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Moon

Battlefront Mod and Scenario Depot - your opinion counts

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I think a small membership fee is a good idea.

There are many of us who belong to clubs that willing pay a small fee a year to keep the group going and have a place to meet and compete with other CM’ers.

We also donate to sites like “The Scenario Depot II” and “The Proving Grounds” where many excellent old and new scenarios can be found and the already mentioned CMMODS site.

I rarely download mods and I find that CM scenarios are usually way smaller than 10MB so this service would be free for those who want to find one or two (or many more) new scenarios a month. (I don’t know what the file sizes of CM2 are like).

Would you have a robust search engine that gives more parameters than the Scenario Depot?

Would you have CM1 and CMC scenarios on the new site?

Since there are quite a few CM clubs out there perhaps there could be a group rate?

If the membership dollars goes above and beyond your goal for the year you (as doubtful that may be) would you do something like extending the time of membership benefits for those all ready signed up? (or something to that effect)

How about:

The War Room

The Combat Corner

Battlefront Junction

The Command Post

The Observation Post

The Forward Observer.

Central Command

The Control Center

The Command Center

The Command and Control Center

The Battlefront Butler (it’s a server…get it)

Ok ok I’ll stop here…..

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This approach makes a lot of sense to me. Maintenance of files clearly isn't free and 5MB-10MB/month seems reasonable. If you have a month where you are fantastically active, you can spring for the $5.

It would seem that this is a rational way to facilitate the maximum amount of communication without having an undue burden put on the administration of the system.

Count me as a positive response!

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Use torrent network, it's a great tool... Or make a deal with a specialized gaming website (like Filefront) to have your own semi private area. You can even adopt both solution (and others), just giving the option to your customers by clearly explaining this or that (go there if you use torrent software or ...).

Besides that, whatever hosting solutions you choose you may easily cap the download rate to spare bandwidth. No need have light speed to download small files.

Don' expect most people to pay even just 5 $ for a one month time subscription, because if 5 $ is nothing for you, you're lucky as it's more the opposite for more and more people...

Best regards

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I welcome the return of a free BFC mod repository. But I wonder if you might need to reconsider the file-size limits? CMSF mods are huge using default resolutions. For example, the LAV mod I'm completing now is approx 53MB. Downloading that would mean not being able to get, say, scenarios for another month. Maybe an idea would be to have a certain size below which there is no restriction on downloads, say 1MB? That would cover most scenarios.

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Hans brings up better the point that I was trying to make. CMx1 scenario designers and supporters paintstakingly re-did all the uploading when the Scenario Depot crashed and when TSDII was launched. They've since added meg's of discussions, tips and playtesting information about many of those scenarios. If yet another new scenario depot is launched here, I don't see the enthusiasm of CMx1 scenario designers to go through all that again (can't blame them) and knowing that BFC has moved past CMx1 games for the most part, I see it as finally closing the chapter on those games. IMHO of course.

I agree with Hans and GJK and I suspect many others do as well.

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Would you have a robust search engine that gives more parameters than the Scenario Depot?

I don't know what parameters the Scenario Depot is using to be honest. Right now in the beta version currently running (non-public) you can search for practically everything that is in the file's description.

Would you have CM1 and CMC scenarios on the new site?

The depot (not a new site btw, it will be fully integrated into the existing www.battlefront.com portal; that's kind of the whole point) would be open to all current BFC games.

Since there are quite a few CM clubs out there perhaps there could be a group rate?

Probably no way to do something like that practically.

If the membership dollars goes above and beyond your goal for the year you (as doubtful that may be) would you do something like extending the time of membership benefits for those all ready signed up? (or something to that effect)

If the membership intake goes above the cost then we would collect it for some time and then sponsor something like a scenario or mod contest and give the $ back to those who provide the content.

Use torrent network, it's a great tool... Or make a deal with a specialized gaming website (like Filefront) to have your own semi private area. You can even adopt both solution (and others), just giving the option to your customers by clearly explaining this or that (go there if you use torrent software or ...).

I already mentioned earlier in this thread that torrent is not an option, for a whole number of reasons. I spoke to various sites out there, and usually always the same problems crop up: cost and control. Keep in mind that some options that are acceptable for a fan site are not really viable for us as a game publishing company.

Don' expect most people to pay even just 5 $ for a one month time subscription, because if 5 $ is nothing for you, you're lucky as it's more the opposite for more and more people...

We don't expect it. As mentioned before, it's entirely voluntary. You do not have to spend a single cent to download stuff. You just may have to spread your downloads a little over more time. BTW, the $5 per month option is the most expensive of the bunch. The 12-month rate is $25, which is just a little ofer $2 per month.

I welcome the return of a free BFC mod repository. But I wonder if you might need to reconsider the file-size limits? CMSF mods are huge using default resolutions. For example, the LAV mod I'm completing now is approx 53MB. Downloading that would mean not being able to get, say, scenarios for another month. Maybe an idea would be to have a certain size below which there is no restriction on downloads, say 1MB? That would cover most scenarios.

Find the "right" limit will certainly be a challenge and probably will take some time, experience and adjustments. For super-sized mods like yours however the answer will probably remain "yes, no more downloads for the rest of the month".

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What would suck even more is if CM became like an MMO with a monthly fee attached...

Yup, that would suck. Which is why we're not going to do anything like that. Ever.

But that's not what I described. What I described is a way to offer the community a place to exchange fan made mods, maps and scenarios for all of our games (not just CM) for free. Nobody needs to pay a dime to use it, it's entirely voluntary.

Why should we raise the price for our games for all users, including those that never download a single mod or scenario? Besides, raising game prices wouldn't make the depot "free". Quite the contrary actually :)

Martin

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Sorry, but I haven't gone through all the posts in this 6-page thread.

I would like to see an Official BFC server for mods, scenarios, campaigns, etc. for a nominal fee. I might have missed it, but is it possible for BF nominal fee Server to focus on the CMX2 games and let the older, free sites, focus on the CMX1 games?

Thanks!

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I welcome the return of a free BFC mod repository. But I wonder if you might need to reconsider the file-size limits? CMSF mods are huge using default resolutions. For example, the LAV mod I'm completing now is approx 53MB. Downloading that would mean not being able to get, say, scenarios for another month. Maybe an idea would be to have a certain size below which there is no restriction on downloads, say 1MB? That would cover most scenarios.

Since we can clearly distinguish scenarios from mods, and its mods that are causing the most expense in terms of bandwidth, why can't the scenario download section be free and the pay system as outlined by Moon (which seems entirely reasonable to me) be applied just to mods?

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I like the idea. We need an officially supported repository for peoples work. I also really like the idea of using any overflow money, should it happen, for contest prizes; I wouldn't support this if Battlefront made a profit from it.

My main thoughts in short format:

- Torrents are simply put a PITA and I don't want to deal with them.

- The vast amount of CMx1 stuff out right now is not a concern to me. If people want to upload them to the new site, cool, otherwise, I can find them at the excellent user sites. There are games beyond CMx1 that have mods, and there will be new games in the future. Wild idea for some of you, I know.

- 5-10 MB / month for free sounds too small to me. 15-20? Or even 10-15.

- Have a way to sort modders by volume of total downloads, total ratings, etc.

- Have preview pics as thumbnails.

Also: What about, if you make a certain sized purchase or pre-order something, getting X days/weeks/months free access to the place?

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I might have missed it, but is it possible for BF nominal fee Server to focus on the CMX2 games and let the older, free sites, focus on the CMX1 games?

That's entirely up to the mod authors/uploaders. The depot will be free to all BFC games but I doubt that you will find much more and much better content for the older games on the already existing sites.

Since we can clearly distinguish scenarios from mods, and its mods that are causing the most expense in terms of bandwidth, why can't the scenario download section be free and the pay system as outlined by Moon (which seems entirely reasonable to me) be applied just to mods?

Because such a distinction would be unnecessarily complicating things from a technical point of view, and also from a user point of view. We would need different sections for mods and scenarios.

- Have a way to sort modders by volume of total downloads, total ratings, etc.

- Have preview pics as thumbnails.

In the beta version we have right now, you can upload up to three thumbnails per item. Right now you cannot look up "modder stats" in the way you describe, but it might be a good idea and easy to implement.

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Right now you cannot look up "modder stats" in the way you describe, but it might be a good idea and easy to implement.

I think it's a good idea because I happen to be a big fan of specific modders, especially when they do series and packages of mods, and I know plenty of other people like to keep track of what certain modders are doing.

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I'm only playing a very small subset of BFCs games (namely DropTeam) and hope that this is an indication of how devoted the fans are.

IMHO if you create an official repository you take away the reason for a fan to run his own site. That will create at least one disapointed customer. People have fun and take pride in spending time on their hobby. Take that participation away and you will only make them angry.

And what is the advantage of making an official repository in first place? Moon, you tell us its not an economic reason. Ok, so there is the 'better service for customers' point. But where is the advantage for me as a customer of using your repository against using a privately driven one?

Sure, you can (probably) make a more professional website but that costs you money which you don't make (as stated above). And community sites usually don't drive customers away - they attract more fans. And they are free.

So I don't see the point at all.

If you want to do the community a service then maintain a list and backup existing scenarios/mods so that if a fan site goes down the data is not lost.

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I'm only playing a very small subset of BFCs games (namely DropTeam) and hope that this is an indication of how devoted the fans are.

IMHO if you create an official repository you take away the reason for a fan to run his own site. That will create at least one disapointed customer. People have fun and take pride in spending time on their hobby. Take that participation away and you will only make them angry.

And what is the advantage of making an official repository in first place? Moon, you tell us its not an economic reason. Ok, so there is the 'better service for customers' point. But where is the advantage for me as a customer of using your repository against using a privately driven one?

Sure, you can (probably) make a more professional website but that costs you money which you don't make (as stated above). And community sites usually don't drive customers away - they attract more fans. And they are free.

So I don't see the point at all.

If you want to do the community a service then maintain a list and backup existing scenarios/mods so that if a fan site goes down the data is not lost.

Have to say I agree with this. I don't see the point in this at all, other than as a money making exercise...which I'm quite sure it's not.

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Battlefront;

You have a great community that supports your work; they have made some good comments.

You seem to be devoting time and effort to something that already works. Your ideas as originally presented seem “stale.:(” When I read your reasoning for not partnering with CMMODS, et al, I sensed “Big Brother:eek:.” I don’t think this is being handled well (small business, no Communications office – I get it;)).

To my original point, you want to accomplish something here, but I don’t know what it is. CMMODS, et al, supports the community today. You alluded to growth in the next few years, maybe you need to expand and explain more.

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute:)!

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Carverrt,

To my original point, you want to accomplish something here, but I don’t know what it is. CMMODS, et al, supports the community today. You alluded to growth in the next few years, maybe you need to expand and explain more.

Certainly! People MUST remember that we are not just talking about CM here, but all Battlefront.com games now and into the future. As we go on the Mods for these games will get bigger per download per game. They will also become cumulatively larger as time goes on. The bandwidth for hosting these files will likely prove too much for any single "free" host. As has been said, bandwidth is NOT free. Someone has to pay for it.

The way we see it, as time goes on fewer and fewer people will be interested in hosting new content due the costs. Since costs are directly related to download activity, the more popular they are the less likely they will stay around. If we direct people to those sites, in a very deliberate and obvious way, we're only going to hasten their demise. Well, unless they either are willing to pay thousands of Dollars out of their pocket *or* they institute some sort of mandatory fee system to cover the costs since ad revenue and charity donations won't likely do more than make a small dent in the costs.

The "day late, dollar short" comments I've seen here indicate a lack of comprehension about the system as a whole. As has been stated several times now, we are not looking to set up a CMx1 scenario depot system and charge money for it. We're doing something for all our games now and into the future. Because nobody else is doing that, we're not late... we're early ;)

I also can't emphasize enough that we expect to "lose" money on this arrangement. Therefore, we are not charging customers for Mod content. We are simply trying to come up with a fair system to defray rather significant bandwidth costs. As long as we keep our "loss" to a reasonable level then everything should work out well for everybody. If we don't, then we have a choice of either closing the repository down or raising the price of our games specifically to cover the cost. We'd like to try this suggested system instead.

We think there is a lot of value to be had by hosting a massive amount of content in one place on good servers. It's free to everybody and therefore a benefit for anybody that buys any of our games. For those that don't want to pay for a higher level of service, just use the free stuff out there (from our repository or any other). For those people that are playing our games heavily, then the modest investment ($2 per month) in a premium service is probably well worth it. That's less than most people spend on coffee in a single day. Heck, it's less than most people spend on just about anything else that is consumed on a monthly basis.

Anyway, thank you all (and I do mean everybody) for your feedback.

Steve

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I'd like to hear Todds(CMMODs owner) opinion about this. Sounds like everybody is assuming CMMODs will last forever. Anybody know if he losses money each month or are the donations enough? He might be in favor of something like this.

As long as we keep our "loss" to a reasonable level then everything should work out well for everybody. If we don't, then we have a choice of either closing the repository down or raising the price of our games specifically to cover the cost. We'd like to try this suggested system instead.

Steve

I consider raising the prices of your games completely out of the question. I think Moon already mentioned this wouldn't be considered as some customers may never use the depot site. So it would be unfair to make them pay more.

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Carverrt,

The "day late, dollar short" comments I've seen here indicate a lack of comprehension about the system as a whole. As has been stated several times now, we are not looking to set up a CMx1 scenario depot system and charge money for it. We're doing something for all our games now and into the future. Because nobody else is doing that, we're not late... we're early ;)

Steve

Excellent.

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Im renting a Linux server with a 100Mbits dedicated connection to host a website and a FTP server. It's 35€/month and Im providing many Tera Octet of content for free every month. Just to say bandwith is pretty cheap theses days.

My idea.

charge 0.5$ more each game to offer FREE unlimited downloads to your customers.

end of debate.

:)

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It never ceases to amaze me that people will pay two or three thousand dollars for a computer to run the game on, and then yell about 5 dollars here and there to help out the best game company in the business. You didn't buy that one gig 8800 card to play Scrabble or run Word after all. Dollars per hour of entertainment BFC may the best bargain on the planet. Try getting an answer, much less a patch from Creative Assembly if you don't believe me.

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I totally agree with Dan/CA. Let's support Battlefront in this endeavor. They are definitely the best in the business. I will be happy to pay a yearly cost for unlimited downloads. Also, please do include a Donate Button, because I would like to help out some more.

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