I’ve somehow managed to convince Nic into letting me write an editorial for Podcast 17 after an uncountable amount of hours spent groveling and bribing. Originally, I had the idea a few years ago and William had nixed it along with Nic. It just didn’t fit into the scheme at the time, and if I remember correctly, Neotokyo hadn’t released yet so it was still the only thing I was talking about. Also, the only keys I knew how to use on my keyboard were the C, K, F, and U. In reality, they did the listeners and me a service.
You can imagine my elation when after the sixth fruit basket and haiku on fine parchment, he finally agreed to let me drivel away to you all on a weekly basis.
Oh how I loathe, the life without resolution, let me write again. Seriously, Nic, I shall write an article, or disembowel. This is your last chance, next time, I will send the dogs, I haven't fed them.
First things first, how have you been? I’m fine. I’m still going to school, etc. How’s your dad? We haven’t spoken in so long – we absolutely must catch up once we get more time.
Since starting at this new university, I’ve noticed something interesting that I thought I’d share. I’ve worked on plenty of projects in my short time here on this little rock we call earth, but only since I began working in a group of 10-20 people have I noticed this ability of large groups to completely lose their minds. And I don’t mean in the funny way like when Canadians started tearing their cities apart because America beat them at the hockies. I’m talking about the sort of loss of sensibility that slowly drives managers and people like William to the drink, so much so they start getting gray hairs, or foolishly grow facial hair that doesn’t suit them at all. It’s usually one of those two. It’s up to you to decide which affliction William suffers. Hint: He doesn’t have gray hair.
When you put a group of fifteen people together into a room, they will usually awkwardly sit there pretending to check their email or twitter until you tell them to do something. If one of them takes off their pants, usually the other fourteen will blankly stare at Phillip until he puts them back on or leaves the room – but it’s important to note that creative people aren’t like normal people. There’s something inherently wrong with someone who finds satisfaction through the self-torture of creating something and honing it to near perfection. Be it a severe case of masochism, or in the case of most modders, boredom, it’s safe to say happy people don’t create. This is my generalization, I don’t care how wrong it is, and I’m sticking to it.
With that said, I truly believe that if you were to stick fifteen creative people who are working on a single project together in a room, and one of them starts taking their pants off, the other fourteen will not only follow in suit, but probably find ways to improve on this sudden bout of lunacy and continue until they’re stark naked, jumping on miniature trampolines as fervently as they can in an attempt to propel themselves into a geosynchronous orbit around the earth. Why, do you ask?
Because it seems systematic to me that when you put fifteen people together to work on a creative project, you absolutely, without a shadow of doubt, need some sort of management or deadlines in place, or else you end up with fourteen people not wearing pants, doing absolutely nothing of use to the greater cause, along with one poor public relations member trying to explain how this all may look ridiculous, but it’s “A part of the process, and it will be done when it’s done.”
For example, when BS (Black Mesa Source, abbreviated to BS partly because I say Black-mesa as one word, but also because I feel BS is more appropriate for the team’s public image – I know they dropped the Source part a few years ago, I just don’t care) say they’ll release “When it’s done” they really mean, “We don’t know how to say six hundred years.”
I love BS. I love how BS takes their time to try and make their product as pretty as possible. I respect that they don’t want to release some half-finished turd only EA could ever be proud of. But the fact is this – we’ve seen no managerial ability from the team, and barely any evidence that their mod is progressing. And in lieu of the “leaking” of new material from places like Mark Foreman’s online portfolio, the IAmA Q&A, and Gnosis’ blog, we’re catching a glimpse of a small amount of work still being done, but is it in vain?
With that said, I’d like to formally apologize to you all on BS’ behalf on developing a mod that will never release, since they just won’t do it.
Why not release it in parts? Starting with Unforeseen Consequences, moving on to each chapter as they’re finished? Why not give fans incentive to follow their project? Why not set deadlines and goals for themselves? I don’t know. As of now, BS seems to be a sled made of cats – intelligent creatures pulling in different directions, and getting nowhere. The guys at Modular Combat will be the first to tell you they weren’t exactly the greatest coders and modelers around, but under Dryden’s oversight and guidance, their dog sled went much farther than BS will. And I think modders should find pride in that they’re not huge game design conglomerates and can get away with incremental releases of their content.
After all, we’re not customers; we’re mutual peers in your gaming community. Stop holding back and pull down your trousers. I promise we won’t laugh.