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Opinions/advice wanted

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Braineeee, Nov 8, 2018.


To open source or not?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  3. It depends

    3 vote(s)
  1. Braineeee


    Nov 9, 2014
    Thinking about some other game devs who I am definitely a fan of, I've noticed a stark contrast between my own style and theirs. These people contribute their code to the community, while myself I don't believe in giving away my work. At the same time they've been met with pretty great success in terms of audience.

    Of course they do have blogs they actively update, and a number of social media presences.

    I understand open source is a great thing, we wouldn't have Blender, Gimp 2.0, or Linux without it to say the least, and there are obvious benefits for everyone to it.

    In a similar notion, if the spread of ideas and technology is a net positive, then companies making a profit from their work is not always necessary...there are other business models besides straight up selling software (IBM just purchased RedHat for $32 B!).

    I talk a lot about $$ but its not a huge motivator to myself, otherwise I would have finished the damn game already. Its just not easy to overcome that possessive notion.

    I guess I want to hear opinions about open sourcing software and whether its worth it to keep your source proprietary. Maybe I can be convinced...
  2. Billy4184


    Jul 7, 2014
    You didn't mention why you don't want to share your stuff for free. What negative impact do you foresee?

    I believe in doing what gives you pleasure. If giving away your work gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, then do it. If it causes someone to clone it and sell it and that puts you in a fever of rage, don't do it.

    I don't believe there are many instances where making source code available is going to have a measurable negative impact on you. Giving away a complete game, art assets and all, is really the only thing that's going to damage your own enterprises.

    I also don't believe there are many instances where simply giving away stuff is going to benefit you a great deal. People tend to view stuff given for free, like Centrelink payments, as a fundamental human right, and are not always grateful. Though some people will be, and that might make it worthwhile. Instead, it's far more satisfying to teach someone, in my opinion. It's not as easy as giving something away though.

    Do whatever makes you happy.
  3. tiggus


    Sep 2, 2010
    Chances are if you don't already have a community/following no one will check out your opensource project anyways, much like a game :)

    That being said I am a big believer in opensource, it is a big part of what I do for a living now and I work in a huge company. The benefit is obvious, if people like your code they will use it and then contribute back improvements which you can choose to accept or not, but at least you are getting feedback and might make you think about things you hadn't considered.

    I really don't see any downsides, the difference between someone using a system you wrote and duplicating your whole game is pretty huge, just like downloading an asset store kit does not make a successful commercial game.
    Braineeee, Kiwasi and Tom_Veg like this.
  4. Tom_Veg


    Sep 1, 2016
    I believe in free work in only 3 cases:

    - You are still very young (live with your parents, don't know what bills are, taking care of yourself etc so you can work for fun and for free, with possible payback from community in the future if your product is good)
    - You found a way to make money with open source. Blender is good example. It is free for all users, but it makes money, just their business model is different. Donations, cloud subscriptions, blender shop etc. Big popularity of software enables it to be open source and still makes money... To found Blender as open source, they still needed money at start.
    "The Blender Foundation's first goal was to find a way to continue developing and promoting Blender as a community based open source project. In July 2002, NaN investors agreed on a plan to attempt to publish Blender under an open-source license using the Street Performer Protocol. The "Free Blender" campaign sought to raise 100,000 EUR as a one-time fee so that the NaN investors would agree on open sourcing Blender. The campaign reached this goal in only seven weeks. On Sunday 13 October 2002, Blender was therefore released under the terms of the GNU General Public License. After this success, Ton Roosendaal began to coordinate the development of Blender by volunteers as chairman of the Blender Foundation"... Source:

    - You are rich, don't need to worry about money at all, and you want to simply give to the community. So you create and give away everything cause it makes you feel good.

    Basically money is involved in open source in any case. The only question is how are you going to get it.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    Braineeee likes this.
  5. Kiwasi


    Dec 5, 2013
    This. Open source doesn't matter if noone else opens it.

    There are other reasons.
    • The tool is too small or trivial to be worth monetising. This was the case with my tool. It simply wasn't worth monetising, but was occasionally useful. Every once in a while someone uses it for a project and pushes any modifications they make back to the repo. Over time the tool slowly improves for everyone.
    • The project is needed by a large group of people who are all willing to contribute. This is often the case with industry wide opensource projects. Especially ones that don't form the core competitive advantage of a business.
    • There is an advantage to standardizing. Some things don't make sense to develop individually. Its useful for everyone to be standardized. Open source can achieve this.
    Braineeee and Tom_Veg like this.
  6. Ony


    Apr 26, 2009
    I wish I could give everything away. It makes me happy and reminds me more of old days in computing where even though a ton of stuff cost money, there was also a huge bunch of code you could just type in from a magazine and it was yours. Unfortunately, I have bills to pay, so I don't give a lot away free these days, but I try to do it when I can.
  7. XCPU


    Nov 5, 2017
    Don't forget about just plain Marketing and Branding.
    Braineeee likes this.