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Moon

Battlefront Mod and Scenario Depot - your opinion counts

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MeatEtr,

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.

I'm glad you brought this up because it is entirely relevant. But unless COHG (Todd) comes here to explain his position to you then I think you guys just have to guess that CMMODs will not last forever because, eventually, the will to host it will go away.

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.

Obviously we all agree since we're trying the more direct route of having the people who use it keep it paid for. In the end we are a business and things that lose us money do not make us happy. The argument is that Mods and scenarios increase our sales, so we'll get compensated indirectly. But our opinion is that Mods and scenarios don't result in higher sales for us. Happier customers once the sale is made? Yes, but the fact is the customer would have likely bought the game anyway.

Aloko_Mac,

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.

That's not been our experience. When we've shopped around for the amount of bandwidth we know we need (i.e. based on our current usage) we've found no such deal that would work for us. If we could find such a deal we'd still be hosting our own demos.

Steve

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First of all I don't have a $3000 computer (unless the dollar drops even more against the Euro :D ) nor do I have a fancy GFX card. In fact, I simply am not very rich at all.

So when BFC proposes such a scheme that offers seemingly poor service for the free user I do object. On general principal if not on cost.

They are potentially taking the wind of the sails of other mod/scenario hosting sites out there that have done an outstanding job so far. And once they dwindle and die out, the non-paying customer is left with the BFC service. Which looks like it'll suck unless you cough up, given the palltry ballpark figures for free download limit.

In this day an age where users are practically being begged to upload their crap to www.uploaded-crap.com this whole scheme just doesn't seems consumer orientated. I don't want to pay for mods and I reckon the stingy contingent has the numbers on BFC by a wide margin. Adverts could make it so you guys don't need to limit service? I'll put up with the annoying ads, I'll get over it. I'll pet my cat while I download or something. BFC doesn't want adverts for competitors? Get over it already. Believe in your product enough not to care! Not like a lot of stuff goes by unnoticed in the wargaming community anyway. Provide this service to extend the value of your products. You'd be taking money from competitors to increase service to your customers. You'd be laughing all the way to the server bank.

Thank you for thanking us for our feedback Steve, but I really don't get the impression a lot has been done with it. Us being grognards you are forgiven for ignoring the steady background grumbling but this thread can hardly be mistaken for a ringing endorsement of your idea.

So I'm more then a little curious of you will press on regardless or adjust the plans in some way.

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The posts here seem evenly split over the idea of having to pay to download vice getting stuff for free, but what about uploading?

I'm not you could call a prolific producer of mods or scenarios, by any stretch of the imagination, but I would be VERY resistant to the idea of uploading any of my own stuff to a BFC server, then face the prospect of having to pay (or using up the trivial monthly free allocation) to get my own stuff back - even if only to test that the upload worked properly.

I'd also be resistant to the idea of putting it up where _other_ people have to pay to get it.

Incidentally, in terms of scaling, fully featured CMSF scens currently run to about 1.5MB, and campaigns are on the order of 20+MB.

Regards

Jon

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Ah, I see Steve addressed the added value. True, it won't add value to product. It will add value to the brand though. Hosting CMSF mods won't boost CMSF sales. But it'll do something for CMSF2 sales, I'm willing to bet.

Besides, a developer making players pay for modifications and scenarios? It'll look incredibly bad no matter how often you put out a press release saying you don't make a penny. And who needs that PR hit after the CMSF release.

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So when BFC proposes such a scheme that offers seemingly poor service for the free user I do object.

Heh, how about waiting until the service is actually out there before judging if it's poor or not?

They are potentially taking the wind of the sails of other mod/scenario hosting sites out there that have done an outstanding job so far. And once they dwindle and die out, the non-paying customer is left with the BFC service. Which looks like it'll suck unless you cough up, given the palltry ballpark figures for free download limit.

You are complaining about something that could "potentially" happen and go on to assume that you know exactly what will happen next, and then draw your conclusions based upon your opinion that it will suck? Wow.

In this day an age where users are practically being begged to upload their crap to www.uploaded-crap.com this whole scheme just doesn't seems consumer orientated.

So following your point I bet that there are dozens if not hundreds free hosting sites for mods and scenarios for Battlefront games out there?

I don't want to pay for mods

You won't have to.

Provide this service to extend the value of your products. You'd be taking money from competitors to increase service to your customers. You'd be laughing all the way to the server bank.

You mean like another company that is also running a games magazine site? No, thank you.

Thank you for thanking us for our feedback Steve, but I really don't get the impression a lot has been done with it. Us being grognards you are forgiven for ignoring the steady background grumbling but this thread can hardly be mistaken for a ringing endorsement of your idea.

Really? Check out how many PEOPLE have posted pro and con.

So I'm more then a little curious of you will press on regardless or adjust the plans in some way.

Of course. If anything, the feedback so far was more positive then expected. As mentioned in the opening post, this isn't an election. You can voice your opinion, not cast a vote.

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The posts here seem evenly split over the idea of having to pay to download vice getting stuff for free, but what about uploading?

I'm not you could call a prolific producer of mods or scenarios, by any stretch of the imagination, but I would be VERY resistant to the idea of uploading any of my own stuff to a BFC server, then face the prospect of having to pay (or using up the trivial monthly free allocation) to get my own stuff back - even if only to test that the upload worked properly.

I'd also be resistant to the idea of putting it up where _other_ people have to pay to get it.

Incidentally, in terms of scaling, fully featured CMSF scens currently run to about 1.5MB, and campaigns are on the order of 20+MB.

Regards

Jon

We have internally discussed the option of introducing some kind of "token" system where uploaders get a free membership. But it's problematic to set up something like this in an automated way. I don't want to go too much into details here, but it boils down to problems with establishing a truly "fair" automated system.

This isn't to say that we couldn't give unlimited membership to individuals. But it wouldn't be automated, and in fact it probably even wouldn't be public.

Again you're saying that "people have to pay to get it". It's simply not true. Nobody *has* to pay anything.

Perhaps this wrong perception comes from not properly explaining what the "download limit" will be. Here's an attempt at a more precise description: let's say the "monthly limit end up being 10 MB". What this means is that you will be able to "download up to 9.99999 MB of data + 1 file". It doesn't matter how large that 1 file is. It could be 100 MB. The "limit" is only enforced AFTER it's reached and passed. In the example above, you will end up with a download of 109.9999 MB for the month. You just won't be able to download any additional files for the month.

You still don't *have to* pay anything. 30 days later you can download again up to 9.99 MB + 1 file.

Martin

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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.

:)

Please email me at martin@battlefront.com or PM me. I'd like to know where you are renting from.

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After browsing through this, I must ask myself why. Why would I pay for something that is already free and available, not just for BFC games, but for any game from any developer out there?

The player community is doing a great job providing a free, unlimited service you want to charge for. You can't beat that, unless you take the same approach.

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After browsing through this, I must ask myself why. Why would I pay for something that is already free and available, not just for BFC games, but for any game from any developer out there?

The player community is doing a great job providing a free, unlimited service you want to charge for. You can't beat that, unless you take the same approach.

The answer is: you don't have to pay for it if you don't want to. It's entirely voluntary. We're not set out to beat any existing offers (which are not free as explained in this thread; *somebody* is paying for it), but to create a central repository for all BFC games. Such a thing does not exist. We want to offer it to the community. It's up to you to use it, and how to use it.

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Thanks for the link, Wicky. This is the first such offer (at that price level) that I see with unlimited bandwidth to be honest. Usually there is a cap of some sort.

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Seems like a good deal - I use them (the company- not that particular service) for my websites and they've been trouble free and reliable for over 5 years.

Thanks for the link, Wicky. This is the first such offer (at that price level) that I see with unlimited bandwidth to be honest. Usually there is a cap of some sort.

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Seems like a good deal - I use them (the company- not that particular service) for my websites and they've been trouble free and reliable for over 5 years.

Sounds good. I'll check them out. It's important to see what the fineprint says. I have seen some deals in the past where all is fine and dandy as long as you don't use up all that bandwidth. If you actually do, then hosters throttle your speeds and what not. If this company delivery what is promised then the entire membership discussion is unnecessary. Our existing forecasts regarding bandwidht requirements and hence cost are obviously much much higher than this.

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Wow yourself Moon.

No indeed I haven't the full facts yet, that's why I added a word here and there, like seemingly and potentially, to indicate so. Given that this thread asked for opinion and didn't give us all the details I thought that'd be okay.

Or were you perhaps more concerned I gave the "wrong"opinion?

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It's okay to post your opinion. Technically, there is no wrong or right with opinions. If we didn't want to hear opinions this thread wouldn't be here. Nobody forced us to open this project for public discussion.

I merely posted my observation that you're assuming a lot of things as the basis for a fairly strong worded opinion.

Or were you perhaps more concerned I gave the "wrong"opinion?

I am not in the least concerned about your opinion.

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Please email me at martin@battlefront.com or PM me. I'd like to know where you are renting from.

Martin,

When back home later Ill send you by email all informations about my subscription, but you can look at the following adress to get an idea :

http://www.dedibox.fr/

Servers are based in France and bandwith is especially very good for us european. As I said Im using one Linux dedicated server for 18 months now and I never had any problem lasting more than a couple of hours. I have unlimited transfer amount as well.

Of course they only provide hardware and bandwith, you have to setup everything by yourself but Im sure configuring a Debian with a FTP wont be a problem for you guys.

Now I dont know the situation in USA.

more in the email.

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Here’s an “out of the box” idea to fund the fileserver. Lean on the fundraising model jammed down my throat by my kid’s school a couple of times a year. Here’s how it would work. You would send us catalogues filled with huge mark ups on junk like decorative candles, popcorn, tubs of cookie dough and magazine subscriptions then we would go door to door in our neighborhoods selling items under the guise of some heart wrenching charity like “save the bears that live at both Poles” (Bi-Polar Bears), or “save the bears with wild mood swings” (Bi-Polar Bears) or “save the bears who are unsure of their sexuality” (Bi-Polar Bears) or the Sally Struthers Gastric Bypass Foundation. We would submit our sales to you which you would fill and make enough money to leave all this behind. What’s in it for us? Glad you asked, there will be a reward schedule based on sales volume, something like this….

Sales = X wins whoopee cushion, gag hand buzzer, candy that gives you bad gas.

Sales = X+y wins some amount of downloads.

Sales = X+y+z wins a 15 minute limo ride for the winner and 2 friends from a local limo facility, 7 ½ minutes out and 7 ½ minutes back. In the event that you have no friends the ride will be reduced to 5 minutes because who are you going to impress anyway?

If you don’t like any of these ideas I would also like to suggest:

1. Bakesale

2. Lemonade stand.

FURTHER

I would also like to suggest a name for the service.

File-acio

Thanks for your consideration.

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Thanks for the info. You're actually mentioning one of the major problems with a one-server solution, and that is providing good bandwidth to all users, worldwide. The majority of our users are from the US (about, say, 70%) so a one-server solution in Europe might not be ideal. This is why our full game downloads from our store are in fact hosted on a server network, serving files dynamically based on your location, and spreading the load over different servers etc. It's why there have been no bottlenecks anymore for the past several major releases despite thousands of people downloading at the same time on release day.

Now we won't need this kind of redundancy for a file depot, but a one-server solution might be not ideal, and needs to be carefully tested.

Martin

Martin,

When back home later Ill send you by email all informations about my subscription, but you can look at the following adress to get an idea :

http://www.dedibox.fr/

Servers are based in France and bandwith is especially very good for us european. As I said Im using one Linux dedicated server for 18 months now and I never had any problem lasting more than a couple of hours. I have unlimited transfer amount as well.

Of course they only provide hardware and bandwith, you have to setup everything by yourself but Im sure configuring a Debian with a FTP wont be a problem for you guys.

Now I dont know the situation in USA.

more in the email.

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Sounds good. I'll check them out. It's important to see what the fineprint says. I have seen some deals in the past where all is fine and dandy as long as you don't use up all that bandwidth. If you actually do, then hosters throttle your speeds and what not. If this company delivery what is promised then the entire membership discussion is unnecessary. Our existing forecasts regarding bandwidht requirements and hence cost are obviously much much higher than this.

Ah, the unlimited bandwidth thing is a special limited time offer:

http://www.fasthosts.co.uk/dedicatedservers/unlimited-bandwidth-offer/

No surprise that I didn't see anything comparable out there in the past. Well, this might be too good an offer to pass up, provided that bandwidth to the US and rest of the world is comparable.

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We've seen "unlimited bandwidth" offers all over the place, but like most good things that seem too good to be true... there usually is some major fineprint involved. The primary problem for us is not only total monthly bandwidth usage, but also "peak" usage. Some services nail you, hard, if the peak usage is high. There's a big difference between 1GB downloaded evenly over a month and 1GB downloaded mostly over 2 days, for example.

The other problem is how much load can a single server take. When we used to host our own demos we had quite a bit of problems, which in turn made us switch. Poor download speeds, dropped connections, CPU overload, out of memory problems, etc. And we had a pretty beefy server on a thick pipeline. There's just only so much that can be got out of a single server.

Steve

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Elmar,

Ah, I see Steve addressed the added value. True, it won't add value to product. It will add value to the brand though. Hosting CMSF mods won't boost CMSF sales. But it'll do something for CMSF2 sales, I'm willing to bet.

I'm not :D We are a niche and a fussy one at that. People that really like wargames will keep coming back to buy more. Those who bought it as an "impulse purchase" will either become a wargamer or will not purchase something from us again. The number of scenarios and graphics mods available doesn't even factor into the equation. It would, definitely, if we shipped the game without an Editor or with only a handful of scenarios. But we don't. And since there will always be means of downloading other people's scenarios, for free (including our proposal!), then there will always be more than what shipped on the disk.

To state again... the availability of user scenarios and mods does not affect our sales at all, or at the very best by a number that is so small it would not be missed. What user scenarios and mods do for customers is extend their enjoyment of our products. This has value to us in ways that aren't measured in sales, which is why we are trying to offer a comprehensive repository for all this material. Unfortunately, this will come at a cost to us. If it were likely to be an insignificant cost, then we'd not even be having this discussion. But so far, based on our knowledge of what we need and what is out there, we're skeptical that the cost will be small.

Besides, a developer making players pay for modifications and scenarios? It'll look incredibly bad no matter how often you put out a press release saying you don't make a penny. And who needs that PR hit after the CMSF release.

Here we agree. It's why we have debated this internally for many months now and rejected many different possible solutions. As is being demonstrated by you, and some other posters, you still are having difficulty understanding that the services are still offered for FREE, but with a limit on how much can be downloaded at one time. So anybody can download anything they want for free, but not all at once. There is a big difference here, and clearly it isn't being see that way by you and some others. That is a problem for us, obviously.

Steve

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It would be pretty nice to have some really good quality site for mods and scenarios.

If you are not going to make any real profit directly from site, I think any fee to cover the cost is justified. Clearly there still should be some way to get whatever sized mod or scenario from the site for free or it would not grow to be THE site for CM mods and scenarios. If that whole thing ends up sucking, then markets will clear things out for customers convenience. ;)

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