Re: Stephen King's The Plant

From: Bryan Moss (
Date: Mon Jul 24 2000 - 16:15:27 MDT

I wrote:

> [...]

Ack! Hideous spelling mistake in the title due to excited anti-IP-zealot
reporter. (Now corrected.)

I've been thinking about doing something similar for a while now. A few

- As far as I can tell the payment is not variable. I've payed 2 for books
I'd happily pay 40 for. I know people who've had their life changed by a
book, how much is that worth?

- Payment needs to be easy. The hassle of signing up with Amazon and
entering credit card details is *way* too much for a buck.

- King's using a system whereby if 75% of his readers pay, he'll write the
next episode. I think this is at odds with the real beauty of this scheme
because it relies on being able to track the downloads and thus restricts

- People that pay but don't get anything in return due to the lack of
interest are going to be pissed off, this might be a disincentive,
especially when dealing with larger sums of money.

What I want to do is this: Create a computer RPG (the full-on 3D affair; I'm
part computer graphics programming geek) and sell it per episode on a pledge
basis. The payment system would be included in the software, so at the
cliff hanger ending of episode one you'd see "Want more? Pledge now!" The
pledges would only be collected when enough money had been taken (one of the
problems here is in informing customers how much money is needed, and not
creating disincentives to continue paying). (Note: At a recent game
developers conference it was mentioned that most people only ever play the
first 10% of the games they buy. This could mean that the pledge model
would not work, or it could mean that under the current model developers are
more worried about how a game looks on the box than how it actually plays.)
Keeping interest for the lengthy (and expensive) development period of a
game might be a challenge, possibly an on-line component of the game could
be used. The entire game - including artwork - would be released under the
GPL and derivative works would be encouraged (obviously the copyright - with
a link to the payment system - would have to be included).

I'll wait to see what happens with King.


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