Newbie, a person new to and thus unexperienced in something.
Everybody was a newbie once for everything he or she knows, so being a newbie alone is nothing contemptible. Quite often newbies don't just lack experience or knowledge but common sense and display a considerable amount of ignorance though; those people are frequently, with a certain degree of contempt, called n00bs.
The key sign of a n00b is that they think big. Way, way too big. Cool it. Your first map or mod does not have to redefine the genre, push the engine to its limits, or do something that's never been done before.
- Do you ever describe an idea as "best ever" (or even "bestest evar")?
- Do you have a website and only a website for your new mod idea, and do you lack any of the technical skills needed to make a mod at the same time?
(I hope you dont mind me adding this?)
Anyway, I disagree with this point (among others):
"Do you use abbreviations like "ne1", "nme", "u", "4" in written text outside IRC?"
In my opinion that is not down to 'n00bish-ness', but pure lazyness. I freqently get frustrated with people who refuse to use full english, when they can perfectly well.
As for 'thinking big', then failing to acheive as you described using a map as an analogy, personally I dont think that is a sign of being a newbie. Its a case of attempting to do something you're not yet experienced enough to do. A 'non-n00b' will realise that, and put the project on hold for a while until they are experienced enough to achieve the desired result. A 'n00b' will, when coming up against a block, just pester others to solve their problem (though that applies more to 'copy-and-paste' coders).
Tarquin: My typing is atricious, so the fewer letter, the less chance of typos. Also, IRC has an immediacy that wiki or forums don't; there's often an impulse to respond as quickly as possible. I will cheerfully admit that my first few maps were atrocious. I was way too ambitious, and yes, I too had ideas of "pushing the engine", "doing something big", etc. My advice to beginner mappers is along the same lines as DavidM's: don't try to be wildly original. Focus on technique. Don't try anything fancy: stick to the basic UT Texture Package, if you don't understand movers or triggers, don't use them. Stick to geometry and (unfortunately) bot pathing.
Wormbo: Same goes for coding. Don't try to make a huge TC, start small with mutators. Try to understand how UnrealScript works, your first mods will soon grow almost on their own. (Trust me, Rockets UT is one of my very first mods. )
ProjectX: And what a sweet mod it was
Wormbo: Mind you, is. I don't see, why I should completely stop working on it just because I have UT 2003 now. Some people still play UT and search for new mods. It would be stupid to trash all the work right before finishing the mod you put most of your coding time into.
Eldhrin: Mutators are a great place to start, I'm liking coding them lots. Probably too ambitious on Sorcery, but I don't have any other real ideas right now. Maybe if I can find out how to make a new keybinding, I can come up with some interesting ones that add new abilities or something. Or maybe new adrenaline stuff... just random thoughts here
SabbathCat: Heheh. I'll admit to a handful of the crimes listed. Yeah, mutators are a great place to start, just to play about with source and messing about with changing properties to ease your way into the language. Especially if you've no previous experience of OOP. From about the age of 10 I was playing with Basic on the Commodore 64, then moving onto my Dad's 286 and GWbasic. UnrealScript is a totally different beast for anyone coming from a sequential language background. For someone starting out in UnrealScript, (as I am re-learning ), It's far more rewarding to have a small script you've actually hand-typed yourself than something bigger, but that you've simply bashed together from other scripts without really understanding or learning anything from what you've done.