Gabe Newell Speaks on The Whole Paid Skyrim Mods Debacle

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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Gabe Newell Speaks on The Whole Paid Skyrim Mods Debacle


Valve's top dog Gabe Newell addresses concerns fans are having over paid Steam mods.

On Friday, Valve announced that it was taken to reddit [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/140575-Valve-Announces-Paid-Skyrim-Mods] to personally address any concerns people have over the system. "On Thursday I was flying back from LA. When I landed, I had 3,500 new messages. Hmmm. Looks like we did something to piss off the Internet," said Newell.

First and foremost, Newell stresses that Valve will not force paid mods if it is clearly not something the community at large wants. "Our goal is to make modding better for the authors and gamers. If something doesn't help with that, it will get dumped. Right now I'm more optimistic that this will be a win for authors and gamers, but we are always going to be data driven," he said.

He went on to say that he believes Valve and the community's moderation would be effective enough in stopping unscrupulous modders from stealing mods and re-uploading them as paid mods, that "censorship" of people complaining about paid mods on the official Steam forums was an error that will be rectified, and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.

Unfortuantely, Newell was unable to, in the words of NexusMods owner [http://www.nexusmods.com/games/?] Robin, "put his foot down" on the "'DRMification; of modding, either by Valve or developers using Steam's tools, and prevent the concept of mods ONLY being allowed to be uploaded to Steam Workshop and no where else, like ModDB, Nexus, etc.?" Newell instead replied that Valve would never force a developer to do anything, as it goes against its core philosophy.

If this kind of thing interests you, you should just go ahead and read the rest of the AMA [https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/33uplp/mods_and_steam/?sort=qa], as Newell discusses quite a few concerns fans have.

Source: Reddit [https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/33uplp/mods_and_steam/?sort=qa]

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Sigmund Av Volsung

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This highlights where the problem lies with Valve. Based on stories of how they conduct business, the decentralised structure where anyone can pitch and idea, work on it and implement it is starting to fall apart at the scale that Steam is at right now.

Consider this: in both of these recent controversies(Hatred being removed from Steam and the paid mods), Newell had to step in to circumvent or undo the decisions made when they got out of hand, meaning that someone else implemented these ideas, ergo, Valve has trouble focusing and controlling itself as a company.

It makes sense: the paid mods seem like a spur of the moment idea that no one veto'd. Only on reflection does Valve, through Newell's leadership understand that it's better to offer an integrated donation system to not completely break the current model of mods(otherwise, you get immense pressure on modders to monetize, which results in users going to external sources to find mods as a reaction, which creates this horrible Catch-22(modders want to get paid->migrate to Steam, players don't want to pay->migrate to Nexus)).

This sort of creative freedom is great when designing games, it truly is(Half Life 2, Portal, Team Fortress 2, etc.) but as a way to manage business? Not so much. It then makes sense why Early Access and Greenlight are still rocky and why their refund policy is crap.

I get the feeling that Valve needs to have a separate branch that is established old-guard style to manage the business side of Steam and let the creative guys do creative stuff that doesn't mess with our wallets.
 

DEAD34345

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FogHornG36 said:
I love steam, but only console children and console presents use the steam mod library.

If you really want to mod Skyrim, go to the Nexus and use their mod manager.
That's true for now, but with Steam offering payment for the mods a lot of future ones will likely only be offered there. What's the point in charging for your mod in one place and offering it for free everywhere else, after all?

OT: Sounds vaguely promising, but only in the sense that it might mean they'll be getting rid of the system in the nearby future. There's not really any kind of middle ground that will appease me other than that. Modding is major aspect of PC gaming, and a really amazing situation where a ton of people just make content for the sake of sharing it with other people for free. It benefits all PC gamers, and its existence is pretty miraculous to begin with. What Valve is doing may kill it for good.
 

shirkbot

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Sigmund Av Volsung said:
I get the feeling that Valve needs to have a separate branch that is established old-guard style to manage the business side of Steam and let the creative guys do creative stuff that doesn't mess with our wallets.
I think you might have just proposed the best solution to a number of Valve's, and by extension PC Gamers', problems. Sadly, until they actually DO something about any of the problems they've created I'll just keep buying from GOG and Humble Bundle whenever possible.

OT: I read some of the AMA, but the answers were often so vague as to be useless. Valve is notoriously bad at explaining anything and this is apparently no different. Newell even admits they know where their problems are, and that they're trying to fix them, but could they at least disable the offending systems in the meantime? If only on the main version of Steam? They can leave it in the Beta, but at least give people a choice man.

At least there's going to be a proper pay-what-you-want system now. Sadly that payment skew is not likely to be fixed any time soon since Bethesda gets to make 45% of every sale while doing no work.
 

fix-the-spade

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Lunncal said:
That's true for now, but with Steam offering payment for the mods a lot of future ones will likely only be offered there. What's the point in charging for your mod in one place and offering it for free everywhere else, after all?
Given the rampant theft, modders moving to distance themselves from the whole thing (or spitting feathers that someone else uploaded their mod onto the store), Valve's extremely poor attitude towards infringement/enforcement and the insultingly low cut of the money being offered (that was hidden by Valve being vague ahead of time) I don't think this is going to last long.

It's only a matter of time before it disappears under a cloud of DMCA claims, both from modders seeing their work ripped off and IP holders seeing 'themed' mods being charged for. Blizzard in particular I'm expecting to bring the hammer down.
 

Denamic

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One of the primary concerns that I have is that once mods is that mods are currently very collaborative. Many mods use aspects of other mods to improve on one another, or are entirely dependent on something. Like SKSE, the Skyrim script extender. Many, many mods use the extended scripting functionalities that it offers, including some that are on sale now. Someone is using work they made available and gets paid for it. It also prevents other people to make mods that synergise with one another when they're behind a paywall.

Another concern is that publishers gets a HEFTY portion of each sale. This will promote them to release buggy games that people will make mods to fix, and they can get paid to make their customers fix their game. Whether this will actually happen doesn't even matter; it's the fact that there's nothing stopping them from doing this that's a problem.

Finally, one of the most retarded things about this has already made itself apparent. Midas magic, a spell mod for Skyrim, has made it so that there's a 4% chance every time you cast a spell introduced by the free version of the mod, you get a popup telling you to buy the mod. We now have popups in our mods. Wonderful.
 

Kungfu_Teddybear

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Well the petition [https://www.change.org/p/valve-remove-the-paid-content-of-the-steam-workshop] is over 100k signatures now, it was at half that when I looked yesterday.

This is a horrible implementation of a theoretically good system. A system like this, if done properly, has the potential to attract the more skilled modders to pursue bigger projects, like, Falskaar sized projects. While I've always thought mods should be free, with the option to donate to the modder if you really want to, I honestly wouldn't have a problem paying for things like that, if they were reasonably priced of course.

But all this is going to do is attract opportunists that don't have the same passion for the game or their projects that a lot of modders do. The sort of people that will try to re-skin a sword and sell it for £5, and I can see the workshop being flooded with this kind of crap quickly.

One of the things that outrages me the most is that the modder only gets 25% of the sale. I've donated some money to a few modders in the past myself, and that's because I was a fan of that modder's projects and I wanted to support them. If I were to buy a mod it would be for the same reason: I want to support the modder. So why would I buy a mod from the workshop when I know that the person that actually did all the work is getting the smallest cut? That's just fucking wrong.

It's easy for Gabe to say he's confident that Valve and the community's moderation would be effective enough in stopping people from stealing mods and re-uploading them as paid mods, but Valve's quality control and moderation is fucking awful, so stuff like that would mostly fall to the community and it's not the community's fucking job.

EDIT: What if you were to buy a mod that didn't work? Sure, they give you a 24 hour refund period, but the refund only goes into your steam wallet. That's bullshit. The Steam Faq basically tells you to contact the modder if there's problems with a mod, so Valve aren't even taking responsibility for that.

There are just as many buggy mods out there as there are ones that work perfectly as intended, and if people are paying for something they're going to be expecting it to work as intended. What if it doesn't and the modder decides he can't be assed fixing it? Sure, Vavle could make them sign an agreement making them obligated to fix a paid mod if it's broken, but what if they can't fix it? These people aren't professionals, they do this as a hobby. Broken mods aren't as much as a problem when they're free.
 

CpT_x_Killsteal

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Steven Bogos said:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
 

Scars Unseen

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FogHornG36 said:
I love steam, but only console children and console presents use the steam mod library.

If you really want to mod Skyrim, go to the Nexus and use their mod manager.
Or better yet - IMO, of course - use Mod Organizer [http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/1334/?]. It supports Nexus integration the same as the site's own mod manager does, but has a lot of desirable features that the latter lacks.
 

Louzerman102

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Mean while on Steam, DMCA take downs are being used because of mod dependencies, the modder cut is still 25 cents on the dollar, and mod curation is a bigger mess than steam Greenlight.
 

endtherapture

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CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Steven Bogos said:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
Wow, Gabe got #rekt.

Honestly though that just sums up the whole debate so succinctly. Valve have seriously fucked up on this one. Of course there's a few people (mainly non modders or console gamers) who agree with the policy and its implementation. I've never seen public opinion turn on Valve so harshly. They've got to realise they really fucked up and hopefully they'll be back pedalling soon on this.
 

CpT_x_Killsteal

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endtherapture said:
CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Steven Bogos said:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
Wow, Gabe got #rekt.

Honestly though that just sums up the whole debate so succinctly. Valve have seriously fucked up on this one. Of course there's a few people (mainly non modders or console gamers) who agree with the policy and its implementation. I've never seen public opinion turn on Valve so harshly. They've got to realise they really fucked up and hopefully they'll be back pedalling soon on this.
I want this to go the way of Microsoft thinking they could get PC to pay for GFWL. Buried in the deepest darkest pit to never be brought up again.
I never thought to ask if the people agreeing with all this were PC players or no, cos it has Zero effect on anyone who doesn't play mainly on PC.
There's already a subreddit dedicated to mod pi- erhm, acquiring paid mods through a different storefront.

People might say the nay-sayers are overreacting, but unless the backlash is extreme it's staying.
 

endtherapture

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CpT_x_Killsteal said:
endtherapture said:
CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Steven Bogos said:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
Wow, Gabe got #rekt.

Honestly though that just sums up the whole debate so succinctly. Valve have seriously fucked up on this one. Of course there's a few people (mainly non modders or console gamers) who agree with the policy and its implementation. I've never seen public opinion turn on Valve so harshly. They've got to realise they really fucked up and hopefully they'll be back pedalling soon on this.
I want this to go the way of Microsoft thinking they could get PC to pay for GFWL. Buried in the deepest darkest pit to never be brought up again.
I never thought to ask if the people agreeing with all this were PC players or no, cos it has Zero effect on anyone who doesn't play mainly on PC.
There's already a subreddit dedicated to mod pi- erhm, acquiring paid mods through a different storefront.

People might say the nay-sayers are overreacting, but unless the backlash is extreme it's staying.
It's got such a backlash because modding has been engrained in PC gaming culture since day 1. When you told a friend to get a PC game, modding was one of the pillars you mentioned to them as so good, along with cheaper games, more games, better graphics etc. Valve is trying to take one of the reasons we game on PC away from us by hiding it behind paywalls.

Additionally it's been something we've had for 10 or 20 years now, and to try and monetise that, when the system has worked fine, and even thrived, for 20 years, its pathetic. It's greedy and anti-consumer and I'm glad people are outraged about it.

It's worse than the move to paid micro-DLCs in my opinion, because at least those micro-DLCs go through professional QA and fund the developers.
 

Steven Bogos

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CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Steven Bogos said:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:


There ya go. It can be a bit hard to find specific things he said because lots of people are just downvoting his replies...
 

shrekfan246

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I have to laugh at the supposed claim that Steam's moderation would be able to curate unscrupulous modifications. Sonny Jim, have you been paying attention to the way your company has been handling things in the past year and a half?

Heaven knows the people who actually are actively working with Steam don't care about curation, and relying on the community has resulted in Greenlight becoming a massive laughing stock that's not even worth glancing at any longer unless you're trying to find something to throw in Jim Sterling's direction.
 

RJ 17

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Ohhh god, I love how you pluck one little string and all hell breaks loose. You wake up one morning and the grass is green, sky is blue, the sun is shining and everyone is enjoying their PC gaming thanks to the pseudo-monopoly Steam has on everything...the next day, however, the grass is blue, sky is green and you realize "Holy shit! I've been teleported to Namek!" You go to check your steam library and see "PAID MODS ARE NOW A THING!" and proceed to run towards the nearest living thing and kill it. :p

Honestly, I'm actually with Total Biscuit on this one: I fully agree with the concept that modders deserve to get paid for all the hard work that they put into making the games we love even more enjoyable in countless ways. This, however, is not the way to go about that. Indeed, adding a tip-jar functionality to the workshop would have been a much better situation. That's the "middle ground" that needs to be reached if Valve is insistent upon doing this. That and in no way should Valve be getting 75% of the cut...that's just insulting. Even then, however, the problem remains that by monetizing mods, you enter Willy Wonka's Wonderful World of Copyright Claims.

I do love the willy-nilly manner in which this was implemented...as if they were in a board meeting and someone said "I know! How about we make them pay for mods!" to which the reply was "DONE! Make it happen!" No forethought put into it, no consideration of the copyright shitstorm that this was most assuredly going to kick-up, no discussion of possible pros and cons or getting the community's input...they just slapped together a make-shift plan and put it into play as though they weren't expecting the world's biggest can of worms to be opened over this.
 

Smooth Operator

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So in short "we might scrap this system because you hate us, but we would really rather not".
To be honest this is far more then any other major site would do but it's really not much of anything, one of these days Gabe will be fed up with reading Reddit and then all this shit will stick permanently.
 

Adultratedhydra

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On this day Statues of Gaben were torn from their plinths, Steam Trading cards were burned in ritualistic pyres.

OT: In other words today Valvedrones learned just how out of touch their lord and master is with gaming.
 

CpT_x_Killsteal

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Steven Bogos said:
CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Steven Bogos said:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:


There ya go. It can be a bit hard to find specific things he said because lots of people are just downvoting his replies...
Ah yes I saw that one.

It's not a donation button if they can set a minimum amount and you can't touch the mod unless you pay up. It's essentially asking for a price and encouraging you to pay more for... no reason really.
 

Bob_McMillan

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I wish they would release some stats on how many people actually bought mods so far. For all we know, people actually don't mind this kind of thing.
 

Lightspeaker

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RJ 17 said:
Honestly, I'm actually with Total Biscuit on this one: I fully agree with the concept that modders deserve to get paid for all the hard work that they put into making the games we love even more enjoyable in countless ways.
Sorry, no, I fundamentally disagree with the word "deserve" here. Because it implies people are entitled to it. Would be it be NICE for modders who put a lot of time and effort into a mod to get paid? Sure, that's what donations are for. But the idea that they're entitled to money because of what they do as a hobby is nonsense.

I've played the clarinet for approaching two decades now. I'm pretty decent at it. Do I "deserve" to get paid a performance fee every time I play because of that? Am I entitled to payment whenever anyone overhears me play? No, because its my hobby, I do it for personal entertainment and to bring joy to people, not because it makes me money. If I want to make money I go get a job. Not everything has to be a job and if I don't enjoy playing anymore I can just stop playing, similarly if people don't want to keep modding anymore there's nothing stopping them from just not modding.

The moment you bring getting paid into the equation (in a non-donation way) you completely change the dynamics of it. You are no longer a hobbyist with no responsibilities, you are a professional running a business. Its not necessarily always a BAD thing to turn your hobby into a job, but it comes with strict expectations and legal requirements. But everyone involved is trying to get around that by saying "its just a mod". Valve and Bethseda are declaiming responsibility for anything at all by saying its up to the community and simultaneously saying that its up to you to talk to the modder to fix things. This is ridiculous.


People comparing this to youtubers and artists are missing the point. Each of those produce products that are then "sold" as-is and are not required to interact with anything else. If you buy a painting you're not going to get home and find its incompatible with your existing paintings and causes them all to turn green. If you watch a poor quality youtube video that's been uploaded its not going to effect other youtube videos you watch. A poor quality mod that is incompatible with certain other mods can absolutely destroy your game and write-off your saves. And there is zero requirement for the author to do anything about it or to help you with it because "hey its just a mod". You're sight-unseen buying something that you don't even know is going to work which is absurd.

To continue the previous analogy if I play for a bunch of people and I'm good on the day they might tip me. If I'm not very good on the day then I get a bit of embarrassment at being bad and my audience is unimpressed. If I charge money in advance and then play badly on the day then I have a bunch of annoyed audience members who paid money for a good performance and didn't get it. A monetary transaction, especially in advance, changes the expectations and is very different to a donation. There's a good reason that typically you don't pay workmen the whole amount in advance. Its because you want to see that they've done a good job before they finish; you don't know how its going to turn out until after they've done the work and you can have a look.

On reflection games are very unusual these days in being one of the few commodities that change after the point of sale but that we buy outright. When you buy a car or a TV or whatever you don't have the manufacturer come around a few months later to have a poke at it and change a few things, but that's effectively what patches are. It was very different back before the internet was a big thing (for PC) and, in terms of consoles, in the PS2 era. Games either worked out of the box or they were bad, broken games. Nowadays we're in this nebulous time of "well its broken NOW but we'll fix it, really!" Which has its advantages and disadvantages, but I'm going off topic a little here.
 

shintakie10

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endtherapture said:
Additionally it's been something we've had for 10 or 20 years now, and to try and monetise that, when the system has worked fine, and even thrived, for 20 years, its pathetic. It's greedy and anti-consumer and I'm glad people are outraged about it.

It's worse than the move to paid micro-DLCs in my opinion, because at least those micro-DLCs go through professional QA and fund the developers.
I'm with TB on this one. The argument that mods have always been free so they should always stay free doesn't fly with me. Its a bad argument because it doesn't allow for actually good options in the future simply because somethin has always been some way.

Modders should be able to be paid for their work. They spend far more hours workin on mods than I do playin the game most of the time. There's a ton of mods that are meh reskins, but there's also tons and tons of mods that outshine anythin that the actual developers created. To simply say they shouldn't get any form of monetary compensation if its offered simply because they've never gotten paid before is outright ridiculous.

That being said, as nearly everyone else has said the system put in place now is bad.
 

RJ 17

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Lightspeaker said:
Sorry, no, I fundamentally disagree with the word "deserve" here. Because it implies people are entitled to it. Would be it be NICE for modders who put a lot of time and effort into a mod to get paid? Sure, that's what donations are for. But the idea that they're entitled to money because of what they do as a hobby is nonsense.
Let me go ahead and stop you right there, because unless you can prove that modders only mod out of the goodness of their heart and not - for instance - because there simply hasn't been any easy - and legal - way for them to get paid for their efforts, your argument is pointless. Whether someone deserves to get paid or not is entirely subjective...as in I personally feel that modders do deserve to get paid. If you think they don't deserve to get paid, well then that's your business.

Beyond that, your comparison is a bit askew. Are you honestly saying that if someone said to you "You've been playing the clarinet for a while and we really enjoy it. Now we're going to start paying you to play the clarinet regardless of if you play well or not" that you would, in turn, take the moral high ground and say "NO! AWAY WITH YOUR MONEY! I REFUSE TO GET PAID FOR DOING WHAT I ENJOY DOING!" If so, then if only for an moment I wish I could experience the enchanted world you live in. Because I imagine the standard response is "You mean you're going to start giving me money for something that I've been doing for free? Yes please."

Greed is contagious, my friend, and Steam's new policy fosters that notion. That's why I disagree with the policy in principal...it's a messed up way to implement this. The better way to implement it would be - as I mentioned - a donation/tip system. It would be the equivalent of you deciding to go out to a street corner and play your clarinet with an up-turned hat in front of you for tips. You're doing what you love regardless of whether or not you're getting paid, but if some people happen to think you "deserve" (by their opinion) to get paid for your performance, well there's nothing wrong with getting some money as a sign of their appreciation for your work.
 

AstaresPanda

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part of the reason mods are so popular is due to them being free so any flaws or short comings is forgiven as its free such in the pc gaming community. Mods if popular enough would get money for them CS or use their skills and team making the mods into somthing more Black Mesa. Does not need to be a dam price tag on everything. You use those mod skills to start a career. its abit much but it seems fair to me.Also the reason why modders did what they did was due to being a fan or like hackers they have a good poke around the game files and play. It was more about getting your name out there and making a great game that you and freinds etc wud play. The end game was never im going to make a mod and im going to make loads of money, if that were the case then it was more of a building a portfolio as its better for a game studio to see that you are making mods then coming out of uni with a game degree as they are worth shit to game studios. A tip button would be better. If its good then you will get tips, i mean shit if CS back in the day had a tip jar you could donate wot ever you wanted to they would have been minted long ago.
 

black_knight1337

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I really wish he never even made that thread. He pretty much just came in and told us all to get fucked because all he cares about is how much money he can make off of it. All we learned from it was that it's not going anywhere because it's going to make them a fortune, that there isn't going to be a donation system because they can't profit from that and that Gabe is a big old hypocrite because he outright says that Team Fortress, Dota and Counter-Strike would have never been the success that they are today if they didn't start out as free mods.

Steven Bogos said:
There ya go. It can be a bit hard to find specific things he said because lots of people are just downvoting his replies...
That's not a donation system, that's a 'pay what you want' system. If it were a donation system, all of the money would be going to the modder. Sure, there's not a lot of difference for the customer, but there's a massive difference for the modder, or to use the actual numbers, it's around $25,000 worth of difference.
 

XenoScifi

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SOE did a good job with user created content for it's library of games. This was mainly due to a quality control where the created items had to be approved before being allowed to be sold. Also SOE did not just give the creators some in game credit, they actually cut a check. Now, if Valve had a department that handled quality control over modded content (please hold the laughter down a bit) then in theory this could be a win/win/win for the modder, publisher and Valve. But we all know Valves track record with quality control...it's nowhere to be found. This is all just my opinion of course.
 

loa

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If he thinks 25% for modders who only get paid if their mod sells for at least 100$ (which turns into 400$ required revenue to be paid at all due to the 75% reduction) empowers modders and if he thinks introducing a money flow into something that lives off of cross-pollination and community cooperation supports the system, he either didn't think this through at all or is lying.
 

Lightspeaker

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RJ 17 said:
Let me go ahead and stop you right there, because unless you can prove that modders only mod out of the goodness of their heart and not - for instance - because there simply hasn't been any easy - and legal - way for them to get paid for their efforts, your argument is pointless.
Are you serious here? I can prove it, outright, right now, with one sentence: modding has been happening for decades without monetary compensation.

There, done. If people weren't doing it for non-financial reasons then the modding scene wouldn't exist in the first place. Because people wouldn't have been doing it. People mod games for a variety of reasons which include gaining experience, showcasing their work, keeping themselves amused and bringing other people joy. Payoff does not have to be monetary, and to date it has NOT been monetary. Therefore all modding to date has been "out of the goodness of their hearts", as you put it.


Beyond that, your comparison is a bit askew. Are you honestly saying that if someone said to you "You've been playing the clarinet for a while and we really enjoy it. Now we're going to start paying you to play the clarinet regardless of if you play well or not" that you would, in turn, take the moral high ground and say "NO! AWAY WITH YOUR MONEY! I REFUSE TO GET PAID FOR DOING WHAT I ENJOY DOING!" If so, then if only for an moment I wish I could experience the enchanted world you live in. Because I imagine the standard response is "You mean you're going to start giving me money for something that I've been doing for free? Yes please."
Wrong, your comparison is the faulty one. Valve is not offering modders money here, nor are they offering them a job, they're basically offering a publishing deal without a contract or any responsibility on their side. If someone came up to me outright offering me money I'd say sure. If someone heard me and asked to hire me then I'd say sure. If someone came up to me offering to advertise and the rest is up to me I'd tell them to bugger off; because that puts the onus on me to be the business person in the arrangement.


It would be the equivalent of you deciding to go out to a street corner and play your clarinet with an up-turned hat in front of you for tips. You're doing what you love regardless of whether or not you're getting paid, but if some people happen to think you "deserve" (by their opinion) to get paid for your performance, well there's nothing wrong with getting some money as a sign of their appreciation for your work.
I literally said more or less those exact words in my post so I don't know why you're bringing that up. "Deserve money" implies entitlement to monetary compensation. "Be entitled to" is a synonym for deserve. Its not the same thing as a donation.
 

Elfgore

Your friendly local nihilist
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For the most part, these new mods that people are charging for are total shite and don't deserve to ask for money. One is just an over-powered, enchanted Daedric sword that you have to developer code into the game yourself. Another is just a poorly made house in the ground. We also have one that simply re-codes an AI with pre-made script. People think it is okay to charge for these. Once all the joke mods are cleared out and this really starts trucking, I foresee this trend continuing. The mods that actually deserve to be given money or whatever for, won't be the ones asking for it. It will be those people who half-ass a mod and then ask for money.

This whole situation doesn't seem to benefit the modders, seeing as how little they actually get. This just looks like Bethesda is trying to turn modding into some sort of lite-DLC they can profit from.
 

ShakerSilver

Professional Procrastinator
Nov 13, 2009
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Steven Bogos said:
First and foremost, Newell stresses that Valve will not force paid mods if it is clearly not something the community at large wants. "Our goal is to make modding better for the authors and gamers. If something doesn't help with that, it will get dumped. Right now I'm more optimistic that this will be a win for authors and gamers, but we are always going to be data driven," he said.
"We understand your frustration, but we like money so we're gonna keep doing this."
He went on to say that he believes Valve and the community's moderation would be effective enough in stopping unscrupulous modders from stealing mods and re-uploading them as paid mods,
I have a hard time believing that their current moderation which is absolutely terrible at moderating Greenlight will be able to crackdown on this. Also, leaving it up to the "community" to do moderation makes them seem lazy as hell.
that "censorship" of people complaining about paid mods on the official Steam forums was an error that will be rectified
"My b"
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
[HEADING=2]Not exactly true.[/HEADING]He was saying that the mod authors can set the minimum to $0 for their pay-as-you-like mod. Mods can still have a minimum price above $0 or just have a set price.

So he basically said a whole lot of nothing on the matter. Thanks Gabe.
 

RJ 17

The Sound of Silence
Nov 27, 2011
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Lightspeaker said:
Are you serious here? I can prove it, outright, right now, with one sentence: modding has been happening for decades without monetary compensation.
You're leaving out the bit about "they couldn't due to legal reasons." Modding already exists in a grey area as it is. I'd imagine if the legality of the matter was black and white favoring the notion of modders getting paid, then modders would have been getting paid decades ago. Now Valve has turned a blind eye to that saying essentially "Who gives a shit? Come on and get paid!"

If your view holds water, then Skyrim's paid-mod workshop would be populated entirely by scams or mods that had been ripped from Nexus and posted on the workshop by someone that's not the author. To my knowledge: this isn't the case as actual modders have moved their mods to the workshop in hopes of getting paid, so clearly there are modders out there who would be more than happy to get paid for their efforts.

Wrong, your comparison is the faulty one. Valve is not offering modders money here, nor are they offering them a job, they're basically offering a publishing deal without a contract or any responsibility on their side. If someone came up to me outright offering me money I'd say sure. If someone heard me and asked to hire me then I'd say sure. If someone came up to me offering to advertise and the rest is up to me I'd tell them to bugger off; because that puts the onus on me to be the business person in the arrangement.
Nope, they're holding a sign saying "Post your mods here and you will get paid for them." That's all they're doing. They're not advertising your mod. They're not promoting your mod. They're saying "come here to get money"...it's as simple as that. If you take that bait, you're one of the following:

A: A modder who would like to get paid for your efforts.
B: A person who has stolen a mod from somewhere like Nexus to try and get paid for someone else's work.

If the former (which this conversation is dealing with): you're already making quality mods as-is, so absolutely nothing changes about your arrangement other than the fact that you're now getting paid.


I literally said more or less those exact words in my post so I don't know why you're bringing that up. "Deserve money" implies entitlement to monetary compensation. "Be entitled to" is a synonym for deserve. Its not the same thing as a donation.
And as I've said twice now: whether someone "deserves" to get paid is subjective. Once more I'll say it: I personally believe good modders should be paid for their efforts. As such, I would be someone to donate to a tip jar. I'd toss a couple dollars into your hat for your street-corner clarinet recital. Does that mean the person behind me will feel you deserve a tip? No. Because, once again...say it with me: "who decides whether something deserves something else is a subjective notion"

In other words: you can argue semantics and definitions as much as you want...that won't change the fact that I feel if someone pours countless hours into making a quality something, then they deserve compensation for their efforts, especially if I intend to use that quality something on a daily basis. As I previously said: if you disagree with that notion, then that's your business.
 

Canadamus Prime

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Jun 17, 2009
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He had to realize that introducing a payment system to something that was previously 100% free is going to piss people off.
 

VoidWanderer

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Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't there more to this. Isn't this giving modders the option of charging for their hard work in changing the game? And isn't it your choice in buying these mods?

And before you go on about the amount the modders get, You might want to research how much money developers actually get, once they BREAK EVEN.

I think this could be a good idea, as it would encourage people with ideas for mods to come out of the woodwork, and maybe collaborate on projects, or come up with new ways to play the game.
 

endtherapture

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shintakie10 said:
endtherapture said:
Additionally it's been something we've had for 10 or 20 years now, and to try and monetise that, when the system has worked fine, and even thrived, for 20 years, its pathetic. It's greedy and anti-consumer and I'm glad people are outraged about it.

It's worse than the move to paid micro-DLCs in my opinion, because at least those micro-DLCs go through professional QA and fund the developers.
I'm with TB on this one. The argument that mods have always been free so they should always stay free doesn't fly with me. Its a bad argument because it doesn't allow for actually good options in the future simply because somethin has always been some way.

Modders should be able to be paid for their work. They spend far more hours workin on mods than I do playin the game most of the time. There's a ton of mods that are meh reskins, but there's also tons and tons of mods that outshine anythin that the actual developers created. To simply say they shouldn't get any form of monetary compensation if its offered simply because they've never gotten paid before is outright ridiculous.

That being said, as nearly everyone else has said the system put in place now is bad.
I disagree because modders haven't been modding as a job, or a duty. They've been modding as a hobby and something they do primarily to fun, not as a service for other people. Turning a simple mod into a product throws up a whole load of issues regarding consumer rights, and for a lot of people it will turn a fun hobby into something far more serious a stressful. Fans using mods will now have higher expectations, and modders will be required to deliver a level of customer service to their customers. It destroys the fun dynamic and as you can see is immediately causing problems just due to the outrage. 3 days ago modders weren't some oppressed underclass who did a thankless and payless job and died alone in starvation. Extra money for them is a benefit of course, but it is not a necessity.

Then there's the fact that a commodity which has been free for 20 years suddenly as a market value on it. Who decides how expensive a mod is worth? Some of the packs out there cost more than the actual base game of Skyrim. Modding then turns from something universal to something akin to DLC where only the gamers with more disposable income can afford it. That is wrong. Games are expensive enough as it is without adding extra layers of money you have to pay to unlock previously free services.

I believe that whilst modders do us a good service, price tags should not be slapped on mods willy nilly. Contributions should be voluntary in order so that the hobby is still inclusive, and there should be better systems in place for donation, but not crappy tacked on paywalls with no pricing structure or anything.

Mod piracy is now a thing thanks to Valve. How crazy is that? 3 days ago it would have been considered a joke.
 

Josh123914

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Nov 17, 2009
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Can someone explain to me how this is even legal?

I mean I thought mods were only allowed to be done in the first place because the modder is doing it for free, and to sell the work would be to profit off of a studio's work, since the mod will no doubt be built off of the assets of that studio.

With this in mind, I'm surprised there isn't a lawsuit brewing.
 

Shinkicker444

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Bob_McMillan said:
I wish they would release some stats on how many people actually bought mods so far. For all we know, people actually don't mind this kind of thing.
I think Gabe said that they had sold $10,000 worth in that AMA.. which cost them $1 million in (email) resources or something. He was using the figures as a counterpoint to them being greedy. Not the best counterpoint I think.

Let's assume for a second that we are stupidly greedy. So far the paid mods have generated $10K total. That's like 1% of the cost of the incremental email the program has generated for Valve employees (yes, I mean pissing off the Internet costs you a million bucks in just a couple of days). That's not stupidly greedy, that's stupidly stupid.
You need a more robust Valve-is-evil hypothesis.
http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/33uplp/mods_and_steam/cqojx8y

Also, with them altering the PWUW system to include $0 payments (I'm not holding my breath on that one), that won't do anything for the mods that are set to one price.

Lastly, wow, Skyrim has dropped almost 10% in rating on Steam from 97% to 88% (first page when you order games by rating to probably like page 13).

The Workshop is down atm? It just shows a black screen for me.

edit: added quote.
 

Donnicton

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Josh123914 said:
Can someone explain to me how this is even legal?

I mean I thought mods were only allowed to be done in the first place because the modder is doing it for free, and to sell the work would be to profit off of a studio's work, since the mod will no doubt be built off of the assets of that studio.

With this in mind, I'm surprised there isn't a lawsuit brewing.
It's done with the publisher/developer's(see: Bethesda) approval, and (in this case) Bethesda has full control over how much money they get to pocket out of the modder's revenue before the modder even sees a dime. (see: Supplemental Workshop Terms [http://i.imgur.com/VdHg4dG.png])

If anything, since Bethesda is well known as being a pretty litigious company(see: scrolls, fortress fallout, morroblivion), we'll probably start to see the free mod sites start getting C&D'd over the paid mods.
 

BadNewDingus

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Gabe seems to be out of touch with the community. He has dreams of freedom in the PC gaming world, but it's turning more and more into an endless amount of paywalls and shitty content(Greenlight). It reminds me of that episode of Always Sunny where they wanted to have Mardi Gras everyday, but just turned into abuse and unspeakable actions of others. No one wants to be in a bar during Mardi Gras where it's all men. Just like no one(well most) wants to be in a community where everything is pay to play.
 

NoPants2win

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Josh123914 said:
Can someone explain to me how this is even legal?

I mean I thought mods were only allowed to be done in the first place because the modder is doing it for free, and to sell the work would be to profit off of a studio's work, since the mod will no doubt be built off of the assets of that studio.

With this in mind, I'm surprised there isn't a lawsuit brewing.
It's being done with permission from the publisher. I suspect the reason the modder's cut is so small is because the publisher is getting most of the money.
 

weirdee

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Apr 11, 2011
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Basically, given the state of the rest of the industry, this is probably a step too far into territory that has been all but eroded from years of taking and taking.
 

crepesack

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Given that all of valve's biggest games have been born from modding, my theory is that this is Gabe's strategy for generating a new IP. By establishing a framework with Bethseda for profiting from modded content and also introducing a method for giving modders financial reward, Valve sets themselves up for the potential generation of another CS or DOTA or TF. Especially considering that Valve hasn't gotten a new IP in a number of years, Valve is probably getting desperate and has implemented this strategy.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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I think there's a lot more "entitlement" being shown by gamers here than by Valve. There is no "paywall"; you do not have to pay a fee to Valve just to mod your game. The choice is being made by mod creators to charge for their work, and if you do not like this, then simply do not buy the mod. Most of the arguments I'm seeing here against the idea can be boiled down to "no, I want it all for free, because that's how it's always been"- and then they're criticizing Valve for letting the modmakers choose to charge, rather than the modmakers for charging.

Here, I'll address one in particular:

Elfgore said:
For the most part, these new mods that people are charging for are total shite and don't deserve to ask for money.
There's an easy cure for this: Don't give them money. In a free marketplace, anyone can ask for money for anything; I can crap in half a dozen sandwich bags and demand a thousand dollars for each. And if I can find a buyer, more power to me! But you don't have the right to come tell me "you can't charge money for that".

Now, all that being said:

Denamic said:
One of the primary concerns that I have is that once mods is that mods are currently very collaborative. Many mods use aspects of other mods to improve on one another, or are entirely dependent on something. Like SKSE, the Skyrim script extender. Many, many mods use the extended scripting functionalities that it offers, including some that are on sale now. Someone is using work they made available and gets paid for it. It also prevents other people to make mods that synergise with one another when they're behind a paywall.
Stuff like this is a very legitimate concern. The Mod ecosphere for games like Skyrim is a highly-interdependent thing; I myself made a mod for Doom 3 that has been used in whole or in part in a number of other mods, as I gave express permission for such. If this had been implemented for Doom 3 and I'd decided to charge for my work, how would those other mods be affected?

There's a number of problems with this system, but we as gamers need to focus on those problems, and not adopt this attitude of "you can't ask us to pay for that, it's supposed to be free!".
 

Lucane

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Don't you all see? This is how we get Half Life 3 as a mod someone makes for Episode 2!

Seriously now, yeah the payment ratio is terrible and the notion mentioned that a game developer would intentionally make an incomplete or buggy game that's moderately above bad or decent so someone will mod it for them and then get a percentage of the money when someone else fixes it is appalling(Of course that's only if the modder puts a price on it but that's a double edge sword fix it for free the GD don't make money but neither do you/they.)

Best way forward if this isn't going away(Not that I'm saying it should be removed or not.) is any fixes to stabilize the game might want to be free as a base line to future mods to work from in order to sprout from the same well to have mods that won't clash with each other as easily or become flawed. Of course that means some work will have to go unpaid or cheaply if other mods would need a spring board to start from.
 

Lucane

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Josh123914 said:
Can someone explain to me how this is even legal?

I mean I thought mods were only allowed to be done in the first place because the modder is doing it for free, and to sell the work would be to profit off of a studio's work, since the mod will no doubt be built off of the assets of that studio.

With this in mind, I'm surprised there isn't a lawsuit brewing.
The Money earned from the Mods is split 3 ways (Unevenly) between the Modder who posts it, Steam and the Game Developer so Steam must of worked out a deal prior to permitting these games to have Paid mods sell-able.
 

SadisticFire

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VoidWanderer said:
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't there more to this. Isn't this giving modders the option of charging for their hard work in changing the game? And isn't it your choice in buying these mods?
Yes, it is 'my choice' but it's not very hard to predict human behavior once hard cash starts getting involved, or what Valve was planning on doing. A Fallout 4 announcement is just around the corner at E3(Most likely). They were testing the waters to see how far they can get away with charging for mods. I for one am expecting if this trend continues we may see Mod-DRM. Where it means you cannnot download mods from other sources, only steam workshop. So see ya, Nexus!

Now the human behavior part. We're already starting to see mods change/add licenses that makes them less friendly to modders in a previously collaborative environment. For instance, FNIS is now preventing anyone from using it to make any sort of money what so ever. Sounds fair, yeah. But that means any mod that wants to add new animations have to start from the ground work, they can't use previously established structures, knowledge, scripts, or nothing in that tent. We were (un)blessed that SKSE said it's free use, but other scriptors/modders won't be. This turns a "Let's work together and make Skyrim an awesome game!" into, "Fuck you, you're competition and i want my [meager] amount of money, so I'm not sharing my tricks with you." This happened simply because you added money into the equation.
And before you go on about the amount the modders get, You might want to research how much money developers actually get, once they BREAK EVEN.
They already got our money though. When we bought the game. That's why we infact, bought the game, atleast a lot of us did. We bought it so we have something to mod, a base for it. That's the reason why we gave Besthda and Steam the money they have now. They don't deserve to double dip on content that makes a lacklustre game into a great one. They didn't do that work. Especially since a lot of mods are bug fixes. "Hey, thanks for fixing our horrible horrible horrible UI, can you sell that for us and give us 45% of that money. Oh and our buddy Valve, too. Give them 30%" That just isn't cool. It promotes lazy developers and publishers. We don't want that to happen, ever.
I think this could be a good idea, as it would encourage people with ideas for mods to come out of the woodwork, and maybe collaborate on projects, or come up with new ways to play the game.
Except they were doing that anyways. What this encourages actually, is 13 year old Timmy who wants money for trading cards, and lonewolf Ted, who made be a professional who can make a pretty good, but is no where equal to four amentuar friends working together to make something spectacular, except, we don't know if lonewolf Ted exists at all. We do know that the friends exist, because Falskaar exists.
 

Laughing Man

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I read some of the AMA, but the answers were often so vague as to be useless. Valve is notoriously bad at explaining anything and this is apparently no different
Valve is often touted as the dream company to work for, a company with no real manger structure where workers do as they see fit and my fucking god did this show here.

Gabe Newell didn't come across as the leader of a company the CEO of a multi million dollar organisation he came across as the part time sales assistant being challenged for answers by a difficult customer and the whole thing looked like it was one step away from him going to look for a manager to come and speak to the difficult customer. It was tragic.

You can say what you want about EA and Ubisoft but at least when their guys speak it is usually to the point, deals with the issues (be it positive or negative) and it at least looks like someone made some decisions on what is being done, Valve just seems to be making it up as it goes along... almost like a company that has no structure, no leadership organisation and where workers can do what they want.... oh wait a minute!
 

Elfgore

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The Rogue Wolf said:
Here, I'll address one in particular:

Elfgore said:
For the most part, these new mods that people are charging for are total shite and don't deserve to ask for money.
There's an easy cure for this: Don't give them money. In a free marketplace, anyone can ask for money for anything; I can crap in half a dozen sandwich bags and demand a thousand dollars for each. And if I can find a buyer, more power to me! But you don't have the right to come tell me "you can't charge money for that"..
Everyone knows this, but here is the thing. Valve is letting them sell it, they're profiting off it. It looks really fucking bad on their end. Like you know, they don't care about quality control or something. Though, they do appear to actually be giving a shit for once, as mods seem to have to pass a review for being able to purchase them. Finishing up, A consumer is at fault for buying something that is noticeably shitty, but a business is responsible to make sure that shit doesn't get through.
 

Steven Bogos

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RJ 17 said:
Honestly, I'm actually with Total Biscuit on this one: I fully agree with the concept that modders deserve to get paid for all the hard work that they put into making the games we love even more enjoyable in countless ways. This, however, is not the way to go about that. Indeed, adding a tip-jar functionality to the workshop would have been a much better situation. That's the "middle ground" that needs to be reached if Valve is insistent upon doing this. That and in no way should Valve be getting 75% of the cut...that's just insulting. Even then, however, the problem remains that by monetizing mods, you enter Willy Wonka's Wonderful World of Copyright Claims.
Valve isn't getting 75% of the money. That is split between Valve and Bethesda, and I've seen claims that Beth is getting 45%. Which puts Valve's portion at their standard 30%. So you want to get pissed at someone, get pissed at Beth for demanding that 45% instead of splitting the remaining 70% evenly with the mod maker.
 

SecondPrize

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The whole bit about free mods being able to be used by others worries me. Digital copyright exists. You don't get to sell someones stuff just because they don't sell it themselves. This can grow to be a giant legal mess for Valve.
 

Braedan

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Software Lifecycle


EDIT: If the picture isn't clear because of all the grey, maintenance is the 67%

As soon as you attach a price tag to anything, it no longer exists as a hobby project, and becomes a product. The vast majority of mods skip the requirements, half ass the design, jump to programming (or development if you want to call it that), ignore integration, and then abandon maintenance after two months.

If you don't think you can handle producing software, and mods are just tool assisted software, then don't charge a price. Lets call this what it really is, Community DLC. Mods will always be free, anything with an explicit price tag is Community DLC. Just be prepared to support your DLC after you create it if you want money for it.

On a side note, I think that Valve giving the option of a donation to workshop pages would be a fantastic idea.
 

Braedan

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ravenshrike said:
RJ 17 said:
Honestly, I'm actually with Total Biscuit on this one: I fully agree with the concept that modders deserve to get paid for all the hard work that they put into making the games we love even more enjoyable in countless ways. This, however, is not the way to go about that. Indeed, adding a tip-jar functionality to the workshop would have been a much better situation. That's the "middle ground" that needs to be reached if Valve is insistent upon doing this. That and in no way should Valve be getting 75% of the cut...that's just insulting. Even then, however, the problem remains that by monetizing mods, you enter Willy Wonka's Wonderful World of Copyright Claims.
Valve isn't getting 75% of the money. That is split between Valve and Bethesda, and I've seen claims that Beth is getting 45%. Which puts Valve's portion at their standard 30%. So you want to get pissed at someone, get pissed at Beth for demanding that 45% instead of splitting the remaining 70% evenly with the mod maker.
Regardless of who takes what portion of the price, Valve set up a system when they take 75% of the total. Maybe you want to blame Bethesda, but that does not let Valve of the hook for fleecing their clients, which is what modders become when they sell products through Steam.
 

runic knight

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Oh boy, lets change something that has been done out of non-monetary gain reason for years and working wonderfully and add a pay system to it that rewards the developer who cause the need for many mods themselves. What could possibly go wrong?

Pay for mods as done here is terrible, hands down.

For the record, I am a modder myself of a few games, I've sank a lot of hours learning and working on mods for a number of games, from Skyrim and Oblivion, to the earlier days of simpler games. I've done work from retextures to full model rendering via 3d programs. I find the idea of charging for mods to be a potentially lethal poison for that entire community.

Do modders deserve money?
Do modders deserve money for their work? No, they actually don't, no one deserves money for work they. That implies that people are inherently entitled to money for any tasks they do upon demand, which has never been the case. Just as artists do not "deserve" money for their art, street musicians do not "deserve" money for playing on the sidewalk and someone picking up garbage in the road does not "deserve" money for helping the community, a modder who previously worked for free to make better art, improve background elements or patch bugs do not deserve money for it after the fact. They are also not workers contracted to perform a job, they are individuals who did the job freely. They certainly don't have to continue to support it or continue to do the task they did for free, but charging for work done free months or years ago...it is sort of underhanded. Imagine if someone painted a mural on a wall that you enjoyed looking at, and then a few months down the line demanded pay for it.

Should they be able to be compensated on a voluntary basis? Damn right they should be, but that isn't the same thing now is it? The first is taking a previously freely done thing and adding a pricetag to it (which is going to cause trouble, no matter how you look at it) and the other is putting out a tip jar for people to reward your efforts after the fact. Like the three analogies above, it doesn't require payment for a previously free thing, but it does offer means to financially reward and encourage it.

Should people be able to make new mods and charge for those? Yes. If they don't start as free, the creators can choose to declare them as a paid-for service instead of a freely given community improving asset. Hell, I would honestly think that using a free mods as advertisement to gain support and audience for the larger mod they intended to sell would be fine (and actually a good way to avoid the deluge of shitty cash-grab mods we are already seeing, if it required a certain community positivity on free mods made in order to submit one for pay-for type). Something designed and released as a product has right to exist. It would not be a "mod" per say, it would be "user-made DLC" or something similar since the added fee is a wrinkle that would separate it from the actual modding community, but the actual act of making work and charging for it at inception should be allowed. But given the expectation of quality of a paid for product, and the possible copywrite issues involved, they should be a far rarer thing, and should be vetted by the developers before release. You know, something to justify that 45% cut Bethesda is taking in the first place.

Why is it so bad?
Why is charging for mods so bad? Well, lets ignore the caveats I made before about treating user-made dlc as a separate, quality controlled entity as mods and going with the full, any mod can switch to a pay-for model as the recent stock of mods on this trial run seemed to showcase as the desired norm. What harm is it?

Well for one it defeats the purpose of mods as an extender of a game's longevity. People go to mods to get more then the vanilla experience. Hell, minecraft itself owes a lot of its longevity to them, and Bethesda games damn-near depend on them for both bug fixes and more content beyond the initial launch. Start charging for mods and suddenly people have to choose between new content that may suck/fail/conflict with other mods, or just a new game. I think professional quality will trump user-made, lack-of-quality-controlled quality every time. Thus there would be fewer people sticking around as long looking for new mods. They will move on to new games, thus the community for mods shrinks and has a short lifespan.

Added to this is the issue that plagues the mobile-app market: Shovelware. Money-hungry cash grabs are notorious, and giving the keys to unscrupulous jackasses to pump the market with trash is always a risk. Considering the complete lack of oversite by valve and developers, and the ease to steal work and sell it as your own... This is going to be a nightmare even worse then the mobile market. A flooded market makes it hard to find quality and as a result, people will stop trying and just move on, the community dies faster.

Finally the realization of a short lifespan of audience interest, and a growing competition to get sales amid a sea of trash will result in concentrated efforts at getting money or advertisement in a hurry. I wouldn't be surprised to see some mods acting like malware in such an environment. "Free" mods that demand some sort of extra price of time or effort or "compatibility" program to function cluttering up the legitimately freely offered mods and killing the perception of free mods with an idea that every mod is not to be trusted virus-ware in disguise. But even without such extreme shifts to desperate money-clutching, you will see many quick bursts of activity with no follow-through. Promises for greatness with only a meager working example to get money that get deserted. Kickstarter's worse habits run wild.

Those factors together will turn the modding community from a stable growing one to a bubble that will burst quickly. A few make out with money, the rest drown in a sea of trashware, legal claims and inflated sales prices. The community who made it great driven out and nothing but a hollowed shell remaining.

And that isn't even going into potential issues such as modder community shrinking because of lack of interest/passion in the game, or the removal of tutorials and aids that the community has shared freely before to teach new modders now not being released because other moddders are looked at as competition instead of fellow community members.

How to make it work?

As I said before, people who put time in a mod should be able to be rewarded. A tipjar is the most obvious start, without the valve and developer pocket picking or at worst with a very small percentage. Actually rewarding the modders first and foremost, not the companies that try to profit off allowing them to exist.

Beyond that, put some sort of restriction on who can sell mods to only those with a established credibility, such as highly successful mods. This prevents an influx of shovelware from greedy Zenga-esc companies, it forces modders to attempt to be credible and punishes them when they don't by cutting off their rights to charge, and it gives the community the final call on if someone is quality enough to tack a pricetag to an entirely untested, possibly copywriter-violating work. It also makes such works a lot less common, which helps improve their chances of being good. We don't want horse-armor from the developer themselves, why the hell would we accept it from modders?
 

snekadid

Lord of the Salt
Mar 29, 2012
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Steven Bogos said:
He went on to say that he believes Valve and the community's moderation would be effective enough in stopping unscrupulous modders from stealing mods and re-uploading them as paid mods
This is COMPLETE, and utter BULLSHIT. The launch promo for this supported taking and selling mods that didn't belong to you as long as they
A.Weren't on steam
and
B.Were free mods
and every time a modder who had his work stolen and thrown on steam with a price tag complains and requests a take down, all they get back is "Then sue us if you want it taken down". If Gabe wasn't involved AT ALL in this debacle, then I want to see some heads rolling for this atrocity.
 

ThunderCavalier

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Honestly, I don't see the whole "paid mods" system working unless Valve is the only one distributing mods, for the sheer fact that I can't imagine there being any mods that are actually worth paying for if there are alternate mods available on another site, free of charge.

I mean, there are already mods that add new quests, revamp entire systems, implement entirely new user interfaces, and completely touch up the graphics of Skyrim, free of charge. If there was anything that I'd actually shell out money for, it'd probably be those features, and those are already free and available outside of Steam.
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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Sigmund Av Volsung said:
This highlights where the problem lies with Valve. Based on stories of how they conduct business, the decentralised structure where anyone can pitch and idea, work on it and implement it is starting to fall apart at the scale that Steam is at right now.

Consider this: in both of these recent controversies(Hatred being removed from Steam and the paid mods), Newell had to step in to circumvent or undo the decisions made when they got out of hand, meaning that someone else implemented these ideas, ergo, Valve has trouble focusing and controlling itself as a company.

It makes sense: the paid mods seem like a spur of the moment idea that no one veto'd. Only on reflection does Valve, through Newell's leadership understand that it's better to offer an integrated donation system to not completely break the current model of mods(otherwise, you get immense pressure on modders to monetize, which results in users going to external sources to find mods as a reaction, which creates this horrible Catch-22(modders want to get paid->migrate to Steam, players don't want to pay->migrate to Nexus)).

This sort of creative freedom is great when designing games, it truly is(Half Life 2, Portal, Team Fortress 2, etc.) but as a way to manage business? Not so much. It then makes sense why Early Access and Greenlight are still rocky and why their refund policy is crap.

I get the feeling that Valve needs to have a separate branch that is established old-guard style to manage the business side of Steam and let the creative guys do creative stuff that doesn't mess with our wallets.
Valve didn't put in a donation system though, Gabe just promised a pay what you want option (as in pay what you want and we still take 75% of that) which was already there to be used by any modder who cared to.

Newell just danced around every critical question in this AMA.

My favorite - and perhaps the most telling - bit of the AMA was Newell saying "Actually, money is how the community steers work". Spot on bro, the TES modding community was having such trouble directing itself until Valve stepped in eh?

I very much agree on your last point. Steam is gotten too big for Valve. What we've been seeing for the last year or so is Valve adding half finished "features" to Steam which are either badly thought out, don't work properly, or both. Then they leave the half finished feature and move on to make another one, which they also don't finish. Perfect examples of this would be early access, Steam streaming, the music player and greenlight. Two of those are laggy things nobody asked for because there are 10 better alternatives to Valves version and two are very badly executed. All four have just been left to rot. And now we have their next badly thought out, half functional addition nobody wanted (not in this form anyway) - paid mods on the Workshop.

Theres no doubt Valves internal structure has done a lot of good, both for the company and for gamers. But at this point, they need someone with authority who can say "No, Steam doesn't need a music player because 3000 others exist" or "Lets work on fixing these bugs which have been there for months now before we add streaming to our service".
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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SecondPrize said:
The whole bit about free mods being able to be used by others worries me. Digital copyright exists. You don't get to sell someones stuff just because they don't sell it themselves. This can grow to be a giant legal mess for Valve.
I doubt it. Who's going to step in and pull Valve, a multimillion dollar business with a team of lawyers, in front of court? I highly doubt some guy who had his mod stolen has enough money and time to do that, and Bethesda is already in on Valves side.
 

Nikolaz72

This place still alive?
Apr 23, 2009
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A big problem here is that many of the better mods which are championed as examples of which mods are worthy of cash..

Are collaboration efforts which use assets created by many other modders, because mods were free and generally were this big shared effort. A startup modder would change a bit on an existing mod and once veteran modders went away they handed their legacy to new modders which was how large mods kept on going and getting updated even after the original creators disappears.

Some of these larger efforts can have greater teams involved which.. Well.. Say one modder has shit from 9 different mods which he got permission to include when you weren't allowed to sell mods.. And then he starts selling it, and it sells really well. And he doesn't share the cash he gets with the 9 other modders.

The other modders can contact steam but Steams FAQ on the matter basically says "ask the guy who put it up for sale nicely and hope he takes it down"

Essentially...

Steam and Valve is fucking over the modding community.
 

Ytmh

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Aug 29, 2009
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I'm AMAZED by the fact I have not yet seen anyone actually look at the most obvious already existing example of paid mods: Simulator mods!

Here:

https://www.simshack.net/

Specifically, flight simulators have had paid mods for a while now and it's just fine. Some of them are very impressive and justify the price, others are junk and don't. Either way, it didn't stop anyone from making free mods, or even people who put out paid mods making only the latest versions buy-only.

Seriously, look at something like this:
https://www.simshack.net/products/airbus-a330-trent-700-hd-pilot-edition-sound-pack-1007

This is a person who went out and recorded a real A330 and is asking 10$ for his effort.

Of course, something like that is easily understandable, where as something like skyrim modding is a mess. It's much more complicated to know if something will work or not and there's no (real) refund policies in place, etc, etc. I'm pretty much against what Valve is trying to do, but in principle it wouldn't really hurt anyone since it already exists (as shown in the example above) and nobody has died from it.
 

Darknacht

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Caramel Frappe said:
Gabe really screwed up, or Valve did at least.
Are people going to stop using Steam? No. Will this impact sales of Skyrim in a noticeable way? No. Will this make Valve more money while encouraging developers to make their games steam exclusive so that they can monetize their modding community? Yes.
So how did Value screw up? They loose nothing and gain even larger piles of money.
 
Jun 11, 2008
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There is 0 protection for modders. There is nothing to stop Bethesda from dropping the paid price down form a 25% cut to 20% and so on. There is also the legality of stuff like SkyUI being made from software that is free as long as you don't charge for the results and no they should/need to pay licensing fees for using this software.

That and people seem to still want to treat these like mods have been treated but cost money. It is not going to work in the vast majority of cases. There is no guarantee that if I pay for something it will work and be maintained and this is essentially turning mods into lite DLC but with no guarantees for future support or that it will work. The little 24 hour refund to steam wallet is really not good enough.

All in all I can't see how this is good as it gives little to no protection to the consumer or the modders. I honestly cannot see anything remotely good about this the way it is currently set up. Especially, if as already a modders needs to use anything along with the given mod tools from the Bethesda.

Bethesda and Valve really fucked this one up as far as I'm concerned. They've set a dangerous precedent I don't want to see continue as well as DLC started fairly benign too and now it has become quite malignant. I don't want to see this to mods what DLC did to expansions.
 

Darknacht

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Caramel Frappe said:
Valve may make a few hundreds off this, but their reputation gets crippled, throwing themselves into a hole. Now they haven't doomed themselves obviously and can easily recover, but even considering this tactic will never be forgotten by people. It's this kind of method that eventually led EA to become what it was, and look at Nintendo. Youtube policies, copyright takedowns and taking all the $ away from uploaders who praised their games. Yeah Nintendo might be making buck, but it's eventually going to wreck their image into oblivion if they keep it up which can really hurt sales in the long run.
I bet Valve will make more than a few hundred off of Skyrim mods, they likely already have, and its likely to spread to other games as well. And there will likely be modders that only let their mod be hosted on Steam and will pull them down from other modding sites, helping to make Steam the only place where you can get some good mods. Also Steam has pissed their customers off before and very few of them ever leave, I doubt this will be any different. I will believe that this is bad for Value when I see people actually refusing to use Steam.
 

runic knight

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Darknacht said:
Caramel Frappe said:
Valve may make a few hundreds off this, but their reputation gets crippled, throwing themselves into a hole. Now they haven't doomed themselves obviously and can easily recover, but even considering this tactic will never be forgotten by people. It's this kind of method that eventually led EA to become what it was, and look at Nintendo. Youtube policies, copyright takedowns and taking all the $ away from uploaders who praised their games. Yeah Nintendo might be making buck, but it's eventually going to wreck their image into oblivion if they keep it up which can really hurt sales in the long run.
I bet Valve will make more than a few hundred off of Skyrim mods, they likely already have, and its likely to spread to other games as well. Also Steam has pissed their customers off before and very few of them ever leave, I doubt this will be any different. I will believe that this is bad for Value when I see people actually refusing to use Steam.
Competitors rise not when the current stock are running well, but when they begin to slip. Steam's success is very heavily influenced by the investment and trust in it from the audience. Too much damage to that will cause people to leave, and there are alternatives already that have arisen out of slip-ups in the past, either created by steam or created by other companies to hinder steam. EA removing new releases from coming onto steam in order to guarantee people have to install their product, for instance. Or the rise of GoG and other alternatives.

Just because steam is winning its race, never assume it can get lazy, especially when what earned it the place it holds starts to be eroded. Valve pushes too hard and people will leave, and with alternatives out there and the main selling point of steam being reputation suddenly going sour, they might get less new people to replace them.

Not that I see this going that way. Gabe seems to be cleaning things up, unbanning people and generally attempting to address issues, even if he doesn't quite get the source of the outrage (the content being money comment for instance). Still, he seems to be doing enough to quell the outrage and that will spare the reputation. Still, between this, the greenlight and a number of growing issues, steam is weaker reputation wise then it has been since the start of its boom. Sharks will start to swim and nip at them more for it.
 

Darknacht

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runic knight said:
Still, between this, the greenlight and a number of growing issues, steam is weaker reputation wise then it has been since the start of its boom. Sharks will start to swim and nip at them more for it.
Value has pissed everyone off before and there has always been competitors but Value is good enough at keeping it's sheep in their pens and that doesn't seem to be changing. In fact this will likely strengthen their hold as some modders will only want to mod for games on Steam so that they can get paid and more developer will produce steam exclusive games so that they can make money from the sale of mods.This will likely encourage more people to give up on other platforms not drive people to other platforms as they will have fewer games and less content available.
I don't like Steam's actions and they drove me away years ago, but it will take a lot more than paid mods to stop most consumers from using steam as their primary, if not only, digital distributer for PC games. And giving them piles of money certainly is not going to scare off content creators.
 

runic knight

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Darknacht said:
runic knight said:
Still, between this, the greenlight and a number of growing issues, steam is weaker reputation wise then it has been since the start of its boom. Sharks will start to swim and nip at them more for it.
Value has pissed everyone off before and there has always been competitors but Value is good enough at keeping it's sheep in their pens and that doesn't seem to be changing. In fact this will likely strengthen their hold as some modders will only want to mod for games on Steam so that they can get paid and more developer will produce steam exclusive games so that they can make money from the sale of mods.This will likely encourage more people to give up on other platforms not drive people to other platforms as they will have fewer games and less content available.
I don't like Steam's actions and they drove me away years ago, but it will take a lot more than paid mods to stop most consumers from using steam as their primary, if not only, digital distributer for PC games. And giving them piles of money certainly is not going to scare off content creators.
On the contrary, they may be shooting themselves in the foot by trying to monetize mods like they have. For one, content creators wont be getting piles of money, they will be getting pennies on the dollar for every charged mod, mods which themselves will all be competing for a limited amount of money people will be willing to invest. And modders already see that, as many have come out opposed to the idea. After all, a modder can gain reputation and recognition with free mods because the audience it there. A pay-for system actually decreases the available audience (it decreases the longevity of a game at initial cost, which decreases the window of opportunity people have to get audience to try their mods, which translates to a smaller audience at any given time in a pay-for system.)

Yes you will get some that chase the money by publishing on steam alone, but if the audience for mods moves to the free sites instead, they wont make what they want, and certainly not enough to make it profitable save the only most extreme or polished cases. Add into that a sudden influx of cash-grab mods from either modders who made them or stolen from other mods, and it becomes a lot of trash floating in those waters, and the whole environment gets ignored by the audience.

Keep in mind the mod audience is not the same as the DLC audience, and there is both a different a reason the mod audience is so larger and a different expectation from them. Mods are forgiven for being buggy, incomplete, incompatible or theft of IP. Products are not. People pay upfront, they will demand far better then most mods can provide, especially at the prices some people ask.

In the end, this could nuke the steam mod community in a quickly bursting bubble that leaves no one but the developers and steam the richer, and the modding community as a whole far poorer and more divided. And the knowledge of alternatives elsewhere, and the drive to seek them out may be the last push people need to jump ship to other platforms. Laziness and familiarity are the main reason people stick with a service, if they have to leave the service to do other things, and actively have a grudge against that service for forcing their hands in the matter, who know.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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I'm confused, why are people against this? Shouldn't people be able to get paid for their work if they want to? Wouldn't that encourage more people to create mods, and allow modders to do it full time allowing for higher quality and more frequent mods?

And it's not like releasing mods for free won't still be possible after this.

I don't get the outrage, like at all.
 

Darknacht

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runic knight said:
We will see. I'd bet this works out fine for them. They are looking to make mods into 3rd party DLC and it will likely work.
Show me the corpse of Steam and I will dance a jig on it, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
 

runic knight

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Olas said:
I'm confused, why are people against this? Shouldn't people be able to get paid for their work if they want to? Wouldn't that encourage more people to create mods, and allow modders to do it full time allowing for higher quality and more frequent mods?

And it's not like releasing mods for free won't still be possible after this.

I don't get the outrage, like at all.
Explain the Mobile Game App market if prior to it becoming what it is now, it was once a totally free service by people who just loved the hobby of making fun or useful apps. Seems as close an explanation to the resistance of turning a free community-driven mutually beneficially hobby into a profit-driven near-completely unregulated product service.

Darknacht said:
We will see. I'd bet this works out fine for them. They are looking to make mods into 3rd party DLC and it will likely work.
Show me the corpse of Steam and I will dance a jig on it, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
I don't wish to see steam die myself, but I see the current form of what they are trying to do as catastrophic to modding and their standing in the PC community. I hope they change things but as you said, I guess we will see.
 

Lilani

Sometimes known as CaitieLou
May 27, 2009
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He looks like a sad Santa in that picture.

Anyway, I think it's an interesting move and I'd like to see what it does. Perhaps modders who put out lots of high-quality content can carve out careers for themselves like the way YouTubers have been able to carve out careers from their videos. I can't help but feel like there were similar grievances which came out when YouTube first came up with the partnership program and allowing users to benefit from the ad revenue generated from their videos. And from what I can tell, this has only improved the quality and quantity of content available on YouTube.

That doesn't mean the same will happen with modding, but nobody can predict the future. Either way I think it's worth a shot.
 

Olas

Hello!
Dec 24, 2011
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runic knight said:
Olas said:
I'm confused, why are people against this? Shouldn't people be able to get paid for their work if they want to? Wouldn't that encourage more people to create mods, and allow modders to do it full time allowing for higher quality and more frequent mods?

And it's not like releasing mods for free won't still be possible after this.

I don't get the outrage, like at all.
Explain the Mobile Game App market if prior to it becoming what it is now, it was once a totally free service by people who just loved the hobby of making fun or useful apps. Seems as close an explanation to the resistance of turning a free community-driven mutually beneficially hobby into a profit-driven near-completely unregulated product service.
I'm not I understand what you're trying to say.

The Mobile Game App market exists largely because people can make money off it. Would you rather it disappear?
 

RicoADF

Welcome back Commander
Jun 2, 2009
3,147
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RJ 17 said:
Let me go ahead and stop you right there, because unless you can prove that modders only mod out of the goodness of their heart and not - for instance - because there simply hasn't been any easy - and legal - way for them to get paid for their efforts, your argument is pointless.
As someone who has modded games for fun since around 2003 I can say that yes I have only modded for fun and would not accept payment for it. Beside the fact it would prevent me from using other IPs (as copyright holders would chase down people being paid for using their IP, being paid would require more responsibility on the product. Legal requirements and even tax would come into it and as others have said it would become a job, not fun. Fuck that, modding is a hobby to be enjoying not a job. If I want to work on games for fun I'd join a developer studio or go indie. Soooo.......*

Donnicton said:
Josh123914 said:
Can someone explain to me how this is even legal?

I mean I thought mods were only allowed to be done in the first place because the modder is doing it for free, and to sell the work would be to profit off of a studio's work, since the mod will no doubt be built off of the assets of that studio.

With this in mind, I'm surprised there isn't a lawsuit brewing.
It's done with the publisher/developer's(see: Bethesda) approval, and (in this case) Bethesda has full control over how much money they get to pocket out of the modder's revenue before the modder even sees a dime. (see: Supplemental Workshop Terms [http://i.imgur.com/VdHg4dG.png])

If anything, since Bethesda is well known as being a pretty litigious company(see: scrolls, fortress fallout, morroblivion), we'll probably start to see the free mod sites start getting C&D'd over the paid mods.
Bethesda can only allow their game to be nodded, they cannot allow a LotR mod (for example) to be sold as they don't own the rights it, something I'm worried will become a big issue in future. Mods like that for the most part have been ignored because their too small and not earning anything meant that chasing them for money was pointless, now there's financial exchanges going on you can bet alot more C&D on total conversions, even free ones, as big companies will cracked down on mods with blind fire shots. This could destroy mods completely all because some people wanted to get paid for their hobby.


Continuing from above * ......... Thanks Valve for destroying my hobby as your going to attract the wrong attention you greedy idiots!
 

runic knight

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Olas said:
runic knight said:
Olas said:
I'm confused, why are people against this? Shouldn't people be able to get paid for their work if they want to? Wouldn't that encourage more people to create mods, and allow modders to do it full time allowing for higher quality and more frequent mods?

And it's not like releasing mods for free won't still be possible after this.

I don't get the outrage, like at all.
Explain the Mobile Game App market if prior to it becoming what it is now, it was once a totally free service by people who just loved the hobby of making fun or useful apps. Seems as close an explanation to the resistance of turning a free community-driven mutually beneficially hobby into a profit-driven near-completely unregulated product service.
I'm not I understand what you're trying to say.

The Mobile Game App market exists largely because people can make money off it. Would you rather it disappear?
No, I am saying the change is trying to turn an established, functional, beneficial and free form of online community into a system like the mobile apps currently have. It is a reaction to taking something not broken and breaking it in the pursuit of money. Considering the quality, respectability and community of the mobile market, to say nothing of the lack of trust in the very nature of that, and the frequently reported abuses, I certainly don't blame people pissed that steam is trying to reduce modding to that.

Modding does not exist because people can make money off it, but you have people looking upon it and trying to force it to make them money. That's sort of the problem.
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
9,354
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Olas said:
runic knight said:
Olas said:
I'm confused, why are people against this? Shouldn't people be able to get paid for their work if they want to? Wouldn't that encourage more people to create mods, and allow modders to do it full time allowing for higher quality and more frequent mods?

And it's not like releasing mods for free won't still be possible after this.

I don't get the outrage, like at all.
Explain the Mobile Game App market if prior to it becoming what it is now, it was once a totally free service by people who just loved the hobby of making fun or useful apps. Seems as close an explanation to the resistance of turning a free community-driven mutually beneficially hobby into a profit-driven near-completely unregulated product service.
I'm not I understand what you're trying to say.

The Mobile Game App market exists largely because people can make money off it. Would you rather it disappear?
The TES mod community has existed for a decade now. Indeed, I'd argue a big part of why the series is still around is modding. A decade without paid mods has brought us countless mods that improve the base game, expand upon it, or even just make enterily new games using the engine (see: Nehrim and Enderal, which will remain free). Any money made during this period was either through donations or ad revenue. Neither was all that much. It never showed any sign of disappearing or dying out.

And all of these mods build upon each other, using assets and the likes. If you go to the Skyrim Nexus, for example, and browse through the top 100 mods, over half of those will have something like "requires SkyUI/SKSE/Skeletonmod1234/Silentvoices/insertrandommodhere" in the description. Imagine a piece of paper with thousands of black dots on it. Those are the modders. Now imagine there are lines between the dots, going from one side to the other, crossing each other. Those are the modders building on each others work. Now throw a $2.99 pricetag on each of those lines. Can you see (part of) the problem yet?

Already, numerous assets developed by modders have been taken by others, built upon, and then sold for real money. One mod on the Steam workshop has already been taken down (by the person who put it on there, not Valve) because the person who created the original asset complained. Valves official stance is "If its a free mod, go ahead and build upon it and sell it, and fuck what the original content creator thinks". Modders have been removing their mods from the Skyrim Nexus because they fear someone will download it and sell it on the workshop with minimal changes. Valves answer is to let the community moderate this while they twiddle their thumbs and rake in the cash. The same community who sent out numerous death threats because of Skyrim mods (lets keep things in perspective here) and made Greenlight such a functional and successful service, that is.

On the subject of cash, did you know Valve and Bethesda take a 75% cut? The modder selling his stuff on the workshop gets 25%. Well, if that 25% at some point adds up to $400 that is. If it doesn't, he gets nothing.

All in all I think you can see why all this is a pretty shitty move by Valve and Bethesda, especially when you consider they already took their cut from mods when the original base game was sold. TES games are known to be buggy and unfinished upon release, and people also rely on free mods to fix that. Personally I wouldn't have spent a cent on Skyrim if I knew mod support was either not there or locked behind a paywall. Theres your cut Bethesda. Theres your cut Valve. I support you and buy your shitty game which you were either too lazy or untalented to finish because I know the community will make something incredible out of it.

I'm all for supporting modders. If Valve had added a donation button to the Workshop I'd be chuffed. As it stands they've thrown a community into chaos because they want to make money where previously there was none while doing little to nothing to earn that money. Yes, I understand Valve and Bethesda exist to make money. I'm not even necessarily opposed to that principle, but that doesn't mean I have to like what they are doing now.

On top of that, I'd be hard pressed to think of a company I would want to do this less. If monotization in mods was going to happen no matter what and I could choose what company I could give control of it, Valve would be pretty far down the list, not because they're are "evil" but because in the last few years they've shown they are incompetent. Steam is simply to big for them. As I've mentioned previously in this thread, they have developed a trend of adding poorly thought out, unfinished features to Steam and then leaving them to rot. Have you ever used the music player? What about Steam streaming, whens the last time you watched one of those? Or the Greenlight and Early Access system, both of which have been a complete catastrophe since their conception with very little positive sides for the consumer? Valve didn't bother fixing either, they left it in a broken state and moved on to the next pointless or broken feature. As it turns out, in this case that was pay to play mods. I wonder what it will be next.
 

EHKOS

Madness to my Methods
Feb 28, 2010
4,815
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So, firstly, what's stopping people from manually installing the mod from the modder's site? Does Steam block that?

Secondly, you're charging money for something that was made without permission, with assets of another company, and integrating that into a product? Isn't that basically why they don't allow music on Youtube and burned DVDs?
 

Olas

Hello!
Dec 24, 2011
3,226
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runic knight said:
Olas said:
runic knight said:
Olas said:
I'm confused, why are people against this? Shouldn't people be able to get paid for their work if they want to? Wouldn't that encourage more people to create mods, and allow modders to do it full time allowing for higher quality and more frequent mods?

And it's not like releasing mods for free won't still be possible after this.

I don't get the outrage, like at all.
Explain the Mobile Game App market if prior to it becoming what it is now, it was once a totally free service by people who just loved the hobby of making fun or useful apps. Seems as close an explanation to the resistance of turning a free community-driven mutually beneficially hobby into a profit-driven near-completely unregulated product service.
I'm not I understand what you're trying to say.

The Mobile Game App market exists largely because people can make money off it. Would you rather it disappear?
No, I am saying the change is trying to turn an established, functional, beneficial and free form of online community into a system like the mobile apps currently have. It is a reaction to taking something not broken and breaking it in the pursuit of money.
I don't see how introducing a monetary option "breaks" the community. If people want to create mods for free I don't see how this would impede them.

People sell movies, yet that doesn't keep people from making youtube videos with high production value freely available.

Ya, sure it's a different product, but you have to convince me that allowing mod creators to charge for mods will somehow dismantle the market, which nobody has yet done. In my experience, allowing producers to make money universally increases both the quantity and quality of the products they supply.

Considering the quality, respectability and community of the mobile market, to say nothing of the lack of trust in the very nature of that, and the frequently reported abuses, I certainly don't blame people pissed that steam is trying to reduce modding to that.
First of all, what specific problems do you have with the mobile market that you think will occur to the MODS market if it allows revenue?

I use the android market and I don't really have any issues with it, but I can't respond properly if I don't know what we're talking about here.

Second, why do you assume the MODS market will resemble the mobile market specifically?

Modding does not exist because people can make money off it,
Obviously, since they can't.

but you have people looking upon it and trying to force it to make them money. That's sort of the problem.
I don't see how Valve is trying to force anyone to do anything. It seems pretty clear that this is an optional service people can try. And frankly, I think the fact that people don't want modders to be able to earn money for the work they put into mods is absurd. Not only does it benefit modders, but it benefits the consumer too because the supply of such goods will inevitably increase.
 

Canadamus Prime

Robot in Disguise
Jun 17, 2009
14,334
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Caramel Frappe said:
canadamus_prime said:
He had to realize that introducing a payment system to something that was previously 100% free is going to piss people off.
You know what's funny? Not only are the people upset, but modders themselves are upset. Take a look:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=431467621&searchtext=protest+sign
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=431426494&searchtext=immersive+paywall
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=432039604&searchtext=Extra+Apple+LITE
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=432028937&searchtext=petition
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=431100423&searchtext=immersive+dirt

That's not even me having to dig for them ... there's a ton of these mods making fun / calling out bullcrap on the paying mods deal.

Gabe really screwed up, or Valve did at least. If they can't see why this is clearly corruption that makes EA turn the other cheek, then something's up. I don't hardly play Skyrim and even my jimmies are rustled quite hard.
That's funny.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that this puts Valve on the same level as EA, but pretty damn close. Then again Valve is the company that brought us Early Access and Greenlight so maybe there are no more companies worth believing in anymore.
 

JET1971

New member
Apr 7, 2011
836
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Lilani said:
He looks like a sad Santa in that picture.

Anyway, I think it's an interesting move and I'd like to see what it does. Perhaps modders who put out lots of high-quality content can carve out careers for themselves like the way YouTubers have been able to carve out careers from their videos. I can't help but feel like there were similar grievances which came out when YouTube first came up with the partnership program and allowing users to benefit from the ad revenue generated from their videos. And from what I can tell, this has only improved the quality and quantity of content available on YouTube.

That doesn't mean the same will happen with modding, but nobody can predict the future. Either way I think it's worth a shot.
I have over a dozen Skyrim mods published and I am against this. There was nothing wrong with the donation system and even better use the Humble Bundle technique of pay what you want from $0.00 to billions. The reason is the competition destroys the mod community. There are tutorials available to do a great many things not explained on the CK's website and competition for money will make those a thing of the past. If a mod author needs help with a script or something he wont get that help if money is involved because he will be competition.

Then you have mod resources like a 300+ building kit set I published so mod authors can make new buildings both inside and out that didn't come with Skyrim or a DLC. Paid modding will make those a thing of the past because there is no way I am going to allow those items to be used in a mod that's for sale and any other resource creator will do the same thing. Valve and Bethesda has not made a resource section where we can license the stuff out either as a share of the profit or a one time and mod fee so we either sell it once and they get to use it for hundreds or even thousands of mods and us that made those resources get shafted.

I have changed my use permission to not include Steam paid mods and now I am forced to check there for them causing me to lose free time just to ensure none of my resources are being used to make a profit without compensation. There are hundreds of other authors who are now forced into this situation of checking to see if a resource was used. That has nothing at all to do with taking a complete mod someone else made and selling it. If I wanted to make money I would've posted them on TurboSquid with a single use license and I do have that option but I am for damn sure not going to let someone make a profit off my many months of work without getting any of it myself.

The Youtube analogy doesn't work, The money from Youtube videos comes from advertising and they get the lions share of the money. I believe its %70 to the author and %30 to Youtube I may be incorrect on the exact numbers but it is the opposite of what Valve and Bethesda are doing. But the reason they can make money doing videos is the videos are free to the people watching. If they had to pay .50 to watch a video Youtube would go bankrupt because nobody would watch them. Then to actually make a living on Youtube you have to constantly put out new videos that can take 30 minutes to make. A high quality mod can take months to make so quality mods cannot be pumped out daily or weekly and keep making money, once it leaves the new files downloads die just like once a video is no longer new on a channel views die off. For mods this will be worse simply because you cannot push out enough to make it worthwhile and you only earn %25 from every sale.

*Edit
To everyone talking about donations. Valve and Bethesda allow mod authors to put a Paypal donation link on the mod pages. When they did that Robin at The Nexus had contacted Bethesda and got approval to allow donations at The Nexus. Once Valve implemented paid mods they then removed all the donation links from all the free mods on the workshop. There was donations already and now only at The Nexus can you have donations.

Think about that dirty underhanded greedy bullshit! You want a donation? Great put your mod up for sale and get %25 of that donation while we take the rest! That is seriously fucked in and of itself.
 

SadisticFire

New member
Oct 1, 2012
338
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RiseOfTheWhiteWolf said:
What about Steam streaming, whens the last time you watched one of those?
Actually I use the streaming feature quite a bit! It's nice if you just wanna watch your friends, it's quick and easy. Occasional issue, but for the most part I am happy it exists, even if it's not used very often.(I felt like I've been ragging on Valve too much that I need to atleast say something nice about them. Easy to criticize, and all that) It's nothing compared to Twitch if you need to branch to lots of audience though. But that's all I needed to say so now I need to fluff my post out with something vaguely ontopic.
Vaguely ontopic:
Gabe really did disappoint me here, I went to the AMA thread and I was disappointed on how many responses he gave. It mostly seemed to be trying to prevent further collateral damage, and the moment I found out he wasn't actually doing anything, I just became more upset. Like, this was a pretty blatant attempt at manipulating the consumer. Wasn't there some quote that Gabe said? Don't try lying to the internet, because they will see through it and unravel and not forget?
Something like that.
 

DrOswald

New member
Apr 22, 2011
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JET1971 said:
Lilani said:
He looks like a sad Santa in that picture.

Anyway, I think it's an interesting move and I'd like to see what it does. Perhaps modders who put out lots of high-quality content can carve out careers for themselves like the way YouTubers have been able to carve out careers from their videos. I can't help but feel like there were similar grievances which came out when YouTube first came up with the partnership program and allowing users to benefit from the ad revenue generated from their videos. And from what I can tell, this has only improved the quality and quantity of content available on YouTube.

That doesn't mean the same will happen with modding, but nobody can predict the future. Either way I think it's worth a shot.
I have over a dozen Skyrim mods published and I am against this. There was nothing wrong with the donation system and even better use the Humble Bundle technique of pay what you want from $0.00 to billions. The reason is the competition destroys the mod community. There are tutorials available to do a great many things not explained on the CK's website and competition for money will make those a thing of the past. If a mod author needs help with a script or something he wont get that help if money is involved because he will be competition.
I am not sure why you think this. Programmers and artists, who are in a defacto state of competition just the modders will be now, are constantly helping each other out. In fact, as the potential for financial gain has increased these sorts of resources and collaborations have only become more common.

Unless modders are just uniquely shitty and unreasonable people. I guess that is a possibility.
 

DrOswald

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Apr 22, 2011
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endtherapture said:
I disagree because modders haven't been modding as a job, or a duty. They've been modding as a hobby and something they do primarily to fun, not as a service for other people. Turning a simple mod into a product throws up a whole load of issues regarding consumer rights, and for a lot of people it will turn a fun hobby into something far more serious a stressful. Fans using mods will now have higher expectations, and modders will be required to deliver a level of customer service to their customers. It destroys the fun dynamic and as you can see is immediately causing problems just due to the outrage. 3 days ago modders weren't some oppressed underclass who did a thankless and payless job and died alone in starvation. Extra money for them is a benefit of course, but it is not a necessity.
It kind of is? I used to be a modder, but then I got good enough to be a professional software developer and I was done modding. Because I could not get meaningful financial compensation for my hard work it was not worth it. You can only work so much, even if it is for something you love. When I started having to support a family modding was no longer viable.

Mods are abandoned constantly because they are unprofitable and their developers can't continue putting hundreds of hours into something for which they will never get a return. Modders exit the scene all the time because they can't afford to continue putting so much effort towards a work of passion.

Until now modding has generally been a work of passion. This is largely because there has been no good way to be financially compensated for your mods. And modding has suffered greatly for it. Look at even the best mods out there, mods like X-Com: Long War and Stalker: Misery. Even these greats bear the marks of being a project the developer can never hope to be compensated for, full of bugs that will never be fixed, slip shot work that prevents the mod ever reaching it's true potential, corners cut all over the place, poorly tested and virtually never optimized. And this is not the mod developers fault - they simply do not have the resources or the time to do it properly.

This system potentially changes this. I know I am extremely interested in what is happening here, for the first time in years it looks like modding might actually be worth it to me again. Hell, if it was a different game, say X-Com, I would probably already be drawing up plans to create a mod of my own and attempt to sell it for supplemental income.

As far as the extra expectations and all that, you do still have the option of not charging for the mod. That is still a thing. If you want to create your fan project for your own enjoyment you can.

And pricing structure and all that will need to be worked out, yes. But it is unrealistic to expect all the problems to be solved on day 1. These are things that need to be discussed and figured out.

This is how games become a mature art form. We figure this sort of shit out.
 

SlumlordThanatos

Lord Inquisitor
Aug 25, 2014
724
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Olas said:
Second, why do you assume the MODS market will resemble the mobile market specifically?
Because they already are.

IIRC, the guy who does MidasMagic is already placing pop-ups in the free version of his mod encouraging people to buy it.

He also set his mod on Nexus to hidden, so you have to go through the Workshop to do it.
 

JET1971

New member
Apr 7, 2011
836
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DrOswald said:
JET1971 said:
Lilani said:
He looks like a sad Santa in that picture.

Anyway, I think it's an interesting move and I'd like to see what it does. Perhaps modders who put out lots of high-quality content can carve out careers for themselves like the way YouTubers have been able to carve out careers from their videos. I can't help but feel like there were similar grievances which came out when YouTube first came up with the partnership program and allowing users to benefit from the ad revenue generated from their videos. And from what I can tell, this has only improved the quality and quantity of content available on YouTube.

That doesn't mean the same will happen with modding, but nobody can predict the future. Either way I think it's worth a shot.
I have over a dozen Skyrim mods published and I am against this. There was nothing wrong with the donation system and even better use the Humble Bundle technique of pay what you want from $0.00 to billions. The reason is the competition destroys the mod community. There are tutorials available to do a great many things not explained on the CK's website and competition for money will make those a thing of the past. If a mod author needs help with a script or something he wont get that help if money is involved because he will be competition.
I am not sure why you think this. Programmers and artists, who are in a defacto state of competition just the modders will be now, are constantly helping each other out. In fact, as the potential for financial gain has increased these sorts of resources and collaborations have only become more common.

Unless modders are just uniquely shitty and unreasonable people. I guess that is a possibility.
You have never been involved in a mod community I see. Before this whole paid mods fiasco when Robin implemented endorsements at The Nexus assistance, mod resources, and just letting anyone use your mod with just credits were cut in half. That was just endorsements that raised your mods rating if you filter the categories or searches by endorsements. Then came the Hotfiles which is based on endorsements and that further cut cooperation even more. Now there is paid mods, money! that will end cooperation except for those few who do not care if someone else profits from their own work. Effectively ending cooperation.

As for other creative areas they are not in direct competition like mods are. Someone could be programming a game engine all the way to a mobile ap and can draw from the same places for help. same with artists, photoshoping a magazine cover has the same tutorials as making a game texture. We have the CK Wiki which is a very basic beginners guide that's quickly outgrown and it doesn't teach us anything about using Nifskope and the Nifskope page doesn't have much help either. How about Papyrus scripting? you cant go to any old tutorial for another language and learn how to make an NPC get naked when entering water using Papyrus, Sources of that information are fellow mod authors and that info wasn't freely explained in a tutorial until last year even though it was implemented in mods the same month the CK was released!
 

Vigormortis

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canadamus_prime said:
He had to realize that introducing a payment system to something that was previously 100% free is going to piss people off.
To be fair:
When does introducing something new to the internet - something different - not piss off scores of people?
 

Olas

Hello!
Dec 24, 2011
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RiseOfTheWhiteWolf said:
Olas said:
runic knight said:
Olas said:
I'm confused, why are people against this? Shouldn't people be able to get paid for their work if they want to? Wouldn't that encourage more people to create mods, and allow modders to do it full time allowing for higher quality and more frequent mods?

And it's not like releasing mods for free won't still be possible after this.

I don't get the outrage, like at all.
Explain the Mobile Game App market if prior to it becoming what it is now, it was once a totally free service by people who just loved the hobby of making fun or useful apps. Seems as close an explanation to the resistance of turning a free community-driven mutually beneficially hobby into a profit-driven near-completely unregulated product service.
I'm not I understand what you're trying to say.

The Mobile Game App market exists largely because people can make money off it. Would you rather it disappear?
The TES mod community has existed for a decade now. Indeed, I'd argue a big part of why the series is still around is modding. A decade without paid mods has brought us countless mods that improve the base game, expand upon it, or even just make enterily new games using the engine (see: Nehrim and Enderal, which will remain free). Any money made during this period was either through donations or ad revenue. Neither was all that much. It never showed any sign of disappearing or dying out.
I know, I've used NexusMods plenty over the years, for Elder Scrolls games, Fallout Games, The Witcher, Dark Souls, I'm not unfamiliar with these modding communities.

And I'm not arguing that without the ability to charge money these communities will disappear. But the way I see it, allowing them to charge for their work is both fairer than expecting everything to be free, and will encourage more creators, and allow current creators to devote more time and energy to their creations.

It's win/win.

And all of these mods build upon each other, using assets and the likes. If you go to the Skyrim Nexus, for example, and browse through the top 100 mods, over half of those will have something like "requires SkyUI/SKSE/Skeletonmod1234/Silentvoices/insertrandommodhere" in the description. Imagine a piece of paper with thousands of black dots on it. Those are the modders. Now imagine there are lines between the dots, going from one side to the other, crossing each other. Those are the modders building on each others work. Now throw a $2.99 pricetag on each of those lines. Can you see (part of) the problem yet?
Not really, all PC games have certain requirements, either with software or hardware. If a certain mod requires other mods to operate, they should have to say so somewhere just like games do.

Already, numerous assets developed by modders have been taken by others, built upon, and then sold for real money. One mod on the Steam workshop has already been taken down (by the person who put it on there, not Valve) because the person who created the original asset complained. Valves official stance is "If its a free mod, go ahead and build upon it and sell it, and fuck what the original content creator thinks".
Ya, well usually there's systems in place to prevent people from stealing each others work and trying to profit off it. I don't see how this is even remotely unique to modding. If they're making significant changes to the original then I'd argue they have the right to monetize it, but only with the permission of the asset creator.

Anyway, in this case the original creator wasn't making any money off the mods to begin with, so it's not like they're suffering from this.

Modders have been removing their mods from the Skyrim Nexus because they fear someone will download it and sell it on the workshop with minimal changes.
Why? If you told me I could pay money for something, or get it for free from the original creator, why would I go with the former?

This kinda reminds me of when Trent Reznor gave away one of his albums for free, but iTunes still sold it for $10. All the comments in the reviews basically told people to just download it from the NIN website instead.

Valves answer is to let the community moderate this while they twiddle their thumbs and rake in the cash. The same community who sent out numerous death threats because of Skyrim mods (lets keep things in perspective here) and made Greenlight such a functional and successful service, that is.
So your problem is less with the idea of charging for mods, and more with how Valve operates it's marketplace. I agree with you on this at least. I think Valve has a serious problem with dodging responsibility and regulation, but I consider that a separate issue.

On the subject of cash, did you know Valve and Bethesda take a 75% cut?
Yes I did. Which is crazy, and I think they should reduce it, but the market will ultimately decide what works best.

The modder selling his stuff on the workshop gets 25%. Well, if that 25% at some point adds up to $400 that is. If it doesn't, he gets nothing.
And if he doesn't sell his stuff on the workshop, he gets nothing regardless of how popular it is. But why complain about how little the modder gets when just earlier you said a rich community has been thriving under a model where none of them expect to get paid at all? Now you're complaining that they won't get paid enough?

All in all I think you can see why all this is a pretty shitty move by Valve and Bethesda, especially when you consider they already took their cut from mods when the original base game was sold. TES games are known to be buggy and unfinished upon release, and people also rely on free mods to fix that.
Ya, so basically Bethesda has already been making money off the backs of people who weren't getting paid for their work. So why are you against compensating those people for their work? If Bethesda knew people would need to spend lots of money on mods to fix their terrible games, they'd have to sell their games for less. In the end the net result would be similar to if they had simply hired the modders to fix the game in the first place.

Personally I wouldn't have spent a cent on Skyrim if I knew mod support was either not there or locked behind a paywall. Theres your cut Bethesda. Theres your cut Valve. I support you and buy your shitty game which you were either too lazy or untalented to finish because I know the community will make something incredible out of it.
So you're willing to pay Bethesda, and Valve, but not the community?

I'm all for supporting modders. If Valve had added a donation button to the Workshop I'd be chuffed.
People can already do this with Patreon. Besides donations are unreliable at best. Give people an option to donate and over 95% of them won't. This has been proven time and time again.

As it stands they've thrown a community into chaos because they want to make money where previously there was none while doing little to nothing to earn that money. Yes, I understand Valve and Bethesda exist to make money. I'm not even necessarily opposed to that principle, but that doesn't mean I have to like what they are doing now.
I don't care about Valve or Bethesda making money, I want content creators to be able to make money if their content is considered valuable. Apparently you don't?

On top of that, I'd be hard pressed to think of a company I would want to do this less. If monotization in mods was going to happen no matter what and I could choose what company I could give control of it, Valve would be pretty far down the list, not because they're are "evil" but because in the last few years they've shown they are incompetent.
As far as I'm aware, Valve is the only company who's made an attempt to do this. It's not Valve's fault nobody else has stood up until now.

Steam is simply to big for them. As I've mentioned previously in this thread, they have developed a trend of adding poorly thought out, unfinished features to Steam and then leaving them to rot. Have you ever used the music player?
Yes I have. It's fine. My expectations for a music player is that it plays music.

What about Steam streaming, whens the last time you watched one of those? Or the Greenlight and Early Access system, both of which have been a complete catastrophe since their conception with very little positive sides for the consumer?
I haven't used Steam streaming, and I've only bought one early access game. I don't see how any of this is relevent. I'm arguing that modders should be able to monetize their work, not that Valve should win company of the year.
 

Olas

Hello!
Dec 24, 2011
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SlumlordThanatos said:
Olas said:
Second, why do you assume the MODS market will resemble the mobile market specifically?
Because they already are.

IIRC, the guy who does MidasMagic is already placing pop-ups in the free version of his mod encouraging people to buy it.

He also set his mod on Nexus to hidden, so you have to go through the Workshop to do it.
Okay, good for him.
 

Lt. Rocky

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Jan 4, 2012
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Yes! A donation system would be much better for this whole thing. I'd be happy to take a buck or two either as a commission or a friendly donation rather than establishing a paywall.
 

Kyogissun

Notably Neutral
Jan 12, 2010
520
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CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Steven Bogos said:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
That response alone was worth that AMA coming into existence. It shows exactly how out of touch Gabe is slowly becoming as he becomes more and more 'hands off' and distances from the very fucking community he supposedly used to be part of and claims he helped get off the ground in said AMA.

Fuck the people who play with the Greenlight system.
Fuck Early Access games that never actually finish.
Fuck the bastards abusing the Paid Mods, stealing from others, charging for content requiring other content to work and charging prices that are greater than the sum of the game itself.
Fuck the people who work at Steam who clearly are not in touch with the god damn consumers for the business they run.

I got on board PC Gaming a few years ago to avoid the lockdown bullshit I slowly saw creeping up on the console gaming community because it seemed like a smarter investment. While I know there are other outlets I can use, I'm still incredibly concerned how long it will be before even more restrictions and checks and attempts to profit will end up causing more harm than doing good.

All this furthers the belief that if given the opportunity, major portions of the gaming industry will do whatever they think they can get away with to the consumer.
 

DrOswald

New member
Apr 22, 2011
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JET1971 said:
DrOswald said:
JET1971 said:
Lilani said:
He looks like a sad Santa in that picture.

Anyway, I think it's an interesting move and I'd like to see what it does. Perhaps modders who put out lots of high-quality content can carve out careers for themselves like the way YouTubers have been able to carve out careers from their videos. I can't help but feel like there were similar grievances which came out when YouTube first came up with the partnership program and allowing users to benefit from the ad revenue generated from their videos. And from what I can tell, this has only improved the quality and quantity of content available on YouTube.

That doesn't mean the same will happen with modding, but nobody can predict the future. Either way I think it's worth a shot.
I have over a dozen Skyrim mods published and I am against this. There was nothing wrong with the donation system and even better use the Humble Bundle technique of pay what you want from $0.00 to billions. The reason is the competition destroys the mod community. There are tutorials available to do a great many things not explained on the CK's website and competition for money will make those a thing of the past. If a mod author needs help with a script or something he wont get that help if money is involved because he will be competition.
I am not sure why you think this. Programmers and artists, who are in a defacto state of competition just the modders will be now, are constantly helping each other out. In fact, as the potential for financial gain has increased these sorts of resources and collaborations have only become more common.

Unless modders are just uniquely shitty and unreasonable people. I guess that is a possibility.
You have never been involved in a mod community I see. Before this whole paid mods fiasco when Robin implemented endorsements at The Nexus assistance, mod resources, and just letting anyone use your mod with just credits were cut in half. That was just endorsements that raised your mods rating if you filter the categories or searches by endorsements. Then came the Hotfiles which is based on endorsements and that further cut cooperation even more. Now there is paid mods, money! that will end cooperation except for those few who do not care if someone else profits from their own work. Effectively ending cooperation.

As for other creative areas they are not in direct competition like mods are. Someone could be programming a game engine all the way to a mobile ap and can draw from the same places for help. same with artists, photoshoping a magazine cover has the same tutorials as making a game texture. We have the CK Wiki which is a very basic beginners guide that's quickly outgrown and it doesn't teach us anything about using Nifskope and the Nifskope page doesn't have much help either. How about Papyrus scripting? you cant go to any old tutorial for another language and learn how to make an NPC get naked when entering water using Papyrus, Sources of that information are fellow mod authors and that info wasn't freely explained in a tutorial until last year even though it was implemented in mods the same month the CK was released!
If modders really act like you say, the second profit is a potential the community implodes and no one will work together, then they actually are just a uniquely terrible community. If that really is the case I will be glad when it wipes itself out. It is hard to imagine how the replacement that will spring up could be worse. But I suspect modders are not so cut throat and stupid that they would shoot themselves in the foot like this. Professional creative communities are highly collaborative. Like the adults they are they learn to work together for their mutual advantage despite their defacto state of competition.

And I actually have been in a modding community before. I was a modder several years ago and I moved to actual professional software development when I got good enough. I guess I am more willing to believe that modders are not a bunch of selfish and immature jackasses.
 

runic knight

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Olas said:
I don't see how introducing a monetary option "breaks" the community. If people want to create mods for free I don't see how this would impede them.

People sell movies, yet that doesn't keep people from making youtube videos with high production value freely available.

Ya, sure it's a different product, but you have to convince me that allowing mod creators to charge for mods will somehow dismantle the market, which nobody has yet done. In my experience, allowing producers to make money universally increases both the quantity and quality of the products they supply.
I'll touch on some of the ways this harms the overall community.

first and foremost, it isn't moderated. People can and already have been caught stealing assets and putting them up for cash. This has resulted in people pulling mods down so it doesn't happen to them. That in turn decreases the total mods out there, weakens the community, breeds distrust and kills the very atmosphere that made it a community in the first place.

Beyond that, it encourages the parasites to come visit. Once you make it monetized, you make it exploitable. When coupled with the first point, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

Added to that, the use of paid mods creates incentive to be selfish, hoard knowledge or resources, falsely DMCA other creators and try to game the system via connections. Pretty much exactly the sort of behavior youtube has been infested with. yeah, it doesn't "stop" them, but that is because you look at the general idea of "well, people still do this". The problem is that on individual levels, it has stopped many youtubers who had enough and just quit. And youtube is a very very low-skill entry thing, modding can take a bit of effort and time, and are considerably fewer people out there willing to do it then there are people with a webcam and an opinion. Making the community a pain in the ass to deal with and then getting hands off about moderating it will effectively kill any community that would rise around modding a game with a paid-mod section, even across other sites as people will loot from one site to host on another. And the only ones making money would be steam and developers, not actual content makers.

I could go on, but that seems to cover the basic issues. The chain effects of flooded mod market with garbage, the reduction of game longevity decreasing audience amount(usually increased by mods now having to compete between each other decreasing that effect substantially), and the effects an inevitable market boom and burst would have are also worth going over. Also increased legal scrutiny by companies because money is related (as happened with youtube and companies growing increasingly more DMCA happy), rise of cliques similar to the youtube company-channels like Polaris, and increased conflict between modders and audience as people treat all modders as companies selling products, making the atmosphere more hostile and decreasing the desire to mod for free.

Considering the quality, respectability and community of the mobile market, to say nothing of the lack of trust in the very nature of that, and the frequently reported abuses, I certainly don't blame people pissed that steam is trying to reduce modding to that.
First of all, what specific problems do you have with the mobile market that you think will occur to the MODS market if it allows revenue?

I use the android market and I don't really have any issues with it, but I can't respond properly if I don't know what we're talking about here.

Second, why do you assume the MODS market will resemble the mobile market specifically?
1. Flooding of shoveware, anti-consumer practices, cash-grabs, legal pressure by people making money to attack competition.

2. Because it is as close to an unmoderated market of technical nature as I can think of in terms of profiteering for profiteering sake via flooding of low quality programs, similar to what adding profits to mods will likely become. I suppose I could have also referenced the facebook flashgame era, though most of those moved to app games so sort of the same thing.

In example, Flappybird and the million clones it spawned after the creator wanted it to die.

Modding does not exist because people can make money off it,
Obviously, since they can't.
Also because the motivation for it in the first place was never money based but rather fan/passion based. After all, do you know what the people who wanted to make content for money did instead? They made actual games.

but you have people looking upon it and trying to force it to make them money. That's sort of the problem.
I don't see how Valve is trying to force anyone to do anything. It seems pretty clear that this is an optional service people can try. And frankly, I think the fact that people don't want modders to be able to earn money for the work they put into mods is absurd. Not only does it benefit modders, but it benefits the consumer too because the supply of such goods will inevitably increase.
Please don't misrepresent people. No one does not want modders to go unrewarded, what they have a problem with is this implementation. Add a tipjar function and a system to allow popular and successful modders to submit ideas to the dev and get them ok'd and sold that way, and you'd get none of this backlash. Having modders take previously free mods and tack a pricetag on them and open the floodgates for theft, shovelware or legal shenanigans at the expense of killing the mod community and you will rightfully get reaction.

As for quality of goods improving... it is remarkable how many times I have heard that and yet never seen it. Passion makes quality, not throwing money at something. I can point to an endless sea of failed kickstarters to demonstrate that. No, making it a for-profit thing will do the opposite, it will decrease overall quality. Aside from modders being more distrustful of one another thereby decreasing them helping fix bugs and issues, it creates reason to flood the market with crap, as all it takes is one "FlappyBird" to make someone rich. Yes, you may argue that the 25% someone would get (if they could get up to $400 anyways) might be incentive to try harder, but compare that to the time they would need to put into a mod to make it excel. Thousands of hours into one is not uncommon, and a measly $400 is never going to convince anyone to put that much effort into it if they weren't already. But it will get people to steal other's work or pump out shitty projects in an hour or two and slap a price tag on.

The first cut of those seeking profit is always quality. Quality of worker, quality of product, quality of customer support... When money is the sole goal, and indeed after the community is gutted and reduced to a shallow husk, that is what it will be, quality will be forfeit gladly for a little more. I wonder, will they start to make mods into cookie-clickers where you have to buy new packs every so often? It isn't hard to, but until now there was no good reason to.
 

Sardonac

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This whole issue is very strange. Commenters, here and elsewhere, often seem to conflate the issues particular to Steam's new pay-to-play system with worries about capitalist markets more generally. Taking an above post as an example:

Kyogissun said:
Fuck Early Access games that never actually finish.
In capitalist markets people get what they pay for absent marketplace regulations. Steam's market for early access games isn't tightly regulated because it's an inherently fragile market. Users buy into *unfinished* work, knowing that that's what they're getting into. These game developers know that if they don't finish their project then consumers will be less likely to buy from them in the future. Consumers know that if few people buy the unfinished game then it's likely to ever be completed. None of this is worth getting angry over. Just pay for things that you think are worth the money, and be mindful of the consequences.

Kyogissun said:
Fuck the bastards abusing the Paid Mods, stealing from others, charging for content requiring other content to work and charging prices that are greater than the sum of the game itself.
Agreed - screw people that disregard intellectual property rights! But don't hate Valve for this. Prior to The Change modders weren't paid at all. Now they have the opportunity to be paid. The risk that their work is 'stolen' for money is thus a largely incidental risk, one with almost no opportunity costs. That's not to say this theft isn't a problem, however. It's just to say that it's only a problem if you expect markets to provide only virtuous incentives. But markets don't do this - most markets provide many awful incentives. It's a feature of capitalist markets - not just of Steam's new marketplace.

The good news is that human society has been managing exactly this sort of problem for centuries. There are many tools for solving the problem, including but not limited to: (1) creating barriers for entry into the marketplace, thereby creating higher fixed costs for scammers (2) protections for sellers in the form of an independent enforcement agency (i.e. an empowered police force, like Bethesda admins), (3) consumers can generate a fair trade market, where buyers are alerted to scams and take steps to support legitimate sellers, etc. We're not at all helpless in dealing with this problem.

Kyogissun said:
Fuck the people who work at Steam who clearly are not in touch with the god damn consumers for the business they run.
That employees at Steam did something the community finds controversial does not mean that these employees are out of touch. It may merely be that the community is slow to grasp the value of the new program.

Kyogissun said:
All this furthers the belief that if given the opportunity, major portions of the gaming industry will do whatever they think they can get away with to the consumer.
This is 100% a feature of capitalist market incentives. If you didn't believe this before then you didn't understand the world you're living in.

The quoted response to Gabe's comment is also quite misguided. Capitalist marketplaces use prices as tools to signal information. Prices can be tremendously informative in some circumstances. High prices, for instance, can often indicate higher production costs. Low prices can indicate the opposite, or that the goods are thought to be undesirable. Prices are tremendously sensitive to relevant changes in the marketplace. Low confidence in American foreign policy, for instance, can lead to higher gas prices in the very same day that some event occurs that sellers might think relevant to the perceived value of gas. Gabe's comment is in this same vein. Prices and sales are both signals that indirectly guide changes in the marketplace. If nobody on Steam buys new game XYZ then this sends a signals to developers that there isn't interest in XYZ-like games. This same signal can be sent without this interaction taking place, however. Consumers might have a poll wherein everyone votes on what sort of games they plan to buy. If nobody votes for XYZ then XYZ-like games likely won't be produced. This is what happens in modding communities. Modders usually make a mod that's speculative - to test for a wider interest in the content. If there is wider interest then that mod is taken up and improved upon by modders, thereby improving in quality and finding wider popularity (with popularity increasing its quality over the long term, and its quality increasing its popularity).

But what's missing from the above picture of modders working outside of the capitalist market? A few things. The most important is efficiency: modders are only able to mod if it's financially feasible for them to do so, and this feasibility is controlled by factors irrelevant to their work as modders (e.g. their family situation, career, etc.). So when it becomes infeasible to continue working on their projects many modders abandon them, despite significant interest from the wider community. Adding capital to the marketplace for mods connects people doing work that people enjoy with the means by which they can continue doing that work (i.e. money). It also solves another, more principled problem: modders aren't getting compensated for their work. Currently, modders benefit many companies but aren't paid for this work. Whether this is a problem is debatable, but let's assume it is. Steam's new scheme solves this problem by giving modders a non-negligible amount of money. Hurray!

The question is this: is the added value of the new market worth the costs of the market? That's something we can debate, but only with some background context. It'll certainly cost consumers who want the sorts of content they've enjoyed for free in the past to remain free. But it'll benefit consumers who will have the opportunity to enjoy work that couldn't have been produced without the new system - such as exceptionally time-consuming work, or work over long periods (when it's more likely a modder would have to bail because of life events). These are real costs and real benefits and it's in these sorts of terms that people should be having this conversation.
 

SadisticFire

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Olas said:
And I'm not arguing that without the ability to charge money these communities will disappear. But the way I see it, allowing them to charge for their work is both fairer than expecting everything to be free, and will encourage more creators, and allow current creators to devote more time and energy to their creations.

It's win/win.
Let me argue this point in particular.
It's not a win/win though. It doesn't promote quality. Just as early access or greenlight doesn't. People can get paid just for having their game approved through greenlight, then selling it on that. Do you know how many bad games get through that? So many awful, terrible games that only exist cause 13 year old Timmy wanted to make a cash. That was when the bar was set low. Now the bar has been tossed aside and now anyone can upload a mod into the mod marketplace. We're going to see shovelware, broken, and outright illegally stolen mods flood it. But let's say you're right. It does attract better modders. It's just one caveat -- they're lonewolves. People who work by themselves to get maximum profit.

These people will never make a product as good as some combined effort. Let's say you want to have some new animations. Well, you better know how to animate, rig, and also an intense level of scripting. Why? Because one of the standard resources that you would use, that some one already solved, is blocked off to you. That means you added a huge amount onto your workload, lowering the over all quality, or drastically ramping up production time. And if you're only in it for the money, you're going want to go for the former. Better get rid of those animations, let's just say fuck any mods in that department.

This system is going to turn a cooperative environment into a dog-eat-dog world, where sharing a trick to the general fanbase will be looked down upon because that means you added more competition in an already over-saturated market. We're witnissing so many mods being yanked down in fear that their assets will be stolen. Shovelware isn't healthy for a community. Broken mods aren't healthy for the community. This isn't healthy for the community. It attracts the wrong people, and discourages cooperation. Four average modders will almost always be better than one great modder.
 

Canadamus Prime

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Jun 17, 2009
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Vigormortis said:
canadamus_prime said:
He had to realize that introducing a payment system to something that was previously 100% free is going to piss people off.
To be fair:
When does introducing something new to the internet - something different - not piss off scores of people?
Touche. Still charging money for something that was previously free is definitely going to piss people off.
 

Karadalis

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To the people who say "lets wait and see":


Microtransactions in single player games... day one DLC...

Because the "lets wait and see" aproach has allways worked so great right?

There is only one way this all will go:

DRM for mods. Mandatory Steam workshop usage.

Gabe said it himselfe... they are not going to FORCE publishers to do this... but they sure as hell are not going to prevent it or dont OFFER it.

And you know what that means? No more Warhammer 40k space marine armors, no more lightsabers, no more games of thrones content. There wont be a legal gray area anymore thats tolerated by copyright holders as free advertisement.. there will be NONE of it. Even if you dont charge for it it will still be taken down, because you COULD make money of of it.

This system is the DEATH of modding as a HOBBY... and the birth of a corrupted sickly marsh of shovelmods, distrust and online copyright drama between valve protected thiefs and moneyless modders who as a consequence will stop making their tools and mods available for free.

Chance for better mods my ass.

Please explain to me how this system makes better mods possible? Because modders get money now AFTER they deliver a mod?

Yeah but they need money to make great mods according to this logic.. and they only get paid after delivering such a great mod... so... they are supposed to make these "better" mods in the meantime without earning money? What? How?

they are supposed to do better then before... because theres a pot of "possible" valve money waiting for them at the end of the rainbow now? While at the same time having the same OR LESS resources available to them now then they had before?

THINK PEOPLE!

This is a terrible business model! Any modding team now needs a legal advisor! They need to sign contracts now! How is that good or healthy for the modding community?

Modders will be tied down by contracts to not sell their knowledge to other modding teams, will be prevented from bringing their knowledge they learned while working on project X when they switch to another modding team working on project Y even AFTER project X is finished.

I really wish people would look past the "get paid for work" moral argument and see the ramifications that "being paid" brings to the table...
 

DrOswald

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SadisticFire said:
Olas said:
And I'm not arguing that without the ability to charge money these communities will disappear. But the way I see it, allowing them to charge for their work is both fairer than expecting everything to be free, and will encourage more creators, and allow current creators to devote more time and energy to their creations.

It's win/win.
Let me argue this point in particular.
It's not a win/win though. It doesn't promote quality. Just as early access or greenlight doesn't. People can get paid just for having their game approved through greenlight, then selling it on that. Do you know how many bad games get through that? So many awful, terrible games that only exist cause 13 year old Timmy wanted to make a cash. That was when the bar was set low. Now the bar has been tossed aside and now anyone can upload a mod into the mod marketplace. We're going to see shovelware, broken, and outright illegally stolen mods flood it. But let's say you're right. It does attract better modders. It's just one caveat -- they're lonewolves. People who work by themselves to get maximum profit.

These people will never make a product as good as some combined effort. Let's say you want to have some new animations. Well, you better know how to animate, rig, and also an intense level of scripting. Why? Because one of the standard resources that you would use, that some one already solved, is blocked off to you. That means you added a huge amount onto your workload, lowering the over all quality, or drastically ramping up production time. And if you're only in it for the money, you're going want to go for the former. Better get rid of those animations, let's just say fuck any mods in that department.

This system is going to turn a cooperative environment into a dog-eat-dog world, where sharing a trick to the general fanbase will be looked down upon because that means you added more competition in an already over-saturated market. We're witnissing so many mods being yanked down in fear that their assets will be stolen. Shovelware isn't healthy for a community. Broken mods aren't healthy for the community. This isn't healthy for the community. It attracts the wrong people, and discourages cooperation. Four average modders will almost always be better than one great modder.
Do you know how professional creative communities actually behave? They share solutions all the time. Your claim that "sharing a trick to the general fanbase will be looked down upon because that means you added more competition in an already over-saturated market" is just not how it works. Have you ever heard of stack overflow? W3 schools? There are more free resources to learn how to program, animate, draw, or to do anything and everything else required to make a game than I could ever possibly name. Mostly because there are so many that I cannot possibly know about all of them. All created by professionals for the benefit of the professional community. Despite the defacto state of competition professionals collaborate far better and far more often than amateur communities.

This is because professionals are know the value of a strong community and have worked hard to learn how to interact with a community. You say the possibility of money will kill cooperation, but every creative community of professionals on earth suggests otherwise.

And the idea that quantity of creators beats quality of creators is laughable. One good professional programmer is worth a dozen amateurs. The same is true of animators and artists of all varieties. When you want quality work you need quality creators with the resources to back them up. What we had before was a quantity over quality system. Hundreds and hundreds of mods, and almost all of them trash. You say shovelware is not good for a community, but most mods are lower quality than typical shovelware! A large percentage are just plain broken. And even the great mods suffer for their lack of resources with overly long development times and compromised final products. Even the greatest of mods like Stalker: Lurk are held together by the digital equivalent of duct tape, and it shows. They tend to be unstable, buggy messes when they work at all.

Finally, your lone wolf assumption is also false. People who expect to get paid for their work, professionals, are not lone wolves. They have connections. Professional programmers have dozens of professional programmer friends they have worked with. They have artist friends and friends who went to business school and they know how to work together to bring their respective skills sets to a project. It is what they were trained to do in school. It is literally what they do every day of their lives.

And yes, there will be scammers and we are going to have to deal with people trying to steal content and pass it off as their own. And I am not sure Valve is up to dealing with that (in fact I am sure they are not up to dealing with it) but people have always tried to capitalize on the hard work of others in these ways. We don't stop selling comic books because people make unlicensed spiderman ripoffs.
 

Karadalis

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DrOswald said:
SadisticFire said:
Olas said:
And I'm not arguing that without the ability to charge money these communities will disappear. But the way I see it, allowing them to charge for their work is both fairer than expecting everything to be free, and will encourage more creators, and allow current creators to devote more time and energy to their creations.

It's win/win.
Let me argue this point in particular.
It's not a win/win though. It doesn't promote quality. Just as early access or greenlight doesn't. People can get paid just for having their game approved through greenlight, then selling it on that. Do you know how many bad games get through that? So many awful, terrible games that only exist cause 13 year old Timmy wanted to make a cash. That was when the bar was set low. Now the bar has been tossed aside and now anyone can upload a mod into the mod marketplace. We're going to see shovelware, broken, and outright illegally stolen mods flood it. But let's say you're right. It does attract better modders. It's just one caveat -- they're lonewolves. People who work by themselves to get maximum profit.

These people will never make a product as good as some combined effort. Let's say you want to have some new animations. Well, you better know how to animate, rig, and also an intense level of scripting. Why? Because one of the standard resources that you would use, that some one already solved, is blocked off to you. That means you added a huge amount onto your workload, lowering the over all quality, or drastically ramping up production time. And if you're only in it for the money, you're going want to go for the former. Better get rid of those animations, let's just say fuck any mods in that department.

This system is going to turn a cooperative environment into a dog-eat-dog world, where sharing a trick to the general fanbase will be looked down upon because that means you added more competition in an already over-saturated market. We're witnissing so many mods being yanked down in fear that their assets will be stolen. Shovelware isn't healthy for a community. Broken mods aren't healthy for the community. This isn't healthy for the community. It attracts the wrong people, and discourages cooperation. Four average modders will almost always be better than one great modder.
Do you know how professional creative communities actually behave? They share solutions all the time. Your claim that "sharing a trick to the general fanbase will be looked down upon because that means you added more competition in an already over-saturated market" is just not how it works. Have you ever heard of stack overflow? W3 schools? There are more free resources to learn how to program, animate, draw, or to do anything and everything else required to make a game than I could ever possibly name. Mostly because there are so many that I cannot possibly know about all of them. All created by professionals for the benefit of the professional community. Despite the defacto state of competition professionals collaborate far better and far more often than amateur communities.

This is because professionals are know the value of a strong community and have worked hard to learn how to interact with a community. You say the possibility of money will kill cooperation, but every creative community of professionals on earth suggests otherwise.

And the idea that quantity of creators beats quality of creators is laughable. One good professional programmer is worth a dozen amateurs. The same is true of animators and artists of all varieties. When you want quality work you need quality creators with the resources to back them up. What we had before was a quantity over quality system. Hundreds and hundreds of mods, and almost all of them trash. You say shovelware is not good for a community, but most mods are lower quality than typical shovelware! A large percentage are just plain broken. And even the great mods suffer for their lack of resources with overly long development times and compromised final products. Even the greatest of mods like Stalker: Lurk are held together by the digital equivalent of duct tape, and it shows. They tend to be unstable, buggy messes when they work at all.

Finally, your lone wolf assumption is also false. People who expect to get paid for their work, professionals, are not lone wolves. They have connections. Professional programmers have dozens of professional programmer friends they have worked with. They have artist friends and friends who went to business school and they know how to work together to bring their respective skills sets to a project. It is what they were trained to do in school. It is literally what they do every day of their lives.

And yes, there will be scammers and we are going to have to deal with people trying to steal content and pass it off as their own. And I am not sure Valve is up to dealing with that (in fact I am sure they are not up to dealing with it) but people have always tried to capitalize on the hard work of others in these ways. We don't stop selling comic books because people make unlicensed spiderman ripoffs.
Because you have to pay for that education.

That knowledge doesnt come for free... the people that sell that knowledge have made it their livelyhood to research and sell that knowledge.

A more fitting comparison would be:

Nintendo and Sony exchanging information on how to build consoles

Ubisoft and Activision sharing information on how to use the unreal engine the best

Bioware and Black isle exchanging information about how to improve their games.

Each and every single of these examples isn ot only very unlikely to happen in real live (unless there is a watertight contract) because its economical suicide... but because there are contracts in place that keep people from doing such things.

There is no open sharing of trade secrets... what you are describing does not happen in economy unless there are ulterior motives.. most often to make more money.

Heck you arent even legally allowed to somehow use your "knowledge" that you gained while lets say working at bioware... and take said knowledge to black isle or 2k. Furthermore EVERYTHING you work on.. even in your private time.. aslong as it has to do with programming belongs to the company.

Create a tool that helps you implement features into a game more easaly? That belongs to the company.. youre not allowed to share it with the "community" like you suggest.

The same sort of contracts will pop up when it comes to modding. Not only because its the clever thing to do, but because so you and your product are legally protected.
 

SadisticFire

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DrOswald said:
Branching off of what @Karadalis said(Thank you, by the way, saved me a lot of time trying to compose this), there's another issue. These guys aren't professional, in terms of quality. The best you're going to get is a 'pretty good' specialist. Familiar with Jack of All trades, master of known? You could be the best programmer, but if you don't have anything to actually put it into, models, animations, all you have is a bunch of scripts. Sure you could use premade assets in the game, but eventually you run out creative ability to use them. You *need* a team to do this. A team of four or five ametuers, of different skill areas. Not one specialist programmer. Maybe you can get away with a specialist modeler, or texturer, but you can only go so far with model or texture overhauls.

And I stand by my lonewolf statement. Who wants to split earnings? Especially at the probably applicable audience. These guys aren't exactly professional, one term or another. If they were, they already have a job. Its' called game development. These guys are a bunch of people who started a project, some of which just put open recruitment on some subreddit, and got to work with some stranger. It just doesn't make since to actually try to work with anyone. You end up having to get into legal areas, which cost further money or you risk screwing yourself over.

And yes, we see a bunch of shitty mods. But you know what they cost us? Absolutely nothing. We don't have to risk dropping money on them. But once you add money, not only do you attract more shovelware in the name of profit, SOMEONE has to buy it to try it. SOMEONE has to lose money on it. That's not cool
Like I said. We're already seeing almost all this in action.

Also no caption, I do not speak spanish. You can stop asking me now. Shoot, I even speak and write English pretty poorly, let alone a second language.
 

snave

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FogHornG36 said:
If you really want to mod Skyrim, go to the Nexus and use their mod manager.
This raises a good point. I don't use the Nexus manager because I felt I wasn't interested in enough mods to justify to myself the time spent learning the ropes and setting it up. Conversely, I only run SkyUI because I couldn't get more than one mod running through Steamworks. My preference for a first playthrough was to run SkyUI and graphics mods only (ie: an enhanced vanilla experience).

Has Steamworks been fixed, or is it still unusable for multiple or sizeable mods? Last I checked, it couldn't even host the unofficial patch due to arbitrary restrictions, and good luck working with the piecemeal version, because files would load in an inconsistent order.
 

Strazdas

Robots will replace your job
May 28, 2011
8,407
0
0
Steven Bogos said:
Valve's top dog Gabe Newell addresses concerns fans are having over paid Steam mods.
No, he only puts out some PR speak.

"I don't think these issues are specific to MODs, and they are all worth solving. For example, two areas where people have legitimate beefs against us are support and Greenlight. We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of code. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point. Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."

I'll translate for you,

What he says: "I don't think these issues are specific to MODs, and they are all worth solving."

What it means: "I do not plan to engage with you in conversation so I will placate you by saying that your problem is important"

What he says: "For example, two areas where people have legitimate beefs against us are support and Greenlight."

What it means: "here is a a true statement that you cannot possibly disagree with me on, as to lend credibility and weight to my otherwise empty response"

What he says: "We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of code. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point "

What it means: "We have no plans to address this issue so I will intentionally leave out any specific information and instead substitute another empty fact you cannot disagree with: 'Quick solutions are not sustainable, and sustainable solutions require lots of work. For an unspecified amount of time you will just have to deal with it'"

What he says: "Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."

What it means: "Again I will leave you with a true but empty statement, Solutions to problems must be tailored to fix the problem no matter how big the problem gets"

Now that this is out of the way, let's talk about how this reply was engineered for one purpose: Making you feel like you agree with and can trust GabeN.

What you saw: "Hey guys, i know these are problems, just like greenlight and customer support are problems. But trust me i have big plan to fix everything..Soon!"

What you felt: "Yes Gabe I agree, GreenLight and Customer support need to be fixed! Of course Gabe, long term solutions will require more work than quick bandaids, we agree again! Obviously you are right Gabe, these solutions should fit the problem! We agree 100% I didn't disagree with you at all at any point during that response!"

The reality of the situation is that this reply is a copy/paste Corporate PR template and you have probably even seen it before:

"I don't think these issues are specific to young voters, and they are all worth solving. For example, two areas where people have legitimate issues against us are Immigration and Defense Spending. We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of legislation. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point. Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."

"I don't think these issues are specific to Stem Fields, and they are all worth solving. For example, two areas where people have legitimate issues against us are the gender gap and workplace diversity. We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of history. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point. Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."

"I don't think these issues are specific to Education, and they are all worth solving. For example, two areas where people have legitimate issues against us are Tenure and Tuition Costs. We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of policies. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point. Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."
Source [http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/33uxz0/please_do_not_do_a_180_on_your_opinion_because_of/cqopxts]


Lunncal said:
OT: Sounds vaguely promising, but only in the sense that it might mean they'll be getting rid of the system in the nearby future. There's not really any kind of middle ground that will appease me other than that.
but he saids nothing of the sort. in fact he clearly pushes the "paid mods = good idea" in the AMA. That is, when he even bothere to answer cherrypicked comments.

endtherapture said:
Wow, Gabe got #rekt.
I never thought this day would come but GabeN is being massively downvoted and im not even mad.

black_knight1337 said:
Steven Bogos said:
There ya go. It can be a bit hard to find specific things he said because lots of people are just downvoting his replies...
That's not a donation system, that's a 'pay what you want' system. If it were a donation system, all of the money would be going to the modder. Sure, there's not a lot of difference for the customer, but there's a massive difference for the modder, or to use the actual numbers, it's around $25,000 worth of difference.
there is also a massive legal distance, because if it was legally "donation" then valve or pulisher could not legally touch the money at all. if its a pay what you want they can do whatever the hell they want.

Josh123914 said:
Can someone explain to me how this is even legal?

I mean I thought mods were only allowed to be done in the first place because the modder is doing it for free, and to sell the work would be to profit off of a studio's work, since the mod will no doubt be built off of the assets of that studio.

With this in mind, I'm surprised there isn't a lawsuit brewing.
Mods are fully legal as long as they are making the assets themselves and not taking them from other works (make your own tree texture - fine. take blizzards asset and make it work with skyrim - not fine). Studio did absolutely nothing in this case and does not deserve a single cent from this.

Darknacht said:
Also Steam has pissed their customers off before and very few of them ever leave, I doubt this will be any different. I will believe that this is bad for Value when I see people actually refusing to use Steam.
Steam has never pissed them on such a scale. even people who never used a mod is pissed at this. This is the "burn this shit down" situation going on. Valves reputtation went from one of the best companies to a company that killed modding. People are shouting that EA is better than Valve. EA.

Lilani said:
Anyway, I think it's an interesting move and I'd like to see what it does. Perhaps modders who put out lots of high-quality content can carve out careers for themselves like the way YouTubers have been able to carve out careers from their videos. I can't help but feel like there were similar grievances which came out when YouTube first came up with the partnership program and allowing users to benefit from the ad revenue generated from their videos. And from what I can tell, this has only improved the quality and quantity of content available on YouTube.

That doesn't mean the same will happen with modding, but nobody can predict the future. Either way I think it's worth a shot.
Incomparable. Youtube partnership did not allow users to pay twice for videos they already bought. Nor did watching a video requires you to watch 5 other videos that were suddenly behind a paywall. Nor did you have youtube commenters make 20 parts of a video that only works when added together.

Olas said:
I don't see how introducing a monetary option "breaks" the community.
Thats because you dont udnerstand how modding community works. Its a collaboration. People work together, find adresses together, work on mods together. For somone to suddenly go from free to paid breaks half the mods around and forces them from collaborative hobby into legal nightmare labyrinth. Modding is not the same as regular developement because you dont just buy and engine and create everything from scratch. you cooperate between many people openly and publicly.

Karadalis said:
THINK PEOPLE!
Sorry, thats too hard. much easier to call everyone entitled and tell everyone how terrible modding community is.

snave said:
My preference for a first playthrough was to run SkyUI and graphics mods only (ie: an enhanced vanilla experience).
well i guess you are expected to pay double for Skyrim now that SkyUI costs as much as the game itself and is required for every mod using it, free or paid.
 

black_knight1337

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Strazdas said:
there is also a massive legal distance, because if it was legally "donation" then valve or pulisher could not legally touch the money at all. if its a pay what you want they can do whatever the hell they want.
Exactly. I mentioned that in the other part of that post. His response to everyone asking for it to be a donation system instead, is simply that they can't profit off of it so it's not going to happen.

snave said:
Has Steamworks been fixed, or is it still unusable for multiple or sizeable mods? Last I checked, it couldn't even host the unofficial patch due to arbitrary restrictions, and good luck working with the piecemeal version, because files would load in an inconsistent order.
They have reduced some of the restrictions that they had on mods uploaded to the workshop but even if the workshop side got completely fixed there's still the major issue in that the default skyrim launcher lacks basic features that are essential in having a stable game. You're much better off setting up Mod Organizer and sticking to the Nexus.
 

Strazdas

Robots will replace your job
May 28, 2011
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You know last year people were joking about EA and Ubisoft racing on who can dig themselves into a larger hole. Well, i guess Valve is joining too [http://i.imgur.com/6xy5aj2.png].
 

Lightspeaker

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RJ 17 said:
You're leaving out the bit about "they couldn't due to legal reasons."
I've cut the entirety of rest of the first part of your post because its not necessary. Your argument is based on ths point which is totally irrelevant.

It doesn't matter WHY they didn't monetise, what matters is that they weren't monetised and yet people were still making them. I have no clue why you're getting so hung up on the "the only reason they didn't do it is because they couldn't" thing. I mean...so what? I can't monetise me making these forum posts but I'm still writing them anyway.

If being unable to monetise was a problem in the past then guess what? Modding wouldn't have happened at all. Nobody was holding a gun to modders' heads and MAKING them make mods. They could have chosen to do whatever they wanted to do with their free time, they chose to make mods.


Nope, they're holding a sign saying "Post your mods here and you will get paid for them." That's all they're doing. They're not advertising your mod. They're not promoting your mod. They're saying "come here to get money"...it's as simple as that.
Wrong. Steam is a major digital storefront. They're offering to sell modders products on their store. That is advertising for the business that modders are now running.

Without anyone taking any responsibility for it. Fun.


In other words: you can argue semantics and definitions as much as you want...that won't change the fact that I feel if someone pours countless hours into making a quality something, then they deserve compensation for their efforts, especially if I intend to use that quality something on a daily basis.
So you think people are entitled to be paid for their hobbies? That's up to you. Personally I think donations are the way to go.


Captacha: "gobsmacked" You and me both, Captcha. Can't believe people think this is a good thing.


Edit:
Shinkicker444 said:
Lastly, wow, Skyrim has dropped almost 10% in rating on Steam from 97% to 88% (first page when you order games by rating to probably like page 13).
85% now at time of writing. That's a hell of a drop considering it has over 120,000 reviews. Page 65 now of all games sorted by rating.
 

onard

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Wow, paying money for mods, who could've predicted that?

It's almost as crazy as paying money to see videos in youtube, but that would never happen, right?

Oh, wait, google corp is already working on making the viewers pay for what they see in youtube [http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/8/8371131/youtube-paid-subscription-offline-video]. I'm not surprised Steam is also taking a shot at that.

Enjoy what free content that is still available while you still can. Everything is being monetarized. EVERYTHING! MORE MONEY! PROFIT! CAPITALISM HO!
 

shirkbot

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Strazdas said:
Darknacht said:
Also Steam has pissed their customers off before and very few of them ever leave, I doubt this will be any different. I will believe that this is bad for Value when I see people actually refusing to use Steam.
Steam has never pissed them on such a scale. even people who never used a mod is pissed at this. This is the "burn this shit down" situation going on. Valves reputtation went from one of the best companies to a company that killed modding. People are shouting that EA is better than Valve. EA.
Beautiful summation of the PR-speak. That aside I to confirm, as a non-modder and non-mod-user, that I am still objected to this because of the income skew. Bethesda doesn't deserve any money for work they're not doing and Valve has enough negotiating power to have gotten a better deal for modders. They just didn't because they get their cut, which is still more than the people making the mods. It's asinine, and I hope that both Valve and Bethesda take a PR and financial beating for it.
 

DrOswald

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SadisticFire said:
DrOswald said:
Branching off of what @Karadalis said(Thank you, by the way, saved me a lot of time trying to compose this), there's another issue. These guys aren't professional, in terms of quality. The best you're going to get is a 'pretty good' specialist. Familiar with Jack of All trades, master of known? You could be the best programmer, but if you don't have anything to actually put it into, models, animations, all you have is a bunch of scripts. Sure you could use premade assets in the game, but eventually you run out creative ability to use them. You *need* a team to do this. A team of four or five ametuers, of different skill areas. Not one specialist programmer. Maybe you can get away with a specialist modeler, or texturer, but you can only go so far with model or texture overhauls.

And I stand by my lonewolf statement. Who wants to split earnings? Especially at the probably applicable audience. These guys aren't exactly professional, one term or another. If they were, they already have a job. Its' called game development. These guys are a bunch of people who started a project, some of which just put open recruitment on some subreddit, and got to work with some stranger. It just doesn't make since to actually try to work with anyone. You end up having to get into legal areas, which cost further money or you risk screwing yourself over.

And yes, we see a bunch of shitty mods. But you know what they cost us? Absolutely nothing. We don't have to risk dropping money on them. But once you add money, not only do you attract more shovelware in the name of profit, SOMEONE has to buy it to try it. SOMEONE has to lose money on it. That's not cool
Like I said. We're already seeing almost all this in action.

Also no caption, I do not speak spanish. You can stop asking me now. Shoot, I even speak and write English pretty poorly, let alone a second language.
The current pack of modders are not professionals, but bringing money into the equation will attract professionals. I know this because I am a professional and I am really interested in what is happening. Specifically, I am a professional programmer, and if this were a game I was interested in modding (say X-Com:EU) then I would almost certainly give this a shot. I even know who my first pick would be for my writer, my concept artist, my animator, or my 3d modeler (depending on what skills my project would need). These are all professionals in their respective fields. I have worked with all of them before on freelance and other small scale projects. And if some of them are unwilling or unable to work on it, I have other people I know I could turn to. Because I am a professional and I have been doing what professionals do, networking.

The reason you do not work alone is because together you can make more money. If you split 3 times the money 2 ways then you came out ahead. The lone wolf attitude of not wanting to share profits is the foolishness of amateurs who don't actually know how to make a quality product and how to make money.

And for the crappy mod problem, that is true. But we have been dealing with this same problem since indie gaming was viable, and the same principles work in this case. Look for actual gameplay footage, buy from trusted sources when possible, look at reviews if the content and the previous efforts of the content creator. Basically, be an aware consumer. The potential for abuse has never been a good enough reason to not pay for any type of creative product.

In addition, Valves policy of only paying out after the developer has earned $100 goes an extremely long way to mitigate this. Because of the low cost of a mod, the typical scam mod will not make enough money to hit this minimum, and then from the few people that did buy it to check it out their reputation is ruined. Right now most people, scammers included, didn't actually bother to understand how Valves payout system works. Eventually scammers will realize this scam almost never pays out and they will move on. There will be scammers always but they will become more rare.

But it hasn't even been a week since this started. The only people currently in the paid workshop are the opportunist scammers and the amateur modders who instantly switched their old mods to paid. The amount of time we have had so far is not even enough time to put together a team, let alone develop a professional grade mod.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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Aug 25, 2014
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shirkbot said:
Strazdas said:
Darknacht said:
Also Steam has pissed their customers off before and very few of them ever leave, I doubt this will be any different. I will believe that this is bad for Value when I see people actually refusing to use Steam.
Steam has never pissed them on such a scale. even people who never used a mod is pissed at this. This is the "burn this shit down" situation going on. Valves reputtation went from one of the best companies to a company that killed modding. People are shouting that EA is better than Valve. EA.
Beautiful summation of the PR-speak. That aside I to confirm, as a non-modder and non-mod-user, that I am still objected to this because of the income skew. Bethesda doesn't deserve any money for work they're not doing and Valve has enough negotiating power to have gotten a better deal for modders. They just didn't because they get their cut, which is still more than the people making the mods. It's asinine, and I hope that both Valve and Bethesda take a PR and financial beating for it.
But part of the problem with this is that there isn't a good alternative to Steam yet. GOG still doesn't have a lot of newer content (they're getting better, though) and Galaxy hasn't been released yet. Origin is still garbage and only has EA's games. And most sites where you can purchase games online just gives you a Steam code.

I imagine that if Steam doesn't backpedal on this decision sometime within the next week, we'll see a mass exodus from Steam as soon as Galaxy is released, if for no other reason than to screw over the people who are irreparably ruining the modding scene.

And to think, all they had to do was not be greedy...
 

endtherapture

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DrOswald said:
This is how games become a mature art form. We figure this sort of shit out.
This is pish. Just because you don't get paid for something doesn't mean that it isn't worth it, especially when you throw terms like "mature art form" into the mix. I am an artist, I do a lot of drawing and painting and you can consider things art without charging for them. There's hundreds of museums across the world that are free to enter. To enrich things as art you look at them at art first and a commodity second. Sadly Valve just sees mods as something they can make money out of.
 

DrOswald

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endtherapture said:
DrOswald said:
This is how games become a mature art form. We figure this sort of shit out.
This is pish. Just because you don't get paid for something doesn't mean that it isn't worth it, especially when you throw terms like "mature art form" into the mix. I am an artist, I do a lot of drawing and painting and you can consider things art without charging for them. There's hundreds of museums across the world that are free to enter. To enrich things as art you look at them at art first and a commodity second. Sadly Valve just sees mods as something they can make money out of.
Did you even read my post? You know, the whole thing (95% of my post) about how many modders are forced to abandon their modding because they cannot justify the expenditure of so much effort when they are not being financially compensated, from a purely practical point of view? I never said art for the sake of art isn't worth it ever, I said many potential artists/content creators (myself included) are unable to practice their craft because the practical aspects of life get in the way. Do you deny this is true?

And when I said "This is how games become a mature art form" I was talking about how we have to have discussions that hash out how we can make the practical, business side of games work along side the artistic and creative side of games. This is something that every art form has had to do as it matures. If we never figure out these issues gaming will either become artistically bankrupt or prohibitively impractical.
 

shirkbot

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SlumlordThanatos said:
But part of the problem with this is that there isn't a good alternative to Steam yet. GOG still doesn't have a lot of newer content (they're getting better, though) and Galaxy hasn't been released yet. Origin is still garbage and only has EA's games. And most sites where you can purchase games online just gives you a Steam code.

I imagine that if Steam doesn't backpedal on this decision sometime within the next week, we'll see a mass exodus from Steam as soon as Galaxy is released, if for no other reason than to screw over the people who are irreparably ruining the modding scene.

And to think, all they had to do was not be greedy...
Short of actually fixing Greenlight and/or their customer support infrastructureValves best move would have been taking 0 action for the foreseeable future. That said, please tell me more about this "Galaxy" of which you speak. I use Steam and always will, but more as a universal launcher than anything else, so I'm always happy to hear about alternatives, with GOG and Humble Bundle being the existing ones. Admittedly Humble Bundle is a bit hit and miss in that department, but they're splitting their funds with charity so they at least have the moral high ground.
 

DrOswald

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shirkbot said:
SlumlordThanatos said:
But part of the problem with this is that there isn't a good alternative to Steam yet. GOG still doesn't have a lot of newer content (they're getting better, though) and Galaxy hasn't been released yet. Origin is still garbage and only has EA's games. And most sites where you can purchase games online just gives you a Steam code.

I imagine that if Steam doesn't backpedal on this decision sometime within the next week, we'll see a mass exodus from Steam as soon as Galaxy is released, if for no other reason than to screw over the people who are irreparably ruining the modding scene.

And to think, all they had to do was not be greedy...
Short of actually fixing Greenlight and/or their customer support infrastructureValves best move would have been taking 0 action for the foreseeable future. That said, please tell me more about this "Galaxy" of which you speak. I use Steam and always will, but more as a universal launcher than anything else, so I'm always happy to hear about alternatives, with GOG and Humble Bundle being the existing ones. Admittedly Humble Bundle is a bit hit and miss in that department, but they're splitting their funds with charity so they at least have the moral high ground.
Agreed, I would like to hear about galaxy, whatever that is. I tried to google it and I can't find anything relevant. I would love to see more practical competition in the digital distribution space.
 
Sep 14, 2009
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shirkbot said:
DrOswald said:
Now I can't remember for sure because it's been a while since I'd seen anything on it, but from what I know it's basically GOG's version of the steam store/community/program. It hasn't been released just yet but I'm PRETTY sure that's what it's going to be, but I'll let slumlord answer you on that one better.

At the end of the day, if this attracts *more professional* modders, or make better quality mods, then that is great! I just don't like the way it's been implemented by valve, and I don't like how bethesda and valve get to take such hefty cuts when they do jack shit compared to what they've done before (they've already hosted the mods on there in the first place, and modding has been happening for over 2 decades..so them taking such big cuts just doesn't sit right with me, which is why I'm against the current system that is now in place).

edit: here you go!

http://www.gog.com/galaxy

not much more on it so far I think.

edit edit:

http://www.gog.com/forum/general/gog_galaxy_client_closed_alpha

okay THAT's as recent as it goes.
 

Ariolander

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This answer is TEXTBOOK corporate doublespeak.

"I don't think these issues are specific to MODs, and they are all worth solving. For example, two areas where people have legitimate beefs against us are support and Greenlight. We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of code. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point. Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."
I'll translate for you,

What he says: "I don't think these issues are specific to MODs, and they are all worth solving."
What it means: "I do not plan to engage with you in conversation so I will placate you by saying that your problem is important"

What he says: "For example, two areas where people have legitimate beefs against us are support and Greenlight."
What it means: "here is a a true statement that you cannot possibly disagree with me on, as to lend credibility and weight to my otherwise empty response"

What he says: "We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of code. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point "
What it means: "We have no plans to address this issue so I will intentionally leave out any specific information and instead substitute another empty fact you cannot disagree with: 'Quick solutions are not sustainable, and sustainable solutions require lots of work. For an unspecified amount of time you will just have to deal with it'"

What he says: "Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."
What it means: "Again I will leave you with a true but empty statement, Solutions to problems must be tailored to fix the problem no matter how big the problem gets"

Now that this is out of the way, let's talk about how this reply was engineered for one purpose: Making you feel like you agree with and can trust GabeN.

What you saw: "Hey guys, i know these are problems, just like greenlight and customer support are problems. But trust me i have big plan to fix everything..Soon!"
What you felt: "Yes Gabe I agree, GreenLight and Customer support need to be fixed! Of course Gabe, long term solutions will require more work than quick bandaids, we agree again! Obviously you are right Gabe, these solutions should fit the problem! We agree 100% I didn't disagree with you at all at any point during that response!"



The reality of the situation is that this reply is a copy/paste Corporate PR template and you have probably even seen it before:

"I don't think these issues are specific to young voters, and they are all worth solving. For example, two areas where people have legitimate issues against us are Immigration and Defense Spending. We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of legislation. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point. Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."

"I don't think these issues are specific to Stem Fields, and they are all worth solving. For example, two areas where people have legitimate issues against us are the gender gap and workplace diversity. We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of history. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point. Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."

"I don't think these issues are specific to Education, and they are all worth solving. For example, two areas where people have legitimate issues against us are Tenure and Tuition Costs. We have short term hacks and longer term solutions coming, but the longer term good solutions involve writing a bunch of policies. In the interim, it's going to be a sore point. Both these problems boil down to building scalable solutions that are robust in the face of exponential growth."

Don't get suckered by Gabe's corporate shenanigans.

The above is of course taken from Reddit but I thought it would be relevant here.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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The only question that matters is, can they make Half-Life 3 with the money from the mods?
 

Muspelheim

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Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.

I wonder how discreetly the non-Workshop sources will be dealt with. Depends on how hard you squeese, I suppose.
 

JET1971

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snave said:
FogHornG36 said:
If you really want to mod Skyrim, go to the Nexus and use their mod manager.
This raises a good point. I don't use the Nexus manager because I felt I wasn't interested in enough mods to justify to myself the time spent learning the ropes and setting it up. Conversely, I only run SkyUI because I couldn't get more than one mod running through Steamworks. My preference for a first playthrough was to run SkyUI and graphics mods only (ie: an enhanced vanilla experience).

Has Steamworks been fixed, or is it still unusable for multiple or sizeable mods? Last I checked, it couldn't even host the unofficial patch due to arbitrary restrictions, and good luck working with the piecemeal version, because files would load in an inconsistent order.
Steamworks isn't a mod manager, it is an installer. A mod manager helps you set the load order up correctly as well as install. If your load order isn't done correct you will start getting CTD's or mods just wont work correct.

Don't use NMM use Mod Organizer instead. Far superior. http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/1334/
 

Drathnoxis

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DrOswald said:
The current pack of modders are not professionals, but bringing money into the equation will attract professionals. I know this because I am a professional and I am really interested in what is happening. Specifically, I am a professional programmer, and if this were a game I was interested in modding (say X-Com:EU) then I would almost certainly give this a shot. I even know who my first pick would be for my writer, my concept artist, my animator, or my 3d modeler (depending on what skills my project would need). These are all professionals in their respective fields. I have worked with all of them before on freelance and other small scale projects. And if some of them are unwilling or unable to work on it, I have other people I know I could turn to. Because I am a professional and I have been doing what professionals do, networking.
This is the whole point though. It may attract professional modding teams, but it's going to force out all the small time people who just want to fiddle around with their game as a hobby. As people have been saying, modding used to be a public collaboration where everybody could build their work on the work of everybody else. This is not going to be feasible once mods are a paid commodity, because if there is one thing people hate it's seeing others get paid for their work. Most likely, people will start making resource packs and modding tools that other modders can license for a fee which will be fine for the professionals looking to make a profit, but not so much for the hobbyists.

Essentially Valve is coming into the delicate ecosystem of the modding community and bulldozing it to make room for the professionals. This, I think, is one of the main reasons why so many people are upset, because this will destroy the community that has been building up for the last 10 or so years. There may still be a modding community when the dust settles, but it probably won't be the same one that was there before. It will be a community of professionals rather than a community of hobbyists.
 

TwiZtah

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His replies were hollow corporate mumbo jumbo speak, there was no information of value to be gained from them as he didn't really say anything.
 

Vigormortis

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canadamus_prime said:
Touche. Still charging money for something that was previously free is definitely going to piss people off.
When money's involved with anything, people get pissed off.

Remember the shitstorm of angry bile that frothed up from the bowls of the internet when Valve had the absolute gall to make Team Fortress 2 free?

People lost their fucking minds with rage when a company made something free. Free.

Welcome to the internet, folks...
 

shirkbot

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gmaverick019 said:
edit: here you go!

http://www.gog.com/galaxy

not much more on it so far I think.

edit edit:

http://www.gog.com/forum/general/gog_galaxy_client_closed_alpha

okay THAT's as recent as it goes.
Thank you for the update. I didn't even realize GOG was making their own client, but it sounds promising. GOG has been really consistent in their commitments, both in selling old, often otherwise unavailable games, and in putting the customer first. If there's a migration to Galaxy I can only see that as a good thing. Thanks again for the info, I'm leaving the links in the quote for others that may be curious.
 

Olas

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runic knight said:
Olas said:
I don't see how introducing a monetary option "breaks" the community. If people want to create mods for free I don't see how this would impede them.

People sell movies, yet that doesn't keep people from making youtube videos with high production value freely available.

Ya, sure it's a different product, but you have to convince me that allowing mod creators to charge for mods will somehow dismantle the market, which nobody has yet done. In my experience, allowing producers to make money universally increases both the quantity and quality of the products they supply.
I'll touch on some of the ways this harms the overall community.

first and foremost, it isn't moderated. People can and already have been caught stealing assets and putting them up for cash. This has resulted in people pulling mods down so it doesn't happen to them. That in turn decreases the total mods out there, weakens the community, breeds distrust and kills the very atmosphere that made it a community in the first place.
As seems to be a pattern I've noticed, the real underlying issue appears to be Steams lack of responsible moderation. To reach out an olive branch, I agree that Steam does need to regulate their store more and better. If they did, would you agree that allowing modders to profit from their work is a good idea?

Added to that, the use of paid mods creates incentive to be selfish, hoard knowledge or resources, falsely DMCA other creators and try to game the system via connections. Pretty much exactly the sort of behavior youtube has been infested with.
Youtube has the same underlying problem as Steam: no actual oversight. They want to be able to fix every problem with an algorithm so that they don't have to pay actual humans to properly manage their market.

However, the relevant comparison here isn't between Youtube right now and some perfect version of Youtube. It's between Youtube right now and Youtube if nobody was able to make any money from the videos they create. How many big Youtube channels do you think would remain if suddenly nobody on Youtube could make any money off their videos? Allowing people to profit from their work has expanded the quantity and quality of content by an order of magnitude.

yeah, it doesn't "stop" them, but that is because you look at the general idea of "well, people still do this". The problem is that on individual levels, it has stopped many youtubers who had enough and just quit. And youtube is a very very low-skill entry thing, modding can take a bit of effort and time, and are considerably fewer people out there willing to do it then there are people with a webcam and an opinion. Making the community a pain in the ass to deal with and then getting hands off about moderating it will effectively kill any community that would rise around modding a game with a paid-mod section, even across other sites as people will loot from one site to host on another. And the only ones making money would be steam and developers, not actual content makers.
Steam won't make any money if they wreck the modding scene and prevent creators from developing new content as you're suggesting. They have as much incentive to make this work as anyone. I don't see any logically consistent scenario where only Valve comes out ahead.

I also just don't understand how this is such a deterrent for modders. Nobody's being forced to participate, so if you don't like Steam you can ignore it. If someone steals your work and tries to monetize it they'll only be spreading your work farther with no cost to you, and nobody will pay for it anyway if they realize you're giving it away for free somewhere else.

I could go on, but that seems to cover the basic issues. The chain effects of flooded mod market with garbage,
Garbage which will in no way affect good mods.

the reduction of game longevity decreasing audience amount(usually increased by mods now having to compete between each other decreasing that effect substantially)
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. Don't mods generally increase game longevity?

and the effects an inevitable market boom and burst would have are also worth going over.
An inevitable market burst? You can't just throw that out there without explaining it. Why would a market burst be "inevitable"?

Also increased legal scrutiny by companies because money is related (as happened with youtube and companies growing increasingly more DMCA happy),
Only when Valve fails to do their job properly. Sure some legal scrutiny is inevitable, but it's just a side effect of a marketplace going legit. You want something to be more than a side hobby for a bunch of enthusiasts? You're going to have to put up with some legal issues.

rise of cliques similar to the youtube company-channels like Polaris,
I'm not sure what you're referring to here. It seems like these little social circles are just a result of the internet in general. I'm not sure how it relates to monetization.

and increased conflict between modders and audience as people treat all modders as companies selling products, making the atmosphere more hostile and decreasing the desire to mod for free.
Treating an independent modder like a large company delusional stupidity on the part of any consumers. Any modder selling their content should be free to clarify who they are and what they do so that there's no confusion. Some tension between supply and demand is going to occur, but that's for the best since it drives prices to a reasonable equilibrium that works best for everyone.

Considering the quality, respectability and community of the mobile market, to say nothing of the lack of trust in the very nature of that, and the frequently reported abuses, I certainly don't blame people pissed that steam is trying to reduce modding to that.
First of all, what specific problems do you have with the mobile market that you think will occur to the MODS market if it allows revenue?

I use the android market and I don't really have any issues with it, but I can't respond properly if I don't know what we're talking about here.

Second, why do you assume the MODS market will resemble the mobile market specifically?
1. Flooding of shoveware,
I just don't get why this is seen as such a drawback. Any popular market is going to become filled with shovelware. So what? When the Wii became a hit it got flooded with shovelware. As a Wii owner, did this bother me at all? No. All it did was give me some amusement to look at the ridiculous crap people were pumping out for it. As long as there's still a way to find the stuff worth purchasing, I don't care what else exists. Besides, who has the right to declare any particular game, app, mod, or video "shovelware". For all you know some people may genuinely enjoy it.

anti-consumer practices
That's not specific.

cash-grabs
Neither is that.

legal pressure by people making money to attack competition.
I'll grant you that copyright and IP laws are super outdated and unequipped to handle markets where the product is software. I don't know what the solution is, but I don't think it's to just remove the markets for said software entirely.

2. Because it is as close to an unmoderated market of technical nature as I can think of in terms of profiteering for profiteering sake via flooding of low quality programs, similar to what adding profits to mods will likely become. I suppose I could have also referenced the facebook flashgame era, though most of those moved to app games so sort of the same thing.
It seems to me that the state of the mobile games market is at least partially the result of apathetic consumers who just want a distraction while riding the bus. If the majority of people who play these games actually devoted large sums of time and money to them, like gamers do for major releases, they would probably demand more from it and seek out genuine quality. That's how I see it. I could be wrong.

In example, Flappybird and the million clones it spawned after the creator wanted it to die.
That doesn't seem like a great example to use. Flappy bird was a huge hit. For some reason, people loved it. And the creator could have made a fortune off it. I don't know why he wanted to kill it (well I sorta do, but his stated reason is ridiculous) however, if he had been successful in destroying it he would have taken away a game a lot of people enjoyed.

Note, this would have been just as true if it weren't monetized.

Modding does not exist because people can make money off it,
Obviously, since they can't.
Also because the motivation for it in the first place was never money based but rather fan/passion based.
That's a tautology. Of course it wasn't money based, how could it have been when there was no money? That doesn't prove that those creators wouldn't have preferred to make money. It doesn't prove that allowing them to mod as a full time job wouldn't have improved the quantity and quality of their work. It doesn't prove that there aren't more people who would have tried modding if they could make money from it.

After all, do you know what the people who wanted to make content for money did instead? They made actual games.
So the options were:

a. Make mods for games you love for free
b. Make a completely different game from scratch and just accept that the game you already love will never be improved in the way you want.

People didn't mod because they wanted to do it for free. They modded because they wanted the games they loved to be better, and the fact that they had to do it for free was out of their control.

but you have people looking upon it and trying to force it to make them money. That's sort of the problem.
I don't see how Valve is trying to force anyone to do anything. It seems pretty clear that this is an optional service people can try. And frankly, I think the fact that people don't want modders to be able to earn money for the work they put into mods is absurd. Not only does it benefit modders, but it benefits the consumer too because the supply of such goods will inevitably increase.
Please don't misrepresent people. No one does not want modders to go unrewarded, what they have a problem with is this implementation.
I don't want to misrepresent people, but it seems a lot of them, you included, are against the IDEA of letting modders charge for their work, in addition to complaints about specific implementation. If this was just about the specific implementation of Steam, then I wouldn't be having this discussion because I mostly agree with you on that.

Add a tipjar function
I think that's a good idea, but it's not a replacement for letting creators charge up front. Fun fact: most people on the internet aren't super charitable. Besides, there's already Patreon.

and a system to allow popular and successful modders to submit ideas to the dev and get them ok'd and sold that way,
Assuming the dev wants to wade through mountains of mods waiting for approval, and assuming modders are willing to wait long periods of time for the possibility that their mod will be approved. I thought the point of modding was that it was independent.

Having modders take previously free mods and tack a pricetag on them and open the floodgates for theft, shovelware or legal shenanigans at the expense of killing the mod community and you will rightfully get reaction.
Call me cycnical, but I suspect at least some of this reaction is coming from people worried they'll have to pay money for mods that they'd otherwise get for free. The issues you've stated aren't entirely without merit, but they're factors that come with any legitimate marketplace.

As for quality of goods improving... it is remarkable how many times I have heard that and yet never seen it.
Then give me some examples. The mobile gaming market isn't a good one. It's thriving and full of good games. The ability to monetize games hasn't killed it.

Passion makes quality, not throwing money at something.
As if passion and monetary compensation are mutually exclusive. If people are passionate now, why would they stop?

I can point to an endless sea of failed kickstarters to demonstrate that.
What does Kickstarter have to do with this? The problems with Kickstarter come from the idea of sales preceding the actual creation of the product. The fact that some people on Kickstarter can't properly estimate how much a product will cost and deliver on their promises has nothing to do with a market where people create products first.

No, making it a for-profit thing will do the opposite, it will decrease overall quality. Aside from modders being more distrustful of one another thereby decreasing them helping fix bugs and issues,
I don't care about the overall quality, I care about the quality of the mods I want. If there's a thousand shitty clones of a good mod, it doesn't somehow detract from the original. It does however open up the possibility that one of those clones will actually be an undiscovered gem that has actually improved on the original.

As for bugs and issues? If you want your mod to make money, it seems logical that you would want it to run as well as possible. The only possible downsides come from a lack of information, which there's no excuse for on an online platform.

it creates reason to flood the market with crap, as all it takes is one "FlappyBird" to make someone rich.
Like I said, I'd prefer a wider selection of good and bad games than a smaller selection of good and bad games.

And you know what hasn't been mentioned already? The fact that the free modding communities were already filled with crap. Have you tried searching for Skyrim mods on Nexus? Have you seen how many shitty, borderline pointless, and often buggy mods it has? Stop treating the community like it was already some golden city on the hill.

Yes, you may argue that the 25% someone would get (if they could get up to $400 anyways) might be incentive to try harder, but compare that to the time they would need to put into a mod to make it excel. Thousands of hours into one is not uncommon,
Ya, there's certainly an argument to be made for money incentivizing people to do things. Considering it's how western civilization has operated for millennia.

and a measly $400 is never going to convince anyone to put that much effort into it if they weren't already.
$400 is the minimum amount, not the maximum. Also, I don't know about you, but $400 doesn't sound measly to me, especially if I get it for doing something I love.

But it will get people to steal other's work or pump out shitty projects in an hour or two and slap a price tag on.
And if those projects are shitty people won't buy them and the creator will make nothing.

The first cut of those seeking profit is always quality. Quality of worker, quality of product, quality of customer support... When money is the sole goal, and indeed after the community is gutted and reduced to a shallow husk, that is what it will be,
For reasons that I'm still unclear on.

quality will be forfeit gladly for a little more. I wonder, will they start to make mods into cookie-clickers where you have to buy new packs every so often? It isn't hard to, but until now there was no good reason to.
Cookie-clicker was a free game created as a "passion project" by a French programmer in his down time. It wasn't until after it had exploded in popularity that ads were introduced and they haven't stopped it from being popular. Personally I think it's an ingenious parody of the skinnerbox gaming formula.
 

f1r2a3n4k5

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My PC broke about 6 months ago and I just finished putting together my new one.

I install Steam and I come back to this? THIS?

That's it. Uninstall Steam. Disassemble the PC. Put the parts into their boxes and send them back.

Just because you *can* monetize something, doesn't mean you should.

They are making EA look good for God's sake. At least with EA, you can expect to get a refund if the game is totally busted.

It would be different if they made these promises of ensuring that no malicious mods or stolen uploads make it to market and they had EVER, even ONCE, instituted a somewhat successful approach to dealing with consumers. But they haven't. Refunds are like pulling teeth. Community voting is a busted mess. Games that someone developed with a budget of a nickel are vomited onto the front page like the Internet has a case of the flu. And Early Access/Greenlight products frequently never reach fruition or are some horrific monstrosity of bugs (Even from well-known developers, with no consequences! the games don't even get pulled from the store.)

Valve wants all the pros of being a distributor (high profit margins) without any of the cons (providing logistical support and customer satisfaction). It's high-time that came around to bite them in the ass. They've been talking out of both sides of their mouth for far too long.

That's it. I'm done. No more Steam games. I'm either getting it from GOG or not at all.
 

Olas

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Strazdas said:
Olas said:
I don't see how introducing a monetary option "breaks" the community.
Thats because you dont udnerstand how modding community works.
Oh I don't? Well then please enlighten this ignorant fool, oh great sage of knowledge.

Its a collaboration. People work together, find adresses together, work on mods together. For somone to suddenly go from free to paid breaks half the mods around and forces them from collaborative hobby into legal nightmare labyrinth.
Yes, because things that require collaboration have never been successfully monetized before.

Modding is not the same as regular developement because you dont just buy and engine and create everything from scratch. you cooperate between many people openly and publicly.
There's a difference between open communication and public communication. Don't tell me you think no monetized industry has ever had collaboration between multiple parties.
 

Muspelheim

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Vigormortis said:
canadamus_prime said:
Touche. Still charging money for something that was previously free is definitely going to piss people off.
When money's involved with anything, people get pissed off.

Remember the shitstorm of angry bile that frothed up from the bowls of the internet when Valve had the absolute gall to make Team Fortress 2 free?

People lost their fucking minds with rage when a company made something free. Free.

Welcome to the internet, folks...
It's not all about the money in and of itself, though. It's the poor, poor implementation of the system, and the consequences it'll have in the long run.

Such as people taking mods from different sources and re-uploading them on the workshop without the real author's consent or involvement. Or what will inevitably happen when Azazazel95 gets bored of his Hammer of Jutsice mod, stops supporting it and something causes it to break. Or what happens if core mods vital to other mods (script extenders, assets and whatnot) becomes an exclusive purchase? And what impact will the necessary mod-DRM have on the rather temperamental engine?

And then there is the question of how you work out the value of a mod. What mod is and isn't worth $20? How much is it al right to charge for a mod that a large amount of other popular mods relies on? And the mod author's slice is already rather small, considering all Valve & Beth have done is made it 'possible'. What is to say it won't shrink anymore? Valve also haven't expressed any real intention to monitor this palaver in the slightest, which will likely turn it into another Early Accessesque free-for-all.

Not to mention, what will happen to non-Workshop sources in the long run? Hell, what will happen with the modding posibilities when the next Elder Scrolls/Fallout title arrives?

It's not just about paying up for something that used to be free, even if that will always be a bit of a sting. A lot of the stuff out there is worth it. It's the lazy, grubby implementation, and the utter, utter disreguard for the modding environment. The one that have kept Skyrim relevant for far longer than it would have been on its own.

Giving an option for monetisation is not at all a bad idea. But this is bad monetisation, and worse, seemingly just for its own sake. It'd been fine if it'd been any good. And if Gabe Newell & C:eek: gave a shit, I suppose.
 

Bix96

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DrOswald said:
The current pack of modders are not professionals, but bringing money into the equation will attract professionals. I know this because I am a professional and I am really interested in what is happening. Specifically, I am a professional programmer, and if this were a game I was interested in modding (say X-Com:EU) then I would almost certainly give this a shot. I even know who my first pick would be for my writer, my concept artist, my animator, or my 3d modeler (depending on what skills my project would need). These are all professionals in their respective fields. I have worked with all of them before on freelance and other small scale projects. And if some of them are unwilling or unable to work on it, I have other people I know I could turn to. Because I am a professional and I have been doing what professionals do, networking.

The reason you do not work alone is because together you can make more money. If you split 3 times the money 2 ways then you came out ahead. The lone wolf attitude of not wanting to share profits is the foolishness of amateurs who don't actually know how to make a quality product and how to make money.
This right here leads me to believe you have little clue as to what you are talking about here... You listed five people you would have on your team so you must realize that even if you sold your mod for $10 (twice the price as the professional hearthfire dlc) you would only receive $2.50 that you would then have to split five ways totaling out to 50 cents a sale. So I ask you as a "professional" do you seriously consider that worth months of your time?
 

Vigormortis

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Muspelheim said:
I'm honestly done debating on the topic for a while. Emotions are too high and there's a lot of pure presumptuous speculation from both sides - none of which has any basis in quantifiable evidence. And until some hard date starts coming in, I'm not ready to make a judgement call. Still, I felt I had to respond to your post because I believe you took my post out of context.

Go back and read through the back-and-forth between myself and Canadamus Prime. My reply was a bit of off-topic snark.
 

Darknacht

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SlumlordThanatos said:
shirkbot said:
Strazdas said:
Darknacht said:
Also Steam has pissed their customers off before and very few of them ever leave, I doubt this will be any different. I will believe that this is bad for Value when I see people actually refusing to use Steam.
Steam has never pissed them on such a scale. even people who never used a mod is pissed at this. This is the "burn this shit down" situation going on. Valves reputtation went from one of the best companies to a company that killed modding. People are shouting that EA is better than Valve. EA.
Beautiful summation of the PR-speak. That aside I to confirm, as a non-modder and non-mod-user, that I am still objected to this because of the income skew. Bethesda doesn't deserve any money for work they're not doing and Valve has enough negotiating power to have gotten a better deal for modders. They just didn't because they get their cut, which is still more than the people making the mods. It's asinine, and I hope that both Valve and Bethesda take a PR and financial beating for it.
But part of the problem with this is that there isn't a good alternative to Steam yet. GOG still doesn't have a lot of newer content (they're getting better, though) and Galaxy hasn't been released yet. Origin is still garbage and only has EA's games. And most sites where you can purchase games online just gives you a Steam code.

I imagine that if Steam doesn't backpedal on this decision sometime within the next week, we'll see a mass exodus from Steam as soon as Galaxy is released, if for no other reason than to screw over the people who are irreparably ruining the modding scene.

And to think, all they had to do was not be greedy...
There has been plenty of competitors, GamesGate has been about around as long as Steam and is far more consumer friendly. I seriously doubt they will give up this new income stream or that there will be any mass exodus especially since there are too many games that even if you buy them on another platform you still have to play them on Steam and thats not going to change, the number of Steam exclusives will probably only continue to increase. People will likely cry about this for a month or two while continuing to buy games on Steam and then just give up and accept it. By next year everyone will be back to fellating Gabe
 

Sardonac

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Bix96 said:
This right here leads me to believe you have little clue as to what you are talking about here... You listed five people you would have on your team so you must realize that even if you sold your mod for $10 (twice the price as the professional hearthfire dlc) you would only receive $2.50 that you would then have to split five ways totaling out to 50 cents a sale. So I ask you as a "professional" do you seriously consider that worth months of your time?
I'm not the person you're responding to, but I thought I'd share some thoughts about how misguided these assertions are (as well as some of the implicit claims that I suspect lie behind them). There's no reason to expect that every member of a team would take an equal share of the income. And even if they did, this might be a very feasible source of income for professionals who (a) work fast and (b) work well together. And this is assuming they're working on large scale projects. @DrOswald might work on smaller-scale projects but with a professional polish, working with just a few colleagues on each project. A very popular $1.99 mod would make the team fifty cents a unit, multiplied by 100k that's a lot of money.

But this discussion omits some of the larger potential of a mod market that's directly profitable for game developers. Bungie, back in the 1990s, released the mod tools 'Fear' and "Loathing' for their game Myth 2: Soulblighter. These tools, though rudimentary, spawned an enormous fan-following that kept the game alive to this day, generated an enormous amount of additional content, and ultimately added a lot of value to the game. These simple tools were the launching pad for more than a decade of excellent modding. Were Bethesda to release similar tools for their next major title then they could jump-start a community of modders for the game. This would be especially true if they also periodically released their own small toolkits for modding, including new meshes, animations, etc.

Individual professional designers could make quite a splash with tools that the community might find widely-useful. For instance, a new animation in Skyrim could be licensed to other modders for 1% of their gross income. Do this a bunch of times, across a bunch of mods, then even a lone animator could make a modest sum. Successful modders could even be bought out by Bethesda in an effort to spur more development. Bethesda could buy the rights to a particular modder's tool for $5000, and then license it for free to the community.

What I'm saying is that profit incentives can be very useful for developing the modding community, especially if it's attentively managed by an invested developer. It might even become another place where the right software at the right time makes designers a lot of money, and that's a good thing.
 

Vigormortis

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Olas said:
Strazdas said:
Olas said:
I don't see how introducing a monetary option "breaks" the community.
Thats because you dont udnerstand how modding community works.
Oh I don't? Well then please enlighten this ignorant fool, oh great sage of knowledge.
It's kind of fascinating, isn't it? That any counter-point made as to why this new system could be beneficial to the modding community is often met with such replies.

Has it occurred to anyone that maybe some of them do know 'how modding works', and from that perspective they might be able to see potential benefits from this system? Hell, I've already seen numerous professional-level modders being met with such criticisms when they offered a potentially positive point of view on the topic.

There's a difference between open communication and public communication. Don't tell me you think no monetized industry has ever had collaboration between multiple parties.
Do people actually think collaborative work between disparate parties within the gaming industry is limited to the modding scene? Really?!

If so, ooph, are they in for a shock....
 

Happiness Assassin

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Valve has rescinded on paid mods. Looks like people made their voices heard.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/04/27/valve-axes-paid-skyrim-mods?abthid=553ecb283bfc1aae6500002a
 

Bix96

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Sardonac said:
I'm not the person you're responding to, but I thought I'd share some thoughts about how misguided these assertions are (as well as some of the implicit claims that I suspect lie behind them). There's no reason to expect that every member of a team would take an equal share of the income. And even if they did, this might be a very feasible source of income for professionals who (a) work fast and (b) work well together. And this is assuming they're working on large scale projects. @DrOswald might work on smaller-scale projects but with a professional polish, working with just a few colleagues on each project. A very popular $1.99 mod would make the team fifty cents a unit, multiplied by 100k that's a lot of money.
@DrOswald considers himself a professional so I simply asked if he would consider this petty amount of money worth months of time and hard work when he could be using his talents to make actual money. I just don't believe his claim that this will bring more professionals because I don't think any pro would settle for a 25% cut when they are doing 90% of the work especially when working with a team.

post="7.874507.21975310" said:
But this discussion omits some of the larger potential of a mod market that's directly profitable for game developers. Bungie, back in the 1990s, released the mod tools 'Fear' and "Loathing' for their game Myth 2: Soulblighter. These tools, though rudimentary, spawned an enormous fan-following that kept the game alive to this day, generated an enormous amount of additional content, and ultimately added a lot of value to the game. These simple tools were the launching pad for more than a decade of excellent modding. Were Bethesda to release similar tools for their next major title then they could jump-start a community of modders for the game. This would be especially true if they also periodically released their own small toolkits for modding, including new meshes, animations, etc.
The difference is that "decade of excellent modding" didn't cost $2 a mod.


post="7.874507.21975310" said:
Individual professional designers could make quite a splash with tools that the community might find widely-useful. For instance, a new animation in Skyrim could be licensed to other modders for 1% of their gross income. Do this a bunch of times, across a bunch of mods, then even a lone animator could make a modest sum.
This is true but there are a few problems with it. 1. Who would be responsible for the licenses? Valve? good luck with that, They have already said modders are more or less alone with this. Modders themselves? could work but they are shit out luck if some scumbag decides to use it without permission. The only other option is to get actual contracts and lawyers involved which cause your "make a modest sum" to be nothing more than legal hell. 2. This only works if they want their work used for monetary gain don't forget one of the very first mods put up for sale had to be taken down because it used FNIS animations.


post="7.874507.21975310" said:
Successful modders could even be bought out by Bethesda in an effort to spur more development. Bethesda could buy the rights to a particular modder's tool for $5000, and then license it for free to the community.
Plenty of modders have been hired by companies because of their skills. Those were actual jobs and this was long before selling mods was a thing.


post="7.874507.21975310" said:
What I'm saying is that profit incentives can be very useful for developing the modding community, especially if it's attentively managed by an invested developer. It might even become another place where the right software at the right time makes designers a lot of money, and that's a good thing.
I agree with this actually but my whole argument basically boils down to Valve is not attentively managing this in fact they are not managing it at all they just put it up because it costs them nothing and they get 75% of sales then told both modders and consumers they are on their own. They did they same thing with greenlight and look how that turned out. I believe good mod authors should get paid for their hard work but Valve is the absolute worse place for that to happen they are scamming both modders and customers with this.
 

Darknacht

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May 13, 2009
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Happiness Assassin said:
Valve has rescinded on paid mods. Looks like people made their voices heard.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/04/27/valve-axes-paid-skyrim-mods?abthid=553ecb283bfc1aae6500002a
They said it was a mistake to introduce paid mods in Skyrim because it has a "years old modding community" and "was probably not the right place to start iterating," from their statement they clearly plan on implementing this on future games.
It sounds like they are admitting that they handled the roll out poorly but that it will be a 'feature' for future games.
This is less of a back peddle and more of a side step.
 

runic knight

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Mar 26, 2011
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I am sorry to all, this is long as hell.

Olas said:
As seems to be a pattern I've noticed, the real underlying issue appears to be Steams lack of responsible moderation. To reach out an olive branch, I agree that Steam does need to regulate their store more and better. If they did, would you agree that allowing modders to profit from their work is a good idea?
I never disliked the idea of modders getting profit itself, and I doubt anyone would be opposed to the idea that they can make some money from it. The problems stem from either terrible execution or the conversion of an existing system that is free to one that is profit-driven. Both are detrimental to modding in general and both impact free modding negatively.

I am all for a donation button/tip-jar function or the use of popular mods to "vote" for modders to be allowed to make dev-ok'd user made DLC.

Youtube has the same underlying problem as Steam: no actual oversight. They want to be able to fix every problem with an algorithm so that they don't have to pay actual humans to properly manage their market.

However, the relevant comparison here isn't between Youtube right now and some perfect version of Youtube. It's between Youtube right now and Youtube if nobody was able to make any money from the videos they create. How many big Youtube channels do you think would remain if suddenly nobody on Youtube could make any money off their videos? Allowing people to profit from their work has expanded the quantity and quality of content by an order of magnitude.
I remember youtube back before everyone was trying to make money. I watched it transition into what it is now. I can assure you, lack of good content was never a problem. Hell, in some respects quality has gone down actually as the atmosphere of competition and the financial incentive has brought some of the worst out in people. DMCA's have been weaponized and because people make profits, they have more weight.

That isn't to say I don't think people should be unable to make money off youtube, merely I saw life before monetization and it really wasn't worse then now, and was in many respects better for it. Less frequent updates for some, certainly, but hardly a inherent lack of quality in an overall view.

As for how many would cease to exist if they cut the funds to the shows that grew into what they were because they relied on the money? I am sure plenty. But I am also sure that without the big heads to compete with, more newbies would try and we'd never have to worry about stagnation.

Steam won't make any money if they wreck the modding scene and prevent creators from developing new content as you're suggesting. They have as much incentive to make this work as anyone. I don't see any logically consistent scenario where only Valve comes out ahead.

I also just don't understand how this is such a deterrent for modders. Nobody's being forced to participate, so if you don't like Steam you can ignore it. If someone steals your work and tries to monetize it they'll only be spreading your work farther with no cost to you, and nobody will pay for it anyway if they realize you're giving it away for free somewhere else.
Oh I agree they have no incentive to kill the mod scene, but as their actions show, and their recent backpedaling even cited, they don't really understand what they are doing when it comes to the mod community. Good intentions pave the way to hell.

As for how it would deter modders, well what exactly do you know about what has motivated the modding community from inception? I know most do it for love of the game or for the fame it can get them as being a popular name in that community. I know many teach themselves by gathering resources and help from others in a very hodgepodge manner. I know that people are protective of the work they put into things and want to protect it, not because they could make money off it, but because it is their baby.

And paid mods invites a cancer into that. Aside from flagrant theft of ideas, there are other issues. First is modders seeing each other as competition keep things closer to the vest. The community nature to help and teach vanishes when there is a limited number of people willing to pay. And even the free modders will suffer once people start withholding what they learned, or start to charge for it. The idea of gaining fame also becomes far less likely when mods will be ripped off and no one will know for sure who made what. Modders up til now have relied on the honor system about that since there was no real incentive to steal and a lot of community negativity to it. Now though? I could steal a lot of mods from nexus, mess with code a little to remove any mention of the original creator and poof, I stripped a free modder of the only reward they wanted in recognition.

As for realizing you can get it free elsewhere...you wont. You will have to go out and search it, probably under a different name and different creator, since any theft worth their salt is going to make tracing the path more difficult. Some will merely pay because of convenience since modding can be a bit non-user friendly at times too. And I can't blame anyone for not wanting to be part of a community where their work is used to rip off other fans of the games.

Garbage which will in no way affect good mods.
Except when it comes to trying to find those other mods amid a sea of shit, or when those mods start DMCA'ing the competition like youtubers resorted to, or when the lack of effort and rampant hostility that comes from competition drives them out of the community itself in disgust.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. Don't mods generally increase game longevity?
Yes, they do. The problem is if you start charging for them, less will buy them, meaning that longevity doesn't apply as much as it did. Basically, mods help increase their own audience by being free (since that increases game longevity). With paying mods, there is a feeling that you have to pay to extend that longevity, which puts the longevity in competition with new games, a competition they will likely lose more often then not.

An inevitable market burst? You can't just throw that out there without explaining it. Why would a market burst be "inevitable"?
A combination of effects already determinable based on human nature and effects this will cause.

First is the increase in junk mods for cash. This harms the overall community, reduces it, makes it less friendly and generally poisons the whole thing. This causes a massive flood of shovelware mods into the market while also undermining the core reason that "market" existed in the first place: the fact mods are free and the community is cooperative.

Next is the point I just mentioned, that longevity will shrink when mods start to cost money. This means that market that got flooded suddenly has a lot less audience to sell to. This is also impacted on the fact that the mods themselves, being shovelware, will likely be shit or theft and thus very untrustworthy as mods the players investment are worth.

Finally, because of that, what buyers there are will simply stop. Similar to the housing crash in the states, the toxic assets, unscrupulous dealers and fed-up customers will cause the bubble to collapse in on itself. And the result will takes years to clean up.

Only when Valve fails to do their job properly. Sure some legal scrutiny is inevitable, but it's just a side effect of a marketplace going legit. You want something to be more than a side hobby for a bunch of enthusiasts? You're going to have to put up with some legal issues.
Valve has a history of implementing half-assed ideas and never finishing them. you want me to have any confidence they can hand this on even the most basic of levels, ask me when they fix the Greenlight system. I would rather not have a community I like be destroyed because valve wanted to try a social experiment for a little extra cash with no ability or no understanding of how to handle the mess it makes.

I'm not sure what you're referring to here. It seems like these little social circles are just a result of the internet in general. I'm not sure how it relates to monetization.
Monetization feeds excuse to use underhanded tactics, as now it is money on the line. I recall money was also a motivating reason why the youtube atheism v. christianity went the way it did, and part of why the following civil war of youtube atheists became so sour and bitter.

Treating an independent modder like a large company delusional stupidity on the part of any consumers. Any modder selling their content should be free to clarify who they are and what they do so that there's no confusion. Some tension between supply and demand is going to occur, but that's for the best since it drives prices to a reasonable equilibrium that works best for everyone.
In a perfect system. Which we don't have and never would by the groundwork layed by steam. Also, modders for decades HAD an equilibrium that worked best for all involved. That was free, since the modders got rewarded in means other then financial. Notoriety, experience, community... It was and is good for modders of decades past and most today. Why does the system need to be shattered in such a ham-fisted way to cater to people motivated by money? Why not merely implement a system where mods can apply to developers to be commission to make user-made DLC instead?

I just don't get why this is seen as such a drawback. Any popular market is going to become filled with shovelware. So what? When the Wii became a hit it got flooded with shovelware. As a Wii owner, did this bother me at all? No. All it did was give me some amusement to look at the ridiculous crap people were pumping out for it. As long as there's still a way to find the stuff worth purchasing, I don't care what else exists. Besides, who has the right to declare any particular game, app, mod, or video "shovelware". For all you know some people may genuinely enjoy it.
Because Nintedo's quality products weren't living in a system akin to the wold west where no one had oversight and people weren't trying to screw them over or steal their work.

As for declaring it shovelware, you understood the concept I was arguing well enough, so the point was made. Not that people can't genuinely enjoy them, merely that a market flooded with low quality, quickly tossed out attempt to gain money detracts from the quality work if there is no real way to distinguish between. Nintendo has popular character with brand recognition. Modders do not.

That's not specific.
Neither is that.
Anti-consumer: Terrible quality, poor customer service, underhanded marketing tactics, dishonest claims of product features, unrepresented prices, withholding or consealing information relevant to the purchase, etc.
Cash-grabs: Efforts done solely to make a quick buck, often a lowest amount of effort project that relies on some marketable aspect as opposed to quality or value itself. off the top of my head, selling a "zelda overhaul" mod on the idea of converting models and textures to represent that game, and ending up with one that changes the texture on the chickens and promises to finish the mod "in the future".

I'll grant you that copyright and IP laws are super outdated and unequipped to handle markets where the product is software. I don't know what the solution is, but I don't think it's to just remove the markets for said software entirely.
Why is it that there needs to be a market in the first place? and why must it be in the rotting corpse of the modding community after this idea kills it? I am curious why a system and community that has worked for decades needs to be made into a market in the first place. So far all I hear is vague idea of "it will make mods better" with no actual evidence other then the presumption that adding money to the mix will improve quality. Instead, I have seen the threat of such a system chill the community, result in many mods pulled for fear of what will happen to them and only a select few even making profits.

It wont make mods better, it will make a very small group of modders a little money, and the developers and steam a lot more.

It seems to me that the state of the mobile games market is at least partially the result of apathetic consumers who just want a distraction while riding the bus. If the majority of people who play these games actually devoted large sums of time and money to them, like gamers do for major releases, they would probably demand more from it and seek out genuine quality. That's how I see it. I could be wrong.
tell me, if you have to pick between investing large amounts of money into a game or investing a little amount, which will you do? You'd probably do it based on the audience, with some metric to justify the more money only if you have a big enough audience.

Modding has no market that is measurable, it only has potential markets because of the popularity of it. As such, anyone with money to invest will do so sparingly, that means small. Or they will try to turn profits made into the next mod, which will still be small.

That doesn't seem like a great example to use. Flappy bird was a huge hit. For some reason, people loved it. And the creator could have made a fortune off it. I don't know why he wanted to kill it (well I sorta do, but his stated reason is ridiculous) however, if he had been successful in destroying it he would have taken away a game a lot of people enjoyed.

Note, this would have been just as true if it weren't monetized.
My point is that you just demonstrated that nothing about this is about the creators. As you said, the creator could have made a fortune off it, but didn't. Instead, he wanted to kill it, but others took his idea, ran with it and made their own profits. It was never about the will of the creator to make money, but the fact that someone wants to make money off any idea, regardless what the actual creator wants.

You see a group of people gathered into a community and your thought is how to monetize it. Not for the good of the community, not for the good of the creators, but for the sake of monetizing it. Steam has done the same, and it was painfully obvious they did. That is a large part of why people pushed back like they did. Because at the end of the day, the only people who wanted this weren't the reason the community existed in the first place.

That's a tautology. Of course it wasn't money based, how could it have been when there was no money? That doesn't prove that those creators wouldn't have preferred to make money. It doesn't prove that allowing them to mod as a full time job wouldn't have improved the quantity and quality of their work. It doesn't prove that there aren't more people who would have tried modding if they could make money from it.
And nothing in what you have said has proved that adding money will make it any better. As for creators preferences, well as the flappy bird guy shows, there are creators that don't. As the community at large shows, there are a lot of people that don't want their community made into a "market". As the hsitory of modding has shown, it has grown and been successful in the way it existed without monetizing. As youtube has shown, adding money can have negative results to the community.

So the options were:

a. Make mods for games you love for free
b. Make a completely different game from scratch and just accept that the game you already love will never be improved in the way you want.

People didn't mod because they wanted to do it for free. They modded because they wanted the games they loved to be better, and the fact that they had to do it for free was out of their control.
or just off the top of my head
C. request permission to mod a game and sell it as DLC

No, the fact that they had to do it for free was because they knew nearly no one would pay them upfront for a mod (that itself is nearly always incomplete, buggy, and the source of conflicts with the game or other mods), that their work was not good enough to be sold alongside the main game, and saw value in doing the work outside of making money.

The way you present it is if all the modders would be happy to be paid for their work, and indeed they all would with the same happiness I would be to be paid to wash my clothing on a regular basis.


I don't want to misrepresent people, but it seems a lot of them, you included, are against the IDEA of letting modders charge for their work, in addition to complaints about specific implementation. If this was just about the specific implementation of Steam, then I wouldn't be having this discussion because I mostly agree with you on that.
Perhaps part of mine and many other's reaction is to the idea of being charged for a mod, you may have a point there. I mean considering the behavior of developers to remove parts of a completed game to instead charge extra money for it or to lock it behind a paywall, it would certainly make sense that people would respond negatively to a previously free community-driven aspect was uprooted because a select few wanted to instead charge for their not-professional, fan-made work. But if that was the case, why would so many be crusading for a donation button then? Why would so many be willing to give money and set up a system that rewards effort without it being obligatory or exploitable?

I will be honest, the idea of charging for mods upfront is one I detest on a personal level. I view it akin to someone picking up a piece of trash on the street walking over to me after and demanding a payment for the effort. Something the community was doing for free before now being given a pricetag because someone wanted money. Modding has a community built around cooperation, sharing resources and putting in passion for recognition or just the hobby itself. Putting a financial incentive into that system changes it. It breeds competition and distrust. It turns fan-projects into jobs and deliverables.

Remember what people are getting. An untested, unprofessional fan-made thing that may not work right, may conflict and may never be updated after first release. To say there is potential for cons and scams is an understatement. But the potential for it also shapes opinions of those who would otherwise try mods. Looking at mods as potential scams does not help the community nor the growth of it.

I think that's a good idea, but it's not a replacement for letting creators charge up front. Fun fact: most people on the internet aren't super charitable. Besides, there's already Patreon.
I would think decades of people making and submitting mods to the rest of the community is pretty charitable myself, so I guess I have decent hopes that modders would be fairly nice. But if that is the case, instead of a pay wall, implement optional advertisements.

Assuming the dev wants to wade through mountains of mods waiting for approval, and assuming modders are willing to wait long periods of time for the possibility that their mod will be approved. I thought the point of modding was that it was independent.
Mountains? A basic voting system and measure of mod popularity to decide potential candidates would reduce that to very manageable. And once a rhythm is established, it could be regularly released DLC too.

As for modders being independent, you forfeit that when you change it from being a hobby to being a job. And if I am paying for a mod, that is the same as me commissioning a work. I expect quality and I expect to get what I was promised. A free hobby project that someone gets to on their spare time is just that, you get what you get. Start charging money though and expectations change. But that is just another issue with the whole thing, and another example of why charging for mods sort of undermines the entire point of mods.

Call me cycnical, but I suspect at least some of this reaction is coming from people worried they'll have to pay money for mods that they'd otherwise get for free. The issues you've stated aren't entirely without merit, but they're factors that come with any legitimate marketplace.
I'll mention this again, but you keep using the term "marketplace". Modding isn't one. It was never intended to be one considering the nature of how it formed and grew and the results of that growth. Part of why these issues are on so many people's mind probably has to do with trying to take a community driven hobby and turn it into a profit generating manufacturing arm of the developers/steam.

Then give me some examples. The mobile gaming market isn't a good one. It's thriving and full of good games. The ability to monetize games hasn't killed it.
You want me to give you examples... of something I was saying I haven't seen?

As if passion and monetary compensation are mutually exclusive. If people are passionate now, why would they stop?
They aren't mutual exclusive, but only one actually accomplishes quality, and it isn't the money part of things.

What does Kickstarter have to do with this? The problems with Kickstarter come from the idea of sales preceding the actual creation of the product. The fact that some people on Kickstarter can't properly estimate how much a product will cost and deliver on their promises has nothing to do with a market where people create products first.
I am pretty sure mods were being sold prior to completion on promise they would improve over time. Could have sworn that was a feature steam mentioned.

I don't care about the overall quality, I care about the quality of the mods I want. If there's a thousand shitty clones of a good mod, it doesn't somehow detract from the original. It does however open up the possibility that one of those clones will actually be an undiscovered gem that has actually improved on the original.
Unless the shitty clones flood the market so you can't find the good one.
Or the creator never learns how to mod because the community deteriorated and the community-made tutorials and guides teaching people stop being made.
Or the creator gets fed up with people stealing his work and doesn't finish it.
Or the creator is DMCA'd out of the market because shovelware selling#765 saw him as competition.
Or the creator is DMCA'd by legitimate companies for using design similarities because money is involved.

I care about the mods I like and the community that helped make them. I see the change to a for-profit system as pretty bad for that.

As for bugs and issues? If you want your mod to make money, it seems logical that you would want it to run as well as possible. The only possible downsides come from a lack of information, which there's no excuse for on an online platform.
Assassin Creed would like to argue that point with you. A shoddy, buggy mess that sold well enough because people were willing to pay it and the people selling it didn't care. You'd think mod makers would want to make mods as well as possible. And when it is a passion project, you'd be right. When it is a financial project though, getting it sold comes first, not quality. Sometimes the former comes at the expense of the latter.

Like I said, I'd prefer a wider selection of good and bad games than a smaller selection of good and bad games.

And you know what hasn't been mentioned already? The fact that the free modding communities were already filled with crap. Have you tried searching for Skyrim mods on Nexus? Have you seen how many shitty, borderline pointless, and often buggy mods it has? Stop treating the community like it was already some golden city on the hill.
Oh there is a lot of crap, I don't disagree there. But what was it you mentioned before about shovelware being something someone enjoys? Aside from that, you keep working on the assumption that the mods that exist now will stay there, that it will only add new mods to the system. That isn't the case. Aside from people pulling mods, others will try to convert their current into pay-for, removing their current ones. As explained previously, there will be an influx in people jumping on solely to make a buck, so yes, mod numbers will grow there. But as mentioned previously, mod audience will shrink, and the community will wither and die, shrinking it further.

This would end up like taking hobbyists that make and share designs on PC towers having their community flooded by people selling madcatz controllers. After a point, the people that put effort into things will move on, leaving nothing but the vultures.

Ya, there's certainly an argument to be made for money incentivizing people to do things. Considering it's how western civilization has operated for millennia.
No, money incentivizes people to a certain extent. Usually up til survival, basic needs, and basic happiness is met. Then it stops being an incentive. Hell, many businesses are learning this truth as they realize increasing pay doesn't increase work effort any.

$400 is the minimum amount, not the maximum. Also, I don't know about you, but $400 doesn't sound measly to me, especially if I get it for doing something I love.
For over a 1000 hours, $400 is not enough. That was sort of my point, that at a point the amount of effort to make a quality mod will be so far above what they will ever make for it that it is absurd to think that providing money will increase the rate of those sorts of mods existing. Instead, it will be as little effort as possible charged for as high as the fledgling, unregulated market will allow.

And, a question I been pondering here, what happens when the person who would otherwise do a passion project to make an amazing mod decides to instead do a lot of small ones to make some fast cash because the feel they need to charge to justify the time spent on the mod? There is a limit to the human resources making mods, so I know it would happen.

And if those projects are shitty people won't buy them and the creator will make nothing.
People make shovelware for a reason. It may never be platinum, but if it sells enough, that is all that matters. The creators will not just make nothing and either change for the better or be driven out by market forces. They will abuse the system they exist within and make the money they seek.

Cookie-clicker was a free game created as a "passion project" by a French programmer in his down time. It wasn't until after it had exploded in popularity that ads were introduced and they haven't stopped it from being popular. Personally I think it's an ingenious parody of the skinnerbox gaming formula.
There is something inherently bothering about that set up. Something akin to a man on the curb telling you "the first hit is free".

Still, you'd be willing to agree that a skinnerbox game formula like that being used in mods doesn't actually result in quality mods, right?
 

Strazdas

Robots will replace your job
May 28, 2011
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SlumlordThanatos said:
But part of the problem with this is that there isn't a good alternative to Steam yet. GOG still doesn't have a lot of newer content (they're getting better, though) and Galaxy hasn't been released yet. Origin is still garbage and only has EA's games. And most sites where you can purchase games online just gives you a Steam code.

I imagine that if Steam doesn't backpedal on this decision sometime within the next week, we'll see a mass exodus from Steam as soon as Galaxy is released, if for no other reason than to screw over the people who are irreparably ruining the modding scene.

And to think, all they had to do was not be greedy...
GoG is great though it lacks selection. Origin is better than steam actually, its just that it lacks features and selection. And it sells plenty of non-EA games too btw.

Also i heard (but not confirmed) that Steam does not get a cut if you buy a code from Amazon or the like.

And yes, ive even heard of people that flat out gave up gaming because of Steam being so pervasive and them not wanting to do anything with steam anymore.

Ariolander said:
This answer is TEXTBOOK corporate doublespeak.
Fellow Ascended. I already posted this Here (Post #100) [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.874507-Gabe-Newell-Speaks-on-The-Whole-Paid-Skyrim-Mods-Debacle?page=3#21973865] and given the proper source.

Olas said:
Oh I don't? Well then please enlighten this ignorant fool, oh great sage of knowledge.
You dont. as you have shown once again in this reply. You are not an ignorant fool, simply most likely havent been a modder for a decade and thus dont know how things work on the inside.

As i already explained, modding community works by massive cooperation of users that many play their part, that, at the time they do it, has untangible benefit to the rest of community. When a person dissasects memry adresses he does not know how many or what kind of mods will use them. Neither he knows if hes going to work with somone else in the future by utilizing those resurces. what if he works with 10 people, who then work with other 10 people that results in 100 mods, none of which the original person is even named in, yet without his adress decoding none of it would exist. Now imagine if this was monetized, the entire chain would crash to a halt. and thats only one of the simpler examples because the labyrinth is something you learn by experience as its not openly visible for people that just download the mods and use them.

This results in a shitload of dependancies and interconnectivities that would mean the entire concept of how we make mods would have to be destroyed and remade to untangle it enough for proper monetization.

Im not agianst monetization of mods in theory, but the approach taken here is certainly not going to work for the better of the community, despite how many self-proclaimed professionals post here.

Happiness Assassin said:
Valve has rescinded on paid mods. Looks like people made their voices heard.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/04/27/valve-axes-paid-skyrim-mods?abthid=553ecb283bfc1aae6500002a
Sounds to me more like "we still want this but skyrim wasnt the right game to do it". but for the moment, enjoy the victory.
 

Olas

Hello!
Dec 24, 2011
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runic knight said:
I am sorry to all, this is long as hell.

Olas said:
As seems to be a pattern I've noticed, the real underlying issue appears to be Steams lack of responsible moderation. To reach out an olive branch, I agree that Steam does need to regulate their store more and better. If they did, would you agree that allowing modders to profit from their work is a good idea?
I never disliked the idea of modders getting profit itself, and I doubt anyone would be opposed to the idea that they can make some money from it. The problems stem from either terrible execution or the conversion of an existing system that is free to one that is profit-driven. Both are detrimental to modding in general and both impact free modding negatively.
Well I disagree, for reasons we'll explore below.
I am all for a donation button/tip-jar function or the use of popular mods to "vote" for modders to be allowed to make dev-ok'd user made DLC.
We're in agreement on this.

Youtube has the same underlying problem as Steam: no actual oversight. They want to be able to fix every problem with an algorithm so that they don't have to pay actual humans to properly manage their market.

However, the relevant comparison here isn't between Youtube right now and some perfect version of Youtube. It's between Youtube right now and Youtube if nobody was able to make any money from the videos they create. How many big Youtube channels do you think would remain if suddenly nobody on Youtube could make any money off their videos? Allowing people to profit from their work has expanded the quantity and quality of content by an order of magnitude.
I remember youtube back before everyone was trying to make money. I watched it transition into what it is now. I can assure you, lack of good content was never a problem.
I remember it too, and of course there was plenty of good content, but I would never think of going back to it now. I'm almost certain the majority of the channels I follow wouldn't exist without Youtube monetization, as flawed as it it, it's better than nothing.

Hell, in some respects quality has gone down actually as the atmosphere of competition and the financial incentive has brought some of the worst out in people. DMCA's have been weaponized and because people make profits, they have more weight.
You're delusional if you think the quality of Youtube videos has gone down, in any respects. Being able to make a living off Youtube has turned it into something ordinary people can safely invest significant time and money into. I can't even believe I'm having to argue this point. This is how the free market works, how capitalism works, people work for money.

That isn't to say I don't think people should be unable to make money off youtube, merely I saw life before monetization and it really wasn't worse then now, and was in many respects better for it. Less frequent updates for some, certainly, but hardly a inherent lack of quality in an overall view.
Ya, just keep telling yourself that.

As for how many would cease to exist if they cut the funds to the shows that grew into what they were because they relied on the money? I am sure plenty. But I am also sure that without the big heads to compete with, more newbies would try and we'd never have to worry about stagnation.
Oh, something would probably fill the void, but you'd have amateurs, not professionals. Right now you have both, and people can transition from one to the other. Why would you want to get rid of that? Right now the only argument you seem to have is that the current system isn't perfect, and the non-monetized system wasn't terrible.

Steam won't make any money if they wreck the modding scene and prevent creators from developing new content as you're suggesting. They have as much incentive to make this work as anyone. I don't see any logically consistent scenario where only Valve comes out ahead.

I also just don't understand how this is such a deterrent for modders. Nobody's being forced to participate, so if you don't like Steam you can ignore it. If someone steals your work and tries to monetize it they'll only be spreading your work farther with no cost to you, and nobody will pay for it anyway if they realize you're giving it away for free somewhere else.
Oh I agree they have no incentive to kill the mod scene, but as their actions show, and their recent backpedaling even cited, they don't really understand what they are doing when it comes to the mod community. Good intentions pave the way to hell.
Then they should be given a chance to learn, a good idea implemented poorly can be improved upon.
As for how it would deter modders, well what exactly do you know about what has motivated the modding community from inception?
I wouldn't pretend to know what the motivations of other people. If I had to guess I'd say most did it because they wanted to improve the game and test out and improve their skills.

I know most do it for love of the game or for the fame it can get them as being a popular name in that community. I know many teach themselves by gathering resources and help from others in a very hodgepodge manner. I know that people are protective of the work they put into things and want to protect it, not because they could make money off it, but because it is their baby.
And I'm sure none of them would ever want to make money off it if they could.

The only reason money hasn't been a part of the modding scene until now is that there hasn't been system in place for it. Every other kind of intellectual product, whether it be music, comedy, art, etc has been successfully monetized, and it has never stopped amateurs from existing alongside professionals. It's never stopped people from learning and teaching one another. You think the fact that people buy and sell music prevents people from teaching skills to each other?

Either you disagree with the entire way the modern world operates, or you think that mods are somehow fundamentally different from every other type of good that has ever existed.

You're looking at a model that has only existed one way because of technical constraints, and assuming that it's the only way it can or should work.

And paid mods invites a cancer into that. Aside from flagrant theft of ideas, there are other issues.
Plagarism is as old as art itself. If you think the fact that people will inevitably try to copy each others' work is a reason not to try to commercialize it in the first place than you should be against every professional artist who's ever lived.

First is modders seeing each other as competition keep things closer to the vest.

The community nature to help and teach vanishes when there is a limited number of people willing to pay. And even the free modders will suffer once people start withholding what they learned, or start to charge for it.
You seem to have a very optimistic view of people when it suits you, and a very cynical view of people when it suits you.

You think the same people who would spend time creating content totally for free, would then refuse to help newbies because of the off chance that doing so will reduce their profits a miniscule amount?

Anyway, I know first hand this isn't true of programming. I'm currently perusing a degree in Information Systems and despite there being a lot of money in writing programs professionally, the amount of free resources available is enormous. I simply don't know of any real world scenario that has played out like the one you're describing.

The idea of gaining fame also becomes far less likely when mods will be ripped off and no one will know for sure who made what.
I would think simply checking which version of a mod was uploaded first would answer that.

Modders up til now have relied on the honor system about that since there was no real incentive to steal and a lot of community negativity to it. Now though? I could steal a lot of mods from nexus, mess with code a little to remove any mention of the original creator and poof, I stripped a free modder of the only reward they wanted in recognition.
Oh please. How exactly is the existence of your mod costing them any recognitions. If the mod still exists on Nexus you haven't stripped the modder of anything. Chances are one of the first reviews for your mod will be someone linking to the original free version and then they'll get additional traffic and publicity from you until your mod gets taken down.

As for realizing you can get it free elsewhere...you wont. You will have to go out and search it, probably under a different name and different creator, since any theft worth their salt is going to make tracing the path more difficult.
If it's for the same game, under the same category, it will be discovered very quickly, if not by Valve than certainly by the community. When The Slaughtering Grounds stole art assets from someone's deviantart page it was discovered very quickly, even though it was only an element within the game and not a copy/paste of the entire thing.
Garbage which will in no way affect good mods.
Except when it comes to trying to find those other mods amid a sea of shit,
The good stuff will rise to the top. How do you think popular Youtube videos get recognition amongst that "sea of shit". If people can't find the mods they're looking for it's the fault of the store for having a poor navigation and search functions.

or when those mods start DMCA'ing the competition like youtubers resorted to,
Well, seeing as how these are mods that wouldn't have existed in the first place without monetization, I don't see how the possibility of them getting DMCA'ed is a drawback.

or when the lack of effort and rampant hostility that comes from competition drives them out of the community itself in disgust.
Ya, because competition usually results in a lack of effort. Again, I don't see how competition would drive out any person who was creating mods out of a passion to begin with. Once again it sounds like you're saying the people who are already working for NO money would leave the community if they couldn't make ENOUGH money.
An inevitable market burst? You can't just throw that out there without explaining it. Why would a market burst be "inevitable"?
A combination of effects already determinable based on human nature and effects this will cause.

First is the increase in junk mods for cash. This harms the overall community, reduces it, makes it less friendly and generally poisons the whole thing. This causes a massive flood of shovelware mods into the market while also undermining the core reason that "market" existed in the first place: the fact mods are free and the community is cooperative.

Next is the point I just mentioned, that longevity will shrink when mods start to cost money. This means that market that got flooded suddenly has a lot less audience to sell to. This is also impacted on the fact that the mods themselves, being shovelware, will likely be shit or theft and thus very untrustworthy as mods the players investment are worth.

Finally, because of that, what buyers there are will simply stop. Similar to the housing crash in the states, the toxic assets, unscrupulous dealers and fed-up customers will cause the bubble to collapse in on itself. And the result will takes years to clean up.
sigh...
I guess modders will just have to give away their worthless creations for free then.

Anyway, if this is the inevitable route of the modding market, why hasn't there been a Youtube crash? Or a mobile games crash? Where is the precedent for this elaborate scenario you've made up?

Only when Valve fails to do their job properly. Sure some legal scrutiny is inevitable, but it's just a side effect of a marketplace going legit. You want something to be more than a side hobby for a bunch of enthusiasts? You're going to have to put up with some legal issues.
Valve has a history of implementing half-assed ideas and never finishing them. you want me to have any confidence they can hand this on even the most basic of levels, ask me when they fix the Greenlight system. I would rather not have a community I like be destroyed because valve wanted to try a social experiment for a little extra cash with no ability or no understanding of how to handle the mess it makes.
You know, none of this makes any goddamn sense. Why does the community you like have to respond to Valve at all if they don't want to? Valve isn't coming into Nexus and stealing away all the mods and putting them behind paywalls. You and the community can completely ignore Valve if you want to. If nobody was making any money to begin with what can Valve or Steam possibly do to them?

This is just so stupid.

I'm not sure what you're referring to here. It seems like these little social circles are just a result of the internet in general. I'm not sure how it relates to monetization.
Monetization feeds excuse to use underhanded tactics, as now it is money on the line. I recall money was also a motivating reason why the youtube atheism v. christianity went the way it did, and part of why the following civil war of youtube atheists became so sour and bitter.
Yawn. And I'm supposed to care about this why?

Treating an independent modder like a large company delusional stupidity on the part of any consumers. Any modder selling their content should be free to clarify who they are and what they do so that there's no confusion. Some tension between supply and demand is going to occur, but that's for the best since it drives prices to a reasonable equilibrium that works best for everyone.
In a perfect system. Which we don't have and never would by the groundwork layed by steam. Also, modders for decades HAD an equilibrium that worked best for all involved. That was free,

I'm not sure you understand what the concept of price equilibrium is. Modders didn't decide their content should be free, they didn't set that price. It was the only price available because no monetization existed.

since the modders got rewarded in means other then financial. Notoriety, experience, community...
Ya, why can't other markets operate like this? Next time I buy a sandwich at Subway, I'll tell them I'm paying them in my respect for them and their work.

It was and is good for modders of decades past and most today.
It was good enough for the modders willing to do it for free.

Why does the system need to be shattered in such a ham-fisted way to cater to people motivated by money? Why not merely implement a system where mods can apply to developers to be commission to make user-made DLC instead?
Wouldn't that also be motivated by money?

Also, virtually every single product you use was created by people motivated by money, from the computer you're typing this on, to the website we're communicating on. The idea that money somehow poisons the well just negates the entire way our world works.

I just don't get why this is seen as such a drawback. Any popular market is going to become filled with shovelware. So what? When the Wii became a hit it got flooded with shovelware. As a Wii owner, did this bother me at all? No. All it did was give me some amusement to look at the ridiculous crap people were pumping out for it. As long as there's still a way to find the stuff worth purchasing, I don't care what else exists. Besides, who has the right to declare any particular game, app, mod, or video "shovelware". For all you know some people may genuinely enjoy it.
Because Nintedo's quality products weren't living in a system akin to the wold west where no one had oversight and people weren't trying to screw them over or steal their work.
Eh, we're getting back to implementation again. I don't want Steam to be a "wild west". I just think it would be preferable over the socialist utopia you seem to envision.
As for declaring it shovelware, you understood the concept I was arguing well enough, so the point was made. Not that people can't genuinely enjoy them, merely that a market flooded with low quality, quickly tossed out attempt to gain money detracts from the quality work if there is no real way to distinguish between.
If only there existed some sort of, I don't know, review system. Like, where people could rate games and give them recommendations. Nah, nothing like that could ever work.

Nintendo has popular character with brand recognition. Modders do not.
You think the only popular Wii games were first party titles?



That's not specific.
Neither is that.
Anti-consumer: Terrible quality, poor customer service, underhanded marketing tactics, dishonest claims of product features, unrepresented prices, withholding or consealing information relevant to the purchase, etc.
Okay, now explain why these things will result from monetizing mods
Cash-grabs: Efforts done solely to make a quick buck, often a lowest amount of effort project that relies on some marketable aspect as opposed to quality or value itself. off the top of my head, selling a "zelda overhaul" mod on the idea of converting models and textures to represent that game, and ending up with one that changes the texture on the chickens and promises to finish the mod "in the future".
Ya, I don't see that taking off.

I'll grant you that copyright and IP laws are super outdated and unequipped to handle markets where the product is software. I don't know what the solution is, but I don't think it's to just remove the markets for said software entirely.
Why is it that there needs to be a market in the first place?
Because people like to make money? And I'm willing to give someone money if they offer me something I want in return for it? You know, the free market system that's used for practically everything? I'm sure if people couldn't sell videogames for money some enthusiasts would still create some in their free time and put them online for free. It would just be a lot smaller and wouldn't feature anything remotely resembling Triple A titles.

And I'm sure you'd argue against letting video-game developers charge for their games because it would lead to theft and selfish hogging of assets and cause creators to leave in disgust and ultimately cause a collapse.

and why must it be in the rotting corpse of the modding community after this idea kills it? I am curious why a system and community that has worked for decades needs to be made into a market in the first place.
Riding horses worked for thousands of years, why did we need to replace them with these cars?

So far all I hear is vague idea of "it will make mods better" with no actual evidence other then the presumption that adding money to the mix will improve quality.
Well there can't be actual evidence of whether it works until it's been attempted. You know that as well as me. People are just applying the same logic to modding that's been applied to every other artistic medium. If it fails as horrendously as you're predicting at least then we'll know, but I don't see that happening.

Instead, I have seen the threat of such a system chill the community, result in many mods pulled for fear of what will happen to them and only a select few even making profits.
The fact that modders are pissed that they'll have to pay money for stuff doesn't prove that the model is broken. It proves that human beings are acting like human beings always do.

It wont make mods better, it will make a very small group of modders a little money, and the developers and steam a lot more.
Well then even that is something. Those modders deserve to make money.

It seems to me that the state of the mobile games market is at least partially the result of apathetic consumers who just want a distraction while riding the bus. If the majority of people who play these games actually devoted large sums of time and money to them, like gamers do for major releases, they would probably demand more from it and seek out genuine quality. That's how I see it. I could be wrong.
tell me, if you have to pick between investing large amounts of money into a game or investing a little amount, which will you do? You'd probably do it based on the audience, with some metric to justify the more money only if you have a big enough audience.

Modding has no market that is measurable, it only has potential markets because of the popularity of it. As such, anyone with money to invest will do so sparingly, that means small. Or they will try to turn profits made into the next mod, which will still be small.
Exactly my point. You can't have large investment in mods if there's no return. Some people will be willing to produce content for free up until a point, but only a small amount will, and they will have to fit it alongside their actual career.

That doesn't seem like a great example to use. Flappy bird was a huge hit. For some reason, people loved it. And the creator could have made a fortune off it. I don't know why he wanted to kill it (well I sorta do, but his stated reason is ridiculous) however, if he had been successful in destroying it he would have taken away a game a lot of people enjoyed.

Note, this would have been just as true if it weren't monetized.
My point is that you just demonstrated that nothing about this is about the creators. As you said, the creator could have made a fortune off it, but didn't. Instead, he wanted to kill it, but others took his idea, ran with it and made their own profits. It was never about the will of the creator to make money, but the fact that someone wants to make money off any idea, regardless what the actual creator wants.
The creator didn't want to make money anymore, so he didn't. Seems like he got what he wanted. The fact that he couldn't kill the idea says nothing about monetization, if he had never monetized it to begin with he still wouldn't have been able to kill it. You can't kill a concept as simple and easily reproducible as Flappybird was, end of story.

You see a group of people gathered into a community and your thought is how to monetize it. Not for the good of the community, not for the good of the creators, but for the sake of monetizing it.
Oh for gods sakes, so Valve isn't doing this for the right REASONS!?! Ya, how dare they try and tap into an untouched revenue stream. It's not like they're a for profit business for fucks sake. And they have every reason to believe it will benefit both the creators and even the consumers in the long run. This is an obvious idea, and a good one.

That's a tautology. Of course it wasn't money based, how could it have been when there was no money? That doesn't prove that those creators wouldn't have preferred to make money. It doesn't prove that allowing them to mod as a full time job wouldn't have improved the quantity and quality of their work. It doesn't prove that there aren't more people who would have tried modding if they could make money from it.
And nothing in what you have said has proved that adding money will make it any better.
No, but you can't know if you never try. If the prerequisite for trying new ideas was having empirical evidence that they will work ahead of time we would never try new ideas.

You're arguing that modders haven't been working for money as if that proves anything when they had no choice in the matter. It's like saying that people back in the 1920s must have preferred radio to television because they always listened to the radio instead of watching TV. It's blatantly faulty logic and I think you're well aware of it.

As for creators preferences, well as the flappy bird guy shows, there are creators that don't.
The flappy bird guy was fine with monetizing his game initially, it was only when it exploded into a phenomenon that he backed out. Besides, this is one anecdotal example, and an unusual one at that.

As the community at large shows, there are a lot of people that don't want their community made into a "market".
Then they can continue to distribute it for free. You make it sound like Valve's chopping down the rainforest. Nobody's home is getting destroyed. What part of voluntary don't you get?

As the hsitory of modding has shown, it has grown and been successful in the way it existed without monetizing.
I think it has done admirably well in spite of the fact that modders cannot profit from their work. I think many of them would like to, some of which have said so themselves.

As youtube has shown, adding money can have negative results to the community.
Youtube is a success story. Why would you want to use it as a bad example? Youtube practically owns the online video market. I wish there was more competition, but you can't look at Youtube and say, with honesty, that the monetization isn't working.

So the options were:

a. Make mods for games you love for free
b. Make a completely different game from scratch and just accept that the game you already love will never be improved in the way you want.

People didn't mod because they wanted to do it for free. They modded because they wanted the games they loved to be better, and the fact that they had to do it for free was out of their control.
or just off the top of my head
C. request permission to mod a game and sell it as DLC
And that's different than charging for mods how? If your only issue is that the mods won't be authorized by the original game developers you haven't brought that up in this entire discussion.

No, the fact that they had to do it for free was because they knew nearly no one would pay them upfront for a mod (that itself is nearly always incomplete, buggy, and the source of conflicts with the game or other mods),
That doesn't speak to well of the modding community then. Although I don't think you're giving these mods nearly enough credit, some of them introduce entire new weapons, enemies, and features. You think people wouldn't pay for that? I probably would, depending on the price.

The way you present it is if all the modders would be happy to be paid for their work, and indeed they all would with the same happiness I would be to be paid to wash my clothing on a regular basis.
That's a weird analogy to make. But ya, I guess it works, if people were willing to pay me to wash my clothes for some reason.

I don't want to misrepresent people, but it seems a lot of them, you included, are against the IDEA of letting modders charge for their work, in addition to complaints about specific implementation. If this was just about the specific implementation of Steam, then I wouldn't be having this discussion because I mostly agree with you on that.
Perhaps part of mine and many other's reaction is to the idea of being charged for a mod, you may have a point there.
I didn't say that you were against it because you didn't want to pay for mods. I said you seemed against the idea of letting modders charge for their work in concept, and not merely Steams specific implementation.

I don't care what personal motivations you have for thinking this way. An idea is right or wrong regardless of how you feel about it.

I mean considering the behavior of developers to remove parts of a completed game to instead charge extra money for it or to lock it behind a paywall, it would certainly make sense that people would respond negatively to a previously free community-driven aspect was uprooted because a select few wanted to instead charge for their not-professional, fan-made work.
Vote with your wallet then, you don't like it, don't buy it.

But if that was the case, why would so many be crusading for a donation button then?
I don't care.

Why would so many be willing to give money and set up a system that rewards effort without it being obligatory or exploitable?
I'd guess it's the non-obligatory part. Since they won't have to pay any money. Once again though, it doesn't matter.

I will be honest, the idea of charging for mods upfront is one I detest on a personal level. I view it akin to someone picking up a piece of trash on the street walking over to me after and demanding a payment for the effort.
That's not a fair comparison. Nobody is demanding that you ever pay for anything. You don't want to buy the mods, don't.

Something the community was doing for free before now being given a pricetag because someone wanted money.
Oh, the world is so unfair.

Modding has a community built around cooperation, sharing resources and putting in passion for recognition or just the hobby itself.
You sure are a good spokesman for it.

Putting a financial incentive into that system changes it. It breeds competition and distrust. It turns fan-projects into jobs and deliverables.
I've never heard someone talk so negatively about competition. Competition breads quality, everyone knows that. It's about as universal a truth as you can get. Whether it's competition between species, or sports teams, or nations, or businesses, competing makes people work hard to improve.

Remember what people are getting. An untested,
Untested? What kind of mods do you use?

unprofessional
depends on the mod, some are very professional, DESPITE being made for free.

fan-made thing that may not work right, may conflict and may never be updated after first release.
There's a lot of mays in there. As long as consumers aren't being misinformed about the content I don't care. If modders start lying about what the mod does, or saying it's compatible with other mods that it's not, then we have fraud which is illegal.

To say there is potential for cons and scams is an understatement.
Just like in any poorly regulated marketplace.

But the potential for it also shapes opinions of those who would otherwise try mods. Looking at mods as potential scams does not help the community nor the growth of it.
I agree, having an atmosphere of trust is beneficial, if not necessary for a strong healthy marketplace.

I think that's a good idea, but it's not a replacement for letting creators charge up front. Fun fact: most people on the internet aren't super charitable. Besides, there's already Patreon.
I would think decades of people making and submitting mods to the rest of the community is pretty charitable myself,
Earlier you compared it to washing one's own clothing. Either you think they're doing for selfish reasons or you don't. Besides, I'm not saying charity doesn't exist, I'm just pointing out the obvious and well established fact that most people won't pay for something if they don't have to. Some will, but it won't compare to if it weren't optional.

so I guess I have decent hopes that modders would be fairly nice. But if that is the case, instead of a pay wall, implement optional advertisements.
Works for me. The more options the better.

Assuming the dev wants to wade through mountains of mods waiting for approval, and assuming modders are willing to wait long periods of time for the possibility that their mod will be approved. I thought the point of modding was that it was independent.
Mountains? A basic voting system and measure of mod popularity to decide potential candidates would reduce that to very manageable.
If a voting system can measure the popularity of a mod and differentiate the worthy from the crap, then you don't need to worry about shovelware to begin with. Having to submit them to a developer seems like a needless additional step.

And once a rhythm is established, it could be regularly released DLC too.

As for modders being independent, you forfeit that when you change it from being a hobby to being a job.
You're joking right? Entire games are made by small teams or individuals. What do you think the word "indie" is short for?

And if I am paying for a mod, that is the same as me commissioning a work. I expect quality
Depending how much you paid. I don't expect the cheapest beer at the liquor store to be high in quality.

and I expect to get what I was promised. A free hobby project that someone gets to on their spare time is just that, you get what you get. Start charging money though and expectations change.
Exactly, which is why it leads to higher quality products.

But that is just another issue with the whole thing, and another example of why charging for mods sort of undermines the entire point of mods.
I'm not seeing the negative here.

Call me cycnical, but I suspect at least some of this reaction is coming from people worried they'll have to pay money for mods that they'd otherwise get for free. The issues you've stated aren't entirely without merit, but they're factors that come with any legitimate marketplace.
I'll mention this again, but you keep using the term "marketplace". Modding isn't one. It was never intended to be one considering the nature of how it formed and grew and the results of that growth.
I didn't realize modding was ever "intended" to be anything. Who's doing the intending here?

Then give me some examples. The mobile gaming market isn't a good one. It's thriving and full of good games. The ability to monetize games hasn't killed it.
You want me to give you examples... of something I was saying I haven't seen?
No, I want you to give examples of times that people said quality would improve with monetization, and it didn't. You said "it's remarkable" how many times this has happened.

As if passion and monetary compensation are mutually exclusive. If people are passionate now, why would they stop?
They aren't mutual exclusive, but only one actually accomplishes quality, and it isn't the money part of things.
Really? You don't think demand for money accomplishes quality? Sometimes it doesn't, but only if the consumer doesn't put pressure on the business to produce quality in the first place. If people are willing to pay for quality, people will try to provide it.

I don't care about the overall quality, I care about the quality of the mods I want. If there's a thousand shitty clones of a good mod, it doesn't somehow detract from the original. It does however open up the possibility that one of those clones will actually be an undiscovered gem that has actually improved on the original.
Unless the shitty clones flood the market so you can't find the good one.
Which has never happened in any marker I've ever participated in.
Or the creator never learns how to mod because the community deteriorated and the community-made tutorials and guides teaching people stop being made.
Something else which has never happened in any industry I've ever seen.

Or the creator gets fed up with people stealing his work and doesn't finish it.
We talked about plagiarism before.

Or the creator is DMCA'd out of the market because shovelware selling#765 saw him as competition.
Implementation. I don't like the idea of this any more than you do, but it's only an issue if the original creator stands to gain money in the first place.
As for bugs and issues? If you want your mod to make money, it seems logical that you would want it to run as well as possible. The only possible downsides come from a lack of information, which there's no excuse for on an online platform.
Assassin Creed would like to argue that point with you. A shoddy, buggy mess that sold well enough because people were willing to pay it and the people selling it didn't care. You'd think mod makers would want to make mods as well as possible. And when it is a passion project, you'd be right. When it is a financial project though, getting it sold comes first, not quality. Sometimes the former comes at the expense of the latter.
Fine, I'll concede this. People need to stop preordering games. I can't help the fact that consumers are stupid and will eat shit because Ubisoft created a nice looking trailer.

Like I said, I'd prefer a wider selection of good and bad games than a smaller selection of good and bad games.

And you know what hasn't been mentioned already? The fact that the free modding communities were already filled with crap. Have you tried searching for Skyrim mods on Nexus? Have you seen how many shitty, borderline pointless, and often buggy mods it has? Stop treating the community like it was already some golden city on the hill.
Oh there is a lot of crap, I don't disagree there. But what was it you mentioned before about shovelware being something someone enjoys? Aside from that, you keep working on the assumption that the mods that exist now will stay there, that it will only add new mods to the system. That isn't the case.
I strongly disagree, the ability to earn a profit will create incentives and possibilities for many more people to create mods who aren't currently.

Aside from people pulling mods, others will try to convert their current into pay-for, removing their current ones.
And what's wrong with that? I didn't say it would increase the selection of free mods.

This would end up like taking hobbyists that make and share designs on PC towers having their community flooded by people selling madcatz controllers. After a point, the people that put effort into things will move on, leaving nothing but the vultures.
I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

Valve isn't going to "flood" Nexusmods.
Ya, there's certainly an argument to be made for money incentivizing people to do things. Considering it's how western civilization has operated for millennia.
No, money incentivizes people to a certain extent. Usually up til survival, basic needs, and basic happiness is met.
It's hard to attain these on zero dollars an hour. And if what you're saying were true, people wouldn't pursue high paying jobs and careers. You may not care if you're ever rich, but that doesn't mean you can say that other people don't or shouldn't.

Then it stops being an incentive. Hell, many businesses are learning this truth as they realize increasing pay doesn't increase work effort any.
And yet CEOs keep raising their own pay into ludicrous amounts even long after they've attained all the things you've mentioned above.

$400 is the minimum amount, not the maximum. Also, I don't know about you, but $400 doesn't sound measly to me, especially if I get it for doing something I love.
For over a 1000 hours, $400 is not enough.
There's no reason to suggest all mods will take 1000 hours to complete, and no reason to assume they'll make the minimum profits possible. Those are just 2 numbers you chose. And saying that $400 isn't enough when you're arguing for zero dollars is just driving me insane.

That was sort of my point, that at a point the amount of effort to make a quality mod will be so far above what they will ever make for it that it is absurd to think that providing money will increase the rate of those sorts of mods existing. Instead, it will be as little effort as possible charged for as high as the fledgling, unregulated market will allow.
You're speculating on how much money a mod could make, which is a baseless assumption, and then claiming that because of that people won't be willing to put effort into them, when they're already putting effort into mods for free.

And, a question I been pondering here, what happens when the person who would otherwise do a passion project to make an amazing mod decides to instead do a lot of small ones to make some fast cash because the feel they need to charge to justify the time spent on the mod?
That's their decision.

And if those projects are shitty people won't buy them and the creator will make nothing.
People make shovelware for a reason. It may never be platinum, but if it sells enough, that is all that matters.
If it sells well, then I wouldn't call it shovelware
The creators will not just make nothing and either change for the better or be driven out by market forces. They will abuse the system they exist within and make the money they seek.
In what ways will they "abuse the system"
Cookie-clicker was a free game created as a "passion project" by a French programmer in his down time. It wasn't until after it had exploded in popularity that ads were introduced and they haven't stopped it from being popular. Personally I think it's an ingenious parody of the skinnerbox gaming formula.
There is something inherently bothering about that set up. Something akin to a man on the curb telling you "the first hit is free".
Except in this case every other hit is free too, just eventually the hits will have some advertising on the side.
Still, you'd be willing to agree that a skinnerbox game formula like that being used in mods doesn't actually result in quality mods, right?
Of course.
 

DrOswald

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Bix96 said:
DrOswald said:
The current pack of modders are not professionals, but bringing money into the equation will attract professionals. I know this because I am a professional and I am really interested in what is happening. Specifically, I am a professional programmer, and if this were a game I was interested in modding (say X-Com:EU) then I would almost certainly give this a shot. I even know who my first pick would be for my writer, my concept artist, my animator, or my 3d modeler (depending on what skills my project would need). These are all professionals in their respective fields. I have worked with all of them before on freelance and other small scale projects. And if some of them are unwilling or unable to work on it, I have other people I know I could turn to. Because I am a professional and I have been doing what professionals do, networking.

The reason you do not work alone is because together you can make more money. If you split 3 times the money 2 ways then you came out ahead. The lone wolf attitude of not wanting to share profits is the foolishness of amateurs who don't actually know how to make a quality product and how to make money.
This right here leads me to believe you have little clue as to what you are talking about here... You listed five people you would have on your team so you must realize that even if you sold your mod for $10 (twice the price as the professional hearthfire dlc) you would only receive $2.50 that you would then have to split five ways totaling out to 50 cents a sale. So I ask you as a "professional" do you seriously consider that worth months of your time?
It depends on how much of my time is actually put into the project and how many I sell. If I sold 10,000 copies, it is almost assuredly worth my time. And you are only going to create a quality mod that sells a lot by having a quality team. Plus, creating quality content that only a team of complementing skills could put together will establish our reputation, allowing us to sell even more in the future.

I know the economics of working in a team. I have done it before. I will do it again, because it is the far more profitable option.

And no, I didn't say I would have 5 people on my team, I said I knew who would be my first choice for each of those skills depending on what my project needs.
 

DrOswald

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gmaverick019 said:
shirkbot said:
DrOswald said:
Now I can't remember for sure because it's been a while since I'd seen anything on it, but from what I know it's basically GOG's version of the steam store/community/program. It hasn't been released just yet but I'm PRETTY sure that's what it's going to be, but I'll let slumlord answer you on that one better.

At the end of the day, if this attracts *more professional* modders, or make better quality mods, then that is great! I just don't like the way it's been implemented by valve, and I don't like how bethesda and valve get to take such hefty cuts when they do jack shit compared to what they've done before (they've already hosted the mods on there in the first place, and modding has been happening for over 2 decades..so them taking such big cuts just doesn't sit right with me, which is why I'm against the current system that is now in place).

edit: here you go!

http://www.gog.com/galaxy

not much more on it so far I think.

edit edit:

http://www.gog.com/forum/general/gog_galaxy_client_closed_alpha

okay THAT's as recent as it goes.
So it is a GOG steamish style client? Sounds awesome. This will go a long way to making GOG a bigger competitor to valve, which is only a good thing.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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gmaverick019 said:
Olas said:
Of course.
holy shit.

tl; dr

this might be the longest post I've ever seen on the escapist. Not sure if I should applaud your determination or be leery of it.
This isn't even the longest post I've created. I once got into an argument with someone about the existence of objective morality, and our posts dwarfed the entire rest of the thread combined.

This is also why judging someone's activity by their number of posts is inherently flawed.
 

Lightknight

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Nov 26, 2008
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Adding a donation button is a fantastic idea. Kudos to them for adding that (if they actually follow through).

CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Steven Bogos said:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
It's entirely plausible that incorporating financial incentives for modders will mean we can get more and better mods in the future. He's not wrong, money does drive and steer work. Right now we're basically relying on people to create just out of passion. That's great but what if we could also get people who are skilled but aren't willing/able to devote that time for free?

In my estimate, their only failure here was picking Skyrim to launch this on. They already had too developed of a community for this.

loa said:
If he thinks 25% for modders who only get paid if their mod sells for at least 100$ (which turns into 400$ required revenue to be paid at all due to the 75% reduction) empowers modders and if he thinks introducing a money flow into something that lives off of cross-pollination and community cooperation supports the system, he either didn't think this through at all or is lying.
25% isn't that bad. In today's real world games, development studios only get around 15% with the rest going to publishers (30%), retail stores (20%), marketing (15%) and console manufacturers (20%).

http://unrealitymag.com/video-games/how-your-60-video-game-is-chopped-up/

In this scenario, Steam is the marketing and the console manufacturer (platform) while Bethesda is the publisher, also marketing, and potentially the retail store since their page is their own store front. The "developers" would be the modders in this model.

If they don't think this is a fair deal then they can continue to do what they've been doing. It's not like every game hasn't been cracked in a way that would allow third party modding.
 

Lightknight

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Nov 26, 2008
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ShakerSilver said:
[HEADING=2]Not exactly true.[/HEADING]He was saying that the mod authors can set the minimum to $0 for their pay-as-you-like mod. Mods can still have a minimum price above $0 or just have a set price.

So he basically said a whole lot of nothing on the matter. Thanks Gabe.
Not really, he said it's a donation and said that consumers can pay $0 if that's what they feel the game is worth. You may be reading into it too much. A term like "donation" carries with it a very real weight of being optional.
 
Sep 14, 2009
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Lightknight said:
ShakerSilver said:
[HEADING=2]Not exactly true.[/HEADING]He was saying that the mod authors can set the minimum to $0 for their pay-as-you-like mod. Mods can still have a minimum price above $0 or just have a set price.

So he basically said a whole lot of nothing on the matter. Thanks Gabe.
Not really, he said it's a donation and said that consumers can pay $0 if that's what they feel the game is worth. You may be reading into it too much. A term like "donation" carries with it a very real weight of being optional.
yes the word "donation" carries a connotation with it, something that valve and bethesda can't get their grubby little hands on. (not saying they deserve nothing, but taking 75% of the cut? no thanks.)

And yes, you can quote every article in the world that states that is how developers work with publishers is now, but I couldn't care less, I'm focusing on modding right now.

So yes, he was using corporate speak there to sound better than it was.
 

TruthInGaming

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Gabe has brought enough good things into my life that I can cut him slack when he gets online and hosts damage control over a really bad idea. Seriously though what were they thinking?
 

TruthInGaming

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gmaverick019 said:
Lightknight said:
ShakerSilver said:
[HEADING=2]Not exactly true.[/HEADING]He was saying that the mod authors can set the minimum to $0 for their pay-as-you-like mod. Mods can still have a minimum price above $0 or just have a set price.

So he basically said a whole lot of nothing on the matter. Thanks Gabe.
Not really, he said it's a donation and said that consumers can pay $0 if that's what they feel the game is worth. You may be reading into it too much. A term like "donation" carries with it a very real weight of being optional.
yes the word "donation" carries a connotation with it, something that valve and bethesda can't get their grubby little hands on. (not saying they deserve nothing, but taking 75% of the cut? no thanks.)

And yes, you can quote every article in the world that states that is how developers work with publishers is now, but I couldn't care less, I'm focusing on modding right now.

So yes, he was using corporate speak there to sound better than it was.
Gabe doesn't strike me as a corporate shill. A half life 3 soul crushing smuck maybe but not a corporate shill.
 

CpT_x_Killsteal

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Lightknight said:
Adding a donation button is a fantastic idea. Kudos to them for adding that (if they actually follow through).

CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Steven Bogos said:
and that a kind of "donation" system will be hitting paid mods soon, that modifies the "pay-as-you-like" system so that fans can pay $0, allowing them to donate as much or as little money as they feel the mod is worth.
Did he? I couldn't find that bit. I can't find him mentioning this anywhere whatsoever. Please point it out to me, cos if I've missed it I'll be overjoyed.

Unfortunately there's one line that's really stuck with everyone:
It's entirely plausible that incorporating financial incentives for modders will mean we can get more and better mods in the future. He's not wrong, money does drive and steer work. Right now we're basically relying on people to create just out of passion. That's great but what if we could also get people who are skilled but aren't willing/able to devote that time for free?

In my estimate, their only failure here was picking Skyrim to launch this on. They already had too developed of a community for this.
Do you have infinite money? If not, you won't be getting more.

And the sacrifices just for that one positive aren't worth it. It'll be like an infinite DLC generator. Gods fucking no.
 

blackrave

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Steven Bogos said:
I still disagree with such approach.
Modders shouldn't be allowed to set price themselves.
Better solution would be empty window where user can enter any sum to tip modder.
(with bigger cut to modders- at this point it's pointless to use Steam over Paypal)
Only advantage of built-in system would be option to pay using Steam wallet.
I know I have few bucks from selling cards on that, so that could use that to tip
If provided with option I would tip guys behind SKSE and SkyUI for sure
(anyone knows if they provide links to their Paypal accounts? I can't find those neither on Nexus, nor Steam)
 
Sep 14, 2009
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TruthInGaming said:
gmaverick019 said:
Lightknight said:
ShakerSilver said:
[HEADING=2]Not exactly true.[/HEADING]He was saying that the mod authors can set the minimum to $0 for their pay-as-you-like mod. Mods can still have a minimum price above $0 or just have a set price.

So he basically said a whole lot of nothing on the matter. Thanks Gabe.
Not really, he said it's a donation and said that consumers can pay $0 if that's what they feel the game is worth. You may be reading into it too much. A term like "donation" carries with it a very real weight of being optional.
yes the word "donation" carries a connotation with it, something that valve and bethesda can't get their grubby little hands on. (not saying they deserve nothing, but taking 75% of the cut? no thanks.)

And yes, you can quote every article in the world that states that is how developers work with publishers is now, but I couldn't care less, I'm focusing on modding right now.

So yes, he was using corporate speak there to sound better than it was.
Gabe doesn't strike me as a corporate shill. A half life 3 soul crushing smuck maybe but not a corporate shill.
I'm not saying he is an all out corporate shill, as you put it, but he reworded exactly what they were already doing just in a way that made it sound more consumer friendly even though they were getting the exact same cut of the cheese.
 

Quellist

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Oct 7, 2010
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I have full confidence this will work out great, just look at Steam's solid gold record of keeping useless scam content out of Greenlight and Early access.

Oh wait...
 

Kathinka

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So he came back from somewhere after this decision was made, a decision I won't believe for a second he didn't know about, or didn't know that it would cause controversy. He then plays innocent and goes like "huh, I wonder what that's about?" Yeaaaaah I don't buy it.

I was there when the Reddit thread happened. Gabe was incredibly weasely and only answered the easy questions, and even those in a very corporate PR way that essentially said nothing. I lost some respect for the company, I have to admit.