When a delay has to be announced, no one feels the let down as much as the team behind the scenes. Sigh...lets start with a little music to set the mood?
(Flame Suit ON)
From a business standpoint it feels like we're breaking a promise, a date was set and now we're not going to meet it, so let's just throw Summer 2019 (California) out the window for now. But please stick around to find out WHY, as I feel like the WHY's will provide you with a glimpse behind closed doors at Parallel 42 and how we're building the product with eyes and ears open to the community for input.
(Flame Suit OFF?)
Glad you're still here...I too am excited about flying on The Skypark, as a content creator myself (@OMGEDSON) this tool was built to provide incredible immersion not only for myself but also for viewers of my LIVE streams. However when you really think about it, you're all content creators too. Whether you share your sim experience live or keep it in the monitor in front of you, your sim is rendering an experience, providing you with an adventure.
Enough talk lets get down to the reasons for the delay so we can keep pushing forward...
- Movin' Out: This past month brought on some crazy life changes for 2 of us here at //42, Keven aka @RunShotgun scooped up a sweet new spot just outside of Quebec City and relocated. As for myself, early in September I visited Kansas City, MO with the family and as I expected, they fell in love. I sit now in a completely empty CA loft writing this on my laptop as we prepare to drive a 26' truck across the country tomorrow. A wind down of your home and a move by truck is never fun, especially not for a family of 4, so we called a full stop for the month of September productivity-wise. //42 will set up HQ in KCMO and we couldn't be more excited to get back to building.
- Listen To The Music: By all measures our product announcement at Flight Sim Expo went fantastic, the feedback was as steam would say "very positive" which is GREAT! Some of the more common feedback had already been internally discussed and proved we were on the right path, but there were a significant amount of killer ideas brought forth as well. Lets just say we threw v1 out the window and you'll essentially see v2 at release, a platform built to scale up to all the amazing ideas brought by the community.
But why not "Overwhelmingly Positive"? That answer rode to the top swiftly, "I'll never pay for a subscription to anything, ever." So we put on our thinking caps...
- New Kid In Town: Community feedback on Subscription model was loud and clear, as was the division of people that "get it" and those that don't or don't want to. Lets cut to the chase, there is a huge list of things that can be done with the server infrastructure powering it, and thus a huge list of things that can't be done without it. So we locked ourselves in a room full of whiteboards and came out with something we think you'll love. We're dividing the product into 2 slightly different offerings to get that "Overwhelmingly Positive" rating!
(please note: details below are subject to change.)
- The Skypark - $30 One Time purchase
- The Skypark Online - $7/mo Subscription or Discounted Yearly Subscription
The Skypark will be released in the next 2-3months via Orbx Direct and will offer a basic experience with zero reliance on server infrastructure. More details as to specific features will follow but some of the ones you can expect are Skypad, basic SkyBlogs and Adventures, however Skypad Anywhere which allows you to connect from any device in the world will not be included. When The Skypark Online is released, you WILL NOT be required to own The Skypark, in fact with purchase of The Skypark, you'll receive a 2 month credit towards The Skypark Online service when it goes live! Oh and yes that's not a typo on the updated price for The Skypark Online subscription, we lowered the monthly subscription cost. This was made possible thanks to the core rebuild from scratch. Passing on savings, yep! 😉
- Doin' It Right: The Skypark Online is commercial level cloud based software as a service (SaaS). That said, downtime on a subscription platform is not acceptable, infrastructure costs are real, Service Level Agreements (SLA) are real. The platform will function as any commercial piece of software should, built to scale, redundant and reliable. No old clunky code here, a top shelf team building the best, with the best. The subscription model for The Skypark Online not only ensures all costs of operation are covered, but that the full time staff behind the scenes are also fully engaged in creating fresh content and adventures. Your monthly subscription will also ensure future and active development of the product. Please be patient with us while we get everything in place for a successful Online launch.
I hope I was able to answer all your questions, I've got to get packed up for Flight Sim Show 2019 and a cross country drive! As always, please feel free to post any questions in the comments below.
Managing Director //42