bit-tech.net

Project F.E.A.R.

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:: Phat :: 10th June 2005, 09:28 Quote
For one, I think it looks great, especially in the miniscule timescale that was slapped on Bit-tech.

Unfortunately, I've seen a large trend on Bit-tech recently, where a lot of people pick the slightest thing up and have a grade-a-granny-whinge about it. Just remember guys, Bit-tech doesn't have to do diddly-squat for you, so appreciate that yeah.?

Oh, and I think this looks fantastic, which is more than can be said for some "Corporate Mods" I've seen spewed out from certain people classed as "OMG MOD GOD!!!!!!!!111ONE"
Jordanis3r 10th June 2005, 09:30 Quote
I think the point is being missed here - with reference to the staff comments, if it was such a tight deadline you could have simply said "no we won't be able to do something spectacular ", with regards to the tight schedule, ok I understand if its for game release date or a show, but its the art of negotiation - don't undertake something that will leave you highly stressed and busting your ass for (in my view) a compromise job.

second point, take the comments onboard and learn from them - no point getting defensive and reactionary - we are your community and reader base ... constructive criticism is a fantastic way of improving your service and keeping yourselves and your readerbase happy :)

with regards to Dark Blades project - it is out of the grasp of normal modders - hence why its more of an engineering project, I have already queried some of his unsafe machine tool practices (without any acknowedgement :s), whereas Orac is within most modders sphere of being able to complete something like it (with the right imagination and drive:)).

Again referencing my earlier post - the site has lost some of its modding kudos due to the fact that a bigger target audience was the aim (put me right if I am off the mark) as the whole games/modding/hardware seems to dilute the site - tbh I preferred the old bit :)
Etacovda 10th June 2005, 10:14 Quote
I'm failing to see where anyone mentioned it should be ORAC3 quality - everyone knows how goddamn long it took him, obviously something like that is entirely out of the question...

I'm not a fan of case wraps personally, you're taking a 3d workspace and making it 2d. Ive NEVER seen a case skin that I liked, but thats just me.

However, I know all too well what its like dealing with a very, very picky client, so being too critical isnt the nicest thing in the world.
The_Pope 10th June 2005, 11:15 Quote
Quote:
I think the point is being missed here - with reference to the staff comments, if it was such a tight deadline you could have simply said "no we won't be able to do something spectacular "

That is exactly the conversation I had with Vivendi mate: they found the site through Orac and asked about having a themed PC made. I was clear in explaining the timeline required for that level of mod, and when their budget became apparent, I showed them the past CaseSkin work we had done and discussed concepts for the F.E.A.R. caseskin that you see now.

At the end of the day, this kind of "commercial" mod is about Return on Investment for the publisher: there are dozens of "Win a PC" competitions in magazines around the world each month, generating interest for various games along the way. It is natural to want to try and stand out from the pack, and both Take2 competitions we have built systems for in the UK have generated DOUBLE the normal number of entries.

So the principle is sound, but when you can achieve that effect with relatively simple mods, it doesn't make sense to splash out many thousands on a BlackMesa II or Orac - the gamers reading these magazines aren't the hardcore modding audience that you guys are.

bit-tech have been at the forefront of modding for several years now, constantly pushing back the boundaries of what is possible and pioneering the use of new techniques and new materials. The only trap, as you have demonstrated, is the constant pressure for each subsequent mod to be even more extreme than the last.

It should be obvious that there is a natural limit, and arguably it will be a while before anyone anywhere produces a mod of the frankly ridiculous level of detail that G-Gnome went to with Orac. But I don't think that makes any more basic mod less "worthy" - Project F.E.A.R. is a mod that anyone can follow and replicate themselves over a weekend at a relatively low cost.

If we only published super elite mods that take 6+ months to build and cost $5000 or more, as you seem to suggest, bit-tech would be a pretty empty website.
Atomic 10th June 2005, 12:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
That is exactly the conversation I had with Vivendi mate: they found the site through Orac and asked about having a themed PC made. I was clear in explaining the timeline required for that level of mod, and when their budget became apparent, I showed them the past CaseSkin work we had done and discussed concepts for the F.E.A.R. caseskin that you see now.
Now everyones explained this, I see why a caseskin is all you could do :)
Jordanis3r 10th June 2005, 12:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
If we only published super elite mods that take 6+ months to build and cost $5000 or more, as you seem to suggest, bit-tech would be a pretty empty website.

Well to be fair - I didnt suggest that, and I would be at a loss for words if a *case skin* was all you could come up with - and yes I am aware I am "bashing" just a tad - but I would have thought you could have at least attempted something that hasn't been done before - and I think it was just plain lazyness blocking the front airholes ...

I dont want to seem too negative as I have been a strong supporter and follower of the site for going on 3 years - you do alot of hard work that I for one do appreciate the site, but as this thread points out I am not alone in feeling slightly let down :)
Nexxo 10th June 2005, 12:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigz
A lot of you guys are modders, but somehow I get the impression that you don't understand just how long it takes to complete a high-quality computer case mod.
I can tell you all about that... :D

Quality modding costs money, and takes time. Most of us are lacking in both.

OK, here's my take. My wife used to be a chef. The great advantage of this is not that she can cook elaborate big meals, but that she can produce something really nice, every time, no matter how little we have in our fridge, or how little time to cook. It takes real skill to make something from nothing.

Last night we made a seafood pasta with minimal means: some pasta, a tin of chopped tomatoes, some frozen peas, some frozen seafood, some garlic and some left over onion. That's all (we haven't done a big shop for a while...). I threw in the last thimble of port I found somewhere in a cupboard, some black pepper, and slivered some cheese on top. That's it. But it was spot-on: the pasta was just al dente, the sauce just right, the frozen peas sweet and crunchy, the cheese just the right complement... yessiree, it takes a good chef to make a good, balanced meal from left-overs found in a fridge.

Modding is the same. It takes real skill to make something nice on a very tight budget and very narrow time frame. Anyone can buy a load of expensive Aqua-Computer gear and throw it in an equally expensive aluminium case and make it look good. But to do something with modest means... that is special. That takes creativity. Let's not ignore the Small Gods of modding. All mods are worthy.
Da_Rude_Baboon 10th June 2005, 15:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
bit-tech have been at the forefront of modding for several years now, constantly pushing back the boundaries of what is possible and pioneering the use of new techniques and new materials. The only trap, as you have demonstrated, is the constant pressure for each subsequent mod to be even more extreme than the last.

Actually i think this is the probelm. You WERE at the fore front of modding but you aren't anymore. When i first started reading Bit, projects like macroblack, macrocase and linears cube were being published and were ground breaking. The last few great mods on bit (with the exception of WMD) have not been made by Bit staff. Correct me if i'm wrong but when Orac3 was started Gnome was a forum member not Bit staff. He became a member of Bit staff when Gnome became the most popular mod on the site. You also refer to blackmesa which again is not an inhouse Bit project.

If you want to keep the respect of your target audience then you have to mod. Games, columns and reviews are moving away from the original purpose of the site. I accept you have to do this to survive but you cant then slap a case skin onto a case and expect the readers of the site to be impressed. I remember when you built a case for intel, again in a short time scale, which was a great case built in a hurry. unfortunatly the article doesnt seem to be here anymore so i can compare time scales.

It is the forums and the quality of the mods within them which keep bit alive. At the moment i beleive you could remove the entire front end of the website and just leave the forums and it would be as popular.

I hope now you have become full time bit employees the situation improves but please remember that its the forums members that are keeping bit at the forefront of the modding community not the staff. Instead of taking readers comments as a personal insult you should maybe listen to them and see it as a warning.
quack 10th June 2005, 15:24 Quote
Looks pretty good to me! I can't wait for the game to be released.

If the client is happy with the result does it really matter how much "modding" goes into the project? They got what they wanted, in a tight timeframe, and quite frankly that's what's important.
Draeth1 10th June 2005, 15:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by quack
Looks pretty good to me! I can't wait for the game to be released.

If the client is happy with the result does it really matter how much "modding" goes into the project? They got what they wanted, in a tight timeframe, and quite frankly that's what's important.


I agree. Awesome job getting the skin perfectly applied, I know how hard it is to get things matched up exactly. Nice design also.
Don't let them get you down man, sometimes the simple/clean looking mods are what people are looking for.
quack 10th June 2005, 16:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon
Actually i think this is the probelm. You WERE at the fore front of modding but you aren't anymore. When i first started reading Bit, projects like macroblack, macrocase and linears cube were being published and were ground breaking. The last few great mods on bit (with the exception of WMD) have not been made by Bit staff. Correct me if i'm wrong but when Orac3 was started Gnome was a forum member not Bit staff. He became a member of Bit staff when Gnome became the most popular mod on the site. You also refer to blackmesa which again is not an inhouse Bit project.

*snip*

I hope now you have become full time bit employees the situation improves but please remember that its the forums members that are keeping bit at the forefront of the modding community not the staff.
bit-tech is a community, made up of staff members and forum members - every single person makes some sort of contribution and this is why bit is at the forefront. There is no "them" and "us".
Da_Rude_Baboon 10th June 2005, 17:09 Quote
I am responding to the previous points raised and if it comes across as them and us then its echoing posts from bit staff and mods.

Why not through open the case design to the members? Give them the time scale and see what they can produce then pass the best effort onto vivendi if it surpasses what is produced in house.
dutchcedar 10th June 2005, 17:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
arguably it will be a while before anyone anywhere produces a mod of the frankly ridiculous level of detail that G-Gnome went to with Orac.
I think some are doing so as we speak... but in the meantime... trying to elevate the value of your own work by demeaning another's may be common, but it ain't wise.

I tend to think of case mods like hot rods. To be brutally honest, the ones who's claim to fame are applied vinyl graphics tend to stay in the spectators' parking lot.

Interesting graphics, by the way. The use of the little girl's image is kinda creepy... maybe that's just the father side of me.
will. 10th June 2005, 19:07 Quote
I quite like it, the game is going to be awesome, and that bit tech got asked is cool.

Maybee to satisfy some of the more hardcore moders in the future, get some of them to make some basic mods, and just leave out the majour styling points, like colour and decals and then when the time arrises spray sticker and touchup. i like to dream.
Da Dego 10th June 2005, 19:27 Quote
Ok guys,

First...A mod is a mod is a mod, whether it be vinyl stickers or Orac. Each is worthy in its own way. Under the timeline, budget, and complaince with an outside party, you did a great job, Geoff. Not to my personal taste, but given what you had to work with, it was a great job.

What may be at issue here, though (that nobody has really come out and said directly), is that this is in no way article material. I am now saying great job to Geoff the same way I would to any other starting modder, a pat on the back for doing something that may well be groundbreaking to them, but has been seen and done previously to most of the community. Worse is that it ISN'T groundbreaking to Geoff, or any of the bit team. The different or lacking complexity (however you want to say it, I would say differing...I want to see some of these people work competently in a PS file that big) doesn't make it less of a mod, but it DOES reduce its effectiveness as a modding article.

Whether or not it was difficult, complicated, whatever, by your own admissions this is no Orac, no dark crystal, no metaversa, no black mesa. Therefore, had it been built, quietly handed to vivendi, and a little post thrown in the project logs forum saying "we did this over the weekend for a little project vivendi handed us," we wouldn't be where we are now with staff/mods arguing against their very community.

Your community views those "Modding" article pages as sacred ground, and that may be why you're getting such bad responses. I would even say Vivendi is getting a little bad press from this. The article (and your further defense of your choice of mod) makes Vivendi look cheap and inflexible, unwilling to donate the time or the money for your real talents that have been so apparent for so many years. Makes me wonder how they treat their programmers, come to think of it...

Overall, I think what might be upsetting people is that this has graced the halls of the true "article" pages, when there are longer, more well thought out projects just kicking in our project logs forums. It makes it look like either (1) what bit staff does is more important regardless of its merits, or (2) we have declined so much in raw talent that this is honestly the best we could write an article about.

Once again, Geoff, I think you did a very good job on this with what you had, and Nexxo's point is very valid here with the cooking...mastery is in repeatability no matter what the conditions. But that doesn't make it article worthy, and that needs to be recognized. Unless, of course, the article was "Modding on a shoestring, a wish, and a weekend."
The_Pope 10th June 2005, 19:27 Quote
Welcome to the bit-tech forums, dutchcedar.
Quote:
trying to elevate the value of your own work by demeaning another's may be common, but it ain't wise.

I think you misunderstood my comment about Orac: "frankly ridiculous level of detail" is a compliment. It's like saying there is an "insane attention to detail" - that doesn't mean I think Pete is crazy - it's is an enthusiast way of saying "a lot"

Da_Rude_Baboon: I understand your comments, but I think quack understands things: it's not "us" and "them" - it's a party that everyone is invited to. There's no benefit in nitpicking about what is an in-house mod and what is "forum members propping up the site" to paraphrase your comments.

Piloux may not have an entry on the Team page, but he's certainly considered one of the family: we've hosted I think four of his projects now, and he is busy on his next one. I will arrange a large proportion of his hardware through sponsorship, and the worklog will be exclusively hosted on bit-tech - you don't get much more "in-house" than that.

I will freely admit that we have been missing projects from existing staff members in recent months: Eddie the Dane has one project in progress, and is working together with Macro on something VERY big, and no doubt "worthy"; WMD is still in production.

Just because we haven't revealed details of certain projects on the site at this early stage doesn't mean the boys aren't hard at work on the kind of mods you want to see on bit-tech. But the simple math of it is that there are only a handful of guys capable of doing the work, and the work takes time.

Project F.E.A.R. was not done for financial gain to keep the site alive - there is no case of "lowering" ours standards in order to pay the bills. It was just a bit of fun that I was able to do myself, and considering I'm only an Editor and NOT a modder, I'm quite pleased with the outcome.

At the end of the day (and it REALLY is - 3:25am here), there's no sense in arguing about it: I'm happy if you feel it's a piece of crap because it was never intended to be anything more than it is: a simple, low cost mod that's on-budget and won't break in the post. Will we have more intricate mods in the future? Yes. Do we value our community members and their opinons? Absolutely! I wouldn't be here if we didn't.
The_Pope 10th June 2005, 19:40 Quote
Damn lag: I'll reply to Da Dego just quickly, then I *have* to get some sleep.

I think I understand a little better now: I didn't quite appreciate that being a full article on bit-tech was seen as validation like "this mod is *truely* outstanding". I mean, yes we feature top community mods on the site from time to time, and the regular-type mods remain in the Worklog forum.

But what I'm only now realising is that some of you feel that because Project F.E.A.R. was written up that that was some sort of statement that I / we felt it was "better" than the projects in the Forums. Because clearly that is not the case! Even Stevie Wonder would agree that a mere CaseSkin project isn't even remotely as l33t as half the stuff in the Worklogs done by you guys.

The reality is that writing up Project F.E.A.R. was a no-brainer for me because a) I could do all the work myself and b) it's some extra PR for Vivendi and the game. I'll say it again: it should not be construed as any kind of endorsement that this mod is any better than any other mod.

I am always open to featuring Worklogs on the main site: with all my other duties, I often don't spend as much time as I should hanging out there, checking out all the latest work from you guys. But please: if you see (or indeed, create) anything that you feel should be showcased on the site as part of an article, or even a news item, don't hesitate to email me: geoff.richards@bit-tech.net

I'm more than happy to work with you to put together an article: I can't promise fame & glory, but you'll certainly be noticed on a global scale, and several modders have gone on to secure features in print magazines, even being paid for it.
Da Dego 10th June 2005, 19:50 Quote
NOW I think we're at least all reading from the same page. If we can all translate it the same, I think we'll be doing alright. :)

Geoff, I would have to say that in honor of some of the other outstanding works, this article should seriously be up for "recall..." and rewritten for the project logs. I understand that it's easy for you to write things up, after all you are the editor and it seems like a good and easy thing to say "here's what I've been up to." But you're walking on some hallowed ground, and you picked a bad place to try for a little "extra PR for Vivendi." I know Black Mesa had a writeup, but that's because it was exquisite detail and an amazing, original concept...not just because it was HL2 (at least, I'd hope so). There's a lot of traffic that passes through the project logs...I just think this may be better suited there, it will make it a little bit more palatable for everyone involved.

If there are some massive, wonderful works by Eddie and Piloux and Macro that you can't put up in articles yet, just leave the space for them. We'll be happy to wait for great mods if we must, but the true articles are really for the groundbreakers IMHO...You said so yourself, the articles are for global-scale notice. Now think, did this *really* belong there? That's the stuff that represents bit-tech to the world, and we all owe it to the modding scene in general to keep putting the most innovative, jaw-dropping projects out where they can be seen, not putting out PR for something that's not even payin' the bills.

Edit: and for god's sakes, go to bed! :)
Nexxo 10th June 2005, 21:25 Quote
True, but it takes a lot of effort to fill up a front page with new material every week. If Bit-Tech concentrated only on posting/writing about really outstanding mods or projects, then you would get an update perhaps every few months or so, and people would complain that they "never see any new stuff".

I think that the article just is a nice illustration of what can be done with casewraps (and how to design, plan and apply them), should people be interested to incorporate some in their mods. Nothing more, nothing less; just take it at face value. You simply cannot expect an Orac 3 or Black Mesa every week; that's crazy. That sort of thing takes a lot of time and money, and frankly people have lives to get be getting on with and costs of living to pay for. So patience is a virtue.

People may (reasonably) feel that the project was not "article worthy", but I think that sort of depends on your point of view. If you want articles to be about blow-your-socks-off mods only, perhaps not. If you want articles to illustrate a range of diverse aspects of modding, then perhaps it is. Horses for courses.
Da Dego 10th June 2005, 22:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
True, but it takes a lot of effort to fill up a front page with new material every week. If Bit-Tech concentrated only on posting/writing about really outstanding mods or projects, then you would get an update perhaps every few months or so, and people would complain that they "never see any new stuff".

I think that the article just is a nice illustration of what can be done with casewraps (and how to design, plan and apply them), should people be interested to incorporate some in their mods. Nothing more, nothing less; just take it at face value. You simply cannot expect an Orac 3 or Black Mesa every week; that's crazy. That sort of thing takes a lot of time and money, and frankly people have lives to get be getting on with and costs of living to pay for. So patience is a virtue.

People may (reasonably) feel that the project was not "article worthy", but I think that sort of depends on your point of view. If you want articles to be about blow-your-socks-off mods only, perhaps not. If you want articles to illustrate a range of diverse aspects of modding, then perhaps it is. Horses for courses.


Nexxo, I see and agree with most of your point, but... (isn't there always a but? :))

There is already a case-wrap article in kna's project synapse, no? This ground doesn't need to be covered yet again.

For the modding section, yeah, there will be a slower amount of big articles up there. For me, this is better...it shows Bit-tech doesn't just put up the good ones...we are the hub for the GREAT ones. It IS crazy to expect an Orac every week. But we don't...Remember, the old site flourished with the same old case mods being up there for YEARS. :) I can't remember for how long I looked at that HTPC case with the blue bit-tech logo on top. We're still here, and so's the site. Quality speaks for itself.

True, horses for courses, and all that, but if we want to look at some of the things that can be done, call it that and throw it in as a review, like "here's a project we built with them." Or make it a story (I personally like my title of "a shoestring, a wish, and a weekend," but I'm biased). Or whatever. But don't call it a case project, because the case projects featured on the front page live up to something greater...they're not about 'well, you can use it like this...'

Otherwise, I can help find you content every week. Heck, you want to go through the logs and pull a project out? Doesn't have to be innovative, original, or even good...just pick one, write a story, and put it up front.

The moral of this very large exaggeration, of course, is that a mod doesn't NEED to be up there every week. There are reviews of modding products to write, conventions to visit, and (eek!) how-to guides!!!! And really a bit of blank space once in a while is far better than just throwing anything up there...that is the way to the dark side of pushing quantity instead of quality. If anything, there are now a bunch of other things that bit-tech covers...so there's some wiggle room.

Maybe we as a community could be suggesting possible modding articles, to help figure out what could fill this space and prevent this from happening again? Again, this isn't meant to be a knock on the project, but that there's other things we could do that would still keep featured case mods exactly that, and emphasize the awesome skills of our community's best.

Just my $0.02. That and another $1 can maybe gat you a cup of coffee. ;)
Nexxo 10th June 2005, 22:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Dego
Maybe we as a community could be suggesting possible modding articles, to help figure out what could fill this space and prevent this from happening again? Again, this isn't meant to be a knock on the project, but that there's other things we could do that would still keep featured case mods exactly that, and emphasize the awesome skills of our community's best.
Great idea. ;)
Quote:
Just my $0.02. That and another $1 can maybe gat you a cup of coffee. ;)
Make mine an espresso. Double. :D
Da Dego 10th June 2005, 22:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Great idea. ;)

Make mine an espresso. Double. :D

So where should we start that thread, perhaps? Modding? Mod guides? It should be somewhere visible...I just think our "Modding" front page section could be expanded with some healthy how-to's and reviews if we need more frequent eye candy.

Might I humbly request the first 'how-to' being a basic useful digital electronics, like qprox sensors? Gets asked a lot, and will give ol' Zap something to do for a minute...he's been too quiet lately. ;)
dutchcedar 10th June 2005, 23:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
Welcome to the bit-tech forums, dutchcedar.

I think you misunderstood my comment about Orac: "frankly ridiculous level of detail" is a compliment. It's like saying there is an "insane attention to detail" - that doesn't mean I think Pete is crazy - it's is an enthusiast way of saying "a lot"
Aye, makes sense.

FWIW, I'm Pete too... and rumor has it I am crazy... :D

Oh, and thanks... ;)
Nexxo 11th June 2005, 00:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Dego
So where should we start that thread, perhaps? Modding? Mod guides? It should be somewhere visible...I just think our "Modding" front page section could be expanded with some healthy how-to's and reviews if we need more frequent eye candy.

Might I humbly request the first 'how-to' being a basic useful digital electronics, like qprox sensors? Gets asked a lot, and will give ol' Zap something to do for a minute...he's been too quiet lately. ;)
How about in "Feedback"? There is already a "What do you want to see Bit-Tech mod next" thread, but perhaps that needs cleaning up a bit, and perhaps we need a more general suggestions thread.
Cowinacape 11th June 2005, 06:06 Quote
While I'll admit I was looking forward too seeing more of a "mod" than just the case wrap. The article does present a good idea of what can be done with such products, leaving only our imagination to limit us.

And I know sure as h**l, if I was to try the same mod, I'd be forever trying to get out all the little bubbles that would undoubtedly be showing themselves in the weeks afterwards. As was mentioned earlier in this thread it also offers a very viable option to custom paint jobs as well. Not to sound to much like a fanboy, but keep up the good work! I amy not be thrilled an amazed buy every article I read here but you are running at a good 95% and that ain't bad :)
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