Fundraising

I’m thinking of doing something to bring in a bit of extra money, as things are a bit tight at the moment. One option is to sell a CD-ROM printed-on-demand containing all of my already-released games. My sponsorship agreements would allow me to do so if the games were “site-locked” to only run on a player’s own computer. I’d also make the games ad-free, of course. I could possibly offer source code, although I’d have to do something to protect my sponsors’ investment; the first thing that comes to mind would be including source code but no assets, so that the games could be examined but not easily compiled.

I could also do the same thing, but not on a physical CD; buyers would just get a DRM-free download containing the games.

Would any of the visitors to this blog be interested in some sort of merchandise along these lines? Any special requests or suggestions? Any ideas as to an appropriate price point?

[EDIT: Trythil raised a question in the comments that I should address. Games wouldn’t be locked to a specific computer; they would just be prohibited from being hosted online. Specifically, some of my sponsorship agreements require advertising to be included in any widely-distributed version, and I don’t want to force paying users to watch ads. I also should have said that I’d personally like to make sure ad-free versions don’t get hosted on portals, as that would mean I wouldn’t make money off of it. Whether you consider this “DRM” is up to you; it probably technically falls under the definition of the word. However, the package would contain no digital restrictions on copying or distribution, which is what most people think of when they say “DRM.” This release would not be offered under a CC or otherwise copyleft license, so ethical restrictions would still apply to certain kinds of copying. I don’t believe in enforcing those restrictions, though.]

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13 thoughts on “Fundraising

  1. cactus seemed to have done pretty good when he put up 10 (I think?) printed copies of norrland for bidding on ebay. Figured I would at least mention that since it did okay for him.

    Gamers are a bitchy lot, so I wouldn’t know what to suggest for a price point on the digital download if you were to do that. You could possibly do a pay-what-you-want thing, but if you were to do that I would suggest a minimum price like jason rohrer/paul eres are doing.

  2. If you need a loan I would be happy to provide one. Otherwise I suggest figuring out how much you need divided by the people that want you to succeed times the number likely to pay to see you succeed. Notice that I’m one of the people wanting you to be successful. Thus avoiding the division by 0 error.

  3. I’m in a financially catastrophic position, but I’d buy a CD if it didn’t cost too much. And I’d definitely buy LORE, since we’re still playing a campaign with it.

  4. I bought Edmund and Cactus’s CDs and I’d definitely buy one from you too. I consider them quite a nice memento of games from creators I really like.

  5. I’d be interested in such a collection, especially if source code was present.

    However, I’m having difficulty reconciling

    My sponsorship agreements would allow me to do so if the games were “site-locked” to only run on a player’s own computer.

    with

    buyers would just get a DRM-free download containing the games

    How do you accomplish the former goal without some form of DRM? (To be clear, I absolutely would prefer no DRM, and would gladly pay more to have that stuff kept out of such a package.)

    1. I used imprecise language. The games would be sitelocked to only run on localhost. They wouldn’t be restricted to a specific computer, only prohibited from being hosted on a website. This depends on your definition of DRM, of course; in a sense, even this sitelocking is restricting user freedom. I’ll edit the post to clarify this.

      1. Oh, okay. That makes more sense; thanks for clarifying that.

        Not sure if that counts as DRM in some absolute sense, but it’s definitely a condition of use I can live with.

  6. For an average user I don’t think offering a cd of games already made would be appealing.

    What about a right to vote on the type of next game you make?
    If I could make you make a game I’d want to play I would probably be willing to part with a dollar depending on the quality.

    So for instance if there were a bunch of rpg fanatics that wanted eposodic content you could build a small game and we would pay you to make it. You’d still have all the rights to the game and to distribute it any way you want in the future but we get to demand the type of game you make.

  7. Don’t think of DRM as an idea as something completely evil people… Yes, forcing users to activate their games to play (or even worse, keep activating every few days) is a TOTAL bitch, but being able to play a game only on localhost isn’t exactly “restricting” in my book…

    I’m guessing that if you didn’t post your DRM worries here, nobody would ever notice it, and even if they did, they wouldn’t complain.

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