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By Bricklyne Clarence
#297558
PB wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 12:20 pm
rm wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 7:07 pm
Not much here for smaller firms. The bulk of these "Major" upgrades are for larger architecture firms. Hopefully they have not announced everything added into AC 23 and these are just the major bullet points aimed at appeasing larger practices! It's clear that we should only expect small incremental improvements since GS has fully adopted a yearly release cycle. That said, based solely on the announced new features, buying the yearly maintenance contract seems like a pretty poor value at this point, especially for small to medium sized firms who cannot take advantage of volume pricing.
Definitely a goal of being at the forefront of digital information interoperability. Whilst seemingly at the expense of modelling improvements for the smaller practices & sole practitioners, it is a wise move by Graphisoft: ArchiCAD must be as useful to as many people - directly & indirectly - as possible in order to hold its own against the behemoths of Revit & Bentley.

Whilst there is perhaps little to enthuse the smaller users amongst us, I would like to point out the excellent support from Graphisoft (UK) via the UAS subscription: A very beneficial service when needed, before taking into account the annual upgrade in AC.

Counterpoint(s) :

Improvements that benefit smaller firms usually tend to be beneficial and useful also to larger firms that use the programs. Almost always invariably.
The same can't be same for improvements specifically aimed at larger firms or attracting bigger clients being beneficial to smaller users.

And there are more smaller firms and smaller users that comprise the user-base of ArchiCAD than there are larger firms ( I mean, just mathematically speaking) so one would question the wisdom of a development strategy that seems to ignore or neglect them in favour of pursuing firms whose software usage decisions might go beyond or outside the best software solution available (versus, say, partner office or consultant software synergy, for example, ).
Also, keeping up and keeping pace with the Joneses of the Revit's and the Bentley's of the world is all well and good, but try not to forget that the companies that make those rival software (and indeed the software themselves) are not solely or primarily aimed at the Architecture market the way ArchiCAD is, so again one would question the wisdom of modelling your business, marketing and development strategy on what they're doing or with keeping up with them.

And I would also have to seriously question who really benefits from a yearly release cycle.
Other than the obvious bean counters and money men at Graphisoft and Nemetschek, I mean.
The developers seem to struggle to get out a product that seems stable enough every year, and then follow it up with a bajillion hotfixes to catch all the bugs and problems they couldn't get in the impossibly short beta testing period.
The users are stuck with ever more increasingly diluted upgrades year and year that have hardly any new features to justify the cost, time and effort to upgrade and migrate their projects to the new version.

And really it just seems like it's only the bean counters who are happy to see those subscription and licensing fees coming in every year whether or not the product justifies it.
And I know our constantly clamoring and complaining against it is not going to change anything, but I easily foresee them having to switch to an Autodesk-style subscription-only model in the near future to force everyone to switch to their new versions every year whether they like it or not or whether it's justified to do so or not - as the number of people choosing to upgrade to new versions voluntarily continues to decline if they don't see a reason or need justifying a yearly upgrade.
And that's not going to be a happy situation for anyone at all.
User avatar
By kzaremba
#297764
List of improvement is just disappointing. To be honest I'm starting to wonder if we will keep our subscription for next year.

Of course, performance improvements are very important and we can see a big improvement over the last 3 versions and this is one and only important change (assuming all changes are listed).

Beams with cover fill... ok but we kind of learned to live with it.

There are much more pressing matters in general workflow to improve. For example using properties, setting up IFC translators and user generally interaction that needs to be addressed. There is also plenty of legacy stuff to get rid off.

However, my main concern is that development plans aren't released up front and user community can't be at least aware of coming changes (Or preferably comment on them). A lot of quickly improving software nowadays take a lot form the engaging community in the development cycle. Sadly GS as a company seems not to value user input much. A good example is Epic they have public trello board with all upcoming changes so everyone can see what's coming next. I think this saves a lot of time since the user knows how to adapt workflow. But most of all developers know what is most important form users perspective to work on. It allows to test ideas and quickly evaluate if there are good or bad and at the end of the day it saves a lot of time.

I'm observing Epic Game for a while and I'm wondering if buying Twinmotion form Avent is beginning of the expansion to other fields of industry not only CG related. As we can observe on visualization market game engines overtook a big part of the market already... It is Interesting what's coming next...
User avatar
By rm
#297775
I'm not surprised there has been an apologist for GS stating how the AC23 Upgrade is good as it trickles down to smaller firms.

I find it hard to believe, given the "feature set improvement" announcement of AC23 recently, that this is what most firms wanted for the next "major" upgrade.

No doubt, GS has to compete with Autodesk in the BIM "war" for business. But the reality, at least in the US market, is over 25 person firms are the minority of architecture firms. Most firms are 10 people or less, many are 5 or less and they need productivity enhancements.

Simple things like a robust importer for library parts that bring them into to AC natively. The builtin AC library has been a joke for over 20 years and never seems to improve in selection of newer, more up to date parts, not to mention the complete absence of a working relationship with US manufacturers to deliver their products as GDL objects.

Drawing markers are unintuitive, clumsy and graphically very limiting.

I could go on and on, but the bigger question remains; is paying for a yearly subscription have value with such a small incremental changes in the software that benefit a handful of firms?!

I encourage you to voice your opinions and I hope GS is paying attention.
By Bricklyne Clarence
#297776
kzaremba wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 11:01 am
.......
.....
However, my main concern is that development plans aren't released up front and user community can't be at least aware of coming changes (Or preferably comment on them). A lot of quickly improving software nowadays take a lot form the engaging community in the development cycle. Sadly GS as a company seems not to value user input much. A good example is Epic they have public trello board with all upcoming changes so everyone can see what's coming next. I think this saves a lot of time since the user knows how to adapt workflow. ......

This is the standard for how a lot of software development companies work nowadays.
Active user engagement (beyond just closed Beta-testing groups or "insider" and Key Client circles) is a vital and important part of how they function and develop and plan their work moving forward and it makes for a much more fruitful and overall beneficial process for all involved.

It's only Graphisoft that seems to be stuck in this 1990's model and way of thinking where the user doesn't matter and you get what you get whether you wanted it or asked for it or not.

Even Render Legion (the developers of Corona render engine) use the same Trello board system to lay out their road map for their development plans showing what they have planned for upcoming versions and what they're actively working on (including what's actually done, what's being pushed forward, and what they'd like to do) and it really keeps the users in the loop and helps people plan accordingly while allowing contribution (ACTUAL contributions) to the entire process.
They currently have their roadmap mapping out expected or anticipated features going all the way to version 5 (for the 3ds Max plugin) despite the fact that they've only just released the version 4 release candidate.

I could even point out McNeel and Rhino and their well-known user engagement with their own extensive (OPEN) Beta and WIP testing process for upcoming versions and the incredible user engagement there as well - something that I should point out actually played a large role in helping the inception and development of the now famous Grasshoppper plugin, which actually began as an independent project by David Rutten (with a lot of support from McNeel).
Not to mention their longer development and release cycle which ensures more stable versions upon release with actual feature upgrades that justify upgrading to the newer version. (something else that GS could take a leaf and learn from)

And on and on and on.....

And yes, you're right to observe that GS doesn't seem to value their own user input as much (outside the aforementioned groups I pointed out above - Beta-testers, Key Clients and insiders who are in the know).
User avatar
By kzaremba
#297777
Bricklyne Clarence wrote:McNeel and Rhino
Sure. That's another great example. Espattialy Grasshopper which was started by one Architectural Design student as a fun project. And end up as a revolution in computational design.

I pointed out Epic because it was mentioned in this topic before.
Bricklyne Clarence wrote:It's only Graphisoft that seems to be stuck in this 1990's model
The only reason probably is that It didn't impact revenue yet. But unfortalntyly with each release which doesn't push software foreward GS is losing competitive advantage to other programs.
User avatar
By Jeff Kogut
#297828
Since we're discussing this I'll add my voice to what kzaremba and rm posted.

Interaction with the Archicad user base would be great, but I'd settle for them just improving longstanding shortcomings. I'm sure the 20 people worldwide that use all these fancy plugins to design an organic skyscraper will be happy but the other 99.99999% of us could care less.

What we want is the Wish List forum being implemented. I would happily give up Grasshopper/Rhino (which I don't use, fwiw) for the top 20 Wish List items. All the little enhancements centered on productivity matter in day to day use of Archicad. I pretty much ignore GS's headline improvements and look for the few small improvements.

I personally know of several CAD managers that have given up posting anything here in the forums as it seems a waste of time. I'm on the fence myself about it as it mostly seems I'm just talking to a brick wall in terms of GS.
User avatar
By Jere
#297951
I haven't seen it in action yet, but the prospect of newly designed column and beam tools sounds great. I'm a small user (only 2 users in my firm) and think this is a worthy upgrade. On a yearly cycle, I don't expect huge changes on a yearly basis. The subscription cost is really quite reasonable for what you get.

I do agree with Jeff though; it's time to see some of the basic items overhauled, including the annotation tools. More flexible section markers (e.g. being able to move the marker without affecting the limits of the view) and a more flexible label tool (please, multiple leader lines!!) are but a couple of small examples.

I'd be happy if the next version was nothing but 2D/annotation and library upgrades. Things that affect every firm.
By DGSketcher
#297983
In the key client conference GS announced AC23 will ship in September! Perhaps to allow for more Beta testing and align with the usual MacOS release. I wouldn't mind so much but I paid my annual upgrade fee at the beginning of last month...
By KrisM
#297991
"More flexible section markers (e.g. being able to move the marker without affecting the limits of the view) and a more flexible label tool (please, multiple leader lines!!) are but a couple of small examples."
Totally agree on the need for this. Coming from Revit which has both of these functions is hard sometimes.

I thought the unveiling of version 23 was good until the end where it was announced that the software would start shipping in September. Hard to understand a sales presentation which gets you all excited and then says you can't have what was presented.

The acquisition of Twinmotion by Epic and the agreement with Archicad seems like a great step forward. I own a copy of Twinmotion and love it. Epic is offering to rebate the purchase price for the program if it was bought in 2019. Unfortunately, I bought my copy in 2018. I will get a free upgrade to the paid version in November so that is good. Imagine my surprise when it was announces that all Archicad 23 users would also get the paid version for free. Feeling kind of snookered on that one.
User avatar
By kzaremba
#298143
KrisM wrote:Imagine my surprise when it was announces that all Archicad 23 users would also get the paid version for free. Feeling kind of snookered on that one.
I was actually thinking about buying it. But since there was no possibility to own assets and scripts I didn't.
Thankfully :D

However, I remember being in with the same face after buying Virtual Building Explorer for around 1000$. Guess what in less than two years It was free for all AC users as BIMx.....