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-   -   Jim, where do we go from here! (Redux) (

Surferminn 03-01-2011 11:51 AM

I noticed at the aquarium I used to be a member of, their eel had these flowerettes that flared out of one set of their noses. Will it have teeth when it opens it's mouth to yawn?

Jim Sachs 03-01-2011 12:15 PM

No teeth - this is Michael's Zebra Moray Eel, chosen largely for its lack of teeth. Not sure you'd be able to see them anyway - the eel is pretty small and far away.

patscarr 03-01-2011 01:03 PM


Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 128791)
It's hard to justify spending time on new features or additions unless sales pick up again.

So, why are you adding this eel now, Jim? Did sales pick up? Are you hoping that adding it will increase sales? You were trapped in the house for a couple days and got really bored? It's a "gift" for us die hard forum members?

Surferminn 03-01-2011 01:09 PM

Pat, if I were you, I'd start saving my money or go see a loan shark. You have some wagers to pay off.

ESHIREY 03-01-2011 01:15 PM


Jav400 03-01-2011 01:32 PM

Well he promised me years ago, ( almost 10 now ) when we were first talking about eels and characteristics that he would try to include a zebra for me. Maybe it's just time for one. :) I had almost given up..........

By the way, thanks Jim. I really appreciate it, even if it isn't directly for me personally. :TU:

Pat, I don't think what he is doing here, is "that" difficult on the over all scale of things, and the cave was created for something to be in there.

My personal opinion is that if he wants to do something that would create/help sales, it would have to be a first creature pack. That would be the difficult thing because every creature has to start from scratch and have separate everything, from vertices, complicated movements, textures, and integrations into the overall program. That would probably be back to months of work again.

Ralph 03-01-2011 04:06 PM

Do we get a test soon?:D

Jim Sachs 03-01-2011 07:24 PM

Pat - I had a few days where the lot was too mushy to get any real work done, so I tackled this relatively easy job.

Michael - Just for you! (For all the grief you've had to put up with all these years) :)

Ralph - It might be a couple more days before a test is ready. I ran into a bit of a snag with my development system. The utility for converting .bmp files to .dds files (DXTEX.exe) no longer works, and I can't figure out why.

ESHIREY 03-01-2011 07:44 PM

That stinks.

Jav400 03-02-2011 08:00 AM


Thanks, it is greatly appreciated. I have always told myself I would have another real aquarium at home. Somewhere around 300 gallons this time, but as usual RL always seems to get in the way. At least now I can have Harvey either way. :TU:

As to "putting up with grief" all these years, for the most part I have always enjoyed being here, and I guess it works both ways; I'm sure I caused some at times as well so I guess it all evens out. That's what family is for, having somewhere to be even in those times............ :)

feldon34 03-02-2011 08:18 AM


When it comes down to the modeling, texturing, and animation, I have never had any doubt. :)

ESHIREY 03-02-2011 10:17 AM

Same here to the both of you.

Jim Sachs 03-02-2011 04:34 PM

Got the eel in the tank and swaying slightly. Still have to do the real animation, but looks pretty good so far.

ESHIREY 03-02-2011 06:36 PM

Now that's good news. Thanks for letting us know buddy.

spetro 03-07-2011 05:52 AM

All Right!!!!!:TU:

Jim Sachs 03-07-2011 01:14 PM

I had to spend several days putting together our corporate tax info for my accountant, so that slowed me down on the eel project.

patscarr 03-07-2011 05:05 PM

Yeah, we filed and sent in our tax returns in last week. We'll be getting a nice big return very soon. :)

ESHIREY 03-07-2011 05:40 PM

We did ours on Feb 17th and got the check in our account on the 4th. Exactly 2 weeks from when we filed.

Surferminn 03-07-2011 05:47 PM

Haven't done mine yet... :|

Jav400 03-07-2011 07:06 PM

Yeah, I got the accountants thing going on as well. I totally understand. :(

But on the other hand, now that I know Harvey is in the works, I am patiently waiting. :) :TU:

ESHIREY 03-08-2011 11:56 AM

I think once he is added under the settings for the name for the eel "Harvey" should be part of the name. :)

Jim Sachs 03-08-2011 03:35 PM

No name, no settings - remember, he's just part of the background. (But I do plan to refer to him as Harvey when telling people about him) :)

ESHIREY 03-08-2011 03:39 PM

hahahahahahaha cool.

Nicki 03-08-2011 03:59 PM

The truth is out now, Michael's a big Sabrina the Teenage Witch fan :p.

Wizwad 03-08-2011 04:29 PM

Wait, didn't we know that already? I'm sure it was in his list:
Stargate SG1
Stargate Atlantis
Sabrina the Teenage Witch


Jav400 03-08-2011 04:56 PM

hmmm, I feel tomato's hitting me from somewhere or the other....................

Jimmy Stewart people Jimmy Stewart :)

spetro 03-09-2011 05:49 AM

lets forget about the eel and concentrate on the puffer project.
(only kidding):cool:

Jim Sachs 03-09-2011 09:45 AM

Another slowdown - we have a guest staying in our spare bedroom/computer room, so I don't have access to my computer at night.

ESHIREY 03-09-2011 10:34 AM

no no no, put them in the garage. hahahahahahaha just kidding.

Ralph 03-09-2011 12:05 PM

I hope your guest appreciate the disappointment they are causing.:D

Ivanhoe 03-09-2011 12:32 PM

Sales Of MA3
Hi Jim
I am not into marketing or anything remotely like it,but there is an advert for MA3 in the Computer Active mag in the UK selling it for 50% below RRP, also there is sticker on the box saying over I million copies sold,now I do not know how much you get each copy sold and I do not want to know but if it is less than 3 or 5 US Dollars for such a superb piece of software then you are getting ripped off by Prolific.
Computeractive sold an average of 159210 copies 26 times a year in 2009.
Sorry if I rambled on a bit Jim but I'm trying to figure out how to get you more money so you can carry on developing.


Jav400 03-09-2011 02:51 PM

Oh no MR. Bill..................... :)

Tell them your new house needs work and while they are out there then you can get Harvey swimming along just fine. :)

You even get two things done at once that way as well. Bonus!! :TU:

Jim Sachs 03-09-2011 03:06 PM

Ralph - They haven't a clue. :|

Michael - I suspect that this guy would not be much good at roofing. Anyway, I need the computer at night when he's sleeping.

Ivanhoe - I'll have to look into that ad. Probably a European sub-distributor. The only way I make any significant money is when customers buy Key Codes on the website. All the other deals are split so many ways that I only get a few cents per copy. Prolific makes very little also, and they have to pay people to handle customer support, keep the high-bandwidth website up, handle credit-cards, etc.

Yes, there have been over 1 million sold. Way more, actually. Our previous hard-copy publisher, Encore, stopped counting at 1 million around 2005. Microsoft also sold something like 8 million copies of MA in their Plus Packs (from which I got not one cent). I always felt that Encore was taking a disproportionate share, but now that I look back on the relationship, I find that it was mutually beneficial. They got the hard-copy into stores, which acted as advertising, which drove my website sales. Now we have no advertising, the new distributor buys blocks of Key Codes at a huge discount, sells many of them on their website in direct competition with me, and is unable to get the hard-copy into major store chains.

I've always wanted to do some actual advertising, but have always been fearful. Ads which have any likelyhood of success are extremely expensive, and an unsuccessful try would mean the end of me. If anyone here has any experience with Google, Amazon, or Facebook ads, please let me know.

Digital Lungfish 03-09-2011 10:41 PM


Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 131009)
No name, no settings - remember, he's just part of the background. (But I do plan to refer to him as Harvey when telling people about him) :)

Jim, I'm excited to hear that you'll soon have the long sought after eel in MA for us to test. :TU:

However, I'm curious to know about his placement in the tank. You said "he's just part of the background", but will this only be for testing purposes or also for the release build? I guess I'm asking if in the final version he'll have the freedom to roam away from the background from time to time and then return or if he'll be a permanent fixture? If I had to guess I'd imagine you would take the path of least resistance and go the permanent fixture route, but wanted to ask just to be sure.

ESHIREY 03-09-2011 10:54 PM

From what he has been telling us it's just going to be in the cave.

Jim Sachs 03-10-2011 10:25 AM

The plan is for the eel to be part of the background, like the clams and featherduster. It will live in the cave, generally near the back, but will poke its head out if a fish swims by.

If I have a On/Off switch or any other User Interface additions, then it's a whole different ballgame. That would entail alerting the Cast of Thousands to come up with suitable translations for "eel" in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc., among many other things. There's nothing I hate more than seeing the dreaded "Development Cost" item on my royalty statements.

It's at least an order of magnitude easier to just have two downloads available. I assume that most users would choose the one with the eel.

Digital Lungfish 03-10-2011 04:12 PM

Pretty much as I suspected, Jim. But, it didn't hurt to ask just in case. ;)

Racer57 03-10-2011 04:52 PM

1 Attachment(s)
My picture of an eel on one of my introductory dives as previosly indicated. Pls excuse the blueness of the picture. I am not even gonna tell you in what year I took it and the ravages of age on the picture, but at least you get the idea.

wetmonkey 03-13-2011 12:35 PM

Hi Jim,

Very familiar with Facebook ads, Google Adwords and am setting up an amazon merchant account as we speak.

PPC is a quick way to inject online traffic.
A Facebook Business Page will also give you a current way to gain exposure and allow you to communicate in a new vertical and gain new audience.

The keyword Aquarium Screensaver is pulling 14,800 US searches and 60,500 global a month with a PPC rate of $ .43. There are other beneficial keywords you can use. This is a quick birdeye pull of what I saw as the highest traffic phrase.

Once you get some time under your google adwords campaign you can shift from PPC to CPA (Cost Per Action) and pay for only the people who make a purchase. The CPA rate will be higher.

Facebook campaigns would cost you roughly $ .50 per like to gain a new person to your page. The more your drill down into demographics, the higher the PPL will cost you. You can directly engage with fans and drive them to your website to purchase. There are also a few Facebook E commerce solutions like I am not certain if they handle digital distribution to help you sell serials. I am sure their would be a solution out there that you may want to look at adding.

I would recommend making a Facebook page as soon as possible. It is a great free way to engage fans and customers. Make sure you create first a personal account, then you can create a business page. Do not make a personal account your product name or website name. You will be limited to 5000 "friends" vs. unlimited people who can like a page and sooner or later Facebook will disable a company running as a person (against TOS) I know several occasions where people loose all of their connections. People have Friends/ personal accounts, business have Pages and people who Like them. Rest assured if you do not want to have a personal page assessable to people, you can block it off. You will be tied to the Business Page and it is anonymous to who admins the Page.

I will look into amazon and how to setup digital downloads and serials.

If you need some help getting going, feel free to let email me. I can help and have a well of colleagues to help answer questions also.


Jim Sachs 03-13-2011 03:27 PM

Thanks for the info. We've already had the e-commerce stuff set up for 10 years, so it's really just a matter of getting people to go to and buy the program. I certainly wouldn't mind paying $.50 for each actual sale, in fact we've long had a system in place to pay 4X that to anyone wishing to register as a "dealer".

PPC is very scary for me. Just one day of high-volume/non-purchase traffic would bankrupt me. The website already gets something like 12,000 hits a day, but only about half of 1% actually buy.

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