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Leaving or staying with C4D for what and why?


Fastbee

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In all honesty, the release cycle is pretty much locked in. There's no way to extend people's MSAs at no cost as you're suggesting - that would actually border on being illegal. Your MSA fees are deferred and recognized over a 12 month period. My understanding is that we can deliver whatever "service" to MSA customers we want within that 12 month period because we're recognizing revenue from them in that period, but we can't deliver service when we're not recognizing revenue. We could potentially defer over a longer period, but we don't, and I'm not sure if there's a way to change that deferral once it's started. I know you're tired of hearing this, but it's all Enron's fault. Companies that aren't public don't have to worry about it (we're public by nature of our relationship to Nemetschek).

But the release schedule and boring accounting details are beside the point. It's a good thing that MAXON has to deliver something at least once a year, and it's important that MAXON communicates with you and delivers something in line with expectations.

 

I don't disagree it's nice to have a reliable 12 month release cycle. All I'm saying is I'm sure MAXON's lawyers are just as creative as everyone else's and if the desire was there to improve the business model, and that included a longer dev cycle or perhaps a cycle that wasn't always exactly 12 months, and MSA wasn't defined exactly as it is now. . . or something else entirely. . . that is within MAXON's power to accomplish.

Obviously I was giving simplistic examples earlier rather than actual business cases; I'm not suggesting I want a longer dev cycle or a different payment system instead of MSA or whatever. I'm just saying, where there's a will to change, there's a way. I don't buy the idea that because a company has done X until now, it must forever continue to do X because the alternative is too complicated. Change is possible. Just up to MAXON as to whether that's what they want. If everything financial is going great with the current system then there won't be much change beyond the communication stuff you mention. Then it's up to us as consumers to do a better job of voting with wallets so that over time the financial security of the status quo is no longer there. That's assuming the next couple upgrades aren't compelling, which I'm not prepared to make that assumption at all. 

I remain cautiously optimistic R18 will be a much bigger splash than the last 2-3 updates and that anyone who skipped a version will be treated fairly WRT to upgrade costs, perhaps with a brief promotion period to avoid the full $1600 cost or whatever the standard is. Again given all this summer's discussions.

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Let's not get lost in the weeds about the release cycle. Developers need deadlines. Several of my own plugins still wouldn't be released if there hadn't been a time incentive to do so. Doesn't mean they're finished, but it means you can use them in the meantime (speaking of which, I still need to post the CV-SmartExport R17 update - oops - look for that tomorrow).

 

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Rick, have you contact with Canadian office? If will possible to influent on them, to bring attention to side-fx forum. I see nobody from developer team of Houdini Engine C4D. Seems Noseman has not answers at a few questions.

Several of my own plugins still wouldn't be released if there hadn't been a time incentive to do so. Doesn't mean they're finished, but it means you can use them in the meantime (speaking of which, I still need to post the CV-SmartExport R17 update - oops - look for that tomorrow).

I check several of mine, need to recode for released r17 sdk. I used legacy switch to support old stuff in r15-16 - it's c++ plug-ins

About SmartExport, does same like http://coffeestock.boo.jp/Blog/?page_id=651?

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I'm not sure if you missed or mis-read my post at the bottom of the previous page... or if I'm misunderstanding you.

BodyPaint development may have stalled for a bit, but is kicking back into gear.

 

That is going to be music to a lot of people's ears!

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That is going to be music to a lot of people's ears!

I agree and it didn't need a committee meeting or a plane trip to Germany to discuss whether a public comment could be made.

I've been one of the more critical and vocal people about Maxon. Even I'm not asking for or suggesting a road map. There's zero chance of Maxon making their road map public when they don't even tell the Beta testers what's coming or seldom do. I'm aware of one thing that's being worked on for R18 and it's not Bodypaint. If Bodypaint is being worked on currently, I have no idea.

All people are asking for is a few scraps of information that the software that they have paid a lot of money for is going to see development in areas that have seemingly been abandoned.

In my opinion software and the way software developers interact with their customers has changed over the years. Virtually everything is done via the internet these days i.e. purchasing and downloading. Similarly, software companies that are highly regarded by their user base have a great 2 way dialogue online and the developer will often be quite upfront about what they are working on. Maxon is probably one of the slowest companies to move with the times. It's really only this year where many people outside of the USA can download R17. Other companies have been doing digital downloads for years.

Back to my motorbike model I'm making in Modo.

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Secrecy has it's reason. Did you ever consider that? Think about it.

Folks, this topic is simply revolving around users constantly and almost aggressively demanding a company to reveal it's strategy, development plans, technological advancements and secrets and no answer apart from direct laid out roadmap, full feature list for several releases won't make people happy. This is not going to happen or at least it won't happen overnight. Companies in Germany, and in Europe in general are not so open and often don't have spoke persons, it is simply cultural difference. They simply keep things for themselves. All companies have secrets and that is what is keeping them in business. In my experience, almost always, when company reveals it's cards and plays the "we are social media aware and modern company which talks to users" card, then I am sure they have no groundbreaking technology and no breakthrough to offer.

So, instead of closing down this thread, I will rather strongly urge that members keep their posts around original title and discuss why would they leave C4D or not, and can we please, for god sake stop with this bullying where few individuals think they have the right to say a whole company on what it should and how it should do things, not to mention how difficult it is for people who happen to work for MAXON who must take this personally since every attack on MAXON is attack on their intelligence, hard work, contribution in forums in their own private time and desire to bring some peace into minds of many who simply can't get over the fact that they don't know what is cooking inside MAXON.

In a previous life I was an EMC engineer working in an area with access to secret and commercially sensitive information. Our work behind the scenes did not stop our marketing people discussing with customers in general terms about development of products, services and research topics we were engaged in.

Customers need to know we as a company are on the case. We valued repeat business which means constantly having a dialogue with the customer to ensure our products were meeting their current requirements and to see what we could do for the clients' future requirements. We would _never_ find ourselves in the position of having a client wondering what the eff has happened to Bodypaint or whether we had actually noticed our Object Handling was completely atrocious by current competitor standards?

In my own business I will regularly ring round former clients to touch base and do a bit of "jaw jaw" just to let them know we're still here and investing in new equipment and skills and would be delighted to bid for new work.

If your cultural view of Europeans and Germans is right (which it isn't!) then MAXON hasn't got long in business. Have you ever considered what the point of C4D actually is? It's not just for making pretty pictures, it's to help companies with their communication to their customers.

MAXON has chosen not to communicate with their customers and received a bit of customer feedback some of the employees didn't like. If you don't engage in a dialogue and manage customer expectations or respond to them in good time then what do you expect? This will only get worse the more customers are ignored. The MSA is not a right and it is not an excuse for MAXON to print money each year. There are customers on the other side who have expectations of value for money and improvements to workflows that have been asked for years and years.

If you think feedback is bullying I think you need a different job. I've had to deal with customer feedback that I would rather not have received but what did I do about it? I certainly didn't whine about it and blame the nasty customer, I sat down with him and put things right as fast as I could. I hadn't managed his expectations and when he understood the constraints we were under he accepted what we had done was amazing in the time available. It was my fault for not explaining how big an undertaking the job was but in the end he became a very good repeat customer.

So does MAXON want to play with the same rules that govern the rest of us? Reading Rick's responses there is certainly signs of light at the end of the tunnel.

 

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In a previous life I was an EMC engineer working in an area with access to secret and commercially sensitive information. Our work behind the scenes did not stop our marketing people discussing with customers in general terms about development of products, services and research topics we were engaged in.

Customers need to know we as a company are on the case. We valued repeat business which means constantly having a dialogue with the customer to ensure our products were meeting their current requirements and to see what we could do for the clients' future requirements. We would _never_ find ourselves in the position of having a client wondering *** has happened to Bodypaint or whether we had actually noticed our Object Handling was completely atrocious by current competitor standards?

In my own business I will regularly ring round former clients to touch base and do a bit of "jaw jaw" just to let them know we're still here and investing in new equipment and skills and would be delighted to bid for new work.

If your cultural view of Europeans and Germans is right (which it isn't!) then MAXON hasn't got long in business. Have you ever considered what the point of C4D actually is? It's not just for making pretty pictures, it's to help companies with their communication to their customers.

MAXON has chosen not to communicate with their customers and received a bit of customer feedback some of the employees didn't like. If you don't engage in a dialogue and manage customer expectations or respond to them in good time then what do you expect? This will only get worse the more customers are ignored. The MSA is not a right and it is not an excuse for MAXON to print money each year. There are customers on the other side who have expectations of value for money and improvements to workflows that have been asked for years and years.

If you think feedback is bullying I think you need a different job. I've had to deal with customer feedback that I would rather not have received but what did I do about it? I certainly didn't whine about it and blame the nasty customer, I sat down with him and put things right as fast as I could. I hadn't managed his expectations and when he understood the constraints we were under he accepted what we had done was amazing in the time available. It was my fault for not explaining how big an undertaking the job was but in the end he became a very good repeat customer.

So does MAXON want to play with the same rules that govern the rest of us? Reading Rick's responses there is certainly signs of light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Very well said. Sums up the topic perfectly.

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In a previous life I was an EMC engineer working in an area with access to secret and commercially sensitive information. Our work behind the scenes did not stop our marketing people discussing with customers in general terms about development of products, services and research topics we were engaged in.

Customers need to know we as a company are on the case. We valued repeat business which means constantly having a dialogue with the customer to ensure our products were meeting their current requirements and to see what we could do for the clients' future requirements. We would _never_ find ourselves in the position of having a client wondering what the eff has happened to Bodypaint or whether we had actually noticed our Object Handling was completely atrocious by current competitor standards?

In my own business I will regularly ring round former clients to touch base and do a bit of "jaw jaw" just to let them know we're still here and investing in new equipment and skills and would be delighted to bid for new work.

If your cultural view of Europeans and Germans is right (which it isn't!) then MAXON hasn't got long in business. Have you ever considered what the point of C4D actually is? It's not just for making pretty pictures, it's to help companies with their communication to their customers.

MAXON has chosen not to communicate with their customers and received a bit of customer feedback some of the employees didn't like. If you don't engage in a dialogue and manage customer expectations or respond to them in good time then what do you expect? This will only get worse the more customers are ignored. The MSA is not a right and it is not an excuse for MAXON to print money each year. There are customers on the other side who have expectations of value for money and improvements to workflows that have been asked for years and years.

If you think feedback is bullying I think you need a different job. I've had to deal with customer feedback that I would rather not have received but what did I do about it? I certainly didn't whine about it and blame the nasty customer, I sat down with him and put things right as fast as I could. I hadn't managed his expectations and when he understood the constraints we were under he accepted what we had done was amazing in the time available. It was my fault for not explaining how big an undertaking the job was but in the end he became a very good repeat customer.

So does MAXON want to play with the same rules that govern the rest of us? Reading Rick's responses there is certainly signs of light at the end of the tunnel.

 

+1. Great post Cutman!

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I think there's a genuine difference between a software company's choice of roadmap/features vs. their failure to deliver on expectations. It seems that most of the current discontent  with MAXON (in this thread) is their perceived failure of communication and lack of feature parity with Competitors. In both cases they may have failed to satisfy some customers, but they haven't abdicated their responsibility to deliver a workable product. By contrast, Modo 901 (which I do like) was rushed to market and was really a paid beta.  In that case, I believe users had a legitimate grievance as it simply wasn't what was promised (Though I'm guessing the language in the EULA covers them completely as no software is air tight.) There's definitely a difference between going into production with software that is unstable and unpredictable  vs. being disappointed with the current feature set.

In a free market, people can come and go; lots of options. I left C4D after R15 because I was unhappy with the dropping of Net Render for Team Render. I voted with my wallet. MAXON got me back with a good deal on R17 and features I liked. While all companies should listen to feedback, there seems to be this sense that MAXON is obligated to implement features and communications on the user's terms. Yes it makes sense to listen to your users, but the venom displayed in some of these posts isn't productive at all. 

I don't really think this is a MAXON-specific problem right now either. All Creative Content software forums these days have similar complaints; it's either about feature XYZ or licensing models or bug reports. 

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