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Is it legit to create mod?

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  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,420
    Ardanis said:

    Funny thing is, Improved Anvil has been for sale at least at one point, so the mod creator was profiting financially from it. But I've never heard of anyone giving him any legal trouble for it.

    To be fair, by that point the mod and its author have already succeeded in alienating the vast majority of modding community, so it's not like anyone cared anymore beside several hardcore fans who didn't mind helping with server costs. It was more like donation than sale, really, coupled with idiocy and/or trolling.
    And I say that as an individual proud to have been banned on that forum.
    It wasn't direct, which I think is an important distinction. IIRC backers got access to development builds, early access to stable releases, and some other forum-related perks. The mod was/is still available to the unwashed masses, albeit after a backer-only delay.

    I think money is the real third rail for modding. It seems most companies are happy with fan efforts to mod their game, as the benefits generally outweigh the drawbacks. Monetary compensation changes that perception, often pretty dramatically. The other way you can run afoul of that would be a way to circumvent sales--the original (I mean, like, first releases) BGT was basically a pile of merged BG and BG2 assets, meaning you could essentially download both games.

    disclaimer - ignore the bluclear gradient, this is me speaking as a modder and not speaking for Beamdog, etc., etc.

  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,736
    CamDawg said:


    It wasn't direct, which I think is an important distinction. IIRC backers got access to development builds, early access to stable releases, and some other forum-related perks. The mod was/is still available to the unwashed masses, albeit after a backer-only delay.

    That's what I meant, yes. And I think it was partly site admin's and mod author's personalities responsible for generating such hate among the community when the forum (but not the site itself) got paywalled, to trigger everyone into "hey, they're selling mods, greedy bastards!!" reaction. I'm pretty sure someone (Solaufein?) even contacted Bioware about it, but nothing happened.

    I think money is the real third rail for modding. It seems most companies are happy with fan efforts to mod their game, as the benefits generally outweigh the drawbacks. Monetary compensation changes that perception, often pretty dramatically.
    Indeed, as Bethesda and Valve had discovered the hard way with Skyrim mods.

  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    As I remember the problem with Improved Anvil was the philosophy behind the mod.

    If you look closely at the three dominant modding communities for BG (Spellhold Studios, Pocket Plane Group and Gibberlings 3) there's always been a spirit of collaboration and openness, which included making mods cross-compatible and all.

    The authors of IA saw it as a reworking of the game with a proper way to play - and if they only went as far as not bothering making the mod compatible with everything else, that would be okay, but there was also a heavy dose of hostility towards not only the rest of the community, but also aimed at people who would use cheats, circumvent their encounter design or (the biggest sin of all), alter their content for personal use.

    It basically went against the very philosophy of modding, which is essentially customizing your own single-player game, and that coupled with an abrasive attitude made them pariahs in the community. I even remember simDing0 (who seems to have left the BG community altogether) making a small website to make fun of them, which I confess to have found hilarious.

    And there's your little piece of BG modding lore for today.

    mlneveseMirandel
  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,420
    Kilivitz said:

    If you look closely at the three dominant modding communities for BG (Spellhold Studios, Pocket Plane Group and Gibberlings 3) there's always been a spirit of collaboration and openness, which included making mods cross-compatible and all.

    Right, but you go back a little further and it's nothing but drama and bad blood. Forgotten Wars got started because of a beef with TeamBG; PPG split off from FW because of internal fighting; FW eventually remade itself as SHS and I started G3 because I wanted a place to mod without drama. On top of the issues between communities, there were a ton of personal feuds, too. The "drama" around Anvil, in a historical perspective, barely qualifies as a kerfuffle, it's just that it's magnified because it's one of the rare sticking points in a decade of more-or-less smooth sailing.
    Kilivitz said:

    I even remember simDing0 (who seems to have left the BG community altogether) making a small website to make fun of them, which I confess to have found hilarious.

    I miss the Ding0. A talented modder, and a gifted troll to boot.

    mlneveseGrammarsalad
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    CamDawg said:


    Right, but you go back a little further and it's nothing but drama and bad blood. [...] On top of the issues between communities, there were a ton of personal feuds, too. The "drama" around Anvil, in a historical perspective, barely qualifies as a kerfuffle, it's just that it's magnified because it's one of the rare sticking points in a decade of more-or-less smooth sailing.

    I see. My first contact with these websites was in 2006, so I guess I missed most of it. Thanks for shedding some light on that.

    I suppose every community, including (maybe specially) the niche ones will always have their share of obnoxiousness.

    P.S.: thanks for all your work on G3.

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