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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Premium Membership Mon 17th Jan 2011 9:21pm


It seems that what I wrote in the last news post gave the wrong impression to some people, so I want to clear up some misconceptions about the 'membership' thing.
Please, please note that nothing is set in stone yet and none of this will actually be implemented for months, maybe a year, if I even do it at all. At this point it's still very much a raw idea that I need to refine the details of to come up with something that will properly work well for everyone.

Premium Membership
Firstly, I misused the word 'membership'; I should really have specified that it'd be a PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP.
That is, it'd cost nothing to make an account, just like things are now. You'd be able to comment, post on the forums, and do everything that can already be done here.

You'd be able to play demo versions of the paid games. These would be fairly lengthy demos; sort of like the length of the Beast Signer Alpha. They may or may not be updated with content as I go along, just like the full versions; it's just that the full versions would of course get more and better content.

Premium Members would probably have a fancy sign next to their names, like a P or something? I know that people would like something like that (if not necessarily that exact letter).

Frequency of Payment
Membership would be paid for in months, but you could buy up to a year's worth of months in one go, getting a discount in the process. Maybe each month could be, say, $5 (I'd have to work on the prices; I don't know what people would be willing to pay, but I'll get to the details later). You'd be able to buy three months at once, though, for maybe $12. Six months at once might cost $20, and buying a whole year at once might be only $30. Something like that.
The point is that you'd be able to decide how long you activated your premium account for, and on your userpage it'd say 'is a member until [expiry date]' or something.
deviantART does this, and it seems to work well enough.
Any payments would be final, I'm afraid; no discounts.

The games that I'd make would be exclusive to this site, and they'd be released in parts; not even necessarily episodically, but just gradually; as I make something, I'd add it to the game. Due to this aspect of them, you'd not be able to download the games, largely for technical reasons; the main Flash swf file would just load all kinds of external resources that I'd add to, rather than me having to update the main game file itself all the time.

Drawing in Customers
As well as the premium, ever-updating games, I would try to make occasional free games which would be self-contained with a start and end; the MARDEK series would probably be included here. I'd release them to portals, perhaps 'self-sponsored' (largely because I don't know if sponsors would pay me, if I'd seem like a competitor), as a way of advertising.

I'd also use Google AdSense to make adverts like the banners you see at the side there (or SHOULD see at the side there unless you're an *ungrateful parasite*!11). The only reason I don't already do this is because I don't really have anything here to actually advertise.
This would cost money, but hopefully it'd be worth it.
I would put effort into promoting what I had, though.

I may even have account benefits for referral linking, though I'm not sure what.

Escaping Old Habits
I have been spending the last few months, since MARDEK 3's release, changing my approach to game development to hasten the process. I've switched over to AS3, and in doing so, much of my code is becoming reusable like it never was before. I've been putting a big focus on making sure the code's neat and tidy and efficient.
At the moment, I'm working on making engines that I can use for future projects so then I wouldn't have to keep rewriting things from scratch; this would dramatically reduce development time. So being able to release updates fairly frequently doesn't seem too unrealistic, really... It's all the 'code stuff' that takes the longest, and once that's done, adding resources, bits at a time, would significantly increase gameplay with minimal effort... I could make a dungeon in a day, for example.

I want to try to explain some details of some of the specific games I'll release, to give an idea of what you'd get for paying...

Fig Hunter Online
This game will be perhaps one of the easiest to maintain and I can foresee it being one of the most popular, too.
It'd be driven by user-made content, so I might not actually need to update it much myself at all.
The game would essentially be an engine and an Adventure Builder; sort of like a glorified map editor, which I'd try to make sure was rather easy to use so that even a child could make their own RPG story things.
Once I've coded the engine, adding resources like monsters, tilesets, music, and so on, wouldn't be too hard. I'd mainly add those every other week.
The resources you could use would depend on whether or not you were a premium member. Free accounts could maybe choose from a very limited number of tilesets, music tracks and monsters, and maybe their adventures would be limited in size in some way or another. Maybe you'd be limited to using forests, towns, and caves, or something, with only twenty areas, twenty conversation files, something like that... while the premium version would allow you to use loads more tilesets, monsters, music, etc, to make essentially unlimited-sized Adventures, and you might be able to import your own resources too, like monster or tileset graphics.
Any adventures that contained any of these premium resources would be out-of-bounds for free accounts, but I can see there being loads of free-account-made Adventures so you'd always have something to make and play.

Beast Signer
I planned details of this a while ago. The demo version would be sort of like what the existing alpha is now... You'd have access to the intro bit where you join the Signer Elite and get into the game world, and you'd maybe be able to go up to the first gym in Normos, or something like that. After that, you'd not be able to do a whole lot else... and your beasts probably couldn't evolve past stage 2.
In the premium version, however - and I should mention that I'll be remaking the game from scratch, so it won't look or work like the existing alpha - whenever you enter a world, you'll see a sort of 'world map' consisting of nodes floating in cyberspace or something; a griddy blue void. Each of these nodes would represent a location like a town or dungeon (it doesn't need to be geographically feasible since you are of course in a virtual computer world), which you could explore.
I'd add these nodes as I went along, and there'd also be a list of Missions with specific objectives which I'd add regularly; these would involve going to some existing location and doing something.
I'd also increase the number of available beasts as I went along. Rather than waiting until all of them were done before releasing the game at all, some forms just wouldn't be able to evolve until I added their evolved forms... It might be a pain if you'd trained something and it doesn't evolve, but it seems preferable to waiting ages for the game to come out at all.
There'd be a linear plot with a beginning and end, which I planned out a while ago, but once this was over, there'd be nothing stopping me from making a new, entirely different plot in the existing game world... So the plot would go on and on, I suppose.

'Star Trek' Thing?
This is still just a very, very vague idea...
I've always been a fan of sci-fi, and while I'm not really an obsessive Trekkie or anything, Star Trek has aspects that I find appealing. When I was little, I used to draw alien worlds and races all the time; things like Lingons, Cyber Orteks, etc. When I started making games, I wanted to use these races again, but sadly I've just been using mediaeval settings bound to one specific world full of boring humans.
So an idea like THIS one appeals to me...
At the end of another game I'd make, which I won't describe at the moment, the protagonist would find himself as the captain of a spaceship that was to set out and explore the galaxy; probably his race had only just discovered space travel and wanted to see what there was out there. That would be the general setting.
You'd have a crew of characters, each with their own personalities and stuff, and you'd travel to different worlds and encounter alien races and learn about their cultures, helping them with their predicaments. Some might join your crew.
Basically it'd be a way of showing off aspects of my universe and exploring things that have been restricted to the Encyclopaedias thus far.
It'd be an RPG, like MARDEK or Alora Fane or FHO or Beast Signer, built on the same engine. You'd have stats and equipment and you'd romp through dungeons and stuff.
It'd be released in stand-alone 'episodes', each with its own locations and plot. Each would probably be a single planet to explore, a single story to see to the end; short stories, of course, rather than anything with an epic sort of scale... though there'd probably be some overarching plot.
It'd follow the Star Trek episodes formula in a way, in that each episode would involve a different crew of the regulars beaming down (or whatever) so that their individual personalities would be explored in some way.
I suppose you could consider it a sort of interactive television programme in the form of a pixelated RPG. Uh.
It seems like it'd be fairly easy to do, so it's something I'd like to try out with adequate planning.
Maybe the first episode would be free, but others would be premium only. Or a few might be free; like one in four or something, so you'd get a fragmented view of what's going on unless you choose to pay.
(*Just to be clear*, it would in no way be directly based on the Star Trek universe... I don't know if anyone would assume that, but I just want to make sure nobody does.)

I might do this just to spice things up a bit; to vary from just making RPGs.
I planned the 'Raider Adventures' thing, where you fly around space and explore levels after landing on them in your ship, so maybe I could just do that, but rather than releasing all the levels at once, I'd add them to the map over time, opening new paths with new updates and stuff.
After the main, five-zone plot was over and done with, I'd either start a new story or retire the game (it'd stay up, but would no longer receive updates), based on peoples' responses to it.
Levels are easy to make once the engine works, which is why this seems an appealing idea for me, to get content out fairly quickly.
Maybe the free version would only have the first level, while the premium one would have all the levels. Consider it a bonus that comes along with paying for the more appealing RPGs.

All of these ideas seem very feasible to me largely because they're released in small chunks and all of them share significant parts of their code. The updates would be small but frequent, and due to their ever-changing nature, it might even thwart piracy (since there wouldn't be just one object to steal).
The difficulty with all my other games so far has been the fact that I had to finish them completely before I could make them available, which really takes its toll on me. Being able to make and release something in a day or a week would be *hugely* motivating! I've always envied webcomic authors for this...

I'd probably work on whichever project I felt most eager to work on; having four or so to work on would mean I'd not have to endure the tedium of just working on one constantly. So it does seem exciting to think about...

All my other games on the Games page, like MARDEK, BE-a-St, Alora Fane and so on would have lower priority, but I'd try to make them and release them for free. They'd probably take a long time to finish though since I'd work on them 'in my free time'.

So yes, hopefully this lengthy post clears up some confusion about my plans, and gives you a better idea of exactly what I'd charge for. Hopefully it won't seem too hard to part with your pennies if you'd get that sort of thing in return.


106 Commentson 59 roots

hihdavehdaned`s Avatar
Rating Orb hihdavehdaned 11 Bulgaria CholericMelancholic 4C 0F
7 years ago | (2)
Aiggate`s Avatar
Rating Orb Aiggate 16 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 1C 0F
7 years ago | (1)
Well I can honestly say I've logged more than 70 hours in MARDEK and I'm still not done doing everything yet. The average console game to me can last somewhere to 30-40 hours. Nowadays most new games I see are about $60. The prices you've listed are very reasonable, and to people who are worried about paying for things online there is (in my opinion anyway) a very easy solution. If you go out and look around a few stores near your town, you can probably find a prepaid credit card of some kind. They're usually around $20-$50 which should be plenty for a few months. If you'd like even more on the card I believe most banks will allow you to make a card with as much on it as you want. Not sure if anyone will read this as I'm a bit late to the party, but I figured I'd throw in my own opinion.
koga999`s Avatar
Rating Orb koga999 14 Malaysia SanguineCholeric 12C 0F
7 years ago | (1)
Ahah, i don't mind about the problem happens here. Though. I hope you'll make yourself not to stress in finishing these games. Yet, i do hope you can finish Beast Signer first. Since i see there's alot of fans like Mardek and beast signer most.
The Crimson Sun`s Avatar
Rating Orb The Crimson Sun 20 Australia MelancholicPhlegmatic 89C 9F
7 years ago | (4)
Just got back from holiday, and it seems this place has been rather busy in my absence. Well, one more opinion surely can't hurt, so...

I would definitely be willing to pay a monthly fee for premium membership, but the price is important. The two prices I've seen you suggest are $2 a month and $5 a month (with various long-term discounts, etc.).

I would be perfectly happy with the $2 amount. I'm not sure I can say much more on that. I mean, $24 a year (or $20 if you pay all at once) really isn't very much, at least not for me, anyway.

$5 is a lot more contentious, unfortunately. You say you are streamlining your development style, and there are already signs of this, what with CBC's relatively quick development, and your move to AS3. However, I can only take your word so far, as you must already realise. If you manage to achieve even half of what you spoke of in recent news posts, then $5 seems a perfectly reasonable amount to me. Unfortunately, whether you actually will or not remains to be seen, and I cannot say that I would pay $5 for your current game production rate. Again, I'm sure you already know this, so the ball is in your court, so to speak. To that end, I wish you the best of luck in making all these projects go ahead, and soon.

Bottom line:
$2 - I'm in.
$5 - Prove yourself, and you've got my vote.
Supergnash`s Avatar
Rating Orb Supergnash 18 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 354C 145F
7 years ago | (1)
I would probably say you can trust him to step up the work. I mean he's given us all these plans, that's more than he usually gives us in a year!
Also, you say CBC was developed quickly but it was just a small game.
Although I do know what you mean about the long term difference of $2 a month and $5 a month. Eventually it might be a big difference.
david s`s Avatar
Rating Orb david s 19 United States MelancholicCholeric 1823C 898F
7 years ago | (4)
NOTE: I've had to re-write this repeatedly due to my computer bluescreening... 4 times so far. >_> Anyway, read this as neutral, I do not intend anything other than what I say, and I'm expressing all of my feelings about things in this. Anyway, on with it.

Well, I suppose it's time for me to comment here. Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf, I would appreciate it if you would read this instead of just ignoring it, as I do have some concerns that might be good things to address.

The first thing I would like to address is the issue of supply and demand. If you make a number of various games, what if someone doesn't want all of the games? I'll use myself for an example.(Not that I'd want to buy a premium membership, but I'm not in anyone elses head, so I can't exactly speak for others.) If I wanted to play FHO, which I do, then I would have to buy a membership, and I also like the idea of Alora Fane, but I don't like the ideas for some of the other games. I wouldn't care if I ended up missing out on Beast Signer, or the Star Trek type game, and I could certainly forgo CBC or anything related to Raider.(I don't think you're planning on charging for them, but I just put them there to point out that someone might not like 100% of your games.) If I only wanted, say, one or two games you make, then why would I pay for a full membership? This could lead to a few members not getting a membership since they do not want to pay for things they aren't going to use.

I'm glad to see you will be working on ending any procrastination you had in the past. To be honest, I don't think most of your fans mind it that much. Perfection cannot be rushed. The problem though is that now, if you go through with your plans for subscriptions, you will then have to crank out different mini-games, or parts of games, on a much higher basis. People will be demanding work, and the stress from that could be very bad. Also, since you don't have people working with you, if you get sick or go on vacation, you won't be making games, and some of your subscribers may get very annoyed. It's tough to have that kind of demand on you.

With FHO, I had a few thoughts. You are the inventor of the game, and you make all the coding and classes and such, but I had been wondering about something. Other people can make other adventures, right? Well it seems a tad odd that they are generating content, but you are getting paid for the game. I suppose though it makes sense when you think about it though. You see, they have to pay to play the game, and they're designing these things for fun, they don't need to get paid for it, these people have lives of their own, and they wouldn't be spending most of their time working on games. You, on the other hand, would be working on games all the time, and you will, after all, have been the one to create the game and the majority of its content, so you do deserve the credit for it.

Another thing, I think it would likely be a good idea to use DELIVERANCE to be your demo for FHO, or at least part of it. This seems logical to me, since DELIVERANCE was originally intended to be free, if I'm not mistaken.

On a side note, with FHO will you be able to play against other players in anyway, or will it just be playing adventures? It would be pretty awesome if there was some way that you could play in a multi-player mode.

I was thinking about something else. You fans know what kinds of games you're making now, but how would someone who does become a premium member know that you will keep making the same kind of game they like? What if you change at some point, and start making more games like CBC and Raider instead of like DELIVERANCE or MARDEK? People would need to have some sort of guarantee if they are going to buy a years worth of games. A different concern, a far graver concern, is what if you no longer want to make games at all at some point? Then what? You might want to retire someday, and then you won't be making games, your fans won't be paying for memberships, things with this will go downhill if you just decide to no longer make games.

Something may happen with the amount of fun in your games as well, some people may get annoyed if all the games are the same thing, just with different people and different places, but the same basic plot. You'd have to "spice things up a bit" from time to time.

I personally would not be interested in paying $30 every year just so I could play your games. I wouldn't like to have to do something repeatedly, it's like indentured servitude. As the case may be though, I would be more willing to go into this if it were optional to buy a lifetime membership for a larger fee. You could still guarantee a somewhat steady income from fans who do not want a lifetime membership but instead opt for yearly memberships, and you might be able to get some additional money through donations, even from lifetime members. It's just a thought.

So yes, I hope you read this, Pseudo, and I really do hope you take some of this into account, and I would appreciate it if you could tell me, here or in the chat or PM's, if I said something that was particularly right or wrong, and if you could correct me with anything that needs improvement. If you had already considered these things, then I am sorry for wasting your time, and if you did in fact read this, thank you for reading.
Supergnash`s Avatar
Rating Orb Supergnash 18 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 354C 145F
7 years ago | (4)
I'm not addressing all your points or in any particular order but here are some things I thought up:

You would still be able to do quite a lot without a premium account, for example you would still be able to play Fig Hunter Online, but going on what he said here, you would just get a more limited view of what's possible. Have you been on the BEAST SIGNER Alpha? It's about the length of the demos he said he would do and you can get A LOT of enjoyment out of it.

Pseudo has said before that that PvP wouldn't be possible due to technical issues.

$30-$20 a year isn't much really, to get unlimited access to all his games really. If you think about it.

So yeah... I might say some more stuff later....

Oh and I'm not speaking for Pseudo here, I'm saying what I think.
david s`s Avatar
Rating Orb david s 19 United States MelancholicCholeric 1823C 898F
7 years ago | (3)
Well thank you for the response, and I understand what you're saying, but I think something was lost in translation here.(So To speak, it's not actually translated.) I *have* played the Beast Signer alpha, and I didn't much care for it. I did feel it was long enough for me to get a grasp of the game and it's features, but I wouldn't exactly say it's particularly addicting.

I'm glad to know about that PvP thing though, I had been curious and it's good to know.

I hadn't said anything about $20-$30 being too much, but rather that it would be too much for one game, if you were only interested in one. I do, however, think it would be wise to be able to buy a lifetime membership for, say, $500 or something like that, which I'm pretty sure is a good, fair amount of money.(It's about 16 years of fees, and since in a year-by-year membership, you cannot guarantee the fan won't move on, this would perhaps be something wise to implement.)

I know you would still be able to play most of the games, but you would have to play limited versions of them.

I'm not saying Pseudos games aren't fun, but what I am saying is that you're not going to play a game that you do not like. If Pseudo goes for years without making a game *you* like, then you won't get a membership, and Pseudo won't get money.
1 Reply
Bellamyfan`s Avatar
Rating Orb Bellamyfan 18 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 24C 1F
7 years ago | (7)
I've put money into far more useless things before, and at such a cheap cost it doesn't seem like it would be much of an issue anyway. To support a game developer who's games have amused me for years, i think deliverance was what first caught my eye, five dollars is nothing.
DelivaranceFan`s Avatar
Rating Orb DelivaranceFan 13 United States SanguinePhlegmatic 1C 0F
7 years ago | (7)
Personally, i'm almost completely broke, and I've been looking forward to Beast Signer so much! I don't want to have to pay money I don't have to be able to get all of it... I know it's not that much money, but I can barely spare that much when all is said and done...
ying742`s Avatar
Rating Orb ying742 15 United States 1C 0F
7 years ago | (10)
i personally don't like the premium membership because my parents are very anti internet purchases and would rather buy me a new ps3 than spend 10 bucks paying for online membership. but if i had my own credit card i'd be the first to sign up
cerealguy500`s Avatar
Rating Orb cerealguy500 13 United States PhlegmaticSanguine 18C 18F
7 years ago | (9)
Sounds quite reasonable to me. Your games are of a high enough quality for me (and probably other people) to pay $5-10 a month.
The Wolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb The Wolf 19 Australia CholericPhlegmatic 120C 284F
7 years ago | (13)
$5-10 a month when he puts his games out at the approximate rate of 1 a year? That works out as $60 a year, remembering that 60 pounds (English currency) is closer to $90-$100 Australian (My country) which is what you pay for the newest professionally made games.
I mean no disrespect to Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf, but the games he makes are not of the polished quality of a mass produced professional game.

I'm quite willing to pay SOME money but unless he comes out with games at a faster rate I'd be unwilling to be screwed by the conversion rate and pay $100 of my currency a year to simply play a game in advance that would be hosted on Kongregate a few months later.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (8)
Did you even *read* the post?
For one thing, I tried so hard to make it clear that I am changing the way I make games, and that MARDEK 3's development is not what I intend to normally do. I have learned from my mistakes and my skills are always improving, so I know how to not approach projects now. All the games I've planned to charge for are structured in such a way that they'd be easy enough for me to develop quickly, or rather to set up the framework quickly and then all I'd need to do is expand on that later.

Another thing is that I also made it clear that the games I'd be charging for would be meant just for this site, and by their very technical nature they *couldn't* be released elsewhere, and they'd be continually updated rather than 'released' when they're 'finished'. They'd never be on Kongregate or any other portals, and what people would be paying for would be to get the constant updates, the flow of new content, not for some finished self-contained product and certainly not to get it 'in advance'. I wouldn't do that; I wouldn't think it'd be fair to charge for that because I wouldn't pay for that myself ever.

I'm only going to charge for what I myself would pay for if I was a customer, and the prices are going to be accessible too; as the post said, I haven't come up with any prices for certain yet, but $100AU is well above what I'll ever be charging.
Nguy123`s Avatar
Rating Orb Nguy123 17 United States PhlegmaticSanguine 2C 0F
7 years ago | (8)
To further what Pseudo said, you wouldn't be paying that amount for a year anyway; As He stated in the post there would be discounts depending on how long you wanted to be Premium.
iX3Kirbo`s Avatar
Rating Orb iX3Kirbo 16 Singapore MelancholicPhlegmatic 3C 20F
7 years ago | (8)
Have you seen the amount of revenue the facebook micro-transactional games they make on a monthly basis?
If you desperately wish to obtain that huge pot of gold in an effortless way, i would honestly suggest making FHO a Micro-Transactional based game. The game itself will never end with weekly small time updates. Competition amongst the player(PVP?) and micro-transactions that promises better( YET NEVER ENDING ) stuff are just smoke-barriers to earn revenue.
Inevitably, it will cause your reputation as a game maker to drop ; at the same time nets you new fans ( WHO ARE LIFELESS AND HAVE TOO MUCH MONEY TO THROW AWAY ).

As for my honest opinion, i would gladly pay that small amount of money to play your games as long as they can be made with the same quality as your previous game in a REASONABLE amount of time.
As much as i hate to admit this, there is an obvious flaw with the system you WOULD want to use if you are going this direction.
If people pay in a monthly basis, why would anyone pay for months that they KNOW you will not publish any games? Unless of cource you do micro-transactional games with monthly small updates.
You should take a look at the BattleOn company. They should provide sufficient information for you to draw on. I sincerely believe that in our childhood days, most of us DID pay for the membership.
Both adventure quest and dragon quest got me sucked in in a relatively short amount of time.

Off topic, my final examinations this year ( English language Paper ) will be marked by people of your race and age.Cambridge students who will undoubtedly have the pen-chance for PERFECT ENGLISH.
Rather ironic , the fact that i learned writing in a logical mannerism of English due to you and the other members of this site.
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