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Suggestion Otland Developer Sponsorships - Suggestion

nugo

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Inlight of comments in the below discussion thread i wish to propose an idea:
The reason why tfs is delayed: we let the great programmers goes away (https://otland.net/threads/the-reason-why-tfs-is-delayed-we-let-the-great-programmers-goes-away.274114/page-3)

This is a wall of text but please take the time to read as i think its implications can change this community on a fundamental level. I hardly post so give me the benefit of the doubt on this one. I originally intended for this to be a private message to Don Danellio but i really think having this be public could really help out in fleshing out the idea and get the community talking about it. All that I ask is you be civil and dont turn this post into a shit fest.

It has been mentioned countless times across all manner of posts that some sort of monetary sponsorship/donation method for developers would do a great deal to help the community. I have come up with what i think is a reasonable solution while still staying true to OTlands principles of remaining a free and open source community. I will attempt to do my best to outline the possible system and my justification for it including its pros and cons. I tried to come up with the most simplistic, cost effecting and minimal amount of effort to impliment/maintainin donation/sponsorship system i could think of off the top of my head.

What's the overall idea?

Creating a subform called "Developer Sponsorships". In this subform people create "pitching" posts similar to how you would advertise a OT server but instead they are advertising themselves as a developer. They can link anything from previous projects worked on, examples of work etc and any other information that assists them in selling themselves to potential supporters. It's important that there is some level of transparency in these posts. They need to declare what they intended to work on under the sponsorship and whatever material that is made must remain open source and free for the community to use. It is then up to the community member to decide if they feel the developer is worth the monetary commitment. Refer some below screenshots of these examples. (excuse my photoshop skills). I want the system to be used as a supportive tool for developers who tackle big and community impactful tasks, a support system like this could assist in people who spend 100s of hours on things like clients, map editors, custom tools, maps & game engines etc. Essentially developers are already posting patreon or paypal links for their projects my suggestion is an attempt to centralise it in one location with a few more rules chucked in and more visiability.

JIRPG5k.png

I put very little effort into this post, picture it as a much more structured and better looking lol
biOLSpz.png


FAQ
1. How is the money handled?
The money is handled by the developer themselves through the use of a paypal subscription/donation method. Maybe the staff approve of a few different donation methods but the best example i can give is having a paypal subscription button/donate embedded in the forum post or maybe even patreon?

2. How do we stop scammers/people trying to abuse the system?
I think all posts needed to be vetted by staff members the same way they review server advertisement posts and there needs to be some criteria to be met before you can ever post in the forum. For example,
  • Have 50 posts
  • Otland premium
  • whatever other required vetting method people think is required
  • Acc needs to be X amount of months old

3. What happens if a developer doesn't deliver on their projects?
I think the best option here considering OTlands staffing resources not being infinite would be to leave it 100% up to the community. You explain to donors through disclaimers that funds cant be recouped. It's up to you if you risk the donation or not. The idea of this is that developers are "selling" themselves for donations. If people are unsatisfied with their quality of work, progress of work or simply not deliver on their projects people just stop supporting them monetarily - maybe if someone is a serial offender they receive warnings from mods etc.

4. How do we differentiate between donating to a developer and paying for work?
The jobs bored would remain so developers can still sell their services as per normal and as mentioned above the developer in their pitching threads must declare what they intended to work on under the sponsorship. Just a simple "I am making a tibia client", " I am making 25 free hunting spawns". Threads can be updated at moderator discretion as projects are completed/new ones started.

5. How do we stop a mentality of people now only wanting to do big projects under sponsorship?
Well it's up to the community whether you get money or not, i would expect it to be the case that you need to have some reputation for yourself within the fourms/community before people who even know who you are. Eg: Maybe a new developer comes along, releases a bunch of free scripts etc then people notice him and maybe his sponsorship threads get some attention. He would still need to be making stuff for free before he even gets enough traction to expect any monetary gain.

Pros
  • Developers now have a way to sell themselves and earn some form of income from their work if the community decides what they are working on is important enough to donate to.
  • Some of the big fundamental issues in the community that require fixing (fully functioning clients etc) need enormous man hours to even pull off, that extra monetary support could help them work to completion + add extra support going forward instead of dropping projects half finished.
  • Potentially retain really skilled developers that come through the forums.
  • If developers are creating more open source material, that's more material available on the site and will generate more interest and traffic to the website potentially attractive even more developers, it's a feedback loop.
  • Everything still remains open source
  • Existing experienced developers already have that reputation built in the community and could almost instantly start attracting sponsorships.
  • start incentivising developers to release more of their stuff, i know many are reserved and not wanting to release stuff for free due to the "leecher vs developer" mindse thats present in the community at the moment, i feel this suggestion would bridge that gap.
  • It acts as a mechanism to incentivize developers to stay around in the community, especially if they are talking on big projects that require many man hours to do eg: making OTclient.

Cons
  • Money, there's always drama with money but in this method its at least not handled by OTland staff but between the developer and the donator so its a case of "donate at your own risk" but with some stopgate checks (eg thread vetting as described above) inplace this can be minimised
  • People could try to abuse a loop hole in the system somehow so moderation oversight would be required until the loop holes have been plugged
  • My keyboards health after this wall of text

Examples

Example 1:
A developer comes along (say edubart from example) saying he's going to create a client. Everyone is skeptical and he starts working on it. 2 months down the line he actually starts having a really early alpha that people can see/use. Community people realise he's the real deal and he makes a sponsorship thread. He starts attracting sponsors and before you know it his client is in beta and he has 100 contributors donating 15$ a month ($1500 a month income) and gets some big one off donations. This now becomes a good side hustle for the developer and he hangs around continually working on his client and making/maintaining modules for it.

Example 2:
A Developer comes along and pitches the idea of maintaining/implementing new features to RME. He makes a few improvements every month or so and adds to it at a slow pace. Attracts maybe 10 contributors at $10 a month and gets some minor donations.

Example 3:
Developer comes along offering sprites to the community, ends up pumping out high tier industry standard sprites every week and attracts 40 contributors at $5 a month and gets the odd donation here and there.


I invite anyone to expand on this idea and add to it, this is a very foundatioional system suggestion so finer points would need to be worked out. Please keep in mind that anything you suggest needs to be within reason as OTland doesnt have a plethora of staff coming out of its ass to create entire systems from the groud up. I intentionally stayed away from things such as custom website scripts with inbuilt donation functionality etc just because its probably to hard.

Im all for vairations of this suggestion, theres probably things i missed that could be done better but i figured i would start somewhere. Thanks for taking the time to read. Im happy to help out with what ever is needed to make this suggestion a reality.

Nugo
 
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Xikini

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I like the initiative, but not sure if this is the best way to do it.

Assuming this idea goes forth.. here's some things that popped into mind really quickly.

There should be a default suggested pool for OtLand staff to pull from and distribute.

So people can send money into the OtLand pool and OtLand staff would direct it's usage.

Example would be that if someone is working on a brand new client.
-> If they reach X goal / milestone, then OtLand promises to provide $1000 from the pool, or x% of the pool.
--
Additional idea would be some sort of 'thresholds' for the developers to put in place.

Like..

<$200 a month - I will continue making sprites in my free time
$200 a month - I will make at least 3 sprites a week
$500 a month - I will make at least 25 sprites a month
--
Idk. The hardest / most difficult part of this suggestion is that there isn't really a way to moderate it.
There is no guarantee that they are working on or will complete what they said they would.

Which is kind of like Patreon subscriptions.. where you send someone money.. and hope they keep their word.

:notlikethis

I need more time to think about it.
Even if my above ideas are trash, figured I'd let it fly in case someone can figure out a way to make it better. lol
 
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nugo

nugo

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@Xikini
There should be a default suggested pool for OtLand staff to pull from and distribute.

So people can send money into the OtLand pool and OtLand staff would direct it's usage.

Example would be that if someone is working on a brand new client.
-> If they reach X goal / milestone, then OtLand promises to provide $1000 from the pool, or x% of the pool.
--
Additional idea would be some sort of 'thresholds' for the developers to put in place.

Like..

<$200 a month - I will continue making sprites in my free time
$200 a month - I will make at least 3 sprites a week
$500 a month - I will make at least 25 sprites a month
--
The money should not be handled by OTland staff at all. It would be to much of a time sink for them and could you imagine the drama that would go on. My suggestion is tailored so the money stays outside of the hands of the staff, it would just be to much of a shitfest to be handled correctly even if they had the best intentions. They could handled the money with 99% perfection and someone would still chuck a fit over it lol. Essentially developers are already posting patreon or paypal links for their projects my suggestion is an attempt to centralise it in one location with a few more rules chucked in and more visiability.


Idk. The hardest / most difficult part of this suggestion is that there isn't really a way to moderate it.
There is no guarantee that they are working on or will complete what they said they would.

Which is kind of like Patreon subscriptions.. where you send someone money.. and hope they keep their word.
Yeap theres not really a simple way to avoid this issue, as mentioned that would be the risk to donating but there are some things you could put in place to ensure that the people making these developer posts have a reasonably highchance on following through with what they say.

As i said you need to Vet their posts, some criteria needs to be met for them to even actually be able to make a post in the first place. Some will slip through the cracks but by only allowing people who have met the criteria to be even able to post would reduce the chance of having people non deliveries on projects.

I need more time to think about it.
Even if my above ideas are trash, figured I'd let it fly in case someone can figure out a way to make it better. lol
I would rather a discussion then none at all haha
 
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Fablow

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For some people, I think it's "why would I contribute when I can pay someone to do it almost instantly", mentality. And then they don't have to share with leechers.

I would not put money towards something that's:

A) Not-moderated
Your asking people to donate money to progress an open-source project, and on top of that you can't really moderate it thoroughly.

B) Still a chance someone gets paid without work being done, or the work taking forever.
Again, why would people donate to something to get work done, but they don't know when it'll will actually get tested and implemented.

C) I really don't think money is motivation for any open-source project.
I highly doubt most projects started with money as motivation.

D) Your asking an OPEN SOURCE community to donate to CONTINUE OPEN SOURCE.
If you don't like the progress on the OTLand repo, who is stopping anyone from forking the project and doing whatever they please.

E) Why would developers want to get paid through an "OTLand" donation pool when they are already having projects that they are working on, that people can already donate too and progress it? Mind you, they started that project so they would have more interest in it than just money.

F) Your original requirements:
  • Have 50 posts
  • Otland premium
  • whatever other required vetting method people think is required
  • Acc needs to be X amount of months old
Not only are you suggesting that people donate to this donation pool, but on top of that you need to purchase OTLand premium on top of it. It really doesn't matter how old the account is, because I'm sure they are newer members that have more knowledge than some older members, and not only that if your a new developer coming in, now you need to spend time, money on OTLand to help progress the project. 50 posts? How many posts doesn't mean anything, it's what you post that actually counts.

And again, why do people think donating to a donation pool, to progress a open-source project, that developers aren't interested now, but somehow paying them money will make them all of sudden get interested in the project.

It just blows my mind. You want to donate money to progress it? Sure, that's awesome but seriously to keep asking the community to donate money really makes me not want to do a single thing. I can also imagine being a developer and having some members of a community to try to basically bribe them into continuing a project that they lost interest in, or for some reason doesn't want to work on the official repository.
 
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nugo

nugo

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@Fablow

Cheers for the reply. I would like to comment on a few things.

A) Not-moderated
Your asking people to donate money to progress an open-source project, and on top of that you can't really moderate it thoroughly.
In an ideal world it would be moderatored but i doubt OTland has the resources for it. Its no differnt from any crowd sourcing campaigne, people not deliverying on a project is a inherent risk. As mentioned though their would be thread vetting to minimise this.


B) Still a chance someone gets paid without work being done, or the work taking forever.
Again, why would people donate to something to get work done, but they don't know when it'll will actually get tested and implemented.

For the same reason anyone donates to any crowed source, paypal, patreon type service. Theirs no gaurntees but generally people do it because they belive in the end product.

C) I really don't think money is motivation for any open-source project.
I highly doubt most projects started with money as motivation.
I agree i think the money is a product of the commitment/enthusiams to deliver on somthing you enjoy making not the incentive to make it in the first place.


D) Your asking an OPEN SOURCE community to donate to CONTINUE OPEN SOURCE.
If you don't like the progress on the OTLand repo, who is stopping anyone from forking the project and doing whatever they please.
I disagree on this point, i think its the otherway around the donation system allows it to remain more open source, currently alot of stuff is closed and kept to people for the risk of compeition. You said it yourself the current mindset for the most part is developers keep things close to there chest because of leachers, atleast some developers might be more inclined to release stuff to the public under a sponsorship model.

E) Why would developers want to get paid through an "OTLand" donation pool when they are already having projects that they are working on, that people can already donate too and progress it? Mind you, they started that project so they would have more interest in it than just money.
Im not sure what you mean by donation pool? i dont think i mentioned that anywhere. You may have missed my point on this. Developers on the fourms are already linking there paypals and patreons etc. The fourm would be a more visible and centralised place for this type of stuff.


F) Your original requirements:
  • Have 50 posts
  • Otland premium
  • whatever other required vetting method people think is required
  • Acc needs to be X amount of months old
Not only are you suggesting that people donate to this donation pool, but on top of that you need to purchase OTLand premium on top of it. It really doesn't matter how old the account is, because I'm sure they are newer members that have more knowledge than some older members, and not only that if your a new developer coming in, now you need to spend time, money on OTLand to help progress the project. 50 posts? How many posts doesn't mean anything, it's what you post that actually counts.

Once again im not sure what you mean by donation pool? Their is no donation pool its just between donators and the developer. I might need to clear up my termonology on this in my OP but only OTland PREMIUM people can make developer posts, any other memeber is free to donate, they dont need premium. Thats only a suggestion i dont care either way i just figured it was a good method to gate scammers.


And again, why do people think donating to a donation pool, to progress a open-source project, that developers aren't interested now, but somehow paying them money will make them all of sudden get interested in the project.

It just blows my mind. You want to donate money to progress it? Sure, that's awesome but seriously to keep asking the community to donate money really makes me not want to do a single thing. I can also imagine being a developer and having some members of a community to try to basically bribe them into continuing a project that they lost interest in, or for some reason doesn't want to work on the official repository.
Lets say someone comes along and says i will make a task system and thats it, i wouldnt really expect them to get much support, maybe the odd bit here and there but if someone comes and says im going to make a fully supported public open source client the interest they get from sponsers would be significantly different. its a self regulating system based on supporterss giving to what they think is more worth while.

You do have a point about developers holding a project hostage for donations, i would have to think of a way to adress that.


I Just want to adress some comments made by edubart in this thread:

The below comment was made by Edubart

We have to thank that such rare people exists that go years developing great open source tools we all use today
(just look at all GitHub projects), all with no earning back.

Unfortunately people like these are rare and may not last for long, because we all have to survive
and living without earns for too long is impractical in this world. At the same time
most people want to earn as much as possible using the less work, money and time as possible.
If they have the option to earn without contributing back most probably will, these kind of people are the leechers.
That is just how the world usually works, people are usually leechers and we all have to coexist with them.

If you are tackling a problem like a client, engine, big developement tool like a map editor i think its not unreasonable to ask for some monetary support considering the time sinks that go into these projects. If someone were tackling an issue like that and its was clearly visible on a fourm that people frequentlyt visited the developer would likely will get more support and posibly see it through to completion.

Unfortunately people like these are rare and may not last for long, because we all have to survive
and living without earns for too long is impractical in this world

I think this is a very realistic comment. A sponsership type system would go along way in potentially keeping some of these developers around working on game changing tech in the community.

Cheers
 
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Fablow

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To clarify what I mean by OTLand donation pool - Your asking a community to put money together to fund a project.

Let me break down what I see wrong with your reply.

In an ideal world it would be moderatored but i doubt OTland has the resources for it. Its no differnt from any crowd sourcing campaigne, people not deliverying on a project is a inherent risk. As mentioned though their would be thread vetting to minimise this.

We don't live in an ideal world, and you just said it yourself. OTLand does NOT have the resources for this. Trusting a few TRUSTED members of the community doesn't work either, something usually happens as we seen in the past. People get busy, people have real lives, and sometimes get grudges or in feuds. I honestly don't see this idea lasting more than year before people just stop donating. What's the point of "risking" a donation when you can simply pay a developer to do whatever you want, and then you can choose what you want to do with it.

For the same reason anyone donates to any crowed source, paypal, patreon type service. Theirs no gaurntees but generally people do it because they belive in the end product.

Why would I donate to the OTLand repository (with what I said above to), when I can just find a developers repository that suits my server, and donate to him/her to progress that project that I'm obviously would be more interested in? If people believed in TFS now, the project wouldn't have members of the community asking to pay developers to continue it. Plain and simple.

I disagree on this point, i think its the otherway around the donation system allows it to remain more open source, currently alot of stuff is closed and kept to people for the risk of compeition. You said it yourself the current mindset for the most part is developers keep things close to there chest because of leachers, atleast some developers might be more inclined to release stuff to the public under a sponsorship model.

No, for it to remain open source it needs the community to contribute to it. Not paying paying people to keep the project maintained. Have you asked developers why they leave? Do you really think paying them to stay or to come back will change their mind? I highly doubt it. And have you seen any open-source projects basically have community members beg other community members to donate? No, you rarely do if you can find one.

Also what competition does TFS have? OTServBr? OTX? I'm pretty sure it's way more developed, without asking members to donate to continue the project. Members of their community just made a better fork of TFS and released it with the option of donating to help the project, or you can pay them for the "premium" version. Not "please pay our developers because they are leaving and we need to continue the project, but I won't actually do anything just asking members of the community to put up money." At this point, it's really what it sounds like.

Lets say someone comes along and says i will make a task system and thats it, i wouldnt really expect them to get much support, maybe the odd bit here and there but if someone comes and says im going to make a fully supported public open source client the interest they get from sponsers would be significantly different. its a self regulating system based on supporterss giving to what they think is more worth while.

Have you seen the support boards? As long as your using some kind of TFS 1.X, there is always someone willing and ready to help. Did we sponsor people to help people in the support board? Did I miss that memo? Did @zbizu miss the memo? (haha).

I think this is a very realistic comment. A sponsership type system would go along way in potentially keeping some of these developers around working on game changing tech in the community.

This already happens, behind the scenes. People already sponsor projects or developers that they think are worth while.


Now, I'm not knocking TFS Developers, OTLand or anything. I have lots of respect for the members, staff, developers, and anyone who contributes to this community. They have and do a great job at maintaining the forum and the inhabitants. They gave us a great source code to work with along with everything else, that's why I keep coming back and I have donated to OTLand plenty of times in my 10+ years of being here.

I won't participate in this, because I don't believe in this idea and I honestly think it's a waste of time.
 
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nugo

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To clarify what I mean by OTLand donation pool - Your asking a community to put money together to fund a project.

Let me break down what I see wrong with your reply.



We don't live in an ideal world, and you just said it yourself. OTLand does NOT have the resources for this. Trusting a few TRUSTED members of the community doesn't work either, something usually happens as we seen in the past. People get busy, people have real lives, and sometimes get grudges or in feuds. I honestly don't see this idea lasting more than year before people just stop donating. What's the point of "risking" a donation when you can simply pay a developer to do whatever you want, and then you can choose what you want to do with it.



Why would I donate to the OTLand repository (with what I said above to), when I can just find a developers repository that suits my server, and donate to him/her to progress that project that I'm obviously would be more interested in? If people believed in TFS now, the project wouldn't have members of the community asking to pay developers to continue it. Plain and simple.



No, for it to remain open source it needs the community to contribute to it. Not paying paying people to keep the project maintained. Have you asked developers why they leave? Do you really think paying them to stay or to come back will change their mind? I highly doubt it. And have you seen any open-source projects basically have community members beg other community members to donate? No, you rarely do if you can find one.

Also what competition does TFS have? OTServBr? OTX? I'm pretty sure it's way more developed, without asking members to donate to continue the project. Members of their community just made a better fork of TFS and released it with the option of donating to help the project, or you can pay them for the "premium" version. Not "please pay our developers because they are leaving and we need to continue the project, but I won't actually do anything just asking members of the community to put up money." At this point, it's really what it sounds like.



Have you seen the support boards? As long as your using some kind of TFS 1.X, there is always someone willing and ready to help. Did we sponsor people to help people in the support board? Did I miss that memo? Did @zbizu miss the memo? (haha).



This already happens, behind the scenes. People already sponsor projects or developers that they think are worth while.


Now, I'm not knocking TFS Developers, OTLand or anything. I have lots of respect for the members, staff, developers, and anyone who contributes to this community. They have and do a great job at maintaining the forum and the inhabitants. They gave us a great source code to work with along with everything else, that's why I keep coming back and I have donated to OTLand plenty of times in my 10+ years of being here.

I won't participate in this, because I don't believe in this idea and I honestly think it's a waste of time.
Cheers for replying.

I don't agree with you on alot of your points, each to their own. You do have some valid points around the developers holding things hostage but I feel most of that stuff can be worked out. I don't expect everyone to buy into a system like this considering their are some pretty polarised opinions in the community at the moment on the future of OTland and the direction it should take but I really don't see this any different from a more minimalistic crowd sourcing idea, it's been tried and tested for years, works for the most part, it deffinetly has issues but there are steps that can be taken to minimise these. I think it would do more good then harm if some sponsorship model was introduced into the community.
 
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Azakelis

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Well don't know if this stuff is gonna happen or not but what I can do for the cause myself is:
I will offer a discount for any problem related to tfs if you are willing to make it public.
 

zbizu

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The main problem I see is the staff refusing to unpublish our works when we ask for it. Should be a right for every user. I won't be posting anything new until this changes. I won't be providing help in my old threads either. I don't care how desperate for content otland is.

I mean just imagine if some big art website like deviantart suddenly blocked an option to remove things users posted. This is what I feel is happening here. OT resources, be it maps, scripts or datapacks are a kind of art too.

The proposed in this thread model solves this issue. The user gets paid for his work so it doesn't feel unfair when otland decides to keep it.
 
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