Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

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Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

Post by dietermoreno on Sun 9 Feb 2014 - 19:03

As I get older being 22 and turning 23 in 9 months, I ask myself why am I still modding a game that I played when I was 15 making changes to the game I wished it had when I was 15.

I also am even less motivated by the fact that most of the modding giants (Tahattus, Tilanus, Peugout, Hoop Thrower, MisterSCP) are already in their early 20's, making it seem like every modder quit as soon as they graduated university.

I theorize that a large part of the cause of the shrinking modding community is the attrition of both modders and players to the real world after graduating university, for modders and players who are old enough to have played AoE3 in 2005.  To be old enough to have played AoE3 in 2005 at the age of 10, the same modders and players would have to be at least 19 years old today.

The AoE3 modding community seemed to be huge back in 2012.  Back in 2012, the above mentioned demographic of modders and players would have to be at least 17 years old then to have played AoE3 in 2005 at the age of 10.

So if my theory is correct, that means that it appears that 17 years old is the optimal age for modding,  with a continous attrition of modders beginning at above age 19, with mostly only the huge modders making it into their 20s.

I was 20 years old when I first joined the Wotta forums in January 2012, so I guess I am a late bloomer.  I had actually been wanting to install mods since 2008 when my cousin named Kyle (I think he might be the guy who wrote the Spanish civ strategy guide on AoE3H) told me about this amazing mod called "Napoleonic Era" that let you play as new civs.  "New civs? What's a mod?  I want a 'mod' what ever that is so I can play those new civs!" I thought.  The reason that I never installed said mods is because with the Great Recession of 2008, my dad no longer had time to let me use his computer to play AoE3, and my mom's computer was my dad's old computer which was practically from the last century with it being a Gateway 2000 running Windows Millenium Edition.  The first PC game I played was a James bond game at a friends house for his birthday on a Commodor 64 when I was 8 years old in 2000, with me starring in awe at the friend typing in codes on a green screen to load the game (which I know understand as the DOS command line interface).   The first PC game I played on a graphic user interface (so I knew how to use it) was a combat flight simulator game on the Gateway 2000 when I was 12 years old in 2004.  Yes I did attempt to install AoE3 on Windows Millenium Edition in 2009, and it was met with utter failure.  My mom did have a laptop with Vista, but it kept crashing from overheating just browsing Facebook, so it was actually even worse than the Gateway 2000.  Not until I got my first job when I was 18 years old in  winter 2010 could I afford to buy my own laptop, which I immediately installed my original AoE3 collectors edition discs on.  Unfortunately that was only a seasonal job, and the life time of that laptop was also seasonal.  That laptop died 6 months after purchasing it.  I didn't get a new laptop until I got another job when I was 19 years old in fall 2011, on which I promptly installed vanilla and TWC, with the purpose of playing AoE3 being the sole reason for me having purchased these two laptops.  My curiosity again prompted me to look up Napoleonic Era on Google, remembering the secret my cousin told me 3 years earlier.  I was not satisified with the timeline of Napoleonic Era, because my view then was that the natural progression of modding ought to be to expand the timeline into the future, not reverse the timeline into the past.  Then, browsing Napoleonic Era forums and AoE3H, I heard of this mod that does was I want, expand the timeline into the 19th century, called "War of the Triple" Alliance, and I joined the forums to find out what a mod is and to give suggestions how I want this "mod" to be.  Perhaps I would have gotten a 4 year start in modding if the Great Recession hadn't occured.  If I would have started modding in 2008, I would have started modding at the age of 16, rather than 20, and the peak of my modding activity would be moved from 2013 to 2009, at the age of 17, which conforms with my theory of age 17 being the peak year for modding.   I actually had wanted to play AoE3 the whole time when I was in high school, but because of the Great Recession and I could sell fundraiser coupons to play football for free in addition to it is free to listen to on the radio and watch on OTA TV, I played football instead to get my real-time strategy game fix.  I still watch football, and I still view it as a real-time strategy game (this is American football for the non-Americans in the forum).  I never really got into soccer (this is futbol for the non-Americans in the forum), because I thought American football was more strategic.

So anyways, that is showing how old I am that my first PC game I played was loaded in DOS.  Other forum members like Tahatus who is 24 I think, we will have seen pretty much 100% of the growth of PC games until today when we are begining a post-PC era (smart phones and tablets) in 2014, with mostly only hardcore gamers remaining as PC gamers, which hardcore gaming is what PC gaming was always meant for. AoE online might be able to be played on a tablet in a web browser with the game script running in flash memory, but everything about the game sucks!  So apparently the post-PC era is more about mobility than performance.

However, to motivate myself, I remind myself of The Forgotten Empires.  AoE2 was released in 1999, 15 years ago.  AoE3 was released in 2005, 9 years ago.  In 2013, The Forgotten Empires, a mod for AoE2, was incorporated into Microsoft Game Studios to be developed as an expansion pack for AoE2 HD.  Perhaps then in 2019, an AoE3 HD will be made by Microsoft and one of "the big three mods" will be chosen by God (Microsoft) to be an expansion pack for AoE3 HD.

So thus, the very people in this forum could be working for Microsoft in 2019 if an AoE3 HD happens then.

Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years.

In 5 years from now for the famous modders: Tahattus would be 29, Tilanus would be 27 (I think he's 22 this year), Hoop Thrower would be 25, Peugout would be 27, and MisterSCP would be 25 (I think he's 20 this year).

In 5 years from now I would be 27.

As Tahattus approaches 30, surely modding will be a difficulty to maintain, but the rewards that money can't buy and you can't learn in university would be great.

I will let you know that I will be around for quite a long time in the modding community, because I don't plan to be attending medical school (actually for me its a physician assistant master program for 2-3 years) for at least another 4 years due to me taking only one class a semester while working while going to a community college and in 3 years transfering to University of Illinois - Chicago (UIC) to take only 2 classes there while still living at home before applying to the UIC medical school.  Well, physician assistant requires work history anyway to get into its medical school.  I plan to become a CNA nurse certified at the community college before applying to the medical school.  

So I will be in the modding community for at least 4 more years until I'm 26.

Will I be "the last man standing" in the AoE3 modding community in 4 years from now?

I hope not, and I hope that all the modding giants I mentioned here are still around.

Will I be the next modding giant after Peugout in 4 years from now?  Who knows, 4 years is a long time for me to get better at modding.  I might be a slow learner, but I also will have been around longer than possibly anyone else.

This post might be a time capsule to read 5 years in the future to see if anyone has even heard of these "modding giants" in 5 years.

Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years.
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Re: Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

Post by Pepp on Sun 9 Feb 2014 - 19:36

TL;DR. But I thought this is somewhat inspiring, well, I don't read it at all.

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Re: Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

Post by Golden Dragon on Mon 10 Feb 2014 - 6:08

To be honest, he could have reached the main point without explaining his personal history/plans a long time ago but I will say the main point is quite inspiring.
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Re: Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

Post by Hoop Thrower on Mon 10 Feb 2014 - 6:30

If he hadn't explained his personal history on a longwinded pointless post he wouldn't be Dietermoreno.
Anyways, the whole point falls when you realize the peak point of AoE3 modding history was long before 2012, one could argue it was around 2008 when Napoleonic Era was released and all the legendary figures of yore were still active, or one could argue that the peak point is now given that it was just a few months ago that we got rid of most of what were used to be the Hardcoded bugs.

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Re: Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

Post by dietermoreno on Mon 10 Feb 2014 - 6:45

Interesting that you say the peak point of modding is now.

I thought everyone was saying that the peak point had already passed.

It sure seems like AoE3H is having a lot less activity now than it did in 2012.

Well the personal, uhm, aren't all of us here socially akward people who usually have no one to talk to but people on here.
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Re: Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

Post by Hoop Thrower on Mon 10 Feb 2014 - 7:14

Not quite... I mean, it is now, but that's mostly because I'm alone in a town in the middle of damn nowhere.
Anyways, yes, but in 2012 AoE3Heaven was already very decadent, as I said, 2008 was the peak of activity, if not earlier.

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Re: Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

Post by peugeot407 on Mon 10 Feb 2014 - 8:09

Modding has had several peaks, really. The first one was right after the game's release, when bright minds created the modding tools and compiled the modding knowledge that we live off today. The second was the first wave of great mods; NE, WotTA and AoC. The third was the second wave of great mods; TAA, Revolutions and K&B. The fourth would probably be the early TFN era, when the amount of modders just almost doubled out of absolutely nowhere. I'd say the current time is the fifth peak of AoE3 modding, but compared to the others, it's definitely the highest, because for the first time since 2005/2006, we're actually breaking out of the framework of modding; breaking or finding workarounds for hardcodes, and then using that to create things that would be deemed madness only a year ago...


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Re: Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

Post by Golden Dragon on Mon 10 Feb 2014 - 14:40

You are correct about the peaks peugeot. I did witness the modding wave in 2008 when huge no. of modders started out. I was only a fan them & became inactive for a few years before resuming playing Aoe 3 again.

I completely agree that we achieved a great lot impossibles in the modding arena, specially in the last few months. The RT bug problem was finally tackled by the modding community. TJ, musketeer, Huanglukhuzu & Alexastor deserve special mention in this context. Mandos recently managed to trickle Fame, Mister SPC made a lot of contribution regarding modelling & coding too. There are a lot of others who deserve special thanks.

I hope our community's efforts are recognised someday by Microsoft & I wish I can contribute something.
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Re: Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

Post by super7700 on Mon 10 Feb 2014 - 16:53

I would say that there are two types of 'peaks'. There are peaks in activity, when many people are on the forums and modding the games, though not necessarily making any advancements. Then there are peaks in modding innovation, when a major breakthrough is made, such as fixing the RT bug, or getting custom models into the game, though there might not be many people around to see it happen.

I've noticed this with modding RoN. At the peak of activity for the game, a long time ago, very few breakthroughs were made despite the number of active modders. It has only been in the past two or three years, when the forums have been virtually inactive and few projects are being developed, that most noteworthy modding breakthroughs have been made.

I believe what happens is that as the game gets older, people stop making the small texture or unit mods (as is common in an activity peak) and all that is left are the large total conversion mods, since the people working on those are generally determined to see their project completed. As existing mods already cover nearly everything, the standard of modding has to get higher and higher in order to provide a new and exciting experience, and as a result we seek to push the engine to its limits.
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Re: Don't give up modding as you get older - you could be working for Microsoft in 5 years

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