Sign in to follow this  
Guest FelixFFDS

why give away your hard work?

Recommended Posts

A question for those of you who are aircraft designers, or "programmers":Why do you work all those hours on your aircraft, only to give it away for free?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

"Why do you work all those hours on your aircraft, only to give it away for free?"I build aircraft for my own pleasure--the more I toil, the more I know I will enjoy the aircraft. If I really like a project, I'll make it available for free use. There's no personal sense in making someone else pay for something I did for myself to begin with. I didn't join the hobby to make money or get rich, but you'll be surprised that many payware developers haven't either. It's a personal decision whether one charges or not for their work and I respect the decisions made either way, unless someone releases a poor quality project in a "get rich quick" effort.-John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if you could make a few bucks off the project...I'm kinda lost as to why you wouldn't? I don't mean charging a lot of money...maybe even $5 or less for a download?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If people aren't excited about your work, they won't pay for it. They need to be able to try out a few items first to get to know your style and quality. It won't be your best stuff but it has to be something that impresses them.Look at Owen Hewitt, Jordan Moore and Steve Hanley just to name a few. If and when they put out payware, people go for it... in Steve's case, they even pester him in forums before the release are ready because they're eager to get their hands on whatever he and Mark put out next. They know the work of these two guys and, by now, people will buy it sight unseen because they know that Steve and Mark's work is never disappointing.And they don't care if it's free, $30 or even $60 USD. They know the quality of the work from his free stuff and know that his payware will be even better.So the customers have the credit card ready, even before the download is available.But if you or I put out payware, people will ask themselves why they should pay for our work if they have no idea how great / lousy it may be.In short, get your name out there first with really good stuff for free... then take yoru best stuff and put a price on it. Those who know the quality of your work won't hesitate to pay you for your hardest efforts, because they feel that they know your work and it'll be worth it.PS: I purposely avoided naming any of the regulars here to avoid the appearance of "sucking up"! There are a lot of guys in these forums who have such a good reputation that they can practically take deposits on projects before they even start to build the model. People know their work and there are some people who will put money down for it without even asking questions.Scott / Vorlin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"But if you could make a few bucks off the project...I'm kinda lost as to why you wouldn't? I don't mean charging a lot of money...maybe even $5 or less for a download?"Whether you charge a dime or $100, the second you charge, you open a set of obligations between yourself and the "customer". And you also sometimes have legal risks that quite frankly aren't worth the trouble. Never mind tax reporting issues.But here's what's more important to consider: Out of all the add-ons I created, just one could have been payware. But releasing that add-on free built so many friendships and had other "fringe benefits" that there's no fair price I could have charged that could have gained me more benefit than I received releasing it for free use. The hobby isn't about collecting money wherever you see a fat wallet. And those who are good at payware would tell you the same.-John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>But here's what's more important to consider: Out of all the>add-ons I created, just one could have been payware. But>releasing that add-on free built so many friendships and had>other "fringe benefits" that there's no fair price I could>have charged that could have gained me more benefit than I>received releasing it for free use. The hobby isn't about>collecting money wherever you see a fat wallet. And those who>are good at payware would tell you the same.That's a good point, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides, there really isn't a lot of money in it unless you are among the best. If you're in it for the money, you will probably be a tad let down. Kind of like if you got into wrinting or painting with the assumption you will become rich. At least in those there is the possibility. With FS, the best you can realistically hope for is a bit of fame.I agree though, for many it just fun to learn.CheersShad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Why do you work all those hours on your aircraft, only to give>it away for free?Quite simple actually: When I first discovered that there was free stuff that could be downloaded from the Internet (that was in Compuserve's FSFORUM) for use in FS98 and tried it for the first few times I was completely in awe with the same question as you. I contiuned to download and enjoyed it and slowly but surely it dawned on me: the reason people do this is mainly to find out how one own's work fares with others who are also FS nuts. Looking at the number of times your files were downloaded can in itself already be a great source of pride and fulfillment. And if someone is so pleased with your work that he/she actually writes you an appreciative email it's like heaven, because you can see that it made a positive difference to someone that you shared your work with him/her.However, this last part is EXREMELY rare, sadly...After some two years of just downloading and enjoying I decided it was about time to give something back to the FS community as a thank-you to at least some of those talented people whose work I had enjoyed myself. So I set about to create for myself, first of all, a project I had contemplated on doing in 1:10th scale RC model form for several years but chickened out due to the very short-lived nature that accompanies this fascinating hobby of RC scale model building and crash - er flying :)And somehow this project has stuck with me now in versions for FS98, FS2000, FS2002 and hopefully soon also in FS2004. Not many emails have reached me despite more than 7000 base package downloads from one FS website alone but they were all very encouraging. I know I am lucky that no "space cowboys" were among those yet...I myself enjoy working on and actually flying this plane over the years and it has indeed formed the basis for many new and lasting friendships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand your reasoning.I'm just wondering if you would might feel more satisfaction charging a small amount for a DL of your work - say $5 - after you've established yourself as a decent designer? I don't think many guys would have a problem paying that, for a good modelling.Just a thought...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> I don't>think many guys would have a problem paying that, for a good>modelling.>>Just a thought...You'd be surprised at the number of people that balk at paying for anything on the Internet, let alone FS aircraft. I've seen epithets thrown out at builders that, having gained fame for their freeware, actually have had the gall to go payware!!!Then there are cases of freeware builders going payware because even if they build the best possible model, given the state of the flightsim modelling art of the moment, still get criticized for the most insignificant (perceived) failure! These are the same people that would most probably not part with even a looney for a flightsim model!People who appreciate good models will pay for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it's just me - if I spent dozens - if not hundreds of hours on a model, I think I would feel compelled to sell it for a small fee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>I guess it's just me - if I spent dozens - if not hundreds of>hours on a model, I think I would feel compelled to sell it>for a small fee. Hello Patrick,This statement just explains how different people's motives can be towards contributing to our Flightsimming hobby (or to life in general ! )Which is, please read this right, NOT an attack on your attitude.In the last six years I've spent thousend+ hours of contributing to our hobby by means of freeware uploads without (with the odd exception of developping something for a payware product) the desire to expect money for it.Why ? Good question :-)I'm not even sure myself, if I'm honest.But I think the most probable reason is that I just like to please people, and really get a real kick on the positive feedback I'm usually getting. My comment just shows that there may be "selfish" reasons to contribute things to life, other then those that can be expressed in currency. Non-material rewardings can be very motivating as well !Best regards, Rob Barendregt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob,I completely understand your motive, and respect it. I just think the other side of the coin, so to speak, is valid too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I echo the sentiments of those who would say that they create add-ons because they enjoy it, and giving it away for free is only an afterthought. There are people who believe that their time must always be compensated somehow. That means they won't help you fix your brakes without charging you, and they won't help you on moving day, for the same reason. The truth is, I don't need the money, since I have a regular job, and if I were to calculate the amount of time I spend creating add-ons, and pay myself an hourly wage, I would probably never break even if I had to charge people for the add-ons. So, it would be defeatest to try to charge people money, but never actually make enough money to justify the time I spend. Since I do it for free, I can call it a "hobby", and waste as much as my time as I feel like.Also, as someone also said, the minute you start making people pay, you become obligated to them. You have to provide a decent product (there's a lot of mediocre payware out there, along with the good). You have to fix things when they are incorrect. If there's a obscure bug that only affects 10 users out of 10,000, you have to track it down. Right now, I'm responsible to no one.Now I'll admit, that I'm only 10 years or so from retirement (freedom 45), and I've often thought about if I would try to go payware if I had that extra time to perfect my sceneries. The answer is a big "maybe", and depends more on whether I can improve my skills and compete with the best that's out there. If not, then I'll always be happy giving it away for free.- Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> There are people who>believe that their time must always be compensated somehow. >That means they won't help you fix your brakes without>charging you, and they won't help you on moving day, for the>same reason. But..........This has nothing to do with the majority of the very talented payware vendors. Most gave freely for years. Yet these days, the research, development and programming is very much a full time "job", that's much tougher mentally, than the "hobby" days. In fact, many of the best aircraft add-ons require a group of people just to put it together. The always rising "bar" of authenticity, is just too high these days.L.Adamson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this