you set out to make it. But the mod making for this game looks daunting. Your first instinct is to go to the forum and start recruiting a team to help you make the mod.
If this sounds like you, then you should definitely read this topic. It may help you make that mod a success.

THE IDEA GUY
Back to where we left off in the story, this is the part where most people make a mistake. They head on down to the forums, find the creators of all those cool-looking mods, and send them a message asking for help. Now, this may have worked for some people, and there may be more benevolent mod makers out there, but I can say that as one of those people who is often messaged with requests, it isn't a good way of doing things. There are many reasons someone won't jump to your aid on your mod, but it is more common than not that they just don't see any promise in your mod.
The main reason for your mod looking hopeless is that you look to the other person like an idea guy. The idea guy is known for being difficult to work with, and is thus very seldom given any help. Try and set yourself in the position of somebody who enjoys making mods for the community, and who has experience in doing so. Somebody comes up to you with any of the following:
    An idea that is impossible to implement into the game
    An idea that is very time-consuming to implement into the game
    An idea that is unlikely to be appreciated by the community
    An idea that, very simply, you are not interested in
Is your first reaction going to be to help them? Not at all. This person that is contacting you probably won't be helping you to make the mod at all, they're simply leaving you to do their bidding.
This is a bad position to get yourself into. Don't try and force people to do work for you, it's just going to make them less likely to help. There are, however, ways to make yourself more marketable for help.

LEARN TO LIMIT YOUR IDEAS
This is a really tough part for some people, but it's entirely necessary. Not everything is possible in Cortex Command, not by a longshot. Once you've learned a bit about modding, you will get a better grasp of what is and isn't possible in the game. Beyond that scope, however, is also your own ability. Your first mod is not going to be a faction or a total conversion or a mod of every character from a game. It's just unrealistic - mods like that take the best modders months to complete most of the time. With any idea, remember not to love it so much that you'll be too heartbroken to trim it down. I don't think I've ever made a mod where I haven't had to cut something from it that I really would have liked to see. It just doesn't always work out.

GAIN SOME EXPERIENCE
Yes, it sounds hard. Yes, it probably is hard. However, unless you've got some mods under your belt, you're not going to get any help. Just saying that "you've read the mod making topics a lot" isn't going to help either -- people want to see that you've actually got some talent. This doesn't, however, mean that you should go ahead and release everything you make. Try making some modifications of the default parts of Cortex Command and you will eventually learn a bit more about coding. After each project, look back on it and ask yourself if people would really enjoy it. If you think they would, release it. Even if you don't feel like your mod is complete and polished, but has some cool features you'd like to share, the Minor Mod Dump would be a good place to post it. This is all going to take time, though. It could take weeks, it could take a year. It entirely depends on your commitment and innate ability to code.

BE A GOOD LISTENER
When you release a mod, you'll likely get some feedback from others. If the feedback is positive, then congrats: you're probably ready to move on to the next stage and work with a team. If not, though, don't despair! This is a great opportunity to take the advice you're getting and to learn from it. If you're planning to get help from somebody else in making a big mod, you need to be prepared to listen to what others are saying, and sometimes to let them have their way. Take what people are saying about your mod and use it to improve, and remember not to take it personally. Most people aren't trying to hurt your feelings or make fun of your work -- they just want to help make your mod even better than it already is. Consider it a compliment that they're taking their time to write out advice for you. Whatever you do, though, don't get defensive. It's okay to disregard some suggestions if you disagree with them, but the last thing you want to do is to establish a reputation for yourself as being bad at taking criticism. This will only make it harder for you to find people who want to work with you.

SET UP A PROTOTYPE
So, assuming that you have some ability to code or sprite now and you have an idea that seems workable, it is still not time to go up and pester people for help. It's very hard to assemble a team of people around a mere concept. If you want help, you'll have to buy it from people. Take a look through the Mod Making forum - you'll notice that most of the topics getting a lot of replies have some kind of sprites or code in them. The simple fact is that people are more likely to support a cause if there is some proof that it is in progress. Tinker around and see if you can get some basic things working, and make it as attractive and interesting as possible. Nobody is going to buy in if all you have is exact copies of the actors in Coalition.rte with different sprites. They might, however, if said actors are adjusted to play differently than the default actors, or even have some weapons to play with. Once you've got some parts done by yourself, people will be more likely to believe that you're actually committed to the project.

MAKE A POST IN MOD MAKING
You've got your workable prototype. Now, post it in mod making. Include pictures and a description, and tell people what kind of help you are looking for (e.g. spriting, coding, Lua). And for the love of all that is good and holy, make it look nice. Write it out like it's a resume. u r not guna get ne1 interstd if u cnt spll or use 3 smilies for ech line :-o :-o :-o :-o lol!!! Keep in mind that people are looking not only at what your idea is, but also who you are. They aren't going to work with you if you sound like you don't know anything. However, if you can pull a nice presentation off, chances are you will get somebody interested.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
You've now got somebody to help you finish your dream project. However, there's still more after you've got help. Keep in mind that this person is helping you, not working for you. Pull your weight in the project. If you're not going to help, your helper(s) will quickly become uninterested. Keep in contact with the others, letting them know how your part of the mod is going, but don't badger them constantly asking for updates - they have real lives too, and just because they agreed to help doesn't mean they are devoted to you until their last breath or the project's completion, whichever comes first. If you're pleasant enough, you might even make some friends that will help you in future projects too.

THE FINAL STEP
The mod is complete. After x amount of time working like crazy, you and your team have pulled it off. Now it's time to post it - and please do. Don't make your team work their butts off just so you can have a mod for your private copy of Cortex Command for playing with friends. Let everyone see the work your team has done. Make the post look nice, and be sure to credit the others VERY PROMINENTLY. If you leave their names off to the side on a very flashy post, they probably won't be so keen on helping you in the future, especially if they did more work than you did. Keep in mind that the idea is not necessarily the most important part of the mod, and even if you think it is, your team may disagree. If you do this whole part right and make a good impression, you probably won't even have to worry about the earlier steps again - now you'll have some people you can rely on to help you.

BUT WHAT IF IT'S ALL TOO HARD?
Let's face it - some people just aren't up to helping make their own mod. And that's perfectly okay! It's not an easy thing to do. However, your only choice in this case is to post in the Requests forum. You're not going to go any further than that, because you're not going to get any help. Make your request just as presentable as the mod request - post some sketches of what you're looking for. Prove that you're willing to help as much as possible. If you're lucky, somebody might stumble upon your request and lend a hand. Don't, however, send out private messages to modders on the forum. This makes you look desperate, and unless you can really prove you've got what it takes, nobody's going to take you up on your request. Plus, in a public area, your request will get much more exposure to people, and in the Requests forum, it's probably to people that want to take requests.

AND IF NONE OF THIS WORKS...
...maybe your idea just isn't going to come to fruition. If you're really determined, your best bet is to keep working at it by yourself until you get it working. If you're not, you may have to face the fact that it isn't going to happen. Movies, no matter how awful they are, take work to put together. Games, no matter how simple they are, take work to put together. It's not different for mods, and unless you've really got the drive to do it, it may just not be for you.


Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:37 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
Great tutorial, would recommend anyone unclear on it reading it again.

Also, it may just be my sociable demeanor, but I hardly ever get those PMs from people wanting me to make their mods. Oh well!


Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:01 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
Great! Maybe this will keep JoesyCop from posting more long shot requests.


Grif wrote:
Great tutorial, would recommend anyone unclear on it reading it again.

Also, it may just be my sociable demeanor, but I hardly ever get those PMs from people wanting me to make their mods. Oh well!


That's because lots of them are lurker's whose seen you post, you scare them away! [That probably has more pros then cons.]


Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:14 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
Grif wrote:
Great tutorial, would recommend anyone unclear on it reading it again.

Also, it may just be my sociable demeanor, but I hardly ever get those PMs from people wanting me to make their mods. Oh well!


I'm going to say that's because they/we just wait for you to make a mod or mod idea, then steal it and release a better working/looking version of it.

Prime Examples:

Original:Grif's Minimap
Zalo's
Piipu's

Original: Grif's Plane
Abdul's

Original: Grif's Dispenser
CC48's

Note this is all in jest and no one should get all defensive as if I'm calling the above thieves.


Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:28 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
But CC made his dispenser before I made mine

I even mentioned it in the thread

The others, though, are obviously straight up stealing, I will go get very angry at them and use my capslock key or something


Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:44 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
I get too many of these.
From observation and personal experience, it works much the same way with spriting, or heck, just about anything in this community. It's all about respect, really, and not being clowns to each other.
A+ would read again blah blah


Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:56 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
Hey, I didn't steal Grif's Minimap. I barely ever looked in the mod section. And I NEVER look there for ideas.

Besides, my Map would be worse if I had seen Grif's mod. ;)


Also, To TLB and his tutorial, this is very sound advice.
Please stop PMing me with ideas and not offering to pull your own weight.


Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:46 pm
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
TheLastBanana wrote:
LEARN TO LIMIT YOUR IDEAS
... I don't think I've ever made a mod where I've had to cut something from it that I really would have liked to see. It just doesn't always work out.


Of course, the meaning is clear to anyone paying attention. But I thought I'd use my Proofreading Super Power and point out the missing word. It should be "where I'ven't had to cut".




I'ven't
Read it. Learn it. Use it up.


Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:42 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
Image


Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:54 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
Don't be a smart aleck, son.

I'ven't ain't a word, just like ain't ain't a word.


Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:06 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
Forgiveness, good sirs; a silly joke, nothing more.


Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:11 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
You don't dig up a thread from two years ago to make a joke like that. What were you thinking? :roll:


Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:09 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
Only that I might give someone a laugh.
Now, unless anyone else insists on making the topic be me rather than the OP, gentlemen...


Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:20 am
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
There's really nothing worse than finding spelling errors on your own posts from ages ago. I feel like I should edit it, but then I also feel like I'm destroying something almost sacred -- like silently spiriting the error away would leave some part of history, however minuscule, forever marred.
This time you pointed it out, though, so I guess I can fix it.


Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:12 pm
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Post Re: [Tutorial] Getting Help With Mods
While I think the thread is great, I disagree with the opinion about the minor mod dump. The minor mod dump are for mods that work in their own right that you don't feel like working on any more. There is no place for critique or helpful comments in there.


Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:53 pm
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