Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Discussions of sales, marketing, offers, word of mouth techniques etc
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davh62

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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby davh62 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:11 pm

I'm a business owner myself & as I always say to my customers " Please don't complain about price, I gotta eat!"

Premium is too low and If you want to sell ships or whatever else so be it. At the end of the day your business model has to work and show a profit. Without that positive balance sheet your motivation will wane and that we, the players don't want to see that happen!

Love the ideas you have in the pipeline, in the meantime get some buyable items up and lets get you some cash injection so that those ideas become reality. There is a hard core player base that is and always will be fully behind you.
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Holender » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:15 pm

Horatus wrote:holender -- You can buy stand along SC for extra colonies and OSB's.

Did you know Canadian bacon is just ham?


Horatus Really? Mind = Blown! I know what I'm doing after I get home from work, eat dinner, put the kids to bed, clean up the house, make lunches.... sigh. Well at some point tonight I'll be giving JAM more money.

and Canadians are generally baffled as to why it's called Canadian bacon, unless it's a Canadian pig which would make sense. Did you know in Scotland they call bacon, streaky bacon. I'm not sure what they just call bacon.... mmmm bacon.
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Trakstar82

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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Trakstar82 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:30 pm

This may or may not have already been mentioned, but i personally feel that alot of people would jump at a second Kick Start, especially if you were to offer Terraformers, another ship ect

Just my thoughts

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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Corpsedigger » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:42 pm

I love this game.

Raise premium to whatever makes sense.

No DLC's please - i like working my way up. Not paying my way up.
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Leprosi » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:27 pm

Pay to win concept has always made me nauseous. I played WoW for many years forking over 15 buck a month. It kept me entertained (mostly) but aspects of the game were such a deterrent yet I played cuz of the base fun. The community, well that is a different story.
Ascent has a community like no other. I adore it. And I under pay for the privilege of enjoying this community. I agree Jam should stay out of Louie's cat food and bulk deliveries of ramen are really not an option. Do NOT sell terraforming devices. Or Louie. This would be a game killer and there would be mice. Is there a viability of independently selling shares? Not one or two large investors but lots of us smaller ones? We invest to our future. Current thinking is that you have to have something for the money, ie ships, terraforming, etc. My something for the money is the game itself. This is where I want to put not only my time but my dime. Stated earlier that selling ships that do not do anything different than ships we have now but designed differently would be cool. And maybe a thruster package.
The game concepts outlined are amazing. Please keep the political aspect of the game alive and strong.
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Horatus » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:32 pm

Trakstar82 wrote:This may or may not have already been mentioned, but i personally feel that alot of people would jump at a second Kick Start, especially if you were to offer Terraformers, another ship ect

Just my thoughts

trakstar82



I had suggested this to Jam on IRC and he replied with a article about his KS experience. It is a good read and I cant find it at the moment. The short of it is he wont be doing that again. It wasnt worth it. Steam was a far greater success that KS was.
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Faceof

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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby Faceof » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:44 pm

Great visions/ideas and really worth it ;)

So : 3 premium ...
1. Basic premium 5$ per month
2. Silver premium 7$ per month + bonus
3. Gold premium 10$ per month + bonus+

Bulk premium : as above...
Basic premium :
1. 6 months 25$
2. 12 months 50$
3. 24 months 100$

Silver premium :
1. 6 months 37$
2. 12 nonths 77$
3. 24 months 157$

Gold premium :
1. 6 months 55$
2. 12 months 110$
2. 24 months 220$

For investors : 5 packages...(the space is huge...!!!)...
1. Basic Membership 50$ + bonus
2. Silver Membership 70$ + shares + bonus
3. Gold Membership 100$ + shares + bonus +
4. Platinum Membership +500$ to 1000$+ all from above and can have knowledge/vote for feature moves of game/company ;)
5. +Platinum + Membership +1000$ (owner of a planet...ect...) to 10000$ + can owned a System and ALL from above ;)

Also u can F2P with microtransactions as u have now but and more like : after class 3 or 4 need to pay to unlock everything and much more ...only need is to find the formula/payment system ;)

And many more...http://www.crowdfunding.com/

Cheers 8-)
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby jam » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:54 am

I don't like "Pay To Win" stuff either, and would want to hold it to hawk and bowhead only. SGD and LGD were severely OP one-offs designed to get a couple of earthlikes into the game, not a permanent cash-grab that would wreck the long term terraforming game to an extent.

But, when I look at "Pay To Win" games, they're wildly successful. For the past six months I've felt that we're leaving money on the table because of this "principled" stance against "Pay To Win", which isn't even my own stance, and now much as I respect what our players think (and that is a lot), I don't see any choice between some kind of downsizing and doing this. There's no decision to be made there.

When I look at other games people claim are NOT Pay To Win (eve's a great example of this - people often flag it as the pinnacle of hardcore, work your way up games but they pretty blatantly sell credits by selling premium time you can trade in-game) there's ways to inject real world money into the game for personal gain within the game.

I think for Ascent, with its PVE focus and the PVE focus of the ships you can buy, we have something that's as far from "Pay To Win" as anything out there.

Different models of existing ships you can buy for the bling value: the big problem with that is that it pulls George off what he's doing (and right now he's replacing the last of our low polygon ships), and then it pulls me off whatever I'm doing to add a "new" ship to the game that adds literally no new gameplay. Doesn't make sense to me to pursue that when we have two special ships ready to fly.

Increasing premium will scare people off: Maybe, we're about to find out. It's still the lowest I've ever heard of at $5usd/month. I am sure there's a point where increasing it means the amount of people you turn away outweighs the increase in revenue, and if I had to guess for us that point would be somewhere ABOVE $5/month.

Scaling premium: Already an option. If you want extra colonies etc you can buy more SC. If you ONLY want one colony you can just get premium planets and off you go. At the moment that's $1/month!

Selling Louie: not an option

Another KS campaign: I won't seriously consider this. I believe KS have improved how things work now, but at the time we did ours, they took out more money than we got pledged from backers who found us on KS. Almost our entire KS amount came from existing players, and almost the entire remainder came from the little bit of press we got at the time. Couple that with the months of work that go into making the campaign page look good, and the amount of time and heartache that goes into running the campaign for a month, and I'd rather not.

A "just us" campaign: yeah I'm sorta interested in this, but would prefer to bring up regular revenues to a point where I can stop worrying about them and focus more of my time on developing new features. Right now I'm spending under 50% of my time on that. That's a LOT lower than, say 2013 (90% or more).
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Thanks for playing, thanks for posting, and thanks for your feedback!
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby OrrnGor » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:07 am

Jam,

Great ideas and plans. Perhaps a little light on details (heh, aliens : ), but not a problem. Sounds exactly like what I'd want (and your game already delivers a good experience).

Personally, the only payment options I've seen that "worked for me" (and seemed to be tied to games I like) were those that had (rough quickie descriptions follow, but there are lots of variations):

1. Flat monthly subscription - I suggest $15/month. This seems to be a well regarded amount. With discounts for multi-month purchases. Note that you would need to work on the details for what happens to some player's assets if they can't pay after subscribing for a while. So, suspend their assets and "place" in the game? Or, some of their assets (bank accounts) remain untouched, but perhaps colonies (etc) are open to attack by NPC pirates (which after x number of months would decimate y% of their colonies?). Etc. Even, could they "lease" their assets to other players for x amount of time, etc. Or, let them continue to play the game for x amount of time (one month?), but restrict them somehow.

2. Ability to purchase (game store) items that were also available "in-game". Basically, people just traded money for time. So, your idea of selling ships (if I understood what you were talking about) would be a perfect fit. I believe this is also the "Star Citizen" model. That is, all those ships that Star Citizen is selling (to my knowledge at least) will (eventually : ) be available "in-game". I realize that some people might (and do) call that "pay to win", but seems okay to me.

3. Ability to purchase (game store) items that were NOT available "in-game." Generally these are considered "cosmetic" items. Seem to be pretty popular. And does not have to be just clothing. As an example, sell ships in the store that are NOT available "in-game", but make the ships not have any additional capabilities. They just look a lot cooler. Again, fits your idea of selling ships.

All the above stated, I think you have a bit of chicken and egg issue. So maybe you only raise the subscription rate up some (such as the amount you stated, which I think is still too low for a "full developed"* game), but not the entire amount until the game goes gold? But you offset that decrease (from $15/mo to $10/mo as an example) by initiating the "selling ships" mechanic. This will pull in revenue, but (hopefully) not turn off any new subscribers. Then once the game goes gold, increase subscription to the final amount. Possibly let early adopters (say, been subscribing the "beta" game for 3+ months or more) get to maintain their cheaper subscription rate ($10/mo?) for a year and then they also have to pay full amount.
* - Fully developed does not mean everything desired is done and in the game, it just means that the stated "go gold" features are available and work as advertised. So, as an example, maybe no aliens yet : )

Anyway, appreciate the message on the state of the game. I'm willing to pay more now. The big issue is (once you raise the subscription) keep the updates coming at a steady pace. And don't get side lined into spending all your company's time creating cool looking ships to sell at the expense of updating the game (which "I" think may be an issue with a certain other game).

Thanks,

Orrn
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Re: Current state of the game and company, July 2015

Postby BoshingTong » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:39 am

Jam,

Still love this game and can't wait till the next update. I think you could sell blueprints for the lower class ships and parts for cash. I would love to be able to make some of the smaller ships, also the class 1 armor, salvage beam etc. Right now the only way to get them is buy a class 1 ship and strip it. You could sell the blueprints for SC at Jam-1. I know many hate the pay to win, but if you sold the blueprints for the hawk and bow then they would still have to build them. That might take the sting out of that.

I am looking forward to new massive projects and the other things you have planned.
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