Idea - could I make money porting models?

Read the whole thing before you post, please - I recognize this is a potentially controversial topic

This thread is mostly just me testing the waters, seeing if anyone is interested before setting up a system.

I got a pretty decent response to my Oblivion ports, and quite a few people asked me to port more, even though I’d said that I was moving on.

However, I have been unemployed for quite some time, and I’m starting to run out of money. I’ve given this some thought, and decided I might try making a bit of odd cash by porting models by request.

How I’m thinking it would work is this: You request a model or ten from a game I can port from. I port it, and show screenshots to prove it’s done. You transfer the money, probably via Paypal. I upload it to or such. This way, nobody can get ripped off.

I’m not a lawyer, but I fully believe this would be legal. Especially when it comes to porting mod content, since almost all that I’ve seen have had open licenses.

Even the stock Oblivion stuff would be legit: the money wouldn’t be for the model itself, since I don’t have rights to it, but rather to port it. Since Bethesda is relatively lenient on modders, I don’t think they’ll raise trouble, especially if I code a lua module that checks to see if you have Oblivion (or whatever game) first.

I believe I have heard of someone doing this before, but he was rather unpopular, since he only released them to people who paid, and likely ran into legal issues. I’m avoiding that: even if you aren’t the one paying, you’ll still get the models. Paying just lets you choose which ones.

I’m undecided on price as of yet, but I’m not going to be crazy with it: my absolute upper bounds would be $1 per model, and more likely 25c per model. A quick conversion: 15-60 pence, 20-70c euros, for the people outside the US.

I can do Oblivion stuff, including (actually, preferring) mods. I can also do many older/older-tech games, like Quake 2/3, SiN, Call of Duty 1, RTCW/Wolfenstein: ET, OpenArena and Sauerbraten. If someone were to gift me a copy of Fallout 3 (same engine) or Morrowind (same model format) I could also do those, and would count the cost of the game as credit for conversions.

The real questions:

**How many people would even be willing to pay for models, period?

How much would you likely spend?

How much would you value one ported model?

If donating money were optional, would you/how much would you donate?

Would a small demo pack help you decide?**

that’s illegal

I could be extremely rich if this was a good idea, as would many facepunchers that frequent this section

Even if I just stick to mods that allow derivative content, I should be able to make a few bucks.

Yeah right, ppl are already ripping a models from games into gmod, which should be and probably is already kinda not legal. And you want to earn on this? Fuck that, go get a job

I’ve been job-hunting for 8 months. If I’m going to be sitting around all day, I might as well try something new to earn a living.

S-Low does this for CSS Servers.

I think.

What S-lows does is illegal and even he has admitted it lol

Indeed, I don’t recall him admitting it however.

Is he the one that only gives the stuff to the person who paid? Or am I confusing him with someone else?

In any case, reception to the idea seems rather cold. Oh well. At least I tried.

Yeah, I think you’re on the mark, he posts a lot of his models publicly, but a few only go to people who pay and a few others.

You know, if you have game making or even game porting skills, this could lead to a career in the video game field.

Well, as I said, I think I’d avoid the legal troubles by posting them publicly. After all, it would be exactly as legal as doing them for free: I’d be paid not for the model, but for the conversion process.

Still, since nobody’s shown any interest, it doesn’t seem like this is going anywhere.

Idea: what if I just put a big “Donate” button next to the DL links? How many would donate if I ported something they liked?


I’m actually in the process of making a game, 100% me (other than the rudimentary engine). I’m doing all the design, all the art, all the sound, all the writing. Problem is, I don’t expect to have anything to show for a couple years. I may have saved up a lot from my last job, but not that much.


Updated OP with two new questions.

porting doesn’t work that way

It IS illegal, but it’s extremely doubtful you would ever get in any trouble for it. As you pointed out, it’s not like people get knocked for porting models anyway.

If you want to make money on porting models into Gmod, only do models that do not come from any existing game, otherwise you’re infringing on copyright in the way that get’s you noticed.

I realize that -.-

Why not just start scratch modelling and sell those? There are great sites out there where you can sell models and other stuff for money.

I really strongly don’t think you’re ever going to make more than 10 dollars if you did this.

No one’s gonna pay you to port models when there’s hundreds of other people who can port stuff and they’ll do it for free.

Conclusion: Not worth it. Thanks for saving me the hassle of setting up a system that would never be used.