Sorry, if my reply sounded a bit harsh or even arrogant and thanks for your elaborate reply. You certainly have some valid points.
If this whole thing is about getting a bulk discount, I guess the easiest thing would be to write Dominic an email and ask him for a specific discount, if you and your friends buy a bunch of copies.
Discounts are definitely not "stupid marketing methods" that is just totally ignorant.
Okay, I guess I over-simplified. Discounts have their place, but I see discounts as something like a last resort
in marketing efforts or something that must be used to segment your customers in a certain context (see below). It's usually not a sustainable marketing method. A general discount
is probably okay only if you can use it to tap into traffic sources that might be closed to you otherwise (think: Black Friday deals website or something). This is however mostly to add some cash to your baseline and nothing that I'd consider strategic
However, if you want to add more people to your user base, it might be a better idea to either reduce the price in general, find other monetization mechanisms, or (the best way), find marketing channels that make sense, or segment your customers in some way.
Giving a discount is often a sign that your product cannot be distinguished from competitors. You can see this when some companies are giving out discounts all the time. This is poor branding.
If the discount is too big, people might even wonder if they pay too much if they pay the normal price and feel ripped off (negative effect on the brand).
Context-based discounts: If I were the developer of Impact, I'd use e. g. Ludum Dare to advertise for Impact.js and offer a heavy discount, because Ludum Dare has many indie devs and beginners, who want to get into game dev, but are quite inexperienced. They are unwilling to pay a lot, but they are willing to get good results after 48hrs and might pay a certain fee for a good toolset. But then, a discount makes sense, because it segments
customers based on value they get out of the product, whereas a general Black Friday discount doesn't achieve the same effect. You get no segmentation.
An experienced gamedev who wants to release a game and charge money for it gets an engine for 99$, which is a good deal for him. An inexperienced gamedev who is unlikely to derive a lot of value out of Impact gets a discount.
I guess for you, it's quite similar. Your friends are too inexperienced to pay 99$. The value they get is very limited. So maybe, a bulk discount makes sense for your situation.
Why do I care about all that stuff? Because, and this applies to all of us, at some point, if you want to make money with indie game development, you need to think about a way to do marketing for your games. Currently, we see a race to the bottom in app prices, which is entirely unsustainable for indie game devs or small business owners. In app stores, the top 10 or something earn millions, the rest earns pocket money. The app store is already a place that is "discounted all the time", because apps are way too cheap and people even complain about paying 99 cents for a game that "lasted only 10 hours".
Anyways, interesting discussion. I'd love to hear the opinion of someone who sold games on platforms like Steam, which give out discounts all the time.
Edit: And btw, I'd love to see more people using Impact.js. This means more discussion here and more plugins :)