GM_BigIsland unpaid commission money: Lessons to be learned

Mappers, I did not want to get emotionally involved in this, I was willing to let it pass even - but I think as fellow artists, learners and businesspeople you will be able to relate to and understand these events. I know little about forum policy regarding discussion about locked threads, so if I’m trespassing on rule-breaking territory, I apologise.

This is a little story about how you feel when you don’t get paid and the person who was meant to pay you dismisses your existence.

Imagine that one day, as you’re browsing facepunch with a colleague and working part-time on a Steam game, you find a terrific mapping opportunity. Something crazy awesome that doesn’t show up often, and you jump on it as a result. It’s for a massively ambitious project with a ludicrous deadline for only a payment of $200 - a lot less than what it’s worth - so if you can pull it off, you and them are heroes, and even though the reward is kinda small, it’s significant and you’re both a lot more likely to get it right?

When you make something with artistic intent, you put hours and hours into it. It becomes a part of your life, it becomes a part of who you are and part of you goes into it and doesn’t come back. You’re always thinking about it, on the bus, in that one boring Networking lecture, trying to solve that one problem or design the next segment or you’re hooked on thinking of what asset you’ll need to make next. Well, we made it. We made it in a third of the time it should have taken, and we weren’t paid.

I am writing this to serve as a warning for others wishing either to commission a map or create one for money. Get a legally binding agreement of some sort. In business, trust is as worthless as a sky_camera stuck out in the void - make sure that if you are going to put your heart and soul and countless hours into something for someone, don’t do it just to get screwed over. I recall a wise man once told me that money is nothing to play with.

You can do what I did and just shrug and say, “shit happens”. It does, and if you weren’t in a binding agreement and were solely relying on trust, it’s tits-up for you if the other guy doesn’t uphold their half of the deal.

You just don’t expect them to then go and make it personal.

Very well written, mind if I link this in the Mapping Request mega thread?

Do so indeed, I hope it will prevent this from happening in the future.

I have intentionally kept my opinions on this to myself, as I mostly like to sit back and enjoy the drama from a distance, but because of my large role in this ordeal I feel obligated to atleast share my perspective.

Both me and hiyu knew that this map was sort of insane from the start and that creating the assets, optimizing for visibility and simply constructing a map of this size is a hard task even for experienced mappers with a lot more time on their hands.

When accepting a project like this, no matter how insane the specifications provided are. You are literally putting your reputation on the line, so not having the map done by the deadline to the specifications provided will completely discredit you in future projects.

This is why, when working towards a deadline or specific goal I literally put everything I have into the project. People can attest to me when working in the map repetdetly saying things along the lines of: "I will get this map done no matter what. This map is getting done by the deadline no matter the cost to my mental health, no matter if hiyu does almost nothing. " (for the two months this map was in production I literally spent almost every waking hour working on it.)

As for the actual payment, this map for me was never really about the money but the personal challenge and portfolio piece it would make once completed. I am content knowing that casualbananas will have trouble hiring mappers in the future.

You’re absolutely right about large undertakings like this becoming part of one’s life, it creeps into a part of the daily rota of stuff that lurks in the back of your mind.
You could be walking somewhere and think of a way to make a certain corner in a map better, or how to make a wall more interesting, out of absolutely nowhere.

The music you where listening to when making that hill, the weather outside when you where texturing that tree, it all becomes tied into the map in some way as memories.
This is the sort of concept that could seem alien to anyone who hasn’t seriously spent time on a project, and it’s difficult for anyone who hasn’t to appreciate the effort.

Both of you have done a fantastic job on this map, and the fact you made this at all is a testament to your passion.
You will both keep that passion, and your skills will continue to grow, whilst the guy who suggested the map will keep a tarnished reputation and fade into obscurity, that much is certain.

If it’s any comfort, your effort isn’t lost on me. Excellent work.

Whilst shit does happen, that is no excuse for the dismissive actions of the requester. You created a stunning map, he apparently cannot pay. I don’t buy his financial breakdown, if you are spending more on “expenses” than anything else, then you either can’t control your money or you are an MP.

This reminds me of a competition here on facepunch.

I spent about months making my entry, and won 2nd place if I remember correctly. The reward was only like 30$, but I never got the money.
Eventually, however, I realized the real award was finishing a pretty large level and lots of experience. And no amount of money can really beat that.

Great map, first off. No need to doubt your artistic capabilities what-so-ever. Simply dealing with (assumingly by the posters picture) youngsters whom have no idea of what time and effort goes into creation of the maps. They probably found a map elsewhere and figured they would just call it off or by any means vanish so to speak.

This shit happens, on all fronts of artistic life. All I can say is I’m sorry for the experience you had. It isn’t odd to ask for a % of $ ahead as deposit by the way.

was that the relaxing / shooting contest? :v:

doesnt casualbananas get like ten times their donation goal every month
i remember having seen that counter on like $1200 a while ago

give me your paypal(s) and ill shove some money your way, i dont want everyone to think all dutch people are irresponsible pricks :v

i actually got the money so idk what you’re talking about :v:

Thank about a kickstart program for maps, with a some changes in the rules and process of course:

  • kickstart for a map is made
  • details and reference is specificied
  • the community votes to approve of the kickstart and a deadline is set
  • the community creates a combined money pool prize
  • mappers begin fulfilling the kickstart demand
  • mappers present their work
  • community votes to approve the best work and that the map meets the specifications made.
  • winning mapper must release the bsp AND vmf before recieving the prize

Of course people would be refunded if no map is made by the deadline.

Did Cyberuben actually offer you guys money at the start or did that turn out to be a lie?

Mod of the year

Was gonna wait to hear on this but whatever, it doesn’t matter. cyberuben can go find another forum.

get yourself a paypal if you don’t already and post it OP, I’m sure there’s some generous people here that can help make up for the lost time.

Okay, my Paypal’s**[REDACTED]**- whatever comes through labelled as a map payment will be split 50/50 between Stinger and myself. Whoever pays the fees is up to you.Thanks a bunch for the overwhelming support guys - while our jimmies remain mostly unrustled it’s wonderful to know that this community is so supportive of its members. I hope it can continue to do so well into the future!**Edit: **Because of awesomeness happening below, we are no longer accepting donations. Our greatest thanks to all those who did support us for our work, I’ll be updating GM_BigIsland with fixes for all known bugs soon. Maps will continue to be made!

This is actually a really good idea.

Wow reading this whole thread I am absolutely shocked at the treatment from CBC, I was a long time player and never had any problem with those guys. Glad I saw the real nature of them though, I hope their community crashes. None of them obviously understand the time it takes to create a great map.

Knowing quite a few big players (and donators) on the server I will show them this, hopefully they will spend their money somewhere else. I don’t believe for a second that they couldn’t pay you, they just didn’t want to.

sent you $15

now i’m going to be $750 in debt because i rented an office for my* garry’s mod community*