Poll Question 285 – Would you support a kickstarter mod?

13th November 2012

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

In case you don’t know, Kickstarter is a website that allows people to raise money for projects. Elite Dangerous is a good example. it’s been on the news a bit recently.

“Donators” get special “rewards” for pledging different amounts of money. It’s actually a really clever idea, or it was right at the beginning.

With so many people looking to get your money that “Special” feeling has been lost.

Now, most of the projects on the site, and there are other sites that do the same thing, are businesses and that’s cool, but there are also some that are not.

So, let me give you a very specific example for this poll.

Imagine I created a project called “The 7-Hour War”. I would make a mod using Source 2, a little while after the release of Half-Life 3 and I would pay the community to make the mod. Of course, I would plan and design it very carefully, including story consultation and concept art.

The project would last one year, finish or not and then be released. Play time would be just over 7 hours and it would introduce new characters and maybe weapons.

I would use some of the money to fund the production and the rest would go to the people who did the actual work. At the end of the year the mod would be released for free.

This poll question is asking about the general concept of financially supporting a free mod. The above is t give you an example and I am not actually seriously considering doing it – unless you pledged $50,000 and then I probably would.

With the release of Black Mesa, this question may seem moot but I don’t believe we will ever see anything like that again. Yes there are some great Source mods in production but the 7-Hour war expansion is begging to be made and new tech would be hook.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Time to vote


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8 Comments

  1. Herr_Alien

    I voted no.

    If a mod is THAT big (think of total conversions), then the devs should have made a game to begin with, and I might pay for that.

    1. Share the same thoughts. I’d prefer that modding itself didn’t involve money. If the modders want money so badly to create something, why not just aim at developing a game instead? Jump on the indie market and leave modding as it is.

      I might be contradicting myself here, but I’d rather support mods and the team behind them after the release via other means, like soundtracks (or T-Shirts?) I especially love the option to buy soundtracks if they stood out for me, having grabbed the Cry of Fear OST a couple of months back.

      I feel that involving money into the development of mods will cease what makes mods so attractive in the first place.

      1. Herr_Alien

        In my case I wanted to put an accent on scope.

        If the mod has such a big scope that it requires funding (either to cover development costs or to make a profit, it’s the same to me) then it shouldn’t be a mod to begin with, but rather a game.

  2. bobdog

    I think the success (or failure) of getting a Kickstarter off the ground is mostly related to the pedigree behind the production. If you were to announce it on your own, you might get a few backers. But if you were to bring in the most famous and respected modders in the Half-Life scene, you’d get a lot more. I think most people supporting game Kickstarters are in the mindset that the game will be professionally released and sold for profit, but that a non-professional release is simply a hobby, so they wouldn’t support that financially.

  3. I would be quite uneasy about bringing money into modding. For a start, so many of the huge mods announced on Moddb never get anywhere near being finished, so it is a risky “investment”. Also where would money be spent on a mod, since the tools are available for free and people do it as a hobby anyway. If people are really that interested in modding, shouldn’t they be doing it without being paid?

  4. JG

    I wouldn’t.

    From a practical standpoint, such a mod would violate the Steam EULA. You can’t make a Half-Life 2 mod and charge money for it.

    From a gut standpoint, I feel that mods can and should be created by people who are passionate about them and they shouldn’t expect compensation as part of the deal. If you need compensation to make modding worthwhile, you probably aren’t into modding in the first place.

    That said, I think Valve should do more to foster their culture of amazing homebrew modding. They’ve done things to promote Left 4 Dead and Portal, but Half-Life 2 was pretty much left behind. Outside of a few very old mods on Steam, no recent HL2 releases have made it there, including high-profile mods like Research & Development, Mission: Improbable, or even Black Mesa Source. For modders who essentially volunteered hundreds of hours of their time to create add-ons that extends the life of the host game – and maybe even drove a sale or two – it seems like the least one could do.

    1. From a practical standpoint, such a mod would violate the Steam EULA. You can’t make a Half-Life 2 mod and charge money for it.
      I don’t agree. The project wouldn’t be charging for the mod but its development. There’s nothing in the EULA that says I can’t pay people to make maps, which is essentially what I am suggesting. It’s not really that different from mapping competitions that offer prizes.

  5. Paying people to make a mod does not seem so wrong as I have seem many sites selling 3d objects for people to use in their creations, from simple objects to commercial quality pieces. And other sites where people offer them freely! Your project idea is quite similar, buying the various components necessary to create your finished project, maps, weapons, and sound, etc. But would this offend those people that do it for the love of the gamming and modding community?

    I still use Microsoft’s Flight Simulator FS2004, old I know, and there are many thousands of aircraft and things to add to it mostly free, shareware and of course damned expensive stuff! Some of the free aircraft are so complicated and extensive in operation that they have huge manuals just to get the engines started! So even with the commercial and financial temptations, the love and dedication of these generous modders still flourishes after many years.

    So Phillip’s idea does make sense and would encourage some amazing work and with the end result being free, who would complain?

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