Community Initiatives on BSN  

The hangover from a long vacation is always bad - unpacking, a ton of work waiting to be done and on top of all this, several interesting happenings on the BSN forums.

One of the exciting things is the new Community Contests initiative started by mikemike37. The idea is to hold content-creating competitions on various aspects of DA modding with the entries being available for the entire community to modify and use - freely. It is an excellent idea for generating community content, which has been extremely scarce in the DA.
The other interesting part are the prizes - in the absence of material prizes for now (there are talks underway to get them), interested community members can devote a fixed amount of their time as a prize to help the winners with their projects. This will definitely help bring together community members and provides an option to help people who are lacking skills in a particular area while also giving exposure to those who are proficient in their own areas.

Go here to read more about this effort - Community Contest Wiki Page and sign up here if you are interested in helping out. Two contests have already been announced - a level building one and a prop design.

The other 'happening' I want to touch on is one that is generating a bit of controversy - the Open House initiative started by Proleric. The idea is to make freely available all the projects hosted on BSN with a wiki list to make navigation easier. The ultimate goal of the project, while good, has led to some friction between community members due to the way it is being implemented. While I endorse the idea of open content, putting the onus on project creators to classify their works as 'not open' is a bad idea. The stance that 'open is the default mode' for projects seems to be driven by community members coming from the NWN/NWN2 modding scene - which, to my mind, is against most of the other modding communities I have seen. It's still in the early stages though so it might mature out to be a palatable option for all content creators but then again, it might not. We just have to wait and see how it evolves.

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