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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Pandora's Mod Box aka The Deal With It Thread

    Hope remains... That perhaps the fans are right and the haters wrong. Whether it's right or wrong is not for this thread, instead we suppose it simply is the way things are.

    Given paid mods are a thing which games would you pre-order/buy a mod made by a reputable group, maybe payment should follow a specific financial model, being able to try a mod free for a few hours would certainly take the bite out of paying.

    What insurance could be made? How would you police mutual incompatibility?

    This isn't the thread for whinging, it's for solutions.
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  2. #2
    Activated Node Shadow's Avatar
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    A "pay what you want" (including not paying a penny) model seems optimal. People will support worthy mods: there's precedent for that kind of thing.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    I'd love to offer some positive suggestion but right now I can't think of a single game at the moment that I'd buy, let alone preorder, for the promise of mods. Knowing I'd have to pay for them, I mean. It isn't a case of OMG THIS IS MORALLY WRONG, or "You mean I have to pay money???" or "But how do I know it'll work" - more a shifting mix of all three and more. That might change if the arrangement changes, but I'm not sure what it would take to satisfy me. I mean, you can't exactly give someone the opportunity to demand a refund in perpetuity if some future update breaks it and/or the developers quit... can you?

    The announcement there's going to be a pay-what-you-want with the option for zero minimum is a very promising sign, IMO, but I'd still be very wary of the whole thing. I think in one sense it's forced me to reconsider my relationship with mods - I like them, I have no problem acknowledging lots of people put the work into them, but paying to transform Skyrim is stretching things already for me and there are games where I don't think anyone's ever released a single thing I'd consider really worth paying any amount of money for. No mod I have ever seen for any GTA changes the game in what I would consider any kind of meaningful way, for example. Not shelling out for a car skin, or even an entirely new car. Whee! I can pretend I'm Iron Man/the Hulk/Spidey/yadda yadda - who the hell cares? What is it good for apart from half an hour's amusement and a few thousand hits on YouTube, if that?

    I don't mean to be totally negative, mind. I do genuinely think this will sort itself out and I'm quite prepared to admit that maybe mods simply aren't for me, on the whole. For those that are, these all seem like fair suggestions, Helio - a demo, a marquee name behind it, quality control.
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  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Sorry, I was referring to buying/pre ordering mods, not games for mods.

    I'd buy a Necromunda mod for XCOM.
    A Dungeon Keeper 2 coop campaign.
    A story level pack for Deus Ex HR..
    Hmm, working passenger carrying busses for Euro Truck driving simulator.
    A decent realistic taxi driver mod for pretty much any pretty modern driving game.
    A survival horror mod for Euro Truck Simulator.

    That's off the top of my head.
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Eight Rooks's Avatar
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    Eh, if wishes were horses and all that. To be completely cynical I could probably argue there are no story-based mods of any kind, for any game, which I would consider are worth paying money for right now. Possibly not even any substantial mods. (Perfectly serious. Total conversions for strategy games included. I don't think I've ever seen a single entry on ModDB to make me really, really think "Boy, I wish I could slip these guys some money for this".) I'd like to see if paid modding has any effect on that before I start asking for the moon.
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  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    A number of my favourite games were only my favourites because of mods. Just hoping for a golden age :)
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    I don't know about mods I'd pay for, but there were several campaign modules for Neverwinter Nights that were initially released for free and ultimately became part of the diamond package. Those were certainly worth some money, though without looking I have no idea how the creators of those modules were compensated.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    I don't know about mods I'd pay for, but there were several campaign modules for Neverwinter Nights that were initially released for free and ultimately became part of the diamond package. Those were certainly worth some money, though without looking I have no idea how the creators of those modules were compensated.
    That's the model I like for paid mods. Publisher sees promise in something, pays the creator a lump sum for the rights, works with them to finish it and polish it up, then releases it as a paid expansion.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Eh, if wishes were horses and all that. To be completely cynical I could probably argue there are no story-based mods of any kind, for any game, which I would consider are worth paying money for right now. Possibly not even any substantial mods. (Perfectly serious. Total conversions for strategy games included. I don't think I've ever seen a single entry on ModDB to make me really, really think "Boy, I wish I could slip these guys some money for this".) I'd like to see if paid modding has any effect on that before I start asking for the moon.
    Ditto. The effect is in fact the opposite - my tendency will be to avoid any game that benefits strongly from mods due to an unknown and open-ended pricing structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    That's the model I like for paid mods. Publisher sees promise in something, pays the creator a lump sum for the rights, works with them to finish it and polish it up, then releases it as a paid expansion.
    Yeah, that's a nice model. The "polish it up" phase of that is hugely important, too.

  10. #10
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    To be completely cynical I could probably argue there are no story-based mods of any kind, for any game, which I would consider are worth paying money for right now.
    There are a few decent story mods for Gothic that are in size of base game, with full voice acting etc. They would be totally worth ten bucks or maybe even more.
    Last edited by GameCat; 27-04-2015 at 08:11 PM.

  11. #11
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    The mods that I'd be most likely to pay for are also mods that you wouldn't legally be able to charge for due to other license rights.

  12. #12
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    My solution is to not buy mods through Steam at all and hope for a way to get those mods (paid for or not depends on the mod creators and the respective game's developers. I'm not against paying for mods). That is, I don't think Valve deserves a 30% cut when the mod developers receive 25% of the profits on something they created.

    Were the system more to my liking I'd probably treat it as unofficial dlc of sorts. I'd get mods for games I really like after making sure they actually work and has good reviews. No, I'd not pre-order a mod or buy into 'early access' for a mod unless it'd be a mod I really wanted to help fund (like with a Kickstarter).

    As for payment model: I'd like to be able to have a short trial or demo of sorts after which I couldn't access the mod until I paid for it. That way I can make sure it works, and that it's satisfactory. This also would help me determine how much a mod is worth.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Ditto. The effect is in fact the opposite - my tendency will be to avoid any game that benefits strongly from mods due to an unknown and open-ended pricing structure.
    Same here. My buying any future Bethesda game now hinges on waiting to see if it looks like the open modding scene will survive this intact, which probably won't be a terrible thing for me as that'll probably take until a GOTY edition is available at a decent discount.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Given paid mods are a thing which games would you pre-order/buy a mod made by a reputable group, maybe payment should follow a specific financial model, being able to try a mod free for a few hours would certainly take the bite out of paying.

    What insurance could be made? How would you police mutual incompatibility?

    This isn't the thread for whinging, it's for solutions.
    I've been trying to think of a mod for any game I'd be willing to pay for. The only thing that comes to mind is something like the Restored Content Mod for KotOR2 which is a massive improvement across the entire game. I'd be willing to chuck those modders a couple of bucks, but would I be prepared to chuck them a couple of bucks knowing that 70% of it would go directly to the publisher and web host? I think not.

    A total conversion or some other stand-alone chunk of content, which could be enjoyed on its own without relying on other mods? I might pay for that if the base game was mature and stable enough that I needn't worry about incompatibilities through game updates. Again though, the revenue split would need to be reasonable.

    The prospect of incompatibilities and mods being abandoned is a big deal here. The only type of mods where this risk could be minimised are things like items, and that's not something I'd be willing to pay for.

    I don't see any realistic way of ensuring compatibility, at least as long as the store selling the mods isn't very, very carefully curated and even then that wouldn't guarantee incompatibilities with free mods, which may be far more important and mean I wouldn't want to disable them in favour of paid ones.

    I have thoughts on the reasonability of revenue splits, but I don't think I can air them without going against Helio's wishes for this thread so might do so in the other thread.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    I've been trying to think of a mod for any game I'd be willing to pay for. The only thing that comes to mind is something like the Restored Content Mod for KotOR2
    The same for Alpha Protocol?
    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    I have thoughts on the reasonability of revenue splits, but I don't think I can air them without going against Helio's wishes for this thread so might do so in the other thread.
    No, that's cool, just not "this shouldn't be allowed", and "this is terrible" posts.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    The same for Alpha Protocol?
    You're speaking hypothetically, right? A mod that actually fixed Alpha Protocol... yeah that would be awfully tempting.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    The same for Alpha Protocol?
    Possibly, though there is the problem that I'd need to feel confident beforehand that it was worth it. A donation system would be a far more palatable option here, not least because I certainly wouldn't want to reward the original publisher/developer for someone else fixing their shoddy/rushed work.

  17. #17
    Obscure Node pegolius's Avatar
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    Having worked in a mod team for NWN back in the days I can relate to those modders that wish to earn some coins from the hard work/time they invest on their creations. Pay what you want is a fair idea, if the minimum amount is not only just 1$. Also it would need some kind of "try before you by" feature, if that would be possible.

    As a consumer I have to say that I am willing to spend good coins on modding content when it is worth the money. And in the end it is the free choice of each content creator to either ask for money or to give their work away for free. I honestly never understood why people take it for granted that someone who spends 300 hours on a good mod should not be able to ask for some kind of compensation for their work, it would just be fair to pay something for their effort.

    What really irks me is the percentage that Valve seems to take for itself. It is just too much.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baines View Post
    The mods that I'd be most likely to pay for are also mods that you wouldn't legally be able to charge for due to other license rights.
    Wait, does someone hold copyright on boob shapes?
    ;)
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  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    You're speaking hypothetically, right? A mod that actually fixed Alpha Protocol... yeah that would be awfully tempting.
    They could side-step this, just call it Alpha Protocol HD and release it a standalone game. I'd pay full price.
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somini View Post
    They could side-step this, just call it Alpha Protocol HD and release it a standalone game. I'd pay full price.
    Imagine they tried to recover the cut stuff too as seen in part I'm the trailers.
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