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The future of Bryce?
Posted: 29 October 2013 03:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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chohole - 28 October 2013 04:30 PM

Oroboros there are far more Brycers around who have the same feelings as aarrgghhh does than you seem to think.


Oh? How many do I think are around? And even if, other than me, the feelings were unanimously like aaarghs… Would you concede that user ‘feelings’ have done nothing for Bryce’s development in the last 3 years?

Brycers have always tended to be fairly quiet, forum wise but that doesn’t mean they are not still around.


I’m not saying, and have never said, that there are no Bryce users around. I AM saying that passion and fandom are no substitute for a buying market. We could be the noisiest, busiest, most loyal community around. But the math doesn’t add up. If Bryce dragged in the money (and DAZ knows how much Bryce users spend and when) then DAZ would snag the talent. DAZ would be falling over themselves finding the developers to get things moving.

And trust me: developers are there. If the demand was there, the developers would be there: DAZ would be putting out emails saying “Hang in there, community, we’re getting you the service you want as fast as we can!”, or after 18 months, say, they’d be demo-ing a new way to go at some trade show, or launching announcements/updates on the DAZ forums.

Nothing.

Can anyone provide one good reason why, if a piece of software was being developed right now, the company making it would be completely silent about it? I can: so competitors don’t get advanced warning of a new thing.

...Does this sound like a position even REMOTELY like DAZ has with Bryce??? Can anyone point to another piece of competing or superior 3D software that pinched ideas from Bryce as far back as Bryce 5, say?

There’s not even a hint of acknowledgement that DAZ are progressing on Bryce. And I don’t blame DAZ for Bryce’s inactivity. It’s easy to understand. I don’t think there’s a surprise waiting around the corner.

Adobe stopped developing/supporting PageMaker, a flagship product for 15 years, at around 2004. Adobe announced they would continue selling it, but encouraged PageMaker users to move to InDesign. Currently, PageMaker is still being sold to users with old systems on old computers, often middle-eastern users or old-school hobbyists. It costs Adobe nothing to sell, and there’s no Adobe support for PageMaker, just a few passionate users in forums, doing it for free. It’s money in, no money out.

Compare with Bryce. DAZ has NOT announced it has stopped development for Bryce. DAZ continued to sell it, and then gave it away free for a while, and then under new management started selling it again, but encouraged Brycers to move to Carrara in 2011. Currently, Bryce is still being sold to users with old systems on old computers, often middle-eastern users (Hi, Waleed!) or old-school hobbyists. It costs DAZ nothing to sell, and there’s no DAZ support, just a few passionate users in forums, doing it for free. It’s money in, no money out.

There are only two differences between Adobe selling PageMaker and DAZ selling Bryce. First, Adobe announced it was no longer supporting its product, and second, DAZ’s real money spinner isn’t applications, it’s consumables: models, ani-blocks, scenery.

Bryce is a portal to DAZ’s shop. That’s why DAZ won’t announce Bryce’s retirement, nor Hexagon’s. Anyone remember what turned Bryce 5 to Bryce 5.5? That’s right: DAZ | Studio Bridge. Now Brycers could create animorphs! Oh - can’t make them? No problem, we’ll SELL you some!

I like using Bryce. It’s a crazy program, and I still only know about 40% of it (the DTE still flummoxes me). But there’s no way this program can upgrade as much as it needs to and still be the Bryce I’m familiar with at the end of it. Some things need to go. Others need to be completely overhauled. It might as well be a new program. Bryce is a hammer, not some old faithful dog. If the hammer is no longer adequate for the job you get a better hammer: you don’t try and make the hammer comfortable so that it can pass its remaining years in pain-free untroubled bliss.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 04:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Horo - 29 October 2013 02:33 AM
Oroboros - 28 October 2013 05:47 AM

Dude, development has ENDED. It’s been over 3 years since any official word regarding Bryce development has been mentioned.

2 years, 2 months and 2 weeks have gone today since the last compilation of the code. That’s slightly less than over 3 years.

I agree. How does this conflict with what I said in the quote, which is about official word development? If memory serves, I believe the last compile was to patch some fatal errors brought about in the Bryce 7 launch, while the last word on development, shortly after the Bryce 7 launch, was that Bryce was ‘not in the next development cycle’.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Oroboros, most of what you says makes perfect sense, and in a normal non-DAZ world I’d fully agree with you.

Thing is, some time ago for a sustained period (can’t remember whether it was between 5.5 and 6.0, or 6.0 and 7.0) I was saying pretty much the same thing with as much conviction. I was absolutely sure that Bryce was dead. There were no updates or bug fixes and no word from DAZ at all, and unlike now, the DAZ Bryce forum was completely unmonitored and non-moderated. Raucous gallows humour abounded.

And then, out of the blue, it all started up again.

So I would add a fifth option to your list of best hopes:

5) At some point DAZ decides there will be enough return to do another limited upgrade to the legacy program, and we will see a new version with a couple of new features (that might be already partially developed) and some bug fixes and OS updates.

This would take minimum investment from DAZ and is a distinct possibility. There is precedent, and it fits with DAZ’s modus of making small tweaks to what people already own and persuading them to pay for it again (see Victoria X).

Or it’s dead. Just as likely. The strange thing is, it’s possible that there is no-one at DAZ who knows for sure one way or the other. They might have planned to take a look down the line and then decide.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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@Oro - it doesn’t conflict. I just read a lot about 3 years but it is less. Nothing against your assessment, you are as welcome as any other to bring up your thoughts. Whether I agree with your views or not doesn’t matter because I don’t have the hard facts to contradict or support you.

For the records (hard facts):
Bryce 4.0.0.13: March 1999
Bryce 5.0.0.1 (German version, certainly also the English, Spanish and French ones): December 2001 (Corel, 2-1/2 years)
Bryce 5.0.3.0 (English version): August 2006 (DAZ 3D recompiled it and gave it away).
Bryce 5.5.12.40: July 2005 (3-1/2 years between Corel and DAZ 3D)
Bryce 6.0.18.6: October 2006 (1-1/4 years from 5.5)
Bryce 6.1.13.1: March 2007 (this was 1 dev cycle 6.0/6.1 where Brian Wagner came in for 6.1)
Bryce 6.3.0.84: December 2009 (2-1/2 years, just bug fixes from 6.1, mostly for the Mac)
Bryce 7.0.1.34: July 2010 (1/2 year to bug-fix, then dev for 7 started)
Bryce 7.1.0.109: August 2011 (1 year, 6.3 to 7.1 was one dev cycle without interruption)

We’re now approaching again 2-1/2 years. Who knows what will happen?

Hi Peter, nice to see you again here. It’s been a while.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Horo - 29 October 2013 09:49 AM

We’re now approaching again 2-1/2 years. Who knows what will happen?

Are you a betting man, Horo? :D

PJF makes some really interesting points. But I’ve been a fairly regular member and watcher of this forum as well, and there’s a difference in PJF’s observation of the announcement history and the forum today: No DAZ staff currently contribute in this forum.

You can imagine why smile The continual question “When’s the next release coming out?” would be dragging this forum to its metaphorical knees as soon as they appeared.

But staff participation is just one of those “things are happening” indicators I’d expect to see if the software was being developed, along with customer mailouts, teaser campaigns, tradeshow appearances, blogs, general announcements, interviews, Facebook updates, competitions – there really is no end of cheap, near-free possibilities DAZ could employ to both keep the customer informed of progress, and excite the current customer base to tell others about what’s going on.

Nothing.

And the longer you leave these announcements, the larger the gaps become between what the software does and what more agile development orgs are developing.

There was a golden time when Bryce wasn’t just software, it was an artstyle. That time has passed - the artstyle can be replicated by other software. For many people in this forum, Bryce needs better, and more, features, and people are right to ask for these.

The problem comes right back down to marketing again. Who is Bryce for? I can tell you who Maya and 3DS is for. I can tell you who Pro-E and SolidWorks are for. I can tell you what types of markets and people Houdini, Mudbox, FormZ, Blender, Massive, DAZ Studio, Cheetah, Cinema4D and others are individually for. But I really struggle with that question with Bryce, because its interface says one thing (easy to use, simple, intro-level mouse-only driven 3D), but its users say another (buried functions in reveal triangles, inconsistent Labs, riddled with undocumented easter eggs, all of these things and more speak of an app that has out-grown its own interface paradigm).

Even if DAZ suddenly decided to announce a new version, out-of-the-blue, tomorrow, for free, it would either be a pared down version of what it is now, to appeal to new users, OR it would be so packed with features and modern compatibility re-designs that it would fail to be Bryce, but for some completely superficial icons.

Tough position to be in.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Actually there isn’t much Staff participation in any forum really.  Some in the Commons and in Members only, but the dedicated forums don’t tend to see anyone from Daz very often at all nowadays. DAZ_Spooky does post in Carrara forum sometimes, but not on a regular basis.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Oroboros - 29 October 2013 03:15 PM

But I’ve been a fairly regular member and watcher of this forum as well, and there’s a difference in PJF’s observation of the announcement history and the forum today: No DAZ staff currently contribute in this forum.

I can assure you that during the extended period I’m talking about (which from Horo’s chronology would appear to be between 6.1 and 6.3) there was zero (or next to zero) DAZ involvement. The forum wasn’t even monitored. Blazing rows with bad language and personal attacks. Rather fun sometimes.

A lack of participation by DAZ staff is no particular indication that Bryce is dead. We’ve been here before.

My bet would be that it’s a case of Schrödinger’s Bryce; being both alive and dead at the same time with an outcome only decided when DAZ takes a look inside.

 

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Posted: 29 October 2013 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Horo - 29 October 2013 09:49 AM

Hi Peter, nice to see you again here. It’s been a while.

Hello Horo, thanks for saying. I’ve been in deep lurk, dropping by the forum to admire the work and keep an eye out for developments. Very busy with something called real life, a strange description of a condition that doesn’t seem especially real or indeed much of a life.

You and David amount to at least a three man development team, discovering and describing new aspects of Bryce that we already have.
So it’s not true to say that Bryce has stopped moving.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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_ PJF _ - 29 October 2013 04:26 PM
Oroboros - 29 October 2013 03:15 PM

But I’ve been a fairly regular member and watcher of this forum as well, and there’s a difference in PJF’s observation of the announcement history and the forum today: No DAZ staff currently contribute in this forum.

I can assure you that during the extended period I’m talking about (which from Horo’s chronology would appear to be between 6.1 and 6.3) there was zero (or next to zero) DAZ involvement. The forum wasn’t even monitored. Blazing rows with bad language and personal attacks. Rather fun sometimes.

Ah yes. The Pumeco days.

I’m not sure, but I think this was the period where key users were singled out for some… Bryce steering committee or something? Where they all had to sign NDAs and not talk about developments in Bryce 7?

A lack of participation by DAZ staff is no particular indication that Bryce is dead. We’ve been here before.


My key indicators for software being dead are several of the following (No, not just one or two - MANY):

• Announcements that software is not included in development cycles.

• Users are expected to log bugs and answer support questions.

• No news on software development for years.

• Incentives to move entrenched users to a different platform.

• Price placed on software to act as a disincentive.

• No completed manual, no status changes on bug fixes.

• No rebuilds to keep pace with current OSs after OSs are released. Never mind upgrades to the actual software - just a passive OS bugfix.

• Two or more inquiries from people per month asking if there’s a new version out yet. (One can only fantasize that actually THOUSANDS of people hit this forum every day, but diligently read the stickies in the forum and go away, but it’s more likely that 10 people hit the forum, 8 read the stickies and 2 just try their luck or see if anyone still uses this forum.)

What, in anyone’s opinion, are the key indicators that Bryce is ‘alive’? I’m sure there are users around, no question, and that the opposite of what I’ve just written doesn’t apply. But if you, as a user in a DAZ-sponsored forum, were interested in keeping your software up-to-date with current technologies, what would you expect to see from your software developer?

 

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Posted: 29 October 2013 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Oroboros - 29 October 2013 07:41 PM

My key indicators for software being dead are several of the following (No, not just one or two - MANY):

• Announcements that software is not included in development cycles.

• Users are expected to log bugs and answer support questions.

• No news on software development for years.

• Incentives to move entrenched users to a different platform.

• Price placed on software to act as a disincentive.

• No completed manual, no status changes on bug fixes.

• No rebuilds to keep pace with current OSs after OSs are released. Never mind upgrades to the actual software - just a passive OS bugfix.

• Two or more inquiries from people per month asking if there’s a new version out yet. (One can only fantasize that actually THOUSANDS of people hit this forum every day, but diligently read the stickies in the forum and go away, but it’s more likely that 10 people hit the forum, 8 read the stickies and 2 just try their luck or see if anyone still uses this forum.)

Half of these apply to DS as well, more than half to Carrara.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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fixmypcmike - 29 October 2013 09:19 PM

Half of these apply to DS as well, more than half to Carrara.

Really. Which half.

Last I saw, DS received an update about 5 months ago and Carrara went to 8.5 a couple of months ago.

I mean sure, if you think all the details I listed have equal weight, by all means, generalise away.

EDIT: It’s also worth repeating that DAZ 3D isn’t really in the apps business. Apps are just a portal to their store. Content is their core business. Otherwise they’d be selling DAZ Studio, not giving it away.

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Posted: 29 October 2013 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Oroboros - 29 October 2013 10:03 PM
fixmypcmike - 29 October 2013 09:19 PM

Half of these apply to DS as well, more than half to Carrara.

Really. Which half.

Last I saw, DS received an update about 5 months ago and Carrara went to 8.5 a couple of months ago.

I mean sure, if you think all the details I listed have equal weight, by all means, generalise away.

EDIT: It’s also worth repeating that DAZ 3D isn’t really in the apps business. Apps are just a portal to their store. Content is their core business. Otherwise they’d be selling DAZ Studio, not giving it away.

I stand corrected, it’s only 3 of 8 for DS:

• Users are expected to log bugs and answer support questions.

• No completed manual, no status changes on bug fixes.

• Two or more inquiries from people per month asking if there’s a new version out yet.

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Posted: 30 October 2013 12:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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If wishes were horses
Beggars would ride:
If turnips were bayonets
I would wear one by my side.

I, like all old Bryce users, wish for a new version.  Or at least fixing a few of the most annoying bugs in the current one.  But the reality is this is very unlikely to happen.  Those of us who have been around a while have been duped by Daz PR promising the sun the moon and the stars on more then one occasion.  But the bottom line is that our beloved program is just abondonware and unlikely to be anything more again.

If it works for you ‘as-is, where-is’ great.  Otherwise move on.

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Posted: 30 October 2013 02:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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_ PJF _ - 29 October 2013 04:26 PM

My bet would be that it’s a case of Schrödinger’s Bryce; being both alive and dead at the same time with an outcome only decided when DAZ takes a look inside.

A fine description of Bryce’s state. smile

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Posted: 30 October 2013 03:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Yup, Peters Schrödingers Cat is a very appropriate description.

No, I don’t bet Oro, I’m always wrong. It’s a habit.

DAZ 3D and documentation cannot co-exist, they exclude each other. Even if users write up the doc for free, DAZ 3D refuses to use it. This is not exclusive Bryce: Carrara, Hexagon and Studio users have been complaining about this sad state for years. This resistance to document their own software is the most incomprehensible part of this company.

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