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      Orphan Attachments   07/31/2018

      I have been doing some housekeeping lately and I've noticed that I had a lot of orphaned attachments. Attachments get orphaned when the PM or post is deleted without removing the attachment first. Deleting a PM or post does not delete the attachment and the file or image remain on the server. I'd like to ask all members to go through their attachments and delete any attachments you don't need anymore or those that have been orphaned. Where can I get a list of my attachments? Click on your display name in the upper right corner of the forums and pick "My Attachments" from the drop-down list. How can I tell an attachment is orphaned? If the PM has been deleted, you'll see a message like this in your attachment list: Unfortunately there is no message if the post has been deleted, so please check your old posts. We do purge old birthday threads every once in a while. Also some hosted projects have been shut down, so you may have orphaned attachments on one of those locations. Thanks!
AndalayBay

Paid Mods for Skyrim

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Re: The EULA. GStaff said something on the blog about having updated the EULA in relation to the Workshop but I haven't seen the new text. Even if they hadn't though, it's pretty clear that they approve since they're in on it with Valve.

 

And no, they won't put older games up on the Workshop. It would require major updates to the CS and game to make that happen since they don't even have the APIs in place for using the Workshop.

Edited by Arthmoor

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Ugh.  The modding community is drama-filled enough.  Adding money to it?  Oh hell no.

 

Not to mention, what happens if the modder has used student software?  Texture images that they don't have the rights to?  Other modders' assets?

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Ugh.  The modding community is drama-filled enough.  Adding money to it?  Oh hell no.

Even app stores had to start somewhere. This could he good, bad, or neither. It's really too hard to say right now.

 

If folks were forced to charge people, things would entirely different. If that were the case, I could see a lot of folks taking their balls and going home (see what I did there?).

 

I won't be taking advantage of it for my stuff but that's due to my own personal viewpoints. That's not to say that it won't help some people who could use it, such as students in game design or something.

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Oh what a mess this is going to be. I am all for the idea, but the execution is what worries me. Where money is involved lies corruption.

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But, even so, this is going to be a mess with licensing. I GPLv3 everything of mine, which does give me some protection.

 

Ama, as an artist, could you give some more detailed insight?

 

I'm really not sure what to think yet regarding this whole thing.

 

Oh gosh...in the world of art, especially digital art, the issue of who has rights to what and how can get really complex. 

 

You've got the programs you use (a lot of student programs don't allow using them for profit, other programs have a "you can sell this many units before you have to pay"), any fonts you might use (some are free for all uses, but others definitely aren't), any photos/art/models you might use (anything you took or drew yourself is yours, but if you got them from someone else and you're basically redistributing them in your mod for profit?  OUCH  That is a big fat NOPE right there unless that right was explicitly given.)

 

I don't even know what the stance of, say, GIMP or Blender or Audacity have on using their software as a "business."  They're probably okay with it, I'm guessing they are.  Not all freeware is, though.

 

You can, of course, ignore all this.  But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth on behalf of the little guys.  As for the big guys?  I don't think that any big art software companies will care that much, even if Valve is taking the lion's share of the profits on stuff that might not be technically legal to sell.  But then I also thought that no one would care about MERP.

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Looks like a few of you are against it, I see. I guess I'm not the only one here. Who's against it too. I know that modders work on hard on their mods and get donations. And I think donations are a lot better than just selling off the mods. Which I am stll not getting why Beth is doing this for Steam. Apparently there not going to do this for the nexus community. (Thank God) I am hoping that won't be the case. However, in the future, I hope it won't be a problem towards the nexus and other modding communities. (I'm hope I am wrong) maybe.

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The main reason they did this via Steam is because they've already got a working relationship in place with Valve. It didn't take too much tweaking on their part to make it a reality through the system they already had set up.

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Hmm, looks like there are problems already: Eurogamer article.

 

The Chesko's Fishing Mod has been pulled as it used assets created by another author, without gaining that author's permission first. This is the sort of thing that I was worried about happening, plus the whole copying issue that Steam Workshop had (has?) is quite possibly going to get much worse with money involved.

 

I still think allowing modders to earn money off of their work is a good thing, but perhaps it should simply be scaled down to a donation system.

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I'm going to bring up a hypothetical concept, so bear with me.

 

Let's say that Beth implements something similar to smart phones where the API allows you to make one product to work with multiple versions of the engine. This can be done like apps or the AOSP, it doesn't matter much for this idea.

 

Now, let us also say that the biggest projects are allowed to go commercial as a standalone product. In this scenario, mods are simply apps for an app store.

 

Let us also consider for a moment that their go-to engine is no longer supported as the company behind it went kaput right before Skyrim was released.

 

Is it possible that Beth is trying to go a different route and provide a base package that folks can use as is and add to and build upon similar to the smart phone industry?

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GG Bethesda,I think the idea is good but it can turn out that you must pay for every little mod because the author wants it so

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Initially only for Skyrim, with plans for future content, the latest update to Steam and a handful of Skyrim mods gives modders the option to charge for their creations, be it by way of a fixed price or a drop-down price range.

 

Required reading: Workshop news and FAQ

 

This has opened a big can of worms between the large knee-jerk to ongoing support and development of formerly free content, with popular games media doing little in the way of constructive reporting, and genuine points being raised in its criticism and favor alike.

 

As this is a complex matter, my opinion of it is likewise complex. There are many things to discuss here, and I would like to hear the opinions of fellow content developers - Both the more experienced folks with several mods under their name or care and those as new to the scene as myself.

 

Without getting into the earning ratios and minutiae of monetization in this case, I find that there are big positives in the idea of allowing modders to charge for their mods. Regardless of how much of a hobby or passion project modding can be, there's no getting around that it is work. The expectation that all work of a given category should be free is at odds with how all other forms of content development on the internet is developing, and I speculate that modding has only lagged behind in this respect due to the sheer complexity and variety of every scene — They can only be compared side by side with others of the same category and/or genre, so establishing a common ratio of value to money is a complicated issue at best.

 

The added validation of modding goes both ways. Modders who choose to charge are rewarded for their work, but take with this price tag a new degree of accountability. Pricing their products responsibly and meeting the expectations of quality a given price creates could, in the long term, settle into healthy competition. And as overpricing or underpricing will have their tolls due to the effects on demand, in an ideal scenario we would see prices trend towards a medium through reaching the intersection point of players' and modders' assessment of a piece of content's value.

 

And while revenue may encourage cynical monetization of the modding equivalents of shovelware, that is an inevitable gutter of every line of work. Work once again being the operative term here: Revenue attracts and validates quality, which establishes the main positive aspect of this in my opinion:

 

  • In establishing a framework for modders to be paid without legal gray areas or the Damocles sword of non-copyright based takedown notices, this effectively births a genuine market for mods. One in which quality will stand out by the same means with which it does for standalone games. This ought to make the scene more attractive, and even sustainable. More modders could be brought into the scene, including more game developers, and getting some money out of a passion project can prevent life from stopping you from finishing it.

 

However... This is as far as the positives go for me. You'll notice I've stuck entirely to the idea of this development and not the specific execution. It is my opinion that the execution was blundered.

 

  1. Valve's cut is 75% of the price tag. As much as I appreciate providing the platform for this, this percentage is utterly unjustifiable. I would agree with no more than 25%, and even that is pushing it in my opinion. Neither Skyrim nor the mods were of their development, and mods drive sales. This further entrenches Steam's growing monopoly by extending its grip to mods. For all the great things Steam and the Workshop provide, this is one big and nasty consequence. This much of a hold on the scene puts Steam's leviathanic rump sitting right next to the preexisting sites that it now effectively competes with. How much of a chance do they stand?
  2. Mod managers and the alteration of mods strictly for your personal use, such as disabling a non-configurable feature you don't like in a mod you otherwise really do, effectively become a gray area. How do the former factor into monetization and distribution? Not in a way they've preemptively covered.
  3. There's no directly supported (And thus brought out of the risk of running into legal gray areas) way to give further money after acquisition. Being able to set a minimum of zero for people to pay what they wish and opening the option for later donation would be steps already proven to work well enough.
  4. The refund policy is understandable in theory, but non-viable in practice. A no questions asked refund within 24 hours seems like the reasonable way to avoid as much abuse as can be avoided without restricting the customers and modders more than you help them. However, the Skyrim modding scene is very much not the right scene for this figure. Not every mod can be judged or tested that fast unless you set aside a whole day to test it. Modder's assets, quest mods and total conversions all take radically different timespans to judge the quality of. Reviews certainly help, but won't do the whole job. Additionally, the setting up big load orders while being mindful of this policy and avoiding breaking anything is now significantly slowed down.
  5. The Rule of One. If something is partially overwritten, you have to juggle multiple different ongoing refund timers to figure out what you want to keep. While you can of course just be nice and keep any mods you get, let's cover every possibility here. If an update breaks it, both the player and modder can well be out of luck here.
  6. Valve failed to establish a framework for the prevention of content theft beyond existing DMCA takedowns. It'll no doubt be a hassle for those whose content was immediately put up for sale by opportunists to enact their rights.

 

My personal conclusion: I am all for modders being spared the risks and muddy gray areas of taking money. But Valve is neither doing this well nor plain acceptably, and the kind of cash grabbing stranglehold this is poised to become is at odds with the acephalous nature of modding scenes by way of a monopoly looming over our heads. For all of Valve's benevolence (benevolence is profitable after all) elsewhere... This is where I say no.

 

Edit: How I missed the original discussion beats me. This is what I get for leaving the board open all night.

 

Edit 2: Factual correction: 45% goes to Bethesda, 30% goes to Valve. The latter is at the ceiling of industry standard. The former grates me enough that my point stands.

Edited by Cray

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I didn't see the latest posts to this thread either. Leo, that article now has me rethinking my approach.

 

Here's my situation: I have been planning on doing Skyrim XP ever since Skyrim was released. It has been on hold, first because I needed a whole bunch of functions added to SKSE, second because of other commitments and third because I would have to learn Flash. I will probably have to buy some new software to develop this mod. We already own Visual Studio, which costs $1000/yr to keep the license going. I've also bought other programs in support of my modding endeavours.

 

No, no one has forced me to do those things. I have always considered it the cost of pursuing a hobby. But if I have a chance to recoup some of those costs, why not take it? I was planning on making Skyrim XP available on SW for a fee and also making it available here and on Nexus for free - all the same version. That way those who wanted to contribute financially could do so, but it's not fair to make something as fundamental as Skyrim XP only available to those who can afford it.

 

That article Leo posted has me rethinking things. Skyrim XP is going to be extremely complicated. The Oblivion version is bad enough. I take the support of my mods very seriously and commit a lot of time to it, so I'm not worried about that side of things. But I don't want to hand over all my rights to Valve and Bethesda either.

 

I think I understand the backlash from the community over this. We feel betrayed by Bethesda. With Bethesda and Valve splitting 75% of the proceeds from mod sales, it's obviously a money grab. We have created mods for the enjoyment of it, to learn something new and sometimes to gain valuable experience. Now Bethesda has turned our pastime into a profit making scheme, with them seeing most of the profit.

 

And yes, Robin is being rather two-faced about this whole thing. Nexus is a service provider, so they are making money from the mods being sold on SW. No wonder he's not worried. :)

 

As for me, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. *sigh*

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But I don't want to hand over all my rights to Valve and Bethesda either.

 

I think I understand the backlash from the community over this. We feel betrayed by Bethesda. With Bethesda and Valve splitting 75% of the proceeds from mod sales, it's obviously a money grab. We have created mods for the enjoyment of it, to learn something new and sometimes to gain valuable experience. Now Bethesda has turned our pastime into a profit making scheme, with them seeing most of the profit.

 

And yes, Robin is being rather two-faced about this whole thing. Nexus is a service provider, so they are making money from the mods being sold on SW. No wonder he's not worried. :)

 

As for me, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. *sigh*

That's understandable and the backlash from the community was expected, because it's IMHO that Bethesda sold out the modding spirit in the community as a hobby to commercial interests for bigger profits.

 

Have you read DarkOne's blog post about this?  If not here it is.

 

You're not alone and ladyonthemoon has already pulled down two mods and edit the Pale Pass WIP-thread.

 

http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1516488-wipz-pale-pass/

http://tesalliance.org/forums/index.php?/topic/7504-wipz-pale-pass/

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She's not the only one who doesn't like how the community over there is handling things, I can say that.

 

In any case, it's too early to say how this will affect things. Folks need to be patient instead of jumping the gun. People were uneasy about app stores but have warmed up to them.

 

Just because you pay for something doesn't mean it has to be proprietary. In the free software world, paying for things that are also released free is very common. Usually, when you pay, you're getting perks like priority support or help in setting things up. If you don't pay, you still get the full product and community help but you just don't get the full help offered by the organization.

 

This works well. Very well.

 

Pay does not have to mean mean evil if the community doesn't want it to. There are options.

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And some simply live off of donations and corporate support. Take the Linux Kernel: you have big corporations giving back to it but, ultimately, the kernel itself is free. As I recall, it's licensed under the GPLv2. Corporations actually pay their employees to work on it, it's so important.

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One thing that needs clarifying, since it seems people are taking Chesko completely at face value.

 

When we were all contacted about the opportunity 5-6 weeks ago, part of what was explained to us (and is now in the official FAQ) is that when a mod needs to be taken down for some reason it would remain in the system and be visible only to the author, Valve, Bethesda, and people who already paid for it. It would vanish from the store area and no longer be available for purchase.

 

For him to come along now and claim he was blindsided by Valve's lawyers is disingenuous at best. That everyone is accepting it without question is even worse, considering all they need to do is read the official FAQ on the subject to know.

 

If Valve hadn't said anything and this happened I'd be 100% behind him in being upset about how he says he was treated. IMO, he hasn't got a leg to stand on though.

 

I've stayed out of the major discussions because what I see in threads elsewhere (aside from here and AFK) shocks me. So much hate. All over a few measly dollars. There's even a thread in the author section on Nexus that's dripping with hatred. It's just stupid and this sort of thing is what's actually going to tear the community apart since it's patently obvious these people were all jackasses BEFORE this initiative went public. Disagree, nobody minds that, but when people are doing it by using hate speech and racist comments (I leave it to you to deduce what kind) then the credibility of their opposition evaporates. Oh, and the death threats. Why do anonymous turds on the internet have to do that?

 

Paid mods won't kill anything. People are buying the content as we speak on Steam. As far as Valve is concerned they already consider it a moderate success despite the rocky launch.

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