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Author Topic: Donation driven development  (Read 11514 times)

Kornel Kisielewicz

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Donation driven development
« on: April 07, 2009, 02:48 »

As many of you know, I'm working on a full-time job currently, while also running lectures on the University being a PhD student. That leaves pretty little time for any hobbyist activities. Recently though I had a change of heart as for the way my life should look like. Mainly I understood, that I won't be able to pull off my PhD if I maintain a full-time job. I started to pursue alternative options. While I do have some things that I could make a living at while not doing it full time, this is probably not enough.

As many of you probably know Dwarf Fortress (a great "roguelike" indeed!) is totaly donation driven -- up to the point that Tarn ( the author ) uses donations as his only source of income. True, the difference here is the popularity of DF and it's sheer scale of immersiveness, yet I started to wonder if I could at least mimic such a model under a much smaller scale.  A fraction of compared income for, let's say, 2 days of ChaosForge roguelike dedicated full-time development.

However, I have no clue how to pull such a thing off, and I'm sure that I wouldn't be able to do it without the support (in terms of help, not money) of the community. Any suggestions, opinions (also against), or proposals for making it work are at the price of gold for me now.

The future of ChaosForge is in your hands now!

P.S. Also, I'd really want to use this occasion to thank again Zaimoni for being the most dedicated ChaosForge supporter -- you make me ashamed that I don't spend more time on the projects...
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 04:50 »

Dwarf Fortress hasn't been updated for nearly a year now [;

Have you though about becoming a team leader and ordering other people to write some parts of the codes/functions/script?

This way you manage the project from the top, while others write.

And as for donation driving, do you know the lifestyle of the Dwarf Fortress? Does he have a child/wife/debts/car or any other things? Surely, if you live by yourself, 3000 zlotych would be surely enough. That's 1000$? You would need 250 people paying you 4$ a month. Well, right now, I am unemployed, when I get a job I will surely donate DoomRL. But still you would need 249 more people. And only if we are counting you [;

P.S. It is just my... eeee, rant? That's all...
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 05:24 »

Dwarf Fortress hasn't been updated for nearly a year now [;

However, the dev speed is scary : http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/dev_now.html

Have you though about becoming a team leader and ordering other people to write some parts of the codes/functions/script?
This way you manage the project from the top, while others write.
Why not -- however find me people willing to work for free ;).

And as for donation driving, do you know the lifestyle of the Dwarf Fortress? Does he have a child/wife/debts/car or any other things? Surely, if you live by yourself, 3000 zlotych would be surely enough. That's 1000$? You would need 250 people paying you 4$ a month. Well, right now, I am unemployed, when I get a job I will surely donate DoomRL. But still you would need 249 more people. And only if we are counting you [;
I'd rather count it 50 people paying 10$ on average. Dwarf Fortress gets 1500$-5000$/mo range. I also have other sources of income (PhD stipend, and probably'd need a part-time job). 2-3 days of dedicated CF work for 500$/mo avg would save my ass here... and make everyone happy O.o.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 06:52 »

Have you though about becoming a team leader and ordering other people to write some parts of the codes/functions/script?
This way you manage the project from the top, while others write.
Why not -- however find me people willing to work for free ;).
What's DoomRL written in?
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 09:56 »

What's DoomRL written in?
FreePascal unfortunately. DoomRL II if ever written, would be written in C++.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 10:53 »

I'll throw some cash here pretty soon; i figure i owe you and biskup a few bucks each :P side note: Dwarf Fortress is epic, yes, but have you ever checked your system resources while the game is merely 'idling'? My Vista machine, box of rocks though it may be, can barely run the thing; CPU maxed out, 75k memory usage. I haven't tried it on this comp, but i expect similar atrociousness.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 11:05 »

I'll throw some cash here pretty soon; i figure i owe you and biskup a few bucks each :P side note: Dwarf Fortress is epic, yes, but have you ever checked your system resources while the game is merely 'idling'? My Vista machine, box of rocks though it may be, can barely run the thing; CPU maxed out, 75k memory usage. I haven't tried it on this comp, but i expect similar atrociousness.
Well, I'm happy that I'm not the only one who has that. I thought it was some kind of error that only my computer had, which made DF a big useless resource user.
But it's still a nice game; Except maybe for the fact that I'm not really the realtime RTS type, I prefer the turn based tactical shooter actually (Hint hint, DoomRL ^^)

Oh and I'd really like to give you a donation, Kornel, but I'm afraid I'm not old and competent enough for that... Maybe in within 2 years or so? ;)
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2009, 14:45 »

Take 0.9.9 hostage, and only release it if you receive some inordinate sum of money.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2009, 16:16 »

I'll throw some cash here pretty soon; i figure i owe you and biskup a few bucks each

I was all for donating to Biskup, until I discovered that he sorta ... fell off the face of the planet and never released the code for ADOM. He said, years ago, he'd release it when it was done.
...
Yeaaah.

Though, on this topic's, well, topic: I was thinking of donating again after the next release came out for real. As I'll probably have another dose of Financial Aid by that point. <_<
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2009, 02:57 »

Dwarf Fortress is epic, yes, but have you ever checked your system resources while the game is merely 'idling'? My Vista machine, box of rocks though it may be, can barely run the thing; CPU maxed out, 75k memory usage. I haven't tried it on this comp, but i expect similar atrociousness.
Considering the amount of magic it does behind the scenes, I'm not surprised :>.

Take 0.9.9 hostage, and only release it if you receive some inordinate sum of money.
Surprisingly this is one of the most effective donation-driven development methodologies. I was however thinking of something less drastic, like targets per feature.





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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2009, 08:19 »

Have you though about becoming a team leader and ordering other people to write some parts of the codes/functions/script?
This way you manage the project from the top, while others write.
Why not -- however find me people willing to work for free ;).

If DoomRL will be in C or C++... or in VHDL I can write some of the stuff [;

Seriously, this would be very good, you coordinate the whole projects, every is trying to polish his/her part.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2009, 08:26 »

That's why the new framework is written in C++...
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2009, 08:41 »

C++ I can help with, I can navigate it well enough not to end up in Beijing by mistake.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2009, 10:11 »

I am a professional software developer and I wouldn't mind helping out with finishing up DoomRL. I haven't done Pascal since I used Delphi around 1997, but it really is a pretty straight-forward language. And really most languages are relatively similar. I have done C, C++, Delphi, Powerbuilder, VB, ASP, Java, and now I work in C#. Moving from one language to another or back to an old one is not that big of a deal.

Of course most of us have full-time jobs or school or both, but if a few people each dedicate some spare time that is better than one person having to do all the work. Especially with how many projects you have going.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2009, 10:47 »

Of course most of us have full-time jobs or school or both, but if a few people each dedicate some spare time that is better than one person having to do all the work. Especially with how many projects you have going.

And I sign what you have just written with my both hands.
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2009, 16:06 »

This is really something for me to think about then... especially that it would be a direct motivation for me too!
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2009, 21:18 »

I'll donate again once I have money rolling in (c'mon tax rebate check).

In the meantime, I have two terms of C++ programming under my belt, a couple years of lua scripting, and some years of BASIC back in early high school developing my own text based adventures. Would love to help out depending on the deadlines given to your coders. I basically know enough to not get lost, and with some brushing up could be decent. Plus I'm unemployed at the moment, so that gives me a bit more free time than others might have.

EDIT: Let me correct that. I have one term taken twice because I'm horrible at writing essays. Stupid frigging essays, would've aced all my courses if it weren't for those.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 21:20 by GenTechJ »
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2009, 01:28 »

Essays in ... C++?
... how in the what is this I don't even HUH?!
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2009, 09:14 »

Essays in college. Fun times. Had to write an essay on the difference between user interface compiling and command line compiling for the mid term.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2009, 16:52 »

That's... pretty weird. o_o
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Thomas

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2009, 23:33 »

Hey guys ignore the fact that I haven't been on in ages

I'd pay whatever to get DoomRL back in semi-regular development. I'm still designing my DoomRL wad for when 0.9.9 finally comes out!
No really, I've got everything planned out in a huge nerdy excel spreadsheet. And it's gonna be EVEN BETTER than DoomRL! You'll see! Oh yes you will!
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2009, 21:09 »

Again, at best I can not end up in Beijing by mistake, but I am learning C++ at the moment. I'm not sure what else I can donate aside from time...
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2009, 03:52 »

One thing that I was thinking in terms of donations was to create some more visible rewards for donating -- for example a list of bountied features, that would be implemented once the given amount of donations would be gathered -- this way one would exactly know what the money went for. Or even give a choice to donate (for example) specifically to a given game (say 50$ to DiabloRL would drastically improve the amount of work done on it). Or 30$ towards DoomRL modding interface...

As for coding help :

there are several things that I'd like to have done even outside of the DoomRL source. A web-based scoreboard is one thing -- a full forum techincal administrator would be another...
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2009, 04:43 »

* Thomas scrounges up $30.
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2009, 05:58 »

Thomas, better start a donation campaign ;)
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2009, 22:49 »

I think a graphics tileset would drastically raise the profile of the DoomRL project and consequently, yourself and your other projects.  Otherwise, you're limiting yourself to your current fanbase (the relatively few members of this forum).  IMO, that should be your first priority - getting out a graphical version to expand your reach to new players who may otherwise overlook the title.  I can't think of any other new feature that would get new fans on board.  From there you can monetize the game however you please.

And you've had me ready to help for like... 3 or so years now?  You're wasting a free resource, Kornel.

This is, of course, a biased opinion, but I also believe it's a truthful one. ;)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 15:32 by Derek »
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2009, 02:43 »

I think a graphics tileset would drastically raise the profile of the DoomRL project and consequently, yourself and your other projects.   Otherwise, I think you're limiting yourself to your current fanbase (the relatively few members of this forum).  IMO, I think that should be your first priority - getting out a graphical version to expand your reach to new players who may otherwise overlook the title.  I can't think of any other new feature that would get new fans on board.  From there you can monetize the game however you please.

I can't argue with that. Yet the problem is that with my current free time (considering the full-time job and PhD studies) I have much problems in visualising a sane plan of setting this into motion. Also, I think I reached the limits of what can be easily done with FreePascal. I will however shift the graphical version up in the priority list -- as the major feature of 0.9.9.
Some work will still have to be done towards the 0.9.8.11 version however ( due to the fact that I changed the gameplay somewhat ). Still, I'm anxious about release dates...

And you've had me on board ready to help for like... 3 or so years now?  You're wasting a free resource, Kornel.
Sometimes I really wonder why didn't you get mad at me for that :). Thanks, Derek, I really owe you.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2009, 15:39 »

Even if the graphics were crudely implemented to begin with (hint: just hack something out in your spare time), you should see a big increase in the number of followers!
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2009, 14:04 »

I think a graphics tileset would drastically raise the profile of the DoomRL project and consequently, yourself and your other projects.

Seconded.  I can immediately name a number of folks that would love DoomRL, but that will never play it without a graphical interface.  I would gladly donate my time or money if I knew it would contribute towards a version of DoomRL with a graphical tileset.

If you don't mind taking the time to explain, I'm curious what the technical issues are with graphics and FreePascal. Isn't there an SDL interface for Pascal?

Even if the graphics were crudely implemented to begin with (hint: just hack something out in your spare time), you should see a big increase in the number of followers!

Although it doesn't have to be, I think the bar is quite low for graphics in roguelike games.  For what it's worth, folks were so excited when Crawl Stone Soup added health bars on monsters.  It's not like this was either revolutionary or a very large feature, but players were clearly starving for interface niceties of any kind.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2009, 08:21 »

Seconded.  I can immediately name a number of folks that would love DoomRL, but that will never play it without a graphical interface.  I would gladly donate my time or money if I knew it would contribute towards a version of DoomRL with a graphical tileset.
GraphicalDoomRL.Priority++;

If you don't mind taking the time to explain, I'm curious what the technical issues are with graphics and FreePascal. Isn't there an SDL interface for Pascal?
There is. I don't know if you've seen the graphical version of Berserk!, but it's basically what it would look like. The major problem here is the fact that DoomRL ( contrary to Berserk! ) was never written with anything else than ASCII in mind, so ASCII gylphs are scattered all over the codebase. Some serious refactoring is needed.
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2009, 02:55 »

Even if the graphics were crudely implemented to begin with (hint: just hack something out in your spare time), you should see a big increase in the number of followers!

Thirded, and isn't there that beautiful graphic set over in the graphics thread.  That would look so cool. 

DoomRL has REAL atmosphere with the sounds and ASCII representation.  It feels great and plays very well.  I think if new people saw the graphics it would tempt them into trying the game out and the game play would make them come back for more.  You could have some really nice screenshots over at TIGSource for example. 

IMHO, I think I would write an engine that could work with the graphics.  Forget making all the levels, just have one level to start with, cram in a random bunch of bad guys and release that. 

1) Tell your chosen indie site that you are going for graphics and get them a screenshot of the tileset. 

2) A week or so later, release your one level design so now there is a screenshot of the graphics in action. 

3) Work on implementing more of the game, a DoomRL Lite with some levels and a sense of progression, release that. 

4) Release the game in it's entirety.  This gradual progression will keep you in the public eye for a few weeks, should interest a lot of people. 

Having said all that...
Good luck with the PhD, to be honest, I want to hear that is going well rather than this tileset idea. 

Edit: PhD, not PHD.  I'm such an uncultured swine. 
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009, 02:57 by torch »
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2009, 02:36 »

1) Tell your chosen indie site that you are going for graphics and get them a screenshot of the tileset. 

2) A week or so later, release your one level design so now there is a screenshot of the graphics in action. 

3) Work on implementing more of the game, a DoomRL Lite with some levels and a sense of progression, release that. 

4) Release the game in it's entirety.  This gradual progression will keep you in the public eye for a few weeks, should interest a lot of people. 
Basically what you're suggesting is DoomRL2, written from scratch, right? :)
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2009, 03:06 »

Basically what you're suggesting is DoomRL2, written from scratch, right? :)

Coding doesn't take more than an hour or two, right? =D
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2009, 03:15 »

Coding doesn't take more than an hour or two, right? =D

I need libNeko for that, and that's where you can help ;-).
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2009, 07:56 »

Basically what you're suggesting is DoomRL2, written from scratch, right? :)

Would you?  That would be great.  :D

Argh!  I misunderstood a previous post, I forgot Berserk! had graphics and that was Free Pascal as well.  I mistakenly thought you would be looking at having to port all the Free Pascal code into a new language that handled the graphics better. 

Coding doesn't take more than an hour or two, right? =D

I have no answer to that other than I know better... 
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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2009, 16:11 »

I haven't taken the time to read through the entire thread, as I'm pretty busy right now, but-

Years, literally, of playing DoomRL and of lurking in this site have made me morally obligated, not to mention wholly interested, to contribute in whatever way I can.
I haven't forgotten promising a couple years back that I'd donate - I simply haven't been able to yet.
I have my own financial problems to deal with :)
However, I hope I'll be able to fulfill that promise soon, but at the very worst it'll take longer.

DoomRL is, without a doubt, one of my favorite computer games.
I have every interest that it'll be kept alive :)
Naturally, this goes with an enormous "Thank You" to Kornel for having developed it and for having kept it free all these years.

Dervis

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2009, 03:43 »

Hi... First of all congratz on a really fun game Kornel.

I'm on the give graphics to DoomRL lobby, so make it a priority ++++ :P.
Anyway, i'm not currently in a financial position for donations but i'm not embarrased of my Photoshop skills so... if you ever need a graphics tileset i should be able to provide one np.
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Donation driven development
« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2009, 04:30 »

As far as graphical needs go, I'd need square logos for all the projects, in 4 sizes each ( 140x140, 100x100, 64x64 and 32x32 ). Of course a single logo downsized would suffice (especially if the original was vector-bases)...

( all the projects refer to DoomRL/DiabloRL/Berserk!/AliensRL/FPCValkyrie/Neko, with a special hunch on DiabloRL, FPCValkyrie and Neko )

Anyone willing to help?
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Kornel Kisielewicz
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