How do you feel about the proposed fundraising changes?
We are considering a change to our donation system, one that would move us from our current perk based system, to Patreon. In this dev blog, I'll introduce you to what it is that would be changing, and why.
Once you read over the post, please vote, and leave any questions/comments/suggestions. As it will help determine whether or not it's something that we'll actually be going through with.
It is thanks to everyone who has donated so far that we have exceeded our fundraising goals, our goals for acquiring resources, and developing the game through alpha. But, even though we have reached our fundraising goals for development costs, most of the team can only dedicate a fraction of their free time to work on the project. This means that even with our current update pace, the game is not progressing nearly as fast as it could be.
For development to proceed as quickly as possible, we need to be able to hire on some of the staff part/full-time (depending on their obligations). Primarily, those with the least free time, and most to contribute to development.
As of now, the bulk of the donations we receive are large, and infrequent. And while the donations are large enough to help subsidize the game's monthly expenses. They are not enough to hire people on full/part time.
The only way to get around this lies in one of two options: either those that have already donated the most would have to donate even more, or everyone on the whole would need to donate small amounts consistently. The difference between the two would be asking a few members to donate $1k/month vs the community as a whole donating $2 - $5/month.
How does Patreon solve this issue?
Patreon donations are small, regular donations that are donated either at the end of the month (for committing to and releasing new updates that month) or are donated every update cycle (regardless of when the updates actually come out). Because of this, the donations can be very small, as little as $2 to $5, while still successfully allowing us to hire the people we need.
In addition, Patreon has a built in functionality similar to stretch goals. This functionality allows us to create goals that activate anytime we are above the required monthly total. Once activated, we commit to carrying out that goal over the next month.
Some examples of the types of goals that we would have can be found below, and any suggestions of what you'd like to see us do are greatly welcomed.
- Create & put x amount of user creations in-game, over the next month.
- Release x amount of new models, over the next month.
- Biweekly dev blogs, over the next month.
- Open alpha access to everyone, over the next month.
- Weekly in-game events over the next month.
I would like to reiterate that progress will still be made whether you support this or not. It will not negatively impact our current progress. It is just an opportunity for us to increase our rate of progress, and for us to commit to doing certain things more frequently.
Are my donations protected, what if you do not follow through?
Additionally, if we don't fulfill our commitments for a given month, you can pull your donation out without being charged. Patreon will work with you to recover your funds in any case of deception/fraud.
How is Patreon better than doing it yourself?
Patreon solves the legal and financial hurdles that we would have to overcome in order to implement a system like this ourselves.