New Patreon rewards and goals since October, including plans for: training videos, conference+gamejam, Occulus port

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Castle Game Engine on Patreon

First of all, big thank you to everyone who already supports the engine on Patreon. If you like what we’re doing, please support us!

This announcement took a long time to write. I want to change our Patreon rewards and goals to be both more exciting (having CGE on VR was my dream for some time now 🙂 ) and also more realistic (as I announced last month).

Before we start, I wanted to tell you what “Patreon rewards” I rejected — because they are available already, for free, for everyone 🙂

  • A new developer, whose time will be paid by my savings, will join CGE in October! I will announce him officiallly next weekend 🙂
  • Remember that you can always contact me, describe your project, and ask for help. You can use Castle Game Engine forum, Discord and other ways, email or Keybase or just send a message through Patreon.

    I promise to look at everything. Simple questions or even fixes/improvements are always answered promptly, as you can probably see in the above communication channels 🙂

  • Remember that I welcome all your projects on our game gallery (or tools or components galleries). I want to link to you, I want to announce your projects, I want to reshare your screenshots and movies. I love seeing how you use CGE, this is incredibly motivating. Please send me screenshots / movies of what you’re doing with CGE right now 🙂

Moving on, these are new rewards for your support on Patreon on various tiers:

  • 5 USD tier allows you to “Request new training video”.

    The goal is that you can request a new training video on any CGE-related topic. I promise to have time each month to prepare at least 1 video on any subject that can “fit” anywhere between 5-45 minutes. The videos will be public (so everyone using the engine benefits) on our YouTube channel.

  • 10 USD tier becomes now “Request Next Engine Features, once every 2 months”.

    I want to openly admit that this is a downgrade to what I previously offered. This reward previously costed 5 USD, and I promised 1 feature every month. But I was not able to deliver it… And practically, developing requested features took me between 1 and 2 weeks of work (instead of “1 weekend”, as I initially envisioned). So I hope that the new plan will be more sustainable for me, and I will be able to deliver on-time what is promised.

    Of course features and games requested so far will be done ASAP, they are in my backlog and I want to do them. I have now feature “TCastleScene loading from stream”, and “Marble Madness game” in my backlog.

  • 50 USD tier remains unchanged: you get “Cloud Builds Server for Your Projects” and my eternal gratitude! I’m also thinking about introducing merch for this tier. Please let me know what do you think about this, as Patreon makes it super-easy to make and deliver.

  • Oh, and the 1 USD tier remains as just a basic way to support the engine. You also still get access to private posts on Patreon, but I do not want to commit to them regularly. I want to make everything public and open about the engine, so there wasn’t much opportunity for private posts in the past.

And here are new Patreon goals:

  • Upon reaching 250 USD / month support (I really hope we’ll reach it soon!) we organize Castle Game Engine online conference + gamejam!

    To celebrate this goal, we’ll organize a conference followed by a gamejam session! To start small, I want to devote a weekend toward it, with one day (Saturday) devoted to sessions (4-8 talks of 30 mins) and another day (Sunday) devoted to a gamejam. (Maybe we should switch gamejam and sessions days order?) Throughout the entire weekend, the primary goal will be to actually “meet” (online) and have a chance to talk together — CGE developers and users alike. There are many free tools to organize such event now, so I have no worries about the technical feasability of it 🙂

  • Upon reaching 500 USD / month we buy a good VR headset (in 200-300 USD price range) and port CGE to it.

    The goal is to buy a real, popular, powerful VR headset and make games for it 🙂 Which one we will actually buy — depends on when it will happen. A few months ago I was doing research, and would go for one of the Occulus variants, as they seemed to give biggest “bang for the buck” within 200-300 USD price range. The “optimal VR headset” may well be something different in 2021, so we will just make a final decision once we reach this goal. The explicit desire here is to buy something that has really good quality and significant user base.

  • Upon reaching 1000 USD / month we make “Cloud Builds Server for Your Projects (Jenkins)” accessible for all open-source projects, for free, and you can automatically register and use it.

    I described what it is on Cloud Builds (Jenkins) wiki page. Yes, we have it already running, and Jenkins and continuous delivery concept rock! I actually planned to make this available for free since a long time. However, making it secure and reliable when 100 projects and people (that don’t know each other) will start using it… proved to be a much more difficult task. So this now our goal on Patreon. The money would cover both the cost of development and maintenance of a specialized Jenkins instance, and the cost of actual servers.

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