Goodbye for now, paid Steam mods. We hardly knew ye. Scant days after the triumphant announcement and the program has been shut down as Bethesda pulled the plug, resulting in refunds across the board and a return to the status quo.
"After discussion with Valve, and listening to our community, paid mods are being removed from Steam Workshop," Bethesda explained. "Even though we had the best intentions, the feedback has been clear - this is not a feature you want."
I'm not so sure. Though the backlash was fierce, I have to be honest and say that I liked the idea even if the implementation left much to be desired. And I'd like to see it return... after some substantial retooling.
For me there are two key questions at the heart of this controversial issue and answering both will be crucial. The first is simple: why shouldn't modders be allowed to charge for their work?
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Barely five days after Valve rolled out the ability to buy and sell Steam Skyrim mods, Bethesda has pulled the plug on the entire scheme and shut it down, while Valve have offered a full refund to everyone involved.Click here to read more...
If you're a PC gamer, chances are that you've noticed the storm clouds swirling around Steam over the last 48 hours. Valve have finally allowed mod creators to charge for their wares and let publishers control the cut, resulting in a flurry of premium modifications onto the store.
It's a real mess out there.
Though we love the idea of hard-working content creators to earn money for their efforts, it seems that Steam's first foray is hitting some serious stumbling blocks and fierce resistance both from customers and the community. Seeing as Steam are already still struggling to stop the rising tide of shovelware and Early Access tat from engulfing the quality and deserving titles, there's a case to be made that this is yet another area in which they're throwing quality control to the wind.
All while developers are being paid as little as 25% of the revenue they generate. Is this a great new feature with teething troubles or a disaster waiting to happen?
The answer, I suspect, lies somewhere in the middle.Click here to read more...
Well it's about time. Maxis have finally begun communications with prospective modders, opening discussions for the possibility of SimCity mods and user-generated content.Click here to read more...
A few nights ago I attended the PC Zone magazine wake, which was pretty intense. Great laugh with some industry veterans and a whole bunch of thoroughly nice chaps and chapesses. Lots of people shouting the word C*nt very loud as well, as you'd expect when you throw so many reprobates into the same place together. Charlie Brooker wasn't there, but you can't have everything, I guess. What there was, though, was talking about games, even on a night such as this. And, to tie this in ever so tenuously with the theme of this particular column, there was talk of a certain game called Minecraft. I seem to be the only person in the world who doesn't care about it, but I also cared not a jot for Garry's Mod. And, as Minecraft can be paid for now, I officially rule it out of the discussion in this column. Do go have a look if you like all that creativity business, though, right here. It would be remiss of me never to even mention it.
So, that's that done and dusted. I never have to talk about that game ever again. Quick little mention for Dwarf Fortress, though, basically the ASCII version of Minecraft, which can be looked at here. Today we're in regular indie/free town, so none of these genre-spanning uber-games. Games about paper and cutting with scissors. That's much more the thing, not creating various Enterprises in a certain aforementioned game. Cut It is very much in the same mould as Crayon Physics Deluxe and things of that ilk, which was an extremely worthwhile little puzzler that suffered from repetition and some bonkers puzzles towards the end.
Cut It seems to be going down the same sort of road, but we've not been asked to part with cash for it yet, so it's much easier to forgive such issues. Creator Petri Purho is nothing if not prolific, and has a refreshing openness and willingness to put his ideas into practice that means, when one clicks with the public, any and all 'proper' developers scramble to steal his ideas and beat him to the punch.
The object of each level is to get the white box onto the green platform, with key concepts being introduced gradually. Soon you've gone from easy snips to stabbing yourself in the groin with the scissors in frustration. Like Crayon Physics, it's great at first, but there's the suspicion that pixel-perfect precision is too necessary in the later rounds, meaning only frustration rather than the satisfaction of solution. And, like Crayon Physics, the idea is a good one, so expect to see 20 different variants hurried out the door before a full version of Cut It comes out. Just remember where it came from, people.