Wololo gives back
It’s the end of the year, Christmas is here, and “traditionally” for me it’s time to summarize what I’ve done with the money coming from this website.
I started working on Wagic 4 years ago, and one of the goals was for Wagic to be able to finance itself. I had come up with complex business schemes involving DLC, but it turns out that was too much work (and legally questionable since at the time Wagic only supported Magic the Gathering), so I ended up relying on donations. Donations are a great motivation boost, and I got a few of those for my work on Wagic or HBL, but not enough to make Wagic support itself (basically, pay for the costs of the server). I soon moved to an ad-supported website, which is more intrusive than donations, but guarantees a more “regular” income. The site finally became able to finance itself last year (if I’m not counting the incredible amount of time I spend developing Wagic, HBL, writing in this blog, or monitoring the site and the forum), which was great news for me.
Although I cannot disclose how much the site makes (it’s part of the contract with google adsense), I sure hope you guys know I’m not here for the money (I have a job that pays well enough that I don’t “need” to have any additional income). This year’s money was used for the following:
- Pay the server fees (that’s the obvious thing, and the reason the ads are here)
- A cash prize was awarded to my favorite open source entry in the genesis competition
- A cash prize was awarded to the winner of Wagic’s mod contest.
- I donated to the website opengameart.org. This site encourages artists to share their work in a GPL or Creative Commons license, and this is a great source of assests if you are looking for graphics to put in your hommebrews/indie games. These graphics are all free, of great quality, and most of them can even be included in commercial games, provided you follow the licence requirements. In order to provide new graphics on a regular basis though, this site needs some money once in a while to finance some commisioned work, hence the donation. See my article on how to get free graphics for your games here
- I secured some money to donate to WTactics.org (it is pending their approval to be sent). I’ll talk more about this game in another blog post, hopefully. They are creating an open source card game, what these guys are working on is in direct line with what Wagic aims to be, and I hope we can work with them at some point in the future.
- Some of the money was sent to the Red Cross, something I’ve done every year since Davee’s Hen 3 years ago.
- I usually donate to Wikipedia.org, one of the best sites in the world, and a huge source of knowledge for me and many people. They promote the free sharing of knowledge and culture, something that I value a lot. That being said, this year I felt more affinity towards the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an association that protects our rights in the digital world, so this is where I decided to make a donation this time. The EFF is constantly fighting against lobbies that try to restrain individual freedom in the name of money or “security” (totalitarianism is usually a closer approximate).
So, well, I guess my message is “think twice when you install adblock on your web browser” (or you can also donate if you enjoy/enjoyed Wagic or HBL, but if you prefer, please donate to one of those sites I mentioned above). Merry Christmas and Happy new year if I don’t blog by then (ha, who am I kidding?)
On an unrelated note, the Beta for Wagic 0.17 is slightly delayed because I ran into serious performance issue on the PSP, and they are not completely solved yet, but I’m getting there.