Patreon

Without giving it much thought, I would jump in as well with a small contribution.
IMO the difference to simply donating is that the Patreon money comes as a steady monthly flow and people need that to be able to calculate with it.
I think MG has a Patreon user, but they turned off donations because of some reason I don’t remember :confused:

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Donations are not what I’m thinking of. They are more infrequent and highly variable compared to a Patreon stream.

I know but, it takes a lot of effort to set up and keep one active, you must set stuff up, keep track of it actively and come up with other stuff…

I don’t mind making a regular PayPal scheduled monthly payment but, I can understand the complexity as the core team still have day jobs to uphold as that is their current breadwinner and frankly, unless the Patreon guaranteed the living expenses and then some for let’s say, three people full time, I can tell you, even that recent $10,000 donation, will not be enough…

So, the reasons are multiple, and the risks involved as well as the challenges, are high as well…

It’s not a switch that is flipped, and money comes in… just saying.

Let’s go into some simple maths [Mostly because I suck at Mathematics, Working on it this year though], for example:

Let’s say we have 500 loyal users who each pay $5/Month… over the course of a year that gives us… around $30,000~ which barely covers one developer’s living expenses [Note: I am sure some of them have a kid, a wife and probably 1.3 more kids…] so, let’s take another look… the current typical income for a C# Developer is; according to https://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=C%23_Developer/Salary … between £22,017 - £54,457 which is roughly at this time 4th March 2018… ‪$30,398.88 ‬- $‪75,188.81‬ with the median being, $44,983.22 or for us Tea party people [haha] £32,580‬… and I stress, that is for ONE developer… so, we would be asking 500 to commit to $12.50 or for us UK folk about £10/ Month… now for me that is doable… but you have to remember, not everyone on here has that kind of disposable income, and some, cannot make online transactions…

Now, bear in mind, this is before taxes come into play and possibly further legal costs…

And, this is just for ONE dev; full time. so essentially you are asking or expecting 500 people, to give $37.50//£27 per month… that’s $450/Year or £326/Year…

That is why, it is a tough ask…

And no, just one dev, will not be enough… a single full-time dev will only manage half their workload or 75% efficiency if we are to be optimistic, there’s a lot more involved…

Anyway, the above is purely speculative… I may be wrong…

I do however remain optimistic that we could get 1,500 people to split the load… but again, it is no small order…

I think the focus on full time is a red herring. Other developers on Patreon talk about being able to shift more of their hours towards the project in question vs. contracting hours. I even allude to this in the original post.

Not sure what you mean by “just one dev, will not be enough”. We already have official funding for < 1 dev right now and the project is active. Setting this up as “we get 3 or we fail” seems arbitrary.

I agree that there is work in the initial setup, but don’t see why that’s a deal breaker either.

I’d also like to add that there was some nay-saying regarding Godot’s Patreon drive with some people saying they wouldn’t donate because it could never be successful. They are now at $83K annual, up from $0.

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How many Patreonians though?

@dellis1972 @KonajuGames @CartBlanche and i actually started some work on a Patreon last year. We have worked out a lot of the details, but still need to work out tax stuff and finish out our intro video:

These are our current reward tiers which i am still not totally happy with:

  • $2 - your thanks for supporting us.
  • $4 - Twitter shout out and special badge on the community site.
  • $16 - MonoGame swag twice a year (stickers, tshirts, mugs, etc).
  • $256 - Sponsor a feature in MG (with limits of some sort)

As you can see i’m doing some sort of joke on power of 2 numbers there which might be bad if our tiers are too high/low.

Thoughts?

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@Tom, glad to hear it. Godot’s levels and rewards might be interesting to you:

@MrValentine you can see the # of patreons there, currently 640. Note that Godot doesn’t have much of a history of shipped games like MonoGame does.

Re Godot, entry level is $5. Higher levels offer voting on tutorials, features, live Q&A, etc. From the supporter/contributor perspective these look nice to me in that they are clear and meaningful.

Note that they also have some big tiers for corporate sponsorship which ends up being 33% of their revenue.

I haven’t seen your video, but emphasizing MonoGame’s proven track record with successful titles will help sell it.

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$5 always seemed like a high starting tier to me. That is why i choose $2 for the base.

I don’t think we can offer that sort of sponsorship as we don’t have that huge of an audience IMO.

The sponsorship we did think about was for features/fixes that MG needs and some game might need and is willing to fund us to do it.

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IMO 2$ for the base are just right.
Why not add such sponsorship levels? Can’t hurt and maybe there is another game-studio relying heavily on MG that doesn’t want to get into active development and wishes to donate some money that way (although the 1.500 platinum tier is too high :slight_smile: for my taste).

Point is. Get on with it already. I want to donate 10 bucks monthly :smiley:

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I don’t think Godot has a huge audience either. They are certainly no Unity nor Unreal.

The Patreon tiers are about what other people are willing to send your way, and another project has already given us the data points. And you might score that corporate sponsorship from a biggie like Microsoft which can (and should) afford it. Or a game company that is heavily invested.

Between the “$5 is high” and thumbs down on sponsorship, I feel like you’re being too shy. MonoGame has great potential, in part because it taps into the .NET/Visual Studio ecosystem, and a great story: significant MG games have shipped on all major platforms.

Be proud and provide the chance for people and companies to send cash your way.

Throw an eight and a 42 in there too!

Currently I think I worked out $6~ last night on the Godot per Patreonian, I am more than happy to throw $8/Month for now but I am not a Patreon user yet and I don’t know how it works, so that needs to be explained to the MG user base… and after a bit of looking I found it does use PayPal…

https://patreon.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/200359925-Patrons

So, I won’t have any issues signing up and using the service, so long as they continue to use PayPal, but note that MG will only get 90% of what you pay. Patreon keeps 5% as a fee and diverts 5% [That’s a bit high] for transaction costs.

But @Tom get on it, I want to see 1,000 Patrons on there! I think universities could get involved too as well as studios and even governments, I don’t see any reason for a government not to invest in such a project also look for funding from things like Lottery funding sources and the like, pretty sure it can try for Art Funding too…

But as you can see, it’s quite a task, someone has to post out MonoGame panties every now and then. [Yes, that was a joke, but seriously though :stuck_out_tongue: ] and Shipping is not cheap! I suggest you keep it digital for the time being @Tom those of us supporting the project understand that you need as much of it right now, heck, awesome 4K wallpaper will do it for me, like wallpaper that shows how to do stuff like create and apply a shader for example, call it TutPaper and put out 10 every few months or something… [mostly so I can rotate them every 10 minutes to prevent burn-in…]

Can the Patreon page list the current supporters on a page? recognition like a leaderboard is something, that can be fun for some of us… would help motivate to support more… but frankly I want a way where MG gets more of my money, which is why I intend to donate directly and forgo the Patreon thing really… but again, that is optional, it is there eitherway, and frankly I… dang it I would lose out on the wallpaper, Patreon it is! $8/month tier please for TutPaper!

If you can trust a third party member to undertake some of that work, happy to sign up to assist where able. voluntarily that is. and I mean designing apparel/merchandise, not handling the Patreon page]

I have a lot of ideas and happy to talk them over should it help. Anybody who read my Why I chose MonoGame story knows I want MonoGame to be at higher places…

And no I was never overt to the Patreon channel, just concerned about stressing the team, but I like your point about shifting workloads, but that is not always possible… @Chuck_Esterbrook though I remain hopeful that MonoGame can have a full time dev at least the ONE for now :stuck_out_tongue: [Yes, Matrix reference in case you missed it]

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Totally missed the matrix reference. Thx for pointing it out. :slight_smile:

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Agree on the physical schwag requiring more time and stress. Digital-only will be easier.

Also the physical stuff could be done in an online store. In other words, the T-shirts and mugs can be sold on the side, independent of Patreon.

Let’s do this and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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Yeah i saw other Patreon’s offering a tier with swag and was doing something similar. It is more work and cost as we have to produce the products, make sure they have good quality, buy them, and ship them. If we had just a few dozen people at that tier it could be manageable, but if we got 100s it could end up being weeks of work.

For sure we will consider this and see if there is something different we could offer there.

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Perhaps 2x/4x might be better?
2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22,24…
4,8,12,16,20,24,28,32,36,40,44,48…

I thought you can just contribute as much as you want to? maybe I want to contribute £34 which translates to roughly $47 which downgrades to $42 after 10% deduction, this would make a great joke for me :stuck_out_tongue: and even better it equates to about $508.35~ at the end of the year [Go on, look it up if you get both jokes, that is, if you got the first one already {Hello Douglas}]

I suppose, open a new thread or discuss it here and let the community decide what they want and then throw it up on something like StrawPoll? and let it run for a month or three before launching the campaign/Patreon thing… another thing, consider Affiliate Marketing Services, for me, if you can get an affiliate with Microsoft Azure; I can use it as I am moving to them very soon, well, in a few weeks actually… another thing is, Amazon.com and .co.uk affiliate links, it’s a link we have to manually add to amazon purchases [I am still new to it FTR] which kicks some portion back to you from the actual sale, also, you get to see what people are buying hahahahaha, but not who, I think]

Closest thing I could find for Azure [Looks complicated and possibly costly?..]

Amazon affiliate associates program thing [Also looks like some leg work is involved]
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/

For example, for the Amazon one, you can suggest keyboards that are good for coding, monitors that are good for long coding sessions or for displaying more on screen [Ultra wide/4K Large Displays] but I am aware it is easy to get on the wrong side of the legal paperwork Amazon throws at you… only go for this if you have a contact at Amazon who can get you help when you cross the fold…

100% I will go for the Azure option, I am not going anywhere else. but I can see it might be tricky to set up, but do look into it, if it looks viable.

Will think up more and post as they hit me…

A side note: you could create an individual page for the affiliate links on the site, perhaps below the donate page? [again, this may go against the guidelines for some providers]

Hey guys

I just thought I’d pipe in here and tell you my experiences with Patreon. I’m going to be brutally honest because that’s how I roll and I think it’ll be useful for everyone to understand how it works from the creators perspective.

So, first up, I’m the creator of MonoGame.Extended. I work on it with every bit of spare time I get (hopefully without burning myself out). In reality this adds up to about 20 - 30 hours a week. At first the project was small and relatively easy to work on but as the library got bigger and way more popular than I ever expected this amount of hours isn’t really enough to cover everything. Luckily, there’s been a number of great contributors to the project that have fixed a lot of bugs and made a lot of improvements (thanks guys!).

But… this really is my “spare” time. I’m a pretty normal 37 year old software developer. I have a full-time day job and I have a family (3 kids and a wife) to support. Sometimes real life gets in the way. Sometimes I get sick. Sometimes I do burn out and need a break. So while I try my hardest to work on it each and every week there are a handful of weeks that don’t work out that way.

Roughly estimated, I’ve put maybe 4000 hours into the project since I started it in 2015. Almost all of this time has been unpaid (if you don’t count the few bucks I’ve received through Patreon already). I’ve also had a handful of expenses in that time (software, hosting, etc) and these costs have come out of my own money. My point is, this really is just a hobby for me.

I started a Patreon page for MonoGame.Extended maybe 2 years ago. Honestly, I really had no clue how it would pan out. It was just an experiment to see what would happen. For quite some time I’ve struggled to understand how to make it work. I only have a few patrons but I really appreciate the support I get and I really want to deliver something valuable to them.

Setting up the page is a little scary of course, because you don’t know if you can actually create things the patrons will appreciate. I figured if I was honest with people and responded to any feedback I got as best I could it would work out okay.

I’ve tried a bunch of different ideas for reward tiers. Some of them were a lot of work to deliver and as far as I can tell not really appreciated by all of the patrons. Most of the feedback I get from the patrons seems to be along the lines of “I support you because I like what you’re doing”. So it seems that the rewards are not actually the primary motivation for most people (as far as I can tell). I would love to find some reward tiers that works for both sides though.

I don’t really have a good way to keep the communication open with the patrons yet. I’d love to get to know them better to understand what they would like from me. This is probably my fault, but I’m always trying to think of ways I can improve it.

This year I’m trying to put more effort into Patreon. I’ve been trying to post each week-ish with updates on what I’ve been working on. So far it’s been positive in a limited sort of way. A couple of the patrons have commented on the posts and answered my questions. This kind of feedback is really helpful and hugely motivating. It’s difficult to know how many people are actually paying attention.

I really hope I can make Patreon work but the amount of money I’m making is not my primary concern right now. My main focus is figuring out how to spend my time on the right things. For me, Patreon is a tool to figure out how to help game developers with the libraries and tools that I make.

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I already suggested a good one, TutPaper, you create 4K tutorial wallpapers which show how to use certain features… this is a low cost option to reward both sides…

Thanks for the suggestion mate. Do you have an example of what one looks like? I’ve never heard the term and when I google it I get nothing useful.

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I… Invented it… earlier in the discussion :stuck_out_tongue:

Basically, let’s say you have a function that sits in a .cs file, that does, particles for example, you show the code in one corner of the TutPaper, in the space around it you explain what key blocks do and how you can modify for, let’s say, Intensity of particles and then in another corner you explain how to call it in your draw code, and then in another corner you show some other code that is, let’s say a helper class, and then in another corner, err the last corner [Unless Pentagonal+ Displays become a thing lol] you show a screenshot of the end result/intended result… [Speaking of extra corners, the centre could be the screenshot too, in case you do need all four corners for code and explanations…]

A gist of it, anyway…

Art style is entirely up to the one creating the graphic… but high contrasting colours from background to foreground content is key or for text use flat boxes for backgrounds… if you need an example I could give it a shot… could use an example bit of code though… with explanations…

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Seeing one would be great but I think I get the idea.

I’ll have a think about it and do some research myself on other Patreon’s for similar things. I’m not entirely convinced a wallpaper is the best way to deliver a tutorial but I can see the appeal :slight_smile: I’m willing to give it ago though.

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