I'm posting that here so people have an idea, in real terms, of exactly what they're getting when they download a copy of the engine.What is the Tarquin Engine?
The Tarquin Engine is a tool for the creation and delivery of zooming infinite canvas webcomics. In it?s current form it exists as a series of Action Script routines within a Macromedia Flash FLA file. Users can customise this template file through a simple drag-and-drop process in order to create their own original infinite canvas narrative.
What do I need to use the Tarquin Engine?
You need a copy of Macromedia Flash MX or MX 2004. A 30 Day trial of the latter can be downloaded for free from Macromedia?s website. To view the finished comic on the web, your browser will need Flash Player version 6 or later installed.
How well do I need to know Flash in order to use the Tarquin Engine?
Some level of familiarity with the basics of Flash is necessary in order to work with the Tarquin Engine (and to make sense of these instructions). Users should be comfortable in working with elements such as the timeline, layers, scenes and the symbols library. However, no knowledge of Action Script is necessary in order to use the engine in its basic form.
My thinking at the moment is that I'm going to offer the engine as described above for download for free from e-merl, with a request that if users find the engine useful they contribute a donation of X-amount towards my development time and hosting costs.
1) What do people think is a fair amount to ask for? Off the top of my head, asking for $5 feels about right. Too much? Too little? On the one hand I'm aware this is just an FLA file at the end of the day, not a complete bit of software. But there's also a chunk of my time gone into it and I don't really expect that many people to download it (which is why I haven't gone the bitpass micropayment route - that and I can't get bitpass working on my server).
Any help with the above is appreciated. The Engine itself is, for the record, now finished. Well, unless any more tweaks occur to me, anyway. Writing the FAQ to go with it is what's currently absorbing my time (as well as figuring out the above). I'm kind of optimistcally hoping I might be able to get the whole thing wrapped up before Christmas, but time will have to tell.