We have been on Patreon since August 2017 and the net result has been overwhelmingly positive, with us reaching our first goal in less than a month and reaching today a generous $6000 of monthly donations!
If you haven't become our patron yet, please consider it! As you will see in this post, it really makes a difference. If you prefer other donation means, we will hopefully be able to provide alternative platforms soon.
So far, since the first goal was met (hiring me), I was able to spend a lot more time working on Godot. Most of my new time was used to help existing developers and contributors, as well as helping guide new ones get familiar with the code.
Thanks, in large part, to this, the amount of contributions and active developers skyrocketed and we ended up adding a lot more functions to the upcoming 3.0 (which will be released this month).
The second goal was met recently, and we could hire Thomas Herzog (karroffel), who is the author of GDNative, to continue working on it and also start working on an OpenGL ES 2.0 rendering backend. This new backend will allow Godot 3.1 to recover the high compatibility and performance with every mobile device, low-end PC and WebGL that Godot 2.1 always had.
Default GUI works now! The Editor is using custom materials so it's not looking good currently, but baby steps :) pic.twitter.com/v9VvfeZnS9— Thomas Herzog (@karroffel) January 4, 2018
Being more versed in 3D programming will also allow Thomas to contribute more to 3D development in general, which is the area we have more difficulty finding contributors for.
Our next step is to get our current project manager Rémi Verschelde to work full-time on Godot, and take on the role of project representative on top of those tasks. And we need your support to reach it, as we're still $1,500 away from the target!
Rémi started contributing in 2015 and he has become a vital part of Godot's development these past years. He is our project manager, release manager and leads the triage and documentation teams. He helps coordinate the dozens of monthly contributors, reviewing hundreds of PRs or ensuring that competent developers review them (he merged over 3000 PRs in 3 years), as well as organizing our participation in many FOSS events that take place in Europe.
He is a veteran free software developer and played a big role in setting up the workflows that we use today in Godot's development, to fully leverage the potential of a FOSS community of passionate users, testers, documentation writers, developers, advocates, etc.
By hiring him, the project will not only gain a full time project manager but also a much-needed project representative.
As I wrote many times before, Godot is growing very fast and our community is much larger each year, yet our presence in the video game industry is tiny. Not many big budget games are being made with Godot.
Part of the reason why this happens is that Godot is very new, and games usually take several years to be complete, but the main problem we face is visibility. It's not that companies are not interested in Godot, it's just that they simply have never heard of it. The same happens with education institutions and video game industry events, we have zero visibility in there. Even the industry press has never mentioned Godot.
To begin changing this, we need to participate more in industry events, getting to meet more companies, education institutions, press events, etc. For this, we need a project representative, a real human who can be a reference point for the industry to contact. Someone who can speak on behalf of the project, who knows everyone of us working on it.
As much as I would love to do this, my time is better spent programming and helping other developers. I also live in Buenos Aires, so I'm very far away from most of the industry.
Rémi lives in Europe, speaks French, English and German fluently, and knows all of us working on Godot. This is why we (the Godot PLC and other contributors we discussed with) want him to take on this role.
His role as a representative will also include finding and coordinating other representatives around the world, so we can have better presence such as:
More presence will also mean more potential sponsoring, so we can improve our cashflow and make sure more of our core contributors can be hired to work on improving Godot.
Help us make this happen by pledging on Patreon or sharing the link to your network! :)