Suggestions for the Patreon page

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By MirceaKitsune 27 Oct 2017 15:27

Member · 38 comments

Last night I was looking at the pull request for the NPC Movement Mega Patch, whereas now I just saw the thread Bitcraft posted about his contributions.

In both places he mentioned that he's been putting a lot of effort into Tuxemon... which I can definitely see, and once more I thank him and the other developers for it. He suggested that people consider donating to the Tuxemon project on Patreon... which I also agree with and is what I'm making this thread to discuss.

At this time I cannot donate personally; My own financial situation is a really huge mess, and if one thing goes wrong me and my mother stand to be left homeless and starve to death. However I've been following the Tuxemon Patreon page for a while now. After seeing those messages I decided to take a look at it and see if there's anything new there. Upon doing so however, I noticed a lot of obvious issues with how the page is set up. They stood out to me because I'm a creator on Patreon myself, and over the last two years since I've been actively using it I learned quite a bit about how it works and how a page should be configured to attract new supporters.

So if this is alright with the team, I'd like to offer some advice from my personal experience, on how I believe you should change the Patreon page in order to attract and motivate more donors. I'm hopeful that by fixing all of these points, you should be able to attract at least $100 total support in a few months time. My primary observations right now are the following, in what I consider to be their order of importance:

  • First and foremost, the page has no posts on it whatsoever! I couldn't imagine a Patreon page attracting someone new as long as nobody is posting anything; Members of the Tuxemon community who are familiar with the project and know what we're doing may overlook this, but most people won't know what they're pledging for and might as well suspect it's just a scam. Folks want to see a crowded page with periodic content. What I recommend here is:

    • Please post something new at least once a month. This should be a good minimum interval for people to see that development is still ongoing, as well hear news about what has changed or what is being planned at a given time.
    • There need to be both free posts, so that non-patrons see news and information on what's happening and what they're being asked to support... as well as paid posts, offering rewards mentioned in each tier such as exclusive information or content for people in those tiers.
    • Paid posts can additionally be set to become free after some time. For instance, you can create a post that's only visible to $5 supporters initially, but becomes public after 10 days have passed. I recommend using this feature as well occasionally, with the interval of days influenced by how secret and exclusive the content of that post was (more special posts should take longer to become public, less secret posts may become public sooner): This way people who aren't supporting can see what they have missed after the information is no longer as relevant.
  • The page currently has no rewards. Rewards are virtually plans that you can attach a sum of money to: When the Patreon page reaches that sum, you do what the reward has promised! This helps motivate new patrons a lot, as they can see the counter and say "if I donate this amount of $, I'm helping get the team this much closer to achieving that milestone, and they will finally make that feature happen". Ideally there should always be at least one goal that hasn't been reached yet, so for instance: If your page has $500, have a goal for $600... once you reach $600, add a new goal for $800... and so on.
  • While I'm seeing there are a few tiers already, they all reach a very low price range. There need to be both cheap tiers for people who can't afford much (eg: $1, $3, $5) but also expensive tiers for those who can ($100 or even beyond that amount). It can be tricky finding something to offer for such high prices, I know... still it's worth trying to find something for that price range as well. I'd recommend adding tiers for $40 + $60 + $80 + $100 to the existing ones.
  • Use featured tags on the page. This makes it easy for people to find certain categories of posts right away. For example: Posts informing users of new development updates should all contain the tag "development", whereas in the page settings you can select "development" as a tag to show up to the left of the page, making it easy for everyone to get a list of all development related posts.
  • The description of the page is also rather simple. It shouldn't be too long either as that becomes tedious to read, but a bit of extra detail might be welcome. I'd especially suggest having graphics in the description in between paragraphs, as text mixed with images looks and feels a lot nicer.
  • Spread the word about the Patreon page! Honestly, I only knew one even exists because I saw a random comment about it once... if it wasn't for that I wouldn't have even known that Tuxemon has a Patreon to this day! My recommendations on this:

    • 1 - Put it on the main Tuxemon website and other places where it can be seen. Not in an annoying way that makes people feel it's being rubbed into their faces, that can get annoying quickly... just in a way that stands out, like a decently sized Patreon logo with the text "support us on Patreon". If I go to https://tuxemon.org right now I see no logo or text about any Patreon... not helpful at all.
    • 2 - Blog about it periodically, in places like Tumblr or Facebook or Twitter. Do so on both the official Tuxemon pages if any exist there, as well as your personal pages on those sites. Ideally don't do it by reposting the same message and just saying "please support us" over and over again, this won't bode well with many folks; What I usually do is announce new projects and initiatives, then include a line like "if you wish to make this happen, please support the project on Patreon"... I find this both non-annoying as well as it being perfectly true.
    • 3 - Ask other people or groups to spread the word about the project in general, and its Patreon page in consequence. For instance I'm sure a lot of Linux gaming blogs would like to bring awareness to it, as some have already done in the past; You could ask them to promote Tuxemon and its development, while also including the note "this project now has a Patreon, support them at https://patreon.com/tuxemon to help its development".

I hope this advice from a Patreon user will be of help; I haven't found any easy fixes I could make new pull requests for, nor have the money to pledge now like I said... so perhaps those suggestions are something else I can give back! Let me know if it helps and what you think.

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By bitcraft 27 Oct 2017 16:33

Champion · 166 comments

Wow is is amazing!  Thanks for your comments, I can see you've got a lot of experience and it sounds like great advice.  Personally, I have talked with my friends about Tuxemon, but in a way, because it is a bit unstable, I haven't really pushed it.  With the recent map and story additions, the new incoming maps, etc (great work everyone!) and this big NPC patch, I'm feeling more confident that it can be shared with others.

The "debug patch" with map reloading and save/load state will be another contribution that will make it as good as some of the other beta/alpha game projects out there.  When that happens, the patreon should be ready to provide awards and things like that.

Thanks again.  You've given me a lot to consider.

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By MirceaKitsune 27 Oct 2017 16:40

Member · 38 comments

No problem, very glad I could help! Yeah... it might be best to wait until a few more basics are finished before implementing such changes; It can be better if they come at a time when people have something closer to being playable, compared to the current state which is more of a demo where you still can't do a lot.

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By ShadowApex 1 Nov 2017 05:56

Lead Developer · 374 comments

Thanks for this MirceaKitsune! I have wanted to improve the Patreon to offer more incentives for people to contribute, and your suggestions are great. I would love to sit down and get the Patreon into a better state. I haven't had the time to give it the attention it needs, but I'm hoping to have more time in the coming months.