Has 'Commercial' Focus Harmed The Community?

Iron_Brew

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I don't like this thought process at all. Not that I don't see where you're coming from, but I don't think it's particularly cool to see a guy put out a great game they made for free and moan about them devaluing their labor. Some people have a lot of free time and a lot of goodwill towards others, so they give out a project for free.

I also highly doubt they intend to devalue anyone else's work as well. They're likely not even judging anyone else for selling their work.
I've seen you make similar comments before and I don't think it's a fair/nice thing to say. The price that someone decides to charge does not imply anything about how they value other people's work. It explicitly states what they think their work is worth (or what they want other people to have to afford in order to enjoy it).

I think it's passive-aggressive (with less "passive" every time you say it explicitly) to tell people that what they decide to do with their projects is some expression of what they think about other people.

Frankly, that could contribute to what the OP is saying - that you seem to be saying to others "If you release a game for free, that means you think other makers here are worthless."

I understand the essence of what you're saying, that it's important to understand the value of your work and to charge what it's worth not what you think people will toss you scraps for. But it's a more appropriate thing to say to a musician who agrees to take a gig that's paying less than normal, or an artist who accepts a commission forum post for $5 for a tileset; not to say to people who are choosing to place any given price point on their work.

To be clear; I wasn't saying this at all. I was saying that I have seen people in the RM community say that they would never pay for a game made in RPG Maker.

People can charge what they want, but saying that you think all RM games should be free is the issue, not making games for free. Talking to people on this forum has helped shift my perspective on that, and while I understand that that's what you think I'd be saying, it's not what I said in the post to which you are both replying to.
 

TheoAllen

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To answer the question.
No, it doesn't. Or maybe, it is.

From my perspective, it evolves to something else rather than "Harmed".
You could say it harms the previous community because it evolves into something else.

People who miss the "previous community" might say so. Back in 2015, the concept of selling the code was strange. Because it puts your code in a paywall and we couldn't debug anything together if it goes wrong. Your only choice was to contact the dev or ask people who bought it. But since MV onwards, it became normalized.

I'm one of those people who sometimes enjoy debugging and answering script questions during my free time. So for me, it kinda 'harmed' the community, as I miss those days.

I have no comment on games that are commercially focused. I don't care much about them in the first place. Good luck to the people who sell them.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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To be clear; I wasn't saying this at all. I was saying that I have seen people in the RM community say that they would never pay for a game made in RPG Maker.
Whoops, my bad. Noted and understood, Brew.
 

Tai_MT

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First things first: Feel free to ignore me. I'm likely going to be the outlier in the subject (I am so often the outlier, 'cause I'm a raving lunatic :D ) and I haven't really read the other replies, but I wanted to give you the heads up here to ignore me.

Proceed at your own risk. Or peril. Or whatever.

(Clickbait title ;P)
Now I am sure there are many, many areas of this which I do not understand and am not aware of.
And I am not trying to cause a problem or offend anyone. I am more just expressing a thought.

But one thing which has been odd to me (as someone coming from older versions, after many years) has been the apparently very strong focus on producing commercially successful games.

As long as I've been around the forums, I haven't really noticed an "increase" in commercially successful games. I think a great majority of people who pick up these programs really do want to get into actual game design.

I mean, don't you? Wouldn't you want to be picked up by your favorite game studio to work on a new IP or one of your favorite IP's?

I think that's a common dream among those who pick up "game making" programs and begin engaging with the community at large.

What I think has become more common... is just the people who actually do publish their games for actual sale compared to years before. With it being far easier than ever to self-publish and even put games up on Steam or other websites, more and more people are taking steps toward their dreams of actually being "real game devs".

Which, honestly, I think is pretty fantastic. I like that there's now a lot more avenues for people passionate about their projects to get those products into the hands of users.

Yes, even if it has served to largely hurt the reputation of "RPG Maker Games" as a whole due to the amount of shovelware released for cash. But, that's pretty much true everywhere. You make something accessible, and you invite the Hucksters trying to "make a quick buck". It is what it is.

For me, I always loved seeing such silly fan games, random experiments, artistic expressions etc people would make. And some were just a quick laugh, but some were hard work and very nice, and still free.

Oh, you can still find them. They're pretty readily available in a lot of places! I picked up RPG Maker Fez or whatever, primarily to play other people's games. Yes, I know, I'm weird. But, there's a massive amount of such games on there. I played a lot of cute little 8 hour games. Most of which were designed very poorly. Half of which still had enough charm that I played to completion and didn't regret my time with them.

And, hey, I'll never stop plugging "Final Fantasy Endless Nova", which was made in RPG Maker 2000, is very difficult to find now, but was one of the best "fan tributes" of the series I've ever played, and was even a remarkably good game for being 100% free.

Just gotta go looking!

It can feel a bit now as though the general community is focused strongly on making games for sale. And then it can seem (again, I am outsider, not informed) that this has had a knock-on effect, where new devs will now be redirected to focus on the same design philosophy, rather than just being encouraged making whatever mad nonsense they had in their brain.

Honestly, the forums have always been this way. When I first joined the forums, I can tell you the "big three" things that were "you should have this in your game!" in nearly every thread.

1. Visual Encounters.
2. Side Features (mini-games, crafting, puzzles, etcetera).
3. Tutorial Sections.

Views have shifted on these things since then. They're less "pushed" and now more accepted as "optional", or "not as good as they once were".

There was a time where I would make a post that said, "puzzles are awful in RPG's, never add them!" and nearly every reply was pushback on that opinion with no allies in sight. Same with mini-games and crafting. Now, there's about an equal chance of people falling on either end of those subjects. Those "side features" are no longer the juggernauts they once were.

The argument for Visual Encounters has also changed somewhat as well, with a lot more people wanting to actually make those systems "their own" and not implement "as is". There's a lot more conversation about ways to design those systems and features to add into them. That didn't exist when I first joined these forums.

There used to be a pretty massive push for the beginning of every game to have a "Tutorial Section" to teach the player everything. But, even that has gone away and mellowed. It has turned into "Only put a tutorial here if you need to explain something that isn't easily understood".

Heck, we're currently seeing a cooling off of the attitudes of "you have too much text to read!" and "Your cutscenes are too long!". Those are currently turning into "your writing is too bland" and "your cutscene should only be long enough to get across all the necessary information".

The tides shift all the time. Fringe opinions I held 10 years ago are "normal" now. Accepted, even. Thankfully, I've got all new sets of fringe opinions :D

But, anyway, the forums have always been that way. People who demand everyone conform to "standard practices" that the AAA industry uses and other people who put their middle fingers in the air and declare they're going to do things differently, even if they're doing them wrong. Corporate versus the Punks.

Always been here.

It could also be that I was just not aware that this was always the case.

Well, unless you've been cruising the forums for a very long time, you might not have noticed it. For all the "change" these forums have undergone in terms of who is here and who isn't and what is accepted and what isn't... It's all still the same.

Same as it ever was. Some people who were immature and rowdy 10 years ago have mellowed out (I like to think I have... a little... but maybe not). The mods and admins have changed and come and gone, and some have gotten more tolerant and mellow too. The community has gotten more tolerant and mellow.

But, all the same grudges and factions are still here. All the same rivalries and debates. We're debating the same stuff today that we did 10 years ago. Answering all the same questions from 10 years ago.

Same as it... ever was... Look where my hand was. Time isn't holding up. Time isn't after us.

Yeah, sorry, just wanted to get that song stuck in your head.

But anyway. It feels a bit as though things can get a bit apprehensive and restrained, because they are not "on par" with the trends or standards of "commercial" projects.

It is just something I was wondering, if anyone had opinions.

Yeah, it's really always been that way. Passionate people talk about things passionately. Passionate people tend to get really stubborn and bull-headed about things.

How's the song go?

"I want a be a lion... eh... Everybody wanna pass as cats. We all wanna be big big stars, yeah, but we got different reasons for that. Believe in me. 'Cause I don't believe in anything and I... wanna be someone... to believe... to believe... to believe in..."

Yeah, stolen from Counting Crows, but it does apply to our delightful and humble forums quite well.

We all want everyone on these forums to believe in us. We all want to be big big stars.

It's just doing things up to standards of "commercial projects" is the most clear cut way to get both of those things.
 

Bernkastelwitch

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I can say that Commercialism had done as much good and bad. Hear me out here:


The good is that it helps people be more insightful of what their audience for their game is and market it. And we're at a point where you can argue that RPG Maker as at its most easiest to make a game and is a good stepping stone for game development. People here do want others games to succeed and won't go at your throat telling you "You'll never make a game".

Though I notice it created more divisive opinions and friction. People focus more on wanting to make a "profitable game" or try to fight the RPG Maker stigma that it either causes them to struggle in certain areas or throw away their creative writing or their plots or whatnot for the sake of "A safe, profitable game". Some people worry about losing their creative freedom and I imagine it's a bit 50/50 here: You will get people who will want you to pursue your dream game with its intended plot or you will get people who will want you to throw away your current plotline for something "safe" or "commercially accepted".

At least I know some people would dislike my games premise or plotline alone while ignoring the gameplay because it isn't a "Commercial" idea or whatnot. Just some thoughts I had before.

This made me realize that if certain RPG Maker games like Lisa, Yume Nikki, Ib, Off, Space Funeral, etc etc were created today, they would be a lot more divisive or outright hated than they were now due to certain design choices and people viewing them at a "Commercial" perspective. It's just a thought I had while looking in this topic.
 

nbgamemaker

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imo not really, sure there are hacks who just **** out something they threw together in 5 minutes just for a quick buck, but there are still plenty of people using these engines to learn and make things they want to for fun especially the rpgmaker community.
 

Lornsteyn

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Well, yes. The commercially route has harmed the community. Not since now, it started with the MV.
But Im not surprised since its understandable, the company wants money and the people need money, especially in these times.
Its bad for people who just want to make free games for the community and others, which arent driven by greed or the hope for financial success.
In regards to free fangames, in my opinion, copyright laws are backwards and need to be changed, at least for old stuff from the Snes era and before. And there really should be a place for fangames.
 

Lornsteyn

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Can you give us an actual reason why? Also, why are you conflating a game not being free with greed?
Well I came to the maker around the time when the vx ace released. Times were different then.
The lack of free ressource and plugins has definitely hurt the free game creators. It was really more fun working with the maker back then, especially if your were young and not have much money.
But I doesnt matter, times change. I dont count myself to the free developers anymore, since I also plan to go the commercial route now.
But if anytime rips will be allowed I would most certainly make a free fangame some day.

I gave two reasons, greed and hope for financial success. There are people who are greedy thats just a sad fact. In a world where only money counts, it should not surprise.

Oh, I have bad news for you.
Hobbies aren't cheap and never have been. If what you're implying is that a lot of resources are behind the paywall :p
Well, I bought lots of Maker DLCs in the last years and will continue with that if usefull stuff is released, so thats really not my problem. Its just bad for the younger or poor people. But yeah nobody cares for these people anyway. Right? ;)
 

Kes

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Its just bad for the younger or poor people. But yeah nobody cares for these people anyway. Right?
Adding a winking emoji does not take away the unpleasantness of this comment, nor make it truthful. As has been pointed out several times in this thread, vast amounts of free resources have been and are being created and posted on an almost daily basis. If you are unaware of them I suggest you have a look at the Plugins and Resources sections of the forum.

This fact undermines your assertion that we are in a world where only money counts. Demonstrably that is not the case with all these free resources. Neither can it be the case when there are so many people freely giving their time and expertise to help others sort out problems and roadblocks in their projects.

Rips are not going to be allowed on this site, so it's a waste of time wishing for it. I will now speak from personal experience. Every one of my games has been cracked so that you can find pirated versions in many places. Privately commissioned music, scripts (in the days of Ace) and graphics were ripped and can also be found if you know where to look. I lack the resources to go after them, but that does not mean that I am a happy bunny. You say that you are going the commercial route. Are you totally laid back about your resources being ripped? Perhaps you've only got paid dlc in it. But try a thought experiment. How do you think you would feel if you commissioned music for your game and then saw it turn up in other peoples' games?

And your implied assertion that greed underlies the choice to go commercial illustrates corrosive assumptions. Believe me or believe me not, but if I wanted to make serious money I would not be using my time making games. Nor would I have spent some years as a mod here, which required a lot of my scarce time. It is assumptions like yours which can undermine any community.
 

Lornsteyn

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@Kes
If someone comments to me with bad intentions, they will get an appropriate answer.
Maybe I misunderstood Theoallens comment and he ment it in a playfull way or something, but I really doubt that.

And wrong, I dont assume anyone who sells stuff is greedy, same would count for me then, since Im in the commercial boat now myself. But greed is often a common factor, but so far there were only very few you could accuse of greed. You are really to focused on my "greed" statement.
Yes there is still free stuff, that was not my point. You really dont understand, but thats ok, others probably will.

And also wrong, I dont said or wish rips should be allowed here now. I said I hope they get some day legal, I will certainly support petitions or people who drive this forward. Until then, I also will refrain from using them here or anywhere and also support the decison to forbid them, to protect inexperienced newbies and others to get sued.
I also talk about old stuff mostly from the Snes era or older should go in (something like) the public domain. You know like with the books, but the time should be more reduced. There would be of course rules then. Not newer stuff. I mentioned this before, so weird I have to clarify this again.
Thats nothing which will happen now or in the next years, but I wholeheartly support this cause.
Because times change, as we also can see with the whole ai art discussion.
 

TheoAllen

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You can interpret it in any way you like, but bear in mind that everyone gonna read your reply, how you react to stuff, and judge you based on that, except if we talk in PM. And I had no way to read your mind what you meant by 'bad' and you didn't explain yourself very well, so I'm just guessing :p
 

Lornsteyn

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Im totally fine with my reply or I would have not wrote it. People can judge me as they wish.
I gave my opinion to this thread and answered Iron_Brew and Kes as good as I could, because they oviously missunderstood some things, partly my fault, because I was too inaccurate.

Lets say not "bad intensions", just unfriendly. But yes you are, right I didnt explain well, but you came in edgy like you wanted a fight. So just tell me if I misunderstood you?
 

Iron_Brew

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Yes there is still free stuff, that was not my point. You really dont understand, but thats ok, others probably will.

This seems patronising; also, if your point is that more stuff should be free then I think indicting anyone else for being "greedy" is a little hypocritical? Is that what you mean?

And also wrong, I dont said or wish rips should be allowed here now. I said I hope they get some day legal, I will certainly support petitions or people who drive this forward. Until then, I also will refrain from using them here or anywhere and also support the decison to forbid them, to protect inexperienced newbies and others to get sued.

I certainly hope they're never legalised, because profiting from people's labour without their consent is tantamount to theft, and is therefore not ethical.

I also talk about old stuff mostly from the Snes era or older should go in (something like) the public domain. You know like with the books, but the time should be more reduced. There would be of course rules then. Not newer stuff. I mentioned this before, so weird I have to clarify this again.


But why? Do the companies who produced that work - and the artists whose careers were made by them - no longer matter because they were a couple decades ago? Why should they be public domain?

What happens when those companies want to rerelease these games? To put it simply: What's in it for the people whose work you want to use for free?

Thats nothing which will happen now or in the next years, but I wholeheartly support this cause.
Because times change, as we also can see with the whole ai art discussion.

The AI art discussion also wouldn't be happening if people respected artists, and hadn't trained those AIs on their work without their consent - but we've all rehashed that argument so often that I don't particularly care to get into it again.
 

Lornsteyn

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This seems patronising; also, if your point is that more stuff should be free then I think indicting anyone else for being "greedy" is a little hypocritical? Is that what you mean?
I dont say more stuff should be free. I wish it would. Nothing more.
And we two missunderstood before and still do. Not everyone who sells stuff is greedy. I already commented to Kes that its probably very few who deserved to be accused of this.
I also said in my first comment, I understand if people do sell their stuff, be it games, graphic, music, whatever.

I certainly hope they're never legalised, because profiting from people's labour without their consent is tantamount to theft, and is not ethical.
Well, I disagree. Youre a bit dramatic, dont you think?
We will not find common ground here, but thats ok.

But why? Do the companies who produced that work - and the artists whose careers were made by them - no longer matter because they were a couple decades ago? Why should they be public domain?

What happens when those companies want to rerelease these games? To put it simply: What's in it for the people whose work you want to use for free?
Public domain is the right thing to do, after a certain amount of time, especially if they just sit on stuff and doin nothing with it anymore, it does not have to be allowed commercially but I totally support free use for non-comercially projects.

The AI art discussion also wouldn't be happening if people respected artists, and hadn't trained those AIs on their work without their consent - but we've all rehashed that argument so often that I don't particularly care to get into it again.
This has nothing to do with respect. Its called progress, the future. You should realize and accept it will not go away, only getting better and more useful.
Just to clarify, I have no use for them in my projects, the youtube videos are funny, thats it.
But the outcry of some artists here and elsewhere wasn't reasonable.
I doubt we will find common ground here, too.
 

Iron_Brew

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I dont say more stuff should be free. I wish it would. Nothing more.

As I said; that seems greedy to me. There's already tons of free work that people have altruistically put out there, and we're incredibly lucky that people have been willing to do that work for free .

And we two missunderstood before and still do. Not everyone who sells stuff is greedy. I already commented to Kes that its probably very few who deserved to be accused of this.
I also said in my first comment, I understand if people do sell their stuff, be it games, graphic, music, whatever.


Well, I disagree. Youre a bit dramatic, dont you think?
We will not find common ground here, but thats ok.


Public domain is the right thing to do, after a certain amount of time, especially if they just sit on stuff and doin nothing with it anymore, it does not have to be allowed commercially but I totally support free use for non-comercially projects.


This has nothing to do with respect. Its called progress, the future. You should realize and accept it will not go away, only getting better and more useful.
Just to clarify, I have no use for them in my projects, the youtube videos are funny, thats it.
But the outcry of some artists here and elsewhere wasn't reasonable.
I doubt we will find common ground here, too.

Just saying other people are "being dramatic", and that giving away your work for free is "the right thing to do" isn't an argument, nor is it an explanation of what's in it for the people doing the work.

Calling unethical behaviour "progress and the future" does not magically make that behaviour acceptable. I'm under no obligation to "realise and accept it will not go away" with regards to people being ripped off.

To close: Labelling artists' concerns about being ripped off, and then having the tools made by ripping them off harming their income as "unreasonable" is utterly baffling. I don't want to re-tread this subject for the umpteenth time, but that take is so dismissive and insulting to the people losing out that I felt I had to say something.
 

Lornsteyn

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As I said; that seems greedy to me. There's already tons of free work that people have altruistically put out there, and we're incredibly lucky that people have been willing to do that work for free .
My point was mostly: using free ressource for non-commercially things. End. Thats it, nothing more.
I have adapted to the capitalism invested makerworld and are ready to pay for stuff, I actually prefer it this way, because I can assume most buyable stuff is totally legal.

Free stuff and free games like in the good old times, was just my answer on the question of this topic. That was one thing which made the RPG Maker Communities big.
This time is over and I already adapted to the change.

Just saying other people are "being dramatic", and that giving away your work for free is "the right thing to do" isn't an argument, nor is it an explanation of what's in it for the people doing the work.

Calling unethical behaviour "progress and the future" does not magically make that behaviour acceptable. I'm under no obligation to "realise and accept it will not go away" with regards to people being ripped off.

To close: Labelling artists' concerns about being ripped off, and then having the tools made by ripping them off harming their income as "unreasonable" is utterly baffling. I don't want to re-tread this subject for the umpteenth time, but that take is so dismissive and insulting to the people losing out that I felt I had to say something.
So you are probably even against books wandering in the public domain then? If thats the case, then we really have complete other stances.

Unethical behaviour? Nonsense. Thats just your view.
Laws decide what is right. And Ai art is at the moment not forbidden/illegal. So you have your opinion on this matter, thats fine, but you have no right to say what is right.
You can also deny progress, but I doubt you will have success with it.
If companys should decide this ai stuff is worth it, they will support it and I doubt that can be stopped. The concerns of artists are understandable, but this was always the case if a machine took over a job. But even if ai art succeeds, I believe, there will still be a place for talented artists.
 

TheoAllen

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So just tell me if I misunderstood you?
I did say it is up to your interpretation, and I mostly don't care. I hold no grudges for whatever opinion you have.

But if you want an answer. Here is the thing.
There are definitely people out there who read this topic that resonates with your opinion and rooting for you. I just throw them sarcastic remarks to remind them. If we brought this to a private message, I wouldn't be interested. Because no one is going to read it except us.

The fact that you said what you said as retaliation to me, and backtracked after Kes called you out, perhaps you never actually meant it, but some people might actually do. Kes did a good job explaining why it wasn't okay. They might read it too. Afterall, a discussion is usually about fishing an interesting point of view and challenging them.

You could say, all according to the plan.
Cheers.
 
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