Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

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JohnWordsworth
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Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by JohnWordsworth » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:55 pm

Steam Workshop have started to allow Modders to sell their work (if the game dev agrees).

So, you can now buy Skyrim mods (some of which used to be free). On the one hand, the modders who make the best mods get some money so that they can devote more of their time to improving, fixing and fleshing out their mods (resulting in better mods). On the other hand, there are going to be a tonne of crappy items, clones and poorly supported mods clogging up the system and trying to take your money...

Discuss!
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Drakkan
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Re: Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by Drakkan » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:06 pm

Hardly to say how much AH will look on our oppinions about this, if they even consider it... but they were really open-minded for the community support and from my view this is definitely kind of support for the modders.
BUT it could bring many... lets say controversial situations. But when Skyrim could afford it...why not Log as well. I am voting yes :D
Edit: when thinking about it... I think some donation option would be nice. But paid mods...not so much
Last edited by Drakkan on Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Azel
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Re: Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by Azel » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:10 pm

No better way to put ego's in their place than under the free market's scrutiny. Let the cashflow begin! :P

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Phitt
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Re: Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by Phitt » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:16 pm

To me this is the worst thing that ever happened to PC gaming. Modding is the one reason why I love(d) PC gaming so much and I think if paid mods become the norm we won't have nice modding communities like this one anymore. And it's not just that I think we should all do it for the love of the game or other esoterical reasons.

It's because everything changes as soon as money is involved. That's just how it is. People kill for money, and that's how it will be for modding as well (kind of...). Modding won't be the nice spare time hobby of gaming nerds it used to be anymore, it will become a harsh competition between jealous modders who try to advertise their mods and who will blame other people for stealing their ideas or resources. People will stop helping each other. A modder's resource like the tileset I released a few weeks ago? Forget it, only if you give me 50% of your revenues.

And don't forget that Bethesda and Valve don't do this to help modders get some money for their work. They do it because it's free money for them. They get 75% of the money and have to do absolutely nothing for it. I could even imagine it's the next step in the DLC madness. Why invest into DLC if you can let modders do the work for you? Just make some nice tools and the cash will flow without you spending a single cent.

Personally I think this is an absolute nightmare and I can only hope people will boycott this. But of course they will not. Now it pays of for Valve that Steam has more or less a monopoly on the PC gaming market. They can do whatever they want and people will have to bite the bullet.

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Re: Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by Azel » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:28 pm

I would have paid you a small fee for your Asian Tileset, Phitt. Sorry to hear that you are opposed to this, but I really don't think things will be as bad as you say. Just look at the market for Phone App's. From my point of view, Steam is very late in the game in allowing people to charge for Mod's considering how many costly app's are flooding the mobile market.

Not to mention that people have been buying/selling assets for MMO's like Dark Age of Camelot and World of WarCraft for many years. This has always been very successful and only frowned upon due to legalities (ie, intellectual property). But it never ruined any of those games.

I also find it interesting that my first thought was, "this will help turn the Grimrock Modding community in to a nicer one," whereas you think it's already nice and might get ruined. Guess it's all a matter of perspective.

Either way, I don't think the fact that people can kill for money will really apply here. Afterall, we paid for Grimrock 1 and 2 without killing anyone, right? :mrgreen:

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Re: Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by JohnWordsworth » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:30 pm

The initial reactions on the Steam forums have been pretty negative! While I'm still kind of on the fence about this, I think I am erring on the "against" side.

What I actually think could work is if the game devs just hand-picked a few mods a month and put a little price tag on those ($2 say) and basically endorse them as "Semi-Official DLC". OR all mods are "Pay what you want" with free as an option - but by putting that page in the middle where you "Select your Price" some people will think to donate where they won't bother looking for a donate button on the Nexus.
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Duncan1246
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Re: Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by Duncan1246 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:55 pm

Take the debate in a practical way. Modding is a time consuming activity, and if time is money, the price of a mod will never represent something other than chocolate medal.
Or we speak of low-level mods , allowing the modder to earn more by doing less , which has nothing in common with the motivations of modders enthusiasts like those found in this forum.
So I think it's not a good thing...
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Phitt
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Re: Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by Phitt » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:59 pm

Azel wrote:I would have paid you a small fee for your Asian Tileset, Phitt. Sorry to hear that you are opposed to this, but I really don't think things will be as bad as you say. Just look at the market for Phone App's. From my point of view, Steam is very late in the game in allowing people to charge for Mod's considering how many costly app's are flooding the mobile market.

Not to mention that people have been buying/selling assets for MMO's like Dark Age of Camelot and World of WarCraft for many years. This has always been very successful and only frowned upon due to legalities (ie, intellectual property). But it never ruined any of those games.

I also find it interesting that my first thought was, "this will help turn the Grimrock Modding community in to a nicer one," whereas you think it's already nice and might get ruined. Guess it's all a matter of perspective.

Either way, I don't think the fact that people can kill for money will really apply here. Afterall, we paid for Grimrock 1 and 2 without killing anyone, right? :mrgreen:
I do believe that you will see more professionally made mods. And certainly not less mods. But free mods? Nope, at least nothing that is worth mentioning. And by far the worst of all, the communities will die. Everyone will do his own thing. Why should I help other people out with scripting advice? It's unnecessary competition and a waste of possible development time. Same is true for assets, if my mod stands out from all other mods because it has unique assets why should I share them? If you work together you will have to work out the conditions first. That just silly and not what modding is about to me. It will certainly take some time before the dystopia I describe becomes reality, but imo it will become reality eventually.
JohnWordsworth wrote:The initial reactions on the Steam forums have been pretty negative! While I'm still kind of on the fence about this, I think I am erring on the "against" side.

What I actually think could work is if the game devs just hand-picked a few mods a month and put a little price tag on those ($2 say) and basically endorse them as "Semi-Official DLC". OR all mods are "Pay what you want" with free as an option - but by putting that page in the middle where you "Select your Price" some people will think to donate where they won't bother looking for a donate button on the Nexus.
I do agree that handpicked mods may work out, though even that would probably become problematic. 'Why did his mod get picked and not mine?' and so on. It's already pretty bad when you look at the CS:GO Workshop where everyone posts skins and desperately asks for endorsements to get as many views/ratings as possible. The best option would be to implement a 'donate' or better a 'pay what you want' (where pwyw is really what it says and not the rip-off they currently have in place where you have to pay a minimum amount) option before downloading the mod. Personally I got exactly one donation out of several 100k downloads on the Nexus, but I assume you could increase the download vs donation rate from 500k:1 to maybe 10k:1 if it was a bit more obvious.

But that is only hypothetical because the true reason for this is that Valve and Beth want to make money, and lots of it. They don't make money with donations and they don't make enough money with handpicked mods. So they just implemented that lazy 'refund within 24 hours' rule and are done with it.

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Re: Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by Diarmuid » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:06 pm

Hmmm, I don't think this is a great idea honestly. I'm on Phitt's side with concerns about the "friendliness" of the community.

I thought right away of him and phitt's wonderful tilesets, John, jKos, Xanatahar, Minmay (or mine) script assets and help... We're all nice people and want to help, but would we offer free work to help the community only to see it used by people for profit? Not a terrific perspective.

People would become jealous of scripts, models, animation, even ideas/stories and instead of open sharing/discussion, would keep them for themselves for a potential mod that may not even see the light of day.

Not to mention potential legal issues, or even headaches for AH... I know their EULA for modding already allows them to "reuse" ideas from mods in their future development, but modders didn't have much to complain while their mod was free. Now if I did a successfuly selling mod, and AH wanted to release an official DLC that uses similar themes/ideas, what happens? They censor themselves and don't do it? bad. They release it and it's less successful than the mod? The developer looks stupid and less cool that it's players... bad. They release it and it's more successful than the mod, which people stop buying? I'm mad as the developer just cut my source of revenue... bad.

The idea of being able to get some financial reward for you work is nice though. One thing that it would discourage in any case, is competitors building "clones" of games, as many people would prefer selling mods using the original engine rather than build their own.

Anyway, interesting to see what others think, and what our favorite devs think too!

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Re: Paid Mods on Steam Workshop - A Discussion

Post by JohnWordsworth » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:38 pm

Only 25% percent goes to the modder! Well, if it was 50-60% I could buy the argument that this is being done to "support the modding community", but at 25% this is simply just Valve being greedy b****rds. If this was 50-60%, I could at least back the idea if it was in one of the two forms I suggested above (even though I think I am still slightly against it), but at 25% it's just a joke.
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