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edwardlongshank

make o ad profitable for charity?

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This idea may be silly but i think it makes sense, why not allow businesses to advertise on o ad once its completed and give most of the money from the businesses which pay for the ads to charity and use the rest to improve the game. The game would still remain none profit and free while also having a much bigger budget to improve and further develop the game. Making it a charity provider would undoubtedly increase support for the game in terms of attracting more programmers to contribute and more people donating money to the game with the knowledge that there money will be put towards charity in the long run by improving the game and therefore improving its profits to charity. Obviously the most obvious down side would be that players would have to put up with the advertising but there may be ways to implement it with out substantially affecting the players overall experience like for example playing an advertisement while a multiplayer game is loading. For this idea to work it would have to be mandatory for anybody who produces modified versions of the game to also use advertisements to generate profit for charity to keep the playing field fair.

Anyway i am sure there will be lots of objections to this idea so please let me know if you like or don't like the idea and why you like or dislike it.

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For this idea to work it would have to be mandatory for anybody who produces modified versions of the game to also use advertisements to generate profit for charity to keep the playing field fair.

This would mean that the game would stop being open source. All contributors to the code would have to agree to this change or their contributions would have to be rewritten for it to work (because of the GPL). In my opinion making 0 AD closed source again would discourage programmers.

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Maybe this is off-topic, but why don't we just put some more ads (beside the Ancient Warfare magazine ad) on the 0 A.D. homepage? This way we don't have to sacrifice the game's nature of being open source while still generate an income?

Now back to the idea, more money is sure good for the WFG team, but on the other hand like quantumstate has pointed out, this may violate with the game's open source philosophy. Perhaps a team member should shed light on this?

Edited by hhyloc

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Well maybe something else could be done instead of forcing people who make moderation's to the game to also advertise, the problem is if once the completed version of the game is released and has the advertisements then someone else could release the exact same version of the game only with out the advertising, so then most people would rather just play the non advertising version. Then when o ad is improved upon using some of the money generated from the advertising, the updated version could also then be made to be advertisement free by someone else. Even with out the advertising you still have the problem of games being generated from o ad but only slightly modified becoming available so then you have a few people playing the modified version so that means less people playing the original version. It really makes no sense to have multiple but similar versions of o ad each with very small amounts of players for the multiplayer. The contributors of

o ad loose out as well because they wont get credit for there work in the slightly modified versions.

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As a general point of view: this is probably not going to happen. At least not in the sense of a company buying advertising in the game just in general. If we ever do something even remotely like that it would be more likely to be something specific, like advertising for someone/some company who provides a lobby server or something similar.

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The GPL does not forbid making money on a project. Actually, there are quite a few people on eBay selling open source games, and that's perfectly legal as long as the license is provided and copyrights/credits are not removed.

Edited by Arthur_D

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Moin,

as told above, GPL does not forbit earning money. A good share of my income comes for maintaining a software I've published under GPL in 1996.

But releasing an ad-ridden 0ad, would certainly cause someone to patch it, to remove the ads. So I would go a path similar to Second Life:

- The Game itself is free GPL'ed open source.

- The Lobby server will generate money, by showing ads or selling vanity.

Lets hand wave two possible business models:

- Advertisments on the lobby server could generate a small income, at least big enough to cover the server costs.

- A lobby server could implement a meta game as the following:

Players join a faction by login. Each player earns influence by being idle to defend that faction. He needs this influence to attack and to buy mercenaries. So a non-greek player might hire Greek hoplites or peltasts before an attack, but he has to play influence to attack and influence for the option of hiring a mercenary. A defending player can pay influence, if he wants to boost his defense by the option of hiring mercanaries also. Both still have to build the embassy in game, and pay metal and wood (but no food) for the mercenaries, and have to pay the influence before the game starts for the option regardless if they use it or not.

Some Numbers:

- 1 Influence Point = 1 minute idle in defense of your faction = US$0.01

- Attack cost = 30 points to attack someone of your own faction, 15 points to attack a different faction

- Mercenaries = 1 point per mercenary option, 20 points per embassy, 20 points per troop type

- Players who do not idle to defend or fight can offer their promoted troops they kept form prior combat as mercenaries to others, will earn half the influence payed.

- Players who win a fight as attackers earn 10 influence points. Players who win a fight as defenders earn half the influence points the attacker spend.

Example:

A Carthagian player wants to attack a Roman player, with the option to hire 20 Iberian Scrutinary. He knows that a friend offers 32 advanced and elite Scrutinary currently. A third player offers 8 advanced Scrutinary. He has to pay 55 influence: 15 influence to attack the Romans, 20 influence for the mercenary, and 20 influence for the embassy. His friend earns 16 influence, and the 3rd player 4 influence. He will earn 10 influence points, if he wins, while the Roman player can earn 22 influence, if he successfully defends.

Nobody would be forced to pay US$ by this schema by the impatient players will do. The lobby server could become a cash cow, as long, as the majority of players prefer the official server over an obscure 3rd party hack. I'm sure people would pay for influence, if there are several ways to pay and not only paypal and credit card.

ciao,Kraehe

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I don't fully understand a few of the things that you said but i think the profit making should be kept separate from the actual game play, i would not want to risk compromising the game play for money. Age of empires online did exactly that and the last thing i want is a repeat of aoe0. I think that when you call a game free it should be exactly that, if players have the choice of paying for the game then its not free imo.

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...if players have the choice of paying for the game then its not free imo.

So, 0 A.D. is already non-free in your view since you can donate money to the project if you want to?

I doubt people would scoff at some advertising when connecting to a meta-server, as long as it would be non-obtrusive (i.e. easily overlooked; no blinking colors etc).

Another alternative is to sell physical copies of the game on a DVD, with a manual and maybe a few extra goodies, once the game has reached 1.0.

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Heh. Perhaps the team could team up with various retailers to offer a 0 AD team-supported version of 0 AD (when it's pretty complete) with some additional features (ie, interviews, behind the scenes, more included AI opponents, perhaps a "bonus" campaign.) in stores. At around ~$30, you probably won't scare off anybody, and odds are, the price point will attract savings-conscious buyers. Besides, a little exposure is a good thing.

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Suggestion:

  • Free for direct download
  • Free to share (free to duplicate)
  • $10 for physical distribution media + sticker + % of profit went back to support development of the game
  • $20 for physical distribution media + shirt + % of profit went back to support development of the game
  • $30 for physical distribution media + shirt + % of profit went back to support development of the game + % of profit goes to support ancient sites
  • Ad service should only be visible on non gameplay screen
  • Cooperation with computer magazines that distributes CD to promote "game"
  • Cooperation with cultural / historical publications as bonus CD to promote "culture/history"

For consideration:

  • It has potential for making money which can be used to further support the development of the game,
  • Not everyone willing to download due to connection speed,
  • Some people just like perks with historical reference,

However the challenge is some people will just go for profiting without willing to give back to the community. Example, some outlet may produce and distribute it but not committing to give back for the development of the game.

"Noble effort with fund, might go better than just noble effort" :D

Edited by majapahit

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Please don't :no:

There's no way we would make people pay for 0 A.D. in one way or another. Voluntary donations is one thing, but we're not going to do something that forces people to pay to get the full gameplay experience. That said, if parts of the team, or someone else for that matter, decides to do something along the lines of a paid expansion/paid additional content after part one, that's another thing entirely. But we're in no way going to require anyone to pay for part one (in part or in full) and any such things would be in addition to the game, not in a way that forces them onto people.

Since the game is open source there is no way we can forbid anyone else to do a paid game with the Pyrogenesis engine, just require them to release any changes to the code under the GPL and any data that is based on our data under the CC-BY-SA license. They're perfectly free to e.g. create their own data and charge for that though :)

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Actually it is a good opportunity to implement crowdfunding

Some people likes to donate for nothing in return,

Some others likes to donate for recognition,

While some others proudly support some cause by buying perks...

So we don't make people pay to play 0 A.D.

It is better to provide a channel that enables them to participate in supporting the development of 0 A.D. with additional perks given as a token of recognition.

The game itself is always free.

Edited by majapahit
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Actually it is a good opportunity to implement crowdfunding

Some people likes to donate for nothing in return,

Ofc. they should get something in return and they do. They get attention, a banner in the forum and the good feeling they supported something they have chosen to like and so it's more likely the game will get awesome... and they made it possible.

In addition (dependent on the donation) they could get physical material around 0 A.D. like an installation CD, printed artwork/game manual/historic civilization notes/..., CD stickers/jewel case. Other non-gameplay non-physical stuff could be granted as well like special avatars, being named as a donator in the credits, perhaps even other artwork to use in the game. But giving them an advantage in game is a bad idea IMO.

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But giving them an advantage in game is a bad idea IMO.

GIving advantage in game for cash is terrible. :banger:

Not educating too, how many kids spending their money just for silly character level upgrade or special unit or rare items?

Edited by majapahit

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Not educating too, how many kids spending their money just for silly character level upgrade or special unit or rare items?

I would say that's very educating ;) A learning experience (hopefully), and pretty representative of how things are in the real world (where people pay a lot for things which really aren't worth it just because they're of the "right brand" etc). But that's at least not going to happen here :) If we let people actually pay for things as opposed to donating it's just going to be additional things like the physical things mentioned above.

The thing to remember though is that money in and of itself isn't a solution to any of our problems (apart from perhaps paying for a multiplayer server in the future if that is necessary), sure we can pay developers, but to make it fair it would have to be for more extensive work and then one or more of the developers would have to be able to set aside that kind of time, which is not too easy to make happen.

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I like the idea of shirts. I'd totally buy some :D As for the CDs, I think they're a bit too much but ideal for many Internet users who lack a good connection and are unable to download the game.

Perhaps after the game is done, we could do a "swag store" of sorts with all kinds of awesome official merchandise (shirts, ancient style helmets :D, cool posters) for fans if there is a significant demand. Many FOSS guys do that.

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Last thing i want in this game is ads..

I have ads EVERYWHERE I GO now-a-days..

I can't even pump gas at the gas station without them embedding a TV into the gaspump with it playing ads..

Please... no ads..

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