The Wing Commander Combat Information Center's Guide to Making Your Very Own Fan Project
STEP 1: Picking a Game
The only rule for finding a game to modify is that it exists and you may someday own a copy -- don't worry about petty little concerns like "being impossible to edit", "only exists for Atari" and "there being no way in hell anyone would want to play this game". People who tell you otherwise ARE JUST JEALOUS OF YOUR FABULOUS SUCCESS!
STEP 2: Making a Name For Yourself
The best way to come up with an original, interesting name that will attract people to your project is to rip one off of something else. For example, 'End Run' is everyone's favorite Wing Commander novel -- why not call your game 'End Run', for that extra bit of recognition? In fact, if you dare, you can set your sites even higher by using names that already belong to even more popular things! Some suggestions include 'Digimon', 'Microsoft' and 'James Bond'.
STEP 3: Getting Help!
So you've finally discovered that you can't do this yourself? My, you're a bright one. Luckily the online community is full of people just like you: ugly people with no lives who desperately strive to make all their computer games exactly like each other. There are several ways to attract these people.
1) Post to message boards advertising 'positions'! What young man or woman wouldn't want the lofty title of 'programmer' or 'assistant designer' thrust upon them? And if anyone dares suggest anything negative about your game, flame them mercilessly. This has been proven to be the most effective manner of finishing a fan project.
2) Report your progress to news sites! We're desperate for news these days, and will post anything -- by having news like "used up another roll of toilet paper, project .05# complete" posted to the CIC you'll be sure to get results.
3) Make up an acronym for your project, and add it to your e-mail address, IRC nickname, forum ID and living will... that way, when people see "John_WCEE" they'll know you're working on WCEE (and that your name is John).
Follow the above tips, and you'll attract dozens (if not hundreds!) of interested qualified programmers! And what's more, you won't have to pay them like a real company!
STEP 4: Graphically Speaking
So you want your fan project to have beautiful pictures, but you can't draw for all the liquor on Firekka? As Hunter would say, no worries, mate! If you're working on a Wing Commander project, there's one catch-all, end-all solution to your woes! What, you ask, could this possibly be? Well, you ignorant fool, you've got the question all wrong! Not what, but WHO! That who is Evan "Hadrian" Adams. Isn't there supposed to be an 'n' somewhere in his last name, you ask? No matter, because you don't need to be in any way polite to get him to do hundreds of hours of professional work for you! In fact, you don't even need to *ASK* him! Just assume that he will and move on to the next step in your project.
STEP 5: The Finished Product
General Douglas MacArthur's famous quote states that "old soldiers never die, they just fade away". Congratulations, you're an old soldier!