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Old August 31, 2012, 15:47   #11
getter77
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Done at just past $90,000----thus setting all sorts of crowdfunding records.

Food for thought for all other Roguelike projects, especially all of the old guard of roughly comparable vintage.
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Old August 31, 2012, 17:47   #12
LostTemplar
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Angband is free project, so no need to fund, it goes by itself.
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Old August 31, 2012, 18:47   #13
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Originally Posted by LostTemplar View Post
Angband is free project, so no need to fund, it goes by itself.
Agreed there, LostTemplar.

That's part of the spirit that I enjoy so much about roguelikes. All the people involved, especially the developers, are in it for the love of the game, and the community. NOT money.

I think donations out of pure good will are fine, but putting money into a roguelike to simply keep it going seems to go a bit against that spirit. Don't get me wrong--I've enjoyed my share of ADOM, fatal bugs and all, and I think Mr. Biskup made a very unique and enjoyable flavor of roguelike--but this whole money thing and the refusal to release the source code...it just seems a bit off, no?

For all who read this--I don't mean any of this as harsh criticism; it's simply my two coppers. I'll still be a fan of ADOM for all this, and will continue to hope it succeeds. That said, I still think Angband for the moment truly embodies the spirit of the ever-sought, never-attainable goal of perfection, free-to-play, and with very open and generally intelligible community discussion.
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Old August 31, 2012, 23:01   #14
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Originally Posted by kingvictory2003 View Post
Agreed there, LostTemplar.

That's part of the spirit that I enjoy so much about roguelikes. All the people involved, especially the developers, are in it for the love of the game, and the community. NOT money.

I think donations out of pure good will are fine, but putting money into a roguelike to simply keep it going seems to go a bit against that spirit. Don't get me wrong--I've enjoyed my share of ADOM, fatal bugs and all, and I think Mr. Biskup made a very unique and enjoyable flavor of roguelike--but this whole money thing and the refusal to release the source code...it just seems a bit off, no?

For all who read this--I don't mean any of this as harsh criticism; it's simply my two coppers. I'll still be a fan of ADOM for all this, and will continue to hope it succeeds. That said, I still think Angband for the moment truly embodies the spirit of the ever-sought, never-attainable goal of perfection, free-to-play, and with very open and generally intelligible community discussion.
I've been playing a lot of WoW this year. A couple of days ago there was a major patch (5.0.4) and a lot of add-ons stopped working. Updated versions are now trickling through. One of my favourite add-ons is called Carbonite, and today I went to check whether an update is imminent.

I learned something very interesting. In the early days of WoW, people could make money from charging for add-ons. The Carbonite team did this. After a while Blizzard stopped this, so the Carbonite team moved to a donation model instead (nobody can stop you receiving donations). They set up a sophisticated donation system: donors could vote on what they wanted the team to work on, and each dollar donated bought one vote.

They never implemented a single feature their donors voted for. They just pushed out band-aid updates whenever a WoW patch broke their add-on, and kept the money. As far as I know, they haven't refunded any donors, and there is no sign of any progress towards voted features. Don't get me wrong - it's an excellent add-on - but they were only in it for the money.

I've put very little time into Angband in the last six months - just a few merges and tweaks. If we were sitting on a pile of donations, I think I'd be obliged to feel bad about that, and I think it would put me off ever getting back into it. As it is, I'll probably get interested again sooner or later, and do some more work on it.

I hope Mr Biskup doesn't let his donors down.
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Old August 31, 2012, 23:31   #15
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While it is true Angband goes by itself, I see it primarily as a means of "time" moreso than just "money". It is an oft reckoned implication that many Roguelike devs, or honestly most game devs in general, are in it for "the game" and "community"---there are even the occasional success stories along these lines such as the ongoing Dwarf Fortress situation.

However, such general notions sort of muddle the reality of the situation---nobody can afford time to throw at things like a community and a game without having proper backing one way or another to engage in such pursuits. I mean, you could do it, but it would sooner or later peter out as the need for cash in other aspects of life would ultimately dwarf whatever willpower was being applied----a grinding burn-out of sorts not unlike the industry at large where folks get discarded as the latest jump into their place from a seemingly endless supply.

I want old(er) developers to keep developing their projects and projects in general----near as I can understand it much of development has not changed so tremendously since the 80's/90's such that they'd be persona non grata versus the young hotshots. Historically, it may have become a young person's game early on, but since the history itself is so young it simple must be malleable in turn.

As such, being they are at a different time in life versus the uni coder or other comparable folks, different needs and priorities come into play---so the solutions to keep things running being a bit unorthodox can't be that surprising.

It is not even about Biskup solely anymore---there's a 4 man team of the lot of them with their hands deep in this trying to make their mark and do right by all the donators...some of which went absolutely higher beyond any reasonable expectations of generosity.

Angband occupies something of an odd place in the general scheme of things and Roguelikes, even among other open source projects out there. The core notion is a solid one that many have drawn from for years after the fact, yet the implementations and realizations seem to always be left grasping and snatching at thin air versus grabbing a handful outside of bolts from the blue in recent times like Sil and perhaps a few others. All manner of things are ongoing, and getting there as they can as far as what I've seen in my time stalking this place more attentively, but there's something to be said when that particular condition persists for a very extended period of time without any burst of punctuated equilibrium.

Angband influenced a great many things years ago---there should not be a proper reason why it can't still/resume having that kind of important impact nor the same for ADOM. Quality is quality.

As to the issue of sitting on a pile of donations being off putting---the easiest answer is to not let such a thing be possible. One method would be a set limited number of Bounties to fund towards, reckoned in such a way, and specific tasks as that, as to not place undue pressure on folks at the helm of it yet also provide a nice extra kick of motivation.

Short version: ADOM did this thing and is primed on all indications to do really well going forward as a team, Angband folks, as opposed to Biskup's newly minted team, surely can find some good general ideas to apply from discernment of Biskup's crazed gamble after the fact such that, within doings and particular issues relative to it, "Angband" can also wrangle a bit better and more visibly than it has in a good while too.
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Old September 1, 2012, 00:35   #16
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ADOM is not an opensource, so the funding was not a payment for some upcoming work, but mostly for the game brand.

On the other hand ADOM is not a proper commercial project where everyone, who put money into it have a right to demand something from maintainers.
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Old September 1, 2012, 00:42   #17
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Here's my take on this kind of thing, speaking as a developer who briefly contemplated making small games for a living. I have a set amount of "programming time" each day. When I run out, I stop being able to generate positive work (i.e. the quality of my work drops precipitously, possibly becoming negative). Programming is my most marketable skill, so it's what I rely on to support myself, and if I had a family, it'd be what I'd be doing to support them too.

These game projects require a lot of programming time to develop. If I had to guess I'd estimate I've spent at least 80 hours on Pyrel already, and it doesn't even resemble a playable game yet. And similarly if you want to have good art or writing or the like, then that takes a lot of time too. Any time I spend on a project is time I'm not spending working to support myself. Now, fortunately my day job doesn't always require my entire allotment of programming time, so I have some to spare (especially on weekends). And I enjoy working on these projects, so it's not essential that they make money. But in the battle between a free, open-source project, and one that pays the bills, the bills will win, every time. Go Buffalo. </obscure>

Given a project that I enjoy working on, then, the natural thought is "Wouldn't it be great if I could make a living doing this?" Everyone wants to get paid to do work that they enjoy, after all. At which point, you basically have to decide between the "open source, supported by donations" method, or the "closed source, sell the product" method. Of course, the former model is wildly more popular among users, who get to pay what they want to support your efforts -- which amount is going to be $0 almost all of the time. Meanwhile the latter method makes it considerably easier to extract a small amount of cash from users, especially these days as it's feasible to charge $1 for a product, and people are oftentimes willing to pay it. That wasn't true even four years ago. Of course I'm simplifying here -- there are more reasons to go with one or the other model -- but from the fundamental "Can I make a living doing this" standpoint, everything boils down to money.

Looking at the market as it stands, I'm aware of precisely one game developer who is supported by community donations. That's Toady One, creator of Dwarf Fortress. And note that he started soliciting donations well after DF had taken off, after he'd already devoted several years of his life to more-or-less full-time development (effectively working two jobs, only one of which paid). It's great that he's able to support himself doing what he loves, but at the same time his life is not necessarily replicable by others. Anyone who wants to be able to live off of their work, doing what they love, is thus likely to think "The only way I can make this work is to sell what I make." And that's where the impetus to make their work closed-source is.

In short, I'm not going to bemoan the fact that ADOM is closed-source and trying to go commercial. More power to it! It's hard to make a game that people enjoy, and that kind of effort should be recognized and supported. In some ways Biskup is fortunate that he never took ADOM open-source, since if he had there's no way he'd now be able to get a reasonable number of people to pay for work on it.

On the flipside, I'd be very leery of accepting money for working on Pyrel right now, simply because money implies an obligation, and there's a massive gap between "I am receiving enough money to obligate me to spend time on Pyrel" and "I am receiving enough money to support myself working on Pyrel." Most of the space in that gap has me spending more time programming than I have to spend, so long as my primary job is also programming-related.
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Old September 1, 2012, 01:23   #18
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At which point, you basically have to decide between the "open source, supported by donations" method, or the "closed source, sell the product" method.
Or it can be true open source, contributed by community. In this case reward for your work is the product you make.
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Old September 1, 2012, 02:22   #19
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Originally Posted by LostTemplar View Post
Or it can be true open source, contributed by community. In this case reward for your work is the product you make.
The specific context was "How can I support myself while doing what I love?" You cannot make a living producing work for free.
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Old September 1, 2012, 03:29   #20
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Originally Posted by LostTemplar View Post
ADOM is not an opensource, so the funding was not a payment for some upcoming work, but mostly for the game brand.

On the other hand ADOM is not a proper commercial project where everyone, who put money into it have a right to demand something from maintainers.
Well, all the forthcoming original art and original music, at the very least, should certainly count as a payment for upcoming work as up until this point such things were no more a part of the ADOM brand than if somehow High end Voxels got involved in Angband or some such. Music in particular is a very tricky thing to do the way the composer is setting out to do as an independent operator especially, that being as symphonic as possible, what with samples, .VSTs, DAW wrangling, etc.

One key part of the campaign making essentially around the 50k mark is that now ADOM Deluxe is going to be a thing that is out there in various places---which will be proper commercial even if that means, in this case, not a tremendous difference from the free version so much as a way to measure ongoing support and popularity at $5-10 at a time notions as that's the likely price Biskup will charge for it as per his Facebook post recently on the subject----pretty in line with his plans for a similar Deluxe version coming up for ADOM II in the near'ish future.

So the expectations are essentially there, and he has to deliver to them else with this many eyes watching, and the reputation of the entire time on the line, it is just the thing to do.
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