Author Topic: The University of FRED - Your first campaign release?  (Read 3923 times)

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The University of FRED - Your first campaign release?
Hey, I get it. Starting a mod is hard. Following through on a mod is harder. Sometimes it seems overwhelming - there's so much to do; how do you even know where to start? Maybe modding seems like that cool thing other people do that you'd like to get into, if only you knew how.

If that sounds like you, you've come to the right place.

I'm Xeno (naomimyselfandi on Discord). I'm a FREDer and script developer for Between the Ashes, but I actually got my start on an unreleased campaign that specifically recruited newbies who wanted a gentle on-ramp to modding. While that project ended up falling through (ultimately due, I think, to over-ambition and scope creep), at least for me, it provided exactly what it set out to - a space to familiarize myself with modding and working with a team.

Now I want to pay it forward.

The plan here's pretty simple. If you feel that you could benefit from this, send in an application - I recommend Discord, but a PM here is fine. You can be a total newcomer who's awareness of modding is that Blue Planet is pretty cool, but you should feel welcome even if you've got a release or two under your belt. Once we've assembled a team, we'll make a mod. I'm visualizing eightish missions, but that number can absolutely change if needed!

I'll act as a project leader, but I see myself as being pretty hands-off. I want this to be your project, so I'll limit myself to facilitating discussions and workshopping ideas, providing guidance, and keeping an eye on scope creep. (I'm a software developer in real life, and I've lead projects like this before.)

Now, as much as I'd like to work with everyone and anyone who's interested, massive teams are more a recipe for burnout than success. With that in mind, there's a simple application process. Just send me a document with the following information:

  • Your preferred (user)name and pronouns
  • Your Discord username (include the #numbers)
  • Your time zone
  • Your experience level (if you haven't modded FSO but have other technical skills, feel free to list them, too)
  • Anything else about yourself you think is interesting (I like to get to know people!)
  • Your pitch

Wait, what's that last one?, I hear you ask. Well, I don't want to be prescriptive about what we end up making. With that in mind, I'd like everyone to include a one-to-three paragraph "pitch" for a mod they'd be interested in developing. These pitches will give us a starting point to discuss what we want to make!

The pitches will also help me decide who to accept, if I get too many applications and can't accept them all. I'm mostly looking for thoughtfulness and clear communication - that is, can you come up with independent ideas and communicate them well? I'm not going to impose too many requirements, but I ask that we stick to the Freespace setting. Scope creep is the number one project-killer, after all, and while original settings and radical gameplay innovations can be really fun, they're also a huge amount of extra work.

I intend to accept roughly four applications. I don't have a specific deadline in mind, but I hope to start sending out acceptances around two weeks from this post. Whether or not I pick your application, I'll give feedback, and you'll be welcome to reapply in the future. While I'm mostly interested in your ideas and communication, professionalism matters; I'll be more likely to pick an application that's been proofread and revised than one that's infested with tpyos. (If English isn't your first language, feel free to mention that.)

Well, that's about all I have to say! I look forward to working together and seeing what we can build together. In the mean time, don't be shy about contacting me with any questions or comments. Discord's the fastest way to reach me (if you use the HLP server, you'll want to @ me), but a post or PM here will also work.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 08:38:38 am by xenocartographer »


Offline karajorma

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Re: The University of FRED - Your first campaign release?
I tried this before with the FRED Academy. That mainly failed because I didn't have the time to playtest everyone's missions myself. I still won't have much time for playtesting, but if you need another experienced FREDder to give advice on this, I'm happy to help.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

Re: The University of FRED - Your first campaign release?
You know, I just might take you up on that... but let's see if this takes off first. :)


Offline Goober5000

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Re: The University of FRED - Your first campaign release?
I heartily endorse this; it's a great idea.  Lurkers, this is a great opportunity to de-lurk and try FREDding with training wheels on.  The way you become skilled at mission design is like anything else: practice.