How much are development tools worth?

Discussion in 'Useful Development Tools' started by Nohmaan, Dec 29, 2013.

?

How much would you pay for comprehensive RPG development tools?

  1. $1 - $5

    24.1%
  2. $5 - $10

    34.5%
  3. $10 - $20

    3.4%
  4. $20 - $30

    37.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Nohmaan

    Nohmaan Veteran Veteran

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    I am finishing development of some comprehensive Excel / Access tools which will be a complete suite of easy to use and customize development tools.  I am curious what the demand is for said tools and how much users would be willing to pay for these (the amount of time spent in developing the suite of tools was/is very extensive and if others use it I feel compensation is fair -- albeit much less than I charge companies for custom development of DBs and sheets).

    The basic rundown of features:

    • Several sheets, which are all integrated, which allow easy access to input values and see how your characters develop.
    • Sheets split into development for Class, Actor, Skills, Items, Equip, Formulas.
    • Integrated monster database, which will pull data to recommend stats for monsters at levels your party will encounter them (based off values globally defined)
    • Balancing, calculates all stats for classes and assigns a balance value based off damage output/speed/crit and evade values.  Calculates all stat values to help achieve overall balance.  Includes value calculation for healing classes to determine comprehensively how each class will effect the flow of combat.
    • Skill development sheet which helps calculate damage/mp ratios, damage/tp ratios and more balancing options.
    • Set definitions for item value to help calculate item cost.  Use these values with the monster book to determine how much gold monsters should drop to manage the flow of your game (defined globally)
    • Link skills to classes to create additional balancing to see the true output of each class.
    • Two packages, built for intro and advanced users to help see what the real numbers involved in your game will be,

    It goes quite a bit deeper than this, but that's the gist of it.

    Again, the whole package is still in development and testing, and it's a real value to see what the balance of the game will be - and to plug in values and get balanced recommendations on things like item cost and MP cost.  Real time graphing and integration with the other sheets make it very nice to see how each weapon, skill, or class impacts your game.  Worth noting that the advanced level will draw you in if you're a numbers fiend like me, but I'd like to make these available for other developers.  I am hoping to have it all completed by mid-Feb.  
     
    #1
  2. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    your poll stops a bit short since it contains no option to pay more than 30$ for a game development tool - and Ace isn't that expensive at the regular price of 60$ or so...


    http://www.nevigo.com/en/articydraft/overview/


    That would also be a design tool I've considered to buy in the single-user-version for 200$, and it does less than Ace because it cannot create a game, but helps with organising larger stories and games...
     
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  3. Kurisu

    Kurisu game dev, pilot, cat lover Veteran

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    Seems very interesting and could be very helpful to balance out all the numbers in database.

    How would it calculate the recommended values in regard to game difficulty? I mean, does user need to define how difficult he wants his game to be? Also, will all the values calculated by your system be linear, or can there be a difficulty curve? (I wouldn't want the beginning of my game to be equally difficult as the ending, of course)
     
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  4. Nohmaan

    Nohmaan Veteran Veteran

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    It uses the global average for damage output and defense based off the level of your characters, then a difficulty scale to calculate what the stats of the enemy should be.  So, for example, if you party is level 20 and averages a damage output of 200 damage per turn and resists 100 damage per turn you can define how hard the boss will be to get HP/MP and magic and attack values for what level your party should be around when you fight the boss.  This integrates into your global defined damage formulas and calculations based off skill damage averages.  

    Consider this feature a guideline, where you can set a difficulty of 1 - 10 (1 being regular mobs in a group of 3-4 monsters and 10 being final or epic boss type).  This part isn't finished yet but I want to include in the calcs your party's healing ability and average HP measured against the output of the monsters.  That being said, whether you use a linear damage formula or an exponential one it should be able to accommodate and make estimates based off what you define. 
     
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  5. Nohmaan

    Nohmaan Veteran Veteran

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    I had meant to put $30+ but the idea is that most people who would use it are hobbyists like myself.  While it would be nice to have recompense for the time spend building the tools I would also like to make them available at a reasonable price to justify the use in hobby games.

    As stated, I am looking at having 2 packages - one for basic use and the other for advanced.  Those prices would be different.  I like the idea of having storyline involved in it perhaps some sort of progression manager would be helpful.

    I should have some screenshots which examples of how it all gets utilized later on this coming month.  I also need to decide if I should focus on MS Office (which has a lot of nice features and graphic enhancements like conditional formatting) or for more compatibility with the free office suites.  Office365 will give users a licensed copy of Office 2013 (for up to 5 PCs) for $10/mo, which may be a good investment for small teams looking to develop a game.

    Edit: I accidentally double posted trying to reply to separate quotes, sorry.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2013
    #5
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  6. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I'm tying to understand exactly what this is.  You start talking battle stats and my eyes glaze over - I am horrible with them.  So would this be a good tool for someone like me?  The games I like to design are not battle intensive, but I struggle with the numbers of the battles (maybe because I just don't care) - so does this mean that I can plug in that I want my party to start at level 1 with 50 Hp and for it to be relatively easy battles and it gives me the numbers to plug in?  Also, I assume this is a tool that I would be able to reuse for any project I am working on...
     
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  7. Nohmaan

    Nohmaan Veteran Veteran

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    More or less, yes.  For class development you would be able to define the stats for your characters and have them balanced.  One of the units is specifically for battle formulas to help with seeing what your damage outputs will look like.  

    And, yes, you would be able to reuse with numbers from any of your projects.  The basic module also includes some sample battle system formulas for both exponential and linear gains.
     
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  8. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    Yeah, I'd be interested in something like this, and I'd pay $30 or more for it if it worked well. I use MS Office 365 (is that what it's called?) so the latest and greatest.


    If you've got it all up and running, you should consider doing a video walkthrough (nice and slow, and zoomed in, so it's clear what you're actually doing and what effect it's having) to show people what you mean.


    If you want to reply to several people, just hit the Multiquote button on each post, then the Reply to X Quoted Posts in the bottom corner. Saves double-posting. You can also start typing a reply, then hit a quote button on someone's post, and it'll just quote them in the reply you're currently typing (though sometimes it gets the position wrong and you have to move text around a bit.)
     
    #8
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  9. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    Asking how do you edit Excel/Access files is quite leading users to actually just think about Excel and Access... a better question would be how do you edit Spreadsheet and Database files...


    anyway, right now I'm still on 2007...


    as for the first question, depends on what you call as Comprehensive RPG development tools
     
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  10. Nohmaan

    Nohmaan Veteran Veteran

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    It's very comprehensive and almost ready.

    Imagine plugging in new classes, skills, and having the global calcs define how balanced the system is.  I chose to develop with max compatibility for Office 2013 due to a few factors (1st month free and $10 month for the licensing which you could terminate later).  Office 2013 just has so much polish and extra functions I can't ignore.   

    There are still a few bugs and some major changes that I have to go through and update the sheets but honestly, it is looking pretty good.  I think beginning of March is a more realistic time frame at this point but would be happy giving a couple copies to RPG forum mods/staff (once I'm happy with it) to boost legitimacy; as I do plan to sell the package.
     
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  11. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    I'll be happy to take a look at this. I haven't yet started balancing all my stats, so this could be perfect timing for me :)
     
    #11
  12. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Sounds good except for one thing - at the moment I think there would only be a few people interested who actually have Office 2013.  Unless it is also compatible with earlier versions and/or some of the other things you listed in your poll, take-up will be significantly reduced.  I, for example, am interested, but I have Office 2010.  I'm not going to spend $120 a year just so that I can run this.
     
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  13. kerbonklin

    kerbonklin Hiatus King Veteran

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    Apache Open Office for me please, and it's free! =P
     
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  14. Nohmaan

    Nohmaan Veteran Veteran

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    It runs fine in Office 2010 so far as I can tell, and I'm testing in other versions of the free office suites.  Most of the functions are cross compatible, just some of the charts and conditional formatting doesn't play so nice so ultimately they may either be yoinked or there will be a compatible version for other versions of spreadsheet software.
     
    #14
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  15. Oni

    Oni WarDog Studios Veteran

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    If its convenient and easy to use, along with compatible with what is already out there, you should have no problem selling your product.  Ksjp17 is very correct, you must keep in mind what people have, that away your not creating a great product for a small group of people.  I see where you said its comp with 2010, and that's makes me want it even more as long as it runs smooth.  There are a lot of people like me who get discouraged and jaded towards a product if it is too buggy, makes people want to search for something better, patience is stretched in todays tech world.  I am hoping the best for this, because I am a creature of convenience and so far I like what you got. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
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  16. C-C-C-Cashmere

    C-C-C-Cashmere Veteran Veteran

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    Oni is absolutely right. Start off with a version for 2010/2013, and then you can expand to other tools as well. You can even make a different version for each software as you develop them. I can see someone making a whole lot of excel tools aimed at RPG Maker and people would buy them.
     
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  17. Zeriab

    Zeriab Huggins! Veteran

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    Starting off with a small focus group doesn't sound like the worst idea.

    $120 per year? Are you not thinking about the subscription based Office 365?

    My Office 2013 Professional Plus definitely does not look subscription based to me. I do have an MSDN subscription so who knows how that factors in.

    *hugs*

     - Zeriab
     
    #17
  18. Archeia

    Archeia Level 99 Demi-fiend Staff Member Developer

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    I think this is a cool idea but I am still totally using MS Office 2007 '_';;;
     
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  19. Mouser

    Mouser Veteran Veteran

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    First - you may want to redo the thread title (can we do that on these forums?), as the topic title is very misleading - Comprehensive development tools? 3DS Max or Maya runs about $4k if you want to do custom artwork. Audio software can get up there, too (circa $400-500 before plugins) MS Office ain't cheap either if you're buying the non-upgrade full version (Pro or whatever they're calling it now).

    Second - You shouldn't be building this on the newest (or almost newest) version of MS Office - as you said, a lot of people here are hobbyists, and that software is a few hundred bucks for a legal copy. Pick either OpenOffice or LibreOffice and work with that. Anything those two make will be usable in Office, but it doesn't work like that going the other way.

    If it worked, and worked well I'd be interested in it. Depends on how flexible it is: is it hardcoded to the games default combat system or can that be changed easily? How easy are these tables to read and get the information I'm looking for? Can I create custom tables easily with _just_ the information I'm looking for? What sorts of database queries can I run?
     
    #19

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