“It is with much regret that I have been watching from a distance as a battle has raged on; I cannot stay quiet any longer. A few days ago one of my friends brought to my attention that there was a lot of discussion going on over in the WAW forums. The team has opted to take a hiatus (meaning break – of course) from the world of HL2 modding, on the grounds that they were not enjoying it. I have no qualms with this idea, and in fact applaud them for having the balls to say such bullshit and expect many of the folks they ran over in their quest for that big fun ballroom in the sky. Seeing as no one provided any sort of post mortem, and even I skimped on the dictation from that period of nearly 6 months that I was working with them, I provide you with my side of the story. I hope It’s not taken too bad, although I really don’t care for feelings at this point.”
– Robert Chatman April 4th, 2007
About two months ago I had a meeting with Matt & Reiji to the tune of trying to decide what we are going to do with our game. Many topics were thrown about and eventually we decided on going the ogre route and building it independent, but there was something electric in the air. Something about the idea of making mods made our eyes light up, at least mine. You guys don’t really know Reiji too well, but it takes something truly special to get him to let his eyes sparkle at all. We asked ourselves… “What do we do when UT3 comes out?” There are obvious marketing and distribution benefits associated with mod development, considering that if you find that niche it draws people to your site. They see your mod or in the case for UT – Mutator – an ask the all-important question… What else have they done?
Mike Whitfield, unblogged, has taken the opportunity of this release to get the gneu movement rolling and we have an SVN Setup and rolling, I will soon compile a list of possible mutators and mods and democracy will drive our momentum, possibly. We still make final call and will probably choose whatever looks fun to us at that time.
GneuManager & Ogre are the clear victors in this race. I have been juggling a website that is nearing completion and release, so I have the pleasure of being able to free up some of my time and devote it to making those cool little videos to scraps of techno music that I have found lying around the webs.
And the winner seems to be to kick start a new HL2 mod. I would like you all to know that there have been many discussions about this and the only thing missing at this point is the game idea itself. In order to have the game come together it would be beneficial to know what our goal is, be that White, or StandOff or a Military Simulation or pong.
Terry and Mike are willing to work with me, but I don’t think it will work out as we want it to if we are the only hands in the project. Specifically we need to pick up some modelers, animators and other artists to ensure that we are able to cover the bases. From my experience however animators tend to be very hard to motivate and will surely be hard to find, so if you have a friend please have them look me up.
I have recently been doing a lot of reading, about Anthropology, taxonomy, and more than anything else, software development. A book you all should give a heft has definitely touched my heart in a number of ways. Dreaming in code – a documentary of the process from conception on of an open source software project called Chandler which is still in development. Many of you may already know that I have been driving my own open source venture, and It’s been just as shaky, if not more so because I have not got the driven individuals to work along side as they do.
I began modding Source in January of 2005. I spent just about every day of the next two years doing everything in my power, free time permitting, to help the amateur modders get accustomed to the drama and pure unadulterated bullshit that was lurking just out of their sight. I was there when the community came together and I have been here watching it dwindle into the dark corner of the room that no one dares look. There is no doubt in my mind that the Source Engine is feeling under used, under appreciated and sad. More shocking to me, even though I have more than devoted two years of my life to it, a dark portion of my heart is very glad to see it as such.
My first attempts at putting a team of developers together were with the fourth build of swallowbush. You see, every six months or so I would have learned enough to make my previous version of the application look like an embarrassment. One of the best ways to learn anything is to actually do it. You can’t learn to fish by reading about it, and similarly you can’t learn to program with out programming. Along the same lines, you are going to learn programming best if you are doing it with others, asking questions, getting questioned and for the most part, looking for reason behind actions.