Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 8,313
# 51
08-30-2013, 09:42 AM
If we just look at it numerically, Logan used to say it took him 8 working days to make a ship model - I have no idea how long it takes Jam. So we're looking at 64ish man-hours. I can't speculate on what a ship artist would make in the gaming industry in California. I'll just hazard a guess and say somewhere around $30-$40.00 per hour all things factored in. So on the short-side you're looking at around $2,000 just to make a unique ship skin. From there it moves on to the chassis and Console team to finish - and I have no idea how many man-hours that would entail.

So if you'e only looking at $1,000 you're probably not going to get a unique skin. At best you're either going to get a unique part or you're going to get a Mirror-type ship of Chassis X under Ship Skin Y.
STO is about my Liberated Borg Federation Captain with his Breen 1st Officer, Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, Liberated Borg Engineering Officer, Android Ops Officer, Photonic Science Officer, Gorn Science Officer, and Reman Medical Officer jumping into their Jem'Hadar Carrier and flying off to do missions for the new Romulan Empire. But for some players allowing a T5 Connie to be used breaks the canon in the game.

Last edited by thecosmic1; 08-30-2013 at 09:56 AM.
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,777
# 52
08-30-2013, 09:52 AM
That's pretty much along the lines I was thinking, tc1, but thanks for actually coming out and posting it!

I'd point out that the $1K was possibly an off-the-cuff figure and not necessarily what they'd really charge to do one.

I'd think the cost would go up for a really new custom skin, as they'd have the administrative overhead of getting CBS to sign off on it.
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,057
# 53
08-30-2013, 11:40 AM
A few years ago I ran across a bug that made green plasma shoot out my butt when I fired my plasma rifle.

Plasma-Fart

If I had the money I'd pay to be able to do that on command. Like a tribble power, or that dancing disco ball. I'd pay extra if the power made everything around me run away, just so I could counter that stupid party ball.
Captain
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,038
# 54
08-30-2013, 12:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecosmic1 View Post
If we just look at it numerically, Logan used to say it took him 8 working days to make a ship model - I have no idea how long it takes Jam. So we're looking at 64ish man-hours. I can't speculate on what a ship artist would make in the gaming industry in California. I'll just hazard a guess and say somewhere around $30-$40.00 per hour all things factored in. So on the short-side you're looking at around $2,000 just to make a unique ship skin. From there it moves on to the chassis and Console team to finish - and I have no idea how many man-hours that would entail.

So if you'e only looking at $1,000 you're probably not going to get a unique skin. At best you're either going to get a unique part or you're going to get a Mirror-type ship of Chassis X under Ship Skin Y.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegeek View Post
That's pretty much along the lines I was thinking, tc1, but thanks for actually coming out and posting it!

I'd point out that the $1K was possibly an off-the-cuff figure and not necessarily what they'd really charge to do one.

I'd think the cost would go up for a really new custom skin, as they'd have the administrative overhead of getting CBS to sign off on it.
And don't forget the QA time. Also, Cryptic isn't going to do this on a break-even basis, they'd need to consider the opportunity cost of tying up the resources - and they should want a premium on top of that. Considering the need to get CBS sign-off, I think a custom model is likely to be prohibitively expensive. A custom skin (as in texture), would be a lot more practical, requiring somewhat less art time and (presumably) no sign-off from CBS. Still likely to be relatively pricey though. And remember, anything added here has to be downloaded to everyone's client. There's a hidden cost in loading up additional graphics there.

What other custom things could be done?

Custom registry tag could be done. That would be relatively straightforward. A custom ship name would be pretty easy as well (What's a custom ship name? Some perfectly valid ship names are blocked by the filter - this would pay for someone to manually bypass the naming filter and set the name for you.)

What about actual gameplay changes to ships?

The most obvious thing I can think of here (that aren't too P2W) are creating 'fleet' level variants for ships that lack them. This would definitely be a situation where you would most likely be paying for a chance to get it first, because the development and testing of a new ship would cost a lot, and Cryptic would want to recoup that over time.

So how much do I think these things might cost? My educated guesses:

Custom model: $35,000
Custom skin: $10,000
Custom registry: $500
Custom name: $200
Custom variant: $20,000
Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,633
# 55
08-30-2013, 12:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegeek View Post
Let's just assume for the moment that Cryptic would be willing to consider some kind of individual starship customization for a price. We know it won't be a totally new ship. And I presume that CBS would have to approve it on some level.

What kinds of customization would avoid "pay-to-win" and be reasonably fair, while providing decent value?

Cosmetic-only changes?

Something along the lines of a Regent chassis under a Galaxy skin?

Minor layout changes?

Or maybe the customer would essentially be financing a limited exclusive? Something they get to have first, but that Cryptic would eventually be able to sell to others?

I don't think they'd be willing to actually change stats on a ship (unless, like you say, this were a pre-release ship of some sort), as otherwise it would become impossible to do the math of your opponent, when everyone's get their own ship stats.

So, cosmetic it is then. I'd probably ask them to fix the boff seating on my Wells, for instance. So they're no longer hovering 20cm about their seat. Or something other minor they don't seem otherwise willing to fix, but often annoys me.
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 51
# 56
08-30-2013, 03:01 PM
I'm thinking it would be mostly cosmetic, like a unique ship skin! This would mean less design, less approval or concern about PvP balance. Although I would never pay a thousand dollars for a ship skin!


Battle Damaged Ship Skin
(ship looks like it's about to go boom)

Borg Infected Ship Skin (extra Borg doohickeys oh hull)


What I would pay 1k for (as long as it was unique for me)

Worf's Regent Ship (full scale, with 6 hangars and comes with unique Regent title)

Borg Diamond (Comes with unique Borg DOff assimilation missions, Borg interior and crew, full Borg outfit tailor options for you and your BOffs, full slipstream with no cooldown and your very own unique assimilation ground ability)
Hey all my old posts are gone!

Join Date: May 2009

Last edited by trekthestars; 08-30-2013 at 03:06 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 31
# 57
08-30-2013, 06:53 PM
So I'm back! I see a lot has transpired over the past day! And as a lot of you have suspected, $1,000 IS an "off the cuff" figure. In fact, that "$1000" is what one of the dev's might take personally (paypal), as a side project (None of them do that I'm aware of). Then comes the red tape, and all the other crap and flaming hoops they have to jump through. From a financial point, it would cost me a lot more then I'm willing to spend just to have 1 unique ship, even if it was a borg cube or a borg fusion cube!

I did get to spend some time with the old STF creator, Gozer. He had some of us test maps of the new stf, the ones that we know of today, before they came to Live Holodeck. That fleet and another fleet that branflakes is/was a part of did a joint co-op in testing. It was a beta testing team called Red Squad aka Gozer's Minions, I wont mention the fleets as I do not know whether they want to be called out or not. But we did get special access, and did a lot of the debugging on the STF's before they hit live. I remember it made me feel good. That I was doing something for the game I loved, finally, besides tossing money at it. I remember I discovered that if you subnuked the gate in Conduit, you could just sit there and kill it without destroying the transmitters on either side, lol. I also remember we didn't mention a few bugs so when it did go live we could get our gear faster, haha. I remember Gozer complaining about how skilled he was yet he was not paid nearly enough. I agreed and I still do.

So Here's some truth for you though. I noticed some of you talking about the finances that Dev's here at Cryptic probably make, and my OCD kicked in and I have to say something!

Not every game is the same, that being said - Not every dev makes the big bucks! Use blizzard for an example with their WOW game. Think about how much they can afford to pay their dev's if they can afford Ozy Ozborne for a commercial, and make him a custom WoW character with abilities just for that commercial. That character model isn't going to be used by any player and they aren't going to make any more money off it.

Now look at Crypic. They got some games under their belt but they've gone F2P already! That says nothing about the dev's however. The dev's here are awesome and they deserve to be making as much as the bliz guys are. While I can't give you an annual income for how much they get paid, I can say for sure it isn't $30,000 an hour! If it was, they'd all be driving Mercedes or Mercedes with their own personal driver to drive them to the grocery store at 5AM to get a 6-pack, haha!

I happen to have a cousin in cali that worked on a few games out there. They're not block busters or best sellers, but they're indie and children's games. He knows Matt Highison lead Charactrer designer. He made a lot of the NPC's like the Caitians for example. My cousin went to college with him in a school I believe. Matt remember's him, I talked to him a long time ago to see if he remembered my cousin. Plus I myself went to a community college and got a bachelors in a multimedia degree, it's main focus was games design. 3D Modeling, Texturing, Riggings, and finally Animation. I never got to move out to cali to try my hand at it professionally, but I have done a lot of custom mods for games out there ranging from Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, to Quake 4, and even Minecraft, haha.

Point being, there is a large misconception on the amounts of money dev's make. They do what they do because they like it! Because it's what they love to do. Like us they are gamers too! Play the games we play and have the same complains about bugs we do. They are us, their job is just making a game. Management at Cryptic makes more they the dev's do I can almost guarantee that. They have an agenda or a priority list of bugs that need fixing, and I'm afraid, NPC's and chairs isn't at the top (it bothers me too!).

If you do some searching around, you can find Stonewall Fleet's podcasts of Priority One formerly hosted by branflakes before he joined PWE. In those podcasts he gets to interview Dan Stahl and other dev's about a great many things. Some of the podcasts go back to launch when Craig Zinc was EP. There's a tribble named after most of the original dev's and management (important ppl) from launch. Look at their names and you'll see I'm right.

I remember Stahl saying in one of the episodes that there IS a misconception of dev's making a million dollars a year or more. And that they do what they do cause they love doing it, usually. Later Priority One switches hands and is run by a guy, forgive me I can't remember his name...Admiral something. I remember he runs his own fleet, and he is a vet, I think. Anyway's he had/has a part about ships, where he got to interview the ship modeler's and ask them all kinds of questions. If you can find those episodes you can find out more about what it's like being a dev.

And I cannot forget to mention Jupiter Fleet's Stoked Radio podcasts and youtube episodes. I don't know if they're still airing, I don't keep track of it anymore, but they got some webcam interviews of dev's. One I remember being Stahl, again. These podcasts brought/bring you the STO news too.

If you're still reading then you're a champ! Or your really bored. Just decided to let you know my personal involvement and knowledge in the game In cause anyone was questioning. So we know now that I'm not getting my ship due to actual costs, but it was worth a shot and it has indeed been a unique thread! I'm also not gonna pay a grand for a unique title either, haha. I haven't seen one of these kinds of thread's in a long time.

Also so you know, The net worth of my account is now around 22.4K. I broke down and started hoarding zen again. Decided I get the two Elachi ships and the Tal Shiar ships and deck them out with new gear. Also got some fleet weapons for my Kumari. I decided it doesn't look that bad, and the blue phasers are cool looking. The part I'm really hating right now is the 35 ship cap limit. I'm having to delete the low tier fleet ships I have to make room for new C-ships and Lockbox ships. They really need to increase that cap to 40 or 50. I know it's a lot more for the servers to keep up with but some of us are dying here when we have to delete a ship!
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 31
# 58
08-30-2013, 06:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by emarosa26 View Post
His charity activity also suspiciously lined up with the things you suggested he should do. Quite oddly specific, really.
And even MORE suspiciously, what he mentioned happened to be on my large list of charity things I do for various reasons. None of which are for tax write offs! I swear! If you'd like I can start a list of all the stuff I do?
Career Officer
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 51
# 59
08-30-2013, 07:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarge4id View Post
None of which are for tax write offs! I swear! If you'd like I can start a list of all the stuff I do?
It's not necessary for you to prove to anyone anything about yourself. If what you've been saying is true, then I thank you for your contribution to STO and to charities. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of playing STO that you deserve. If it was bull, I at least have the enjoyment of reading this thread.

Best of luck to you and hope you get your dream ship
Hey all my old posts are gone!

Join Date: May 2009
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 8,313
# 60
08-30-2013, 08:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarge4id View Post
Now look at Crypic. They got some games under their belt but they've gone F2P already! That says nothing about the dev's however. The dev's here are awesome and they deserve to be making as much as the bliz guys are. While I can't give you an annual income for how much they get paid, I can say for sure it isn't $30,000 an hour! If it was, they'd all be driving Mercedes or Mercedes with their own personal driver to drive them to the grocery store at 5AM to get a 6-pack, haha!
I'm beginning to see what your problem is, and why you think you spent 21k on the game - you clearly meant 21,000 Zen, not $21,000. 21k in Zen is nothing. I currently have over 60,000 Zen on my account.

And just as an FYI, no one said $30,000 an hour is what a Dev makes. I specifically said $30-$40 an hour. You were only off by a factor of 1,000 in your reading.
STO is about my Liberated Borg Federation Captain with his Breen 1st Officer, Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, Liberated Borg Engineering Officer, Android Ops Officer, Photonic Science Officer, Gorn Science Officer, and Reman Medical Officer jumping into their Jem'Hadar Carrier and flying off to do missions for the new Romulan Empire. But for some players allowing a T5 Connie to be used breaks the canon in the game.

Last edited by thecosmic1; 08-30-2013 at 08:59 PM.
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