Money for mod development [Split]

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Money for mod development [Split]

Postby Sgt. Pepperoni » Thu May 24, 2018 7:01 am

Greetings

I've stumbled upon Hedon on Moddb and since I saw the author was asking for donations on Patreon for a MOD, I couldn't resist to make a rant about this.
Almost two years ago, I've posted a thread on these forums to know if people would be willing to donate for my work (whether could be mods or full-fledged games). The general consensus was that the idea wasn't all so great. And nearly two years later, while browsing the Net, I find this mod whose author openly asks for donation, without feeling a little uneasy about it.

Then why nobody seems to be disturbed to see someone asking for donation to develop a mod ? Why this person in particular could have the right to ask for money, while other people developping full and completely stand-alone games, couldn't ?

If you guys could enlighten me with constructive answers, it'll be much appreciated.
Last edited by Sgt. Pepperoni on Thu May 24, 2018 7:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby Rachael » Thu May 24, 2018 7:10 am

First of all - times change.

Second of all - the mod is still given away for free.

Thirdly - this mod is either all or nearly all original work.

Fourthly - I think the community at large has come to the realization, one person after another, that traditional 9-to-5's are essentially paid slavery, with all the abuse and disadvantages that come with it (some cases are definitely more extreme than others). That being said, allowing authors to ask for alternative forms of income should not be an issue.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby Nash » Thu May 24, 2018 7:15 am

OP: Where's your product? Make something cool and if people want it enough, they'll pay for it. Supply and demand.

EDIT: It's also important to note that usually projects with 100% original art and assets are more likely to be successful. I'm saying I sure as hell won't pay for a Doom mod that takes resources and sprites from other known sources.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby Sgt. Pepperoni » Thu May 24, 2018 7:25 am

Rachael wrote:Fourthly - I think the community at large has come to the realization, one person after another, that traditional 9-to-5's are essentially paid slavery, with all the abuse and disadvantages that come with it (some cases are definitely more extreme than others). That being said, allowing authors to ask for alternative forms of income should not be an issue.

I'm not big into idioms (non-english speaker here), what are the 9 to 5s you're talking about ?
I'm not sure to understand what you're trying to say here. It's not an alternative form of income, since the author is actually asking for donations by putting a link to his Patreon profile and I'm pretty sure developing Hedon doesn't cost the author any money (aside for electricity fees) because I'm ready to bet that s/he's developing with hardware s/he already had before starting to develop that mod.


Nash wrote:OP: Where's your product? Make something cool and if people want it enough, they'll pay for it. Supply and demand.

They were available on several websites a few years ago, I've asked to pull out the downloads off of those sites for some reasons. I'm not as productive as I was five years ago but hopefully I have the intent to have a come back with my current project.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby Rachael » Thu May 24, 2018 7:32 am

"Traditional 9-to-5's" are basically any low-level or low-skill job that involves either retail work, customer service, or heavy menial labor (but not limited to these). These jobs are often full employment jobs and almost never contracted.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby Pixel Eater » Thu May 24, 2018 8:35 am

Sgt. Pepperoni wrote:I'm pretty sure developing Hedon doesn't cost the author any money
Maybe not (ignoring maintenance) but it costs time. And that's what a customer is really paying for, especially if they don't have time of their own to develop their interests. What makes something successful though is when the product mirrors what customers would make given the time to do so.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby phantombeta » Thu May 24, 2018 8:55 am

And that's not counting the fact that the author could be commissioning art assets (be it graphics, sounds or music) for the game.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby insightguy » Thu May 24, 2018 9:55 am

Sgt. Pepperoni wrote:
Nash wrote:OP: Where's your product? Make something cool and if people want it enough, they'll pay for it. Supply and demand.

They were available on several websites a few years ago, I've asked to pull out the downloads off of those sites for some reasons. I'm not as productive as I was five years ago but hopefully I have the intent to have a come back with my current project.

If you can show us what the product looks like (screen shots or video) that would be great.

I also remembered asking awhile back but the answer was more focused on using the engine to make a new game rather than modding.

Also kinse, wildweasel, and Matt might want to get in on this, they are still very much active and were the ones who had the strong opinions.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby wildweasel » Thu May 24, 2018 10:04 am

As a person who currently has a mod up as a "pay what you want" over at itch.io, I suppose I do have a strong opinion. Yes, this is a hobby, and yes, these things should still be free to the users - but when I enabled the "pay what you want" option on my mod's download page, I pretty much did it on a lark, figuring that if anybody wanted to give money, they were giving it for my time spent, not necessarily for the assets (which are all painstakingly credited to tons of different sources). Has it been profitable? Not in the least - but it's paid for at least one day out for lunch, which I'm going to consider successful. I'm not in this in the expectation of being able to live on it, and nobody should be. As a revenue stream, I wouldn't recommend it, but I would certainly not intrude on other peoples' mod threads and tell them that they do not deserve any money, at all, ever, for what they've done.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby Zan » Thu May 24, 2018 10:15 am

I'm not asking for money, I just have a Patreon for people to support my activity as a game designer.
I give closed alpha access to my patrons because I feel like they deserve to see what's up if they've still decided to support my work. Alpha is currently restricted to the broad public for a lot of obvious reasons.
Other than that, Hedon is free as aforementioned. And even so, the Patreon money I get goes into some assets for the game so far, so technically people pay to improve the game at this moment. ;p

I might decide to commercialise Hedon at some point, but there will 100% sure be a free version of it, namely the chapter I'm working on right now. But yeah, Hedon is not really a mod anymore, or at least I'm getting there as I'm replacing the last copyrighted/placeholder assets. It's a standalone game that runs on GZDoom engine.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby insightguy » Thu May 24, 2018 10:38 am

I just remembered. Didn't hfc2x attempt to do the doom bible and was making good progress till he ended up attempting to make a kickstarter for it and what crucified by the community for doing so? If he did it again with the patreon or itch.io, would it be acceptable?
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby RockstarRaccoon » Thu May 24, 2018 1:20 pm

As has been said, times change. Aside from all else, there have been several pushes from major modders and by the development staff themselves to make GZDoom not only commercially viable, but fully GPL for people who want to make commercial games with GZDoom as the core. Personally, I think if people are willing to sink the time in to build something that is actually commercially viable, and we do it without shitting on the community in the process, I don't see why we shouldn't be able to attempt to monetize our work.

Zan has poured a lot of time and expertise into the artwork of Hedon alone, and it really is probably worth tossing a few bucks, and yes, I know I'm biased, seeing as I'm not only one of the "trusted testers" for Hedon, but the lead gameplay designer for a highly commercial game done in GZDoom.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby Matt » Thu May 24, 2018 2:24 pm

[The following three paragraphs were written before I scrolled down to Zan's actual reply on this thread. All I've got to add after that is: one of the great things about Patreon is that it's clearly low-commitment, try-before-you-buy, while a lot of us have been burned by shitty Kickstarters that the initial reaction tends to be negative without overwhelming evidence to the contrary.]

The big difference I see between Hedon and what you described in the thread is that you're describing it in the abstract.

As for it being merely a "mod", just earlier I noticed the creator had been asking around on these forums for help to convert the assets into a full standalone IWAD, which I interpret as a sign of bona fides in making an original underivative work.

There's also the spirit of the thing, where the Patreon is covered in little things that show he's not "in it for the money" but cares primarily about the product itself:
Although the game does not depend on a budget or crowd funding, I greatly appreciate your support and feedback, and your donations definitely help me speed up development and invest myself more and more in this project. Every bit of your interest helps me improve the game.
Hey guys, since I've started getting more people to follow, I might as well start investing some money into Hedon. I've partially paid for the first of [Alexander] Brandon's track license with your money, so thanks a lot, and let's keep going!
People respond a lot more positively to someone who wants to do the thing for the thing itself rather than for the money.


The other big difference is:
How does this work, legally?
is this legal?
When you're basically soliciting free legal advice from strangers online about financial matters, people kinda start getting cagey and for good reason. (And whether it really is a "donation" (i.e. legally a gift) or consideration for a contract is a live question that cannot be answered generally without a good look at the specifics of your setup and the home jurisdictions of the parties involved!)


Kinsie's response on that thread is also important:
Kinsie wrote:Every modding community where donation-y stuff (Adfly links, Pateron etc.) is a prominent thing (Minecraft, Elder Scrolls etc.) is a huge cesspool of shitheads. I would very much rather that the Doom modding community does not go down that path.
and is also part of why the assurances on Zan's Patreon that he's doing this for the thing itself and not the money have elicited a very different response than what we've said on your post.



Side note: I've been asked to do a Patreon for HD before and refused. Frankly, HD is so niche that I don't expect to be getting anything more than the trouble and cost of exclusive content and reporting it in my taxes and whatnot and it's never even going to come near supplanting my day job, so people's money is much better spent either supporting the artist I commission or donating to the EFF or IOCC or something.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby RockstarRaccoon » Thu May 24, 2018 3:15 pm

Another thing to note, when you use this engine for a commercial purpose, you suddenly have a monetary investment in its internal workings. That's why I've been pushing features into the engine: they are features that I want to use in a commercial game, and I want these ones to be shown off in the tech demo.

Actually, any commercial developer who wanted to add new features to the engine would, by the simple nature of the GPL, be required to make them open source anyway. I, of course, prefer to just get them in the base engine so that the community can use them, for the good of GZDoom as a whole, but even then, I will benefit from the fact that the engine will be properly maintained with the features my game uses, even if I find that I can no longer contribute. That is the great strength of Open Source that caused the release of the doom and hexen source code in the first place. When we all share, we all have something better.
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Re: Money for mod development [Split]

Postby Zen3001 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:37 pm

If you want a matriaistic reward for modding, you can get steam game keys on gamebana after gaining a bunch of points(submitting a bunch of mods). The games have been donated the gamebanana so it's all legal.
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