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Thread: To pledge or not to pledge? That is the question!

  1. #1
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    Default To pledge or not to pledge? That is the question!

    This forum was established as a discussion point for all things Trainz-Kickstarter-ish.

    We know that if you are reading this post, you have already heard about Kickstarter. We also know that up to half the people who are reading this post, have most likely not made a pledge to the project (as yet). With 1,000 backers so far, and another 1,000 or so needed in the next 3 weeks, we still have a challenge on our hands to meet the target.

    There are a number of reasons as to why people haven't pledged, and we don't expect that everyone will pledge, but that's the whole idea behind this post - to uncover those issues and identify if there are any uncertainties, solutions or unsolvable reasons.

    One known reason is the credit card policy used by Kickstarter. We are preparing a Paypal option which will operate outside the Kickstarter process but still offer many of the same rewards, to solve this issue.

    Another reason is people's personal financial position, although a $5 pledge should be within reach of most (assuming they have a credit card) - 100 people x $5 could be the difference in meeting the goal or not.

    We then start to get into potentially deeper issues and rather than put words into people's mouths, we'd love to hear what's on your mind. If you haven't pledged as yet, let us know if you're planning to at some point, or perhaps you have decided that there is no way you will pledge. Whatever the reasons, we'd love to hear from you.

    If you would prefer to keep your comments more private, please PM me (just click on my name and click on Private Message). I may not be able to respond personally to every one of you, but the offer is there to provide your feedback.

  2. #2
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    I think three of the biggest issues are:

    1.Closeness to Christmas/limited funds
    2.Limited methods of payment (which I know is not your fault - it's KS that needs to deal with that).
    3.Uncertainty as a result of previous/current version bugs.

    Shane
    Shane Turner
    Technical and DirectX Advisor - Not affiliated with N3V

    My Forum -- PevSoft Tools -- Tutorial List (inc DirectX) -- My Utilities --TrainzTutorials.com

  3. #3
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    Default

    i really want to make pledge but payment method stops me doing this
    fan of American fallen flag railroads & pakistan railways




  4. #4
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    Number two for me Tony i'm waiting for the job situation to become a bit more stable in the next week or so hopefully and i'll make my pledge, Sure the $5 option is easy for me at the moment but i wish to contribute an amount that too me means how much i love this Sim. I have no problems with what N3V have advertised so far but then i only create a small amount of content so for me the content creation is an important side to it all the rest of it i will just go with the flow as i do not know enough to make any serious comment.
    Cheers Mick.

  5. #5

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    Many members of Trainz Community are content creators and some of them are uncertain about the backward compatibility of their assets.
    The staff of N3V should reassure them and convince them to make the right step.
    I wish you a Trainz A New Era

  6. #6
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    For me I was able to make a pledge because my daughter gave me an early birthday present Otherwise I would not have been able to.

  7. #7
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    I think one of the things you could have placed a little more emphasis on is the 'world building' and general content creation facilities in Trainz (and externally).

    For just one example, there are people out there who would love a model railway but don't have the space - are they aware that they can build one in Trainz?

    Another thing to mention might be the DLS and all the free assets there, this is a big advantage Trainz has over other simulators (especially the ones that charge for every add on).

    I did make these points in a post on the Kickstarter comments section but it soon got buried amongst all the other comments, an extract is reproduced below:

    "As a current Trainz user I think it's worth pointing out that Trainz is not just a Train simulator but more a 'world' simulator, people have created boats, planes, cars, animated people etc. Most of the routes and other assets created, by users, so far (over 250,000) are available FREE to Trainz users on the Trainz Download Station.

    Some people just like driving from the loco cab, some operating the railway and for others their main interest is in creating their own routes - which is easy to do using the Surveyor tools (built in to the full version). You can also create you own assets - e.g. buildings, cars, coaches or even full steam locos using free programs like Blender and GIMP."

    Chris

  8. #8

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    For a lot of users here in germany, the payment method is a problem.
    Some are not able to get a debit card, others don't trust it.

    I'll vote for paypal (outside KS then...).

  9. #9
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    As things stand at the moment I have cancelled my pledge (though I may reinstate it towards the end). On reading the initial blurb I really thought this was going to be an all new product, to rival TS2014 and Run 8. However it seems to be far from it and the desire to retain backward compatibility (which I fully understand many are in agreement with) seems to confirm that. It is (IMHO) difficult to build for the future if you are still trying to support the past. It is akin to Kuju sitting down in 2006 at the first design stages of Rail Simulator, but deciding they needed to be backward compatible with MSTS. Well the specific issue is being debated to death in another thread so I won't go into it further here.

    Next up is the (again IMHO) view that using KS as a means to fund expansion of an existing product by a solvent (so far as we know) software developer is a bit unusual. And while I'm not suggesting for a minute it would happen, there must be those who are wondering what would happen to their money if at some point between the KS funds being taken and the projected release date, N3V did go belly up (many of us still remember the Fury era). AUS$5 is neither here nor there in the scheme of things, but AUS$60 certainly is.

    Finally and this is just a personal view, but I have been utterly horrified by some of the "bidding" and talk of donations that has been going on in the last couple of days on this board. Whether or not to support charity and what are worthwhile causes go beyond the scope of this forum. However whatever your view it just rubbed me the wrong way when people are talking about "donations" to subsidise a commercial operation!

    Edit: Just thought of another one... The lower pledges do not give any discount off purchase of the finished product. If someone only wants to pledge $5 or $10 that should still give them $5 or $10 off the final selling price. Not just a desktop wallpaper or icon on the forum. Implement that and maybe you will start getting some $10 bids (including mine back again).

    Maybe others are holding back thinking the above or similar thoughts.
    Last edited by Vern; November 26th, 2013 at 07:59 AM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Vern for your comments - always appreciated.

    Can I ask what in particular concerns you about backwards compatibility? The concept doesn't prevent new features being added, new content being added, new formats being added, or new performance measures being added. It does require recognition of how things were done previously and ways of handling those systems in the future, but allowing old content to operate identically to previous versions, while in the main looking better, then adding layers of graphics and game features on top, was deemed to far outweigh the prospects of starting a new simulator with 200,000+ less items than we otherwise would (or even narrowing that down to a few thousand next-gen quality assets).

    Customers may selectively bring older content forward (e.g. that might appear as a dependency in a route) which you could, should you wish, replace with a newer item. Older items certainly won't be able to take advantage of all the new features, but a flag highlighting this fact (and potentially a suggested updated asset option should that system be required) is quite possible. There is a slight overhead in maintaining legacy support, but for people who never install an older object, they are practically unaware of the legacy systems.

    Perhaps I'm missing another element of concern relating to legacy support?

    I have seen the other thread in question and I must admit some of the logic is a bit puzzling to me. I will hopefully get over there to post some feedback and thoughts on the issues at some time in the near future.

    Regarding financial strength of companies on Kickstarter, there are clearly many examples of people/companies with far greater access to funding than our own who have gone to KS and successfully run projects. It is not seen as a place of last resort, but rather a place where communities and projects thrive together or fail together. If the demand is there for a product, the project succeeds.

    Also, fundraising is only one of the reasons we have gone down this path. Raising awareness and gauging interest in future Trainz products is another big aspect of Kickstarter. And comparing our current lean and mean operation to the Fury + Trainz days when we had an internal staff of over 85 people plus external contractors is not comparing apples to apples.

    Regarding "donations", I may have missed the horrifying posts you are talking about. We certainly aren't asking for donations and I haven't seen this sentiment expressed in other Kickstarter campaigns. Ultimately we are asking for a few thousand of our many thousands of supporters to jump onto Kickstarter and click on the Make a Pledge button in exchange for a selection of rewards that offer, in our opinion, great value. Over 1,000 people have decided this is something they would like to do to help ensure their hobby continues to grow and prosper. If we can delve a bit deeper into why others are resisting the urge (since I assume they would love to see a brand new train sim better than any that have gone before it emerge), then the goal of this thread will be achieved.

  11. #11
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    Default

    I'm a shameless procrastinator, so I'll probably be throwing my hat into the ring at the 11th hour. I haven't decided at what level yet, that will depend on how much it will cost me to placate my wife.
    "My wife says that if I buy one more train, she is going to leave me. I'm going to miss her."

    TS12 Build 61388

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern View Post
    As things stand at the moment I have cancelled my pledge (though I may reinstate it towards the end). On reading the initial blurb I really thought this was going to be an all new product, to rival TS2014 and Run 8. However it seems to be far from it and the desire to retain backward compatibility (which I fully understand many are in agreement with) seems to confirm that. It is (IMHO) difficult to build for the future if you are still trying to support the past. It is akin to Kuju sitting down in 2006 at the first design stages of Rail Simulator, but deciding they needed to be backward compatible with MSTS. Well the specific issue is being debated to death in another thread so I won't go into it further here.

    Next up is the (again IMHO) view that using KS as a means to fund expansion of an existing product by a solvent (so far as we know) software developer is a bit unusual. And while I'm not suggesting for a minute it would happen, there must be those who are wondering what would happen to their money if at some point between the KS funds being taken and the projected release date, N3V did go belly up (many of us still remember the Fury era). AUS$5 is neither here nor there in the scheme of things, but AUS$60 certainly is.

    Finally and this is just a personal view, but I have been utterly horrified by some of the "bidding" and talk of donations that has been going on in the last couple of days on this board. Whether or not to support charity and what are worthwhile causes go beyond the scope of this forum. However whatever your view it just rubbed me the wrong way when people are talking about "donations" to subsidise a commercial operation!

    Edit: Just thought of another one... The lower pledges do not give any discount off purchase of the finished product. If someone only wants to pledge $5 or $10 that should still give them $5 or $10 off the final selling price. Not just a desktop wallpaper or icon on the forum. Implement that and maybe you will start getting some $10 bids (including mine back again).

    Maybe others are holding back thinking the above or similar thoughts.
    I think the idea Vern has stated regarding the $5/$10 or even a $15 pledge is a good idea. I'm not so sure regarding the compatibility side, as that would result in a lot of creators not supporting the game if there was no backwards compatibility of some kind. Even RS/RW probably has a certain amount of backward compatibility in it's current versions.

    Shane
    Shane Turner
    Technical and DirectX Advisor - Not affiliated with N3V

    My Forum -- PevSoft Tools -- Tutorial List (inc DirectX) -- My Utilities --TrainzTutorials.com

  13. #13
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    In regard to the backward compatibility. Is it possible on DLS and CM to clearly identify what is new and what is old assets? This may not be a biggie for those of us who have been on here for a while but might help with new customers. Would this satisfy Vern and others who have similar feelings towards backwards compatibility? At least that way old assets can just be ignored.

  14. #14
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    Possibly - although to start with it's probably going to be more old than new on the Download Station.

    Shane
    Shane Turner
    Technical and DirectX Advisor - Not affiliated with N3V

    My Forum -- PevSoft Tools -- Tutorial List (inc DirectX) -- My Utilities --TrainzTutorials.com

  15. #15
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    Thats true Shane but I am going to presume at this point most creators will be creating for the new game and that number will steadily grow.

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