Author Topic: Why are so many mods existing IP's?  (Read 13517 times)

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solarsplace

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2014, 11:01:20 AM »
Hi motorsep

Many thanks for the links, much appreciated.

Cheers

aphexjh

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2014, 12:13:28 PM »
First off, it occurs to me that I might have been a bit judgmental in the original post. I don't mean to minimize the important and amazing things that people have contributed to this community, so I want to emphasize how much I appreciate all the great mods you all have worked on. This community, (e.g. doom3world, mod wiki, etc) has really meant a lot to me in the last 8-9 years, so you all deserve my respect and thanks. Thank you.

We have gained a few followers on ModDB and I suspect it has only been noticed on this new fine forum due to the early stages of the forum and relativly few posters.
I have been aware of your mod for a long time, since doom3world, it has always looked promising. Your reply was helpful, yes, thank you.  I mentioned it in the original post because your team has put so much work into the mod that it bears mentioning. Keep up the great work.

A final take is that modders looking at Doom 3's asset base often overlooked the organic "Hell" assets and focused on
the sci-fi assets that make up the majority of the game. With that perspective, much of what could've been done with
the game was waylay-ed in favor of seeing the platform as only being a good fit for claustrophobic "Aliens" style mods which
would be hard to distinguish from minor Doom 3 tweak mods. The modding community mostly wrote-off Doom 3 save
a dedicated elite coding crew who knew that it had far more potential than it was given credit for. These folks posted
all sorts of ingenuity at Doom3world but almost none of it was adopted by actual mod-game designers.
nbohr1more, thank you for your reply.  There are so many things I would like to talk about in response to your post. The assets and existing game, which are very alien-like, do lend themselves toward that style of gameplay and level design.  I don't think it has been written-off, but i take your meaning, and I agree that Doom 3 does not benefit from the same audience numbers as some other communities, which has a lot of effects.
There is another thing, that is not immediately apparent from the outside, which is that doom 3 is designed with an almost minimal design aesthetic, which lends itself to people familiar with coding, but will likely alienate primarily artistic people, who are obviously a very necessary part of the equation.
With an existing IP, you don't need to convince other developers that your dream idea is one that they should help come to fruition.
Wow, this, so much this.  I am sad to say that this is one of the most relaxing aspects of working alone.  I have worked on a few teams, mostly smaller games using unity3d for school, but it infuriates me so much when someone doesn't show up to meeting for 2 weeks and then says they don't like the game anymore, or they talked to their Uncle Virgil and he thinks the character should be a cyborg. Guess what Virgil, I don't give a fuck.
Grimm showed me that you can get a 'big' audience based solely on the merits of the game and not it's name and that feels plain good.
BR, really awesome post here, such a great insight into the Hexen mod, I love all the work you guys have done. Its a shame that the old forum was dissembled, it would have been an interesting read/resource. Obviously you don't need me to tell you that you have made some amazing mods. I think its natural to enjoy something that comes from your imagination more than recreating something that already exists, but this is coming from someone who spent many days remaking CS maps, so it's all about what motivates the individual. I don't know if you have heard of the tests done on Orb weaver spiders with lysergic acid or certain blood serums, but I find them to be a profound corollary of my own behavior, so that is probably worth mentioning here. Thanks for the reply.

BielBdeLuna and Motorstep, those are the things I was concerned about, but it sounds like that shouldn't be much or an issue. If there is anything I can do as a modeler or artist to help you guys make a safe release of the engine, please let me know.

Just like you once said yourself, it is exponentially more comfortable to be "standing on the shoulders of giants" compared to "be the giant yourself".
...
That way we get to a number of roughly 30 guys. 30 guys working on Doom3 for roughly 4 years. Simple math tells you that the work of over 120 man-years has been invested into Doom3.
I think that making a shorter and more interesting experience is feasible, and I think there might be a market for it. It's when I try to make a magnum opus, on the level of Doom 3 itself that I get into trouble. I do think there is a benefit to working with the stock assets as a base, not having to create enemy and mover behavior and a library of functions from scratch is what makes doom 3 modding (and all modding) so fun. So if the motivation is to create a beautiful and engaging experience with a similar visceral core to Doom 3, I think that the parts are all there. MCS and Venture videos look really awesome. Thank you for all your guidance over the years.
Originals are very fun though.  Steel Storm: BR & it's DLC are awesome.  I tell anyone who likes top down shooters to get it.  I also recommend Flotilla by Blendo Games and, if you want a good short story, Thirty Flights of Loving.  That's why I'm excited about more stuff by those creators, the current stuff is fun.   
Thanks Friar, you're right, and you are also right about the popular IP's bring in players, I just want people to get money for their work. That's what I am getting at. There are ways in other engines for content creators to make money doing what they love, I want that for Doom 3.

Friar, I would like it if you did more contests, like some of the mapping and weapon contests you have given in the past.  We could think of it as a Id-Tech 4 Mod-Jam. Well, its just an idea, but I would like it.  Thanks again for this forum.

motorsep

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2014, 12:36:52 PM »
Grimm showed me that you can get a 'big' audience based solely on the merits of the game and not it's name and that feels plain good.

How big is Grimm's audience ? Can you reach your audience directly ?

BloodRayne

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2014, 02:50:26 PM »
Grimm showed me that you can get a 'big' audience based solely on the merits of the game and not it's name and that feels plain good.

How big is Grimm's audience ? Can you reach your audience directly ?

I have about 40 visitors per day. 137k views since I started the mod on Moddb. I basically consider my followers those that subscribed which is steady at 280. I once did a massive e-mail and marketing campaign to all indie sites and game sites, but only 3 of say 30 mails were answered and resulted in posts on the net. I have around 4500 downloads for the mod on Moddb, I can't measure other sources, but I know there's some mod sites out there that are releasing it with similar numbers (Moddb isn't that popular). It's also available on Desura, I have no numbers from that either.

The Linux release really created a big audience, when it became known that it ran on Linux it instantly popped up on many Linux gaming websites. But after the 'final' release the audience staled, which was a big let down for me. The last release was radically better than the first, but some of the audience had already left, not patient enough for all the new maps and features.

I used the 'minimum viable product' approach with Grimm, releasing something as soon as I could. That worked well at first, but it's not a good thing for a fresh IP and product. You can't get people to stay and hold out during development that way if there isn't something inherently binding them to the product. That approach would have been great for Hexen, but not for Grimm. I should have waited the months and kept it secret until release, then should have released it with a large bang.

Which is what I'm doing with my next release. :)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 02:52:02 PM by BloodRayne »

motorsep

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2014, 03:00:18 PM »
Once momentum is lost, it's virtually impossible to get it back :(

Btw, I am surprised to hear Moddb isn't popular. I actually was hoping it would be one place where I could get some numbers :/

What are the other alternatives to Moddb out there  ?

BielBdeLuna

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2014, 07:09:17 PM »
no one has tried yet a crowd-sourced approach,which could be that connection that Bloodrayne spoke about.

besides, @Motorsep, you can create a GPL-comercial game, so this way the community can be involved.
No need then to claim any copyright then, as long as the content the community creates is fully GPL your content can be proprietary if you want (that means, to receive a different legal treatment that the content from the community)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 07:13:55 PM by BielBdeLuna »

motorsep

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2014, 07:35:33 PM »
no one has tried yet a crowd-sourced approach,which could be that connection that Bloodrayne spoke about.

besides, @Motorsep, you can create a GPL-comercial game, so this way the community can be involved.
No need then to claim any copyright then, as long as the content the community creates is fully GPL your content can be proprietary if you want (that means, to receive a different legal treatment that the content from the community)

History doesn't have any successful examples for 100% GPL games. There is no incentive to pay for those games when they out as it's all legal to download it for free.

What if 50 people participated. How are you gonna share the profit ?  What if 49 people assume it's non-paid contribution, but 1 asks for money, and then the rest 49 realize they were ripped off.. It's an awful mess, Sir.

So while, yes you can make 100% GPL commercial game, it will not succeed.

BielBdeLuna

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2014, 05:38:17 AM »
you can't apply the copyright mentality to GPL, with GPL you're free to use the "thing" as long as a rule is met (usually involves giving credit, and sharing with the same freedom of copy it came out with)
The author of a GPL "thing" can't change the legal framework of the distributed "thing" once it's distributed, at least not with the current copy of the distributed "thing", he can distribute other copies with a different legal framework, but then it will only apply to that copy no to all (that's the case of OpenAL 1.0 being GPL and the next versions of OpenAL not being GPL).

one has to be responsible of his own actions, therefore, you can't ask for money (feeling ripped off) if you distributed your "thing" within a GPL legal framework

so someone wants to gain money if they share their assets with you? they ask for it, so you end up with a clear list of who wants money an who don't, you could also ask to whatever author of a GPL "thing" you're using (which you should be collecting a list of authors for giving due credits anyway) if they want money from you on grounds of using their authored content, not because you’re forced to ( because you’re not, it's GPL replicable content) but because you want to be in good relations with those same authors (which in the future could create a new "thing" which you could be really interested)

I think you should look at it more from the point of view of exclusivity. if you use GPL content you're accepting that whatever is GPL in your project can be used by others also, therefore it's not exclusive to your project. you want exclusivity you use copyrighted/proprietary "things", whether it's code or assets, they won't be replicable without your consent, but for the good and for the bad (people won't be able to look at the code to repair whatever works badly, or to adapt it to newer platforms in the future)

so it's up to you, there is no law stopping you.

BloodRayne

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2014, 07:45:42 AM »
Once momentum is lost, it's virtually impossible to get it back :(

Btw, I am surprised to hear Moddb isn't popular. I actually was hoping it would be one place where I could get some numbers :/

What are the other alternatives to Moddb out there  ?

Only one thing: Contacts.

You need contacts in the media or the industry, preferably both. Nothing else than that besides a miracle lucky shot (minecraft, counterstrike etc..) can help you towards the big leagues. And for that you need to stand out, have luck, be at the right place at the right time, say the right things at the right time and get the funds you need at the right time with the right people available.

As for numbers, you get those when you hit a sweet spot, don't ask me, I didn't hit it yet. But I imagine it must be something towards the Linux thing. I think that Linux (and to a lesser extent) Mac games are a big (not untouched but not saturated either) market. Your best bet would be to target that audience, or follow the mobile hype that's going on with Android and such.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 07:49:27 AM by BloodRayne »

Bladeghost

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2014, 01:30:31 AM »
There's a lot I like to say on the subject and the first post...Washing Dishes sucks!, if I could've made money on any of my mods I'd be grateful. It's also a lot of work for one person to create a work of art that gets attention. even teams struggle. I'm losing track here..
but yeah, idtech4 is great stuff, sad more can't understand it. one thing I think is the bones in entities facing all in one direction that scares most folks interested in developing stuff and are too accustomed to the bi-ped from 3dsmax. in some cases not all I believe but a simple skeleton for characters and things it may seem too complicated. for most it can be without proper instruction on how to use the tech, yet once learned it's amazing stuff limited by imagination. I still believe it's a great platform to make art with other than unrealengine, unity,or even source. so making your own game and making some food money is nice but doesn't usually happen unless a console disk is made and sold in stores. anything digital or on a computer and always can be reproduced, hence copy and paste. it's a base function that's common for all. if it's on the net anyone can get it. if it's available no matter what it is electronically
(media, music, images, etc...) If I wasn't so overtired I'd probably make more sense, however I'd like to make a living doing what I love to do and that's working with digital art. and painting on the computer with sense and accomplishment, It's good therapy to build something whatever it is, on a computer out of wood or metal. now to get paid for that is something that one never knows.
working on projects with this tech still presents 2 things.
1. it's idtech we did not build it. id did. great to use and works well.
2. using content that others have made before. (I believe it's always easy to copy something, then being original comes from within and seeing it through and hope it works. it's risky and tricky as not everyone can do that. I dread a star wars D3 mod as I don't really care for Starwars, just an example (using other content than your own) as an experiment or hobby for self challenge, creating a commercial product from the beginning matters in the beginning. sure I'd like to make a game I could earn money from, it's a difficult endeavor to be a computer (game) maker and make a living unless the right elements are in place to do so. my mods I made them because I wanted to and was happy to share them with everyone. funny how some wound up on filefront and megagames without my knowledge or permission for download of my latest project.  I'll write back when I get some rest but that's been a few things that comes to mind.
Happy cheers everyone....
 :o

edit:
I like idtech4 over other engines because it works. short sweet and simple. I know nothing about mobile games, fartphones or portable programs. using idtech4 as your own game platform is a great tech but would have to use D3 as a base (basic stuff only of course to build from) as it has everything one could need. I still feel there are still restrictions even with gpl to commercial with your own stuff . but using other property has to be used carefully, like with I have with my mods.
some have restrictions, try making a battlestar galactica mod, I have and it's not allowed. go figure. anyways make great stuff everyone no matter what and be artistic in all you do.  haytime..  ^-^
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 01:55:28 AM by Bladeghost »

motorsep

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2014, 09:30:54 AM »
This isn't a personal attack on mighty Bladeghost (mighty because he is awesome :) ), but an attempt to clarify things from an angle of modern times, if I may say so, and since Bladeghost brought up these points, I am quoting him for clarify purposes.

... idtech4 is great stuff, sad more can't understand it. one thing I think is the bones in entities facing all in one direction that scares most folks interested in developing stuff and are too accustomed to the bi-ped from 3dsmax. in some cases not all I believe but a simple skeleton for characters and things it may seem too complicated. for most it can be without proper instruction on how to use the tech....

idTech 4 is great in a sense that it's all real-time, all formats are ascii and can be understood if new tools need to be made. The greatness of idtech 4 ends there. Nowadays, hardly a few people willing to work with it because tools are lacking, animation system is ancient, code is heavily duplicated, something that middleware does better is done mediocre in idtech 4 (networking, physics, animation system, sound, etc.) compare to UE4 / Unity / CE3+. So neither programmers nor artist willing to waste their time with the engine. It doesn't add much to their portfolio for once, and it also pain to work with after working with UE4 / Unity / CE3+, especially on the art side.

So while I am nostalgic too, and still work with BFG engine (although heavily modified and with all tools being stable), I have no misconception about other engines, that were mentioned (except Source), allowing to get stuff done faster, more efficiently.

Any engine requires understanding. It's just there is no good reason for many devs / artists to understand/use idTech platform. If Prey 2 was released, and was great, and had a mod kit / SDK, then things might have been different. So the only people who stick with idTech are fans, old school modders, or handful of indie devs.

I still believe it's a great platform to make art with other than unrealengine, unity,or even source. so making your own game and making some food money is nice but doesn't usually happen unless a console disk is made and sold in stores. anything digital or on a computer and always can be reproduced, hence copy and paste. it's a base function that's common for all. if it's on the net anyone can get it. if it's available no matter what it is electronically (media, music, images, etc...)

Eeh, for a loooooong time retail (disks) drags behind digital content. Everything is on Steam / consoles online stores. Most of the stuff is digital nowadays before it's easier to DRM it. Sure AAA titles still come out on disks for consoles, but pretty soon that will be over. Publishers have gotten tired of used games markets, and that is something you can prevent going digital.

So thinking you can only make money with console games on disks is a massive misconception. Making living as an indie game dev is not only possible, it's been done several times by quite a few devs, me including, without having any publishers.

You can't stop piracy, so to be realistic, you just don't count pirates as your customers. There has been a numerous articles written about it. Your customers are your customers, and pirates are sales that would have never happen anyway. So you don't lose money with piracy. Creating a service around the game is a way to persuade people who are borderline pirates ("casual copiers") to buy your game, during sales or at full price. The times when you could make a game, toss it out to the customers and be done with it are long gone.

So in short, do you have to release on consoles on disks to make a living - no; can you make a decent to great living with PC-only-digital-only-games - yes, very much so.

aphexjh

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2014, 01:41:03 PM »
It would be nice if Id Tech 4 could offer a cheap or free alternative to teams and designers, that didn't want license fees or royalties cutting into their profit, that could potentially build interest in it as a platform. That is undermined in some ways by not allowing developers certain protections under the GPL, since they will have to provide the source upon release of their product, which would make pirating the game quite simple. It might also introduce vulnerabilities in the security of their software, particularly if it has any networking components. Now there are definitely arguments to be made against me here and I welcome them, since I really don't know much about open source development paradigms, so please educate me.

As to it being old, lots of things are old, lots of things are clunky compared to more modern engines and tools, but people still play games from different era's and based on older technology because those things have something unique to offer. Something about a sprite-based game is still satisfying, and I don't think it ends with nostalgia, though it may. Id tech has always had something that makes it satisfying, it could be the way the engines are tuned, I don't know.  Obviously there is something about them, since companies like Valve and others still use them as a foundations and their games make money and are generally well received. Obviously the doom 3 engine is an exception to this in some ways, but I am not sure why that is.

As to what is best in your portfolio, if you are aiming at being an artist, pick an engine that is comfortable to you and displays your art in the best way. If you make 3d art, that will probably be one of the modern engines.  I emailed a game dev a long time ago asking for pointers to getting hired as a level designer, and he said this:

Quote
"doom 3 isn't so widely used in the industry, but the package isn't a dealbreaker.  software can be learned, and if you can become proficient in one engine, you can become proficient in another.  having said that, if you can find out what software your target companies use, and make yourself familiar with it, that can only stand in your favour.  a lot of companies use unreal 3, so that's a good place to concentrate some effort."

As I said this was some 4 years ago, but I think it probably makes less sense now to use tech 4 from a AAA perspective, but then again, it depends what you want to show. Obviously the IW engines and the Doom 3 engine have a fair amount in common, so its not totally irrelevant to show brush-based or scripting proficiency in Doom 3, but I think the point is what you are showing.  If you can show something interesting, creative and evocative in any engine, then that will help you, but if you require less training in a companies engine, that will also help.

I think the larger issue here, and call me out if I need to grab the ol' tinfoil hat, is that ideas are valuable.  Companies want ideas, modders make ideas and give them away, but they should think of themselves as developers and try to get paid for them. Who gets paid for ideas is largely dependent on who has access to distribution and media channels, which might be easier to access if you have lots of money. This is one aspect of Valve's economics I really like, they loop the external components of their game system into the profits, that has worked wonders for their recent games and I would like to see more of it for id tech 4.

motorsep

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2014, 02:15:19 PM »
There is no difference between pirating games using GPL engine and non-GPL-engine games. Please don't mix up "GPL game" and "game using GPL engine". Lack of DRM in game using GPL-engine  (although you can still DRM them externally or via Steam) makes it easier to copy casually. But no amount of DRM will stop pirates releasing it 2 days later on torrents.

I've yet to see an indie game (or non-MMO game) which was used to take down server / steal data via its unsecure networking. One can ass OpenSSL to idTech 4 networking protocol to be safer, but really, most games don't have anything like that. Only games with microtransactions take network security measures.

Making commercial games is about efficiency. Old tech, new tech, etc. doesn't matter. What matters is tools, and assembling team who will embrace the tech. So far it was quite hard for me to convince people to use idTech 4, because it doesn't add weight to portfolios of many people. Speaking of portfolio, idTech 4 (rather BFG) is a good foundation for programmers (graphics, networking, AI, tools, etc.) as there is a lot of room for improvements.

Companies want to see you working in what they use - UE4 / Unity / CE3+ (to a lesser degree). They don't want to retrain you. They want you to come and start working as efficiently and effectively as possible. Doesn't mean such thing doesn't happen - ID Software had all kind of folks with UE3 background and retrained them to use idTech 5.

As for "people play old stuff", Steam has all kind of charts and it's quite good from educational perspective to look up what people play the most. It's not Doom 3 or any such old game (nor any of ID games).

Bladeghost

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2014, 06:07:00 PM »
some quotes from my mod:

Quote
NoobSaibot Sep 18 2014, 3:16pm says:

I don't want to nit pick too much, but why not use a more advanced engine like UE3?
Quote

douglas_quaid Sep 19 2014, 4:53pm replied:

Hahaha, priceless!
Great One! Quaid! love it!
Quote

Halloween4 Oct 11 2014, 12:46pm says:

That is priceless, & hearing that will never get old, as what's the age of a game engine got to do with how good a mod or T.C is going to be lol, it's not the game engine you are using but what you do with it that counts.

If you don't believe me just look at how many mods are still being made for the original Half-Life.
my reply was a good artist doesn't blame his tools.
I've tried UE4,unity,cryengine3 etc, and always come back to D3's idtech4, idtech 5 is still a mess in my opinion as I was really looking forward to building with it, but found it terrible.
again one reason I find idtech 4 still a good platform to create from, aside from all the eye candy other engines may provide it's the core of that game that really matters . being was it fun and challenging as well as exciting. only the artist can provide that with a good plan right from the start. of course it's not easy but anything that is worth it never is.
and thanks guys for the respect I appreciate that.
I have more to say but that's all for now. Thanks! rock always!


at 0:20 in this clip tim willits explains that almost anything is possible with idtech 4 and I can see that, from what is said.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvBNQWyziYs
still who knows.....




« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 06:18:46 PM by Bladeghost »

BloodRayne

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Re: Why are so many mods existing IP's?
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2014, 04:40:12 AM »
Guys I'm gonna be honest here. The only reason I use Idtech4 is because it's the only thing I ever used. I started with Quake and went up from there. I tried to work with Unreal engine but just didn't grasp it. Right now everything I download and try out is completely ALIEN to me. I downloaded Unity, didn't get it. Downloaded the Unreal thing, didn't get that at all.

I know I'm pretty good in asset creation and game building. But I'm just so focused on idTech that I have no idea how to even make a simple BOX map in Unreal or Unity.

Does anybody have any descent step by step instructions for the Unreal engine, how can I build something with it? How does that stupid mapping for unreal work.. wait.. the world is mapped inside out? Carved out? WTF is that all about? Etc..etc.. I just don't grasp those alien to me engines.

And this is why I am so confused when people tell me that Idtech4 is hard to work with. Not for me, I find idtech4 a thousands times more intuitive than Unreal or Unity. So what am I missing here?