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hyphz
February 9th, 2005, 15:53
... bought by the GM which then lets players connect with the free client?

It looks like a great system, but having to ask interested people to "pay to play" is going to put everyone off joining in, especially when there's zero-cost competition.

Aesir
February 10th, 2005, 02:46
I sort of agree and posted elsewhere here about it.

I *assume* the target is for obtaining about $120 - $135 a playing group (1 full license for the DM, 4 or 5 'lite' licenses for players). That is a bit high, when put into those terms. It's a valuable program, at least at first take from the demo. But it's harder to justify that expenditure to a broader audience of people.

The net result is that (unless my group's members change their minds) the sale of 2 clients to two of us that wanted to use it... was put off by the other 4 players that don't want to pay $80 between them for it.

richvalle
February 10th, 2005, 03:32
Its funny... I've never thought about purchases per group... just per person. As a group we must have spent $1000+ by now with all the 1st ed., 2nd Ed, 3.0 and 3.5 books. Thats not counting trips to Gencon...

Just out of curiosity... what is the rough average age of your guys groups? Ours is 35+. I'm thinking the $20 is not such a big deal to us at this poing but it would have 15-20 years ago.

rv

Aesir
February 10th, 2005, 04:24
Well, since you asked... we've a good spread of demographics. Some are in the 35+ bracket, w/ young kids and spouses, mortgages, etc. There's a mom-to-be, another is a collegiate.. it's a good spread. There's probably also a good spread of what is termed 'disposable income'.

The point is that there's this group of 5 - 6 people where some are willing to pop 20 for a player's 'lite' license. And some aren't.


So... since I happen to want to use this within the group, I'm voicing opinion and possibly alternate ideas that might (or might not) be attractive alternatives for the FG folks. I think it's worth a shot to ask. The worst that happens is that I get banned from the forums ;)

Here's an idea:
Add the following license option:
server license allowing 5 connections. Price? $50 +/- Additional connections for n amount of $$.

In my group, there's probably be 2 maybe 3 people that would kick in for the price to offset the DM's outlay. Other groups might split it evenly at $10 a pop. Or a rich DM might must buy it outright.

I don't know if this works out for the FG folks. They'd probably get more people paying and playing. And they'd get $50-ish from my little group, instead of... not getting $135 dollars.

Anyway, I toss out the idea to see if it sticks.

[EDITED: Actually, let me turn the question around... what would be (from FG's perspective) a proper price for a server license that allowed 5 or 6 players to connect? If US$50 doesn't cover it, then what amount would?]

Elric
February 10th, 2005, 12:55
I'm not trying to start a 'ProgWar' - but I also recently purchased Klooge.Werks (I plan on using BOTH FG and KW, not everyone has both so I play with who I can) and I like their '4/6-pack' floating license which allows anyone to play your games without them having to buy a license. When they connect, they use up one of the 'floaters' and when your game runs out of licenses, no one else can connect.

People that have actually purchased a client license for themselves can still connect, but those that haven't must rely on using a floater.

Like I said, I'm not trying to start anything - I wouldn't have spent 3 weeks building a ruleset for FG if I wasn't going to use the program. :D

February 10th, 2005, 14:14
I think the way FG is priced works out well. Basically, to play online, it costs the price of a standard d20 sourcebook ... or a WOTC Hardcover for the DM. So, that's how I see the purchase: you're buying a new 'book" that gives you the "rules" you need to play online. Sure, in some groups, people share sourcebooks, and it would be nice to have, say, one or two built in "floaters" with the Full version. But I don't see this as too cost-prohibitive.

richvalle
February 10th, 2005, 14:21
Aesir:

Nah, you won't get banned. Others have expressed the same sort of thing. I think it was posted once that SmiteWorks was going to think about doing some other licensing options. They've not commented to much on threads like this and when they do its to indicate they like the pricing where it is at for now. The fact that quite a few threads like this have come up though inditactes it is an issue.

I'm in that ' 35+ bracket, w/ young kids and spouses, mortgages, etc' group. All my friends are playing Worlds of Warcraft at $13 a month $40 for the program. Too rich for me!

Being in that group, this software is perfect for me. When my group was playing (our dm is a on again off again type) he would play once every 2 weeks. I was making less then half the games. Using FG I played in a game for a while that was being run every Monday night and I was able to make every game. Thats a huge differance. It was great... I'd go home from work, eat dinner, help put the kids to bed and then get in the game. We'd play till about 11:00 PM and I'd make it to bed at a decent hour for work the next day. Playing with our group I'd not get home till 1 in the morning or so and to bed around 2 or 3.

I get $20 every 2 weeks as my own. With it I'm trying to get everything needed to run a game... So far I have this software, bought the DMG, MM and just bought Dundjinni mapping software. I'm out of $$ now and still want to buy a couple of modules.


Thanks for the answer... I wasn't trying to be nosey just curious. :)

Elric:

That does sound like a nice license package. I looked a KloogeWerks a couple of years ago and thought it looked pretty nice. I'm pretty commited to FG now though. :)

rv

Ilwan
February 10th, 2005, 14:37
Topic has been discussed here also:

http://forums.fantasygrounds.com/viewtopic.php?t=62

hyphz
February 10th, 2005, 14:52
I think the way FG is priced works out well. Basically, to play online, it costs the price of a standard d20 sourcebook ... or a WOTC Hardcover for the DM. So, that's how I see the purchase: you're buying a new 'book" that gives you the "rules" you need to play online. Sure, in some groups, people share sourcebooks, and it would be nice to have, say, one or two built in "floaters" with the Full version. But I don't see this as too cost-prohibitive.

There are two problems with this:

1. In the majority of gaming groups (that I know of, anyway) the players don't buy books. Usually the GM is the one to buy the books, players may then choose to buy them or not. If the players DO buy books, quite often they pool funds and buy a single copy to share.

2. In NONE of those groups do the players buy a book before ever having played the game. Ok, there's the demo module, but it may not be representative of the kind of gaming that the players want to do.

3. Even if they are prepared to pay, not every member of a group necessarily has an RPGNow account or a credit card they're willing to use on the 'net.

4. Requiring global buy-in more or less ties the system to existing gaming groups rather than allowing it to be used to run public games (and likewise there's no matching service). However, typically existing gaming groups are able to game F2F so the only likely use of the software will be to allow for members of the group moving or temporarily time difficulties. Neither of those will lead every other player in the group to want to fork out for software just so that one member's location or time difficulties can be worked around.

I agree that "the pricing is appropriate for the given features" but the problem is that the player license doesn't give the player access to those features, they depend on having the GM allow them to use them as well.

richvalle
February 10th, 2005, 15:28
I think the way FG is priced works out well. Basically, to play online, it costs the price of a standard d20 sourcebook ... or a WOTC Hardcover for the DM. So, that's how I see the purchase: you're buying a new 'book" that gives you the "rules" you need to play online. Sure, in some groups, people share sourcebooks, and it would be nice to have, say, one or two built in "floaters" with the Full version. But I don't see this as too cost-prohibitive.

There are two problems with this:

1. In the majority of gaming groups (that I know of, anyway) the players don't buy books. Usually the GM is the one to buy the books, players may then choose to buy them or not. If the players DO buy books, quite often they pool funds and buy a single copy to share.

2. In NONE of those groups do the players buy a book before ever having played the game. Ok, there's the demo module, but it may not be representative of the kind of gaming that the players want to do.

3. Even if they are prepared to pay, not every member of a group necessarily has an RPGNow account or a credit card they're willing to use on the 'net.

4. Requiring global buy-in more or less ties the system to existing gaming groups rather than allowing it to be used to run public games (and likewise there's no matching service). However, typically existing gaming groups are able to game F2F so the only likely use of the software will be to allow for members of the group moving or temporarily time difficulties. Neither of those will lead every other player in the group to want to fork out for software just so that one member's location or time difficulties can be worked around.

I agree that "the pricing is appropriate for the given features" but the problem is that the player license doesn't give the player access to those features, they depend on having the GM allow them to use them as well.

Hello hyphz!

I'll just put the numbers you used above and make comments.

1. The groups I've been in every player buys their own books. Its bad enough that the dm has to buy more books without putting the burden of supplying the players with all their information/access to their books all the time.

2. We've bought games/books 'blind' before. Sometimes someone in our group wants to try another game and we just buy and play. We've alwasy gone back to Dnd for some reason though.

3. The ones with this problem could get someone else to buy the game and pay them back. Not a big deal.

4. I think as more people buy the software more public games and non-f2f gaming groups will form. A f2f group would have to deside if they want to guy the software to help out one person or not. If its going to be a temperary thing its probably not worth it. If someone is moving to another city it may be. Also it should not be a huge problem if some of the group buys the software and some do not as long as the ones that do are a big enough group to have a game. Maybe the dm could run 1 game in 3 on FG (to include the person with the time/distance problem) and the rest face to face. That way everyone could play at least some of the time.

If you guys are willing to open up your fg game to other players you could then become one of the 'open' games for the rest of us! :)

rv

hyphz
February 10th, 2005, 16:08
Hi,

On thinking about it another problem with the demo module is that it's actually been professionally designed.

Think about it.. it may be great when we're moving our tokens through that beautifully illustrated mountain pass, but the average guy who just wants to be a GM isn't necessarily going to be a graphic artist too. Yes, there's templates to get around that, but that's still extra work for the GM, and I have no idea of the GM's going to do that work at the time I pop for a player license.


1. The groups I've been in every player buys their own books. Its bad enough that the dm has to buy more books without putting the burden of supplying the players with all their information/access to their books all the time.

Do they buy them all right at the start, though, or does the DM have one first and then the players get them later?


3. The ones with this problem could get someone else to buy the game and pay them back. Not a big deal.

Depends on the serial number system they're using. If it locks to the RPGNow account or IP address that buys it, or uses activation, it's a problem.



If you guys are willing to open up your fg game to other players you could then become one of the 'open' games for the rest of us! :)


Sure, but would I want to pay for a client before knowing if the 'open' DM was any good?

This is the basic problem, I'd be happy to buy a DM version, but for the players, all the functionality of the package is dependant on their DM. If the DM just decides to use the chat window and roll the dice, not using any of the other features, then they've just effectively gotten ripped off on their purchase. Obviously FG can't be expected to guarantee that all DMs will use all the features, but it's still a bit of a shot in the dark for players..

richvalle
February 10th, 2005, 16:43
Hi,

On thinking about it another problem with the demo module is that it's actually been professionally designed.

Think about it.. it may be great when we're moving our tokens through that beautifully illustrated mountain pass, but the average guy who just wants to be a GM isn't necessarily going to be a graphic artist too. Yes, there's templates to get around that, but that's still extra work for the GM, and I have no idea of the GM's going to do that work at the time I pop for a player license.


Do they buy them all right at the start, though, or does the DM have one first and then the players get them later?


3. The ones with this problem could get someone else to buy the game and pay them back. Not a big deal.

Depends on the serial number system they're using. If it locks to the RPGNow account or IP address that buys it, or uses activation, it's a problem.



If you guys are willing to open up your fg game to other players you could then become one of the 'open' games for the rest of us! :)


Sure, but would I want to pay for a client before knowing if the 'open' DM was any good?

This is the basic problem, I'd be happy to buy a DM version, but for the players, all the functionality of the package is dependant on their DM. If the DM just decides to use the chat window and roll the dice, not using any of the other features, then they've just effectively gotten ripped off on their purchase. Obviously FG can't be expected to guarantee that all DMs will use all the features, but it's still a bit of a shot in the dark for players..

Bleah. I'm not going to try and parse that with quotes from me.

There are other mapping software packages out there. This is something a FG DM will have to buy that players won't have to pony up for (unless its a really community oriantated group and they share the cost). So far Dundjinni gets talked about the most. Not sure what else people are using. I just bought Dundjinni and you can make some amazing looking maps but it is a little time intensive.

Books: Some of both. Sometimes the DM got the book and we just shared it for the short time we played the game. Sometimes we bought books too. Sometimes I've bought games that we never did play (Gurps, Dragon-something), Runequest).

When you buy the Fg software you get a link of where to download it and then an email with the license number. There is no linking of licenses to systems/ips that bought them. Only weird thing that I've heard of is that you can only buy the licenses one at a time from RPGNow because of a bug on their side. So one person could place 2 orders and then give the licence number to the other person. The server side software checks to make sure more then one person is not connecting with the same license number.

This is really the same problem you have with trying any new game group. Its not even just a question of weither the dm uses all the features of the software or not. Maybe his/her gaming style is just not what you are looking for. The nice thing about FG is that you can look around for another group to play with without leaving your house and they can be across the country when you play. It gives you more options to play the same game you have already bought the material for (assuming you have the Players Handbook or whatever other books needed for that game as people are making Gurps rulesets ect).

If you were just going to buy this to play with one group you had never played with before, then yes that would be a shot in the dark. If you are getting it to play with people you know that are having a hard to getting f2f these days its not so much. If you are getting it to look for more gaming opportunities then its a bit of a shot in the dark as you look for a game that you enjoy.

Besides... so what if a dm just uses the chat window and the dice rolling. If you enjoy the game and play for a couple of years its worth it no? You can't price software based on what features of it you are going to use. In that case there would be 50+ versions of Word for Windows with prices of $10 to $150. :)

Nice discusion, though at some point we'll probably just have to agree to disagree.

Thanks,

rv

hyphz
February 10th, 2005, 17:20
Besides... so what if a dm just uses the chat window and the dice rolling. If you enjoy the game and play for a couple of years its worth it no? You can't price software based on what features of it you are going to use. In that case there would be 50+ versions of Word for Windows with prices of $10 to $150. :)

I just need to reiterate the key point here, since that last example doesn't quite fit. In Word for Windows, you get to choose what features you use, but they're all available to you. In FantasyGrounds Lite, you don't get to choose what features you use them because being able to use them is dependant on the DM providing content. That's the issue - not the fact that not all the features would be used, but the problem that it isn't the buyer (of the Players' version) who chooses whether they are used or not.

And will you play for a couple of years, or will your DM get sick of the work and quit after two sessions, leaving you with a useless piece of software? Who knows?

richvalle
February 10th, 2005, 17:44
Besides... so what if a dm just uses the chat window and the dice rolling. If you enjoy the game and play for a couple of years its worth it no? You can't price software based on what features of it you are going to use. In that case there would be 50+ versions of Word for Windows with prices of $10 to $150. :)

I just need to reiterate the key point here, since that last example doesn't quite fit. In Word for Windows, you get to choose what features you use, but they're all available to you. In FantasyGrounds Lite, you don't get to choose what features you use them because being able to use them is dependant on the DM providing content. That's the issue - not the fact that not all the features would be used, but the problem that it isn't the buyer (of the Players' version) who chooses whether they are used or not.

Hmmm... hmmm... dang. Good point about the Word for Windows thing. I was thinking more about the fact that you were paying for things you would never use.


And will you play for a couple of years, or will your DM get sick of the work and quit after two sessions, leaving you with a useless piece of software? Who knows?

And that is where we are coming from different places I think. I look at as I already have a players hand book. If the dm sucks, quits, moves ect I still have the book and can find some one else to play with. Same with the software... if the current game does not work out move somewhere else.

In fact, this is sort of where I find myself. I have the dnd books but our dm is not running and I have a hard time being able to go even when he did run. Now I can try and find another game to play.

rv

Aesir
February 10th, 2005, 18:07
Some of the replies were pretty good, but were talking more about whether or not the program's price v. value was on target. So maybe to clarify, I'm not making a statement on the relative worth or the dollar+cents value of the software. I happen to want to use it and think I would buy it at the current pricing/licensing arrangement.

However....I'm presenting a case (my own case) where the current licensing results in 6 fewer sales overall - because not everyone in my group is prepared to pop for the $20.

In any case, I'd found the earlier statements... I think dated pre-December ..from Smite Works on this topic. Maybe an update to let us (well, me) know if there's still room for discussion re: license costs.

[EDITED: Oh..just thought of a (maybe) simpler alternative. Discount pricing on group purchases... example: Buy 1 'Full' license, and say... 5 'lite' licenses as part of a purchase.. and get x% off the total price. Then there'd be no code re-write required to deal with open/floating server side license tracking.]

February 12th, 2005, 15:33
There are two problems with this:It wasn't a perfect analogy, but it works ....


1. In the majority of gaming groups (that I know of, anyway) the players don't buy books. Usually the GM is the one to buy the books, players may then choose to buy them or not. If the players DO buy books, quite often they pool funds and buy a single copy to share.We've had different experiences, then. Usually, in the groups I've gamed with, if a player wanted to introduce a book into the game, they bought it. Yes, the DM bought books, too, and yes, sharing took place. But it wasn't uncommon to have three copies of even things like SONG AND SILENCE or SWORD AND FIST floating around. And everyone had their own PHB! Come to think of it, everyone was toting a DMG, too ...

And honestly, in sixteen years of gaming, I've never seen people pool resources for a book. Everyone I've ever played with was too possessive! :lol:


2. In NONE of those groups do the players buy a book before ever having played the game. Ok, there's the demo module, but it may not be representative of the kind of gaming that the players want to do. Not quite a fair analogy, as most players buying into FG have played d20 before. This is more like buying a sourcebook, like COMPLETE FIGHTER ... and yes, all the players I've ever known would buy a sourcebook after only having "demoed" it (i.e. looked over it in the store).


3. Even if they are prepared to pay, not every member of a group necessarily has an RPGNow account or a credit card they're willing to use on the 'net.Which is why I said that one or two 'floater" positions in the Full Lisence would be nice. People DO borrow books around my tables on occassion.

Like I said, it was an analogy. And I think it's adequete. YMMV.

[email protected]

hyphz
February 14th, 2005, 00:42
And that is where we are coming from different places I think. I look at as I already have a players hand book. If the dm sucks, quits, moves ect I still have the book and can find some one else to play with. Same with the software... if the current game does not work out move somewhere else.

Except, what if your DM decides to stop using FantasyGrounds, but continue the game? Are you going to ditch your game just for the sake of FG?

The PHB is essential to the game. FB isn't. That doesn't just mean that the PHB has higher value - it means that usage of the PHB can be linked to the game occuring at all, which FB can't.

Visigodo
February 14th, 2005, 10:58
I think a package license could be a good idea. If i want to run a campaign i buy the GM license and then i have to convince the players to buy the lite one., what about if decide to give up or if they dont like me as a GM? this is not a single player game, the Lite license with out a GM is a dead software. And how many campaigns do i have to play, at this moment one, and its been played at a time not suitable for me.

I would like to run a campaign in my proper one language, with a GM license system with four or five free clients this could be possible but with this system i dont think so.

richvalle
February 14th, 2005, 18:03
And that is where we are coming from different places I think. I look at as I already have a players hand book. If the dm sucks, quits, moves ect I still have the book and can find some one else to play with. Same with the software... if the current game does not work out move somewhere else.

Except, what if your DM decides to stop using FantasyGrounds, but continue the game? Are you going to ditch your game just for the sake of FG?

The PHB is essential to the game. FB isn't. That doesn't just mean that the PHB has higher value - it means that usage of the PHB can be linked to the game occuring at all, which FB can't.

Hey hyphz, hope you had a nice weekend.

Looks like, again, we are coming to this from different directions. I want FG because my group is NOT playing any more. So I've already spent $$ on books I can't use any more. I'm looking to use FG to find a group to play with. I think you are looking to add FG to a group that already exists. So for me, yes if the dm stopped using FG I would have to take my software and my books and find another game. :)

rv