Join OpenSourceCollective for transparent funding!


#1

Hi,
maybe the core devs on this engine can join some Open-Source-Collective organisation (for example -> https://opencollective.com/opensource) to setup a serious open/transparent fund, that can than be used for paying devs to work on the roadmap?

Because like it is now i find it little bit strange seriously, there seams to be only one core dev that collects money via subscripton, which is perfectly fine of course, but it seams to be privat and used for hosting/compile service mainly.

There is no way to send donations in any other form? On an engine that is MIT licensed?
What is the roadmap than even for? Without a serious money pool, who works on it?

Looks like this talk came up on the forum few times already, but nothing changed!

@CORE-DEVS, CHANGE IT, AND SETUP A SERIOUS OPEN SOURCE FUND PLEASE, THANKS!


#2

While I have no strong opposition to this (and wouldn’t have a say in this anyway) just to add some clarity to this:

  1. Some of the main contributors are under legal age and unable to accept funds in this way.
  2. GDevelop’s github is fully available on bountysource.com, so if you have a feature request on the Github, you can open a bounty on it, which you and anyone else can contribute to… This is what I did to get Tilemap support added recently, as well as the upcoming Bitmap Font support.
  3. There is not a “GDevelop Organization” in the way you are describing. It is 4ian, 2-5 frequent contributors, and others who come and go out of the community. There isn’t any sort of dedicated dev team, nor those who necessarily could make one.

All of the above isn’t to say this is a bad suggestion or anything, I can totally see the value and where you are coming from. Just wanting to add detail and clarity to some of the things you mentioned.

Edit: One more clarifying thing. The trello is not really a “whats coming” roadmap as you would think. It is a “here are suggestions that 4ian and the contributors think might have value” and a historical roadmap of what features were added when. Regardless of votes, it is up to a contributor or 4ian what they work on next, rather than the cards being some mandate.


#3

I dont know much about boundysource but it seams to be more specific, focused to fund a single issue by a big donation.
A service like opencollective or patreon would be better in my opinion
People than can donate in small amount when they have it and everything is visible and transparent in a single pool of money. And when some amount is reached the money is used for the most voted roadmap feature etc.
And dont get me wrong, i dont wanna sound like somebody who tells others what to do, the decision of the funding has to be made by the core devs of course, and not by some random dude like me haha, but i just found it strange after i decided to send a small donation to find not even a way to do it easily !!

I use lot of opensource software that i also support with small donations here and there and most projects make it very simple and transparent with all kind of different services/ways to send money, and thats just missing here.
So i had the need to raise this topic. :laughing:


#4

I saw this being brought up multiple times too. I guess that a reason not to use it might be that OpenCollective do take 10% of all the funds if you join the open source collective. I guess the current subscription system allows keeping more money which is required as we don’t have enough people subscribing? Also the whole “We have control over your money and we decide what is a good expense for the project not you” thing is not a thing I am a big fan of. I don’t really have a clue, just a wild guess, you’ll have to ask @4ian .


#5

Well, im pretty sure all services take a small cut, they need also pay for hosting and people! And in return for your share you get something -> visibility and trust, that the side already has collected.

There are lot of freelancers working on opensource projects, not for fun, but for money, because its there job. And this people, who have the skill and time, go to sides like OpenCollective etc. because projects are visible/listed there and they know its a serious job where they get payed.

And for people who are not interested or skilled enough to work on the engine code itself they have also -> trust about there donations.

Your hosting/compile service is nice and everything, but its a complete different story if you ask me, and there should be some seperate visible funding to grow the number of contributors, otherwise you will always run around with one core dev and few hobby people here and there, and serious donation stream will never happen like in other open projects.


#6

I’m so glad that this topic is coming up more and more.
I’m as eager as you are to see the GDevelop project grow.
@4ian said that there will be some changes in the coming months.


#7

I want to clarify something, because when i read my comments above again, i sound a bit agressive. Thats by no mean my intention, and i have probably no right by any means to judge the leadership here.

So i speak only for myself from a donors position, and from that position the situation is just, yea well, ist’s strange looking.


#8

I’ve been thinking about it for the last few days, also because of the discussion about GD in steam.
Overall I think we can try things. Or we have to, if we want to grow and find new strong developers.
We have already lost Lizard-13, Wend1go, … for various reasons. Of course this normal for an open source project but if Bouh switches to a 3D engine, arthuro starts a full time dev job and 4ian gets 5 children, GD has a problem.
GD has many advantages over other engines and even more potential, but many out there don’t know it yet.

I don’t know how much income will be generated and how much it will help to develop new things. But I think opencollective or better patreon, could really be an important alternative to subscription and bountysource. It’s better known and more accessible.


#9

Hello @4ian,
if you visit the forum the next time could you please join this conversation and give your opinion about more broad funding.
Your leadership is high quality, your engine is high quality and very easy to use, if you ask me you have the real chance now to turn this into the second Godot.
It will of course not happen overnight but open funding and catching more contributors is the most crucial. In Godot they also started with few core devs, but when funding started people came and everything got bigger very fast. :grin:

Whats your opinion on this 4ian?


#10

Hey all,

I’m currently exploring various options to have funding for GDevelop :slight_smile:
I totally agree that for now it’s a bit sad for people that want to donate, as apart from subscriptions there is nothing much more that you can do. Subscriptions were for me a first way to see if we can build something that is bringing funds in GDevelop to allow to then develop more services like this that will help users to go further, or that will help pay contributors using things like bountysource.com.

Currently, the state of things is that I collect the subscriptions, pay the costs in terms of servers (forum, website, workers, apis, storage) and the rest is saved, until I choose to put it as bounty on some issues.

So that’s the current state of things… But give me a few weeks and I should have something to announce related to this :slight_smile:

Not 100% sure yet, this might not be an open source collective, as I really think that people might be more keen to subscribe/donate if they have advantages in doing so (like right now getting more one-click exports, but we can imagine some other services related to games in the future). Again give me a few weeks and I should announce something if everything goes alright!

EDIT: I also agree that with more funding, we’ll also attract more contributors - and this can help the project thrive as Godot! I definitely want to enable more people to take part, and give them incentives to do so (like having more bounties :)).


#11

I am not sure if this is correct.
Most donations in the world, on twitch, etc. are without any direct benifits for the user. Also the thread creator just wants a simple fund.
Many Gdevelopers don’t earn anything with their games (as far as I know). Therefore they may not want to pay monthly for analytics, scoreboard, …
If possible, it is better to accept it from voluntary donors than to “force” it through exclusive features.
Many would like to support GD overall with a single payment and not book an online service for themselves. I think both should be possible side by side. What about a simple paypal and bitcoin address? Too much effort with taxes?

We’ll see :slight_smile:


#12

If there where features behind a fee, I wouldn’t be here.

That does not mean i wouldn’t subscribe if i had income of any sorts. But only voluntary.


#13

Both systems are ok, the subscription we have currently. Just open the donations with a custom amout, that what people ask for since a while.
I’am not sure we have to create new services in echange of donation.
By nature a donation isn’t done with interest.
The subcription yes, in counter part of services.
We can use donations for add bounties and paid some dev for some features.
And the subs goes to services, if there is too much it can go to bounties too.

I don’t know which type of new services can be added, but i hope see no exclusive services for people who have paid.
I hope didn’t see a export for iOS only for indie subs for example. Or i hope didn’t see a paid feature exclusive to a plans.

There are plenty of financial and administrative status, there is bound to be one that will fit for GDevelop.


#14

Personally I think people do tend to buy more of there is something they can gain, and that it is a fair point. But I don’t think we should have any feature fully behind a paywall, else we are no better than construct :p. I think stuff like what we have for online builds right now, a convenience service that you don’t really need to use GDevelop at 100% that is free with limits and the limit bar can be increased with a subscription, is fine.


#15

The problem is however, all the features ever added to GDevelop require maintenance and with a constantly growing set of features it may be too much to handle for 1 person. So it is either paid developers or free contributors who need to get the job done. Now you might be thinking, no problem contributors always be here but it is just simply not true. You may love JS, Electron today you have the free time and motivation to do free contribution but it will change, it is not a matter of IF but WHEN.

This is the problem Godot currently facing. You might be thinking what a success Godot is. No, it is not. It is totally broken because paid developers are paid to work on the core staff like new rendering, physics, particle engines, scripting API’s, IDE, port to new platforms, export templates.
But other staff that is not considered core like pathfinding, ads, monetisation, lights, GUI, interfaces with certain API’s is totally broken on one platform or the other because those people who originally contributed those features are left and others don’t care to fix them, they constantly push the problems to next release for years because it is not considered priority. This is why many Godot developer end up going with Unity or GameMaker or even Defold instead because they get tired of this and the only ones remain are the hobbyist who manage to push some decent work out once in a while and this is what everyone is focusing on while ignoring all those who abandon Godot because of the problems that donations and free contributions can not fix.

If this is the path GDevelop wish to follow, it is fine, not saying it is bad one but I just don’t want anyone to have false beliefs about Godot and about GDevelop can be a commercial success with nothing but donations. It can not be and without a commercial success I honestly uncertain how much further 4ian can go, the future is extremely uncertain this way in my opinion.
Comparing it to Godot and pointing at it how successful it is, just not a good idea. Apart form being broken, Godot is also in a very unique position because it was the only free alternative to Unity at the time it was released especially on Linux because Unity was not available on Linux and at the beginning there was also OKAM Studio behind it and this is why so many people jumped on the train especially on Linux and this is why it gained so much momentum that keep it going even today. But GDevelop never be able to achieve this popularity and gain so much momentum as Godot did with nothing but donations and contributions, otherwise it would have already.

I think, at minimum monetisation options like ads, in-app purchase should be behind a pay wall because if you are about to make money then it is fair to ask to also pay some. I would personally also put (1 click, offline) export options behind a pay wall. HTML5 cold be free it is enough for hobby projects, other exports could be free with online build service with limitations like now, but 1 click, offline export to desktop and mobile should be behind a pay wall in my opinion to ensure being maintained. Export and monetisation is the two most important features of any engine. If you can not export and can not monetise people will switch to an other engine for their commercial projects that allow them to export and monetise.

Now you might be thinking, this is exactly why it is important to keep it free. But imagine for a moment you spend 2 years developing a game in GD and the day you want to publish you realise, when you export to iOS your game crash or maybe reward video ads does not work. Then what? If it a free contribution all you can do is pretty please and hope someone care. This is not how business works, in business people don’t pretty please, nobody want to pretty please and wait months and years or hire a developer and pay the full cost of a repair of something. This is the primary problem that need to be solved if you want GD to be more popular among pro developers, pointing at free contribution and voluntary donations is not reassuring. Despite all the huge amount of donations, not even Godot can solve all these problems with donations alone and many don’t realise it but it does also struggle to keep pro developers around.

But I guess it is depends on who is the primary target of GDevelop, students, hobbyist or commercial projects. Unfortunately it is not possible to satisfy them all because students, hobbyist want everything for free hoping others going to contribute and donate, pro devs want support but you can not provide support without stable income. So who is it going to be?

One solution maybe is to do it similar to Phaser, have a Community Version, that is 100% maintained by the community and have a Commercial Version that is built on top of the CE version, taking advantage all the free contribution but also add some paid features developed by paid developers. How about that? But yet again it is depends if 4ian has any commercial plans with GD or not.


#16

Why not? Why couldn’t we make them pay for professional support, and use that as a stable income?
Pixi is open source and free, and doing fine with donations + consultancy, maybe we could do something similar by making people pay for the GDevelop team to review their code or to get professional support, in addition to getting donations.

I think that is the key here, GDevelops main goal is making game development accessible to everyone, putting anything behind a paywall would go against that goal I believe.

I disagree. GDevelop is a free software, and putting anything that important behind a paywall would kill it. If users suddenly have to pay to export, they’ll feel (rightfully) cheated and just leave. New users also won’t arrive anymore, as they’ll prefer to use the company backed and more professional construct 3, if they have to pay anyways. I would also argue again that this goes directly against the philosophy of GDevelop that game development should be accessible for everyone for free.


#17

Yes, I agree with you. GDevelop is considered free software, but if the program will have a fully paid export of projects, and users will feel deceived and offended, then this can damage the reputation of GDevelop.
Do we want this? I think no. Personally I want users to really feel free and happy.
I know, I know, the future of GDevelop is unknown, but time will tell. We will have to believe and hope that the program will remain free in the future.
Freedom is like a field. But if this field is limited by brick walls, will this field be considered free? Partly not, because the field is free outside the walls. This is an allusion to GDevelop and its features, which could hypothetically be limited. Let’s say that if a user pays for the functions that he will need for his projects, he will feel free to use GDevelop. I know, I know, that money is needed to maintain the servers needed for export. But why not add a message box, like in GD4, but only explaining briefly and clearly to users about why only 2 free exports per day are available?

P.S: sorry for the slightly strange and incomprehensible text


#18

Hi guys, I came from Construct 2 at the beginning when I started with Construct 2 just to test it I left you up to 4 event sheets, so once I learned how to use it I decided to buy the license at that time for about $ 125. Then they warned that C2 would close and that those of us who had a C2 license could enjoy C3 for a year. When I ran out of C3 license I was forced to look for alternatives to C3 because I find it excessively expensive for indie games.

So I came to GDevelop with an indie license.
instead of C3 license € 99 per year or € 8.25 (But it only accepts annual payment one sh*t) per month compared to GD Indie € 24 per year or 2 per month.
In comparison GD is much more flexible when it comes to payment.

Keep in mind that a year I may release a single totally indie platformer game with no promotion or ads or any way to monetize it. That it is worth paying me 99 to C3 if I do not use the services for practically nothing. I only use the export service a few times a year and only when I am going to profile my game for production.

With GD the same thing happens to me I only use the paid services a few times a year but I am proud to help the community and the creators of GDevelop with my monthly subscription. It really is no problem for me to pay for the indie license because I know it is a great help for you.

Anyway, if in the end you decide on the option of receiving some kind of donation, you just have to notify me and I will donate what I can to help them.


#19

I’m not sure if people don’t want to pay for features, would pay for consultancy. Pixi.js is also used by big studios as far as I know like Disney, Cartoon Network…etc and being a graphics engine I can imagine developers often need a better understanding of how the internals works. I could imagine they even hire the Pixi.js dev to get actual job done. It is not the case with GDevelop as far as I know. But yes, certainly worth a try I am not in the position to judge how much demand there is for such service and how profitable it could be.

I mean at the moment it can export to HTML5 only and nothing else and it is not dead, so keep it that way would certainly not kill it. I guess I just don’t have a lot of faith in depending on nothing but donations and free contribution. Not that you guys did not do a great job so far, it is just the fact you can disappear any day like other main contributors before (Victor, Lizard13) and my negative experience with Godot seeing so many staff being constantly pushed to next release with a flag “not priority”. I am extremely disappointed in Godot despite all the great news around it.

I also would love to see GDevelop remain 100% free while being actively developed but I just can’t see how it could be possible. This is why, I think the one solution could be something similar to Phaser, have a Community edition that is what GDevelop today, it is open to free contribution, can also accept donations to pay contributors and have a Commercial edition where developers being paid to implement staff on top of the Community edition, it can also continue to be open-source similar to Phaser but it could require license so 4ian can pay developers to maintain all the paid features.

Anyway, it is not an easy topic. Interested to see what 4ian has in mind. It might be just a store so people can sell their extensions, that could work too I guess to invite more devs :+1:


#20

I assume that a tutoring program would have massive demand, especially because gd attracts beginners, but would be a daunting task for the same reason