The Los Angeles-based video gaming clipping service has made its first acquisition as it rolls out new features to its user base. The company has acquired the -based donations and payments service to enable direct payments and other types of transactions directly on its site. Now, the company is rolling out a service to any Medal user with more than 100 followers, allowing them to accept donations, subscriptions and payments directly from their clips on mobile, web, desktop and through embedded clips, according to a blog post from company founder Pim De Witte. For now, and for at least the next year, the service will be free to Medal users — meaning the company won’t take a dime of any users’ revenue made through payments on the platform. For users who already have a storefront up with Shopify, Paypal.me, Streamlabs or ko-fi, Medal won’t wreck the channel — integrating with those and other payment processing systems. Through the Donate Bot service any user with a discord server can generate a donation link, which can be customized to become more of a customer acquisition funnel for teams or gamers that sell their own merchandise. A gives users a way to add donors to various list or subscription services or stream overlays, and the Donate Bot is directly linked with and , so you can accept donations without having to set up a website. In addition, the company updated its social features, so clips made on Medal can ultimately be shared on social media platforms like and Discord — and the company is also integrated with Discord, Twitter and in a way to encourage easier signups.
The people who volunteer their time modifying and updating old games are among the most generous of developers. So when drama erupts there’s not just irritation and testy emails but a sense of a community being betrayed or taken advantage of. A recent conflict over work on the perennially renewed classic Skyrim may seem small, but for those involved, it’s a huge upset. I don’t mean to make a bigger deal out of this niche issue than it is; I feel though that sometimes it’s important to elevate things not because they are highly important in and of themselves, but because they represent a class of small injustices or conflicts that are rife on the modern web. The example today comes from the Skyrim modding community, which creates all kinds of improvements for the classic fantasy adventure, from new items and better maps to complete overhauls. It’s one of the most active out there, as Bethesda not only is highly tolerant of modders but tends to ship games, if we’re honest, in pretty poor shape. Modders have taken to filling in the gaps left by Bethesda and making the original game far better than how it shipped. One of the more useful of these mods, for developers but indirectly for players, is the . It basically allows for more complex behaviors for objects, locations and NPCs. How do you have a character seek shelter from the rain if there’s no weather-based behaviors in their original AI? That sort of thing (though that’s an invented example). SKSE goes back a long way and the creators provide much of the code for others to use under a free license, while declining donations themselves. Another project is Skyrim Together (ST), a small team that since 2013 has (among others) been working on adding multiplayer functionality to the game — their Patreon account, in contrast, is pulling in more than $30,000 a month. The main dev there allegedly independently distributed a modified version of SKSE several years ago against the terms of the license, and was henceforth specifically banned from using SKSE code in the future. Guess what SKSE’s lead found ? Yes, unfortunately, it seems that SKSE code is in the ST app, not only in violation of the license as far as not giving credit, but in that the dev himself has been barred from using it, and furthermore that — although there is some debate here — the ST team is essentially charging for access to a “closed beta.” Some say that it’s just a donation they ask for, but requiring a donation is really indistinguishable from charging for something. A response from the devs ; they say it’s just a bit of old junk in the codebase: There might be some leftover code from them in there that was overlooked when we removed it, it isn’t as simple as just deleting a folder, mainly our fault because we rushed some parts of the code. Anyway we are going to make sure to remove what might have slipped through the cracks for the next patch. Instead of SKSE, , they had substituted other code, for instance from the project libSkyrim. But as others quickly pointed out, libSkyrim is based on SKSE and there’s no way they could be ignorant of that fact. So the assertion that they weren’t using the forbidden code doesn’t really hold water. Not only that, but ST doesn’t even credit libSkyrim at all, a standard practice when you reuse code. This wouldn’t really be as big of a problem if ST was not only making quite a bit of scratch off their project via donations, but required donations for access to the code. That arguably makes it a commercial project, putting it even further outside the bounds of code reuse. Now, taking the hard work of open and semi-open source developers and using it in other projects is encouraged — in fact, it’s kind of the point. But it’s meant to be a collaboration, and the rules are there to make sure credit goes where it’s due. I don’t think the ST people are villains; they’re working on something many players are interested in using — and paying for, if the Patreon is any indication. That’s great, and it’s what the mod community is all about. But as in any group of developers, respectful and mutual acknowledgement is expected and valued. Honesty is important here because it’s not always possible to audit someone else’s code. And honesty is also important because users want to be able to trust developers for a variety of reasons — not least of which that they are donating to a project working in good faith. That trust was shaken here. As I said at the beginning, I don’t mean to make this a huge deal. No one is getting rich (though even split 10 ways, $33,000 a month is nothing to sniff at), and no one is getting hurt. But I imagine there’s hardly an open-source project out there that hasn’t had to police others’ use of their code or live in fear of someone cashing in on something they’ve donated their time to for years. Here’s hoping this particular tempest in a teapot resolves happily; but don’t forget, there are a lot more teapots where this one came from.