Donations

General Stuff about Armagetron, That doesn't belong anywhere else...
Monkey
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Donations

Post by Monkey »

As I mentioned a couple of years ago in another thread, we really need the ability to donate money to support this project. I'm not really sure why this has not materialised yet. I donate to other projects and I'd like to donate monthly to this one too. Do the devs not want our money?

I know that setting up a foundation like some other projects do could be a pain, however this is not necessary. I'd happily set up a recurring donation to Z-Man's PayPal account from mine (which I already do for some other projects) , then he could use the money where he sees fit. If everyone that plays this game donates what they can afford, even if that is just 1 euro/dollar/pound a month, a lot of good would come out of it.

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Can you sort this out please or is there a reason why you don't want to do this?
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Z-Man
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Re: Donations

Post by Z-Man »

We do have the very prominent "Donate" button on the much frequented sourceforge page:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/armagetronad/
Leads here if you somehow can't find it:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?i ... tronad.net
It goes to Tank, he has historically been using the donations to keep his servers running.

I personally don't want any donations because they would not help the game. My servers cost the equivalent of two or three beer in the pub per month, and I don't usually drink beer, so that's covered.

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desgorn
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Re: Donations

Post by desgorn »

I’ll link this in discord. Could be used towards more(hosted servers)/better(stable connection)servers?
Good ask.

Monkey
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Re: Donations

Post by Monkey »

The donate button on Sourceforge is not that prominent. I'm not saying I'm the most observant person in the World but I missed it entirely and I've been playing this game for a long time. Also, we have to bear in mind that many people don't even visit the sourceforge page because Arma is in their OS's third party software repository. Most successful open source games have very prominent donate buttons on their websites. Here are some examples.

SuperTuxKart - Check out the big pink/purple Donate button at the top right!
Battle for Wesnoth - Check out the big yellow donate button at the bottom right!
0 A.D. Check out the big grey button at the top right!
Z-Man wrote:I personally don't want any donations because they would not help the game.
If you don't want any personal donations and you also don't want to look after donations for others then I understand that completely. However, I can't understand how donations in general would not help the game. Donations can be used for a whole variety of things, including paying other developers for their time/effort/work, buying better game servers and compiling machines to allow for regular snapshots (isn't Mac OS stuff not happening at the moment IIRC?), paying for us to go on Steam Direct (which I know is unlikely to happen but never mind), etc.
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Z-Man
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Re: Donations

Post by Z-Man »

Monkey wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:48 pm
The donate button on Sourceforge is not that prominent.
The site is also not really well frequented. I was being sarcastic and should have put in clearer markers.

I don't think donation money would help because the main limiting factor here these days is not money, it's time. Even if someone bought me a Mac, the build process needs updating. Linux build servers are freely available (I was in the process setting up Ubuntu PPA 'daily' builds when I was interrupted by Z-Mother-In-Law's visit). Windows builds can be done inside docker containers on GitLab pipelines. I have a script that builds a suitable container ready (nontrivial; the installations require user interaction, and docker does not like that), the scripts doing the actual build are missing. Really the only thing of your list that might work is the 'pay someone to do stuff' item, and even that requires preparation and supervision. I'd probably just toss it all at Light, not that that would be a bad thing.

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sinewav
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Re: Donations

Post by sinewav »

Z-Man wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:10 am
I'd probably just toss it all at Light, not that that would be a bad thing.
I have no problem donating to Light if he works of stuff the community needs. Light, how about a donate button on your site?

Monkey
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Re: Donations

Post by Monkey »

Z-Man wrote:the main limiting factor here these days is not money, it's time.
Yes, I know this is the case at the moment with most of the developers and that we probably wouldn't be talking a lot of money via donations at this point. However, I believe this will change in the future. Once 0.4 is released I think we will be ready to attract more people. I know that Steam is out of the question because of the Disney thing (plus you guys don't like it's proprietary nature), however I've been looking at places on the internet where I/we can get to work on making people more aware of Arma.

+1 to what sinewav said; I'd trust Light to look after/spend my donations. If you're happy with that Z-Man, could we not put a button on the Arma website for him? He should put one on his site too, but I definitely think the main site should have one as well.
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Light
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Re: Donations

Post by Light »

Monkey wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:33 am
+1 to what sinewav said; I'd trust Light to look after/spend my donations. If you're happy with that Z-Man, could we not put a button on the Arma website for him? He should put one on his site too, but I definitely think the main site should have one as well.
sinewav wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:19 am
I have no problem donating to Light if he works of stuff the community needs. Light, how about a donate button on your site?
I was actually going to reply somewhat similar to what Z-Man did in that money wouldn't really help further progress at the moment unless you're paying a developer to come in. I don't code in C++, so I'm about useless as far as server / client development. While I host the repository and wiki, unless this traffic boosts significantly, there's not much of a reason to spend money on it. I host that stuff, as well as the game servers I host on a home server. The network and server would all be used regardless of if I was a part of this community, so what I do for this game costs me nothing but the spare time I spend on it.

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So, I guess my question is, what would you see us spending money on?

Would you like to see "official servers"? This is a topic that has come up in the past, and has a decent bit of issues to work through such as who would moderate, what game modes would we use, what version of the game would be used, etc.

If you're looking to pay for developers to come in and work on it, you're probably looking at $30+ per hour unless you happen to find someone that would like to participate for fun.

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Another question I have is, what do you think would actually help this game grow?

The functionality of this game isn't bad. Servers have a decent bit of customization, along with script capabilities that allow you to do a lot. Comparing to similar games, we're not really doing all that bad. At the time of writing this, I see 15 people online in 3 of 71 hosted servers.

I think part of the problem is that people compare to the surge the game got when Tron Legacy was coming out. Tron isn't super popular, and even that movie is now 10 years old. While it hurts me to say that, it's very true. Most people I talk to have never seen either Tron movie, let alone played the arcade game that we are based off of.

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Here's what I think we could use, and none of it requires money.

Webiste update. Our website looks like it was made in the 90's. Monitors are wider, mobile friendly is important, etc. etc.

Pick a client version and go with it, bugs or not. We currently split our community between 0.2.8 and 0.4 clients. I realize many people are very passionate about using one vs the other, but it complicates things and requires additional work for upkeep. We should pick a single client version and move on. I would vote for 0.4 becoming the current release, providing all users access to 0.4 servers that utilize the new features.

Official servers. This one may or may not require funding depending on how people want it run. I would also vote for a client update that requires users to choose "custom servers" to view the full list. This would speed up pulling the master list if we could pull the official list only, and simplify picking games for users. It would also help users go into the same servers instead of two people being online in separate servers.

I think these servers should be a healthy combination of what you would expect coming in new, such as single binds and the default delay with minimal rubber, and a couple options for sumo and fortress as they are very popular game types. This option requires some development, but should be minimal. If nothing else, the custom servers toggle would just be a toggle for display, like the search, and filter through the whole list.

If we were to get development going again, I would love to see this game rewritten. Making it a mobile game as well would definitely help activity. The single binds make controls super simple with a tap on the left to turn left, right to turn right. I'm sure it would cause people to get the desktop client, but mobile friendly is very attractive and convenient. I realize this is unlikely to happen, but it would be a game changer.

Lastly .. maybe some community driven news? Right now, except the recent post, we have old news and april fools jokes. It makes it look like a dead project. News could be tournaments, client updates, some sort of competitions .. anything. Appearing active helps in actually being more active.

I said lastly, but .. It may also help if what was going on was cross posted to other gaming communities. It's often very welcome to post tournaments you're hosting or a part of, how to join, etc. in gaming communities. We would likely fall under "other", but you may pick up a few new players that way.

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I'm sorry if some things contradict or don't make sense. I wrote this while working and did not have full attention on it. Looking up, it feels like some idea vomiting, but maybe it will help get some discussion going. I don't think our main issue is money right now. I think we just need some goals and to divide the workload based on who is capable of doing what and has time for it.

I would be happy to help where I can. The website is probably my strongest area. I could take that fee away from Tank and just host it, rewrite it to be mobile friendly and more desktop friendly, and add a way for news to be easily updated. Of course, that would be if he wanted to go a direction like that. I don't want to force my way into anything.

I would also be happy to get into the source code of the client, but being that I'm not great with C++, I would need a sort of walkthrough of how things are laid out in our source. I know plenty of other programming languages, and it's generally easy to hop into a new one when you're working with existing source. I have even worked with other C++ games, but it felt a little more straight forward in their source. Maybe Z-Man would want to take me up on that one some time?

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Re: Donations

Post by Monkey »

Your post was good Light, don't be so hard on yourself.

So, it looks like donations are not wanted at the moment. That's fine. If the situation changes then please tell me/us.

As for people's free time, that may change now with the Corona virus situation. I myself now have a lot of free time on my hands as I can't go into work (it's closed for the foreseeable future).

I agree about the website. We need a new website or at least to make many changes to the current one. The design, layout and content all need changing. There is lots of broken links on it for a start (as has been mentioned elsewhere on these forums). Also, the website, forums and wiki aren't connected to each other both in appearance and structure. The wiki's content is very outdated, incomplete, incomprehensible and a mess. I'm not even sure that a wiki is the best way for us to be documenting this game. This forum(s) has lots of spam accounts but it is otherwise not too bad at the moment in terms of content.

If you're able to work on the website, I'd be happy to help you with the content on it. Many years ago, I did teach myself client-side website development (HTML, CSS and JavaScript), however things have changed a lot since then and I doubt I'd be much use on that front.

The official servers idea is excellent and I support it fully. I suggest low rubber servers only. I think sumo and fort could be there and maybe we should have a last man standing/free for all server with fort/sumo physics, for newer people to get used to.
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GluGGsel
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Re: Donations

Post by GluGGsel »

Firstly, I'm no programmer at all, nor do I have any knowledge on how to help in any way. But thank you guys so much for all your thoughts (which also cost your time) on how to improve the game and gameplay!
Monkey wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:23 am
The official servers idea is excellent and I support it fully. I suggest low rubber servers only. I think sumo and fort could be there and maybe we should have a last man standing/free for all server with fort/sumo physics, for newer people to get used to.
This brought me to my idea which I want to share. Idk if it's possible and the right place here, but I'll just do it.
Imagine the following:

There is only one EU (and one US) sumo server online. I want to play sumo, so I join. There are about 5 ppl playing. We all feel like we want to play team sumo, so we start a poll about the mode change. The poll gets accepted by the majority and the server applies the wished changes. Now we all play team sumo.
If the defined max of ppl in the server is reached, a second server automatically starts up.

This would prevent ppl from playing on different servers at the same time and gather them to less servers. It would also make the server list less confusing with all the colors and titles.

As I said, just an idea :)
GluGGsel greets :goatee:

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Light
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Re: Donations

Post by Light »

Glu, I sat here and wrote a big long explanation about why that wouldn't really work, and I may have just talked myself through how to make it work. Does anyone have a really good VPS host that runs low latency so I can look at pricing?

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aP|Nelg
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Re: Donations

Post by aP|Nelg »

GluGGsel wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:57 am
There is only one EU (and one US) sumo server online. I want to play sumo, so I join. There are about 5 ppl playing. We all feel like we want to play team sumo, so we start a poll about the mode change. The poll gets accepted by the majority and the server applies the wished changes. Now we all play team sumo.
If the defined max of ppl in the server is reached, a second server automatically starts up.

This would prevent ppl from playing on different servers at the same time and gather them to less servers. It would also make the server list less confusing with all the colors and titles.
For what it's worth: Noodles and I experimented with a similar idea. After each match has ended (or every client in the server types /newmode), everyone gets 30 seconds to vote for a new mode. I never really announced it anywhere but I put it back up (called ~ Multimode ~) if anyone wants to try it.

The voting screen looks like this
Image

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Tank Program
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Re: Donations

Post by Tank Program »

Donations were pretty generous back in the day when I was a student and I needed help paying, but fortunately the Armagetron-related things I host are not that expensive for me anymore (yay job!). A big thank you for anyone who contributed back then. For now though until we can come up with something that donation money would really help with, one of the best things people who want to donate can do instead is play and enjoy the game I think.
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Titanoboa
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Re: Donations

Post by Titanoboa »

I guess it's gonna be about hosting servers, then. The sumo community is starting to notice that dedicated servers are performing more consistently than the VPS's we've been relying on lately. And even though a dedi can be afforded by a single enthusiast ... the cost adds up over time, for sure. Perhaps that's where our money should go? There isn't really a culture of asking for support (money for hosting, strictly speaking) but perhaps if we encourage them to, they'll add a donate button somewhere and in the long run we'll have better servers to play on. It probably shouldn't be centralized (i.e. managed through these forums or the main website), and some healthy competition would be nice as well.

If I'm understanding the scale correctly, even a portion of the current players giving as little as $1 a month would cover most if not all of the costs.

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sinewav
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Re: Donations

Post by sinewav »

Here is an idea: How about a Patreon account for Armagetron? Does anyone use Patreon? I would gladly add this game to the other projects I support. If the monthly income is sufficient, the lead team (Z-Man, Tank, Lucifer) could "hire" someone to manage official dedicated servers using the budget. We have no shortage of talent in that department.

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