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 I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts

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Zetal
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PostSubject: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:39 pm

Hey. I dunno if you guys actually remember me after all this time, but weeelll firstly I'd like to say sorry for suddenly vanishing! I thought I'd be able to stay longer when spring break stopped being a thing, and it didn't really work out.

Secondly, I'm back for now! It's the school semester, but my classes are fairly laid back atm, so we'll see how that goes. I'll try and do some work on the Wiki, I suppose.

The real bulk of this topic is because when I noticed this on the my bookmarks bar, I asked my friend (he's a compsci major, and has already created two small games in C++, Java) how he would feel about maybe trying to help this project out. He asked how much it would sell for and that was the end of the discussion. I understand the intent of marketing the game for free, but we live in a capitalist world, guys! Maybe I'm just suffering from the typical impatience, but I feel like this could be so much more if it were being sold, even if just for $10 or so. Or, like many indie games, we could take the Minecraft model and make it practically free in the Alpha stages ($5) and then increase the price as development progresses. That way, people that help make the game great can pay less the longer they've helped for!

Am I just crazy? =\
We can keep it open source, but just require purchase to use it in that way.
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:38 pm

The problem is "who does the money go to". It would be a major hassle to figure out how to distribute it and to distribute it in the first place. So no, we're not selling it.

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Zetal
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:45 pm

Look Scio, in my time here I really came to respect you but you've gotta see at this point that there does have to be a change implemented. Saying that it would be a "Major hassle" just sounds a lot like laziness, to be honest. You're the team lead!!! Say something completely bloody arbitrary and bam, we're all set. Seriously!

I'll throw something arbitrary out right now- you, as team lead, "hire" one or more dedicated programmers, and they would split 90% of the possible profits. The remaining ten percent would be split between forum and development team moderators, the "Soft" developers.
It's not easy making decisions relating to money, I know, but you've gotta offer the programmers something other than your eternal gratitude, because let's be blunt here that ain't worth much to most random passerby's. Money is. A programmer quits without completing their contract? They aren't interested in getting paid, then. Plain, and simple. And completely arbitrary.

Too simple? I'm not an economy major- I'm a bio. If this doesn't work, find something that will, and that's all there is to say on the matter. The current model ISN'T WORKING. I cannot stress that enough.
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NickTheNick
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:26 pm

Zetal wrote:
The current model ISN'T WORKING. I cannot stress that enough.

The current model IS working. We have made a lot of progress over the past couple of weeks, and our programmers have formed a well knit team. A game this big needs a lot of time to lay out the foundations and standards for the code. Look at the link here for hard development progress. Please don't make these conclusions without first checking the forums.

Look, Zetal, making this game worth even one cent is going miles beyond
the foundation of this project, an international community's open source
project for free. If for any wild reason this project did
start paying and charging money, I would not accept a dime. I would
even consider leaving. Making the game even worth a cent more than free
drastically reduces the number of people who will get the game, let
alone those who will even consider. Staying free is a deep and respected
value and foundation of this whole game and team.

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Zetal
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:35 pm

NickTheNick wrote:
Zetal wrote:
The current model ISN'T WORKING. I cannot stress that enough.

The current model IS working. We have made a lot of progress over the past couple of weeks ... Staying free is a deep and respected
value and foundation of this whole game and team.

"Made a lot of progress over the past couple of weeks" has been the case before, and the project seems to always slide back into it's old ways, and whatever coder is on the project loses patience. I've done some coding before in Java and I know from experience that picking up another coders work is HELL. It's not easy. It's easier to start over, usually, except in this case it isn't because it IS such a massive, stumbling project.

And really, values and foundations should not matter. Results do. If I have to play the big bad corporate around here, I'll regret you guys not liking me, but I'll regret this project never succeeding even more.
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NickTheNick
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:42 pm

Zetal wrote:
"Made a lot of progress over the past couple of weeks" has been the case before, and the project seems to always slide back into it's old ways, and whatever coder is on the project loses patience. I've done some coding before in Java and I know from experience that picking up another coders work is HELL. It's not easy. It's easier to start over, usually, except in this case it isn't because it IS such a massive, stumbling project.

And really, values and foundations should not matter. Results do. If I have to play the big bad corporate around here, I'll regret you guys not liking me, but I'll regret this project never succeeding even more.

It's not like it was before. Before there would be about 1-2 programmers at a time. Now we have about 6-7. We actually have made tangible progress, if you are implying otherwise. I trust what I have heard from the programmers. Even if a coder, like you said, loses patience, we will still have five more guys at least to cover his role. Nonetheless, the guys who are active programmers right now don't seem like they are losing their patience at all.

It is not a give and take scenario, it is not just we either pick values or progress. We are currently working very well on developing the game, and all the while sticking to the original ideas. We are successfully executing both, and have no need to give up one to convey an image of progress. I do agree that there is a lot of work to be done, but charging people for the game is not the answer.

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Zetal
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:03 am

NickTheNick wrote:
Zetal wrote:
"Made a lot of progress over the past couple of weeks" has been the case before, and the project seems to always slide back into it's old ways, and whatever coder is on the project loses patience. I've done some coding before in Java and I know from experience that picking up another coders work is HELL. It's not easy. It's easier to start over, usually, except in this case it isn't because it IS such a massive, stumbling project.

And really, values and foundations should not matter. Results do. If I have to play the big bad corporate around here, I'll regret you guys not liking me, but I'll regret this project never succeeding even more.

It's not like it was before. Before there would be about 1-2 programmers at a time. Now we have about 6-7. We actually have made tangible progress, if you are implying otherwise. I trust what I have heard from the programmers. Even if a coder, like you said, loses patience, we will still have five more guys at least to cover his role. Nonetheless, the guys who are active programmers right now don't seem like they are losing their patience at all.

It is not a give and take scenario, it is not just we either pick values or progress. We are currently working very well on developing the game, and all the while sticking to the original ideas. We are successfully executing both, and have no need to give up one to convey an image of progress. I do agree that there is a lot of work to be done, but charging people for the game is not the answer.

I'll take your word for it at the moment, but should we ever reach a place that is as dark as before, I'd keep the things I said in mind. That's all. Anyways, I'm gonna try and find a Wiki article to fix up. It's usually quite relaxing, and the Wiki seems to be exactly the same as I left it before for the most part xD
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Silver Sterling
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:52 pm

I don't even know, what wold best for the program. For sure, if the game would collect money, programmers could be hired. But the programmers would do the job, because they want to earn money and i don't know, if its better to have payed programmers, who only work for the money here, or programmers, who like everyone else here has a dream and want a epic game be done. Don't think, that peoples who only make this for money would be able to do something like this.
Second point, the project is planed to be open source. Even if its stripped down to a simple model, who can support the stages, etc. Modders would be able to get it for free and (because its open source) can reprogramm large parts of the game, add good additions etc.

I personally see a very difficult project here, but there are about 6-7 programmers here by the last count and there have been some additional programmers arrived here in the forum aswell. So i think we could have already around 10 programmers or something like this. And i saw much indie projects and a single programmer can already build a huge and intresting project. And 10 is a mentionable team. As i joined i didn't saw any programmers and the project seems to stand still. This wasn't been to long ago. Then they asked, that they need programmers and people responsed what shows, that a project like this gets a huge endorsement.
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Seregon
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:33 pm

Even if we didn't have an objection to selling Thrive, paying programmers isn't the silver bullet you think it is. We have no money to pay programmers with now, so at best we could promise to pay them on release, and the one thing that puts indie programmers off joining a project more than it being free, is the dreaded 'profit share'. It's simply not a reliable income for someone whos doing it for the money, especially with a project as complex as Thrive, which may very well never be finished even with professional programmers.

Raising money upfront using donations or a kickstart might fix some of these issues, but programmers are expensive, and we'd be lucky to get anywhere near what would be needed to finish even cell stage.

Sterling also makes a good point, we want people here who work on Thrivefor its own sake, not for money. As much as I would appreciate a nice big cheque when we release, in the mean time I'll be working on Thrive because I love doing so, and will probably work harder if I'm not expecting some distant payoff.

Finally, theres no reason programmers should be treated any different to the other contributers here. Yes, Thrive has always been in need of more programmers, but without the work thats gone into the concepts here so far, there wouldn't be anything to program, and without the abundance of scientists and other thinkers here, I doubt any team of programmers would have the knowledge required to make something like Thrive.
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:33 pm

Paying programmers a piddly amount or paying them in a lump once they're done while everyone else gets nothing devalues their contributions to the game as a whole. Even if they like getting the money, that tells them that they're not part of a project, they're a means to an end, just a tool for the rest of us. By finding programmers who are passionate enough to do this for free, we build a community and ensure that everyone working on the game is a part of it.

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Gawbad
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:40 pm

Seregon wrote:
Even if we didn't have an objection to selling Thrive, paying programmers isn't the silver bullet you think it is. We have no money to pay programmers with now, so at best we could promise to pay them on release, and the one thing that puts indie programmers off joining a project more than it being free, is the dreaded 'profit share'. It's simply not a reliable income for someone whos doing it for the money, especially with a project as complex as Thrive, which may very well never be finished even with professional programmers.

Raising money upfront using donations or a kickstart might fix some of these issues, but programmers are expensive, and we'd be lucky to get anywhere near what would be needed to finish even cell stage.

Sterling also makes a good point, we want people here who work on Thrivefor its own sake, not for money. As much as I would appreciate a nice big cheque when we release, in the mean time I'll be working on Thrive because I love doing so, and will probably work harder if I'm not expecting some distant payoff.

Finally, theres no reason programmers should be treated any different to the other contributers here. Yes, Thrive has always been in need of more programmers, but without the work thats gone into the concepts here so far, there wouldn't be anything to program, and without the abundance of scientists and other thinkers here, I doubt any team of programmers would have the knowledge required to make something like Thrive.


Didn't mean to vote it down i thought it was to zoom in or out at first... xD
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Mysterious_Calligrapher
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:15 pm

And here I thought we were ignoring the stupid little up and down vote button thing...

Anyhow. Legality and logistics are the two main obstacles to hiring programmers, even if we wanted to do so. Legality because we're dealing with a bunch of different countries, logistics because investment works for a reason; so you can pay people who are doing the work up front instead of promising them a cut of whatever hypothetical money might be made at the end.

Bottom line is, guys: expect stuff to get done, but not at the rate that it would if we were an official company with investors and accounting and all. I know there are people here who would very much like it if all of the forumgoers were going to be making money on this, but we're not. It's not technically feasible, we'd need legal advice (no, not the kind we've been getting: someone with training or a degree) and you'd honestly make more money babysitting your neighbors' kids for a couple weekends. The way the project is, we can only guarantee anyone is that eventually, we will have results. And nothing annoys the people who really want to sit down and make this real than introducing people who only care that the work gets done so they can get a paycheck.

Then there's legal issues: the amount of times we've referenced spore on this forum, and the fact that the project started at the spore forums, and that the game itself is rather similar to spore, we might face some difficulties if we were for profit. As it is, we're not, and nobody will bother to sue us for having a similar idea to a trademarked evolution game when there's obviously no money to settle the suit. I also don't know a lot about the compilers, mathematics, and other derivative programs that our programmers are using or might use, but there's a possibility of use overstepping someone's TOU at some point if we became a profit-based game.

Lastly... we have no money. We wouldn't have money for several years even if we were considering going corporate, which we're not. You who believe you'd make money: you'd make a pittance and still be taxed on it. And where I come from, that sounds like a nightmare job: no guarantee of ever finishing or getting paid, wondering if the site was just going to dry up and take your hard work with it, and working on a concept that still needs tweaking. You'd have to be crazy (or dedicated) to be our programmers, and the only reason that we have them is that they believe in us.

Finally... can I have a show of hands for closing this thread? It's not productive, and we've been having this same argument every six or so months with depressing regularity.

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Zetal
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:33 pm

I'm sorry if I offended you, Calli. I never wanted to suggest that every member of the forums should receive money- only Moderators- but the earlier posts have convinced me otherwise anyway. The third post I made in this topic already conceded the argument, after all, so feel free to consider the topic closed regardless. Just thought I'd try and say that the things I said here were, in my eyes, just a way to try and alleviate any lack of coders the future may hold. If that isn't the case now, and never will be the case, then I'm fine with this post going unheeded as free is indeed better, for the reasons you listed.
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PostSubject: Re: I'm back (For Now); And my thoughts   Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:23 pm

Zetal wrote:
I'm sorry if I offended you, Calli. I never wanted to suggest that every member of the forums should receive money- only Moderators- but the earlier posts have convinced me otherwise anyway. The third post I made in this topic already conceded the argument, after all, so feel free to consider the topic closed regardless. Just thought I'd try and say that the things I said here were, in my eyes, just a way to try and alleviate any lack of coders the future may hold. If that isn't the case now, and never will be the case, then I'm fine with this post going unheeded as free is indeed better, for the reasons you listed.

Not offended, just clarifying, for anyone still following the argument, why that wasn't truly an option anymore. If we'd started differently, yes, it might have worked, but Thrive's never worked quite in that fashion. Maybe I was a tiny bit anxious to hurry everyone on to more productive threads as well.

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