Inside: SereneScreen Fan Forum

Inside: SereneScreen Fan Forum (
-   Marine Aquarium 3 for Windows (
-   -   Jim, where do we go from here! (Redux) (

harris 12-11-2010 05:18 PM

Jim, where do we go from here! (Redux)
Originally, this was asked at the completion of 3.1 but no reply was given. Possibly overlooked, but maybe it was ignored on purpose. :sad:

I'll try one more time, never to be asked by me again. :)


After you take a well deserved vacation and finish relishing in your accomplishment of MA3.1, have you thought about what direction you will go in next?

Are you feeling frisky enough to tackle the collision avoidance issue again, or will you let the artist in you add a few more beautiful objects in the tank first?

Jim Sachs 12-11-2010 05:35 PM

It's hard to justify spending time on new features or additions unless sales pick up again. The recession has hit us hard, and sales are only about 10% of what they were before.

If I could somehow convince Samsung that including a 3D Blu-Ray disk of MA3 with their 3D-ready TVs would be good for both of us, that could fund more development. Their commercials already look just like the Aquarium.

Barring that, I'm looking into other ways of earning a living.

patscarr 12-11-2010 08:16 PM

Convincing Samsung is not your job, Jim. That's Prolific's job. Kick somebody in the butt over there and get them moving on this.

Jav400 12-11-2010 09:33 PM

Correct me if I am wrong, but I always kind of thought you generated sales by creating something the people wanted, not by hoping they changed their minds themselves.

harris 12-11-2010 10:37 PM

Maybe I'm missing something here, but...

Since Marine Aquarium 3 already has a user base of thousands (tens/hundreds of thousands?) who are eagerly anticipating the "creature packs", you should have a steady stream of income generated with nothing more than an email alert!

Jim Sachs 12-11-2010 11:23 PM

The installed base of MA3 users is still extremely small.

harris 12-12-2010 03:44 PM


I was pondering the fate of Marine Aquarium development. This is my opinion and I'm sure there are others who will disagree, but hopefully many more who do agree. ;)

You have certainly keep your end the agreement to early adopters for improvements without charging an upgrade fee, and a very modest upgrade fee for more recent upgraders to versions 3.0/3.1.

So, if you were to continue development with the collision avoidance, individual fish behavior, more objects, plants, creature packs, etc, it would truly justify a major version upgrade to 4.0. You would then be able to charge a more profitable upgrade fee, and a slightly higher inital purchase price for new customers. Thus, making development profitable again (allowing you to shelve the peanut butter sandwiches). :)

Speaking for myself, if the above improvements were made I would gladly pay the full purchase price again to see continued progress.

Just my thoughts...

Jim Sachs 12-12-2010 04:19 PM

Your willingness to pay for an upgrade is very generous, but no longer the norm. In this economy, there doesn't seem to be much willingness to buy ANYTHING which is not essential for survival.

Even if people were willing to spend, the problem is attracting their attention. It used to be that our presence in stores acted as advertising, but with the demise of computer stores we just don't appear on screens any more. I'd like to do some actual advertising, but with the prices on Amazon or Google, I'd only have one shot. If it didnt work, it would mean the end of me.

BUZZIN_NICE 12-15-2010 05:43 PM

just been reading through this thread and i find it seriously sad, i've been looking forward to collision avoidance progress and hi-def fish.

i know this sounds extreme but is there no way that the software could put in a sale, where maybe not even making profit but with the addition of a donate button. I would expect a massive take-up on this cut price and you'd be opening up to a much larger audience and hopefully a lot of donations from the large audience wanting hi-def fish and collision avoidance.

I told you it was extreme but, maybe it could work with small donations but in much greater quantities, than making bigger profit in much less quantities from a smaller pool of users.

Failing that, what about selling seperate fish packs as addons etc...

Jim Sachs 12-15-2010 08:37 PM

Regarding the "Donate" button, if you know anyone who has had success with that business model, I'd be eager to talk to them.

Setting a price point has always been tricky. When I re-invented the idea of charging for a "screensaver", I just picked $19.95 out of thin air. It worked so well that I was afraid to tinker with it much. If I cut the price in half, sales would need to more than double to cover the extra volume of customer support. Once you try a radical experiment like that, it's difficult to go back for a "do-over".

As for the fish packs, that had always been the plan.

feldon34 12-16-2010 10:27 AM


Originally Posted by BUZZIN_NICE (Post 128953)
the software could put in a sale, where maybe not even making profit but with the addition of a donate button. I would expect a massive take-up on this cut price and you'd be opening up to a much larger audience and hopefully a lot of donations from the large audience wanting hi-def fish and collision avoidance.

An interesting idea, but not grounded in reality.

Marine Aquarium has been available at alarming discounts for several years now (sometimes as little as $5 a copy) and not seen significant sales increases.

Collision Avoidance doesn't put butts in the seats. Something new (an eel, etc.) does.

nicksteel 12-16-2010 10:57 AM

i agree. The crab in DA being an example. There's nothing out there in a quality program with more interesting sea life forms.

Also, MA could use the same DA run techinques, where you have to connect to a server for updates, etc. This could screen pirate copies.

pogona 12-18-2010 01:40 PM

maybe the problem is that you should make it more than a screensaver, people doesn't use screensavers, they are not interested in buying one.

how about live desktops? mobile devices already started with there live wallpapers, android phones and others, putting them in the apple and android market (android is growing very much, and also have a lot of users and forum in the internet, this aplication in the market would be one of the best live wallpapers, so sure people will talk about it) I don't know if they are already there but, it's one of the best ways to connect with new users), and how about live computer desktops, not only an image but also not screensaver, with the proper motivation computer companys would put them in new models (I know today they don't really exist, or aren't use or known, but if computer companys start giving free live desktops in there new computers, theres more possibilitys for someone to buy marine aquarium.

if as you said, most of people doesn't know marine aquarium exists, and screensavers are going to die soon, you should try adapting marine aquarium for new aplications.

now, I think putting marine aquarium in the mobile devices and there markets, making some social pages for marine aquiarium like in facebook, etc. and making marine aquarium more than a screensaver are the best you can do.

hope this helps in anyway, but remember, you must do something, don't wait luck to come, and good luck.

streetwolf 12-19-2010 08:40 AM

Why not include an autographed Jim Sachs nautical cap with each copy of MA? That's sure to be the deal maker.


Ralph 12-19-2010 11:42 AM

Perhaps he could include shares, kind of like a time share thing.. to his new castle. One share would entitle the owner to take a picture from the main road.. two shares a walk up to the moat.. 5~6 lunch :D

Jim Sachs 12-19-2010 12:36 PM

Actually, a lottery for a free stay in our B&B room (when it's done), might be a pretty good idea.

The big problem remains how to get the word out, since nearly all of our exposure has dried up. Sure, we're still featured in a lot of movies and TV shows, but that never does us any good because no one has any idea that they are looking at something they could buy (or where to buy it). The one time that a TV show flashed our website address on the screen, we sold over 700 copies in a couple of hours.

For years, almost all our sales were driven by people seeing the Aquarium on hundreds of screens in Costco, CompUSA, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. Now, half those chains are gone, and the other half have learned that they can charge big bucks to display products on those screens.

Racer57 12-19-2010 07:47 PM

Well, it wouldn't hurt to look into the "Shopping Channels." Perhaps as part of a hardware sale package, or in the electronics component time blocks as stand alone products (all of your creations for the PC). As you are well aware they have huge viewing audiences. Jeez, when Dell is featured on QVC or they like they sell 50K units in a couple of hours.

Racer57 12-19-2010 08:21 PM

Ok then, more rambling thoughts. Marketing, marketing. Are you listening Prolific? What is the new, not necessarily best thing, happening in TV presently? Is it not 3D??? Game consoles, BlueRay players, PC's all tying into the main TV in the house and projecting 3D programing to it. What better way to show it off your creation with the limited programing now available. I would much rather watch your acquarium program than 3D football occassionally, that is between my viewings of Avatar in 3D. Give the masses something that they can enjoy NOW!

Yes, u r right, your program should not be marketed as a screen saver. That phraseology is outdated. Market it as a program. A program for people who enjoy acquariums by either can't afford a salt water acquarium or care for it properly. Feeding the fish would be a great interactive tool right from the get go.

Jim you talk about Costco, among others, not displaying your programs anymore. Well now they have several 3D displays in each store. Contact Vizio, Costcos favourite supplier of TV's. They started as a one horse upstart company and look at what they are doing. Maybe they would bundle your programs with their 3D DVD players and 3D TV's.

Keep plugging away at Apple and others. How bout the Droid fones? They whole future seems to depend on Smart fones and "do everything" TV's.

Strike while the iron is hot. Think tank this thing out! You are a great artist and certainly a talented programmer but, no offense, it is going to take more than a one-horse operation to make it succeed. Maybe you are burned out in this area, I hope not!

And lastly, for at least the time being , there is discretionary income out there being spent. Electonics and even RV's are doing quite well this year.

Good luck,


Ps. Facebook it, Twitter it, get the word out. Marketing is everything. Even shitty products sell with the proper marketing and you have a great product.

Jav400 12-19-2010 08:53 PM

I have no idea how it would work to translate it, but there aren't any aquarium apps on android that even come close, I know I looked. Everyone has a cell phone any more, even me. :erm: :confused:

I know you might not get to charge as much as for the pc, but with 60 gazallion people with phones even $5.99 or $ 9.99 or something should add up pretty quick once the porting is done.

Jim Sachs 12-19-2010 09:02 PM

As I said a couple of months ago, the 3D market is what I'm trying to break into. I've been attempting to research how to make a 3D Blu-Ray DVD from a 3D application. If anyone has info on this, please speak up.

The only systems I've found are $70,000 hardware/software combinations, but I think maybe they are trying to do more than I really need. They seem to be able to author a 3D title from film or video inputs. Since the Aquarium already looks fantastic on a 120hz monitor with the nVidia 3D Vision system, it would seem like a simple job to encode that output onto a Blu-Ray DVD. After all, the nVidia system has already generated the left-eye/right-eye views, and they are just sitting there in the frame buffers. Unless I'm missing something, a software-only solution could grab those bytes and encode them into the 3D Blu-Ray format.

Samsung, not Vizio, would be the manufacturer I'd try to connect with, once I have a demo DVD in hand. Their commercials already use a simulated aquarium, which many people think is mine. If I could get a DVD made in time, I could try to get someone to play it in the Samsung booth at CES next month.

Regarding phones, the iPhone/iPad version has not generated much income, in spite of the fact that it's usually among the top 5% of best-selling apps. Sales average around 140 per day, but the price is so low and it's split so many ways, that all I get from it is enough to buy my dinner each day. BTW, we just came out with an update last night which adds German localization to the previous English and Japanese versions. The update also tunes up the graphics for the 4G.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.