Posts Tagged ‘why don’t you want my money?’
Rare Sunday post!
I just (at the time of this writing) tried to buy something on e23 because I couldn’t find my copy physically around — GURPS Cabal, by the master of gaming horror, Kenneth Hite. It’s been years since I used my e23 account, so I’ve forgotten my username. Here’s the really crappy user experience I just got to deal with on the login screen:
If you don’t remember your username, or you’ve changed the e-mail address you registered with, please contact us for help.
Which directs me to a form that apparently goes to a human. It’s 1am Sunday morning in Austin. No human’s reading that. Whee.
I used to write this sort of software for a living. It takes, like, 10 minutes of code to add to what they have now. Hell, with rigorous testing, half an hour. And it’s just as secure as the human method–both methods are just going to look up an email address, find the corresponding username, and email it to that same address. So if the email address is compromised, either way that user’s fucked and the other end has no way of knowing.
Which is to say: security is no excuse here. It’s just an oversight, but since e23 has been around for several years, I find it disappointing.
To add to the frustration, the reset password page is misleading:
If you don’t remember your username, please enter your email address below, and we will send you a reminder.
And if I follow those instructions, hey, no dice. I get the joy of this response:
Error – Please enter your username and a valid e-mail address.
How I know this? Because my eyes went to the “reset your password” link before seeing the first text I quoted, and was then frustrated that the page lied to me. Then further frustrated that I have to wait for a human to get back to me so that I might have the privilege of giving that human money.
(That gets into a long lesson about user experience, expectations, and things like that. But that’s a derailment.)
I’ll probably find my copy of GURPS Cabal before then, so it’s doubtful that I’m now going to give that human my money.
[EDIT] Further awesome: It’s nearly 1am on Tuesday and I haven’t received it yet. Yay for human intervention systems.
[EDIT: Scott Mathis pointed out in the comments that my intent for this post, to talk about how a particular marketing method doesn't work and use my experience as a case study, was only discussed well in the comments. Sorry about that, folks! I forgot about my own rule regarding using the specific alongside the abstract.]
…but I can’t. And that makes me a sad panda.
Specifically, I would like to spend money on the new superhero RPG by Steve Kenson, ICONS. I hear people already geeking about it now that they have their pre-order PDF copies, and that’s got me excited. Leonard Balsera was IMing me today about the characters he was making. That taunting bastard! :)
And if I could right now buy it, I would. But since I didn’t pre-order, it’s not available to me. From one of the posts on Adamant’s site:
The commercial PDF of ICONS will be available beginning June 1st, and the print edition of the game should be available to stores (and shipped to pre-order customers) by mid-June.
Well, fuck. I didn’t pre-order it even though I was genuinely interested, because I didn’t know where I was going to be living in mid-June. (And I still don’t, but hopefully I will in a couple weeks.) And I don’t have a lot of shelf space these days, so I don’t order as many books as I used to. Thus, I’m waiting on the PDF.
The PDF won’t be available for another 13 days.
That is a year in Internet time. That is a long time for me to lose interest in this “SQUEE WANNA BUY” state, enough time for something else to take up my impulse dollars, enough time to hear things about the game that would turn me off — not necessarily something that would make me not want to play the game, but something enough to cause me to stop being excited about it.
I like Kenson and his work, and if I had a PDF today, I might be able to get a pick-up game together at the Memorial Day con in L.A. — my vacation con that’s before June 1st. But since I didn’t pre-order, no dice. (Pun intended, baby. That’s how I roll.)
So while my friends are geeking on it, they’re doing so when that geeking can’t generate sales. And such excitement doesn’t last long. Hell, this blog post might even generate sales, since people click on shit (and I buy that “There’s no such thing as truly bad PR” philosophy). But by the time you can buy the PDF, this post will be old news. The only thing it’ll be good for is collecting spam.
(Now, maybe the PDF isn’t finished. But it’s not like the power to send purchasers an updated PDF doesn’t exist. That’s what Fred did with Dresden. And it worked pretty well, I think.)
But, yeah. Guys, on today, May 18th 2010, in response to the geekfest on my Twitter feed, I want to give you money. Might not have that interest on June 1st. And ICONS probably deserves better marketing treatment than this.