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Official CSTSF Mirai Modding Contest Discussion Thread (Over)

Dec 7, 2018 at 10:27 PM
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how does this happen every time you guys have a contest
seriously some prize money and bragging rights is not worth this much anguish
 
Dec 26, 2018 at 12:00 PM
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I'm gonna bring up some general contest issue discussions while the thread's not too old, in order to give whoever's going to run this next year (read: not me) a few things to ponder. They've become fairly serious over the last couple of years to the point that I'm at an increasing loss for what can even realistically be done to get involvement levels back up.

The first issue is length (+ timing) and its effect on participation. There's seemingly no ideal length nowadays; either it goes long enough so that the big entries can get made and nobody else bothers submitting, or it doesn't run long enough and the big entries drop out with nobody left to pick up the slack. Heavier restrictions barely make a difference. A better time of year might, but two months should really be enough for any time of year. Even though it ties somewhat into the other issues as well, I'm entirely out of ideas for what direction to go in regarding this.

The other big problem, apparently, is community interest. Initially at least there appeared to be more hype this year (I counted eight or nine entries being worked on at some point), which is somewhat promising. In the end though, the thread was barely posted in, there were very few progress reports and almost everybody was struggling to understand the concept of a submission date. Nobody even seemed interested in playing the entries. I'm not trying to make any accusations here, but beyond spamming the thread as much as I dared and literally waving money under people's noses, I don't see what I/anyone else is really supposed to do to keep the contest fresh and on the mind.

I would especially like to point out here that community/modding activity has NOT decreased over the last 2 or 3 years; if anything, it's increased slightly, especially accounting for offsite activity. Burnout from constant Modfests or MaGCSL could also be a confounding factor, although the cynical side of me can't help but relate that to the internet-wide trend of people wanting to stick to their niche sub-boards or hide in personal chat servers rather than post on a platform that's actually reasonable for organising and tracking group events.

If I had to point to one main thing that plain didn't work at all this year, it would unfortunately have to be the eternal achilles heel of the modding section: Group projects. The most common reason I saw for dropouts/incompleteness was someone saying they'd do something and then not following through. One could put this down to poor planning on their behalf, but when the dispute comes down to some people being able to work well together vs having actual contest entries, the latter has to be the more serious consideration. Note that things like art and music assets, free-range hacks and playtesting have always been allowed and I'm not suggesting they're part of that problem. It's definitely completely put me off that idea of a dedicated team contest though, and it can turn payouts into a real mess.

I think it's unfair to say there aren't any positives to take from this year - again, more initial hype, almost no drama compared to last year(s), a record turnaround for results (:orangebell:), and 3 entries isn't exactly a step down from 3 + 2 last minute slot fillers, at least. Unless the next modcon produces some actual results, however, I really think I'm just going to have to call a years' break because at the moment they simply aren't worth the time and strain they put on those involved anymore.
 
Dec 26, 2018 at 7:19 PM
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I'm just throwing text at the wall and not really going to address anything in any real order.
Heavier restrictions barely make a difference.
I think this is true.

You could go the Sonic Modding Community Route and have contests where you submit things you've been working on for more than one year, or make it so that the contest is just "always happening" and you just have 1 year to make something. This is really the only way I can present some sort of solution, I mean. This year was just TERRIBLY unfortunate for a lot of people, and I'm not going to deny that there was also laziness on some peoples ends to make things not show. I think people are scared to submit because they "aren't good enough" to get in top 5 top 10, or whatever other nonsense there is.


]But two months should really be enough for any time of year.
I'd like to very quickly point out I'm one of the people who have to be away from my home for 14 hours a day in the summer and work part time in the winter. But even then I managed to make STARZZ and that was like 3 weeks before the deadline that I decided "fuck it let's make SOMETHING"

Seasonal work is kinda thing for blue collar, and for retail, so making things in February, or November, seems to skip around school starting/ending, holidays, BUT then my above point still stands. If people really want to get a dog into the fight they will... Or I'm just one of those insane people that's willing to stay up til 3AM modding and then try and function the next day.


. Burnout from constant Modfests or MaGCSL could also be a confounding factor, although the cynical side of me can't help but relate that to the internet-wide trend of people wanting to stick to their niche sub-boards or hide in personal chat servers rather than post on a platform that's actually reasonable for organising and tracking group events.
I think this is possible, but not the actual cause of things.

Modding as I've seen it the past 5 or 6 years now, just comes in swings. People get inspired and make shit, more people get inspired, and then people get burnout, It's just how things naturally happen. Trying to time events around it isn't easy. Modcon 2016 just happened to make the stars align, and 2018, the opposite did.

Group projects
I have to completely agree with what you've said about this. Getting Legitimately dedicated people to work with you is important, and I almost dropped out of this year's contest because I got like, maybe a total of 25 hours of help from the other 3 people I was suppose to work with...

I'm not saying this is a problem with the contest, but we're again at a catch 22 where more teams = less participants and less competition but not really disproportionately higher quality mods.

I don't think offering a years break (provided that you're saying there won't be another modcon until 2020) will really create any new or solve any old problems.

I'd like to actually offer some help, but there really aren't any true answers to these problems except people actually have to PARTICIPATE and not give up on entries. No amount of rule changing is going to fix the fact that there isn't anybody (or rather not enough people) playing in the first place. At least as far as I can see anyway.
 
Dec 26, 2018 at 7:55 PM
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idk if this means anything but imma just throw it out there

modcon 14 and prior - minimal to no drama (I think) number of entries: (too bored to count sorry)
modcon 16 - a TON drama but after all 20 or so entries were submitted # of entires: like 16? idk still too bored to count
modcon 17 - drama related to the theme and CTD2 entres: like 7 or less i think
modcon 18 - drama drama drama food: yucky burger, soft drink, and hot sauce in that order

maybe, just maybe, people are being discouraged to mod because of how toxic everyone treats eachother on these threads, but that's just my two cents. the internet has changed since 2012 and became a much more cynical place. let's go back please


honestly I feel like the main reason no one is entering is because it's a game that's older than most people in the community and modding it is a waste of time

but that's just my onion
 
Dec 26, 2018 at 8:50 PM
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modding it is a waste of time
I don't mean to blatantly throw shade, but playing fortnite is just as much if not more of a waste of time considering that with modding you're actually creating something that other people can enjoy as well as increasing your skills at level design, art, music, or whatever you're putting your effort into.
The game is old yes, and we're not booming in popularity like Super Mario 64 mods, or Sonic mods, or Zelda mods, but we're quite far from dead as a community.

If you're interested in not modding CS anymore, that's perfectly fine, but coming out and saying "it's pointless" and "CS modding is dead" are just ill-informed statements.

Also you were like 10 in 2012, why would you want to go back?
 
Dec 26, 2018 at 9:35 PM
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I don't mean to blatantly throw shade, but playing fortnite is just as much if not more of a waste of time considering that with modding you're actually creating something that other people can enjoy as well as increasing your skills at level design, art, music, or whatever you're putting your effort into.
The game is old yes, and we're not booming in popularity like Super Mario 64 mods, or Sonic mods, or Zelda mods, but we're quite far from dead as a community.

If you're interested in not modding CS anymore, that's perfectly fine, but coming out and saying "it's pointless" and "CS modding is dead" are just ill-informed statements.

Also you were like 10 in 2012, why would you want to go back?
~says the most popular CS modder

fortnite is new. i have friends that play it. it's a social experience. it's not toxic. cave story modding is the opposite.

however there's a difference between playing fortnite and modding CS. fortnite is purely entertainment whereas CS modding is a waste of time.
 
Dec 26, 2018 at 9:44 PM
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fortnite is purely entertainment whereas CS modding is a waste of time.
Then why are you wasting your own time expressing your grudge on us in a forum focused on Cave Story? Kinda hypocritical of you to say this community is toxic while you're over here spreading toxicity in this thread. Now go make like a tree and leave
 
Dec 26, 2018 at 10:02 PM
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Then why are you wasting your own time expressing your grudge on us in a forum focused on Cave Story? Kinda hypocritical of you to say this community is toxic while you're over here spreading toxicity in this thread. Now go make like a tree and leave
b-b-but its okay to be hypocritical if you acknowledge it first, r-right guys!? xd
 
Dec 26, 2018 at 10:05 PM
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Dec 27, 2018 at 12:10 AM
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Well, as far as group projects, I cannot say we had a bad experience.
For the most part, everyone knew what they were meant to do, and I was always ready to pick up the slack in case they dropped out or were too busy. I mean, what can you expect when people are basically working for you for free?
I ended up making an unprecedented amount of the 3D assets in the end, even though I'd never properly used Blender before this time.

I think mostly it went so well because I had prior experience with managing groups, and tried not to push people too hard. In the end I feel like we came together very nicely as a team, and I'm ever grateful that I had the privilege of working with such talented people.
 
Dec 27, 2018 at 10:13 AM
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honestly I feel like the main reason no one is entering is because it's a game that's older than most people in the community and modding it is a waste of time
I would like to make you notice that Half Life 2 also comed around 2004 and still get mod to death.
 
Dec 27, 2018 at 10:48 AM
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People are throwing around opinion walls so I wanna too!

whoever's going to run this next year (read: not me)
This is defenitely something i feel like has to be discussed sometime, personally i think a team of people would be a bit better, even if only to reduce any stress towards one individual, especially when people start disagreeing with results.

A better time of year might, but two months should really be enough for any time of year.
I agree that better timing could contribute, but it's sadly terribly hard to time it well. (There are downsides to picking vacations...)
As for the length, I have a slight prefrence for just one month, and no extensions. I feel like modcon keeps having extensions these days. I can get if people feel like they need way more time or don't want to work till 3 am as we've seen before, but is that really the deadline's fault, or the size of their submission plans? I'd hate to be mean but shouldn't modcon be for shows of modding skill, be it map design, clever tsc usage or big asm hacks, instead of big works? If someone is asking for a extension, is it because they geniunely didn't have enough time, or because they had way too big plans to begin with?
I'm not saying here that things like tidewalkers or ctd2 are not valid just because they are way too big projects, but what would one rather have, a finished small work, or a small demo for a big thing?
One month, let alone two, should be more than enough time. These are just my opinions though.

Heavier restrictions barely make a difference.
I feel like should modcon 2019 happen, we might as well go loose on the restrictions as long as it still is a modification of Cave Story(Or even has to be made from a vanilla copy of the game with some minor allowing like what the modloader comes with.), there has been some worry (including from me) about major asm hacks making submissions look cooler than the ones with a good plot or clever tsc usage, but when the above opinion on time is considered, the worry kinda lowers.
One issue I still see with how asm is being allowed is if project-specific asm hacks, made before modcon is announced, get used. I'm not saying that we shouldn't allow that small hack someone made that one wanted to use in a mod sometime, but there was a lot of flak on CTD2 since (iirc, correct me if I am wrong) development on it started before modcon 17(...?) was even announced, and all the asm (and pretty much a chunk of the work in the project) was just brought to a new vanilla copy. So Careful planning might be hand in that area if only to just avoid the drama that came from it.
But in the end, we shouldn't restrict too much, let people be creative!

Burnout from constant Modfests or MaGCSL could also be a confounding factor
I agree that the increase of amount of contests and like has been a big factor, back then we only had one contest at most, in a time forum activity was admittedly bigger. I feel like having earlier knowledge on when modcon starts can let people know "Hey, modcon is coming soon, I shouldn't tire myself out on something else", as well as help everyone plan some time aside to work on their submissions.

eternal achilles heel of the modding section: Group projects.
It's easier to say "hey let's work together" than actually whip something up. I'd love to collab with someone sometime, contest or not, but I would have to find someone I know I can work with, and is also up for working on something while I am too, hence why I haven't tried doing anything with anybody yet.
If we had the proper means to properly share progress on a mod like people use things like git to share website/programming projects team work would perhaps also spark a bit more, but this isn't something I'd see happening anytime soon.
Speaking of collaborating.
I can with no doubt say that this didn't go well at all, (most of) the submissions were fine and good, but what happend behind everything was just a mess, especially when nothing happend for a while. But I can honestly loop this back to (ignoring the more...personal matters that weren't related to MaGCSL) things taking too long and ending up shoved aside. When people work together, it's absolutely vital that everyone is involved with planning, without one person planning everything or involving people who don't seem that motivated.

I really think I'm just going to have to call a years' break because at the moment they simply aren't worth the time and strain they put on those involved anymore.
It might be a good idea to see if there's anybody else motivated enough to fill in and run the contest. Probably more than one or two people too. I'm not gonna try and ask to host the contest myself considering the size and responsibility, but I would still love to help towards making Modcon '19 a great one in any way I could, and hope it to be at least as great as I remember modcon '16 to be. If I'm not involved, I'm gonna do my best to enter should I come up with anything. And I hope others will too. We need to remember Modcon as a valid change to show one's skill in modding, but not necessarily show off who has the biggest e-peen, we should want creativity, not drama!

EDIT: Whoops, sorry for the massive wall of text, I didn't expect to go on this long.
 
Last edited:
Dec 27, 2018 at 1:51 PM
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When people work together, it's absolutely vital that everyone is involved with planning, without one person planning everything or involving people who don't seem that motivated
Should there be a MaGCSL 2, I will definitely reach out and ask for help in development and planning. It was already nice when Robin hopped on board and helped with everything on the TSC and ASM, but even when it was us for a while, it still wasn't enough and it ended up with just me again. And all the remaining workload eventually creeped up on me and gave me a huge burnout, which is going away, but I still currently haven't been able to work on any mod again mainly due to my job. So i would definitely appreciate more people working alongside me for the next contest if it happens.
 
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