software license

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by lennard, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    When you buy a downloadable title there is kind of an implicit agreement that the thing will likely start to fail one day in the far future where your platform is either dead or 5 OS rev's have come and gone down the pike. I know that many online productivity titles are sold with a time limited license, has anybody seen a normal game (ie. not an MMO or club style game that seems suited to subscription) being sold subscription style?

    On my plate this week is to finally figure out how to market Dungeon Brawl. One thing I'm contemplating is doing an online build where you start the game with a 1000 gold (rather than getting them later via micro-transaction) and simply the buy the game. My concern, if you buy the game, is that someday Flash is going to go by the wayside and what does that mean for somebody who has bought the game?

    Anybody seen a model for doing this that seems clean? I could simply sell the game with a mess of micro-transaction coins... maybe that's the cleanest solution?
     
  2. Olofson

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    No one can realistically guarantee that a product will work forever, for everyone. (Well, maybe if you target a "frozen" platform with emulators or similar, such as C64 or Amiga...) You basically decide what you want to sell, any guarantees included, and customers will have to decide whether or not to take your offer.

    Normally, it's all "NO WARRANTY!", and whatever support there is is basically just about keeping most customers happy. It might be nice to offer a money-back guarantee for the case where the game stops working on widely available OS versions within (say) one years. Or plain "money back, no questions asked", if you can make that work technically.

    For the long term, you could commit to releasing the full source under some suitable license, should you go bankrupt or stop supporting the product. If there is still enough interest at that point, the community will take care of it.
     
  3. Mattias Gustavsson

    Original Member

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    woohoo :)

    Couldn't one fallback be, that if the online thing stops working for some reason, you could give the customers a stand-alone, offline version packaged with AIR?
     
  4. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Hi Mattias, I've been planning to send you an email once I got my thoughts in order!

    Here is my rough plan - read this understanding that buying more gold may be required to complete the game, it's bloody hard without it. Using gold to resurrect your character has a score cost. Killing the lich to win the game gets you a healthy score bonus.

    1. Remove Super Rewards. I've been looking at Red Storm 2 on Kongregate and people on those services hate micro-transactions, they just want their free games and even if micro-transactions are optional they get offended. It is what it is.
    2. Remove login & registration from viral version.
    3. High scores should run in tandem with title page in attract mode.
    4. Viral version, like the current version on my web site, will start with a small amount of gold that you can augment with what you find.
    5. Rusty Axe will offer a site only version for $6.99 where you always start with 1000 gold. Flash based, must log in but info is remembered. Multiple logins at same time invalidate account.
    6. You can buy, on the Rusty Axe site, 1000 gold for 25 cents.
    7. Better attract animation on my website
    8. Release viral, fast loading version after release on Rusty Axe website. The game streams from my server (not my Rusty Axe website server) so I'm going to trickle the game out to a few services to start in case there are some initial spikes.
     
  5. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    I don't see flash disappearing any time soon. Sure, it may lose some of it's market share in the next 5 years, but it'll probably still exist. Besides, it's a generally accepted fact that software is only guaranteed to work on the hardware and OS it was released for. So, if they buy a game designed for Flash 10, but in the future they have an OS that doesn't support Flash 10, that's not your problem. It's up to them to keep running the older OS and flash runtimes if they want to keep playing. Ever heard of a company being sucessfully sued because their DOS software doesn't work on Windows 7?
     
  6. Jack Norton

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    Yes indeed, I wouldn't worry at all about this... One thing is if you use a system (but WHICH ONE??) that could not work in 2-3 years, but Flash...? will still exist even in 2020 IMHO :)
     
  7. Indiepath

    Indiepath New Member

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    Why can't we just offer a free trial for x period, take a credit card number and charge the customer if they *forget* to cancel the trial? Just like most application vendors do!
     

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