For the last 4 or so months (maybe even longer) I have been fully engaged in modding using The Divinity Engine 2. This was my first time to ever to get this close to game development… ever. EVER. I had no idea what I was doing and even today I discover new things with the Engine but now that I’ve had a taste for modding and design, I thought why can’t I make an actual game? I have this quote in my mind (because I’m older and wiser now) that keeps repeating every time I start out on an endeavor. The quote goes like this “Why would they pay you for something you already do for free?” and this is something that I carry with me on my adventures outside of modding too. This question that hangs on the back of my mind.
If you have no life experience and can’t see any more meaning from this question other than face value, then I’m about to educate you a little. There is more to this question than being paid. It’s asking whether you even care about being paid. It’s asking you if you truly love doing what you’re doing. It’s asking you if what you are doing is enough. And most importantly, it’s asking you if your time is worth it. When you get older and you get a little antsy about the same drill you’ve been in for the last 10 years so you go out and get married and have kids and start a family (like I did…) you tend to put a price on your time. Anything that pulls me away from my family better be worth it in one way or another. This shouldn’t be something that only benefits me, but also my family. I think this is my internal paternal instinct pulling me in that direction.
A few years ago I made the decision to resign from my job and become a stay at home father to our kid and do the best we could with one income. I ended up working another year and a half before finally putting my foot down and making staying at home my primary duty. Though this sounds like a dream come true (and it is… it really is) I still want to do things that benefit the household as a whole. Now, I didn’t expect to get so sucked into modding and now that it’s all I think about… not all the time, but when you’re starting to dream about Story Scripting… eh… maybe it’s time to back off a bit.
I’ve asked the following question on my discord channel “Should modders get paid for their work?” and I got an outstanding and resounding NO. Now, because this is my blog, and because I can, I will voice my concerns with that. The resounding NO is a very young persons response. As you grow, you will find that, yes, indeed, your time does have value and that yes, you should have the right to sell your work because it IS work. You may be building something with already made components but so is anyone building a car. Don’t get me wrong, I love modding. I love it very much. If modding was a woman, I would be her best friend (Don’t read into this too much, wife) but how does a company get immersive free content made for a game without using their own time and spending a single cent? Modders.
Imagine you buy some fabric from Levis and they say “oh yeah, go ahead and make some stuff out of it” and so you do, and it’s a big hit, it’s a great design, everyone wants it! And when you try to SELL it on the market… you get a resounding NO. Why not? Levi’s did it so why can’t you?
Anyways. I really do love modding, but I think it is time to make a giant leap to the Unreal Engine 4. Make a living. You know?
Shit… that means I have to get Maya or 3DS…
Maybe I’ll just keep working using DE2…