Support VNDB on Patreon

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#1 by yorhel
2019-10-12 at 07:34
tl;dr: You can help VNDB by throwing money this way.

Those who have been with us for a long time will no doubt have noticed that VNDB's development progress has had its ups and downs throughout its history. In the first two or three years I have been very actively developing and improving the site, but development has stagnated pretty quickly afterwards and new features have become rare and erratic. Much of this is owed to changes in my lifestyle: I've gone from being a student with lots of free time on my hands to a slave with a full-time job and no energy left to spare in the weekends. This lack of development taken its toll over the years: The code has grown old and is in need of some serious maintenance and modernization. Important features have been requested over the years, but nothing has happened to make those a reality. VNDB is a wonderful site with a lot of unexplored potential, it will need more love than I've had a chance to give.

There has been one positive aspect during the times where I have been largely absent: The database has kept growing in terms of both quality and quantity, meaning we have a healthy community to keep the content correct and up-to-date. I'd like to support that community to become even more effective and to improve the database in more than just database entry counts: I'd like VNDB to become an even more usable database with useful and easily searchable information.

To that end I've now created a Patreon so that I can dedicate more time to VNDB instead of work, because - going from past experience - combining VNDB with a job tends to not work out too well.

Of course, your support will not go unrewarded! Check out the Patreon page for tiers and more information.

(Alternative title: "DATABASE $ELLOUT! part 2")
#2 by mqvisionary
2019-10-12 at 07:50
"only hides the patreon icon for the moment"?
Man... you're not planning for ads here, are you?
#3 by ᔕᕼᖇOOᗰᒪOᖇᗪ
2019-10-12 at 07:52
Cool, I'm all about lazily supporting stuff I like by just throwing money at it.
#4 by yorhel
2019-10-12 at 07:57
Man... you're not planning for ads here, are you?
I just did. The big fat Patreon icon very much counts as an ad in my book.

TBH I'm still undecided what to do when the Patreon isn't a success. I *may* consider advertising, but I have ethical concerns about ads in general, so if I do decide to go that route I will be very careful not to make them too invasive (no tracking, in any case!). And the $1 disable-ads option will always be available.
#5 by lucumo
2019-10-12 at 08:00
The sad part is that only Patreon is available...not exactly the best option. Alternatives would always be welcome.
#6 by 128819
2019-10-12 at 08:18
At what point would the Patreon be considered a success? I'd assume the lowest goal at $400?

I'm reminded of how Gelbooru opened up their Patreon a while back and I believe they just barely reached their lowest goal. Yet the site was still covered in ads and stupid merch. I think that Patreon might be gone now, since I can't find it.

That being said, merch could be another option, though I've always considered it quite dumb to have something like a t-shirt for a very specific website. Again, someone might be willing to pay for it...

Anyways, I'll look into dropping a few bucks in the future. Best of luck to you.
#7 by sakurakoi
2019-10-12 at 08:33
I just did. The big fat Patreon icon very much counts as an ad in my book.
Wasn't yet in mine... now it is. Orange on Blue is utterly ugly and I consider this actual blackmail. You'll hear from my lawyer!

The sad part is that only Patreon is available...not exactly the best option.
Well, there is sufficient reason to despise monthly payments that can quickly add up. Select mere $5€ and at the end of a mere year you could have bought a full priced title (or many discounted ones).

But welp, am I glad that top priority now is to make supporters look fabulous (for a month), which others who are fabulous can disable. Seriously, the best mean to convince anyone is to give an actual roadmap... not that one can't exploit that though like pretty much any pr0n-patreon-creator does, "take your time and save best for last [never]~"
#8 by yorhel
2019-10-12 at 08:48
Alternatives would always be welcome.
I'm still considering Paypal.

At what point would the Patreon be considered a success?
The vague but correct answer: When I'm not running out of money.
The more practical answer: If the first goal isn't met within a year, I have little faith that this is going to sustain development.

Keep in mind that (non-obtrusive) ads is only one option. The alternative and rather more obvious option is that I just drop VNDB development again for some time.

give an actual roadmap
I've been in software development long enough to know where that leads to: Code that is unmaintainable in the long run. That will hurt VNDB far more than it will help. I am maintaining a wishlist again and expect to seriously work on making most of that a reality. But I'm not willing to put a timeline to it, given that I value long-term viability far more than badly thought out features in the short term.
#9 by vdz
2019-10-12 at 13:51
Patreon charges VAT on the donations, which means I'd have to pay $2.10 per $10 I send your way. Which is kinda bullshit as I'm not getting anything but a token reward for it (and I wouldn't mind passing on that too if necessary) so it's pretty clearly a donation and not a sale. Please do consider also using an alternative like PayPal that can treat donations as donations.
#10 by shining17
2019-10-12 at 13:54
I think Ko-fi.com is a better alternative than Patreon.
#11 by myopius
2019-10-12 at 14:01
It sounds like this is a well-founded Patreon. Rather than let patrons directly influence development in order to tempt them toward high tiers, yorhel frankly says he'll utilize his own experience and judgment as VNDB's creator to decide what aspects of the site best deserve development time.

So, there's no need for me to worry that I'll wake up tomorrow to find that VNDB has an unholy trinity of "friends" "likes" and "memes". Or that it's expanded into anime and manga by popular demand. I trust yorhel's judgment.

The features listed in d8#4 all seem like excellent candidates for development, especially custom lists.
#12 by NowItsAngeTime
2019-10-12 at 14:16
Hmm Ill consider donating for new features but hopefully Yorhel actually lays out specific features and priorities to work on instead of just "Ill work X days a week I swear"
#13 by maou-jp
2019-10-12 at 14:49
I don't have a problem with Patreon, good ideia.
Unrelated question: If I buy a game through VNDB links, do you get any money?
#14 by forever-here
2019-10-12 at 15:00
Orange on Blue is utterly ugly and I consider this actual blackmail.

this 100%. I'm gonna try other skins. I'm gonna miss angel serenade. edit: higanbana looks awesome and fits perfectly.Last modified on 2019-10-12 at 15:02
#15 by pramit
2019-10-12 at 15:02
I second the opinion of implementing a one time donation box.
#16 by yorhel
2019-10-12 at 15:04
Please do consider also using an alternative like PayPal that can treat donations as donations.
I mean, I will, but it's not *that* simple. Beyond a certain point*, accepting tax-free donations will require creating a "Stichting", which is a shitton of extra administration. And a "Stichting" can not sell anything, so I'll still have to charge VAT for the people who do want the rewards. And international VAT handling is the worst pain imaginable, which is why I'm happy Patreon does that for me. I can only imagine international tax-free donation handling will be worse.

(* I forgot how far you can go without the tax agency getting angry, but I don't think it involves all that much money)

lays out specific features and priorities to work on instead of just "Ill work X days a week I swear"
As mentioned in the last paragraph of #8, d8#4 is all I'm willing to give. If you don't like donating in advance, consider donating after I happen to add a feature you like. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If I buy a game through VNDB links, do you get any money?
If VNDB lists a price tag next to the link, yes, otherwise, no.
#17 by rampaa
2019-10-12 at 16:09
Not sure if this is the appropriate place to point this out but Privacy Badger thinks "s.vndb.org" is tracking me. I couldn't view the images in the Patreon page (link, link, link) at first and this seems to be the cause. Any ideas why s.vndb.org is being perceived as such?

Orange on Blue is utterly ugly and I consider this actual blackmail.
*Cough**Cough*Use uBlock Origin's element picker to hide it*Cough**Cough*
#18 by NowItsAngeTime
2019-10-12 at 16:26
Ill probs donate for a bit and hopefully your first big improvement comes soon

In fact, would you be interested in in QA/testing for new features. Id love to help where I can since Ive been wanting vndb improvement s for a while
#19 by vdz
2019-10-12 at 16:47
Beyond a certain point*, accepting tax-free donations will require creating a "Stichting"

(* I forgot how far you can go without the tax agency getting angry, but I don't think it involves all that much money)

As far as I can tell, there's only a limit per donor ("Dit bedrag geldt per schenker. Dat betekent dat u van verschillende personen € 2.173 belastingvrij mag ontvangen."), so that would be a maximum of ~180 per month from a single donor.

which is a shitton of extra administration

Isn't it just a matter of copypasting basic 'Statuten' (don't know what that is in English), filling in the blanks, having it signed by a notary (does cost a non-trivial amount of cash) and registering at the KvK? The only recurring thing after that AFAIK is financial administration, which is basically writing down how much money you received and how much money you gave to volunteers called Yorhel for their contributions. I was recently semi-involved in the creation of a Vereniging and it was just that (plus a Vereniging needs to give a yearly report and financial report each year (which were very minimal for us, less than two sheets each), and an ALV, but I don't think any of that even applies to a Stichting; we also have a (basic copypaste) Huisreglement but I'm not sure if that's even mandatory).

And a "Stichting" can not sell anything, so I'll still have to charge VAT for the people who do want the rewards.

A Stichting can still sell stuff, though as you say they do need to charge VAT for things they sell. But I'm not sure if the rewards you're currently offering really count as selling anything (other than arguably the $1 tier), more being tokens of appreciation.

Either way though you could always set up a donation alternative that does not give any rewards. I'd be willing to donate to that; I'd rather donate $10 a month and not get a patron reward than have to pay $2.10 per month to be able to donate $10.Last modified on 2019-10-12 at 16:47
#20 by NowItsAngeTime
2019-10-12 at 16:54
I pledged $15, how do I get the benefits on my vndb profile?
#21 by fuukanou
2019-10-12 at 17:22
Is the reason our usernames have lost their capital letter at the start of them on our userpages due to the unicode username thing or is it a bug?
#22 by yorhel
2019-10-12 at 19:17
there's only a limit per donor
Huh, that's neat. No problems there, then!

#20: PM!

usernames have lost their capital letter at the start
Uhm, yeah, kindof. That's a consistency thing and people have told me it's weird that your profile used to have your name with a capital letter but it's lowercase everywhere else. While I was fixing the unicode name support I made that more consistent, but I don't mind reverting to the old behavior of that's what people prefer.
#23 by periah250
2019-10-12 at 19:19
"allows you to disable other users' Patreon rewards "
Wait the fuck? You can disable other people rewards? Are you making vndb a meta battle royale here?
#24 by fuukanou
2019-10-12 at 19:23
#22, my username is meant to be written with a capital letter so I'd prefer it back, but idk if most people's username was meant to be so. tbh if I were in your position, I'd use this as a way to convince people to pledge to Patreon.

#23, I presume it disables the little badge thing you get for pledging from appearing on your end (so it looks like it does atm with no badges).
#25 by tyr
2019-10-12 at 19:24
I don't mind reverting to the old behavior of that's what people prefer
Please do, it drives me crazy.

Your name in lowercase in the forums where every name is lowercase is no problem. But lowercase entry in the side menu where every other section has a capital letter is very triggering.

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