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Revised Addon Submission Guidelines

SeventhSentinel - December 15, 2020

Hello everybody! We have re-thought and re-written the Submissions Guidelines. This is something that’s been overdue for quite a while, as they’ve been a little out of date in several ways. Please have a look over them here!

There are no doubt going to be some concerns over these changes. Everyone who is involved in this community knows that mods are the lifeblood of it, and it’s expected that people are going to worry about how new rules will change the face of the modding scene.

That’s why we’d like to address a few probable points of concern we expect people to have with these new rules. The first four concerns pertain to some new rules regarding what constitutes a worthy release. In short form:

  • It must contain original work of your own,
  • You must have permission to use any other work you use in it,
  • It must otherwise comply with forum rules (no NSFW or bigotry),
  • It must work at a basic level upon game start (judges are not bug testers), and
  • It must not contain any drama or personal disputes.

There are some assorted smaller rules too, but these are the major entry qualifications to release. There is no quality check, and we’re probably not going to reject something because it didn’t have “enough effort” if it still meets the above standards. (We do reserve the right to reject anything we see fit, however.)

Based upon a lot of conversations we’ve all seen around in the community a lot lately, we anticipate some of the following concerns. So let me address them one by one.

#1: “I feel that low quality beginner mods devalue or divert attention from my mods I’ve worked hard on!”

This is a bit of a misunderstanding of what releases is supposed to be. Releases is not a showcase for the best and the greatest mods (though it’s historically been treated like that); it’s simple a repository of ALL mods the community has made, however large or small. Good mods generally recieve a lot of attention as is, but if you want more people to see your mod, please, you’re encouraged to promote it. Post screenshots! Take fun gifs! Engage in converations with people about why you designed your mod the way you did and why you think it’s fun. Post it on social media! Seriously, go nuts.

There has been a precedent over the past few months of very amateur mods generating a lot of short-lived attention, which has rubbed some creators the wrong way. We get it, we really do. But that’s not a releases problem, that’s a cultural problem. If someone doesn’t like a mod, it costs them nothing to ignore it and move along to what they do enjoy. It isn’t worth generating a buzz about something that’s not all that interesting in the first place, right? A bit more on this in the following text:

#2: “Isn’t the releases forum going to get too bloated with mods many people have no interest in?”

This is a very legitimate concern! This would also concern us, too, if not for one key fact: A transition to a new forum software is coming up in the future, and when this happens, the way releases are organized will be significantly more organized and easier to dig through and find popular mods.

#3: “People are just going to rush minimum effort mods out for clout/recognition!”

This is another concern that we’ve seen voiced frequently, and to that our response is, “what recognition?” Come on, you all know what you like! If someone’s art has that little appeal to anyone beyond the author, then the only reason it’s going to get any recognition over and above a few casual glances is if people make a big fuss about it. It’s not really worth doing that. And lastly, this point on the same topic:

#4: “This will encourage people to release whatever they can just to have something out on the forums.”

Sometimes people view this as a bad thing, but we don’t. Here’s why: If someone’s creation isn’t causing any harm or confusion, then there’s no harm in letting them put it out there. For some people, part of the creative process is being able to whet their appetite by saying, “Hey, it’s just something small, but I made something, I finished it, I showed it to people, and now I feel stronger.” Maybe they’ll go on to tackle bigger mods next time! Maybe they’ll take that feeling somewhere else entirely! Or maybe they won’t do anything else at all. Who knows? But if there’s no harm caused by letting people celebrate their little victories, so we agreed we should let them do just that.

Now, to shift gears entirely: Rule #10 is a big game changer. If you checked it out, it pertains to a topic that’s seen a lot of controversy: Is it okay for people to port content that predates the Reusable Content/Non-Reusable Content stamp? Rule #10 is our answer to that, and it’s incredibly specific in its terms and its limits. We discussed it a lot amongst ourselves and determined that this was the best way to ensure respect is kept towards people who are no longer around but never specified whether they desired the community to look out for and maintain their content, or to just leave it alone. We hope this will satisfy a lot of people who have been pretty vocal about the numerous old and well-loved mods in limbo due to this grey area in the rules.

Thanks for reading! We look forward to seeing what our community comes up with under these new guidelines. Happy modding!

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