|Starters Guide To Total Conversions|
|A Must Read|
Welcome to my starters guide for Total Conversions. I will give you a word of warning, Total Conversions are very hard and time consuming. It will take a dedicated team, lots of time and effort to pull one off.
With that over, lets begin.
I will only be guding you through what a Total Conversion is, how to pull one off and other things. I will not be teaching you to model, map, or any sort of modding. This is only a reference.
I strongly Suggest, before you start to read this, or attempt a Total Conversion of your own, without checking these Total Conversions. Look at the time and effort thats going into these, the effort, time and deication is immense.
Myriad Islands - Myriad islands is a total conversion started by illspirit, the idea was for a whole new game. New cars, missions, maps and more. Please note that illspirit has been a part of the GTA modding community since the 90s, yet he still finds Myriad Islands a challenge. Please use this as a comparison to yourself. Also note that Myriad Islands is a community project not run by illspirit alone, and has thrived under the leadership of several different members.
GTA: Liberty City - GTA: Liberty City was started by many people, and is not led by any particular entity - it is another community project. The aim of GTA: LC was to take Liberty City, and place it in the Vice City engine, so we have the added bonuses of headlights, bikes and helicopters. And keeping the original GTA3 missions.
Look at those, and see the effort and time that has been devoted to them. See that every member of the team, pulls there weight - most importantly the leaders.
What Is A Total Conversion
A Total Conversion is a very big mod, which aims to completely change the game, give it a new lease of life. New cars, missions, maps and more. Its like creating your own game.
What Do I Need?
The ability to mod is essential for any 'leader'. Don't start a topic and ask others to join and do the work for you - you will be completely ignored. Remember that 'texturer' is not considered a legitimate position for a leader. If you can't do anything useful in a mod, don't start one. (Anybody can texture - make sure you can either map, model or script).
Many people who start Total Conversions, don't have a clue how to mod. These people make regular contributions to our Recycle Bin. Don't be one of them.
Other important factors include using your head, and having a lot of ideas, time and effort. We recommend spending at least a year surfing these forums and other GTA websites learning as much as you possibly can, and becoming a capable modder.
Another important factor I might add, is the choice of Engine, IE GTA3, GTA:VC and GTA:SA all have advantages and disadvantages. For example at the moment the SA engine has modding limiations in terms of Colision files, this is currently being worked on.
GTA3 -> The first 3D grand theft auto, has the importing, exporting all covered by freeware tools, A dark enviroment. mostly well documented one IMO, but less people using it, due to its age.
GTA:VC -> The sucessor to GTA3. A much better engine, better headlight and particle effects, more brighter enviroment, the addition of Motorbikes and helicopters, plus various freeware tools to expand the engine capabilites. Again importing and exporting are covered by freeware tools.
GTA:SA -> The most recent GTA. An huge map, and a overhauled graphics engine. Better handling for lights and textures, more cars, boats etc. Downside is a colision file limitation.
How Do I Start One?
Starting a Total Conversion, is quite easy, except it wouldn't get a very good response if you just made a topic, with some ideas, with nothing to show for it. The best way to start it is to, gather ideas and research. If your Total Conversion is based on anything particular. For example a Knight Rider conversion would need research on the TV series, and an understanding of what goes on. Researching this, helps the mod have some background to go on, and gives the team an idea of what to do model/code etc.
Once you've gathered research, then maybe start prototyping ideas, a few concept sketches of cars, buildings etc. Also a few ingame prototypes won't go a miss. Then work on starting the mod yourself - do as much as you can until you have some impressive screenshots to attract the attention of other modders. You can then make a topic, which clearly presents your ideas, what you've done so far, what you are doing, and asking for help if you need it.
This is how you do it.
Finally, once you've made the topic and you've got people helping, you just need to put your ideas in to play.
Good luck and have fun!
-Added Engine Consideration.