Poll

Should we nudge new people in the direction of a specific campaign?

Hell Yes. I'm tired of seeing campaigns die
28 (80%)
Hell No. We might scare them out of the community if we seem too draconian
2 (5.7%)
Maybe. I've got some ideas on how you should change your proposal (post below)
5 (14.3%)

Total Members Voted: 35

Voting closed: August 26, 2004, 12:36:03 pm

Author Topic: Newbie campaigns and FRED  (Read 8937 times)

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Offline karajorma

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
Over sectorgame we were having a chat about how come new people come to HLP, get inspired and then run off to make their own campaign which 9 times out of 10 dies a horrible death 3-10 missions in.

We've all seen it, in fact many of us are guilty of it (hell, I'm guilty of it. TMA started off exactly like I described). It appears that the communities biggest problem isn't getting new blood but preventing them from running off to work on their own.

It isn't that the vets don't trust newbies or don't want new people on their teams it's just that most of us are reluctant to take on a new FREDder unless they can provide us with a demo mission or two to show off their skills. The problem with this approach is that often someone will go away and FRED a couple of missions and then end up getting ideas on how to turn it into a campaign and then we've lost them.

Conversely I've asked someone who's starting a new campaign why they aren't joining a campaign instead and they've said that it's cause they doubted an existing campaign would take them since they don't have much in the way of skills.

I consider this to be a real pity. Firstly a lot of these people don't just stop FREDding when they get discouraged but instead they actually leave the community. Secondly it's a waste of resources as even if they aren't the best FREDders yet it's still sad to think that there are playable missions rotting away on someones hard drive when it can sometimes be months between campaign releases.


Anyway what I suggested over on Sectorgame and now am suggesting here is that we do something to encourage newbies while steering their talent and energy into something more productive.
 What I'm suggesting is that we set up a newbie campaign. Nothing too difficult to FRED but something which would nonetheless be fun to play. We suggest that the new people work on that and as a bribe some of the more experienced FREDders will help by playtesting and suggesting improvements (as well as offering technical help).  

There are several benifits to the community as a whole.

1. Rather than losing the talented newbies to their own campaigns we concentrate them in one place and we all learn from each other.

2. Instead of losing their work should they get bored of FRED we'd at least have a few more playable missions

3. Newbies who don't get discouraged will become more experienced. When they get bored of this campaign they'll have lots of missions to show the hosted campaigns. What's more none of them will suffer from the kind of noobish mistakes that you can get into the habit of making if you work on your own the whole time (no ships on the y axis etc).

4. Lots more activity in the Campaigns/FRED forum. Which is good. I often feel as if FREDders don't seem to be seen over here on HLP. While there are tons of pictures of fantastic new ships which encourage people to mod there is very little to encourage anyone to get into FREDding. As a result less people do and campaigns like OTT end up being cancelled due to lack of FREDders.

5. HLP stopped hosting new projects precisely because they were siphoning away people from the existing ones. Quite frankly although I stood by the policy I didn't see much of a change because new people were just starting their own projects up without hosting. Hopefully this would act in the same way that the modding forum works for talented modders. The FREDders who show the most promise quickly get snapped up by one of the campaigns


Anyway now it's time to soothe any egos I've bruised.

1. I'm not saying new people shouldn't start their own campaigns but as I've said several times before it's a lot of work. Besides even if you do decide to do something single-handed it wouldn't hurt much to try something like this out first.

2. I hope no one thinks I'm being patronising to newbies. Quite frankly I wish something like this had been around when I was starting.


Anyway here's how I'd work the project if it got off the ground.

1. Brainstorm a few ideas for a simple campaign. We do this all the time and most of the ideas go nowhere so here's a chance to get something done if you've got a good simple idea. We select a simplish idea that we can tell in 5-10 missions.

2. Assign missions and get everyone FREDding

3. When a mission is complete the FREDer posts it and anyone who wants to play it does so. (Again this is what happens with newbie campaigns anyway to a large degree).

4. In addition to the general HLP testing one experienced FREDder plays the mission and disects it in FRED looking for things that could be done better. I've had TopAce do this with my missions and even as an experienced FREDder I've found it quite useful in terms of picking up mistakes or oversights. I sometimes do this to newbie missions anyway so this wouldn't be much beyond what I do anyway.

5. With the energy that new FREDders typically have we should complete a campaign fairly quickly. At which point we move on to the next one.

6. Whenever someone new to the community signs up and shows an interest in FREDding we point them at the current campaign in progress and say that although they are welcome to do whatever they want the newbie campaign is always happy to take on new FREDders.

Anyway. Anyone thing it a worthy idea? I want to hear from the newbies as well as the vets.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2004, 04:23:29 am by 340 »
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Offline pyro-manic

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
Good idea. :yes: Hell, I'd probably have a go at this, purely because I haven't touched FRED for a long time and I need to get back into it before I get going on projects again...

I'd probably also say that there should be an option for mini-campaigns. It's far easier for one person to do a mini-camp than try and complete a 20+ mission monster by themselves (yeah, it's been done, but only rarely). Needs more thought, I know, but it'd give people a real sense of achievement if they had a finished product to their credit (or perhaps a chapter of a larger story).

And obviously, we'd need people to write the campaign plotlines and mission outlines, though there's no shortage of those.... :)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2004, 12:55:25 pm by 853 »
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Offline Hippo

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
I've been fredding since i got FS1 pretty much... If you need some help, I'll give what i can :p
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Offline aldo_14

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
I have a bunch of fairly detailed campaign synopses lying around (albiet they'd need cleaned up to avoid needing to make as many/any new mods), and a shedload of simple ideas for modless campaigns (given that all I do/did is model, there's not much interest for me in actually using these ideas ;) ).

We should have some form of sticky jobs-post here - where people can advertise themselves or who they want..

I also think I know someone whose working on a project that would let itself nicely to use in this - but I need to talk to 'im first to check.  Hewnce the vagueness of the preceeding sentence :D

Oh, and we need a voice actors thread where people can register willingness to be,well, a voice actor.

 

Offline karajorma

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
Thanks Hippo. It's nice to know I won't be doing all the dissections myself :)

Aldo: I may know who you're on about but I'll let you talk to him first :) As for voice acting I don't mind if someone wants to do that but I'm not going for a huge polished campaign here. In fact I would be surprised if the campaign ends up any better than some of the one man campaigns on VWArchives but then the point isn't to beat the hosted campaigns but to instead get some missions under the belts of the new people to the community. That said I take pride in my work and I'm sure any FREDders involved in this will do too.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2004, 01:01:49 pm by 340 »
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Offline Gloriano

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
Hell yeah, I don't want see dead campaing's anymore.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2004, 02:04:19 pm by 153 »
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Offline TopAce

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
I am having an ICQ session with karajorma about this. I think I will be definitely be able to help since FREDing is the only factor I am good at FreeSpace modding, I have enough time to look after new FREDers.
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"Truth" is the opinion of the majority which it can enforce on the minority. Members of the minority have two choices: join the bandwagon or think. Those who do not fall into line will be brutally crushed.
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Offline Goober5000

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
FOW will never die.  NEVAR!!!11211 :D

Brilliant idea.  We'd need a story that could be FREDded without requiring any new mods.  Existing ones are probably okay... this leaves open the possibility of making a campaign in the FS2 era, the FS1 era (with the Port), or the Inferno era.

 

Offline TopAce

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
Keep Inferno out of this now. Let them work with the ships they know.
My community contributions - Get my campaigns from here.

"Truth" is the opinion of the majority which it can enforce on the minority. Members of the minority have two choices: join the bandwagon or think. Those who do not fall into line will be brutally crushed.
The tools to maintain order are: lies, double standards, and hypocrisy. The most powerful and the most insidious of them is hypocrisy

 

Offline karajorma

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
TopAce is probably correct that we should keep this as simple as possible at least for the first campaign we try. If we manage to get a campaign out of it we can see if other mods like the port or inferno can be used. I definately agree on not using new mods. Although newbies may lack skill the speed they work at is astounding. I definately wouldn't want to see that wasted on them waiting even a couple of weeks for a mod to be finished :)

Anyway I'm seeing plenty of vets who like the idea but not so much from the newbies. Come on InfernoGod, kietotheworld and all youother guys who've recently joined and are thinking of making your own campaigns would this be something you're interested in? Would it at least be something you'd be interested in if you hadn't already started your own campaigns already?
« Last Edit: August 26, 2004, 04:37:37 pm by 340 »
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Offline Lightspeed

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
No mods at all would be good.
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Offline Zarax

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
I have a ready old plot of mine for that, it is fairly simple and newbee ready (did that way since i am a noob FREDer)...
If anyone wants to give a try they are all welcome :)
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Offline magatsu1

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
maybe I should take up FREDing again. Haven't done it for ages and that's where I started. Any idea wether or not to use FRED_Open ? Might be probs. what with the background editor playing up and all.
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Offline Zarax

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FRED Open only up to 3.5.5 or you will scare any newbie with the graphical glitches...
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Offline karajorma

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
I'd let them take their choice. 3.5.5 for most but if anyone wants to try a more recent build and use the newer SEXPs I'm fine with that too :)
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Offline Zarax

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
Yes, but let's give them detailed advices about "newer, less tested builds" too...
The Best is Yet to Come

 

Offline TopAce

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
My old self is speaking again: Let's teach them to use Standard FRED and give FRED_Open to them when they have some basic knowledge.
My community contributions - Get my campaigns from here.

"Truth" is the opinion of the majority which it can enforce on the minority. Members of the minority have two choices: join the bandwagon or think. Those who do not fall into line will be brutally crushed.
The tools to maintain order are: lies, double standards, and hypocrisy. The most powerful and the most insidious of them is hypocrisy

 

Offline karajorma

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
Of course. I'm a big fan of the SCP and I'm going to push the new stuff when I can.

 However if someone has problems and can only use FRED 2 cause FS2_Open doesn't work for them that's fine too. Since the idea of the campaign is to keep things simple they'll probably be missions that can be written using the standard versions of FRED. After all it was good enough for over 3 years :D

TopAce. Teaching FRED 2_open is only marginally harder than teaching FRED. I don't see any point in limiting us or the campaign to it.
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Offline TopAce

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
Just trying to give advice. We discussed it via ICQ.
My community contributions - Get my campaigns from here.

"Truth" is the opinion of the majority which it can enforce on the minority. Members of the minority have two choices: join the bandwagon or think. Those who do not fall into line will be brutally crushed.
The tools to maintain order are: lies, double standards, and hypocrisy. The most powerful and the most insidious of them is hypocrisy

 

Offline Zarax

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Newbie campaigns and FRED
If a project will start i may be able to give some help...
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