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Use of ePSXe before 2.0 is highly discouraged. Mednafen/RetroArch is recommended for playing/testing, pSX is recommended for debugging.

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Go then. There are other worlds than these
yamish [Posts: 23]
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  • [March 06, 2019, 09:10:20 PM]
Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
« on: March 06, 2019, 09:10:20 PM »
Perhaps you're like me. You rank FFT as one of your favorite games of all time, alongside Chrono Trigger and Ogre Battle. You discover FFH. You Download tools and do minor tinkers here and there, a custom class here, make monsters harder there. Playing your tweaked vanilla game on your phone, cycling between it and a few other games for years.

Then the inspiration hits. You want to overhaul FFT, make the game you want to play, and share it with the community. So you get started. You're designing everything, with the patcher open, multiple internet tabs, Calc (Excel, etc). You're going balls to the wall. You keep asking yourself "what if I do this, what if i do that" and constantly reference the forums here to figure out what you need.

Maybe some stuff isn't fully doable, but after years of dedicated people working hard, they've made a vast resource bank that not only meets your needs, but inspires new ideas. And now you have it; you've gone through ASMs, you've thrown tons of shit together all at once, tested what's broken, OP, etc. This is going to be great.

Then you notice your class tree design and rationale is similar to a scrapped project by elric that you found during your forum rummaging. You have ideas for a fully new class..that celdia already made almost to the T in her loremaster class, and then see your idea for chemist is very similar there as well, and what's this? your idea for a desert nomad based class and porting ninja weapons to it is almost just like her bandit. You want to play tactics but not your unfinished patch yet, so you play Jot5 and realize that Snake is pretty on par with what you wanted to do with the ninja.

Is there a point to making your mod now? Do you have anything left to offer a community with years of creative fuel pumped into it?

IT DOES NOT MATTER

I've seen people in modding communities - NWN, Elder Scrolls, etc - get disheartened because "somebody already did xyz, so my wxy is irrelevant". If this is the mentality, then your mod was half-hearted from jump. Unless you're taking requests or working on a team project, it's better to make the mod you want to play. You will never be dissatisfied. If you do share with the community and they criticize, don't be a butthurt little bitch about it. You opened that door when you released it. The community can take it as is, or you can keep your original for you and start evolving your mod into something the community wants.

The point is, if your goal is to get notoriety, start a patreon and mod for money, use your mod as a way to get into game design with X company (this happened once and once only that i'm aware of), you have a pretty low chance of achieving those goals, and your uninspired mod will reflect that. If your goal is to make something enjoyable for yourself, you will achieve it, likely make something that IS fun for the community, and possibly segue into those others along the way. Mod for fun.

Anyway, I'm done. Just something that popped into my head while dicking off. Enjoy yourselves, fellow geeks!
Nyzer [Posts: 959]
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  • [March 07, 2019, 02:51:31 AM]
Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2019, 02:51:31 AM »
I've got a few thoughts on this.

Overlap between one, or many, of your ideas and those of others, isn't necessarily a bad thing. It even gives you a chance to see what that idea would look like in practice. Heck, when I made my own personal WotL patch I just ripped off a bunch of concepts from Jot5 (and got annihilated by the Behemoths in the Luso battle; vanilla was not designed to let monsters use their skills so easily).
And it's not like people don't post (near-)duplicate mods anyway. I can't count how many Fallout 4 "basement shelter behind the player character's house with super OP equipment" I saw. We've also seen a lot of simple Patcher/TacText vanilla rebalance patches here on FFT over the years.

Also, there's still a lot of room for mods that aren't just Patcher/Tactext rebalance patches.

For example, eventing. Just... eventing.
Yeah, a full new story with all new characters would take forever, but someone casually eventing a brief scenario like that could go from start to finish in just a few months.
Someone could mod up a brief story mod that shows what Ramza's life was like as a mercenary for Gafgarion. Or Mustadio's experience with finding the Taurus Stone and being chased by the Bart Trading Company.
Or someone could try adding alternate universe scenarios into FFT. Something like saving Teta would require a ridiculous amount of reworking the story, obviously, but what if Ramza managed to convince Gafgarion to surrender instead of die? What if the handful of people that accompanied Ramza from the Academy weren't just random generics but a handful of people with actual personalities and backstories? What if some of them went with Algus? Stayed at Igros and ended up recruited by Dycedarg or Zalbag? Followed Delita instead of Ramza? You could do a lot with that concept!
Or someone could just set things up so that the various party members take more of an active role in future events. I know it's possible to make an event that changes depending on whether someone's in the Roster, because I've done this. It didn't even take up an extra event slot.

Plus, little things like this? In theory, someone could take that kind of work and actually stitch it in to an existing vanilla mod.

But most people aren't really interested in that, or at least not in the work it would take to do that. Which is kind of a shame, since eventing really isn't that hard (unless you're planning a really bonkers special kind of event or something), just time-consuming.

You could also try to revive one of the dead in-progress mods out there.

Or you can try joining a mod in progress. That's how I got onto the Jot5 team, except for the part that I wasn't even trying - I just reported some typos, messed around with a sprite, liked Jot5 enough to be able to get into nerd discussions about it in its sub-board, and knew enough to be able to locate the Deathblow of Counter: Deathblow so I could test whether it worked with accuracy boosting Supports in response to a question on the forums that not even any active Jot5 members were sure of the answer to. Eventually, one day Elric's telling me that I've restored his faith in humanity, and two days after that he's PMing me to ask if I'd be willing to write some Banters (basically brief bar conversations that the characters either take part in or just listen to) for the rerelease. Things just took off from there.

I think if you're trying to come in here and make your own version of a generic vanilla rebalance (from scratch) or solo your own massive mod (from scratch), the results aren't going to be all that you're hoping for (unless you're just making it for yourself). Aim for something a lot more realistic that actually fills a new niche. Reuse good ideas that have come up before. Try coming up with something that can be shared across other mods. All that kinda stuff.

    • Modding version: PSX & WotL
  • French Maid
    Xifanie (Webmistress) [Posts: 4425]
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    • [March 07, 2019, 01:59:06 PM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #2 on: March 07, 2019, 01:59:06 PM »
    From a businesswoman's perspective, if you don't aim to create a product/mod that is the best at what it does (no matter of flavour that is), then you probably won't have the passion to self-motivate yourself to finish it and release something truly worthwhile.

    I've heard the good old "I'm just making this mod for myself" many times now, and people are really bad at completing those unless they're just restricted to FFTPatcher/Tactext. The problem is really that people have NO idea what they're getting themselves into. People do FFTPatcher/Tactext stuff just fine, but their mod had more intensive changes planned that requires ASM or eventing and all, and they assume it will be as easy. We've even seen some claim that they worked on months for their mods, saying they were 90% done, just missing events... So basically 1-2% done.

    People today just have no self-discipline. They don't analyze before starting a project, then give up because the wall in front of them looks too tall. It's embarrassing. I've done this myself hundreds of times in the past.

    The world of modding is a harsh one. There are plenty of people with poor social skills who irritate/burn out well-intended people trying to help/mod, and then they get called out for losing their temper and so on. I for one have reversed my ways because yes, I was kind of a prick a few times in the past, but I do not regret my decisions either. I just regret focusing on hatred rather than building the mental fortitude to not let others get to me.

    For example: Desmune's author leaves bugs intentionally in Pokemon games because some really irritating, unappreciative, self-entitled little pricks kept bugging him about it fixing the Pokemon game bugs like he was supposed their slave... honestly I've seen people on FFH behave this way too. They usually get banned, then use a proxy to register a new account and get re-banned... We also highly suspect that we had someone DDoS us repeatedly over a ban (considering the timing and his ability to hold a grudge).

    • Modding version: PSX
  • <R999> My target market is not FFT mod players
    <Raijinili> remember that? it was awful
    Go then. There are other worlds than these
    yamish [Posts: 23]
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    • [March 07, 2019, 02:36:54 PM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #3 on: March 07, 2019, 02:36:54 PM »
    Nyzer: yeah the one I'm toying with I'm gonna throw out there before any serious event edits (meaning something other than conversation changes) so folks can throw balance issues and what not they see at me, but the idea i want to go with is that olan lied to make his family appear as the good guys. Spawned from my desire to not have orlandu join and make him pop up as an enemy. I haven't delved deeply into eventing and intend to learn it by doing this. It's a minor change and will require me to touch on conditions and scenes.

    But your story illustrates what I was saying. You were having fun modding, and ended up on a team project. Because doing it for fun or self education doesn't lead to burnout, keeps you hungry, and takes you further with modding than maybe even you were initially desiring (figurative you).

    Xif: you said better what i was trying to sort of highlight in saying make the mod you want to play. Meaning do it for your goals or because you want to see it come to fruition, not somebody else; it typically results in unfinished or half hearted projects.

    And I can relate to being the dick and being less helpful than I should have been. I was more than a touch more pompous in my younger days. But there will almost always be people like that. And not everybody adopts a "I'm gonna do it myself and show this smartass" attitude. I've seen the reverse as well, those who think genuine criticism and friendly advice is "coming at them".

    I guess I was trying to touch on emotional reasons people give up, why they shouldn't, and how to avoid them in the first place.
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    Xifanie (Webmistress) [Posts: 4425]
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    • [March 07, 2019, 06:24:30 PM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #4 on: March 07, 2019, 06:24:30 PM »
    I used to say that people should do it for themselves, but I grew more into the "we all want recognition for our work and that's okay, just that it takes a lot of work and dedication to reach that".

    A lot of people here are allergic to criticism... we literally could not be friendlier in terms of teaching eventing, unfortunately most people are so fucking terrified of "looking stupid" that when told that they need to post about their eventing issues on the forum and not in PM, they just quit. We enforce this apparently extremely unfriendly approach because we have so few eventers in the first place that any information about the eventing process needs to be put out there so others can learn from it (i.e. those who learn purely by reading and avoid social interactions like the plague).

    The reason we stubbornly refuse to do otherwise is because of people that we (mostly Elric) taught others in private, after being promised to help eventing with JotF and, well, pick one of the following for every candidate:
    • Left to create their own project
    • Claimed they understood what was being communicated but really didn't (in those cases a different approach from another person helps)
    • Gave up

    [Nyzer is the only exception to this, he's been a great help and fantastic student, as Elric was when I taught him]

    All of course, wasting dozens of hours from Elric who was seeking help with eventing because we lacked manpower/time. So yeah.

    This means we don't really get new eventers, but we don't really have a choice, do we?

    I guess I was trying to touch on emotional reasons people give up, why they shouldn't, and how to avoid them in the first place.

    Beat you to it lol, we've been doing this for many years now. I think about half the people listen.
    ...Though when we say to join a project rather than start your own, I don't think anyone ever listened to that and pushed through. So we end up with 20 modders who need teams of 3-5+ people each, but have only 3 people (total) who are willing to help instead of starting their own mod. Therefore we end up with a disproportionately huge amount of people who are asking for help for their project and get no one offering any help... so they just end up quitting. It is hard to rally people to your cause when you claim to be a leader and yet don't act like one. This is why Elric was successful in recruiting people for his project; he led by example by working hard and trying to deliver the best mod he could. I don't know of anyone else who managed to recruit anyone other than an old charismatic charlatan who was really good at selling his vision, but not himself. I had to shut the project down because he was asking others to do 100x more work than he did, and just planned to recruit everyone to do all the work for him while he sat on his ass. I find it interesting how those 2 completely different personalities are the ones who rallied people to their cause. Can you figure out which one is the narcissistic manipulator?

    • Modding version: PSX
  • <R999> My target market is not FFT mod players
    <Raijinili> remember that? it was awful
    Go then. There are other worlds than these
    yamish [Posts: 23]
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    • [March 07, 2019, 06:54:31 PM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #5 on: March 07, 2019, 06:54:31 PM »
    Wanting things asked publicly being unfriendly just sounds batty to me from every angle. A post means more eyes on your problem than a PM, possible collaboration, and an addition to the info bank for others. Staying PMs limits the one seeking information.

    And really this community is very helpful. Granted I've been a lurker for a while and only recently signed up to ask a thing, but the veterans here seem not just willing, but eager to help, rather than being their own inner circle that occurs sometimes in other communities. Probably one reason it's still active after so long.

    The Puppet ---Master---
    Elric (Overseer) [Posts: 4093]
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    • [March 08, 2019, 01:56:31 AM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 01:56:31 AM »
    What project did i scrap?

    You mean Pokemon Tactics? Much more doable now, but holy crap will it be a metric asston of work of thats what you refer to.

    Either way, welcome

    Its nice to see that someone actually took the time to understand how things work and doesnt immediately assume we are evil tyrants xD

    • Modding version: PSX
  • <@Angel> Teach a man to fish and he'll open up a fishery to compete against yours.
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    Bonesy [Posts: 123]
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    • [March 08, 2019, 01:56:55 AM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 01:56:55 AM »
    As an end-user who has observed this board for a while and similar boards (RHDN, a few others) for a longass time I'm glad to see the perspectives presented in this thread rather than some I've seen in the past.
    Nyzer [Posts: 959]
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    • [March 08, 2019, 03:05:01 AM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 03:05:01 AM »
    Quote
    Wanting things asked publicly being unfriendly just sounds batty to me from every angle. A post means more eyes on your problem than a PM, possible collaboration, and an addition to the info bank for others. Staying PMs limits the one seeking information.

    There's this weird perception amongst some that they'll get attacked for posting questions openly. Not that I've ever seen that. Simply newbish questions usually get answered appropriately.

    Whenever someone gets annoyed replies, there's something more going on there. I know I've read a certain former poster's name mentioned here, and on GameFAQs I've seen that very poster kick off a several-hundred-post topic (most of which involve him triple or quadruple posting) in response to someone in a closed/deleted topic saying Item is a useful skill without ever seeing a reply from that poster in their topic, or... something? I dunno. The guy was just amazingly butthurt about someone daring to call Item a useful skillset. I could not tell you what the fuck that guy's damage is, but nothing of value was lost here. ¬_¬

    And I know there've been more than a few occasions where I've seen Elric and/or Xifanie on IRC going "what the heck, this person is PMing me with questions when we've already told them to post them openly..." It's a weird trend. Don't ask me why people do that.

    Quote
    the veterans here seem not just willing, but eager to help, rather than being their own inner circle that occurs sometimes in other communities

    There are definitely inner circles of sorts here, but I think that mostly boils down to just "groups of people working on separate projects" more than anything else. People are mostly still willing to respond to general posts, though, and Elric in particular has been known to help out with eventing for other projects from time to time, if not make an event outright. (Don't count on that one, though. We have a really crazy number of events for Jot5 and we definitely hold ourselves to a fairly high standard when making those. As simple as "a few people standing around and talking, with a bit of walking" would be, that shit ain't gonna fly here.)

    • Modding version: PSX & WotL
  • Go then. There are other worlds than these
    yamish [Posts: 23]
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    • [March 08, 2019, 08:19:32 PM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 08:19:32 PM »
    What project did i scrap?

    I don't even remember now. It was something that google brought me directly to. It may have been in archived stuff? It was something with a job tree that involved lots of combos rather than the more linear progression seen in vanilla.

    There are definitely inner circles of sorts here, but I think that mostly boils down to just "groups of people working on separate projects" more than anything else...

    ...we definitely hold ourselves to a fairly high standard when making those. As simple as "a few people standing around and talking, with a bit of walking" would be, that shit ain't gonna fly here.)

    Yeah project teams and those maintaining the boards and folks that've known each other for years etc are "inner circles", but not the kind that leave people out or treat others differently because they think themselves the mightiest the internet has to offer. This community is one of the most positive ones i've seen.

    And even the opening events of Jot5 ch1, where all the characters are introduced, is more cinematic and creative than anything square originally did with the game. Flinging people into walls n shit? m0ar plz
    The Puppet ---Master---
    Elric (Overseer) [Posts: 4093]
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    • [March 08, 2019, 10:44:23 PM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #10 on: March 08, 2019, 10:44:23 PM »
    I dont think that was me lol. Unless you are looking at the Jot5 Archives...

    Only project i ever scrapped was Pokemon Tactics, since Pride was the lead and life got in the way for him and he was unfortunately unable to continue the project at that time.

    • Modding version: PSX
  • <@Angel> Teach a man to fish and he'll open up a fishery to compete against yours.
    Journey of the Five Youtube ChannelThe Lion War Current Status
       
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    Nyzer [Posts: 959]
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    • [March 09, 2019, 02:38:46 AM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #11 on: March 09, 2019, 02:38:46 AM »
    Quote
    And even the opening events of Jot5 ch1, where all the characters are introduced, is more cinematic and creative than anything square originally did with the game

    Aw, come on, they put a lot of effort into all the EVTCHRs for that scene in which Dycedarg dramatically drinks wine just to accentuate how evil he is.

    • Modding version: PSX & WotL
  • Go then. There are other worlds than these
    yamish [Posts: 23]
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    • [March 09, 2019, 01:44:53 PM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #12 on: March 09, 2019, 01:44:53 PM »
    Aw, come on, they put a lot of effort into all the EVTCHRs for that scene in which Dycedarg dramatically drinks wine just to accentuate how evil he is.

     :lol: indeed
    Queen of Palemoon
    Celdia [Posts: 1642]
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    • [March 12, 2019, 08:58:44 PM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 08:58:44 PM »
    Is there a point to making your mod now? Do you have anything left to offer a community with years of creative fuel pumped into it?

    IT DOES NOT MATTER



    ^ Things I Live By
    #relevant
    Go then. There are other worlds than these
    yamish [Posts: 23]
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    • [March 13, 2019, 04:59:44 PM]
    Re: Musings of a late-to-the-show modder
    « Reply #14 on: March 13, 2019, 04:59:44 PM »
    Oh I've straight copied your regen/distribute rod as a staff.

    Hmmm Celdia's Asclepius...the Celdiasclepius. It just got named too
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