Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

How to actually "go" shareware?

This topic is 5620 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Okay, I need some help here, or advice. As some of you may or may not know, my game "Liberty-X" is finished (well it may be tweaked later but we''ll see). So i''m looking into maybe selling it online. Okay so, I go through, and get web space, a domain name, and I sign up with someone like RegNow... So how do I offer my game for people who''ve already paid, to download my game, like what do I do? I''m thinking of doing the demo/full-version way, so I can put the full version on my site, but then how do I allow only people who register to download it? Any helpful hints, tips, suggestions, advice, will be greatly appreciated. Keith Weatherby II uhfgood@artoo.net

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Uhfgood, this is Supernova. To answer some of your questions though, you can use a registration code scheme where when the customer buys the game they get the code emailed to them. All the payment processing services I know of support this. That would require either giving them one or more registration numbers, or giving them code that generates a number.

You can also go with a demo/full game scheme, where the customer downloads the full game. The only services I know of that will let you do this (host the full version on their servers, which is very secure) are RegNow and DigiBuy. RegNow charges less for this though. That''s a pretty brief overview of how people can buy the game, but the important thing is to upload it to as many download sites as you can

Here''s a list of registration services and their pricing:
http://www.blackcatsystems.com/regservices/

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the reply man, i''ve been considering regnow anyways so that sounds like a good deal. Of course I still have to make a demo (which may only take a few minutes) get web-hosting and setup my website.

As far as marketing is concerned, I plan to put it on as many download sites as possible and post it as many places as I can find. Who knows maybe I can make enough to offset the costs of my internet access.

Thanks again,
Keith Weatherby II
uhfgood@artoo.net

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For web hosting you can try..

http://datapacket.net/hosting.htm

If you look now they offer hosting at 49.95 a year, for unlimited space and bandwidth.

I have no idea if they are any good.

John Hsia

[edited by - z3lda on July 24, 2002 9:58:12 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Remember, "unlimited bandwidth" is usually a lie, since a host can''t afford that. I can recommend my host though, www.dzones.net which has pretty decent pricing, and a lot of features.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I''d also recommend my hosting, http://www.cedant.com

They''re phenominal. Amazingly helpful tech support, speedy responses and I''m yet to see a downtime (2 years hosting).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Check out www.digitalcandle.com too for distrubution services...they take only 10% and offer alot.

Btw Keith, did you ever find out about if egamezone.net''s site was going to be used?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just jump in and don''t look back =P



Feudal Conquest, An Online Strategy Game, has just become an Open Beta!

We''re looking for Beta Testers!

If you''re interested or just want more information, head on over to: http://www.feudalconquest.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

I was recently thinking of a method of only letting paid customers download the full version, and this is what I have come up with..

People like Kagi and RegNow will accept long lists of registration keys and send them out as needed, but instead of reg keys, I would use a long list of username/password combos, which will grant the user access to a protected folder on my site (do some research on ".htaccess" and ".htpassword" security on WeberDev.com).

The beauty of this system is that my host supplies me with user login details, so it''ll be easy to detect if a particular username/password gets into the public domain and downloads the game frequently.

Does this sound feasible?

Cheers

Matt


matibee.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Don''t use MyHosting.com for web hosting...(also known as softcom.ca).

At first, they sound like a bargain...$9.95/month "unlimited" bandwidth, 50 MB space, etc.

I had just left for vacation and my entire website was shut down...all data on the website was deleted and my account was removed. All because I was "using too much network resources". No e-mail warning me it was about to happen, and that I should back up all my latest customer data and find another WSP. Just gone. So, what a wonderful vacation I had.

It took no fewer than 3 e-mails (each successively angrier in tone) before I got a simple, rude response telling me essentially to get over it. So much for appreciating customer loyalty...at one point I had 6 domains hosted with them.

MyHosting.com sucks so much ass, they probably brush their teeth with toilet paper.

-Myles B. Dyson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you just want to host a site, I went with featureprice.com
They offer 50MB w/ "unlimited bandwidth" and at only $55/year, I find it to be great. Guaranteed 99.*% uptime.
The only problem I had for the past year that I have used them was when the server''s hard drive crashed along with the backup drive. They replaced and updated the hardware, and I haven''t had issues since. Also, they have a number of T1 and cable/dsl lines for backup.
As for the unlimited bandwidth part, I had asked them what they meant by that. If you login to their web access portion, you will see 1GB of bandwidth, which confused me. They said that they don''t actively monitor the sites they host, so as long as you don''t host porn or cause damage to their other clients'' accounts, you will be able to make use of as much bandwidth as you want.
I really enjoy their customer support. With the basic package I have, SSI was not supposed to be included, but because I had it for some reason before, I complained, and as a way of making amends for the hard drive failure, they gave it to me free of charge!
As for making use of their site for shareware, they offer MySQL, and PHP among other scripting languages, so you can create your own commercial website, but don''t ask me how. B-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by 3dModelMan
Hi,

I was recently thinking of a method of only letting paid customers download the full version, and this is what I have come up with..

People like Kagi and RegNow will accept long lists of registration keys and send them out as needed, but instead of reg keys, I would use a long list of username/password combos, which will grant the user access to a protected folder on my site (do some research on ".htaccess" and ".htpassword" security on WeberDev.com).

The beauty of this system is that my host supplies me with user login details, so it''ll be easy to detect if a particular username/password gets into the public domain and downloads the game frequently.

Does this sound feasible?

Cheers

Matt


matibee.com



Here''s and idea I had for that kind of thing. When the customer buys the game, they get a key based on their name. To download the game they go to a page on your site which lets them enter the name and key to download the game (this can be integrated into a link to let them download more easily). This could be a CGI script or ASP, whatever. The script runs the name and key through the same algorithm that the game uses to check validity, and then lets them download the game (the only thing I don''t know is how to keep the location of the file secret, but there must be some way). The script also makes a log entry noting that that combo was used to download the game.

Anyway, so how does this help you in terms of piracy? Well, each time the game is downloaded a log entry is made. If the script notices that the same name/key combo was used to download the game say, 5 times (pick a number) in the same day or hour or whatever, then mark that combo as "invalid" and don''t let any more people download the game using the combo. If the customer emails you and complains, you can tell them the combo was leaked, unless they really couldn''t download the game after X tries. The exact number of downloads you will accept depends on the average number of times a customer will try to download (which should be 1 generally).

This way does waste bandwidth though. I would recommend using RegNow or DigiBuy''s way instead -- keeping it on their server. They do something like generate unique expiring URLs each time someone buys. Can''t beat that. And RegNow only charges 1 cent per meg. While that might seem a lot ($10 per gig), since only paying customers will be downloading you''re only losing $10 per every GIG of your game sold. So if it''s 10 megs in size (100 downloads for one gig) and you''re charging 10 dollars, you''ll lose 10 bucks out of every 1,000, or 1 out of 100 games sold, which is almost nothing in the big picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Im going to be putting my game through DigitalCandle and using registration codes to unlock..
Now the question is, should I send them a long list of serials to give out, or should I custom tailor every order so they have a personlized key (using their full name to generate)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FenixDown, just remember not to use the ''login for download'' as your only protection. It''d be pretty simple if you did to download once and upload to another free server...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well I'm personally planning to use RegNow and let the customer download the game from them when they buy it (and use a key on install I suppose). That was just a suggestion. But I did say that the customer would use the their name/key combo to not only download the game but also use it to install. The installer would verify that the name and key match. The only reason you'd use that method is to let the customer download it again if they need to for some reason, like their hard drive crashed etc..

By the way, I wouldn't suggest digital candle even though I was originally thinking of going with them too. They may be the cheapest, but you do get what you pay for. Here's what LordKronos said about them, in
this thread
:

quote:

Re: Digital Candle

I havent dealt with them, but I have been looking over their site (I need to pick a payment processor in the next couple of weeks). A couple of this I noticed:

First, they do NOT ship CDs for free. They charge the customer $9.95 for this, its just that they charge the buyer directly and you never need to know about it. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but just be aware that your customers will NOT get this service for free.

The other thing I noticed was a lack of customization. The order info is filled in on their site, and for the most part, the page is theirs. You can customize the header and footer and the background, but most of the page is not customizable. This means it may not fit into your site, you cant remove the "Digital Candle" name or their graphic from the top of the order info section, etc. Also, I noticed in their FAQ that require that you email them when you make changes tot he product (price, description, etc) . They did say they are working on a new version of the management system, but it wont be ready until April???? (does this mean its already done, and they havent updated the page? Might have to ask about that).

Lastly, they send payment by check by default. If you want a direct deposit it costs $30. They say "if the developer has more than USD $1,000 gross sales per month, DigitalCandle will usually assume part or all of this fee". Im not sure what 'usually' and 'part or all' means (maybe they mean they will cover it unless the fee is unusually high?).

OK, I lied...there is one more thing I noticed. It doesnt look like you can sell multiple products in a single order.



[edited by - FenixDown on July 25, 2002 2:20:30 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah I noticed digitalcandle was cheaper, but if regnow hosts the file on their server then i''d probably rather go through them, I basically need something where I don''t have to do any of the "piracy protection" stuff myself, at least not at this stage. (When my games get alot more professional, i''ll probably opt to add registration keys and what not, maybe even hire people to do this stuff for me).

I''m not that worried about piracy of my game, however, I will be concerned once it gets out there. Only when my games get really really good, will I be worried about all of that stuff.

GBGames - I am looking at feature price right now, and I was comparing to POWWEB which seemed to be fairly cheap, theirs is 7.77 a month (which stacks up to almost 93.something a year)
plus if you want to register a new domain name with them it''s 15 dollars a year. With feature price I noticed that to register a domain name with them it would be 25 a year, so with POWWEB it''s over 100 bucks a year, with featureprice i guess it''s around 90, so it is cheaper, however powweb gives you 50 meg for their (basic) at 4.95, vs powweb''s 250 meg at 7.77., but moving on to feature price''s "budget" plan, they give you a gig, for 9.95 a month (translates to somewhat over 100 bucks), so they still sound like a better deal. However the thing that might cinch it for me is the fact that they explicitly don''t allow adult content, I personally don''t like the idea of paying a service that allows adult content (thus my money may be contributing to it), so featureprice sounds like a good deal. Thanks for the recommendation.

3D modelman - That sounds like a good idea, however, like I said, I don''t want to have to mess with the details of that myself, so i think i''ll take FenixDown''s suggestion and go with regnow. They''re ones i''ve heard about almost since the beginning (ie when places started first offering services like these), so although 20% per transaction is a bit hefty, they still seem like a good deal.

Anyways thanks alot guys, i''m starting to work on the "demo" for my game (shouldn''t take too long) then i''ll get my webhosting/domain-name, then i''ll sign up for reg now, etc...

This should be fun!

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right about DigitalCandle, but for my game im fine with all those things...

It doesnt require sending out CDs...I dont mind not customizing buy page...and payment by check is fine.


But my big question is...

Should I generate a generic list of serials to give to DigitalCandle to send out (so customer gets an instant key and I dont have to manually enter their name and create a key for them)

OR

Should I have DC send me emails about every sale and custom generate a key for them and send to them. This would take longer for the customer to get a key, but also it would be more secure because its based on their name and not just a general list.

What do you guys think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ibuku, The latter one if you are concerned about piracy.

I think http://spiderwebsoftware.com/ had it right, especially with the Exile series. Each install dynamically generated a "lock code", when purchased it would take that lock and generate that key. The problem came in when you re-formated and wanted to re-install, etc. There are ways to fix that problem but there are many good threads in archive about this already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ive tried both methods and the only thing to worry about is...

What happens when you go on holiday?

I remember getting back from my Honeymoon (in Vegas ) to find a lot of angry emails from guys waiting 10 days for their unlock codes.

If yu can set up a response script, then fine, but its worth thinking about!

http://www.positech.co.uk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cliffski - That''s why I want to go with the demo/full version thingy and have one of these regsites host the full version on their servers. They can handle all that stuff. I mean later when I get really good, i''ll probably have my own system and stuff, who knows, maybe my own full merchant account, and order pages and what not, but right now, the lease amount of hassle, so I can see if my game(s) will even sell.

On a side note, I notice how tetris clones were named in that big hasbro BS lawsuit, and yet, i''m seeing tetris clones all over actually being sold (although admittedly I don''t know if they make any money). Some of these games even use the name tetris. So i''m still deciding whether or not I could risk attempting to sell my tetris clone :-)

I might also sell smiley online, so that''s like 3 games right there, with at least two more games coming alon the way (Liberty-X episodes 2 and 3). I know people say quality over quantity however i''m at my highest quality right now and I won''t be making higher quality stuff until the next game, or set of games.
So why not go for quantity ;-)

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Hi

Just thought you might like to know, in the UK at the moment there''s a song in the singles chart by a band called ...... Liberty X

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If I had a nickel

--------------------------
Jai Shaw
Dreamstars 3: A space combat game with depth?!
Coming in August
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~jais/ds/ds.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By the way, you may want to consider having your demo off of the host of your main website. (For example, use Winsite) Its very useful if you have a limited bandwidth. I only have 25megs a day, so I have to worry about that stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites