Our plans with Patreon & the future of Weight Gaming


#1

Banner%20Patron

Intoduction

Good day everyone! Since the site has been up for about a week I figured it would be good to put up a little post detailing what our future plans for the site are, and why we need your support to keep improving Weight Gaming.

Patreon

First thing first, we set up a Patreon! We did this so we could raise funds to help run and expand Weight Gaming. By using Patreon as our income source we will not need to run ads on the site to fund our operating costs, and it makes the site less reliant on a single person’s income.

Not only will this money help us with operating the site, but it will be used for improvements as well. For example we are already close to our $50 goal which will allow us to set up an automatic offsite backup system. This system will allow us to store weekly backups on a remote server, and help us guard against data loss like we experienced when we lost the old site.

But, if you think the money we raise through Patreon will only be for running and expanding the site; well we have news for you! Any extra money we get through Patreon that we do not use on expenses we want to give back to the community! Right now we have two ways planned for doing this:

  1. Dev Grants
  2. Cash Prizes for Game Jams
  3. Offer services like project management servers and issues trackers for free to devs

The idea is that through these methods we can help encourage more people to try to produce fat and expansion themed games, and help support the development of these games both financially as well as technically.

The fact we can give back to the community in this way really excites us, but to do it in any meaningful way requires more funds then we can produce ourselves. So we really require the community’s support here. So if you want to see the site really reach its full potential, or just want to see more games with fatties in them we would urge you to consider supporting us. Anything that you can spare helps us to not only make the site better for everyone, but allows us to better serve the community.

The Future of Weight Gaming

So now that we are done talking about Patreon, lets talk about our plans for the site. This wont be a full comprehensive list of what we have planned, but it should give you a good idea of what we have planned. We have a bunch of changes planned that with time frames that span between 1 to 24 months.

So first lets talk about some of our short term goals. These are goals that we want to have done in the next 1-3 months. We have finished most of them as most where related with getting the site back up. Right now though we have to major short term goals we are looking at achieving.

  1. Getting an automated back up system for the site up and running. This is dependent on our funding through Patreon though as we need at least $50 a month to cover the costs.
  2. Adding an additional moderator to our team. We will be looking for another moderator preferably some where in Europe or Asia to help expand our moderation coverage. This is due to all 3 of us not being available around the same times.

For mid term goal (goals we hope to have done between the next 4-8 months) we want to start trying to do more community related things. We want to begin organizing some Game Jams, hopefully with some cash prizes, and we have plans to start up a tutorial video series on topics from sprites to project management that the community can contribute to.

The biggest mid term goal we want to focus on is setting up dev grants. We have actually already started to take steps to implementing these “grants” with Cakehoarder’s Juni’s Appetite. As a few of you may know from her post on DA she needed some money to help get her car fixed. This would have delayed the development of the game as she would have had to taken commissions to raise the funds for repairs. We here at Weight Gaming wanted to help out so we contacted Cakehoarder and offered her what funds we could spare to assist her. We hope that we can assist more developers in the future in this way, but as stated above this is really dependent on how much money we are able to get through our Patreon.

Finally, lets wrap this up by talking about our long term goal for Weight Gaming (goals we want to achieve in 12-24 months)! Ultimately, our goal is to set up Weight Gaming as a store front that can be used to not only distribute expansion related games, but to allow devs to sell their games. We feel that allowing this will help encourage not only more games with expansion related content, but encourage higher quality as well. Games can still be distributed through the site for free, but for devs that might be looking to make some extra cash or even earn a living from their games, this will allow them an easy way to sell their games!

While some of our goals may sound ambitious, I know that with the support of this great community they are achievable!


#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

The automated backup seems expensive. Have you considered using Amanda (open source and free) and cloud storage (sticking 200GB on Amazon S3 is roughly $5/mo)?

I’m also curious about how you intend to operate the dev grant thing. Some more transparency would be welcome.


#7

Using the Amazon S3 service combined with their Glacier service for archiving is actually our plan. We know that this service is really cheap so the $50 a month for it may not seem justified so let me break down how we came up with this goal.

  1. It’s not $50 a month, it’s actually $30 a month for the backups. The $50 goal is cumulative so the first $20/month is for basic operating costs and the next $30/month is for the back up infrastructure.
  2. Our worst case estimates show that ~50% of that $30 will go towards fees and taxes meaning we are budgeting to only receive a net of ~$15/month for the back up infrastructure.
  3. We are budgeting for about 500GB of space. This may seem like over kill just for our little forum, but is taking into account keeping historical backups along with backing up other services we might add and backing up the store front once we go live. While this is a ways off (12 to 24 months) we would rather plan for it now then have to adjust to goals and beg for more money later.
  4. The goal includes a small amount of “buffer” to help us keep the back ups running for a few months if we ever dip below $50/month so we don’t have to worry about disabling and reenabling the back up system all the time.
  5. Amazon S3 and Glacier also charge for transferring the data. So this cost was also roughly factored into the final cost along with additional buffer to account for unforeseen fees.

So in short we estimated our worse case scenario in terms of costs, while also future proofing the system some so we don’t have to move the goal posts as much. Since we know this is a pay as you use system, and most months will never hit this scenario we planned on funneling the excess funds back into the community. That is where the ideas of the dev grants, and game jam reward came from.

If you are really interested in how we use these funds we plan on releasing monthly income statements on the forum.

While this idea is still not fully developed, mainly because offering game jam rewards is a better use of our limited income at the moment, this is what we have so far.

There will be two ways one can get dev grants. The first is we personally approach a developer that expressed need.A good example of this would be what we did with Cakehoarder’s Juni’s Appetite. The second option will be that we will periodically open up for applications. Devs will then be able to apply for a grant. The frequency which this will occur highly depends on what our monthly income is. If we hit over $500 a month on our Patreon we think we would be able to keep applications open almost indefinitely.

When it comes down deciding if some one should get a grant we decide this by evaluating the risk of the investment. We evaluate this risk using a few key point.

  • How much is being asked for or is going to be given
  • What will the funds be used for
  • What is the games scope
  • Do the games goals look realistic or achievable
  • What is the devs release history
  • Are there any project management issues (scope creep, lack of formal documentation, no clear vision, ect)
  • How many people are working on the project
  • Is the game open or closed source
  • Are the funds for a personal emergency
  • How ambitious is the project

The grant will then be rewarded based on who has the best risk/reward and if we feel the risk is low enough that we can safely give the devs the grant.

The details of the grant, unless other wise specified, will always be negotiated before being rewarded. In general we don’t plan on having strings attached to these grants, but we may offer less or more or put restrictions in place that we feel lowers the risk. Once again though this will be done on a case by case basis. We may also require that the weight gaming logo be shown in the credits or title screen, but we are not sure yet.

If some one ends up abusing the grant system they will be black listed and not be allowed to ever apply for a grant ever again. This is a one and done policy, so first offence means those devs can never receive any more grants. While it may be harsh we feel having a harsh penalty like this in place will discourage abuse of the system.

I think that covers most of it. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.


#8

#9

I have a question!

It doesn’t sound like the grant-giving process is something up for general voting, which makes sense because then it would just be a popularity contest. Some projects might be less popular than others, but could do more with a grant than other really well known ones. So who gets to decide who gets the grants?


#10

As explained above the site’s administration makes the decision on who gets grants based on the above criteria.


#11

#12

Thanks! Guess I was just confused about who “we” referred to there!


#13