Author Topic: Terrain Pack considerations  (Read 2891 times)

Offline Hobbes

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Terrain Pack considerations
« on: November 26, 2019, 04:50:28 am »
I've been modding XCom for quite some time now. I've given a lot to the community and received a ton more in return. I've seen projects rise and fall, and I've seen a new vibrant modding community here at XCom, which has pleased me. And I've seen how my work has inspired others to create their own worlds, which is the great compliment I could have.

That has always been one of my intentions when I created the Terrain Pack: for people to contribute so that others could create their own worlds. But over the years, it turned solely into a collection of assets to be used by other modders using its assets, as freely and extensively as they want, and those modders even created their own terrains, but they almost never cared with sharing them in the pack. Or sometimes even giving proper credit to the Terrain Pack and its individual authors.

Furthermore, I've learned recently that there are mods that use extensively the Terrain Pack with links for donations, without asking me first for permission for them receiving money from thousands of hours of work I did for free to the community.

So, there's definitely going to need some changes regarding the Terrain Pack. SO I'd like to know everyone's opinion on these issues,  specially those of the modders using the Terrain Pack.

Offline efrenespartano

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2019, 05:50:03 am »
I've been using the Terrain Pack extensively since I started making mods for OpenXcom almost two years ago. And I have used it for my own benefit since 4 years ago, I installed it for the first time along with so many other mods from the old mod page.

And not only that, I have used your work at TechComm (where I had the honor to help you and learn how to make mods) and Area 51 as a reference for my own projects.

One of the things I enjoy about this community is the ease of using and sharing assets created by other people. Since I started making my own mods I have used your terrains, always crediting you as it should be. To you, and all the creators of the content I use, say Solarius Scorch, Finnik, KingMob4313, Ohartenstein23, Dioxine, among others... although I must admit that I don't always ask for explicit permission. I may be careless on my part, but I always try to credit the modders who create the content I use.

I am no one to advocate for anyone (although I study to be a lawyer. xD), but I believe that the intention of the creators of the mods in question was not intended to privatize or monetize your creation with malice. Rather, to allow them to focus on creating more content for their projects and the rest of the community (and to be honest, I'm always on the lookout for the latest releases of megamods to use some sprite or block of code from some terrain or alienDeployment).

I understand your indignation and point of view. I hope this problem can be solved soon.

Enviado desde mi LG-M400 mediante Tapatalk


Offline X-Man

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2019, 07:17:53 am »
Off-topic: Thanks the God the Alphabet has no living creators and they do not contribute anything for their creation. ;D

...Man, no one downplays the importance of your work, and all adequate guys who develop their mods and use your work, always give a credit to yours. What's the problem at all? Are you offended that some mods are more popular than yours (sorry, but it is a fact)? Are you offended that someone leave a link to donations, and you didn't? Is that their problem or yours? Donations are voluntary, and no one sells their works!

Sorry, but your statement sounds like the cry of an aggrieved boy. Review all the facts and you'll see that nothing criminal there. Good luck!

« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 07:24:41 am by X-Man »

Offline davide

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2019, 08:33:14 am »
First, what do you do for the community with your hands and mind ?

I do not accept that in this way the Person who gave such an important impulse to the survival of this project is disrespected that without his contribution OX would probably have been concluded from years. Without his inspiration and drive I don't know if the current high talented modders would still be here to create new contents.

If you want to talk about "open source" rules it is another matter, but surely you review the setting of the speech

This is my first non-polite post in many years that I frequent the community and yours is the most offensive one I read.




Offline X-Man

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2019, 09:19:43 am »
This is my first non-polite post in many years that I frequent the community and yours is the most offensive one I read.

It seems you are smart man, so why do think my post is offensive? Look deeper in the question.
No one shows disrespect to his creation, and I hope everyone knows it. The question is about damn money, as it always was during all humankind history. ;) Once again: no one sells it's mods, donations are voluntary. Why not?

As for me, you are right - I'm just a customer, an unknown common gamer. But I donated some significant amount of money to the creator of one mod, because this thing grants me a lot of fun, which I haven't had from many and many so-called AAA commercial games. And yes, as a customer I don't like the possible consequences which could happened. That's why I wrote here my post. Hobbes wanted to know the opinion of community members? Here is one of it, no less no more.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 09:22:28 am by X-Man »

Offline luke83

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2019, 09:28:32 am »
For my 2 cents, this is one of the problems of making a mod that is considered "Essential" to play, there are not to many other modders around who can say they have achieved this, to have created something that 95% of the community will use every time they use OXC is something you should be proud of (and i am sure you are)! You have created something wonderful that expands the variety of the world and most players and modders are extremely grateful for what you have done, so much so that no one else now needs to build any NEW GLobe Terrain as your one mod Completely handles this (Well, im still going to build more globe terrains but NORMAL modders wont :P),  this allows modders to move onto there "Mod specific" maps for special missions as your work as handled the other side of the game.

In my mind, Allowing Donations is very different to Selling a product, If the Pirate team is given enough money to buy a box of Beer every few months ( note, i have no idea how many donations they receive so i am guessing here) really what is the harm in that,  sure if they where making enough to quit work and start modding fulltime  it may be a different story ( and i too would need to start adding Boobs to my mods to get a piece of that action  :P ).

For what its worth, i believe that Pirate and XComFiles brings new people to the community and fresh blood is needed as us old modders wont be around forever ( i already disappeared once and gosh darn it i will do it again when the PS5 comes out) so fresh blood is always needed to keep the community running, the fact that your work is part of that should be taken as praise.

Ultimately i cant tell you what to do or how to feel about this situation but for me everything comes back to, is it good for the community? 



Also, for other posting, please keep it polite, if you want expert modders to KEEP MODDING, you need to show them a little respect as it not just the mods they contribute its also all the time and effort teaching the next generation when we could be sitting back doing something FUN ( and from my experience, modding is not always fun, especially when a bloody code block that looks correct doesnt bloody work  >:( )

« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 09:47:37 am by luke83 »

Offline X-Man

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2019, 09:36:48 am »
Oooookay. For those who feel unpoliteness in my words...  English isn't my native language, so I beg a pardon for my poor vocabulary, which does not allows me to explain my thoughts correctly in more polite way.
I do admire every creator and love all people on the Earth :-* But please, clean the grain from the chaff.  ;)

Offline TheCurse

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2019, 11:43:38 am »
Turning into a collection of assets is usually what happens with such packs over time.
Its also one of the most important roles it can fulfill.

I don't know what you want (in terms of "what direction", not in terms of "i don't care"),
so my recommendation is about ease of use and simplicity.

-Giving credit to the Terrain Pack is a 100% no-argue clause.
You´re using it, you´re giving credits, its that easy.
For simplicity I´d recommend giving credits to the Terrain Pack as a whole serves the purpose,
the single contributors are credited in the Terrain Pack itself for their respective work.

-Contributing assets may be an argue point.
For the sake of the modding community, people using the pack and creating assets should contribute,
but its hard to regulate. I see no reason not to contribute your assets to the pack.
However, if someone really does not want to, should they be forced to share all their assets for using one single part of Terrain Pack?
I think not. Recommendation: For every asset you use from Terrain Pack, you have to contribute an asset from your mod, if you created some.
My hope would be that people are too lazy to count and just contribute all.
(Alternatively take a donation for using it without contribution, but gl sharing that fair with all Terain Pack contributors, so rather not)

-Donations definately are an argue point.
If you want donations, make a site and ask modders to donate. (usually its gonna be disappointing...)
But regulating donations for mods using Terrain Pack is a no-go. (by either saying they can't take donations or have to give 5% or so)
Its insanely hard to regulate in a fair way anyway.
By forbidding donations you`d say because you worked for free everyone else has to work for free too.
By taking a certain percentage you´re assigning a fixed value of the mod to the Terrain Pack.
Even the edge case, lets say someone creates a mod with 0 additional work just by including Terrain Pack and gets a ****ton of donations for it,
their main ability is "being good at getting donations", you have no claim on that either.
(From a point of fairness of course you should get a lot of that)
Basically I´m saying the amount of donations is not directly tied to amount/quality of work, but also marketing.
If someone were to run an actual business from a product including Terrain Pack thats a completely different case.
But from what I´ve seen any modder is very far from making actual revenue compared to their work time, its more like pocket money.
Taking donations for a mod is out of scope of Terrain Pack, so any interference on that would be ill advised.
However, asking the modders and fans of the mod to donate to Terrain Pack is completely valid and fair.

Offline Starving Poet

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2019, 04:38:35 pm »
Hobbes, this is a serious question - but does it bother you that I get income from twitch when playing your maps in OXC?  If so, why?  If not, also why?

I understand that it's your creation, but the same modders with donation links are also using work from many other creators - You, Robyn, Yankes, Meridian, Ohartenstein, Me, Warboy, Sup, Daiky, etc etc etc. 

We had this same argument with another, new modder who wanted to make his work private and it's understandable - but no one here is selling their work, or any of the assets. 


Also as to your original post, nowhere does it say you are taking submissions for new maps in either the openxcom.mod.io page or the forum entry.  So, trying to guilt us because we couldn't read your mind and figure out your intentions isn't fair at all.

/edit: for clarification - not monetary submissions - that you were interesting in people submitting their maps for inclusion in your modpack.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 05:57:32 pm by Starving Poet »

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2019, 05:05:41 pm »
Also as to your original post, nowhere does it say you are taking submissions for new maps in either the openxcom.mod.io page or the forum entry.  So, trying to guilt us because we couldn't read your mind and figure out your intentions isn't fair at all.

Precisely. I never took donations, and to me it's that a question related to my own personal values. And I posted my considerations to confirm how they are similar or different from the community. I apologize if you felt I was trying to guilt you, but I spoke what I feel at this point, and tried to use it to make people reflect a bit about all of this.

And after some serious reflection, I've decided to change the permissions of my work in the Terrain Pack, Area 51 and Tech-Comm, from now onwards as this:

I do not allow anymore for any of my original files to be used and published in mods made by other authors for OpenXCom.


As such, I'll remove all non-original content from my mods that I don't have specific permission to use by their authors as quickly as possible. I expect all other modders to do the same.

And I will check future releases in the mod portal for compliance with my rights as an author. And if they are disrespected, I'll report the situation to the administrators and ask them to remove those mods.

I will continue to make the Terrain Pack available for players to use, and as such modders can request that players download and install the Terrain Pack separately, if they consider it required for their mods.

This way I feel my rights are respected, and other modders can ask for donations as much as they want, because they're not doing it anymore while using my original files in their work.

Offline Precentor Apollyon

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2019, 06:31:14 pm »
guilt us because we couldn't read your mind and figure out your intentions isn't fair at all.

I sympathized Hobbes feeling on this matter. Unfortunately, accusation of this kind will never be constructive or is helpful at all.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 07:09:39 pm by Precentor Apollyon »

Offline bulletdesigner

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2019, 08:09:58 pm »
Well i agree, it´s your creations, and you want to claim it, moving on. Can i buy the rights to use some part´s? Shortcut´s me some work that i will end up doing anyway.. and by wasting time i will  just pay for something already done. Win win for both

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2019, 09:12:50 pm »
I have removed all original terrains from the Terrain Pack in XCF. I'll give it a bit more time to make sure, but it is more or less done.

Offline Yankes

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2019, 09:23:33 pm »
Precisely. I never took donations, and to me it's that a question related to my own personal values. And I posted my considerations to confirm how they are similar or different from the community. I apologize if you felt I was trying to guilt you, but I spoke what I feel at this point, and tried to use it to make people reflect a bit about all of this.

And after some serious reflection, I've decided to change the permissions of my work in the Terrain Pack, Area 51 and Tech-Comm, from now onwards as this:

I do not allow anymore for any of my original files to be used and published in mods made by other authors for OpenXCom.


As such, I'll remove all non-original content from my mods that I don't have specific permission to use by their authors as quickly as possible. I expect all other modders to do the same.

And I will check future releases in the mod portal for compliance with my rights as an author. And if they are disrespected, I'll report the situation to the administrators and ask them to remove those mods.

I will continue to make the Terrain Pack available for players to use, and as such modders can request that players download and install the Terrain Pack separately, if they consider it required for their mods.

This way I feel my rights are respected, and other modders can ask for donations as much as they want, because they're not doing it anymore while using my original files in their work.
Do you allow do letsplays of your mods? The will have lot more donation than any modder that use your mods. And they contribute nothing back.

Another thing, for what donations are for? Mod? No I can grab it for free. More the work they did and will do. You could be right if any thing they did was simply "assert flip" but they mods are many times bigger and have lot of unique content. Then what if after they remove your work they still get same amount of donations? Would it mean that your point was incorrect? Funny would be if they would get more now than previously. Only in case when they will stop getting any thing your concern could be valid.

Overall similar situation is with Red Hat, they "sell" linux operating systems, this mean every one who contributed to linux is "used" by them.
But in FOSS this is not problem or even it is very good thing, because you can use all Red Hat work without paying them (Centos).
I think same model could be used in OXC mod community.

Offline robin

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Re: Terrain Pack considerations
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2019, 10:34:08 pm »
I don't accept donations either. And I guess I'm "on your side": I'm not enthusiastic about monetization***.
I like when things are clear: commercial or non-commercial. OpenXCom is afaik non-commercial, so everything that spawns from it should stay the same, without misunderstandings.
There is also the legal issue. I'm clueless about this stuff, but we're "using" a trademark (or more than one) owned by someone else, so it might be risky: I don't want the community to be bombarded by Cease&Desist notices because the situation got out of hand.
But, as Yankes said, people monetize from youtube Let's Plays and you can do nothing about it, while modders do contribute something to the community. So I don't know if a stance like yours really makes sense all things considered (I mean no offense by saying this, just an honest thought).
I'm currently letting people use my assets (ofc strictly only for OXC modding) with the simple request that they're tweaked enough to show that the modder put in some the effort, and not simply copy-pasted them in his mod. I myself won't turn a blind eye to blatant exploitation (even though I can't really do much about it other than calling people out).

All that said, I respect your decision. I don't think I'm using anything from your mods (used a mapScript at some point but now not anymore). Please warn me if you notice something, I'll remove it as quickly as I can.

***Poor wording from me here as "donations" and "monetization" can be very different things. The sentence should be interpreted as "I don't agree with the idea of taking donations for a mod."
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 10:49:02 pm by robin »