<<Previous Archive | Next Archive>>

Stop selling your software for peanuts

I guess someone has to say it: Developers are usually no great business men. Instead of using the great possibilities the internet and the various app stores are offering us, we are in the process of completely devaluating our own work, our software.

But let's start at the beginning: As you might know, beside the main products I'm working on, I'm also doing some experiments here and there, trying out how to make money today by writing smaller pieces of different software. That way, I also have a handful of apps on various app stores.
Last week, I received a "one star" rating for one of the nicer apps I have on there, along with a text like:
It's outragous that this app costs 9 euro!

And this for a quite complicated app, nearly without bugs, which solves a specific problem and needed in total about 4 man months of development time. And is updated regularily.
With apps in the app stores set to a price between 1 and 3 euros, people simply got used to these low prices. This way people begun to think that software is only worth about one euro. The problem: If you as developer don't have an app which sells a couple of thousands of times every month, you won't be able to live from this.

So here is a simple idea: Stop setting such a small amount of money as price for your software. You are destroying the market with this. Instead, demand a healthy, acceptable price, and restore the value of software development with this as nice side effect. I'm doing this already: My software is priced usually between 20 and 50 euro. And people buy it. And there are interesting side effects: And if your competition offers a similar product for that 1-3 euro price? You might not believe it, but people don't seem to care that much. My experiments show that I'm earning nearly the same from a product set to a price of 40 euro then when it was set to 9 euro before. And I don't have headaches anymore because of the huge amount of support requests I got when it was set to that cheap price.

WebGL in IE11 and the future

So apparently, WebGL will be supported in the next Internet Explorer. That means all major browsers will support this now in the very near future. Will this open a new era for games, playable directly from the web? I think so.
Basically, I believe you only need to use a framework like my WebGL game engine to create your games and be able to run your games on all devices and operating systems, soon. But maybe I'm wrong, let's see. Exciting times :)

Recut the video

Remember the video I created about a month ago showing CopperCube in action? Back then, I really liked it, but actually it wasn't that nice. It was too confusing, the aspect ratio wasn't correct, and cuts from the shown apps weren't ideal. I just recut it, with about 70% new video material and it feels much better now:

The resolution is a lot nicer, the action clearer, only sometimes the framerate dropped, unfortunately (like in the scene with the Jump'n'run game). Hope you don't notice this too much. I feel I'm getting a bit better with creating videos now. But that's also what I thought last time. :)

3D Jump'n'Run browser game

As demo, I just created a small 3D Jump'n'Run game. It runs directly in the browser, using either Flash or WebGL, and looks like this:

That image is from the main menu, though. Although rendered directly from the game level, I just set the 3D camera into the face of the player. :) You can play the game, let me know how much it sucks. :)

Short 'After Earth' review

Last weekend, I watched the movie After Earth. I heard before that it wasn't great, but after I saw its trailer and some people also told me that it looks a bit like my book, Die Wiederentdeckung der Erde, I just had to watch it. And it wasn't that bad.
Unfortunately, we entered the cinema hall a few minutes after the film had started already, so maybe I missed some essential explanations like why they are only using melee weapons, but who knows, maybe without explanations the movie appeared better to us as it was. :)
All in all, I'd recommend to watch it, it's at least lightweight entertainment, especially if you like science fiction.

What is Microsoft smoking?

Seeing all the strange decisions Microsoft made recently, focusing currently on their "XBox One", it seems to me that they are actively trying to destroy their company. Starting with the weird name "XBox One", the focus on TV (where are the games?), the strange pricing (PS4 will be cheaper while apparently having superior processing power), the DRM preventing people from reselling games, and now the region locking to only 21 countries, preventing lots of people to buy/use the XBox One at all. Not sure who will ever want to buy that thing? And why?

This disaster now comes after this big Windows 8 and Windows RT user interface failure. Windows RT devices still don't have many apps, and the tablets themselves are very, very, expensive. The touch based user interface makes no sense on desktop, and the Apps sold in the Windows Store are fullscreen apps. I cannot even imagine how the decision makers at Microsoft are able to come up with such an amount of weird decisions. What are they smoking?

For me as developer, Windows is my "home" operating system. All apps I create are usually written first on Windows, and then - if I want at all - ported to other platforms. I still love Visual Studio, even although Microsoft started to destroy that thing as well (monochrome icons? Developer registration renewal every 30 days? Mandatory internet connection while programming Windows Store apps (update: Other developers don't seem to have the last problem, maybe its only me) ? really?) I would want to continue developing for the Windows OS family, but it seems for me that Microsoft tries very hard to alienate me from that.

Windows RT and Asus Vivo Tab Review

A few months ago I blogged about the Asus VivoTab RT I bought, which is basically a tablet with removable keyboard, running Windows RT on it (Details on the official website). Now I've used it for quite a while, time for a review:
In short, that device is really nice, and I'm really happy with it. It has quite some advantages: But of course, it's not all positive. There are some negative sides as well: All in all, I'm quite happy with the device, although based on the last negative points, it might not seem like this. I hope Microsoft will fix those problems with their next update. And I guess it only takes a bit of time until there are more apps.