I think the time has come to accept donations. In the future, when I have a rich set of features, my own original and hopefully pretty graphics and a community interested in this game, I would like to release a retail version of the game. Probably on Steam. It is a nice and painless online platform. Maybe, a few months before that I can pull a "minecraft": sell the unfinished but fairly complete beta version at a big discount. Both scenarios are still far away, so I need a potential way to cover some costs and make it easier to invest into the game. I did invest some money in it, but I can't say it had a real budget before.
The first solution could be ads. But I hate ads! Are you with me on this one? Who here enjoys ads? If you do, tell me in the comments, but I suspect the number of genuinely positive attitudes toward ads is extremely low. I could add ads to the blog, post an ads post once a week, add ads to the game, etc. I do not want to do either of these. But since I hate ads and probably would get annoyed by my own ads, not to mention that it would be hypocritical in this situation to use them, I will do my best to avoid ads. I can't promise that 5 years from now I won't have a single ad, but when I will have to use them, I will do it sporadically and they won't be in you face. Plus, there are multiple consumer friendly tools to hide these ads from you, so it would be quite the inefficient method of gathering some funds.
The second solution would be donations. This is what I am going to try: pure optional donations. Before I do this, there a few things that must be explained. Even though the donations link will appear on this blog, you will not be donating to this blog. You will be donating to support the development of the game.
On the 3rd of September, I will be doing the official launching of DwarvesH, under the new name, on IndieDB. I probably won't be able to replace all the graphics by then, but after a few weeks from launch I would like to have a new original tile set, partially procedurally generated. Isometric engines are really a thing of the past. Today, even if the game looks isometric, it is probably still using 3D behind the scenes. I am working hard to create the best truly isometric engine, a swan song of the isometric engines if you will.
On 3rd of October, I would like to release the editor under a public beta. The official site, forum, mod repository and others are on their way.
So you see why I must provide some way to reduce the costs. I know that you can't make a lot of money from donations, and most of the costs will be covered from my pockets, but still.
I could ramble on forever on the subjects, but I think it will be a lot clearer to list a bullet point disclaimer:
- Donations are for supporting the development of the game.
- Donations are not for supporting this blog. This blog will go on for as long as I enjoy writing it and may or may not change content in the future, without donations having any effect on it.
- Donating are purely optional and development is going to continue even if there isn't a single donation. I am not trying to do emotional blackmail here: "Donate now or this puppy will die!". On the other hand, anytime an expense comes up, donations can help a lot.
- Because donations are optional and a way for you to support the development of the game, you are actually not buying any product or service. You are not entitled to anything legally. I had to add this here to avoid any legal issues when somebody misunderstands the donations concept and actually expects to receive a copy of the game.
- Donating does not guarantee me finishing this project. I may abandon it, but consider this: I worked for a year on it and I enjoy what I am doing. Abandoning it is very very unlikely. If an event comes up that makes me abandon this project, this event would be of extreme magnitude and importance. I won't stop working out of some trivial reasons. Such and extreme circumstance that would make me abandon this project is stronger than any donations. Well, not any. Huge sums of money have been known to do a lot of incredible things :).
- Donations are done though PayPal. My account is in Euros, because I am from Europe. Depending on you geographic location, there may be different conversion rates and PayPal taxes. Logging into your PayPal account may give you all this information and more.
I'll just add these few main points. I have a lot of smaller ones that I'll skip and I tried to avoid legal talk.
So if you like what I am doing, would like to support this project, have some spare money, agree with the above bullet points and don't mind that in the far future I will stop accepting donations and go retail (you can't really legally sell retail versions and accept donations at the same time), then please consider donating. Any amount helps!
Edit: button removed!