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Rethinking the Workshop

Josh

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As discussed before, sales in the Workshop Store have been measly compared to what the DLCs regularly do. People just don't want to use it. Without revenue coming in, I can't convince third parties that it is a good idea to sell through this system (it isn't), and no new products will get added. We need a large library of content to be available for use in Leadwerks, but this isn't working. So I am moving on to another approach.

 

The "Workshop" menu item in the website header has been placed under the "Community" menu where it is less prominent. Any products you purchased through the Workshop Store will remain available, forever. The Workshop will continue to be a place for the community to share files.

 

I considered associating DLC purchases with Workshop items so that the two systems were merged, at least from the user's perspective, but decided against it, for now. Discovery takes place in the Steam Store, not the Workshop interface, and there are more important issues to tackle first. I may tie these together in the future so that installing a DLC goes through the Workshop interface. What we need right now is to have lots of content available, and to make sure that content is selling so that more will be added. If that isn't happening, nothing else matters.

 

A new update adds a tab in the Workshop window titled "DLC". This is where all your purchased DLCs will be listed, and this is how they can be installed to your project.

 

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Okay, so monetizing the Workshop failed, and I am calling it now. Now what?

 

At the same time the Workshop was struggling, our DLC sales of model packs have been very, very good. In fact, the DLCs will regularly sell more in a single day than the Workshop Store has done during its entire three month existence. It's clear that one approach works and the other does not.

 

What I don't like about DLCs is they require more oversight by me, they can really only be sold in packs, and not individual models, the quality control and standards have to be higher and thus more limiting, and there is a limited amount of store space available to show them. Any revenue splits I do have to be calculated manually, and me doing that myself each month just isn't an option. On Monday I am meeting with an accounting firm so that they can handle this task for me each month. I plan to start releasing third-party model packs as DLCs, where they will actually get sales, and I will outsource the handling of royalty payments so I don't have to deal with it.

 

This didn't work out the way I planned, but the fact remains we have a method of selling content that works and provides sales for third parties comparable to the other model stores they sell content through. We just need to recognize our own unique strengths and play to them instead of fighting what the user wants.



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Just my 2 cents ...

 

If you want people to use the Workshop (instead of Steam), there has to be a noticable benefit or else you have YACS (yet another content store).

 

This benefit can be "real" or "perceived", but without it, something like the Workshop just is not viable.

 

People use steam (most likely) not only for Leadwerks DLCs, but for a variety of software "stuff" - so they are familiar with it and consider it a "trusted store". Since I have Leadwerks, GameGuru and a slew of games purchased through Steam, I too feel very "comfortable" with Steam.

 

I also like the Workshop, please don't get me wrong. But I also understand why it isn't knocking anyone's socks off.

 

Cheers,

Greyfang

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The one thing that gives me a lot of hope is this item, which was submitted without me having any involvement. I would not have approved of this for a DLC, but it's made $30 in sales, and the author gets 50% of that (once the minimum payout amount is reached). This is the kind of thing I hoped to see happen, on a much greater scale. I don't want to be the sole decider of what the community finds useful or not, I'd rather let the free market decide.

 

In the future I hope to come back to this approach, but right now it just isn't working. Even though it's through Steam, the store loyalty to Steam is not translating into in-app purchases through this system.

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What I don't like about DLCs is they require more oversight by me, they can really only be sold in packs, and not individual models, the quality control and standards have to be higher and thus more limiting, and there is a limited amount of store space available to show them. Any revenue splits I do have to be calculated manually, and me doing that myself each month just isn't an option. On Monday I am meeting with an accounting firm so that they can handle this task for me each month. I plan to start releasing third-party model packs as DLCs, where they will actually get sales, and I will outsource the handling of royalty payments so I don't have to deal with it.

 

I'm confused a little by this paragraph. If DLC's work really really well then why wouldn't you want to spend a large chunk of your time doing it? I mean if it's that good and you don't seem to be needing to charge for LE updates then why wouldn't it warrant your time? You make money 2 ways it seems, engine sales and DLC's. Engine sales is pretty much set in motion. You spend 50% of your time doing tweaks/additions and the rest on DLC content. Why is that a bad business model that you don't want to do?

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With the DLC approach I have to hand-select everything, and royalties have to be handled manually. This means I am committing to a new expense, and if the entity doing that work ever disappears I will have to do it myself or find someone new.

 

I was hoping to reach a point where the Workshop was mostly automated so it wouldn't require a lot of oversight from me. The authors would add their own products and I would just have to approve them. Payments would be handled automatically. That approach would be more scaleable.

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Based on example you have showed it seems like 'small' things and not the whole theme packs are selling better on the . Maybe it's mentality or maybe people just looking for cheaper things on workshop where DLC can be pusshed with higher price.

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Most of the good stuff in the workshop is free and it feels more secure to buy DLC packs directly in steam.

 

BTW why isn't it possible to watch the comments on the assets when I launch the workshop from leadwerks?

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I would like to have a tab that shows what I have installed per project back. That was useful information and allowed us to install/uninstall easily.

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I would like to have a tab that shows what I have installed per project back. That was useful information and allowed us to install/uninstall easily.

It didn't actually show installed items, it showed subscribed items. And when you install an item, the editor no longer subscribes to that item. (I've never liked that design, and Steam gained the ability to download items at-will.)

 

So adding an "Installed Items" tab is not a bad idea, but it is a new feature to add, not something we actually had.

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Yes, it was subscribed items in that tab, but I thought the green checkmark indicated installed and the grayed icon indicated it was no longer installed?

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