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I need to spill my guts out!

Edit: Since the OP got edited by mods for providing why my package was getting refunded, it doesn’t make sense to readers anymore since there are missing lines. I’d rewrite what went in this thread in a simple and shorter way. As I’m writing this the refund is processes but I’m still looking for a response on this from Epic. This thread is derailed a lot and I don’t really care about all the 4 pages. Just want to hear a response to this post.

There are 5 reasons the buyer described for getting a refund.

These reasons were mainly

A) Landscape was floating in the air.
Defense I provided: That’s the basic rule of every game engine. Before having a landscape there is no other ground to base it on. So inevitably a landscape will be always floating in the air. And every game that has ever came out on the market or is coming out even such as Paragon and Gears of War 4 has landscapes floating in the air.

B) Distant mountains (static meshes included for designing the horizon lines outside landscape bounds) don’t seamlessly connect to each other and landscape.
Defense I provided: It is impossible distance meshes and landscapes would seamlessly attach to each other. A background mesh in nature is a mesh you’d move, rotate, scale to design the horizon lines viewed from player perspective when standing on the original landscape. These meshes are provided (as bonus content) for the user to either design their backgrounds with them or not. The fact that these would be moved around, rotated and scaled to create a visually appealing “background design” indicates each piece wouldn’t seamlessly attach to the other and landscape which is also clearly shown in the documentation. There are currently packages on the marketplace offering these kind of meshes as their primary content.

C) There is a sharpen post process material instance that has 3 parameters that are not named.
Defense I provided: The sharpen post process material was included in the package shortly before the r.tonemapper.sharpen CVar was introduced and from that point forward this material was dropped from every Post Process Volume in the package. Let alone the fact that the unnamed parameter was a simply scalar parameter that’d increase/decrease the sharpen amount according to the value user would give to it. This single material wasn’t what I was selling however, I’m selling landscapes…

D) Lava landscape has slope.
Defense I provided: The landscape refered to was the lava based landscape in which lava flows from one side to another. The design direction required to have big slopes in order for the lava flow to make sense. Giving the look of lava flowing down the slopes. I do not know what is wrong with that.

E) Landscapes have dust or snow particles moving on their surface.
Defense I provided: This is a feature in the landscape shaders that’s increasing the immersion. It’s exposed to the material instance as well so disabling them or reducing their amount is literally 1 left mouse button click. Again clearly explained in the documentation.

But anyway after emailing and also linking the staff to this thread, everything I provided for 48 hours as defense was ignored and the only reply I got in return of my defenses was that these are valid reasons for a refund and we decided we’d process the refund.

We have clearly provided reasons proving the claims were false yet as 1 year old sellers we are not trusted and completely ignored. I do not feel secure anymore working with Marketplace because any number of people could use the same or similar false claims and the way evidences are ignored every refund would be processed. Let alone the fact that 2-3 landscapes were used to create these false claims and the buyer still gets to use the entire 12 landscapes, materials, functions etc. and even develop a commercial project with it. There are 30 games coming out per day and really no way to find out who legally owns the package and who does not. Apart from all this, it’s still Epic’s job to make accurate judgement even if the seller was away and didn’t get to present any defense. In this case, the weight of lack of experience and the misjudgment is is falling on the seller only.

I still need to hear from Epic why a seller is treated like this, who pays for the money we lose because of the misunderstandings a buyer makes up for the marketplace team to get a refund and continue using the content, and how many more times this is going to repeat because this wasn’t the first time.

I did not copy paste the refund reasons as it was, I rewrote them and changed the word arrangement as much as I could while keeping the original message. I hope OP doesn’t get edited again.
Thanks.

The marketplace team has made it a standard. You’re better off following this standard ahead of time, if you want a smooth submission.
Same thing for plugging a 0 constant into metallic – just do it, because it will save you the time and aggravation.
It’s not their job to change the way they work to suit you; it’s their job to enforce standard ways of working that works for them and the store, and your job to follow those methods.

Second: I bought the pack a long time ago. At that time, it had huge cracks in the lava landscape; it was not a continuous mesh and not usable for any game.
Is that actually fixed? Because that sounds like one of the reasons for the refund.

The landscapes also weren’t really set up to work well for any particular game – very few areas were truly level, and there weren’t really any areas that were set up with playable canyons, overlooks, etc. Gameplay typically requires landscapes sculptured much more deterministically than a standard topographic map from the earth.

This is nice of you to approve a 0+0 is anything other than 0.
But you know sometimes people forget to do the standard 0+0 math and they suffer a delay that’s based on literally no change.
The cracks of lava landscape you was experiencing were caused by Adaptive Tessellation being broken in UE4. I fixed it months ago by simply taking tessellation out. This time the crack mentioned above is actually the gap between the landscape and the background meshes. There is a gap between landscape and background elements in every AAA game that’s uses this workflow.

I am considering to upload everything to Gumroad with a steady 25% OFF sale to compensate the loss I’m facing here.

Edit: To clarify further, Insisting on connecting a 0 to Metallic node is the same as insisting on connecting a 0.5 to specular where by default it’s 0.5 if left disconnected.

Customers return things all the time, in all businesses. Credit cards get chargebacks. Phone companies get contested charges. It’s part of doing business. It’s taught in business school, but unfortunately not in any other schools, even though engineers, artists, plumbers, tailors, and most other people run businesses just as much as business majors.
The best thing you can do is say “I’m sorry you didn’t like it; here, let me make you whole” and fully refund.
The good will you build up is a lot better for your long term business, than the ill will you’ll get from people who don’t get refunds.

You know what? Technically, you are right. And that’s the best kind of right!
But, unfortunately, that’s not the real world. The real world is super messy, and you can spend a lot of effort trying to change it, or you can spend a small amount of effort and live with the mess as it is.
It’s of course your own choice for which way you choose. I’m just suggesting that my life improved when I started picking my battles very carefully and just going with the flow for the little stuff.

This issue with refunds on UE4 Marketplace is more serious than that. People buy a package and then look for a nail in the hay barn to apply for a refund and they are simply refunded (usually). Outside here, yeah cool. But how much a seller is making here to be cool with that kind of refund? This time the refund reason is as simply as “why there is dust moving on the ground. I don’t want to set the dust amount to 0 but I want a refund” or “Why did you do free work and included static meshes for me? I wan’t a refund”. And these reasons are being accepted by Epic… I have even had refunds in the past by the time of Jon Jones where the users claimed the package name confused them and they bought it and found out it’s not what they wanted. Imagine for example someone saying I thought Tropical pack I bought was a modular hospital pack, and then get’s a refund… I have been cool with these kind of refunds for a long time but honestly this is getting out of hands.

You are right about that. That’s working for like 95% of people. But if you had access to creator hub you’d see majority of sellers are unhappy because of small issues. These small issues gather and make a lot of difficulties. We know the marketplace team has to deal with maybe 500 submissions per day, but we also know almost 250 of 500 would be people like me who have multiple conversations with them through email regarding things like textures in Maps folder or why we should sum 0 with 0. That’s what’s taking their time. That’s what’s causing the marketplace to be in a break-even situation. That’s 50% extra effort. Business isn’t just about moving forward but it’s also about keep updating and enhancing the way things work and aim for the best workflow.

Now I’m suggesting instead of a continues back and fourth with probably a few hundred people over such small things there can be a simple note saying: No 0 needs to be connected to Metallic. Because default value is 0. Or Maps folder can have textures in it because that’s how UE4 works. etc.

There is a reason Epic officially states the Marketplace situation is in a break-even situation, and it ain’t developers and packages.

I don’t have the package so I can’t speak to much of the subject of this thread, but I can back up Maximum-Dev on this front. It may seem like a small thing on the outside, but there have been plenty of issues brewing on the marketplace for over a year now and many developers are coming to a boiling point. I myself have chosen to halt future submissions to the UE4 marketplace until some serious reforms are put into place, and will be using Gumroad until then.

I can also say from experience that I have had two people bring blatantly false accusations about my package to justify a refund. The first time, I clearly demonstrated why their claims weren’t wrong and I got the support of the marketplace staff. The second time (which was even more outrageous than the first) I initially got reprimanded by the staff after providing proof that the users claims were not valid. It wasn’t until I had to bring it to the attention of Stephanie that it ended up getting cleared up. But from what I could tell, they didn’t even bother looking at the evidence I provided and threatened to refund my packs in the future. Despite my proof discrediting the users claims without a doubt.

There seems to be a small portion of developers who buy marketplace assets, don’t know much about game development and refuse to look at the example content which is there for the purpose of study. I’ve only come across two instances of this, but in my observation of other sellers it seems to be somewhat widespread.

Have not really had an issue with refunds myself, I assume it mainly affects higher priced and more popular packs. I suppose the best thing you can do to avoid it is make sure you have clear description and detailed videos.

I’ve found a lot of marketplace demo videos are more or less flashy marketing pieces that don’t give you a very detailed overview of the actual assets, just swish marketing shots and music, which can lead to disappointment! Gotta make sure the buyers know exactly what they are getting, so there is no reason for them to be disappointed or surprised.

None of that means anything if someone is determined to try to get a refund. In my examples, both users clearly didn’t bother to look at the example maps even after I explained to them their purpose. When I explained this to the staff in great detail, while showing a diagram explaining the situation point by point they realized it didn’t fall into any of the refund justifications per the policy. Sellers provide the information to help customers make informed purchases, and the purpose of the example map is to illustrate how a product is supposed to be used. Furthermore if you find anything lacking, then contact the seller for more information.

I do a whole PDF every time I update the pack. Post a ton of screens through the thread. Yet none of the refund reasons mention anything wrong or broken with the content. It’s just personal opinions that are pointed out as reason for refund that I am being forced into accepting. In fact I’d have had it fixed by now instead of writing for a few hours but there was nothing to fix as I have explained above.

Refund is not the only issue mentioned in the OP though. I seriously wish Epic updates their package review guidelines.

Basically he is flying over the edge of the landscape and sees the edge of the landscape and makes a youtube video. Applies for a refund and Epic wants me to fix it.

Landscapes do have edges. They don’t continue infinitely. And player is not supposed to look at the landscape from outside the landscape or player is not supposed to go to landscape edges and expect to see no edges. Part of the issue is the Marketplace team are not actually game developers or 3D artists I believe and anybody can easily get a refund by trying to make something look bad.

You are very wrong about naming conventions.
Studios without solid naming conventions always get in trouble when managing asset pipelines.

I didn’t mention there shouldn’t be a naming convention. As far as I have purchased packages from marketplace, everybody has a random naming convention for themselves. And I went with what I mentioned as it is useless to write Mat_ on a material file in order to know it’s a material file. There is a proper way for filtering material files which is again not my invention, it’s Epics.

Asset Browser isn’t the only place ppl manage assets, in many cases assets must be manipulated, syncd, marked for read/write outside the engine editor and naming become important there. Can’t waste time trying to figure out which .uasset it is, going to a machine where UE4 is installed and examine the file just because someone didn’t follow any conventions. Studios manage assets often in a perforce server without any game engine installed.

as someone who just discovered the seams in the AL package, i too was a bit surprised. Basically if i buy a “landscape”, i do not expect seams at all. However, since i bought the package for the materials, skyspheres, and know i can adjust-modulate the landscapes if required i wasn’t upset about it, but its a bit dissapointing i can imagine if you intend on using these landscapes for a level - which would require considerable extra work.

Maximum-Dev - For what it’s worth I bought your asset a while back, and think it is well worth the money. I think it offers great value , you update it frequently, and it looks really good!

If someone fails to recognize the value, they probably have unrealistic expectations and do not have much experience with UE, and should not be purchasing assets until they understand what they are buying.

That being said, it is probably best to just give them the refund and move on :frowning:

Overall, I think your assets look great and have plans on buying some of the other ones for my next project… so please don’t take them off the store :wink:

Yes, besides the seams the AL package is one of the best environmental packs i came across, the scenery is simply gorgeous, incredible atmosphere - very much depth. HighGrass will probably become the login screen for my game. And i will probably adjust more maps for usage elsewhere.

[quote]
it is useless to write Mat_ on a material file in order to know it’s a material file.

[quote]

As soon as I start managing the files with “dir” in a terminal window, or git, or Perforce, I suddenly don’t have the Unreal Engine browser available.
I wish the marketplace reviewers had a 100% no-tolerance policy on files not named after their type.
For creators, it is actually super simple to name the files to spec, so why not just do that? (Now, I haven’t actually been able to find the spec written down in detail anywhere – that’s a bigger problem!)

Regarding refunds: Why should a buyer need a reason at all? As long as the assets go away from their computer, and they don’t re-use the assets, a refund should be cheerfully issued, and should ideally not count badly towards the seller (i e, even plus/minus.)
Buyers who ask for too many refunds might need to be cut off from buying more assets, though, and some way for Unreal Engine to notice that assets being used come from a content pack (watermarking) would be helpful in catching the inevitable cheaters.
But cheaters are generally actually the minority.

You have to remember that we are dealing with digital assets, which means buyers retain the files even if official access is revoked. We already have to deal with piracy, I don’t think it’s fair to add this to the list of problems sellers have to contend with that hurt our earnings. If people could get a refund for any reason, you wouldn’t have much new marketplace content as that sort of system is just asking for abuse. Sellers aren’t going to work hard on content that can be easily stolen through a lopsided refund policy. In fact that used to be the old policy and was heavily abused, which is what led to our current policy.

Your points are fair, but this one is argued on the basis of that’s the way its always been done so lets ignore users.
BTW not a past customer, but I feel that edges on landscapes do leave challenges for open-world maps / aircraft levels.
So I would pay more to have landscapes sloped off, so that at least they’re ready out of the box to be used as islands.
Sound crazy? Ok consider this: Most if not all mesh-based mountain / landscapes do exactly this! UE4 has examples!
Also efficiency, if users need to slope tweak landscapes, won’t UE4 store each as a giant separate object in the level?

Epic need to be more diligent in appraising the validity of refund claims, and also better at filtering what gets into the marketplace in the first place. They go hand in hand. If Epic actually properly review the products they allow on the marketplace, they’re in a good position to not approve refunds for flimsy reasons.

We’re dealing with a non-drm’d non-physical asset, where if the consumer gets a refund they still get to keep the product forever. We should be approving as few refunds as possible, but that only works if you enforce a quality standard (so that you can reasonably respond to “the quality is not high enough” with “we vetted it and it is”).

If people are getting refunds for products based on files not adhering to naming conventions, that’s messed up. Either Epic requires specific naming conventions or they don’t. If they do, they shouldn’t have let the item on the marketplace. If they don’t, there should be no refund.

If Epic are now requiring the Metallic node to be hooked up on materials, that is also stupid as heck. We all know that’s not a thing.