Anyone else on Patreon?

In an attempt to improve my work-life-hobby balance, I’m trying to pull out of a six+ month productivity/negativity death spiral. It seems sometimes like life keeps whacking me in the back of the knees just as soon as I stand up again. Between raising two kids and taking care of a wife battling brain cancer (and who seems to find new spectacular ways to injure herself every month or two), it leaves very little time to maintain anything else. Wherever I can, I’m trying to take some positive steps to fix my local environment and take care of myself a bit better.

Anyway, as part of an experiment, I’ve created a Patreon page for anyone who’d like to kick a few positive vibes my way in the form of cash.

With Mythruna, I’ve found that the random player donation I get can really recharge the batteries and I’m trying to see if it will do the same for my open source projects. It’s too easy to feel isolated when you throw your stuff out there for people to use… especially if it’s the case that it’s working well and no one has any issues to report. (Catch 22)

Even opening the page has already had some positive effects since I’m now motivated to organize the various sites and throw some documentation up somewhere. So I’m hopeful that this is the right path for my mental well-being. I do admit to feeling a little weird about posting here.

In the interesting of not making this sound completely like a money-grubbing post, I started to wonder if anyone else here has setup a Patreon (or similar) account. There are many who contribute here positively and I’m sure many of us wouldn’t mind throwing some money in those hats.

Even though none of us is doing this for the money (and perhaps because none of us is doing it for the money), a pledge here and there really gets the motivational juices flowing.

So, does anyone else have a patreon profile? If so then post it here maybe.


I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s illness, I hope she can pull through. I don’t use Patreon myself but I’m glad you found something to keep your morale up. I also had some episodes of motivation crisis, but getting to know that my work is appreciated by at least someone always got me back sooner or later. It’s important to never loose hope no matter how bad the situation is, since as they say, the night is darkest just before the dawn.

I just want to state, and I think I’m speaking for everyone here, that your work really is highly appreciated. There are so many different projects that you created and you are omnipresent in the forum helping everyone. Seriously, this is great. I hope everything will work out for you eventually.


Why don’t you open a kickstarter for mythruna or other projects?I bet they’ll get funded in no time.

Mythruna already has its own donation infrastructure. People who suggest things like this often don’t realize that kickstarter is an ‘all or nothing’ thing. You have to pick some amount and if people don’t pledge that much then you don’t get any of the money.

Can you think of a single amount that would cover “all of my no-day-job development for the foreseeable future?” I can’t… and it certainly wouldn’t get funded. :wink: For Mythuna, I’ve done the math and I’d have to get it funded at about $2 million. That would cover myself and a team of devs for some period of time. See, it’s a snowball: you ask for money, people expect results. Ergo, your life has to be reorganized to meet those expectations. That takes more money. which increases the expected results… repeat until you have a fully funded team and can afford to quit your day job. Else, if I’m only working on it in my free time, then an on the fly donation model is better as donations come in as updates go out and people believe in what is happening. Like right now Mythruna donations are ~0 because Mythruna updates are 0.

What Patreon is is different. It’s the equivalent of buying someone a beer because they helped you with some question, or taking someone out to dinner if they helped you move your apartment, etc… It’s not about my financial needs. It’s about doing something nice for someone that is more tangible than a facebook thumbs up icon.

“Your SimArboral/Zay-ES/Lemur/etc. library really helped me out a lot so I brought you a bag of donuts.” Like that.

Yo Paul,

Yeah, I’m on Patreon and as obscure as I can make myself… mainly because I want to make cool stuff, and then legitimately pump for donations. “Hint: I am purposely creating something no one is searching for. lol”

This account is only for the videos that I’m doing for “How-to” stuff in game development… and that’s about it… the videos will happen anyway when I find/make cool stuff.

And yes, it is pretty much an experiment for me, as well.

Game On,


And even with that, you would have no guarrantee to cover your development costs! Videogame-making is incredibly expensive and competitive, expecially if you aren’t sitting on a well-established brand… :frowning:

Well, I think people expect what you promise. If your campaign is pitched with “AAA graphics, sound, actors and whatever” you are putting yourself in a troublesome position.

If your campaing is pitched with “I’ll leave my main job and devote full time to Mythruna and JME” then your budget is lowered by an order of magnitue (no need to mantain a team full time). But again, what if the Mythruna doens’t sell (see my point above)? :frowning:

If I were you, I would do what I did with my game: setup a kickstarter with the lowest funding goal possible and promise results which can be reasonably reached within this low budget.

A failed kickstarter == no kickstarter.

I didn’t really want to get into this here but here’s how it breaks down.

To quit my job and work on Mythruna full time, I’d need to raise about $300,000… people are then extremely unlikely for my single-man team to take two years to complete it. One guy can’t even get $25k these days.

Run the n-dimensional, multi-bodies problem on that and you eventually settle on somewhere around 8-10 months to alpha, 2 artists, 4 developers, a writer, and various other incidentals needed to run a company that size. ~$2 million to cover that and not run out of cash immediately at the alpha date.

I don’t even know what the “lowest funding goal possible” would be these days. Time is way harder to come by than money for me. So short of magically curing all of my wife’s ills or being able to quit my job, a big chunk of money doesn’t really make Mythruna get developed faster.

In the mean time, players who believe in the game can already contribute (and do… some a LOT all things considered)… which is at least enough to cover my server costs and some of my expenses. Simsilica takes a loss every year so far but it’s not a huge one.

As to Patreon, I’m really liking the “buy someone lunch” metaphor. If we were all working at some local co-op that kind of thing would happen all the time. In the virtual environment, we have Patreon and similar to virtually “buy someone a beer” or send their family a fruit basket… whatever metaphor works for you.


In what world do you get a >$300,000/year salary as a software developer?

You must take risks into account. It’s not like “I develop game for a year and if it doesn’t work out I’ll go back to my old desk”. Your old desk will probably be occupied by somebody else and you must search a new job, and you might stay unemployed for a long time. Factor in that time works against you (a year spent making a failed game might not sound good on a curriculum vitae).

But you can hire the artists and a writer. It is true, however, that hiring people and managing them is time consuming…

1 Like

(reading for comprehension)

This is why these conversations on the internet are fun, though, as you always get to chat with people who have no idea what it costs to actually pay people. (In the U.S., depending on area, you actually cost 1.4x (at minimum) of whatever they are paying you. This might have gone up in the last decade.) For contractor rates, the multiplier should be 2x.

It’s even more fun when you get to chat with people around the U.S. where a living wage varies greatly depending on where you live.

…and that’s exactly how we eventually arrive at the $2 million number.

For a quick quess we calculate 2x here. I would not even think about starting writing a full game for 300k when i have to hire only 1 person full time.

If you organize the shipping i would surely send you a pile a fresh of apples directly from the tree

Heheh… it was a metaphor. The offer is nice, though. I’m sure my son would have loved fresh apples since he eats them all the time. (I don’t really do apples anymore, just a daily banana.)

I used flattr for my maven plugins and few other project. But I would give a try to something else for xbuf and my jme related stuff. Any advices to choose between patreon, bountysource, tipee,… (anyways I’ll check fees, availability from French) ?

Paul, all the best to you and your family.

Public question: We all work on some project because it is our passion. Some of these projects are small, others have grown over the years (like mine). Is there any chance that you can make money with open source / free / on donation based software? At least enough to keep your project alive?
This is a rarely discussed topic and I would love to hear your opinions.

I don’t know what the french fees are for donations, but I do know that a paypal account can be set up for a donation type situation … all that is needed is a tip jar type image, and you just attach the link in html. (It’s provided by paypal)

The person donating fills out however much they want to donate (one shot) and there is a spot that they can fill in for their reason or just to say “good work, go grab a beer with this or something”.

I like it for the tip jar concept. Patreon is great for the recurring subscription type situation, and though I believe that they have the one-shot option… er… I’m not sure.

That said…a tip jar link is blocked for this forum… so you would need to have the link on your own website or something for them to click on. ← am I remembering correctly @erlend_sh?

Game On,

What do you mean by “blocked”? You mean the prospect of having something like a visible “tip jar widget” shown on your profile or something?

Yeah, I think that’s it. I remember trying to do the < a > < IMG > < / a > for a “tip jar” on my profile at one time but that and even a regular link got mangled in the resolving process. I weirded out for a bit and then went “meh, oh well, I got stuff to program. It’s probably a Wordpress thang”, kinda like the same weirding out I got when I found out that a “non-member/not signed in” viewer of the site cannot view our videos that we post… they just don’t show up. I figure it is Wordpressed.