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vecordae
10-02-2012, 06:48 PM
I get sufficiently worked up during a conversation in the comments section of this RPS article (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02/07/skyrim-creation-kit-out-along-with-high-res-textures-pack/) that I employed sarcasm. I also stated that I would "write something appropriately journalistic".

I have done so (http://mmgaming.net/index.php/2012/02/10/mods-and-money-part-1-stefan-gagne/). In fact, I will continue to do so for the a while until I get bored and move on. Feel free to skim it and then tell me how horrible I am. If you're heavily involved in the modding community for a particular game as a content creator of some sort and have Opinions about things, send me a PM. I've got some industry folks to interview yet, but want to have a one or two more interviews from community side of things. I don't care if you agree with me as long as you're able to present your thoughts and opinions in a coherent manner.

Unaco
10-02-2012, 07:14 PM
Coming from the Morrowind/Oblivion modding scene, I'd strongly disagree with charging for mods. For a start, with TES Games, mods have always been FREE... that's one of the great things about them. Charging for mods opens up a whole box of worms, and possible problems... What price should mods be? Who decides that? What if the mod doesn't work as it should? Do we get to test these mods before we buy? Can we return mods, if we don't like them or don't want to continue playing them? If someone makes a paid mod with feature A, can someone come along and make a free mod with that feature? If someone releases a mod, and charges for it, and it doesn't quite work correctly (maybe you have to use the console to do certain things) do the purchasers have any right to support/patching/fixing of the mod? What if that modder is unable to continue due to IRL commitments?

I think it would lead to more problems than anything else... more whining from communities, more bitching, more invective and hatred.

vecordae
10-02-2012, 08:18 PM
I think those are all valid points. I'm really curious to see what companies that are actively doing this do to address them. Harmonix seems to have a pretty functional model for for-pay UGC for their Rock Band Network game. In Bioware's case, the idea was to tag highly-rated content creators to produce custom modules. Bioware would provide additional art or voice assets when needed and also see to the overall compatibility of the mod with the core game. Presumably the original modder or someone internal would have been contractually responsible for keeping the mod current. Functionally, it wouldn't have been much different than the DLC approach they use now. But that model didn't work for them in the long run.

In the end, it's easy to sit back and say "that won't work" or "that will work" and come up with dozens of reasonable and mutually exclusive arguments. I thought it would be worthwhile to speak to folks who had tried it and could say "it didn't work because" or "it only works because" you know?

Lukasz
10-02-2012, 09:18 PM
What price should mods be? Who decides that? What if the mod doesn't work as it should? Do we get to test these mods before we buy? Can we return mods, if we don't like them or don't want to continue playing them? If someone makes a paid mod with feature A, can someone come along and make a free mod with that feature? If someone releases a mod, and charges for it, and it doesn't quite work correctly (maybe you have to use the console to do certain things) do the purchasers have any right to support/patching/fixing of the mod? What if that modder is unable to continue due to IRL commitments?

I think it would lead to more problems than anything else... more whining from communities, more bitching, more invective and hatred.
Beths should decide prices.
It would be great if you could test it. Aka install them for short time. also you would see whether it works as it should
No. You shouldn't be allowed to return mods just because you don't like them or continue playing them. that is crazy idea
Yes. They should be allowed to make another mod with feature A if feature A is not copyright-able. if it is they are not allowed neither is beth.
Paid mods should be checked by beths to ensure they work correctly but it is a risk one has to take i guess.
you don't have any right to support/patching/fixing of standard games so no.
What if modder is unable to continue? he/she is not obligated to provide support for their product.


I like it. Of course I assume not everyone would be able to sell their mods (so no a house in Skyrim for 20 dollars)
Money... motivate people. If Black Mesa team knew that they could charge 5 bucks for their mod (split half and half between them and valve) it would have been released ages ago.
It happened before... G-mod. it was just a source mod. yet the paid version is so so much better than free one. It would have never been made if they could not charge for it.


The idea could work. It would promote huge complex mods and allowed devs to profit. Free mods will still be present. Nobody is banning them. Yet if people want to sell them, they really really have to work hard.
I see win for players as we would get some high quality mods for cheap (if not cheap then idea sucks)
I see win for modders who would be able to support themselves just for making great things
I see win for publishers/developers of the game as they will able to profit from the game even more which leads
I see win for PC gaming as a whole. Another revenue for publishers, which so far is not possible on consoles. If the idea works
we would see more mod-friendly games and no locking of for example Total War series.


Free stuff will happen. The great stuff tough will be made if people can see money in that.

Unaco
10-02-2012, 09:19 PM
I guess what I was saying is not that it couldn't work... It could. Just that it would have to be quite a heavily regulated system.

Nalano
10-02-2012, 09:22 PM
I kinda view charging for mods like I view charging for the dozen or so free utilities I've downloaded to do this or that task on my computer.

What I mean by that is, for every $30 utility that does something I want (like rip live streams or open proprietary files), there's a free utility that does it too. Most of the mod scene is free. What's to stop someone from just presenting a free alternative to whatever you're doing?

vecordae
10-02-2012, 09:25 PM
I guess what I was saying is not that it couldn't work... It could. Just that it would have to be quite a heavily regulated system.

I think so, too. I know how important it is for the modding community to ensure that no one is stealing someone else's work. I think a completely open system would really undermine the modding community.

Nalano
10-02-2012, 09:30 PM
I think so, too. I know how important it is for the modding community to ensure that no one is stealing someone else's work. I think a completely open system would really undermine the modding community.

The modding community is a completely open system, and has been thriving that way for quite some time.

Unaco
10-02-2012, 09:32 PM
The modding community is a completely open system, and has been thriving that way for quite some time.

Yes. I agree, it's great. But what we're talking about here is IF developers were to introduce mods for money systems.

Inverselaw
10-02-2012, 09:35 PM
What I mean by that is, for every $30 utility that does something I want (like rip live streams or open proprietary files), there's a free utility that does it too. Most of the mod scene is free. What's to stop someone from just presenting a free alternative to whatever you're doing?

Well Idealy there shouldent be anything to stop them. There isint anything to stop making free versions of anything else after all. Heck thers nothing stopping people from making free games, or free modification of games.

The way I see if your mod is so simple that somebody else just bungs out a free equivalent, then thats whats going to happen. Payed mods are going to be large content mods and total conversions, stuff that outcompetes the free stuff due its quality and size.

vecordae
10-02-2012, 09:35 PM
The modding community is a completely open system, and has been thriving that way for quite some time.

I apologize for not being concise. Firstly, the modding community is not free and open in the sense that you are allowed to do whatever you want without any repercussions from the community. Your content will get pulled from any of the major hosting sites if you start ripping off other people's work. This doesn't stop you from hosting it and distributing it yourself, but there is regulation of sorts in place all the same.

To be clearer: I think that an open and unregulated market place where people could create/rip-off each other's content and then sell it at whatever price they felt was appropriate would undermine the modding community as it exists now. When folks start talking about monetizing user generated content this is, invariably the first thing they imagine.

Cryptoshrimp
10-02-2012, 09:37 PM
Yes. I agree, it's great. But what we're talking about here is IF developers were to introduce mods for money systems.
Which is another good reason not to do so, I'd say.

Nalano
10-02-2012, 09:43 PM
Yes. I agree, it's great. But what we're talking about here is IF developers were to introduce mods for money systems.

I get what you're talking about, but "I think a completely open system would really undermine the modding community" is just a mindset that I don't think has the finger on the pulse of the community.

At any rate, I see you running into two problems:



Putting something that was once free behind a pay wall. Newspapers have been trying with relative unsuccess at doing just that. People just get their news elsewhere, or rely on bloggers and aggregators. The only folks who seem to have been able to siphon more money that way, I've seen, are Newsday and the New York Times, and the former's supported by Cablevision and the latter's our foremost paper of record.
Putting barriers to information that isn't proprietary. Unlike news, which requires paying an actual reporter to be on the ground where news happens (thereby having an edge over bloggers), anybody with a computer can write mods, which means that anybody with the will to do the work will be out there bottoming out the market, because that's what s/he likes to do.


But there's of course another way, which has a precedent: Those free modders that have made money not off their mods, but off of selling themselves to companies on the worth of their mods. The developers that used to be mod collectives, turning their eyes to larger projects: Licensed add-ons and full games.

vecordae
10-02-2012, 09:50 PM
But there's of course another way, which has a precedent: Those free modders that have made money not off their mods, but off of selling themselves to companies on the worth of their mods. The developers that used to be mod collectives, turning their eyes to larger projects: Licensed add-ons and full games.

That is the exact precedent that Herr Gagne was a part of. It is in the interview I linked. It's still a monetization of the modding scene. In Stefan's case, rather than single paycheck, he'd get a cut of whatever money the "premium mod" he produced would have made.

archonsod
10-02-2012, 09:51 PM
Beths should decide prices.

Why? Modding for a game is no different that making a game or app for Windows. In both cases, you're building something to run on someone else's code. And the entire reason Windows got popular was Microsoft opting not to regulate their software market.

The hilarious thing is that it's been happening in simulations since the beginning. Flight Sim, Railworks et al - around 90% of the various expansions, DLC and the like were created by third parties, whether small companies specialising in a given subject or just some guy sat at home building routes in his spare time.

In fact, I'd argue that allowing modders to charge for their work is necessary to expand the market. Once you pass a certain point where special knowledge is required (whether that's subject matter or simply how complex the modding tools are) you pretty much have to provide a financial incentive in order to find many people willing to put in the time and effort to produce a decent mod.

Nalano
10-02-2012, 09:53 PM
I apologize for not being concise. Firstly, the modding community is not free and open in the sense that you are allowed to do whatever you want without any repercussions from the community. Your content will get pulled from any of the major hosting sites if you start ripping off other people's work. This doesn't stop you from hosting it and distributing it yourself, but there is regulation of sorts in place all the same.

To be clearer: I think that an open and unregulated market place where people could create/rip-off each other's content and then sell it at whatever price they felt was appropriate would undermine the modding community as it exists now. When folks start talking about monetizing user generated content this is, invariably the first thing they imagine.

Public censure because you didn't cite the original source of the mod is substantively different than putting proprietary information behind a pay wall.

pakoito
10-02-2012, 10:01 PM
What I mean by that is, for every $30 utility that does something I want (like rip live streamOfftopic: how do you do that? I know the "record my screen, but only an active window/directx surface" ones, but sometimes I want a j.tv stream OUT of fucking flash.

Nalano
10-02-2012, 10:15 PM
Offtopic: how do you do that? I know the "record my screen, but only an active window/directx surface" ones, but sometimes I want a j.tv stream OUT of fucking flash.

Are you asking for programs that convert FLV files? There's like a million of 'em.

somini
10-02-2012, 10:16 PM
Didn't Valve did this with TF2 hats? And as someone said Railworks, flight sims and those kinds of games are already doing this for quite some time.
I completely disagree with the idea of paying for mods. If they reach a certain kind of sophistication or popularity it's just another game in the same engine, IMHO. Case in point, CS, TF, Red Orchestra, etc...

pakoito
10-02-2012, 10:17 PM
Are you asking for programs that convert FLV files? There's like a million of 'em.No, what I want is to nick the signal stream and use it in an external program like VLC, then record it myself with whatever parameters I want.

Nalano
11-02-2012, 12:29 AM
No, what I want is to nick the signal stream and use it in an external program like VLC, then record it myself with whatever parameters I want.

So it's all about finding the right URL. Even the demos of paid programs give you that.

Tei
11-02-2012, 12:39 AM
Most mods are gray area. So if you profit from it and a judge say distributing X ( a model, textures, skin, font, music, wav, etc...) was illegal, then you has ben profiting from distributting warez.

So, no, profiting selling mods is a bad idea. But I will not stop anyone tryiing, and some people do (I have see that in the minecraft modding scene), but I think is bad style.

fearlessgoat
11-02-2012, 12:55 AM
I have been offered money in the past for doing some really basic stuff.
From simple models they want in a certain engine to one guy pretty much begging for a custom map with some of the weirdest instructions on what he wanted. ( its just pure laziness on there part)
Ended up telling him I would HELP him do the map, which pretty much was a bad idea as the map only took a day or 2 to do by myself but a week explaining how I did some really basic stuff, so he could do it himself in the future.

By the way I have never charged anyone and never will, however I will try and show them how to do what they want to do.

There is some valid points on this topic though:
I tend to use my own assets, or assets from the game I am modding. Many dont though and some just plain steal from other mods with out giving credit.
Its far more common than people think. In the past it wasn't so bad but over the last few years its become a problem. It would be a whole new can of worms if people started to charge, even doing it the way I do with my own assets as those very assets tend to get stolen from you for other mods.
That in itself I dont mind ( as long as they are not charging people) but many are not like me.

pakoito
11-02-2012, 12:59 AM
So it's all about finding the right URL. Even the demos of paid programs give you that.It is not so easy, if it was just that I wouldn't be asking around.

soldant
11-02-2012, 01:02 AM
Most mods are gray area. So if you profit from it and a judge say distributing X ( a model, textures, skin, font, music, wav, etc...) was illegal, then you has ben profiting from distributting warez.
Well it'd be copyright infringement, but I see the point. The main reason why mods have been free is because the majority of them reuse base content from the game and can't be sold as a result, since the modder doesn't own the rights to the base content. Mods which replace pretty much everything with their own assets are a different story though.

In my opinion if you're super happy to pay for mods, you shouldn't have a problem with DLC... because that's basically what a mod becomes when you put a price tag on it. Bethesda will be out for their slice of the modding market, thus a paid mod and DLC is pretty much the same thing. Arguably it'd be really easy for a "professional" mod team (i.e. one which actually operates as a development studio focusing on modding existing games) to simply walk in and dominate the market. Then you've got the issue of deciding how to price mods, because the vast majority of them on the Nexus aren't worth any amount of money. It seems like there are far too many issues regarding paid mods for it to be a viable pathway. Modding in the current age requires an obscene amount of work thanks to the progression of graphical fidelity, but mods have always been free, and they were done as a labour of love for the community. The reward was respect and praise and adoration. If we're moving towards a lockdown, commercialised modding sector, then we might as well just abandon the PC and go back to consoles, because the gap is closing now that we're talking about turning mods into DLC.

The term "mod" is ridiculous these days anyway, since it covers everything from The Seventh House for Morrowind (quite a lot of work) to adding a shitty glass sword that does +1337 damage. We need to go back to the "hack", "partial conversion" and "total conversion" terminology of the mid 90s!

Nalano
11-02-2012, 01:12 AM
The term "mod" is ridiculous these days anyway, since it covers everything from The Seventh House for Morrowind (quite a lot of work) to adding a shitty glass sword that does +1337 damage. We need to go back to the "hack", "partial conversion" and "total conversion" terminology of the mid 90s!

Well, "DLC" does the same shit, encompassing everything from reskins to map packs to mission packs to full add-ons. In a way, it does for gaming what LPU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_publishable_unit) does for academia.

Lukasz
11-02-2012, 01:56 AM
@soldant
I'm not sure but are you suggesting that with introducing modding for money free mods will disappear?

soldant
11-02-2012, 02:27 AM
Well, "DLC" does the same shit, encompassing everything from reskins to map packs to mission packs to full add-ons. In a way, it does for gaming what LPU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_publishable_unit) does for academia.
Which is why we shouldn't be so supportive of it.


@soldant
I'm not sure but are you suggesting that with introducing modding for money free mods will disappear?
Not really, but I am suggesting that there will be an influx of paid-for mods and attempts to cash in. You'd be silly to think otherwise. Valve's content system is reviewed and controlled, for a paid-modding system to effectively work with Bethesda/Skyrim, you'd need to implement a similar system, which brings with it its own list of problems. Then again the iOS App Store has a review system before publishing, and look at the mountains of crap that gets released.

Snargelfargen
11-02-2012, 04:14 AM
Not really, but I am suggesting that there will be an influx of paid-for mods and attempts to cash in. You'd be silly to think otherwise. Valve's content system is reviewed and controlled, for a paid-modding system to effectively work with Bethesda/Skyrim, you'd need to implement a similar system, which brings with it its own list of problems. Then again the iOS App Store has a review system before publishing, and look at the mountains of crap that gets released.

That initial torrent of cash-grabbing mods would regulate itself given time. The barrier to entry for modding in Skyrim is very, very low, so the more easily created mods wouldn't be very desirable, especially considering the wealth of tutorials available. Mods that add original assets (textures, models, music and so on) would have to maintain relatively low prices too, given the lack of drm.

The more I think about it, the more I think this would work... just not in an elder scrolls game. Adding money into the mix would attract a different set of modders with a different set of priorities. Compatibility with other mods would become less desirable, because many modders would view the other content out there as competition. Theft would become even more of an issue than it is already. Pretty much every Scrolls forum out there would become an unreadable flame-fest.
Eventually things would calm down and most of the older modding community that has been around since Morrowind would leave, taking their ideas with them. A new generation of modders would replace them, eager to build their portfolios and demonstrate their (profit-earning) creative skills.

This would make me sad. Why not try this with a new IP? Please don't change my Scrolls :(

soldant
11-02-2012, 05:04 AM
The more I think about it, the more I think this would work... just not in an elder scrolls game.
Pretty much everything you just said would apply to any other game. Also what about the people who build off frameworks like the Script Extender? What if they decide to commercialise that and restrict access? Too many variables here. Adding money into something like modding isn't going to result in anything better.

squirrel
11-02-2012, 06:19 AM
Magic of Internet. If volunteers can share their works freely on the net, those create contents (since mod is the word used here, I guess you mates are referring to non-endorsed user generated contents) for profits won't be able to sell any.

Developer / Publisher approved expansions, on the other hand, are subject to stricter quality control. Gamers generally are willing to pay if prices are right (Me included).

On the other hand, I am so sure that given some of the scales of the mods, developers or publishing houses have sponsored some of the mods for their games without acknowledging us.

I heard that Starcraft 1 has some "expansions" which are without Blizzard's approval, and were for sale.

Nalano
11-02-2012, 06:23 AM
Which is why we shouldn't be so supportive of it.

Damn straight.


That initial torrent of cash-grabbing mods would regulate itself given time.

Really? Cash grabs stop after a while?

Damn, somebody tell all those capitalists. That shit's going outta style!

Tei
11-02-2012, 09:12 AM
I fighted the term "DLC" wen Microsoft introduce it, but It was in vain. "Microtransactions" is even more fun a word, with 80$ a monocle. For similar reasons "Episodic" content don't fly.

Game companies what do better is games, wen you move then from that, trouble await. Game companies are lousy service companies, and very slow at produce content.... For TV you can create a new episode every week or month, but you can't do that with games.

The old model of the 90's of "Game", "Map Pack", "Expansion pack", "Mod" and "Total Conversion" is superior to the current model of "Game as a License/Service", "DLC" and "Mods".


Anyway I don't see a problem from calling everything a "mod", ignoring his size.

Lukasz
11-02-2012, 11:27 AM
Not really, but I am suggesting that there will be an influx of paid-for mods and attempts to cash in. You'd be silly to think otherwise. Valve's content system is reviewed and controlled, for a paid-modding system to effectively work with Bethesda/Skyrim, you'd need to implement a similar system, which brings with it its own list of problems. Then again the iOS App Store has a review system before publishing, and look at the mountains of crap that gets released.
And? why is it bad? what's wrong with crap being released? It is not like anyone is forcing you to actually buy that crap nor anyone is prevented from creating free stuff.
don't like it? don't buy it.
Sales of mods should be regulated by valve as official channel. so when theft happens mod can be kicked out of steam and creators banned from using it.

soldant
11-02-2012, 11:54 AM
And? why is it bad? what's wrong with crap being released? It is not like anyone is forcing you to actually buy that crap nor anyone is prevented from creating free stuff.
It commercialises the modding sector, which has traditionally been free.


Sales of mods should be regulated by valve as official channel. so when theft happens mod can be kicked out of steam and creators banned from using it.
Great, so what defines as "stolen"? Let's heavily regulate something that didn't need regulation in the first place. The problem with "theft" is that it frequently isn't "theft" (or "copyright infringement" which is probably more accurate), it's the use of an existing mod to build up a new mod. And with agreed cooperation, that system was fine. Under a payment system that whole thing could easily fall apart. Do you have to pay the original developer royalties? If you build off a paid mod with permission, do you then have to charge for your mod? If someone builds off a free mod and sells it, is that okay? What constitutes a "mod" that could be considered regulation and for sale? Is it ANY modification of the game, or only substantial modifications?

The modding sector is already rife with ranting and raving about "stolen" material, commercialising it will make it worse. And if you're paying for them, they're not mods anymore, they're 3rd party DLC.

Lukasz
11-02-2012, 12:52 PM
It commercialises the modding sector, which has traditionally been free.
So? there still be free mods.



Great, so what defines as "stolen"? Let's heavily regulate something that didn't need regulation in the first place. The problem with "theft" is that it frequently isn't "theft" (or "copyright infringement" which is probably more accurate), it's the use of an existing mod to build up a new mod. And with agreed cooperation, that system was fine. Under a payment system that whole thing could easily fall apart. Do you have to pay the original developer royalties? If you build off a paid mod with permission, do you then have to charge for your mod? If someone builds off a free mod and sells it, is that okay? What constitutes a "mod" that could be considered regulation and for sale? Is it ANY modification of the game, or only substantial modifications?

The modding sector is already rife with ranting and raving about "stolen" material, commercialising it will make it worse. And if you're paying for them, they're not mods anymore, they're 3rd party DLC.
So they are 3rd party DLC. name is irrelevant.
If use existing mod without approval then it is infringement. If you get approval then whether you pay royalties (and how much) is based on that approval. other way around too. if your mod needs paid mod and you had permission from original modder to make it then whether you charge or not is up to your agreement.
The mod shop would be run i presume either by Valve or Beth or original publisher who would approve mods for sale. It is their choice.
So let them rant and rave. their problem not mine or yours. Commercializing mods won't stop free one from appearing and it will allow some great mods to be made (such as Black Mesa) you and I win.

soldant
11-02-2012, 01:07 PM
So? there still be free mods.
You really think that modders won't see the potential for cash and jump at it?


If use existing mod without approval then it is infringement. If you get approval then whether you pay royalties (and how much) is based on that approval. other way around too. if your mod needs paid mod and you had permission from original modder to make it then whether you charge or not is up to your agreement.
Excellent, so now we're going to have people policing the system, changing their ideas on who stole what and whether X breached Y and blah blah blah. The modding scene fights enough as it is, add money into the mix and it's going to get worse. Are we going to see people demanding payment of royalties? People demanding other mods be taken down because they are duplicates of other mods and therefore infringing even if independently developed? How are these "agreements" binding? Is there going to be a full contract system implemented? Under what standards are Valve/Beth going to assess mods? What accountability do the modders have for their mod? Add money and things become far more serious.


Commercializing mods won't stop free one from appearing and it will allow some great mods to be made (such as Black Mesa) you and I win.
The irony of that statement being Black Mesa is being released for free, as have all the great mods. Some were later commercialised (CS, TFC, etc). But they got their start by being free. I still see zero clear benefits from paid modding, just a whole bunch of arguments from a deregulated community which will not take well to regulation at all.

Megagun
11-02-2012, 01:27 PM
I fail to see the problem here. Good modders are able to sell their stuff for money, and all modders finally learn about copyright and licensing? Sounds like a win-win to me! Once modders start applying clear licenses to their mods, their stuff can also finally be used in other projects or mods without fear of accidentally breaking a license.

deano2099
11-02-2012, 01:39 PM
You really think that modders won't see the potential for cash and jump at it?

Much like how once the paid-for indie games market was established, people stopped making free games? And how there are no free apps on the AppStore?

Keep
11-02-2012, 01:46 PM
I think this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc) is a revelant li'l video.

(Short version if 10 minutes is too much fer ya: Money is a terrible motivator. It leads to a) poorer creative performance, b) the nullification of other (potentially more important) motivators, such as fun or respect or self-improvement or altruistically "giving back" and c) an unhinging from the original purpose of the work at all for the sake of profit)

archonsod
11-02-2012, 02:27 PM
Adding money into the mix would attract a different set of modders with a different set of priorities.

Only insofar as anyone releasing a mod for money is going to have some desire to actually sell it. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. You'll generally see an increase in the quality and content of mods too once the third party developers start getting in on it.


Compatibility with other mods would become less desirable, because many modders would view the other content out there as competition.

Has yet to happen in any game which has allowed modders to charge for their work. In fact there's more incentive to ensure they're compatible, because your income is dependent on people buying it, which they're unlikely to do if it means they can't play with their favourite mod. Contrast with free mods where there's zero incentive to make them compatible.


Theft would become even more of an issue than it is already.

Possibly less of an issue, since you have an increased incentive to take legal action since you can claim loss of earnings. Which works both ways, you can equally sue someone falsely claiming you've swiped something for defamation.


You really think that modders won't see the potential for cash and jump at it?


Operation Flashpoint, Microsoft Flight Sim, Neverwinter Nights, Railworks 2/3 all have (or in some cases had) an active free modding community despite also having commercial mods available.

Lukasz
11-02-2012, 03:04 PM
You really think that modders won't see the potential for cash and jump at it?
some will some won't. some will release free mods building fanbase and practicing before paid mod.



Excellent, so now we're going to have people policing the system, changing their ideas on who stole what and whether X breached Y and blah blah blah. The modding scene fights enough as it is, add money into the mix and it's going to get worse. Are we going to see people demanding payment of royalties? People demanding other mods be taken down because they are duplicates of other mods and therefore infringing even if independently developed? How are these "agreements" binding? Is there going to be a full contract system implemented? Under what standards are Valve/Beth going to assess mods? What accountability do the modders have for their mod? Add money and things become far more serious.

and how does that affect you as a consumer? Not that i agree with what you said (completely. you do make few fair points) but even if you are 100% right how does it harm you?



The irony of that statement being Black Mesa is being released for free, as have all the great mods. Some were later commercialised (CS, TFC, etc). But they got their start by being free. I still see zero clear benefits from paid modding, just a whole bunch of arguments from a deregulated community which will not take well to regulation at all.
Black Mesa is not being released.
Like with all big mods I think it is wise to say: it will never appear unless proven otherwise. they said once that it will definitely be released in 2009. so even if they fucked something up (which happens all the time with making software) shouldn't the mod be out already, 2 years later? it is not. If they could charge 4 bucks for it... they would have released it I assume. Without money involved they do not have any real incentive to release the mod, no matter how much work they had put in it.

cause money dear soldant is the greatest motivator in civilized society. What Keep linked is not correct in slightest. Almost all of the greatest art of this world were made because a man or woman wanted to pay bills. Not all of it of course, sometimes great artist did pet projects of theirs... which they could afford because they made money of their other projects.

soldant
11-02-2012, 03:18 PM
Operation Flashpoint, Microsoft Flight Sim, Neverwinter Nights, Railworks 2/3 all have (or in some cases had) an active free modding community despite also having commercial mods available.
The MSFS addons are an entirely different class. In terms of large scenery packs there is only paid modifications, and they aren't cheap (they cost the same as a new game). Paid addon aircraft were also entirely different to the free addons, as were the other extensions. They were all major releases developed by professional teams, leaps and bounds away from the modding scene. I highly doubt Bethesda will let someone come in with a full development team, produce a production-quality mod, and then sell it for the same price as a full game, at least not without taking a significant cut. FSX isn't a true comparison at all, especially when you consider Microsoft didn't make any money from it and just left it to the community.

I'm a huge OpFlash fan, and I can't think of any paid modification for OpFlash. Either there weren't that many, or they weren't well received.



Possibly less of an issue, since you have an increased incentive to take legal action since you can claim loss of earnings.



That's just what the modding community needs: a culture of fear of litigation.


To the others:
I'm not claiming that free mods will die, I've never said that. But like most of the apps on the App Store (which is a terrible example by the way), if you can put a price on it, people will try. Look at the number of trashy apps on the App Store with a pricetag. The modding sector has always been about free modifications released to make the game better. Bethesda partnering with Steam to deliver paid mods is their own cynical grab for cash from the work of 3rd parties, it sure isn't about benefitting the modders in the long run. Best to leave the community as it is. But the Workshop (staying free) isn't a bad idea.


EDIT:


Black Mesa is not being released.
BM is a massive project and people have lives outside of the mod. I actually used to post on the same forum as Raminator (one of the devs) back before he got wrapped up with the mod. Pre-mod he was a regular. After starting he dropped off the face of the earth, because making a commercial game into a mod is a LOT of work. They have a good incentive to release it: public expectation, and because they want to see it to the end. Even if they could sell it (I doubt Valve would let them profit from it), it doesn't change the fact that they have to earn a living during development.

And no, not all art was made to pay bills. Most was made simply because they wanted to, or to record something important, or to prove a point. Tale of Tales on the other hand makes exceptionally crappy art to try to turn a dollar. Great artists may have been paid in times gone by for their art, but money was only part of the motivation. Da Vinci wasn't exactly making a killing off all of his sketches and ideas. Galileo didn't become a millionaire with his scientific thought experiments. I'm a proponent of a mixed economy and believe money is a good motivator, but it's not the sole motivator. If it was, we'd never have mods in the first place.

Lukasz
11-02-2012, 04:15 PM
BM is a massive project and people have lives outside of the mod. I actually used to post on the same forum as Raminator (one of the devs) back before he got wrapped up with the mod. Pre-mod he was a regular. After starting he dropped off the face of the earth, because making a commercial game into a mod is a LOT of work. They have a good incentive to release it: public expectation, and because they want to see it to the end. Even if they could sell it (I doubt Valve would let them profit from it), it doesn't change the fact that they have to earn a living during development.
Valve might allow them to sell it. They did that with Gmod remember? and if they knew that they are able to profit on this game they would certainly sacrifice the "earn a living during development" like most people who go into business. Without money... it is their side project. not their life. With money the mod might have been finished by now. Right now... it is not being released.



And no, not all art was made to pay bills. Most was made simply because they wanted to, or to record something important, or to prove a point.
No. no. no.
I am sorry soldat but please go read about how theater came back into existence during Shakespearen times... how when they started to charge people money for plays, plays started to be made. some crappy one, some great but creativity was freed.

Tale of Tales on the other hand makes exceptionally crappy art to try to turn a dollar. which is completely irrelevant.

Great artists may have been paid in times gone by for their art, but money was only part of the motivation. Da Vinci wasn't exactly making a killing off all of his sketches and ideas. Galileo didn't become a millionaire with his scientific thought experiments. I'm a proponent of a mixed economy and believe money is a good motivator, but it's not the sole motivator. If it was, we'd never have mods in the first place.[/COLOR][/LEFT]
Money was main part of their motivation for what they did. Yes. They DID want to do what they did. There is no doubt. They were motivated also by non-monetary things.
But da vinci never invested a lot of time into things which didn't make him money sans all we got are sketches.
And why would you believe that I claim money is the sole motivator?
It is not. It is the biggest one, most common one, one which allowed the rise of great art. Not sole one by any means tough.

And why are you worried about mod culture? are you a modder who fears that his hobby is going to be changed?
how does what happens in mod culture affect me, regular guy who just want to play games in a negative way?
The problem you mentioned if they happen are fault of the community itself. so I really can't feel bad about them waring over their mods. I'll just play what I like and pay with my money for what I like even if you decide it is trash.

Keep
11-02-2012, 05:01 PM
@Lukasz: I see what you're saying, money can free people up to pursue their creativity in a way they couldn't otherwise.

If you watch that video, you'll notice at one point that's admitted: "Money is a good motivator insofar as it takes the issue of money off the table", i.e. once you don't need to worry about basic living costs. I'd agree with that.

But I think you've got things backward to say money motivates creativity. The reason people play the lotto is for the money. The reason people resell their old cars is for the money. But the reason people are creative isn't for the money.

People are creative in order to express themselves. In order to understand their own thoughts. In order to create something fun, or cool, or silly, or beautiful.

Your theatre example is a good one for how money can help such people reach their full potential: it made it possible for them to write and act full time. That's great. But keep in mind, there was a definite cap on how much it was possible could earn. Nobody was going to become very wealthy from theatre. All it did was take the issue of money off the table. You were going to earn enough to get by, therefore you're now free to explore your creativity.

Imagine though, if the potential audience to those theatres was global, not local. Imagine if money was earned not by working night after night, performance after performance, but by working on a once-off basis, and then that one effort repaid you thousands of times over.

You'd see a goldrush of would-be playwrights and actors swamping the scene, desperate to win this lotto. You'd be drowned in bad, awful, tacky plays. And your Shakespeares and Marlowes wouldn't be unaffected: they'd change their own style, consciously or not, just to stay above water and not get lost in the crowd.

And you'd end up with, well a bubble. Maybe the burst would restore things to how they were before, maybe it'd ruin things forever. But it's a big risk.

Money doesn't motivate creativity. At best it frees up an artist to do what they do best, at worst it introduces a host of economic schemes that corrupt the scene away from its original purpose.

Why risk that?

deano2099
11-02-2012, 07:06 PM
You'd see a goldrush of would-be playwrights and actors swamping the scene, desperate to win this lotto. You'd be drowned in bad, awful, tacky plays.

That happens in theatre already: see The Edinburgh Fringe.

But that's a near unique situation where a city sets up 100s of venues for performers for just one month. Anyone can get a venue, generally at a very high cost, and they lose money on it. But they want to enter the 'get spotted by a big producer' lotto.

Meanwhile in the rest of the world, any month that isn't August, this doesn't happen as there are only so many theatres, and theatre directors won't but shit stuff on. I'm fairly sure this is the approach Bethesda would take - let people apply to the premium scheme but have a fairly high barrier to entry. I don't see them just going "have at it", setting up a marketplace and letting it run.

It's not just about money anyway. It's about exposure. DLC is far more popular than mods are. People buy DLC who have never touched a mod in their life. But if you streamline the process, make installing the mod as easy as installing DLC, then you widen the audience dramatically (also, for games like Skyrim which use cross-platform data files, there's no reason they can't be offered on multiple platforms too - something impossible with free mods as someone has to pay the MS/Sony hosting/QA costs).

archonsod
11-02-2012, 08:05 PM
The MSFS addons are an entirely different class.

Precisely. If there's money to be made you can attract the semi-professionals.


I highly doubt Bethesda will let someone come in with a full development team, produce a production-quality mod, and then sell it for the same price as a full game

Isn't this basically what they did with Obsidian for FO:NV?


I'm a huge OpFlash fan, and I can't think of any paid modification for OpFlash. Either there weren't that many, or they weren't well received.

Like NWN they released a disk with a collection of mods on it, can't recall the name of the collection but I remember it had the RTS mod amongst others.


That's just what the modding community needs: a culture of fear of litigation.

It is. Or at least it'd stop the bitching about who stole what; I can't be the only one who reads those tantrums and thinks "either prove it, or shut the fuck up".


Bethesda partnering with Steam to deliver paid mods is their own cynical grab for cash from the work of 3rd parties, it sure isn't about benefitting the modders in the long run.

Pretty sure if you ask most modders whether they'd like some money rather than none the majority would say yes. Of course it benefits modders; it benefits Bethesda as well, but that's not exactly a bad thing.



You'd see a goldrush of would-be playwrights and actors swamping the scene, desperate to win this lotto. You'd be drowned in bad, awful, tacky plays. And your Shakespeares and Marlowes wouldn't be unaffected: they'd change their own style, consciously or not, just to stay above water and not get lost in the crowd.

Which is bad how precisely? Effectively what you're saying is there'll be more mods, which isn't a bad thing. Yeah, some of them will be shite, but some of them are shite now so that doesn't exactly change things much.
Plus you're neglecting the fact that people don't just hand over money because you ask for it. You have to persuade them that what you're giving is actually worth what you're charging for it. There may well be a surge of crappy mods, but if nobody is going to buy them they're going to sink. In fact, what you're likely to see is modders trying to up their game, at least if they want money - unlike Bethesda, the modders have to compete with the free mods as well as the other premium content.

Nalano
11-02-2012, 09:10 PM
But that's a near unique situation where a city sets up 100s of venues for performers for just one month. Anyone can get a venue, generally at a very high cost, and they lose money on it. But they want to enter the 'get spotted by a big producer' lotto.

"In Hollywood the woods are full of people that learned to write but evidently can't read. If they could read their stuff, they'd stop writing." - Will Rogers

I have a friend who lived in LA for three years before settling in NYC. He reports being accosted for having a book open in public three times. The first time, he attributed it to being in West Hollywood where the people are plastic and care only about striking it rich in the industry. Then it happened two more times and he determined that, no, the place is culturally dead.

I don't doubt his story. I haven't been inside a mainstream movie theater in years - not because DVDs came out, which is Hollywood's excuse for flagging ticket sales, but because nothing there is worth watching. Just about everything they make can be called a cynical cash grab, and it's drowning out the few works that might actually have been made because they needed to be made. I can't imagine the wasteland for which this is a central and all-encompassing reality.

Lukasz
11-02-2012, 09:23 PM
. Just about everything they make can be called a cynical cash grab, and it's drowning out the few works that might actually have been made because they needed to be made.
it has been always the case and we somehow survive and great movies are made.

Nalano
11-02-2012, 09:24 PM
it has been always the case and we somehow survive and great movies are made.

Yeah. In Iran.

Lukasz
11-02-2012, 09:26 PM
Yeah. In Iran.
Don't know. Haven't seen any iranian movie. Any recommendations?

Nalano
11-02-2012, 09:48 PM
Captain Khorshid, Gavaznha, and more recently Persepolis, About Elly, and A Separation, to name a few.

Keep
12-02-2012, 03:23 AM
Which is bad how precisely? Effectively what you're saying is there'll be more mods, which isn't a bad thing.

No, effectively what I'm saying is, the reason to make a mod will become disjointed from a simple passion for the game and become based on financial reasoning instead. There may be more mods due to that, sure, but if they're all chasing a different target what are any of them worth?

Good point though about modders upping that game - if there were an emphasis on competition that'd improve mod quality in a positive way. But do you need money specifically to achieve that? Why not just have very public reputation scores/rankings/something like that?

soldant
12-02-2012, 04:41 AM
Precisely. If there's money to be made you can attract the semi-professionals
Which is always a good thing? If we're going to go down that path, I'd except that absolutely nobody bitches about DLC packs in the future. The major point of PC gaming was "look at all the mods, for free!" It's going to turn into "Look at all the DLC". Given that a lot of PC gamers aren't exceptionally open to DLC unless it's of exceptional quality, I can't see why this is a good thing.

As for the disc-o-mods: they've been doing that for ages. Hell, Doom and Duke Nukem 3D used to have 3rd party "content packs" which were a collection of free maps and utilities (usually without permission) tossed on a CD. That's not the same as what is being promoted here. NWN's "Kingmaker" pack shows mods that went commercial... but if I remember they were free initially.

Tei
12-02-2012, 09:08 AM
Wen I use to make mods, I use to make the mods for other modders, and the whole modding community was like a family. I love these people. We shared ideas, code, models, maps, etc.. we helped each another.

But I am also open source developer, so maybe I am biased here.

Lukasz
12-02-2012, 12:41 PM
Which is always a good thing? If we're going to go down that path, I'd except that absolutely nobody bitches about DLC packs in the future. The major point of PC gaming was "look at all the mods, for free!" It's going to turn into "Look at all the DLC". Given that a lot of PC gamers aren't exceptionally open to DLC unless it's of exceptional quality, I can't see why this is a good thing.


again your argument fails on the basis that you seem to assume no free mods are gonna be made. So there still be look at all the mods for free and there will be look at all the third party dlc.

we will have mods being available for sale when publisher decides they will make money for them and we will have free mods which were rejected or were as a practice before going commercial.

Keep
12-02-2012, 03:02 PM
we will have mods being available for sale when publisher decides they will make money for them

Wait what?? You're saying the publisher could get money off this? How is that fair at all?

soldant
12-02-2012, 03:04 PM
we will have mods being available for sale when publisher decides they will make money for them and we will have free mods which were rejected or were as a practice before going commercial.
And what if the developer decides to close the whole thing off so that only commercial mods can be produced? After all, that'd make them more money. And your argument basically eats itself, because you stated before that money is a significant motivator for people to do something... which if you accept to be true, you must also accept that because the chance for cash is their prime motivation for modding, most mods are therefore going to be commercialised, since they're doing it for the money.

archonsod
12-02-2012, 03:40 PM
No, effectively what I'm saying is, the reason to make a mod will become disjointed from a simple passion for the game and become based on financial reasoning instead. There may be more mods due to that, sure, but if they're all chasing a different target what are any of them worth?

They all are now though. You've got people releasing mods because they did it for themselves and though people might like it, to those doing it in the hopes of a development studio noticing them. All allowing them to sell the mod does is add yet another reason. Some will do it for the money, some will do it for other reasons and be pleasantly surprised to find they can make money, some will continue to do it for their own reasons and release for free.


But do you need money specifically to achieve that? Why not just have very public reputation scores/rankings/something like that?

Because money is the only way that tends to work. Or at least is objective enough nobody complains about it. And again, as a modder what would you rather have, some download site claiming your mod is four stars or money?


The major point of PC gaming was "look at all the mods, for free!" It's going to turn into "Look at all the DLC".

I'd disagree with that. In fact from the figures publishers/developers give the number of people who play mods, let alone make them, tend to be in the minority of purchasers (probably why they've never attempted to cash in on it before). It's one of the things charging for them might change - generally if you're not asking money for something people assume it's either shit, or they put less value on it (i.e. decide it's not worth the effort to install etc). Putting a price on it circumvents that. Naturally there's an increase in expectation on it too, but that's something a market is designed to deal with.

Plus again, there'll still be free mods too. In fact one of the most popular types of mods - those which bring in another IP, could never be commercialised due to licensing requirements.


NWN's "Kingmaker" pack shows mods that went commercial... but if I remember they were free initially.
Nope, they were part of the whole "premium modules" thing Bioware came up with.


And what if the developer decides to close the whole thing off so that only commercial mods can be produced?

They can try, but it's usually as successful as DRM is at stopping piracy.


After all, that'd make them more money.

Not necessarily. It's the old crack dealing trick of "first hit is free, second you start paying". Free mods are what's going to attract people in the first place, you're simply looking to convert some of the freeloaders into paying customers. Remove the free and there's no real reason to bother with paid for mods in the first place - might as well just freelance it to the people you were going to let make "premium" mods in the first place, stick your own name and logo on it and double the price as it's now "official DLC / Expansion / Whatever".

Nalano
12-02-2012, 09:58 PM
And what if the developer decides to close the whole thing off so that only commercial mods can be produced? After all, that'd make them more money. And your argument basically eats itself, because you stated before that money is a significant motivator for people to do something... which if you accept to be true, you must also accept that because the chance for cash is their prime motivation for modding, most mods are therefore going to be commercialised, since they're doing it for the money.

And to bolster soldant's claim, why was Back to Karkand a $15 DLC? Why are the CoDs dripfeeding maps? Because nobody is allowed to make custom mappacks for an FPS anymore.

Lukasz
12-02-2012, 10:40 PM
Wait what?? You're saying the publisher could get money off this? How is that fair at all?
you are kidding right? it is their game, their assets, their ip. Of course it is fair

And what if the developer decides to close the whole thing off so that only commercial mods can be produced? After all, that'd make them more money. And your argument basically eats itself, because you stated before that money is a significant motivator for people to do something... which if you accept to be true, you must also accept that because the chance for cash is their prime motivation for modding, most mods are therefore going to be commercialised, since they're doing it for the money.
yeah... not gonna happen because
How they are gonna force people to make paid mods? I cannot understand the logic behind your argument.
How can beth stop free mods if it releases tools to make mods? Sure it can stop make their games moddable...
just like total war series.
that is not an issue of paid mods but an issue of company wanting to profit on DLC. Which Beth of course can do but that is not an argument here.


And to bolster soldant's claim, why was Back to Karkand a $15 DLC? Why are the CoDs dripfeeding maps? Because nobody is allowed to make custom mappacks for an FPS anymore.
although it is true it has nothing to do with the argument here.

Keep
12-02-2012, 11:24 PM
you are kidding right? it is their game, their assets, their ip. Of course it is fair

I cannot picture a world in which trying to incentivise hobbyists and amateurs to keep up their hobby with cash, and in which a once-free market becomes another way for publishers to line their pockets, would result in communities of positive, close-knit, productive, supportive people.

You value the dollar-benefits above all that? Or you think profit-chasing makes us into nicer people to one another?

Nalano
12-02-2012, 11:52 PM
although it is true it has nothing to do with the argument here.

It has everything to do with the argument here. When publishers get it into their heads that such things are avenues of monetization, you think they're gonna let enthusiasts give that shit away for free?

soldant
13-02-2012, 12:10 AM
I cannot picture a world in which trying to incentivise hobbyists and amateurs to keep up their hobby with cash, and in which a once-free market becomes another way for publishers to line their pockets, would result in communities of positive, close-knit, productive, supportive people.
I think the point here is that a developer is not going to allow someone to build off their game, sell it on their own, and have 100% of the profits go to the modder. With a handful of exceptions (and the dubious map-compilation CDs of the 90s) modding has proliferated under a free system, that is the modder can't charge for their mod. Flight Sim X is the most notable exception to the rule, since Microsoft apparently just up and abandoned the game and didn't care what happened.


yeah... not gonna happen because
How they are gonna force people to make paid mods? I cannot understand the logic behind your argument.
How can beth stop free mods if it releases tools to make mods? Sure it can stop make their games moddable...
just like total war series.
that is not an issue of paid mods but an issue of company wanting to profit on DLC. Which Beth of course can do but that is not an argument here.
If they wanted to close the system so that only commercial mods were produced, they could easy do that by simply refusing distribution of other mods. They could include a signed code package with "approved" mods designed to prevent unauthorised mods outside their commercial realm from running. After all if the mods were commercialised, they could take a cut of each mod sale for themselves. It's like freely-made DLC, all they need to do is have a suitable method for delivery. And since you think the dollar is the biggest motivating factor, I guess you're going to have to accept that that's the future. Or that money isn't a significant motivator, and thus paid modding is going to be a waste of time and would gain nothing of value.

The issue of a company wanting to profit on "DLC" is a huge point here because it'll dictate whether or not paid modding will go ahead. If there's no chance to make a profit, then there's no way it'll go ahead. Additionally, with the introduction of a price, people's expectations of content will likely go up dramatically. We make concessions for free mods because it's made with somebody's free time for the love of the game. A paid mod is for profit, people apply different standards.

deano2099
13-02-2012, 12:16 AM
And to bolster soldant's claim, why was Back to Karkand a $15 DLC? Why are the CoDs dripfeeding maps? Because nobody is allowed to make custom mappacks for an FPS anymore.

Counterpoint: no-one is going to spend time and effort on making mods if they know there's a good chance it'll never get released. And companies aren't going to agree to release given mods as premium content unless they can see the mod in action.

As such if you want to run a system like this, you have to allow free mods also, because there needs to be a fallback position for mods that don't make the premium cut-off.

Also by being able to profit from mods, you give companies something to take to the publisher on why they should spend extra time developing mod tools for the community.

soldant
13-02-2012, 12:30 AM
As such if you want to run a system like this, you have to allow free mods also, because there needs to be a fallback position for mods that don't make the premium cut-off.
And if you don't? What if you really couldn't care less about those that don't make the premium cut-off. Apple couldn't have cared less about the ones that didn't make the cut... well, until jailbreaking came out, which remains a hot topic.

deano2099
13-02-2012, 12:41 AM
And if you don't? What if you really couldn't care less about those that don't make the premium cut-off. Apple couldn't have cared less about the ones that didn't make the cut... well, until jailbreaking came out, which remains a hot topic.

Apple don't have a 'cut' - they only block broken or 'objectionable' stuff. For this to work you'd take at a maximum the top 10% of stuff (likely far less) to the point where the odds of getting accepted are far too small to rely on. As such, people wouldn't bother taking that risk if there was no alternative. Just not worth it.

You can only do "no free mods" with a "99% of mods are accepted" approach. Else people won't waste their time on it.

Nalano
13-02-2012, 01:02 AM
Counterpoint: no-one is going to spend time and effort on making mods if they know there's a good chance it'll never get released.

My UT2k4 directory was 15gb when I finally uninstalled the game. That's a lot of people willing to spend time and effort making mods for no compensation at all.

Lukasz
13-02-2012, 01:18 AM
It has everything to do with the argument here. When publishers get it into their heads that such things are avenues of monetization, you think they're gonna let enthusiasts give that shit away for free?
...
they already have that avenue of monetization. You basically are saying that Beth will close its modding support. Like creative assembly did. We do not see anything like that happening, quite opposite, they are trying to improve construction kit, improve integration of mods and try to bring mods to consoles.
So argument that beth will close their mod support is not really a valid argument to this discussion.

My UT2k4 directory was 15gb when I finally uninstalled the game. That's a lot of people willing to spend time and effort making mods for no compensation at all.
thank you for agreeing with some of us. yes. there are a lot of people who will still make mods for free even if they could sell it.


I cannot picture a world in which trying to incentivise hobbyists and amateurs to keep up their hobby with cash, and in which a once-free market becomes another way for publishers to line their pockets, would result in communities of positive, close-knit, productive, supportive people.

You value the dollar-benefits above all that? Or you think profit-chasing makes us into nicer people to one another?
lol
nobody is incentive anyone to keep up their hobby. Dear god. MODS WILL STILL BE MADE AND WILL BE DISTRIBUTED FOR FREE. why are you assuming differently? If they did not want free mods they would never release Construction Kits for Oblivion, for Skyrim, for Source Engine and other stuff.
They just allow people to profit from their hobby.


if they wanted to close the system so that only commercial mods were produced, they could easy do that by simply refusing distribution of other mods. They could include a signed code package with "approved" mods designed to prevent unauthorised mods outside their commercial realm from running. After all if the mods were commercialised, they could take a cut of each mod sale for themselves. It's like freely-made DLC, all they need to do is have a suitable method for delivery. And since you think the dollar is the biggest motivating factor, I guess you're going to have to accept that that's the future. Or that money isn't a significant motivator, and thus paid modding is going to be a waste of time and would gain nothing of value.

The issue of a company wanting to profit on "DLC" is a huge point here because it'll dictate whether or not paid modding will go ahead. If there's no chance to make a profit, then there's no way it'll go ahead. Additionally, with the introduction of a price, people's expectations of content will likely go up dramatically. We make concessions for free mods because it's made with somebody's free time for the love of the game. A paid mod is for profit, people apply different standards.
Why is modding so popular with Valve, with Beth? if you say free mods don't make them money. It costs to develop, it costs to maintain, it cuts their DLC profits?
You say:
"They could include a signed code package with "approved" mods designed to prevent unauthorised mods outside their commercial"
They can do that too. That's why I said your and nalano's argument are irrelevant. That action is no way connected to paid mods. Beth could have done that years ago. It is in no way connected to paid mods argument. They could do hat but instead they are trying to improve community mods creation and distribution. They could just cut the mod support completely (as you are suggesting) and just release third-party DLCs. Total War guys did just that. It didn't happen because your assumption paid=makes money free=does not make money is flawed. Free mods build fanbase, free mods require people to buy the game, free mods give longevity to their game.
Furthermore deano made a good point about people not wasting their time if they cannot release their mod at all. Even if they are not allowed to sell by releasing the mod for free they can a)polish their skills b)create a fanbase c)convince beth to allow them to sell.


...
thats a lot of quotes. sorry but i wanted to target each argument separately.

Nalano
13-02-2012, 01:31 AM
thank you for agreeing with some of us. yes. there are a lot of people who will still make mods for free even if they could sell it.

Goddamnit, no. They never could sell them. Epic Games never tried to monetize mods. And thank god for that.


why are you assuming differently?

It's a very simple concept: If mods are free, modding is essentially a selling point of the base game. If mods are monetized, then the DLC is where the money comes from. If DLC is where the money comes from, you don't want a free mod scene. If the publisher becomes the gatekeeper for paid, licensed mods, they do not want free mods, because it cuts into their DLC money.

Lukasz
13-02-2012, 01:41 AM
Goddamnit, no. They never could sell them. Epic Games never tried to monetize mods. And thank god for that.

Yet they still made them. You see... you are agreeing with me. People will make stuff just for making the stuff.



It's a very simple concept: If mods are free, modding is essentially a selling point of the base game. If mods are monetized, then the DLC is where the money comes from. If DLC is where the money comes from, you don't want a free mod scene. If the publisher becomes the gatekeeper for paid, licensed mods, they do not want free mods, because it cuts into their DLC money.
It provides much more tough. If people can practice with free mods they can make better paid mods, the free mods is still a selling point.
nevertheless. this is something they could have done with oblivion... or at least skyrim. It is not an argument against paid mods as it is against mods in general. But we only saw Beth and Valve engaging the mod scene, improving (or at least trying) creation and publishing of mods.

Did source mods disappeared after Gmod was offered for sale and Minerva guy got hired? Valve did just that. Offered a mod for sale and provided monetary incentive for a mod creator.

soldant
13-02-2012, 01:56 AM
Apple don't have a 'cut' - they only block broken or 'objectionable' stuff.
Or things that duplicate existing Apple features... or uses libraries not cleared by Apple for public use... or undocumented features of the approved APIs... or doesn't comply with Apple's human interface guidelines (which they ignore on Windows)... or if it resembles a native Apple app's UI... or uses unauthorised hardware accessories... actually, I'll just stop there.

If the "cut" was as minor as you suggest, there wouldn't be the legitimate jailbreaking app scene (i.e. not just jailbreaking to pirate apps).

Lukasz
13-02-2012, 02:10 AM
there are free aps on apple products right?

soldant
13-02-2012, 02:13 AM
there are free aps on apple products right?
There are. There are also a hell of a lot of grabs for cash with limited functionality, and "in-app" purchases for "pieces of paper".

Lukasz
13-02-2012, 02:25 AM
There are. There are also a hell of a lot of grabs for cash with limited functionality, and "in-app" purchases for "pieces of paper".
So?

I mean... it is up to you to decide what to do with your money, to decide what is good for you or bad. If you buy pieces of paper it is okay. unless you are tricked, that shouldn't be happening.
Apple makes money on app store, make money from paid apps (i think 30% but don't quote me) yet there are free stuff. what does that make your argument about beth wanting closed system cause that will make them more monies?

deano2099
13-02-2012, 02:27 AM
My UT2k4 directory was 15gb when I finally uninstalled the game. That's a lot of people willing to spend time and effort making mods for no compensation at all.

Not my point. Point was that no-one will spend that time and effort if they can't even release the mod into the wild unless they can get it on the premium scheme. No-one is going to do it for their own benefit. I doubt there's anyone with 15gb of mods they made just for themselves and never released to anyone.


It's a very simple concept: If mods are free, modding is essentially a selling point of the base game. If mods are monetized, then the DLC is where the money comes from. If DLC is where the money comes from, you don't want a free mod scene. If the publisher becomes the gatekeeper for paid, licensed mods, they do not want free mods, because it cuts into their DLC money.

Yep, but you can't have your cake and eat it on this one. If you have a premium mod system that is curated in any way whatsoever, then you need a free scene too. Because no-one will put 100s of hours into making a mod if there's a good chance it won't get on the scheme, unless getting on the scheme is a bonus and if it doesn't happen they get to release it for free like before.

The only other alternative is to have a completely open market, where anyone can upload a mod, in a non-curated fashion, and presumably you set a minimum price to stop people giving them away for free. I don't see such a system happening myself as that would seem less profitable to me as there's no quality control. It leaves mods as a niche-interest item.

I think it's much more likely they'll approach the top 10% of modders and skim the best off the top (much like NWN). In order to do that, there has to be a free scene to skim off from.


There are. There are also a hell of a lot of grabs for cash with limited functionality, and "in-app" purchases for "pieces of paper".
Right, but why do Apple allow free apps on the app store at all then? Why do they allow a free scene when they only take a percentage cut of sales, which is nothing on a free app?

soldant
13-02-2012, 02:41 AM
Right, but why do Apple allow free apps on the app store at all then? Why do they allow a free scene when they only take a percentage cut of sales, which is nothing on a free app?
They charge you a subscription for a developer account. Whether you put a pricetag on the app or not, Apple make their money off of you.

Nalano
13-02-2012, 03:10 AM
They charge you a subscription for a developer account. Whether you put a pricetag on the app or not, Apple make their money off of you.

Capitalism, hoooo!

Lukasz
13-02-2012, 11:17 AM
and to make and use a free mod you have to buy the game.