Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:39 pm

Quork wrote:In the case of open source, yeah I do, as a matter of a fact I do twice. The first one is the obvious "paid content and open source don't go well together" which was mentioned here already and partially critically. I view it as generally valid in the open source scene and especially in cases like OpenBVE (and another one strikingly similar to this here) where the program everything lives from is definitely free and open.
The second aspect is somethin maybe surprising for some; you will never get enough money to really make up for your work. That'd be dumping, anything below net. 6€ per work hour invested is nowhere near decent. No chance of getting this - so you'd be selling yourself way below value, while the user in this case will see himself (rightfully!) as a full-right customer with all rights for support etc.

It's absolutely legitimate to collect money for all your material costs (remember also it isn't just hosting: You pay railway tickets to get to your texture sources, you probably bought extra accumulators and memory cards for that end, etc.) and also keep some more of it than the current costs are as a reserve. But getting your work paid? No chance of getting a decent recompensate.


EDIT: It might seem implausible now, but believe me: A customer who paid is worse in average than someone who benefits from something free. You might get free of those 1 worst percent of parasites, but the average gets worse, not better.

In the 'real world' it's volume sales that provide a recompense at a reasonable price. In our field a proper return would be unaffordable!

Phil

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:42 pm

Derryck wrote:
I still consider the "voluntary donation" the best option to go... I will give it a try and we will see what it brings. The donation section of my site will be announced in this topic when it comes to life, it will be something like a test drive.
No problem, Phil, I can also set up a form for questions regarding the tool... the questions can be directed to your email and everything. It is a matter of arrangement I guess.

Cheers Derryck - I'll PM you when beta one is ready.

Phil

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:48 pm

@ Quork True, do the maths and paying min wage €6 an hour would make a decent route prohibitively expensive. Commercially you need quicker build methods and high sales volumes. Like MSTS or RAilworks. But we're in a different place totally.
I wasn't advocating commercialism. Just some return to compensate expenses incurred. Judging by James' opinion, this shouldn't be seen as unreasonable by a fair-minded user. I stress the point that I'm talking "first-class" gold star here, not "tourist class" service!!

A plain "donate" button on the website is OK too. Only I feel if I gave somethig for a reasonable donation, something that the donor wouldn't be able to have otherwise, it may attract more donations.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:51 pm

graymac wrote:Judging by James' opinion, this shouldn't be seen as unreasonable by a fair-minded user. I stress the point that I'm talking "first-class" gold star here, not "tourist class" service!!
Sure, you will always find a few guys, who will appreciate the time invested and everything. But I have a feeling they will be in minority. Very Happy
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:55 pm

phileakins wrote:In the 'real world' it's volume sales that provide a recompense at a reasonable price. In our field a proper return would be unaffordable!
Exactly what I meant. But break even points are of no interest to the user. He pays, and this moment he is a customer. He has every right for support, for money return in the event of infunctionality et cetera. So you'd gain not much, but take a whole load of responsibility on your shoulders. Look on it the other way round. When you go to a tailor, buy a jacket, find some sew is ripping and go back to him - how would you react, if he says, he won't repair it or that he'll do it some time, when he has free time? Reasoning he's getting so little money it's like working for free?

Edit (you're too fast for my typing Laughing I'd rather code my program on *g* But well, I have to go to work in a few minutes anyway)
The user isn't interested in whether you propagate commercialization or not. The moment he pays, he's the customer. Dot. No room for interpretation there. Forget any "fair-minded user", they're a marginal group as soon as payment is in place. And whether it is a fixed price or an obligatory donation doesn't matter much in this context.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by mikey1984 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:02 pm

I think for the best of content it wouldn't be unreasonable to ask for a small fee. I would have a ''demo' version that shows off a small part of the route (if it is a route) so the user can decide whether they want purchase it or not.
Of course people will find ways round it and upload the files to pirate sites, but there's not a lot you can do about that unfortunately.
For me it would only be fair to ask for money for something of the highest quality.
I know it is a highly contentious issue and I would hope Open BVE would always remain predominantly a Freeware programme

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:09 pm

@ Derryck: Don't despair! A few emails from appreciative users go a long way to letting you know you did a good job. Just that it doesn't make a dent in the expenses. I don't think any of the providers of the best available work are wealthy people by any means. Which means their generosity is all the more deserving when they can scarcely afford to subsidise many who could afford a small payment.
Anyway, I don't own or use other, commercial, sims - can anyone tell me what stuff costs???

@ Mikey: You make a good point. Personally, IF I was to offer anything it would be like an addition to what I already make for free. That way people who already have some of my stuff would know the standard of what they could expect. Perhaps, fo example, a different or more detailed version of a train, or a short branch line - it would be something not for free download off the site.
Anti-piracy is another thread altogether. But cheats and thieves are not welcome!! Smile
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:19 pm

graymac wrote:Commercially you need quicker build methods and high sales volumes. Like MSTS or RAilworks. But we're in a different place totally.

Why should we be in a different place? What can be done commercially can be done open source - as long as there is sufficient incentive. That is where we are lacking. We have relied totally on one lead developer who kept things close to her chest - and we seem to be doing that again, and it appears things have stalled - or at least we have been told nothing about how things are to go forward!

There was a strong drive towards a co-operative effort which has simply died out - perhaps it needs to be picked up again. A graphical development environment would encourage 'new blood' to make a start but that needs someone to explain the OBVE source code, or at least with sufficient time and expertise to reverse engineer it.

The roadmap was exciting, but has died. Without a movement towards improvement OBVE will die as well.

Rant over!

Phil


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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:25 pm

Quork wrote:
But break even points are of no interest to the user. He pays, and this moment he is a customer. He has every right for support, for money return in the event of infunctionality et cetera.

Sorry, I take the view that if someone undertakes to use software I have written and released, the user is entitled to (reasonable) support whether he has paid or not.

Phil

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:25 pm

For the sake of curiosity, I stuck up a poll,
http://bveworldwide.unlimitedboard.com/t698-poll-i-want-it-all#8337
let's wait and see what happens.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by rick1984 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:44 pm

I think the donation system is a good idea.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by James on Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:06 pm

I think Quork is right that if people were paying for things they would tend to have higher expectations of support. However, I wouldn't envisage that anybody would be forced to charge for their work. Anyone who preferred the option of giving things for free and therefore benefiting from lower expectations of support would be free to do so.

I also agree that - without an easy to use route editor/builder - the hours taken to create a route are never likely to be rewarded at the sort of rate you would get for doing a job. But then, if I were a route builder, I might well feel that as I took enjoyment from building routes, I don't necessarily need the recompense that I would receive in a full time job. It's really just about covering expenses, with perhaps a little extra reward as well.

If a commercial company wanted to come in and actually start making profit from developing for BVE, the first thing they would have to do is create a programme to allow them to build routes much more quickly than is currently possible. Then again, that is the sort of development which the prospect of profit often brings about!

In answer to Graymac's question - on Railworks (or whatever it's called now) a route might cost £25 or so. Mind you, there are also lots of people making content for free, which is often at least as good as the paid content - it's just that they choose to offer it for free.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:19 pm

James wrote:I don't necessarily need the recompense that I would receive in a full time job. It's really just about covering expenses, with perhaps a little extra reward as well.

Exactly my point. But then again, if I choose to set up a voluntary donation scheme, will there be anyone, who will actually make use of it? It is full of IFs BUTs and MAYBEs and that is why I am going to try the voluntary system. Let's find out if and how it works.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:13 am

OK, I have set up a voluntary contribution scheme at my site. You can go and check it out yourself. I shall see what the user response is and whether it brings in some real income for running cost coverage.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:13 am

A worthwhile experiment, hope it brings in a koruna or two!

@ namechange

The artist, formerly known as Prince . . . . . . . . .

All a bit "celebville", ain't it????? Very Happy Nice, arty picture though. Couldn't put my own face on the site, it would frighten the kiddies!! LOL
The older Brits will remember Dexter, he was a good cricketer in his day.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:19 am

Actually, this is a different Dexter (nevermind), but that is not to this topic I guess. Very Happy

Come on, Gray, you can safely put your face up here, after all, the Halloween is coming soon... Very Happy
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by graymac on Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:33 am

What a Face
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by phileakins on Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:15 pm

Yes, that's got me confused. Shocked

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:05 pm

phileakins wrote:Yes, that's got me confused. Shocked

Phil

What exactly, Phil?
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by mikey1984 on Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:08 pm

graymac wrote:For the sake of curiosity, I stuck up a poll,
http://bveworldwide.unlimitedboard.com/t698-poll-i-want-it-all#8337
let's wait and see what happens.
For me the question is subjective. It would depend on what route or train is on offer.
For instance if it was a nice train but not one I particularly wanted in my depot I would probably hold off from buying it.
Or if I really wanted a new route I would be willing to pay a little bit more.
So in answer to the question: If there was a route or train item that you couldn't have for nothing, would you buy it?
My answer would be it depends.

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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:11 pm

mikey1984 wrote:
For me the question is subjective. It would depend on what route or train is on offer.
For instance if it was a nice train but not one I particularly wanted in my depot I would probably hold off from buying it.
Or if I really wanted a new route I would be willing to pay a little bit more.
So in answer to the question: If there was a route or train item that you couldn't have for nothing, would you buy it?
My answer would be it depends.

True. I am glad this debate is bringing some pretty valid points and lots of different opinions. I've got a feeling that the result of this debate will actually define the further direction that major authors might follow in the future.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Quork on Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:20 pm

I'm missing another answer option - "I'd never buy - but I'd do a volontary donation"

EDIT: Ah, thanks Derryck =D
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:27 pm

Well, I have set up a new poll OVER HERE, perhaps it will help identify the opinion of the community.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by mobile1 on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:00 pm

I would not be interested in producing anything at all if it involved any form of charging...just imagine...wheres my payment for using my object/pic etc... the HOBBY will be killed off, without anyone trying....mobile 1
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

Post by Dexter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:08 pm

That is why we have this discussion, Mobile1. We need to know all the pro and cons, all opinions possible to make a valid and reasonable conclusion.
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Re: Summat for nowt! (Something for nothing)

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