Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

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Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby Sunbeam » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:43 am

Hello everyone!
As the title says I'm curious about whether there were ever any unofficial mods or maps (I specifically mean fan-created) for Doom/Heretic/Hexen that needed to be paid for.
So far I have not encountered anything like that. I have some guessed explanations for that. Please comment on these and enlighten me ;)

1) It is illegal. I think I remember something about the Doom license disallowing taking money for any fan-created mods and levels. Is this true? Would this also be true now that the Doom engine games were released under the GPL?
2) The Doom community doesn't like it. Because so many mods and maps get released every month for free people might call the ones wanting money greedy.
3) Similar to 2): Because so much free stuff gets released no one would pay any money for something like this.
4) No one wants to try selling something for a game that's 20+ years old. The expected profit would be very low because the whole community is rather small compared to newer games (even though Doom has quite a large fanbase).

I'm coming up with all this because the thought crossed my mind that if people could take money for their mods maybe even more mods would be released or they would have higher quality because people could spend more time on them (because they would earn money doing this).
I could even imagine that for myself. Creating mods and coding for them (doing what I like) and earn money at the same time. Obviously I personally would not expect to make some big profit. However I think this would be cool, not only for myself but also other people enjoying creating new stuff for games :)

Please share your opinion on this. Also I would like to hear if there is anyone among you who would pay some small amount (like 5-10$) to play a new mod or set of levels (price depending on mod/map size of course).

Thanks for your time, I hope to see some interesting discussion about this :)
Last edited by Sunbeam on Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby leileilol » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:46 am

Hell To Pay
Hacx
Master Levels
Final Doom
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby Sunbeam » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:12 am

I just edited the first post to be more clear that I meant specifically fan-created mods and maps.

According to Wikipedia Master Levels and Final Doom were official addons which id Software knew about. Hell to pay and Hacx seem to be unofficial, but were they created by "normal" Doom fans or were they in any way contracted to do that?
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby TheBadHustlex » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:47 am

It's flat out illegal. That's probably why most people don't do it.
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby Hellstorm Archon » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:54 am

leileilol wrote:Hell To Pay
Hacx
Master Levels
Final Doom


You forgot Urban Brawl: Action Doom II. As for the aforementioned WADs, Hacx was meant as a completely different game, and the Master Levels/Final Doom were approved by id. Not too sure of Hell to Pay, though.

Although selling your WAD is often frowned upon and in most cases outright illegal, there is an exception to be made, that being if your PWAD is essentially an entirely new game, or a total conversion that doesn't require the Doom2 IWAD.
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby Princess Viscra Maelstrom » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:02 am

don't forget Perdition's Gate, made by the same people that did Hell to Pay, i believe.
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby Blue Shadow » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:02 pm

Sunbeam wrote:I think this would be cool

It probably would, but I don't support the idea of paid mods. I'm sure people remember what happened earlier this year when Valve and Bethesda allowed modders to sell their Skyrim mods on Steam.

How did that end...
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby Nash » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:35 pm

I will repeat what I usually say:

TCs with 100% custom assets (so basically a completely new game) = cool
Indie games that only use the engine but are otherwise a completely standalone game = cool too, would pay
"Mods" like maps, weapon mods, gameplay mods etc that use base game assets and require a base game = NOPE NOPE NOPE (plus it's illegal anyway)
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby leileilol » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:51 pm

Hellstorm Archon wrote:You forgot Urban Brawl: Action Doom II.

No I didn't. I excluded the Scuba Steve's Action's because it was the collector's packaging that was sold, not the product exclusively,
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby Sunbeam » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:32 pm

Thanks for all of your answers!

So I get the consensus is "No to paid mods!". Two more questions come from this:

1) Why do so many of you think of paid mods as something bad? I know it is a somewhat different thing, but once after playing Real Guns Hardcore for some time I honestly thought that if that project had a way to give a donation I would have done that. I really liked the gameplay on that one.
Maybe another way of paying would be a good idea, like having something like a Kickstarter project where people collect a set amount of money and then release the mod "for free"?

2) Just out of interest: Can someone link me to something or give any proof that taking money for a mod or map would be illegal? I read about the Doom Utility License (which seemingly only applied to some earlier map editors) and the Doom Source Code License. However since Doom, Heretic and Hexen all got rereleased under the GPL it should in theory be allowed to even sell the source code (with or without modifications). Have I missed something?
What if someone made a set of maps for Doom which make use of the Doom texures etc but do not modify them in any way and the Doom resources don't get shipped with the PWAD. Wouldn't this be exclusively user-created content with which the person could do anything he/she wants?

I do not say that having to pay for every map or mod out there would be a good thing. However (being a developer myself) I think it would be appropriate (given there are no legal issues) for each developer to ask for getting something back for the amount of time they spend on their work.
I have only vaguely read about the Skyrim thing and was not affected by it in any way. But as I just said I don't think that the general idea is bad. So I want to hear why everyone seems to think like that?
(Sorry for the long text... however I find this quite interesting :) )
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby edward850 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:10 pm

Sunbeam wrote:2) Just out of interest: Can someone link me to something or give any proof that taking money for a mod or map would be illegal?

The EULA. You aren't allowed to sell unlicensed modifications for Doom specifically. Doom's GPL license only grants you permission to the source code, no the actual resources, assuming the code you're using is even under the GPL relicense. ZDoom, for example, is still under DOOMLIC (strictly non-commercial)/LGPL. A lot of the content mentioned before was either under the radar when id was a small company, or too far in the grey area to matter (Action Doom II didn't sell the game, only collectors items, and as well too under the radar for anybody to notice and care only selling a strict 100 copies). If you wanted to sell something like Hell To Pay nowadays without permission, you'd have Zenimax to contend with, and far too much public exposure to go unnoticed.

The gist of it is this: If what you sell in anyway requires other licensed work, regardless if what you're selling doesn't contain any of said licensed work, that's still illegally derivative as you are making money out of someone else's license. You need expressed permission to do that. There are grey areas to this, however Doom's EULA explicitly forbids this, so you simply cannot. No ifs and/or buts.
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby wildweasel » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:32 pm

In addition to what Edward has said:
Sunbeam wrote:1) Why do so many of you think of paid mods as something bad? I know it is a somewhat different thing, but once after playing Real Guns Hardcore for some time I honestly thought that if that project had a way to give a donation I would have done that. I really liked the gameplay on that one.
Maybe another way of paying would be a good idea, like having something like a Kickstarter project where people collect a set amount of money and then release the mod "for free"?

As much as I've wanted to accept donations and/or Kickstarter funds for a large-scale project, I would not be able to do this in good conscience, because a lot of my work relies on using others' works as a base. Accepting money for what isn't technically my work to start with is a serious ethical problem, which is a big reason why I have never solicited donations for anything.
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby TheBadHustlex » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:20 am

leileilol wrote:
Hellstorm Archon wrote:You forgot Urban Brawl: Action Doom II.

No I didn't. I excluded the Scuba Steve's Action's because it was the collector's packaging that was sold, not the product exclusively,

Action's? Both were included in there?
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby Princess Viscra Maelstrom » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:33 am

Action Doom 1 had like 3 or so physical copies printed. i can't remember from the top of my head how they were given out, some kind of contest inside the game i believe?
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Re: Were there ever any paid maps or mods? (+discussion)

Postby wildweasel » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:37 am

TheBadHustlex wrote:Action's? Both were included in there?

Can confirm, physical release of Urban Brawl does include Action.wad, with the caveat that it won't run by itself. The on-disc readme file states that you need to provide ZDoom and Doom2.wad yourself.
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