Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

A Steam friend of mine messaged me yesterday about the announcement of Dear Esther going commercial.

He was disappointed with the community’s response – specifically the negative comments.

I have to admit that I have only read a few comments on the ModDB page, so by now perhaps the number of support comments has increased.

It’s hard not to see any modder not wanting their creation to turn commercial and get them into the gaming industry and let’s be honest, that why a large number of modders do what they do. Sure, it’s not all but a very high percentage.

However, I do have misgivings about taking a mod project and turning it commercial. I feel that authors, and I am not specifically thinking of Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther creator), who use the community to build up a following and then force them to pay for the mod are sort of cutting of the hand that feeds them.

adv0 says it beautifully“…But I was envisioning this with a spirit that frankly didn’t include commercialization.”.

If Dan had said that he was going to make Dear Esther 2 as a full commercial game I think I would be more supportive. I have been excited about playing the updated version but now I won’t be able to because I certainly won’t be paying for it, no matter how inexpensive it is.

Look at it like this. If I said that PlanetPhillip.Com was going to a paid membership based model and you could only access the site after you have paid $10 a year, you would probably be very angry.

If, however, I announced a new site that would have paid membership, you might be more amenable. I know I would. If I have been getting something for free for a while and then suddenly I had to pay for it, I wouldn’t be happy.

Now, if Dan says, everybody who was watching the mod on ModDB before the announcement or had sent me “thank you” emails, will get a free copy, I would be much happier. And just to clarify, I’m not in either group, so it’s not me trying to get a free game.

That would be supporting the community that actually helped make the mod popular in the first place.

Of course, the same happened with Garry’s Mod and it just got better and better, but this is different as it’s a one-off game. There won’t be regular updates.

I might feel more negativity if it were an FPS mod that I was really looking forward too but in principle I think mod teams releasing commercial products is a good thing and I wish Dan every success.

What about you, how do you feel about it?

The Poll


Published

12th February 2011

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66 Comments
  1. Jike 46 comments

    12th February 2011

    mods being free – no problem
    mods being commercial – no problem
    mods turning commercial – problem.

    specifically with this project I feel slightly cheated, cause I was teased with material and more material. Everything was astonishingly beautiful.

    The sudden news was what struck me. It kinda reminded me of Orion and their repetitive attempts of getting steamworks access…

  2. The appropriateness of a mod going commercial, well, that depends on the specifics surrounding the particular mod. Here are some fairly pertinent ones I'm aware of involving Dear Esther:

    – The DE team actually considered moving the remake to another engine, such as Unreal or Unity. That didn't happen, but it was public knowledge.
    – At no point did the DE people "lock down" prices, it was merely the popular assumption (and make no mistake, I assumed this as well) that it was going to be free to play.

    So when a user says this:

    "…But I was envisioning this with a spirit that frankly didn't include commercialization.".

    I'm just left to scratch my head, because he's clearly seeing what he wants to see and not what's actually there. Dear Esther has been in a state of flux throughout its development, and to criticize the mod for not adhering to his vision is mildly unbelievable.

    If Dan had said that he was going to make Dear Esther 2 as a full commercial game I think I would be more supportive.

    … But this is precisely what he did. Release isn't for some 3-6 months at least (summer is their estimate), and from what it sounds like they've only recently hammered out the licensing deal with Valve. If it was coming out tomorrow or next week, being upset at it would certainly make sense, because that would indeed smell of a bait-and-switch.

    That would be supporting the community that actually helped make the mod popular in the first place.

    Of course, the same happened with Garry's Mod and it just got better and better, but this is different as it's a one-off game. There won't be regular updates.

    From what he's said on Moddb, this money will go toward paying the authors for their hard work. Further, the funds that get put into this will revisit us down the line, in the form of new games. I wouldn't exactly call that failing to support the community.

    • But this is precisely what he did.

      No it is not. Announcing a new game is very different from changing a free mod into a paid game.

      I wouldn't exactly call that failing to support the community.

      I would because I receive NO payment for all my time and effort and I bet over the last 7 years I have put more than most into the HL community. It also should be noted that I view the modding community as separate from paying customers of retail games.

      • No it is not. Announcing a new game is very different from changing a free mod into a paid game.

        "If Dan had said that he was going to make Dear Esther 2 as a full commercial game I think I would be more supportive."

        There wasn't a qualifier appended that said "… had said at the start of development …". I took you to mean at any point in development (and this is still quite a ways ahead of release).

        Even so, there isn't any foul here unless they've concealed the acquisition of the license for an inordinate amount of time. For perfectly clear reasons they can't disclose what's going on at the start of licensing negotiations. Said license wasn't available at the project's start, so it follows that they didn't confirm DE's status at that time. They made no attempt to hide the fact that the future of DE was undecided, it quite clearly leaped off the page at you and they outright confirmed that uncertainty.

        I would because I receive NO payment for all my time and effort and I bet over the last 7 years I have put more than most into the HL community. It also should be noted that I view the modding community as separate from paying customers of retail games.

        I don't follow. Because other large contributors (such as yourself) aren't compensated for their hard work, the success of the Dear Esther team is somehow illegitimate? If they can manage to find a way to pay their people and fund future projects, then good on them. They didn't sit idle and expect to be compensated, they explored their options and Valve happened to like what they saw. If I created the impression that the DE team ought to have been compensated, that was not my intention. I merely meant that they're hard workers who caught someone's eye and are making new opportunities. No unfairness in that.

        You may consider the communities separate, but they simply aren't. The overlap is quite large, and the release of new games and mods aren't merely events that ripple in their respective ponds alone. Each new Valve game has created a new space for modders to work in, and new mods can add value to the game that spawned them. If Dan merely disappears into the ether with his money, he'll be doing no one a service. But if he continues to make games, whether free or paid, he'll continue to be doing us a service as a community of players.

        Though that community hasn't been completely even-keeled the past few days: some of what I'm hearing in comments is frankly disheartening, especially the minority that think it's somehow appropriate to threaten the developers with piracy if they don't release a project to their specifications. Being surprised or shocked about the turn of events is understandable, but this sort of response is just disgraceful and reflects poorly on us all.

  3. civanT 166 comments

    12th February 2011

    I'm one of the people who started negative comments on Moddb (Jokerme) and I'm still behind my thoughts. Dear Esther doesn't deserve to be paid because it doesn't have what it takes to be a full commercial release.

    Just think for a second. A good looking game with a voice over. Takes half an hour at most (developer says it'll take one hour now) to finish, has no replayability, no content, no gameplay, no puzzles. Just nothing. Would you really pay for something like that if it wasn't a mod you were following for a long time? This exactly why I feel bad, this just looks like a shameful way to advertise.

    You may think it deserves to be paid ten bucks but I honestly don't. Maybe 1.99$ or 0.99$. 5$ tops.

    There are great examples of how it should be done. Killing Floor? They had a full release first, a commercial release second. Lots of improvements, new content and great visuals. Price 14.99$.Natural Selection? Full release first, commercial release second. With lots of improvements. But Dear Esther? First a mediocre release. Then announcement of a re-release, more than six months of following, then a announcement of commercial release. What's that?

    They are saying, they worked a lot for this. OK, I know they did, but this was their decision anyway. If they knew they were working for a commercial game from the start, they were playing with us. There is no excuse to that. If they didn't know, this was only a side project for them. What's with the "you have to pay for our hard work" attitude? All modders work hard for their projects. But they don't make a fool out of their followers.

    I certainly don't mind spending money. This is not about money at all. This is about mutual respect. So I treat it like that.

    • They are artists (especially Robert) and they deserve to be paid for their work. If you don't want to get paid for whatever you do, good for you. Artists have always been paid. People buy paintings, photos and all kind of stuff. And as we know, this game won't cost much and it's totally worth it.

      You seem to take everything for granted and you want everything to be free. Well, it's not wrong to expect something in return for hard work.

      • They didn't know that they would go commercial. They thought about it, but nothing was set in stone. Anyway, they've asked the community, what they would think about it, and most of the people said: "Sure, give it a try, we would pay for it!"
        Because of that they thought: "Well, if the fans like this idea aswell, then we're going to try it!"
        About your "I'm a mod and I don't fool people"-argument: they didn't fool anybody. If you don't want to get paid for your work, that's YOUR decision.

  4. Jasper 567 comments

    12th February 2011

    In general terms, I'm against this and voted "not in favour".

    However:
    Quote from the Moddb page:
    "We're hugely excited about the license "

    So, they bought a licence for the new Dear Esther, at some large cost rest assured.
    A cost, I suspect, that may not be recovered.
    This genre has limited appeal compared to FPS; either SP or MP.

    To me, this team are getting way above themselves and I quote again from the page:
    "In 2011, we're going to answer once and for all the question of whether games can be art."

    WHAT! So FPS games are not art ?!?!
    FPS modders, you have been insulted.

    FPS has many elements including art. The art is often as good as Dear Esther and sometimes superior.

    • In 2011, we're going to answer once and for all the question of whether games can be art.

      And now I remember why I don't care about "art mods." Authors are too busy trying to be pretentious and edgy instead of producing anything of quality.

      Just the first couple paragraphs on their site make me want to gag. "Pushes the Source engine into uncharted territory." "Gained a cult following and international critical acclaim." Talk about being full of yourselves.

      ReplyEdited at 6:13 PM, 12th February 2011
      • Authors are too busy trying to be pretentious and edgy instead of producing anything of quality.

        Anything of quality? What does that mean? You suggest them to write and design the same shit again and again?

        What they are doing is actually good. They are trying to achieve new things, to design unique games and experiences. They are creative, they are using their imagination to create new, different and unique games. People are getting sick of the same games that are released each year, just under different names.

        You also have to understand one thing: tastes are different. If you don't want the game, fine, it's your decision, but some people want it. Actually more people than you think.

    • Major Banter

      12th February 2011

      Jasper, the license is free.

      • Jasper 567 comments

        12th February 2011

        Bother :(
        Also, very useful information elsewhere. Thanks for this.

        ReplyEdited at 9:04 PM, 12th February 2011
    • WHAT! So FPS games are not art ?!?!
      FPS modders, you have been insulted.

      FPS has many elements including art. The art is often as good as Dear Esther and sometimes superior.

      Dear Esther is not a FPS, but it is a FP-Game. So FP-Games can be art, as much as FPS can be art, if they are done well. But if you are refering to crap like CoD…
      since when is killing, in general, a form of art? Soldiers killing terrorists, or terrorists killing civilians… if you're calling that art, then that's an insult for and an abuse of the word "art" itself.

      No offense, but if you go to the toilet to pee, you might call that art, but just because you call it that, it doesn't mean that it is art. To answer your question: no, that's not art!

      • Jasper 567 comments

        27th February 2011

        But your reply is very offensive. In fact I find it quite disgusting.
        You have deliberately mis-used my comment for your own purposes.
        I am appalled.

        • As I said, it's not supposed to be offensive. The purpose of that "extreme" example is to show you that the enjoyment that people have when they kill other people in wars (even if it's just a game) are immoral and disgusting.
          If the game has the purpose to show you that war is "wrong" (anti-war game) or if it tells a good story, then it is rather excusable. If you consider these points, then you have to admit that CoD is far away from being a piece of art. In fact I haven't seen any anti-war games so far. Maybe there is such a Mod that I haven't heard about.

  5. There's a funny thing about this.
    If you consider commercial games have a lot of playtesting involved and people actually getting played for that kind of input in the development process, you could say that everyone who played the original Dear Esther and left comments were actually working as free playtesters for a mod that is now going to turn commercial. But you're actually expecting them to pay for it now that the mediocre visuals have been improved…
    Something doesn't seem right.

    But don't get me wrong. I wouldn't mind turning commercial at all :D
    If we charged 99 cents for The Citizen Part II, we'd have made more than 5680 $ since December the 24th, and that's not bad at all, no sir.
    But, that's not gonna happen.

  6. This is really dumb. The first Dear Esther was total junk on my opinion, everything was boring in that one mod. Now, they are on this remake and are going commercial with it. We all know that it's the same stuff we have seen before but with improved looks which doesn't pay it off for me. I'd rather buy Crysis twice if it was for the looks.

  7. Frohman Zelinsky

    12th February 2011

    You go around and listen to text … why do we need to pay for that if we can download it later on piratebay.

  8. I think the best decision to any modder (not indie developer) is to create possibility of donations. I don't think it is illegal or something like that. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    And about Dear Esther.. Personally I don't understand the hype around this mod. For me it's just boring. In adventure games you have to collect items and solve puzzles, but here you're simply walking around and do nothing but listen to some memories.
    Where is a gameplay in this "game"?

    ReplyEdited at 5:19 PM, 12th February 2011
    • ^ This. So very much this.

      This is EXACTLY why I am confused as to why DE got a free license.

  9. Major Banter

    12th February 2011

    It's a strange one; when Raindrop went commercial people went apeshit happy. But that went to OGRE and it's a massively impressive modification that could only benefit from going indie.

    Pinchbeck/Briscoe have done exactly what I would have done in their situation. A commercial license for Source for free? That's unheard of. Congratulations to the men.

    But what irks is the engine.

    Source is renowned for its mod-friendly nature. Why should I suddenly have to pay for something that has:
    a; always been intended to be free
    b; effectively exactly the same product with a sudden price tag

    Nothing in the mod will change whatsoever. And suddenly I will have to pay for a seven-year old engine game.

    It feels wrong. Unethical, unfair. It seems like a sudden change of heart, and a massive kick in the balls to the modding community. If they charge $0.99, then I'll be hugely impressed instead of angry. If they charge me over ten dollars – the same price as Minecraft was in Alpha, I will be angry.

    And I will torrent it.

    And I WILL rip the content for myself.

    So much for giving it away free if it's packaged in a GCF.

    • It feels wrong. Unethical, unfair. It seems like a sudden change of heart, and a massive kick in the balls to the modding community.

      No, it's not wrong, it's not unethical and it's not unfair. It's their work, it's their "baby", and they can do with it what they want. They don't force you to buy it.

      And I will torrent it.

      And I WILL rip the content for myself.

      THAT is wrong, unethical and unfair. They worked for months on that game and you want to steal it. As I said to another user: "Give your keys to a stranger and let him take stuff from your house for free. He doesn't want to pay either."
      According to your logic only you have the right to steal stuff from others, but others are not allowed to take yours. And if you don't want money for your work, others shouldn't be allowed to sell theirs either.

  10. I was under the impression that mods made with the SDK couldn't charge. I haven't looked into this specific mod's reasoning, but has Valve decided to co-opt it and allow them to make money from it or something? Because otherwise it's not even legal, so far as I can tell, to charge for it. Otherwise the Black Mesa (source) folks would be rolling in dough.

    • Grey Acumen

      13th February 2011

      I don't know why you would be under that impression. Garry's Mod has been charging for years now.

      • And as I said, if Valve co-opted it that's one thing, which Gmod is coopted by the company and has had explicit approval for selling. DE I have no idea whether they've done so or not. Black Mesa Source folks have made it absolutely clear they *cannot and will not* take any money for their work, and I'm going by THEIR adamant statements. And pretty clearly, their efforts are a far bigger and wider reaching project than DE appears to be. If anyone 'deserves" to take money for their efforts of a mod, it wouldn't be the DE people I think.

  11. Leon_Kilean

    12th February 2011

    Im happy there are mods going commercial, I definately support it.
    Modding scene's idea is NOT to give freebies and one-night fun, but new interesting developers; give total amateurs, or "in the rigid industry"-developers (Briscoe?) a chance at making their personal dreams, their own games, and sometimes design things you cant do in real game studios.. Modding is about having NO RULES, so you cant deny someone from doing something — like having a chance of commercially distributing their own, handcrafted game?
    If you value the game and its genre (brutally simplified art game for Dear Esther?), you will buy it, if not, then not. Its a matter of what you value.

    Now as for Dear Esther,
    going commercial in the middle of development IS rude, BUT:

    1. Dear Esther's not the first mod to do that, actually alot of mods go indie or change engines etc, and dont even give anything free to their initial followers, and that I DO find a bit frustrating, but not wrong. So IF a random mod, that I wasnt so interested in, went commercial, no, I wouldnt buy it, of course not
    2. Dear E. already released for free, so they're not ripping anyone off
    3. Robert has asked about this from his fans in his blog for months now, so this is no big surprise, most of the fans actually rooted for the mod to go commercial

    So the fan base of Dear Esther IS cool with the news.
    There really is no betrayal or shame to the situation, but from a large part of the modding community –most being just gamers– that have no respect for developers or their dreams, Im not talking of solely DE here. If the given game doesnt really interest you, then why call shit on it and ruin their news? Im not doing the same on, lets say, Raindrop, that hardly interests me but I followed it for its visuals, when it was a mod? Good luck to them.

    I cant change everybody's opinions, and Im not the ultimate truth, but the modding community IS a bit warped, and I dont mean the developers. I guess each community has its black sheep..

    –thanks for adding the poll here Phil, Im interested in seeing how this goes.

    ReplyEdited at 9:47 PM, 12th February 2011
  12. CovertChaos

    13th February 2011

    It doesn't really bother me, because unless they wanted something like $60 for it, I would be happy to support them.

  13. I liked "Dear Esther" a lot. It was a fascinating experience, but if it were a commercial product I'd never have seen it, except perhaps on "You Tube". Maybe that's how I will see the sequel!
    I was looking forward to the update!
    If "Black Mesa" becomes a commercial release from " Valve" I would be ok with it, after all it is their intellectual property. Would this make it a game not a mod?
    Mods should be free and games can be free or retail.
    "Minerva Metastasis" was a free mod and the reason that I bought HL2.Ep.1 and the brilliant " Orange Box". Just a thought.

  14. I don't actually mind mods turning commercial as long as there is a free version available. Just to keep everyone happy. As you said, Phillip, it would have been better if Dan decided to make Dear Esther 2 commercial and leave Dear Esther free. However, the post about Dear Esther on Moddb.com you linked us to says:
    "For everyone who played the original mod, we can promise a totally new experience that will keep the soul of the original whilst pushing the game to a completely different level. For people who have never experienced Dear Esther, get ready for a game unlike anything you've ever played."
    Which means that it isn't just turning the mod commercial but releasing something new that relates to the mod that was already released. With that, I'm perfectly fine.

    ReplyEdited at 1:06 AM, 13th February 2011
  15. Grey Acumen

    13th February 2011

    I have no issues with Dear Esther going commercial, but there are some basic issues that pretty much ensures that I will never buy it.

    The Dear Esther Remake has ONE thing going for it; graphics. I'm willing to bet the requirements for those visuals, if they're as incredibly detailed as what its being billed as, will fall well outside of what my PC will be able to handle.

    Other than that, Dear Esther has a story, but I don't see how that story can be any different than what was in the original Dear Esther, and since it is entirely passive, I could just wait for someone to record their playthrough on youtube and get entirely the same experience.

    If the developers of Dear Esther made the investment to get Steam Support, then I believe they should have the opportunity to recoup that investment, but if they can't offer anything I want or can't get elsewhere, then I'm not going to be contributing to that.

    • Grey Acumen

      13th February 2011

      Additional notes:

      However, I do have misgivings about taking a mod project and turning it commercial. I feel that authors, and I am not specifically thinking of Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther creator), who use the community to build up a following and then force them to pay for the mod are sort of cutting of the hand that feeds them.

      I hate to say this, but unless people are specifically donating to the project, and then getting forced to pay full price for the mod after the fact, then this hand isn't really feeding them all that much. The hand that is feeding them are those fans who ARE willing to pay.

      Now if the Black Mesa Devs suddenly went back on their constant statement that the Black Mesa Mod would be free, then yes, that would fall under a bait and switch kind of technique. I have no idea if the Dear Esther Remake has been billed as "totally free" in any of its advertisement, but if it hasn't, and people have just been assuming that it will be free while the devs aren't really saying anything, then I don't really see the issue here.

      I'm not gong to be purchasing it, but I don't see any problem at all with them charging for it. Maybe I'll get it on sale if it comes down under $2.

      ReplyEdited at 2:04 AM, 13th February 2011
  16. Wozzle 113 comments

    13th February 2011

    I played through the first release and I thought it was ok. Now they want to charge for the redux version, which is their prerogative now they have a licence.

    I can understand how those that have been following this intensely would feel cheated but I don't feel that this was completely unexpected. I believe that some in the modding community take it for granted that mods are released free. For me, I don't really feel upset because I'm not that interested apart from the visuals.

    What I am concerned about is whether the Dear Ester team will keep their word regarding the tutorials on how they created the awesome visuals now that they have gone commercial. I feel that such knowledge and skills should be passed on.

    If they released the source code behind their visuals with their commercial release, I would be tempted to buy it just to see how it was done.

    Overall I'm more interested in how it was done rather than the final product itself.

  17. I played the original and I enjoyed it because at the time it was very different to any Source Mod I had played, and it was an interesting experiment in story telling. Saying that though would I have paid for it back then? … No, I wouldn't of, simply because there wasn't enough there to warrant me dropping any cash.

    Since then I have enjoyed watching the remakes progress, simply because there taking what is honestly a dated engine, and showing the community that despite that, it can still hold a candle to UE3, and the likes if someone puts in the extra effort. The visuals are stunning!! Saying that though would I pay for it? … Well to be honest No I wouldn't. Graphically it's outstanding, but I can see that in a Youtube video (and have been doing for sometime now). Add that to the fact that I've already played the original, what would be the point?! I can't honestly see it being much longer (if any) than the original.

    Regardless to my opinion though, I am extremely happy that they have been given a licence, I am in no way against there decision to go commercial, and I wish them good luck in the future!! Though the cynic in me says that Valve won't do too badly out of this either. I mean, this won't be a bad advertisement for the Source Engine … an engine a lot of people are leaving for dead (if you will excuse the pun), for UDK and the likes.

    ReplyEdited at 2:19 AM, 13th February 2011
  18. feckineejit

    13th February 2011

    We should be psyched that a project this cool went mainstream, we should be happy that we basically got to beta test the mod before that happened, this is all good.

  19. My biggest irk is that they lead every one on, even with that poll, there was never any real notice that they may be going commercial.

    And the fact that this mod out of so many others managed to make it irks me further, simply due to the fact that it is a ONE AND DONE GAME. There is nothing to it beyond sight, sound, and story, which is mandatory in almost every video game. There is nothing of any real note beyond visuals and a story in DE. No alternate paths, no form of game-play, nothing of value that would merit a second go.

    I will however, wait and see what it will be priced as. if it is any higher than 2-5 bucks, then people are getting ripped off. That is, unless there is a MASSIVE change in the nonexistent game-play.

    Sorry folks, but I am very unimpressed, and to be honest, a little insulted in how this whole ordeal was handled.

    ReplyEdited at 6:06 AM, 13th February 2011
  20. Bramblepath

    13th February 2011

    I'm definitely not in favour of mods turning commercial right in the middle of development. Like you said, it leaves a huge community disappointed.

    However, I agree that it's great to see a modder reach commercial success. But I see the primary role of mods as being free and community-driven, not money-driven.

  21. Joji 24 comments

    14th February 2011

    It really depends. If the mod is highly detailed, very good gameplay, and completely out of the world, then it's up to the developer if it should be released commercial or not. If the mod is so-so, then, well, they shouldn't. It really depends…

  22. SPY 115 comments

    14th February 2011

    thanks for pointing this out to us Phillip, that DE is going commercial. I didn't know till Jasper pointed me to here.
    let me start with saying that I never have played DE, simply because it's not my kind of game, I love first person shooters with loads of action and DE is nothing like that. still, from what I have read over the months after it was released it seemed to be a well made mod and a lot of people do like it. (so maybe I should give it a try).
    that said I now would like to comment on the fact that it is going commercially. I fully agree with what is said about it by Phillip at the top of this page. should it be that the maker releases a fully new DE2 then I think it's great that he can sell it. but it seems that that what you can buy this summer is nothing more then the same (free) DE, with some new extra ground to explore, some new music and a bit of a enhanced story line. better said, its the same mod but larger. and I for one would be angry when I buy something just to find out that it is the same as what I already did play for free, just with some extra stuff. it feels like trying to get some money for the already given effort in the past.
    i am interested to hear how much gamehours this new DE will give the player, should it be that it gives at least 4 to 8 hours of extra gameplay, then people could consider paying for it. but I am afraid that it will be something like ep1 or 2, where we payed 20 bugs for, just so we could play for 2 to 3 hours.
    all I can say is that I am glad that I didn't like DE in the first place, so I will not buy it for sure.

    we just have to wait I guess, till this "new" DE is released, and if it is worth it's money, but from what I have read, from the maker himself, is it just the same DE, with extra stuff.
    guess it all comes down to what it will cost. should he ask 0,99 cents for it then I really don't mind. but I assume it will be much higher then that, (also interesting to know is how much of that money goes to valve, I assume it will be quit high because they gave the licence for free the the maker.)

    still, I wish the maker all the best, and hope he will make tons of money with it. I know to well how much time and effort it takes to make a decent mod.

    leon

    • Hec 1045 comments

      15th February 2011

      let me start with saying that I never have played DE, simply because it's not my kind of game, I love first person shooters with loads of action and DE is nothing like that

      You perfectly catch my thinking here leon that's exactly what i'm talking about I mean, even more why charging money for a game where u don't have action bullets and blood??, better buy a book if we want a story of a ghost and an abandoned guy on a desert island.

      I mean all ur mods leon, had given me thousands of seconds of unforgetable adrenaline and great gameplay than that "romantic" story they tell in DE mod, so lot's of thanks 4 that leon, I hope we see u again "round the time of the ep3 is coming and u plan again to make a mod so many thanks 4 that buddy!,

      i may sound cruel against DE, but is nothing like that, I mean im just saying that is not my kind of game, but I wish the best to its developing team and I would wish they make a FPS for free just to try it, if they would do that, I can set assure they'd succed even more in their projects.

      ReplyEdited at 9:56 AM, 15th February 2011
  23. Hec 1045 comments

    15th February 2011

    MM I said no, because of a simple reason, I wouldn't spend money from my debit card, to buy a mod!!, i'd rather preffer spending it buying Call of dutty MWF2 or Black Ops available on steam as I will, than buying a mod, also I remember I played dear esther, and it was no big deal they say it was an spooky mod, but it wasn't, come on I wouldn't spend my money, in a mod where u chase a ghost and u don't shoot anyone, maybe if the island map, where's located the DE mod would have CMB and combat i'd probably be thinking to buying it.

    But for me, mods turning out commercial is just stupid, I mean i'd better be playing other games, if a moder wants to enter to the gaming industry, is better for him that his modding times are over, making a mod is pretty different to making a game, even in the case that an awsome mod like THE GATE 2 would be sold i'd most probbably wouldn't buy it, and I am refferring to a great project TG2 is.

    ReplyEdited at 9:44 AM, 15th February 2011
  24. Would any of you deny a license offer from Valve for a mod project you had spent countless months developing? If you say yes you're either lying or are in no real need of any additional income.

    The truth is that in the larger gaming community "money" isn't a dirty word, unfortunately it's become painfully obvious that a large section of the modding community is only here to get stuff for free and will throw a tantrum if anyone asks for compensation for any of their hard work.

    I was frankly disappointed to see the reaction from the modding community when compared to the supportive reaction found in the RPS community or other circles.

    A sense of entitlement has spread around the modding community like a virus.

    ReplyEdited at 7:21 PM, 15th February 2011
    • Hec 1045 comments

      16th February 2011

      Sorry, but I think you can charge money almost only for an official game develop like HL,Portal, Call of Dutty, IL2, F1 etc…,even if u are a indie developer well just put ur web page, show ur work and sell it, but for mods is just no sense is stupid!, I mean if we as buyers or clients are paying for the original game than then the modders will modify and add more gameplay and new storys why pay for that??, they are putting their part to extend the universe of the game with just their mere joy of doing it, I know their efforts as modders is valid and maybe many deserve money for it, but come on!, a game like HL and its sequels are part of one and great one-off game, and a mod is just a mod (even if is a great mod which being free is also a cool part of it, it doesn't stop being a mod), if you suport selling mods is ok I don't think many things would change in the future regarding to start charging for mods. Even if there were let's say 3 people who charge $ for them, there would be 30 modders who don't and were glad to showing and sharing their jobs and don't charge a penny for it just for the glad and joy for giving their mod work pieces to the community of gamers, which are greatful to the modders just by the fact of giving us great times of gameplay and create new storys, and enrich our HL gaming community.
      Ergo (Therefore), that make stronger the whole community arround the game, like is the case of HL, and this fantastic PP site.

      ReplyEdited at 10:26 PM, 15th February 2011
      • Sorry, but there is no logic in your comment. You do know that every game uses an engine, right? Like GTA and Read Dead Redemption use different versions of the same Open World Engine?

        There are also a lot of games, that are not related to Unreal Tournament, but still use their engine. A Mod is a "modification" of a game. The word "free" is not directly related to the term "Mod". Dear Esther is a new/different game, that was created with the Source engine. So technically you would have to call every game a Mod that uses a certain engine from a certain company.

        • So technically you would have to call every game a Mod that uses a certain engine from a certain company.

          But you could call it the other way around aswell. You could call every game, that uses a certain engine, a game. Although Dear Esther is using the Source Engine, it is not the same game as Half Life, Halfe Life 2 or Counter Strike. Counter Strike itself is one of the most famous Mods.

          CS costs 10$, CS:CZ costs also 10$, CS:Source costs 20$.

          To say that you are not willing to pay for something, because it is a "Mod" is just a thoughtless excuse. Nobody forces you to buy it. But if you're stealing it, then you're the fool, not the creators.

          • Kasperg

            3rd March 2011

            Although Dear Esther is using the Source Engine, it is not the same game as Half Life, Halfe Life 2 or Counter Strike

            Yes it is. At least the first Dear Esther. Same texture set from HL2 (with custom ones included), same models, ambient soundscapes, player sounds (footsteps etc)…
            It's like saying Random Quest isn't Half-life 2. It isn't Half-life 2, but it is obviously a modification of it, not a separate entity. The fact that it has custom textures, custom model skins, custom voice acting and narration make no difference. It's still a mod.

            If this new version of DE does away with all those elements that define Half-life 2, then we can call it a game instead of a mod, of course.
            I actually consider games like the first and only SIN Emergence episode to be still a mod, since (afaik) it used the exact same HL2 blood decals and other textures, among other things.

            ReplyEdited at 9:37 AM, 3rd March 2011
    • civanT 166 comments

      17th February 2011

      I won't pay money for a game that's already been played, has no content and has only some pretty visuals to offer. This is the same reason people don't like "eyecandy" games without proper content. That's one.

      Being a mod was the only reason they had this many followers. That's two.

      People like you are making their work sound like something special. But actually it's just game developers developing a game. Nothing more. Robert Briscoe wasn't an amateur mod developer who was making it for fun to start with. Thus, this is just another game. That's three.

      Valve offered the licence two years ago in 2009 but they didn't tell us about that and just waited until they think it was enough. Their wait was not for making sure game had proper content, but it was just "we wasn't sure we were ready". You tell me, this is very nice of them isn't it? Wait until it's ready to release and then let them know "oh wait, also you have to pay for this. oops!"

      When you are defending something, at least have some valid points to defend. Money was never a problem here. That's just how narrow minded people reacts to people that doesn't support Dear Esther going commercial. Stop blaming mod community and think why are they reacting like this for a second.

  25. Robert Briscoe has responded, for those still following the situation:

    http://www.littlelostpoly.co.uk/devblog/?p=640

    • Hec 1045 comments

      17th February 2011

      Glad 4 them going indie, good luck!!, but I hope they realase some FPS,if not, well ther's for me no way to play their work cause I don't like passive action mods, I love combat and shooting, so anywai I wish'em well!

  26. Herr_Alien

    18th February 2011

    I feel that authors, … , who use the community to build up a following and then force them to pay for the mod are sort of cutting of the hand that feeds them.
    Nobody is forcing nobody. You liked that mod/demo so much that you'll pay for something more? That's just good marketing to me.

    If I said that PlanetPhillip.Com was going to a paid membership based model and you could only access the site after you have paid $10 a year, you would probably be very angry.

    You're making some assumptions here. If you feel that the contents provided by the site is worth 10 USD a year, then my suggestion is to go for a subscription based model. You see, it is not my place to judge the business decisions of somebody else. The people, voting with their wallets, will take care of validating or invalidating such a decision.

    • You liked that mod/demo so much that you'll pay for something more? That's just good marketing to me.

      Yes, but that's not exactly how it happened and a lot of people seem to be forgetting it. Selling something is different from telling people it will be free and then trying to sell it to them.

      You're making some assumptions here. If you feel that the contents provided by the site is worth 10 USD a year, then my suggestion is to go for a subscription based model. You see, it is not my place to judge the business decisions of somebody else. The people, voting with their wallets, will take care of validating or invalidating such a decision.

      I am only making one – that of people being angry.

      I do feel the content is worth the subscription but what I think is not important – it's what the readers think that matter. Also, being worth an amount, doesn't mean people will pay it.

      I disagree with your assertion that it's not your place to judge the business decisions of somebody else. We all spend our time judging them but deciding to use them or not. Your phrase "Voting with their wallets" is just another way of saying "Judging their business decision" as far as I am concerned.

      • Hec 1045 comments

        19th February 2011

        Your phrase "Voting with their wallets" is just another way of saying "Judging their business decision" as far as I am concerned.

        Beeep!, target destroy!!, totally agree!!!

  27. Hi,

    CURSE is going also from free mod to commercial indie : http://www.moddb.com/mods/curse

    They're all going crazy…

    • It isn't madness to move up in the world. Modders having the opportunity to make a little money for themselves and for future projects is a good thing.

      • I agree. I also want to add something to this "What? They want money for a MOD?"-hysteria: imagine a life, where you don't have to work for stupid companies. Imagine a life, where you are not enslaved and where you don't have to waste your time in an office, typing, and reading crap all day long. Imagine a life, where you are able to earn money and to pay your debts with the things you love, with your imagination, with your stories, with your ideas. That's what it is all about.

        They want to earn money with the things they love. That's the perfect job. Who doesn't want that?

  28. And now Dino D-day has gone also INDIE!!!! However, there are many new content and impressive things in the demo’, so I think it is "worth" buying it, for this one…

  29. Henry Swanson

    29th June 2011

    "We all need the money, dude", "I'm all about teh ca$h, beeyatches" and "You're a total sellout if you talk about art yet charge for it" seem like seperate ideological vectors going in totally different directions.. but are they really?

    I'm not so sure as I was, back when this tiny sh1t-can of worms opened up in the modding community. Actually.. is there even any real argument going on here..?

    I'll probably end up buying (/into) "Dear Esther" when it comes out – and then complain righteously about it.

    Of course, there's only one proper response to "Dear Esther" – and that is to make your own Digital Art Mod-Thing. Step up to the plate and take a swing, fellow modders.. I am.

    – Henry Swanson

    (PS: as far as "interactive storytelling" goes, I dislike that phrase almost as much as I dislike Coldplay. It makes you sound like Cliff Bleszinski.)

    ReplyEdited at 6:34 PM, 29th June 2011
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