articy:draft SE

articy:draft SE

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AnD4D Nov 27, 2013 @ 6:19pm
On Sale! But is it low enough for you?
It's now on sale, with 30% off, but I'm sadly finding myself still lacking interest in parting with my money just yet.

My personal feeling is that this software would be very useful, but doesn't provide much that I can't do with free tools. All it seems to do is just package them into one efficient bundle, and make things easier and faster for the user.

Sure, that may seem like a good selling point, but I don't know if it's worth it just yet.

I'm a few weeks from releasing my first game on mobile devices, and am moving onto a larger game with a branching story, etc, so to be honest, this would be perfect for me. It's just I know quite a lot of indie developers who are in the same boat as I am, looking at this software and licking their lips, but holding off on a lower price.

For large dev companies, the price for a single license is crazy low. They could pay 10 times that. For 1 or 2 man teams, on the other hard, I'd say it's still about £20 more than I'd be willing to pay.

So they keep the price at around £70 or $99, and get a few dozen sales a month. I firmly believe that if they were to drop the price to that of a new PC game, say £30-£40, they'd get hundreds of sales in a month easily.

£70 x 12 = £840
£30 x 100 = £3000

These figures are just random, but they're to emphasise my point. Maybe they sell more than 12 in a month, but I believe they'd sell more than 10 times more if they set it to a lower price. Rather than have people wait until a sale or a cheaper alternative comes along, sanp those new customers up now. This could encourage them to buy version 2, or even future upgrades.

It's very unusual. I rarely see discussion groups where so many topics are referring to the price as being too high. Programs like Unity, Game Maker, Construct 2... if you want to make a game, you have little choice but to use an engine or software to do that. The casual person can't just use notepad or other alternatives to get themselves along.

Specialising in mobile programming, I'm actually weighing up the idea of making a mobile version of this myself for future use. Heck, I could even sell it for £10 and hope I get some sales... but that would take me away from I actually enjoy doing, which is make games.

Basically, my questions are, how many of you are in a similar boat to me. How many are sitting on the side-lines and waiting for a realistic drop in price. I hate a world in which only the rich get richer. In order to get this software, you have to take a gamble. Are you going to stick to your story based game, or lose interest and go off and make the next 'snake'? You don't need a story editor for that.
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Showing 1-15 of 30 comments
Nevigo | Kai Rosenkranz  [developer] Nov 27, 2013 @ 7:03pm 
Hey again, 4Demon. Thanks for being such an active forum member.

It is true that a lower price attracts more customers and may pay off eventually. Yet, while a price point that is considered "affordable" by a majority of potential customers is a good landmark, it is not the only arguement when it comes to determining the pricing. (Not to mention that even 30 bucks will still be too expensive for some people out there.)

articy:draft 2 is a pro tool - used by Ubisoft (Might & Magic X), CD Projekt RED (the Witcher guys), Cloud Imperium (Star Citizen, yay!), and the like (showreel). Those big studios pay 1249 Euros per designer and regard it a reasonable investment, because it saves them a lot of time or fills a gap in the tool market for certain tasks.

Now, we have decided to bring that tool to a marketplace for gamers and mostly indies. Feature-wise, the only difference between the team and Steam version (besides the extra "s") is that big studios get additional Perforce/SVN-based collaboration features. So, as much as we love to support indies and hobbyists (which is why we chose Steam in the first place), we cannot overstretch the price difference too much. And also, it wouldn't reflect the actual value of the tool.

In the corporate realm, the "value" of a software can easily measured. How much time does it save a designer? What's his or her salary? So how much less does that designer's work cost per month? How long does it take to redeem that investment? This cannot be applied to a majority of small indie studios, though, since their primary investment is their life time, not their money. So, your question will have to be: Am I willing to invest money into the luxory of saving precious time later? And in addition to the time saving aspect, can this tool support and inspire me in structuring my thoughts and making my project even better?

Anyway, between you and I ;) , we're currently toying with ideas to offer a low-threshold version of articy:draft 2 by dropping some features or adding limitations (like object counts). It's all still in-flux, but on the one hand we'd see more indie projects like your branching narrative game using articy:draft, and on the other hand it'd help us justify a greater price difference compared to the team version. But that's long-term thinking.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts,
-Kai
Last edited by Nevigo | Kai Rosenkranz; Nov 27, 2013 @ 7:11pm
AnD4D Nov 27, 2013 @ 8:03pm 
Thanks for responding, @Kai, and I apologise if you're getting tired of hearing from me :)

I do love the program, really I do. My free trial just expired, and I had timed it to coincide with the Steam sale, so I was really hoping for lower price. I believe it's been 33% or 35% off before, so seeing it only at 30%, for what is effectively a 2 year old program (?) is somewhat surprising.

Between you and I, I'm hoping for a flash sale or something ;)

Yesterday, I noticed that Game Maker were giving away their studio version for free. Construct 2 have a free version that you can make and sell Tizen games using. Not 100% sure about the free version of Unity, but I believe they've announced that people can make mobile games, etc for free as well.

My issue is that your software differs from normal Steam products in that you can actually help people earn (and save) money. Therefore, you may see the benefit in charging what some consider a high amount, but I feel you're missing out on the little people, who, to be blunt, probably will buy, but may not use your product.

RPG Maker Ace is currently on sale for £12. The perfect story game maker (some may say). People may pick it up, see your product and feel they may go hand in hand, and pick yours up at the same time, with the idea of building the next great role playing game. Who knows, some might... but it's probable that most wont. However, it's hard to imagine people buying such a product, and then paying just under 5 times as much to be able to help them write the story, when they might not even end up using it.

The Steam sale is the perfect time to actually do something different. I'm not sure how the sale works exactly, but if I saw your product appear as a flash sale, even at £40, I'd feel I had no other option BUT to buy it. I would simply have to have it! Like I said, it's great!

I look on your site, and see that the site version is locked to a computer, while the Steam version is locked to an account. I appreciate that you feel you can not make the 2 prices too different, but many people nowadays, as I'm sure you'll agree, will not buy a game unless it's unlockable on Steam. They can go travelling, open it up on their laptops, and still use your product. I feel Steam is the preferable choice for the Indie groups for Articy, I feel.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying your product isn't worth the price you're selling it at. People say a product is worth what you feel it is worth after all, but I feel that a product is worth what the majority will pay for it. I'm just pointing out that people may see it as a risk, as I said before, a gamble. It's not a game. People generally won't use it to itch their trigger finger. They'll use it because they believe it'll be able to help them make a game.

I feel that at half the price, you'll get way more than double the number of sales. I'm not saying sell it for 50% off, but I'm just saying I believe many would appreciate a sale which is better than one before it. People are generally quite stubborn with things like that :)

Also, by the way, if the Witcher team are going to be using your product to help them with the story, that makes the Witcher 3 an immediate must buy. Their story branches all over the place as it is. With your tool making things easier for them, they should be able to spread out even further. It should be incredible. Star Citizen is just glorious!

Again, sorry if I'm coming across as one of those frustrating people. I'm just eager to get a hold of my version of Articy.
xico Nov 28, 2013 @ 8:51am 
it's a solid program and i've had my eyes on it for a while, since it was 50% off in september. i did some fundraising for a project with my friends, to which articy was a part of, but we will just go with what's affordable now and raise more finances for the summer sale.
Wrath of the Mojo Nov 28, 2013 @ 10:16am 
I agree with 4 demon on this one. there are many people like me who are simply playing around with story writing and testing the waters. people who see the value of using your program. most of us wont ever sell the game on the market. if you would demand less money for articy for the prerelease content and then demand more for the time when developers release and sell their products i think you might end up making a lot more sales and a lot more profit.
AnD4D Nov 28, 2013 @ 8:40pm 
Originally posted by xico:
've had my eyes on it for a while, since it was 50% off in september.

I didn't think it'd ever been 50% off, but I was wrong. $49.99. I find myself waiting for a flash sale every 8 or so hours. Very tiring, lol.
Ace♡ Nov 30, 2013 @ 8:27pm 
You could go live in Russia. It's significantly cheaper there. Almost 1/3 of the price.
AnD4D Dec 1, 2013 @ 3:04am 
I wonder if it's region locked...

Still holding out for that 50% off at least discount.
Ace♡ Dec 1, 2013 @ 10:08am 
Originally posted by 4Demon:
I wonder if it's region locked...

Still holding out for that 50% off at least discount.

it's not
Nathanial Dec 1, 2013 @ 10:25am 
Trading a spare copy, if anyone wants to make some offers
KNUCKLES THE KNUCKLES Dec 1, 2013 @ 10:30am 
if you actually finish your project then i'm sure the revenue you make will cover the cost of the product.

even if you don't, the amount of time you save is ridiculous and time = money
Last edited by KNUCKLES THE KNUCKLES; Dec 1, 2013 @ 10:31am
Riful Dec 2, 2013 @ 7:02pm 
Originally posted by Kilim:
if you actually finish your project then i'm sure the revenue you make will cover the cost of the product.

even if you don't, the amount of time you save is ridiculous and time = money

You need to pay double to be able to legally use this for a commercial project, that is a project you will earn revenue from (unless it's in the form of donations).

A lot of indie devs might start out alone (look at minecraft, notch was alone at first) this money is going to have to come out of their own wallet, not a company budget.

And then it's also exactly that, you need design tools (if you're going to be using any) from the pre-production stages of a game, this means it's not going to pay off until possibly years later. And that's only "IF" you finish the project, tons of times people might quit part-way.

I personally want to use this software for my own project, but no way in hell i'm paying for a non-commercial version of it unless it were a matter of 10$ or less, and 130$ for a commercial version is just way too high for me. I wont be needing the versoin to be commercial until like 2 or 3 years from now if things would go as i'm planning...

The fact that Cloud Imperium Games are using this software most certainly is reassuring though.

On topic of game engines, there are actually free and cheap ones, like Ren'Py, RPG Maker, ID Tech 4, Build Engine, HPL 1, LWJGL (Minecraft), Torque3D... except for RPG Maker all of these are free.
Last edited by Riful; Dec 2, 2013 @ 7:11pm
Frontmaster Dec 20, 2013 @ 2:17am 
I purchased the software and although I like it, I wasn't pleased to see a new version was released about a month after I did and guess what, the price was exactly the same as I paid for the first one, you don't get any money off or upgrade discount for already owning the first version of the software. I personally haven't used the software recently, I have no plans to buy the newer versions either, because proof has already shown I will need to buy the new 'upgrade' as a new product everytime. It would be nice to think if you put your money, trust and loyalty into a company you would at least get something in return as a thank you for making the company what it is today. But I guess the reality is, they don't need us, they already have the big guns pouring money in.

EDIT: I've just realised that SE2 version is now sold as downloadable content, when I first saw it, it was a seperate piece of software, in any case, the changes are quite limited and you are effectly paying for the whole product again.
Last edited by Frontmaster; Dec 20, 2013 @ 2:26am
Riful Dec 20, 2013 @ 8:07am 
Originally posted by Frontmaster:
I purchased the software and although I like it, I wasn't pleased to see a new version was released about a month after I did and guess what, the price was exactly the same as I paid for the first one, you don't get any money off or upgrade discount for already owning the first version of the software. I personally haven't used the software recently, I have no plans to buy the newer versions either, because proof has already shown I will need to buy the new 'upgrade' as a new product everytime. It would be nice to think if you put your money, trust and loyalty into a company you would at least get something in return as a thank you for making the company what it is today. But I guess the reality is, they don't need us, they already have the big guns pouring money in.

EDIT: I've just realised that SE2 version is now sold as downloadable content, when I first saw it, it was a seperate piece of software, in any case, the changes are quite limited and you are effectly paying for the whole product again.

Yeah the price on the v2 upgrade is sort of... unjust in my opinion too.
HighDarkTemplar Dec 21, 2013 @ 6:00am 
30% off is nice, but the dealbreaker for me to purchase it at that price is that the XML roundtrip hasn't been nailed down on the roadmap.
Space Dwarves Dec 26, 2013 @ 4:22am 
I have been looking at this one and another tool that costs $59 total. That's without any upgrade costs extra or and more you have to buy at all. The other kit does not have multi-user functions but many of us indie companies could not afford it anyway with this product.

30% discount yes is making me consider this but as was stated would the few extra features make this worth it for me to have a small indie team that might use it. We do have over 12 people working on our game but only 3 or 4 would use this app. If we took the other app's cost times 4 it would be around what this app costs for one user.

But here may be the deal breaker, the SE version is version 1 and if we wanted to use the app the way we would need to even single user we would have to buy the upgrade to version 2 also. It took me a while to figure out witch versions I would need to do what we needed. But I know see that instead of costing us $69 with this sale going on it would cost me for just one user $138.

I understand the work involved in making this project but as was stated the question for indie developers would be, would the time saved using this app compared to some other free or cheaper app be forth the investment.

I am not sure if I will buy this before the sale ends but you developers might consider a much cheaper way for indies to use the version 2 like one SE version with 2 included and limited multi-user support for smaller companies.

As it is we would have to do a kickstarter just to have the full version 2 being used by a 3rd of our team.
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