Patreon


#1

I’m not quite sure whether this should go in “Off Topic” or here, but I figure that this might be relevant to anyone who’s working in Choicescript:

So, there’s this website/service called Patreon, which some other indie developers/writers/artists I know have signed up on. The whole purpose of the site seems to be to allow fans of certain creators to support them by pledging a (usually small) monthly payment in return for some sort of token thank-you reward.

Link: http://www.patreon.com/

In a way, it’s something like the patron system of the days of old, where wealthy merchants and nobles would pay the expenses of artists they particularly liked. Obviously, very few of us in the community know any powerful nobles with their own city-states, but what Patreon does instead is allow a large number of people to act as patron to a single artist, much like what Kickstarter and IndieGoGo doing for single projects.

Ultimately, I have two questions:
First, does anyone have a Patreon account, if so, what kind of experiences have you had with it?

Second question’s a bit more selfish: as someone who’s paying his way through university and life in general on writing and indie game development alone, money is kind of tight for me. The advantage of having another stream of residual income would mean I’d be able to spend more time writing longer stories, with less pressure to publish before my money runs out. If I were to theoretically set up a Patreon account, would anyone be interested in funding me?


#2

That website looks pretty cool. I’m all for it, and I think it’s great to get funding any way you can. But just make sure you’re marketing stuff that’s all your own.

For example, you can’t say “I’m working on a choice of games game which may or may not be published” and offer exclusive access to your betas because that would basically be selling ChoiceScript, which is Dan’s property (pretty sure.)

You could say “I’m an aspiring writer, and I need money to do what I love” but you should probably show the stuff that YOU created and sell, such as original prose or, in your case, indie games that you own all the rights to.

You probably already know this stuff, but I wish you luck! I’m in college too and it sucks not having any money.


#3

@CitizenShawn
Generally, CoG seems pretty hands-off when it comes to betas. That being said, I’ve always been in favour of letting as many people as possible read my interactive fictions as they’re being written, if nothing else, because the vast volume of feedback usually proves immensely helpful.


#4

Right, I mean share your beta with everyone in the world for free, that’s fine. But when you send out special beta links only to people that pay you money…that seems like they might have a problem with it.

So I would say, post all of the links for free on your page, and, if people like them, then they can donate to you, personally, but they won’t get anything Choice-Script related as a gift. They might get, say, written into the game, or maybe some kind of artwork done by you or something, because the game is still your IP.

Just not selling the game itself, you know?


#5

@CitizenShawn
Absolutely, while setting notes, and concept art would be fine, the IF itself can’t be distributed commercially without CoG’s permission.


#6

It seems like a very interesting advance on the traditional routes of kickstarter and/or a donate button.

I don’t have an account and had actually never heard of it.
I’m going to have to agree with @CitizenShawn with concern as to COG’s views on it though. Giving out betas is likely to be fine (I should think), but what the issue might be is that they’re ultimately going to be publishing your work and giving you a cut anyway, so to also be funded by something else… It just seems a bit sly really.
I think you’ll find a lot of “could be” patrons would feel the same way (Why should they fund you when you’re going to get paid anyway?).

If you planned to start handing out your work for free mind you, then I don’t think I’d see a problem with it. I suppose if you were lucky enough to start making copious amounts and it was all CS based, COG might want a cut - but who knows?

I think it’s an interesting concept at any rate, but I think you’ll find it much easier to utilize a donate button or a kickstarter - reoccurring payments are A LOT harder to commit to.

In answer to question 2, nope, sorry but alas I am in the exact same position, as are probably are many others on the forum.


#7

I sponsor a developer on Patreon who builds stuff you can use when making movies in Moviestorm, and it has worked really well so far. But he is making resources that I and other supporters use in making our own movies, which is different than my paying him so he can make his own movies.


#8

I’d fund you if I weren’t flat broke. Alas. :frowning:


#9

I’d consider funding someone who was doing a creative endeavor if that person was learning through the process, donating his or her works, or willing to use the products to help others. I would not fund someone (generally) who is going to turn around and sell the product. They are making money off of it.

It’s unfair if I funded them during the writing process and also have to pay for their product. With kickstarter, if I fund an indie game developer, most rewards are a copy of the game. I figure I am just pre-paying for the game and maybe getting some other perks. They benefit by having funds guaranteed to go and develop that game.

If you were to offer some other, non-product-based reward, I can see someone agreeing to fund you. For example, I see on Patreon some people offering to mentor or teach funders. I’m sure people would consider funding someone who has successfully published multiple games if you agreed to give advice and mentor their projects.