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Monetizing my work


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#1 temnix

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 06:39 AM

As I keep making new stuff for my mod, I realize what an investment of time and effort it has been. Searching, figuring out what works and what doesn't... Ideas have fallen by wayside, and it's still very far away from completion. There are going to be spells, and quests, and content. Had I stuck to known mechanics and the usual implementation, I would feel no need to consider charging money for a little hobby. A spell that does some damage or knocks people back, a storekeeper NPC with two lines of dialogue are not difficult to make. But my NPC have more lines, my spells rewind time or change class or bond minds. A few, still in production, include quests for demons and devils. All of them have individual casting sounds that I found or in many cases mixed up myself from unlikely sources. Most have original or semi-original visuals. The icons, too (sounds like a tiny detail) took a completely outsized amount of work to be on the level with those in the games. On and on the list goes, where it will stop, nobody knows.

 

I don't dispute that the engine belongs to Beamdog, but my work belongs to me (painting with borrowed brushes). It is a labor of love, true, just as digging up things about this engine or discussing them on these boards. I've done it because I wanted to. But the modding has taken more than a year of my life, rather jealously, too. Like every artist, I think I deserve some material returns from the mod, when at long last it comes out. Probably I will make a free demo, complete but limited, and direct people who want the whole thing to - I don't know, perhaps a Patreon page, or Kickstarter? Some way to pay. I've never done this sort of thing. My question here is, and probably the administrators should answer, is whether I would be allowed to include a link to a paid version with the demo?

 

Everyman - old.jpg



#2 GeN1e

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 07:21 AM

Official Beamdog response on the matter of fan content monetization https://forums.beamd...#Comment_959853

 

In simple English - you can accept donations of any kind, but you can't use paywalls to restrict access to your content.

Regarding Kickstarter (I thought it was unavailable in your place, no?), I believe it is fine if you use it to raise the sum but keep the content freely available to anyone, e.g. in public github repo.

 

Be advised that there was a case of one particular BG modding site erecting paywall around its forum and the latest version of one particular mod in development there, and it wasn't taken very kindly by the community (to put it mildly).

Also, if I were you, I wouldn't expect even $50 a month in donations. Maybe $20 tops if you really do manage to interest a couple people with too much money to spare, and that's a big gamble still. Talented artists with established publicity often make less than $100 on Patreon, so make your own conclusions if it'll even compensate for the time spent on monetization efforts alone, nevermind the actual work on ancient game.


Edited by GeN1e, 25 March 2018 - 07:23 AM.

Retired from modding.


#3 Creepin

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 11:15 AM

I am NOT representing administration, I have only got some power to purge a spam off the board, but until I'll be told by SConrad otherwise I'll treat any such attempts as a spam. Try BlackWyrmLair instead, they love shenanigans like that. Admittedly they're only having about what, 10 visitors per month, but I'm sure it doesn't has any connection to them trying to sell mods.


Edited by Creepin, 25 March 2018 - 11:16 AM.

The Old Gold - v0.2 WIP (mod for BGT/BWP/BWS)


#4 Ulb

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 11:25 PM

As Mr.G has said, I think if you are just setting up a way for people to donate, you should be okay. Outright selling your mod will probably get you in trouble, and rightly so (in my opinion.)

 

As for the donations thing, I highly doubt you'd get enough return to even justify the time spent to set up the donations page.

There are TONS of awesome, great mods out there with years of support and updates behind them, none of which ask for donations, so why would people be inclined to donate to you?

 

Now, if you are really looking to make some coin from BG modding, you might want to look into doing comission work.

I while ago I actually had a gentleman offering me money for helping out with a mod. I declined since this is just a hobby for me and I only like working on my stuff in my own time.

 

If you want I could look up the emails though and you can give it a shot.


Edited by Ulb, 25 March 2018 - 11:26 PM.


#5 subtledoctor

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 03:29 AM

I hope all the poor souls who suffered abuse answering your questions in seemingly infinite threads are going to get a percentage? :P

#6 GeN1e

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 08:15 AM

I while ago I actually had a gentleman offering me money for helping out with a mod.
I've seen one such request too, some years ago.
I hope all the poor souls who suffered abuse answering your questions in seemingly infinite threads are going to get a percentage? :P
Where's the like button when you need one :D

Edited by GeN1e, 26 March 2018 - 08:18 AM.

Retired from modding.


#7 The Imp

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 08:27 AM

I actually delivered a mod to a such request... and I didn't take the money, they went to the upkeep of this site. I didn't do it because of the money though, it was because I could, and the donation wasn't insisted by me either, but it was left up to them...


Yep, Jarno Mikkola. my Mega Mod FAQ. Use of the BWS, and how to use it(scroll down that post a bit). 
OK, desert dweller, welcome to the sanity, you are free to search for the limit, it's out there, we drew it in the sand. Ouh, actually it was still snow then.. but anyways.


#8 temnix

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 10:57 AM

Ulb, it's true that there are very impressive free mods out there, and have been for years, but I think that's a wrong model. Don't misunderstand me, I didn't set out to do this for money, and if people want to give away their stuff, I don't mind. But I do mind a culture of expectation that good things, with lots of effort and ingenuity in them, will be free. It causes suffering for the creators, because they don't even begin to a) hope for some real-life impact on their lives from the modding science they've toiled to learn, in the form of a little money they could buy things with, and b) hope to actually create semi-professionally - to be free to devote their time to this. Which takes money. Really, it's too much freaking labor to delve into modding after a full-time job, or several, as many people must maintain these days. I can only do this because my job leaves me a lot of time between orders. I don't imagine a 9-to-5 + a 6-to-9 and then sitting down to create anything impressive. If one makes that sacrifice of the precious little time left, it's not even reasonable. Somebody like that should drop modding for something to ventilate his brain, like walking or reading a book.

 

And why? Because the situation with creativity on computers is the same as with all the traditional genres since forever: it's too hard to be good if it's a quarter-time gig. You need the time, the strength, the inspiration... You need money. (Brings to mind Melville: "Oh, Time, Strength, Cash and Patience!") :lol2: But just as companies have gotten used to making people work for free as "interns," the online crowd thinks that mods drop out of the sky and land on Google Market, cleverly renamed Google Play. They think that if they stumble across some wonderful addition to a game (only because we have no resources or teams to make games whole-cloth), it's something natural, a lucky find, just kicking up a diamond. Well, it's not like that. It's somebody's time and brains on a platter, why and how should that be free? What's more, this bullshit freebie philosophy harms the audience, too. Players rarely appreciate what they don't pay for, nor are they willing to stick with the material, learn its assumptions, its new ideas, if they can just pull off the next doo-dad from the Internet. The result is, they are perpetually bored.

 

Anyway, that's all well-known, and I don't expect idiots to wise up on their own. But modders can take some steps to changing this perception. In my case, in answer to Ardanis there, I wouldn't impose on people for "patronage." If they sign up, they will expect material on a regular basis, and that would kill creativity on my end. Commissions... possible, but would definitely be as boring as just another job. But what's wrong with the old system of either making a thing and selling it, for a one-time payment, or indeed asking for a one-time donation? Here is what I might do, when the great big mod finally shapes up for its diplodocus potential. I might put up on this site a demo with the new 1st-level spells available on character selection, but nowhere else - not on scrolls, not in books, and the rest of the content I plan, outside of magic, would also be absent. The 1st-level spells are already interesting and a number of them come with quests. Let players enjoy that for free. If they want more, let them send me $5 a nose over PayPal, and I'll answer with a version that has the higher-level content.

 

Sounds fair? I think it is.



#9 subtledoctor

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 08:34 PM

Where's the like button when you need one :D
In the Beamdog safe space. ;)

Serious question: if it's awesome, how will you stop people pirating it? The source code of every Weidu mod is free to inspect and share...

Edited by subtledoctor, 26 March 2018 - 08:38 PM.


#10 GeN1e

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 05:16 PM

Serious question: if it's awesome, how will you stop people pirating it? The source code of every Weidu mod is free to inspect and share...
My opinion - if someone whines about piracy, then either he's a corporate jerk from EA/Ubisoft or he could've instead worked on the quality of content to attract more paying customers.

Retired from modding.


#11 Almateria

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 10:56 PM

Unless it's a ko-fi/patreon scheme, you're gonna get hit with every variant of a cease and desist letter known to humankind.



#12 Almateria

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 10:57 PM

On a less serious note, fucking lol if you think people will pay you cash money for content for a literally twenty year old brain-numbing video game.



#13 Sergio

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 01:12 AM

Do it out of passion.

 

And I say so because 

1) Game is old

2) the few people left won't care about a new mod, no matter how good it is behind a paywall

3) the few people interested won't care because you are nobody in this community

4) the few people not interested and that won't care will spread the rumour that you are just trying a shenanigan scheme a là kickstarter, where you donate and pay to get shit content or no content at all

5) The support you would have to give to the mod will be way more expensive than what you are going to earn

 

Should I add other 100 reasons on why you won't be successfull? I didn't list them all because time is limited


Low hung brow, dazed look on your face..... It appears that you are correct, my friend. You are indeed a complete imbecile.


#14 temnix

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 09:35 AM

I don't expect a lot of money in return, but lists like Sergio's are suspect. For any creative attempt, game or no game, just these reasons to give up could be advanced: people won't care, who are you anyway (apparently one has to make free products for 20 years to start counting as "somebody" - to hell with that), and so on. And passion is a great thing, except when you really have it, it's then that you need the brakes to stop and see where you're going. Money isn't even the point here.



#15 Avenger_teambg

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 12:14 PM

@temnix Are you not familiar with the huge backslash from te modding Steam/NexusMods community after Valve tried to enable paid mods? I have nothing against people being payed for their work, but in such case it's called 'job' not 'modding'. If you want to create game assets/stories/quests/etc just change you current job to be closer what you love to do. Do not put yourself into situation which may disappoint you to the point where you will lose you interest.

 

Somehow I doubt Valve would do this without an arrangement with the original right-holder.


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