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Hypothetical "what if" - Quest Sponsorship


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#1 James24

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:39 PM

For the sake of argument, lets suppose that Zelda Classic had no copyright issues with Nintendo.  This was a purely original idea and that Nintendo can't threaten to ever shut down ZC due to copyright.  A brilliant, outstanding, highly-talented and indisputably good quest maker has just delivered a "flagship" quest.  By "flagship" I mean a quest that has a very high download rate, lots of high 4/5 star ratings, draws people from external sites into ZC etc...  Examples include Lost Isle, Hero of Dreams, Isle of Rebirth - you know the deal.

 

The author then says, "Guys, I would like to make another one, but there are real life issues in the way.  My computer's RAM chips are going to die and I have to devote my time to getting odd programming jobs just so that I can live.  If you guys can sponsor my living expenses I could do it for you.  I'm not looking to make a big profit, just to pay my bills so that I can properly dedicate my time to making a quality quest."  How would people react to this?

 

The other thing to keep in mind is that Zelda Classic is slowly dying and something needs to be done about it.  Without flagship quests being produced then its very likely that the death will come sooner rather than later.  New ideas need to be tried so that our best quest-makers can continue to do what they are doing - making the best "flagship" quests.

 


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#2 jerome

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 02:36 AM

It would be something some would be willing to support for awhile, I'm sure, until ZC became more of a GoFundMe to get any quest done.  At that point, it would be the nail in the coffin for ZC. 

 

I'm sure the quest makers and developers have had their shares of financial issues from time to time, but still found a way to work things out.  With that mindset, I would think that most would expect everyone to continue with the free support for the love of Zelda. 

 

I remember reading about all of the work on Lost Isle when it was just released.  Both DFW and Peteo described a lot of the stress of making that large of a game.  Honestly, I don't know that they ever would have been able to complete it with the added stress of people having paid money into it.  Then there's those that put up the money. Instead of "supporters," some might consider them(selves) "investors."  Do the supporters/investors have a right to demand and criticize what goes into the quest?  How would you draw supporters/investors to a "great idea for a large quest" if you haven't made a huge quest before?

 

Just my thoughts, however tired and crabby I might sound.  I'm going to bed though.


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#3 Dimentio

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 02:59 AM

At that point why even make it in ZC, an engine where you have to fight it every step of the way in order to actually make something out of it?


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#4 P-Tux7

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 04:38 AM

At that point why even make it in ZC, an engine where you have to fight it every step of the way in order to actually make something out of it?


You know that NPC, E/LWeapon, and Link scripts are already implemented in the newest betas, right? :P

Edited by P-Tux7, 12 January 2019 - 04:39 AM.

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#5 Moosh

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 06:54 AM

I don't think the problem of a lack of flagship quests has anything to do with lack of funding to be honest. Time and money are factors for sure, but inspiration is the primary thing that keeps these projects going and that's not something you can buy. 

 

I also don't think most of the community growth in the past has necessarily come from flagship quests, but rather there being ambitious quest makers who want to hype up their quests in production or quest makers or players with an audience from outside of PureZC coming and bringing that audience in. It's not like a quest having high ratings on the site can magically bring people to the site. Quest makers like Shoelace, DarkFlameWolf, BikdipOnABus, and TeamUDF brought people into the community to play their quests through word of mouth or through an existing audience. I think IoR mainly became a huge hit when it got noticed by ZeldaDungeon and people from there came to check it out. I know Evan is in a few other communities besides this one, but I don't think he's ever marketed his quests that aggressively. And there've also been big quests like Promised Lands, The Forbidden City, and Link and Zelda: Panoply of Calatia that I don't think picked up nearly as much attention as they deserved. Right now I think what's happening is most of us are content to design for a fairly small community and so the community stays fairly small. 


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#6 klop422

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 08:39 AM

I imagine that if people were willing to go onto Kickstarter with a quest (and purposely made sure they were using only assets they were allowed to use), they'd be able to get quests funded the same way people get other games funded. I feel like people here might be a little weird about it (I certainly would) because it's not really a thing people do. On the other hand, I don't see why people shouldn't be 'allowed' to.
I agree, though; being paid puts pressure on you to make your thing good. Even telling people about a thing you're making puts pressure on you, but now people aren't just excited, they're actually losing out if it's not great. For something as fangamey (for now, at least) as ZC, I don't see that it'd be worth it. Again, once the open assets all come out, it might change.
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#7 Dark Ice Dragon

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 04:23 PM

my answer will be simply "no" for at least 3 reasons :

 

1 - i cannt be 100% sure that this guy w will release the quest for real, so i may lose money for nothng

2 - if the quest turn out to be a bad /poor game ? i don't like the idea of pay the bill to someone for a bad game

3 - why i must give money to this guy if all the others will continue to make quest whitout ask money ?


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#8 James24

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 09:53 PM

@ jerome - long time no see bro.  Have you checked out my latest Liberation of Hyrule: Insanity's Extreme?  If you liked LoH, its a good chance you'll like this one.  Its got plenty of really hard challenge just the way we like things - you know what I mean? :) 

 

Back on the topic, thing is that we don't know the effect that funding would have on quest makers - there's never actually been an experiment done so that we can conclusively say "oh we know this happens".  For all we know, if DFW and Peteo were funded, the experience might not have been so stressful on them and Lost Isle would have been a much better quest.  As for supporters/investors demanding changes to the quest - well I guess it all comes down to how much they were paying and how many of them there were.  As an estimate, for a "flagship" quest, I think it would cost around US $15,000 to $20,000 to pay for the living expenses of the quest author.  If that funding were to come from one particular and wealthy individual, I'd imagine they would be highly influential and could probably persuade the quest author to do things they would have otherwise flatly refused.  If it were to come from many donors in the ZC community then the author would have to be highly influenced by community expectations of what is a "good" quest.  I also don't think it would be possible for someone to get sponsorship without having proven their ability first by making a "flagship" quest - we're talking about a second flagship quest here.

 

@Moosh - I know with 100% certainty that this is a hot-button issue with a few quest makers I've asked.  People don't like to hold their hand out in public and ask for donations/funding.  It risks a backlash and there are copyright issues so they just be polite and say "real-life" issues and the thing that's really holding them back never gets discussed.  In fact, if this issue of funding were to be overcome they would already be making the next "flagship" quest.

 

@Klop and Dark Ice Dragon - Yes, there is still a risk that a paid quest-maker is going to cancel the quest half-way.  But I think funding greatly reduces the risk of cancellation since you are taking out a major-risk factor - "real-life" issues.  No doubt there's still risk and people are still going to have to risk it if they are to sponsor quest development.  Needless to say, the quest maker who cancels after taking all the money is going to be a pariah and no one will want anything to do with them ever again - they might even be banned but I don't think there's any rule about that.  I think its a situation no "no risk no reward".

 

As for question 2 Dark Dragon - It depends on how much you are willing to sponsor - see above. 

 

Question 3 - You're paying this guy money because he has proven skills and experience at making quality quests you enjoy.  So what you're paying for is for some proven expert to make a large, "flagship" quest suited to your tastes and preferences.  If you don't pay then you'll likely get someone else who doesn't have their level of skill and experience and the quest will not be as good.   Also, you have zero say over their quest making and they could very well end up making a "challenge-quest seeker only" quest, a small quest, an unscripted quest, a buggy quest or whatever else suit their tastes and preferences.


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#9 adsfndsajgfkhdjgkejf

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:36 PM

The other thing to keep in mind is that Zelda Classic is slowly dying and something needs to be done about it.

is there anything that needs to be done about it, really?

Zelda Classic has been around for twenty years. that's longer than most fangame communities, to be honest... everything must come to an end eventually.  if Zelda Classic's ultimate fate is to slowly fade away, then it is what it is.  you can't force people to use something if the magic isn't there for them anymore

 

but also this line of reasoning rests on the assumption that Zelda Classic is, in fact, dying.  it's also frankly possible that we're in a lull.  nobody knows, nobody's a soothsayer

i can't speak for anyone but i wouldn't accept money for a quest for multiple reasons -- there's the obvious legal ones, of course, but also if the drive to make a quest isn't there, it just isn't there.  no amount of money would incentivize me to do something that just wouldn't bring anyone joy (and if i made a quest solely for money, you can trust me it wouldn't bring anyone else joy).  i've only ever made quests because the ideas excited me enough to carry them through to wherever i got them, and if that just isn't happening for most people anymore, you can't blame them...

 

well, unless someone paid me tens of thousands of dollars.  i might consider whoring myself out then.  down payment of $2000 (lump sum) and full payment of $30000 (contact me and we can work out a monthly payment plan and a timetable for completion) and i'll make a quest in any tileset you want ($50000 for Dance of Remembrance tileset; no amount of money will get me to work with Firebird or Koten)


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#10 Nathaniel

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:10 PM

While I don't really care much for a lot of hypothetical scenarios, as I would rather contemplate over what I thought were reasonably possible future realities, I will say something about this.

 

For not having copyright issues with Nintendo, that might just be a matter of luck, or them not seeing them losing much (if any) money over the existence of ZC.  They could threaten to shut us down if they really wanted to.  Even without an immunity to shut us down, somebody, if they really wanted to, could profit off of their work in an indirect sort of way.

 

Suppose the quest creator is also a broadcaster of some sort, either through LPs or through livestreams.  The person could set up a Patreon page, supporting their Youtube or Twitch channel, that could also indirectly serve as a means of financially supporting their quest making work.  While supporting their work isn't explicitly stated, it wouldn't  necessarily stop somebody from providing money to such a person for the more subtle intended reason.  Now being a small community as we are, the odds of getting much money out of such a means is likely slim, if at all.  But it's still a personal choice if you feel money would motivate you.  Some have expressed reasons why it wouldn't be, but again, it's all dependent on who each of us are.

 

Zelda Classic may possibly be dying, but I also agree that if it is, it's a slow fading out.  I can't forsee it dying in a sudden dramatic sort of fashion.  While I could imagine how it could happen in such a dramatic way, I still see it as being very unlikely, as it would probably involve both PureZC and AGN.


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#11 Dimentio

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 02:25 AM

Honestly, isn't this topic just a way for the OP to justify his unfounded 3 laws of quest making? 

 

Anyways, I can say from experience that money isn't the issue with questmaking; I've shipped out money in order to actually get stuff in HF done. It's the inspiration and motivation; the best quest creators are the ones who have the discipline to get stuff done consistently. 

To repeat what I've said, I'd rather get paid to make an OoT Hack (/shameless plug (send me all your money ;) )) than be paid to make a ZC quest, and even sooner I'd rather be paid to make an actual game I can sell and nets me money after development ends.


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#12 Dark Ice Dragon

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 07:51 AM

@James24 - thanks for provide your answer, i'm agree whit the 1, if someone cancel, or worse cheat, will be the last time 'cause his/her reputation will be ruined, but this may add stress to honest makers that will start to think " OK i received founds, but if i screw up..is the end"

For 2, since there many used old games  that may be stlll enjoyable sell for less of 10,00 €, i don't think i will pay more than that this for a quest

For 3 : is true that the guy  did great quest in past, but the story of videogames is full of bad sequels or bad games done by skilled authors...i think nobody may do a great job 100% of times so....

I wanted add tht i'm a bit stingy so maybe i'm the only one that think that give more than 10 Euros to somebody that i don't know  is out of question


Edited by Dark Ice Dragon, 13 January 2019 - 07:53 AM.

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#13 ZoriaRPG

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 09:18 AM

I'm skipping all of the hyperbole here, to boil down a few facts:

 

When 2.55 is done, and we have default modules with fully-open assets, I've been thinking of creating an install/config utility for ZC to correct issues using DXGL as part of the install process on w8/w10; then putting the engine on Steam as a free download.

 

Users could potentially sell games (or modules) for a few quid a pop on Steam, either as DLC for the engine, or repackage the engine with their wn module and sell the module, prepackaged with the engine as a complete download, as long as they follow the appropriate license criteria to specify that a player is uying only the game/story, and not the assets, or the engine.

 

Thereafter, if all works out for 3.x, ands it solves the issues on modern OSes, then we can dump the deps. THis one is equally theoretical, as I do not et know how viable Allegro legacy will be, but either solution causes ZC ro run via OpenGL, which nullifies every issue that it has on WIndows 8, Windows 10, and some Win 7 systems.

 

WHile there are other tools out there to make games, nothing else is both a completely free engine, that does as much as ZC/ZQuest do at present. Further, there is nothing else out there on Steam that allows creating NES style games, which are popular-enough as the retro-genre to potentially allow people to profit from their creations.

 

As we expand the module base, perhaps people will make some sidescrolling or other interesting kit, to expand the base, and allow for more styles of NES-esque games.

 

Compare other tools, such as Pico-8. a commercial game development tool, with which you can create 8-bit computer style games--that requires scripting everything--and sell them as virtual cartridges; or RPGMaker (semi-commercial, or commercial now, I'm unsure); and GameMaker (commercial).

 

Name for me another tool that you can use at no cost, to develop games that you are allowed to sell at a profit.

 

People will be happy to play with designing games in a completely free an open engine, While this does have some drawbacks, it would allow monetising quests and modules, and further, the large library of legacy quests and modules available as DLC should help to regain some lost ppopularity, and fill the gap until users make new quests for the updated engine.

 

Incidentally, there's anoter Allegro 4 game going up on Steam soon-or it may already be up there, so ZC wont be alone, and I may wor with whomever is behind that product to see if he can give us a bit of advice on making ZC as compliant with Steam as possible.

 

I expect that this will all start to happen in late 2019, if ll goes well. Were very short-handed at present, so that causes delays. I'm probably going to cut off new features soon, because I don;t want it to drag on indefinitely. I'd rather finish up 2.55, and allow 2.56->2.60 or whatever to absorb some of the things that people want us to do in 2.55.

 

There is legitimately no end to what we could practically do in a new version, but I do not want 2.55 to become 2.0 mk II, and take 10 years to complete.

 

For the present, my goals are to get 2.53 into Gamma status this or next week, with a Win2 Release (Delta) by February. 2.53 is a LTS package, with four years of coverage (quest format) and general user sypport. As soon as 2.5 is released for any given platform, we will cut offical support for any version of ZC on that platform) for which 2.53 is capable of properly running quests.

 

That's why I have a strict goal of ensuring that 2.53 can run quests as far back as 1.90, and we may do maintenence releases of 2.53 LTS as-needed to fix issues that crop up. THose will end at the termination of the LTS policy.

 

Other platforms will follow as my ability permits, unless we can pick up some volunteers to do those builds.

 

I want to start wrapping up 2.55, having it in Beta status by mid-2019, and Gamma by the end of the year, in time for the 2th Anniversary of ZC. From there, we have a few paths to follow, notably better compatibility with modern hardware, expanded features, and other improvements. Those will follow 2.55 in much smaller bursts per release.

 

Ideally, i wanted to release 2.54, with far fewer new features, but it turned into another 2,50 project, with more and more being added, and that needs to stop so that we can perfect what we've added, and get it into Beta status, and thus, get it ready for services such as Steam, and for vqrious game competition websites.

 

Whatever opinion the naysayers have, wien it comes to creating an original game in ZC, that you want to sell, with 2.55, as long as you make it clear that you are not selling the engine, and you follow the guidelines on GPLv distribution, you'll be able to create commercial games. I'm planning to create some kind of module designer in the future, too, to simplify the process of skinning the ZC engine to suit the needs of the game developer. I have no clue when that aspect will be ready.

 

For the present, I advise anyone who may be interested in maing something of this sort to contact the dev team, or to post in the Development Forum to discuss how the modules system works, and to try 2.55, and the present modules for it. Compare the Classic Module to the Default Module for a glimpse of just how much you can alter the system to meet your needs--and this is only a minor and temporary version of that module, with mock-ups in place for the sake of demonstration.

 

I will not delve further into the Steam model until the revised engine is more ready for that kind of distribution.


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#14 James24

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:35 PM

Just so we're 100% clear on this.  I didn't say that money was going to be the sole driving force behind motiviating quest makers and generating new and brilliant ideas.  No absolutely not - I don't think money does that.  What money does is provide a support network so that the quest author is free to focus their time and energy thinking of new ideas.  Its like watering a growing tree - its clearly necessary otherwise the plant will have to rely on rain only and that's very dangerous.  But it doesn't guarantee survival against other things like lack of sunlight, humans chopping it down etc...

 

What the money is intended to do is pay for living expenses - rent, food, computers, clothes, transport...you know?  What everyone has to pay for to survive.  I don't think its unreasonable that this cost be picked up by those who enjoy the game.  We're talking SURVIVAL here - not profit.  For a small quest like we've seen recently from Avataro and Jamian, these are negligible enough that they don't become an issue and can be reasonably paid for the quest author.  But for a flagship quest it DOES become an issue and one that deserves rigorous debate.

 

@Dark Dragon - The thing is that if you buy games at 10 euro of free then you'll never have real influence over the game.  It'll be a take it or leave it kind of thing and you'll have to search around for the game you want.  But if you're sponsoring a game, you get a lot of say without having to do much work.  Only downside is that its a lot more expensive - depends on how well off you are in life and whether you can afford it.

 

@Zoria - You might want to hold off on doing that until you see how this debate pans out.  If paying for quests just won't go down well with the ZC community then you might have put in those features for nothing.


Edited by James24, 13 January 2019 - 10:36 PM.

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#15 adsfndsajgfkhdjgkejf

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 11:06 PM

What the money is intended to do is pay for living expenses - rent, food, computers, clothes, transport...you know?  What everyone has to pay for to survive.  I don't think its unreasonable that this cost be picked up by those who enjoy the game.  We're talking SURVIVAL here - not profit.  For a small quest like we've seen recently from Avataro and Jamian, these are negligible enough that they don't become an issue and can be reasonably paid for the quest author.  But for a flagship quest it DOES become an issue and one that deserves rigorous debate.

yeah who the fuck is going to want to rely on zelda classic for their goddamned livelihood
like, who honestly is going to want to devote all of their time to making a zelda classic quest forgoing a normal job with a normal income when they could make... an actual game that they could continue to sell afterwards. even with a gofundme or whatever. i don't wanna spend finite time in my life fucken dicking around with working around zscript's awful limitations or trying to come up with a puzzle that isn't a dirt boring block puzzle or a dungeon concept that's been done a million times, i'd rather work in a whole new framework

Edited by Rambly, 14 January 2019 - 12:39 AM.

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