Sharing Less

I find myself wondering what to post about anytime I think of my mostly dormant blog here. I think I’m just getting to the point where online communities and being social really matters less to me…and a good reason why is…

So, today I’m going to talk about gaming communities. Last year about this time, I released a donationware application add-on for an aging gaming community. The first response was pleasant, though donations weren’t exactly pouring in. Still, I didn’t write it to make a fortune, I had just hoped to break even and have fun doing it. Now, by break even, what I mean is that I had hoped it would pay for its own hosting, any costs associated with the website, such as the domain, at least 25% of the time spent on development, and the cost of running a VPS for the server-side of the app.

How has it done?
Very poorly. All associated costs, I added up to about $2000. Not a lot, really, and while some users have made donations, we’re still over $1500.00 from the mark I’d hoped for. Even that wouldn’t be so bad except…

There have been add-ons like this before for this gaming community. Two, to be exact. While both were decent enough applications, they were lacking in some areas and abandoned by their authors (with no source code released). So, picking up the torch and releasing a modern app to work with the aging game clients would be welcomed, right? Wrong. 90% of all feedback about the application has been negative. Comments ranging from “this ap sux0rz” with no elaboration on what they are experiencing, to “this is worthless because it isn’t (insert predecessor name here)”.

In Summation
I’ve become very tired of working on the application when my every move will only be criticized by users who had no intention of ever contributing to the development or testing of the application. I know this is the norm today, but it’s a donationware app, and I simply don’t have to put up with it. So, I’m going to release one more version of the application before the end of the year. Depending upon the reception at that time, I’ll likely kill it off. Will I release my source code? No. Now I know why those who came before me didn’t. Why would I want to help a community like that? If that’s the behavior that I get, then they’ll continue to get add-ons that are short-lived, and closed source.