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Poll results: Shoud/can the wee-community buy and develop Weewar?

Yes, and I'll pay to play 34% [ 41 ]
Yes, and I'll help 21% [ 26 ]
Yes, but it sounds impossible 14% [ 17 ]
Maybe - depends on the price and the skills required/on hand 21% [ 25 ]
No, bad idea - we'd just make a mess of it 5% [ 6 ]
No, let it die 5% [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 121

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McMonster

Tank

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RockyDog wrote:
When you buy a house you have to look past the paint, wallpaper and fixtures to what it could become. Warnet and elitecommand have 90% of the structure you want and need. They also have the flexibility for some of hte additions you want to add. Changing the graphics would be trivial...

The only thing WW has that you cant replicate is the domain name.


I am no expert in these matters. If what RD says is true then I for one am open to this possibility.

I agree with Spade below that Weewar has a superior coherence and simplicity that is a huge part of its appeal - Warnet and Elite Command just don't have it.

I guess the problem is that we can't in fact replicate Weewar's graphics and interface too closely without infringing on copyright? Could we just buy the name and right to replicate the interface but not actually buy any of the code or graphics from EA?

I think you should speak your mind RD - you are a wee-vet who has shown dedication to the community and you're offering constructive comments here.

....

Dear Weewarriors,

Please read the first post in the thread for background info and the rest to get caught up on discussion to date.

PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS AS BRIEF AND SUCCINCT AS POSSIBLE SO THAT OTHERS WILL NOT BE INSPIRED TO BREAK YOUR FINGERS. And try to avoid poo pooy naysaying in this thread - thoughtful critiques welcome however!

Please VOTE in the poll at the top of the thread.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 20/08/2011 18:29:11

spadequack

Heavy Tank

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RockyDog wrote:Warnet and elitecommand have 90% of the structure you want and need. They also have the flexibility for some of hte additions you want to add. Changing the graphics would be trivial compared to writing your own game.

Purchasing weewar you will inherit some of the baggage that it has built into the code. For example you wont get turn replay without extensively changing code which is very dangerous for a project of this size.

The only thing WW has that you cant replicate is the domain name.


I agree with RD here except for the last line. WW has a certain design feel that I think is lacking from Warnet and elitecommand. It's not just the unit and terrain graphics; it's the feel of the website. Maybe I'm just not used to the websites of those other games, but I think there's a certain cleanliness and coherence that is here (kudos to Alex) but not there, and that appeals to me. Not a major dealbreaker, but a factor nevertheless.

thousandjulys

Trooper

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I'm not a programmer, so I cannot help in that way. But I'd shell out some money to get this site back into responsible hands - even if they spend 10/hrs or less a week on it. The only expertise I can offer is that I am a CPA, so if you need contracts, buy-outs or numbers crunched, I can help there. Because I haven't seen any dollar figures mentioned yet, I'll start one.
If there was the right group to hand this over to and the community was around the size it was earlier this year, then I would value that at about $200 and subsequently pay a subscription fee of around $5/mo. As I write this, I understand this is a small amount. But it's honest. I don't need/want an ownership percentage.

Yourtime

Raider

Offline

McMonster wrote:
Good question - it would be helpful to have those numbers. But perhaps the deeper question is whether we can really replicate the wee-experience and wee-community with a copy-cat game? I bet not. Warnet and Elite Command just aren't as appealing. Weewar may have flaws and need devo, but it's the game I'm interested in.


hm, if we make a remake and make it all the same, name it "beewars".., then I think it could give the same experience, cause the most important thing in a mmo is the community and not only the system itself

edit: *cough* we could use something old like: theme pakets (I think thats the name).. which allows the player to use his own theme for the game. it would decrease the traffic costs and we could have the chance to use the weewar theme *evil idea* =P

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 20/08/2011 19:56:18

dbthaw

Trooper

Offline

I'm a licensed attorney (in the U.S.); I don't practice in the gaming space (that's a relatively small community of attorneys) but would be willing to help to the extent I can.

Darkbee

Berserker

Offline

Sometimes it's fun to go on vacation and return to complete chaos. I don't really have much to add here than what's already been said many times before. For what it's worth the "WWCF" site is still operational, complete with dust from our last attempt, should you wish to use it. I have to be honest, I personally have even less enthusiasm than last time.

Maximus

Trooper

Offline

Three costs:

- purchase cost
- maintenance
- upgrades

McMonster

Tank

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Maximus wrote:Three costs:

- purchase cost
- maintenance
- upgrades


Ya, let's toss some basic numbers around. Purchase price is a total mystery to me. No idea what such a thing might be worth. Anyone else?

Maintenance and upgrades will have to fit with cashflow, i.e. income from members. We are talking about a community-driven game, so, hopefully, most work will be done by volunteers. But no doubt we need at least a lead programmer or two who will be paid to stay on top of things.

Folks use to pay $24 per year to play. Let's start with $25 and see where that takes us.

100 members = $2,500
1,000 members = $25,000

Somewhere around 800 paying members should be our year one goal I guess. $20,000 would be an ample amount to pay a couple of part-time techies + server and bandwidth costs, no?

Based on the poll at the top of this thread, after two days (with Weewar down much of that time), it looks like we have about 40 Weewarriors already indicating a willingness to pay - that's:

19 specifying just that
+ 13 saying they'll help run it
+ 13 saying maybe if the conditions are right (can't count on all them to pay)
= 40.

Seems to me 100 paying members will be easy to start. I'd guess we can grow it to 800 in year one with consistent maintenance, development, communications and a little bit of advertising.

Another goal ought to be to set aside X amount/ X % of income to pay out those of us who have the means to help buy Weewar up front. Then the game will truly belong to the whole community.

...

Please bookmark this webpage so that weewarriors can communicate about (buying) Weewar if the site crashes long-term or is shut down: http://saveweewar.wordpress.com/

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 21/08/2011 16:47:24

Nature_God

Tank

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If say 10 people share the cost and buy weewar then what would the next step be for them?
1. Will the 10 people get a 'share' that they can sell onwards at any time?
2. Will a set amount of the annual income be paid as a dividend to these 10 people?
I am sure there are many more questions...

My point being, how will you manage the ownership of weewar?

Garry

Raider

Offline

Nature_God wrote:If say 10 people share the cost and buy weewar then what would the next step be for them?
1. Will the 10 people get a 'share' that they can sell onwards at any time?
2. Will a set amount of the annual income be paid as a dividend to these 10 people?
I am sure there are many more questions...

My point being, how will you manage the ownership of weewar?


We are talking real money here and valuable intellectual property so we have to be talking a real business entity. Going corporate with shares may be a bit much, but a limited partnership might be a good model.

spadequack

Heavy Tank

Offline

McMonster wrote:Seems to me 100 paying members will be easy to start. I'd guess we can grow it to 800 in year one with consistent maintenance, development, communications and a little bit of advertising.


800 paying members is a stretch. I'd temper it down a bit and shoot for 300 or 400. The old business model charged more per unit time for less time ($24 for 1 year ($2/month), but we also offered $9 for 3 months ($3/month) and $4 for 1 month. Also keep in mind that most people who buy the smaller plans don't stick around and renew, but some do, and also, we seem to have a pretty constant influx of new players and payers. So after a year, I'd say we could sell 150 yearlong subscriptions, 100 3-month subs, and 100 1-month subs, for a total of $4900 in the first year, assuming we revert to the old business model (which may not be best).

$4900 is not much. Assume $1400/yr of server costs. That leaves $3500/yr. Assume we don't pay for advertising or have outside funding. $3500/yr is about 8h/week for ONE worker paid at $8/hr and working year-round, pre-taxes. You can play around with the math for that for the case of more paid people, less work time, or a smaller pay rate.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 22/08/2011 02:36:13

Plasmablaster

Heavy Trooper

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I'd like to add my input on the graphics/website issue: I also very much like the cleanliness, coherence and "wee" nature of the whole Weewar experience (both website and game graphics) and is certainly what has kept me here -apart of course from the game being so addictive. I know of the other turn based games which are very much like Weewar but I could never get into them, something in their presentation and feel kept me from sticking around. So, since I think a large part of this game's appeal is exactly this, we should be very careful towards the "make our own version of Weewar with new graphics" course of action.

Just a thought.


About the financial situation, 5000$ a year (which I regard as a realistic sum) is certainly not much but is also certainly enough to keep the game alive and also allow for some development. So let's not get the spirits down, at least not until EA announces they don't want to part with their Weewar ownership.

Garry

Raider

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Spade, that is exactly the kind of analysis we need. What did you base the bandwith costs on?

Has anyone actually talked to EA about what the current expenses are? What were the actual numbers of paid subscriptions?

And while I would love to see this be a real paying enterprise, the reality is like Plasma said: "enough to keep the game alive and also allow for some development." IMHO we HAVE to be able to break even, but not much else. Please keep those 1000 paying member visions in mind, but we dont have to achieve that. We HAVE to be able to pay the bills.

luckymustard

Raider

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the little bit of feedback that i've gotten from the other game developers that i talked to was that he felt this wasn't legit that weewar was up for sale, which maybe it isn't really.

any thoughts?

thousandjulys

Trooper

Offline

The way people are talking about EA it makes them seem like a potential patent troll. If they aren't charging money, aren't investing money, and aren't willing to sell... are they just using it to sue other would be weewar-like games? Not sure if there are any patents for weewar, but if we are able to make a deal with EA, it needs to be include everything.

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