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WTP Modding Academy - Training new Modders

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by raystuttgart, Oct 19, 2020.

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Should we introduce the WTP Modding Academy to teach new modders?

  1. Yes, it will help to get more active modders in community.

    100.0%
  2. No, it is a waste of time and effort. Nobody will care.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    @team:

    I would like to suggest something but I want to hear your opinion on this. :dunno:
    Most important is, if we - the WTP team - are interested to invest a bit of effort for it.

    WTP Modding Academy
    (Training new modders by WTP team and modding partners)

    Goals:
    • Teaching new modders or supporters how to mod Civ4Col - specifically WTP.
    • Basically sharing knowledge and answering technical questions.
    • Enabling and motivating community members to become modders themselves.
    Target Group:
    • Civ4Col modders - modding beginners (ideally interested to support WTP - but not required).
    • Civ4BTS modders are of course welcome (but I would prefer to focus on topics for Civ4Col and WTP)

    Media:

    e.g. Zoom Sessions (online)
    I would take care of everything needed.

    Organization Form:
    Not regular, but by demand or simply by offers of the team.
    The voluntary trainer should organize his sessions by himself.

    Efforts:
    Well, it will be a bit of effort but most topics should be easy to explain for experienced modders without much preparation.
    Duration of each session should be around 2hours.

    Impediments:
    Time Zones make things difficult, but we could e.g. also record the Zoom Sessions.

    Potential Topics:
    • Basic introduction to XML (texts, balancing, ...)
    • Basic introduction to Python (e.g. Screens)
    • Basic introduction to GIT (repositories, commit / push / pull / ..., concept of branches, ...)
    • How to setup a project to work in Visual Studio for modding DLL of WTP
    • Basic introduction to C++ (coding a simple feature together)
    • How to create a new Unit / new Building / new Promotion / new ... in WTP
    • How to create events in WTP
    • How to create a Map in WTP
    • How to create 2D graphics (e.g. Buttons, Gamefonts, ...)
    • Basic introduction to creating 3D graphics (Units, Terrain Features, ...)
    • Understanding AI in Civ4Col
    • ...
    If other topics are needed, we could try to organize it.
    But we will need trainers - experienced modders - that volunteer.

    Other trainers are of course always welcome as well. :thumbsup:

    ---------

    So the question is:

    Do we want to invest some effort and time for this? :dunno:
    More or less, we do this anyways for onboard new team members - simply not yet organized.

    Again, it is basically just taking the time to participate in a Zoom meeting and explain some things to beginners.
    (Nothing more is expected.)

    ---------

    This can only succeed if we do it together. :grouphug:
    But I believe it will be worth it for the long run.

    Feedback? :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
    HermanHeydt likes this.
  2. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    In general I'm all for this concept. We need better organization.

    I wrote a guide for this for Medieval Conquest. However I plan to redo it for WTP because not only is it outdated, the two projects are different.
     
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  3. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Guides are a great idea as well. :thumbsup:
    We can link them here also.

    But for this I am actually suggesting that we have online sessions (e.g. in Zoom) and explain live.
    That way, the trainees can directly see it and ask questions better.

    Basically it is an "Online Training Program" with varying topics - of course voluntary.
    Guides and documentation would of course complement this and could also be used as "Training Materials".

    These sessions could even be recorded and stored in our team server and then also linked here.
    (But we need to be careful with recording considering privacy - participants would need to agree that it is recorded.)

    It is of course just a suggestion. :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
  4. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    raystuttgart likes this.
  5. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    I agree, it is a good collection of tutorials. :thumbsup:
    And we will also need written information.

    But written information alone is still often not easy enough to understand for everybody.
    An "Online Training" where somebody shows you things live and answers your questions live, is often extremely effective.

    Just compare it to "books" and "colleges".
    Yes, we have really good books and educating yourself is very well possible.
    But for many, it is much easier and much more enjoyable to go to college and get educated there.

    Yes, we are used to educate ourselves all the time and it worked for us.
    But I think all of us remember how difficult it was to make the first steps into Civ4Col modding.
    I hope that with the "WTP Modding Academy" we can make these first steps into Civ4Col modding a lot easier for new modders.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
    HermanHeydt likes this.
  6. HermanHeydt

    HermanHeydt Chieftain

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    I find this to be a really good idea, I also think that learning by watching and a little doing alongside others over a Zoom-chat is alot easier for most rather than only reading through text. They would complement each other great.

    It brings people together and may have positive results as teambuilding event.
    I think it is a good way to stimulate people to get started, as this could be the biggest hurdle in any endeavour in life.

    A great initiative :thumbsup:
     
    raystuttgart likes this.
  7. Norian

    Norian Chieftain

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    I have done some modding of XML, but I never really considered it to be true modding. Stuff like changing the game from a yearly basis to a monthly basis or reducing the effects of culture on border growth.

    I would be lost when it comes to creating new content.
     
  8. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    That is what we intend to show community:

    It is not that difficult. ;)

    All that is needed from particiants is motivation to learn and to invest a little time to participate.
    (It will otherwise be completely free.)

    But we still need to think about this properly:


    We need to believe that it will be worth the effort - meaning that in the end community will actually have more active modders.
    @Nightinggale and myself will have a Zoom session this Friday where we discuss WTP Modding Academy again.

    It is mostly about
    • "How can we organize it?" (Topics, Frequency and Schedule)
    • "Which Civ4Col modders would volunteer for being trainers?"
    • "How could we cooperate with Civ4BTS modders?"
    • "How can we keep costs for Zoom licenses low?" (Or how many payed licenses do we need?)
    • "How much effort can we invest without neglecting actual WTP modding work too much?"
    • "What is a good number of participants per training?"
    • ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  9. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Since we have no income for the mod, we should ideally be able to make do with the free license. Unlimited time for 2 people meetings and 40 minutes for up to 100 people. The list of free features appears to be good enough. I think we should not even bother to consider paying for the time being. We can always upgrade later if we feel like we run into limitations.

    Also (this should be obvious) it should be free for visitors or it will be a gigantic failure.
     
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  10. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Participants can always use a free license. - Just wanted to point out explicitly that it will be free for participants. :thumbsup:
    Actually I think they do not even need any license if the just join a meeting created by somebody who has a license.

    I generally agree. :thumbsup:

    That is exactly the problems. If we schedule sessions with multiple participants, they will automatically end after 40 min. :(

    So if we wanted to have longer sessions, the trainer might need to have a payed license.
    But I might already have a solution for that - without any trainer having to pay anything - will tell you on Friday. :thumbsup:

    Edit:
    Ok, let us first try with just free licenses. :thumbsup:
    If that does not work out good enough, we will see.

    But again: No participant and no trainer will need to pay anything. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  11. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Deity

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    For other reasons I use zoom almost daily and I can tell you for sure that only the host needs to have a license if it needs to be longer than 40 minutes. But why should it be? Remember school classes are also 45 minutes also, then there is a break. A little refreshment is useful when you study.
    Just my two cents.
     
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  12. Norian

    Norian Chieftain

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    Rule of thumb for teaching adults, you should never go more than an hour of instruction without a break.
     
  13. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    No need to tell me. :thumbsup:
    I am a smoker, I will take breaks. ;)

    It is mainly about the hassle of setting up several sessions and sending out invitations if you want to make it longer than 40min.
    But we will probably try it like that first. :thumbsup:
     
  14. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Studies reveal that the ideal time is 35 minutes. That's the limit for efficiently being able to remember new stuff. Add 5 minutes for welcome and declaring the end of "class" and 40 minutes seems fine. No need to worry unless we do run into problems.

    Also it might be easier to find some time when everybody have time at the same time if we know from the start that it's 40 minutes. If somebody decides on say 3 hours, then syncing schedules will be more of a hassle. Time zones makes it hard enough as it is.
     
  15. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Hi guys,

    yesterday the team agreed that we should do this. :)
    So I thought I should this get this started.

    The first session will be "WTP XML Basics" (for beginners).
    • Explanations what is possible by pure XML and what is not
    • Overview of all important XML files and what they can be used for
    • Introduction to GloblalDefinesAlt.xml for balancing
    • Hints and tips for editing XML files (editor, how to search, ...)
    --------

    If you want to participate:

    Check this link here that will help us to schedule this training.
    (It is a kind of "survey" when the participants are available.)

    The dates I can offer for this training.
    • Friday, 30.October (8pm CET)
    • Saturday, 31. Ocober (8pm CET)
    • Sunday, 1. November (8pm CET)
    Language: English (with some German pronunciation ;) )

    --------

    To communicate your availabiltiy in that survey:
    (see link above)

    1. If the language setting of the page is "German", please switch to "English".
    Unless of course you speak German. ;)

    2. Write your Civfanatics forum account name in a new column of the survey.
    Do not write your real eMail or your real name anywhere. All I need is your account name here in the forum.

    3. Select the dates at which you would be available and would like to participate.
    (If you are not sure, there is also an option to select in brackets.)

    --------

    How you will get the invitation:

    I only need to know your Civfanatics account and your availability in the survey linked above. (no real name, no eMail)
    When we have agreed to the date, I will contact you by a private conversation here in the forum.

    In that private conversation I will send you the invitation with the link to the Zoom session for the training.
    Also, as a participant there is no need to get a Zoom account of your own.

    When the training starts you just click the link from the invitation and join.
    Zoom may install a little app in your browser but that is it.

    --------

    Looking forward to yee you guys in the first training of the WTP Academy. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
    HermanHeydt and Schmiddie like this.
  16. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    Does that mean that as a facilitator we would need a licence? Is there no free version for private use?
     
  17. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    You need at least a free account as facilitator.
    (Participants do not need to have any account at all.)

    But you do not need a payed license - we can do this with free accounts. :thumbsup:
    (After 40min we need to start a second session though if it takes longer - but that is no big issue.)
     
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  18. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    Ok sounds great. Maybe I will also take the job as a facilitator regarding some graphic stuff.
     
  19. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    That would be great. :thumbsup:
    We should really have a few trainers that offer sessions from time to time.
     
  20. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Deity

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    Just a few notes about Zoom:
    • The Host (and only) can record the meeting. (I suggest recording it)
    • The Host can share his screen with every participant
    • The Host can also give remote control to one participant
    • The Host can give over the Host status to someone else
    • In the paid version the Host can make someone a Co-Host, who will have the same abilities as a Host
     
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