Now that we can post projects on the Extended Edition Steam Workshop, I’m wondering how best to post Required Items there (e.g. hak required by multiple modules).
Technically, there are three options:
- A Required Item on Steam is a set of files uploaded once that can be referenced by multiple projects
- Required files can be duplicated in each project
- Project descriptions can link to required projects on the Vault
The idea behind Steam Workshop is to make it one-touch for the player, so it makes sense to bundle all the files for a module (or series) into one project (known as an Item on Steam), contrary to historical practice on NWVault. However, on the player’s PC, Steam holds the files for each Item separately, so option 2 results in duplicate files. In option 1, the player is actively prompted by Steam to subscribe to Required Items, which are not duplicated, and are kept up-to-date centrally.
The bigger question, though, is ethical. When is it acceptable to post other people’s stuff on Steam?
That’s why option 3 is there. If required projects can’t be posted on Steam for some reason, we can link to the Vault, with a Guide on how to install. Steam fans will hate this, but it’s a solution.
The ethical question depends on our reading of the Open permission on works submitted to the new Vault, the “customary usage” of projects migrated from NWVault, and courtesy to the authors. My tentative suggestion is that posting other people’s work on Steam is
- OK if the author gives permission
- Not OK if the author is active (let them do it in their own time)
- Not OK if the author has specified restrictive terms
- If it is a genuinely required project, open / customary usage & the author can’t be contacted, OK to bundle the content with the module (option 2) but not OK to post as a Required Item (option 1)
- Otherwise Not OK
What do people think?
EDIT - I modified the 4th bullet point to reflect the discussion to date. This doesn’t preclude further discussion, of course.