Seeking assets for our new store!

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:19 pm

Tom wrote:
  • License changes from "Per Project" to "Per Developer". Makes more sense for this category, buy once and use in any projects you're developing forever.
  • Max price $5 USD. Current plugins are in the £15 - £20 range which we are not comfortable with. This is a significant % of the cost of a Construct 2 License. We're happy to allow plugins for a higher price than $5 USD but only with special permission and if we think it's justified. We also don't want potential customers for Construct 2 browsing our store and thinking that they will be locked into or tricked into having to buy expensive plugins once they own a license.

Those are massively discouraging words. I thought the store was supposed to be a viable way to generate income... there are so few coders in the community, is a developer's work really that cheap? Seriously, did Scirra forget Tigerworks already? Making addons is hard work!

Let's explore the differences between asset and addon creators:
  • Audience:
    • Addon: Limited to construct 2 owners, since addons don't work anywhere else
    • Asset: Unrestricted. Addons work with all game creation software (MMF,GM,Unity,GameSalad,etc), as well as custom engines.
  • Skillset:
    • Addon: Must know how to program (which technically means you don't even need construct). Must learn the SDK. Work produced is only applicable to C2 and doesn't work anywhere else.
    • Asset: Can recycle your old work, as well as sell said work in many other asset stores.
  • Price:
    • Addon: Maximum price is $5 (and that's probably before scirra's and payment processor's cut). A single chargeback eats the profits of at least three sales.
    • Asset: Unrestricted pricing.
  • License:
    • Addon: Per developer instead of per project. This means each plugin can only be sold to a user once. Depends on a steady flow of new users to remain profitable.
    • Asset: Per project instead of per developer. A user can potentially buy as many licenses as he/she has projects.
  • Support:
    • Addon: Breaking changes means new versions have to be tested for compatibility and quickly fixed, or else you'll get a swarm of angry users and a reputation hit.
    • Asset: Once uploaded, never has to be changed. Files are all but guaranteed to continue working forever. "Conversion" permission means the user never has to worry about files becoming obsolete or incompatible.
  • De-Listing:
    • Addon: Can be de-listed if scirra makes a similar, official version - all your work goes to the trash. Official versions will most likely work better than your addon version, since the SDK is incapable of many things official addons can do (such as spawning custom interfaces in the IDE and modifying engine code both at edittime and runtime).
    • Asset: As long as your work is original, it will not be de-listed, even if the art pack included with construct 2 is updated to include a functionally-similar piece.

The only saving grace is that addons are massively more reusable - a feature never gets stale, whereas art/music seen repeatedly across games screams "unoriginal". This benefit is negated by having per-developer licenses.

In the near future, with modularity, addon developers will also have to face modules as competition. Modules will probably be more desirable, since they're accepted in the arcade and suffer less from breaking changes.

So let's make a quick calculation: a person working full-time for minimum wage in the US makes around $290/week. In order to make that much selling addons, that person would have to sell 58 licenses per week (this doesn't take into account Scirra's cut). Is that viable? I don't think so. Even if it is, one can probably make more money by selling javascript code in other stores (i.e. codecanyon).

Tom wrote:Current plugins are in the £15 - £20 range which we are not comfortable with. This is a significant % of the cost of a Construct 2 License.

Why aren't you comfortable with that? Look at the unity asset store - scripting section. Those prices are quite hefty, yet I don't think a user looks at that and thinks "gee, I'll have to waste a lot of money buying all of those", instead they look at it and think "wow, this is so flexible! Look at the possibilities!".
I've said in the past, we need an editor SDK (look at what unity can do) as well as a more powerful runtime SDK to make construct more extensible, but with that statement it appears you think all (of most) functionality should be out-of-the-box...? That the more addons exist, the less a user will be inclined to buy construct? I don't agree with that viewpoint at all.

The only way I see to work with a $5 per-dev-license would be to flood the store with single-purpose plugins that can be coded in an hour or less.

Now, I know that many developers have an inflated sense of what their plugins are actually worth (I'm not going to point fingers, but really, look at the current offerings in the store...). However, keep in mind there are IMHO only two sensible approaches:
  • Either let the market self-regulate, in which case competition and the rating system will ensure that those plugins wither and die (albeit generating some angry users)
  • Or price items yourself. I supported this approach in the past and continue to support it.
Keep in mind the primary goal, above all else, should be to maximize profit for content creators (as with any store), not to garner more customers for construct - that's a secondary benefit stemming from giving potential users a multitude of options. Putting that goal before content creator's income is the kind of conflict of interest that makes me think maybe an unofficial construct store would have been a better option.
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Post » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:23 am

Great!,. I will prepare and contribute :idea:
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Post » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:56 pm

@Fimbul and anyone reading, we've spent a lot of time thinking about it and we're not going to launch the Addons section for the initial store launch. We will think about it more, work on it more and open it up in the future.
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Post » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:03 pm

I agree with fimbul, by forcing a max price of 5 dollars per addon, you may end up seeing lower quality or single purpose extensions. @Tom , I've been working on an addon for more then a week :( Sad to hear.
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Post » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:17 pm

@Noncentz705 we've emailed everyone that's uploaded to let them know what we're doing.

I appreciate you and others have spent time working on the addons. We do plan to launch these categories in the future but we need to think about them a little more and add some more features to them before we are comfortable doing so.

I really am sorry if this is a big disappointment so close to launch, but they are categories we do want to support in the future.
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Post » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:35 pm

Well loss of an expected profit margin means nothing if people won't buy it at a higher price.
You just need to add more value, more bling, and more shiny, to get more people interested... which is what I'm looking at.
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Post » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:07 pm

I agree with @fimbul in every point.

My stance is that majority of work regarding selling plugins is not development itself, but rather customer support.

Sellers ability to respond to and manage user requests, questions and requirements is what will separate plugins that will succeed in sales, and those that will decline after first few sales. And customer support is not cheap, requires a lot of time, and a platform more advanced than forums and a few faq's.

I my preparations for store launch most of my time was spent into maintaining and deploying a software that will allow customers to get the support they deserve for the price, with every aspect that involves (an online platform with integrated issue reporting, possibility to communicate with other users of the plugin, even access to the git repo of the plugins, tests to run with servers deployed around the world, extensive documentation) without creating noise that scirra forum offers.

My service was not just the plugin and the code, it involved a lot more. With servers deployed in three locations around the globe, i have monthly fees that can hardly be covered with price set to 5$. I'll shut down the whole network until more information is available from Scirra.

@Tom, those are massively discouraging words.
Be nice until it's time to not be nice
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Post » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:42 pm

A lot of what is being discussed here and feedback we've received does makes sense, which is why we're delaying the launch of the addons category until we can sit down and properly rethink it from the beginning. Right from the start it's been a contentious aspect of the store.

Honestly I do feel bad about this as I know time was put into the pages and the beta. I really do, and for that I'm sorry. However, if you have made a plugin and associated services ready to sell, you are of course able to sell it on your own website and we're OK with people reasonably promoting websites and plugins on our forum.

Plugins have slightly more complex dynamics and implications which we basically didn't give enough thought to during the initial development.
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Post » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:16 pm

@Tom Make a list of rules of plugins, if they break one rule, then the plugin submission will be rejected. That's simple.

Besides $ 5.00 as max price is really stupid idea, it would ruin the mantineance of high quality plugin.
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Post » Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:35 am

I think saying "$ 5.00 as max price is really stupid idea" .....is a stupid idea especially since you have no information to base that off of.
In fact all plugs up until recently have been free.
But if you wish to continue the argument then lets look at something comparable, say for example Spriter.
Its an editor, and a plug, and costs $24.99.
Can you make something of that quality?
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