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The "Opinions on selling add-ons" thread

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Member
Registered: Jan 2013
Posts: 318
Location: YSSY
Hi all,

there seems to be a disagreement amongst some members of this community whether it is OK or not to charge for add-ons built for PSX.

Since my latest product release thread was hijacked by that discussion, I would like to open this discussion here, and perhaps Hardy could move the relevant posts underneath this thread?

Cheers

- Balt
Member
Registered: Jul 2009
Posts: 148
Location: Loomis California (near Sacramento)
I personally see no problem with anyone charging for the work that they do in producing "add ons" .

While I greatly admire and appreciate the efforts of those who make their work available to us for free, I'm not going to be critical of those who are not so charitable.

The members of this community are an outstanding example of folks working together for the benefit of the group, and I include those who wish a reasonable financial reward for those efforts.

After all, no one HAS to purchase those products.

jj
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Balt wrote
... perhaps Hardy could move the relevant posts underneath this thread?

I can move threads only.
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
400guy wrote
... and I include those who wish a reasonable financial reward for those efforts.

I agree; everyone should have the right to offer an add-on as commercial ware (and then the customer, of course, has a right too: the right on support and everything that goes with it). -- In this special case, RealShear, I think the financial reward will be nearly zero though, due to the high price (50 US$) in relation to what the program provides. But I may be wrong. The work required to develop such a program is just one thing anyway. The market is another thing. If I would apply the same "factor" to PSX, then I guess PSX should be around 50000 US$, but nobody would buy it. So, one has to think about it ...

Just a thought! Certainly not my business :-)


Regards,

|-|ardy
Member
Registered: Jan 2013
Posts: 318
Location: YSSY
Thanks Hardy for pointing out the pricing error. This was meant to cost $9.99, just like the other plugins - not $49.99! I originally had 3 license levels built in $49.99 was the second level. The first level was always meant to be $9.99. That however did not include the (painstaking to recreate) historical scenarios. Perhaps I build a free level that doesn't include the historical scenarios, that might help the spiritual problems of some of the members here.

If anyone understands the concept of altruism and sacrificing money for a greater common good it's me - I waved goodbye to a mid six figure salary income and have made do on a small fraction of that ever since then, a little over ten years ago, when I decided to dedicate the remainder of my professional career to the betterment of mankind by giving the powers of my intellect to science. There have been some rather troubling setbacks on that front here in Australia recently, and it is perhaps this untimely coincidence that makes this all feel so disheartening. Everybody takes my contributions to science (and to a lesser extent here as well as Carl has shown) for granted, generosity and charitability has become something people expect, not something people give.

Did you know the organisation and teams I work with invented the foundation of wifi technology while we were building receivers and spectrometers to detect black holes with our radio telescopes? There are multiple other examples of technology we developed that is now everywhere, yet none of us ever reaped any reward from that. All sucked up and commercialised by private entities.

Cheers

- Balt
« Last edit by Balt on Sun, 28 Jun 2015 06:55:10 +0000. »
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 418
Location: Australia
At the time I decided that a separate version of the VisualPSX suite was warranted for P3Dv2 I considered charging for it while leaving the FSX version free. Given the amount of time I have put into developing this software (man-years) and the ongoing support users receive through this forum and fairly regular updates I considered that a one off fee of $A45.00 ($49.50 with GST for Australian users) would be appropriate.

The next consideration was the size of the user base for PSX-P3Dv2. On present indications that would be around 500 users over the next few years, so not a large income, reduced by some amount of piracy.

So I investigated anti-piracy methods and concluded that I could defeat anything that I could either design or afford unless I implemented a validation system like large companies such as Microsoft use. That would require a lot of monitoring by me, which I am not prepared to do.

Finally I decided that the monetary reward would not be worth the hassle for me. I shall continue to treat this software development as a hobby on my own terms. Of course I quite understand that other developers may have different priorities and fully support their decisions to charge for their work, provided of course that the asking price is fair for what the particular application offers.
_______________
Garry

Website: flightsim.garryric.com
Member
Registered: Jan 2012
Posts: 72
Location: Germany (near EDCB)
There are also the possibility to set a Donation button on the website and so get a little financial recognition.
_______________
...Peter :)
Member
Registered: Aug 2014
Posts: 60
Morning,

The wording of the question is ambiguous and therefore means you're unlikely to actually get an answer.

At the simplistic level of the question in relation to permissions, yes you may charge whatever you like for addons created for PSX and it is up to the user to deem whether the product is worth the charge or not.

However on another level the question raises the morality of charging for a PSX addon which is such a personal issue that you'll never get a consensus.

My view is that I never once thought about charging for my addon, I worked with the belief that the Aerowinx community all contributed what they could for the collective good.

When I started I hadn't written a single line of code ever (it probably shows!) and therefore created it as an excel document. Through the support and help of various members of the Aerowinx community I was able to transfer this into an exe. From there Hardy changed bits of PSX to accommodate my addon and members of the community tested it for me using VisualPSX, PSXWeather, Hoppies Network and all the other amazing addons/tutorials/guides/videos/etc that the community has released.

Having taken so much from the community I would then feel quite a fraud to charge the same community for the privilege of using my addon.

Balt wrote
Charging for a plugin is after all the only sign of appreciation that you, the end user of our software, can show to support us and to keep us going. From that perspective I don't understand those who don't charge.


Members saying thank you is a fairly good sign of appreciation and works for me.
Member
Registered: Dec 2009
Posts: 334
Location: KTPA
Balt-

I will post here rather than in the original thread to respect your wishes- it was certainly not my intent to hijack your thread.

I agree, you have the right to charge whatever you want for your product. It just took me by surprise- that is all. Through the many years I have been part of the PS1 and PSX communities, Real Traffic and Real Shear are the only products I can remember (and I'm aware my wife is not impressed with my memory most days) that have charged the community for use. That is NOT WRONG, just DIFFERENT than what I am used to.

In all these many years, I have seen brilliant individuals, many of whom were/are immersed in daily professional 744 operations, spend time helping the community by going to great lengths to ascertain minutiae that most of the rest of the world is happy to ignore, and most of us revel in. The collective conscience of the "Aerowinx World" has grown by leaps and bounds through these many interactions. When reading your postings I assumed (yes, I know, I know) that here was yet another individual, getting pointers in the right direction, so that he could produce something for the good of the collective community. In many ways, that is still true- and I must respect that.

I can appreciate the dedication and effort involved in writing something like these programs- both far beyond anything I am capable of- and understand your wish for compensation. From your earlier post in the original thread, it is obvious I upset you, and for that I apologize. In reflection, I ought to have kept my mouth shut- lesson learned.

Best- Carl
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2449
Location: KTMB
One of the other aspects of this Forum community is that we tend to collectively mop up the spilled beer the next morning.

Hardy: since the thread "RealShear thread" is 90% about the difference in opinion, please consider to move the whole thread here in some way and rename it to something meaningful.

Balt: just re-write your first post and call the thing "RealShear"; leave off the "thread" marker.
Member
Registered: Jan 2013
Posts: 318
Location: YSSY
Excellent idea Hoppie, I've renamed the old thread, and started the new one. Hardy feel free to move it whenever you see fit.

Carl, no lasting offense taken. My wife wouldn't let you get away with this fauxpology though - "I apologise if what I said offended you". Alas, I am not my wife. ;)

On the upside, there's a (slightly feaure reduced) free version out now... hope you enjoy.

Cheers

- Balt
Member
Registered: Dec 2009
Posts: 334
Location: KTPA
Balt-

I should have kept my mouth shut initially. I shall do so this time. I might be an old dog... but I can learn....

Best wishes- C
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 479
Location: EFTO
cavaricooper wrote
I ought to have kept my mouth shut

Hmm.
For what it's worth, I for one think you should not have. I can see a valid general point in your original comment about "using information obtained from a forum of enthusiasts".

Nota molto bene: I am not referring to Balt or RealShear here; I am trying to make a general observation, against the day when this debate will flare up again (trust me, it will).

My point is this:

The work put into coding, debugging and testing an add-on is one thing. I think nobody will disagree that the author has every right to charge for that if he wishes to do so.

Using the information and support from this forum (often or perhaps always vital) for developing an addon is something else again. This information and support is frequently supplied here, for free, by experts in the various fields and above all, by Hardy as the PSX author himself (to the extent, also for free, that even changes in PSX are made to accommodate add-ons).

With regard to my own barnyard (PSX_Earth etc.), I'd hate to think I would have had to pay even only 10% of what is the current going consultant rate to all people who helped me making and improving those add-ons... :shock:

I am not suggesting that this means add-ons must always be free. Nor do I have a "solution" to offer (should one be needed).
But I can see a certain "moral" issue here which at the very least deserves consideration.

That's the valid point I read in Carl's comments, and that's why I think his contrition shouldn't go too far (a little bit is of course always salubrious :D )

Cheers,
Martin
Member
Registered: Aug 2014
Posts: 375
Location: Camberley, UK
Balt,

I was determined to stay out of this but I'm afraid I have to make a "contribution'..however much I dislike doing so, because to do otherwise would be to slink away from how I feel about this.

I note that there wasn't a whiff of dissent at your original costing of REALTRAFFIC at $9.95 PA. I myself am a subscriber. In my opinion this showed that most of the forum were content to accommodate your remuneration wishes. If you want money for your effort, so be it - but of course this would limit the overall usage so it in my opinion it lessens the possibilities with PSX. But that, as they say, is only an opinion.

The original REALSHEAR thread started when I declined to use the software. At that stage it was advertised at $49.95 per year. In my opinion the subsequent negative response was directly your responsibility for getting the price "wrong". I think it was simply too much, and wasn't prepared to pay, (or be handed a free licence to use it in return for a tutorial).

I am posting particularly now because I don't feel it is right for you to "have the last word" with respect to Carl, as below..
Balt wrote
Carl, no lasting offense taken. My wife wouldn't let you get away with this fauxpology though - "I apologise if what I said offended you". Alas, I am not my wife. ;
- Balt

Personally, I found your responses to polite and articulate posts rather high-handed, and, to be honest, a little offensive when it got to "toys" and "sandpits".
At no point, in my opinion, was Carl not entitled to make his remarks, and those that he did make were gracious, courteous and fair-minded.

If apologies are due then I don't think they should come from Carl.

Peter
« Last edit by Britjet on Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:11:45 +0000. »
Member
Registered: Jan 2013
Posts: 318
Location: YSSY
Dear Peter and Carl,

I don't think anyone should keep their mouths shut when it comes to voicing an opinion. Everyone's entitled to have one, and I in general am all for putting one's cards on the table, even if some beer gets spilt in the process. A healthy debate shouldn't kill anyone, and we all come out at the other end with a better understanding for each other's position, or so I hope.

My (perhaps) overly defensive reaction was the result of Carl's suggestion that I have plagiarised other people's work. He clarified that this was not how he meant it, so I'm happy to let it go. To aid your understanding of this situation: as a scientist, intellectual property is all we've got, so we learn to be fiercely defensive of any claim we can make - we have to as a matter of survival in fact. Carl is correct in his statement that I have received help with some PSX network protocol questions, but he fails to notice that my input to Hardy also has produced a better PSX with the ability now to simulate windshear in a much more accurate model than before. You give some, you receive some. I think the balance is there.

In the spirit of our last few messages, I'd also like to apologise if my reaction came across as high-handed, it wasn't meant to be.

In regards to the pricing, I have come up with an entirely different model now which accommodates a slightly feature reduced free edition, and the standard edition is $9.99 like all the other plugins. That amounts to 83 cents a month, and as it says on the website, I don't even know any place you can get a coffee for that little. And Peter, I do stand by my offer to give you a free license if you want to create a training video. Perhaps best if you register for a free license I can then issue a standard license with the same name/email manually.

It has become clear in this thread that all of us add-on developers are driven by the same desire to make PSX an even better sim than it already is. But it also has shown that we are taking a different approach to how we like to be thanked, and how committed we want to be to future support of our addons.

I like to read thankful messages from users appreciating my software as much as I appreciate them supporting my efforts with a small financial contribution. I was having dinner out with my wife shortly after releasing RealTraffic and when after dinner I saw that the first day of RealTraffic license sales just bought us dinner, that really made my day. My wife sends her thanks as well, she hand makes the icons for the plugins. I didn't have the heart to tell her that the RealTraffic body shape in the icon looks a little more like an A380 than a B744... and thank you all for not pointing it out either. :-)

Cheers

- Balt
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
(

Balt wrote
... but he fails to notice that my input to Hardy also has produced a better PSX with the ability now to simulate windshear in a much more accurate model than before.

I hope, by "more accurate" you mean "more flexible" :-) I don't think PSX's windshear program is inaccurate, but your add-on provides more flexible controls for a greater variety. Cheers, |-|ardy

)
Member
Registered: Jan 2013
Posts: 318
Location: YSSY
I didn't mean to suggest it was inaccurate before! More flexible is perhaps the word then... :)
Member
Registered: Dec 2009
Posts: 334
Location: KTPA
@Peter- Your kindness is noted and greatly appreciated.

@Balt- Thank-you, I wish you every success in your endeavors.

There are two things about this particular online community that I cherish....

First- its decency and acceptance- all too often missing in other anonymous/impersonal venues.

Second- The community's collective ability to share information- from Base Training Captain to aficionado and from Command Ground Engineer to neophyte.... all for the express purpose of fostering and promoting our common love- the 744, currently best expressed in PSX.

Best- C
Member
Registered: Dec 2010
Posts: 97
Location: London, UK
cavaricooper wrote
There are two things about this particular online community that I cherish....

First- its decency and acceptance- all too often missing in other anonymous/impersonal venues.

Second- The community's collective ability to share information- from Base Training Captain to aficionado and from Command Ground Engineer to neophyte.... all for the express purpose of fostering and promoting our common love- the 744, currently best expressed in PSX.


Well said, Carl. In my experience, this forum is unique. It is, indeed, to be cherished.

I contribute little as I recognise my limitations in comparison to those who know so much more. But despite that gap, this forum caters for everyone, no matter their experience or perspective. There is mutual respect shown by users and - as Carl says - decency. It is for that reason that any debate which appears heated seems so out of place on these pages.

I am grateful beyond words for the contributions made by so many on this forum. Long may this unique community continue.

Thank you.

744kid

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