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Should mod/map authors be forced to show screenshots of their work when announcing a project?

Discussion in 'Forum Help & Feedback' started by ShadowTiger, Aug 8, 2019.

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Should all player-made mods or maps have to include screenshots or samples?

  1. Always. It stops people from making substanceless boasts.

    20.0%
  2. Always, except under special circumstances that would ruin the effect.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. A guide on taking screenshots & tacking them to project threads should be made and referred to.

    40.0%
  4. No, people should have the freedom to make topics as they please.

    40.0%
  1. ShadowTiger

    ShadowTiger Plantera

    I'm not sure if this topic has been suggested before, so I apologize if this is a duplicate topic. I'm also unsure if there's already a policy for or against this somewhere; I seem to be missing it.

    Whenever I'm viewing the tModLoader projects forum, whether it's the "Completed" or "Works in Progress" forums, and I come across a topic that lists things it either currently features or wishes to feature, and that topic has no screenshots illustrating what it has created for people to enjoy, I find myself glossing over it in favor of something that bothered to show me why I should download it. Without screenshots, and all it has is text listing the numerical quantity of items or enemies that it adds without going into specifics, the topic blends in with every other topic that does that very same thing. There's no reason for me to download that mod and try it out. I wouldn't know why I would want to or need to.

    If it had screenshots of things, or lists of items and their effects and recipes, I'd at least know why I would want to download the mod and give it a try. It shouldn't be too difficult of a concept.

    Now, I don't mean to come across as SCREENSHOT-NAZI™ or anything. There are distinct advantages to sharing screenshots when you create a topic. So, the question is, should it be mandatory to post screenshots of your project when you create a new project?

    Here are a few advantages of doing so.
    1. It means you actually have something to show off, and aren't just making a topic just to feel self-important or beginning something too ambitious for you to finish.
    2. Sharing screenshots means it's a project that people can have confidence in and have something to track.
    3. It gives people a reason to download and try a mod. It's essentially an incentive to try it, and it removes any doubts that it won't be worth their time. Imagine if someone announces a video game and says "It'll have ten guns, twelve enemies, one hundred items, and three NPCs." but doesn't show you any pictures, gameplay videos, or details about the game to incentivize you to try it. It's very easy to gloss over it at that point because there are other mods that already do give you plenty of incentives.
      • Is this an odd case of Darwinism? ... where those mod-authors that don't bother presenting incentive to play their mod will just have no one play their mod in the first place, and become demotivated? Is it cruel of me to think so? I'm just extrapolating from human behavior.

    Of course, people always have the freedom to simply not post a screenshot and handle their own advertisements for their mod through words alone. I personally never join Discord servers for the same reason that a lot of people don't like having to register a new forum account somewhere just to look up information or download something. Plus, it would make more work for the moderators to enforce such a policy and constantly link them to the pinned topic.

    That pinned topic, of course, would feature a tutorial on how to take screenshots, post them on IMGUR or equivalent, and then post them on the forums.

    So, the question is, is this something worth doing? Is it worth encouraging people to post screenshots of their project so they don't feel like people are glossing them and their hard work over, and we don't keep getting project topics that are all talk and no action?
     
    TheWorfer27 likes this.
  2. TheWorfer27

    TheWorfer27 Retinazer

    I think a "screenshotless" subforum should be made. This would allow users to continue to share mods they are proud of, but know that they could get many more downloads. This would encourage screenshots without tearing down people who lack them.
     
    ShadowTiger likes this.
  3. Unit One

    Unit One Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    I’d love it if each mod/map/texture thread included screenshots, but should it be mandatory? In my opinion, no.

    Having a nicely thought-out and well-presented thread would make more sense if you’re trying to get people to use your mod/map/texture pack, and that normally does include screenshots. Those that don’t put in their best effort when making a thread will likely fall prey to your example of Darwinism.

    I get it though. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to explore a mod further if it doesn’t have screenshots. But I don’t think it’s something that should be mandated and enforced.

    We do have rules and guidelines that a thread like that should include enough quality content to let others know what it’s about. Screenshots are listed as an example of what could be included, but they aren’t required.

    From the Player-Created Game Enhancements: Rules & Guidelines
    • All game enhancement threads must include some form of introduction or description text explaining the purpose of the enhancement. A feature list, installation instructions, requirements beyond vanilla Terraria, example screenshots, enhancement logos, and support banners are all examples of useful information that could be included in the opening post.
     
    ShadowTiger and TheWorfer27 like this.