Author Topic: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday  (Read 23269 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Shivan Hunter

  • 210
  • FRED needs lambdas!
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.

(edit: quote for new page)

Hmm, maybe not paid mods per se, but rather the idea of modders getting something from their (sometimes thousands of hours of) work. I have heard the point made that donation buttons are woefully underused.

 

Offline karajorma

  • King Louie - Jungle VIP
  • Administrator
  • 214
    • Karajorma's Freespace FAQ
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.

I tend to agree. While I'm not against the idea of paid mods completely, I tend to feel that they really don't have anything to do with the rest of the modding community and are largely harmful to said community. If someone posts on here that they are having trouble with their tables or FREDding or texturiing, people are usually willing to spend their time helping them fix the problem. Why not after all? In the end they'll benefit if the campaign is completed. But if he mod is going to be sold, why should I give up my precious free time to help someone when they could (and perhaps should) simply learn how to do it themselves?

Tip jars avoid a lot of these problems.

EDIT: One thing I've not seen mentioned, now that Valve is giving the money back to those who bought something are the modders who stuck their collective dicks in this hornets nest still getting paid?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 12:46:15 am by karajorma »
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Few if any of them will have made more than the $400 needed to actually get paid.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

  

Offline potterman28wxcv

  • 27
  • Just a fan player
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Steam just cancelled that decision today : http://steamcommunity.com/games/SteamWorkshop/announcements/detail/208632365253244218
That was made known on the previous page.

So you made me think they'd gone and reversed that decision and that the paid mods thing was back on. I was thinking "What the hell are they doing?!" before I clicked your link! :lol:

 

Offline qwadtep

  • 28
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
I think the real heart of the issue is consumer protection. It horrifies me how many supporters of pay-for-mods immediately jumped on the "entitlement" defense. God forbid the end user dislike sudden and unprecedented changes to a major feature of a product he already bought, let alone things like quality assurance or right to redress; they're just entitled brats who want everything for free, and probably Democrats, am I right?

Yet the move could only be devastating to the modding community. The influx of people copying or outright stealing mods from the Nexus to make a quick buck on the Workshop, forcing authors to pull their works or put draconian usage restrictions upon them. Several of mods that were monetized were critical dependencies of other, free mods. The most popular workshop mod--an assassin armor which was also used in Valve's banner announcing the new system--was a one-piece (despite screenshots to the contrary), broken model, bizarrely classified as heavy armor, and not actually placed anywhere ingame. And the paid mods, like all workshop mods, were incompatible with the tools the community relies on to make mods actually work.

Interoperability is a huge issue in Elder Scrolls modding. You have to make sure your assets and cell changes don't conflict, you have to make sure your scripts don't interfere with another script and send the game into a save-killing spiral, you have to think about the possibility of your fancy magic effect being treated as hostile, you have to account for all the weird edge cases like what if the player is using a custom race and thus all of your dialogue is invalid. It's a nontrivial problem for both the mod creator and the end user; numerous tools have been created just to make everything play nice together. But none of that is possible with paid mods. Even if they weren't restricted by Steam's own software, how are you supposed to test for compatibility when the other fifty or a hundred mods you need to test with all cost money? The cost becomes exorbitant.

Gabe Newell infamously posted in defense of the move that "actually money is how the community steers work," and was promptly shot down. I could write entire essays on how wrong he is and what his AMA reveals about his personality and thought process, but that's irrelevant to the discussion. The fact that the only thing pay-for-mods could steer work towards is retextures and hats, because the concept of pay-for-mods completely undermines the necessary creative and information freedom needed for anything more.

One of the major forces against pay-for-mods was a group called SureAI. SureAI, you see, creates total conversions; Arktwend for Morrowind and Nehrim for Oblivion and currently Enderal for Skyrim. And they went on record in an interview saying that they would lose money from attempting to monetize; they'd need to get licenses and pay employees and so forth. Meanwhile Bethesda and Valve, despite having done absolutely no work and having already taken their cut from the sale of the base game itself, would be bathing in additional microtransaction cash.

Consider the mods here, for our game. Consider how much a mod like Blue Planet would need to pay for redistribution rights to music and lawyers to defend their assets. We'd be lucky to have anything larger than Grizzly Bearbaiting left.

Speaking of which, pay-for-mods is a legal nightmare. I don't know how the hell anybody at Valve or Bethesda thought it was a good idea. I can only assume that they never bothered to actually look at the Nexus, to see the amount of nude, copyright infringing, and other controversial or legally-dubious content, so much that many companies don't even want to touch the place for advertising or support. If they did, the likelihood of somebody throwing a cheap Avengers costume mod on the workshop and Valve and Bethesda, having nullified their safe harbor protection by taking a cut (and such a large cut, too!), sitting opposite the MPAA in court, would have scared them off the idea.

I think that, at the end of the day, we're all better off with the decision reversed. I pray they aren't just waiting to tack it on to the release of Elder Scrolls VI or something.



EDIT: One thing I've not seen mentioned, now that Valve is giving the money back to those who bought something are the modders who stuck their collective dicks in this hornets nest still getting paid?
They aren't getting paid, and have by-and-large had their reputations within the modding community ruined. Some are angry at Valve for backing out. Some are having tantrums and trying to pull all their work off the web, which certain sites are naturally not about to let happen.

The great irony about all this is that it made a better civil war than the one in Skyrim.

 

Offline karajorma

  • King Louie - Jungle VIP
  • Administrator
  • 214
    • Karajorma's Freespace FAQ
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Yep, that's pretty much what I expected would be the fall out from this nonsense even after they decided it was a bad idea.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline potterman28wxcv

  • 27
  • Just a fan player
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Steam just cancelled that decision today : http://steamcommunity.com/games/SteamWorkshop/announcements/detail/208632365253244218
That was made known on the previous page.

So you made me think they'd gone and reversed that decision and that the paid mods thing was back on. I was thinking "What the hell are they doing?!" before I clicked your link! :lol:
Damn ; I checked the previous page to see if anyone said it, and I didn't find the message. :P

 

Offline MP-Ryan

  • Makes General Discussion Make Sense.
  • Global Moderator
  • 210
  • Keyboard > Pen > Sword
    • Twitter
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
The historical problem with paying modders for their work has been that the original creator held the IP rights, and you were not permitted to profit off them.  The barrier has never been distribution, quality, or content.

Unfortunately, Valve/Bethesda addressed the first issue, but made the second set actually worse by allowing the modders piggybacking off the IP to set the price of their work without ensuring any of the normal market controls were in place that ensure quality control.  No modder faced the risk of bankruptcy for putting up a broken mod. The consequences to someone who stole others' work, or put up ****, were nil.

What Valve/Bethesda SHOULD have done is say modders are not allowed to set prices for their work, but they are allowed to receive DONATIONS for their work - even allow them to recommend donations - on the condition that they are purely voluntary.  This would simultaneously reward those who do excellent work, and discourage **** from clogging the workshop.  I wouldn't be surprised if this is the model we eventually see.
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
What Valve/Bethesda SHOULD have done is say modders are not allowed to set prices for their work, but they are allowed to receive DONATIONS for their work - even allow them to recommend donations - on the condition that they are purely voluntary.  This would simultaneously reward those who do excellent work, and discourage **** from clogging the workshop.  I wouldn't be surprised if this is the model we eventually see.
I wouldn't want them cutting in on 75% of those donations though. Were you thinking they'd be taking a cut or that the modders would take the full 100% of the donations?

 

Offline karajorma

  • King Louie - Jungle VIP
  • Administrator
  • 214
    • Karajorma's Freespace FAQ
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
If I'm going to donate to a modder for their hard work in making a game, I don't see any good reason why I should give a huge percentage of that money to people who weren't already involved in making that mod. I've already given the publisher and developer a substancial amount of money when I bought the game and as far as I'm concerned, a thriving mod scene is a factor in whether or not I buy a game in the first place.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline Flipside

  • əp!sd!l£
  • 212
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
The thing is, the whole point modders usually get into the thing is because they have downloaded mods by other people and realize the game is a platform that they could add something to with their ideas/work.

A paid-for Mod is DLC of the worst Ubisoft kind, a few new buildings and a new trait in Tropico 4 cost 3 pounds. Greenlight has already got Steam a reputation that this kind of opportunity, when it is inevitably exploited, will simply increase exponentially. It'll kill the Workshop stone cold dead almost overnight.

 

Offline TrashMan

  • T-tower Avenger. srsly.
  • 213
  • God-Emperor of your kind!
    • Minecraft
    • FLAMES OF WAR
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
I see a problem with this line of thinking "you can get paid for mods = problem for mods like BP".
The answer is that such mods couldn't be monetized, because rights/licenses/copyright.
It's not rocket science.
Make sure the assets you are using are yours or can be monetized. Otherwise, don't charge for your mod.

As for donations - people are stingy.
Very few will ever donate and will rather pirate.
Nobody dies as a virgin - the life ****s us all!

You're a wrongularity from which no right can escape!

 

Offline Dark RevenantX

  • 29
  • anonymity —> animosity
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Speaking from personal experience, donations can be pretty substantial.  Not enough to pay the bills, usually, but they can get you a new rig or two.

Monetized mods only work if the base game and the mods for that game are designed with the intention of having monetized mods.  Adding the system to something else, unless it's some kind of official kickstarter-reward-style donation service, will fail badly.  We've just seen what happens, after all.

 

Offline qwadtep

  • 28
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
I see a problem with this line of thinking "you can get paid for mods = problem for mods like BP".
The answer is that such mods couldn't be monetized, because rights/licenses/copyright.
It's not rocket science.
Make sure the assets you are using are yours or can be monetized. Otherwise, don't charge for your mod.

As for donations - people are stingy.
Very few will ever donate and will rather pirate.
The problem is that, if complexity and scope result in negative profit, what the hell kind of mods are authors incentivized to create? You can't argue that paid mods encourage quality or guide development at the same time as you're atomizing content. It's the definition of doublethink.

Donations work just fine. There are plenty of Minecraft modders who get by on donations. There are plenty of Twitch streamers who will openly state that it's donations, not the $2.50 a month they get from partnership, that makes ends meet. Valve and Bethesda were just looking for a way to double dip into the customer's wallet.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
As for donations - people are stingy.
Very few will ever donate and will rather pirate.

I once had someone offer me 25 bucks as donation for my writing a tiny 1500 thing that took me about two hours. People have tried to commission me to write stuff; I don't take it, because I can't force myself to sit down and write fiction (and most people's ideas of "good story" make me wish I could poop in their shoes), but people have asked.

I am nobody; I don't write anything high-profile, my update schedule is sporadic, I'm usually deliberately operating at cross-purposes from the most popular people in the genre.

They're out there, and willing to give away more money than you think.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Where are these mysterious donators and how come I've never crossed paths with any of them?  :p
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline StarSlayer

  • 211
  • Men Kaeshi Do
    • Steam
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
I offered him 25 dollars to write a fan fic about Richelieu travelling through a time warp to the 21st of October 1805 and winning Trafalgar for Bonnie.  He said he'd do it if I FedEx'd him my shoe, which I did and I promptly received the manuscript and my shoe filled with poop.  Now I have to wear a plastic bag over my foot when I wear those shoes but he really out did himself with the story so in the end it was worth it.  I can't imagine how much research he had to do to really capture the effect of 380 mm/45 Modèle 1935 gun hitting 1800s 1st Rates but he probably could have netted himself a doctorate if it was on a less niche subject.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 10:15:25 pm by StarSlayer »
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Where are these mysterious donators and how come I've never crossed paths with any of them?  :p

You never put up tips jar for Wings of Dawn.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline karajorma

  • King Louie - Jungle VIP
  • Administrator
  • 214
    • Karajorma's Freespace FAQ
Re: Mods for pay; internet declares doomsday
Well technically that might actually be against the terms of the SCP licence. What might be nice would be to track where HLP donations come from, so we could see which mods were getting donations.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]