Questions About Patreon Use

To split topics:

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I would agree when it comes to a Kickstarter, but Patreon is more of a gray area. Because if people donate to you on Patreon, they aren’t doing it directly in exchange for access if the game is released for free, they’re doing it to support you as an artist. That said, I can understand why some would be leery of this. :thinking:

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I know this is off-topic but to quickly address this: It is my understanding that you can utilize Patreon for your property but that it must not have Choice Script involved.

I wrote a short story involving a main NPC character for a patreon project. The short story involves the property in question but it has no choice script coding in it and does not involve Choice of Games.

I know other authors draw art or make comics or provide supplemental info about the story-arcs in their games.

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Oh! Okay, I get it now. So basically, Eric Moser’s patreon is okay because his rewards for his patreons are art work and short stories, rather than anything he made in choicescript. Makes sense. :blush:

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So presumably, offering early access to any games made in choicescript wouldn’t be allowed… Damn! I was thinking of doing that. :yum:

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Has CoG staff ever commented on Patreon publicly? I know of a handful of CS authors who have patreon pages, and that at least one of them has some WIP access through Patreon, which it sounds like might fall into a bit of a grey area

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Actually, I thought you could. Last I checked, the authors for Diaspora said that the patrons will get early access to chapters whilst the public one gets updated a chapter later (they recently just started this). I’m noticed that other developers allow early access for new chapters/updates to their games (not Choice script) if you are higher paying tier member.

Edit: Sorry to do this, but perhaps @AugustArria and @Kurokiku might be able to elaborate.

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I personally would not but I do think a few authors may have began early access tiers on their Patreon, which definitely puts it into a grey area as @GreekWinter says above.

Only privately to my knowledge. The info I got about using patreon is what I recorded above and if I were those authors, I would not use Choice Script in any tier that was not free. Some Patreon levels or tiers are free, so you might be able to use CS there… but why get into a grey area if you don’t need to.

There are plenty of creative ways to use the platform without worrying about legalities.

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Oh, okay… Well then now I’m not quite sure whether it’s allowed or not… Does this mean that it is allowed, or could it just be that the staff don’t know about it, and haven’t asked the people in question to take the “early access tiers” down?

I don’t think it’s a bad thing per se. If say, you are paying more, getting earlier access to a update seems like a fair trade, especially if that tier allows you to give suggestions, take part in polls,etc… which is for the development of the game, as oppose to paying less, where you still access said update but at a later time, since you’re not ‘overly’ as invested in its development (you are supporting it, just not assisting its development per se). That’s my opinion/experience on the other developers anyways.

I don’t think you are forbidden ? It might be frown upon, but I wouldn’t know for sure, as I don’t do paetron due to financial reasons.

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This is what I believe but I can not speak for Staff … @Cataphrak has been using Patreon for a long while now and his Patreon is what I personally would model mine after.

Use of the Choice Script code for profit without paying Choice of Games is what the crux of the matter is.

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Ah, I understand now, my bad. The whole early access tiers is alright otherwise though, just not for this particular scenario.

Also, @Avery_Moore, @Cataphrak’s is the perfect example of using the tier system and early access, along with the voting/suggestion thing, as @Eiwynn said.

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I think the issue is more that, you’re getting money in exchange for something made in choicescript, which is against the rules. You can’t sell stuff you make in choicescript. Only CoG and HG are allowed to do so, because it belongs to them.

Obviously, early access could be seen differently, since the finished product would presumably by published by CoG or HG.

Also, I’m guessing that saying, “Patreons will get a free copy of the game when it is finished” would be acceptable if say, the person who owned the patreon bought the games on Steam and sent them to their patreons, because the games are still being bought from CoG or HG.

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if this was initiated by Choice of Games but not the author (as is done with copies on this site).

Paying to support an author in exchange for a copy of a game that the author agreed that Choice of Games was to publish and distribute is not allowed, I’d think. The author’s contract would be the final document governing the details.

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Oh… Well, you learn new things every day. :yum:

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I use Patreon to support my game development.

I mostly offer short stories and my development experience. I’m not selling access to my games since CoG is my distributor.

I do have a testing tier. I use it for short term focused testing. When I get the feedback I need, I remove it. All of my testers own my games already. I can’t imagine they would pay premium for a partial game.

If someone wanted to make a game and self-publish through Kickstarter or Patreon, they would likely do better using Twine or other software. If you use Choicescript you still need to pay the license.

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http://twinery.org/

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Hello! I’m one of the WIP authors on here who uses Patreon! Perhaps if I share my own personal experience with having a Patreon, I can clear some things up for anyone who’s curious!


Before I made my Patreon, I checked in with @jasonstevanhill about whether what I was planning to do or not was okay. Let me go dig that conversation up.



How I have my Patreon set up is that Patrons of a certain Tier get access to what I call the “Alpha Preview” version of the game — the version of the game that includes much of, if not all, the same content of the version I give to my alpha testers. They’re able to see new scenes as they’re added instead of waiting for the public chapter-based update.

Everything in the Alpha Preview Version will eventually become publicly available to everyone, so they’re not paying for this content. Additionally, supporting me on Patreon is not the only way to get early access to this content — becoming one of my alpha testers is another route, and one does not have to be a Patron to be a tester.

While I’m fairly certain most of my Patrons support me for access to this Alpha Preview version, I do offer other perks, such as a monthly Q&A where nothing is off-limits and I answer spoilerly questions, as well early or even exclusive access to supplemental content (such as the name generator and naming guide, as well as art/speedpaint of a romance option).

I also personally have my Patreon set up so my Patrons are only ever charged when I create this supplemental content. This is to keep them from paying just for access to the Alpha Preview version — something which I would feel weird about — and it also means they only pay when I make good on my promise to create content for them.


All in all, I’ve found Patreon to be a very rewarding experience as an author.

The support I receive from my Patrons — both financial and otherwise — is incredible and utterly invaluable. I am now able to get more feedback on my game on a scene-to-scene basis, which really helps motivate me, and I am better able to handle IRL issues because of the funds I get from Patrons.

Patreon has been incredibly rewarding for me, and I’m very grateful to Jason for allowing authors to use this platform to support themselves. I strongly encourage anyone considering Patreon to take the plunge and make one.

You can always check in with staff if you’re unsure whether how you’re planning to utilize Patreon breaks any rules or not.

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Thank you @Fawkes and @JimD for your real-time examples.

Both of you are inspirations for others.

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Hi, I’m reviving this topic because I’m considering making a Patreon and I was informed, like others in this topic, that there might be legality issues with what we’re allowed to offer.

If we’re allowed to offer alpha versions of the scenes that will be released to the public, would we be able to offer smaller previews as well if they too would eventually become public? Like, I take a screenshot of a small interaction and only people who donate $X can see it?

I’m also curious if offering contributor credit in the final release is acceptable. I feel like that’s not allowed but it never hurts to be certain.