Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1356058 Posts in 62799 Topics- by 54587 Members - Latest Member: viveksharma

February 19, 2019, 03:56:00 AM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessMaking money with open source games
Pages: 1 2 [3]
Print
Author Topic: Making money with open source games  (Read 15705 times)
Alec
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2007, 11:22:54 PM »

Hmm... how about setting a goal of money to raise at which point you'll drop all your other projects immediately and guarantee a prompt release of a graphical DoomRL. :D

I'd cough up the cash for that. I want to play it now, dammit.
Logged

Crosbie Fitch
Level 0
**


View Profile WWW
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2007, 02:14:24 AM »

Language is important - it affects how people perceive things.

Donation is similar to gift. At best it's a payment made on the basis of thanks (for what has been received) or hope (contribution towards what may be received).

If you're going to make games as a business you have to mean business - not a charity.

How about talking in terms of customers? Rather than donors?

Identify what it is you're selling, e.g. 'Game X, level 2'. Let people pre-pay or pledge (via Fundable.org) for it.

And if you accept payments directly, then try making your accounting visible (rather than hiding it), so that your customers know how close they are to meeting the fund required for the particular product they're after. Don't just make the fund visible, also make work and progress visible (with occasional sneak previews or screenshots, etc.).

It may seem that it's so difficult getting any money at all, that the last thing you want to do is risk people thinking they can get a refund, but if you do present your game developments as products and present funding as pre-payment by customers, then you may actually get a little more confidence and turn a trickle of charitable funding from donors into real turnover from purchasing customers.

And of course, start small. Better for a method to prove itself and iron out the problems for small developements, so that everyone's happy when the amounts start getting larger.
Logged
Kornel Kisielewicz
The Black Knight
Level 1
*

Madman for hire


View Profile WWW
« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2007, 06:54:10 AM »

Hmm... how about setting a goal of money to raise at which point you'll drop all your other projects immediately and guarantee a prompt release of a graphical DoomRL. :D

I'd cough up the cash for that. I want to play it now, dammit.
Smiley. That would only be possible after the 7DRL event anyway tough -- before it I have too many "reallife" commitments.

Identify what it is you're selling, e.g. 'Game X, level 2'. Let people pre-pay or pledge (via Fundable.org) for it.
In a game based on procedural content it isn't that easy tough :/. I thought about making target donations for the harder-to-implement features. Then I could write in the credits something like "Advanced AI was implemented thanks to the support of X, Y, V and Z. Graphics was implemented thanks to...". How does that sound?

And if you accept payments directly, then try making your accounting visible (rather than hiding it), so that your customers know how close they are to meeting the fund required for the particular product they're after.
That would require me to do some PHP/web coding, and I suck at that Sad.

Don't just make the fund visible, also make work and progress visible (with occasional sneak previews or screenshots, etc.).
The beta forums serve that purpose. But maybe every beta version should be announced also OUTSIDE the forums, so people know somethings cooking...

And of course, start small. Better for a method to prove itself and iron out the problems for small developements, so that everyone's happy when the amounts start getting larger.
I learned the "start small" rule the hard way, so don't worry ;].
Logged

At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (@epyoncf)
ChaosForge -- DoomRL and AliensRL
Jupiter Hell -- DoomRL spiritual successor!
Crosbie Fitch
Level 0
**


View Profile WWW
« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2007, 07:37:02 AM »

In a game based on procedural content it isn't that easy tough :/. I thought about making target donations for the harder-to-implement features. Then I could write in the credits something like "Advanced AI was implemented thanks to the support of X, Y, V and Z. Graphics was implemented thanks to...". How does that sound?
Sounds fine.

It doesn't matter about procedural content. You can sell technical features, or enhancements, as much as you can sell hand crafted scenery. You don't have to squeeze yourself into any preconceived molds.

If you can describe whatever you produce as a discreet, identifiable element then people interested in seeing the elements they want can contribute: whether non-refundable, or not, whether advance or pledge.

Of course, you may prefer to be in control of your own direction, and may desire the freedom to abandon a planned feature on a whim, and work on something completely different.

This is where you have to be careful. Are you just accepting non-refundable patronage from players who express their preferences, but trust you to focus work where you're most enthusiastic and capable? OR are you really in the business of selling features to those who want them and only accepting money (otherwise refunding any already paid) when you deliver the goods?

Here's an example of different motivations behind people who might be willing or inclined to provide you with money:

1) Kindly donors who like what you've done, like what you're doing, but don't mind if you stopped work tomorrow and joined a monastery.

2) Patrons who expect something for their money, but don't really mind what it is, as long as you produce more of what you're good at.

3) Customers who'll pay you, but only for what they want (a new feature, bug-fix, version, etc.), and only when/if you deliver it.

That would require me to do some PHP/web coding, and I suck at that Sad.
Eh?

You don't have to produce any live updating AJAX malarky, nor any data driven PHP.

You could do a weekly diary in your blog and simply itemise who's contributing towards what and how far you've got in terms of delivery. The more meticulous you are, the more money you may get. Sure, you could simply list contributors and say "Ta", but that may not necessarily inspire others.

The more you demonstrate how your development and delivery directly relates to contributions, the more likely people are to contribute their coin too.

Remember: money is work. But you don't get money for work automatically, you only get money in exchange if people want your work, and are CONFIDENT that you'll work for the money. That means making bargains (art for money, money for art), or making your work visible in terms of progress and delivery.

Sure, if you're a pure artist you'll not sully yourself by accepting filthy lucre in commission. You'll only produce what you want and damn your audience, leaving only a hat or bowl on the pavement for purely altruistic donations.

Charity or business. Pure art or commercial art. It's up to you. Nothing wrong with pure art, I'm just trying to provide a perspective on commercial art - specifically, copyleft art.

Logged
Kornel Kisielewicz
The Black Knight
Level 1
*

Madman for hire


View Profile WWW
« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2007, 07:51:23 AM »

Sounds fine.

It doesn't matter about procedural content. You can sell technical features, or enhancements, as much as you can sell hand crafted scenery. You don't have to squeeze yourself into any preconceived molds.

If you can describe whatever you produce as a discreet, identifiable element then people interested in seeing the elements they want can contribute: whether non-refundable, or not, whether advance or pledge.
Okay, I get the idea. In my case the best selling thingie would be additional features or interface upgrades.

Of course, you may prefer to be in control of your own direction, and may desire the freedom to abandon a planned feature on a whim, and work on something completely different.

This is where you have to be careful. Are you just accepting non-refundable patronage from players who express their preferences, but trust you to focus work where you're most enthusiastic and capable? OR are you really in the business of selling features to those who want them and only accepting money (otherwise refunding any already paid) when you deliver the goods?
Yes, I'm afraid of this trap. I DON'T want to sell my soul, but also I'm a person with a strong sense of justice. For example that sense of justice doesn't allow me to just say "DiabloRL is dead folks", despite the fact that working on it doesn't bring me any fun anymore :/.

Here's an example of different motivations behind people who might be willing or inclined to provide you with money:

1) Kindly donors who like what you've done, like what you're doing, but don't mind if you stopped work tomorrow and joined a monastery.
Praise the Lord that such people exist Smiley

2) Patrons who expect something for their money, but don't really mind what it is, as long as you produce more of what you're good at.
I would want those to be the majority, but of course I have nothing to say in this regard :/.

3) Customers who'll pay you, but only for what they want (a new feature, bug-fix, version, etc.), and only when/if you deliver it.
For these I think a "pledge" system would be good. Now is the question of how it would work :/.

You don't have to produce any live updating AJAX malarky, nor any data driven PHP.

You could do a weekly diary in your blog and simply itemise who's contributing towards what and how far you've got in terms of delivery. The more meticulous you are, the more money you may get. Sure, you could simply list contributors and say "Ta", but that may not necessarily inspire others.
You mean that "non-automatic" updating of all the statistics would prove enough?

The more you demonstrate how your development and delivery directly relates to contributions, the more likely people are to contribute their coin too.

Remember: money is work. But you don't get money for work automatically, you only get money in exchange if people want your work, and are CONFIDENT that you'll work for the money. That means making bargains (art for money, money for art), or making your work visible in terms of progress and delivery.
* Kornel Kisielewicz feels more and more like he's selling his soul xD. But yes, I do get the idea.


Sure, if you're a pure artist you'll not sully yourself by accepting filthy lucre in commission. You'll only produce what you want and damn your audience, leaving only a hat or bowl on the pavement for purely altruistic donations.
Charity or business. Pure art or commercial art. It's up to you. Nothing wrong with pure art, I'm just trying to provide a perspective on commercial art - specifically, copyleft art.
Sometimes I feel that unfortunately I might be a unconvertible "pure" artist (if an artist at all). On the other hand I understand, that I wont be able to produce the quality of art I want to achieve if I don't "sell myself" a little. It's a question of Sacrifice(*)

(*) and in a few years, maybe you'll all see this is a pun Tongue
Logged

At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (@epyoncf)
ChaosForge -- DoomRL and AliensRL
Jupiter Hell -- DoomRL spiritual successor!
Crosbie Fitch
Level 0
**


View Profile WWW
« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2007, 08:06:20 AM »

You mean that "non-automatic" updating of all the statistics would prove enough?

If you have a very small paying audience, yes.

If you've already got 10 payPal payments per day coming through, then no, it'll be time to get the PHP editor cranked up, or you'll need to use Fundable.org or ContingencyMarket.com
Logged
ZombiePixel
Level 0
***


View Profile
« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2007, 08:36:00 AM »

Let's get real for a moment - how much can you honestly expect to take in from a donation system?  Can anyone point out a donationware developer who actually makes a living off that business model?
Logged
Kornel Kisielewicz
The Black Knight
Level 1
*

Madman for hire


View Profile WWW
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2007, 09:13:29 AM »

Let's get real for a moment - how much can you honestly expect to take in from a donation system?  Can anyone point out a donationware developer who actually makes a living off that business model?
I expect no more than what Dwarf Fortress made in the first 3 months ;].
Logged

At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (@epyoncf)
ChaosForge -- DoomRL and AliensRL
Jupiter Hell -- DoomRL spiritual successor!
ஒழுக்கின்மை
Level 10
*****


Also known as रिंकू.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2007, 05:37:29 AM »

Let's get real for a moment - how much can you honestly expect to take in from a donation system?  Can anyone point out a donationware developer who actually makes a living off that business model?

I can provide some data here. I set up a donation system for my last game, Alphasix, which was freeware. I asked for 5$ for server costs and to support continuing development. The game has to date 75,000 downloads, and 2 donations -- both of those donations from online friends.
Logged

Crosbie Fitch
Level 0
**


View Profile WWW
« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2007, 09:56:15 AM »

This is one of the reasons I try to persuade people to steer clear of the charity approach.

1) Don't use the term 'donation', but 'payment', 'bid' or at least 'pledge' - you're in business
2) Either provide your game free of charge for promotional purposes, or sell it, but don't invite charity unless you truly are a good cause
3) You can't sell what there's no demand for
4) So, create the demand
5) Then offer to sell what there's a demand for
6) Wait until the deal is done and you know how much money you'll get in your hands before you give the game (or episode) back in exchange.

Logged
lowpoly
Level 4
****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2007, 10:51:39 AM »

I can provide some data here. I set up a donation system for my last game, Alphasix, which was freeware. I asked for 5$ for server costs and to support continuing development. The game has to date 75,000 downloads, and 2 donations -- both of those donations from online friends.

 Sad I always had a sinking suspicion donations didn't work. At least not without a community to support it (forums and whatnot)

Logged

Pages: 1 2 [3]
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic