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catch22

Version Life Cycle (and cost)

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Hi. I'm strongly considering the Steam version of this game engine, but I have a question.

 

What's the life cycle on the engine versions? Mainly, if I buy 3.1 and pay my $200, how long does that... last?

 

I assume there'd be an upgrade cost for a future 4.0 version? Does it cover all of 3.x releases? If I buy 3.1 now, am I a LE owner for the rest of my life? I mean, what's the actual pricing model for future releases?

 

I can't find this information on the site...

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Hi. I'm strongly considering the Steam version of this game engine, but I have a question.

 

What's the life cycle on the engine versions? Mainly, if I buy 3.1 and pay my $200, how long does that... last?

 

I assume there'd be an upgrade cost for a future 4.0 version? Does it cover all of 3.x releases? If I buy 3.1 now, am I a LE owner for the rest of my life? I mean, what's the actual pricing model for future releases?

 

I can't find this information on the site...

 

And you won't find it here no matter how hard you look. Josh has many strengths, but planning is not his forte (IMHO). I would guarantee you will be paying for 4.0 and possible 3.2 and any subsequent 3.x releases.

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Josh has said before that he generally plans for yearly paid updates. I want to say the updates are generally around $99 (possibly $199? can't 100% recall). Leadwerks does get updates throughout the year also though for free as well.

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Josh mentioned some time back that there would never be a Leadwerks 4, for what that's worth.

Upgrading from 3.0 to 3.1 cost existing users $100 so if you ever see 3.2 announced, you're better off waiting to buy it all together and save.

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I see. That doesn't sound so bad (yearly updates for $100 ish), it's far cheaper than most other engines. With the lack of working demo, though, I've no way to know if it's really the engine for me or not.

 

I'm a professional C++ programmer so I'd LIKE to forgo the Lua limitation (is it a limitation?), but I'd only be willing to front the $99 steam (lua only) to see if it's an engine I could live with or not. I've written engines that use Lua scripting, but in my old age I've no time for the nitty gritty of graphics/physics programming (so like my "newest" openGL book is 1.3, hello? LOL)

 

I was hoping for an API with a toolset to build on. Which is about the only reason Leadwerks interests me (rumor has it), but I've no way to validate it without taking a fairly risky drop of $100 I don't really have, nor the extra $100 for C++, only to get accustomed to the engine, and a new $200 one come out in 9 months.

 

I really dislike "game makers" and do it for you type engines where you're forced into the paradigm of the engine writers. I'd rather write my own programs and exploit a helpful toolkit that accomplishes things that aren't all that interesting to me (matrix translation, blitters.. yes I said blitters, damnit).

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Take the plonge . Go for the c++ version straight away.I think you will enjoy it.

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Hi. I'm strongly considering the Steam version of this game engine, but I have a question.

 

What's the life cycle on the engine versions? Mainly, if I buy 3.1 and pay my $200, how long does that... last?

 

I assume there'd be an upgrade cost for a future 4.0 version? Does it cover all of 3.x releases? If I buy 3.1 now, am I a LE owner for the rest of my life? I mean, what's the actual pricing model for future releases?

 

I can't find this information on the site...

Since I can't predict what form the company will be in later and what the market will do, I can't answer that in advance. So I won't give answer saying what will be done in the future. Historically, the company has charged an upgrade fee around 50% of the purchase price every 12-18 months, but I'm also getting a lot of new users right now, and that might not be necessary or desirable for a while.

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I personally think the API is Leadwerks sellingpoint rather than the editor. Although the editor is useful for creating your testlevel, I spent all my time writing C++ code.

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There is also another thing to consider.

 

Looking back to the history of LeadWerks an upgrade is very often not an upgrade like for other products.

It's a little bit a kind of a mirror bag.

 

You'll get something new but on the other hand you always loose something (e.g. terrain vegetation, post processing).

 

So it's always some kind of surprise to see what's new and what's gone ...

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@tkunze The reason for some 2.x features not being in 3.x is because 3.x was a total rewrite of the engine. It used to be in BMax in 2.x and earlier, but now it's C++ so the rewrite caused some features to be removed and to be added later. C++ has been around for so long that I can't see anymore rewrites of the engine to any other language so going forward I think we're all safe from losing features and only gaining features.

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I am hoping that future versions will not be a compete re-write of the engine but just new added features.

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I am hoping that future versions will not be a compete re-write of the engine but just new added features.

 

..that is something to realistically expect, provided that engine seems to be always tightly attached to specific OGL version, what also makes engine unable to do autofallback for older hardware..i hope im wrong, as I would like to go back to LE at some point..

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Now that the engine has been rewritten in C++ I think it will take a while before version 4 appears.

 

In the mean time, there are enough parts of Leadwerks 3 that are not ready yet:

  • Vegetation placement
  • Networking

And then I am not even speaking of the stretch goals such as:

  • Blender integration
  • Full support for linux, macos and windows for both steam/standalone and indie/full edition.

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I am hoping that future versions will not be a compete re-write of the engine but just new added features.

Leadwerks 3 had to be written from scratch in C++ because the previous engine was too limited. There's not really anything I would change about the design now, and I don't see that happening in the next ten years.

You'll get something new but on the other hand you always loose something (e.g. terrain vegetation, post processing).

Leadwerks 3 is a new product, not an upgrade to Leadwerks 2.

..that is something to realistically expect, provided that engine seems to be always tightly attached to specific OGL version, what also makes engine unable to do autofallback for older hardware..i hope im wrong, as I would like to go back to LE at some point..
Supporting two renderers would take a lot of time, compromise what I can do with the GL4 renderer, and provide a pretty questionable benefit. Everything being sold today supports OpenGL 4, even Intel graphics, and the GL4 drivers are much more reliable than older ones due to the simplified specification.

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Password protecting data is definitely a must for anyone who wants to release even small games or demos and it was nice that LE2 had this. It was one of the things I looked for when I was hunting for an engine. Considering that I own hundreds of dollars worth of models, it would be nice to be able to use them even in any competition. For now, I can't.

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I swear I did this in LE 3.0. I just swear it. It was part of the App template in C++.

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@Rick:

 

The history even of version 3 has shown that you're in my opinion to optimistic with your statement.

 

When LeadWerks 3.0 came out the focus was iOS and Android. All the enhanced rendering stuff was dropped and the result looked like what i could do with my old 3d gamestudio license 10 years ago.

 

Now the new version 3.1 come out and iOS and Android is dropped and the new focus is Linux. So it is not just improving. It is as i said: you get something and you loose something, as always since i started with LeadWerks version 2.1 in 2009.

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@tkunze You are correct. I guess I was thinking in terms of engine features vs supported platforms but I can see where platforms can be considered features too.

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When LeadWerks 3.0 came out the focus was iOS and Android. All the enhanced rendering stuff was dropped and the result looked like what i could do with my old 3d gamestudio license 10 years ago.

 

Now the new version 3.1 come out and iOS and Android is dropped and the new focus is Linux. So it is not just improving. It is as i said: you get something and you loose something, as always since i started with LeadWerks version 2.1 in 2009.

That was a pretty major pivot because I didn't really know who the customer for the new engine was going to be. It became clear pretty quickly that mobile wasn't it. I've found a good niche for Leadwerks now and we're going to stay focused on PC in general and Linux in particular.

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Password protecting data is definitely a must for anyone who wants to release even small games or demos and it was nice that LE2 had this. It was one of the things I looked for when I was hunting for an engine. Considering that I own hundreds of dollars worth of models, it would be nice to be able to use them even in any competition. For now, I can't.

 

Anything on the client can be compromised. If you distribute local content, it CAN be tampered with, stolen, modified, etc.

 

The password is more of an illusion of your own safety more than anything ;)

 

That said, if you have the C++ distro, there's no doubt options. Zlib comes to mind?

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I 100% with you catch22. The issue is the license of purchased models say you have to make an attempt at some kind of password protection of their models so to be compliant we need this, even though we all know it's pretty much worthless. Tell that to the artists that sell these models :)

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It's about a effort versus reward. If a few minutes of zipping up and password protecting files deters the majority of people from ripping off my stuff, it's worth it to me. It's certainly way better than providing models, textures and music in their original format openly.

 

But I'm under no delusion that it works against everyone. In fact, I know some programs can take models and textures directly from memory as you're running them. Plus there are forums where people love writing programs that extract such data from game files, as a personal challenge.

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I guess the nice thing about Leadwerks is the models and textures get converted to mdl/tex. Not that someone couldn't write a loader for them but that's still effort like cracking a zip file. So really it's music that doesn't get converted to a format that requires some kind of work to get at.

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And of course if you provide volume controls to turn off sound effects (which almost all games do), how hard is it to record music? You can do it with Fraps.

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