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Lack of a single vision can stall development on mods
Lack of a single vision can stall development on mods
October 9, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

October 9, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design

"The biggest problem is a lack of single vision. ... I think that, with mods, the reason a lot of them don't get released is because they were team efforts."
- Dean Hall, creator of popular ARMA 2 mod DayZ, argues that mod teams need leaders who will decide the project's direction and get everyone to fall in line.

He points to Apple's success as an example, as the company was able to deliver a tremendous amount of innovation under the guidance of Steve Jobs. Though the late CEO was often seen as demanding, Hall says he knew what needed to get done.

"I think one person has to sit down and take the responsibility like I did," Hall told VG247, noting that he did the art, code, and production for DayZ. He also paid for the project, so all of the decisions came down to his approval.

"Everybody knew that, so they would accept it if I said, 'Nope, we're doing things that way.' I think that's really important, and I think a lot of mods or even big games [don't] do that. They are games by committee, and I think those games depend on marketing. "

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Adrian Klein
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>> He also paid for the project, so all of the decisions came down to his approval.

This is a big deal. Lots of mod contributors are there to make the game THEY want to make. Without a $$ motivator, it just takes one or two of those "No, it's gonna be THIS way" top down calls before they lose interest.

Maria Jayne
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I think this statement is true for all games. You have to have a single minded vision and go with it, I worry these days people get so preoccupied with trying to be all things that they end up being nothing. We need to reach a stage where people are ok with games not being for everyone.

Mark Ludlow
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Heck, I think it's true for any collaborative effort. There are many examples in history where an attempt to please everyone has resulted in something that pleases no one, especially when it comes to trying to please both the "hardcore" and the "casual".

Scott Sheppard
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This is great. I was trying to think of any other collaborative type projects (in any field) that had been successful with a committee decision, and I couldn't think of any. Even Wikipedia, which is often touted as the collaborative grand-daddy of this generation, had a clear single vision of what it could be from the beginning.