Spending money :)

What do you want to see in Armagetron soon? Any new feature ideas? Let's ponder these ground breaking ideas...
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Lucifer
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Spending money :)

Post by Lucifer »

Ok, so in the other thread, we get current expenses at $35/year for domain registration, and that's it. Currently we have $200 in paypal from donations.

So a few things. First, where should we store money? To be honest, for any amount up to $1000, distributed amongst at least 3 of us, I'm happy to let PayPal handle it. Over that amount we should probably create a legal entity with owners and stuff and get a real, insured bank account for it. Um, not that money in cash, more like that money in flow. So say we have sooo much money coming in that we're getting at least $400/month, we should have something to handle it. That's probably quite a ways off.

So how do we spend it? Generally, I'm talking.

1. Up to a certain amount we should save. Not sure where to set it, should be something like 3 x expenses, which in this case is $105. That would be yearly expenses, and after they reach a certain level, if income is strong enough, reduce the factor we need to save. We pay our expenses out of this.

2. After that, what? We should spend it on stuff that Benefits The Project, what does the project need? I suggest we put together a wishlist somewhere where developers can say what they need, give links to buy or whatever, and then we can prioritize it. I'm thinking stuff like MS Visual Studio (if we want to keep doing builds with it and it's worth buying), special video cards for testing, computers for testing (like buying Lucifer a new router so he can make an OpenWrt port :) ), stuff like that. It should either be to fix bugs that can't be fixed without a developer possessing the hardware, or adding features/porting the game that require new hardware to add.

3. More stuff that benefits the project. Would a compiler farm be helpful to us? Something that spits out nightly builds from svn trunk?

4. Industry conventions. :) We send representatives to industry conventions. Stuff like LinuxWorld, LinuxExpo, whatever else appears. We'd have to put up entry fees, hotel rooms, etc. Expensive, but worthy expenses.

5. I think it's reasonable that developers have a chunk of it at some point, if there's a lot. But how much and how to give it out? One consideration is to contract with one or more developers to do work on the game. There are other ideas we can beat around, we've got a ways before there's enough money to consider this, if it ever happens.

6. Potential loans/gifts to developers if they have the misfortune to hit on hard times. We should take care of each other, right?

As for the $200 we've got, we can sit on it, but I think we should work out how we're going to spend any money and start moving on it. People have given us $200! Rock! They want us to spend it making the game better, or somehow improving the project, so we can't sit on it too long without at least developing a plan, right?
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Post by Z-Man »

7. Upgade developers' home internet connection so they can run kick ass test servers over it or alternatively

8. Rent/collocate a kick ass root server to run test servers on it

On 3., I don't think a dedicated host is required for that. Time is not essential, any puny computer can do the build. The crucial bit is the automation, and throwing money at the problem doesn't help. Reminds me to set up cross compilation.

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Lucifer
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Post by Lucifer »

The difference between 2 and 3 on my list is ownership. :) Items in #2 would be owned by the developer that gets them. Items in #3 would be owned by the project. So put your server in #3 and your home internet connection in #2, although there's no consideration for such a thing there, the assumption is that it would be a one-time purchase. Maybe ongoing expenses like subsidizing internet connections for developers class as expenses? We could then budget some amount for subsidizing developer's internet....

Also, the numbers are meant as proposed priorities. Not sure if that was clear. So I'm looking to do three tings with this thread: brainstorm for stuff we can spend our money on to help the project, then prioritize how we'll spend the money, then act on it, which may or may not cause us to spend some of that $200 tank is holding for us. So if y'all disagree with my priorities, please suggest alternates so we can beat something together. :)
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Post by joda.bot »

I think/feel that point 6 might cause problems. Drawing a line what kind of help is acceptable is difficult: example should we pay z-man's fuel/car so he loses less time driving?

In case anyone has serious problems, we can still call on the community to help. I think we also missed ads ? Might be useful to advertise for the game, but it really depends on our focus.

(Ads on sf or slashdot might make sense - I won't see them anyways ;) - long live to adblock.)

A nice payback would be a free homepage / email for donaters if we really get a vhost and have spare resources ...

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Post by Lucifer »

I was thinking point 6 is like "just lost job, needs to pay rent or goes homeless". Circumstances would have to be exceptional, because individuals need to take care of themselves, too. :)

Actually, I started this thread to keep discussing how to raise money separate from how it'll be spent. There's some overlap if spending money is investing in raising money, but we figure that out later when we have money to invest and we have something to invest it in.

(I mentioned ads in the other thread, too :) )
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Post by Lackadaisical »

How about using the money to accomodate the new players a bit more? Maybe a newbie server or something, could be a way to keep players a bit longer interested than when they are getting slaughtered by doublebinding bastards or when they're kicked after one round in cvs server ;) The server could change maps around a bit to show what type of play they can expect.

Well i guess this could also be done in some kind of single player type of thing but i have the feeling most people jump right into internet games anyway. I know i did :)

Just my 2 cents.

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Post by omega »

nice idea lack, thats tru

1 of my bro's (demon) friends joined. He went into cvs and was kicked instantly even though demon protested needless to say that guy dont play the game anymore. A newbie server wud help loads.

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Post by iceman »

$35/year for a domain name seems a little expensive to me

try http://godaddy.com
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Post by Tank Program »

Problem with lack's idea: there's nothing to keep people who aren't newbies out of the so called "newbie" server. Z-man or anyone could just rename a current server to 'newbie server' and it would be exactly the same. You don't need to spend money on that. And that $200 is just what's in the account- I didn't subtract for the year of domain hosting that's already passed or the one I'm about to pay. That makes it really $130 available. Also note that we are _not_ talking about a serious cash flow. We are talking about getting lucky and having a really nice perso come along every couple of months. That's not going to keep us in buisness for any sort of advertising, home internet connections, server hosting. SourceForge has a compiler farm if you want to test on different platforms Lucifer. No way we'll ever have money for a convention unless we become horrendously rich.

My emphasis is this- there is no cash flow right now. Spending money isn't an option yet. You can dream, scheme, & plan but nothing's going to happen for a long time. So, I'm all for 100% saving.
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Post by Tank Program »

iceman wrote:$35/year for a domain name seems a little expensive to me

try http://godaddy.com
It is what it is because of the way we host things.
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Post by Lucifer »

:) Yeah, some folks mentioned when the other thread started (before my big long post, when we were in the Armagetron Linux thread) that we should work this out before there's real money so that if real money ever materializes, we'll have already agreed. Good friends with dollar signs in their eyes and all.... That's what this thread is for.

Yeah, after you subtract the two year's of hosting and going with the "keep 3 x expenses saved for now", then that's 3 x expenses, can't spend any of it. :)

but we have a nice domain...

iceman: price isn't everything for domains. There's also quality of service, and no-ip provides excellent service. There are those who say there's someone better out there, but personally I find their $35 domain service is well worth the money.
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Re: Spending money :)

Post by Luke-Jr »

Lucifer wrote:Ok, so in the other thread, we get current expenses at $35/year for domain registration, and that's it.
WTF? Domain registration should cost at most $10/yr.

Now, if you want to get into liquid expenses, we have the CPU time and bandwidth for anyone hosting stuff-- but that would need charting and rating, so it's not quite as simple. Not to mention that CPU time and bandwidth is often gratis once there's a subscription.

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Post by Luke-Jr »

iceman wrote:try http://godaddy.com
GoDaddy sucks. If you need another option, MyDomain works decent.
I can do whatever domain hosting is needed (+ everydns for backup DNS)
Lucifer wrote:iceman: price isn't everything for domains. There's also quality of service, and no-ip provides excellent service. There are those who say there's someone better out there, but personally I find their $35 domain service is well worth the money.
no-ip is absolute crap for DNS service, from what I hear from Tank's talking about its limitations. It can't handle subdomains beyond the third level, it can't do DNS records besides A, CNAME, and MX.

If it's up for renewal, we should switch somewhere else. MyDomain is something like $8.50/yr, and I'll gladly manage DNS (self hosted and plenty of mirroring servers) to break free of no-ip's restrictions.

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Post by Tank Program »

I always hear the domain should be less or have more features or whatever. But, just drop it. It's there and it works flawlessly. Let's not try to fix what's not broken.
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Post by Tank Program »

Luke-Jr wrote:no-ip is absolute crap for DNS service, from what I hear from Tank's talking about its limitations. It can't handle subdomains beyond the third level, it can't do DNS records besides A, CNAME, and MX.
Other records, which we don't really use anyway. What exactly would you do with a third level domain? Do we really need a AAAA record? No, we got 12 ipv6 hits in the last month. It's just stuff I've noticed. And I'm well happy giving what so far really ammounts to my parents money to them.
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