Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

What do you want to see in Armagetron soon? Any new feature ideas? Let's ponder these ground breaking ideas...
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compguygene
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Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by compguygene »

There is a nice discussion going on about funding Development of Armagetronad. I have followed several successful Kickstarter projects, and I can envision us designing a Kickstarter to fund the development to not only finish a full .4 sty+ct version, but one that creates a marketplace for the selling of "hats" (custom lightcycles that can be seen in any client, perhaps custom arena graphics as well).
We have had discussions in the past about this.
Everybody in the past has always brought up these ideas but made them out to be too expensive for a "small" community like this. Kickstarter would be a means of not only raising money, but a way of expanding the community in the process of gaining backers. Consider some of the advantages we have vs. most that do a videogame Kickstarter.

1. We have an experimental .4 client they can try out RIGHT NOW, with an existing community that includes vibrant gameplay, players, and servers.

2. We already have a volunteer community that can create the needed video and other materials.

3. We already have a vibrant community that can hammer out the best ideas!

So, the question becomes, what are gonna be the traits of a successful kickstarter for us?

1. The most successful Kickstarters create something that makes money, not just some piece of Art or free thing. By selling hats, we can satisfy that requirement and create an ongoing revenue stream to pay for specific Development projects.

2. The most successful Kickstarters have a premium for the investment of $20 USD or less, and larger premiums for larger investments. These need to be something tangible, not just digital stuff. Could be a combo of "credit" for hats and say a mug, t-shirt, or some other Armagetron related tangible good.

3. The most successful Kickstarters have people reach out via social networks to get their friends involved. I know many of you would be willing to do that, it's a no-brainer.

So, as far as I can see, there is no reason to not do a Kickstarter.
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by RoterBaron1337 »

someone who did not ignore my post on that thread.. :D since i mentioned it should be a good idea 8)

well for kickstarters, we need(?) someone who makes a good video about how the game is, sumo = mazing how he can survive in such a tiny spot or like in ladle when someone is cutting the def and/or sandwhiching someone we make a commentary (screaming, enthusiasm, full of joy w/e) such little things which show that the game is making fun for everybody (spectating / playing) maybe even showing ctf / styball, to show the variety of tron showoff the forum who has nice players and help, several clan sites with their archievements with all those criterias people will get interested (imo)

im just trying to help :]
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by Word »

Well, should Armagetron get a Kickstarter project it won't be too difficult to appeal to their main donors, since most of them are geeks.

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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by Lucifer »

Talk about the game as it exists now and get video of particular players giving testimony. So, Ladle footage is required!

Then talk about plans to take the game. (Mention the AFL and the potential for play that having someone to administer such a thing more permanently would bring)

Finally, some artwork/staged video to show what the vision is.

I'm happy to volunteer myself as a passionate, animated developer in a video. :) (Give my wife some new makeup thing to try: look great, and manly!)
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by compguygene »

Those sound like nice ideas for the video. However, to even submit and plan this thing, we need some more information that only you dev's can provide.

1. What would be the cost for a dev to make a stable .4 that includes the sty+ct extensions?

2. What would be the scope of a marketplace to sell custom lightcycles and arenas that each client would see, and what would be the cost to develop that?

And those are just two questions (loaded questions at that) to define how much we need to raise in the Kickstarter.
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by Lucifer »

compguygene wrote:Those sound like nice ideas for the video. However, to even submit and plan this thing, we need some more information that only you dev's can provide.

1. What would be the cost for a dev to make a stable .4 that includes the sty+ct extensions?
Let's just say it's about $100k USD. That amount includes salaries for 2 full time developers (for a year), part time work as needed, some outsourcing (paying some of our pro artists here in the community to make new stuff, and here I'm thinking of establishing a solid merchandise offering), and improving infrastructure. Also, the sty+ct extensions won't come with it, but instead the base features would be added to create zones v3. Don't forget sty+ct isn't compatible with the current 0.4 codebase.

We might need to look more at $150k. Kickstarter does say repeatedly "Don't lowball, if anything, shoot for way more than you need" and just say what will be done with the excess, if there is any.
2. What would be the scope of a marketplace to sell custom lightcycles and arenas that each client would see, and what would be the cost to develop that?
I don't believe such a thing to be in the best interests of the game. The resource repository is free, the servers are free, and the game itself is free. This "marketplace" needs to be free.

I would be in favor of making it possible for each of these things to have paid content with a fallback to free for those who haven't subscribed. So server operators would be able to charge admission, resources could be hosted that have to be purchased, and this new marketplace would be included in that. So we could go to a mix of free/paid content. In that way, the paid content will be driven to high quality offerings because the free stuff is already so good, and anybody capable of creating such content will have an opportunity to make some money with it.

We can, however, use the free venues as a way to advertise supporting the game. I'm actually in favor (and always have been in favor) of in-game advertising where a portion of proceeds go to us, and a portion go to server operators, and players happily buy the products that are advertised because they know it supports their favorite game and their favorite servers. But even if we don't create an in-game ad network available to commercial advertisers, we can still create such a thing to advertise ourselves and anything we come up with that people can do to buy things.
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by compguygene »

I appreciate your quick and intelligent response, Lucifer. As you stated in the other topic
Lucifer wrote:I think there's a lot of possibility to capitalize on the game without sacrificing the fundamental freedom philosophy embedded into everything about the game. I also think there are developers who would love to quit their current jobs and spend all their time on arma, besides me. The question isn't "if", it's "how do we make it happen"?
That, my friend, is the essence of this topic.

I took the time to look through other videogame Kickstarters, and there do seem to be plenty of successful ones that weighed in at 150k. So, let's just go with that.
I like the ideas you have put forward to keep the essence of the "free" and "open" nature of this game, yet allowing for monetization. It would appear that what you are proposing is monetization that would improve the quality of the game and experience.
With the right combination of premiums for investors, 150k is totally doable.
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by Ratchet »

I am very naive, and fixing to leave for work - but this has my curiosity... where is this 150k coming from? I don't think the community could provide that lump sum, would these developmental videos be for another entity to fund our project..or? /me is lost
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by Fippmam »

This has probably been suggested before, but who do we have to flatter, in order to get MLG's support? :D

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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by Lucifer »

compguygene wrote:\
I like the ideas you have put forward to keep the essence of the "free" and "open" nature of this game, yet allowing for monetization. It would appear that what you are proposing is monetization that would improve the quality of the game and experience.
Do keep in mind that we have a lot of high quality free stuff. Where some places (I'm looking at Apple) have a lot of stuff that's downright crap you can buy for a dollar, our free stuff would drive that right out of the marketplace or prevent it from showing up in the first place.

Which means you need real talent to develop content people will pay for. Which also means there won't be a lot of it without a large market to sell it to (expect 98% of people not to spend money on the game, that's the magic number Zynga used before they found out people didn't want to buy fake money).
With the right combination of premiums for investors, 150k is totally doable.
What kind of rewards can we give?

* A credit screen in-game that all kickstarter contributions over $20 are listed
* An in-game bot with the name you choose
* A wall graphic that lists all contributors who gave more than $100 that's released as part of the 0.4 release
* For donations of $500 or more, I will personally make a metal statue and ship it to the donor. :)
* For $1000 or more, a tournament that occurs at least once named after you

What else?
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by LOVER$BOY »

Well sorry for not being active lately but I got my life to think about right now. What with mountain of assignments + upcoming exams next week, it's a wonder I find time at-all to visit the forums. I'm tight on money too so I hope you understand.
compguygene wrote:1. What would be the cost for a dev to make a stable .4 that includes the sty+ct extensions?
Anyway I just noticed this but I don't know if you received my latest PM or read or not either. So, about having sty+ct in 0.4. I've already infused the basics of 0.2.9-armagetronad-sty+ct+ap => 0.4+ap. The code is infused in with the most of current sty+ct+ap additions/extensions. It's still missing a lot of stuff from sty+ct+ap but I didn't add them in due to merge errors. I did not add in the latest I've been adding to the present sty+ct+ap since I am in the middle of testing it, sorry.

The reason that I labeled it +ap was due to the implementations were being conducted by the Alpha Project group (mostly me). It only makes sense (you know how low we are and how much credit we receive) but I can change it to sty+ct+ap if you wish.

Well I am happy to say that the code is stable to be used. However, building it in Windows is a problem because of the new commit that 0.4-winlibs-work received from Yann Kaizer. Builds in windows, using Code Blocks, can be used using the revision 90 (Manual Moos commit).

Now to coming to the compiler of the server. By default the zonesV1 are disabled. For that matter I've created a handy tutorial which I myself followed successfully! The tutorial is located at Vertrex - 0.4 - Running Multiple Servers on Ubuntu computer.

So go ahead. Test out the source yourselves. I am satisfied with it for the moment. Maybe I'll get a video going on showing you I'm not lying or fooling around (it's not April Fools day either). Hopefully I could find time in my tight schedule ;)

AFTER THOUGHT
Comp, I am not sure about this but did you originally wanted to create a branch for individual specs using the 0.4 source?
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by compguygene »

Lucifer wrote: What kind of rewards can we give?

* A credit screen in-game that all kickstarter contributions over $20 are listed
* An in-game bot with the name you choose
* A wall graphic that lists all contributors who gave more than $100 that's released as part of the 0.4 release
* For donations of $500 or more, I will personally make a metal statue and ship it to the donor. :)
* For $1000 or more, a tournament that occurs at least once named after you

What else?
This is why I really think we need to up the ante on rewards.
The Kickstarter site wrote:Kickstarter isn’t charity: we champion exchanges that are a mix of commerce and patronage, and the numbers bear this out. To date the most popular pledge amount is $25 and the average pledge is around $70. Small amounts are where it’s at: projects without a reward of $20 or less succeed 28% of the time, while projects with a reward of $20 or less succeed 45% of the time.

So what works? Offering something of value. Actual value considers more than just sticker price. If it’s a limited edition or a one-of-a-kind experience, there’s a lot of flexibility based on your audience. But if it’s a manufactured good, then it’s a good idea to stay reasonably close to its real-world cost.

There is no magic bullet, and we encourage every project to be as creative and true to itself as possible. Put yourself in your backers’ shoes: would you drop the cash on your rewards? The answer to that question will tell you a lot about your project’s potential.
This is why I first suggested the creation of a real marketplace.
Every videogame kickstarter I checked out was a videogame you would have to pay for. So, it's a no-brainer to people that want to buy the game to put in $20 USD to buy it and get it before it's released. That is NOT an option for us. If we really think about the second paragraph above, the premiums you have mentioned just are not going to cut it. They would be nice in addition to a $20 credit in the marketplace.
Now, I know that the idea of a marketplace to buy custom and/our different graphics for a Lightcycle and Tail seems abhorrent to you. But it really does not violate the ideals of Open Source Software that this project holds to. However, if it is graphics that others can see, like in the case of the Lighcycle/Tail, (this is assuming that this feature is added) that delivers real value to players that want to have something truly unique or at least different than the standard package. Ideally, the creator of the graphic would split the revenue with the project via the marketplace. So, all these talented and experienced people that are making graphics now could profit a little, while the project does as well.
Now, I am not saying that this is gonna generate much revenue, probably not more revenue than to cover current bandwidth and some future expansion of Armagetronad owned servers. However, this will be a simple means to a greater end: providing value to our backers!
If implemented, you would then greatly increase the likelihood of success of the Kickstarter. Also, you should consider that once this works, and darn it, we are gonna make this work, future Kickstarters could continue to fund the developer's salaries to do things like Android/Ios versions.
But, without something like this to provide value to the backers, it just isn't going to work out.
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by Thump »

Lucifer wrote:But even if we don't create an in-game ad network available to commercial advertisers, we can still create such a thing to advertise ourselves and anything we come up with that people can do to buy things.

What about placing appropriate ads in the main armagetronad.net forums? Except, contrary to typical forums.. the ads you see are actually relevant to your interests. And clicking the ads will take you right to say, the 'Gift Shop' i.e

EDIT:

Also, the DEV team could possibly make a boat load of cash off a TRUE armagetronad app. OR even if it's not a game function.. it can be to direct people to their forums/souvenir shop. Millions of people will install that app whether it be FREE just to get attention to our forums and game.. or 99 cents.. money could be generated.
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by Lucifer »

compguygene wrote: This is why I first suggested the creation of a real marketplace.
ObamaCare. :)
Every videogame kickstarter I checked out was a videogame you would have to pay for. So, it's a no-brainer to people that want to buy the game to put in $20 USD to buy it and get it before it's released. That is NOT an option for us. If we really think about the second paragraph above, the premiums you have mentioned just are not going to cut it. They would be nice in addition to a $20 credit in the marketplace.
So you're adding "$20 credit in the marketplace" to the brainstorming session. What else you got?
Now, I know that the idea of a marketplace to buy custom and/our different graphics for a Lightcycle and Tail seems abhorrent to you.
No. The idea of having a specific type of content that must be purchased is not only abhorrent, it's impractical. In a GPL game, there can't be any enforcement of a paid system that lacks a free alternative.

So, what other ideas do you have for rewarding contributors to a kickstarter project?
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Re: Let's talk about doing a Kickstarter for Armagetronad

Post by compguygene »

Now, I know that the idea of a marketplace to buy custom and/our different graphics for a Lightcycle and Tail seems abhorrent to you.
No. The idea of having a specific type of content that must be purchased is not only abhorrent, it's impractical. In a GPL game, there can't be any enforcement of a paid system that lacks a free alternative.

So, what other ideas do you have for rewarding contributors to a kickstarter project?[/quote]

Before we give up on the idea of a marketplace, I have a few more questions. So, you are saying that you couldn't implement a system that simply uses your GID to determine if you have purchased a piece of content, and only renders it across the connected clients if it has been purchased? I understand that local client can't really be prevented from using a given graphic image. However, the value is in establishing an identity for oneself, that is unique graphics that others see. Certainly you could have free content delivered this way as well.
Honestly Lucifer, if we absolutely cannot monetize some small part of this and then provide value to backers, then there really is no point in pursuing a Kickstarter. As I quoted earlier from the Kickstarter site:
Kickstarter wrote:Kickstarter isn’t charity: we champion exchanges that are a mix of commerce and patronage, and the numbers bear this out.
So, if this is gonna work, we are going to have to create a piece of commerce here. You're right, I am out of ideas. By definition, unless we create a piece of commerce to deliver value to the backers, we are not going to get backers.
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