Hey peeps, today I was looking for some information about Dota 2 and its characters, when I found some interesting stuff, the Steam Workshop. The basic concept is that you help the growth of Dota 2 by making stuff for the game. Professional stuff! (Dota 2 is the center of attention in this blog entry but the workshop also works for other games).
I have to be honest, , I have my doubts about the future of this feature. It’s the way it works that really shakes the foundations of my soul. Some things are sketchy and they give me the wrong kind of feeling…
I have to point out that certain life experiences do something to the way you think and how your perception works.
So… What the hell I am talking about?
Well, I was reading the Workshop documentation and as I said before, some stuff is kinda sketchy. They said that you are going to get money if you help Valve by doing stuff for Dota 2. After they mention that, they start talking about how to get things done correctly, so your stuff doesn’t get rejected. In the end, the guidelines are your rules, if you don’t follow them, you are wasting your time.
They are asking for some serious stuff here, not just a random wallpaper or something like that. It’s like modding a game, something complex that requires a lot of effort, you do it in your free time because you enjoy doing it. In the end, the mod is free.
Someone made the mod for fun and you download it for fun, without paying anything to anyone because you already paid for the game.
The thing is that Dota 2 is a very competitive multiplayer game, you need some regulations to keep the quality, that is understandable. There is certain competitiveness in the game and you have to keep your high standards.
Now, my main issue is that Valve, is saying that you will get paid, you will get money! How does it work? Its kinda simple. You upload your creations using the workshop, Valve looks at them and decide if they like it or reject them and then if someone buys some of your stuff in the cashshop, you get a piece of the cake. That is the basic concept, if you want more details, go to the workshop website.
Its sounds amazing on paper, you get some monies and the community gets involved in the game, everyone likes the feature because students and people with too much time on their hands can do something useful.
What I don’t like is that I have a very bad feeling about this, it looks like Valve is using the community to get the stuff done!! That is a bit unacceptable, get an extra employee and pay him a salary, you have more control of the things you do and at the same time you wont have the drama that you have right now in the workshop comments.
They use the workshop stuff made by the community and make some extra money without a big investment. It feels that the business risk was transferred from the company into the customers. That is very strange if you ask me.
On the other hand, you can take your community stuff and say that it’s going to be free! So don’t expect money out of this. But, if you take that approach, some people is not going to feel motivated to make content or stuff, not to mention that the free community content is going to compete with the extra content that you will release over time.
In the end you need to sell something and make money, giving away free thingies is not going to help you at all. Its very ironic because some other games like Skyrim and Shogun 2 also have workshop content and from what I heard, you can download them without paying a penny.
The last thing is, screw the community; we are going to develop everything by ourselves. That is what a lot of games do, almost every game does that, sell the game and pay up front and then buy some DLC pack or something else from the cashshop.
The last one is very common and it works just fine, but the community is out of the picture and it looks like getting involved with the community is important at the eyes of Valve.
I know that all of this sounds pessimistic, but at my point of view, every option right now is a trade off, there is no perfect solution right now, who knows if that explains why the game is in some sort of pseudo Beta but behaving like a final version game.
ps: I know that Valve have a grudge right now against Windows 8... But that is not the subject right now.