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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Weekly Update ($$$) Sun 16th Jan 2011 11:58pm

Category: Weekly Updates

I don't think I have all that much to say this week, unfortunately.

I've not got any replies from sponsors yet about CBC... And here I was hoping the whole tedious process might be done within a week or two. I'll contact them again tomorrow.

I've been working on Alora Fane: Regression recently, and getting progress done, slowly but surely...
It's going slower than I thought it might. I was really eager and excited to work on it, but various unrelated emotional issues have drained away my motivation and left me feeling unable to work quite often. I hope this is just a temporary slump and nothing more.

I was going to show off some screenshots and explain features of it here, but I'm not sure that I will.
Based on the responses to the recent poll, it might be a bad idea to give away too much...
But also, as I've said before, I'd not really want to essentially argue with people about the features I've decided to add, if they think that things should be another way. It's only natural that people would argue to see their specific preferences met, but I just don't want to hear any of that right now so I suppose I'd rather keep certain things to myself.

Anyway, hopefully I'll have something more interesting to say next week...



EDIT: Actually, I think I do have something more to say here.

The topic of money has been on my mind. I make pennies from what I do, despite the vast amounts of time and effort that go into it, all because I can't directly *sell* my games. I hate that; I wish I could just finish a game, slap a price tag on it, and then watch the earnings accumulate as people happily paid a few of their hard-earned coins for hours of entertainment; giving back for what they take.
But no, instead I have to wait ages for sponsors to reply, then go through the traumatic experience of sponsorship, and even then I don't get an amount of money equivalent to the time and effort... I can spend months on a game for like a thousand dollars; far less than minimum wage in most countries. Sigh.

So something I was thinking of, which is something that I've explained before maybe, is doing 'Fig Hunter memberships' or something like that... maybe. This is very much a hypothetical idea and not something I'll actually DO for a while, though, just to be clear.

It'd be nice to perhaps have demo versions of my games - the first level, the first dungeon; that sort of thing. An introduction to the general idea of the game, to hopefully get people addicted. I'd release those here and on various Flash portals.
But to get to the full versions, perhaps you'd have to be a proper Fig Hunter member...
For this, I'd probably have to charge multiple times; maybe yearly, or even monthly, but the charge would be small; like $2 a month, or $20 a year, or something. I don't know yet. It'd be nice to have it a one-time payment, but that wouldn't result in a sort of income that I could rely on.

If I did go down this route, the membership would be used for all games I'd ever release, and I'd try to do a lot of them.
I'm building towards a different approach to games than what I've done in the past. Rather than releasing things all in one big go, as their finished versions, I'd release them in parts, episodes maybe. I've been planning to do this with Beast Signer, and there's some other game inspired by Star Trek which I want to make, where you'd control the crew of a spaceship and there'd be various not necessarily related 'episodes', maybe an hour long each in playtime, where you'd go down to different planets and solve some dilemma or another.
I'd also have FHO features member-locked, like perhaps some official campaigns, some resources like tilesets and so on, and all Adventures that contained them would be similarly locked...

I'd eventually try to build up to the point where I could release SOMETHING each week, be it a 'Star Trek game' episode, a new FHO monster or tileset, a new Beast Signer area or beast, or even a new Raider level. That way, I'd be able to finish things relatively quickly and move on, which is always a wonderful, motivating feeling, and of course people might feel like they're getting what they pay for.

How many of you would be willing to pay for something like this though?
When considering it, please don't judge the idea based on my past performance, cancelling projects and spending forever on others. I am trying hard to move on from that, and I've learned a lot that will help me do so, I think.

It would be nice to get financial security within a year or two so then I'm not always wondering where the next pennies will be coming from...
52 comments

 

52 Commentson 36 roots

Deathscout`s Avatar
Rating Orb Deathscout 15 United States MelancholicSanguine 117C 16F
6 years ago | (1)
Okay, well unfortunately, I would have to save up, and figure out how to spend the money, but I would easily be willing to spend 5-10 dollars a month, or 55-110 a year All right, unfortunately the first time a wrote this, the internet connection died as I hit submit, with the upside that I know roughly what I want to say. So I think that you should post demos, however, you should also post the occasional full game as to bolster your followers, and people willing to pay, say one out of five at your current rate of progress. In addition to this, a little bit of a reason why you need the money, the fact that you live with your parents, your meager earnings off of sponsorship, and the fact that it would be nice if you could get a house near your girlfriend would do at least a bit to quell the average teenagers reaction to being asked to pay for something they've been brought up to believe is practically free. I also think that in addition to having the member's section, where you could find a full page of what you have to offer, you could also have people "purchase" the games. These would have them paying say 2-3 dollars more than membership as you are GIVING as compared to LOANING the game, the artwork and music. I do agree with some of the comments where people say that you should make people pay for music and artwork, but only if they don't want the game too. If you purchase a game or membership you should have free access to all that comes with it. Contrarily, updates like new monsters, areas, secrets, should be bundled and sold as updates, so that people who purchase games still have something to buy. Maybe they would pay significantly less for being able to connect online for the games with that privilege, say a quarter to half of membership price. And now for the most important of all pieces, you have to protect that which you sell. First, to prevent people from mass producing and selling your sold games, you should be able to go to a page on this site, and you enter a password and login to be able to access games,( sorry, not quite sure how to defend because people will want artwork as a login picture on various sights, and for music to be on ipods) and any not downloaded artwork and music, with this being all you have to offer for current paying members, or anything they've purchased for people paying per game. Possibly set up in a bullet fashion with the game at the top, and music and updates, and artwork under. You could also have a couple separate pages, one with all artwork, including unconnected art, or all encompassed art, like Yalort. If anyone has anything to add to this or any criticisms please tell me.
Deathscout`s Avatar
Rating Orb Deathscout 15 United States MelancholicSanguine 117C 16F
6 years ago | (1)
I wouldn't exactly like having to pay money, but I understand, as long as I could get enough money together from doing oddjobs at home, I'd be willing to pay 5-10 dollars a month or 50-100 dollars a year, depending on how people earn their money, or if their willing to wait to pay for the first payment. However, as to continuing the spread of people playing your games, making a small short time subtraction of your income by submitting a full game to several websites, would usually net you paying customers. Too many, and you have people who rely on those, maybe one in every five. Jotting an explanation, that you are a one man team, and earn little from sponsorships, would make people less angry about the fact that you are giving demos, and not full games out. Now, another idea is to have the membership pay for ALL games for a set amount of time, while people who only want one game can pay a slightly marked up from normal, but not needed to be renewwed buying price. However, this would be for single player use only, and would not experience the updates like new monsters in beast signer or special items or new areas in other games. You could release those in small "expansion packs" using the term lightly. As to prevent these from being stolen and sold or given away, you could make them username and password locked with a person only being able to be logged onto one computer at a given time. that log-in would give them access to all games with all updates included(membership current) or a listt of purchased games and updates with a paypal store next to it (pay per game). This keeps most people happy, although I am sorry to say, not fulfilling he natural want of everything being free, like that happens anyways. If anyone can find any way to improve upon this idea, or criticize me, feel free to. If any one alrerady came up with something like this, sorry, I started writing this a couple days ago.
Deathscout`s Avatar
Rating Orb Deathscout 15 United States MelancholicSanguine 117C 16F
6 years ago | (1)
oops, could I delete this, I submitted it when I wasn't connected, and thought it disappeared. sorry, I do prefer the top one though, and it is good...
Regenesus`s Avatar
Rating Orb Regenesus 17 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 143C 60F
6 years ago | (3)
I've seen what you can do and you have a history of making incredible games. The speed at which you created Clarence's Big Chance, is encouraging, too; it's looking like you'll be very soon be making quality games in large quantities... I would absolutely pay a membership fee if it meant getting full access to all your games. Although I can't be sure, remember that most of the people who will leave a comment are leaving a comment because they don't want it to happen. I feel this may be a case where those who are okay with it don't bother commenting and those who aren't do bother. But then again I may be wrong, I don't know.

I myself am not completely interested in the Star Trek-like game, but that's just cause I've never been much of a fan of that series. FHO sounds like my cup of tea though, and if there were things like tileset updates and enemy updates, then yeah, I'd shell out some cash. Good luck!
Acer rubrum fox`s Avatar
Rating Orb Acer rubrum fox 12 United States PhlegmaticSanguine 14C 1F
6 years ago | (3)
I would be fine paying a 20$ fee a year for your games. I really like the idea for the game inspired by Star Trek that you want to make, I also like the idea of releasing a new game every week but I think you might need a little help to make that happen.
Mojak81`s Avatar
Rating Orb Mojak81 29 United States 4C 0F
6 years ago | (6)
While free games are nice, there's absolutely no reason one should feel bad about making an appropriate amount of money for something they've worked hard on. I would pay your membership fees (and thank you for considering reasonable amounts right from the get-go).

That being said, I'm here mainly for Mardek. I've played some of your other games, and they're nice, but I'm a Final Fantasy style player, not that much into Pokemon-esque or even the Raider series really. What this means is it's very likely I'd bide my time until you released a game like Mardek and then start paying dues. I probably would not be a full member as default. Though really, even this style of membership participation should compensate you nicely.
WiiPlayer113`s Avatar
Rating Orb WiiPlayer113 16 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 7C 7F
6 years ago | (7)
I would not support the idea of us having to pay for each month in order to get the full versions of every game. However, I would probably still pay. I think this doing this would make your games decrease in popularity. There are plenty of other ways to get money without us paying to get the full version. Some ideas are...
-Make it an option to pay for extra "help" in a game. (Exclusive items in Mardek, Extra lives in Raider, etc.)
-Paying money for more features on this website.
-More music soundtracks available for purchase.
-Charging money for art downloads.
-Create Fig Hunter stocks and allow us to but shares.
-Fig Hunter merchandise.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
6 years ago | (4)
It's interesting that whenever people suggest alternatives that I could charge money for, they're always things that very few people would want or need.
The best way for me to earn a living and avoid the gutter is to make something that people *want* and then to ask for something in return for my efforts. This is only fair.
I don't want to make a bunch of peripheral bells and whistles that people *could* pay for but wouldn't have any real reason to because then obviously I'd get significantly fewer sales.

People keep telling me that my games would decrease in popularity, but I don't believe this will happen. I mean, I'll have free versions and I'll work on advertising to build the site's population; it's just that if people want the full experience, they'll have to give a little something to access it. The free stuff will be ample enough to keep people occupied for a fair while though. People who won't pay will be getting *something*, just not *everything*.
turbotowns`s Avatar
Rating Orb turbotowns 16 United States CholericPhlegmatic 216C 3F
6 years ago | (5)
Well, you do deserve more money, but for the whole something each week thing, would you need more people to help you with that? Also I like the Idea of a membership thing, But, (for Beast Signer at least) I want to only be able to play a small part and HAVE to pay money to play on with the Campaign, I'd pay for exclusive stuff like special location's and Strong Equipment, Cause preventing Beast type Elements to be locked is a bit impossible becuase of the merging thing and getting Any Beast Element, ofcorse, You could lock Stage 5 for beasts and then they wouldn't evolve anymore unless we get the Membership, then our beasts would then evolve to the final stage. (assuming you dont put more beast stages.)
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
6 years ago | (4)
It's more likely that I'd block evolution past stage *2* or something in the free version, so it'd be similar to the existing alpha in that regard.

I am hoping that I will not need people to help me with things, but we'll see what happens. I've planned them all such that the amount of work I'd need to do would be manageable.
turbotowns`s Avatar
Rating Orb turbotowns 16 United States CholericPhlegmatic 216C 3F
6 years ago | (1)
aw, oh well, anyway good luck with that emotional slump thing.
Failface`s Avatar
Rating Orb Failface 16 United States CholericPhlegmatic 15C 19F
6 years ago | (4)
Pseudo, though I cannot say I can directly relate to your predicament, I do see your point - why not have members pay for an account to support the creator of the site, as well as their benefactor? Yes, I consider this idea a terrific idea for raising revenue and for receiving a more dedicated fanbase. Even the trolls who pay money just to troll on this site are still supporting your cause, in a way. However, I can also see why people may have second thoughts on paying for this. This is partially regarding your Twitter post.

While I like this idea in general, a reason I can see people having reservations about buying their account is because they are now seeing something offered to them for free go away - now, instead of simply logging on to Fig Hunter and posting, they have to BUY an account. Or rent it, depending on the way you view this. I mean, people are all right with buying food for $5 because we are used to buying food. Paying for a Fig Hunter account would be a change - and I am sure that it can be said that people tend to be averse to change. So while I can see your frustration on people's indecision to support your funds, I don't think it is terribly fair to criticize people for doing this.

But besides this relatively minor detail, I don't see any other issue with having people pay for Fig Hunter membership, especially if it helps you stay financially supported and producing games more often - and if you override having to wait an eternity and a half for sponsors. (If it weren't for "thrifty" parents, I would also partake in this, but... oh well). Just be aware that the indecision people are facing to buy an account may be caused by the fact that change may come, regardless of how long it may take before these changes are implemented.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
6 years ago | (4)
I think I may have explained this poorly.
You won't be paying for accounts; you'll be paying to enable your account to access certain features of my games. Accounts will work as they do now with all the existing features and everything, it's just that paying members, 'premium accounts', will have access to the full versions of games while free accounts will only be able to access demos.
I should probably not have used the word 'membership' like I did.
Ares`s Avatar
Rating Orb Ares 19 Greece MelancholicSanguine 96C 34F
6 years ago | (4)
This is certainly important news! The fig-hunter membership sounds like a good idea, and if you achieve what you have planned in terms of productivity, I can't see how this could fail.

About the membership; I think a good way of doing this would be separating the accounts in two categories; free accounts with limited features (for example, no access to premium content, such as FHO campaings, full game versions etc., but access to the forums, or some versions of your games, although that would be up to you to decide), and 'premium' accounts, wich would provide all the features. But thinking this over, it probably sounds like a bad idea, right? I KNEW shouldn't have hit the 'Add Comment' button! But alas, now it's too late. ):
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
6 years ago | (3)
Isn't that what I was describing anyway? It's not like you'd need to pay to be a member *at all* or anything; the 'membership' that I referred to would only grant access to additional content rather than being required to access anything at all. But maybe 'premium accounts' is a better way of describing it.
NinjaChinchilla`s Avatar
Rating Orb NinjaChinchilla 15 United States CholericPhlegmatic 22C 16F
6 years ago | (3)
I would be willing to pay because I know I'll always have enough money, but if members had to pay, I would prefer a yearly fee.

Also, by having a yearly fee, you would have the equivalent of a year of payments, but the member couldn't get part of it back if they for some reason leave six months before their next payment.

On the other hand, having monthly payments would give you a steadier flow of money; although, if people decided to leave, you wouldn't already have that next "six months" of payment.
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