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Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:16 am
by rulegram
After a brief hiatus (which saw me start a Business Information Systems course in college) work has recommenced on the Engine 001 video games console: tentatively known as the R001 ("R" for "Rulegram" and "001" for the games you will be able to play/sell on it).
Yesterday I got the actual hardware side of things up and running. It is a fast console with good graphics and buffering speeds (tested using a Linux distro).
Next I will begin work on a custom Operating System and then finalise the built-in apps (001 Games Store; a Network001 social feature and, perhaps, a version of XBMC if there is sufficient warrant and cause for this).
Finally work will advance onto the Console Hub: an alternative start-up menu, a dynamic environment that 001 developers will be freely able to add on to.
At current hardware costs, the R001 is likely to cost €271.98 ($367.80) and will come bundled with 500GB internal storage, two exclusive 001 titles (developed by moi) and a wireless Speedlink ABXY games controller.
Other 001 developers will be freely able to sell their own games for the console - in tow with the controller. These can be demos, free titles or - if they are 001 subscribers - commercial titles.
R001 will not be sold at a profit but I will be using any business skills I acquire through the college course in order to promote the console and the engine: ideally the R001 could be pitched as a console that allows you to easily make your own games, and will hopefully broaden the awareness of the engine and the 001 games.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions for the R001 games console please post below.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:47 pm
by Mr.Numbers
No offense but... 367.80$ sounds way more expensive than it really should be :S

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:10 pm
by rulegram
Mr.Numbers wrote:No offense but... 367.80$ sounds way more expensive than it really should be :S


I know. These figures are, however, temporary and I hope to find some cuts somewhere (ideal price: €100 = $135).

Yet, unless we greatly decline performance á la the Ouya, this just isn't feasible on a small-time scale like this project.

Even the "big three", who purchase parts in bulk, are faced with this issue. The PS4, for example, is sold at a loss and priced at $399. The Xbox One, meanwhile, is not sold at a loss but is priced at $499.99: essentially $500.

The R001 may come in two models with the less expensive model coming with a wired controller, less memory etc.

For the main console I will try to find cuts somewhere but, unless I go the Kickstarter-esque route in order to afford bulk parts (something which I will have to discuss with Mike first), drastic cuts are unlikely to be made. :(

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:15 pm
by Mike
Before it gets too far, again, make sure we have a discussion about its implications with 001 and its copyright.

I have only given you permission to produce something that does not involve money.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:01 pm
by macrostrata
It's a good personal engineering project but I'm not too sure about this being market viable for many reasons.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:05 pm
by rulegram
Mike and I have had a discussion about the console and its implication on the 001 brand.
We have decided to make this an official 001 project with Mike as the license holder and myself as the lead system architect.
Soon we will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for the project: with a proposed name of 001 Wildfire. Wildfire will be dedicated to Engine001 games and is the only console out there that allows anybody to make and share their own games, no programming skills required, and we are also going to open the door up to commercial 001 titles (the details of which will need to be ironed out). This console fills an important creative need and will be a great starting point for anyone with an interest in video game design.
I am currently querying a number of third party manufacturers in order to reduce the cost of the console to end users; making this essential product more consumer friendly.
More information will be revealed when appropriate and if you have any questions about Wildfire please post them below. This will be the console for your games.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:27 pm
by dragonnutds
a console that can only run a single engine? strange....

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:16 pm
by rulegram
dragonnutds wrote:a console that can only run a single engine? strange....


Yes, it will only run one video games engine: the best engine for creative game designers who don't need to know loads of programming skills!

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:52 am
by RamchuK_Ntertainment
This very much sounds like a great way to make money, for a certain party, but if I may ask; why does 001 need a "console" for its games? Surely the idea of having a console specifically designed for Engine001, an engine that required no programming experience, is a catchy idea. Yet, 001 is not market-ready. As much as this deal will earn profits, this is something to consider for the future, but only when 001 reaches a proper popularity level. With this, you may also be able to charge good money for the console and other services provided. All this is currently not a profitable or wise step to make. Please also reconsider the console price; keeping in mind that 001 games are not very large and many don't even reach 100MB in size, 500GB of HDD space is simply unnecessary. (Most users have enough space on their PC to store and run games). With this, try to understand that 001 is not Xbox 360 and it's not Justin Bieber playing its tunes, it's Engine001, developed by an individual who is currently the only programmer working on it. I suggest you give Kickstarter a try and see how well you go in the process, but I also recommend that you put together some kind of an advertising campaign to allow 001 to get more recognized. This will help attract more customers in the future.

My major concern is with the idea of having a console that costs over $100 and "most" games made by 001 users are not completed and not polished. From 100 games that may be developed by users, only 10 have a beta or a demo, from which most betas should be considered as alpha versions. Many of these games don't even achieve the status of Nintendo DS games. Is this console designed only for elite members? If not, how would it benefit regular users? User-friendly? Furthermore, what's the percent of gamers that you feel will be purchasing the console to play 001 games? If this console was to be owned by subscribers, who "will" or "may" spend over $100 in their total subscription funds, how many of them would you expect to spend another $100 to purchase a console just for their games? If you can answer these questions with honesty to yourself, you may realize that currently a console is not an urgent or even a wise choice. I am a 001 supporter who believes that 001 will reach its prime and captivate the attention of many one day, but with the current longing progress and the pressure over Mike's shoulders, 001 simply needs the time and space to grow. Business and profit tactics are not wise at the current moment and I highly recommend that you reconsider your decisions. Planning for the future will not hurt and I support your idea of a console, but not at the given moment. Please accept my comment with best regards as I am only trying to share my own thoughts.

~REGT (Accounting & Business Management Student (AA))

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:49 am
by macrostrata
Ramchuk explained very well my reservations with this project as well.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:45 am
by Mike
I felt the same way when it was introduced a while back. I put a close to it because of several issues.

I personally don't have faith in it at the moment. With 001's lack of popularity, there's not a lot of room for this to even make sense to anyone. Barely anyone is willing to spend $10, even now with all the people who use the software, let alone multiple hundreds of dollars for a dedicated console.

That being said, 001's changed quite a bit recently - and our stats show that we're starting to finally grow. With all the features improving and UI becoming more stable, it won't really be that long until it's an interesting option.

Really, rulegram is taking on this project at no cost to me or anyone here. If it fails, it's not like it can't be tried again. And really, by the time he's done managing every aspect of this and designing the software for it, I'm sure 001 will be in a different place by then.

Again, right this second - probably a bad idea. But in the long term, a kickstarter project of this nature could really help 001's exposure.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:38 pm
by rulegram
Please forgive the length of this reply.

Firstly I would like to say thank you to Ramchuk and the thoughts are very valid. I will try to answer them now, in a well-thought out fashion and would greatly appreciate your thoughts.

RamchuK_Ntertainment wrote:This very much sounds like a great way to make money, for a certain party.


The vast majority of the money made will be going to Mike and he says that this money will be used to improve the engine. Presently he has offered me 5% on console sales. Having since realised the sheer size of the amount of work I will need to undertake in order to give this a chance, perhaps I could get a bit more (sweet point: 20%; and maybe even a little bit on the royalties of software sales). However I will never look for more than a fifth of the profits; that means 80% will be going to Mike with some of that hopefully going towards the engine. I won't lie: I'd like to make some money from this but the main goal for myself, and I'm pretty certain Mike, is boosting the audience of 001 and allowing developers to realise console ambitions.

RamchuK_Ntertainment wrote:Surely the idea of having a console specifically designed for Engine001, an engine that required no programming experience, is a catchy idea.


It is. It fills a niche in the market and would be a great starting point for ambitious developers.

RamchuK_Ntertainment wrote:Please also reconsider the console price; keeping in mind that 001 games are not very large and many don't even reach 100MB in size, 500GB of HDD space is simply unnecessary.


I agree. 500GB is not necessary and I don't think it will be that necessary for quite some time. The earlier specs I posted will change and the cost (especially given economies of scale) will drop.

RamchuK_Ntertainment wrote:I suggest you give Kickstarter a try and see how well you go in the process, but I also recommend that you put together some kind of an advertising campaign to allow 001 to get more recognized. This will help attract more customers in the future.


I will hopefully (with Mike's consent) continue the Kickstarter route. I am also currently developing a strong marketing strategy for the campaign itself and, if we get the necessary funds, I will be outsourcing PR to an established PR company as well as continuing with my own strategies.


RamchuK_Ntertainment wrote:My major concern is with the idea of having a console that costs over $100 and "most" games made by 001 users are not completed and not polished.


This is a present concern and I agree. If we can get the funds, I plan to host a competition to spread awareness of the console and to entice developers to complete their games and polish them as much as they can: with a projected €1000 ($1350) for first place and €500 ($675) each for two runners up.

I am not sure how many completed games we have at the moment and this is research that I will have to carry out, but hopefully we will be able to port this over onto the console (with time for the developers to polish them up if necessary). Also the console will be bundled with two complete, proper-length games that I will develop (one being Wildfire's answer to Wii Sports in that it shows off the controls) and the other being a platformer with at least 32 levels and also including secrets etc.
I aim to achieve what I call the 20:30. That is for Wildfire to have 20 games available at launch (including at least half of them being commercial) and for 30 (20+10) to be made before the console launch in order for regular releases until the next wave of games. I will try and push for these targets to be met before the console launches.

RamchuK_Ntertainment wrote:Is this console designed only for elite members? If not, how would it benefit regular users?


The console will be for all users. Although this will need to be talked out with Mike, I think (given the royalties) that console owners won't need subscriptions to commercially release titles on the console: although beta content will only be available to subscribers.

RamchuK_Ntertainment wrote:Furthermore, what's the percent of gamers that you feel will be purchasing the console to play 001 games?


What percentage are you looking for? Global gamers? 001 users? I'm not entirely sure.
For 001 users I hope that at least 30% will purchase the console and of course there is also the matter of those gamers who will be purchasing the console without having used 001 before.

RamchuK_Ntertainment wrote:If this console was to be owned by subscribers, who "will" or "may" spend over $100 in their total subscription funds, how many of them would you expect to spend another $100 to purchase a console just for their games?


This is a good point and one that I can not answer. As stated earlier I hope for console titles to be published without subscription necessary. I would buy the console, especially with the current vision I have for it.
I (and again I will need Mike's consent before it's been decided) but I aim to include other features on the console: FilmOn TV, XBMC, Netflix and maybe one or two others. I would like to buy a smart box for these services (gets rid of need for TV subscription) but they are fairly expensive. However if the smart box allows me to make my own games, no programming required, I'm sold.


RamchuK_Ntertainment wrote:Planning for the future will not hurt and I support your idea of a console, but not at the given moment. Please accept my comment with best regards as I am only trying to share my own thoughts.


I loved your thoughts. They were well-reasoned, valid points that helped establish certain things in my mind. I like comments of this nature. And I thank you for them.

Mike wrote:And really, by the time he's done managing every aspect of this and designing the software for it, I'm sure 001 will be in a different place by then.


Yes. It's not going to be done overnight: it's going to take quite some time.
Planning prior to Kickstarter involves everything from talking to manufacturers, PR companies; developing a marketing strategy etc.
Once Kickstarter is started all focus will be on spreading awareness.
If its successful, the manufacturing process will begin. That could take some time.
Then there's also the web development, getting the 20:30 games and so on.
It's going to take time.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:54 pm
by Mike
Two points of concern with what you said - the rest RamchuK_Ntertainment can respond to.

rulegram wrote:perhaps I could get a bit more (sweet point: 20%; and maybe even a little bit on the royalties of software sales). However I will never look for more than a fifth of the profits

It wouldn't make sense for it to go above 5%.

rulegram wrote:For 001 users I hope that at least 30% will purchase the console

Less than 1% of active users have bothering with subscription. I'd find it really unlikely that 30% would purchase something considerably more expensive.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:08 pm
by rulegram
Edit Starts Here

FAO Mike: What are your thoughts on XMBC etc being on the console?

FAO Danny: Is your game "Click Click Boom" fully complete? If so, if we were to make a 001 console would you be game for porting it over as a launch title?

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:34 pm
by 2cool4me4
This could be an issue. Always watch out for Valve.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:33 am
by rulegram
I knew that Valve were rumoured to be making a console. However I thought it was a long way away. Releasing an Operating System is a very smart move. Many companies will probably be releasing their own "SteamBoxes".
It's an interesting OS but sadly it makes our console redundant. As such the project is being canned.
I may release hardware at some stage but a 001-dedicated console seems very unlikely at the moment. Chances are if I ever do fulfill my console-making ambitions, it sadly won't be 001 exclusive and thus won't be mentioned on this forum.
This may change. You never know, but right now it is not the time to release a 001 console. Wildfire has been doused. :(

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:16 pm
by Mike
I don't think Steam having a console means anything more than Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo having consoles.

I thought the idea was to create something that allows people to create and share games seamlessly?

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:38 pm
by rulegram
Mike wrote:I don't think Steam having a console means anything more than Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo having consoles.


The cost of production is just too high, leading to a project that will cost consumers a lot of money.
That initial spark, that creative incentive I had when I first approached the project is gone. Not just because of Steam but because of multiple reasons; quantity and quality of games being a key one.
I'm not going to forever stop my console dreams. Some day I would love to enter the hardware market.
However, for now, a 001 console is not feasible. In a few years time, when Xbox One, PS4 and Steam are getting stale perhaps I could reanalyse the idea.
In those intervening years many things will change: for example 001 will advance even further, there will be more quality titles, I will hopefully have gotten a tad more experience, gamers will be looking for a new consolle and we could fill that niche.
As I said, for a now a 001 console is not the way to go. The forumites agree, and these are 001's biggest fans.
So there will not be a 001 console. Yet this is not the end, it is just an indefinite hiatus.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:02 pm
by Tabula Rasa
You know, a platform like Steam that's based on PC, that allows people to easily access, download, organize and launch 001 games, would be feasible.
Unfortunately, I have no idea how to program something like that, so it would be up to someone else.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:05 pm
by Mike
I think once we have web-based game support in 001, the games section will become just that.

Re: Updates on the 001 video games console

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:06 pm
by dragonnutds
web games are a goal?