Jump to content

The sadness of dead mods


Lupine00

2,375 views

I was just reading the posts on Nexus for a rather well known mod.

 

I thought it was so well put that I'd quote it here as a reminder...

 

DarklocqDarklocq supporter 1,799 posts 56 kudos
08 April 2020, 7:16PM
> Modders for all games on Nexus Mods should get together and agree on some sort of public domain format.

Pshah! You'll be lynched for saying that in earshot of the wrong people. This site is utterly overrun by control-freaks, and irrational ones at that. They'll say things like "I put reposting and reuse restrictions on my mods because I've had other people fail to credit me, or even claim my work as their own." Then you point out that people who do that will pay no attention at all to their restrictions, because they're already careless or dishonest jerks who steal credit. You might further observe that the restrictions just get in the way of honest users, and are probably dooming the mod in question to low use, and even possibly ruining other people's mods later, since if they use something from the restricted work, with permission, no third party can ever re-use THAT mod in turn without getting permission from the original modder, who eventually disappears. This "permissions failure cascade" is why entire chains of dozens of Morrowind and Oblivion mods are basically dead (absent casting about on a particular shady Reddit board ...).

But then the over-controlling modder will just respond with something nonsensical like "Well, you would feel differently if you'd had other people fail to credit you and even claim your work as their own." It's like they just cannot understand a word you've said, and have no response they can make but a "repeat myself endlessly until anyone who doesn't think just like me gives up and goes away" pattern. It's not based in reason, but in emotion.

I don't think there's a fix for this other than re-implementing (reverse engineering), in a more open manner, every kind of mod that people regularly use but which has restrictive permissions. Skyrim modding may have too short a future lifespan for that to be all that practical, so perhaps look forward to doing as much open modding as possible, and staying away from restrictive mods, when TES VI finally comes out. Might be worth setting up an open-modding site, too. The real problem is that Nexus makes all these restriction options available, and even has a bunch of them turned on by default, when few of them are sensible for anyone to ever use. They just use them because they can; Nexus tricks them into thinking it's normative and useful, when it is the opposite. We're all making what are legally derivative works of Bethesda/Zenimax intellectual property, yet a bunch of us are trying to treat these mods as wholly-owned personal works. It's just silly, and in the long run it badly breaks down. Most mod sites are dead; few of them last more than a few years. Any mod with "do not upload elsewhere" restrictions tends to be left out of future sites due to that restriction, and thus all mods that depend on it go dead in turn. It's "community suicidal" in the long run. Crapping in your own food supply.

24 Comments


Recommended Comments

Interesting situation: sometimes you need a resouse mod for another one mod, but you can't find it, because "deleted by the autor" or "site is sold and dead now". Only way is buttpirating from other not so restrictive sources. Still like a kick in the face of autor, but hey, what else did you expect: we live in a time when information that has been in the public domain for some time will still ever be found, however, it often happens that time has already been lost and this information no longer plays a role, since the project has already been closed. 

Link to comment

I think the clear answer is that unattended mods should quickly enter the public domain.  Most of these mod hosting sites have a "last visited" check.  

 

Nexus or LL policy could be basically "if this person doesn't return for over a year" the mod becomes free to use"  That way active modders can retain control of their work without even having to answer request messages, just posting a blanket "no." but if they totally 100% vanish (which almost certainly means they don't care)  then the mod will go public.

 

 

Link to comment
Quote

It's not based in reason, but in emotion.
 

Because modding isn't a rational thing.

Spending a lot of your free time (depending on the mod obviously) to create something and then release it to the public for free is a purely emotional thing.

Sure, things change when money gets involved, but that's a different story.

 

The basic question of this whole thing is : at which point do the interests of the public weigh more then the interests of the author ? do they at all ?

 

While it is a reasonable thing and personally i do agree that some terms of agreement should be made for that kind of situation,

what about a situation where an author wants their account closed and the mods deleted ?

Is it right to deny that request ? how many mods or people need to "depend" on those mods in order to not allow them to get deleted ?

 

The whole topic is much more complicated and philosphical than people might think...

 

 

Link to comment

Honestly: I'm no lawyer, so only my two cent. I would agree to have any work made public, should be usable for the public (you, meaning the modders in general and I, meaning the script kid ;) , uploaded the source code!!!) . Bethesda made the possibilty for us, in giving us the CK. Others are providing similar things or knowledge usable public. If you don't like getting dirty, don't play with mudcrabs. Still I agree further: as I have respect for the work of others I would like to be treated the same way. It is called modding COMMUNITY. It's a shame that people with the same interest are not able to treat others as they want to be treated.

 

I would feel honored if anyone would use my work as an evolutionary step. As long as I care for my "work", I am open to ideas and would try to implement or produly help others if it is possible. But as I wrote already in my support thread: If anyone has a good idea to make it better, just do it. What is gonna happen, when I'm getting bored playing around with Skyrim? Others maybe still have fun. I sure would not take my mod down, but let others use it the way they see fit. But I really would enjoy the knowledge, that someone in 2 or maybe 5 years is writing: I did have fun to continue the work from Rogwar who basically had the idea...How cool is that?

Link to comment

Usually, it's better to have an agreement with the mod original author before taking it as your own.

 

About ressources and old mods, don't hesitate to ask : some people could have it in a corner of a hard drive...

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Rogwar002 said:

Bethesda made the possibilty for us, in giving us the CK.

The licence of the CK permits you to do pretty much what you whant, except comercial use and releaseing beths assets to non beth games / property.

Sure, in a perfect world everyone using it would stick to this standart of granting permissions, but its not a perfect world.

And since it permitts pretty much everything it also permits setting up restrictive permissons for the stuff you've done with it.

 

2 hours ago, Rogwar002 said:

If you don't like getting dirty, don't play with mudcrabs.

Im not sure if im getting that right ?

I understand it as "if you don't want to release your mod as public domain, just don't release it", which would be a rather terrifying statement.

 

2 hours ago, Rogwar002 said:

I sure would not take my mod down, but let others use it the way they see fit.

Which is the way to go in my opinion, why should i care about things that don't affect me ?

However i do respect the decisions of any author regarding their work, even if i think its a stupid one,

and i don't like the idea to shrink down the options of anyone regarding their stuff.

 

Quote

(you, meaning the modders in general and I, meaning the script kid ;)

Where is the difference ?

Link to comment

It's both a very strange and very understandable issue. A pursuit which is (or at least, was once but let's forget about the patreon career makers to simplify things) entirely selfless obviously requires a high level of dedication. Hobbies are fun and sharing them with others are fun, but motivation isn't consistent and your relationship with your peers might rapidly sour. And that sort of stuff can easily lead to people deleting their mods. Spite, a form of closure if an individual feels guilty for making a commitment and not meeting it, or merely it just growing to be an annoying reminder of something they're no longer happy with.

So while I empathize with the action I still think revoking access once given is pretty hard to justify.

As with everything else on the internet, if you don't want potentially every single person with a computer to come into possession of what you uploaded, you shouldn't have uploaded it.

Another way to think of it as a gift. Mods are wonderful gifts given to other members of the community and if only a few suit one individual's tastes I still think everyone is more than happy that they are still being made and shared.

But following the gift analogy, ending a rough relationship with somebody doesn't entitle you to demand back all the gifts you previously gave.

I honestly don't think that there is a solution. While a dedicated open platform for mods might entice others it might alienate more still.

At the end of the day it could be so, so, so much worse. It could be The Sims. I'd say that most modding communities avoid at least that.

Link to comment

Same problem lies with mods like slaverun ... many many bugs and weird mechanics where the npc wanders off and you stand there and cannot do shit ... .

 

Psalam and i discussed this some time ago and even when i understand that it is not ok to just use or rewrite (bugfix) stuff in this mod without the permission of the former modcreator ... IF He or she isnt anymore activ what then?

 

I get it if the person explicitly says no further development or distrubution allowed.

 

Thats something i would get but Mods that are just no longer maintained or outright abandoned? Thats something i just cannot accept deep down.

 

I bite on my Teeth and say yeah ok just move on but I DONT LIKE IT

Link to comment

A statement before reading the next few sentences: I'm not a native english speaker. I'm sorry, if the statement below is written in a way that is maybe offending to one or the other. Emotions written in a foreign language sometimes are harder to read than what they are really meant to express.

 

On 1/6/2021 at 9:18 PM, Vader666 said:

Im not sure if im getting that right ?

I understand it as "if you don't want to release your mod as public domain, just don't release it", which would be a rather terrifying statement.

This is what I'm trying to express. If anyone doesn't like the idea to be part of a community, this person should not conference in this said community using terms clearly undermining the idea of free mods / content. That's disresepectful. I'm not talking about payed content. There is a huge difference between being payed for work and being happy with a hobby.

This forum is made for a community enyoing... let's keep it friendly... the erotic arts. Some of us are trying to make a proof of concept ... I think, I read people writing Devious Devices making this statement... Others express their fantasies. I never read in any rule in this forum about being payed for posting mods. I think there is a rule that in fact does prohibit advertising payed content. Maybe it is just my naivety.

 

On 1/6/2021 at 9:18 PM, Vader666 said:

Where is the difference ?

Believe it or not: In my opinion I'm able to read a few lines of papyrus code or maybe some other languages and maybe able to make a decent mod usable for others... But I'm far far.... faaaar away from being a coder like many others on this forum.

 

On 1/7/2021 at 12:24 AM, malvic said:

But following the gift analogy, ending a rough relationship with somebody doesn't entitle you to demand back all the gifts you previously gave.

Nice comparison :)

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Rogwar002 said:

If anyone doesn't like the idea to be part of a community, this person should not conference in this said community using terms clearly undermining the idea of free mods / content. That's disresepectful.

 

As long as the community states that in it's rules at its very beginning, its a fair game.

But what about the community hasn't had that rule in the past but has now.

Now all the "publishers" would be fucked, because they aren't allowed to release their work under their conditions,

however they are also not allowed to leave the community and  withdraw already released works of theirs.

Is that your understanding of respecting each other ?

 

Or lets put it that way :

 

There once was a community who gave every member permission to publish their work pretty much anyway they like, kinda... as a gift.

But at some time the relationship between the community and some of its members got... well a little rough, so the community decided to revoke that permission even for releases in the past,

demanding back its once given gift.

 

Wait a second...

 

2 hours ago, Rogwar002 said:

This forum is made for a community enyoing... let's keep it friendly... the erotic arts.

 

To me this site is a place of freedom, where anyone can publish, talk about and get to enjoy work done you could get jailed or even sentenced to death at some places,

not talking about mere social repercussions you might face.

 

2 hours ago, Rogwar002 said:

But I'm far far.... faaaar away from being a coder like many others on this forum

 

In terms of modding its about what you do, not how good you're at it... at least thats my point of view.

An unexpierenced  blacksmith is a blacksmith still.

 

Link to comment

Damn... With some total strangers I would like to share a beer or coffee and just talk all evening. Guess what... you're one of them. I like the way you make your point, Vader666.

In parts I agree with you, in others not. Let's just say both arguments have their pros and cons, otherwise this will be endless :)

18 hours ago, Vader666 said:

An unexpierenced  blacksmith is a blacksmith still.

You're right. Still I have to learn the ropes.

Link to comment

I believe if the modder in question has moved on with their work or updates rarely and its incomplete (bugs, lack of content), they should not put any restrictions on the use or expansion of their mods, if they're given credit its a bonus, and kudos to those who give credit where credit is due! Its better to give new life to a mod than put it to the grave because of some personal ego

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Rogwar002 said:

Let's just say both arguments have their pros and cons

 Like pretty much always, in every kind of discussion.

 

21 minutes ago, Durante said:

if the modder in question has moved on with their work or updates rarely and its incomplete (bugs, lack of content)

 

How often does a mod needs to get updated so it's updated "regularly" ?

And how is "lack of content" defined ?

Im pretty sure you would never get to an agreement with all users of a mod wether said mod needs to have a specific thing to it or not, let alone the mod author.

 

 

 

Link to comment
On 1/6/2021 at 1:08 PM, Rogwar002 said:

Honestly: I'm no lawyer, so only my two cent. I would agree to have any work made public, should be usable for the public (you, meaning the modders in general and I, meaning the script kid ;) , uploaded the source code!!!) . Bethesda made the possibilty for us, in giving us the CK. Others are providing similar things or knowledge usable public. If you don't like getting dirty, don't play with mudcrabs. Still I agree further: as I have respect for the work of others I would like to be treated the same way. It is called modding COMMUNITY. It's a shame that people with the same interest are not able to treat others as they want to be treated.

 

As a modder, hard pass on that.  Mod's even kink mods and kink games can be big money.  I was looking at a text based kink game that was pulling 6k per month on patreon.  They only still develop that game because the devs are getting paid.  

 

Now imagine totally open permissions where a large chunk of that money goes to some asshole on a filehosting site that did literally nothing to support the development of that mod/game.  Suddenly big projects are way less appealing and a huge chunk of the bigger mods disappear.  As a mod maker the idea of someone making money off my work (and even my simple stuff took a shitload of work) absolutely disgusts me. 

 

The community would gain nothing through this system. You would just have less mods getting made.

 

All or nothing systems are clearly not the answer, infinitely free use drives of modders, infinite ownership creates dead mods.  The answer is clearly somewhere in the middle.

Link to comment
3 hours ago, Vader666 said:

 Like pretty much always, in every kind of discussion.

 

 

How often does a mod needs to get updated so it's updated "regularly" ?

And how is "lack of content" defined ?

Im pretty sure you would never get to an agreement with all users of a mod wether said mod needs to have a specific thing to it or not, let alone the mod author.

 

 

 

There's little jump space for subjectivity here to play at definitions. Regularly means as often as other mods get updated, which can span from weeks to months up to a year.

 

Lack of content is defined by uploading for example a  framework mod and leaving it abandoned, and there is plenty of such mods scattered in the index pages.

 

I'm pretty sure you would never get to an agreement with all users or an author on anything. Everyone wants different things.

Link to comment
4 hours ago, Vader666 said:

How often does a mod needs to get updated so it's updated "regularly" ?

And how is "lack of content" defined ?

That would be down to the terms and conditions of the host site.

Link to comment
6 hours ago, Darkwing241 said:

 

As a modder, hard pass on that.  Mod's even kink mods and kink games can be big money.  I was looking at a text based kink game that was pulling 6k per month on patreon.  They only still develop that game because the devs are getting paid.  

 

Now imagine totally open permissions where a large chunk of that money goes to some asshole on a filehosting site that did literally nothing to support the development of that mod/game.  Suddenly big projects are way less appealing and a huge chunk of the bigger mods disappear.  As a mod maker the idea of someone making money off my work (and even my simple stuff took a shitload of work) absolutely disgusts me. 

 

The community would gain nothing through this system. You would just have less mods getting made.

 

All or nothing systems are clearly not the answer, infinitely free use drives of modders, infinite ownership creates dead mods.  The answer is clearly somewhere in the middle.

 

That's all horseshit dude.

 

Modding has a long tradition of being something done for free for the community. All of the biggest modding projects have all been freely available. The majority of video game modding took place well before reliable paywall services like patreon(or Bethesda's creation club) were in place to be used.

 

Monetization perhaps encourages more people to mod as a job, and perhaps has yielded more mods overall in theory, but I'd argue that it has resulted in less mods for the community, and it has certainly resulted in fewer good mods. Because paywalls are so popular these days, mods are far less convenient to discover and access. There's all sorts of stuff I simply don't come across because instead of being freely available it's instead hidden away on somebody's patreon account.

All of the successful monetized modders rely heavily on making a substantial amount of their work free and widely available to advertise the fact that additional mod work is available to purchase from them.

 

I'll avoid getting too philosophical on this point, but monetization and the free market encourages competition over cooperation. All of the biggest modding projects have typically been cooperative endeavors. Because you can earn money from modding, people are inclined to restrict the mod team to solely themselves to keep the entirety of the profits. Even if cooperative efforts continue under monetized models then you're inevitably going to run into a ton of financial disputes within a mod team and the level of caution then required hamstrings development.

 

Also so far I've operated under the assumption that was once a given, prior to adoption of monetization: That these paid mod creators are actually motivated and benevolent people free of greed.

Once something becomes a job instead of a hobby it isn't any longer about making the best product you could possibly make out of a sense of creative integrity. You could argue that quality is demanded to surpass one's competition and this is in some aspects correct, but the market is still relatively empty(especially considering the above points about many monetized mods being difficult to discover) so the quality to price ratio has almost nothing to ground it.

The inevitable result is that you've got a lot of monetized mods that are produced like breadcrumbs to best milk cash from their audience. Certainly not all. But many.

 

 

Your points discussing others making money off your work are also empty. Paywall services all take their own cut, so you've no freedom from others profiteering from your work regardless of whether it's free or if it's paid.

Filehosting services hardly require "a large chunk" of "your" money. Again as a consequence of accessibility, every single commonly used filehosting service is available to use for free. Some have limitations and some don't. Sure, even if they're free, more traffic might yield a higher profit from their advertising and premium services, but it also incurs a cost, as filehosting is not something that can be done for free, so there is every chance that one user hosting a popular mod on a filehosting server may actually lose them money depending on how inclined the audience is to shop for premium services or employ adblockers.

 

The above also implies that they are the only solutions available. Torrents exist as a legitimately free filesharing option, for example.

 

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning any individual mod author that chooses to monetize their stuff. It is a nice thing to be paid for your hobby and many people don't succumb to the immortal possibilities that emerge when monetizing a niche product.

There's nothing wrong with monetizing your stuff, or paying for monetized mods. Even in the most "free" system these things will inevitably occur. Perhaps under deceit of a modder asking for donations so that they can continue modding, or perhaps they do very legitimately need that money to continue modding. And monetized services such as early access to new updates isn't inherently a bad thing as it can also double as beta testing.

You are correct in saying that the answer is clearly somewhere in the middle. This is because it is impossible for it not to be.

 

But the allegation that a concerted push towards open-source, free modding is somehow harmful for the community is complete bullshit. Mods being monetized isn't a good thing(nor a bad thing) but it is a substantial change from how the modding community previously thrived. And that free modding community's success was required for the concept of monetized mods to even get off the ground in the first place.

 

It is also worth noting that video game modding is inherently built on the creative rights of the individual granted by the franchise holder. It is entirely within the power of Bethesda(for example) to absolutely forbid the attachment of any monetization models to the availability of mods built for their product. The market exists entirely within the grace of a more powerful being. If you're disgusted by the concept of people "taking money for your work," then what you should really be worried about is the moment when Bethesda decides that it wants its cut for every exchange in the market of mods for their games.(Not to mention that this would also introduce content restrictions, which would annihilate the specifically "kink mod" part of the market.)

 

 

Also while I've been rambling on for quite a long time about merely the aspect of monetizing mods or not, this subject isn't even what this blog post was even originally talking about.

You're fundamentally wrong in your penultimate assertion.
"infinite ownership creates dead mods" could not be further from the truth. The initial point made was that regardless of something being monetized(which at least entitles somebody to withdraw their product.) A lot of mods are withdrawn from public accessibility.

The proposed free, open-source system would permit no mod to ever truly die. Development could cease, and perhaps your predictions might be correct; people make fewer mods and abandon them more readily. Perhaps. But under the proposed system anyone could simply resume development, building off the back of preexisting work and concepts.

We're having a conversation on Lupine's blog, and Lupine maintains and updates Devious Followers. Devious Followers was "abandoned" by Lozeak and then Lupine adopted it. I think that's reasonable to consider a happy ending.

The issue that is primarily being discussed here is, had Lozeak(for example) abandoned the mod, taken down all available versions and explicitly forbade permission for further use of any of their work, we would be left with no continued version of the mod.

It is accepted that a creator maintains the right to obliterate their work from existence. This discussion is primarily about whether or not somebody should have this ability, as it is far more likely to harm the community than it is to help it(with the only "help" possible being a mild attraction to prospective modders who do feel that it is important to maintain that control over their creation.)

And that's a dramatic "all or nothing" scenario. What you'll run into far more often is that permission is arbitrarily restricted from other members of the community, which benefits nobody. Imagine if Devious Device assets and scripts were absolutely forbidden for use by other mods. Hell, imagine if the original modder of the arousal framework forbade access to Devious Device mod scripts. Or then if Sexlab forbade interaction with the Arousal framework. etc.

It's an endless quagmire of issues that blessedly needs little conflict resolution, but within our current accepted system it is entirely possible for these things to happen and they still commonly do.


What is being proposed in the copied over quote from Nexus in the blog post (OR the post you are specifically replying to) is not some magical gate that explicitly excludes monetization avenues. It is entirely possible for an individual to monetize the work they contribute towards an open-source project. Their contributions are immediately relinquished from their control, but they're free to monetize how much they contribute.

 

 

EDIT: Sorry. Holy fuck I swear I never intended to write this much.

Link to comment

There is a subsection of the Skyrim modding community that adheres to the "cathedral view", where everything they make has open permissions, for example Cathedral Weathers and the "Enairim" series of mods (Vokrii, Sacrosanct, etc.). 

 

But like the quoted post says, a big issue on the Nexus at least is the way permissions are set up by default. A lot of modders probably don't care that much (or would actively welcome it) if their work is reused for another mod, but by default the permissions are extremely restrictive and most modders simply do not bother with changing them.

 

I'm not sure I agree with Darkwing241's idea of a time-limited license. If a modder really wants to restrict permissions to their mods I think they should be allowed... but it shouldn't be the default.

Link to comment

 

My 2 cents, I'd be happy to see my mods followed up / improved on, as long as credit is given and the new patch / version is posted here for the benefit of the community (and mine :) )

 

Of course I would not want somebody to monetize my work, everything I am posting is for free, I don't have a patreon, nor do I indend to at the moment.

 

Link to comment
On 1/7/2021 at 4:57 AM, Vader666 said:

what about a situation where an author wants their account closed and the mods deleted ?

I think if you were designing default terms for a site, that could be considered.

If the author deletes the mod and closes their account, then it's gone from the site and its between the author and anyone that rips it off - the site has no more say in the matter and is making no claims that the mod is open to use. That's one possible policy for that case.

 

Another rule could be that if you're present and posting on your mod forum, then you can enforce your ownership - it only lapses if you vanish - at which point it's OPEN, not the property of the site, but open to everyone.

 

But LL wasn't set up like that, and Nexus sure isn't and likely never will be.

 

 

The saddest part is rules only ever work for honest people. The thieves will steal no matter what. That's why the rules for DD are so ludicrous. Saying that people were putting up DD and claiming they made it... That can still happen, just not on LL.

 

 

In the specific case of Slaverun, I think the mod as it stands is a rework of an older mod. There is precedent for taking it and reworking it again.

If you made a copy of that mod and started patching it, what would happen? Probably, people would download it and be happy.

Maybe ... just maybe ... Kenjoka returns and complains ... or maybe they return and want to take it back ... or who knows?

 

I don't know for sure, but I don't think LL admins would stop you doing it if you promise to take it down should Kenjoka ask you to.

 

Also, Slaverun has been ported (and patched) for SE, so there's a precedent for doing that too.

Link to comment
11 hours ago, Lupine00 said:

it only lapses if you vanish - at which point it's OPEN

 

On 1/6/2021 at 5:12 PM, Darkwing241 said:

LL policy could be basically "if this person doesn't return for over a year" the mod becomes free to use" 

 

It should be pretty much like that.

Link to comment

Here's an actual scenario: there is this mod which is abandoned, and never worked on SSE anyway.

 

Someone saw me looking for a working SSE version and emailed it to me, privately. I don't know where they've got it from, didn't ask.

 

Should I go on the mod page and upload it? Should I ask the sender for permission? Should the sender upload it? (assuming he's not the version creator)

 

Point is I've had to mod a fake character death in my own mod to get a free death camera, when a perfectly good version (and applicable everywhere, not just limited to my own mod) already exists.

 

Link to comment

Honestly if you ask me someone who has left the scene for over a year, and has abandoned a mod and to add salt to the wound doesn't have a way to contact them i think is valid enough reason to take over without permission from the original author.  

Link to comment
×
×
  • Create New...