Malvineous wrote:Hi all,
When I started the KeenWiki I was of the opinion that skin mods (those that change only some of the graphics and nothing else) should not be added. Over the years a number of skin mods have been added and then removed, as they typically only change the main player sprite and nothing else.
Recently this has happened again, and I am wondering whether it is time to reconsider this stance. Should graphics-only mods be allowed on the KeenWiki?
In my opinion, most players would be familiar enough with the original game that there would be limited appeal in playing it through from start to finish with the only change being the main character looks a bit different. It seems to me to be a very low-effort mod, in that it only takes a few minutes to change some graphics and declare it as a new finished mod. I have always been of the opinion that if you want your skin mod listed on the wiki so badly, at least add a few new levels to give people something new to play, but for some reason the creators of skin mods never wanted to do this, which unfortunately just furthers my opinion that it's a low-effort mod. The only argument I can think of for having skin mods is that other modders could borrow the graphics for use in their own mod, picking and choosing from various skin mods to avoid having to come up with all new graphics from scratch.
But perhaps I am wrong. What do other people think? Especially those here who have released full mods. Do you think just changing the player sprite is enough to qualify as a new mod with its own KeenWiki page? Or do you think there should be some minimum required before it's considered a legitimate mod?
Pandakeen wrote: Good question. I think it varies.
I can think of a few mods that I think should go on Keenwiki. For example, the Composite CGA Keen 4 and 5 by VileR: viewtopic.php?t=3656 These are quite unique and change all the graphics. And I've been working on my own skin mod of Keen 1 which changes all of the graphics.
I think mods that change most or all of the graphics should be allowed, as even though the base levels are the same, it's still fun to see how the graphics have been changed.
Skin mods of lower standards, such as player skins I think are more up for debate. Simply recoloring Keen's shirt red is stupid and shouldn't be on Keenwiki. Commander Kylie by zilem on the other hand looks like it has some effort put into it (though I haven't played it). The Mortimer skin mods by szemi are somewhere in between these, as they just recolor the Keen sprite but the recolor has a bit more relevance than an arbitrary dislike of Keen's default shirt color.
Quillax wrote: That's a really good question! It's been forever since I touched a skin mod (unless XkyKeen4 counts). As Pandakeen said, I think it depends. I know you don't want people to spend 10 minutes on a mod and then upload it just to get a KeenWiki article and I don't know if I've ever played a skin mod the casual way (as in, playing seriously, not fooling around just to see the new graphics). However, there are some skin mods that took effort by changing a lot of the graphics instead of just one sprite. Some skin mods have historical value. Some skin mods make a slight change to the gameplay, such as different hitbox sizes. A lot of these skin mods are still hosted in the KeenWiki server, and I'm sure they've been for a very long time now. Will any of the ones deemed unworthy be no longer hosted?
Here are my thoughts:
Skin mods that change most (if not all) of the graphics should be valid. This would include Cybernetic Dreams, DasBrot's mods, Attack of the Silurians, Keen Static, the CGA Composite Keen mods, and -- as soon as this one comes out -- Keen 1 Redrawn. The levels may be untouched, but the new graphics provide a different atmosphere, and they definitely took more than 10 minutes (and even over 10 hours -- and perhaps 10 days -- I say) to be made. Also, it's fun to see the new graphics and how the author worked with the limits of the tileset and original level designs.
Changing only the player sprite or a few bits of artwork is a gray area for me. Andrew Durdin's military skin mods were made before Yorphius II -- the first mod that extensively changed both graphics and levels -- and in that era only one other mod changed the graphics (Keen Static). So I say Andrew Durdin's mods are noteworthy. The little tileset mod Andrew's brother made could also be noteworthy for similar reasons. I suppose Commander Kylie has the novelty of providing a female version of Keen and being widespread through so many games and even mods, so maybe she should have an article (but not one, unique article for each skin mod, just have them all covered in a single article). Recolors (like red shirt Keen or inverted colors) are definitely out, due to the low effort required and besides, I feel like not many people are going to think "Wouldn't it be nice if I could play with different clothes?" I can't really decide on the rest of the skin mods like CGA Keen 1 or English-to-SGA (and vice-versa) translations, though. On one hand, they cover neat ideas, but on the other hand, they're pretty simple ideas that don't really require a lot of artistic talent.