The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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Sir Edhelsereg Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:31pm
A word from a mod creator
Hello, my name is Edhelsereg.

I am a huge Elder Scrolls fan, a Skyrim mod author, and a PROFESSIONAL ARTIST.

I have been wrestling with whether to address the paid mod dilemma for the past few days, but I feel like the mod makers have been seriously underrepresented in this whole conversation.

My reputation may be hurt by what I have to say, but to be honest, after what I have seen over the past few days, it will probably be a very long time before I step back into the modding community.

I'd like to share some numbers.
    Note: I am not assigning any judgement to these numbers, they are simply statistics.
I started publishing mods two years ago. Since my first mod was released on the Skyrim Workshop my mods have recieved over 200,000 individual downloads and two donations.
That means 0.001% of users donated.

    Note: I don't ask for donations, these users contacted me privately and asked for my email so they could send money via paypal.
And to all the people who say a donate button will help. I'd like to talk about the workshop ratings system. On every mod page there are two buttons that you can press (whether you have subscribed to the mod or not) that contribute to a mod's overall rating. Giving a thumbs up is optional, but very much encouraged by creators. Most users simply do not rate.

My most popular mod has been downloaded by over 70,000 people of which less than 1.5k of them have rated it. That means 98% of users didn't take the time to rate the mod (and that is above the average for most mods on the Workshop), an act which takes one click, and costs nothing to do.

My main issue is that MOST MOD USERS DO NOT APPRECIATE WHAT IT TAKES TO PRODUCE A MOD. I have spent over 2000 hours working on my mods (I have over 1.5k hours logged in the CK alone, and that's not counting Photoshop, Maya, 3ds max, or all the other programs that I've used to make my mods).

Ask yourself, have you ever worked on any one thing, day after day, for hundreds, let alone thousands of hours?

Making a mod takes creativity, skill, passion, and most importantly, dedication. I pride myself on making mods that fit with the game mechanically and thematically.

Passion and creativity are very subjective, but skill and dedication are not, they can be measured.

If you don't have the skill, the mods won't come out right.
If you don't have dedication your mod will never be released.

I can say for a fact that most of the people who are most vocal against paid mods don't have anything uploaded to the Skyrim Workshop (and I'd bet most of them haven't even opened the Creation Kit). Before you start assigning value to someone's work, you should have an understanding of what was required to make it.

The statement that MODDER’S SHOULD NOT BE COMPENSATED is so unbelievably disrespectful to the creators.

I AM A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST. I earn my living at an animation studio. I love my job. I have fun every day. And the studio is happy to pay me for it because their is an audience for my work.

I use the same skills, creativity and passion to make animation that I do to make mods. Even though I love modding, doesn't pay the bills.

    Just to be absolutely clear I DON'T BELIEVE THAT I CAN MAKE A LIVING OFF MAKING MODS (even If I got 100% of the cut) It wouldn’t come anywhere near to my current job's pay.

Over the last year, I have been inactive in the modding community. I have several new mods that are close to being finished, some even got to a beta stage that users had a chance to try. I had to ask myself a hard question. WAS MAKING MODS THE BEST USE OF MY TIME? A My answer was "NO." It was not a matter of greed, but practicality. I simply don't have a lot of free time, and I must choose how I spend my time wisely.

When I heard that Steam was going to make it possible for mod authors to charge money for their mods, It caught my attention. For me, it meant I might have a justification to come back to the modding community.

Most modders don't mod forever, they usually stop at some point. Even the best. Have you ever wondered why? MODDING IS A LOT OF WORK. At a certain point, passion is no longer enough to keep you going. Without proper encouragement and validation, you become drained and burn out. The community needs to find a way to bring more incentive for creators to keep making mods. Paid mods may have been the solution to bring back modders like Chesko and ThirteenOranges, but I don't see that happening now.

As a creator I feel totally under appreciated, unwanted, and vilified by the community. Those who have been so negative have frightened off both veteran modders and potential new ones.

Regardless of your position, the response to this development has been embarrassing and shameful. I truly believe that all reasons aside, the primary reason people don't like this is because they DON'T WANT TO SPEND MONEY. It's not a bad thing, it's just the truth. It's understandable. Given the option get something for a price or for free (without negative consequences) people will choose free every time. I believe that there is a consequence. The dignity of the mod creators.

Change can be difficult, but just because something is, doesn’t mean it's right and it definitely doesn't mean it will always be.
Last edited by Sir Edhelsereg; Apr 29, 2015 @ 11:09pm
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Showing 1-15 of 819 comments
Captain Jack (Banned) Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:32pm 
Getting compensated through the model Valve put out is not the way to go though. I think you can find alot of people are happy with the idea of good modders being compensated, But through the micro transaction system on Steam is not the way to go. Read up on all the arguments against it and you'll see.
Last edited by Captain Jack; Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:35pm
Crazybmanp Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:35pm 
There are many modders currently going to patreon to try to get fans to help pay for constant development. However this culture seems very strange when you look at what used to be the norm: modders being a bunch of humble people making a game better because it was fun.

Where has this gone? i can understand patreon as it gives modders a constant stream of money if they are doing things that people genuinely like, if and only if people feel like their contribution was large enough. But what happened when people would just make things to be liked by people and make things better.
Leonhardt Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:36pm 
So you don't like the game anymore and want money instead of doing it because you love it.
Kane Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:38pm 
you are not alone. most modders I have talked to since this thing began expressed opinions very much like yours.

modders will desert the player community now that the truth has come out.

for years modders gave and gave and gave for nothing comforting themselves with the illusion the community cared about them and their hard work and were not just fair weather friends there for the freebies. but modders have always suspected they were being taken for granted.
now they don't suspect. they know.
the free ride is over.
killing paid mods mean youll get mods for free. it just means you wont get mods.

no more free mods.

all modders must boycott the so called community that doesn't respect you like you never donates and when asked to give something back pissed in your mouth and threatened to kill you.

don't give them any more free mods. not here not nexus. if someone asks you to make them a custom mod, give them a quote.don't update mods. pull all your mods.
they don't respect you or like you. the players are using you for freebies.
Leonhardt Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:39pm 
Originally posted by Kane:
you are not alone. most modders I have talked to since this thing began expressed opinions very much like yours.
So 2 people, then.
PeacefulRiot Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:39pm 
Originally posted by Leon Leo Leonhardt III:
So you don't like the game anymore and want money instead of doing it because you love it.
Ya, I'm disgusted by some of the mod community. I always thought these guys were in it because they loved games and wanted to improve them for fellow gamers, but I guess the modding community is filled with egos that need to be stroked in the form of money. Not until this whole fiasco had I heard about modders wanting a bunch of money. I thought it was a hobby they enjoyed partaking in. It's just a sad situation all around that is only happening because they got a little sniff of the profits and now they want it all.
Last edited by PeacefulRiot; Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:42pm
Crazybmanp Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:39pm 
alright, cool, we can get on without both of your mods. They would probably end up being: "Wow, dovahkin coat only $2.99, with optional Dovahshoes ONLY $.99"
Man of Culture Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:43pm 
Originally posted by A Fairly Useless Moe:
There are many modders currently going to patreon to try to get fans to help pay for constant development. However this culture seems very strange when you look at what used to be the norm: modders being a bunch of humble people making a game better because it was fun.

Where has this gone? i can understand patreon as it gives modders a constant stream of money if they are doing things that people genuinely like, if and only if people feel like their contribution was large enough. But what happened when people would just make things to be liked by people and make things better.

I have also thought of this if I ever made mods I wouldnt care about donations not saying that everyone that mods needs to do what I said this is just what I would do for myself
Sir Edhelsereg Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:43pm 
I'm not going to start a patreon or ask for donations. I did't jump to make paid mods. My mods are still free, and I intend to keep it that way. I don't know how I felt about the new system. All I know is I don't feel welcome or appreciated by the community anymore.
Meturoido Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:43pm 
Originally posted by Sir Edhelsereg:
Regardless of your position, the response to this development has been embarrassing and shameful. I truly believe that all reasons aside, the primary reason people don't like this is because they DON'T WANT TO SPEND MONEY. It's not a bad thing, it's just the truth. It's understandable. Given the option get something for a price or for free (without negative consequences) people will choose free every time. I believe that there is a consequence. The dignity of the mod creators.

More like, that's your truth. At any rate, there's might be better sources of income, while you are at it, find something you really love doing, you should seriously consider that.

Originally posted by Kane:
you are not alone. most modders I have talked to since this thing began expressed opinions very much like yours.

modders will desert the player community now that the truth has come out.

Actually, the amount of modders that spoke against it vastly outnumbered those that were in favor of it.

Originally posted by Sir Edhelsereg:
I'm not going to start a patreon or ask for donations. I did't jump to make paid mods. My mods are still free, and I intend to keep it that way. I don't know how I felt about the new system. All I know is I don't feel welcome or appreciated by the community anymore.

Again, if you no longer like it, find something else that really fulfills you.
Last edited by Meturoido; Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:44pm
Braygill Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:43pm 
If you want to get compensated, Valve should pay you. People buy a PC and play on these types of platforms as to play these mods. You are creating traffic for Steam. They are making money off the traffic you created. They should be paying you.
If you are a Google or Twitch partner, you make add money off them, Because you are making them money. I can't repeat that enough.
I had Skyrim on my console and beat it multiple times. Halfway bored of the main story. But I bought this game on steam for the mods. YOUR modding won their business. You're going after the wrong people.
☠Reaper☠ Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:46pm 
I uploaded a few things to the workshop on different games , i never expected anything from it other than people knowing/enjoying my work as that in itself is good enough as that could lead to better things if one followed that path .
ZephyrLuxx Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:46pm 
Originally posted by Sir Edhelsereg:

Ask yourself, have you ever worked on any one thing, day after day, for hundreds, let alone thousands of hours?

Yes.


Originally posted by Sir Edhelsereg:
The statement that MODDER’S SHOULD NOT BE COMPENSATED is so unbelievably disrespectful to the creators.

I'm just going to copy and paste this from another thread that I posted in:

I think that (for most people) this is less about telling modders what they can and can't do, and more about telling Valve that they weren't willing to see another area of gaming be monetized by corporations.

Because the whole issue has been continuously presented as an appeal to emotion, i.e. "don't people have a right to earn money doing what they love?" a lot of people have gotten up in arms making this about the "Little Guy" who wants to make money at his hobby. The way I see it, the Little Guy got caught in the crosshairs. He was going to lose out in the end anyway because this was never about him in the first place. It was about someone else who saw a way to turn his work into more money for them. He does the work, they get the lion's share. Maybe he was ok with that, fine. But more people were upset by the system than anything else. That was the real crux of the issue.


Originally posted by Sir Edhelsereg:
I'm not going to start a patreon or ask for donations. I did't jump to make paid mods. My mods are still free, and I intend to keep it that way. I don't know how I felt about the new system. All I know is I don't feel welcome or appreciated by the community anymore.

Why not? The biggest arguments I saw were against Valve and Bethesda, not modders. Where do you get the idea that people in the community don't appreciate modders? Being against paid mods is not the same as being against modders themselves.
massdev Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:47pm 
I also believe you should be compensated but I was against this policy.

I think your first point speaks to education. How do you educate your community about what costs are involved in the mod?

I also think that creators producing content to the tune of 2000 hrs and not being supported via donations or other means is a failure in the model but its the publisher, platform, community as well as the content creator that are part of that failure.

I applaud your commitment but what was being touted as a solution was stillborn and really didn't do yourself and others like you justice.
☠Reaper☠ Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:47pm 
Originally posted by ZephyrLuxx:
Originally posted by Sir Edhelsereg:

Ask yourself, have you ever worked on any one thing, day after day, for hundreds, let alone thousands of hours?

Yes.


Originally posted by Sir Edhelsereg:
The statement that MODDER’S SHOULD NOT BE COMPENSATED is so unbelievably disrespectful to the creators.

I'm just going to copy and paste this from another thread that I posted in:

I think that (for most people) this is less about telling modders what they can and can't do, and more about telling Valve that they weren't willing to see another area of gaming be monetized by corporations.

Because the whole issue has been continuously presented as an appeal to emotion, i.e. "don't people have a right to earn money doing what they love?" a lot of people have gotten up in arms making this about the "Little Guy" who wants to make money at his hobby. The way I see it, the Little Guy got caught in the crosshairs. He was going to lose out in the end anyway because this was never about him in the first place. It was about someone else who saw a way to turn his work into more money for them. He does the work, they get the lion's share. Maybe he was ok with that, fine. But more people were upset by the system than anything else. That was the real crux of the issue.


Originally posted by Sir Edhelsereg:
I'm not going to start a patreon or ask for donations. I did't jump to make paid mods. My mods are still free, and I intend to keep it that way. I don't know how I felt about the new system. All I know is I don't feel welcome or appreciated by the community anymore.

Why not? The biggest arguments I saw were against Valve and Bethesda, not modders. Where do you get the idea that people in the community don't appreciate modders? Being against paid mods is not the same as being against modders themselves.

I dont understand it , it was the modders that are getting screwed pay wise and yet people support modders getting screwed ? (i dont support the pay of mods but pennies for a mod is a joke)
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Date Posted: Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:31pm
Posts: 819