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Paid Mods Creators Faced Abuse And Death Threats

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Valve’s attempt to introduce paid mods to the Steam workshop came to a close yesterday when the company announced it was cancelling the program. The move to allow modders to charge for their work on the Steam Workshop incurred the internet’s wrath in a big way not least due to its atrociously mishandled roll-out. The community seemed to feel almost betrayed that Valve and Bethesda would simply go ahead and introduce this scheme without first discussing it with the public. Even worse, the two companies remained largely silent on the matter for several days before Gabe Newell, Valve CEO, finally took to Reddit to defend the move. That didn’t go so well, with most of his comments downvoted to obscurity. Valve and Bethesda both took a hit to their popularity, Valve in particular. But when you’re a company, hate is easy to deal with. For individuals, it’s much harder.

Two days ago, a Skyrim modder called James Ive told Polygon he’d faced abuse and death threats from the gaming community. Ive, who creates mods under the name Jimo, was one of the modders charging for his work on the Steam Workshop. There was also an artist named Thiago Vidotto, who created weapons for Skyrim based on DOTA, who received messages saying that he was “destroying the gaming world.” Meanwhile Ives was faced with “countless death threats, attacks and hateful comments… Just about everything you can think of.”

Valve’s actions may have brought the paid mod debate to a head last week, but it has actually been going on for some time. There are modders that work exceptionally hard to create superb and original content for games. For Skyrim, a great example is the Falskaar mod. Created by Alexander Velicky, it adds an entirely new land to the game as well as 20-30 hours of extra gameplay. Since creating the mod Velicky has been given a job at Bungie, but until then he was receiving nothing but donations for his work. For most, it would be hard to imagine putting so much time and energy into a project for so little financial return, but this is how the modding community has been going for years. There have always been arguments on both sides. It’s hard to argue that modders like Velicky would have been unjustified should they have chosen to charge for their work, but the community wants mods to remain free and available to everyone.

Valve’s ill-fated plan to enable modders to make money off their work should have worked. It should have benefited the community and helped modders, but instead it was so mishandled, it had to be shut down less than a week after it began. The absence of a pay-what-you-choose slider and the fact that Valve implemented the plan without warning riled up the community to the point of no return. Two days ago, I wrote about the risks of giving 75% of the revenue from mods to the developers and Valve. Gabe Newell said on Reddit, “Our goal is to make modding better for the authors and gamers.” I hope it’s become clear to Gabe by now that giving just 25% of the revenue to modders was never going to make them any better off than they are relying on donations. In fact, the decision to give them only 25% makes it look suspiciously like Valve didn’t care at all about the interests of the modders.

Now, not only have modders missed out on an opportunity to monetize their work, but any future attempts to monetize mods will also have to deal with the fallout from this attempt. And we can only hope this whole fiasco won’t discourage modders from continuing to create awesome content for the games they love.

Rhiannon likes video games and she likes writing, so she decided to combine them. As well as writing about video games, she also belts out the occasional science fiction or fantasy story, edits videos, and eats strawberry oreos. In that order.

Gaming

Baldur’s Gate 3 has received an impressive haul of 5 BAFTA Awards, with the prestigious title of Best Game among them

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Baldur’s Gate 3 continues to solidify its position as a standout title, garnering five prestigious BAFTA awards, including the highly coveted Best Game accolade. In addition to the top accolade of the evening, the RPG created by the talented team at Larian Studios also emerged victorious in the categories of narrative, music, players’ choice, and performer in a supporting role.

Several games for the PS5 and PS4 received BAFTA awards. Alan Wake 2 won for Audio Achievement, Cyberpunk 2077 was recognized as an Evolving Game, Viewfinder was named the Best British Game, and Nadji Jeter received the Performer in a Leading Role award for his portrayal of Miles Morales in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Standing on the stage that night, Swen Vincke, the founder of Larian Studios, expressed his disbelief: “It’s truly incredible to be here.” The effort and dedication poured into creating Baldur’s Gate 3 is truly commendable. It’s truly remarkable, and I extend my gratitude to Bafta and everyone involved.

Here are the winners of the BAFTA awards for 2024:

  • Debut game: Venba
  • Audio achievement: Alan Wake 2
  • Multiplayer: Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • Evolving game: Cyberpunk 2077
  • Game design: Dave the Diver
  • British game: Viewfinder
  • Artistic achievement: Alan Wake 2
  • New intellectual property — Viewfinder
  • Narrative: Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Performer in a supporting role: Andrew Wincott, Raphael in Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Family — Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • EE Players’ Choice — Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Animation — Hi-Fi Rush
  • Music — Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Game Beyond Entertainment — Tchia
  • Technical achievement: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Performer in a leading role — Nadji Jeter, Miles Morales in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Best game: Baldur’s Gate 3

 

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V Rising embraces its theme by introducing a Legacy of Castlevania crossover DLC

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V Rising, a vampiric RPG, made its debut on PC in 2022 and is set to grace the PS5 in 2024. The game clearly showcased a strong influence from Castlevania. Now, Stunlock Studios is fully embracing the opportunity, officially teaming up with Konami for a captivating DLC with a gothic twist.

Featured in The Triple-i Initiative’s recent digital indie showcase, Legacy of Castlevania offers players the opportunity to immerse themselves in the timeless visuals of hair, cloth, and character design from one of the most beloved vampire franchises in gaming history. The pack is set to be released in May, and it’s possible that we’ll gain further insights into the PS5 port at that time. In the upcoming game, players will have the chance to encounter the renowned vampire hunter Simon Belmont, who will serve as a formidable adversary. Additionally, fans will be delighted to know that they can dress up as the enigmatic Vampire Prince, Alucard, with a special cosplay set.

There will be three distinct shapeshifting variants for players to fully embrace the darkness. Among the options available are the Wolf Form Variant, Soul of the Wolf; the Human Form Variant, Glamour of Maria Renard; and the Toad Form Variant, Guise of The Flea Man. In addition, you’ll have access to luxurious furniture and decorations to adorn your sanctuary, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a gothic masterpiece.

Did V Rising catch your attention? What are your thoughts on the Legacy of Castlevania collaboration? We eagerly await your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Fallout – RPG Series Continues to Impress on the Small Screen

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Television series that draw inspiration from video games have now reached a commendable level of quality. As a result, the anticipation surrounding Fallout’s adaptation is greater than it would have been in the past. HBO and PlayStation Productions demonstrated the potential for success when adapting a game into a film with The Last of Us. They then continued their winning streak with a more lighthearted Twisted Metal adaptation.

In the ever-expanding realm of TV and film adaptations, Amazon Prime is now bringing us Fallout, a brand new story set in the post-apocalyptic universe of Bethesda’s beloved RPG series. This film transports the audience to Los Angeles, where the wasteland proves to be a tragic setting, both underground and on the irradiated surface. It successfully captures the action, story-telling, deep cast of characters, and twisted humor that the games are known for. Amazon Prime breathes new life into the beloved Fallout franchise with a series that will surely make fans proud.

The inaugural season consists of eight episodes, each running between 45 minutes and one hour. The story unfolds through the eyes of three distinct characters who swiftly find themselves entangled in each other’s endeavors. Lucy, the undeniable focal point of the story, embarks on a relentless quest through the desolate wasteland in pursuit of her abducted father, who was snatched away from their sanctuary in Vault 33. Maximus is a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, while The Ghoul is a resurrected bounty hunter with a captivating and enigmatic history.

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The connection between the three characters revolves around a reward offered for capturing an escaped Enclave scientist. However, this is just the beginning of a captivating and suspenseful story. Lucy’s choice to venture out of the secure Vault 33 is just one piece of a larger narrative that stretches back to the time before the devastating bombings. At this point, Fallout truly showcases its potential and fearlessly pushes the boundaries of the franchise, surpassing any of Bethesda’s previous games. The results are absolutely captivating.

What’s truly remarkable is that even after Lucy leaves the vault, the captivating narrative beneath the surface continues to unfold. The events that unfold in Vault 33 after her departure are truly captivating, adding a layer of intrigue to the entire series. The aftermath of these events brings about shocking revelations that have a profound impact on the lives of its residents. With the inclusion of frequent flashback scenes, viewers are provided with a comprehensive understanding of how the passage of time has influenced the transformation of Los Angeles from a thriving city to a desolate wasteland.

They are arguably the weakest aspect of the show. The abundance of dialogue in each scene can become tedious at times. However, these scenes play a crucial role in providing a comprehensive understanding of Vault-Tec and its nefarious intentions for the City of Angels and beyond.

Lucy starts off with a relatively modest plot. Stepping out of Vault 33, she brings her cheerful demeanor into the unforgiving world of the Los Angeles wasteland, maintaining an optimistic perspective in every circumstance. Maximus, however, is well acquainted with the harsh realities of the desert-like badlands. Constantly tormented within the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel, his once unwavering devotion and loyalty to the clan have been severely shaken. The Ghoul truly brings the Bloody Mess perk to life during shootouts, creating a captivating spectacle. Additionally, his character arc is truly fascinating, especially when his guns remain untouched in their holsters. We won’t reveal too much about his story to avoid spoiling it, allowing the show to speak for itself.

The ensemble of supporting characters, combined with the performances of the three leads, effectively portray the post-apocalyptic world from various angles. Lucy, as the newcomer, brings a fresh perspective, while The Ghoul, a seasoned veteran, adds a gritty and experienced presence. The audience is granted a brief glimpse into the characters’ challenges and hardships before the main mission takes center stage, cleverly establishing the setting through well-crafted vignettes.

The Los Angeles wasteland is portrayed as a character in its own right, with a focus on the conversational aspects of the Fallout IP rather than the action-packed elements. This adaptation places a strong emphasis on its characters, delighting in its skillful portrayal of the games’ multiple-choice dialogue system in a non-interactive format. Lucy and Maximus, in their own unique ways, choose to resolve conflicts through dialogue rather than violence. However, The Ghoul takes a different approach, favoring a more aggressive resolution. When he’s unleashed upon a gang of raiders, the pace intensifies, resulting in gripping and enjoyable confrontations.

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This product truly captures the essence of the Fallout universe while also forging its own unique path instead of relying on Fallout 4. Mentions of the games are few and far between, with in-world items such as stimpaks and radaways being some of the most common nostalgic nods. It succeeds admirably as a self-contained story that almost everyone can enjoy despite the absence of recognizable actors or settings. Those who stumble upon the show while browsing through Amazon Prime may find themselves facing some challenges, especially if they are new to the series. The TV series is enjoyable on its own, but it assumes that viewers have a basic understanding of the Fallout universe, including the vaults and the wasteland. If Mom and Dad decide to give the show a chance with their Saturday night takeaway, they might find themselves a bit overwhelmed.

Fallout is yet another standout addition to the ever-growing list of exceptional video game adaptations in recent times. The game successfully captures the essence of the series, paving the way for new possibilities beyond traditional gameplay. It manages to recreate the familiar atmosphere and even revive the nostalgic tunes that have been long forgotten. If Fallout is the aftermath, then perhaps the LA wasteland isn’t as dreadful as it seems. This adaptation of Bethesda’s RPG series, Fallout, is truly exceptional. It presents a captivating story that easily rivals the plots of its video game counterparts. This is a must-see for all fans of the series.

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