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Comment Re:TOTAL GARBAGE- paid mods work on Steam (Score 1) 40 40

I disagree, for a very simple, but very fundamental reason.

Most people wanting to sell their mods, want to get jobs in game development-- Either as asset creators, scripters, coders, level designers, etc.

They use the mod community as the springboard. The easy-access publishing stream through which they are able to shine, and show off their talents to potential employers, who are looking for such premium talent.

When you introduce the paid mods element, the community stops being easy access. People who are supremely talented, but not financially empowered, are unable to showcase that talent effectively.

Additionally, it turns the community into competition to the game designers and publishers, unless draconian IP payouts happen. (like the 75% payout to bethesda that valve had in mind.)

In terms of being able to allow a starry eyed, but highly talented person to get exposure, and thus stand out, and eventually become a professional (by being gainfully employed doing that kind of work), paid mods murder the baby in the cradle.

Comment Here's what I see wrong with the idea of paid mods (Score 1) 40 40

Most mods out there leverage properties produced by other modders. This is because talent takes all kinds of forms. A person who makes gorgeous models may be shit at level design, or may be shit at story telling, or shit at voice acting, or shit at [Insert FOO].

The mod community gets around these individual failings by allowing "Good Story Guy" to leverage "Good script guy" and "Good model guy" and "Good level design guy" to create a mod that tells his epic story, and does so with quality components.

The same is likewise true for good model guy-- who can show off his awesome models with a mod that is worth playing, because it has good story guy's story-- etc...

What happens, fundamentally, when people start planting the :"I WANNA BE PAID!!" flag?

Several things. The obvious one, to me, is this:

In order to successfully monetize a property, then that property must be licensed, and actively policed and controlled. That means that if Good Model Guy says "Hold up, My models are so clearly awesome, that you have to pay me $BAR percentage of your gross if you sell your mod, and it features my models." Suddenly, Good Story Guy can no longer get his epic story out in a presentable container. His talent dies on the vine, because once he has done the math, and computed all the nickles and dimes he has to pay everyone to satisfy all their egos (which is really what this is about.) he either has nothing left, or worse, is actually in the hole, financially. This is simply due to all the overhead costs needed to properly attempt to license the properties, the costs of utilizing an IP lawyer to assure legitimacy of the licenses, etc. The ability of Good Story Guy to shine vaporize.

The same is true for Good Model Guy, who now has to license the level design skills of Good Level Design Guy, and the story of Good Story Guy, etc.

To me, wishing to be able to monetize your hobby/labor of love is like wishing that you had a magical castle. Boy, it sure would be nice to have, but when you look into it, you find that it just isn't really possible, and still have the community. You take what was once something with practically no barrier to entry other than your own talent that you can bring to the table, and overnight, you end up with a byzantine network of licenses so complex that you WILL need a lawyer to keep it all straight.

So, let me ask you-- Can you afford the services of a lawyer? All the time?

That's what going outside the "handouts" model *WILL* necessitate.

Either to help you draft your license to that it is sane and useful by other people (so you dont shoot yourself in the food), and just to make sure that any project that you arent the 100% rights holder to has properly licensed all of the properties that it leverages.

Paid mods outside of the donations-based model are simply, and fundamentally incompatible with the foundational bedrock of the mod community: The ability to leverage one's own talents with the combined talent pool of all other modders, to make something new and awesome, and do so without excessive barrier to entry.

At "best", "License based" mods would splinter the community into closely knit consortia, where you have "elite" (with HUGE barrier to entry) individuals that routinely license each other's properties at reduced, or even free rates, to produce community mods that they then share the proceeds from, based on some internal agreements. Such pools will stagnate, since no new blood can easily enter (because they cant showcase their own talent easily, due to the barrier to entry caused by the licensing model itself) and so such communities are doomed to slow death from entropy. (People change careers, get married and or have kids, anything that takes them away from their group, without ready replacements to take over.)

So, as harsh as it sounds, I equate "I WANNA BE PAID!" with "I WANT A MAGIC CASTLE!"

Comment Re:$805M budget Why US Health Care is BROKEN (Score 1) 231 231

More specifically, Health care inflation has dropped significantly since the ACA went into effect

Obamacare has brought down health care costs in the US. It's also brought down the number of uninsured, and seems to be part of the economic recovery. (when small business owners can get health coverage, it removes a dis-incentive to start a business, and thus create new jobs). some stats, and some more stats. or you can just peruse through a tags search on dailyKOS

Strange thing is that the left is all over stats about stuff -- but if you only go to Fox for your news, you won't hear much about hard numbers.

The right was forecasting massive price increases, but California only saw a 4% increase in premiums, compared to a historical (pre-ACA) trend of about 10% per year.

Comment Re:$805M budget Why US Health Care is BROKEN (Score 1) 231 231

The upper class and the upper-middle class in the US probably do OK under republicare because they can afford it. (in some cases -- barely). Once you gt to the lower middle class, though, I'm betting that the US does worse than Canada (which is where I'm from)

I remember a incident, some years ago, when an American friend fell and hit his head. He was a small business owner, which means that health care was beyond his reach. The conversation went pretty much as follows:

Canadians: That's not good. You might have a concussion. We should take you to the hospital.
Paul: Hospital? No way man! How much is it gonna cost me? A hospital visit could bankrupt me!
Canadians: Huh?
Paul: The last time I went to the hospital with a headache, I ended up with a $20K second mortgage -- and they didn't even solve the problem!
Canadians: Seriously?

After a good deal of cajoling we managed to get him to the hospital, where things turned out fine. As a foreigner, the visit was a flat-rate $600 (a good hard hit, but it could have been a lot worse in the US.)

The fact that a simple visit to the hospital could bankrupt an average middle-class american is what makes the US system so dangerous. I have little respect for it. Many Canadian doctors have moved to the US for the money, and then moved back to Canada, where they could actually spend their time taking care of people, rather than worrying about whether or not they could afford to pay for that care.

Comment Re:GPL is a valid option, but overrated (Score 1) 250 250

It certainly does. If you are writing software as a complete non-profit, than liberal licensing is fine.

However, if you are trying to make money, not copylefting is suicide. If you spend money on software you use in production, simply giving it away for free means the competition can use it. Now, lets say its a liberal license. They can just write small amounts of proprietary code, and sell something you do not have. If its copyleft, they have to re-share that code, so they can't take any advantages over you. You still have the advantage as the company who knows the product best.

It tries to solve a problem that doesn't really exist; many companies actively
contribute to non-copyleft projects without needing a mandate from RMS.

At the same time, few of these programs get as much paid work. Most companies prefer Linux, and thats because it gets most of the funding. If anything, GNU and Linux have won out for this reason. The only time people use FreeBSD is for people who need a better networking stack than linux currently offers, such as Netflix.

Facebook, however, instead of moving to FreeBSD is offering a large bounty for anyone who can write an improved Linux networking stack to match FreeBSD. Instead of moving to FreeBSD.

Comment Re:Impressive, if true (Score 1) 248 248

The GP is using the Kerbal Space Program value - it takes 800-900 m/s to get to Mun from low Kerbin orbit, but the Kerbal solar system is scaled down by about a factor of ten while the values for gravity are similar to the real solar system - Kerbin has the same gravity as the Earth but is ten times smaller, for example.

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr