Thursday, September 2, 2010

Idea Men

Or, "Crushing Dreams"

I don't go into it a lot, but I'm a fan of most forms of art. Be it the stroke of a brush, ticking away on a keyboard; drawing and writing, singing, hell even welding can be a beautiful thing.

Trouble is, those of us who don't have any talent in a particular area like to think that we have great ideas for it, if we could just partner up with someone who had the talent.

The worst of this is probably the webcomic "industry". We've all done it: "I've got the greatest idea ever, if I just knew someone who could draw!"

Yeah, I've done it too, once or twice - though I never went as far as annoying an artist.

Most people are disheartened when they do get around to broaching their idea to an actual artist. They're most often dismissed; whether it be gently or bluntly. They're often surprised to find out that the artist would rather draw what they want, rather than rigidly trying to give visual life to someone else's literary ideals.

Happens in all industries.

Hang around a car show. "The new Fords suck. If they'd just make them how I say..."

I can't tell you the number of times I've listened to some moron prattle on about how the perfect assault rifle should be designed, based on his extensive experience in video games and that one trip to a rental range in 1985.

Happens in modding, too. A lot. Bang around the Nexus forums for twenty minutes, and you'll likely see as many "Someone should totally make X!" posts.

I get them now and again. Thankfully, by being an evil prick most of the time, the number has waned of late.

I try hard not to step on toes. Even if an idea isn't viable, it's still the creative process, which can ultimately lead to something cool; even if there are a few false starts.

Trouble is, some people have grandiose ideas and no will of their own.

I've mentioned before a request I got once to completely rewrite the RR Companions Vault to make it a "tie-in" to Real-Time Settler; a mod which apparently allows you to create communities in the wasteland similar to a Real-Time Strategy game. Nifty? Yes. Practical? Well... considering Vault 1 is... y'know... underground, not so much.

Now, this isn't to say I don't like getting ideas, or batting notions back and forth with you guys. I've gotten some great ideas over the months from you guys; but there's a difference between "this feature would be neat in your existing mod" and "create this mod from scratch to my exact specifications."

I got another of the second tonight. I should take up a "pet project" - a mod where you "lead a crew of heavily armed followers who are geared up like hit-men from the 20's as wasteland avengers."

It boggles, ever so slightly. The idea-bringer then professed that he couldn't model or script, but all his teachers had said his ideas were great, so he guessed he was just an idea man.

Massive holes in the mod idea aside (like, say, a point?), and compatibility nightmares notwithstanding, I already have a pet project. It's called my special companions pack.

(Just because I don't share it, doesn't mean I don't work on it.)

Out of some measure of respect, I went point by point explaining the problems with such a mod, and that while possible it would be months of work.

As I was ending my comments, I made a statement that I think is more telling and insightful than most of my prattle:

"You've got to bear in mind that most modders are like me - a solo act. We all wanna be idea men, but at the end of the day someone's got to do the scripting and heavy lifting."

I'm thinking of putting it on a fucking banner and adding it to the blog here.

It really tells the difference between types of people. Fry1969 is a perfect example.

He didn't like Vault 1's decor. Rather than go bitching endlessly and begging for changes, he taught himself the GECK in his spare time and made it look how he wanted.

I really think the world would be a bit less bad if more people followed suit. You don't like something? Learn to do it better, yourself.

Though I can't claim innocence in there, myself; what with the constant stream of bitching that comes from my general direction.


  1. You should make some companions using this:

  2. You know, I've heard of oiling up one's date before, but Goddamn...