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MattGuy1990

Commissioning mods?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ermi said:

fairenough.

I just realised that the scenario i presented to you is literally the entire state the UK has been in for ages, immigrants working for nothing doing the same qualityof work than the brits can do fully paid, which is why there jobless lol

 

That's the biggest load of bullshit I've read in ages. Your clearly lashing out because you've been made to look a idiot by team anime avatar.

 

2 hours ago, Vorpal said:

For a realworld anecdote/comparison, like 15 years ago I made over 3000 usd making trash vanilla maps for a sketchy company who themselves had no budget (and this was well after doom was irrelevant, well after quake3 even).

 

I would like to hear more about this, if you don't mind :-)

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I'd just like to chime in really quick as someone who was doing freelance graphic design work as a living about 3 years ago, and am now employed full time as a web designer / graphic designer:

 

Prices vary heavily based on how much I am actually designing. Say, if you had map layouts written out, a list of assets needed, and an end goal, the rates are lower than if you wanted me to manage the entire project from start to finish. Then, I would estimate how much time the project will take, and if there are any crucial deadlines that would change my normal working pace. I personally only charge more than the estimate if any of the conditions of the contract change (make sure this is written down somewhere on the agreement that you both sign).

 

A low asking price is actually just as likely to scare a potential client away as an excessively high one. For example, someone that values their own work at one dollar per map doesn't inspire much confidence. Without knowing anything else about that person, I would assume that a 1 dollar map would be of low quality, and I probably wouldn't get much support or professionalism. Me personally? If I was commissioning maps for a project, and willing to sink money into it, I would never hire an artist that charges 1 dollar per map, because someone who charges such a low amount likely won't take this project very seriously. I would rather pay somewhere around $50 - $100 per map based on the length, if I like their previous work.

 

I wouldn't suggest trying to make a living off of Doom commissions, seeing how most modders are willing to work for free, and there isn't much money to be made for either party. If you want to pay someone to make a mod for you, keep in mind how skilled they are, how fast they work, and how reliable they are. Make sure the terms of the contract are clear. Don't be surprised if you end up paying a lot for 40+ hours of work.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Mik5757 said:

...

How does one justify a price based on hourly rates when people work at different speeds? Your in the business so im curious.
it would seem unfair, one person could be layed back and work slowly, and the other could work like a machine.

Edit Also found this just  now https://www.peopleperhour.com/ seems interesting

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Just now, Ermi said:

How does one justify a price based on hourly rates when people work at different speeds?

higher speed = higher price per hour

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As a freelance composer, I've been handling commission pricing on a per-song basis rather than a per-hour one. Charging per hour of work puts me at odds with the person paying me, because they'll naturally want me to work as quickly as possible, and it also means that they don't know what they're actually signing up to pay. Charging per minute of completed music means that I can be sometimes end up working a lot more hours than expected for the same amount of money, though the inverse of this can also be true, and the rate can be set based on the expected difficulty of the work and how demanding the schedule for it is going to be.

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16 minutes ago, Ermi said:

How does one justify a price based on hourly rates when people work at different speeds? Your in the business so im curious.

 

Even one person can work at different speeds. When I quote by the hour, it's based on how I'd work on an average 'good' day. Not a 'knocking it out the fucking park cuz I'm on FIRE' day, but merely a 'good' one. Then if I do knock it out the park, that's a bonus for me; but also it allows a little leg-room for bad days when I'm just not working optimally. I suspect many freelancers do something like this; people aren't machines, and I doubt they'd work at the same rate on any two random days.

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6 minutes ago, esselfortium said:

As a freelance composer, I've been handling commission pricing on a per-song basis rather than a per-hour one.

This i think is the fairest option.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

When I quote by the hour, it's based on how I'd work on an average 'good' day. Not a 'knocking it out the fucking park cuz I'm on FIRE' day, but merely a 'good' one.

That's the thing. No matter if you charge by the hour or based on finished products, you still gotta know how much an hour of your work is worth on average.

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Just now, Ermi said:

How does one justify a price based on hourly rates when people work at different speeds? Your in the business so im curious.
it would seem unfair, one person could be layed back and work slowly, and the other could work like a machine.

 

If the client doesn't agree to the timeframe or the price, you negotiate. If they agree, then the work is done within the established timeframe, and the client pays. I'll have a displayed price per hour, which is almost never accurate by the time the invoice is paid.

 

For example, I used to charge $50/hour for designing schematics for 3d print models. Client wants me to make a set of 6 objective markers for Warhammer 40k, so that he can print them out and sell them at his hobby shop. I quote him $600, which is 2 hours per objective marker. He needs the project done in 30 days. I actually ended up spending around 20 hours on the project because my 3d printer's heated bed stopped working, and the prototypes weren't coming out right. I also worked at a fairly leisurely pace. Because the client did not request any major changes after the contract was made, and the delays were on my end, I did not charge anything more than $600. The project was still done before the deadline, the client was satisfied with the work, and the models are now being sold at his shop.

Working faster just means you technically make more per hour. If I quoted a client 12 hours, and end up completing the job in 6, I will still charge the client the full amount that we agreed on. The client cares more that the project is done correctly, and that it is done before the deadline. It makes no difference if you take every possible second to complete the project, or if you complete it in a nanosecond, as long as it's the desired quality and within the deadline.

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2 minutes ago, Mik5757 said:

...

Awesome! thanks for clearing that up for me buddy.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting topic. I want to sponsor a modification "Doom 3 for Doom". Maybe DBThanatos and Co or someone else will agree, I want to know the price.

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Fuck it, I'll bite. 

 

Imagine a map the same size (or slightly larger) than your average Plutonia map. How much for that with a decent level of detail and zdoom effects (slops, etc)?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mr. Freeze said:

Fuck it, I'll bite. 

 

Imagine a map the same size (or slightly larger) than your average Plutonia map. How much for that with a decent level of detail and zdoom effects (slops, etc)?

 

If a layout is already made for the map, and you just want me to build and polish it, I would estimate that to take a solid 8 hours of work. If you also want me to design it from scratch, add an hour to that. A project deadline of 1 week won't incur any extra costs for rushing the job.

 

I would charge $20 an hour for anything Doom related. The work is relatively easy for me, and I enjoy it. I also have some competition (with Ermi apparently offering $1 per map). $160-$180 dollars guarantees you a map made to your expectations (and likely well past them) within a week, with the first build being completed within 4 days. Bugfixes and small changes are, of course, free. You will be given my business email, phone number, and Discord ID, and can contact me at any time with questions or concerns. If you need me to create any graphical assets (textures, sprites, etc), or if you need any major scripting/coding done, we would negotiate a price. Exact payment terms would also be negotiated.

 

I would give you discounts if there are additional maps, which would be negotiated once we have an exact amount of work that needs to be done (I've offered a 10% discount for a 40 hour project before).

Mind you, this is all hypothetical. I'm busy with my own personal project at the moment, and we're in a bit of a crunch at my day job. I couldn't currently guarantee you a map done within a week. I also lowballed an estimate that I would pay another mapper earlier, which probably puts me at a disadvantage (whoops). Honestly, I'm more likely to contribute a few maps to your project in my free time as a hobby, rather than a job.

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I've needed 14 levels done for some time and am both lazy and not talented in this position. I've done the music and have a long plot for said game, it's just making the levels

 

I tried to pay for a basic hub just to have one put together to use since I couldn't figure it out and notta

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9 hours ago, ReX said:

Many professionally-made games can be had for US$ 40

 

Wait two years from release and you can get the game and all its DLC for half that :)

 

The value of Patreon-type systems is that they allow creators to monetise work that would be difficult to sell under more traditional pricing mechanisms.  Lots of people paying a buck or two per ((thing)) can be much easier to organise than finding the one person willing to drop $50 or $100 on it.

 

The Doom community has some challenges to make even Patreon financially worthwhile, though.  Firstly we're a small community which limits the number of backers, and secondly there's an awful lot of free material already out there.  There are literally thousands of WADs I've never played, and many people would be in the same boat.

 

All that said, if someone does want to give me money to make maps, I doubt I would say no :)

 

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6 hours ago, Jayextee said:

Only two things matter IMO: whether the client wants to pay for the work, and whether the person being commission deems the price worth the time and labour.

And this, precisely, is what a marketplace is all about. It doesn't matter if there is an extremely talented mapper (or even a professional one) that is offering to work on commission. Unless a buyer considers the product worth the price, and the seller feels the price is worth the effort, the commission will not be given. When it comes to DooM, there is a minuscule chance of a single commission being worth hundreds of dollars. I'm not saying the mapper hasn't spent an amount of time that, elsewhere, might be worth a lot of money. Or that the end result doesn't have a great deal of value. Or that the mapper doesn't deserve adequate reward. I'm simply saying that it's unlikely someone will fork out large sums of money for something that many others are giving away for free.

 

One caveat I see is where someone like John Romero offers to work on a commission. [This falls into the category of a "collector's item", which I have previously touched upon.] Many in the DooM community would undoubtedly be willing to pay a pretty penny for a unique Romero map. But this is an outlier, and isn't representative of the DooM marketplace.

 

Having said all of this, I am all for free enterprise. If someone wants to create maps, or art, or music, or any other resource for DooM, and wants to sell them, I say: "Have at it!" But ultimately, the success of the enterprise will be based, in part, on the monetary value placed on the product by the buyer.

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With all due respect to John Romero, I think that's a pretty shoddy example. At least speaking for myself, I would much sooner pay for a Ribbiks or Mechadon map (to name just a couple of the many talented and deserving folks in this community) than pay someone who's already living off of Doom money and asking for more :p

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6 hours ago, esselfortium said:

... commission pricing on a per-song basis rather than a per-hour one...

 

6 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

No matter if you charge by the hour or based on finished products, you still gotta know how much an hour of your work is worth on average.

 

4 hours ago, Mik5757 said:

If a layout is already made for the map, and you just want me to build and polish it, I would estimate that to take a solid 8 hours of work. If you also want me to design it from scratch, add an hour to that.... I would charge $20 an hour for anything Doom related.

In the consulting world, pricing options fall into a variety of categories, including:

1. Firm Fixed Price: This is the category into which esselfortium's songs would fall.

2. Cost Plus Fixed Fee: Mik5757's pricing might use this formula. S/he feels it would take 8 hours of work @ $20/hr, which presumably covers Mik's wages and profit.

3. Time & Materials: This would typically give the buyer only the agreed-upon time, whether or not the product/service was completed by the seller.

 

When it comes to art, however, (and I consider much of what we do in DooM art) the "normal" rules of buying and selling go out the window. There is typically less agreement on the value of something artistic, than something material (like a sandwich). Throw art-for-free into the mix, and successful commissioning becomes even more challenging. Until people commission DooM mods we will probably not know if $20 per hour and 8 hours for a map are typical for pricing in this marketplace.

 

[And, yes, people did pay for DooM mods. But they were buying a retail product, not commissioning some work.]

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Now, on one hand paid level design work is usually done as part of a commercial project. But I know plenty of artists who take commissions from people who purely have a personal interest in seeing something custom from them, with no commercial intent and the only value of it being their enjoyment of seeing the image they've imagined come to life via a skilled artist's hands, while also getting the satisfaction of knowing that they helped a creator they respect pay rent that month. So, I don't think it's completely out of the question that there might be some interest in the idea. It hasn't really been tried here.

 

It also needs to be reiterated yet again that this isn't about paying money to download a random wad from idgames, but to have a new map created based on your specifications by a level designer you love, who is answering to you and who is being paid to create a specific thing in a way that you are satisfied with. Another possibility that might be easier to grasp is commissioning custom monster or weapon sprites from one of the community's talented pixel artists. Doing any of these things very well takes a lot of time and skill, and you're getting the chance to get them done for you by someone you've selected as capable. That might not be valuable to you, but I imagine it is valuable to someone.

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31 minutes ago, ReX said:

I'm simply saying that it's unlikely someone will fork out large sums of money for something that many others are giving away for free.

When's the last time a person went to a prominent mapper, asked for a very specific map in gameplay, atmosphere, theme, etc., and actually had it made for them?

 

Because that's the thing: you're comparing the release of something made entirely out of the creator's passion and something the creator made out of someone else's passion. While these may sometimes have overlapping results should two people in the community basically have the exact same dream project, that's an extremely rare circumstance and really shouldn't be considered. Hell, with how many factors there are in a video game level, even significant overlap in dream projects don't make for a match, as a creator could release a mapset with the exact type of aesthetic somebody else has been waiting for for a long time, but with a type of gameplay they can't stand at all

 

Or, to put it another way, you're basically saying that it's be rare that someone would bother commissioning an artist for art of their favorite character when said character already has plenty of fan art. But five seconds of being around artists that do commissions shows that that's just plainly not true, because there's a lot more to it all than just having more art of said character.

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13 minutes ago, esselfortium said:

With all due respect to John Romero, I think that's a pretty shoddy example. At least speaking for myself, I would much sooner pay for a Ribbiks or Mechadon map (to name just a couple of the many talented and deserving folks in this community) than pay someone who's already living off of Doom money and asking for more :p

I think you're missing the point. Yes, perhaps you would rather pay for something made by a member of the community, and not by Romero. But I can see other's being willing to pay for a one-of-a-kind map made by someone that many consider a legend of this game. This boils down to what value the buyer places on the product or service. You would pay for a Ribbiks or Mechadon map; if others were equally willing, then a marketplace would form, and Ribbiks and Mechadon would be compensated for their time and effort to the extent that the marketplace allowed.

 

But the fact that such a marketplace is not widely in evidence, suggests that the community might not be ready for the commissioning of mods.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, ReX said:

But the fact that such a marketplace is not widely in evidence, suggests that the community might not be ready for the commissioning of mods.

I think you're jumping to that conclusion a bit early, considering I'm pretty sure a much more significant reason would be that no mapper / modder well-known enough has actually said they're taking commissions yet.

 

Like, I may be wrong about that, but I don't think I've ever heard or seen of someone doing that yet. Which, y'know, would keep the concept from happening far before lack of interest could even enter the picture. You have to have legs before you can walk, after all.

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As Arctangent already said (damn, I'm too slow on the posting button!), I'd think that's a chicken/egg problem. If there are no skilled mappers publicly making it known that they're accepting commission requests, they're unlikely to get those requests, or if they do then they likely wouldn't even be sure what to do with them due to not having taken the time beforehand to think about what commission rates would be fair to themselves and their time.

 

I realize the following is a huge humblebrag, but hear me out: considering that over the years I've received a few emails from strangers asking if there was a way to donate money to me for my already released work*, I don't think it's out of the question that someone out there would be interested in paying their favorite Doom creator to make something for them. No, a single person is probably not going to be able to afford to commission a massive project in its entirety just for their own enjoyment, but commissioning a smaller custom creation can still be rewarding both because you get to enjoy the result and because you gave money to someone who inspires you.

 

*(I declined, because accepting money for an originally-free project that had multiple contributors with no pay-split agreements decided in advance would open up a nightmare can of worms and bad feelings)

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6 minutes ago, ReX said:

When it comes to art, however, (and I consider much of what we do in DooM art) the "normal" rules of buying and selling go out the window. There is typically less agreement on the value of something artistic, than something material (like a sandwich). Throw art-for-free into the mix, and successful commissioning becomes even more challenging.

As Essel has been pointing out: It doesn't matter how many mappers release content for free as long as that content isn't what the customer in question is looking to get. That is why it's called "custom made".

 

If you hire a painter to paint you something you wanna have, you hire that painter because it's that particular painter's style and way of doing things that you wanna get. If that's not something you can relate to, then I don't know what to tell you at this point.

 

Besides: If someone were to ask me to create a map in a certain way, and the price I asked was to steep, I could spend that time on something else instead. So for me it wouldn't even be a loss if someone said they don't wanna pay me 600$ (Yes, sixhundred) for a medium to large slaughter map, I just earn that money elsewhere, as in IRL, and don't look back.

 

I have been self employed for well over 6 years by now, and I have plenty competition, depending on what the person in question is looking for there's some variance, but I can always ask a decent pay for my work, because first of I'm good at it, and second of people want me to get that stuff done the way I do it.

 

You're not paying for "just a random map", you're paying for that person's style and skill. That's how it is. If these things don't matter to you, good for you, makes life easier, for others it might be important.

10 minutes ago, ReX said:

This boils down to what value the buyer places on the product or service.

This is straight up wrong. You bloody well don't get to decide how much an hour of my lifetime is worth. I make that call, and if you don't like it then maybe we negotiate for something a bit more within the confines of your budged, but I'm not selling my time under value just because you think you, or anybody else, is in a position to dictate the terms. This isn't a buyer's market, you want me to build a map, then you want something from me, not the other way around.

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Also, I would suspect that the very existence of this thread is pretty solid evidence that at least one person is interested in commissioning custom Doom stuff from creators in the community.

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3 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

This is straight up wrong. You bloody well don't get to decide how much an hour of my lifetime is worth. I make that call, and if you don't like it then maybe we negotiate for something a bit more within the confines of your budged, but I'm not selling my time under value just because you think you, or anybody else, is in a position to dictate the terms. This isn't a buyer's market, you want me to build a map, then you want something from me, not the other way around.

 

I've known enough artists to know that the value most people place on other people's piece work is seriously undervalued.  Like, I've seen howls of complaints for being asked for $50 for a page-sized colour illustration, despite the fact that to do something like that well would take hours.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, esselfortium said:

Doing any of these things very well takes a lot of time and skill, and you're getting the chance to get them done for you by someone you've selected as capable. That might not be valuable to you, but I imagine it is valuable to someone.

Agreed. I am completely in favor of someone expecting a fee for providing something of value. And I also understand that others might not share my opinion of what I consider valuable. Specifically, what I consider valuable enough to pay for. In my line of work, I market many different clients; some sign a contract, others don't. You produce music; some people buy your music, others don't. The lack of signed contracts/purchased songs doesn't diminish the intrinsic value of the service/product. It just means that people weren't willing to pay that price.The same principle applies to commissioning.

 

6 minutes ago, Arctangent said:

Or, to put it another way, you're basically saying that it's be rare that someone would bother commissioning an artist for art of their favorite character when said character already has plenty of fan art. But five seconds of being around artists that do commissions shows that that's just plainly not true, because there's a lot more to it all than just having more art of said character.

That's precisely what I'm saying, with the operative words being "rare" and "fan art". I've been speaking within the context of commissioning for DooM, where it is quite rare for members of the community to pay large sums of money to get the custom mods they want. And a large part of the reason why, is that high-quality mods are given away for free as fan art. My point in no way suggests that artists (specifically, DooM artists) shouldn't be paid for their work, if they so demand. The question I have been asking is: How many people would be willing to pay what the artist's time and end product might really be worth?

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