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Some Changes...



Leadwerks 3 / 4 was aimed at beginners who were completely new to game development. Since we were the first game engine on Steam, this made a lot of sense at the time, and the decision resulted in a successful outcome. However, in the next engine we are taking a different approach. (This is a direct result of Steam Direct.)

Enterprise is a new market I am pursuing, and we have a lot of interest from aerospace and defense VR developers. The fact that I am American also helps here. There are special features these customers need that aren't necessarily needed by game developers, but I think you will like some of the possibilities this unlocks.

For game developers, I have been moving back to an approach more like Leadwerks 2 where we focus on extreme high-end PC game technology, so that comes down to graphical quality and performance. I think most people here will be pretty happy with that direction. We're going to sell on Steam, Humble Store, Amazon, Microsoft store, Mac App Store, and direct from our website. Less importance will be attached to Steam, as they are just one more storefront we sell through. We're not going to use Steam Workshop.

For pricing of the non-enterprise version, I am thinking $59.99 / $99.99 standard / pro with a monthly subscription option at $4.99 / $9.99. This is actually cheaper than the pricing of Leadwerks, but I think keeping things under $100 is better for the consumer market.

The paid beta subscription is going to end before the end of the year, and it will be replaced with an open beta. The reason I did this was because I wanted a very small group of people testing the early betas (really more of an alpha), and I wanted to test out our subscriptions system. During that time we found and fixed a couple of small issues, so this was a good idea. A big thanks to all who participated and bought me many espressos. ;) 

Finally, we are not going to call Leadwerks 5 "Turbo Game Engine". The name just isn't sticking for me, and I don't think we can get rid of the :"retro" connotations it has. My new technology has developed quite a lot since then, and speed is not the only advantage it brings to the table. I do have a new name in mind, but I am not ready to announce it yet. Until then, I will refer to the new engine as "Leadwerks 5 beta".

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This all seems very logical to me. "Leadwerks 5" would struggle to get the beginner audience as other engines have this well covered. Some provide asset flip products while others offer free assets every month. Very hard for Leadwerks to compete in this market space. Especially as they are free although they take a % of anything you make. 

I can see as the owner of Leadwerks why you would be excited with the interest of aerospace and the military in your product. Guaranteed income is a comfort that allows you time to perfect and focus on the future. Hope you don't forget  your original users.

The loss of the Steam workshop is not a big deal as long as you continue the Leadwerks Market place. I think its a good idea to have a place were users can share assets to help each other out and to provided a modest income for those gifted enough to produce something that other users are interested in.

Pricing is very fair. I don't get why you would pay $10/month when you can own Leadwerks for $100. Inside a year you are better off with the pay upfront option. Or does the subscription always have the latest version  and the pay upfront have to pay for updates?

I was never really sold on the idea of calling the new engine Turbo. A google search for Turbo Engine will get lost in thousands of references to automotive products. Looking forward to the next name. 

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@Thirsty Panther Thank you for the comments. Regarding game content, what I have seen is that DLCs sell extremely well but it is very hard to get people to buy things through a new store. It even seems like people are more loyal to stores online than they are to the actual brick and mortar store they will shop at! So in the future I will probably focus on official DLC-type model packs and just try to improve the quality and amount of content offered of those, since they actually do sell well.

I plan to release paid updates every 12-18 months. I don't plan on ever going back and building a new foundation for our technology, and from here on out I want continuous forward progression, not any rewrites.

I definitely want to keep giving game developers what they want, because you guys give all the useful feedback. Without that, I can't build good software.

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12 minutes ago, ?Yue? said:

The translator doesn't help much, a new name for the engine?

It won't be called Turbo. Something else.

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Looking forward to the new name, I'm sure it'll be as big as everything you do. 

Regarding the new approach, looking forward to seeing you at work, the world spins very fast and this technology changes very fast. In the end everything will always be beneficial for both you and the users.

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On 11/2/2019 at 4:22 AM, Josh said:

I don't plan on ever going back and building a new foundation for our technology, and from here on out I want continuous forward progression, not any rewrites.

Just to tease you, pretty sure you said something very close to this when you were working on 3.  Something like how it'll be the last engine you'll ever need to write.  But I don't think Vulkan even existed back then.  Who knows what new technology will be out there in another 7 years.  I like all the decisions and thoughts posted, btw.

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You can name it Leadwerks V.  "V" can stand as a number but also as a Vulkan. Or just Leadwerks engine? Furher updates can be incremented by year, Leadwerks V2021, etc.

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20 hours ago, rogy said:

Or just Leadwerks engine? Furher updates can be incremented by year, Leadwerks V2021, etc.

This system makes sense on several levels.  For one, if it truly is the last engine Josh will ever write, this will cement that further, while 5 implies that there will be a 6.  Next, the yearly paid updates will also jive well with the yearly labeling.  That said, I'm far more concerned about the new features than the label.

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