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Thread: An Idea For Upper-Management

  1. #21
    WMD Member ermo's Avatar
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    @JasonSandwich:

    So you're basically after a StarCitizen subscriber funding model? Sans the "will it ever come out of alpha?!" bickering of course?

    I personally think that a WMD-supporter model might not be such a bad idea. However, as I perceive it, there are a two major sticking points that we have also already hit during the closed WMD development phases.

    One issue is that, since PC2 is cross-platform, legally speaking SMS is not allowed to be as transparent as we (the audience) might have preferred due to the NDAs surrounding console development.

    The other thing is that SC is a completely community crowd-funded thing and doesn't really have a direct competitor. This isn't the case with PC2.

    Based on my experience with SMS (who are comprised of a great bunch of people I might add), they're passionate developers who do have their own vision of what PC2 should be and will sometimes make an executive decision that some people might not agree with (just like in any other business). You simply can't please everyone all the time.

    So, giving people subscriber-level access might present certain challenges in that it is very easy for a contributor to (falsely) assume ownership, when in reality we have just paid for "backstage passes". Sure, we get to see the preparations behind the curtain, but we really have no business thinking we run the show and get the final say on all aspects of the performance. This is more or less the only way it can be made to work from a business perspective for SMS, if we assume the goal is for SMS to be able to do their thing and deliver on their internal timelines. Most long-time WMD people will over time have realised and accepted this.

    I do however want to stress that SMS do listen very carefully to reports and suggestions as long as people put in the effort to outline the how and the why in detail (the same goes for the present forum). But the buck stops with SMS, so SMS gets the final call.

    In summary: I like the idea in principle, but I have some reservations in terms of implementing it; mostly related to how to handle the expectations of -- and the inevitable noise from -- those who haven't previously been exposed to the WMD way of doing things...
    CPU i7 3770K@4.2 GHz | RAM 32GB DDR3-2400 | GFX Vega 64 AC @ 3x27" 1080p | Controller G27 w/NIXIM mod | OS Win10 Pro x64 | UTF-8 characters: ✓ ✔ ✗ ✘ ← ↑ → ↓

    "We respond to well constructed criticism, good ideas which are properly described and thought through, and ideas that will benefit the whole community, not a vocal minority.

    Do not repeat requests, be patient and polite, and have some confidence in our ongoing desire to improve the game for all users, which we have clearly and ably demonstrated in the past." -- Richard Steer, Slightly Mad Studios
    The following 5 users likes this Post: cluck, cpcdem, JasonSandwich, Konan, morpwr


  2. #22
    Superkart Pilot JasonSandwich's Avatar
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    @ermo

    I'm ignorant enough to not know what StarCitizen is so I had to look it up. What an interesting story in crowd funding.

    I hadn't thought of NDAs with console development - that's a foreign world to me but a good point. I guess that could pose a problem when the SMS side says "we tallied the votes and the most important thing to do is X however, the majority of votes on PS4 are for Y" so a platform is suddenly not fully represented.

    Managing expectations and noise on a non-infinite budget is hard enough in a B2B world. I can only imagine how hard it is in a consumer facing world. I'd say on the one hand that it is entertainment and people won't die if there is a missed deadline or a failure in software but the forum moderators know that something like puddles looking the wrong way might as well be a terminal diagnosis for some. I don't know how the business end of this would work.

    I do think that things like tiers, special rights, access, etc. is something that should not exist. Maybe a little badge on the forum at the most if that inspired people but managing that sort of thing in-game is a whole other thing that needs to be developed and budgeted for.

    I will admit that my exposure to Project CARS (1) was very limited and didn't even know about it until well after it was available. I don't know much about the WMD methods beyond keeping an eye on these forums over the last year or so. They seem like a good group of folks and possibly more importantly, a passionate group. I can understand that even if a whole group of users voted and posted money to support a development feature and they felt it wasn't the best place to put effort, it wouldn't feel like it was in their vision. I respect that. That's something that I could hope to influence as some text in a forum but not much further. Just imagine if the popular opinion was to add dancing avatars...

    From my original post; not approaching the group with a direct plan was a bit tough for me personally. I've managed people for years and I want someone to come to me with a solution to a problem, not just the problem. It's part of the reason I'd like to have an idea of what things cost or what talent resources are needed before trying to say that all what is needed is money.

    If the best way for me to help is to boost numbers somehow, maybe by buying the game for my friends who won't play it, I can do that. I have done that. I'm afraid that that small number boost will just be invisible and not highlight the real motivation - desire for continued development.

    This idea was on my mind long before I put it in the forum. More than anything I wanted to spawn conversation and see how others felt about the idea. I've never worked in this industry and there's a lot I don't know (NDAs on consoles for example) so hearing the why-nots is helpful for me.

    Thanks for the response @ermo. Seeing you active since October 2011 and a WMD member, I'm glad you took the time to read through and reply. Rock on.
    Xbox One X with public OS - Thrustmaster TX with T3PA - Arizona (UTC -7h) - Check out the Randomizer (pc2rando.jasonsandwich.com) (thread)

  3. #23
    Superkart Pilot JasonSandwich's Avatar
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    This just popped up in my news feeds. Referring to Star Citizen, a man took the studio to court for a refund of his funding but was denied. It makes me think about how difficult something like this would be to fully implement even if it were successful in the eyes of WMD. We talked about the misrepresentation of a console's user base - just imagine if MS decided to sue because their user's felt ignored or misrepresented.

    Also, searching for a Patreon alternative, I found d.rip which is a Kickstarter branded, Patreon-like funding thing. It seems like the exact same concept as Patreon and pretty small by comparison.
    Last edited by JasonSandwich; 18-07-2018 at 17:06. Reason: grammar
    Xbox One X with public OS - Thrustmaster TX with T3PA - Arizona (UTC -7h) - Check out the Randomizer (pc2rando.jasonsandwich.com) (thread)

  4. #24
    WMD Member ermo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonSandwich View Post
    desire for continued development.
    This part just about sums it up for me.

    I too would like to see continued development.

    However, one also has to take into account that development implies instability and regressions. With the amount of options, tracks, cars and environment settings, regression testing is going to be a *nightmare*. One option is to develop the infrastructure for more automated testing, but that requires funding for developer cycles, which is inevitably expensive and it will *still* introduce regressions, which will make the product less attractive to its current users in the mean time.

    I'm all for a reasonably priced montly or quarterly subscription with slightly more insider access (i.e. WMD access), but the downside is how to manage the dissemination of potentially sensitive information across boundaries. The WMD beta testers have made a gentleman's agreement about keeping quiet, but such an agreement requires trust that is hard to build and easy to lose.

    So, yeah, as much as I would like to see continued development of pC2, I'm not sure how that would actually work from a business and revenue stream perspective even if there is a small but loyal group of premium supporters who are willing to fund development going forward...

    As an alternative, one could well make the argument that buying a DLC season pass is in effect a sign of supporting the developers and the franchise. So the simplest option may be to offer an extra DLC season pass and beat the jungle drums about this being the option to support further development and then let the market forces decide whether it makes sound business sense? Perhaps announce a prioritised list of scoped-out goals and a funding tally to reach them like a kickstarter or indie-gogo campaign would?

    The better and more mature pC2 becomes, the more users it will potentially attract IMHO. Quality never goes out of style as the saying goes.

    EDIT: The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. If people want to buy more than one DLC Pass, they can. And then they can gift it to whoever they want (their league or their friends) as a Thank You for adding to the pool of players by buying the base game package?

    EDIT2: On the face of it, the prioritised list is pretty easy to compile -- just ask the current moderators and possibly skim the patch issue list threads for ideas. You could also do community polls with 7-10 options and then ask people to pick their favourites in ranked order?

    EDIT3: I think the correct term for what I'm proposing is "patronage". A patron is traditionally someone who funds the creative vision of an artist, giving said artist "freedom of method" to arrive a specified goal like "paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel" for instance. So you'd be a patron and the goal would be to implement missing features and eradicate particularly pernicuous issues as outlined in the agreed upon prioritised list.
    Last edited by ermo; 18-07-2018 at 17:59.
    CPU i7 3770K@4.2 GHz | RAM 32GB DDR3-2400 | GFX Vega 64 AC @ 3x27" 1080p | Controller G27 w/NIXIM mod | OS Win10 Pro x64 | UTF-8 characters: ✓ ✔ ✗ ✘ ← ↑ → ↓

    "We respond to well constructed criticism, good ideas which are properly described and thought through, and ideas that will benefit the whole community, not a vocal minority.

    Do not repeat requests, be patient and polite, and have some confidence in our ongoing desire to improve the game for all users, which we have clearly and ably demonstrated in the past." -- Richard Steer, Slightly Mad Studios
    The following 4 users likes this Post: cpcdem, JasonSandwich, Maskmagog, The_Senser


  5. #25
    Superkart Pilot JasonSandwich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ermo View Post
    EDIT3: I think the correct term for what I'm proposing is "patronage". A patron is traditionally someone who funds the creative vision of an artist, giving said artist "freedom of method" to arrive a specified goal like "paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel" for instance. So you'd be a patron and the goal would be to implement missing features and eradicate particularly pernicuous issues as outlined in the agreed upon prioritised list.
    I think that this hits it on the head.
    Xbox One X with public OS - Thrustmaster TX with T3PA - Arizona (UTC -7h) - Check out the Randomizer (pc2rando.jasonsandwich.com) (thread)

  6. #26
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    I would like to see continued development. I know it isn't quite the same thing, but RFactor 2 has been out for several years, and development is still ongoing, they have a roadmap and presumably are funding the continued development with more DLC.

    I don't know what else SMS have in the planning (or are working on), but if you assume that the next generation Xbox and PS5 are a couple of years away and current PC's are only just able to cope with PC2 with all the bells and whistles I can't personally see a PC3 being developed for some time. So could they not extend the development cycle for another year, release a new set of DLC with more cars and tracks and have a new Season Pass which would only include the new DLC?

    There are loads of other games out there on the Xbox where you buy a New Season Content Pack - Rainbox Six Siege and Killer Instinct are just two that spring to mind. Since PC2 is about the only thing I play these days (a bit of PC2, AC, RFactor 2 and RaceRooms all in VR) I would be prepared to pay the original cost of the game - if but only if we got everything fixed to where it should be.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Senser View Post
    I would like to see continued development. I know it isn't quite the same thing, but RFactor 2 has been out for several years, and development is still ongoing, they have a roadmap and presumably are funding the continued development with more DLC.
    Different situation though, because PC2 has 5 times more tracks and cars than rF2...And the difference in quality is so huge that I don't think it's a really an option to do more big DLCs now. Maybe the base PC2 game should have had 20 tracks less and those should had been added later, as big expensive DLCs in order to ensure further development. But in this case, people would had probably accused SMS of being very greedy etc etc. So the result is that he have a game with extremely large content, for a very very low price, but which is also suffering from so many issues and the rate of their fixes is very low. But if we could somehow financially support further development, it would be a very win-win situation...
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