PDA

View Full Version : 3rd party perspective from a developer



TuFun
May 15th, 2017, 17:45
Interesting points...


https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/510199-fsw-from-a-3rd-party-perspective/

Daube
May 16th, 2017, 00:13
Interesting points indeed, but again almost no new informations at all.
Still not a single line (unless it's very well hidden) about freeware devs or external addons websites.
Still not a single line clarifying the pricing policy regarding the addon maker's own stores... at some point, the messages even imply these stores might not be allowed at all.
The only new thing is that "licence" the devs need to buy in order to sell for FSW on Steam.

So far, a quick and dirty summary of the situation for a dev seems to be the following: in order to sell addons for FSW, you first need to pay a lot, you need to follow our commands, and out of a 100$ addon you'll be lucky if you can get 30$ or 40$ back from it. Ah but yes, you might sell it more than through your personnal store...
It doesn't sound good at all and I'm still wondering why it's taking so much time to the DTG guys to clarify the situation once for all on the forums. It's like "We are trying to rape you but we just want to check how loud you can scream before, just to check if we need any oil or something...".

jeffv
May 16th, 2017, 06:47
Thanks for sharing.

000rick000
May 16th, 2017, 09:41
Yes there was mention of freeware and all dev stuff in this part, kind of an uber all encompassing statement really:

"...Dovetail has stated on this forum that there will be no external 3rd party stores. So no "competition" and a monopoly. To some, that may be a good thing, but competition is the core to a free economy. It drives down prices for the consumer, and increases the quality. If there was external stores I could sell my products for FSW, I could maybe demand a better contract as a 3rd party developer. No "Grey market" for 3rd party dev's. If I sell my product in FSW, I need to have a license from the aircraft manufacturer or whoever holds the rights. This can be VERY VERY difficult for small developers like me. Without an external market, there is no grey market. No grey market means less add-on's. Also, if I need to pay Grumman/Boeing/Lockheed Martin, they want BIG money and that may price many things out for small dev's. Many years ago, Grumman wanted $170,000 to use the likeness of one of its aircraft. Thats never going to happen since I may get 10% of that if im lucky in FSX/P3D. Maybe if FSW has enough users, but right now, no."

So under this umbrella, no. There won't be ANY competition. And if you want to market your aircraft, you have to have license proof from the original manufacturer?? Ok, yeah, so aircraft are going to cost OODLES...and only big devs will be able to support this...IF they decided to. Monopoly for sure. It's no wonder they only are doing GA right now. They probably COULDN'T afford the licence for a larger aircraft...yikes. I'm still curious and will wait this out. But my prediction holds...this will be dead in a little over a year. Can't see many people willing OR able to jump through those hoops to get a product to market in a super tight Niche market to begin with. Not with the alternatives available. especially since the current field of devs are still producing for the other sims. Unless DTG puts an EXEMPT clause in the their deals that literally stops devs from using those same products in other platforms...wouldn't put that little detail past them. It's the only way to keep all the money in their platform.

I totally disagree with Gibbage's POV regarding chicken and egg. All the development that has happened until now to keep the community alive and even HAVE this customer base to begin with was done on the backs of him, and every other developer and freeware guy out there. There wouldn't be a community to even market this to had MS NOT made the sim 100% 3rd party to begin with. It would have died out DECADES ago. With all that knowledge and innovation having NEVER occured to begin with. DTG is taking ALL of that, climbing to the top and saying, looke what we've done! -- Yeah. Right. This is "FLIGHT 2.0" as far as I'm concerned until it proves otherwise.

The line about "...their success is MY success...", are you kidding me? You're hoping 100% of the active market does a switch to FSW on day 1 and buys your product at the reduced ROI. Hopefully you can stay in business long enough to claim success. One of 2 things happens here. Authentic sim products will be released, at MUCH higher costs, or less than average sim products will be released in bulk to keep costs low. Either way, the dev has to sacrifice something, and can't even play by their own rules. How will the initial hype and interest be kept going for FSW when monopoly rules control the creation of content? I'm more disappointed by the day reading the trickle of info. To me this is M A S S I V E RED FLAG.The fact that 3rd party development is such a taboo subject already, being skirted around and sugar coated. "Content" is being defined as flight plans and similar? The more I hear/read, the more I have the image of the old snake oil salesman being conjured up in my mind. It looks amazing on the outside, but really it's nothing new and doesn't do what you think it will. Sorry that's my gut feeling.

And I hope I'm proven 100% WRONG! That would be the best outcome!

And yes -- it appears I've stumbled atop that darn soap box again....dang it!...I thought I got rid of that thing...

rhumbaflappy
May 16th, 2017, 15:41
The sense I get is that everything developed will go through Steam, and there will be some sort of testing and vetting done by Dovetail, whether or not it is commercial or freeware. You cannot simply add your freeware to an online library, like the Sim-Outhouse or AVSIM. And they will obstruct you in trying to sell your work outside their control.

I bet all submissions to Steam will flow through a EULA that will give Dovetail the right to use your addon however it sees fit, including their usage of your work in their own payware addons. Perhaps this is the function of a developer's license, in that it gives you back your exclusive rights to your work, by exempting you from portions of the EULA.

Dick

000rick000
May 16th, 2017, 17:10
So my point, in all this is that P3D is an alternative that supports 100% 3rd party development. It WILL be 64 bit likely in the next iteration...so If your favorite add-ons aren't coming to an FSW sim near you because no one will put up the cash to pay for the rights to use the name...whats going ronkeep people around? What is offered that isn't already offered via the literal universe of Add-ons out there that work already for P3D? What's going to keep you in FSW if it's so unfriendly to development from 3rd party?

Ive heard the argument "its STEAM it will put me out in front of so many more people..yeah it will...gamers...they might buy FSW for $20 The core simulation...but do you really think that someone whose less than an aviation enthusiast is going to buy the PMDG 737? Or 777? 4x-5x the original price of the core sim? Don't think so...to have to read manuals and pour over checklists to get in the air? Not even my fellow engineers at Boeing are interested for.the most part in flight sim...yet they all play 1st person shooter. This market is so niche, that only the true aviation lovers really try stick around. Without us there would be no need for any ground breaking addon...because we'd have been satisfied with the default FSX aircraft. So yeah DTG will make money but I see this only fracturing the $$$ that gets spent currently, and simply directing it into a limited number of add-ons for a shiny new sim platform.

n4gix
May 16th, 2017, 20:16
Yes there was mention of freeware and all dev stuff in this part, kind of an uber all encompassing statement really:

"...Dovetail has stated on this forum that there will be no external 3rd party stores. So no "competition" and a monopoly.

Aimee has repeatedly stated that devs are free to sell their product via their own storefronts, PROVIDED that they also make it available via the Steam Portal...

000rick000
May 16th, 2017, 20:39
Yeah it's interesting for sure. Conflicting information for sure. We'll know.for sure once the first independent developer attempts to sell something via the new system. I'm hoping my rants prove futile. We've not heard any information regarding sales pricing. I'm hoping they allow you to still sell at your desired price tag. Regardless, try contacting Boeing for license on Boeing, North American, Douglas, McDonnell, McDonnell Douglas...I can't imagine it's going to be cheap and imagine all the Dr elopers contacting all these companies. I bet prices increase dramatically...or.they become.shicmed at how much product is out there and pull a Grumman or Dassault move and nix everything under the sun...that would be the worst outcome. Could you imagine. Unwittingly DTG kills all development of brand name.aircraft! LoL...

rhumbaflappy
May 17th, 2017, 10:08
A quote from Amiee via AVSIM:


Our baseline is that you can sell on your own store, which means all the simmers who have been buying from you the past ten years can continue to do so. We ask that you also make your add-ons available on our channels, but we are not limiting the places you can sell. If you have any questions or wish to discuss things further, please contact our Third Party team.

I think it's significant she uses the word "ask". Also, the 3rd party team exists to negotiate the distribution of the addon, and apparently vets the content. She stresses you need to contact the 3rd party team.

Dick

000rick000
May 17th, 2017, 12:41
Yeah I'm not entirely convinced things will play out as smoothly as that. ED does the same thing with DCS and their products and they have royally screwed some developers. You'll notice only a handful of developers actively develop for them.

So freeware is likely(?) going to die off then? I mean IF it's even allowed, you have to contact their "3rd party" team and then yada yada jump through hoops just to release something you're not charging for? Personally, I simply wouldn't do it. I suppose there will be people that might brave those waters. I'm guessing you'll still have to have a licence and the product has to be almost bug free and fully tested...or it wont make it onto Steam. Realistically I just don't see that happening.

stiz
May 17th, 2017, 14:37
how i read it = If you want to go through the DTG steam, then you have to meet their standards (which isnt always a bad thing), as they want everything in their channel to work without issues, which again, isnt a bad thing.

And if you read through all of Aimee posts, there not against freeware, but they havn't decided on exactly HOW to release the SDK and such yet, after all, its early access and still in development!

I, for one, can fully understand if they dont want freeware being made for an early access product they full well intend on tweaking. It avoids the whole issue of having a bunch of freeware made for early access software that might not get updated as the game (because thats what it is people!) develops and changes.

000rick000
May 17th, 2017, 15:50
If it's part of your road map or plan then you would talk about it and say things like for example "Yes, freeware will implemented, and t will be open to anyone." The verbiage being used, in my experience, is indicative with confusion and recovery planning due to events not transpiring as conceived. If they don't know HOW to implement the SDK at this late stage, to me, it says we were never really planning on it and now wee scrambling. That's my gut feeling. I've been in many high levels meetings where business diplomacy is required and I can read between the lines. that's just me. I certainly hope their plans are changing and they are going to move to an open 3rd part development strategy. Right now it all looks like smoke screening to me.

Im humbly bowing out of this thread now...Ive been far too negative and I'd like to not have this be my soap box. Wishing DTG the best and hoping they move to friendly development skies!

hairyspin
May 17th, 2017, 23:23
A few observations, before the subject gets locked. FSW will be, in a few hours, on Early Access which means they are still working on it. Given the size of the job, 13 programmers are going to be working on it for a couple more years imo. So you're getting a beta of less than the final product. DTG have said there will be an sdk but haven't said when or how it will be available, only that there will be one. DTG_Aimee is not a developer and can't answer any further details because she doesn't know and consequently rumour, suspicion and PARANOIA reign.

Would-be FSW developers should consider whether they want to develop for such an unfinished product. Existing FS developers might also consider that before any project - scenery, airports, weather, aircraft models - are "cleared" by DTG, they have to pass scrutiny from you. So an sdk has to be useable by its users. Think about that, you who wail about our freeware libraries being doomed.

txnetcop
May 18th, 2017, 05:51
I think we ought to be happy to add another 64bit flight simulator to the mix! IF DTG does what STEAM does in early access I will be very pleased. I doubt if they will cut the developers' ability to make a profit...that would be bad business for them! We'll see...
Ted

Jon@FSXACO
May 19th, 2017, 11:59
I would like to respond to Rick's comment that only gamers are on steam.DCS is also on steam, and I would say that the aircraft offered on DCS like the A-10, Mirage 2000, and others require the same investment in time and material study as do PMDG level aircraft. So no it's not only gamers on steam. Steam as a platform reaches a much larger market share of the niche DCS community than DCS webstore alone.There are plenty of study level games on steam. Jon Bailey

Naruto-kun
May 20th, 2017, 09:56
I would like to respond to Rick's comment that only gamers are on steam.DCS is also on steam, and I would say that the aircraft offered on DCS like the A-10, Mirage 2000, and others require the same investment in time and material study as do PMDG level aircraft. So no it's not only gamers on steam. Steam as a platform reaches a much larger market share of the niche DCS community than DCS webstore alone.There are plenty of study level games on steam. Jon Bailey

There is also no competition in DCS either. Each dev is only allowed to do what ED decides they can do. In order for there to be competition, there has to be way more freedom. And Steam is not the problem. None of the devs have said that. They were expressing concerns over what DTG might demand in addition to steam's cut based on experience with DLC for FSXSE. Although things seem to be getting uncertain in DTG's tone so have to wait and see.

000rick000
May 20th, 2017, 18:06
There is also no competition in DCS either. Each dev is only allowed to do what ED decides they can do. In order for there to be competition, there has to be way more freedom. And Steam is not the problem. None of the devs have said that. They were expressing concerns over what DTG might demand in addition to steam's cut based on experience with DLC for FSXSE. Although things seem to be getting uncertain in DTG's tone so have to wait and see.

Bingo. JB captured precisely what took me ages and multiple posts to blither on about....lol. Way to be concise JB!

IanP
May 21st, 2017, 13:04
And you're all missing one critical point in the conspiracy theorising, I'm afraid. The word "official".

What DTG have said is that "official" DLC will have to be sold through Steam and DTG, plus through external sites if the developer wishes to. The part here that people seem to climb over themselves to forget is that there was exactly one "official" DLC for FSX. It was called Acceleration. Any other software that you bought was "unofficial" DLC

How many 3rd parties were involved in making Acceleration? The answer is that parts of it were made by a number of different 3rd Party Development teams - but they were only able to sell those products through Microsoft. Indeed the terms of that were probably a single fixed price for the developers, who never saw another cent regardless of how many copies Microsoft sold - I don't know, but that's how these things usually work.

DTG are not anti-community, anti-freeware or anti-competition on DLC at all. Anyone who has used their primary title - Train Simulator - knows that full well. Yes you can buy $4000 worth of DLC through Steam, but you can also buy it (much of it the same, or even larger packages) from JustTrains, Armstrong Powerhouse, Steam Sounds Supreme, Digital Traction, plus a host of others. The guy in charge of developing Train Simulator World, Matt, is the owner of UKTrainSim, one of the largest freeware sites for Train Simulation (not just Train Simulator) out there. his Dad runs it, because matt considers that it would be a massive conflict of interest now he works for DTG, but you can copy and paste content into TS2017 the same as you can copy and paste content into Flight Simulator World. That's been proven plenty of times already. If DTG wanted to lock FSW down, yes, they know full well how to and they could easily have done it. They already encrypt FSX Steam Edition content to prevent it being used in non-Steam versions of the Sim. They haven't. So why all the vitriol, picking apart words and misinformation? Surely actions speak louder than words and we're already seeing both non-commercial and commercial products being developed for FSW during Early Access release. How many of them are being sold through DTG/Steam? Zero. Because there's no DTG/Steam store for content to be sold though, yet. They have, on the other hand already opened up Workshop - albeit only for flight plans right now.

Something else that is critical to know regarding DTG is that they are extremely hot on IP rights, Copyright and Trademarks. If it appears as "official" DLC with a real world name and/or livery, you can bet your bottom dollar that the DTG licensing team has seriously run it through the mill and covered their backsides. That's the reason that Workshop on Train Sim won't allow you to upload your own models and textures to it: You can reskin and modify pretty much anything in TS2017, but if you want to distribute it, you have to do it yourself, or via DTG's licensing team. They're responsible for what goes onto their Workshop, so if we have another repeat of the Peter Tishma / oneWorld fiasco that nearly destroyed real-world liveried content in Flight Simulation, if it's on Steam Workshop, it's going to be on DTG's heads. That's at least part of the reason that they're cagey about freeware and not sure how to handle it yet, because it depends how much they can and can't allow onto Workshop. I wouldn't expect, personally, them to allow models or repaints to be uploaded to Workshop, so you can sure as stink expect the existing freeware sites to keep going strong. They have also made significant changes to a large amount of the back end (you will find, for instance, that 2d GDI drawn gauges don't work at all in FSW) and they haven't actually written the changes to the SDK yet! Compared to getting the sim programmed, tested and released, the SDK is a secondary concern. It always will be. Plus as they make changes, it will need to be changed as well.

Yes this has been a long post and there are probably a few typos in it, but for goodness sake, don't trash a product when a) you haven't seen it completed and b) most of the anti-DTG rants on the internet are based on either utterly inaccurate or serious conspiracy theory based "information".

Here's an interesting counter to most of the complaints about Train Sim, which will also apply to many of the same criticisms when levelled at FSW. It's worth a read.

http://letsplayvideogames.com/2017/05/understanding-train-simulators-4000-of-dlc/

Ian P.

hairyspin
May 21st, 2017, 14:15
Most interesting Ian, and a good deal more sense than I've been reading of late. Cheers!