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Scenario Design and Discussion
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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design and Discussion » Paying for Scenarios (long)
Topic Subject:Paying for Scenarios (long)
posted 05-28-00 10:39 AM CT (US)         
First of all, I don't expect this idea to be enacted. I just want to share it.

I think it would be a great and intelligent decision to somehow pay scenario designers based on the number of downloads they receive. What would this do?

1. Benefit scenario quality. Designers who believe their time will be rewarded will be pressed to create better and funner scenarios, and those that are better will attract more downloads, profiting the designer.

2. Allow AOKH to actually HIRE people to review campaigns, professionally. If people paid 20 cents a download, ten to the designer and ten to AOKH, the money would come in very fast. I'd already have something like $400. And the money would mean that almost every scenario could afford to be reviewed, and reviewed professionally.

3. Benefit AOKH. Besides reviewing professionally, it would give the web designers some income and more opportunities to work on the site.

4. Make future ES campaigns even better- they are now in competition with the general public.

5. Number of downloads would actually increase, because it's still cheap (20 cents!) and the quality is so much better.

Possible problems:

1. Legal. ES owns AOK, so selling it outside their authority could have bad reprecussions.

2. Huge foreign population. Could they pay in American money, and get paid?

3. Accounting. Say you pay the designer for the first two months' downloads, you still need to count everything up and hand out paychecks.

Well? Whaddya think?


posted 05-28-00 10:56 AM CT (US)     1 / 13       
Another problem: So, you say you get money for every download. Well, this is what people could do then: submitting scenarios with only grass on it, but saying in their description page that their scenario is something totaly new, with new units,... A lot of people would download this, and those bastards would get money for it. Well, I think your system wouldn't work, and getting paid for your scenarios! Look, I make this just for fun, it's not a job, sure it would be great to earn some money for it, but it's just a hobby of mine, so I don't care.

Head of the AoK Dragon Team
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[This message has been edited by Rodrigo (edited 05-28-2000).]

posted 05-28-00 11:51 AM CT (US)     2 / 13       
In the terms and agreement thing that came with AOK it clearly says you cannot sell or get money for anything you make for and by aok. So in short you'll be going to court if you ever tried that

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HG Angel
(id: shadows166)
posted 05-28-00 01:59 PM CT (US)     3 / 13       
If you payed someone to create scenarios and campaigns, people would start rushing to make them, crappy or good,
you would never be able to tell. But since right now people do it for fun, and to make people enjoy them, you will actually see good stuff being made, since it is a hobby of theres. If I got paid, it wouldn't be a hobby, it would be a job, and I hate my

Darkness my home, Light my eniemy, the World my Playground.
Member of the
AOK Dragons, AoKasino, and SCN Punks.

[This message has been edited by shadows166 (edited 05-28-2000).]

posted 05-28-00 02:43 PM CT (US)     4 / 13       
Plus, if something is good, what's to keep me from paying 20 cents to download something then posting it on another web page for free?
(id: Jerusalem)
posted 05-28-00 02:51 PM CT (US)     5 / 13       
I think part of the beauty in scenario designing is that is solely for the sake of art.

No money is involved, which keeps it clean and innocent.

If your money system would be established, it would destroy the whole art part of scenario designing.

It's a hobby, it's fun, why should one get money for it?

posted 05-28-00 02:52 PM CT (US)     6 / 13       
Aside from the very real legal problems you mentioned, there would also be the problem that people could take the AOK downloads and put them on their own page for free. You'd get all the hassles of copyright enforcement for a pretty small amount of money.

Christmas Morning would have earned me $400 (US) under your plan if every person paid -- pretty cool -- but of course, FAR fewer people would have seen it if we charged even 20 cents a download.

Nonetheless, rewarding people who entertain you is an issue that touches many parts of the web. People have been talking about micropayments for years. I think a better approach would be tipping, that is, small voluntary payments, like throwing a few coins in a busker's guitar case. I'd be happy to thank some MP3 artists, the creators of or the Onion, and a variety of other folks who have created work that I really enjoy. Now that I'm not a student, I have enough money that a dollar here or there would be easy. And if a thousand people do that....

So how could tipping work?

Imagine if scenario readme files (or even Win/Loss message screens) could contain links to a web page that let you donate whatever amount you liked to the author. Preset buttons would say 25 cents, 50 cents, a dollar. If you're an Internet zillionaire, maybe you can enter 20 bucks into a blank. Most people wouldn't tip, but a few would, and the easier is was to do, the more response you would get.

Companies like may make this a possibility by making it easy to pay and be paid. Currently PayPal is US-only, so it does me no good (or Ingo, or Lobby or Mia). In time though, I think this may happen, not just for scenarios but for all creative works on the web.

Just to repeat myself: I would not want to be forced to pay for a download, but it would be great to have the option to reward the people I choose.

By the way, Richard "Ultima" Garriot's next game may allow people to earn money by creating additions to it. It will be interesting to see how that works.


[This message has been edited by Yogurt (edited 05-28-2000).]

Zanzard Lothar
posted 05-28-00 03:43 PM CT (US)     7 / 13       
A wise man once said the 3 things that make something be truly entertaining:
- This thing must be voluntary
- This thing must be pleasant

AOK scenario designing and playing is all of these 3 things. Can you just think of the hassle it would be if i made a scenario and started worrying if i was getting enough $$$? Or if i d/l a scenario and i would most certainly get paranoid, for i would think "i paid for it, i must play it!" Sometimes i d/l a scenario and leave it in the AOK scenarios folder. When i feel like it, i play it. Thus, i say no for paying for scenarios!

posted 05-28-00 09:27 PM CT (US)     8 / 13       
First of all:

1. 20 cents is negligible. It wouldn't stop anybody from dowloading tons of scenarios, and if you got one you didn't like, so what? It's 20 cents!

2. People who put down scenarios of just grass or crap would get horrible player responses on the description- meaning they would be effectively blacklisted as designers.

3. Sure, people could copy it and put it on their own page- but it would be without player responses, ratings, or any kind of feedback. Plus, look at the way internet porn works-people could put those pictures on their own site, but you'll still make money.

4. There's no way to live off of scenario designing. It just takes too much time for too little money. But it can make a difference in the quality of both site and downloads.

5. I don't expect this to happen! It's a more, "wouldn't it be nice if..." kind of post.

6. The spirit of creative and fun design wouldn't be killed by money- it would be fueled (yes, I am aware of the flaws in the capitalism argument).

7. People who don't have computers might actually be able to afford designing stuff in PC bangs/ internet cafes.

So, yes, while the legal thing with ES effectively kills any chance of this actually being POSSIBLE, I think the counter-arguments are not persuasive.


Cherub Lobby
posted 05-29-00 06:25 AM CT (US)     9 / 13       
A forced payment would kill off AOKH quicker'n you could blink.

The beauty of the internet is that you can get most stuff you want for free. The great beauty of the modern RTS game is that aside from the initial game you can get thousands of add-ons.

I definitely don't support payment (forced)

That said Yogurts idea is a fantastic one.

I for one would be happy to pass on a couple of bucks to someone who produced a great scenario. Or even if someone gave me a great idea. I certainly think some of the utility makers should have the ability to get paid (voluntary) for making our life easier.

I am not sure how it would work though.. through credit cards ? Can someone enlighten me !

Steve Ryan
Scenarios Created

posted 05-29-00 09:57 AM CT (US)     10 / 13       
Executive summary: Yogurt thinks voluntary payments will be common in the future, but not for a few years.


The technology I was talking about,, is based on credit cards -- you need a standard (US) credit card to pay or get paid. Both payer and payee need to be a member of that web site, but sign up is free.

I'm sounding like a booster for this company, but I just like the concept. I'm sure they have competitors out there. Come to think of it, that web site for sending money to Metallica,, had a different system backing it.

Before the idea of tipping scenario designers, or MP3 artists, or whoever is going to work, it has to be made easy. That requires two things.

First, it requires one or two common payment systems. No one wants to sign up for a new payment system just to give fifty cents.

Second, it requires integration. Your MP3 player should be able to launch a web page associated with a song. The Win/Loss messages in AOK should be able to include hyperlinks. The more steps between saying "That was great!" and "Sure, here's a dollar" the less likely the contribution will be made.

I don't think either of these conditions have been met yet. But in five years, I wouldn't be surprised if Support Me links were common.

There are people that would never give a dime, of course, but there are people who never tip waitresses either.


As for the argument that involving money sullies the fine businesses of making scenarios, I don't agree. People write stories, make music, paint and create other works, and these things aren't instantly cheapened by money. Now, if you're creating something solely or even primarily for the money, then I agree, some of the charm is lost. But there seems little danger of that in a voluntary pay system.

I'd also disagree that paying people 10 cents a download is going to increase the quality of scenarios. People are already trying to make the best scenario they can. There's money in screenplays but that doesn't make the quality of the slush pile any higher.

Thanks to pabsthooligan for bringing up this idea. Everyone's snapping at him, but it's one of the most original threads we've had here in a while.


[This message has been edited by Yogurt (edited 05-29-2000).]

posted 05-29-00 08:04 PM CT (US)     11 / 13       
You would have disputes between authors and reviewers. Especialy after a bad review which should affect the downloa dnumbers and therefore take money out o the pocket of the designers.

You would have people lifting most of a scenario ...idea, map , concept chnaging it by X % change the name and resubmit.

You would have an authors multiple submitting essentially the same scenario (with minimum changes) to increase the potential likelyhood of downloads.

You would have have an absolute crap author submitting essentially 500 random map based war scenarios inthe first month. (we have seen how the quantity not quality program dictates some peoples idea of what should and should be submitted to the Blacksmith).

You would have intense recriminations between authors over who did said thought what first.

Any monmey earnt would not pay for the AOKH site to adjudicate all the protests whinging ...renumeration accounting features...needed to run sucha payment system.

Heck it is not the way it should be but they way it would be....

If AOKH does initiate this scheme..I currently have 235 scenarios ready for submission...just let me know the payment scales and i will start ftp'ing them.

[This message has been edited by BINGFA (edited 05-29-2000).]

(id: Jerusalem)
posted 05-30-00 08:02 AM CT (US)     12 / 13       
I think the world revolves money enough already - we shouldn't help it become any more commercialized than it is.
Tylori Dragon
posted 05-30-00 08:22 AM CT (US)     13 / 13       
Err... I don't think that's a good idea. People make them for fun right now, for getting credit, for making people have fun. Now I.. I just don't think it's good idea. Sorry.
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