Me versus ambition.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole process of total-conversion creation. As we all know, there are more total conversions postulated than ever exist, by at least an order of magnitude. I have tried to narrow down, as a thought experiment, the main reasons for failure:
1: Initial enthusiasm versus maintaining the energy to slug on. In just the time that I've been a member of these boards I've seen many total conversions begin, fizzle and end. I've been most impressed with the ones that begin with a bang, actually make some measurable progress, and then disappear. My main citation there was an idea back in 2006, I think, that involved making a TC that took place in one solar system. If I recall correctly their map was done, they had ships and weaps and etc in the game and working, and all of a sudden they stopped for what ever reason. Most of us can recall Genesis, and the KRF and it's many inceptions that followed. I've always wondered how much progress those guys made before it all stopped? Or how about Aftermath? I'm sure any search will turn up others. I theorize that overambition killed these plugs: too many ideas, too many systems, too many ships, too many outfits and overambitious plot lines.
Overreaching goals. We all want to be part of a team (or dare-say do it ourselves) that produces the ultimate EV Nova tc, even if it is not our main goal in plug making. We all want that totally awesome storyline, where every choice the player makes changes the outcome of everything else in our galaxies. We all want to have the coolest, best-rendered ships, because we had to teach ourselves Blender or whatnot and now the sky's the limit. We all want hand-made spobs, which orbit realistically, all within the initial system, complete with weather and eclipses. But why can't we perhaps settle for less? How about a tc with one, or perhaps two governments, each with their own mostly linear storyline, and a realistic set of goals for them?
Commitment to continual work. This more or less ties in with my first point, but I think that this aspect of it bears repeating. There was a time in my life where I worked fifty hours a week at one job, twenty hours a week at another and still managed to get about ten -fourteen hours of effort on KFL a week in, but I certainly wouldn't try to do it now. I'm lucky to get an hour or two every other day, and I plan to keep it that way. I know that there are others on this board who've found themselves working on their plugs during all of their spare time for months on end, only to semi-burn out and eventually give up- I have been among their numbers. But surely there's a sensible alternative? Setting aside a reasonable amount of time, either daily or otherwise, with a limit of how long one would work, could possibly prevent the burn-out problem.
I propose a challenge, for myself, and one for others, if they could. How about a total conversion, without hundreds of hundreds of inhabited systems, without over a hundred new, freshly rendered ships, dozens of Terragen'd landing shots and without branching, multifaceted storylines? How about a total conversion that starts with limits and fills them, instead of starting with ideas that blossom continually, only to exhaust their fertilizer? How about one that has a definite set of goals and a timetable in which they are to be achieved?
That is a challenge which I am going to give myself. I plan to produce a complete total conversion, minus bug fixes, which I anticipate would take a little bit longer, in two months. I am going to limit myself to one hundred total systems or less, seventy five inhabited spobs or less, two main 'factions' and a reasonable handful of ancillary groups, less than thirty ships and only so many planet graphics/landing shots as are required, possibly pulled from public domain sources, and most importantly, two main mission strings only and, again, only a handful of side strings, to total less than one hundred misn resources (including BBS misns but not including special misns, such as ones used to make special ships appear, or bring up a desc, or similar). I want to see if this is possible. Speaking from my own experience on KFL I know that I am capable of doing a lot in a limited amount of time, and, at least to myself, it's quality work. I wonder if it can be done- a whole, reputable, not inane or crapful total conversion in two months? I guess that I'll find out.