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

??????

Diabolical Codemaster
Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
6,459
Reaction score
2,995
First Language
Binary
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
So, I took some time and look over the code you linked. I have to say, I like the styling and neatness. Lately I've been trying to use more dedicated es6 style classes than raw objects, but the way you have set out your code is very neat indeed.

With regards to poor working conditions. I think that's a common thing to face in programming jobs when there is some kinda 'crunch' time approaching. but if there was a crunch like that nearly every week i'd probably seek some way to stop it, either by discussion with management over them giving insanely short deadlines that result in trashy ass code (which may not go down too well), or by finding another position (which obviously isn't always the easiest thing)

Personally, I think the thing with RM scripts/plugins is that, most of them are made as a passion project that will potentially be used by someone with absolutely zero knowledge of any programming concepts. So I try to take more time with them and make them look all spiffy and pretty (at least the ones I like programming). The amount of times I've written and then rewritten the same things is legitimately unreal :D

So, you have been programming for about the same amount of time as me. You also have a position within a paid job as a programmer irl. I certainly feel that my time is worth money, so why isn't the time you spend writing a system with literal thousands of lines of code worth some monies? I looked over the code as I said, and I think it looks good. (granted I am not the overlord of all code and its quality, but its nice, neat, and readable)

Also, lets be fair now, ATB systems aren't exactly the easiest thing to make. Lots of programmers around these parts would shudder at the thought of doing such a thing. Heck, even some of the most known programmers like yanfly has had tons of issues with atb systems in the past. Granted, with enough time and effort someone can reach a professional level of quality, but not everyone has the dedication to do so, also, time is money (or so they say).

For an example, you have this system, you probably made it cause you wanted an atb system and there wasn't a good enough one already. That means when you release it for free, everyone who wants a similar system is likely to find and at least try it out. Lets say your system is featured in 40 different projects, some commercial, but you gave your system away for free, and only 1 person decided to actually donate something to your support channel (patron or w.e). That's a heck of a lot of time, effort, and likely bugfixes or compatibility mods you have made to accommodate these 40 different projects. If you have to do a whole bunch of extra work that isn't required for your own use case, isn't that just a little unfair on you as the creator of the asset?

There is also the psychological effect of: if we pay money for something, we subconsciously value it more. This means that if you did charge for access to your systems, although there would potentially be less users, each of those users would appreciate the work and time you have put into it a lot more. It'd likely reduce the amount of spam comments that don't offer any real insight into anything. (people saying things like, "I couldn't get this to work" cause they incorrectly renamed the file or something dumb). Those users are also perhaps more likely to recommend the systems to friends, again, cause they value it more (assuming the system functions correctly and they have no issues)

Side thought: if you are wondering/trying to find out if you are ready to consider yourself a professional, I would say yes. At the very least you are beyond the level of beginner. We are all learning new things each day, and the more we learn about programming, the core concepts, and the nuances behind specific languages, the better we become, so in that regard I don't think anyone is truly an 'expert', but you clearly have the core skills and the dedication. :)

I mean, at the end of the day, even junior programmers are still worth a buck :p
 

DoubleX

Just a nameless weakling
Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
1,709
Reaction score
859
First Language
Chinese
Primarily Uses
N/A
When it comes to the issue of letting resource users try the paid resources without having to pay first while still ensuring the resource makers can earn money, I've thinking of an idea besides the traditional "free for free projects/paid for commercial projects" - The resources can be used for free for all PRIVATE/UNPUBLISHED PROJECTS, but must be paid right before they're PUBLIC/PUBLISHED.
Of course, if I were one such resource user, I can already come up with a scheme to circumvent such a terms of use, but if most resource users are honest enough to actually stick to the terms of use, I wonder if this will work better for commercial projects(at least those turning out to be failures won't have to pay for those resources yet) :)
 

KakonComp

Lucid
Veteran
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
120
Reaction score
693
First Language
Ostinato
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
From what I've seen in this very community, at the very least those who would publish a project here would adhere to your terms of use @DoubleX

It's an interesting idea.
 

??????

Diabolical Codemaster
Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
6,459
Reaction score
2,995
First Language
Binary
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
@DoubleX That was also a payment schema that I had considered. Releasing the systems for free for people to try out and see if they wanted to commit, and than having a payment processing page on my website that would give each person a unique license key. Anyone who wanted to use the systems in any project that is publicly available would have to own a license.


It'd also be fairly easy to implement some kinda function that sends you analytics on what games are using what systems. Perhaps a method in a core plugin or something. That would be one way to at least easily keep track of how many people are using your system v.s how many own a license. Ofc, with some basic analytics you can also easily see if someone has released a system publicly/.

Could have some super simple function like
Code:
const GameAnalytics = Object.create(Object);
GameAnalytics.et = async function() {
    fetch("https://mysite.com/apiendpoint", {
        headers: { "Content-Type": "application/json; charset=utf-8" },
        method: 'POST',
        body: JSON.stringify({
            t: $dataSystem.gameTitle,
            d: {some_data: true},
        })
    });
}
to keep track of all the game titles using your systems. Could make it more complex and add full url schemes, playtime counters, and w.e else ofc.

Naturally, someone could disable this in the code, or perhaps they have no internet connection so the call fails, but it would certainly give an additional level of protection and a means of keeping an eye on things a little better. Also, some people may not like this implementation and feel like it somehow infringes on their own rights or w.e.


ATM I am kinda leaning towards releasing most of my systems under some sort of free for non commercial/license for commercial model, as most of the systems are fairly generic and tbh, incredibly simple to program. However, there are a few more complex systems that I intend to use for my own game projects, and I dont really want to give those up for free, so will likely put them behind a paywall.

The main issue I have is deciding what should be free and what should be pay-to-get. For example, I'm currently writing a system based on a hexagonal grid map, this is something I intend to use personally, so I dont want a huge abundance of projects using it and making it seem common. But its also likely a system that most people wouldnt be interested in or have a need for. To make using this system easier for myself I've created an editor for it to vastly speed up the development of the hexagonal map data (it doesnt do the hexagonal mapping, only the data for it).

Overall, the system likely isnt the most complex, but its taken a fair amount of work. (I mean, editors dont just fall out of the sky). So should I release that as a pay to get system cause of these reasons? Or should I release it for free as there will likely only be a few users anyway. Or should it be paid because there are only going to be a few users, and its my personal system, and surely I deserve a small kickback if they go on to release a game. Or should it be free because more people would try it out and potentially find bugs for me to fix which would lead to n overall better and more stable system.

Such choices and decisions to be making... :D
 

Tsukihime

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
8,553
Reaction score
3,789
First Language
English
In general I think people that make money should offer money for resources.
And people that are just doing it for fun or charity or something, don't necessarily need to pay (they could offer something in exchange, such as advertising)

Personally I prefer a royalty model, so you only have to pay if you actually make money.

At the same time, I think a percentage of sales like how steam or google or apple take 30% of all sales would also be quite absurd cause I mean most of us are not building games professionally we're just trying to make a little extra with our hobbies.

I'm pretty split on the topic, as a buyer AND a seller.
 

DoubleX

Just a nameless weakling
Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
1,709
Reaction score
859
First Language
Chinese
Primarily Uses
N/A
I'm pretty split on the topic, as a buyer AND a seller.
I guess this feeling of being split is mainly because of:
1. Most RM projects, even those having above-average game and maintenance quality, are unable to make much, if any, net profit(very sucessful examples like "To The Moon" are still just rare exceptions), and most RM users don't have much money to pay for tons of paid resources
2. Most high quality RM resources with high quality supports demand days, weeks or even months of efforts(my record is 7 months for 1 advanced complex script in VXA), and those being able to make such resources are probably able to use at least some of these time to earn money(and most RM resource makers likely need some income sources too)

Alternatively:
1. If most RM projects can at least have a reasonable profit margin and amount of net profit, most RM users would happily accept paid resources as the norm, meaning that something like an community asset store would have been implemented a long time ago(RM itself would take a sizeable portion from the sold assets due to the fact that running the store costs money for RM so resources in the asset store will generally be more expensive)
2. If most high quality resources with high quality supports only take hours to make and minutes to close the support tickets, most RM resource makers wouldn't feel the need to charge much and will happily rely on donations instead, even though it's still possible that no one will ever donate a penny

My intuition tells me that, as long as RM's easy enough for a child and powerful enough for a developer, this feeling of being split will largely stay in RM.
While I think "Easy enough for a child and powerful enough for a developer" is what makes RM a successful niche, it also has its price, and this feeling of being split might be one such price :)
 
Last edited:

Anyone

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
224
Reaction score
299
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMV
As a buyer/consumer, I'd prefer if everything is free. There's a lot of advantages to free ressources/plugins beyond the fact that not everyone has the money to buy high quality assets.

One of the key advantages is that people can edit and rerelease assets and that people can take a plugin and provide support or improvements to it even after an author disappeared.
One of the unfortunate trends, especially with RMV assets that are sold, is that they sometimes have errors or issues that didn't get fixed that you need to fix yourself. No support after release. You're often buying a faulty or incomplete product that's unsupported and whatever fixes or corrections have been made by users of that ressource cannot be extended to other users.
If someone went and fixed a paid plugin to make it work - that person cannot share the fixed plugin. At best that person can reccomend how to fix it yourself, which isn't the point of buying plugins or asset packs in the first place.

As a seller/creator, I understand that things cannot be free. Programming a plugin or working on graphic assets is a lot of work. You may do it for free, hoping that other people join the effort and together you can provide a whole new shiny pack of content for the community that no one has to pay for!
But it rarely works. (I've tried to get a generator for tall sprites going - and while it's mostly functional, beyond one person (WaywardMartian) no one else volunteered to help, meaning that at some point, I had to cease working on something as time-consuming as that and let it help people as it is, with occasional but rare additions done for my own projects.)

Especially larger plugin projects or creating big packs of graphical assets etc. are too much work to do on a hobby-basis or just for fun. If you only work on it every couple of days, it'll never get done.
Having a financial incentive, knowing that the time you spend will generate more than just a thankful community, but something you can actually use for all the daily needs of life - that's something that can get you motivated to actually stick with bigger projects.

That leaves me feeling very conflicted.

I haven't yet decided if I'll do plugins/assets for RMZ, but if I do, I'll probably have small plugins be free, offer a functional but feature-light version of big plugins that I'd also offer in a more sophisticated, feature rich & documented version on itch.io oder similar sites.
For graphical assets & the likes, it's probably similar. A base that everyone can use for free, small free assets occasionally, and additional content packs that are behind a paywall.

Some of the projects that I'm considering...simply couldn't be done unless there's financial benefit, in part because I'd have to actually pay other people to work on those projects with me if I want to see them get done.
 

DoubleX

Just a nameless weakling
Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
1,709
Reaction score
859
First Language
Chinese
Primarily Uses
N/A
I've just read some articles having a rather interesting payment model: Those articles are free to read, but also come with QR Codes attached to fixed prices, meaning that you can voluntarily pay the fixed price for reading each article, but you won't gain anything directly right after the payment, and you can still read the complete version of the article even if you don't pay a penny.
It sounds like donations, but is different enough to worth mentioning, because donations are generally either voluntary periodic subscriptions or one time voluntary payment with the amount decided by the donators.
With the voluntary payment model of those articles, the supposedly one time prices are still decided by the author rather than the users, so the author can use it to reflect what the author thinks of the worth of each piece, even though it's still up to the resource users to decide whether the resource really worth that price.

Applying this to RM resources, an easy, simple and small resource might have a fixed voluntary price of 1USD, while those flagship ones reaching professional levels might have a fixed voluntary price of 100+USD, even though the actual voluntary pricing will be up to each resource maker per resource.
It seems to me that this voluntary payment model works for those articles using that model, so I wonder if any resource maker will at least consider thinking about this idea
:)
 

??????

Diabolical Codemaster
Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
6,459
Reaction score
2,995
First Language
Binary
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
thats certainly an interesting model.

I'm not sure how best it'd be added to plugins though :p
 

Aesica

undefined
Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
1,469
Reaction score
1,357
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I'm just going to pretty much echo what others are saying:
  1. The only paid resources I'd ever consider buying are the "buy it once, keep for any number of projects without paying royalties" kind.
  2. I'd also only buy it if I was allowed to make edits and adjustments to suit a particular project.
  3. Finally, a huge extra incentive to buy a given set of assets (to me, anyway) is no engine restrictions.
First Seed Material assets are a great example of something I'd willing to pay for: Besides being high quality assets, they also check off all of the above criteria.

That said, the true heroes of the RM community are those who release materials as "free for use in both commercial and non-commercial projects." You are true altruists.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Just for the record I have greatly enjoyed the past couple months of using RPG Maker MV - enough that I went ahead and bought MZ although it's going to be a bit before I seriously start a project with that.
I have a pretty reasonable alpha of one game that's got roughly 4 hours of content and some bits and pieces of others after only about 300 hours total time and about 2 1/2 months of owning RPG Maker.....
I completely forgot which forum had the personal blogs for members. :LZSlol: It was probably a forum for the Ace program. I was going to see about posting a blog post, but I'm too tired, and if its associated with Ace, then its a moot point. :LZSlol:
I've had some hard times. A co-worker accused me (not going into detail here), and I am trying finish training next week. Still not paid yet, I think next week.

Forum statistics

Threads
102,969
Messages
996,371
Members
134,431
Latest member
OrigamiChan
Top