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Raul

My thoughts about LE3 price

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Because there were a lot of discussion reagarding this issue but not a topic I wanted to share here my thoughts. I some kind work in gaming industry. I managed to make some little games and selling them. I am not have a Ferrari..yet!

 

Anyway, Josh managed to build a very powerfull rendering framework (see LE2) and the most important think: a community. This community shared the information and helpd out all the beginners. For a hobbiest or an indie LE2 was one of the perfect 'tool'. The price was ok, there are out there some .NET and BlitzMax librarys so many programmes which do not want to learn C++ can play with LE. I started using LE because of that.

 

Now there is a new version available. All this work must be payed now. The office rental cost money. The research cost money. To eat and drink.. you must use money too. No one is doing this for free. I do not care UDK is free or Unity cost 1000 and a little but....

 

1. I want a massive documentation with samples. Unity has one of the best helping system

2. I want to be able to code for Windows in .net or c++ or lua or blitzmax. I am an indie. I do not want to learn c++. I do not want to use those fu%$ing pointers.

3. I want to be able to upgrade from LE2 to LE3 not just until 1st of April. I want to do this anytime I have the money.

 

I am a customer of this product. Or at least of LE2. I want to pay for LE3 but only when all these 3 points are covered. Also I want to code games using LE and to sell them to make money. I made until now only 2D games but in the near future I want to make some full 3D applications not just some demos. So I willdefinetly invest money into a 3D engine/framework/tool/etc..

 

Sorry for my bad grammar.

 

R.

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Yep, LE2 owners should buy LE for 50% discount anytime. This is forcing me to buy it until April even I don't know about LE3 future.

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Anyone who has le2 should get the le3 upgrade price for at least 6 months.

 

EDIT: Incidently there has been no mention of bmax in le3 as far as I can see.

 

Will the addition of terain in le3 incur futher cost?

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I think it's a *very* risky gamble to take on Unity at this stage of development. With the current set of features in LE3 (or rather lack thereof) Unity is cheaper and provides more. Where is the unique selling proposition?

 

1) Native code? For some it might be, for me it isn't. Having done Java and C# for the last 15 years I have to torture myself into relearning C++. I happily sacrifice some performance for the increased productivity.

 

2) Art pipeline? Can't tell, haven't seen LE3's. But Unity's pipeline is better than many I've seen, providing API's to modify and extend it.

(another nice one is in XNA which they already have reimplemented in MonoGame 3.0)

 

3) Flowgraphs? Spend $95 (often 50% less) in the Asset Store and get uScript, which is powerful and really great.

 

Build on top of that a much smaller community, lack of documentation (both first- and third-party - how many books on Leadwerks are there?), and not a single game to prove it's worth the invest, the decision for most people will be clear. Even the "volatility due to bad boy venture capitalists" argument doesn't count - it's much riskier to bet on a closed-source one (two-) developer company.

 

Now, I understand that Josh might view the technology behind LE3 as superior to that of other engines, and maybe he's right. But chances are that nobody will ever find out if he doesn't lower the entry barrier to gain more momentum.

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The black box included in the price had better contain a PS4 dev kit.

 

There's a lot going on here. Not least of which is that the existing community dearly loves Leadwerks engine, otherwise it wouldn't be so passionate about it. Some of us have been around years, helping, support new users, each other. Spreading the word through tweets, creating demos, posting videos, writing tutorials. We've seen members pass away (Gimpy) and we all feel that in some way, we are shareholders. As a community we have intrinsic value. In a real sense, our collective continuity helped bring Leadwerks as an entity to this place.

 

And yesterday, to quote one commentator, we were given the proverbial "**** off" from the very top.

 

After investing time in taking part in Q&As, lengthy and occasionally heated debates about Leadwerks 3, including stupid things such as its name, some feel a sense of betrayal. By turning ones back on a community that brought you to where you are, it sets a poor tone for anyone looking into a business to perhaps invest.

 

Overall the general feeling I'm hearing is befuddlement over not just the cost, but the structure. Leadwerks can have its cake AND eat it, but it needs to be flexible and not shaft its core market.

 

I urge Josh to rethink the pricing and how modules can be added. There are many sound, tried and tested ways to tease money out of its users. Once you have users 'buy in', it is easier to sell them upgrades over time. By gating your customers at the door they will soon find they can spend their money elsewhere.

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Solution is simple, don't buy it, and let's see ,what will happen. Don't talk in general forum, don't help to others, just use chat. It will be pretty silent place here. We, customers have all the power.

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I expected great enthusiasm from the community when le3 would be annouced as available after all the waitng time.

Its not happening

 

Maybe things will change after early purchasers have tested the software and show some favourable response.

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So here is what i am thinking:

 

- The price is way to high, something like 500$ would be "ok"

- Shipping the engine with a box is completly useless and Josh could save some money there...

- The printed manual is a very dumb idea at this stage since the API will change ! Even a bit !

- The lack of support of LE2 is not very kind regarding the existing customers and that does not help regarding sells of the new engine.

- LE3 should feature a decent default renderer at least with shadow mapping !

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I love the engine, and admire Josh for all the work he's done on it so far. It's pretty amazing to see how it and the company have come so far. But Josh needs to remember what got him here.

 

With barely any games finished (if any?), no professional demos done, barely any features beyond graphical capabilities that other engines do not possess.. I'm honestly left asking myself, if I had $1,000 in my hand when sales opened, and I hadn't bought LE2, would I purchase LE3 with all these faults? Especially when I see the community turning on its founder? No, probably not. I'd like go look at other game engines that from a new-comers viewpoint, would have a better, and less stressful future. When I initially was looking at new engines, what lead me here was the graphical capabilities of the engine, the community, and honestly the similarity between the Editor and FarCry's editor.

 

I personally was not expecting the price to be anymore than double what the price of LE2 was. Especially when from a customer standpoint, there's very few new features.

 

One option I've seen other engine use in the past for a pricing model is having an Indie license, and a Pro license - entirely based on annual revenue and not eliminating features based on the version. This would allow a cheaper version of the product, while still keeping the current pricing model for those that need it.

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- Shipping the engine with a box is completly useless and Josh could save some money there...

- The printed manual is a very dumb idea at this stage since the API will change ! Even a bit !

 

I totally agree, you'll loose too much time with a manual :)

You are programming , you just switch to your PDF at screen, having to quite the screen , look at manual, back to screen , yes not for me.

 

The Black box remember me when you buy a game in the special edition.

I don't see the interest, even collector ? UDK and other don't propose that, we need sofwtare not collector stuff.

Perhaps for LE 4 ? or for some very complete LE 3 edition ?

And people not selling any game what will they do about a Black box ?

Even if i like the idea like big games with big special edition, but it's not a game, but HARD WORK to make a game :)

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Le 2 was popular because it was good and it was cheap.

It attracted a lot of hobbyists for that reason and thats probably why very few commercial games were made. Also it lacked certain features that help make a commercial game.

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Maybe things will change after early purchasers have tested the software and show some favourable response.

This. Considering that no one's even tried the trial yet, I think people are getting a little overemotional about this.

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Ok, lets try and look at this objectively. Lets forget the iOS and Android versions for the moment and simply consider the pros and cons of a move from LE2 to LE3 Windows and MAC version as this represents the core functionality of all three modules.

 

Advantages as I see them (although currently untried and untested):

 

  • A better art pipeline (much more streamlined), in fact what was asked for in LE2 time and time again!
  • The ability to scale objects (and their physics counterparts) in editor, a big plus in my opinion
  • In built CSG capability, probably good for amateurs and programmers but not that necessary for professionals who will have access to good modellers anyway. Also owners of 3DWS already have the ability to design and import.
  • NavMesh generation and path finding, a very useful addition but will not always provide a good solution for all game cases
  • A better underlying game engine code structure, I trust Josh on this one as his past record speaks volumes. The LE2 API is very nice. This is pretty essential if planning to expand the functionality effectively.
  • Integrated Lua support and effective debugging tools is a good move as I see it.
  • A basic game framework with built in support for flow graph control of scripted objects - ok not that interesting for me personally as I think there are limitations with this approach but great for the more artistic types who just want to plug in pre-built scripted objects and wire them up.
  • Support for the industry standard C++ language (native code). I see that as a plus, many will see it as a curse however.

 

Disadvantages as I see them:

 

  • Currently a vastly more primitive renderer compared to LE2 or any other engines at the asking price, so no deferred rendering and no shader support
  • No support for real time shadowing
  • No support for terrain at all let alone streaming terrain
  • No support for a vegetation system
  • No inherent GUI support
  • No built in networking support
  • Limited physics support as I understand it (no joints for instance)
  • Reliance on flow graph building of scripted objects leaves you dependent on the provision and quality of such objects if you are unable to write them yourself which can seriously limit your game design options
  • No inherent plugin support to enable communities and third parties to add and embed functionality into the editor
  • Virtually no additional game development toolsets
  • A price which is comparable with a fully fledged engine with most of the above features
  • No given time scales as to when further functionality will be introduced (as yet)
  • No given promises that this will not incur additional cost (as yet)

 

Now its up to individuals to determine whether the asking price represents value for money and whether this initial investment will pay off in the end. It seems to require something of a leap of faith to get from what we are actually being offered to what we should be getting for our money when you look at what that money can buy you else where.

 

My personal experience of LE2 has taught me to be wary of Josh as he has often ignored the wishes and advice of large areas of this community seemingly often listening to those who simply shout the loudest! As Flexman pointed out in an earlier post many of us have contributed greatly to his success via this community and if nothing else acted as unpaid testers for his original engine. I feel having paid for an engine that it deserved to be supported far better than it has been. In the last year bug fixes have been taking up to 6 months on average which is unacceptable. Likewise the original road map and design criteria for LE3 has deviated greatly over time, the previous bombshell being the dropping of a modern renderer for the initial release which caused a lot of protest.

 

I'm not sure I want to pay up front for something that I'm not sure will ever happen and even if it does where i have no guarantee of the timescales. Will this be supported any better or simply fall victim again to the next project that takes Josh's attention.

 

I'd like to think he'll eventually deliver on everything and believe it could be a great engine again but I view this as a complete marketing fiasco and it doesn't instil in me much faith.

 

Only time will tell I guess.

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This. Considering that no one's even tried the trial yet, I think people are getting a little overemotional about this.

I do not want to be a hater but it's exactly like the announcement of PS4 which shows us nothing just a bounce of games rendered by a REAL PC :)

 

LE3 will be a nice rendering engine. that's for sure. also will have an editor good enough to help us making some kind of games: FPS, and 3rdPS / action...

As I said earlier, must of us are hobbyist. I am sorry to tell you but there are a few who will really make a full game by the end of their life :D Right now, there on the market there are a lot of tools and frameworks which can help any of us: UDK, CryEngine, Torque (yeah i know :P) Shiva, Unity - for this you do not need to be a very skillfull programmer to make simple application. also for guys who really like to 'smell' the code: irrlicht and ogre. (i know both of them are quite old but I am trying to give some examples). Maybe 3-4 years ago it was complicated to make a nice water effect with some smoke and real time shadow (really was in fact), but these days it's not so hard.

 

Another POV: 499 usd for android? really? Android games are free. No one buys that ****.. I know there are maybe 30-40 games but trust me these games are not state of the art. The mobile market is a good one but only for big companies who have enough money to resist in time. In order to make 1000 USD per month you must have at least 15-20 average games on the market. Anyway this is another talk and maybe it's not the time for that.

 

My last words in this topic (if no ones starts an argue with me :) ) are these:

For LE CEO:

The price is not fair for us the community. As I said earlier I have these money and I want to give them to you but I will not have for what (at least not in the next months). The problem is that WE DO NOT HAVE the money. We the indie, the hobbiest, the "guys" who dream to make their own Quake clone (I would like to do that).. we do not have these money. We will left LE for other engines or tools. There are plenty.

 

And some very personal opinion: I do not care about cross platform with mobile. I can make any time a game using native code for mobile. iOS, Android, WindowsPhone. Mobiles are for fast, easy to play and implement games. Casual games. I am not here for making casual games. I want that fu%$% Quake clone.. and Quake is not for mobiles :)

 

Now I am going back to my work (it's 2:24 AM here and in the next hours I must leave to the office) so have a nice day to all of you!

 

R.

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So what is the correct amount of emotion? In your opinion?

Right around Pixel's level. tongue.png I get that this was a bit of a shock to the community but in the end it's a product to buy or not as each sees fit. And as has been pointed out, as much as we love Leadwerks, there are plenty of alternatives (including sticking with LE2).

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@gamecreator - I find it amusing you feel you have the right to tell people, that have invested not only money but time into this engine and community, how they should feel or express their feelings about this... especially people that have been around here waaay longer than you. From what I see this has been a relatively civil public discussion, so I do not get your or several other "newbies" issue with the majority of the community expressing dismay over the situation.

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The facts have been clearly stated from what i can see. And this is not an overreaction as people have been quite civil about this considering what has been said privately. Bottom line is $500 to $1000 for a beta base product that we all know has less inherent features than our current engine and similar priced engines, even with future promises of roadmap feature incentives, not only prevents a lot of people currently here from moving to LE3 but there are some serious concerns that it is so overpriced that the future of LE is in jeopardy.

 

If you cannot see that maybe there is something to it --- when the people that have been around here the longest, people that love LE but have ties to other engines, and people that have created businesses using LE products all express concern --- then I cannot understand what facts you think will magically fix what most consider to be a huge mistake.

 

-gamecreator deleted his comment that he felt everyone was overreacting before knowing all the facts...

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and people that have created businesses using LE products

 

You are talking about another category of people here, not :

hobbyst, newbbies, new comers to 3D , new coming 3D artists or some people that try to make or sell a game without having done one before.

Ad im' not sure it's they are a lot in the number of people who have baught LE 2 ?

 

Anyway, things are like that, the price is like it is.

Let's wait for the demo and see how things will evolve no need to have wars between users :)

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To be clear, it's not a war between users or conflict at all, it's a number of users and unpaid technical support jumping ship because they don't understand the gulf between the price point and what's being offered. A demo would have to be better than existing engines and I ain't seeing it, nice as it is (COMPARED TO LE2). Time is money and (for some) incurred savings of Leadwerks 3s workflow might pay back three-fold. We don't know.

 

To be fair, development is not a democracy nor do I think it should be. People should be allowed to make risky choices. But equally a community should be allowed to say 'hang on, what about us?'. Some folks see communities as baggage. Developers don't need groupies, they need clients.

 

Arrrgh, PowerRender flashbacks!

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True. No matter what it's a sort of compromise between the community and the developer and Josh sees that. He's listened to us before and has again.

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now, the question is :) will be a GL4 renderer added without any fee ? i remember, we had to paid for bugfixes ...I lost faith in that.

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now, the question is smile.png will be a GL4 renderer added without any fee ?

No. That's completely infeasible. Developing that will take a huge amount of time, there's no way that can be done for free.

 

You can continue discussion here:

http://www.leadwerks...-3-soft-launch/

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