Recently I bought a lot of books written by Richard Dawkins. I have already read The God Delusion, and seen the 2 documentaries that make up The Root of All Evil, shown on Channel 4 a few years ago.
So I decided to refresh my memory, before delving into The Selfish Gene and its successors. That’s when I noticed alarming similarities between religion and the institution of the primary mod in the spring community, that distortion of Total Annihilation that everyone plays until its maintainer flees for his life and a new guy further muddles it up to take the reigns under a new name, usually incrementing the first letter (AA,BA,CA,DA,EA,FA, GA next?).
The primary mod ends up pushing out all other competition into the fringes, causing untold damage to the spring projects ability to spread, since it’s always a TA based mod. By using Atari copyrighted material and infringing upon Atari Intellectual property, nobody will touch spring with a barge poll when it comes to advertising free games. Lists and advertisers fo free software conveniently leave out spring, for fear of incurring the wrath of Ataris legal department.
“Hail thy God for he hath giveth spring”
Of course the spring community is deeply rooted in this predicament, and the developers are praised as gods, and their crown jewel is XTA, the first primary mod that was knocked off brutally by the AA community. XTA is guaranteed a continued place with spring, and the association with TA is continued unabated.
Now this alone doesn’t really indicate fanatical religious zealots, if it weren’t for the mere suggestion of change. XTA players want XTA to remain. BA players want XTA ditched in favour of BA. CA players are tired of waiting for BA to fall down on itself and want CA bundled. Other non TA based mods have resorted to insisting that no content at all be bundled directly as their own mods arent popular enough. That may be because all the games in the lobby are primary mod games, and any attempts to deviate the trend incur their wrath, such as the debacle over the XTA auto hosts and how some of them should be switched to BA, the main mod.
Of course this is all further pushed forward by an army of fanboys who puff up the whole hot air baloon around the mod untill one day it bursts, as it did with AA.
“And looketh forth upon thy kingdom for god hath giveth forth BA”
And so as any setup reaches that point where the user base gets tired, and the userbase drives the maintainer mad, he gives up and leaves. As caydr did with AA, albeit he came back alter on to reclaim his mantle of the mod king unsuccessfully.
Everyone changed allegiance suddenly for the gods had hailed BA as the sacred truth! It did not matter that there were glaring flaws, for blind faith and conviction fixed them! All these bugs are utter nonsense! BA is great! oh look a new version!
“And the demon shall beckon thee to thy death with lies!”
Of course, not everyone bought the BA message, and the holy doctrine of Noize was not heard by all believers. The heretics demanded AA, and the heathen proclaimed CA! Using their new ‘intelligent unit roles’ methodology the CA heathens peddled an old idea made new, to save the souls of the damned under their false god!
CA had good intentions to begin with, mixed with the usual world domination agenda. Somehow it faces the danger of being toppled by infighting over controversial subjects that for the most part are insignificant and trivial disputes.
Of course for all its wonderous improvements, CA has yet to really make a dent as people are still blindly following and supporting BA, saying nothing is wrong with the current environment, affecting everything from lobby progress, to site redesign.
“The Church shall be Re-Born! Again! And again and again and again and again………”
The CA heathens worked tirelessly bringing forth new innovations and developments. The New Church of TA had begun! And things looked good. If only because now everyone had new models and sfx to loot.
This exposed a gap as it was proven that there was room for another micro community, protected from the main BA mod by yet more blind faith and conviction, hell bent on dominating the lobby and reclaiming the promised land from the other heathens (mods).
Thus came the new mods. DA, EA, even TA (Tired Annihilation). Eager to cash in on the widening instability caused by this influx, forum goers tried to spawn new mods so that they could claim expert knowledge and get kudos, by launching their own heavenly abodes, and cash in on unsuspecting players, perhaps drive their rivals mad with jealousy.
“The parasites shall be cleansed! We shall retake the promised lands!”
And yet again they all complain that the other mods have too great a share of the lobby, while admitting that given the chance they would do exactly the same if they had the chance.
You shouldn’t even attempt to compete with the main mod of the time. It will never work, the dynamics just wont let it happen.
And if you want to make a mod to show your skills, don’t work with a TA mod or fork. It’ll earn you very very little respect and teach you only a little. Starting a mod from scratch and making something simple but eye catching will earn you a lot of respect and you’ll learn a lot more skills from it, skills that if cultivated into a portfolio, could even lead towards a accepted entry into a University course or a job.
For those wanting to ensure the very survival of their project, I say again, do not compete with the main mod. This means do not demand that the game be played in the same lobby server alongside all the other games, because a player is going to see the main mod and none of your games, and they’re going to download and play it because they cant play yours and they’ve made an investment. Its free advertising too!
Start your own lobby server, or share it with other none TA games in a similar predicament (recommended). A one lobby rules them all, one server binds them just won’t work here. I know a lot of people prefer this but its not possible at the moment and its a pipe dream, a utopian fantasy that just wont happen until the sum active player base regularly exceeds a thousand players,
And most importantly of all, release early, release often, and make it easy for the end user. Keep on moving forwards, because nothing is ever perfect, and there is always room for improvement. If you don’t move with the times you’ll get left behind
5 replies on “The Spring Delusion Part 1”
I dont see what this has to do with The God Delusion. Any fanboyism of any kind, be it a TV show or genre of music or the Firefox Browser will take on the aspects and appearance of religion, because thats prettymuch what religion is (fanboyism, but for cultural concepts).
Which has nothing to do with any book by Richard Dawkins, as far as i see it. Perhaps we do have a genetic compulsion to obsessively latch on to causes and try and spread and support them, though ultimately thats what Richard is doing too, isnt he?
Most players that stay active in our spring community past a week or so tend to develop into religious fanatics, worshipping the primary mod, and revere the creator either as a god or an evil demon.
The more zealous players go on the offensive and attack the non-TA mods or rival TA forks in the name of the primary mod, while others attempt to spread the word of the creator and encourage the expansion of their player base through crusades of sorts.
All of the TA mods want to be the primary mod and have near total domination of the lobby battle list. Most players want their mod to be or remain the primary mod, and most active players will stick to their mod through blind faith and conviction despite growing evidence to the contrary.
Indeed one could argue that this is individual layers attempting to support the meme of the primary mod by assisting others with the meme and attacking those, much as family members are more likely to aide each other to benefit the survival of genes. However I would say that Richard Dawkins push against religion is justified by his logic which in itself trumps the other sides.
Well, I was silently waiting for you to come up with this sort of thing Alantai.
people underestimate people habbit to be blind.
Most poeple use Windows, becouse Windows is default, it runs the most of for them known programs. It runs the most programs becouse program makers who aim for a single platform take windows becouse it has the most users. and thus compleating the circle.
People play BA becouse most people play BA. This will remain to stay that way, even if BA would be the most sucky mod ever released (which is not, to be clear).
Take a time when the most played mod is not good anymore, people will remain playing it and all shout: it sucks!.
Take AA 1.42, the pwnage of flash was unbarable and the exploit of the Arm Bear was just as hated as commbombing. What happend: everybody shouted thay wanted those to be fixed, but everybody remained playing the mod.
When this happend again on 2.x with the weasel. and Caydr had more imporant stuff to do then leading his flock it took several month for BA to shout hard enough to play a non-broken mod.
Since Caydr didn’t resisted BA took over.
The real problem (since the blindless of people cannot be cured) is that 98% of the user base is not related to the project. they just download the most played mod and start getting skills at it (like playing counter-strike). non eof them bothers with what Spring is all about: an open-source engine where people contribute in their spare time.
The user-base isn’t aware of anything. And even manage to scare away contributers.
I have no clear solution to this problem. but I think a good site and lobby can make a diffrence (with that I also mean those two should be closer together)
Hardly. How many people do you know that say they’re christian but don’t go to church, regularly break the rules, and dont read the bible? Or athiests who pay lip service with church weddings and funerals because it’s the social norm?
Naturally, people will follow the norm, and to suggest otherwise is folly. As I have said, the primary mod once established is self sustaining untill a displacement event occurs. Obviously you cant expect the primary mod to be sustainable once the modder starts added cuddly bunny units to the kbot labs and pineapples in the vehicle labs.
So really the context I’m speaking from is the issue, so I must clarify, that 98% of passing users who move through our lobby and don’t stay, they’re outside the context of this post. And of course there will always be exceptions, not everyone follows the norm, but pedantic blog posts make for long reading and big headaches.
Caydr sadly didnt have a chance to resist BA due to his absence, but he did attempt to retake the mantle of primary mod with AA 2.3 and 2.4 and was heavily criticized for it. The flaws in his AA releases exacerbated the ‘evil demon’ association and diminished the ‘All Hail the Caydr god’ halo effect. Granted this undermined the self sustaining ability of the mod, and coupled with the lack of a maintainer in the 2.2x releases, resulted in prime conditions for a displacement and a full takeover.
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