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Acorn Arcade forums: Games: Advertising
 
  Advertising
  This is a long thread. Click here to view the threaded list.
 
Andrew Message #84985, posted by andreww at 23:06, 9/12/2000
AA refugee
Posts: 555
I seem to recall VOTI saying that they would only announce releases to Drobe as Acorn Arcade had distorted news articles regarding the group in the past.
Maybe iSV will put an advert in Acorn User, perhaps the most effective advertising means of all of advertising?

Andrew

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Nathan Message #84986, posted by Wrath at 23:40, 9/12/2000, in reply to message #84985
Member
Posts: 154
Where do I start?
I agree that companies should give a hint in the markets present state of what they are working on, even something from Pace saying, "Something good is happening" would be useful BUT....the number of people who go on about vapourware stops developers saying much about their products before release as it could all fall foul and that's not what the market needs. See Phoebe as an extreme example.

VOTI's stance is that we tell people as much as we can about our projects as, currently, if we didn't the games market *would* be seen as dead although a few people don't know who the hell we are.
After final release we now dislike the practise of handing out free copies. Why? Because (and I ain't pointing any fingers and no names) since the RO world is close-knit there *is* piracy. I know a few people with an illegal copy of SunBurst as a result of this. Maybe we should dish out NDA's but I find that most know-alls know "people in the know" and get a free copy anyhow.
All we need is for a few copies of SunBurst getting copied and we lose out, hence why free copies aren't dished out readily I presume although I can only speculate.

Also, the fatal dealings in giving anyone beta-copies due to the above. The decent copies of EMD beta-test are in trustworthy hands but I bet if I started handing it out to news sites, within a matter of days people will have copies, this isn't an open source movement.

I see most RO users saying, "Yeah, right. Excuses, excuses Nathan." All I can say is *You* release something to people to review and see how far you get.

Re: isv. All was a bit of a problem as it was a rush job to get anything decided, the final CD package was not concluded until *just* before the show. I agree that the post could be more informative so I have done my utmost to set everyone straight. If I have done a bad job then so be it.

I can say that I do feel personally attacked by this, don't know if this was the intention or not but due to me in charge of VOTI dealings and being probably the main games producer for the market I act on my feelings and what I would expect.

If I was to announce a cool game, say a brand-new version of Elite with bells and whistles and then it vanished, I would get more hatemail than Bill Gates, easier to give out few comments. Unfortunately an early blatent news release about Chaos Engine (not AA's fault by any means) meant that Chaos Engine may never have been released. Lucky it was.

I have actively put groups together, helped out people, learned from my mistakes, met industry contacts and met the dodgy people never to speak to. I *do* reckon that bad news postings just to newsgroups is wrong and I don't do that. Recently I haven't had anything spectular to announce so have just done it off the VOTI web-site.

If I have spectular news then, although it sounds lazy, I hate copying every web-site into an email and mailing it although easier now since it's only, AA, Drobe and Acorn-Gaming, Ro.net and RO.org isn't updated much.

Please let me know if I have let anyone down, if anyone wants to email me and ask questions then that's okay. I do feel like I do give helpful information to any questions asked of me, if I don't then please get in touch.


Goodbye.

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Tim Fountain Message #84987, posted by tfountain at 07:59, 10/12/2000, in reply to message #84986
AA refugee
Posts: 59
After final release we now dislike the practise of handing out free copies. Why? Because (and I ain't pointing any fingers and no names) since the RO world is close-knit there *is* piracy. I know a few people with an illegal copy of SunBurst as a result of this.

But why should review copies be pirated any more than normal copies of a game? I'm afraid this goes back to my "shooting themselves in the foot" point. If you're so afraid of piracy that your way of dealing with it involves a vast reduction in the amount of publicity your game gets...

Also, the fatal dealings in giving anyone beta-copies due to the above. The decent copies of EMD beta-test are in trustworthy hands but I bet if I started handing it out to news sites, within a matter of days people will have copies, this isn't an open source movement.

There's obviously a trust problem here. Is there any way I can help change your mind? It can be quite difficult to write much for a preview based on a few paragraphs from a website and a couple of screenshots, obviously you can't say anything about gameplay which is what people are (or should be!) most interested in anyway. However, if you have a test copy of the game in question then there's a hell of a lot more to write, and that can only help the producers in the long run.

Re: isv. All was a bit of a problem as it was a rush job to get anything decided, the final CD package was not concluded until *just* before the show.

But you didn't have to wait until the CD packaging was finished before announcing the game or at least releasing some information about it. Okay so this packaging problem may have affected whether it was released at the show or not, but you could have said this in the announcement.

Out of all the people who went to the Midlands show how many do you think knew about the CD and were looking out for it? Now what if you'd released some information and screenshots a couple of weeks before, and then formally announced the CD 3 or 4 days before the show. How many more people would have been looking out for it then?

As Andrew said, if iSV are planning an advert in AU then I'm sure that'll get you quite a few orders. But although obviously I have no official readership figures for Acorn User, if AA gets a few hundred visits a day, how many different visitors do you think that adds up to over the period of a month? I can't imagine it's that far short of AU's readership, and it could be more. So there's a large extra audience who you could have been advertising to for free that you've missed out on.

I can say that I do feel personally attacked by this, don't know if this was the intention or not but due to me in charge of VOTI dealings and being probably the main games producer for the market I act on my feelings and what I would expect.

Personal attack was not the purpose of the article. I've picked on iSV and ProAction only because they're recent examples that'll be fresh in people's minds. I think this problem affects all the RISC OS games companies to a certain extent, but in different ways.

VOTI are extremely good at keeping their website updated, and you're the only company who puts information about games in development on your website and keeps it regularly updated. This is a good thing. So many RISC OS company websites are underused and poorly designed, which makes them rather pointless.

If I was to announce a cool game, say a brand-new version of Elite with bells and whistles and then it vanished, I would get more hatemail than Bill Gates, easier to give out few comments.

It may be easier, but is it wiser? If the game hadn't vanished and was released, how many sales would you have missed out on by keeping quiet?

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Nathan Message #84988, posted by Wrath at 11:08, 10/12/2000, in reply to message #84987
Member
Posts: 154
But why should review copies be pirated any more than normal copies of a game? I'm afraid this goes back to my "shooting themselves in the foot" point. If you're so afraid of piracy that your way of dealing with it involves a vast reduction in the amount of publicity your game gets...

Unfortunately 1 unit is RO games terms is a large percentage and if companies can stop 1 unit of piracy then that's something. All copies, review or normal are pirated and we need to stop this as much as possible. As for reducing publicity I'm pretty sure I haven't done that, there is no room to keep quiet so the VOTI site is updated as much as possible.

There's obviously a trust problem here. Is there any way I can help change your mind? It can be quite difficult to write much for a preview based on a few paragraphs from a website and a couple of screenshots, obviously you can't say anything about gameplay which is what people are (or should be!) most interested in anyway. However, if you have a test copy of the game in question then there's a hell of a lot more to write, and that can only help the producers in the long run.

I've seen test copies reviewed and basically it was a slagging off session. Even if the producer says that it's *very* basic then it still gets slagged off and people are loathe to do this. I don't want anyone reviewing EMD as it still isn't in a form that comes close to what it should be, only the basic car handling is set.

Anyway around this? Really, the only way around this is to show you a copy at a RISC OS show.

But you didn't have to wait until the CD packaging was finished before announcing the game or at least releasing some information about it. Okay so this packaging problem may have affected whether it was released at the show or not, but you could have said this in the announcement.

It wasn't the packaging it was what to include. It was meant to have SF and Air Supremacy on it but AS didn't work by the Thursday and we only had SF. We needed something fast and I managed to get SunBurst on there but didn't know if AS was going to make it. Hence why I couldn't give anything out for certain and hence why no post was made. Mind you, from what I heard it was an appalling show, dead as a door nail, noone there so advertising for the show obviously wasn't done properly.

Out of all the people who went to the Midlands show how many do you think knew about the CD and were looking out for it? Now what if you'd released some information and screenshots a couple of weeks before, and then formally announced the CD 3 or 4 days before the show. How many more people would have been looking out for it then?

Hardly anyone went to the show anyway but we couldn't announce a price until the other games were decided. If it was only SF then it may have been a tenner but it wasn't. It was all hurried to get the package done and was basically just finalised just before the show, in any case I had little to do with this, I was only behind getting SF and SB on it.
Why no screenshots? I didn't know it was to be released for the show until the week before and new versions were reaching my inbox every 12 hours so I couldn't have done anything.
Due to it not being a release by me then I couldn't give too much away unless it was incorrect, as soon as I saw the news posting then I could act on it.
Anyways, the post wasn't mine so I can't really say anything about it.

As Andrew said, if iSV are planning an advert in AU then I'm sure that'll get you quite a few orders. But although obviously I have no official readership figures for Acorn User, if AA gets a few hundred visits a day, how many different visitors do you think that adds up to over the period of a month? I can't imagine it's that far short of AU's readership, and it could be more. So there's a large extra audience who you could have been advertising to for free that you've missed out on.

As I said above, I am not in charge of publicity for this as it is isv and I am not part of isv. the publicity wasn't/isn't part of the deal, I got SF and SB done and that's what I was there for. Any advertising is up to isv. Also, SF wasn't meant to have bells and whistles, the sole purpose was to re-release it as there were no stocks left.
I can be pretty safe and say that VOTI would have done it differently but due to the speed that was needed I didn't know the finalised package until posted.

Personal attack was not the purpose of the article. I've picked on iSV and ProAction only because they're recent examples that'll be fresh in people's minds. I think this problem affects all the RISC OS games companies to a certain extent, but in different ways.

Not many then wink

VOTI are extremely good at keeping their website updated, and you're the only company who puts information about games in development on your website and keeps it regularly updated. This is a good thing. So many RISC OS company websites are underused and poorly designed, which makes them rather pointless.

Thank you, much appreciated. The only reason we put future stuff on the site is due to the fact that there are so few games producers now that we feel that if we kept our doors closed the scene would be effectively dead.

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Tim Brook Message #84989, posted by kick52 at 12:40, 10/12/2000, in reply to message #84988
Member
Posts: 87
Duplicate message removed

[Edited by 1 at 16:08, 10/12/2000. ]
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Tim Brook Message #84990, posted by kick52 at 12:47, 10/12/2000, in reply to message #84989
Member
Posts: 87
Hmm, something didn't quite go as it should have!

Good job Tim, these are words long overdue.

The problem unfortunately doesn't stop with games developers but many companies creating various applications should take look at their promotional work and see if anyone ever really notices it. Far too many developers only announce new software or new versions of their software on their websites that no one ever visits. I know that my personal website attracts more visitors a month than some of the companies get a whole year (judging by the counters on the sites) and it's not linked to from anywhere and has little or nothing on it.

Same problem lies with many shareware and freeware developers. I keep running into software that I've never heard of although I regularly visit most of the news sites and subscribe to the biweekly ANS newsletter. Shareware and freeware developers have several ways of promoting their software, such as the RISC OS Filebase but no one seems to be bothered. If developers went about letting people now about their products maybe someone would start using them!

Nathan, I think you've done an excellent job letting people know that VOTI is still at it and I wish more would do the same. A small announcement that gets posted to the newsgroups isn't all that hard to send to other resources as well.

I fully understand people being frustrated about announcements of software / hardware that never shows up but complete silence even after it's been released is a bit too cautios. No signs of life from companies has the tendency to be interpreted as it being dead. Even a small announcement from companies every now and then just saying that they're working on their software or developing new software would greatly improve the users' faith even though no details would be released at that time but once the software has been released there's no excuse for not telling people about it, why it's so wonderful and why the new version is so much better than the earlier one.
Even the occasional bug fix could be announced just so people know that the software is being supported but not completely dead.

I think part of the problem is that many developers, specially the smaller ones, tend to take critisism too personally and therefore avoid sending announcements to news sites, magazines and mailing lists that have given their software a bad review. People will have to be ready for their work to be criticized and reviewers must be allowed to give software a bad review if it deserves it - otherwise how would the software improve?

4


[Edited by 4 at 12:49, 10/12/2000]

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fwibbler Message #84991, posted by fwibbler at 13:19, 10/12/2000, in reply to message #84990
fwibbler

Posts: 320
It would seem then, that a lot of the reasons for the lack of info and advertising of SF3000 was due to it being rushed into release just for the Midlands show.

Was it worth it?
Would it not have been better to get everything finalised properly, get the presentaion and packaging sorted, submit copies for review to websites and Magazines, and release the game a couple of weeks later in time for Christmas?

The lack of advertising affects just about every aspect of the RISCOS world at the moment.

Speak to the average person in the street who is looking to buy their first computer, and I'm sure they won't even know that RISCOS and it's related companies exist!

If you didn't buy the Acorn magazines or goto the websites, would know about the existnce of it?
I wouldn't.

I've not seen a single advertisement from ANY of the Computer manufacturers anywhere.

This must change soon!

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Nathan Message #84992, posted by Wrath at 14:52, 10/12/2000, in reply to message #84991
Member
Posts: 154
Same problem lies with many shareware and freeware developers. I keep running into software that I've never heard of although I regularly visit most of the news sites and subscribe to the biweekly http://www.acornusers.org/ans">ANS newsletter. Shareware and freeware developers have several ways of promoting their software, such as the http://filebase.acornusers.org/">RISC OS Filebase but no one seems to be bothered. If developers went about letting people now about their products maybe someone would start using them!

Problem is that developers such as myself, fair enough we can keep abreast of news sites now that most are not updated but the ones where we have to submit our software, there are too many that aren't advertised themselves. Also they always say that they would prefer developers to upload their software to them rather than give them a link. I'm sick of uploading Megs of data and don't know how many there are now.

I fully understand people being frustrated about announcements of software / hardware that never shows up but complete silence even after it's been released is a bit too cautios. No signs of life from companies has the tendency to be interpreted as it being dead. Even a small announcement from companies every now and then just saying that they're working on their software or developing new software would greatly improve the users' faith even though no details would be released at that time but once the software has been released there's no excuse for not telling people about it, why it's so wonderful and why the new version is so much better than the earlier one.


But I thought this was one of the criticisms that not enough info is given out. In light of the ast I am not surprised developers keep their gobs shut, I don't believe it to be fair myself but can understand it.

I think part of the problem is that many developers, specially the smaller ones, tend to take critisism too personally and therefore avoid sending announcements to news sites, magazines and mailing lists that have given their software a bad review. People will have to be ready for their work to be criticized and reviewers must be allowed to give software a bad review if it deserves it - otherwise how would the software improve?

Good point. I hit this all too often. Picture this, you are a sole coder, you knock up a game and it gets slagged off completely. The majority of people would not bother writing another one. A group such as VOTI is slightly difference because we have a harder shell but a lot of games programmers are sole coders. Bad unconstructive criticism kills software in RO land and most of it comes from complete tossers with no regard for the scene.
I try to save a lot of developers from leaving the scene because their software has been slagged off.

All you need is one stupid person and you can lose a decent bit of software. I suppose this links to my article.

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Nathan Message #84993, posted by Wrath at 15:02, 10/12/2000, in reply to message #84992
Member
Posts: 154
It would seem then, that a lot of the reasons for the lack of info and advertising of SF3000 was due to it being rushed into release just for the Midlands show.

Was it worth it?
Would it not have been better to get everything finalised properly, get the presentaion and packaging sorted, submit copies for review to websites and Magazines, and release the game a couple of weeks later in time for Christmas?

The reason was to get the CD at a show to get some monies as soon as possible. The final, final version will be done, hopefully, this week. All that will change is a few graphical changes. Adverts are lined up for AU.

Many people don't realise how full-time developers live on a shoe-string, RO land is miniscule and, to be honest, not worth bothering with. VOTI do everything in their spare time and hence why release dates aren't forthcoming because we don't know and we do feel pressurised due to their being so few developers currently. Luckily we don't do it for a living as we'd certainly die. We also don't know how long we will be around for as spare time gets smaller.

I don't really want to answer any comments about SF Other Worlds/isv Products as I am not responsible for the commerciality of it or the advertising. I do find it necessary to stick up for isv as I know how much of a problem it was. Any queries then pass them to isv.

The lack of advertising affects just about every aspect of the RISCOS world at the moment.

This problem has occurred since the dawn of Acorn. First off the problem is cash, RO market has no cash in it whatsoever. No standard computer owner would be interested in RO as the Windows programs have more functionality and are tied together. RO programs tend to be wishy-washy, few choices to buy from and so few programs.

And this is the chicken/egg saga, no users, no companies but you can't attract companies without users nor the users without the companies.

RO land is chicken feed, no company is bothered with us, hopefully Pace have it set to change that.

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Lee Johnston Message #84994, posted by johnstlr at 16:23, 10/12/2000, in reply to message #84993
Member
Posts: 193
It seems that people are divided on the amount of publicity that should be forthcoming so here are my comments on the subject.

Firstly I doubt Nathan could've done anything more concerning the SF re-release. Given that the CDs contents weren't finalised until so late in the day it would've been wrong to advertise it. However perhaps ISV shouldn't have rushed it out. The problem is that by the time the next issue of Acorn User (or Archive etc etc) came out then they would've missed the Xmas rush (yes, both people cool )

There are reasons why announcements shouldn't be made though. I don't know if anyone remembers Sunflower, but that was an attempt to breathe life back into the games scene by creating a fully extensible game creation environment accessible through SWIs (ie module based). The website appeared, there were comments saying certain vendors were offering support and a few postings on newsgroups.

Now, I thought all this was a bit premature and I was annoyed. Why? Because I had pledged my Warp graphics engine to it. At this point Warp was a basic rasterisation layer offering sprites and flat / shaded / texture mapped polygons on every machine from RISC OS 3.1 and up. The API was a kind of hybrid of Glide, OpenGL and DirectX. However it wasn't (and still isn't) in a state to be formally announced and I didn't want people bombing my mailbox about something which, at the time, I couldn't guarantee to finish. Fortunately this didn't happen but, for several reasons, Sunflower died, I lost access to all the people who were providing me feedback through the mailing lists and I never saw the plug-in protocol for the system. This was after I'd done a fair amount of work to Warp to enable it to be used in a desktop environment at Sunflowers request - something I wasn't going to do as it took a lot of time.

In this respect I don't think Sunflower should've had even the small profile that it had. Because of this I now won't announce any of my plans until I can show something. I don't want to be accused of writing vapourware.

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Andrew Message #84995, posted by andreww at 20:50, 10/12/2000, in reply to message #84994
AA refugee
Posts: 555
So what is the answer I wonder.
You might want to keep people updated to remind them that there is activity in the scene but at the same time you don't want to make promises when there's no certainty of being able to complete projects.
It would be foolish then to evenset a target for the game I've been working on as it's done in spare time and as Nathan says because of limiting time, nobody in VOTI or associated with it knows how much longer they can carry on at any given point. This is the nature of part-time projects I suppose. So obviously you've got to be clear of the motives for doing the project and just try to make clear that it's being done in spare time so you can't make firm committments to a release.
Maybe I'll add somekind of message to this effect on the site as it seems to be the resposible thing to do.
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Shane Message #84996, posted by Ramuh at 15:20, 11/12/2000, in reply to message #84995
AA refugee
Posts: 35
Here's an analogy....

Omega. There's been a fair amount of advertising, and we all know what it's supposed to do but...

Has anyone seen one running ? (Come to that, has anyone asked the question about who's done the work to make the USB and PCI cards run and xScale to work etc etc, but that's another story...)

What damage will it do if it never appears ? Similarly, what damage does a game do if it never appears ? Can we afford, with the small number of games being released to actually wait for a long advertising campaign ? After all, did it actually do iSV any harm to release the game at the Midlands show ? They can always do more advertising afterwards, but in order to get *some* exposure to the product given the short time between completion and the show, was their decision to do what they did wrong ?

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Lee Johnston Message #84997, posted by johnstlr at 16:21, 11/12/2000, in reply to message #84996
Member
Posts: 193
Here's an analogy....

Omega. There's been a fair amount of advertising, and we all know what it's supposed to do but...

Has anyone seen one running ? (Come to that, has anyone asked the question about who's done the work to make the USB and PCI cards run and xScale to work etc etc, but that's another story...)

Getting XScale to work is really the domain of Pace and RISC OS Ltd. Personally I think Pace must have some plans as I can't imagine them wanting to rely on the ARM7500 forever.

As for USB and PCI that's a very good question and one that has been asked of them (I've even asked) and, as far as I'm aware, there have been no definite comments beyond Microdigital themselves working on a PCI Ethernet and SCSI card.

In contrast IIRC at Epsom Roy Heslop stated they had developers working on support for USB peripherals for the laptop. He wouldn't say precisely what was being worked on for NDA reasons but I've no reason to doubt him. This is one area where RiscStation and Microdigital really should be working together.

What damage will it do if it never appears ?

I would imagine quite a lot - probably more than Phoebe given our current precarious state. However I do expect it to appear but I'm not prepared to put money down on a product I can't find anything out about beyond the website.

Similarly, what damage does a game do if it never appears ? Can we afford, with the small number of games being released to actually wait for a long advertising campaign ? After all, did it actually do iSV any harm to release the game at the Midlands show ? They can always do more advertising afterwards, but in order to get *some* exposure to the product given the short time between completion and the show, was their decision to do what they did wrong ?

I imagine a game not being released would do less harm - we're "only" talking about entertainment here and not a hardware product that is essential to start moving the market forwards again. That wouldn't make it right though.

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Nathan Message #84998, posted by Wrath at 17:58, 11/12/2000, in reply to message #84997
Member
Posts: 154
Firstly, the supreme example of vapourware is Phoebe and that got rid of a lot of users.

Secondly, relating to Andrew's query, basically, to be harsh and brutely honest:

"You can't please everyone."

Some people want notices about products as they are being developed.

Other people would rather see publicity when the item in question is ready for release.

Two sides to the coin and I am working my ass off (so much so I have no free time and my girlfriend is supremely pissed off) for this market and trying to please every angle but you can't.

Finito.

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Owain Cole (VotI) Message #84999, posted by owaincole at 13:49, 13/12/2000, in reply to message #84998
AA refugee
Posts: 8
I'd have a agree with Nathan in that you certainly can't please everybody. I for one like to err on the side of caution with press releases, unless a game has had a certain amount of effort put into it. Why? Mainly because I know that ideas go sour after a time, or genres which seem workable get tired and old quite quickley, or just the developers can't be a**ed any more.
A little example for you all:

Remember Bloody Hands? It started life as a little demo thing I got up and running with a few pre-rendered 3D graphics on a tile based land with different heights and the like. It looked ok at first sight, a little rough perhaps. Unfortunatly there was a little misunderstandning between myself and Nathan and he stuck up a load of screen-shots on the website, and announced the game. All would have gone well had I not just got bored with it and given up. There were a few technical difficulties and I didn't like the way it was heading either. Bloody hands turned into vapourware. I hope nobody noticed.... wink The point to note was that Bloody Hands had about 2 months of development before being announced.

EatMyDust (EMD) has actually been in development for 20 months or so by now. I kept it VERY hush hush for about a year of that, indeed I believe the current development of EMD still has a 'Secret' clause in it somewhere. EMD is going strong and will definatly be released in some shape or form. The new graphics look fantastic, and hopefully when I have a bit of free time over xmas I can do a bit of work on the game code, although there's not much to be done. Since we are committed to EMD it makes sence to keep everybody updated on the progress. This should hopefully keep people interested and give them something to hang onto. Whether it will generate more sales is yet to be seen.

In conclusion, I for one hate vapour-ware and try my utmost to keep all work totally underwraps until a definate future is established. I hope other developers do the same. Vapour ware will kill this market.

Fini

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Nathan Message #85000, posted by Wrath at 17:56, 13/12/2000, in reply to message #84999
Member
Posts: 154
Just a note about Bloody Hands. At that time the VOTI site supported a future developments page and it stipulated at the top that the projects may not come to fruition. I was well aware of this but since the market was dying I thought I'd show that VOTI were still around rather than disappearing for a few years.

Now, I will only let on what is going ahead. A small few of you know some (but not all) the proejcts I am working with, not all VOTI, but none are concrete and hence why you lot won't find out about them unless everything speeds along nicely.

And just one more word:

Vapourware has already killed the market.

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Andrew Message #85001, posted by andreww at 18:10, 13/12/2000, in reply to message #85000
AA refugee
Posts: 555
Personally, I'll try my best not to promise anything as this would be wrong but hopefully I'll keep you updated.
Of course, the more high profile projects create high expectations so I understand why they have to be kept quiet at least for the early stages.
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Mark Quint Message #85002, posted by ToiletDuck at 21:13, 13/12/2000, in reply to message #85001
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
lo nathan i dunno whether you got 'me emails, but can we arrange an IRC meeting with everyone in the Overcast team sometime plz???
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Tim Brook Message #85003, posted by kick52 at 00:25, 14/12/2000, in reply to message #85002
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Posts: 87
Even a small announcement from companies every now and then just saying that they're working on their software or developing new software would greatly improve the users' faith even though no details would be released at that time but once the software has been released there's no excuse for not telling people about it, why it's so wonderful and why the new version is so much better than the earlier one.

But I thought this was one of the criticisms that not enough info is given out. In light of the ast I am not surprised developers keep their gobs shut, I don't believe it to be fair myself but can understand it.

I think I probably wasn't clear enough about the new software announcements. What I was trying to say is that software developers could do a lot in restoring faith in the RO scene by simply saying that they are working on a new application, no need to say that what kind of app or anything - just letting people know that the company still exists.

I know the games market is a bit different. There I feel that no announcements should be made until it's certain that the game will be released even some detail work is yet to be done - mostly because if groups like VOtI and companies like Artex were to announce that they were making some new software, not much guessing would be required to figure out it was a game though not what type of game. I think VOtI has been very brave to announce EMD already but I avait eagerly.

But the main point I was trying to make is that once an application or game has been released there's no excuse for not letting people know that it's out. Announcing things in c.s.a.announce used to be enough but isn't any more. Not making sure the announcement reaches people that run the websites and magazines that most of the market reads is just plain stupid (unless you need an excuse not to develope anything more for RISC OS)

I say again, only putting up an announcement on the company's website that gets around 30 hits a month is not very likely to help with your distribution unless your software is extremely useful to a very limited group of people that makes up the total hit count to the website.
If you want to sell your product, potential buyers will have to KNOW that it exists.

There are now two major players in the games website arena, Acorn Arcade and Gareth's 32bit Acorn gaming, and two major launch pads, Icon Bar and Drobe. Announcing to these four sources is not a huge task, the ANS e-mail newsletter is probably good as the fifth and Acorn User is the sixth, then there's c.s.a.announce.
Now if this is too difficult to handle, the RISC OS scene is in a lot more serious trouble than I thought.

As for freeware and shareware programmers maybe not all of their software will get a mention but judging by the number of news items on the above mentioned web sites I don't think too many announcements would be left out.



[Edited by 4 at 00:39, 14/12/2000]

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Nathan Message #85004, posted by Wrath at 09:39, 14/12/2000, in reply to message #85003
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Posts: 154
I've been thinking how to get around this review copy malarky. Basically there is hardly any chance of me giving test copies to anyone outside the VOTI crew because:
1) In the past these have been copied within and without the reviewers group.
2) Also, you can't write a decent article on a test copy as things will change so basically the review will be worse than the final product putting people off.

Way around it? I'm probably going to get an independent colleague to review it but one I can trust. It will not be biased and will contain criticisms as they always do, something like, "EMD will not work on anything less than an ARM6."

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Shane Message #85005, posted by Ramuh at 11:12, 14/12/2000, in reply to message #85004
AA refugee
Posts: 35
How about inviting the reviewer to play with the copy at the publisher's office (or at a nearby, trustworthy person's house etc.) ? *If* the company was willing to part with what is effectively one sale, I'm sure they could cover the train fare (young person's railcard etc. etc. - we are all young persons right ? smile), especially if it could remove the threat of piracy.
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Lee Johnston Message #85006, posted by johnstlr at 17:17, 14/12/2000, in reply to message #85005
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Posts: 193
How about inviting the reviewer to play with the copy at the publisher's office (or at a nearby, trustworthy person's house etc.) ? *If* the company was willing to part with what is effectively one sale, I'm sure they could cover the train fare

You'd be surprised at how reluctant companies can be to cover travel costs. Depending on how far it is then right now you might also need overnight accommodation.

(young person's railcard etc. etc. - we are all young persons right ? smile), especially if it could remove the threat of piracy.

No we are not all young persons - have a read of the "what age are you" thread on the iconbar.

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Andrew Message #85007, posted by andreww at 18:17, 14/12/2000, in reply to message #85006
AA refugee
Posts: 555
Nathan is 49 for example.


;-)

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Message #85008, posted by chrisbazley at 12:16, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85007
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Posts: 58
You have a girlfriend? ;-)
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Message #85009, posted by chrisbazley at 12:21, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85008
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Posts: 58
I'm not sure that a 'review' by a trusted collegue would actually be of that much value to the general public!
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Nathan Message #85010, posted by Wrath at 12:23, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85009
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Posts: 154
I'm not sure that a 'review' by a trusted collegue would actually be of that much value to the general public!

Then there is no way round it.

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Message #85011, posted by chrisbazley at 12:48, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85010
Member
Posts: 58
Games coders (like any other creative type - authors, film makers), need to subject themselves to the force of public opinion. However painful a process this may be. The only alternative is to lock yourself away (either mentally or physically) and take the view that you don't care what anyone thinks.

VOTI do not have a history of producing bad games, and I don't really see why you are so concerned about EMD getting bad reviews.

It looks like one of the most promising RISC OS games in development at the moment, but if the reviewer were to say that (for instance) it wasn't as good as Grand Theft Auto, then you would hardly be able to argue.

This is life. You either do nothing, because you can never single handedly take on the world and win, or you do the things that give you enjoyment, regardless of whether or not they are the greatest.

Should the amateur trombonist throw his instrument in the river, because he is not of professional standard?

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Nathan Message #85012, posted by Wrath at 12:51, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85011
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Posts: 154
The main issue is not one of a bad review, the main issue is piracy and it isn't just me as I have contacted a few RO developers and they no longer give out review copies (names withheld).

The issue about bad reviews is more to do with how you would review a test copy at all, if someone was to review EMD now, they would say that the intro, menu and loading procedure is awful and there isn't much in the game. That's because it's a review copy. Review a beta-copy is different as the majority of the elements are there but my main concern is one of piracy!

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Message #85013, posted by chrisbazley at 12:55, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85012
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Posts: 58
Fair enough.
Unfortunate choice of words, though...
"review by a trusted collegue" is a line worthy of a Bond villain ;-)
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Nathan Message #85014, posted by Wrath at 13:02, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85013
Member
Posts: 154
Fair enough.
Unfortunate choice of words, though...
"review by a trusted collegue" is a line worthy of a Bond villain ;-)

I've had enough of people ripping me off in this market and it's strange to think that people can still exist ripping RO people off in this small market.

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