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Subject: Fair pricing for iOS? rss

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Gabriel Manasan
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Which is why the base game should be free. And in turn, that is why the expansions should be increasingly expensive.

I agree that the target audience would be people who have never heard of Dominion. That audience neither needs nor wants to have all expansions up front.
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Dave Daley
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There are a lot of you who think that this iThing implementation is going to target non-Dominion players, and I'm interested to see why you think that?

I would take as a clear example of targetted marketing (not to mention a MASSIVE success) : Magic:TG. If they made an iThing implementation, would they be wiser to target their rabid core audience (small, willing to pay), or the massive iThing audience (huge, and unbelievably cheap). It's a trick question, as I don't think Wizards made that mistake very often. They found, and then hit (OVER AND OVER) their core audience, and basically built an empire out of doing so.

Personally, I LOVE this game. I am sure I will love the PC implementation, and I will buy it. I won't begrudge Rio Grande the chance to make a profit. And while I agree that there may be a chance to become the next "Trivial Pursuit", I think they have a better chance of doing that by keeping their core audience happy (word of mouth and "buzz" are great drivers of sales with truly good games) than by trying to give their game away to bazillions of users who don't care about it, and will download it, and play it once.
 
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Mike Cook
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enfynet wrote:
Any iPod experts here know how to get my 1st gen iPod Touch up to the required OS for ANYTHING in the App store? :-p

When will the xbox version be available?


I think you can go out and google search for the firmware update of your choice and probably find a download. That way you don't get stuck with simply the highest possible (which you would get from hitting the update button in iTunes). If you want IOS 3.1 for instance, search iPod Touch IOS 3.1 and follow links to download for your device. Not sure what the max IOS is for the 1st gen iPod Touch.
 
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Mike Cook
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elkabong wrote:
There are a lot of you who think that this iThing implementation is going to target non-Dominion players, and I'm interested to see why you think that?

I would take as a clear example of targetted marketing (not to mention a MASSIVE success) : Magic:TG. If they made an iThing implementation, would they be wiser to target their rabid core audience (small, willing to pay), or the massive iThing audience (huge, and unbelievably cheap). It's a trick question, as I don't think Wizards made that mistake very often. They found, and then hit (OVER AND OVER) their core audience, and basically built an empire out of doing so.

Personally, I LOVE this game. I am sure I will love the PC implementation, and I will buy it. I won't begrudge Rio Grande the chance to make a profit. And while I agree that there may be a chance to become the next "Trivial Pursuit", I think they have a better chance of doing that by keeping their core audience happy (word of mouth and "buzz" are great drivers of sales with truly good games) than by trying to give their game away to bazillions of users who don't care about it, and will download it, and play it once.


Look at Ticket to Ride Pocket. It was $.99 when released and spent a week for free before going back to $.99. Days of Wonder used it as a marketing tool. IOS apps make money based on volume. 95% of apps in the top 100 are cheaper than $5, and making it priced competitively is how Carcassone (orignally), and Ticket to Ride cracked the top games in the store. Sell 5 Million @ $2 or 1 million @$10? If you reach more casual video gamers you can convert many to physical copy owning board gamers and make a lot more. And when it comes to those who buy it and play it once, they don't care, as long as they buy it. And they will get a lot more buyers at a lower price point. Less buyers remorse. More overall players. More overall fans as a result.

As an aside, there is a free, and very well made Magic the Gathering IOS app. It doesn't contain the game, but is a useful tool for those who play it. Just thought I'd point out that Wizards has offered free MtG software.

Think of this too, if they made it $25 or charged a monthly fee, why wouldn't computer users just use isotropic for free? How much does an official license mean? How much does fit and finish/UI mean to you? We don't know what it looks like. There are a lot of variables, but its worth also varies based on size of user base. If we have more people playing then it is a better app because of it. Competitive pricing affects that.
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Tom Usher
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I don't think the base game should be free - a small price is usually indicative of a quality game when it comes to the App Store.
If it's free, I usually automatically assume they're going to be doing everything they can to shove in-app purchases in my face.

There's a very interesting article over on The PA Report interviewing the Days of Wonder CEO on how their iOS game increased sales of the real thing.
As long as they don't just throw this Dominion app out there and let it rot, and it's as much a polished and quality experience as those Ticket to Ride apps, I can't imagine how things would be any different for Dominion.
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Edward
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sponkey21 wrote:
Think of this too, if they made it $25 or charged a monthly fee, why wouldn't computer users just use isotropic for free?

As a side note, the company working on the app required as a condition that Isotropic be taken down when their app is released. It's pretty hard to compete with free, no matter what.
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Eric Hymowitz
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theory wrote:
As a side note, the company working on the app required as a condition that Isotropic be taken down when their app is released. It's pretty hard to compete with free, no matter what.


Except, of course, that you're going after two completely different markets.
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Vince Lupo
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Red_Sounding wrote:
Should be free for those that buy the board game, and $5 a month to play an online version with all expansions including new ones if you don't. That way people will pay to try it and then buy the box to get it free.



You can't really do that. They could give away 50 copies of the app via codes, but apple doesn't give you that many giveaway codes. Also, how they could possibly manage all the already sold boxes of dominion to provide those guys a free app code?


I could see them eventually charging for multiplayer I guess.
 
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Vince Lupo
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sponkey21 wrote:
elkabong wrote:
sponkey21 wrote:
$20 is insane. This product needs to be made to drive consumers to the hard copy. I would not pay more than $10 for every card/expansion. Period. It is way too much. Make each big box $2, each small box $1, and a buy them all for $10 and you might be okay. If you do the buy them all, make it so you get dark ages and guilds for free when they come out. I can't believe there is anyone on here who would pay $5+ per box, its insane.

Ipod : $200 ++
IPad : $600 ++
XBox : $200 ++
Premium Game on XBox : $60++
Clear-out game for the Wii : $20
Extra Dungeon DLC for average Xbox Dungeon crawl : $10
Additional VIRTUAL HELMET for you Halo Character (More DLC) : $ 5

And you are complaining about absolutely the best Boardgame out there costing $20. I sure hope not many people think like you are thinking.


Hmm, how about I have an iPhone that costs no more than any other smart phone out there. All your other prices are completely superfluous for a few reasons. 1) I have none of those things and 2) we aren't talking about implementation for any of those other than the IOS devices. Additionally, I already bought the physical board game (which commands a significant price, and which is what this IOS game should drive casual IOS fans to discover). Your opinion of it being the best out there is just your opinion, and has no bearing on product pricing. A pricing model bringing it to $20+ would make it by far the most expensive IOS implementation of any board game out there. Carcassonne is exorbitant enough. Many of my friends have refused to buy it and some of us had to get together to gift it as Christmas presents. I think that is insane. I guarantee there are many more people who think like I do.
Look at what the rest of the market is and price appropriately. No more than $10 for EVERYTHING. That is the reality of IOS gaming. You make money on volume. You need to reach out to the consumer base who doesn't even know about board gaming. Quit trying to justify gouging or making decisions in a vacuum. We don't even know if the implementation will be nearly as robust or slick as we like yet you are willing to blindly shill out $20+ for it?



Well. I would prefer to pay $10 and I think $10 is more realistic as a cost. But personally I would literally pay $20 for all dominion cards in ios. I really hope they release with more than just base cards though.
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Myke Madsen
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I expect this to be $5 + $3/$2 for each full/half expansion. I'd probably pay more, but this seems in line with other iOS games.
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Mike Cook
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theory wrote:
sponkey21 wrote:
Think of this too, if they made it $25 or charged a monthly fee, why wouldn't computer users just use isotropic for free?

As a side note, the company working on the app required as a condition that Isotropic be taken down when their app is released. It's pretty hard to compete with free, no matter what.


Well then, there goes one leg of my argument.

I don't dispute the value of the game to many of us fans but the point above from the days of wonder interview is what I am getting at. Smart business and IOS app track records point to a lower price generating more success and profits. Summoner Wars will be another example. They plan to make the app free with one race. Each race will be $1 or you will be able to buy all 12 for $5. I know what I'll pay - $5 happily. Make it similar with Dominion and you will create a LOT of new fans provided the app quality is up to snuff.
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Chris Kern
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I'm much more worried about the quality than the cost. Like other people, it worries me that we haven't heard anything about the app or game at all beyond a few vague hints. It also worries me that Donald X became very defensive and even hostile when people questioned whether the new program would be as good as (or better than) isotropic. The fact that "just keep playing on isotropic" won't be an option gives them even less motivation to do top-quality work.
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The Compulsive Completist
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I think their motivation of making money and pride in their product will be enough. I know there are some huge isotropic fans here but I hate it. It isn't newbie friendly, isn't attractive and has very little visual resemblence to the real game.

If you're already happy with isotropic I don't know how the new version won't hit the minimum standards of a program that remembers what cards do.

Now if most complaints are having about losing the no cost aspect...well...can't help you there.

I'm glad there are those that liked isotropic and I commend Donald for letting it exist but it really needed an upgrade.
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Edward
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BSW is an excellent example of how to implement a passable and "pretty" version of Dominion that is nonetheless a steaming pile of poo compared to Isotropic.

Not that I'm suggesting this new version is going to be as bad as BSW, but there's a lot of room for bad Dominion implementations. Isotropic may not have worked for everyone, but it's hard to argue with 5.2 million games played.
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Vince Lupo
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theory wrote:
BSW is an excellent example of how to implement a passable and "pretty" version of Dominion that is nonetheless a steaming pile of poo compared to Isotropic.

Not that I'm suggesting this new version is going to be as bad as BSW, but there's a lot of room for bad Dominion implementations. Isotropic may not have worked for everyone, but it's hard to argue with 5.2 million games played.



Ascension is done well.

BSW is ... ok. Though the lobby and game creation system is REALLY WACKED. And I hated the choice prompts in game because it took trial and error to understand what it meant. I haven't played on BSW in forever because of isotropic.

I preferred Isotropic even when it was just text because everything was clear and it was easy to create a setup and such. The log is nice (though would be nicer if more visual than textual). Isotropic could have used some improvements too. For example, when you have to choose a card to trash or something from a card effect, it would be nice if you could just click on the card rather than select from the special text selector prompt thingy. It's still 100 times better than BSW's implementation, but isotropic wasn't without faults. I'm looking forward to something prettier. Ascension style for example.
 
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Chris Kern
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Hockey Mask wrote:
I think their motivation of making money and pride in their product will be enough. I know there are some huge isotropic fans here but I hate it. It isn't newbie friendly, isn't attractive and has very little visual resemblence to the real game.

If you're already happy with isotropic I don't know how the new version won't hit the minimum standards of a program that remembers what cards do.
.


I certainly can imagine a better implementation than Isotropic, but I can also imagine worse. I like the minimalist approach but I would be fine with a flashier application as long as it ran smoothly on my computer. I would love it if this were better than Isotropic, and there's a chance that it will be. But I can't help but be worried when people voice their concerns about the quality and are simply met with hostile "shut up, you haven't even seen it yet" and no details.

The main features of Isotropic that I would hate to lose are the auto-match, the complete card set, and the ability to be very specific about what you want to play with -- you can do everything from complete random, to banning 1 card, to doing only specific sets, to doing a certain number from a certain set, or specifying a set of 10.

About the only thing that I wish Isotropic had was an undo feature -- I know there are potential problems with this but I think it could be implemented in a way that wouldn't make it annoying.

As for pride in product and money, if that were all it took to make a good product, we wouldn't have any bad ones. It certainly won't help that they'll have no competition.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm almost certainly going to buy this unless it's ridiculously expensive or ridiculously awful. I don't think there's much chance this will be bad enough that I won't buy it. I'm a little worried about potential cost with all the expansions, but hopefully that will be manageable as well.
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Jeff Wolfe
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yudantaiteki wrote:
But I can't help but be worried when people voice their concerns about the quality and are simply met with hostile "shut up, you haven't even seen it yet" and no details.

This response has come from other people like you. There has been no official response.
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Jeff Chamberlain
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My take on this is that the tablet/smartphone market for board games that can be cleanly ported to that format is very important long term. there is growth there, and money to be made.

Rio Grande is a reasonably competent company, and they have to know how important this developing market is. It would be hard for them to screw this up anyway since the basic mechanics of porting a game like this to a computer interface is relatively simple. But even setting that aside, given the market's importance, and their established competence, it seems pretty unlikely that they'd throw a lemon out on this one.
 
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Dave Daley
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Dominion » Forums » General
Re: Fair pricing for iOS?
Klintus Fang wrote:
My take on this is that the tablet/smartphone market for board games that can be cleanly ported to that format is very important long term. there is growth there, and money to be made.

Rio Grande is a reasonably competent company, and they have to know how important this developing market is. It would be hard for them to screw this up anyway since the basic mechanics of porting a game like this to a computer interface is relatively simple. But even setting that aside, given the market's importance, and their established competence, it seems pretty unlikely that they'd throw a lemon out on this one.

All of that being said (and I do agree in principal with most of this), they DID promise an online game for a few years and did absolutely nothing with it in regards to an online version.

And then it was THEY who wanted to make a big splash with the game, announcing that it was starting production, and would be available in an incredibly short window (something less than 2 months I think was the original promise), and available on almost every platform in existence.

The announcement and claims led to to incredulity, which I think has not been answered, not even with so much as a few snappies of the game in production.

I have high hopes for the game on my chosen platform. I hope to hell it lives up to the standards (very high) I have for Dominion. But on the negative side, I have seen no semblance of "Established competence" from the developers with the online version.
 
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Vince Lupo
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elkabong wrote:
Klintus Fang wrote:
My take on this is that the tablet/smartphone market for board games that can be cleanly ported to that format is very important long term. there is growth there, and money to be made.

Rio Grande is a reasonably competent company, and they have to know how important this developing market is. It would be hard for them to screw this up anyway since the basic mechanics of porting a game like this to a computer interface is relatively simple. But even setting that aside, given the market's importance, and their established competence, it seems pretty unlikely that they'd throw a lemon out on this one.

All of that being said (and I do agree in principal with most of this), they DID promise an online game for a few years and did absolutely nothing with it in regards to an online version.

And then it was THEY who wanted to make a big splash with the game, announcing that it was starting production, and would be available in an incredibly short window (something less than 2 months I think was the original promise), and available on almost every platform in existence.

The announcement and claims led to to incredulity, which I think has not been answered, not even with so much as a few snappies of the game in production.

I have high hopes for the game on my chosen platform. I hope to hell it lives up to the standards (very high) I have for Dominion. But on the negative side, I have seen no semblance of "Established competence" from the developers with the online version.



I think they are unfamiliar with the digital game production side of things. Obviously they aren't developing in-house, but if they were more familiar with the process, they might not have claimed that it would be available so soon.


yudantaiteki wrote:
About the only thing that I wish Isotropic had was an undo feature -- I know there are potential problems with this but I think it could be implemented in a way that wouldn't make it annoying.


re: undo, I think undo can be fine. Never allow undo when it would be unfair.

For example, an unfair undo would be undoing playing Smithy because you learned more information about the top of your deck. A fair undo would be if you played your money in the wrong order (matters most with prosperity style money). Though you wouldn't be able to undo Venture.
 
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...and an "undo" when you click on the wrong card to Buy or Trash. That even happens in real games. "No wait I didn't want to do that."
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Jeff Chamberlain
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enfynet wrote:
...and an "undo" when you click on the wrong card to Buy or Trash. That even happens in real games. "No wait I didn't want to do that."


Or a "are you sure you want to do that" dialog box. which you know most people will disable if given the option.
 
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Chris Kern
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Honestly my perfect scenario would be multi-level undo options that could be set like the point counter or veto options on Isotropic. One option would let you undo anything, another option would let you just undo things that don't give you additional information.

In friendly games with people I know, I don't mind letting them undo even if they played a Smithy -- obviously if someone is undo'ing 15 smithies in a game then something's up, but if it's just friends I don't care about one.

I've noticed that people unfamiliar with Prosperity often have difficulty dealing with the treasure cards that have effects -- you get a lot of mistakes until they learn that clicking one of them skips their action phase, that buying something means you can't play any more treasures, that you have to play Bank after the other treasures, etc. In FTF games this wouldn't be as much of an issue.

But even experienced people can benefit from undo -- I had to trash a Gold a few days ago because I misclicked Trading Post instead of the action I wanted to play.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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It's fairly easy to allow an undo for smithies. If someone undoes a smithy, shuffle the drawn cards into the draw pile. It has had a random card order before, so nothing changes if the drawn cards are shuffled back into that random pile.
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Vince Lupo
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Ponton wrote:
It's fairly easy to allow an undo for smithies. If someone undoes a smithy, shuffle the drawn cards into the draw pile. It has had a random card order before, so nothing changes if the drawn cards are shuffled back into that random pile.



Smithy: draw 3 dud cards
Undo: deck re-randomized
Smithy: draw 1 good card and 2 duds.
Undo: deck re-randomized
Smith: 3 awesome cards. Cool I'll buy the last Colony and win.


If there will be a friendly undo, it has not allow for someone to pull something like that.


I do like Isotropic's "Are you sure?" for times when you either haven't played all your actions or money and you're clicking past the ability to still do them. Those make sense, but if done wrong, could still be annoying.
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