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Re: Should mods be free?

#301
Shareware (also termed trialware or demoware) is a type of proprietary software which is provided to users for a certain limited trial basis and pursuant to a license which restricts any commercial benefit, use or exploitation of the software.
Wikipedia is an excellent educator for us plebians!

The point, as The Duck pointed out, is that the "pay what you want" model is not typically what they used in the 80s and early 90s.

Are we agreed? Can we settle this point? Is there going to be an endless debate about how the shareware model is actually a bad one and that's why we call it nagware nowadays? Is someone going to see "shareware" and think that someone else is suggesting an "all mods should be shareware" model? Are we at actual risk of settling a point, no matter how minor, on this thread? So we can continue with the actual point at hand i.e. SR's suggestion?
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Re: Should mods be free?

#304
Dinosawer wrote:You're getting better at the passive-aggressive thing :mrgreen:
Thanks bud! I'm attempting to hone my skills constantly.
Actually I said shareware/FREEWARE.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeware
sheesh everybody keeps quoting the first bit. :eh: :lol:
Fair enough I'll buy that (pun absolutely intended). Note then that "shareware/freeware" is an odd combination, since they're quite different things, at least according to wikipedia. In any case, there should probably be some caveat on the use of the term freeware:
Software classified as freeware may be used without payment and is typically either fully functional for an unlimited time, or has limited functionality, with a more capable version available commercially or as shareware.[8] In contrast to what the FSF calls free software, the author usually restricts the rights of the user to use, copy, distribute, modify, make derivative works, or reverse-engineer the osftware.
I've left the typo in because it's giving me some enjoyment.
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Re: Should mods be free?

#305
Scytale wrote:
Zanteogo wrote:
The silly thing about the whole "debate", was that in the end it's totally up to Josh anyways what he decides to sell and what he doesn't. It would be like us debating if Josh should be allowed to take on additional employees. I can mail in any bit of code I like to Josh and ask him what he thinks. Why people think they need group approval for this in retrospect is beyond me.
For some reason, large chunks of discussions like this end up almost actively avoiding this point. I wonder why that is? No sarcasm, I'm genuinely curious.
I think this is because most of the discussions that occur here are just us throwing ideas around and killing some time. Perhaps Josh may read them and perhaps it might slightly change how he decides to do things in the future. However, it's mostly just a fun exercise.

If we throw reality into it, (that what we discuss here, really doesn't make much actual difference in the long run), it sort of kills the whole exercise. We all might as well just stop debating any sort of anything at all related to Limit Theory.

The only exception would be when Josh directly asks for community input, or when he actually participates in the discussions. This basically never occurs anymore, due to the stage of LT development.
My Signature
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Re: Should mods be free?

#307
Zanteogo wrote:
I think this is because most of the discussions that occur here are just us throwing ideas around and killing some time. Perhaps Josh may read them and perhaps it might slightly change how he decides to do things in the future. However, it's mostly just a fun exercise.

If we throw reality into it, (that what we discuss here, really doesn't make much actual difference in the long run), it sort of kills the whole exercise. We all might as well just stop debating any sort of anything at all related to Limit Theory.

The only exception would be when Josh directly asks for community input, or when he actually participates in the discussions. This basically never occurs anymore, due to the stage of LT development.
That makes a lot of sense.
osftware
I literally laughed out loud at that. No idea why. :lol:
Exactly, right?? It's awesome
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Re: Should mods be free?

#308
First, thanks on the 4k posts congrats, I didn't realize I had been sneaking up there. :P :wave: 8-)

Next, I actually like Surface Reflection's idea.

I originally came from the SCP forums (Freespace forums) and it was apparent that there were a few mods that stood out. They're the ones that actually got a whole dedicated sub forum just for their project. The same thing will probably happen here. At some point, these things just start popping up. If you have to ask yourself or other people whether a mod is big, then the answer is always 'no'. If a mod is big, you'll know it without needing to ask the question (for many reasons).

Those are few and far between. These are on the scale of Garry's Mod is to Steam, as well as Team Fortress and all those others that became 'acquired' by Valve. In fact, Garry's Mod, as SR stated, is the perfect example of what's being proposed.

The reality is, is that some mods will be so big, and so complex that pretty much anyone who frequents the forums nowadays will have no problem buying (you may think this is a blakent statement, but the odds are that if you care this much about the game that you're following the forums to the extent some of you are, you'll be more than willing to throw money at the creator).

Specific logistics aside on the 'how to make it work', I think the idea is sound. It keeps the IP in Josh's hands, as well as the QA to prevent crap from being branded as 'official'. It also allows Josh to monetize what originally was his creation and acts as a way to 'license' the engine without explicitly doing so (hell, he could even toss in a small disclaimer that states those mods are a type of licensing). And last, it allows the content creators to be recognized and be rewarded for their work (something we all can agree should happen--recognition for a great piece of work is always good).

All the questions about "How do you handle X", or "How do you take into account Y", or "What about DRM?" are pointless questions when an idea comes up. If Josh decides to say "Yeah, I like this idea", I'm sure we can also agree with the fact that he WILL find a way to make it work.

Rest in a spoiler for those that think the post is already long enough and didn't read. :P
Spoiler:      SHOW
As a corollary to some of the other points brought up in general;

DRM
Any argument to the fact of being "But what if someone buys it then distributes it on their own for free?" is not really a valid argument. This is the basis of piracy. Software piracy will happen, and while there will be people that will do this, it is still based on the honor system. Nobody can stop you from doing this with mods. Nobody can stop you from doing this with the actual game. People do it already with things from the Humble Bundle. The only thing stopping you is your own moral compass and ethics.

Crap Getting Through the Quality Assurance Filter
There will always be crap. There will also be very simple mods. It won't take long for someone to do a simple mod that makes it play the Final Fantasy fanfare whenever you complete a mission. Some people would love that, and some people won't. It might even get incredibly popular. Is it considered a mod worth buying? Probably not. Popularity != instant money grab. While getting any mods recognized as official is a bit of a popularity contest, it also comes with reason. The Freespace mod Inferno just sort of emerged, and most mods that would probably be considered for an 'officially approved' will end up the same way. It becomes no contest.

Monetizing Mods in General
Like with the DRM, there is no easy way to prevent people from monetizing mods, even against Josh's request. If a group of people make a huge mod and hide it behind a paywall, there's still that. It becomes a bit of a legal gray area that each person feels strongly about. Of course, downloading such a mod and then distributing it freely yourself also stays in that legal area. It doesn't make it wrong or right either. Let's not turn this into a debate on whether or not charging for mods for someone else's game is legal or not, that will NOT end well in these forums with the way this thread has been going already.

Extremes
None of this states that's all one way or another. It's not a "All mods must be bought" or "All mods must be given away free". You'll always find a crowd that wants to give their stuff away and a crowd that believes their hard work should be rewarded. Some also believe by forcing all mods to be free to stifle the creation of mods. Would someone have created a mod if they knew they would get money for it eventually vs. knowing they would never see a dime? That's an incredibly subjective question that unfortunately doesn't have much merit since there is no way to answer it. Once again, realistically, we can only speculate, and trying to prove that speculation as fact will only end in arguments.

Closing Thoughts -- No one should make a mod EXPECTING to get paid for it for a game such as this. It seems to go against Josh's type, and seems a bit egotistic to do so. That being said, if someone makes something that becomes a surprise hit, and actually contributes to increasing LT's popularity and numbers sold, I'm all for giving them a piece of the pie; whether it's recognition, monetization, or both.
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Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.
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Re: Should mods be free?

#309
Okay, that clears your (Surface Detail's) idea up considerably.

Your post states you will only respond to responses to the paragraph you wrote below the spoiler, so I will do the same, except for this small bit here.

I too do not wish to continue debating for an additional 5 pages over this issue, so here are the two of the points that I wanted to respond to the most:
Surface Reflection wrote:
Graf wrote:
So, sheesh dude. No need to get yourself all riled up.
How about you dont imply that you know my emotional state or thinking? I barely managed the will to even write what i did. It was depressing, not riling up.
The only person coming off aggressive and/or confrontational here is you. :|
:think: ?
So please, as my father used to say in the 80's (70's???), keep it mellow, man. And stay puft. (I made up the last bit. All mine. What! :mrgreen: ) I should probably work on Calculus now... at 3:30 AM. Really hope I have off tomorrow.
How about listening to your pa`s advice and chilling out, maybe sometimes asking questions instead of making declaratory aggressive statements about my personality, emotional and mind states? - while accusing me of being aggressive?
Ouch. :( I thought I was very mellow and level headed in my responses. I am sorry if I came off otherwise, and apologize for accusing you of being aggressive. That accusation was based solely upon how I was reading your posts, and I am sorry for that. :oops:

Though Garrys mod started as a mod of HL2, saying that the current standalone Gmod, built on a modified Source Engine version, is a mod is like saying that Batman: Arkham Asylum is mod of Unreal Engine. The original mod based on HL2 was not sold, while the current version which runs on valve's engine is. As far as I know, content made for Garry's mod is not sold through steam, nor was ever sold. However, Steam workshop is very slowly working towards paid mod content. Currently, you can submit items like TF2 hats and stuff, to be included in valve's games and sold. Based on how steam is doing the extremely successfully trading card thing, also based on user submitted content, it would be economically viable for steam to allow mods to be sold, as steam gets a cut, and so far, anytime they allow users to sell stuff steam gets a massive revenue bonus. They already have the market and trading system in. It wouldn't be a stretch for such a change to "3rd party dlc" to happen.

Onto the rest then.

What you describe doesn't seem to match the mod development process that I know of with KSP, but that is likely because those mods are being developed in conjunction with the game, thus why I was talking about issues with doing your suggestion with mods that had been in public development. This seems to be more about paying for something like Homeworld: Complex. As for the actual act of selling your assets as a part of an official mod pack, I see no reason why you couldn't, unless Josh says he doesn't want an official modpack.
Libertas per Technica
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Re: Should mods be free?

#310
Graf wrote:Though Garrys mod started as a mod of HL2, saying that the current standalone Gmod, built on a modified Source Engine version, is a mod is like saying that Batman: Arkham Asylum is mod of Unreal Engine.
This actually touched on quite a few things.

What we have to realize is that the LTSL interpreter to the LT game is just like the unreal engine to Batman: Arkham Asylum. The LTSL interpreter is the base. If Josh at some point decides to license or sell the engine alone for a lesser price with the main LT game being a huge mod, then the line becomes fuzzy. I few posters have even pointed this out and I agree completely. It's why I still believe we'll see someone take the base interpreter and create something none of us would ever expect.
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Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.
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Re: Should mods be free?

#311
DWMagus wrote:
Graf wrote:Though Garrys mod started as a mod of HL2, saying that the current standalone Gmod, built on a modified Source Engine version, is a mod is like saying that Batman: Arkham Asylum is mod of Unreal Engine.
This actually touched on quite a few things.

What we have to realize is that the LTSL interpreter to the LT game is just like the unreal engine to Batman: Arkham Asylum. The LTSL interpreter is the base. If Josh at some point decides to license or sell the engine alone for a lesser price with the main LT game being a huge mod, then the line becomes fuzzy. I few posters have even pointed this out and I agree completely. It's why I still believe we'll see someone take the base interpreter and create something none of us would ever expect.
Well if you plan on going that far you should probably pay Josh a licensing fee for using his game engine like you would have for unreal. :think:
"A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke
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Re: Should mods be free?

#312
Agreed, and that is where a mod ends and a game begins. Games are like skyscrapers built on the foundation of the engine, while mods are like replacing the facade and remodeling the interior, or adding electrical conduits and plumbing for particularly in depth mods. Remodelers and sub contractors might get payed for putting in carpet or lights, but the person paying for the building itself has to pay the landowner to use the land or existing foundation. (Okay, the last bit of the analogy was a bit off, but you get my point. ;) )
Libertas per Technica
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Re: Should mods be free?

#313
DWMagnus wrote:Monetizing Mods in General
Like with the DRM, there is no easy way to prevent people from monetizing mods, even against Josh's request. If a group of people make a huge mod and hide it behind a paywall, there's still that. It becomes a bit of a legal gray area that each person feels strongly about. Of course, downloading such a mod and then distributing it freely yourself also stays in that legal area. It doesn't make it wrong or right either. Let's not turn this into a debate on whether or not charging for mods for someone else's game is legal or not, that will NOT end well in these forums with the way this thread has been going already.
Innocent question here:
Why does anybody think that owning an IP (and hence marketing rights) for a mod is illegal/undefined?

My understanding (I am NOT a lawyer, hence the question) would be:
  • The engine ("Vanilla LT", as the engine is not for sale by itself AFAIK) belong to Josh. He has IP for it, trademark, whatever, and is the sole person to decide how to market it.
  • A mod is a new, derivative, creation that require the engine to work. So any user of a mod will have to acquire the engine from Josh to actually run it. Hence a mod does not deprive Josh of anything.
  • The creator of a mod has its own IP on his creation, so it should be its decision how to market it. He will need however to point out that any customer NEED to buy the engine, so need to become a customer of Josh. Hence he potentially brings new customers for Josh...
Examples:
  • Fiat make cars. I can buy a Fiat and use if to make money as a Taxi service.
  • Photoshop makes a photo software. I can use it (including all the special filters and effect) and own the IP on the pictures.
  • Don Perignon makes wine. I can create and market a plastic piece that allow to re-close the bottle (even specifically for a specially formed non-standard bottle) and market it without asking Don Perigon.
Can somebody, without debating whether it is good or bad to monetize mods, explain me where my reasoning is wrong? Just curious...
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Re: Should mods be free?

#315
Dinosawer wrote:Because games usually have a EULA that explicitly says any adaptation you make of the game still belongs to the original devs.
Good point.

Note that it is not because it is in the EULA that it is legally binding (e.g. in my country you cannot disclaim warranty for issues that a professional should control when doing his job without obvious careless), but it is a good point.

So it all boils down at whether Josh wants to make such a stupid clause in his EULA or not. Stupid because it may, at best, stop people from gaining you new customers (through new content or extension of playability), while not giving you any advantage except the remote possibility to market the work of somebody else against his will or without paying him anything (any precedent? It would never work).
A good EULA could forbid distributing modifications that work without having to buy vanilla LT (so basically, that include the engine) - because this is an obvious door to loosing business (change the splash screen color and market as your version). But this is actually already forbiden thanks to copyrights, so need not be specified specially.

Disclaimer (valid in my country because I am no professional): No warranty as unfounded legal opinion of a clueless engineer ;)
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