One important part of how I am going about funding the Open Source and Free development of my software is that... I need to be willing to admit when I make mistakes -- and to implement changes here and there to the process.
A very central goal of everything I am doing, right now, is to show a concrete [and highly documented] way that other developers can fund their own FOSS work. With that in mind...
One major mistake I made, right off the bat, was that I provided very little direct benefit to people who donate (no "perks"). So all of you that have contributed, up to this point, have done so because you are awesome people who simply want to see this project succeed. [And my hat goes off to each and every one of you.]
Today, after spending some time talking with a lot of people about some good ways to reward those that contribute [on a regular basis], I am making the following three items perks available to contributors.
1) Download Links for Pre-Built Binaries
This one is likely to cause the most ruckus, but hear me out.
Starting today, you will find no download links on this website. Everyone on the planet will still have full access to the GPL'd source code [and supporting files] for every app and game here -- but no pre-built binaries.
Those that contribute will receive an auto-magical email with download links to pre-built binaries, packages and installers for the latest revisions every bit of software here.
The idea is this: I build and maintain the "official" installers and packages and provide them, to those that contribute. The contributions help cover my time and bandwidth for this.
Now. You'll note that all of this software is GPL'd. Which means any Tom, Dick or Harry (or any other awesome name) can build their own binaries and distribute it on their website or repository. And I have absolutely no problem with that. None whatsoever.
2) Inclusion in the Monthly Contributors Post
At the end of each month I will be making a post, right here, that lists the contributors from that month.
Information can include : Website name and URL and social media links. [aka "awesome advertising".] All, of course, entirely optional.
In that very same auto-magical email that contributors receive with the download links... you will also find instructions for being added to this monthly post.
3) Vote on What Bryan Does
A chance to vote on what work I do during the 2nd week of each month.
This was already in place, but I am formally making it part of the perks for contributors. The first major round of items to vote out will be sent out this next week.
These changes have already gone into effect (just moments ago). Those that have already contributed should be receiving emails over the next few hours with all of the details. Those that contribute from now forward should receive automatic emails within a few minutes of contributing.
And, as always, I am open to ideas and thoughts on all of this. If you have any ideas of other great ways to reward those that contribute, be sure to speak up! The goal is to build a solid, practical system for funding FOSS app and game development -- and I think this brings us one step closer.