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Steam tries to monetise the modscene, hilarity expected


Melan
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Sorry, Im a bit confused. When youre modding you are taking a known, existing game/character/lore and tinkering with it to make it your own, closer to your own tastes. Or maybe you are taking that existing IP and expanding on it, creating your own stories, your own vision of what that work could well be if it continued to grow. I used to draw and read fan fiction for Conan the barbarian. I would in no way believe it right (or even necessary, really) to try and pass those creations as commercial work, try to sell them. No one wanted to sell their Conan fan fiction (as far as I knew), they were happy to immagine a new Conan adventure and pass it on to other fans, expanding the character's universe, which they loved. Its the same for games, you are working on an existing world and IP. Damn, that was never meant to be "legal", yeah its piracy, its in the readmes, you cant reproduce or modify the files, but you do it anyway, because you believe that that thing you really like could be even better if only you adjusted this and that. And then you want to share your contribution with other people, and you can all expand on this work of fiction you really enjoy, together.

 

Its a twisted logic for game publishers to try and take money from this spontaneous, anarchic underground "market" of ideas and works that was always meant to be, in my eyes, something that comes from player to player, fan to fan. Companies have nothing to do with mods, they should be proud people care enough about something they did, that they continue to make it grow on their own.

 

What you guys who are in favour of this probably are thinking about are the TCs out there, because they are complete bodies of work, and could indeed entitle the creator(s) some payment for their original IP and efforts. A lot of them are still labours of love, like our own Hexen TC being done over Doom3 like DarkMod was. They are taking that IP and expanding on it as fans. But I sure dont have anything against someone creating a whole different TC game and putting it for sale, so long as the game's infrastructure being used as a base allows for that. Those are basicly Indie games, and Im all for more of those. But really, paying for a new flame sword? A new hair model? A "complete revamp" on the game and ai stats that supposedly make it how it was meant to be but only actually makes it unplayable and buggy and frustrating and incompatible with future patches? Thanks, if its so important for you to be payed for doing that, you can keep those to yourself. Im sure there'll always be people who just wanna share their creations in a public forum, for others, just like we are here.

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I very rarely use mods, so I'm left pretty unaffected by this in the short-term. Of course it's indicative of the awful money-grabbing shit people are getting up to lately, especially with Bethesda being the pilot of this movement and insisting on taking 50% of the cut from all mod sales. A perfect alternative in my eyes, and it's been said before a bunch, is to just make it a donation button rather than a mandatory buy button. It'd be great. I'd quit my job and work full-time on making like 3-5 TDM maps (or models or textures or anything for anything) a month if I set up a Patreon and people donated enough for me to live comfortably. Living your life making mods for the community while making enough money to live happily would be the best. Collaborate with the community, have stretch goals that allow them to design stuff for you to make. It'd be a pretty great experience, I think. As it is, it's just Bethesda nabbing a majority cut in the name of yet more moolah.

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You have to take into account that writing a book is not nearly as expensive as making a videogame, so used books are not as big of a problem. A least that's my barely educated guess.

People who buy second hand do not even touch the creator.

The game has been bought before, what happens afterwards doesn't interest the creator. Surely they are paid by pieces sold to a big store, not after the big store sells the game.

Thats why sometime down the road the big store sells the game very cheap.

If the one buying second hand buys a cheap copy of the big store, or a cheap copy of another buyer is irrelevant to the creator.

 

The creators fail to see that, thats why today it is very often cheaper to buy a game after some time in the big store, than in the steamstore (with the exception of the very big sales sometimes).

 

 

Writing may not be as expensive, but printing a book is more expensive than what today is included in Games.

But haggling over the price is not the right way to the decide if something is right or not. The question is:

 

Am I allowed to do with my copy as I wish, or not?

Do we want to pay everytime we play a game, or do we want to pay once and then have that game to play it as we want? And when we are finished with playing as we want, can we not sell it to someone else, that can now play with it as he wants (and we now cannot anymore of course)?

We can with cars, tools, furniture...

So why shouldn't we be allowed to do it with games (virtual ones, we can with board games) or books?

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I hope you realize that Steam is PC market nowadays. There is not whole a lot evil about it. As a developer, I totally don't like for people to be reselling my game and me not making a cut from it. With Steam however, it's not the case and that makes me happy enough to tolerate other downsides of Steam.

 

As a carpenter, I totally don't like for people not reselling my furniture and me not making a cut from it.

 

Said no carpenter ever. :rolleyes:

 

Why is that some people are always better than others? Why do artists deserve a cut, but not plumpers or carpenters? And why would software developers be more like artists and not be more like pumbers? :wacko:

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"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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You have to take into account that writing a book is not nearly as expensive as making a videogame, so used books are not as big of a problem. A least that's my barely educated guess.

 

If I was an author, and I didn't get anything out of second hand sales - yes, I would be opposed.

 

It's not cheap to make games and write books. It's not the same as a pair of jeans that you can resell and the manufacturer wouldn't even notice any loss.

 

I am working on the final chapters of my monograph, and let me tell you, this stupid thing now represents ten years of my life and work. In terms of a single person's possibilities, the costs are staggering. But it would never occur to me that someone reselling it would be doing something wrong. It only means my work lives longer and gets to more readers. And as a reader, the idea horrifies me that I could not inherit or purchase old books due to some IP holder wanting to squeeze even more profits out of their property. I see it as stripping away fundamental property rights we once considered evident.

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Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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As a carpenter, I totally don't like for people not reselling my furniture and me not making a cut from it.

 

Said no carpenter ever. :rolleyes:

 

Why is that some people are always better than others? Why do artists deserve a cut, but not plumpers or carpenters? And why would software developers be more like artists and not be more like pumbers? :wacko:

False equivalence. I saw the carpenter comparison used on music to justify piracy before.

 

It doesn't matter though. In a some years games are probably going to be completely online through streaming to combat denied profits through things like second hand sales and piracy. Microsoft was already trying to take babysteps towards it, but they did it by requiring the physical copy to be connected to the internet, not having to connect to some server and have the game streamed to you. The futures looking shit.

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I'd quit my job and work full-time on making like 3-5 TDM maps (or models or textures or anything for anything) a month if I set up a Patreon and people donated enough for me to live comfortably.

 

Don't be ridiculous. Patreon doesn't exist to fund actual work, it's there so that talentless parasites can whine on Twatter about how everyone is horrible to them because they're a black lesbian LGBTQQ+WTFBBQ trans-intersectional something-or-other and convince credulous self-loathing sycophants to shower them with cash for doing absolutely fuck all.

 

God didn't endow you a vagina so you could make valuable artistic contributions. Get with the program. Jeez.

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Valve gave up:

 

http://steamcommunity.com/games/SteamWorkshop/announcements/detail/208632365253244218

 

As for motorsep's comments about reselling, well if a game has the ability to be resold at least someone's bought your game. Be grateful people are actually doing that in the first place instead of pirating it. You have no guarantee of making money in this business (or any business), and removing one of the the few rights that people have (the right to resell) to increase your business is a horrible idea.

 

EDIT: Sorry motosep, not trying to pick on you (much), but you're Alexander Zubov right? You made the Steel Storm games yes? You're the ONLY developer to bitch about the Humble Bundle guys in public, which seems interesting to me. You're also wiling to make accusations against the few web sites which might promote your games in development, such as Phoronix (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA3NDU). I feel it's worth sharing this so people know what kind of person you are.

 

And now I must unfortunately flee this forum, before retribution...

Edited by Atomic
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Valve gave up:

 

http://steamcommunity.com/games/SteamWorkshop/announcements/detail/208632365253244218

 

As for motorsep's comments about reselling, well if a game has the ability to be resold at least someone's bought your game. Be grateful people are actually doing that in the first place instead of pirating it. You have no guarantee of making money in this business (or any business), and removing one of the the few rights that people have (the right to resell) to increase your business is a horrible idea.

 

EDIT: Sorry motosep, not trying to pick on you (much), but you're Alexander Zubov right? You made the Steel Storm games yes? You're the ONLY developer to bitch about the Humble Bundle guys in public, which seems interesting to me. You're also wiling to make accusations against the few web sites which might promote your games in development, such as Phoronix (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA3NDU). I feel it's worth sharing this so people know what kind of person you are.

 

Where is that right to resell spelled out? :)

 

Nowadays people buy keys and do giveaways, etc. I do that from time to time too. I even buy games on sale and give them out as presents. Developers benefit from it. I am not too concerned with AAA developers, because their bosses don't give a damn about designers, programmers, etc. (so once the project is over and devs move on, they don't get royalties from old projects). However, it's quite relevant to indie devs and that's why second hand market is a horrible idea for indie games.

 

As for comparing carpentry, well, my last kitchen table set cost me ~$1000. I have no plans selling it since it's that good. Do you feel the difference between $40-50 game and $1000 table ? (or $10 - $20 indie game and $1000 table)

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Oo.

 

I could never afford buying a 1000$ kitchen table, despite working from eight to four. I bought my table + 6 chairs ~10 years ago used and scratchy for quarter of the price.

 

I should ask Valve for ideas what I could monetize for extra income... Perhaps a Mandrasola farm?

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Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Just speaking tactically, and from what I've read, this kind of thing might have gone over better if they'd had started a modding scene with it as a policy right up front, rather than take a modding scene that had already been free for the last 5 years & closing shop so suddenly mods that had been free forever are under a paywall now. People react to the status quo as a baseline.

 

The other thing is that modding is such a rare beast any more as it is, at least the good scenes. Skyrim and our own TDM, maybe a scattering of HL2, Minecraft, and Arma mods, are about the only fan-led creation scene worth much. (I'm sure I'm forgetting some others.) I like that there's space for these few scenes to be protected so fan creation can be widespread and cultivated.

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What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I like that there's space for these few scenes to be protected so fan creation can be widespread and cultivated.

 

Agreed! Dedicated communities are needed to keep modding alive, like the ModDB, the Nexus, TDM or Planet Phillip. Also I had the impression that Valve/Bethesda didn't really care about the modders, but only on getting themselves a high share out of greed for actually doing little more than pulling their Steam-monopoly string.

Edited by wesp5
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It's funny how much conspiracy is coming from some folks. It's a choice of modders - no one forces to sell mods. GabeN already mentioned Beth was the one to setup the cuts. Another company can say "I want 20%, Valve gets 20% and modder gets 60%".

 

Where is the indication modding will die because some people can charge for their mods?

 

Of course if everyone decides to charge for their mods, and people would only pay for really good ones, modders with crappier mods will throw in the towel and won't make mods (at least it's a possibility). That would be modder's fault entirely though.

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GabeN already mentioned Beth was the one to setup the cuts.

Oh, and you still believe anything Newell says? Remember the HL2 delay and all the lies he spread at the time? You really believe Valve would allow some other company to set the Steam prices without fixing their cut where they want it to be?

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Oh, and you still believe anything Newell says? Remember the HL2 delay and all the lies he spread at the time?

I think that they genuinely wanted to make it a succesful thing episodically.

 

I do agree though that it's not a good thing to not talk anything about Half Life 3 at all and just drop us like that on a cliffhanger.

 

Delays though are things which you can incriminate to litterly anyone. Starting even from Stalker (in development for 6 years).

 

Anyway, what happened today is +1 to Valve's reputation. They are pretty good at making PR for themselves.

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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Game development is crazy hard work where a lot of things can go wrong (even when using established engine, which Source was not at that time). So things do get derailed and that's life. Believing GabeN has not thing to do with it. I also feel like GabeN makes it look like he has no clue about what goes on at Valve :/ As if he just let people run it and when shit hits the fan he shows up to do the damage control :P

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False equivalence. I saw the carpenter comparison used on music to justify piracy before.

 

It doesn't matter though. In a some years games are probably going to be completely online through streaming to combat denied profits through things like second hand sales and piracy. Microsoft was already trying to take babysteps towards it, but they did it by requiring the physical copy to be connected to the internet, not having to connect to some server and have the game streamed to you. The futures looking shit.

 

 

So, wait, is it "false equivalence" or is it "used to justify piracy", or both? I never did the latter, only the former.

 

And for wether it is false or not, you have to agree that a lot of humankind is paid *once* for work they do, while a few others have arranged it so they get paid smaller amounts, but every time their work is used. This is a fundamental difference and for me, an inequalence.

 

So, how come you say carpenter's work (a table) is different from an authors work, or a musicians? How can authors and musicians be *special*, but carpenters, software developers and strangely enough, artists (like animators, painters or even voice artists) working for game companies etc. are *not* special?

 

You can't just brush that aside by "False equivalence". Either all humans are equal, or they aren't.

 

(Supply and demand warps the image, nobody would pay to see me play golf, but Tiger Woods got rich from it. But that doesn't explain why entire professions are treated inequal, and then inside the profession you got on top of that the supply&demand thing)

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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I didn't mean their failed episodes, but the delay of HL2 itself which they used the code theft as a scapegoat for. Read about it here:

 

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-final-hours-of-half-life-2/1100-6112889/

We can make that assumption. But such things can never be 100%.

 

What can I say? The man made himself a public image, he reaps as he sows. Good or bad? I don't think I want to judge.

People were sad with Stalker's release as well to draw a comparisson.

 

I can see the line of thought you're going by. There may very well be truth in that! But I'm inclined in this case to think that the truth is somewhere in the middle. They're probably not evil, but not angels either.

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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So, how come you say carpenter's work (a table) is different from an authors work, or a musicians? How can authors and musicians be *special*, but carpenters, software developers and strangely enough, artists (like animators, painters or even voice artists) working for game companies etc. are *not* special?

 

I think, the main problem here is, the way of duplicating and distributing the creators work. When you build a table, the person buying it has no means of duplicating it and give the duplicate to another person. If you have information in digital form, it is possible to duplicate it as often as you want and with the internet it is possible to share it with anyone you want. That is why I do not like the comparison between purely digital work and crafts that create something in real life. It is comparing apples and oranges. I think for a carpenter it would be a better comparison if you chose not a table, but the new table design. This can be easily stolen, copied and redistributed.

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