Why no-one is joining your TC (and how to change this) v1-01-2000 Release 1 © RTCM Cyborg
I think we all know what I'm talking about. The nay-sayers may popup now and again to remind us that Duke Nukem 3D is a dead game and that we should be editing for Unreal (even if they fail to understand the concept of 'working with more than one game engine at once' - that is to say I for one have played with most every popular game engine) despite the fact that a new TC seems to be announced every week.
It seems the appeal of working with the build game is strong. Undoubtedly it is the fact that a world can be quickly carved out to satitiate one's imagination using the Build editor that gives its appeal to those wanting to see results quickly. Yes it has limitations but the benefits of the speed and ease of use offset the technological age of the build engine. The only thing that nay-sayers can actually say about it which is true is that it doesn't make use of new technologies like say a Doom GL port - without realizing the fact that Doom GL ports don't look as good as the non-GL ones and that the situation is slightly different. If you have been brave enough to view the Build source you will no doubt have seen that converting it to a new operating environment would take some time. Unlike Doom, where I've read from one GL port that it was a fairly simple operation and he did it quite quickly.
All this however is straying a bit from the point which is that despite the interest in Build games - okay, let's not beat around the bush here - Duke3D to be specific, a lot of TC teams complain about not being able to fill essential positions. Sometimes they'll blame not having the right host - they don't get the visitors hence no-one joins, maybe it's the website, so there'll be a design change, perhaps its the idea itself, so they'll pack up and restart with a new TC. Et cetera ad infitum, as they say.
Well I'm no stranger to trying to get people interested in an idea of my own, I decided I'd have to learn how to do all the vital parts myself, but this took time. I've generally lost interest in the process of making the game and I'm more interested in the mechanics now. It's a nataural progressions from mapper to coder in my opinion - every time you come across something you can't do satisfactorily by yourself, then realize no-one will do for you you learn how to do yourself. Then you get quite attached to doing that and you forget about doing the old things. And so on until you reach the natural end of coding the game, because you cannot get more basic than that.
Anyway again I find myself missing the point. The very crux of the problem is that the people you want simply don't ever go to Duke Nukem websites. The solution to this is so obvious I don't know why I didn't do it myself a year ago. Go to the places these people do visit.
It sounds obvious but no-one really does it. Occasionally there'll be people like Mark Antony Rossi working on a Duke TC, but in this case he was known to the TC leader. The obviousness of it hasn't hit people for some reason. So here's my tips on getting people to work for your TC, using a skill they love using. So here are my top tips for finding people with skills you want:
And let's not forget about the humble search engine! www.google.com is one of my favorites. Search out those communities with the skills you want and sell your ideas to them. You might want to look for armature actors to find voice talent, artists willing to make that 'box' art, or that talented writer who'll write a novella from your ideas.
Unfortunately there are certain areas you're just not going to find people other than on Duke sites, basically CON hackers - CON's being highly specific to Duke Nukem, and map makers - ditto basically. However both these skills are quite easy to learn for yourself. Map making as I said earlier is very easy with the Build engine, one of the attractive qualities. Infact if nothing else you probably started making maps wanting to take it the next step further. If you want more mappers you want to make too many maps. Just stick with a number you're comfortable doing on your own. The most important thing is that your maps should concisely convey the other elements of your TC. A single good map would be enough with all the other elements right. 10 crappy maps will ruin everything else. Compare Brute Force's demo to some of the other TC's you've played. Brute Force only has one level but because it fits with everything else it concisely conveys a vision and that's all that's required to make a good impression. Flying numbers at people may make them download it initially but they'll soon 'recycle bin' it.
With CON's basically if you can't get any of the active CON hacker's interested - and that basically means asking people already working on other TC's - you'll have to dig in yourself. At the end of the day you'll probably get what you want from the CON's better if you do it yourself and you'll better have an idea of what it is you can do with them. RTCM has a load of information and we're always adding, there's two good CONFAQ's and forums to ask in. But don't dive into forums before you've read documentation first. There's nothing more annoying than being asked how to do something explained already - it gives you a sense of pointlessness when you write documents like this. There you go then. No excuses now. Go out into the wider world of the internet and see who you can find. You'll not regret it and your TC might be better for it.