Author Topic: Read Me First  (Read 5531 times)


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Read Me First
« on: 12 August 2010, 02:08:33 »
Ok, so you have some cool idea for GAE/MegaGlest. That's great, but thinking up an idea is only half the fight. Here's some general tips for helping getting your idea actually listened to.
Familiarise yourself with any previous discussion.

At the bottom of this post are a few of the most frequently posted ideas, so not to post them again.

Give your post a meaningful title.

If your idea is good, people will be hunting for your thread in months to come. A clear name ensures that they can find it!

Similarly, if a thread inspires a new idea that's only loosely related to the initial post, start a new thread. Months down the track no-one will find your nifty idea about simulating rock damage if it's located on page 3 of the "Catapault unit" thread!

Examples of clear and unclear thread titles:

Unclear: "Comments on my idea please?"
Clear: "Suggestion: Add Rock Effect to Catapult."

Unclear: "Fiery"
Clear: "New ability: Automatically deal damage over time when struck."

Unclear: "Some ideas"
Clear: <Individual threads with meaningful titles>

Propose a solution, not just a problem.

It's good to draw attention to areas where Glest can be improved. But proposing a solution up front means that people willl be discussing the solution rather than just the problem.

Okay: "Behemoths cost too much."
Better: "Behemoths seem to expensive for their abilities which are limited as their large size prevents proper path-finding and their attacks are geared towards buildings."

Suggest, don't demand.

Remember that Glest is developed by volunteers. They don't work for you, and if you speak to them like they do, they'll react poorly. Your goal is to show people how good and interesting idea your idea is so that they want to pursue it.

Bad: "The Behemoth's stats are just stupid! He needs to do more damage!".
Better: "I think it would be a good idea to give an advantage to the Behemoth over humanoids because [...]"

Give clear reasons why you think your idea should be implemented.

Bad: "Behemoths should have an extra attack."
Better: "The late-game Behemoth's stats are limited to buildings, something archmage's tend to do better against, thanks to their splash. The Behemoth's large size works against it, causing it to have trouble attacking. It needs a ranged attack such as throwing a rock to balance this out. This also puts it on par with its close cousin in the tech faction, the Battle Machine."

"Any new feature is by default bad. It's bad because it's more we have to write, and more importantly, more we have to maintain and test. We will only implement a feature if it solves some problem that we think is worse than the cost of adding the feature. If you don't tell us about this problem, then we might not notice it for ourselves, and we'll see your idea simply as being 'bad bad bad'."

Clearly state how your idea will work in practice.

Be specific. Numerous threads containing promising ideas have died because the posters weren't quite clear on what was being discussed.

Bad: "Mages should have an aura that damages attackers".
Good: "I propose adding a defensive flame aura to archmages. After each successful strike an opponent makes against the archmage, 20 points of fire damage is inflicted on that opponent. The fire attack would always hit, but would be affected by a unit's fire resistance as per normal.".

Consider and address your idea's weak points.

Consider reasons your idea might not be accepted. When you do this, occasionally you will realize that the idea should be discarded as unsuitable. But mostly it's just helpful to anticipate objections so that you can address them in your pitch.

eg. "My proposed flame aura ignores terrain and automatically affects units that are normally difficult to hit. I don't consider this a problem because: (a) it can't be used offensively, (b) it does very little damage per attack and (c) it's associated with a relatively weak unit with little health (archmage). This makes it a poor tool for offensive use to try and hit the well defended foes, because the foe's will be hitting much harder and thus taking out the archmage before it can deal much damage with its aura."

Show that you're willing to put your effort where your mouth is.

Bad: "Let's create a distinctive new race, unique to Glest!"
Good: "I suggest creating a distinctive new race, unique to Glest. Here's some unit art and stats I prepared to demonstrate the idea."

Use clear language.

This is an international forum where many of the regulars don't speak english as their first language. We don't expect perfect spelling and grammar. However, a good way to instantly alienate about 50% of your readers is to use 'leet' or 'txt' ("u shld make orcs more tuff"). Using words that are too flowery (superfluous magniloquence), slang ("I reckon he's telling porkies") or odd spellings ("prolly" instead of "probably") also make your post harder to understand. The goal is to have the reader understand your post and agree with it. If they have difficulty understanding your post, or find it annoying to read, they're a lot less likely to support your idea.


Before you post have a quick reread. Is there anything that could be made clearer or less wordy? Have you assumed people know what you mean at any point?

Know when to let go.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, people just don't agree with your idea. If you've reached a point where the community has made it clear they're not going to be convinced, let it go. No matter how good an idea is, if the community's opposed to including it, it's not going to happen.

If your idea is one that you can implement by yourself (eg. a custom multiplayer faction) and you feel strongly enough to do so, go for it; just don't expect it to be official. Once you've done some work on it, people might take a liking to it and chip in. Or they still might not.

That's it. Good luck!

Check out the tracker to see what's already been suggested:

Common Suggestions:
  • Stealth Units
  • Carrying Units
  • "Smart" AI
  • Mod Downloader
« Last Edit: 13 August 2010, 01:45:34 by Omega »
Edit the MegaGlest wiki:

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Re: Read Me First
« Reply #1 on: 15 August 2010, 03:51:47 »
To give credit where it's deserved, the above text was adapted from
Glest Advanced Engine - Admin/Programmer