Close-sourcing the HTML5 exporter

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:44 pm

I think a lot of people know that a closed-source program doesn't always have to be commercial already. Ashley seems to want the project/exporters to have a price now though or at least that is the impression i am getting from reading his posts.

I am just wondering what the costs of a "indie dev" or "personal use license" would be and also if one was free and the other commercial then would the paid version have extra features in a similar way to what unity does with it's pro version.
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Post » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:21 pm

I vote Good idea, so long as we're not talking about a commercial license that is several hundred dollars. It's possible the software could end up being worth that much... however, so long as it remains a 2D-only program I just don't see there being a big enough market who would pay that.
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Post » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:25 am

Well if it all becomes closed source paid for count me out :\
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Post » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:47 am

[quote:2rrcnech]splash screen[/quote:2rrcnech]
[quote:2rrcnech]limited features[/quote:2rrcnech]
That makes no sense for free version, so let's better make it "30-days trial" .
GameMaker has this kind of "free version" and no one is using it.
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Post » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:54 am

Interesting, personally I would not have a huge objection in paying for construct 2. But the big question is how much? would it be a one off payment or would you have to pay for updates? I think most of us (I hope all) would not begrudge Ashley and the other developers making money from this, but (and it is a big one) the price would have to be right. Just a thought is there any other ways money can be made from this? i.e writing a book on how to use it etc. But going back to the price issue, I could be persuaded to pay 20 for this kind of product, but the product would obviously need to be in a very usable state for this to happen. I would also back the unity model as well (since any game I have made would unlikely be good enough to be sold). But A final warning, when people pay for stuff they expect perfection (or near on anyway)!
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Post » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:44 am

[quote="DtrQ":3g24zb5p][quote:3g24zb5p]splash screen[/quote:3g24zb5p]
[quote:3g24zb5p]limited features[/quote:3g24zb5p]
That makes no sense for free version, so let's better make it "30-days trial" .
GameMaker has this kind of "free version" and no one is using it.[/quote:3g24zb5p]

Unity has that kind of free version too, and a whole lot of people are using it, including me :). The feature list for the free version is pretty extensive. There are only a handful of runtime features that you can't use in the free version, most notably shadows, occlusion culling, post-process effects, and the splash screen. You can still make a good game without any of those.

GameMaker's limitations on their free version are way too harsh. You can't rotate sprites or define your own trigger events. There's no networking.

When I suggested that certain features of C2 be left only for the paid version I was mainly speaking of the commercial license. But you could also do something like OpenGL shaders for desktop games. That's an example of a feature that would be nice to have, but not necessary for game development. You'd still be able to use core functionality of C2 without them. GameMaker on the other hand is gimping major features.

So yeah, the main purpose of buying C2 would be to get the commercial license, but if it came with a few little extras on top (customizable splash, shaders, etc.) then that's just extra incentive.

Oh, and I'm not saying that C2 should copy Unity's model 100%. They allow you to use their free version to make commercial games as long as your game makes less than $100,000. The free version of C2 could be strictly for non-commercial use. Which I think is totally fair, if you plan to make money off of it then the guys who made C2 should get a little something.


[quote="redpicman":3g24zb5p]would it be a one off payment or would you have to pay for updates?[/quote:3g24zb5p]

I don't think I know of any software companies that make you pay for updates.
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Post » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:43 am

I (and i guess I'm not alone) hate predefined splash screens, it's causes some dismissive attitude toward game and make you feel that it's not YOUR game.
[quote="deadeye":19obq9sd]if it came with a few little extras on top (customizable splash, shaders, etc.) then that's just extra incentive.[/quote:19obq9sd]
It will nice only if it will be adding some extra features but not putting limits on standart features
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Post » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:37 am

Well part of the good thing about open source is that you allow other people to have access to the source so that they can apply patches and make it better, A lot like what Rojo has been doing. If you close source the exporter people wont be able to do that.

Im not against going closed source but I think that you might be taking away valuable resources. There may be some way to open up the source for outside development and then they have the option to apply the patch for review. I think that would be an awesome way to go about it.

So it would be kinda like you have a Dev pay option where you get the source code for the exporter that way you can change it and then they have the option to submit a patch for review and possible addition.
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Post » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:07 am

Just thinking out loud here...
One of the issues with closed source is the testing phase is not public... generally.
No company is going to want to advertise bugs in new product.
But, that can slow down development, more testers, more bug squashing.
What if you had the option to join a beta phase, and in return you could opt out of having a splash screen?

As to the nerfing of features.
That's just asinine IMHO. All it does is alienate users, and raise the possibility of cracks.
It should full featured with the options of free game equals free use, paid games equal paid use with the options there of a one time payment, or a percentage of profits.
Along with an indie, and pro license I suppose.
Not sure how the pro would work unless its per installation.
The 100,000$ thing is a bit iffy. This is an indie program, and profit margins that high are going to be rare.
That coupled with the lack of cross platform, or console support is not much of an incentive for the devs.
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Post » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:50 am

Well this kills any enthusiasm I had for the project, so much for donating.

HTML5 would have been the best option as the baseline exporter since the code it generates is pretty much open and relatively unobfuscated, which would allow a good codebase to work on to create new exporters. I'm not sure what other exporter could be considered to be a baseline or if you're even considering to develop an open source exporter at all.

This hobbles development of third party exporters significantly, good for your bottom line, not so much for hobbyists. Having third party exporters would have allowed ports to more non-mainstream systems such as the Dingoo and Gamepark linux-based handhelds which wouldn't be able to run interpreted code at a decent speed. I find it highly unlikely that you would find the resources to create exporters for less popular and therefore less profitable systems.

Of course the poll is just an empty gesture, I doubt the results of it would sway your opinion one way or another since once a project starts seriously considering going down a closed path it's basically a done deal.
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