So, GBX, about that workshop thing

Post from a modder that was involved in the Valve/Beth Mods thing

I actually have no idea who to @ for this one as I highly doubt either @scole or @BitVenom has any say or control in this but the whole paying for mods thing on the workshop looks like it is going very south very fast. In no way would I pressure either of you, or GBX, for comments or answers but some comments in the past regarding HW:R mods and ‘making money from them’ probably had this in mind. Feel free to comment or not, I’d understand either way but just my personal opinion on this is that the way this was implemented by Valve/Beth is decidedly negative (I’ll say no more).

The best I can hope to come of this is it will spur more visible and frequent donations but well you can’t force anyone to donate…

Hope the people in charge at GBX is keeping an eye on this and making their decisions very, very carefully. I am mostly concerned the dev time allocated to HW and the modding specifically wasn’t in the hopes of this taking of. To be clear I am not saying it is and no one should jump to that conclusion, I’m just concerned you know?

A very large fraction of HW Mods are the sorts of things you can’t sell - either other IPs done as fan-works, or mods to files people didn’t self-author (our shipping files, etc).

The rest - I think it’s overall a good thing to provide the choice, personally. Inside GBX, I can’t even guess - but I’d wager we don’t get into it, at all. The HW mod community is quite small for RM at the moment, why broke what isn’t fixed? That said, as you said, I have little to no say over whatever we do or don’t do.

Do I think we’ll never experiment with paid content? No. But that’s a whole other subject - because it’s not Mod work.

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Thanks for the reply, appreciate it. The sole reason I even thought of bringing this up is because in that instance the developer is um… ‘in on it’ (sounds maybe worse that it is) or at least gets some of the profit. So long as theres clarity and communication then there can be no pointing fingers. And my experience has been you guys are more than willing to communicate and that’s awesome!

Regardless this is not an Anti-DLC thread, I would very very much like to see DLC from you guys (just so long as it’s not horse armor :P) as I don’t think an expansion would fit within the framework of this game. Paying you guys for work is the right thing and all that :wink:

“Doh, guys! Cancel the Space horses race!!!”

or

“Okay, so they’re horses hellbent on galactic domination… but for various historical reasons, they’ve got ZERO armor on their ships… it’s just rice-paper everywhere…”

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Remember that really long thread a while back with about a billion replies? :smile:

Making a mod can be complicated especially when you are making money off of it. You have to be really careful about not including content that you did not create (or don’t explicitly have permission to use). This is the same issue that game developers have to deal with all the time.

The Steam Workshop paid content stuff is still in a state of flux. Valve hasn’t been very explicit with the community how some issues will get resolved (like how a DMCA complaint gets handled, or what happens if I pay for an item through PayPal or something and then Workshop won’t let me download it, etc.). I think over time many of these issues will be dealt with, but there is lots of uncertainty and lots of concern about what will happen.

Ultimately, the market for Workshop will sort itself out. If people aren’t willing to pay for something, more than likely the item will become free (or maybe just removed out of spite). There will always be free mods on Workshop. Some mod authors would rather get some payment for their work and some mod authors just do it for fun or experience and don’t really want to be paid anything.

We are keeping an eye on what Valve does with Workshop but I’m not sure what the future holds for paid Workshop content. I think it’s a little too early to rush to judgement, but only time will tell.

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Exactly, I remember that thread very well and is part of why I felt I could post this thread; you guys actually communicate.

It sure will be interesting to see where this goes and glad you guys are also keeping an eye on it. The modding community seems to be a lot more close knit than even I though.

Being one of those in an IP bound situation this worries me greatly. One moron who uploads a for profit version of warlords or any other content I’ve done and the DMCA ban hammer is bound to fall. This is why 10 years ago I made the decision to freely distribute all of the art work with terms for never charging but free usage. I haven’t checked if workshop supports setting an explicit price of $0 but I will look into it.

@Evil : Can only agree because the EVE mod basically has the same base problem.

But I’m glad payed mods seem unlikely for Homeworld at the moment.

What bothers me most is the barrier a system like that might creat to the mods.
I like my modding community and how helpfull it is to each other.

I don’t want it to get hostile and closed so teams stop sharing content or script features,
simply to keep their own mod the most valuable and more people will “buy” it.

Jea … thats my horror version for payed mods in the future.

Homeworld would not be where it is today without the open community we had at Tanis forums. And probably more than 50% of the mods won’t excist without sharing content, features and tools.
(-=[F@LC0]=- here ^^)

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From what I understand the game developer/publisher needs to enable allowing mods to be sold that is made in their game. Basically the only way we’ll ever see payed mods for HWR would be if GBX signs the contract with valve to allow it,

Of course depending on how the launch of this feature goes and if they manage to find a way to implement this that is acceptable to the modding community.

We’ll see.

Correct. My understanding is that the developer/publisher has to sign an agreement with Valve to have paid Workshop items (to set the percentage of the purchase price that goes to the mod developer) and the developer/publisher has to approve each and every Workshop item that wants to become a paid Workshop item. Mod developers can’t just check a box somewhere and suddenly it’s available for sale (it has to be approved first).

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Basically most mods for a lot of games are for IP’s that are not paid for, like Star Trek, Wing Commander, etc. So charging for those types of mods would cause both Valve and any developer that opted into such a program in a position to end up in court by being sued by the owner of the IP.

So those types of mods would never be charged for and if Valve decided to make mods a thing where the modder gets paid they would need to spend resources on making sure none were IP infringements.

This would also sort of derail the mod community because making that WC mod or Star Trek mod would not be possible then, where now it is totally possible and it actually benefits the IP owner because their IP is still “out there” getting recognition from things that they did not have to spend any resources on.

I am actually surprised that Valve and Bethesda didn’t think this through better and of course they have now rescinded their original stance on it and are issuing refunds to anyone who actually paid for a mod.

They could easily setup a donation thing but for Valve to make money off of that would never work for the reasons I listed above, so it is very unlikely that they would ever consider it.

Like Botman says, though: the original publisher of the game has to approve the mod for sale. If someone submitted a Star Wars mod as a paid mod, it would get shot down immediately.

And there was never at any point a proposal on the table to require mods to be paid, so free fan tribute mods would still be allowed.

I remember Randy Pitchford hinting about mod developers “making money” of their mods in the PAX Gearbox panel. It makes me wonder whether he misspoke, or whether he knew back then where this was going.

it’s something that came up as a possibility around launch time, but always seemed to be just a possibility, not a firm plan.

That overwhelming negative backlash it had is depressing. What I find the worse is the number of people who see payed mod as something inherently deeply immoral, the claims that we’re sellouts if we dare to even entertain the possibility of getting payed for doing what we love.

I honestly thought it could work well in the Homeworld environment, but now I’m not so sure. I hope it would, but I’m no longer optimistic.

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You have a couple of problems that you’d need to overcome when it comes to HW mods. More so than something like Skyrim actually. First off the majority of the big mods are ALL using IP from other games and the only reason why they are even allowed to exist is, of course, because no money is made off of them. Heck even the mods that kitbashes HW mods have issues with trying to make money of them since those models are not free to use. The engine of HW1:C might be open source but you still need the dat files (that includes the models) that are on a HW CD that is bound by DRM (theoretically) and thus is IP that you can no sell.

Imagine a mod that is being sold that contains 99% original models and work and a month later is is discovered it contains a badge that happens to look like a rebel alliance icon. Bam, take down notice, lawers, refunds, etc.

Honestly there were far more issues than simply the paying for mods like QA, expecting the community to police the mods, IP issues, theft, Quality, support (from both modder and developer), the actual split of the money, abuse by fly by night operations, etc. It’s also come to light that (apparently) valve/beth straight up stole the idea, and then decided to rip modders off, from another site. Do some research regarding it.

Yes I can see how a modder can get excited by the prospect of making money off of their passion/hobby. But this is an extremely complex subculture that exists ONLY because mods have never been sold. There is a long history of DMCA’s, cease and desists, etc. despite no profit being made form these mods. You not only have to overcome the history of companies resisting modding at first (quite aggressively iirc) but also the fact that they have always been free. Why do companies and modders now suddenly have the right to extort money for something that has always been free?

Basicallly Modding needs to change almost completely before you can ask money for them. Then it is no longer a hobby or passion but a job. You are then nothing more than unpaid contractors of company X creating free DLC for them that they then take 75% of the proceeds despite them literally not putting in a single minute of support or work. In what word is that right?

Today you start asking money for a mod, tomorrow you want to get paid by those who watch you playing football and the day after you ask a banknote to the grandma who needs your help to cross the street. ^^

There are things people do for free to help or have fun with someone else. That’s being a community.

I really have no idea what made you spend half of your post on other IPs, when that exact thing has been addressed by a dev in the very first reply…

Then it’s no longer a passion but a job? What makes you think that these two are mutually exclusive, it’s not going to stop beiing a passion because you got rewarded for it. If anything, it’ll give you more space to pursue your passion and not let it die under the pressure of real life.

In what world is 75% right? In none, it’s not right. Did I say it is? Nope.

I think what he meant was not “passion” but “hobby”. And a hobby definitely can’t be a job, by definition.

EDIT: (Wrong reply. Either that or I accidentally deleted something.)