Friday, February 27, 2009

What kind of madman’s hobby is this anyway?

I’ve been spending the better part of my modding time in the past week (10 hours or so), finishing up the dialogue for one of the major encounters in Trinity.

Finishing up. This was already a 1900 word convo. But, builders, you know how it is: I needed to devise the different resolution paths (this particular encounter can be resolved in one of four different ways, including combat), script what each of these paths demanded, adjust and complete the convo to reflect them, plan and write branches for different states of that particular encounter etc. And through it all, I added barely 600 words… And I haven’t even tested it thoroughly yet.

Over a dozen hours total, counting the first 1900 words written way back, but not the area design for that encounter, the creature blueprints, the NPCs’ custom equipment etc. All this for an encounter that may last 3 minutes in total (not counting the optional quest or combat).


Am I nuts to spend so much of my free time on this?

I remember Josh/Anduraga once said on the NWN2 Forums that one had to be a masochist to build a mod, or something like that. I don’t know about masochist, but it certainly takes a certain type of person. At the root, obviously, it takes someone who is willing to dedicate huge amounts of time to a (mostly) solo creative endeavor, at the expense usually of other activities. That’s one reason I sometimes equate mod building to other solitary artistic pursuits (as a way to explain it to friends, family, wife… and myself): writing, painting, sculpting, photography etc.

For a variety of reasons, I always thought one had to be a little crazy to be an artist.

But artists also love their art. And that’s part of why they keep at it.

Same here.

(Yes, mod building is art. :) )

Have a good weekend everyone!


dirtywick said...

Obsessive is the word.

Frank Perez said...

I lost my marbles a long time ago. I heard that sanity is boring, but I really wouldn't know. :P

If sanity means having no creative outlet, then lay on the loopiness please.

Josh said...

I think when I mentioned that, I was referring to solo endeavors ;) Many would-be modders try to do it solo and never quite make it. The ones that do make it, well... we're [insert your favorite negative adjective here] madmen. The amount of time it takes to make a quality module is astounding, but hey, the result is worth it sometimes :)

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Yes, I guess there is an element of "madness" to me carrying on as I can ... Mind you, I reckon it gets worse as you get older, as every minute that passes feels more precious than the early years, when I wrote D&D scenarios.

As long as I have one person who looks forward to playing, then I suppose its worth it until I reach the end.

I am amazed at how some people manage to do so much more in their time compared to me though.


AmstradHero said...

An unnatural level of dedication and obsession. But it is amazingly rewarding and enjoyable. The hours I poured into making Fate of a City polishing, bugfixing, tweaking, writing, trying to make it a quality production...

The reward of having done something that you love and are proud of is worth all that effort - even if it comes at the expense of other past-times. And the enjoyment I know some people have got out of playing it makes it even more rewarding.

Amraphael said...

Yes, completely mad - and art it is. Avoid drinking absinthe while near sharp objects though :)

Wyrin said...

you're right, I think there's definitely a chapter in a psychology textbook that we'd all be slotted into. I didn;'t realise when i started that I'd end up enjoying building more than playing - and in some ways the hobby isn;t good because I enjoy playing things less now I have a different perspective on it (maybe not less, but differently)

I agree with Franks comment about a creative outlet. Work drives me insane for lack of creativity, and this is a way to relax and let that flow

As AH points out it can be really rewarding (if you manage to get past the major hurdles and get something out there). But what makes me think I have mental problems when it come to this, is when bug reports come in that show, no matter how perfectly something runs on your system, somebody somewhere is going to have problems, and ones you can't replicate to solve. That's what sparks the slippery slope to insanity

E.C.Patterson said...

I'm glad to see I'm in good company! ;)

Have a good week!

Liso said...

I am so thankful for y'alls madness!!! I love me jackets for everyone! :D :D

SirChet said...

You are an artist, beyond a doubt.

*Paces back and forth waiting for EC to give him a task*

E.C.Patterson said...

Haha, thanks Chet! We'll see now if I'm anywhere near a decent one. ;)

One alpha version coming up for you soon!