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Do335

Limited crowd funding for SF 3d modelling

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Hello guys. :idea: Idea mode. :idea:

 

edit: idea changed. See follow up posts. If a final idea forms that is agreeable I'll update it to here.

Edited by Do335
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Excellent proposition- given the scale of the project(s), crowd funding is in fact ideal!

 

This could even apply to the upgrading of the TW series as a whole, since finances are the need of the hour. 

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I see the problem, that after a while there is a chance you will see no (or lesser) free models at all, because modder may say..."Everyone gets paid for their models, why not me?".

But in general I like the idea, because, as you said, the chance for less fancy planes to appear in the SF-series rises. I am not wealthy and don't have money to give away for free, but I would like to support that idea.

A question stays: When is a model considered to be finished?

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Overall a bad idea esp publicly.

Those that are very skilled wont likely do it as the amounts listed are not comparable compensation for the time put in. This is hobby for them and you have to basically hope your wants line up with theirs

As to when done, either a specific contract needs to be spelled out prior to offer of payment. Otherwise its done when the author says its done, and woe if either side changes the specs mid job.

 

I do understand the sentiment, but it seems to run against what i've seen in this community for the last several years

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I don't want to rain on anyone's parade but this is essentially payware. The temptation to convert freeware to payware is a big factor, not to mention any licensing agreements you'd need in place from the game developers but potentially the real life manufacturer. Money is a huge motivator for the starving artists among us but it's plagued with many downfalls as well. Anytime you sell something the expectations climb and so many folks in the community have been burned by people with good and bad intentions. I'll defer to the more informed among us but you should be aware of the limitations and downfalls upfront. This community isn't very forgiving when it comes to stuff like this, it's why most people looking to sell their wares develop first and charge later. 

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Yep the model is finished when the request is completed. So when making the request make sure to ask for what you really want. However, imagine how you would ask an existing modder to model something for you, I think it is the same way: clear and concise, but with courtesy and respect.

 

Also the finished model is uploaded to CA, available to all. If one wanna make a private arrangement, I'd imagine PM or Skype is better way to go....

 

 

 

 

DA's words was/is also my main concern. However I hoped there would be a free choice. I'm modelling an aircraft, at the same time an offer pops up for the same plane. But I hold on to the belief of free modding, or find the request unreasonable, or find the sum too meager to mean anything, or for other reasons, to not accept it, I can keeping doing it for free without accepting the offer. Otoh, if the offer does sound worth taking I'd go for it. So.. each modder could have a choice. I reckon we're all grownups here there's nothing wrong getting a little compensation for some good honest work.

 

Think of it like... atm the modder has to do all the work. This is a measure to meet someway in between.

 

 

 

edit:


OK Erik the owner has spoken and looks like it won't happen. But Erik look the SF community has been shrinking considerably since TK stopped working on it. If there ain't another way to revive this place it is going to keep getting smaller man. I have an idea of what your plan is when the sub fees no longer cover the download bills so, while it is a long shot, it had to be taken.

 

PS @Erik this is not payware but more like donation, as the finished product would be available to everyone. To call it payware would be somewhat opposite of my intention! But it isn't donation either as those don't come with strings attached heh. So I don't know what to call it. The modders contribute via their skill, labor and time right. But I'm sorry I didn't study 3dsmax in school and I don't have time to learn now. How about I contribute via what I can do? That was the intention. To keep this community going.

Edited by Do335

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not to mention any licensing agreements you'd need in place from the game developers but potentially the real life manufacturer.

 

I understand what you guys are wanting, trust me I do. But these things right here will get CombatACE shutdown really quick. Have you have ever played a game that involved modern sports cars? Have you ever read the small print where it says the developers are using the emblems with the permission of the manufacturer and there is a ton of Trade Mark information?

 

Making something as a hobby is one thing. When money get's involved you're opening up many cans of bull crap you'd never thought existed. You even have to be careful with use of Donation. Kind of like Brass Knuckles are illegal to have (in my area in anyway) but if you call them a paperweight you can get away with it. Are you Donating before or after the mod is done? What are your reasons for donating i.e to thank the mod developer? Is the donation in any form or manner a way to strongly influence the development of a mod/product?

 

I've been to some sites that actually give you the option to donate to a mod developer simply as a way to say thank you. But in no way shape or form does that donation act like a paid commission. So basically even with the use of donations you have be careful.

 

No kidding Mod Developers here are using some serious hardware and programs that cost thousands of dollars, plus time and energy. The models these guys are making may cost a company hundreds of dollars if not thousands. In a letter to me from TK they mentioned how one model cost them anywhere between  $5,000-$10,000 to make (just one) (I was looking to invest some money with them several years ago. I was very serious and they were very serious with letting me know I'd be loosing money.) I understand it's hard to ask someone who makes models on these levels to do something for free. It's only fair to pay them or chip in somehow. But in the end like Erik said even without the legal issues you'd still risk the chance of killing the reason people come to CombatACE.

 

Not to mention think of all the problems some have with modding their games. I've seen some folks just turn outright nasty because something went wrong (usually because they did not read a little thing called a read-me). Could you imagine a situation like that with money involved?

 

Oh and don't forget what Bethesda tried to do with paid mods ... we all saw how well that turned out despite Bethesda's positive intentions. (In case you don't know. It was a very bad situation.)

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Not the first time this question arises. IIRC all the other times was related to hire a developer that can solve some game issues and add more content in form of avionics, A-A refueling, etc. Nothing came fro that, so I don't expect anything now.

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I'll tell a story. Names are intentionally left out. I'll not comment on it later. Believe it or not, up to you.

 

 

I have a flight sim buddy, who's got a good job, financially rather well off, ya know. And he's a very nice guy too, I mean really really decent, completely opposite of the usual rich guy type one'd imagine.

 

He was on this forum with another free mod group, who publically claims to work completely for free, for the community. Doesn't even accept a cent of donations. There's this modder of this group that writes flight models. See the real jet of the question has got force sensing flight controls, so control surface movements on the real thing are extremely snappy. Nice advantage in dogfights right. But obviously, such force sensing equipment doesn't usually come with your average armchair sim pilot joysticks.

 

So the new flight model rolls out. My friend, who's got all kinds fancy gear, of course has a force sensing joystick. He asks the modder "mate, why is the FM response so sloppy?" The modder ofc denies it. It is realistic, the hard data supports it, ya know the usual back and forth debate that goes on and on. But in the end the modder implied, that he doesn't own a force sensing joystick, and he wrote the code to compensate for a common joystick with gimbals.

 

My friend then buys the force sensing 3rd party parts for the modder's joystick, a few hundred euros apparently, ships them to his address, and said there you go, now you have the necessary equipment, so make the FM correct will ya. Which he then did.

 

 

Food for thought perhaps. For sure there're stories everywhere for corporate law, intellectual rights etc etc. But both sides have stories man.

Edited by Do335

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Not the first time this question arises. IIRC all the other times was related to hire a developer that can solve some game issues and add more content in form of avionics, A-A refueling, etc. Nothing came fro that, so I don't expect anything now.

I read that idea from you Stratos, and I would never agree. Hiring a coder to write code is simply too "out there" to rely on a community that has all kinds of preferences and priorities. How's about you and me phone TK privately and sort something out, instead of just emailing him for some kind of pseudo permission, you know, do some real work by ourselves instead of always asking others, if we're truly serious here.

Edited by Do335
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Do335, with all due respect, it's not only not a good idea, it's also a potentially community destroying idea.

 

Basically you're diminishing the efforts of volunteers and incentivizing less dedicated and scrupulous ones to take action potentially leading to decreasing quality control (discouraging existing high quality volunteer modders) and creating a host of problems (reverse engineering, use of asset without proper permissions, downright theft of models).

 

I have no problem with an unofficial fund to help fund source material, fact finding trips and cover other expenses for recognized and high quality modders, or even a sort of Patreon for modders (even though most here would shudder at something they'd consider a handout I think), but your idea as it is formulated is unfortunately a recipe for disaster (remember, the community is not just us nice and reasonable forum-active people).

 

I think the DAT schism is detrimental enough to the community, we don't need another one because we tried to implement a bad solution to a misdiagnosed perceived problem.

 

As mentioned by others, it also puts the community into a whole other dimension from the legal and licensing point of view, and what were nice, tacit, gentlemen's agreements (or ignorance) will turn into a legal nightmare very quickly.

Edited by Gunrunner

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I read that idea from you Stratos, and I would never agree. Hiring a coder to write code is simply too "out there" to rely on a community that has all kinds of preferences and priorities. How's about you and me phone TK privately and sort something out, instead of just emailing him for some kind of pseudo permission, you know, do some real work by ourselves instead of always asking others, if we're truly serious here.

 

Sorry but I'm not following your way of thinking here. Can you please develop?

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Gunrunner,
 
Perhaps my posts were too long and hard to read. Maybe I should've led with this: the finished product would be free for all. (Not sure if that's how you understood it.)
 
So why would I pay for it you might've asked. I dunno but I would, if it's something I'd really like to see modelled.
 
So perhaps, in your words, by entering this agreement, I already "waiver" my right to ownership. I pay for (a small part of, ofc) it in order for everyone to have it.
 
A few others guys with same thought like me, and we'd have a good offer.
 
 
Also, by saying foul play, are you saying there're a good percent of modders at combatace would do it. Nah I don't believe so. We're all nice and reasonable forum-active people here I'd think. If you don't trust someone, don't hand him the work. Like a new guy with 10 posts who says he's a 3d modeller with a few pictures as proof.. No. The idea is the work is only handled by members with Modder status. This should all be done in public and the end result for everybody to see. Tis one of the reasons I started a public thread instead of sending a bunch of PMs.

 

Something in your post caught my eye: a problem that doesn't exist. I'd say it is a problem that has always existed, everywhere with freeware mods, but many ppl simply chose to swallow it, dealt with it, or withheld, like accepting it as reality. Especially as the commercial market in the down low and many turn to freeware mods.

 

 

 

The ugliness of money is indeed a concern. But I believe we could make rules to address them. The rules can be adapted to address new problems. For example, let's say someone entered the agreement but then started asking for this and that after work started. Well the 3rd party treasurer has to be fair and firm. If his requests are legit, and said with respect and reason, but outta bounds with the original agreement, then fine perhaps there can be some goodwill to talk about it. If he's acting completely outta bounds then outta the question and the funds transfer as same. The principle is that the original agreement has to be honored, and if not, the final decision to alter that is in the hands of the modder. Or what if someone only gives 1$ and starts making requests. Maybe an entrance level fee be put in place. Something like 2 anonymous polls from 2 sides would give an indication to. Common sense is all I reckon here.

 

Sorry but I'm not following your way of thinking here. Can you please develop?

ehm... Stratos maybe later, apparently it might get busy. But look man perhaps I went a bit too far as I know you meant well with your thoughts....

Edited by Do335

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Do335, it doesn't matter, if it is free but has been lifted from another game, stolen from another modeller, used against the original licence, we'd still have a disaster on our hands.

 

And yes, you would have a lot of foul play, we've only had a few so far and they've usually been swiftly taken care of, but once there's money involved, they'll be everywhere... The most basic will be some guy will buy/license a 3rd party model to adapt it, never minding he did so under the conditions that it's strictly for personal use, therefore his adaptation could not be distributed under terms compatible with your idea. Hell, many would do it without even thinking they are doing something wrong.

 

As for your suggestion that the idea would only be for recognized modders, it is preposterous... You're telling me that you intend on solving the problem of too little modders with too little free time by... not adding any modders but using money to influence modders into reallocating their precious free time in ways that benefit you ?

That's even less likely to work and I find fairly insulting for the modders because it suggests

1) that you think they should rather spend their modding time according to your piorities rather than their own,

2) that they are currently not contributing enough,

3) that money can motivate them to contribute more.

 

They are not cats, you can't distract them from their current occupation by dangling a piece of foil in front of them, have some respect. And what do you think will happen the day most core modders will feel modding is becoming a chore ?

 

Patronize them (as in, be their patron), commission them, but don't treat them like animals.

 

Sure, some modders are pros or semi-pros and would be more interested in paid work and have retired from SF modding, but in that case... commission them the proper way, not through some pseudo-kickstarter.

 

And sorry for the tone but you have royally pissed me off.

 

 

@Stratos, he's probably suggesting that you two contact TK to negotiate one of the following :

 

1) Commission TK/TW to update the game engine to your specifications

2) Obtain a licence to the engine, with source code, documentation and content creation tools and the rights to continue development for the community

3) Outright buy the game, engine etc...

 

And that anything less isn't enough.

Edited by Gunrunner

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...

OK Gunrunner could you calm down. If you (and heck, anyone that have) perceived this whole idea as an insult then I really apologize, for it is certainly not my intention.

This was meant as a compensation, not a way to "manipulate" the modders. No. Hell.

 

I'm sure you've been staying late till 4am modding? Late for work because of modding? Had an argument with family/GF because of it? Yes?

 

You know I had become good friends with a modder. At the end of his modding life he pinged me on IM and said "mate are there any work over there man, no jobs here." You know how I felt? Dude has been puking his heart out for something which he doesn't get a dime. Think it is fair? And I can't help him for it wouldn't have mattered, not by myself. Could he have used something like 200$. For him was a month's rent.

 

You words may sound like a true "realist", but still.

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@Do335, as a matter of fact, yes (just not often for SF), but you like to tell little stories to illustrate your point, let me do the same for mine...

 

- Hey girl (modder), what are you doing this week end ?

- Well, I haven't add time to see my boyfriend (work on my Yak-36 project) for a long time so... you know...

- Come on, that's lame, dump it and come spend some time with us instead (work on a F7U for us) !

- Nah, I'm not into that.

- Come on, we'll pay you, I know you can use the money !

 

See the problem ?

 

Donate money to modders without conditions ? Yes

Refund modders their source materials, info gathering trips or necessary tools ? Yes

Properly commission modders who advertise themselves as available for commision work ? Yes

Exploit the financial needs of modders to have them work on what you want rather than what they'd rather do ? Fuck no

 

What we need is something to patronize (in the noble sense) modders, and organize commission work, not a Mechanical Turk for Mods.

 

 

Look, I understand where you're coming from and that it's well meant, but quite frankly even in an ideal world it'd fraught with problems and we're far from living in an ideal world.

 

 

On another note, if you ever negotiate something with TK regarding the code, make sure to include some measure of support, I'd wager that the source code is not extensively commented (or at least not necessarily in any useful way for a 3rd party) and that documentation if it exists might be a few revisions late (That's not a jab at TK, it's just that for small outfits these things are certainly not a priority, been there, both as the original coder and the one tasked to make sense of someone else's work) and it might save you (or any coder ending up dealing with it) weeks if not months of work to have access to the man himself (not that he wouldn't help otherwise, but if it's part of the contract it's easier to guarantee it).

Edited by Gunrunner

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@Do335, as a matter of fact, yes (just not often for SF), but you like to tell little stories to illustrate your point, let me do the same for mine...

 

- Hey girl (modder), what are you doing this week end ?

- Well, I haven't add time to see my boyfriend (work on my Yak-36 project) for a long time so... you know...

- Come on, that's lame, dump it and come spend some time with us instead (work on a F7U for us) !

- Nah, I'm not into that.

- Come on, we'll pay you, I know you can use the money !

 

See the problem ?

 

Donate money to modders without conditions ? Yes

Refund modders their source materials, info gathering trips or necessary tools ? Yes

Properly commission modders who advertise themselves as available for commision work ? Yes

Exploit the financial needs of modders to have them work on what you want rather than what they'd rather do ? Fuck no

 

What we need is something to patronize (in the noble sense) modders, and organize commission work, not a Mechanical Turk for Mods.

 

 

Look, I understand where you're coming from and that it's well meant, but quite frankly even in an ideal world it'd fraught with problems and we're far from living in an ideal world.

OK. I don't appreciate the tone, maybe that is your way but I see your point. Perhaps by executing this idea the message could be perceived as condescending. Fwiw if I were a modder I don't think I'll be swayed by the sum that could be gathered even in a best case scenario say with a popular aircraft, unless my interest already lies in the area. What's hoped to achieve is only a light nudge to go from most likely to yes, that sort of thing. Guessing by the number of forum members man how many do you think would end up requesting the same subtype of a type of aircraft that spans from 1910 or 2015.... Mostly 1 or 2, my guess.

 

 

But judging from the responses ppl tend to blow it into all seriousness over this. So maybe patroning is the preferred method here? It is a lot more proper a "business model" approach, but basic ideas like combatace free for all rule still apply. How it works is pretty straightforward/precedented. I stand by my original goal to keep SF community going, but this might take some website tech to set up.

 

Erik, any chance that you are still willing to consider at this stage?

 

And to the CA modders, if you've perceived the original idea as ill toned, I sincerely apologize, with no excuse. But if you're willing to look it over, and bear in mind that I am not the matter here, maybe you'd give this thought (or any variation of it) a fair assessment. The basic idea is some form of compensation. Without violating CA's ways and optional individually on both sides to take it or not. Heck if you have something in mind talk to Erik, I bet he listens better to you.

Edited by Do335

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i would rather like that the money will be spent to keep this side a life

 

in most cases the modders are overloaded with projects in my case i have enough work for the next 2-3 years

a request for a particular aircraft is always welcome but it will take time to finish it and a modder that has a bit of time available , i dont think that money could really change that

 

if you look at the list of the 3d modders you'll see that there are not so many , it would be nice to see that some new guys come to the club and take some of the many jobs

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just to clarify something that many of you have mentioned:

 

the source file(s) in question ARE freeware .. they were created by Cocas from scratch; I have all of them in my possession. But due to the usual Real Life ™ issues, he'd been "overcome by events", and is no longer in a position to carry on the work. The single model in question has already been exported, and is in game. It just needs a certain amount of refinement, clean up and the creation of distance lods (always a BIG help!)

 

This IS the basic reason this discussion has been started.

 

Carry on ...

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Guys thanks for the replies. It was tbh better than I expected. The whole topic could be considered taboo in certain circles, but I'm glad we can openly talk about it.

 

The posts are very long/bit hard to read, and with the latest we've come to the patron system. Maybe a thing like this would have some actual help in bringing new talent?

 

 

Intention is still the same. Someone said iirc that once TK stopped the work, SF would be a "stable 3rd party modding platform". I'm simply saying maybe the platform can be more... alive.

Edited by Do335
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So... nothing? So if it ain't 20 pages of forum negativity and vetocracy nobody would even think about it? Right, ready for round 2 Gunrunner?? I promise to be a better sport this time!

 

It is disappointing.

 

 

I put it another way. How do you suppose to keep combatace.com active? Take me for example, I've paid for subs. But haven't felt the need to do so these days. If we don't have more quality mods I don't think my need or lack thereof is going to change. It could be possible that what I feel is within the range of common sense.

Edited by Do335

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Hello.

 

I understand your rant, or at least I think I do. Do you feel SF is dying from lack of new content? If I understood you correctly, you propose to pay some money to 3d modders, so they get an incentive to their work, BUT, that means the payer will direct the modder work telling him what plane to do. Is that the plan?

 

I think modders here are really scarce, and to make them work on a mod thay are not interested will need a good amount of money, far from one player can reunite, at least far from my wallet capability. Of course this is my opinion and I can be totally wrong.

 

Regarding TK and the source code, If he needs 5 to 10.000 $ to build a model how many money he will need for the source code? And If we get it, who knows what to do with it?

 

Sorry If I sound negative, but I feel SF is a DEAD game in the development part of it. We can get new planes, ships or objects, but thats it. It's done.

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