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90% of all modders deserve to be insulted

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
90% of all modders deserve to be insulted

I read this in a post by an Admin from VPF at shivasite in a thread that is now closed. Now my question is WHY?

I've read most threads over the last 1 1/2 yrs and I personally can't name more than 5 unauthorized mods or more than 2 locked tables being unlocked. Am I missing something?

I have asked 3 people for permission to release a mod of their table and all three have granted me permission, so do I deserve to be insulted? Am I one of these "evil" modders? Is this an opinion shared by a few or by many of the members of this community?

I think this is an important question because almost ALL of our community problems seem to stem from this issue.

Without naming names :roll: or tables, how many unauthorized mods do you know of?
 

druadic

Stay tuned.....
Site Supporters
bob said:
90% of all modders deserve to be insulted

I read this in a post by an Admin from VPF at shivasite in a thread that is now closed. Now my question is WHY?

I've read most threads over the last 1 1/2 yrs and I personally can't name more than 5 unauthorized mods or more than 2 locked tables being unlocked. Am I missing something?

I have asked 3 people for permission to release a mod of their table and all three have granted me permission, so do I deserve to be insulted? Am I one of these "evil" modders? Is this an opinion shared by a few or by many of the members of this community?

I think this is an important question because almost ALL of our community problems seem to stem from this issue.

Without naming names :roll: or tables, how many unauthorized mods do you know of?

Bob,

Two of my flippered tables were modded without my permission and I vowed from then on I would never make flippered coin ops again. A LOT of folks were mad about this, but I told them to take it up with the folks who did this - and yes, my tables were modded without my consent. I have seen more tables modded without consent but will not start an all out war about it. I just moved on and refused to update those tables that were played with. :evil: (actually I DO have updated flippered tables that I made and have never released.)

All folks have to do is ask me. Not a big deal. Also depends on which tables they want to mod as well. :roll:

Bob, thanks for this post - it's something that really needs to be said for sure.
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
My take on mods

Mods is a bad term. because by defination, by converting my flippered original Bronco Buster into a Flipperless, I modified it, making me what I dislike, a modder of an original table. And even an update by an author of his own work is a mod, so maybe a different term should have been used to begin with.

I don't feel originals should ever be modded, but Bob, your using one of Wrench's tables as the base for a new theme isn't what I consider a mod. And except for Nicky and that clown at VPFF, I don't personally know of any unauthorized modders.

I don't think I have anything to worry about as for as the recreations I've done, I don't see anyone ever asking to mod a Bagatelle, or Genco's 1943 Seven Up. I'd rather not see them modded, but I'd say yes so I might help assure the quality. And with my Poosh M Up Bagatelles, solo or with Eric, I don't think anyone besides us has the understanding and the knowledge to do them justice. At least not without some advice from me.

And that's not being egotistical. What I would do if I were ever asked permission to mod a Bagatelle recreation, once I got over the shock, is to offer them a bagatelle image that hasn't been done yet. That way we end up with another Bagatelle, and maybe we'll find a new author, instead of simply a modder.

One thing that I didn't care for at all was the Jive, PcWaG test stunt. I feel they were absolutely wrong, no matter how they explain it. Jive is OK, but I'd never let him mod an original of mine, or use one for the basis of a new theme. As for anyone else, I'd at least think about it.

John
 

Anthias

Pinball Player
Modding does have its place - It is VERY useful, if you are a noob with little or no coding or design practice, to "PLAY" with an existing table - move things about, change the them, fiddle with the code - but never release them. You can do this knowing your skills are not those of the original author, and when you are done, you delete it - never to see the public light of day as a mod. That sort of modding can be very educational. That is why I never lock my tables - if they can help somebody to learn a new trick, I don't mind them playing around.

But I would be very annoyed if one of my original tables was modded and released without my permisssion. You see, originals are very personal creations. I feel that if someone wants to mod a table of mine, they should ask, and permission would depend on WHAT the mod consisted of. I wouldn't want a 'modded' table out there that could be confused for the original. Something like the Superman mod that was done of Wrencheins 'true blue' however is a very different matter. THat is a case of a near enough brand new table created from another one, to give those who enjoyed true blue another table to enjoy that while similar in game play, is never the less a different table. In this way people who are not confident of all their VP skills may still contribute tables to the community, and people who are inspired by an author can pay tribute to them.

Modding should not be a dirty word. But modding should be done in moderation, with appropriate respect for the author and for the modder.

Peace love and MODbeans.

Anthias.
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
Some good points

I like that you brought up private mods, which I don't even consider as modding. Changing settings for your own enjoyment is simply making the game your personal game. And toying around with someone elses table to study it and learn isn't modding, as I see it.

And I think you're right about deciding to allow an original mod based on what the modder wants to change. But I would also decide partly based on who asked. It would have to be someone I consider a friend, and who I felt I could trust. I also don't think that every original has to have every feature of a real machine.

I personally dislike flipper sounds, tilt and match features, so my flippered tables are missing them. If minor features like that will make someone not play a table that they otherwise would, I pity them. In fact I guess I mod every table I DL, since I comment out the flipper sounds. So whip me with a wet noodle.

John
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
I'm not against asking for permssion, I think that is the proper thing to do. I also don't expect permission to release a mod until the table is done and then the original author plays it and ok's the release.

I think the modding rules are fine, I just don't understand all of the hostility that is aimed at "modders" when there has actually only been just a few people release unauthorized mods.

I just want to know how many people feel that. . . .

90% of all modders deserve to be insulted

I think this is a ridiculous statement for an Admin to make, it only creates the illusion that there are *many* people releasing *unauthorized mods* And if I'm wrong, where are all of these people hiding?

I guess what I'm trying to say is. . . . Less than 2% of all modders deserve to be insulted and more than 98% of all modders deserved to be praised or at the very least *not insulted*
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
Right you are, Bob

I think Administrators have a duty to somethimes not voice all their opinions publicly. Although what I say shouldn't carry any extra value, some may feel it does, so I feel a responsibility to be even handed at all times. That doesn't mean I won't be as mouthy and opinionated as ever, just that sometimes I'll say things privately.

I also think that until the origianl author has given his or her final approval, that a mod project shouldn't be discussed publicly by the modder. That's another point where Jive and I don't agree. And no, that doesn't make Jive evil, or even wrong, that's just my take on the issue.

Jive and I have talked things over, and we agree that we can disagree and still be friendly. And with language differences, sometimes there can be misunderstandings, so let's not jump to conclusions, which is often the only exercise I get.

And I do think that Kid C's harsh stance on this issue has clouded his ability to see the entire picture. I think the community has suffered by losing out on his work, and that he probably is losing out by no longer feeling like he belongs.

So Bob, which of my Bagatelles did you want to mod, anyway?

John
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
Re: Right you are, Bob

tiltjlp said:
So Bob, which of my Bagatelles did you want to mod, anyway?

John

Hey John! Should 90% of all Bagatelle Modders be insulted?

Oops, wrong thread :sign6:
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
tiltjlp said:
And I do think that Kid C's harsh stance on this issue has cluded his ability to see the entire picture. I think the community has suffered by losing out on his work, and that he probably is losing out by no longer feeling like he belongs.
yeah, john, and in a sense you can blame nicky for that... i remember when KC was still willingly releasing unlocked stuff, and nicky came along and posted his mods and links in the guys own release threads(!)

after that, KC kind of snapped and i don't think he's been right in the head ever since about the modding issue... even when he posted that last thing publically at VPF- "the only good modder is a DEAD modder" or some crap, imhotep (his fellow admin) had to come in and do damage control... they probably had a good debate about that in private after that incident...

anyway, sadly, to answer your last thought about him, i think KC actually PREFERS to release to his friends and not the community at large... or at least that's what he claims, if memory serves... but whatever, my stance is the same- the community doesn't need the work of anyone who's releasing privately, anyway... people can't learn much from locked tables, and there's no such thing as a finished table... (just my opine of course!)
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
You forgot Steve

We added SteveOz because he has seen a Magpie up close and personal. And just the other day he found a rusty horseshoe, so we've using him forour good luck charm. :p

John
 

PcwaG

Gamer
Re: My take on mods

tiltjlp said:
One thing that I didn't care for at all was the Jive, PcWaG test stunt. I feel they were absolutely wrong, no matter how they explain it. Jive is OK, but I'd never let him mod an original of mine, or use one for the basis of a new theme. As for anyone else, I'd at least think about it.

John

Yes, I know, I'm an evil, evil person.
Like I said before, what was done was not done against you or Will or etc.
I gave my apologies in the past, if they are not accepted, too bad for you.

Gosh, and I thought we wanted to more forward here.
 

kristian

Pinball Wizard
I have worked on about 25 VPM tables, mainly graphics and layout work.
I couldn't care LESS if someone releases mods of my work. If the table gets better I'm more than happy to adopt those changes to the next "official" version. If not, no harm has been done.

If the table gets worse nobody will play it anyway, so what's the big deal? I can honestly say that I just CAN'T understand how some people get so damn over-protective of their work. Nicky probably went overboard back then but VP community sure was healthier place before the "unauthorized mod" hysteria.

For example, I've used probably hundreds (if not thousands) of hours to make tables like Warlok, Baby Pacman and Alien Poker look and play how they are today (with people like Steve, Gaston and Cutter). So it's perfectly understandable that I don't want some newbie to come and destroy the table and replace his screwed up version with the current official version I'm maintaining. But if it's just a separate mod no harm has been done. Nobody needs to ask my permission to make their alternative versions of any of "my" tables, it just doesn't make sense. I've stolen all my graphics and layouts from pinball companies anyway.

Me and Guittar did "at night" mod of ToTAN. Most people think it's the best version - but perhaps some people like the "official" version more. Isn't it just a positive thing for the end users that there are multiple versions of the same table available?

And when new users start modding tables it's their way of getting "in" to VP. It's very rare to see someone making a great looking (and playing) table with their first attempt. Instead of evil why don't we consider modding the "learning course" to Visual Pinball?

PS: Is Bob really a moderator here? What a joke! Poor fellow couldn't moderate his way out of wet paper bag.
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
i think most authors/long-time members also feel this is the reasonable course... we could probably nominate a club of the few 'influential' people in the scene who think modding is evil... it would be a very small club, i would think:

after KC i guess you could add maybe skalar and gravitar, perhaps a couple others...
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
kristian said:
PS: Is Bob really a moderator here? What a joke! Poor fellow couldn't moderate his way out of wet paper bag.

TweeeeeeeeeeeeeT! (My impression of a whistle) That's a Minor! Two minutes in the penalty box. :lol: :lol:
 

Rockinghorse

Pinball Player
My Two Cents worth

Hi All,

I will firstly say that 90% of "modders" are honorable and very personable.....I enjoy the offerings as a diversion from the origonal theme but there are limits.....The "mod for the sake of a mod" is not the most useful way of making an impression but a mod that gives a table o whole new feel can make a real difference,,,,,

MOST IMPORTANTLY.....In the case of an Original release the author has an ownership of, not only the table itself, but the EMOTIONAL attachment to the total project....That needs to be respected.....

Let me just say that I have been modded WITHOUT prior permission and it PISSED ME OFF......When Jive modded "Hexen" he didn't asked for permission until his FINAL PM to me, and he COULD NOT UNDERSTAND what the problem was....HOW RUDE

He called my images BAD and and my methods were ridiculed....HOW RUDE....

He moved my table features around and added an additional ball feature which was totally out of context with the function he added it to....

He made it very clear that he felt it his RIGHT to mod and release the table even without permission and i have seen threads by him at VPFF where he is modding without perimssion and posting the results. AND STILL IS DOING SO.

He thinks it is rude OF ME to allow him to supply the machine as an authorised mod ONLY VIA HIS OWN WEB SITE and he has gotten around this by posting "Where do you get Jive's mod's" threads everywhere with direct links to the DL.

SO......

I have a little bit of a peeve against UNAUTHORISED mods and always will......ATTITUDE is the problem.....and I think that 90% of modders have it right.....There are only a few who have the wrong idea.....

Finally, I said it before. RESPECT............BUT...........It goes both ways.....

Well,

That was my say.......

Thanks, Bob, for the chance to voice my little bit and I hope I wasn't too harsh

BCNU

RH
 

Rockinghorse

Pinball Player
I should also add

Hi again

I should also say that..........Even though I bagged Jive a little in my last post above.......ALL IS FORGIVEN. Chalk it up to excitement and mis-communication.

Soory. I didn't mean to be hot headed and normally I'm not.

Live, Love and Play Pinball.

BCNU

RH

BTW - Hi Jive.
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
Very well said, RH

I felt the ire of Jive myself for supporting you and all original authors, and although I tried to reason with him, the best we could manage was to agree to disagree. I think it goes beyond respect, even. Common sense should tell anyone that they don't have to right to alter someone else's original work without asking. What he did was blackmail you and it wasn't right, and still isn't right. As I said to Jive, instead of modding original work why not make a table yourself, they the community gains with a new table to enjoy. This kind of attitude is why so many members, authors or not, are no longer actively involved in VP. No need to aplolgize for what you said RH, you only spoke the truth, and your opinion..

John
 

zaphod

Pinball Nudger
I have been known to mod on occasiion. In fact I recently did a mod of a VP recreaton. I have not released this mod, but did send it to the originl authors to play around with. IMHO, here is how to mod properly.

For VPM tables and recreations of exiting tables, one should try to make them play more like real life. When you develop a mod that does this, it should be released. It's polite to send it the authors way to see if they like the improvement, but the goal here is overall accuracy. By making the table play more true to life, you are contributing to the community.

FOr originals, it's a bit different. The author has final say on how the tablel is meant to play. So ANYTHING you do to the table should either remain with you alone, or be sent straight back to the author, to see if s/he likes it. Modding an original is not the same sort of contribution to the community. But if te author lieks what you've doen then you've helped.
 

PacDude

Pinball Wizard
Jive is off his rocker. He finds it OK to insult my mod of Indiana Jones (that PK used as a basis for his latest mod instead of Jive's last mod, which split into different directions awhile back) and when I say something simple like, "Well that's YOUR opinion" he goes ballistic (post edited at VPF recently apparently for insults). I don't remember saying anything to the guy to make him angry at me (there were a series of mis-understandings from english to french translation before, but apparently one day he decided it didn't matter if he couldn't understand what I was actually saying and decided I was attacking him.... Oh well. No big loss, IMO.

The main difference I've noticed over the years between a so-called "modder" and one who "updates" or works with the existing authors more often than not is that people who tend to release mostly mods seem to produce lesser quality work. I only released so-called "mods" (as in an additional table to the original) when the table said any updates should be mods; otherwise I usually got permission to do an official update. I never had much problem getting that permission becuase my work quality was good. Look at Kristian. He gets permission to do official updates and the authors are fine with it because he does good work. Someone like Jive likes to start mods on tables that are still actively being updated (e.g. the AFM table I have control of is one example). I allow such mods, but I didn't care for the graphics he changed for the most part. I just continued releasing my own work. I tried to help him improve his work, but he took my criticisms as offensive and mouthed off to me on several occasions. So now I don't even try. The only other modder I can think of is PK. I don't always agree with his changes (flipper settings for one thing), but he's not offensive about making them for the most part. I think there's plenty of room for mods, but when people start doing what Jive did (ask PK why he didn't use HIS mod instead of mine as his starting point for his latest mods), well what reaction do you think that will cause. PK can make up his own mind what to use.

So overall, a "modder" has little to do with anything one way or the other (there's good modders and bad modders), but I think they tend to get a bad reputation when they become offensive with their attitude and/or produce poor quality work that the original author might be offended by (let alone if they don't ask first). In short, a few bad apples can ruin the barrel.
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
I'm glad this thread has been revived. I agree with just about evrything said here, and Dude and Rocky, you both are dead right about attitude and respect being the key to it all. While I was away, Starman decided to do his versions of my two Bronco Buster tables, and the way he did it was the right way.

He added them to the CD of flipperless originals that was sent to me last Christmas, to test, along with a very nice note explaining why he had "modded" them. Besides being stunned that anyone would want to improve any of my tables, I considered it a compliment of the highest kind. In fact, Starman's versions have proven more popular than my originals, which doesn't bother me in the least. since they really are different tables.

Now, I said yes for two reasons, I liked the tables Starman had created out of mine, and I like and respect him both as an author and a friend. But also, I said yes because of how he approached it, asking my permission rather than simply releasing them, which he could have done, and I would never have known until I returned last month.

So, would I allow any of my other tables to be modified? I won't know until someone would ask. And my decision would be based almost completely on who asked. There are some authors who I like that I'd probably still say no to, since I don't think their style would fit with my original concept. But there are other authors I would surely say yes to, or no to. But if I didn't like and respect an author, no matter the quality of their work, the answer would be no. Attitude is the key factor, everything else follows from there.

tiltjlp
 

zaphod

Pinball Nudger
Every problem with a "modder" can be traced back to one of two things

1) lack of respect on the part of the modder
2) lack of respect on the part of the author.

Although 1) is the more common of the two, both happen.

I always wonder why it's calle d"common sense"... it doesn't seem to be as common as it oughta be... ya know?
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
Good point zaphod, about so called common sense. The same goes for so called common courtesy. At least they got it right with uncommon valor.

tiltjlp
 

destruk

Pinball Wizard
Site Supporters
I'm not sure what more can possibly be said on this. The amount of time involved with this program is stunning. Over 4 years a lot has been done with it. I don't forsee much more on the vpinmame side - if there is it will mainly be rehashed/revised tables, where the materials are still free for the taking. I do think the remaining 'modders' should keep in mind that stuff that hasn't been done already probably took a lot more to produce something than the average existing release. Some things to consider in play - a manual can cost anywhere from $10-$25, which isn't that much, considering most users don't even donate $1 to their forum of choice to download the end result. Don't misinterpret this as a fund drive, or anything of the sort, jsut realize what you get for free is not created from 'free' stuff. The average romset will cost from $20-$600 depending on the board, availability, and vendor pricing, including but not limited to, long distance phone calls to a supplier, attending events to meet owners, visiting their homes, purchasing equipment to read the roms, months or years of emails asking for reads and locating them. As far as the internet, I'm fairly sure we have downloaded everything readily available from sites all over the world already. Then there is the work involved in obtaining any picture of the machine, and doing the layout, organizing the pictures, modifying the core code and bugtesting the roms, all that just to get it to fire up and resemble a playable piece of work. Now with most games remaining coming out of foreign countries, there is work translating the manuals to something we understand, and consulting owners who don't know english to try to get more information.

In short, a lot of time, money, and effort has been expended to get these other games playable in vp - that users can download for free and submit bug reports or feedback, as much as they always have. You can see how someone could get upset with a mod, posted without any warning or notice, and never seeing the table before it is released, only to find what I'd consider 'minor' modifications solely to add their name to the authors list and make it look like they did more than at first sight. Maybe I've turned too cynical, too selfish, too uncaring, or I've turned into a bad person overall - but I just thought somebody would tell us, or make clear their intentions, or perhaps send a table to look at before replacing an existing table. I'm not sure if I'm under too much stress with all this, or if I'm not thinking clearly about my own priorities. The balance is swayed in any case and I find it difficult to choose the 'correct' response - on one hand modders are good, on another hand there is the enormous effort involved as mentioned above - which is right? Kristian sent a copy of a table before he released it, even after getting permission, Pinball Ken did too, and so did Jive, and I was able to give some feedback and look the thing over first. After a few tables, I trust their judgement on the machine. Solely saying "anyone can mod destruk's work" and expecting that to fly anymore, I feel the hands clenching at the throat a bit as it usually affects other people aside from myself who assisted in getting it out in the first place. You won't know if you don't ask, and why you can't ask everyone listed in the authros field, or on AJ's for a specific table, I don't know. The more real communication, the better, and there's no time pressure, so I don't understand why that still can't be done.

People like racerxme saying there are bugs, but why bother, makes me think as well, why bother? Not helpful if you want more games.
Not meant to be confusing, I'm just trying to vent some thoughts, and decide why I keep doing this stuff.
 

PacDude

Pinball Wizard
If Ultracade gets their wish, there won't be any reason for any of us (that aren't working for them at least) to continue anymore. Take a hobby project designed to reproduce much loved pinball games for some and every pinball game ever made for others and turn it into a cheap quick buck. That's their motivation. Who cares if it destroys what's left of pinball.

I never foresaw any "end" to VPM tables because I build them for my own hobbyist reasons. Some people play the piano to deal with stress. I do that too, but VP table building is better therapy. I'm not going to help someone else make money, though. That's never been my goal or reason for doing anything in VP. I thought charity donations was a good way to make something good come out of the hobby (other than my own sanity), but to see that redirected into some greedy bastard's pockets that thinks he can just license everything there is to license and then cash in on it all... no thanks and tell the bugger to frack off while he's at it. And here I was worried about Black's little venture destroying what's left of pinball (outside of Stern's measily offerings every 6 months or whatever it is with yet another themed Data East style table).

Yeah, I'm venting too.
 
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