Distributed Monetization

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    Hey all!

    Long time...

    I launched a new company (marketing & design) a year ago and haven't been around. Starmade looks to still be quietly under construction, but I did catch a news dump from last month (re: galaxy update, new resources, population dynamics, etc) which was surprising. Good to hear Schine is continuing to work fundamentals (i.e. read/write systems) to make the game perform as expected.

    Just an idea here for schema & the team to consider whenever they get through with doing deep re-writes of fundamental code into C++ and such and get to the point of using all of that to make functional systems that capitalize on the improved performance.

    Go have a look at Roblox. Particularly the monetization system which allows player-developers to make money from developing popular new game mods, skins, etc. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world playing that system every day.

    Ships in Starmade - good ships - often take a long time and several people to build. Design for the game would blow up if teams could profit from their creations IRL. Same for API mods if possible. Players who have been in and out with Starmade since the early years could return to contribute a lot to a proper commercial release if there were opportunities for profit.

    Not to mention Schine itself would be earning a percentage of that entire economy!

    Passive income is awesome, non?

    Anyway... Starmade still has the potential to be very relevant, so it occurs that a built-in sales & distribution system with a proprietary currency dynamic (or any other proven method of distributed monetization) to replace the old Dock content catalog might be worth considering.
     
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    this is a really bad idea, this game is a brilliant as a sandbox as it is and without the need to worry on buying peoples virtual content just to use it, in my opinion no matter how big the content is and how well crafted it is, if i had to pay X amount to view and use it, it would be a very off putting thing for me. i think we could all agree that if this was implemented into the game it would backfire badly, and put of many player that are remaining and recently joined as the game would be advertising monetization. i can see the concept behind it in a way to boost the community's building section but i think its not worth watching it backfire horribly for a few pounds per download.
     
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    Jake_Lancia

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    No. Bad idea, v e r y b a d i d e a .

    As a content creator and distributor myself, and having made many ships and stations to share on the Community Content, this would be the death blow to Starmade as a game and as a building tool.

    And the removal of the Community Content would remove about seven years of building history and piss off many, many content creators.

    tl;dr catastrophically bad idea
     
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    Nope. Basically p2w, even if it's not that much money and you can easily copy it from a paid ship and release it for free. Then there's the problem of the property : if someone copy it and make it for free, then the owner of the ship could complain that it's HIS property. I'm sure Schine don't want to be involved in such a stupid property fight.
    I mean think about all the pleb who think they have the right to ask ANYTHING to the devs just because they paid 15 bucks... Now imagine what it would be with paid ships.

    Even without the money / property problem, no one should pay for a ship. Never. In a game, you can't come and ask to be paid for the time you spent, well, playing the game.

    Edit : Not that you're idea is bad. It's just not for a sandbox game like starmade.
     
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    >notice game has low popularity due to lack of gameplay
    >suggest to include a game mechanic that makes the only fun part of the game more annoying by using one of the most hated monetisation methods - microtransactions
    >people hate the suggestion
    >act like nothing happend

    But on all seriousness bro if someone should pay content creators its not the users its the developers, just like it already happens at Empyrion.
     

    Reilly Reese

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    Content creators should always be building for their own enjoyment, not for the idea of making money.

    Also Mac, that's a sleazy, shameless, selfplug there.
     
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    Also Mac, that's a sleazy, shameless, selfplug there.
    'Sleazy?' That's... a little unnecessary, Thad.

    I've uploaded a few things to dock, but I'm not a huge content creator. So there's nothing to plug; your ships and the ships of dozens of other contributors are far superior to my little toys. So trash my suggestion until you get happy feelings. Whatever floats your boat.

    There's no need to paint me as being somehow immoral for suggesting this though. I'd prefer to keep it civil and mutually-respectful.



    I understand the various objections based on what 'might' happen, but the suggestion is based on actual results in the real world from games using these kinds of monetization models. There are many other games centered around user-generated content which employ similar approaches and some are wildly popular & successful.

    Personally, I'd like to see Starmade wildly popular & successful also, and the general model is extensively proven. It's not a guess.

    Monetized user content is demonstrably not universally hated, and it obviously doesn't kill games unless improperly implemented for a particular game's dynamic. Those are simply facts.

    Done correctly it would fund ongoing development and drive tons of creation for Starmade the same way it does for other games. Done improperly it would cause damage. Also facts.

    That's arguable, OFC. People will say "Starmade is different because... so it won't work." I know. And Starmade is different, but that only means a unique approach to monetization would need to be developed specifically for the unique features of Starmade. Not that it's 'impossible' to successfully do.

    The suggestion isn't to scrap existing legacy content, or to throw out sandbox mode (really, folks?). None of those extremes or any others are required, nor were they implied.



    I'm not terribly interested in arguing the suggestion and convince the standing player base of the merits though. It's not a gameplay suggestion or one that most players have the kind of practical experience to weigh in on as they do for issues of gameplay. I'm really only responding at all because of Thad's excellent skill at provoking reactions via personal comments.

    My suggestion is actually directed at schema and at the Schine development team in general, because it's my personal opinion that it would be wise to seriously to consider something along these lines. For a variety of practical reasons.

    It doesn't need to be established whether or not players like paying money for stuff. The answer for every game will always a resounding 'no' from 90% of players. We know that, so we know players will almost all balk at the prospect of any aspect of the game ceasing to be free or any increase to existing prices. In any game.

    That aspect of player opinion can't be the basis for a game developer's business model, unless the goal is only to create shareware-quality games intended for tiny, niche audiences. Gameplay, yes. Business model, no. Starmade is beautiful compared to most other voxel games though, and the build capabilities are superior to many as well. Should development ever reach a Beta release level, marketing is going to be what determines whether people flock to play it or never hear of it. Microtransactional monetization not only funds direct marketing through ads and other efforts, it drives a powerful flow of referrals through word-of-mouth recommendations. Because when many players are also developers with potential to profit, they all have a vested interest in promoting the platform to their personal networks. The model also improves player retention for the same reason, and because of the sunk-cost mentality (think Eve).

    I compete (for free) in FTP MMO wargames on PC & mobile where literally hundreds and thousands of players (from around the world) are spending $100+ every single month for pointless crap like skins and effects. The beauty for Starmade is that microtransactions cannot create a pay-to-win situation here. Because even if there were a MP game mode with some kind of set victory condition, paying for the best ships doesn't prevent intelligent players who refuse to make additional purchases from designing their own equally or more powerful ships for free. Clans of free-players could go a long way towards leveling the playing field against big-spenders. I can't even count the number of strategic and tactical engagements in monetized games where I've worked with a team of other freeloaders to hand OP big spenders their asses. They have the goods but many to most don't actually know how to use them effectively.



    There's a mind-numbing ocean of funding available out there to fuel expanded development capacity in the future if Starmade ever goes beta.

    I would love to see Schema get access to some of that.

    I would also love to see thousands of invested, long-term players jumping on every day for fun, profit or both.

    My suggestion is to realize those goals by taking a proven, contemporary model and adapting it for the unique needs of Starmade. Just an idea.


    (y)
     
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    'Sleazy?' That's... a little unnecessary, Thad.

    I've uploaded a few things to dock, but I'm not a huge content creator. So there's nothing to plug; your ships and the ships of dozens of other contributors are far superior to my little toys. So trash my suggestion until you get happy feelings. Whatever floats your boat.

    There's no need to paint me as being somehow immoral for suggesting this though. I'd prefer to keep it civil and mutually-respectful.



    I understand the various objections based on what 'might' happen, but the suggestion is based on actual results in the real world from games using these kinds of monetization models. There are many other games centered around user-generated content which employ similar approaches and some are wildly popular & successful.

    Personally, I'd like to see Starmade wildly popular & successful also, and the general model is extensively proven. It's not a guess.

    Monetized user content is demonstrably not universally hated, and it obviously doesn't kill games unless improperly implemented for a particular game's dynamic. Those are simply facts.

    Done correctly it would fund ongoing development and drive tons of creation for Starmade the same way it does for other games. Done improperly it would cause damage. Also facts.

    That's arguable, OFC. People will say "Starmade is different because... so it won't work." I know. And Starmade is different, but that only means a unique approach to monetization would need to be developed specifically for the unique features of Starmade. Not that it's 'impossible' to successfully do.

    The suggestion isn't to scrap existing legacy content, or to throw out sandbox mode (really, folks?). None of those extremes or any others are required, nor were they implied.



    I'm not terribly interested in arguing the suggestion and convince the standing player base of the merits though. It's not a gameplay suggestion or one that most players have the kind of practical experience to weigh in on as they do for issues of gameplay. I'm really only responding at all because of Thad's excellent skill at provoking reactions via personal comments.

    My suggestion is actually directed at schema and at the Schine development team in general, because it's my personal opinion that it would be wise to seriously to consider something along these lines. For a variety of practical reasons.

    It doesn't need to be established whether or not players like paying money for stuff. The answer for every game will always a resounding 'no' from 90% of players. We know that, so we know players will almost all balk at the prospect of any aspect of the game ceasing to be free or any increase to existing prices. In any game.

    That aspect of player opinion can't be the basis for a game developer's business model, unless the goal is only to create shareware-quality games intended for tiny, niche audiences. Gameplay, yes. Business model, no. Starmade is beautiful compared to most other voxel games though, and the build capabilities are superior to many as well. Should development ever reach a Beta release level, marketing is going to be what determines whether people flock to play it or never hear of it. Microtransactional monetization not only funds direct marketing through ads and other efforts, it drives a powerful flow of referrals through word-of-mouth recommendations. Because when many players are also developers with potential to profit, they all have a vested interest in promoting the platform to their personal networks. The model also improves player retention for the same reason, and because of the sunk-cost mentality (think Eve).

    I compete (for free) in FTP MMO wargames on PC & mobile where literally hundreds and thousands of players (from around the world) are spending $100+ every single month for pointless crap like skins and effects. The beauty for Starmade is that microtransactions cannot create a pay-to-win situation here. Because even if there were a MP game mode with some kind of set victory condition, paying for the best ships doesn't prevent intelligent players who refuse to make additional purchases from designing their own equally or more powerful ships for free. Clans of free-players could go a long way towards leveling the playing field against big-spenders. I can't even count the number of strategic and tactical engagements in monetized games where I've worked with a team of other freeloaders to hand OP big spenders their asses. They have the goods but many to most don't actually know how to use them effectively.



    There's a mind-numbing ocean of funding available out there to fuel expanded development capacity in the future if Starmade ever goes beta.

    I would love to see Schema get access to some of that.

    I would also love to see thousands of invested, long-term players jumping on every day for fun, profit or both.

    My suggestion is to realize those goals by taking a proven, contemporary model and adapting it for the unique needs of Starmade. Just an idea.


    (y)
    It's sleazy because it sounds an awful lot like you want to eat your cake too with the "I run a marketing company" statement. Don't pretend this whole thing is about wanting to see the game become a massive commercial success. Why? Because everyone knows this is a passion project for Schema, it would be dead and this forum would be spitting out 404s two years ago if it wasn't.

    And no, none of your insane idea will work because StarMade has no player retention right now and you're certainly not going to DRAW people in with implications that everything worth anything will be monetized to hell and back .
     
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    It's sleazy because it sounds an awful lot like you want to eat your cake too with the "I run a marketing company" statement. Don't pretend this whole thing is about wanting to see the game become a massive commercial success. Why? Because everyone knows this is a passion project for Schema, it would be dead and this forum would be spitting out 404s two years ago if it wasn't.

    And no, none of your insane idea will work because StarMade has no player retention right now and you're certainly not going to DRAW people in with implications that everything worth anything will be monetized to hell and back .
    I have no need to pretend anything, Thad. Again, I don't see why you're accusing me of some sort of vaguely nefarious activity and attacking my personal character.

    It's completely uncalled for. It feels a lot like baiting. Are you spoiling for a fight or something?

    If you don't believe that the game could become a commercial success for Schema and eventually support a larger, well-funded development team after a beta release that's fine. Your opinion is as valid as anyone else's opinion.

    If that's the case then we do disagree.

    Disagreeing with you doesn't make me shameless or a sleaze or insane though, and I'd appreciate it if you stopped acting like I'm perpetrating a crime for making a suggestion you disagree with.
     
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    'Sleazy?' That's... a little unnecessary, Thad.

    I've uploaded a few things to dock, but I'm not a huge content creator. So there's nothing to plug; your ships and the ships of dozens of other contributors are far superior to my little toys. So trash my suggestion until you get happy feelings. Whatever floats your boat.

    There's no need to paint me as being somehow immoral for suggesting this though. I'd prefer to keep it civil and mutually-respectful.



    I understand the various objections based on what 'might' happen, but the suggestion is based on actual results in the real world from games using these kinds of monetization models. There are many other games centered around user-generated content which employ similar approaches and some are wildly popular & successful.

    Personally, I'd like to see Starmade wildly popular & successful also, and the general model is extensively proven. It's not a guess.

    Monetized user content is demonstrably not universally hated, and it obviously doesn't kill games unless improperly implemented for a particular game's dynamic. Those are simply facts.

    Done correctly it would fund ongoing development and drive tons of creation for Starmade the same way it does for other games. Done improperly it would cause damage. Also facts.

    That's arguable, OFC. People will say "Starmade is different because... so it won't work." I know. And Starmade is different, but that only means a unique approach to monetization would need to be developed specifically for the unique features of Starmade. Not that it's 'impossible' to successfully do.

    The suggestion isn't to scrap existing legacy content, or to throw out sandbox mode (really, folks?). None of those extremes or any others are required, nor were they implied.



    I'm not terribly interested in arguing the suggestion and convince the standing player base of the merits though. It's not a gameplay suggestion or one that most players have the kind of practical experience to weigh in on as they do for issues of gameplay. I'm really only responding at all because of Thad's excellent skill at provoking reactions via personal comments.

    My suggestion is actually directed at schema and at the Schine development team in general, because it's my personal opinion that it would be wise to seriously to consider something along these lines. For a variety of practical reasons.

    It doesn't need to be established whether or not players like paying money for stuff. The answer for every game will always a resounding 'no' from 90% of players. We know that, so we know players will almost all balk at the prospect of any aspect of the game ceasing to be free or any increase to existing prices. In any game.

    That aspect of player opinion can't be the basis for a game developer's business model, unless the goal is only to create shareware-quality games intended for tiny, niche audiences. Gameplay, yes. Business model, no. Starmade is beautiful compared to most other voxel games though, and the build capabilities are superior to many as well. Should development ever reach a Beta release level, marketing is going to be what determines whether people flock to play it or never hear of it. Microtransactional monetization not only funds direct marketing through ads and other efforts, it drives a powerful flow of referrals through word-of-mouth recommendations. Because when many players are also developers with potential to profit, they all have a vested interest in promoting the platform to their personal networks. The model also improves player retention for the same reason, and because of the sunk-cost mentality (think Eve).

    I compete (for free) in FTP MMO wargames on PC & mobile where literally hundreds and thousands of players (from around the world) are spending $100+ every single month for pointless crap like skins and effects. The beauty for Starmade is that microtransactions cannot create a pay-to-win situation here. Because even if there were a MP game mode with some kind of set victory condition, paying for the best ships doesn't prevent intelligent players who refuse to make additional purchases from designing their own equally or more powerful ships for free. Clans of free-players could go a long way towards leveling the playing field against big-spenders. I can't even count the number of strategic and tactical engagements in monetized games where I've worked with a team of other freeloaders to hand OP big spenders their asses. They have the goods but many to most don't actually know how to use them effectively.



    There's a mind-numbing ocean of funding available out there to fuel expanded development capacity in the future if Starmade ever goes beta.

    I would love to see Schema get access to some of that.

    I would also love to see thousands of invested, long-term players jumping on every day for fun, profit or both.

    My suggestion is to realize those goals by taking a proven, contemporary model and adapting it for the unique needs of Starmade. Just an idea.


    (y)
    I understand the idea that you are trying to explain here but, for this type of game it will backfire

    Remember this type of thing has been tried many times over many different genres, remember the horse armor from Skyrim and the Creation club from bethesda, monetizing community content or "mods" has never gone well and will never go well. adding a paywall as such to the one most popular and currently only Starmade related thing to do which is building will outright kill the game properly. i have spoken to my faction on this and we all agree that we would not spend a penny on any creation on this game no matter how good the creation, as well as this we would not be interested in receiving money from our creations, its a game not a job.
    furthermore you have the problem of server BPs, where someone could just pay for the creation upload a BP of it to a sever to spawn it and its already in the admin and public catalogs, as well as this the ship could be un-faction and copy are distributed through the server or worse the ship is raided and re uploaded for free garnering more attention than the real creators one. this idea is an incredibly bad one and will kill starmade if added into the game, its pointless greedy and brings this work of art of a game down to the same level as every other title around right now that utilities DLC.

    for the love of god Schema do not do it whatever you do its not worth it, this game is a work of art so far and i love that you can just buy the game and have access to everything in it with no paywalls limitations or attached community "pay for DLC".

    Monetisation in this game is not needed nor desired.
     
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    'Sleazy?' That's... a little unnecessary, Thad.

    I've uploaded a few things to dock, but I'm not a huge content creator. So there's nothing to plug; your ships and the ships of dozens of other contributors are far superior to my little toys. So trash my suggestion until you get happy feelings. Whatever floats your boat.

    There's no need to paint me as being somehow immoral for suggesting this though. I'd prefer to keep it civil and mutually-respectful.



    I understand the various objections based on what 'might' happen, but the suggestion is based on actual results in the real world from games using these kinds of monetization models. There are many other games centered around user-generated content which employ similar approaches and some are wildly popular & successful.

    Personally, I'd like to see Starmade wildly popular & successful also, and the general model is extensively proven. It's not a guess.

    Monetized user content is demonstrably not universally hated, and it obviously doesn't kill games unless improperly implemented for a particular game's dynamic. Those are simply facts.

    Done correctly it would fund ongoing development and drive tons of creation for Starmade the same way it does for other games. Done improperly it would cause damage. Also facts.

    That's arguable, OFC. People will say "Starmade is different because... so it won't work." I know. And Starmade is different, but that only means a unique approach to monetization would need to be developed specifically for the unique features of Starmade. Not that it's 'impossible' to successfully do.

    The suggestion isn't to scrap existing legacy content, or to throw out sandbox mode (really, folks?). None of those extremes or any others are required, nor were they implied.



    I'm not terribly interested in arguing the suggestion and convince the standing player base of the merits though. It's not a gameplay suggestion or one that most players have the kind of practical experience to weigh in on as they do for issues of gameplay. I'm really only responding at all because of Thad's excellent skill at provoking reactions via personal comments.

    My suggestion is actually directed at schema and at the Schine development team in general, because it's my personal opinion that it would be wise to seriously to consider something along these lines. For a variety of practical reasons.

    It doesn't need to be established whether or not players like paying money for stuff. The answer for every game will always a resounding 'no' from 90% of players. We know that, so we know players will almost all balk at the prospect of any aspect of the game ceasing to be free or any increase to existing prices. In any game.

    That aspect of player opinion can't be the basis for a game developer's business model, unless the goal is only to create shareware-quality games intended for tiny, niche audiences. Gameplay, yes. Business model, no. Starmade is beautiful compared to most other voxel games though, and the build capabilities are superior to many as well. Should development ever reach a Beta release level, marketing is going to be what determines whether people flock to play it or never hear of it. Microtransactional monetization not only funds direct marketing through ads and other efforts, it drives a powerful flow of referrals through word-of-mouth recommendations. Because when many players are also developers with potential to profit, they all have a vested interest in promoting the platform to their personal networks. The model also improves player retention for the same reason, and because of the sunk-cost mentality (think Eve).

    I compete (for free) in FTP MMO wargames on PC & mobile where literally hundreds and thousands of players (from around the world) are spending $100+ every single month for pointless crap like skins and effects. The beauty for Starmade is that microtransactions cannot create a pay-to-win situation here. Because even if there were a MP game mode with some kind of set victory condition, paying for the best ships doesn't prevent intelligent players who refuse to make additional purchases from designing their own equally or more powerful ships for free. Clans of free-players could go a long way towards leveling the playing field against big-spenders. I can't even count the number of strategic and tactical engagements in monetized games where I've worked with a team of other freeloaders to hand OP big spenders their asses. They have the goods but many to most don't actually know how to use them effectively.



    There's a mind-numbing ocean of funding available out there to fuel expanded development capacity in the future if Starmade ever goes beta.

    I would love to see Schema get access to some of that.

    I would also love to see thousands of invested, long-term players jumping on every day for fun, profit or both.

    My suggestion is to realize those goals by taking a proven, contemporary model and adapting it for the unique needs of Starmade. Just an idea.


    (y)
    Well I'll give you my user thoughts on it.

    If I have the choice between a free but commonly designed ship, and a paid beautiful / optimized ship, I'll always choose the first one. Why ?
    Because I don't like - even hate - to be forced to pay for a game content (even DLCs can be annoying sometimes). Be it useful or not.

    As an example I never ever paid for any content on any MMO game, except some premium tanks in WoT when I was younger. And that's the exact reason I quit H&G (that and the evident p2w too).

    So I'll say it again, I consider that I shouldn't pay for a player-made standard content. Ships are free to make and anyway one don't have the right to ask money for simply playing the game. Maybe for a DLC, but it's still not compatible with the kind of game SM is.

    To conclude I can't see any valid reason to pay anything else than the game (except for a server). It would add nothing, and each paid content will be ignored for sure, if it's not something really worth it. There's not that much people playing, and will never be - so it's not a real cash flow potential.

    PS : arguing here with mobile MMO games isn't a good idea, I tend to consider their players as easy cash-cows.


    Instead of a forced pay, adding a simple "donate" system would be better. Or a reward for the most-dowloaded / best-rated community contents, when there will be an in-game access to it.
     

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    Instead of a forced pay, adding a simple "donate" system would be better. Or a reward for the most-dowloaded / best-rated community contents, when there will be an in-game access to it.
    You mean buying the game while already owning it?