Author Topic: Kickstarting Pulsar  (Read 490 times)

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Offline TaliesinSkye

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Kickstarting Pulsar
« on: July 19, 2018, 11:12:43 AM »
Have the Devs considered kickstartering Pulsar so that they could devote their full time to the project and hire additional programmers, so the whole project got done in a reasonable period of time and exceeded Aurora?

Enough people like Aurora and are frustrated with its lack of development that I think it could do well.  Even if it didn't, a relatively small amount of money is still useful for buying developer time. 
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Kickstarting Pulsar
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2018, 01:40:56 PM »
Enough people like Aurora and are frustrated with its lack of development that I think it could do well.

Well, there is a little bit of development going on.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.0
 

Offline TaliesinSkye

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Re: Kickstarting Pulsar
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2018, 02:21:10 PM »
Aurora is a free project you do in your spare time.  It's a remarkable accomplishment for that, but it doesn't change that it's an incredibly slow development cycle as a result.  I think a whole bunch of people would be happy to pay for something a bit more dedicated.  You aren't interested in taking on the project full time for pay, so that leaves other people working on their own projects inspired by Aurora as the only real remaining option for updates that don't take years.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Kickstarting Pulsar
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2018, 03:33:41 PM »
Aurora is a free project you do in your spare time.  It's a remarkable accomplishment for that, but it doesn't change that it's an incredibly slow development cycle as a result.  I think a whole bunch of people would be happy to pay for something a bit more dedicated.  You aren't interested in taking on the project full time for pay, so that leaves other people working on their own projects inspired by Aurora as the only real remaining option for updates that don't take years.

The reason this update is taking 2-3 years is that I completely rewriting the entire game from scratch in a modern language and including sufficient additional content to fill several normal development cycles :)

Prior to the complete rewrite there were usually multiple updates per year, and that will likely be the situation once C# Aurora is launched.

With regard to the concept of generating cash to pay for full time developers, that is fairly common for games that will appeal to a wide audience, or updates of classic games. I think the problem in this case would be that a game as complex as Aurora would only appeal to a small market, so you may have difficulty sourcing sufficient funds from within that potential market. Assume a programmer wants $100k per year (for example), so you need 1,000 people to find $100 each, or 10,000 to find $10 each (bearing in mind there are less users than that registered in the entire history of this forum). That is also assuming one programmer can do it in one year. If it takes longer or needs more people, you can start multiplying those numbers. For reference, I do occasionally get donations to my PayPal account, although I don't solicit for those donations. The largest was $400 and in total over the last ten years, it is probably about $1500.

Besides, the problem isn't development, it's design. I am sure there are many better programmers than me, with far greater technical knowledge. However, they need to understand the wider strategic concepts of the game, the detailed interaction of the myriad game features and an understanding of how all those different features affect the balance of the game. Or they need someone else to write a very detailed design document and work closely with them. I have the advantage that the design is in my head so I don't need someone to explain how to code it. Without that strong design influence, programmers are likely to get bogged down in designing a very cool and smart technical architecture (in standalone terms), that doesn't help them achieve any of the functional design objectives. This isn't a problem just for hobbyists by the way - it's a problem for large, multi-national corporations.

If your idea is going to work, you need to pay a game designer first to work though all of the above, then hire someone to work with him to code what he designed. BTW, the game designer will need the parameters within which he can design the game, so you need to consider who provides that - would it be debated among the people contributing the money for example?

Ultimately, I am not convinced you can plan to do a game like Aurora or Dwarf Fortress from scratch. They probably need to naturally evolve from less complex versions, based on experience and user feedback. Trying to balance something along the lines of the current Aurora and accurately model all the potential feature interactions ahead of time is just too complex for a small team. If it was that straightforward, there would be a lot more Aurora-type games in existence.
 

Offline TaliesinSkye

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Re: Kickstarting Pulsar
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2018, 05:53:44 PM »
I think it's at least possible you're underestimating the financial viability.  Dwarf Fortress pulls in a consistent $7,500 a month in donations, which could pay for three or four developers full time.  Aurora isn't as well known yet, but full time development could help it there.  And even 'isn't as well known yet' isn't that unknown.  When youtubers put up Aurora videos thousands of people watch them.  Up to a quarter million in the case of one well known youtuber. 
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Kickstarting Pulsar
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2018, 01:05:02 PM »
I think it's at least possible you're underestimating the financial viability.  Dwarf Fortress pulls in a consistent $7,500 a month in donations, which could pay for three or four developers full time.  Aurora isn't as well known yet, but full time development could help it there.  And even 'isn't as well known yet' isn't that unknown.  When youtubers put up Aurora videos thousands of people watch them.  Up to a quarter million in the case of one well known youtuber.

$7500 per month is $90,000 per year. That is around the salary for a single developer. Bear in mind too my comments about the design work, which has to precede the development.

https://www.indeed.com/salaries/C%23-Developer-Salaries

In terms of potential contributors, people watching Quill's YouTube channel (many of which will watch initially regardless of game) is not a good barometer. The number of views drops off significantly in the subsequent videos. You would need a good proportion of those people to contribute and keep contributing. BTW I am not trying to be negative here - just pointing the things you need to consider (probably a good summation of my day job, albeit on a slightly larger scale :) ).

If you still are confident you can pull together a team and generate the necessary funding for an Aurora-style game, then go for it and I wish you the best of luck!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2018, 01:07:28 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline iceball3

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Re: Kickstarting Pulsar
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2018, 09:21:29 PM »
I don't think pulsar as a kickstarter project would do well for it's survivability. With a certain economic investment comes some mmanner of "promise" towards results that I feel would not be served by the amount of development time it allows.
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Kickstarting Pulsar
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 06:46:26 AM »
I don't think pulsar as a kickstarter project would do well for it's survivability. With a certain economic investment comes some mmanner of "promise" towards results that I feel would not be served by the amount of development time it allows.

As long as the minimum money raised goals are realistic in terms of how much money is needed to do the needed development + extra for contingency I don't see any issue.

Ofcourse that would probably also make it quite unlikely that the goal is met unless they make one hell of a pitch, but it's better to be honest and find there isn't enough interest, then promise what you can't deliver.
 

Offline sublight

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Re: Kickstarting Pulsar
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 07:33:17 AM »
I don't think pulsar as a kickstarter project would do well for it's survivability. With a certain economic investment comes some mmanner of "promise" towards results that I feel would not be served by the amount of development time it allows.

Money also adds team complications. Not only are there external promises to your investors there are internal promises to the developers that add administrative/legal responsibilities in addition to the existing struggle just to maintain a unified vision and consistent coding.

A single individual starting from scratch on an Aurora/Pulsar inspired solo project seeking money so they can quit their day job would be a lot simpler than trying to inject money into Pulsar at this stage.
 

Offline TMaekler

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Re: Kickstarting Pulsar
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2018, 06:26:11 AM »
Honestly, I used to program myself - seeing the amount of stuff Steve is adding to C# Aurora, I personally am astonished how quickly things are going for a spare time project. If I compare it to commercial projects, don't think that you need to hide for the "long" development cycle - especially as a lone programmer.
 

 

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