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What's your take on free vs paid RM resources?

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Note: This post doesn't talk about specific commissions for specific projects.

As the release date and price of MZ are announced, some upcoming MZ users are already thinking of making/using upcoming MZ resources, and free vs paid ones is an important consideration for most in both sides(some resource users are also resource makers of course).

Be warned: I expect this post to have very heated debates, those hating these things a lot are better off staying away from this post :D

 

There are several dimensions on free vs paid resources.

Spoiler

1. In terms of free vs commercial projects:

i. Always Free on all RM projects

ii. Always Free on free RM projects but paid on commercial ones

iii. Always paid on all projects(perhaps more expensive on commercial ones)

 

2. In terms of payment model:

i. One time fee for a license lasting forever for the buyer

ii. One time fee for a license lasting for a project for the buyer(so the buyer will have to pay again to renew the license for the next project)

iii. Periodic license subscription fee for the buyer(so the buyer can't use the resource anymore until the license's renewed)

iv. A small portion of net(or even gross) profit's taken by the resource maker

v. Some combinations from the above

 

3. In terms of project members:

i. The project can use the resource if any member has the license

ii. The project can use the resource if all members have the license

iii. The license's owned by the project but not any member

iv. The project can use the resource if at least 1 members actually using that resource directly has the license
v. The project can use the resource if all members actually using that resource directly have the license

 

4. In terms of effective period:

i. Always free/always paid

ii. Free for a while but add a paywall later(those having the resource before having the paywall can still use it)

iii. Free for a while but add a paywall later(those having the resource before having the paywall can't use it without buying a license)

iv. Have a paywall that will be lifted after a while(with refunds to those having a license)

v. Have a paywall that will be lifted after a while(without refunds to those having a license)

 

5. In terms of paid resource accessibility:

i. Accessible for free but must be paid to be used

ii. Must be paid to be accessed or used

iii. Accessible/usable for free with a limited period/1st project, but must be paid afterwards

 

6. In terms of paid resource granularity:

i. Everything as a single bundle that can't be partially bought(with bundle discounts)

ii. Everything as a single bundle that can't be partially bought(without bundle discounts or even with an additional "bundling fee")

iii. Everything as a single file that can be bought individually

iv. Buying some resources need some other resources to be previously bought as well(with discounts)

v. Buying some resources need some other resources to be previously bought as well(without discounts)

vi. Some combinations from the above

 

Needless to say, those being always free on all RM projects will be the most generous(whether it's sustainable is a different thing entirely), while the following combination will be the most money sucking:

Spoiler

1. Always paid on all projects(and more expensive on commercial ones)

2. One time fee for a license lasting for a project for the buyer

3. Periodic license subscription fee for the buyer

4. A small portion of gross profit's taken by the resource maker

5. The project can use the resource if all members have the license

6. Free for a while but add a paywall after taking most of the "market share"(those having the resource before having the paywall can't use it without buying a license)

7. Must be paid to be accessed or used

8. Everything as a single bundle that can't be partially bought(with an additional "bundling fee")

Fortunately, from what I know, such a money sucking resource haven't existed yet and I don't think it'll ever exist, as I consider this combination "voluntary robbery"(I guess that's as far as how pathetic one can become without making the terms of use illegal) lol

 

On the other hand, the following paid combinations seems to be the especially common(I don't know if it's the most common though):

Spoiler

1. Always Free on free RM projects but paid on commercial ones

2. One time fee for a license lasting forever for the buyer

3. The project can use the resource if any member has the license

4. No paywall addition/removal later on

5. Accessible for free but must be paid to be used

6. Everything as a single bundle that can't be partially bought(with bundle discounts)

7. Everything as a single file that can be bought individually

Perhaps because of the following reasons:

Spoiler

1. Free projects are unable to generate profits(except those getting tons of genuine donations while still fitting the "free" definition), so it'd be hard for resource users to use paid resources for free projects.

 

2. No matter how unbelievably fantastic a paid resource and its supports are, one still has to actually use it to judge whether it'll really suit the needs, so those planning to make commercial projects with paid resources can try the latter on free projects first, without having to pay anything for such tries.

 

3. The absence of periodic subscription fee means the absence of time pressure from paid resources, thus decreasing the pressure towards resource users when making commercial projects, with usually an already tight budget other than time(on the flip side, such an additional time pressure can actually motivate them to be more effective and efficient when making commercial projects).

 

4. Unless a commercial project has a very large profit margin, even taking a small portion of gross profit away from the resource users can already cause the whole thing to become not profitable, thus largely(but still not totally) defeating the purpose of making the project commercial(although it still gives invaluable commercial project experience to those resource users); On the other hand, taking a small portion of net profit instead would probably give resource makers so little money that it won't be worth the effort for the resource makers to enforce this term of use.

 

5. If all commercial project members have to have the license, the development cost of commercial projects can increase a lot when many such paid resources are used and the team's large, even though it's likely an edge case anyway. In extreme cases, the team might have to decide between not using such resources and reducing the number of team members.

 

6. If the paywall isn't a constant, then resource users won't know what to expect. If the paywall's added later, then it's questionable whether the resource makers can really make much money, due to the fact that those already owning those resources before having the paywall can "carelessly leak" them to those who'd have to pay without the resource maker being able to prove anything; If the paywall's lifted later without refunding, then those already paid the resources will likely go insanely mad - so mad that the reputation of the resource maker can be shattered instantly(if there's refund then the resource maker will have serious money issues).

 

7. While making paid resources accessible for free will lead to an increased amount of piracy, plagiarism and sometimes outright stealing profits(accessing the resources for free then selling them without the original resource maker knowing), but it'll more friendly to fellow resource makers resolving compatibility issues among resources, which especially apply to plugins(although plugin developers can still ask the fellow for special permission to fix the compatibility issues). Of course, making paid resources accessible for free is still a very big risk, so not all resource maker can keep affording this, therefore it's also common for them to shut down free accessibility when they're indeed hurt by scumbags too many times and too seriously.

 

8. Letting resource users buy resource files both individually and as a bundle with bundle discounts can take care of both users using only few resource files and those almost using everything. Also, because of the existence of bundle discounts, users will be highly encouraged and recommended to buy the bundle even if they don't really need everything inside, thus on one hand increasing resource maker profits, and on the other hand doesn't impose much moral issues due to such a choice being optional and well-informed in advance.

 

Now let's think of the following possible scenarios involving the amount of free vs paid resources:

1. All resources are free

Spoiler

Advantages -

i. Users don't have to pay anything for any resource regardless of whether those resources deserve to be paid, meaning that those with tight budgets can use all resources, causing the number of resource users and thus useful feedback given to the resource makers to increase, leading to increased RM sales and resource quality(provided that resource makers have the passion to do all these for free).

While this also comes with toxic feedback which makes the lives of resource makers and those giving useful feedback harder, there are ways for resource makers to deal with the toxic feedback, like standardizing feedback providing formats/procedures and declaring policies on toxic feedback, even though it does mean more work on the resource maker and sometimes those giving useful feedback(and sometimes some resource users are unfortunately too toxic to deal with).

ii. Resource makers having a hard time making high quality resources and/or providing high quality supports can learn from those who do without having to pay anything regardless of whether they should, meaning that more resource makers will improve more quickly, leading to the increased overall quality of resources and their supports(that isn't the only way to reach so of course).

While this leads to a kind of unfairness to those already making high quality resources with high quality supports, and in extreme cases, even an increase of objectively provable plagiarism, the community can always get rid of these losers quickly and is already experienced in that(such losers will always exist no matter what the community do but one can always try), and the unfairness can be somehow compensated by the unmatched popularity and reputations.

 

Disadvantages -

i. Eventually, those consistently providing high quality resources with high quality supports will take most of the "market share", and it's likely that there will be only few such resource makers per resource type, meaning that the workload of at least some of those resource makers will eventually be too high to bear anymore, probably leading to retirement that could've been reached later(and sometimes comebacks that could've happened to happen a lot later at least).

While these retirements will eventually happen and will eventually be compensated by the existence of new resource makers providing high quality resource with high quality support anyway, early retirement that could be postponed would still not be what the community wanted(but the community can and will still accept of course).

ii. Similarly, those hardly being able to provide any high quality resource nor resource with high quality supports(no matter how hard they try) will almost always have such a small number of "customers"(no matter what they do) that they'll be demotivated eventually, and it's likely that such resource makers will be the majority, meaning that the number of active resource makers of this kind will be eventually lower and lower, causing more resources to be left without supports(even though they don't have many users to begin with).

While one can always switch from one resource to another and resources will eventually be unsupported anyway, having many unsupported resources with a lot fewer supported counterparts would still not be what the community wanted(but the community can and will still accept of course).

2. All resources are paid

Spoiler

Advantages -

i. While not many can be a good resource maker, nearly everyone can be a bad one, and when all resources are supposed to be paid, even a bad junior programmer like me can earn some quick money by making paid resources(in my case, plugins) without worrying too much about the resource quality or proper supports, due to the fact the paid resources are now the norm.

This can actually cause some resource makers to be motivated enough to be more proficient more quickly, and thus surprisingly lead to the increased number of good resource makers and high quality resources with high quality supports in the long term, all due to the desire to have a larger and larger amount of market share.

ii. Those taking free yet high quality resources with high quality supports for granted will finally learn just how wrong they're, as the only other way for them is to leave RM entirely(Even if they're to be resource makers themselves, they'll still learn the lessons 1st hand).

This not only can increase the relationship between resource makers and users remaining, but also cause the latter to take resources and sometimes projects using them more seriously, thus reducing the amount of published trash games in the RM community(even though they'll always be there no matter what the community does).


Disadvantages -

i. Eventually, the RM resources will be so contaminated by scammers and innocent but still utterly incompetent resource makers that the whole thing will effectively become a massive cesspool, damaging the reputation of not just those deserving to have their reputations damaged, but also those not deserving so, due to the fact that now resource users will have a hard time separating the wheat from the chaff.

Similarly, the whole RM community or even RM itself will suffer from the unstoppable loss of members, severe drop of sales and eventually the severe damage to the whole RM brand, and all these tragedies are hard or even impossible to reverse.

(If the "all resources are paid" is lifted after that to try to save the day, then resource makers will have much, much higher demands on even free, let alone paid, resource makers, as a kind of revenge towards the perceived betrayal from the latter)

ii. Those not having the balls to make paid resources(including dumb noobs like me) and take the upcoming obligations(including legit ones like fixing bugs/internal compatibility issues quickly, questionable ones like "the customer is king" mindset or being compatible with every foreign resource used, and perhaps some totally unsound self-entitlement as well) will either have to improve their proficiency quickly the hard way, or be forced to leave the RM community until the "all resources are paid" is no longer a thing, and the number of such resource makers is better not to be underestimated.

3. Most resources are paid but some are free

Spoiler

Advantages -

i. The "entry barrier" of making paid resources will be a lot lower, leading to the increased number of resource makers making money out of their resources, thus increasing resource maker sustainability, and sometimes even resource quality and supports due to the increased incentives.

Similarly, resource users will be more willing to accept that free but high quality resources with high quality supports shouldn't be taken for granted, thus reducing tensions between resource makers and users and the amount of toxic feedback.

ii. Those not having the balls to have paid resources(including dumb noobs like me) can still make free ones, and it's likely that such resources will have many users, as there are not many such resources and the demand to use free resources will be high regardless of how many resources are paid.

Similarly, resource users will also have a choice to use free resources, even when they can be of low quality and have poor supports.


Disadvantages -

i. Eventually, more and more resource makers will make free resources to try to steal the "market share" from the paid counterparts, causing more and more users to switch to the free ones, meaning that the entire "most resources are paid but some are free" will eventually be unsustainable, and this can mean a world of hurt of resource makers having made tons of paid resources.

ii. Even if this whole thing's sustainable, the number of users per free resource would still be too high for most free resource makers, due to the fact that many resource users will rather use free but low quality resources without proper supports than paid but high quality resources with proper supports, meaning that the workload of at least some of those resource makers will eventually be too high to bear anymore, probably leading to retirement that could've been reached later(and sometimes comebacks that could've happened to happen a lot later at least).

While these retirements will eventually happen and will eventually be compensated by the existence of new resource makers providing free resources anyway, early retirement that could be postponed would still not be what the community wanted(but the community can and will still accept of course).

4. Most resources are free but some are paid

Spoiler

Advantages -

i. It's very likely that those consistently making high quality resources with high quality supports will be the ones making paid resources, as those unable to do so but still trying to make paid ones will be out of the paid resource business very quickly, due to the drastic and obvious contrast between the wheat and the chaff there.

Similarly, those unable to do so can stick to making free resources(without the competition from the best resource makers as well), and they don't have to feel obligated to make high quality ones with high quality supports no matter what(even though it's still highly encouraged and recommended), as such demands can be handled by the paid counterparts(they can start making paid counterparts when they become proficient enough).

ii. Resource users can choose between paid but high quality resources with high quality supports, and free but low quality resources with low quality supports, with clear expectations from both groups and without having to constantly worry about being scammed much(even though there will always be scammers no matter what the community does).

Of course, there will be free and high quality resources with high quality supports even with "most resources are free but some are paid", but that's good for almost everyone, as long as the free resource makers involved can be sustainable and aren't stealing too much "market shares" from the paid counterparts.


Disadvantages -

i. If many free resources and their supports outclass the paid counterparts in almost every way, the latter will eventually vanish and the whole thing will become "all resources are free", meaning that some kind of tacit understanding among resource makers will have to exist in order to maintain the equilibrium, and it's possible that resource users will have to have the same understanding as well, none of which are easy, simple nor small tasks.

ii. Sometimes maintaining the equilibrium can mean some free resources outclassing paid ones will become paid later, causing severe outrages from many of those using those resources(and in extreme cases even a feeling of being betrayed by their idol like figure), thus killing the reputation of said resource makers and seriously shaking the confidence of users using free but high quality resources with high quality supports, even when those already owning those previously free resources don't have to pay after they become paid ones.

 

I don't know much about other resources, but in the case of plugins, I prefer most to be free but some to be paid.

Spoiler

More precisely, I prefer the resources with the highest qualities and best supports to be paid in order to protect the best plugin developers from excessive workload and some toxic plugin users(usually they don't have the balls to pay just to leave toxic feedback, which is a main trouble for some of the best plugin developers), and let the not-so-good plugin developers to face a less fierce competition among free plugins(at least not so fierce that it feels useless no matter how hard you try and what you do) , even though it's still good for the best of the best to make free plugins and the not-so-good ones to try to make paid ones.

 

On the plugin user side, this means a more effective and efficient way to separate the wheat from the chaff, and a more serious thought on using high quality plugins instead of just throwing everything together and expect an utopia to come instantly(and even expect high quality supports to quickly right the wrong from them for them) :)

 

On the RM side, I think that's the best balance between having so many low quality plugins with poor supports that it's too hard to find high quality ones with proper supports, and having so few free plugins that some RM users consider RM pricing a scam(most considers RM nothing without plugins so most plugins being paid effectively means an uninformed mandatory paid "DLC" in RM for most of them).

 

That's my current take on free vs paid RM plugins (I decided to share it even though I know mine's too naive to be shared), and I'd like to know what's yours on plugins or other resource types :P

Edited by DoubleX

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What, no mention of donation systems like patreon? Honestly if you ask me either something like patreon or commissions is the only real 'fair' way for money to get involved, or at least the only real practical way I can think of that doesn't end up seeming kinda dubious in my eyes.

 

Mostly the problem is in how much finagling that has to be done with the terms of use. I won't really get into the numerous ways 'copyright' as a whole has been systematically abused, and honestly I don't really think I need to at this point. It should be pretty obvious at this point to most people how broken the whole copyright system is. It long ago got to the point where I have gotten pretty cynical about the whole concept of copyright. But even if you believe copyright should exist in some form, the current way it's done often just seems like it has waaaay too many gotchas and vaugeness and generally the exactly way it works for any given resource can be all over the place.

 

I mean, not gonna lie, even base RPG Maker it's self I see as sort of dubious in this way and I rather it would be funded first on kickstarter/patreon and released as free and open source software, but I am willing to put that aside and see the way it is packaged and sold as a 'necessary evil', maybe even big professionally done content packs if I am feeling generous, but at some level it just becomes tedious to deal with all of it.

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Just added the following:

Spoiler

6. In terms of paid resource granularity:
i. Everything as a single bundle that can't be partially bought(with bundle discounts)
ii. Everything as a single bundle that can't be partially bought(without bundle discounts or even with an additional "bundling fee")
iii. Everything as a single file that can be bought individually
iv. Buying some resources need some other resources to be previously bought as well(with discounts)
v. Buying some resources need some other resources to be previously bought as well(without discounts)
vi. Some combinations from the above

 

44 minutes ago, Kayzee said:

What, no mention of donation systems like patreon? Honestly if you ask me either something like patreon or commissions is the only real 'fair' way for money to get involved, or at least the only real practical way I can think of that doesn't end up seeming kinda dubious in my eyes.

I don't know, but I just consider that resources with optional donations to be free, while those with "mandatory donations"(like you've to subscribe to the resource maker while those resources themselves have no additional cost and are thus free under the subscription) to be paid.

44 minutes ago, Kayzee said:

I mean, not gonna lie, even base RPG Maker it's self I see as sort of dubious in this way and I rather it would be funded first on kickstarter/patreon and released as free and open source software, but I am willing to put that aside and see the way it is packaged and sold as a 'necessary evil', maybe even big professionally done content packs if I am feeling generous, but at some level it just becomes tedious to deal with all of it.

While you're talking about the base RM itself, this inspires me to wonder if most resources in RM make sense to use quickstarter, maybe it's more suited with resource bundles instead 🙂

Edited by DoubleX

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Okay...

I'm fine with paying for resources.

I'm not fine with...

Toxicity (Yanfly's paywalling stunt comes readily to mind-dick move and I still give major kudos to @Animebryan for making an effort to set that right)
Paywalls that alienate based on wealth-based privilege (@Kayzee mentioned a big-no-MASSIVE OFFENDER in this regard)
False copyright claims over things that must be distributed either as Creative Commons or as Public Domain (ANYTHING THAT USES RUBY/RGSS)
Also, charging money for a 'license' to use the above (last I checked that's a FELONY offense here)

I avoid marking up what I create myself to generate revenue. That's absolute trite and jaded garbage. I'm not gonna sell a bundle of pixel art with the expectation that the end user won't remake the same art with a few minor edits and resell it, and expect people to pay upwards of more than a few bucks. I most certainly won't tell them not to remake, edit or resell it either because to be honest, we're all damn pirates; we all copy one another in some form, so yeah, I'm calling it a giant hypocrisy.

Copyright is greedy and avaricious and those that made the system knew this.

I'm fine with paying for resources, but I always go for sales because more often than not, the sale price is the value of the product to me. MV Season Pass/Add-On Pack? $7 tops; I've never seen it for less than $14.

I'm going on a rant here, aren't I? Well, yeah, it was bound to happen. The less I have to spend the better. The RM engines I bought, I bought on sale too (2000/2003/VX).

I'll be keeping an eye on MZ; it won't run on my current hardware and is 64-bit exclusive, but that's fine, this is arbitrary year and arbitrary era after all...

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45 minutes ago, PhoenixSoul said:

I avoid marking up what I create myself to generate revenue. That's absolute trite and jaded garbage. I'm not gonna sell a bundle of pixel art with the expectation that the end user won't remake the same art with a few minor edits and resell it, and expect people to pay upwards of more than a few bucks. I most certainly won't tell them not to remake, edit or resell it either because to be honest, we're all damn pirates; we all copy one another in some form, so yeah, I'm calling it a giant hypocrisy.

I hope at least some resource makers can manage to deal with honest enough resource users most of the time, so they can be even more motivated and sustainable(I don't think solely relying on passion is reliable enough in the long term) 🙂

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11 hours ago, PhoenixSoul said:

False copyright claims over things that must be distributed either as Creative Commons or as Public Domain (ANYTHING THAT USES RUBY/RGSS)
Also, charging money for a 'license' to use the above (last I checked that's a FELONY offense here)

 

I have said before, but this is not how Ruby's license works. It mentions distributing your modifications as public domain as one of many options, not as a strict requirement. As an alternitive it lists things such as simply renaming the binaries to something else and giving a note that explains that it is based on Ruby. Also it clearly states: "You may modify and include the part of the software into any other software (possibly commercial)". RPG Maker has definitely followed these rules. Even if it didn't, all this applies to the implementation of Ruby and not necessarily the language and/or anything that uses it. So no, this license has zero impact on the licensing of any scripts.

 

Also: Being distributed as public domain basically means that all the licensing terms would no longer apply anyway. Public domain means no one, not even the author, get a say in what people do with anything based on it. Including what kind of licensing it has. I mean, in theory you can just find or release a modified public domain version of the project and make another copy of that. Bam! Now you can change the license of your version to whatever you want.

Edited by Kayzee

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I for one advocate for free resources, simply because I have 0 income & can't afford to keep throwing money at this flawed as hell engine. I'm already miffed that MZ requires Windows 8.1 or better, giving the finger to anyone still using Windows 7, the best version ever made before Microsoft sold out to the NSA's mass surveillance BS. I also still feel like MZ really is just a properly upgraded MV, offering new features that Kadokawa should've already thought of & implemented a long time ago. I also agree that Donations are the best way to raise money for further developments. It allows those who have money to throw around to help fund further developments for plugins, graphics & music, while keeping it free & available for those who can't afford it, especially considering several people have lost jobs & income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Edited by Animebryan

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8 hours ago, Animebryan said:

I also agree that Donations are the best way to raise money for further developments . It allows those who have money to throw around to help fund further developments for plugins, graphics & music, while keeping it free & available for those who can't afford it, especially considering several people have lost jobs & income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Then resource makers really need to work very hard on their resource quality and supports, and persuading those who have money to really donate. I personally like the donation business model, and wish those having money to be even more generous  :)

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2 hours ago, PhoenixSoul said:

Voluntary donations are a large part of a cooperative economy. Of course, I won't go into any further detail than that, but it's something I know well.

I'm thinking of whether something like this can work - All resources are free, but if the resource maker doesn't get enough donations, then:

1. Some existing resources will become unsupported

2. Some resource requests won't be entertained

Thus further encouraging and recommending those having money to donate even more :)

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It's not everything, but I'd rather not go into detail here since it would be very OOS for the topic.
(out of scope)

Maybe I'll write a blog post about it at some point. Maybe.

That scenario could work, as long as the recipient isn't a FLAKE.

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Really in the end it's all a matter of what people are willing to put up with and how. There are always gonna be problems and there is gonna be a bit of a trade off either way. The question is what way has the least problems with the most practical ability to deliver.  I think the problems with a donation based model are less troublesome then those with a paywall in several ways, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have it's own problems.

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Noting an example of donations requested but not required for free music and sound resources here.

They have great stuff, and on top of that, they're also promoting academic lessons. Link to that is in my signature.

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Couple years ago, I switched from a one-time license based model to free use, with option for monthly donations via patreon.


Gamedev can get expensive. No matter what reason you're making games, you need funding. So naturally, people would prefer to be able to get as much of it free if possible.

Most people probably want to be able to sell their game as an additional revenue stream, or potentially make it their main source of income.

 

Making resources isn't free either: costs time and requires knowledge. Some people do it cause they just enjoy it, but even then, they should get something out of it beyond simply "recognition" cause recognition doesn't pay the bills.

 

For MZ plugins, I am playing around with the idea of a royalty-based model: you only have to pay if you make money.

It's not going to be a significant amount (likes pennies on the dollar) so like if you make $100 you would just give me like $2-$5 or something depending on how many plugins you're using.

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4 hours ago, Tsukihime said:

For MZ plugins, I am playing around with the idea of a royalty-based model: you only have to pay if you make money.

It's not going to be a significant amount (likes pennies on the dollar) so like if you make $100 you would just give me like $2-$5 or something depending on how many plugins you're using.

Just want to be clear - Is that $100 referring to the gross or net profit?

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32 minutes ago, DoubleX said:

Just want to be clear - Is that $100 referring to the gross or net profit?

 

Gross profit.

Steam's going to take out 30% cut and then whatever you're left with is what you're working with to expense for things like art/music/plugins, maybe ads, personal hosting, etc.

 

Net profit would be quite easy to just make it 0.

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16 minutes ago, Tsukihime said:

 

Gross profit.

Steam's going to take out 30% cut and then whatever you're left with is what you're working with to expense for things like art/music/plugins, maybe ads, personal hosting, etc.

 

Net profit would be quite easy to just make it 0.

So this also motivates resource users to take paid resources and their commercial projects even more seriously, otherwise the profit margin will be so small that giving you $2-$5 out of $100 can already make their net profit to be 0 or negative, and of course that's their responsibilities that are already informed in advance :)

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20 minutes ago, DoubleX said:

So this also motivates resource users to take paid resources and their commercial projects even more seriously, otherwise the profit margin will be so small that giving you $2-$5 out of $100 can already make their net profit to be 0 or negative, and of course that's their responsibilities that are already informed in advance :)

 

One-time licensing might sound ideal in this case, but it also means that if the game doesn't take off, you could be out hundreds or thousands upfront and not make anything back.

 

The issue with royalties is what happens if you make a million dollars, then now you have to give away 2%-5% which is now $20000-$50000 which is big money. But then again if you're making a MILLION dollars...lol 

 

Steam has changed their commission scale so that initially you pay 30%, then after million dollars in sales it goes down to 25%, and then after even more millions in sales it goes down to 20% lol

Edited by Tsukihime

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6 hours ago, Tsukihime said:

Gamedev can get expensive. No matter what reason you're making games, you need funding.

I believe I am currently over two hundred USD in the red with several game projects.

So yeah. Even if I don't intend to sell my games (whether I am able is not taken into account), that funding comes from somewhere.

But, as I said, I couldn't just sell to scale; no one would buy. Quality, then price. Then profit, maybe.

#CooperativeEconomyLogic

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7 hours ago, PhoenixSoul said:

But, as I said, I couldn't just sell to scale; no one would buy. Quality, then price. Then profit, maybe.

I guess many games operate with the opposite direction - First make a profit target, then setup a price that fulfills the target, and finally the minimum quality needed to justify the price.

After all, it seems to me that it's a "best practice", even when I also wish most companies follow your ways to think instead.

I'd even wonder if there will be any resource maker using this "best practice" as well, although it's hard for them to treat their customers as cash cows :)

Edited by DoubleX

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6 hours ago, Tsukihime said:

Couple years ago, I switched from a one-time license based model to free use, with option for monthly donations via patreon.


Gamedev can get expensive. No matter what reason you're making games, you need funding. So naturally, people would prefer to be able to get as much of it free if possible.

Most people probably want to be able to sell their game as an additional revenue stream, or potentially make it their main source of income.

 

Making resources isn't free either: costs time and requires knowledge. Some people do it cause they just enjoy it, but even then, they should get something out of it beyond simply "recognition" cause recognition doesn't pay the bills.

 

For MZ plugins, I am playing around with the idea of a royalty-based model: you only have to pay if you make money.

It's not going to be a significant amount (likes pennies on the dollar) so like if you make $100 you would just give me like $2-$5 or something depending on how many plugins you're using.

 

Honestly, I kinda disagree with that kind of logic. If you ask me, saying something 'can' get expensive and someone 'should' directly profit from something because of the work they put into it is a kind of prescriptionist thinking. It sounds like you are assuming an economic/moral model that you believe is necessarily true, rather then describing the system as it is and/or why we should stick with it. And if that's the case... Sorry, I just flat out don't believe that.

 

That said: I will say that a royalty-based license with upfront rates might be a better idea then a standard 'non-commercial' license, which I am sure is often a way to force individual negotiations for royalties anyway. It depends on how practical it is to actually figure out how much royalties any one person would owe.

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1 hour ago, Kayzee said:

 

Honestly, I kinda disagree with that kind of logic. If you ask me, saying something 'can' get expensive and someone 'should' directly profit from something because of the work they put into it is a kind of prescriptionist thinking. It sounds like you are assuming an economic/moral model that you believe is necessarily true, rather then describing the system as it is and/or why we should stick with it. And if that's the case... Sorry, I just flat out don't believe that.

 

That said: I will say that a royalty-based license with upfront rates might be a better idea then a standard 'non-commercial' license, which I am sure is often a way to force individual negotiations for royalties anyway. It depends on how practical it is to actually figure out how much royalties any one person would owe.

 

If you disagree with the notion that gamedev can get expensive and therefore they should be charging for it, then it sounds like you're against the idea of gamedevs making money off their games. I believe anyone that wishes to make something should be allowed to sell it, even if they're making huge amounts of profit.

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I disagree with thinking of the money before the quality of the product.
Like, as is, I wouldn't sell any of my game projects because of how poor the overall quality of the product is. Lots to do first.

I don't think @Kayzee disagreed with how expensive gamedev can get, I believe she disagrees with how effort is quantized as automatic payoff.

Such is unfortunately, how society has been groomed into being slaves to the banker cartels (and I won't say anything more about that!)

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The problem with royalty based payment is knowing how many sales or how much money was actually generated. How would you verify that? What if the developer lied & downplayed the amount of money made? How would you find out for sure? And not everyone would distribute it on Steam. Some developers may just put up their own site to distribute from (more profitable to simply cut out the middle man aka Steam), or just compress their game in a password locked, encrypted folder & offer the password to those who paid directly to their account. How would you verify any money made in those situations?

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7 hours ago, PhoenixSoul said:

I disagree with thinking of the money before the quality of the product.
Like, as is, I wouldn't sell any of my game projects because of how poor the overall quality of the product is. Lots to do first.

I don't think @Kayzee disagreed with how expensive gamedev can get, I believe she disagrees with how effort is quantized as automatic payoff.

Such is unfortunately, how society has been groomed into being slaves to the banker cartels (and I won't say anything more about that!)

 

In that case, my comment about gamedev being expensive is not about them deserving to make money from their games, but about them not having to pay thousands of dollars upfront to get the resources before they even have a game developed (eg: buy RM, buy art packs, buy plugins, etc)

 

2 hours ago, Animebryan said:

The problem with royalty based payment is knowing how many sales or how much money was actually generated. How would you verify that? What if the developer lied & downplayed the amount of money made? How would you find out for sure? And not everyone would distribute it on Steam. Some developers may just put up their own site to distribute from (more profitable to simply cut out the middle man aka Steam), or just compress their game in a password locked, encrypted folder & offer the password to those who paid directly to their account. How would you verify any money made in those situations?

 

Could be an issue. It's mostly honor system.

 

Steam is just a distribution platform. If a dev can reach millions of people without needing steam, is willing to deal with all of the tax issues themselves, etc, all the power to them.

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