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PolyDup and a 50% off Sale


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23 minutes ago, 3D-Pangel said:

Do these woes hold true for Python developers as well?

It always depends. The Python API didn't change as much with R20/R21. I remember spending much time on my C++ plugins adapting them. On the other hand, the Python API was much less "complete", and Python as such is very slow compared with C++. Python scripts can't even be protected AFAIK, and if you are using the licensing for Python plugins (I never did) then of course you are hit by the change in MAXON's ID system.

 

And now we have Python 3, which doesn't need as many adaptions as the last C++ API change but it does need some, and there will certainly be a few plugins that will no longer work because of it (and have protected code so ppl can't even adapt them themselves).

 

Plus, there is the new material node system, and later the new everything-node system; neither have any API at the moment in C++ or Python. That makes plugins for either unfeasible at the moment. If the everything-node system will be as pervasive as planned, this will call for a completely new generation of plugins in a few years.

 

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All of that would be less important, though, if there was an actual market for plugins, which would help you to refinance development and adaption. But fact is, only a few plugins seem to sell well; the rest is drowned out. I hear from plugin developers that their sales are insufficient; I see my own stuff not selling to the point of me simply not bothering; I see my Patreon not thriving and my posts about development cost being ignored. I see developers simply giving up, and that's something I don't need to tell you.

 

That is a very bad situation all in all, because external developers could fill gaps that MAXON left open; they could add new workflows or make tiny tools that save time; they could adopt tech early and make it available in C4D; they could speed up the creation of special objects. Sadly, it doesn't pay for most, as it seems; sometimes probably because the developed item has a too-small audience; sometimes because there is no proper way to advertise globally; but in many cases, because C4D users are loath to spend money on add-ons.

 

I can see where people come from. The school of thinking "MAXON should make this, why didn't they, I don't want to pay extra for stuff that MAXON should have made". The knowledge "this plugin is expensive, if the programmer drops it, my money will be wasted" - which is not even unfounded, but still sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The expectation "if I make myself dependent on this plugin, I'll be in deep doo-doo when it disappears". As a customer, I have experienced all these issues, so there is truth to be found. But as a programmer, I see a fickle market that is extremely difficult to serve.

 

And if the programmers leave - hobby or not - because the market is not allowing them to thrive, then all their plugins will meet their untimely end.

 

(You may say, there will be enough artists left who make a living from the actual end products, who are able to program their own tools in parallel, and who will generously spread these tools in the community. But realistically, if you can't make money with it, then why should you give up a competitive advantage?)

 

Once the hobbyists and the small fry is gone, many useful small tools will disappear, and the remaining plugins will be truly professional - in price.

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1 hour ago, Cairyn said:

All of that would be less important, though, if there was an actual market for plugins, which would help you to refinance development and adaption. But fact is, only a few plugins seem to sell well; the rest is drowned out. I hear from plugin developers that their sales are insufficient; I see my own stuff not selling to the point of me simply not bothering; I see my Patreon not thriving and my posts about development cost being ignored. I see developers simply giving up, and that's something I don't need to tell you

 

This really all comes down to marketing. It doesn't matter how great your software is if it never ends up in front of the eyes of someone who might find it useful. Anytime I start to actively do any marketing I see a significant boost in sales every single time. Even though I have been selling plugins for years many people are surprised to see my plugins when they pop up. 

 

By marketing I am referring to being active on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, GoogleAds as well as posting up articles and creating new pages on your website so that google picks up the changes (SEO). For me I am only using Twitter now. Marketing takes a lot of time and effort. It actually takes more time and management than it does the actual creation of the plugins. This is why a lot of developers also use resellers like ToolFarm. They can do all the marketing, get the plugins into the hands of some youtube reviewers etc... and handle all the sales etc... I do not use them myself, but they totally earn whatever % they take. Be it 30% or 50%, they earn it. Since 1 sale is better than no sale.

 

But in most cases marketing and development do not have the same level of interest for most people. 

 

Lastly customers are not really interested in hearing about how hard it is to make a product. If you have a feature a customer needs right now for a job, it doesn't really matter how much it costs or if it will be supported in 1 years time. They will buy it for the job that they need today and then they may never use it again. Hobbyist users are different, since every cent matters, especially with the subscription costs. So their concerns are valid.

 

Another issue being a developer is spreading yourself too thin. Developing too many products and trying to support them all. Instead developers need to find one product, increase its price to a high enough level to justify its development and just stick with that one thing. But finding that idea/concept that a paying customer would want is the hard part. And like a lot of us developers we do this for fun of it a lot of the time, usually just for ourselves. But sometimes a product may resonate with users and then you have a winner. 

 

Patreon is also not a business model. I am using it for those users who don't have much money and I offer a lot of experimental things there also. But customers that use C4D for a living never use my Patreon, they buy the plugins at the full price and they get the support that comes along with it (and most importantly they get an Invoice so they can charge it as a business expense).

 

It is hard. And there are not a lot of C4D developers who have actually made a real business out of it. I can only think of X-Particles, Greyscalegorilla and CinemaPlugins (basically just DemEarth as the main product) that are doing well. Aside from the obvious renderer developers. And X-Particles and Greyscalegorilla invest a tonne of their time in Marketing. And I am also really impressed by Pauls (DemEarth) work as well, one guy doing waaaayyyy too much work.

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  • Silver Contributor

While I hoped to be able to keep the business running till the end of the year, I now have to announce I am closing down by the end of the week.

I don't want to make it sound dramatic, but if you were still on the fence of deciding to get one of the plugins ... you probably have one or two days left to make a decision.

 

EDIT:

Shop closed and business activities terminated.

@3D-PangelYou might want to edit your first message in this thread and remove the links to the website to avoid soon-to-be broken links. Thanks.

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