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Leadwerks 5 Beta Rollout

Josh

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Today I am excited to announce plans for the release of the first Leadwerks 5 beta version.  Leadwerks 5 will roll out sooner rather than later, employing an extended beta period during which versions 4 and 5 will live side-by-side, using the same code base, with preprocessor definitions to compile each version.  This allows me to fix small problems without forking the code, while I can implement new changes in version 5.  The first features implemented will be the use of smart pointers for all shared objects, and unicode support for all strings.

A subscription model will be available for access to the Leadwerks 5 beta, at a modest price of just $4.99/month for enthusiasts who want access to the most cutting-edge game development technology as it is developed.  This will be available through the Leadwerks.com site, and will not use Steam (at least at first).  I feel it is important for the company's future to start building a recurring revenue stream, and I want to create something that does not rely on any middleman who may arbitrarily change or discontinue the terms of the service they are providing.  The Leadwerks 5 beta will implement breaking changes as it is developed, and is not meant for use in a production environment, so I do not recommend moving any commercial projects from version 4 to 5.  Leadwerks 4.x will continue to receive updates and new features until the final version 5 is released.

Leadwerks 5 is designed to be the most advanced game engine in the world, combining improved ease of use with massive performance, and a special emphasis on VR.  Thank you for supporting the next generation of game development technology.



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Brilliant, Yue. :lol:

On topic: the pricing is very generous, thank you. There's no way the other engines can beat the $4.99 pricing, even if it's up a bit higher later in the development the pricing would still be convenient and affordable to everyone.

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I would think there will be an option to pay for your subscription through PayPal. You can either get a PayPal prepaid card or a Prepaid Visa card from stores with cash. You will be able to use those online to purchase goods and services. 

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1 minute ago, jen said:

I would think there will be an option to pay for your subscription through PayPal. You can either get a PayPal prepaid card or a Prepaid Visa card from stores with cash. You will be able to use those online to purchase goods and services. 

Where I live it is very difficult to access these services. Not even I buy leadwerks 4, someone bought it for me, I charge 8% commission and I send it to my steam account as a gift.

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14 hours ago, jen said:

I would think there will be an option to pay for your subscription through PayPal. You can either get a PayPal prepaid card or a Prepaid Visa card from stores with cash. You will be able to use those online to purchase goods and services. 

Minecraft's early days got kind of ****ed by pay-pal. They had a cash withdraw limit.

You could do your own credit card processing and subscription through Stripe.
https://stripe.com/

It's fairly easy to implement. Fees are only like 3-5%.

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55 minutes ago, martyj said:

Minecraft's early days got kind of ****ed by pay-pal. They had a cash withdraw limit.

You could do your own credit card processing and subscription through Stripe.
https://stripe.com/

It's fairly easy to implement. Fees are only like 3-5%.

I can also get a merchant account and not even deal with PayPal etc.  Paypal has had a lot of issues in the past and I would not trust them to handle any serious amounts of money.

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When I did UE4 I would simply get one month to get the software and then I was able to cancel and just not get updates but still use that version. I think they eventually stopped the monthly fee and I would think for that reason. They would pump out smaller updates and fixes weekly which I think they thought would be why people would keep thier monthly they subscription, but I don't think it worked out that way. I would renew about every 6 months just for that one mo th to get caught up on all the updates/fixes. 

What is is your plan for making this subscription work? Will we not be able to use the app without an active subscription or will we not be able to get updates only without an active subscription? If we can still use the app but not get updates then I can't see people keeping an active monthly subscription. They'll just renew when they want an upgrade or a fix. This, however, means to incentivize people you have to be pumping out fixes and advancements every month to make it worth it for people.

If you make it so we can't use the app then that only refers to the editor. People could still code in LE without issue. The editor isn't really required it's just a convience thing. They could easily build most of thier levels and such in a modeling package.

I don't see how a subscription base works in today's world which is why I think you see engines dropping that idea now. Your pricing models are always about 2-3 years behind the big engine leaders. Learn from thier mistakes.

People come to Le because it's easy and it has no royalties. I think they also liked just putting up a reasonable amount of money every year or so and forgetting it. If people can still use the software and just not get updates you'll end up with probably $5-$-10 a year from a person. Probably just best to charge $25 per major update which should be yearly. You'll get more money and people won't have to screw around with the monthly game of subscribing and unsubscribing based on what and when they want to update to current. Most people probably see $25 a year for updates as very fair.

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Are there any plans for Console and Mobile export? I think those would bring in a lot of money if sold as separate modules.

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41 minutes ago, jen said:

Are there any plans for Console and Mobile export? I think those would bring in a lot of money if sold as separate modules.

No one I know of has a console developer license.  If one company wanted to use it I would be willing to develop it if they were willing to pay.  It would probably cost about $150,000 because I need to hire one additional full-time programmer.

Mobile would involve too many compromises to the renderer and would hold back the engine.  We are going in the direction of VR which means hyperrealism and performance, performance, performance.

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1 hour ago, Rick said:

What is is your plan for making this subscription work? Will we not be able to use the app without an active subscription or will we not be able to get updates only without an active subscription? If we can still use the app but not get updates then I can't see people keeping an active monthly subscription. They'll just renew when they want an upgrade or a fix. This, however, means to incentivize people you have to be pumping out fixes and advancements every month to make it worth it for people.

I don't see how a subscription base works in today's world which is why I think you see engines dropping that idea now. Your pricing models are always about 2-3 years behind the big engine leaders. Learn from thier mistakes.

People come to Le because it's easy and it has no royalties. I think they also liked just putting up a reasonable amount of money every year or so and forgetting it. If people can still use the software and just not get updates you'll end up with probably $5-$-10 a year from a person. Probably just best to charge $25 per major update which should be yearly. You'll get more money and people won't have to screw around with the monthly game of subscribing and unsubscribing based on what and when they want to update to current. Most people probably see $25 a year for updates as very fair.

Other engines do not make their money from consumer sales at all.  They have thrown in the towel and just give their product away for free (even their source code, lol!).  Leadwerks is the leader in the consumer space, and the only company that does well in this market.  Our nearest competitor CryEngine only got one third the number of customers Leadwerks has on Steam.  Therefore Crytek, Unreal, and Unity should be taking notes from me, since I have humiliated them so badly in this arena.

The LE5 beta is the first time I have done a subscription so I'm sure there will be a lot to learn.  Initially, updates will be frequent, the beta subscription is only targeted at enthusiasts who want to support the development of LE5 and get there hands on the tech early, and there will initially be no editor (use Leadwerks Editor 4).

If I continue offering a subscription model, it is not a problem to make the editor stop working when the subscription becomes inactive.  I imagine I will probably want to offer both options like Microsoft does for Office.  I think once a subscription is in place, it tends to just keep going because it's only a small amount, like a gym membership.

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55 minutes ago, Josh said:

Other engines do not make their money from consumer sales at all.  They have thrown in the towel and just give their product away for free (even their source code, lol!).

They have a different business model than yours.  I imagine they make a lot of their money from asset sales on their stores.  As such, it makes sense for them to send as many people to the stores as possible by giving away their engine for free.

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9 minutes ago, gamecreator said:

They have a different business model than yours.  I imagine they make a lot of their money from asset sales on their stores.  As such, it makes sense for them to send as many people to the stores as possible by giving away their engine for free.

You can do the math yourself.  The money Unity makes on asset sales is pitiful given their amount of funding.  It doesn't even come close to what their investors want.  And they are on like their 11th year of venture capital funding, whereas most other startups would have an exit by now (6-7 years is typical).  Now they only hold back game development technology.  Leadwerks is fine, but other good engines can't compete against free Silicon Valley money.  On top of that, their engine sucks and everyone knows it.  Pathetic!

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What I think is that there are different business models, and within each one there are potential customers. Something I would like to see is an expansion of Leadwerks, to the Latin market, forums, communities, channels of tutorials in Spanish. And a reseller system to earn a percentage.

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14 minutes ago, DoomSlayer said:

When LE5 is released on Steam it will also use the Steam Workshop?

That depends on whether I am satisfied with Valve's commitment to supporting this feature.  In any case, some type of in-app store will be included.

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42 minutes ago, Josh said:

Leadwerks is fine, but other good engines can't compete against free Silicon Valley money.  On top of that, their engine sucks and everyone knows it.  Pathetic!

EU has made you frisky lol.

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You guys forgetting about open source and free game engines. I think Godot 3.1 is going to be a killer engine(with updated 2D and 3D). There is also banshee game engine, atomic , lumix and etc. When leadwerks 5 is released I'm seriously going to compare which is better and I honestly kinda hate subscription based pricing. I'm not going to have any loyalty to any product or brand. I will switch and use which product that is suitable for me in terms of cost, features wise and etc.

 

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59 minutes ago, tumira said:

You guys forgetting about open source and free game engines. I think Godot 3.1 is going to be a killer engine(with updated 2D and 3D). There is also banshee game engine, atomic , lumix and etc. When leadwerks 5 is released I'm seriously going to compare which is better and I honestly kinda hate subscription based pricing. I'm not going to have any loyalty to any product or brand. I will switch and use which product that is suitable for me in terms of cost, features wise and etc.

 

It ends up being more about your time. Eventually your time is limited due to other commitments and you want to be as productive as you can. Switching engines all the time limits your productivity while increasing your knowledge. It's a trade-off.

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5 hours ago, tumira said:

You guys forgetting about open source and free game engines. I think Godot 3.1 is going to be a killer engine(with updated 2D and 3D). There is also banshee game engine, atomic , lumix and etc. When leadwerks 5 is released I'm seriously going to compare which is better and I honestly kinda hate subscription based pricing. I'm not going to have any loyalty to any product or brand. I will switch and use which product that is suitable for me in terms of cost, features wise and etc.

 

I am not forgetting.  I have seen a million of these come with huge fanfare and big announcements and then they quietly disappear into the night after that.  If it was good, they would charge money for it.  Leadwerks 5 will cost money because you can't get anything like it anywhere else.  The architecture I have designed will make your games run faster than anything else possible.  In fact, nothing else can possibly be faster because Leadwerks 5 is like a space-time warp of the fabric of the universe.  At least, it will seem that way when you are using it.

Combine that with our ease of use (smart pointers and a new editor will make it even better) and new Leadwerks hyperrealism for VR, and Leadwerks 5 will be like using an advanced alien civilization's game development tools.

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2 hours ago, Josh said:

I am not forgetting.  I have seen a million of these come with huge fanfare and big announcements and then they quietly disappear into the night after that.  If it was good, they would charge money for it.  Leadwerks 5 will cost money because you can't get anything like it anywhere else.  The architecture I have designed will make your games run faster than anything else possible.  In fact, nothing else can possibly be faster because Leadwerks 5 is like a space-time warp of the fabric of the universe.  At least, it will seem that way when you are using it.

Combine that with our ease of use (smart pointers and a new editor will make it even better) and new Leadwerks hyperrealism for VR, and Leadwerks 5 will be like using an advanced alien civilization's game development tools.

Are you watching too much scifi movies or series :lol: ? Anyway I would wait for Leadwerks 5 to be released first then I will decide which is better for me to proceeds. I think that is a fair thing to do.

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Of course, but once you see it you will never want to use anything else.  Leadwerks 5 is going to be the best game development tool ever created.

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@tumira I've used many game engines including those on your list, and they did not compare well against Leadwerks. I have 10 years of experience going back and forth using different engines and I ended up settling with Leadwerks. I have been using it for little over a year now. I have reached the farthest in my game development hobby with Leadwerks than any of the other engines I've used in the past, and I've used them thoroughly. I can say with confidence, Leadwerks has something the other engines do not have, and that's a combination of many things including flexibility, accessibility, simplicity, intuitiveness, and power. It currently lacks a few things but those features aren't far from reach, in many cases you can even implement the features yourself. 

I do look forward to welcoming you back once you realize the amount of frustration dealing with the other engines in the future.

 

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14 hours ago, tumira said:

... Godot 3.1 is going to be a killer engine(with updated 2D and 3D). ...

This is the first time I have heard of this engine and now checking it out. Thanks for mentioning this game engine. :)

I always come back to Leadwerks. :D

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@SpEcIeS It doesn't have a CSG editor as with all the other engines mentioned. Good luck on the level design. That's what sets Leadwerks apart from those other engines, it actually has its own level editor which primarily supports CSG brushes. Even Unity doesn't support CSG by default, at the start people were clueless until someone came out with a mod that allowed them to create CSG brushes.

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