Starting your own scenario

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Post Jul 26th '07, 04:53

Ever since the inception of Forge, there have been aspiring scenario-makers that think they have the perfect idea for a scenario, if only they can get just a few other people to work for them and then they can crank through it and make a masterpiece.

If you'll notice, there's only a handful of completed scenarios. Look at Scenario News; the "Flatlined" list is a hell of a lot longer than the "Completed" list, and even then, a lot of those completed scenarios are actually pretty small and lame. Only a few are full-fledged conversions, even though that's usually the goal of every scenario.

Now, for all of those old-timers who wander around (not many on the Pfhorums...), think of all the times you've seen people who only have an idea in their head, petitioning for a staff of mappers, artists, story writers, beta testers, and so forth. How many of those have gotten anywhere? Not very many! Simply having an idea isn't enough, and I'm writing from personal experience here. When I decided to turn The Gray Incident from a regular Infinity scenario to a full-fledged conversion, I went and asked the Story Board for mapping help, terminal art, shapes work, and so on. What I had was a six-level demo that had actually received favorable reviews on Fileball (four of those levels are still in TGI).

I got the cold shoulder. Nobody offered to help me, even with a strong start.

The reasons beyond that are manifold. The biggest one is this: pretty much everyone in our little community who's got the talent you're looking for is already working on another scenario, so their time is booked. Beyond that, though, nobody wants to really do a lot of work on something that will most likely flatline. Most people don't have -- or even know -- what it takes to come out with something good, and those that do aren't going to put their faith in you as a result. I got some stuff second-hand from Simon (Portal of Sigma), and that was it; I just had to keep going on from there.

So while my visions of TGI were originally big, when I realized I wasn't going to get the help from the people who could give it, I had to scale back. I had to start small. As I progressed, I could show people what I had -- going from six decent levels to eight, nine, ten, twelve, fifteen levels, each of them getting better and better; a plot that was solidifying into something decent; and more than anything else, a more tangible product overall. Then I got the help I needed. Now I'm (slowly) working on TGI: Beyond, and I pretty much have all the help I need. Why? Because I already have the goods. People put their stock in me because they know I can deliver -- I already have.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is this: don't come in here asking for a full staff. Pretty much all of the projects that have finished have started by just one guy putting in the hours. Scenario work is mostly a one-man show, at least at first. Go around, build up some interests, show what you already have, and then go petition for some help. Don't come here (or anywhere) unprepared, because you won't get anywhere.

Please.

Good lord, my writing goes to shit after midnight. I hope this is at least coherent.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 26th '07, 12:50

This is simply like setting up a company & finding somebody to sponsor you. Nobody is going to sponsor you if you come to them empty handed, without experience & without a clue what the heck you are doing. Make a "prototype" of your scenario. Then come looking for help.
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JohannesG

Post Jul 26th '07, 15:28

RyokoTK wrote:Now, for all of those old-timers who wander around (not many on the Pfhorums...), think of all the times you've seen people who only have an idea in their head, petitioning for a staff of mappers, artists, story writers, beta testers, and so forth. How many of those have gotten anywhere? Not very many! Simply having an idea isn't enough, and I'm writing from personal experience here. When I decided to turn The Gray Incident from a regular Infinity scenario to a full-fledged conversion, I went and asked the Story Board for mapping help, terminal art, shapes work, and so on. What I had was a six-level demo that had actually received favorable reviews on Fileball (four of those levels are still in TGI).


Well I am not one of you 18+ people, but I have been active on the pfhorums longer than anyone except switch and Grayswandir. And in that time I have seen nearly all of them died. Marathon Doog, Marathon Alien, Marathon CLockwork, Marathon Gladiator, Dark Forces, and all of those fruitless ideas which people say "hey I want this and this and that" but then relise they would have to devote more than 5 minutes to it. The only scenarios other than things like scenario upgrades are Shadow, Squadron, and Wmaid (well, I mean these have been around for more than 1 board, TGI was bascially done before it ever reached this place).

And for some reason, I had not done 2 shits of any sort of good level for my scenario and still a few people wanted to help me. But they turned out not to be a subliminal crew. This was the sort of 'gladiator' help I got, lots of people, but not lots of really good people. I have only showed the world 4 screenshots that look remotely like what it looks like now. Only through grovelling and posting in the wrong place did I find my team. My team isnt really big or anything, it only consists of 3 people other than myself at the moment;

Drictelt - Mapper and Texture maker
Visciom - All sorts of art, taught me to photoshop
Macuser117 - 3d modeller
Me - Mapper and Texture maker and spiffy HUD designer

I could do with a sound developer and a music maker (I lack garageband), but dieselfame is rather inactive along with his partner, so I am looking for someone else, but not now; because I do not need it. When I want one I will post something in the story forums along with screenshots, proving to that board that it will be worth while to do something for me (that place doesnt know very much about my scenario), and the story forums because no one else here would be willing to help me with anything.

RyokoTK wrote:I guess the point I'm trying to make is this: don't come in here asking for a full staff. Pretty much all of the projects that have finished have started by just one guy putting in the hours. Scenario work is mostly a one-man show, at least at first. Go around, build up some interests, show what you already have, and then go petition for some help. Don't come here (or anywhere) unprepared, because you won't get anywhere.


As ryoko said about a one man show, youve got to be prepared to do most of the maps, and most of grahpics too. Ryoko skipped the graphics part in TGI and was doomed to some rather unimpressive visuals. I am doing most of the graphics for my scenario, I have already done about 200 textures and several maps, the rest of my team hasnt done quite as many textures or maps as me, and that is why I am the leader, I do the most.
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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria

Post Jul 26th '07, 17:58

Ryoko skipped the graphics part in TGI and was doomed to some rather unimpressive visuals.


How very kind of you. Was this comment really necessary?
Last edited by RyokoTK on Jul 26th '07, 17:59, edited 1 time in total.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 26th '07, 19:53

Shadowbreaker wrote:Ryoko skipped the graphics part in TGI and was doomed to some rather unimpressive visuals. I am doing most of the graphics for my scenario, I have already done about 200 textures and several maps, the rest of my team hasnt done quite as many textures or maps as me, and that is why I am the leader, I do the most.

I think he's trying to push his scenario and one-up other people at the same time.
The Pf'hak - Read it.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Jul 26th '07, 22:37

TGI wasn't THAT bad. I mean, he used Infinity + like one texture from M1. At least he didnt spend hours and hours on photoshop and then have his game still look like a stick of dog poop like Eternal.

Eternal X Alpha5 or whatever it is now was like gorgeous High-res textures and then they ruined it by making the entire damn texture set shades of grey. That goes great when every single map is Light 20.
Volcanon

Post Jul 26th '07, 22:41

I mean, he used Infinity + like one texture from M1.


Dude, WTF? TGI's texture sets are the Infinity sets plus about another 80%. On top of that, all of the textures have been enhanced.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 26th '07, 23:26

Oh really? sorry. I never really played it past the second level on my windows box which doesnt run opengl.
Volcanon

Post Jul 27th '07, 00:18

Wow, whats all this hostility towards Ryoko? Did he not say that he did most of this work himself, jeez how much do you want from him?

Good write up tho Ryoko, I've observed the same things as you. When I had an idea for a mod, I found that most of the work was done by me. Its hard to get quality help if you have nothing to show.
- - - Marathon fan since 1994 - - -
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Longinus
Ellicott City, MD

Post Jul 27th '07, 16:47

RyokoTK wrote:How very kind of you. Was this comment really necessary?


What I meant there was that you do not seem to be able to do your own textures, and the textures done for you werent quite as presteigious as Rubicon's.

And what I meant by unimpressive was that TGI didnt feature any truly new monsters. They were just different colors and shot more dangerous projectiles. I mean, a new cool looking monster would make me think otherwise.
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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria

Post Jul 27th '07, 17:19

Not every scenario needs new monsters. Given the new monsters in Rubicon, I'd rather have the old ones. -_-

And anyway, Rubicon looks like ass, "prestigious" textures or not. It doesn't matter how hi-res they are if the environments still look bad.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 27th '07, 19:07

Ryoko just wrote a rather impressive & helpful scenario guide & then suddenly somebody kicks it off-topic to bash his scenario. I find that rather sad. I don't have any opinion on TGI, mainly because I haven't taken a close enough look at it. But even if I would have an opinion I wouldn't post it in this thread simply because it doesn't belong here.

Please keep the discussion on-topic. Discuss this guide because i find it quite helpful compared to the mistakes I did when I started my first scenario 6 years ago or so.
Last edited by JohannesG on Jul 27th '07, 19:11, edited 1 time in total.
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JohannesG

Post Jul 28th '07, 15:58

Very nice guide, Ryoko. This should definetly help out newcomers and hopefully decrease the number of threads that start with "I have plans for a big project but I can't do anything, so everybody else can do it for me!"

I can't count how many of these kinds of threads I find on sites like moddb.com and gamedev.net :/
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visciom
Somewhere below the heavens

Post Jul 30th '07, 08:47

Volcanon wrote:Eternal X Alpha5 or whatever it is now was like gorgeous High-res textures and then they ruined it by making the entire damn texture set shades of grey. That goes great when every single map is Light 20.

You've got a better chance things get fixed if you direct your comments to the makers, you know.
Eternal - Xmas I - Xmas II - Xmas III - Victory Dance IV - Winter I: The Venom - KTA III - Phoenix - somewhere in the heavens, waiting: The Syndicate
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Drictelt


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