Voxel Quest store is live, I need your help to determine what to sell

edited November 2014 in Announcements
http://www.voxelquest.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

Right now, just selling game keys in line with the schedule outlined in the KS campaign: $15 until this coming January, afterwards $20. I accidentally set it to $20 first, and I already sold 3 game keys (buyers have been notified and offered a slight refund).

So here is the question:
As outlined in the KS campaign, rewards I have given, including the badges, are going to be exclusive to the campaign. I am not selling any more slots to be in the game credits, that is locked out for the current backers only.

At the same time, I would like to continue selling some higher value items/tiers to allow people to back the game if they missed the KS and optionally contribute more money than is required for a game key. I might create some new badge types or come up with some other rewards, what do you guys think is appropriate?

Also, please note that there were a few people who could not use Kickstarter for one reason or another, so I want to give them some decent options.



THIS THREAD IS NOW CLOSED, HERE IS THE RESOLUTION:


I have decided to only sell two things, to be fair to prior backers:

1) Game keys / preorders (as discussed here and in the KS campaign). Keys do not include any badges.

2) Patronage subscriptions (small monthly subscription, with a few choices between $1-$10 per month) - patrons do not get any of the KS rewards/badges, but there are a few new badge types for patrons that anyone can get. Patrons get listed on the Voxel Quest website in the section called, appropriately enough, "Patrons" - this page is coming soon. They do not get credited everywhere else (see my other comment in this thread) like the $100+ tiers from the KS campaign.

Neither of these take too much effort to manage, and I think both are fair to current backers (feel free to post a new thread if you think either is for some reason unfair, or send me a message).
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Comments

  • Hello! Here is an idea: What about if people bought some sort of subscription to get sneak peeks or special screenshots unique to the subscribers (or something along those lines)? It wouldn't be a reward for everyone, but some people might be interested...
  • Mage said:

    Hello! Here is an idea: What about if people bought some sort of subscription to get sneak peeks or special screenshots unique to the subscribers (or something along those lines)? It wouldn't be a reward for everyone, but some people might be interested...

    No. Gavan should release development information to everyone or no one. Sorry. Having to pay a subscription to "get extra info" just seems wrong.
  • gavanw said:

    http://www.voxelquest.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

    Right now, just selling game keys in line with the schedule outlined in the KS campaign: $15 until this coming January, afterwards $20. I accidentally set it to $20 first, and I already sold 3 game keys (buyers have been notified and offered a slight refund).

    So here is the question:
    As outlined in the KS campaign, rewards I have given, including the badges, are going to be exclusive to the campaign. I am not selling any more slots to be in the game credits, that is locked out for the current backers only.

    At the same time, I would like to continue selling some higher value items/tiers to allow people to back the game if they missed the KS and optionally contribute more money than is required for a game key. I might create some new badge types or come up with some other rewards, what do you guys think is appropriate?

    Also, please note that there were a few people who could not use Kickstarter for one reason or another, so I want to give them some decent options.

    Well, your asking so..

    I don't really have a major issue with "keeping the kickstarter rewards running". Particularly for the short term to allow people who could not use the Kickstarter.

    However, you are really basically starting a pre-order for a game that won't be released for quite some time. If you going create NEW rewards and look for more money, it's kind of like opening a second Kickstarter, after meeting your goal for the first one. It seems a tad.. wrong?

    The idea of Kickstarter and having a goal, is that if you reach that goal your supposed to have enough money to complete the project. I have seen projects that keep going back for more, and they get this stigma attached to them.

    Early access is an option. Though I have had an issue with early access, at least people are getting something for their money. Particularly if the game is in a fairly advanced state.
  • edited November 2014
    +1 for early access.
    Edit : Ok forget it, the key in VQ store is already for alpha and beyond
  • what if you were to find a service to 3D print out sections of maps, like if someone wanted to use their VQ map as a real life war game table, that would be pretty cool

    ~Sly
  • Zanteogo said:

    Mage said:

    Hello! Here is an idea: What about if people bought some sort of subscription to get sneak peeks or special screenshots unique to the subscribers (or something along those lines)? It wouldn't be a reward for everyone, but some people might be interested...

    No. Gavan should release development information to everyone or no one. Sorry. Having to pay a subscription to "get extra info" just seems wrong.
    Not necessarily - some kickstarter projects (Limit Theory, for instance) has special tiers that give you extra information as the game goes along - in LT's case it's the Elder Council.

    In this case, though... Gavan plans to stream progress on Twitch and upload occasional YouTube videos, so it won't really work. :P

    As to what you could sell... I can't really think of anything besides physical rewards such as T-shirts, and, perhaps, the VQ soundtrack when it's done.
  • edited November 2014
    Gavan, as long as you don't undercut the value of the items talked about in your kickstarter, I believe you can do anything you want with the store.

    You're main mission right now is to stay viable, stay energized, finish the game, and make it worth you're while as you do it.

    Maybe just duplicate the items you liked the most from the kickstarter, and up the cost a bit so the kickstarter backers feel like they benefited by backing you early.

    I really think you shouldn't limit the people who want to back you to only being able to do it during a kickstarter. A lot of people haven't even heard of Voxel Quest yet and I'd hate to turn them away just because they aren't up on the coolest, latest stuff like we are :)

  • edited November 2014

    You're main mission right now is to stay viable, stay energized, finish the game

    This part I massively agree with.

    If your looking for funds before "release" the most honest way after a Kickstarter is to release an early access once the game gets to a certain point.

    Again, I have issues with the whole early access system, but understand in a responsible developer hands it can be a win-win tool.

  • Talvieno said:

    Zanteogo said:

    Mage said:

    Hello! Here is an idea: What about if people bought some sort of subscription to get sneak peeks or special screenshots unique to the subscribers (or something along those lines)? It wouldn't be a reward for everyone, but some people might be interested...

    No. Gavan should release development information to everyone or no one. Sorry. Having to pay a subscription to "get extra info" just seems wrong.
    Not necessarily - some kickstarter projects (Limit Theory, for instance) has special tiers that give you extra information as the game goes along - in LT's case it's the Elder Council.

    In this case, though... Gavan plans to stream progress on Twitch and upload occasional YouTube videos, so it won't really work. :P

    As to what you could sell... I can't really think of anything besides physical rewards such as T-shirts, and, perhaps, the VQ soundtrack when it's done.
    Two things my friend;

    1) Gavan never had anything similar to the elder council during his kickstarter. To go back now and ask for more money for more information would be wrong on so many levels.

    2) I actually don't really agree with Josh's Elder Council system. HOWEVR, being as it cost them a thousand dollars a pop... I kind of, SORT OF, understand.
  • Zanteogo said:


    Two things my friend;

    1) Gavan never had anything similar to the elder council during his kickstarter. To go back now and ask for more money for more information would be wrong on so many levels.

    2) I actually don't really agree with Josh's Elder Council system. HOWEVR, being as it cost them a thousand dollars a pop... I kind of, SORT OF, understand.

    Fair enough. :) I don't honestly think that those would be the right choices for VQ anyway, so I'd be perfectly happy if nothing of the sort ever happened.
  • Some good suggestions in here, however a "pay for information privilege" I consider highly unethical. Therefore this will definitely not be going into the store. Published information is provided to all people, regardless of backing level or even if they are non-backers. The rest will be discussed in our weekly call (Wednesday).
  • Pain said:

    Some good suggestions in here, however a "pay for information privilege" I consider highly unethical. Therefore this will definitely not be going into the store. Published information is provided to all people, regardless of backing level or even if they are non-backers. The rest will be discussed in our weekly call (Wednesday).

    I'm glad your taking ethics into account here. I have seen what started off as a new golden age of games, slowly decline from developers trying to rake in their core funds well before the game is ready to be released.

    I'm not referring to Kickstarters, they are honest. Give money so some indie maker can possibly make something great.

    It started with pre-ordering and is ending with early access. Developers are losing financial will to actually finish projects. If you collect well more than half of your funds before being close to finished, it's hard to, well, finish.

    It used to be release day was when everyone cashed in. Almost all revenue depended on that single day and the month that followed. Investors would understand that no money would be produced until THAT stage. Now projects are collecting early, they expect money early.

    Guess what happens when funds run out BEFORE the end. An investor has little reason to give more cash now. He knows the bulk of it has already been collected.

    Space Engineers has just recently jumped the gap to early access retail. So basically we will be seeing early access in boxes and on the likes of Amazon now. At first the Amazon didn't even say early access. I raised a massive stink about it and now it does, near the bottom, in regular sized print, with a bunch of other text...



  • edited November 2014
    Talvieno said:

    Zanteogo said:


    Two things my friend;

    1) Gavan never had anything similar to the elder council during his kickstarter. To go back now and ask for more money for more information would be wrong on so many levels.

    2) I actually don't really agree with Josh's Elder Council system. HOWEVR, being as it cost them a thousand dollars a pop... I kind of, SORT OF, understand.

    Fair enough. :) I don't honestly think that those would be the right choices for VQ anyway, so I'd be perfectly happy if nothing of the sort ever happened.
    Though to give Josh credit, he has outright refused any and all funds after his Kickstarter ended. He has also stated that he will not do early access.

    His Kickstarter was funded, the whole point of meeting his goal was that that goal was enough to fund the project.

    I have to give Josh credit were credit is due.

  • How about having their names in plot/random NPCs? Not like it take too much time, and it's always fun playing the game:"Hey look theres my NPC, because i helped they gave my name to it, how cool is that!"

    That might not just limited to NPC names. Zones, towns, itens, theres alot of content that can easily be references to the good folks that helped.

    What would be really cool(but might be too much time consuming) is allow suporters to design areas like towns or castles. I would imagine that it would take a significant time to discuss what could and could not be done, describing every detail, and the whole back and forth talk so i would recommend only top donations have access to this.

    Another thing that might be fun is DLC packs. Like vanity itens(cloths and other aspect modifiers), dyes, social itens(snowballs, beach balls, umbrelllas), portraits and sprites.
    What do you guys think?
  • Ukrany said:

    How about having their names in plot/random NPCs? Not like it take too much time, and it's always fun playing the game:"Hey look theres my NPC, because i helped they gave my name to it, how cool is that!"

    That might not just limited to NPC names. Zones, towns, itens, theres alot of content that can easily be references to the good folks that helped.
    .?

    It was already offered as a Kickstarter reward. Though like I said above, I myself personally, have no issue with extending the Kickstarter rewards in the short term to allowed people who could not get in. However there is a point you start to cross the lines of ethics. (someone could ask WHY they rushed to fund before the deadline)
    Ukrany said:

    What would be really cool(but might be too much time consuming) is allow suporters to design areas like towns or castles. I would imagine that it would take a significant time to discuss what could and could not be done, describing every detail, and the whole back and forth talk so i would recommend only top donations have access to this.?

    I was under the impression the core game would be procedurally generated. So you can't really design such stuff. Though it is possible to make maps after the fact. (think minecraft)
    Ukrany said:

    Another thing that might be fun is DLC packs. Like vanity itens(cloths and other aspect modifiers), dyes, social itens(snowballs, beach balls, umbrelllas), portraits and sprites.

    I am alright with large scale DLC, however nickel and dime DLC is just horrible. Small things should just be added free during patches.

  • Zanteogo said:

    I am alright with large scale DLC, however nickel and dime DLC is just horrible. Small things should just be added free during patches.

    Hear, Hear

  • Pain said:

    Some good suggestions in here, however a "pay for information privilege" I consider highly unethical. Therefore this will definitely not be going into the store. Published information is provided to all people, regardless of backing level or even if they are non-backers. The rest will be discussed in our weekly call (Wednesday).

    Okay...maybe that extra information wasn't such a good idea...
    Zanteogo said:

    I don't really have a major issue with "keeping the kickstarter rewards running". Particularly for the short term to allow people who could not use the Kickstarter.

    I agree with Zanteogo here, I don't mind this either. I think you could give away more vote tokens (perhaps just a limited amout, ex. 5 per unique buyer, and you would only sell 200). If your main concern is that you want people who contributed with the Kickstarter campaign to get exclusive rewards for their support, and you think that it would be unfair to give others the same rewards...then you could do some sort of...poll? Survey? You could do a backer update, or send an email to all backers another way, asking them if it would be okay to sell some things that you sold in the Kickstarter campaign.

    If your main concern is that you don't want to give away more of the rewards that you gave in the Kickstarter campaign, because of any other reason than the one previously stated...then you can just ignore what I said... ;)
  • Another idea is use patreon to enable supporters to encourage updates on the game without hindering information flow. It's basically a volunteer subscription, where everything (such as youtube updates) is public, but people who want to help out commit to pay a small price per update - it could be $1 per update.

    I'm not really an expert on patreon, but this is what I've heard about it, and I thought it might work here. I like the idea that @gavanw stays focused on the game, so paying for updates on the game seems like one way to achieve that.
  • edited November 2014
    Zanteogo said:


    Well, your asking so..

    I don't really have a major issue with "keeping the kickstarter rewards running". Particularly for the short term to allow people who could not use the Kickstarter.

    However, you are really basically starting a pre-order for a game that won't be released for quite some time. If you going create NEW rewards and look for more money, it's kind of like opening a second Kickstarter, after meeting your goal for the first one. It seems a tad.. wrong?

    The idea of Kickstarter and having a goal, is that if you reach that goal your supposed to have enough money to complete the project. I have seen projects that keep going back for more, and they get this stigma attached to them.

    Early access is an option. Though I have had an issue with early access, at least people are getting something for their money. Particularly if the game is in a fairly advanced state.

    @Zanteogo‌ - thanks, I had not even considered these points.

    First of all, let me preface by saying I am not going to, and would never do, anything you guys considered unethical. That's why I'm asking for your input. :)

    You might very well be right about the new rewards / new kickstarter, but at minimum I think it is fine to sell game keys / preorders for the following reasons:

    1) In the Kickstarter, I already mentioned I would be selling keys as outlined in the pricing schedule.

    2) The stance I generally take towards KS money: you should be able to deliver what you say you will for the amount of money raised. In my case, I notified people that I would attempt to get the game to early access, and otherwise might be able to fill any financial holes with additional money @Pain‌ has saved, and (in more or less words) find ways to bootstrap the game to get it to gold/shipped, in the very worst scenario taking money from an external investor - but we want to avoid this at all costs.

    3) Many people simply were not aware of the Kickstarter, or could not use the site for various reasons.

    4) We need to ensure the survival and private ownership of this project, and ideally we need to start accelerating funding so I can get more people on the team eventually. If we can do that without undermining the KS rewards that are given out, I think this is good for everyone.

    5) Additional preorders will not hurt current backers from KS, only help their cause. It is up to the consumer whether or not to decide if they want to preorder (and really I should include a disclaimer with any risks, which I will do when I get a moment).

    6) Additionally, as the project advances, some people might gain faith and decide to contribute more, or might not have had much money available at the time of the campaign.


    So, that said, there are some people out there who will happen on this project and want to give more than the $15-$20 for a game key - I would like to reward them for their additional contributions without giving away anything that would devalue current KS reward tiers. This means: no in-game credits, no vote tokens, no design passes, etc (edit: also as noted in the campaign, current badges are exclusive to the campaign, but there might be an option for new badge types to sell outside of the campaign if you guys are ok with that).


    So the TL;DR is what (if anything) can we sell to reward the continued funding of this project without devaluing the contributions of KS backers? I'm actually ok if its just a game key that we can sell.
  • selling more game keys/preorders is fine. Most kickstarters do that, there is no reason to keep people from preordering just because they missed the campaign. It is the additional tiers that get thorny. one option that may be acceptable is to have the same tiers, but at a higher cost.
  • Also, one added note - I will never do "pay to view" content and I will never do "DLC" -- users purchase one key, and they all get the same game, same community, and same information. :)
  • edited November 2014
    gavanw said:

    Also, one added note - I will never do "pay to view" content and I will never do "DLC" -- users purchase one key, and they all get the same game, same community, and same information. :)

    I respect that you want to keep such a low "barrier to entry," and I think that sort of business model will draw many, many potential players.

    I'm not too big a fan of selling small cosmetic additions--the League of Legends or Team Fortress models don't appeal to me. People should get meaningful content beyond a simple skin change or a hat, seeing as they'd presumably be giving more than a couple of bucks.

    Other than from additions to VQ, what sorts of services do you have to offer? Toady from DF draws pictures/writes stories and sends them to people. I believe Josh from LT added custom features to VQ (but that was for higher tiers, I believe) and offered copies of some of his early notes.

    Measure it in $ per hour. Say for a low estimate your work is worth $40 an hour, so you charge $50. What can you do in half an hour or less that somebody would be interested in, for $25 extra? An hour, $50 extra? Two hours, $100 extra? Can you model a custom character? Add a different menu? Change the look of something, add in a custom option? Or write thank-you notes or sign posters, I don't know. :) Maybe put together some desktop backgrounds or 3D print character models.

    Though I'm undoubtedly a slower coder than you, I'd be willing to volunteer some hours to do some coding additions. It'd give me practice with C++ and the engine, and while I can't contribute much money to VQ, I'm happy to donate my time if it means that VQ gets the funding it needs to continue development. I'm a student, I have summers off!
  • @PreacherJayne‌ - interesting to break it down in terms of services and $/hour. Unfortunately, most interesting tasks quiet a few hours to accomplish anything, so not sure if anyone is willing to shell out $500+ for some game addition or other service. :/
  • @gavanw They don't necessarily need to be coding services. How good an artist are you? :P Haha
  • @gavanw They don't necessarily need to be coding services. How good an artist are you? :P Haha

    I'm an "ok" artist - but I would still prefer to implement things that benefit everyone, as my limited time must be put to good use. :)
  • @gavanw
    Well, how about "stretch goals"? Put up a running counter and a list of community requested features (perhaps ordered by their popularity from the vote tokens), and for every x thousand dollars you add a feature? This directly encourages people to contribute towards development, allows you to work on meaningful updates, and everyone wins. Start with the extra 5k from the Kickstarter and list the next few bonus features you'd add.

    You'd have to be careful to make it clear that these are bonus goals--the game is getting made in its entirety no matter what. If people keep paying you, you keep doing cool things with VQ. If, millions upon millions of dollars later, you somehow stop getting paid, you're free to enjoy your riches in the Bahamas!
  • edited November 2014
    @PreacherJayne

    Yeah - I have said to be against stretch goals in the past, but I am ok with fundraising goals - i.e. we should try to raise $X this month/year/etc - or we should try to raise $Y to hire someone for this role. Even something as small as paying for my software and hosting costs, which are currently over $100/month between all sites and services that I use (including paying for these forums, my Adobe cloud subscription, my domains and web hosting, etc).
  • @gavanw
    I reckon these would count more as rewards for fundraising goals--synchronous multiplayer, game physics, more complex procedurally generated things like giant multistory castles or towns, rideable dragons, etc. I don't know if you'd be interested in implementing these as rewards or instead stick to a planned feature list to be implemented whenever.
  • @PreacherJayne‌ Not necessarily against such things, but first a full, working game must be there, then we can consider stretch goals if needed - I'm guessing that by that point we will have sufficient funding to add new features without charging the community extra :)
  • edited November 2014
    @gavanw
    How opposed are you to physical rewards? A printed book, possibly signed, that chronicles the development of Voxel Quest with pictures would be pretty sweet IMO.
This discussion has been closed.