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Re: Business models

Henningsen wrote:
> >When they download the game from the website, you could have the server
> >embed the date it was downloaded on into the executable...then *bang*
> >three days later the game demands money.
> The server would have to write to the source files and recompile and send a
> different exceutable to every user, right? Or is there a simpler way of
> doing this?
> If one were to go this route, it might also be possible to encrypt graphics
> files so they would only run with one specific password, which would allow
> for this business model:
> Release your game under the GPL with simple graphics, and sell fancy
> graphics. You could copyright the simple graphics and allow their
> distribution only on condition that the GPL'd code that it came with still
> contained your advertising screen(s) that offers the fancy graphics.

Use micro payments - charge per level, giving away the first few free ;
small initial download and then small individual level downloads - as
people pass the levels they have they buy and download the next few
levels (if they're still hooked). Would you rather pay $100 for a 40
level game, or $4 a level ? Keeps download size low to checkout the
initial product, and you don't get a bunch of levels you never play
because the game is crap. Also spreads your spending on a game out over
time. Also it means you only need to create a few more levels then the
highest anyone has gone so far ! And it enables you to easily track use
of the game for marketing purposes, and whatever else. Also users can
then determine the direction for future levels through some mailing list
response - so you build new levels by user demand.

Of course this all focuses on people being willing to buy the thing in
the first place ; but its still an easier purchase then a full $100
game, so I think make it cross platform, include network play, and get
most of the sales from windows. Also give away a level editor and let
people sell their level sets through your site (taking a commission of
course). Make the core code GPL and keep updating it over time, so newer
levels require updated core, and other coders can use the core to add to
it, or release a new game based on it. There are ways to defeat basic
piracy, at least in the network play - have the server do checks of
levels available against the registry of people who have bought levels,
and don't release the server code ; but I think its a waste of time to
defeat pirates and cheats so I wouldn't bother.

You could release the game code under a non-commercial license, so
people would have to license it from you if they want to use it in their

Bye - Joel.

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