Continued Development of DMB - A New Approach
07/06/08 – Forum (Dayne Myers)
After our announcement in May and the subsequent chats, a number of you suggested a more incremental approach to DMB development via smaller updates or upgrades rather than entirely new versions. Frankly, this was an idea we did not consider seriously before because we doubted that the DMB customer base would be willing to settle for anything less than a true version 10. Given the number of you who have urged a more incremental approach and a willingness to pay for it, we decided to explore what might be involved and the cost.
Thanks to some programming work by Luke, it does appear we will be able to offer the same changes and upgrades we do for the online games into the PC game in a more cost-effective and efficient manner than in the past. As a result, we are considering a subscription service that would include (at no additional charge other than the subscription price):
(a) Each year's season disk;
(b) Each year's projection disk;
(c) Any updates, patches or upgrades to the sim engine (i.e., whenever we update the sim engine for the online games, the same upgrades would be made available to you);
(d) Any PBP updates or additions whenever they are added to the online game (minimum of once per year and likely more often);
(e) Priority for participation in beta testing;
(f) Discounts on purchases of past season disks;
(g) Any CPS upgrades completed during the year (for registered owners of the relevant CPS seasons upgraded);
(h) One free past season disk or other disk (AGP, Worst Teams or other special disks we may do) as a bonus after each year as a subscriber.
We recognize that people will value these items differently, and some may not care at all about certain items (e.g., those who don't normally buy the projection disk might not care about that). However, by making the product offerings uniform, we streamline the effort required to deliver the products. The key element here is that there would be at least 2 updates to the DMB pc game per year, at least one of which would include a PBP update (and sometimes both), in addition to the season disks. We would issue these within 60 days of implementing the same changes in the online game.
A few caveats… to be able to do this in a cost-effective manner, we'll need to do the following:
1. Everyone will need to sign up via the Imagine Sports site and pay with a credit card via an automated system (we'll need to modify the current system). The Yahoo store will be discontinued.
2. We need to deliver these updates via email or download because producing CDs as frequently as would be required under this plan would too labor-intensive. In the near-term, we will continue to provide CDs but would need to charge extra for each CD. Eventually, we will phase out offering these products via CD entirely.
3. Only changes that are compatible with the PC game and its interface would be included. That is, if we make a change to the sim engine that cannot work in the PC game, then such changes would not be part of this program (and, if feasible at all for the PC game, would need to be developed and charged separately.) Though we are not working on anything like this now and do not plan to do so in the near future, we cannot be certain that will always be the case.
What we did not yet determine is the price. Rather than try to guess what you would feel is fair, we are seeking your input. Elan ("Sposfan") Gelbart has volunteered to solicit input from the DMB community, including a conference call focus group or two, and make a recommendation.
We hope to have that input and to make a final decision on this program by August 1 and implement it shortly thereafter. There would be an upgrade available by the time we set this up (some PBP updates and some other things to be determined prior to the start of the program), with the intent being to give you an improvement to your game engine as soon as you sign up.
We appreciate your input that convinced us to explore this option and look forward to your feedback. We hope it will enable us continue the DMB game in a way that is feasible for us and worthwhile for you. Elan will post separately as to how and when he'll be gathering your input.