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Author Topic: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games  (Read 36913 times)

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WanderingWinder

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #75 on: June 30, 2011, 12:56:33 pm »
0

I'm optimistic that the commercial version will be good. I don't see any reason to particularly fear that it won't be.
I am somewhat interested in seeing what the pricing scheme is. Someone threw out $20 earlier - $20 per month is almost certainly going to be too much for me, $20 per year is probably doable, a one-time $20 payment is a no-brainer.

Randal FTW

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #76 on: June 30, 2011, 02:02:27 pm »
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A monthly fee would be kind of absurd, imo. A one time flat fee makes sense.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #77 on: June 30, 2011, 02:09:30 pm »
0

For continued use of the thing - especially while there's decent extra work to be done to make more sets, but for general maintenance too - I wouldn't be surprised to have some kind of time-dependant fee. It's a heckuva good deal to be able to have something like that indefinitely, probably too good for it to make business sense. So I'd expect something like maybe $30 up front plus $5 per year.

Kirian

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #78 on: June 30, 2011, 02:27:06 pm »
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Anyway, I think all this concerns come from not knowing what will happen. There are some nice features of isotropic that are likely not to enter a commercial version, starting from the logs (impling all of the councilroom analytics), possibly the leaderboard, and worst of all at least temporarily not all cards.

And as long as there is no communications from the developers with the community, it will discuss its fears. Does one even know who developes the game?

This is a quite excellent point.  We're all sitting here speculating based on (reasonable, I think) fears.  All we know is that the program is coming, it likely will ship missing cards, and isotropic will disappear in a similar timeframe.  (And from a business standpoint, Donald and guided are right; isotropic would have to disappear. Bringing up IP issues is ridiculous.)  This is the sum of what we have to go on, and only the first data point is favorable (i.e. that it's coming).

I hope that RGG will do something to allay those fears.

As to the idea that a flashy alternative will attract a significantly larger playerbase:  I'm skeptical.  Most people who would be interested in playing Dominion heavily already watch the Dominion discussions on BGG; therefore they know of isotropic.  Not too many of them are going to be put off by isotropic's rudimentary interface.  RGG's real target market is, well, on isotropic.  And on this forum.

Agreed with WanderingWinder on costs--either an upfront then a cheap yearly fee, or a higher yearly fee.  (I would actually recommend a very small monthly fee instead to attempt to attract business outside the diehards.  You could easily get people hooked with a 10-day trial and $2 a month... but an upfront $30 might be off-putting.)

But hey... I don't work for RGG, nor do I work in marketing, PR, or programming.  I just hope Jay will listen.

Side note to Donald:  I'm glad you've engaged us here, but I also know you're not making a lot of these decisions, likely including what information you're even allowed to give us.  I therefore hope you're not taking any of this as a personal affront--you're the designer, not the programmer or the company.  We all love the game itself.
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #79 on: June 30, 2011, 03:07:37 pm »
+3

RGG owns Dominion, and it's their exclusive right to sanction or prohibit free alternatives for playing their game.
Actually I own Dominion; RGG is licensing it. All of the game company contracts I've seen have been like that.

Now let's try this again guys.

Q: Why has there been no commercial version all this time?
A: I can only guess here, but I think I have a good guess. RGG just wasn't that interested. RGG is one couple and there's a lot of work to do. "I also wash the windows," as Jay says. How important was computer Dominion? It was not that important. There were board games to be made.

Q: Why do a commercial version now?
A: For me personally, there are three reasons. First, people want one. People out there, who may or may not play on isotropic or read these words, want a pretty computer version, for whatever device. Why not let them have it? Two, because there are rip-offs, and that pisses me off. And they can especially prosper if there's no real version. Three, because it seems like the thing to do; there should be a computer version of Dominion, of course, why isn't there already. Note that none of these reasons is "omg money." I will for sure be paid my cut for a computer version, and that's important, for multiple reasons. But the point isn't to make money, and for all I know there isn't even much money to be had.

Q: Why not just charge for isotropic?
A: Because the point isn't to make money. You already have isotropic for free; would you be happier paying for it? Man that's not as clear as you would think, some people would be happier paying. But still. Somebody just made isotropic for fun, no-one had to get paid. And what; RGG actually pays BSW to host Dominion.

Q: If the point isn't money, why charge money at all?
A: There are multiple reasons, but a significant one is, whoever makes the commercial version has to be paid. And it's a gamble for them; we don't know if it will be a hit or what, if they will rake in cash or lose money. But for them it's a job; it's how they make money at all. It pays the rent. And of course, if somehow the game is a monster hit, we will be glad to rake in that cash.

Q: Why isn't the guy who made isotropic making the commercial version?
A: He didn't want the job and in any case wasn't going to be doing versions for more platforms.

Q: Won't the computer version suck though? At least, compared to isotropic.
A: You are either crazy or young or both. I mean wtf. I had a friend in the 80s who thought there would never be another good movie. Many of my favorite movies are from the 90s. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that change necessarily sucks, that the future necessarily sucks, that whatever you've got is as good as it gets. Experience does not bear these things out though.

Q: Why not leave isotropic up when there's a computer version?
A: Man, did I mention the guys paying rent? That was not a metaphor. I spoke with one of the companies considered for the job. It was important to them that isotropic go down. They, those guys, said, right out, to me, in person, we would have to get isotropic taken down. This is not speculation! They were a small company and had to keep making money to keep existing. There is no guarantee that the Dominion product will be a hit. So I mean, man, I don't need to know if it's the right move, if it makes sense from whatever perspective. I don't need to argue those points at all. It was what that company wanted, and if they were doing the game, then they would be our pals and we would try to make them happy.

Q: Tell us more!
A: Anything I say, there's the question of, how good is releasing this information for the other industry people involved. Who would I rather be on good terms with: whining people on the internet, or RGG? Think think.

It's popular to think of companies as giant faceless entities with computer banks churning out optimal marketing strategies and so on. They're all just people, and RGG is just two people, and mostly just one guy. The motivations are not always straightforward or min-maxing.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #80 on: June 30, 2011, 03:15:54 pm »
0

That's about what I'd expect, except I'd think you'd want to make money off it. I would. It seems natural. But man, if that's not a big deal for you, that's cool.
Thanks, Donald.

rls22

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #81 on: June 30, 2011, 03:51:01 pm »
+1

In my opinion, BSW's main problem isn't that it's lacking cards, it's that its interface is....  seizure-inducing.  All the animation and sounds and flashiness drove me nuts (though, I should say, if I could get passed the interface, I would be pretty annoyed that it didn't have all the cards).

Anyways, while I'm definitely supportive of RGG's (and Donald's) attempts to make money off an online game, I tend to be in the "I'd rather pay for the isotropic version" camp.  That's partially because I dislike the BSW version so much -- if the new, official version looks/acts anything like BSW, I'm not likely to play it.  That's a big if, of course, but people always fear the unknown, particularly when they really like the known.  It's entirely possible that I will love the new version and be happy to pay for it.  But, I know for sure that I'd happily pay for isotropic...... I (idly) wonder if there would be a way for RGG to operate both versions?  I.e., you pay your $20 or whatever, and you get to choose whether you play on the isotropic interface or the new one. 

So, yeah.  All of that being said.  I like (and own) Dominion.  If a new online version helps spread Dominion to a new community of folks that may not have ever been exposed to/purchased the offline version, that's great for everyone involved.  I think the message folks are trying to convey (as opposed to just whining), is, we're hoping that a new, official version doesn't somehow weaken/diminish/alienate the strong community of fans (your fans!) that's been created on isotropic/councilroom/here.
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guided

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #82 on: June 30, 2011, 04:13:58 pm »
0

RGG owns Dominion, and it's their exclusive right to sanction or prohibit free alternatives for playing their game.
Actually I own Dominion; RGG is licensing it. All of the game company contracts I've seen have been like that.
My bad, yo.

In any case some entity or entities own it and have the right to decide who can host implementations of the game for public consumption.
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #83 on: June 30, 2011, 04:18:32 pm »
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That's about what I'd expect, except I'd think you'd want to make money off it. I would. It seems natural. But man, if that's not a big deal for you, that's cool.
It's not that I want to do work and go unpaid, or that I want to pass up on a cash bonanza if one somehow appears.

It's that "the point" to this, from my perspective, isn't making money. Frank Zappa wasn't "in it for the money" when he made We're Only In It For The Money, but that doesn't mean he turned down his royalty, that somehow he thought he shouldn't get paid or wasn't deserving.
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rod-

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #84 on: June 30, 2011, 04:37:57 pm »
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I spoke with one of the companies considered for the job. It was important to them that isotropic go down. They, those guys, said, right out, to me, in person, we would have to get isotropic taken down. This is not speculation! They were a small company and had to keep making money to keep existing. There is no guarantee that the Dominion product will be a hit.
I would be a bit cautious if a company came out and said "we need to get this other product out of the way".  Yes, competing with a free and nearly-identical product is a major concern, but if your main thrust is alternate platforms, you aren't competing with isotropic anymore, you're competing with a whole lot of other $5 games (or other $50 games).  Your game has to be better than the other $5 games in order to beat that competition, and if your game is that good, you'll already be better than isotropic and it will die a natural death.
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rspeer

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #85 on: June 30, 2011, 07:16:31 pm »
+1

That's... pretty worrying.

I'd hope that RGG could find a game development company who understands that fans can't be won over by force. Yes, Donald and RGG have every right to force us to use a for-pay version, but if the official version "pulls a Hasbro" it won't be pretty. The game developers can win us over by giving us a better version, and if they're competent they should be able to put out something better than what one person develops in his free time.

But I have seen so many examples of incompetent online game development, and this thread hasn't sounded very optimistic so far. I am neither particularly young nor particularly crazy; I base my pessimism on seeing firsthand the disasters that were made out of other games.

Look at Scrabble for a prime example of online gaming gone wrong. Serious Scrabble players won't be caught dead using Hasbro's toy-like Facebook app. They play on a server in Romania instead. Ten years earlier the situation was the same, except it was an officially licensed, crashy Windows program versus a weird MUD that could be configured to play Scrabble. Fans don't seek out illegitimate versions of Scrabble because they hate Scrabble, but because they love it too much to let Hasbro's software developers destroy it.

I definitely don't mean this as a threat to Donald's livelihood. I personally will give whatever official Dominion server shows up a try, and if it costs money I'll pay for it, unless the developers do something really terrible.

But it seems better for everyone involved if they launch the site initially while Isotropic is still up, so they can transition happy fans instead of angry ones.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 07:35:23 pm by rspeer »
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #86 on: June 30, 2011, 07:27:57 pm »
0

But I have seen so many examples of incompetent online game development, and this thread hasn't sounded very optimistic so far.
Dude, like, what if the programmers are cannibals, and write the program in Logo? Why aren't we discussing this horrific possibility.
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rspeer

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #87 on: June 30, 2011, 07:40:41 pm »
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Quote
Dude, like, what if the programmers are cannibals, and write the program in Logo? Why aren't we discussing this horrific possibility.

Then you'd better act quick before Hasbro hires them first. They'd get a product of the same quality as their existing ones, and they could pay the programmers by feeding them diehard fans instead of giving them money. Profit!
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ackack

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #88 on: July 01, 2011, 11:10:23 am »
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But I have seen so many examples of incompetent online game development, and this thread hasn't sounded very optimistic so far.
Dude, like, what if the programmers are cannibals, and write the program in Logo? Why aren't we discussing this horrific possibility.


The sarcasm seems misplaced. I think rspeer is right in general, and in this case there already seems to be some hefty evidence suggesting these developers are going about things wrong: namely, the claim that they are planning on releasing without all the cards but with AI. Once you have a skeleton in place to implement any cards, implementing all of them probably takes about 40 man hours. (My estimate here is based on having implemented half of them as a precursor for AI work in about 15-20 hours, and that was with me having not coded in the language before.) I could see that taking longer with graphics, but since you guys have the card art I would think that should be trivial.

By contrast, I think it's likely they could sink hundreds of hours into designing an AI and not get anywhere close to having built something worth playing. Dominion obsessives with a pretty good understanding of the game haven't really gotten very far on this yet. And unless the AI is near-elite, I can't see many people caring about its existence at all. It just seems like a big waste of resources to devote all this time to a side feature with a high probability of being worthless and neglect core functionality of the game.

I'd also suggest leaning on these guys to make game logs available so that Council Room can continue. Given stuff so far, that doesn't really sound like their style, and I think it would be a real shame to see cool volunteer stuff like that disappear.
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DStu

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #89 on: July 01, 2011, 11:29:47 am »
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Quote
And unless the AI is near-elite, I can't see many people on this forum caring about its existence at all.

/fixed
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #90 on: July 01, 2011, 01:22:34 pm »
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The sarcasm seems misplaced. I think rspeer is right in general, and in this case there already seems to be some hefty evidence suggesting these developers are going about things wrong: namely, the claim that they are planning on releasing without all the cards but with AI.
You know zilch about the developers. Zilch dude. And you do not know what the first release will look like. For example, you are saying that the first release will have AI. Oh noes! (Other people of course would complain if they thought there was no AI.) But who actually said it would have AI? Hmmmmmm? Somebody like you, making up stuff in order to complain on the internet.
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ackack

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #91 on: July 01, 2011, 01:31:24 pm »
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You know zilch about the developers. Zilch dude. And you do not know what the first release will look like. For example, you are saying that the first release will have AI. Oh noes! (Other people of course would complain if they thought there was no AI.) But who actually said it would have AI? Hmmmmmm? Somebody like you, making up stuff in order to complain on the internet.

I was going off what *you* were quoted as saying as your best guess about what things would look like - probably an AI, probably only a couple of sets to start. Presumably you can see why I thought this might be a little more authoritative than "making up stuff in order to complain on the internet."
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KMueller

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #92 on: July 01, 2011, 02:17:43 pm »
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That's about what I'd expect, except I'd think you'd want to make money off it. I would. It seems natural. But man, if that's not a big deal for you, that's cool.
It's not that I want to do work and go unpaid, or that I want to pass up on a cash bonanza if one somehow appears.

It's that "the point" to this, from my perspective, isn't making money. Frank Zappa wasn't "in it for the money" when he made We're Only In It For The Money, but that doesn't mean he turned down his royalty, that somehow he thought he shouldn't get paid or wasn't deserving.

Please tell me you are a FZ fan. That would be so cool.
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #93 on: July 01, 2011, 02:50:50 pm »
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I was going off what *you* were quoted as saying as your best guess about what things would look like - probably an AI, probably only a couple of sets to start. Presumably you can see why I thought this might be a little more authoritative than "making up stuff in order to complain on the internet."
Ah.

Well that statement, which I'm not looking up, didn't say definitely an AI, which is what you have decided. I don't know if there will be an AI or not, and if I find out I'm not tellin', because man, telling people stuff just leads to wasting time in these threads.
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #94 on: July 01, 2011, 02:54:40 pm »
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I quite like how a quote from months ago got dug up and all of a sudden it's such a big deal. You should see the councilroom IRC channel. People are losing sleep over the fact that isotropic's suddenly dying out of the blue.
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #95 on: July 01, 2011, 02:58:10 pm »
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Please tell me you are a FZ fan. That would be so cool.
Well probably I count. I'm not into the instrumental stuff, or like Hot Rats, I don't know what to tell you.

We're Only In It For the Money and Absolutely Free are great. After those I like You Are What You Is and Joe's Garage, then Overnite Sensation and Apostrophe ('). Freak Out is fine. I like some random tracks on Tinseltown Rebellion and Fillmore East. I like at most 1-2 tracks on each of the other albums.
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KMueller

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #96 on: July 01, 2011, 03:21:50 pm »
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Well probably I count. I'm not into the instrumental stuff, or like Hot Rats, I don't know what to tell you.

We're Only In It For the Money and Absolutely Free are great.
Those are early stuff, right, when he was doing almost a doo-wop thing. Nice. I have to say that Hot Rats is so very listenable and musically interesting, and Filmore surprised me when I listened to it recently, how very well done that show was.

Thanks for sharing.
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #97 on: July 01, 2011, 03:36:08 pm »
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Those are early stuff, right, when he was doing almost a doo-wop thing. Nice. I have to say that Hot Rats is so very listenable and musically interesting, and Filmore surprised me when I listened to it recently, how very well done that show was.
Well Freak Out is uh various 50s pop/R&B styles, not specifically doo-wop but including that, plus some weird stuff like It Can't Happen Here thrown in, and then Cruising with Ruben and the Jets is his full-on doo-wop album (and I did not like it, not that I am against doo-wop).

Absolutely Free and We're Only In It For the Money are like, cut-up bits of songs strung together in collages. They are their own thing.

Edit: Brown Shoes Don't Make It (from Absolutely Free):

There is not much to compare to this.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 03:39:05 pm by Donald X. »
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Arya Stark

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #98 on: July 01, 2011, 04:20:56 pm »
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I quite like how a quote from months ago got dug up and all of a sudden it's such a big deal. You should see the councilroom IRC channel. People are losing sleep over the fact that isotropic's suddenly dying out of the blue.
this is absurd! no one is losing any sleep! we had the same initial reaction that most people on the boards had, worried about the quality of the site and what the cost will be. I've been playing on iso since sep of last year and made many friends and bonds with some of the players and will be sad when it's gone.
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Donald X.

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Re: All previous turns occasionally visible in Isotropic games
« Reply #99 on: July 01, 2011, 04:27:47 pm »
+1

I quite like how a quote from months ago got dug up and all of a sudden it's such a big deal. You should see the councilroom IRC channel. People are losing sleep over the fact that isotropic's suddenly dying out of the blue.
I wonder what the curve looks like of effect on society due to how far off future events are. You know. Scientists predict the sun will go nova. If it's in a million years, no-one cares. When do they start caring? If it's 300 years off, are we like, np, we can take the next 100 years off and still have 200 years to colonize Alpha Centauri? How many years off can it be before you stop flossing?

Anyway, man, there is no Dominion apocalypse coming, you will be able to play Dominion online until the heat death of the universe.
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