Alles

How crowdfunding for open source projects is a delusion

Initially I believed, like probably many others as well, that there is a way to progress open source projects using crowdsourced funding methods. However now after some experience myself, having met other developers and observing the scene a lot I came to the conclusion that it is not only a bad option, but probably a total delusion, since I not only failed myself, but also everyone else I saw failed as well.

I tried to argue this topic with others,  but most people just replied "Oh you are just not good enough" or "Oh you are so negative" or "You are just jealous of all the successful people", so basically they did not reply at all or think about it to begin with and preferred to believe into their delusions.

So I tried a little exercise in common sense: If you have something, that you cannot do and you never saw someone else do, then maybe it is not possible to do. Sounds logical right? Well most people cannot think like that and instead prefer to believe in things that have never been proven to work and still try to make it work.

Yes I know there are "successfuly" funded open source projects, but those are in all or almost all cases on of the following categories, they are either pseudo open source or subsidized or both or just look like they are fully funded, but I will come to that later.

First let me try to define how successful funding would look like. The first thing you need is a real developer with real skills, since unprofessional hobbyist will not get you anywhere in most cases. Then if you have a real programmer, you have to consider how much he could or would earn on the real market, which is somewhere from $3000 to $10 000 per month an average lets say $5000 per month. That may sound much, but I looked the numbers up, I even met people who claimed to earn even more. So a fully funded one man project would cost at least $3000 per month to fully fund and this is already minimum wage. Of course you need that programmer also to be willing to work for an open source project, but lets say he is idealistic and wants to do that and throw most of his chances on earning more over board. Sadly in reality he would not only to be willing to do that, but be willing to work for less, much less. Most of the best open source developers I saw on crowdfunding earned around a couple hundred per month, which is not even existence minimum. So to be working on open source projects would mean to almost certainly starve to death.

Some people may claim "But there are fully funded successful open source projects", yes there are, at least it looks like there are. As I previously said, those are most likely either pseudo open source projects or subsidized. What do I mean with pseudo open source projects? Well I investigated some of those and a pseudo open source project is either not open source according to the definition or even if it is, it is mostly used to develop proprietary products, for proprietary platforms, for proprietary hardware using proprietary platforms and other proprietary software themselves and managing it all over proprietary platforms. So in those cases the open source part was just chosen out of convenience and for publicity reasons and even in those cases, the project is not really crowdfunded meaning funded by the people but subsidized by companies, who probably found it cheaper to outsource the development of a certain part of their software, saving the salary they would have to pay a real developer and instead donate a smaller part to the open source project. In that case you are not progressing free and open source projects, but are just an (in most cases) underpaid inofficial employee of some company.

The reason why crowdfunding for open source projects does not work is most likely because there is no market for it, the majority of population is not ingelligent enough to understand the reasons to support those projects or not even intelligent enough to understand that those things exist to begin with, so you are left with a very small percentage of the population that could donate, but a large portion of those are probably developers themselves and they may also donate to other projects they seem important, but in the long run it is not enough, if everyone donates to each other, you need a larger consumer base outside of the scene to secure significant funding, which does not exist. Even proprietary projects often need to market to delusional people aka dreamers to secure enough funding, for example like a game engine selling content to dreamers that will never accomplish anything, because they were delusional to begin with and enforced in their delusion through marketing tricks.

So it looks like you need to be corrupt in some way at least to reach a big enough audience to secure proper funding for your project and/or manage to get companies that subsidize you, probably a combination of both in most cases. I encountered a word some time ago called "openwashing" which describes the practice of big companies to water down the meaning and ideology of open source, by supposedly being for open source and progressing it, but in reality not changing anything or becoming more moral, it is more of a marketing trick to regain popularity. Later they also use open source projects to further their own company politics. I mean what difference does it make to use open source software, if it does nothing different than regular proprietary software and does not increase your freedom?

I canceled my effords to make money with it, since I realized it is not going to happen, as soon as (significant) money is involved and you have to play by the rules of the regular market, you will lose, since the bigger players already have a monopoly or near monopoly on all kinds of things. That is why I think free open source software can only survive as it is through being noncommercial and as a work of idealism and/or a hobby. Sure I have nothing against people receiving donations here and there, but as I explained I think truly making a living out of it without becoming corrupt is almost impossible. Contact me if you managed to do it.

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The benefits of quitting social media

Some time ago I decided to quit all or almost all social media. The main reason probably is that I read articles about how social media has been scientifically proven to make you unhappy and less productive etc. I will make a short list of the benefits of quitting social media I encountered:

 

1. More happiness

2. More time

3. Saves work updating all the profiles

4. More motivation

5 .More efficient working

6. More willpower

7. Less distraction

9. Less stress

10. Less company with idiots

10. Less superficial bad relationships with other people

11. More deeper good relationships with other people

12. Not getting censored all the time

13. Not getting banned all the time

14. Not getting angry, because getting censored and banned all the time

15. Better mental health

16. Better physical health, because less time spend on the PC

17. Becoming more social, since social media makes you antisocial, counter to popular belief

18. And of course more freedom since social media is a prison system where fascistoid guards try to censor and "correct" you all the time

 

So thats what I could come up with for now, sure some are similar and/or the consequence of another, but I thought it was important to list them all to further underline the many benefits. Overall I think the benefits of quitting social media outweight the mostly nonexistent downsids by far. I just made this up while writing, I did not research this for a long time, so don't go nitpicking on it.

Sure there are also some benefits of social media, but mainly for using it for marketing to other social media users, less in using it yourself, but I had not much luck with that either as I described in another post here: https://duion.com/blogs/my-experience-social-media-video-game-marketing Maybe I'm just not corrupt and manipulative at all, to bribe social media "influencers", but whatever, my personal wellbeing is more important to me, than being popular in my nonexistent business. This brings me to another maybe drawback of quitting social media, which is you will be less "popular", but in my case I think engaging there makes me even more unpopular, so this probably is only a potential drawback for normal people.

Additionally I have to say I never engaged much in social media to begin with, but I followed some types of it, even though I did not engage in it myself for the most part. I still maintain some accounts here and there, but mostly for promotion of my art and my game, but as previously said, it does not benefit me much, so I may quit those as well at some point. Maybe I will quit the remaining accounts as well, when the search engines should decide to boycott me less and give me some clicks.

But overall I enjoy the freedom and more time for productive work and not having to check and update every account on every social media platform I'm on. I mean it seems they don't want me on there anyway csonsidering all the censorship and banning I encountered, maybe those platforms are designed for idiots and they don't want normal sane people on there to begin with, so maybe it was my fault to go there to begin with.

I can just recommend everyone to quit social media and get back on the real internet, not the fake one and become happy and free.

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The emperors new games

This is a phenomenon I observed for quite a while now and I call it "The emperors new games" based on the fairy tale "The emperors new clothes" because the phenomenon is so similar.

The emperors new games are games that look new and great, but in reality they are nothing new or great, in short overhyped games.

Since I'm a game developer I observe the scene, especially the indie developer scene and see what becomes popular and what not. Those "emperors new games" make up a big percentage of all indie games, sometimes also mainstream or AAA games. The are characterized by being supposedly very innovative, intentionally funny, intentionally stupid, intentionally bad quality or intentionally badly designed and because it is all intentional bad, it somehow becomes good. Like there is one innovative idea and the implementation is all just lazy and intentionally bad and because the idea is so great it somehow becomes insanely popular. I don't name any specific games here, because then more people will hate on me than they do now already, so I just describe it as a general phenomenon.

I even had a person commenting me on Uebergame, that the quality is bad and if I had made it intentionally bad, it would have been better, since then I would not have tried to make it good. SO aiming for high quality, failing at it and only achieving mediocre quality is somehow worse, than aiming very low and achieve low. I think this explains the indie developer dilemma pretty good, since you cannot compete with AAA companies/quality you kind of have to aim intentionally for very low quality, because if the quality or art style is so much different from lets say realism, it no longer becomes comparable and you can free yourself from criticism. Of course that is what many developers seem to go for, it also has the great benefit in making production much easier and much less costly. So a win-win-situation basically, less cost, more easy to produce, less criticism, better ratings and more profit. Well it is of course not a win-win-situation, it is a great loss overall, since almost nobody is trying anything good anymore, like aiming for high quality and so the end consumer ends up with overall inferior products.

Now stage two begins and the end consumer also joins the insanity and starts brainwashing themselves into believing that those "Emperors new games" are somehow good instead of seeing them as what they are, just junk and nothing new. In fact most of those games probably would be better of, if they were made as mods for a good game, since then you would not only have the innovative idea, but also the good quality of the game it was modded, good graphics, physics, performance etc. This would be better in almost any way, at least for the end consumer,  but the producer could not make much money from it, since the game he modded does not belong to him. This is where open source would come into play, removing the disadvantages of copyright and even allowing people to make money from their mod as they could release it as a new product and sell it, at least if it is not GPL licensed, which would destroy that concept again.

This phenomenon described here is also a bad side effect of capitalism, since capitalism always needs growth and to sell new products, even if there is nothing new to make. In case there is nothing new to make there is a great solution for that, you can just pretend there is something new. Like repackage something existing in a different style and you have a new product. By making repackaged products or intentionally bad ones you can save lots of production costs and the saved money can be spend well into marketing aka brainwashing people into believing there are so magical great new games, which in reality do not exist. In the fairytale "The emperors new clothes" people were fooled into seeing the nonexistent clothes for real, because they did not want to admit, that they are too stupid to see them. In the games industry there is a similar effect, people like end consumers, reviewers, let's players etc don't want to admit, that their new innovative games don't exist and so they fool themselves into believing they exist. Of course it is just a metaphor, those pseudoinnovative games of course exist, they only don't exist on a meta level as they are just repackaged products marketed as something new or intentionally badly produced and so are missing the supposed innovation or technical progress.

In the gaming culture this all then manifests as people ironically enjoying those "Emperors new games" or enjoying that they are so bad and showing it in let's play videos or on stream. Some also enjoy not enjoying something and make an entertainment out of that. Others just like to hate on something, so they intentionally buy intentionally badly made products and then complain that they are so bad. Overall it is just a weird phenomenon to observe for me so I had to write it down as a therapy for me, since the brainwashing does not work for me I guess and I cannot see the supposed "Emperors new games". As a child I always dreamed of the technical possibilities of future games, but now where I live in the future, things are just getting worse. Instead of using the new technical possibilities to it's full potential, the trend goes to badly repackaging old stuff and only pretend it is new and innovative instead of doing something new and innovative for real. Of course this does not apply to the industry as a whole, but sadly it is a big negative trend that affects probably the larger portion of the industry.

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