Author Topic: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday  (Read 23033 times)

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Offline Cyborg17

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
The fact is that steam has a lot of potential to be truly excellent.  Like Beskargam is saying, they do well with the library and friends list, but my experience besides that is that they don't really care about streamlining the user experience (like when it comes to browsing games and searching for good mods).  The fact that they are also using this to cash grab doesn't help their case.  They could be really excellent if they had the consumer in mind instead of pretending that they had the consumer in mind.   

 

Offline Shivan Hunter

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Apparently totalbiscuit will be following up his video with some interviews with prominent modders. Looking forward to some more sanity on this, the initial reaction from modders and gamers alike was a bit arrowkneejerk.

Also, people have been quality-checking the paid mods on Steam and it's really quite hilarious. There's an OP staff whose mod also adds a door sticking out of a Riverwood house, an armor you have to add with the console... actually, just read the whole thing here. (The author admits that he pirated the mods he reviewed - if an admin or moderator has a hissy fit about that I'll take it down, but the review in its entirety is quite lulzy.)

In short: the paid mods on Steam are incredibly buggy and lackluster. This is almost worse than what you'd expect from the average mod, and these are paid products. Modding culture is usually very DIY, so buggy and even broken mods are to be expected since they're free mods, made in some nerd's free time. Not very surprising to see that carrying over to paid mods but it really needs to stop if paid mods are to be taken seriously.

 

Offline deathfun

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Apparently totalbiscuit will be following up his video with some interviews with prominent modders. Looking forward to some more sanity on this, the initial reaction from modders and gamers alike was a bit arrowkneejerk.





In regards to that last paragraph Shivan, it makes me wonder whether or not the initial reason behind this pay-for-mods implementation came about with *only* the good mods for the game in mind (as well as mods that became standalone versions of games)

Also, that's an interesting question. Is pirating mods you pay for technically pirating since they're a mod and not an actual game. Where does all the copyright on that stuff go? Looks more like a legal nightmare
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Offline Shivan Hunter

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Meh, I imagine it's in the same area as pirating ****ty overpriced games. I certainly wouldn't pirate any of these mods but that's mainly because they're not even worth the HDD space.

I'm sure Valve's vision for this project was the DLC-sized quest mods and things like Immersive Armors that add tons of high-quality content. A lot of the modders behind these projects are averse to the idea of receiving money for it though, and even if a few were you'd probably need a team consensus on it- and these are usually the work of very large teams.

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Without stringent quality-curation, this is an awful idea.

Strike that, this is simply an awful idea.

Free enterprise works because product has to overcome overhead to keep producing product. Businesses can fail. Under this model, there is no incentive for junk modders not to flood the Workshop with garbage. Without any warranty of recourse, people will also rapidly become unwilling to pay for it.  Finally, there's the matter of how mods frequently share credited assets, and this just Balkanizes the community.

It's a terrible, awful, tragic idea. I think the modding community can be rewarded for its efforts, and game developers have been recruiting from modding communities for ages. I don't dislike the idea of a tip jar - an optional donation feature that splits in a similar distribution formula if someone wants to chip in to a job well done, but leaving this up to mod authors is horrifying.  I don't tend to use many mods as it is, but this is a sure-fire way that I will pretty much quit altogether without some kind of quality control.

What the **** was Valve thinking?
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Offline headdie

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
What the **** was Valve thinking?

£,$,€,etc
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
What people seem to forget is that any mod available on Steam must be compared against official DLC and I think the majority are going to come up severely lacking. Why would I buy a ****ty, broken mod with the possibility of crappy support if it breaks instead of a game from a well know publisher? I suspect (and hope) that the whole thing will come crashing down to the ground due to a combination of it's own weight and shoddy foundations.


[sliver lining] Well at least our modding community is going to come out of this particular ****storm pretty good. Given that we literally can't participate in this due to the terms of :v:'s licence. [/silver lining]

EDIT:
http://wryemusings.com/Cathedral%20vs.%20Parlor.html

Somebody posted a link to this on IRC and I'm surprised it hasn't turned up in this thread yet, but it very clearly lays out the two major approaches to modding (especially in the context of the Elder Scrolls series).

I should point out that I have repeatedly warned modding teams to make sure they sort out licencing issues. In the case of Diaspora, this is already done and therefore I know that it would actually be breaking our licence for someone to stick one of our mods on Steam and try to sell it. I strongly suggest other mods do the same.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 05:26:53 am by karajorma »
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Offline The E

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
[sliver lining] Well at least our modding community is going to come out of this particular ****storm pretty good. Given that we literally can't participate in this due to the terms of :v:'s licence. [/silver lining]

Not that this question could actually come up, given that Interplay doesn't give enough of a **** about FS to enable Steam Workshop support for the games.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Exactly. So while everyone else is running around shouting about how this is the death of modding we'll just continue to put out cool stuff for free and look good. :D
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
There's nothing like a terrible execution of a so-so idea to nuke it to the ground from the get go.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Well it's nice to see that Gabe Newell is taking things seriously.

By basically telling people there is no problem. :rolleyes:
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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
IP based mods typically rely on being free causing the source holder to cast the benevolent blind eye, most cases they get a CnD if the IP holder objects.  I just don't figure how Valve and a publisher expect making money is going to fly when some IP holder gets pissed.   Say somebody makes some high quality GI Joe vs Transformers or Gundam OYW mod for Battlefield and it sells like hotcakes Hasbro/Bandai/Warner Bros. is going to come knocking and I assume with a lot more than just a CnD since corporations now have been making a money off their IP.  What happens if some jack ass throws up someone else's free IP Based mod up on Steam, does the original team get dragged into the fray?  What happens to everyone who already bought the mod?

That refund/guarantee of goods policy is atrocious.  Does Valve fall under the aegis of their local state's consumer protection rights?  I can't imagine Washington's consumer laws are that lackadaisical.

I'm not against the concept but without some proactive quality control on Valve's part I expect this to blow up at some point.
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Offline ssmit132

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Well, that was fast.
Quote
We're going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop. For anyone who spent money on a mod, we'll be refunding you the complete amount. We talked to the team at Bethesda and they agree.

We've done this because it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing. We've been shipping many features over the years aimed at allowing community creators to receive a share of the rewards, and in the past, they've been received well. It's obvious now that this case is different.

Of course, I don't think this will completely extinguish the flames, partly because they're not completely off the idea, but it's nice that Valve realised that they'd bodged this up, instead of trying to keep a sinking ship afloat.

 

Offline Shivan Hunter

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
There will be some who are resistant to paid mods in principle, but I think 99% of the problem was with the implementation (and the fact that it was dropped on such a large, established modding community). With luck, future iterations will be less ****ty.

In the meantime, though: VICTORY!

[EDIT] forgot to mention:

Quote
We've done this because it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing.

Good on them for acknowledging their mistake instead of going "it was ruined by whiny entitled gaaaaamers!", which is probably a narrative that would have been accepted given how parts of the community reacted. It's probably just Valve desperately trying to recover as much reputation as they can, but I support it anyway - being honest to save reputation is still being honest.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 08:04:45 pm by Shivan Hunter »

 
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
That's good news, it shows that they aren't completely blind.

 

Offline Lorric

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
[EDIT] forgot to mention:

Quote
We've done this because it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing.

Good on them for acknowledging their mistake instead of going "it was ruined by whiny entitled gaaaaamers!", which is probably a narrative that would have been accepted given how parts of the community reacted. It's probably just Valve desperately trying to recover as much reputation as they can, but I support it anyway - being honest to save reputation is still being honest.

I also saw this particular line jump right out at me. The overall picture of this to me has been something they just blundered into without much thought (beyond a quick money grab). So I think they're telling the truth with that and that's a good thing since if they not only correct the mistake but also acknowledge that the reason why the mistake was made was straight up their fault, then hopefully they also will learn from the mistake.

 

Offline Mr. Vega

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Why is it such an inherit disaster for modders to seek compensation for the hundreds if not thousands of hours of labor many put into their works? Seems like what we don't like is the complete lack of quality control. There's no system or compromise that can be created to mitigate this issue?

As for the profits made for mods using shared assets, I don't see how the tip jar system is any better. Much more arbitrary, more like, even if the hands remain clean legally.

Morally, the modders have every right to test the market. The rest is just an interesting design problem. Why is this so unreasonable? Would people have flipped their **** if the people who made Obscuro's Oblivion Overhaul charged five bucks for it?
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 09:14:12 pm by Mr. Vega »
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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Nobody's saying that modders don't deserve to seek something more that just kudos, it's just that everybody is saying that the way Steam decided to go about it was a massive oversight. If there were some sort of quality control, maybe like greenlight for mods, it would have gone a lot better.

 

Offline Shivan Hunter

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Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
You might not have noticed that very few of us here are actually against the idea of paid mods.

>Seems like what we don't like is the complete lack of quality control.

Quality control can only do so much to fix bugs and broken mods, and it cannot fix incompatibilites between mods, the useless refund plan and utter lack of other recourse available for a broken mod, the damage done by introducing paid mods to an established community that is already based on free mods, and the parlor-based design that profit-motivated modding encourages. It also likely will not attempt to fix the low percentage modders are paid for their work, or the fact that the system would be tied to the Steam Workshop which is orders of magnitude worse than the Nexus.

The issue now is to decide what an implementation that fixes these problems would look like, and whether some of them are even fixable. As we've seen, the Skyrim community is too firmly established to not be damaged by the introduction of paid mods, and the move to parlor-based design seems inevitable in any ecosystem that includes paid mods, which would be disappointing to see.

 
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
IDK, I don't think paid mods are necessarily a good idea in the first place. Modding communities gain a lot from the fact that everyone's volunteering and mod creators don't have a responsibility to their users, I think.
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