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Post by scrawl » 10 Nov 2014, 11:19

I know crowdfunding has been discussed before and basically rejected, but the reason I am bringing it up again is a long story.

You may have noticed my OpenMW-related activity has dwindled slowly over the past weeks. Well, there comes a time in any person's life where they need to get a job, or engage in other capitalist-related activities. Apparently that time has come for me now.

I've been setting up my own freelance business. The long-term goal is that I can take on the minimum amount of clients I need to be able to live comfortably, and spend the rest of my time working on OpenMW. Sounds naive? That's because it is. It may be years until I get there, or never happen. Who knows. I need to build a solid client base and decent backup reserves before I have the guts to turn down offers like that.

So that's what I've been working on, and it's taking up the majority of my free time. On the OpenMW side, I'm now barely keeping up with triaging/fixing bugs and reviewing pull requests. There is so much more I want to do and so little time to do it. This is kinda sad, we are very close to OpenMW 1.0, yet at the current rate it may still take years to get there. On the optimization front, the Ogre 2.0 port is still in a completed draft state, but I did not get around to starting an implementation.

This is why I did set up a donation button on my blog. Just a little bit would go a long way. I live pretty cheap, if $500 were to be raised, this would buy me a month of working on OpenMW full-time. I recall there have been concerns in the past regarding donations for OpenMW, so I set it up as a personal "buy me a pizza" type thing, with no promises attached. Unfortunately, this has not generated enough (read: 0) interest. Not very surprising, as I do realize most people want a clear picture on how the money would be used.

So this is why I'm bringing up the crowdfunding topic. Many people have expressed their intent to donate to OpenMW, and I see it mentioned again on IRC and Reddit every now and then. Given my personal situation, I'm asking whether we could reevaluate the legal concerns regarding donations. I also found it interesting that the guys over at OpenRA, another FOSS engine reimplementation project, apparently have no issues with crowdfunding.

If the answer is still "no" and stays that way, then, as much as I hate to say it, my best bet might be to fork the OpenMW project, take the full legal responsibility and attempt the crowdfunding myself.
Last edited by scrawl on 23 Jan 2015, 16:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Crowdfunding (again)

Post by Sslaxx » 10 Nov 2014, 12:17

Using a crowdfunder for OpenMW development (even indirecty) may be problematic with regards to Bethesda. They were (very) surprisingly open to compromise over Android; they may not be with this. The only way to get a definitive answer to this question is to ask them (via Matt).
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Re: Crowdfunding (again)

Post by scrawl » 10 Nov 2014, 12:58

Simply asking them would be a good idea, I agree. It's interesting that no one has done that so far. Whether or not we have to respect their answer would be a different question. If the Android incident demonstrated anything, then it's that even though BS clearly didn't approve it, they realized they had no power over open source and were unable to do anything, other than politely asking us to keep quiet about it.
Last edited by scrawl on 10 Nov 2014, 13:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Crowdfunding (again)

Post by ElderTroll » 10 Nov 2014, 13:01

Hey Scrawl,

As you are one of the main developers I think you have the right to choose your own path. I think having a full time developer on the project would be amazing. How much time do you spend coding Openmw per week currently? I'd donate a hundred bucks to you. I really want to see and support a future with Tamriel Rebuilt running inside OpenMW.

As a sign of good will, why not have a button on the launcher that directs users to steam, amazon, or wherever else you can still legally purchase a game copy? That would lead to a small increase in sales of the game for Bethesda.

Can someone direct me to examples of game engine reimplementations that were shut down by the copyright holders?
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Re: Crowdfunding (again)

Post by lysol » 10 Nov 2014, 13:04

Just reading this thread makes me interested in donating to you, at least like twenty dollars or something. I'm not interested in any perks, I just want this project to go on. Legal wise, maybe it would be better to have a "scrawl programming things" (read openmw) donation rather than a openmw donation. I don't know.
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Re: Crowdfunding (again)

Post by dEnigma » 10 Nov 2014, 13:29

I would be willing to donate a small amount of money towards your programming endeavours, and also towards zini's, if he would accept money (or even need it, I don't know about his circumstances) and to any other serious OpenMW contributor.

update: In fact, I just donated a small amount via the link on your blog. (it's not much, but being a poor student I can't afford much more at the moment, I might get a serious job again soon, so maybe there will be more ;))
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Re: Crowdfunding (again)

Post by Zini » 10 Nov 2014, 16:38

I still dislike the idea of crowdfunding for OpenMW very much for reasons already detailed. But we might consider a compromise. Donations for individual developers might be okay, if run on their own sites. And I would be kinda okay with promoting that on the official OpenMW site. Depends on the wording. Something like "FAQ: Does OpenMW accept donations? Answer: No, but one or more individual developers who work on OpenMW do. Here are the links ...". We would have to work out the details for that.

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Re: Crowdfunding (again)

Post by K0kt409P » 10 Nov 2014, 17:25

I think it's a great idea to reevaluate this project's stance on crowdfunding. As a non-programmer, I would personally welcome another way to contribute to OpenMW beside bugtesting. Scrawl, I think many people who might be interested in donating to you were unaware of the donation button. Now that I know it's there, I sent you some pizza money.

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Re: Crowdfunding (again)

Post by MithrilLeaf » 10 Nov 2014, 18:50

It might be a workable idea to have a donation drive that centers around OpenMW developers with the total donated to the legally not OpenMW group of developers visible in some place that is commonly used and can be directed to from this site.

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Re: Crowdfunding (again)

Post by psi29a » 10 Nov 2014, 21:59

There are also things like this:

OpenAge uses this.

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