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Thread: db&w Needs You!

  1. #16
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    First of all, thanks for all of the feedback and also for not only taking part in the survey but also leaving lots of comments.
    It's very much appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    Fine. I just bought it only because you told me to.
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    Is there any chance for a trial or demo? qckPck appears to be the only db&w product without a demo.
    Sorry, there isn't at the moment - and not because we don't want one either. Let me tell you why:
    All of our plugins that have demos, actually have code removed in the demo version. There is no way to crack them into fully functional versions.

    However, for qckPck, there is no code that can be removed for it to remain useful. And "just" adding a timer or limiting it to operate at frame 1 of a scene only, is something that can be cracked out in a few minutes by somebody who's semi-competent.

    Now you may argue that it's not an issue - but we've seen cracks of our 50€ plugins, we'd certainly see cracks of qckPck as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    this is why i want NT to buy it. such tools should be part of LightWave.
    The problem is though, a lot of things should be. Some may even eventually be, some may never be. In fact, being able to search in any pop-up is something I've constantly requested for more than 10 years. And now we have it.

    And what is seen as an obvious addition by some may be considered useless by others.

    That's where third parties come in, that way you at least have the option of working with something that should be, right now.

    On the other hand: If everybody insists that everything should be built in (and I'm exaggerating) then the option to get it elsewhere will go away as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    One wish I have for db&w: please make all your plugins available for purchasing, not Patreon only. Cheers
    The db&w Tools have a different concept than our "proper" products do - and that's intentional. We wanted to make our development more transparent and increase our interactions with patrons. It's as much an experiment for us as it is for the patrons. And so far, we really like and enjoy what's happening there.

    Let me tell you a secret though, you can become a patron at any time to get the current build. You can let your patronage rest if you don't want updates and resume it at a later date.

    Heck, if you want to annoy us (a bit ) you can even become a patron, get the current build and then cancel it before the first payment. (Having said that, if too many patrons go that route we'd probably change the Patreon to a pre-pay). This is something we do expect to happen to an extent (so far only once).

    We even offer a 6-months sub for studios in our e-shop - in case the studio can't support Patreon direclty due to their accounting regulations.

    Again, thank you very much for taking part in the survey.

    Cheers,
    Mike
    Last edited by Lightwolf; 06-27-2019 at 04:02 PM.

  2. #17
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post


    this is why i want NT to buy it. such tools should be part of LightWave.

    same goes for OD Toolset.
    +1 indeed.

  3. #18
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    this is why i want NT to buy it. such tools should be part of LightWave.
    +1 indeed.
    I don't want to go into too many details - but we used to inform NT of product releases a couple of weeks ahead of the launch, starting with infiniMap, and asked them if they were interested.
    We don't do that anymore.

    And just to make that clear, I'm not pointing any fingers, it is what it is.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightwolf View Post
    Let me tell you a secret though, you can become a patron at any time to get the current build. You can let your patronage rest if you don't want updates and resume it at a later date.

    Heck, if you want to annoy us (a bit ) you can even become a patron, get the current build and then cancel it before the first payment. (Having said that, if too many patrons go that route we'd probably change the Patreon to a pre-pay)
    Wow that would be mean! But no doubt there are crooked individuals doing that.

    Yes I understand your new business model and I hope you're successful with it. For me it's not the right thing, also the 6 month purchase is €150 + taxes, about 200 bucks here for some smaller plugins, instead I will get your NodeMeister when I use LW more often.

  5. #20
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    Wow that would be mean! But no doubt there are crooked individuals doing that.
    Even in the single case where it happened I don't think it was on purpose.
    But we know the loop hole is there and that's o.k.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marander View Post
    Yes I understand your new business model and I hope you're successful with it. For me it's not the right thing, also the 6 month purchase is €150 + taxes, about 200 bucks here for some smaller plugins, instead I will get your NodeMeister when I use LW more often.
    The tools on Patreon is less of a business model and more of an experiment. I mean, just look at the (public) sum per month. That's in no relation to the time we put into it.

    Yes, the sub in the shop is that much, but it's also 6x the "Fight for the Right to Party!" tier, which is meant for studios that use it on multiple seats. Below that there's plenty of other choice and most people use the 5$ tier - except if they're on a Mac of course.

    In fact, we don't even have a studio paying for "Fight for the Right to Party!" yet, but two individuals who use the tools at their studio and want to support us further.
    We also have a couple of patrons on the lower tiers who added a few bucks on top.

    The tiers are guidelines on what we consider to be appropriate - not hard licensing restrictions.

    By the way, 28 people replied to the poll so far and we got some interesting responses already. We'll let it run for a few more days and then also post a summary of the results.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  6. #21
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldcode View Post
    The demo video is good, but at times the accent of the narrator was difficult to understand.
    Oops, my bad, that's the only one that was narrated by Dagmar, my partner in crime. As a reaction to people on facebook wanting a female voice.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  7. #22
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldcode View Post
    The demo video is good, but at times the accent of the narrator was difficult to understand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lightwolf View Post
    Oops, my bad, that's the only one that was narrated by Dagmar, my partner in crime. As a reaction to people on facebook wanting a female voice.
    Not that I'm qualified to cast any stones, but I notice Oldcode's location of Boston. It may be difficult to find any speaker with a compatible accent (unless they're also from Boston).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wBpSWxPo6o
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  8. #23
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    Not that I'm qualified to cast any stones, but I notice Oldcode's location of Boston. It may be difficult to find any speaker with a compatible accent (unless they're also from Boston).
    Well, you got a chuckle out of Dagmar, thanks for that.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  9. #24
    Registered User Rayek's Avatar
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    It's been a while since I last visited the website (www.db-w.com). Here is some constructive feedback.

    I use Firefox myself, and opened your site. My initial thought was: "Wow, this site breaks completely in Firefox! Text is overlapping everywhere!". So I decided to open the site in Chrome.

    Only to discover that the site's layout is not broken!

    Anyway, all the overlapping text and disorganized look/layout is not doing your business presence any favours. The visual hierarchy can be improved a lot. Keep text and images separated. I can't even read two of your icons' texts.

    As for qckPck: the name tells me absolutely nothing what it does. I would just rename it to QuickPicker, or QPicker, FastPick, SmartPick(er), SmartNav, etc. qckPck is a jumble of nonsensical letters, in my opinion.

    One of the reasons it might not have sold as well as you expected: I discovered a long time ago that workflow improvements can be very tough to sell. People tend to stick with their way of doing things, when "it is good enough".

    Here is a simple example:
    My brother taught me a new knot to tie my shoelaces. It literally is impossible for the laces to untie themselves. In the past two years while using this new method, my shoelaces have not got untied at all during the course of day wearing my shoes, while with the classic taught method my shoelaces would be untied on average 1 or 2 times a day. When you add it all up, a lot of my life was spent on re-tying my shoelaces.

    I tried to convince my wife and others of the benefits of this shoelace knot. It only takes one extra final movement, and does not change the old method at all - except for that one additional loop at the end. To me, it seems there are no drawbacks, and only benefits.

    So far, no-one seems interested. My wife, although her shoelaces become untied at least two times a day, will not learn the new method. My brother told me he faces the same conundrum with his family: his three kids (all teens), his wife, other family of ours: no-one, excepting the odd individual here and there, seems interested.

    THE OLD WAY IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.

    That's what it boils down to. Most humans are utterly resistant to change. Unless the benefit a new method offers is completely life-changing in a positive way, most will stick with the older commonly learned and accepted method that's already available to them. In particular when not only time but also money needs to be invested.

    Loads of new inventions and products have failed because of this simple effect.

    Unfortunately, I believe your plugin falls in the "I discovered a new way of tying shoelaces! Try it, and you'll see it is better!" category. You can tell from some of the earlier responses:

    "if I need it and if itīs worth it" --> benefit doesn't seem that earth-shattering to me, and too expensive.
    "totally recommend it though, for the curious ones" --> looks really interesting, but not interesting enough for me to invest time and my money in it
    "Looks interesting. I might take a look when I start using 2019" --> not interesting enough to invest my time relearning stuff
    "For relatively new users, such as myself, it seems like using something like that is getting a bit ahead of myself." --> why bother learning and investing time and money in a new method when the old method exists and it seems good enough for me

    Your other plugins add new features, and immediately offer clear-cut benefits to the Lightwave user.

    At least, this is my take on it why QuickPick won't sell that well. The benefit<-> money/time investment is probably not worth it for most - at least, on a perception level. And that kills the sale. (And the presentation of the unreadable icon and unreadable slider content don't exactly help either, of course.)

    If the plugin were to be made available for free, it might find more users. Then ask for a voluntary contribution on a honor system basis. At the very least provide a trial version, because virtually no-one is going to be investing money in a workflow plugin which changes the original workflow without the option to try it out first.
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  10. #25
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    I'm just now realizing that I've never entered the site through the homepage. I was always clicking on the direct product page links in the forum signature. I'd somewhat agree with Rayek. That the slider on the homepage is "unsettling". The rest of the site is reasonable and is still better than the websites of some other plugin developers.

    NewTek should offer a centralized marketplace where any 3rd party dev could sell their products...without the need for the developers to be distracted with web site design and maintenance. It would certainly make these products more discoverable.

    Without the possibility of a demo/trial, forum testimonials are left to be the best marketing option. I'll add to the chorus. As a fresh (less than a day old) user of this plugin, I can already affirm it is worth it.
    LW7.5D, 2015, 2018, 2019 running portably on a USB drive on an Amiga 2500 running Wine.

  11. #26
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    First of all, thanks for all the replies, comments and for participating in the poll. It's very much appreciated.
    We have 39 people that responded already and it still open. So if you didn't take part, here's the link: https://forms.gle/irLifHVB6L3VjWt19

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    I'm just now realizing that I've never entered the site through the homepage. I was always clicking on the direct product page links in the forum signature. I'd somewhat agree with Rayek. That the slider on the homepage is "unsettling". The rest of the site is reasonable and is still better than the websites of some other plugin developers.
    I've calmed down the slider.
    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    NewTek should offer a centralized marketplace where any 3rd party dev could sell their products...without the need for the developers to be distracted with web site design and maintenance. It would certainly make these products more discoverable.
    We'd still need our website and maintain it though. However, I agree that a more centralised point of information would be beneficial. How many people look at this page https://www.lightwave3d.com/third_party/ ?
    For example, we get at most one referral from lightwave3d.com per month.

    But we do spend way less time on maintaining the website than we do on other things, like writing docs (both for the PDFs and the wiki), producing videos, chatting on Discord or even writing more code.

    There's been a few suggestions (such as providing a ZIP file of third party content and plugins on the LW download page itself - maintained by the third parties but provided for d/l by NT) - but those got nowhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    Without the possibility of a demo/trial, forum testimonials are left to be the best marketing option. I'll add to the chorus. As a fresh (less than a day old) user of this plugin, I can already affirm it is worth it.
    Thank you. One thing that the feedback made clear is that we need a demo, and it's almost done. We've decided to remove all loading and saving (which affects the custom menu and qckHuD) and limit the amount of pop-up interactions to 25 per layout session.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rayek View Post
    It's been a while since I last visited the website (www.db-w.com). Here is some constructive feedback.

    I use Firefox myself, and opened your site. My initial thought was: "Wow, this site breaks completely in Firefox! Text is overlapping everywhere!". So I decided to open the site in Chrome.

    Only to discover that the site's layout is not broken!
    That's odd, we check in Chrome, FF as well as Edge/IE and it looks fine here. There was an issues with the YT videos overlapping if the width is too small, but I fixed that today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rayek View Post
    As for qckPck: the name tells me absolutely nothing what it does. I would just rename it to QuickPicker, or QPicker, FastPick, SmartPick(er), SmartNav, etc. qckPck is a jumble of nonsensical letters, in my opinion.
    Well, it is a product name - it's meant to transport the essence of it, which is speed. Plus, it's a tongue in cheek reference to plenty of current product names on the internet, from Flickr to Grindr ;M)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rayek View Post
    One of the reasons it might not have sold as well as you expected: I discovered a long time ago that workflow improvements can be very tough to sell. People tend to stick with their way of doing things, when "it is good enough".
    We hope the demo will change that, if people are willing to give it a try. Because the feedback from our beta testers was quite contrary to your experiences. They loved it minutes after they got the first build to play with. And that was early beta.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rayek View Post
    If the plugin were to be made available for free, it might find more users. Then ask for a voluntary contribution on a honor system basis.
    That's close to what we do on Patreon - and while that started well it also stagnated a bit.

    I've seen attempts as voluntary contributions on other platforms, platforms with more users. Thousands of downloads and a handful of payments? That might be fine if you just develop as a hobby or it's left overs from work you get paid for. That's not an option for us - at least not in the long run.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  12. #27

    That's odd, we check in Chrome, FF as well as Edge/IE and it looks fine here. There was an issues with the YT videos overlapping if the width is too small, but I fixed that today.
    @Rayek ... Firefox has been acting strange/bad these last months, might have something to do with bad coding from the FF guys.

    @Mike ... no chance of an 11 version, right? i assume no, but i had to ask.
    Last edited by erikals; 06-30-2019 at 09:32 AM.
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  13. #28
    obfuscated SDK hacker Lightwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post

    @Mike ... no chance of an 11 version, right? i assume no, but i had to ask.
    Unfortunately not really.
    For one, LW 2019 makes it just so much better.

    Also, we have transitioned our internal LW SDK wrapper to require at least 2018 more than a year ago. 2018 had breaking changes in some areas of LW and supporting two different versions of the SDK it just not feasible. Not if you look at qckPck in isolation (which might not be that bad) but our whole range of plugins - including the db&w Tools.

    To be fair though, we did also expect more users to transition to LW 2018 / 2019 than seemingly have.

    Cheers,
    Mike
    Last edited by Lightwolf; 06-30-2019 at 02:38 PM.

  14. #29

    Let's see what 2020 brings...

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  15. #30
    Super Member omichon's Avatar
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    Mike, please, don't add disturbing music on your videos. It makes it very hard to follow your presentation. The one about qckHuD is terrible on that regard :\
    Telling potential customers that not using qckPck means they use LW wrongly doesn't help either, IMO.
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