Kickstarter-prohibition with new license?

  • #10, by saintandsimonSunday, 13. April 2014, 13:13 8 years ago
    As Joel says: It's quite unreasonable to charge to much for an engine when it's not as wide as udk, cryengine or gamemaker. Visionaire doesn't have support for a 3D scene, which options out the concept of lighting a scene properly (unless people use 3Dprograms, which costs).

    Even if you've all worked basically pro bono, and that's not fair for neither for you, it took a bit overkill to the point of greedy. You would get tons of cash just by taking the royalties and not infiltrating Kickstarter. Kickstarter is kind of the holy grail for indie developers, and for an outside organisation to make money out of the concept of donations is not that cool. Sure, people who donate might get a game, but if the game sells then even more people will buy it and you will then get money. A successful crowdfunded game is good marketing for the engine since you obviously get your logo shown. A huge lot of people doesn't even know what Kickstarter is, so that many doesn't pledge compared to what how many units Steam sells of a crowdfunded game. And the cash pledged is so necessary for the development.

    Basically, a Kickstarter-restriction just makes bad market (since I work with marketing and work in that industry I know a bit). The funding needed would be accordingly raised because of an outside organisation, and higher risk that it won't get funded at all, because of a higher goal needed.

    It's like your marketing just went down, there are more people out there. Research into the engines that already exist and see how they work wthings out and minimalise your prices according to what one can actually do in the engine. With your last license for 3.x I was really happy with the low prices and talked good of your engine within the industry in Sweden (and several bigger companies seemed interested, Paradox Interactive for one). But this? I'm sorry, it's hard to stand behind the engine with these licenses.

    It's not unfair for the developers behind Visionaire to remove the Kickstarter-restrictions, if the VS-team actually shares the royalties/taxes paid out to you - which is a lot since you're only like 5 people behind the engine.

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  • #11, by marvelSunday, 13. April 2014, 13:14 8 years ago
    Joel, i see where you're going... but to be honest: We are not willing to compete against Unity. It's a totally dfferent engine and a different user base as well. And with 1500$ for the Base System + iOS Pro for another 1500$ + Android Pro for another 1500$ and a Team License for another 500$ and the Adventure pack i regret it's the better choice.

    Most of our users are developers without any programming skills. Our specialized game engine made daedalic entertainment develop quick and successfull. They created about a dozent awarded games with Visionaire Studio in an extremely short time frame. Based on this, daedalic was financially successful and now has a total of about 90 employees. Same for STASIS - Visionaire Studio made him create his amazing and progressive game as a single person without programming skillz.

    Let's see what happens when daedalic finishes the first game in 3D with Unity. I've seen a lot of critical opinions regarding this. Also the development will be way longer and more costly.

    With 3000 dollars you can pay a programmer maybe for a whole of one month. I think: Better invest this money in a unlimited visionaire license. Or just invest 1450€ if you are willing to pay 6% of fee... which will be suma sumarum just a little 4.2% for the visionaire developers.

    And for the revenues and statistics: Our users have our full trust. I think they are interested in a good business relationship and a win-win situation for both of us.




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  • #12, by JoelSunday, 13. April 2014, 17:22 8 years ago
    First of all sorry for all the spelling errors in my previous post, i was writing that while on the bus on my phone smile

    We are not willing to compete against Unity. It's a totally dfferent engine and a different user base as well.


    I know what you mean but you're competing with them whether you'd like to or not. People will look at the options and while i agree that the different exporters are charged seperately (i didn't take that into account beforehand, my bad), it still makes new users especially think twice.

    Most of our users are developers without any programming skills. Our specialized game engine made daedalic entertainment develop quick and successfull. They created about a dozent awarded games with Visionaire Studio in an extremely short time frame. Based on this, daedalic was financially successful and now has a total of about 90 employees. Same for STASIS - Visionaire Studio made him create his amazing and progressive game as a single person without programming skillz.


    Exactly, because the earliest successes of Daedalic built upon games that were started by college students who had no money to buy a 3000 $ Engine. And now that they have, they're switching to Unity.

    Let's see what happens when daedalic finishes the first game in 3D with Unity. I've seen a lot of critical opinions regarding this.


    Who's voicing these concerns? The Visionaire Community? Don't you think the Unity3D Forums would do the same, if it would be the other way around? What counts in the end is the end product. Nobody's not going to buy a game because they prefer another engine unless the engine used is known of bugs and incompability.

    With 3000 dollars you can pay a programmer maybe for a whole of one month. I think: Better invest this money in a unlimited visionaire license. Or just invest 1450€ if you are willing to pay 6% of fee... which will be suma sumarum just a little 4.2% for the visionaire developers.


    I didn't mean that you pay 3000 dollars for a programmer i meant that groups or developers who can afford such money for software probably already have a lot of resources so that they don't need the ease of use. Double Fine didn't use Visionaire either and they sure could have afforded it. Or Jane Jensen with Moebius. Or Replay Games with Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded. Or Tesla Effect. Or Dreamfall Chapters...

    And for the revenues and statistics: Our users have our full trust. I think they are interested in a good business relationship and a win-win situation for both of us.


    I salute you're trust in us as customers and i don't want to suggest that the people developing games with Visionaire are crooks or something. But such models DO create more work in the end for both parties. Also it's very uncommon for an engine the size of Visionaire and i'm sorry, if you're saying that you're entitled to the revenues of products that are built with your technology (for which we're paying), then i can start paying Adobe 10% for every Graphic Job i'm creating with Photoshop.

    The problem with my statements is, that i probably unwillingly come off as not appreciating your work and almost like i won't grant you any form of financial success, which you undoubtetly earn, if not at least to continue the engine. But it's not that, i really do and as i stated earlier, i support it if you want to raise the prices but the jump you made from a 35 Euros pricetag to 3000 Euros is, for me at least, unjustified and probably will hurt the Software in the long run. What would you rather have? Three people buying a 3000 Euro License and one of them Upgrading a Year later or 100 People buying a 300 Dollar License and all of them upgrading, because they can afford it?

    You spoke about target audiences, well if you look at the Adventure Development Scene, i see two kinds of Developers:

    - Bigger Indie Studios like Double Fine, Daedalic, with budgets probably approaching 800'000 to 6 Mio (in Broken Ages case)
    - Independent Individuals or small Teams like Dave Gilbert (he stated his budgets per game is 10'000 Dollars) or Remi Michalski (Maker of the Cat Lady), and others. Both using AGS by the way.

    Now, the larger Studios with bigger budgets (still tiny in comparision to AAA Titles) are mostly using other engines than Visionaire, because they dont have to rely on Ease of Use than others or it would put their programmers out of work anyways. Plus they can afford changing and modifying engines to their specific needs or even build Engines from the ground up. Another thing is, that they're very often rely on more "modern" technologies and looks (Realtime 3D etc) and wider Platform support (consoles). Your target audience is more in the wake of the AGS userbase, your probably biggest Competitor.

    I've seen quite a few people looking at both, AGS and Visionaire, and, in the end, deciding for Visionaire because of the apparently bigger ease of use. They COULD decide for it because it was affordable (even compared to the free AGS) but also gave them the same amount of freedom as AGS does. If i'd be a new user with a big vision for a game that i also want to sell (and lets be honest, you can probably expect making around 10'000 to 20'000 dollars and that would be a hit, unless you're the next big thing) i'd look at this pricing and it would instantly look out of reach.

    It's great technology but for a niche genre in a niche market, where budgets and revenues aren't the same as with more "popular" genres, which can be developed with other Engines like Construct, Gamemaker and for a lower Pricetag.

    So that's what i think your target audience is. You should make your pricing accordingly and don't mix them up with the audience for Engines like the ones mentioned before (most of which won't take a percentage of the sales).

    Now, its easy to critizise, so i won't spare you some of my thoughts about how you could monetize your software maybe a bit more effective so everyone would benefit smile I worked in marketing for ten years so i hope i don't come off as a know-it-all, these are just my spontaneous brainfarts but how about:

    Training
    Its not uncommon that the software of choice is very often the one that offers the most training material available especially for Newcomers. Sure, Visionaire is easy to use but if a potential buyer would see HOW easy to use it is in a YouTube Video he would probably more tempted to buy it. There are some Tutorials here and there but it still seems very little in comparision to other solutions. So i'd very much advise to look into this subject. Heck, i would even PAY for an official 2 Hours Training Course as a Video Download for 29 Bucks. Or a training Manual nicely printed. Maybe offer some webinars.

    Add Ons
    Version 4 offers some cool amazing new things like the support of realtime 3D Characters and multiple exports to mobile platforms. Maybe some of us don't even need that though because we're planning to make a low red pixely game for Windows only. You could sell a 3D Character, LUA Scripting, etc. add on for 49 Dollarsseparately, and the exports to other platforms too. It's kind of what YoYo Gamemaker does and while i'm not the biggest fan of it i would totally understand the practice. It would make the software more modular and you would be able to maybe charge a bit more in the end for new features.

    Art Packs
    This is something for example Stencyl does as far as i know. Collaborate with some great artists and offer different Packs with Animations, Backgrounds, Inventory Items etc. You could offer a fantasy themed package, a sci fi one etc. While this is directed more towards the amateur user, i think some of the newer folks would surely find it useful if its just to quickly throw together a little game to get familiar with the software.

    Pro Support
    This is something for example Autodesk does. You pay them a yearly fee but get one-on-one support of them. I think for teams building a commercial game this sure would be valuable.

    Thats all for the moment smile

    Listen, i hope you don't hate me now, most of you developers are probably my age and again i really like the engine and can't thank you enough for creating it. You've been under a great deal of pressure by the demand of features but handled it very professionally and, in the end, delivered. As i said, you should be able to get more out of it but please consider some of the concerns voiced in this thread.

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  • #13, by EvrenSunday, 13. April 2014, 17:43 8 years ago
    I was going to write a lot of things but I decided to wait for the english version of license desriptions for my further critisisms smile. But the basic thing is Visionaire now costs more. I understand the financial need, but although you guys target the 'ease of use' I still believe Visionaire should provide more technically. I also understand adding features take time especially with a smaller team. But I would like to hear from you guys what you are planning to add (if) to Visionaire. First things come to mind things like bone animations, layered animations, audio manipulation on runtime etc.

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  • #14, by LynnSunday, 13. April 2014, 18:05 8 years ago
    Most of our users are developers without any programming skills. Our specialized game engine made daedalic entertainment develop quick and successfull. They created about a dozent awarded games with Visionaire Studio in an extremely short time frame. Based on this, daedalic was financially successful and now has a total of about 90 employees. Same for STASIS - Visionaire Studio made him create his amazing and progressive game as a single person without programming skillz...


    You are coming at this based on your current user base. Your current user base are upgraders. Upgrading revenue should be a percentage of your total revenue but you are not addressing the acquisition of new customers. I agree that you cannot approach the market like Unity does, but that doesn't necessarily validate the license you are proposing.

    Your ecosystem as it is is a tiny pool. You are adding some new OS targets that change the game for you. You can now look outside of that tiny pool. Several other tools out there were transformed once they offered iOS and Android deployment.

    You are also on a scale where really measuring your customers actual revenues is unrealistic. Sure, a few of your present customers have made some good revenue. Hooray for them! Don't covet their success. No matter how good the tool infrastructure is, its nothing if you do not have the business or marketing acumen to go along with it.

    Instead, consider the following:

    1) open up that end of the funnel to get as many people looking at the product as possible, but in a way that doesn't mean losing revenue; your kid/academic types will also come in this way (but educational software developers are pro buyers, so they are way up market).

    2) i would consider charging a base price for desktop $99, etc, with community support; separate mobile targets from this at $199 per target (obviously, linked to the main license)

    3) annual updates that include at least quarterly updates (bug fixes, etc) based on 60% of the entry price

    4) for entry versions (1-3) public support and bug fix / mantis access

    5) Pro level gets you onto a private forum and adds $100 to the annual price + each of your mobile targets that has "drive bys" now and then by members of your engineering group

    6) Provide separate custom support / custom incident packs (you need to measure this carefully) so that you aren't losing your shirt on providing customized support

    7) Team Asset / Team Versioning and Volume Licensing.

    8) Extensibility with C++ SDK.

    9) Improve your localization of site (I get bug nuts into German when I should be seeing English) and your product (I haven't tested your unicode implementation yet, but Japanese and Chinese needs to work)

    Visionaire will never be a general development tool, so while you can make revenue off of methodologies that produce revenues for general development tools, you should be focused more on the content consumption / management end of the business.

    The proposed licensing is arcane; you'll get a few new customers with it. But you'll also see a lot of negative posts about it from your current user base. It will become a part of any reviews of your product. But because you'll come on the radar of potential competitors, they will copy some of your features. They can say "we do 80% of what they do, and it takes 20% longer, but you have no worries about pricing and licensing". This is part of a maturing market space of development tools. Then those who are happy with those 80% of your features go off someplace else.

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  • #15, by gustySunday, 13. April 2014, 18:19 8 years ago
    shit, 3000 dollars is a lot of money... one should really believe in a game he is making smile

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  • #16, by HellVanSingSunday, 13. April 2014, 18:38 8 years ago
    For "big" studios like Deadelic, 2950 EURO (ca. 4100 dollar) aren't a big problem. The Indies have the problem. Like Ocaso and const4ntin said, the "visionaire taxes" are completely unatractive. Less or no taxes taxes and a higher price (100€ to 300€ are not THE problem for an indie studio like a the actual system I think), a "hobby" license for poeple which only want to show their friends "look, this is my game LOL" with no commercial use but with a compiler and maybe everybody is happy.
    I'm no expert, but a part of the community - a sad part of the community...

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  • #17, by marvelSunday, 13. April 2014, 18:51 8 years ago
    Well, i think you should wait for the proper translations of the license model! wink Because there are a lot of misunderstandings here.

    With the 49€ license you can do much more compared to the former 35€ license. I hope you guys know that. So please don't discuss the wrong facts here wink

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  • #18, by Marian77Sunday, 13. April 2014, 19:40 8 years ago
    Honestly, I was a little concerned about the crowdfunding problem at first when I read the license texts. After posting my question in german, Marvel told me, that the price for one of the big license is only to be paid, in case the price set on the crowdfunding (>12k) is sucessfully reached. In case the crowdfunding fails, you can go on with the indie license. You don't have to pay the big license just for trying to get a large sum via crowdfunding. I think this makes good sense, since you can just add the 1.5k or 3k to the sum for the crowdfunding, this will make hardly any difference. From this point of view, I don't see a big problem with the licenses. Even if you are a hobby developer like me, you don't have to be very confident in your game or risk any money, since initially there is no reason for you to buy a big license. You can do everything with the indie version as well. Just when you've already been successful with the crowdfunding campaign, you will need to upgrade to the more expensive version, and in this case, the extra cash for this has already been paid by the backers from the crowdfunding. In short words: No need to buy anything more than the indie version before you know you will be successful and get the costs back.
    At least that's how I understand it.

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  • #19, by saintandsimonSunday, 13. April 2014, 19:56 8 years ago
    Marian77, even if one has the option to pay the license after a funded kickstarter that exceeds 12 k, many developers still wouldnt add extra budget for an outside organisation beforehand in a crowdfunding that's supposed to donate cash for creativity. Each dollar counts for the lonely indiedeveloper and the higher the funding goal is, the more likely it is to fail, and basically then no one goets the funding.

    So I would really want you at Visionaire to reconsider and remove the Kickstarter-limit since you would get cash from royalties anyway. Listen to Joel, he has a really decent idea of how it could be that benefits all.

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  • #20, by marvelSunday, 13. April 2014, 22:49 8 years ago
    "Each dollar counts for the lonely indie developer..."? Nice, slajmboll... the lonely and poor game developer and the "greedy" developers of the visionaire engine, mh? That's quiet funny wink

    Today i got plenty of messages of german users who read the license models and could not follow this discussion. Also we had several orders of german clients today who find our license models interesting, motivating and fair. smile

    So i think its still a problem of translating und understanding. wink

    Last thing: Lets compare the licences of visionaire 3 and 4. wink Visionaire 3 only had included support for windows. No Mac, no iOs, no Android. No publishing in digital markets possible. Price 35€

    Now we have the indie license for 49€, including all plattforms incl. publishing in digital markets... with the small fee of 10% each sale. How could anyone say this is too expensive? Short term this is WAY cheaper than any other engine. smile

    And for kickstarter: Its NOT a funding of creativity. You simply have to budget your costs (personal, material AND licences) and ask the community for funding. Each pledger also becomes a buyer of the game... and it'd be kind of immoral if you could raise a big amount of money, while the pledgers pay for each game... and the engine developers just get 49€. This is what we take care of with our kickstarter limit.

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