Anyways, I figured if there was one thing I would like to pass on from what I have done and learned, it is how to start off correctly.
I ask for you to link any beginner, "noob", "n00b", or "leech" to this thread. I asked a while back to a mod if this could get stickied, but they couldn't guarantee it. None the less I am posting now anyways to get it off my chest.
So Lets Begin.
The Wikipedia definition: Modding is a slang expression that is derived from the verb "modify". Modding refers to the act of modifying hardware, software, or virtually anything else, to perform a function not originally conceived or intended by the designer. The term modding is often used within the computer game community, particularly in regard to creating new or altered content and sharing that via the web.
The blunt definition: For us, modding is altering the game to add/remove stuff, make mini-games. menus/cheat menus/mod menus, and modify the environment (super jump, super speed, ETC).
Why Should I Mod?
[INDENT=2]There are many reasons to mod. For me, it was fun, a challenge, and a learning experience. [/INDENT]
When you mod, it should be just for that. You should be wanting to mod to have some fun. If its not fun, why do it. All of this is a challenge, a puzzle. If you expect to be handed the solved puzzle, close this site, and sell your JTAG/RGH/JB-Homebrew PS3. Most of all you should be wanting to learn. If you don't want to learn and practice you will never gain the skills to do things on your own. This is the problem with many modders, its it is what needs to be corrected.
Why Should I NOT Mod?
This is the million dollar question. We have all seen examples of this. A guy gets a YouTube, starts posting videos about what he thinks is modding, and spams his channel asking for subscribers and views. He comes on forums like this and tries to act like a big shot, or act a very basic question, then may put it on YouTube as a guide. While this may be a bit stretched, its the general idea.
Many modders are now under the age of 12, or even 10. Thing is they are bored online, find a game, and they want to have "fun" by getting "cool" stats, a menu, jump around, and say "Look at me". You should NOT EVER, ever never ever mod for the purpose of fame or glory. It is not what modding is about. If you have issues at home, or school and are not getting attention from friends or your family (neglection), talk to someone about it, or get help if the situation is bad enough.
Modding for the sake of looking cool to raise you self-esteem is NOT a proper reason to mod and should NOT be done.
Trying to get as many subscribers/views as possible on YouTube is NOT a reason for modding if that is the sole reason. YouTube subscribers and/or views do not rate or make one better than the other.
What You Need To Know To Mod
Too many people just look up modding, watch a YouTube video, and then try themselves. After they think they are a cool "hacker"/"modder" and get cocky. Really you do need to have some skills to mod.
Modding is half reverse-engineering and half programming. You need to be able to take something and figure out how it was made. By doing so, you split it up into its core parts. Then you can modify a single part. To modify it, you must speak computer. This means you NEED programming skills to mod ever. Taking "code" you found and using it isn't modding. Unless you can write something from scratch, your not a true programmer, or a real/decent modder.
Reverse engineering is the challenge part of modding. You are given a set of files, with no instructions. The only thing you can do is use your current skills to examine the files and figure out whats what. This is how the modders ' with true skills and talent do their work.
I hope this helps you understand where to start off. As I think of new things, I may add it, or I may never update this thread. A lot of "established" modder's feel this way as I have talked to most. This is ment as a wake-up call to the new comers.