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Author Topic: A few questions:  (Read 2041 times)
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TheJohnGalt
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« on: 07 October 2001, 03:57:00 »

How do you plan to keep this free, as indicated by Art in one of these threads?  What is your business model?

Do any of you have any experience as a project lead, or system engineer?

Just wondering if I'm looking at more vaporware or not.

-TJG
Think twice before using Rock, Paper, Scissors for life-threatening decisions.

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #1 on: 09 October 2001, 15:45:00 »

I'm only the world development guy here, so my humble opinion of things I'm not directly responsible for is this: A Sorren/Santharia game will mainly be maintained by advertisments of course. What else?

Project lead/System engineer: I'm also the wrong person here to answer anything, cause I won't be directly involved in programming matters. I'm leading the world development team in a way (well, they torture me every week with new things to put up in fact *hehe*) and I try to do my best in this respect to keep things together and make them thrieve. However, the world development is to a great extent independent from the Sorren game development.

As for vapors: Well, Nate runs his game at www.sorren.com - but as far as I know this is all his baby in every possible respect, so he really knows how to do things. Furthermore he brings with him the amount of enthusiasm which is required for such a project. If it will succeed is another question. It also depends on the fact how many people can be won to not only share such a dream, but also how many people are effectively be willing to sacrifice themselves for the dream and who have the know-how to be valueable co-workers.

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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
SmurfStormcrow
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« Reply #2 on: 09 October 2001, 19:07:00 »

Darn! We won't be selling this at a fee monthly and be making a couple billion every year like those people at Everquest? That's not fair! I wanted to retire in my teens! Oh well, its not my decision.

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #3 on: 10 October 2001, 12:43:00 »

I have to admit: I personally don't think about money at all. I wouldn't even have enough time to think on it... :lol  

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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Nate of Sorren
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« Reply #4 on: 18 November 2001, 09:33:00 »

Not a system's engineer, i'm a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer though, a got a little while longer before i'm also a certified database administrator.

It's not vaporware because we will get there.  The timeline may be screwed up though.

I have come up with several revenue streams to use.  One of them is of course advertising.  Unfortunately advertising doesn't really pay off as well as some people seem to think.  A couple years ago yes, but now it's less then 1/10 what it payed then.

Donations will be an important part of game development and keeping the servers live.  When you think about it money isn't really that big of a thing.  Take sorren for instance.  The web based game I wrote last year.  It's about 9 months old.  We had 5,000 players.  If each player donated $10 in 1 month we have 50,000.

How much money do you think it takes to put up a failover cluster and a raid 5 array.  maybe 1/2 of that?

At the time 5,000 players was a max number of players because of some unoptimized code.  I and a couple others have been working to optimize code and we can now easily handle 15,000.  Currently I have been targeting advertisement to artists and programmers primarily.  Targeting fantasy game players for example may not necessarily be the right decision if they are less likely to contribute to the game.

There are many variables to look at, but when you have thousands of people.  Even a small investment from each can allow us to compete against the big guys.

They have a 5,000,000 budget, we have a 50,000 budget and spirit.  They might get their faster, but we will pass them up in both quality, reliability, and the overall fun factor.

I might be a dreamer, but we are not making vaporware.  We might not ship the game in a box with a half naked chick on the front, but we will distribute the game somehow.  And when we do the game will be working.  If for no other reason, because I don't quit.

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #5 on: 20 November 2001, 16:01:00 »

I don't think that you will get this many donations as you hope. Ten dollars a month is a lot for the most young players because they are really short on money. I was always for a small fee in the Sorren forums arguing that the online costs for playing are far more, but reality is different.
I'm playing Planetarion quite a time now. The game was free till last round. Now they charged a fee to improve the game this time.three to five $ depending how many you purchased .And that for the whole round of four to five months.But it seemed it was too much, they dropped from 160k players to 26k (an inactive account was deleted after two weeks).So don't expect too many donations.
A hint Nate, please take no offense: More communication with the players from you or your admin (Xanten) and maybe the announcement of greater ingame changes would help to improve the income from the donations - it would lessen the frustrations and be a better help than your reminder: "You have already played for 70 hours this month......" :-)  

"Imagination is more important than knowledge; for knowledge is limited whileimagination embraces the entire world." - Albert Einstein

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Nate of Sorren
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« Reply #6 on: 26 November 2001, 19:23:00 »

You know their number of players dropping to 26,000 is far better then I was expecting.  I mean if only 10% of them choose to help support the game that's good progress.

26,000*5=100,000  Not a lot, but it is enough to keep a game alive and improve it.

100,000 every 3 months or 400,000 per year is enough to be able not only keep a game running on 2 t1 connections, but purchase updated hardware and pay for development time.  Since we don't have any payed nor full time developers I would have to assume that being able to hire 5 skilled individuals would also help to improve the game.

I would consider it a success to recieve 1000 donations of $5, but then again the charitable nature of the players already.  (without a manditory donation) has been very helpful.  Granted that is only a small portion of the players but the average has been $30 per person with one individual helping with $125.

The idea of having a player supported game does not rule out other revenue streams as well.  I do not and will not do such things as sell e-mails etc.  Displaying ads is something I have tried and will most likely do from time to time.

We will have a more involved game later, will work on the development of the rpg as planned.  And if at all possible will try to keep them free (no mandatory donations).  Everything is subject to change as need be because I would prefer to give up it being free than not build it at all, but I would prefer to first none the less.

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #7 on: 27 November 2001, 13:36:00 »

Maybe I should consider living from donations... *grin* I'd have 5 more days a week for Santharia and wouldn't need to got to work... And I'd finally have a chance at catching up with reading forum posts;)  

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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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