Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Pentarctagon » August 30th, 2016, 6:06 am

iceiceice wrote:It's weird that on the one hand, we can have these "Wesnoth is a sinking ship" banners "Call for help, anyone with C++ skills, we need you" etc. etc.
Speaking of that, has the situation improved significantly? If it has, it would probably be a good idea for someone (or I'll figure out how to edit wikipedia, either way) to update Wesnoth's wikipedia page to something less dire.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Rhonda » August 30th, 2016, 9:18 am

iceiceice wrote: I guess I don't know what your monetary goals are for Wesnoth 2. But I don't think you should discount donations as far as Wesnoth 1 is concerned. I recall that some time ago there was a discussion on irc about donations, and AI0867 found that someone had started a Wesnoth-related flattr account, which looked like it had about $5000 in it at the time we looked at it.

I found this record by grepping through the logs:

https://www.wesnoth.org/irclogs/2014/05 ... -05-21.log

I did a little more research, I think Rhonda was responsible for this flattr and at some point deleted it. I remember dimly that we told Noy about it at some time and never heard back.

It was never clear to me how that works -- if wesnoth inc. does not accept donations then where does this flattr money go?
Hi. I have no clue how you came up with a number of $5000, never saw that and never heard about it, nor did I see it anywhere in any report I ever received. Also I totally like to challenge the accusation of having deleted the account, why do you throw around blank statements that are honestly just wrong?

The last report mail that I received to the treasurer mail address (which Noy also has access to) was from january 2013 and contained $800.30. I haven't received anything since, am not in the treasurer mail address anymore. In February 2013 a new email address was added to the account, that mail didn't contain which email address was added, and I haven't received anything anymore about it since then. I see a recovery try in december 2015 which failed with the claim that the flattr mail address isn't registered - which is likely related to the newly added address from February 2013 and potential removal of the flattr one.

These are the facts which I can back up with emails received. I know I didn't follow up to the events back then, and can't remember anyone addressing me with respect to it, but I definitely hate it when people claim things simply wrong. Please stop that, I wonder about the agenda you like to push through with such blatantly wrong accusations.

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by iceiceice » August 30th, 2016, 12:52 pm

Rhonda wrote:
iceiceice wrote: I guess I don't know what your monetary goals are for Wesnoth 2. But I don't think you should discount donations as far as Wesnoth 1 is concerned. I recall that some time ago there was a discussion on irc about donations, and AI0867 found that someone had started a Wesnoth-related flattr account, which looked like it had about $5000 in it at the time we looked at it.

I found this record by grepping through the logs:

https://www.wesnoth.org/irclogs/2014/05 ... -05-21.log

I did a little more research, I think Rhonda was responsible for this flattr and at some point deleted it. I remember dimly that we told Noy about it at some time and never heard back.

It was never clear to me how that works -- if wesnoth inc. does not accept donations then where does this flattr money go?
Hi. I have no clue how you came up with a number of $5000, never saw that and never heard about it, nor did I see it anywhere in any report I ever received. Also I totally like to challenge the accusation of having deleted the account, why do you throw around blank statements that are honestly just wrong?

The last report mail that I received to the treasurer mail address (which Noy also has access to) was from january 2013 and contained $800.30. I haven't received anything since, am not in the treasurer mail address anymore. In February 2013 a new email address was added to the account, that mail didn't contain which email address was added, and I haven't received anything anymore about it since then. I see a recovery try in december 2015 which failed with the claim that the flattr mail address isn't registered - which is likely related to the newly added address from February 2013 and potential removal of the flattr one.

These are the facts which I can back up with emails received. I know I didn't follow up to the events back then, and can't remember anyone addressing me with respect to it, but I definitely hate it when people claim things simply wrong. Please stop that, I wonder about the agenda you like to push through with such blatantly wrong accusations.
@Rhonda: Well, that's what I remembered being listed on the flattr page in May 2014. I tried to find some record in irc logs because I remember we discussed it in channel at the time, but I didn't find specific mention of any numbers. I do remember that we did specifically mention a number when we did discuss this, but I can't find it so maybe it wasn't the main channel. I thought that it was though. Not sure... :hmm:

Edit: I found an email record also, but it didn't mention number: https://www.mail-archive.com/search?l=w ... newest&f=1

To be clear, I'm not trying to accuse you or anyone else of anything. What I wrote was on topic to this thread:
Dave wrote: The only realistic way I know of to have a chance at a revenue stream large enough for this would be to sell the games on the App Store or other marketplaces.
The only times I know that donations were solicited was 2008 and the flattr, but maybe there were others. This is the first I ever heard of "treasurer mail".
Rhonda wrote: Also I totally like to challenge the accusation of having deleted the account, why do you throw around blank statements that are honestly just wrong?
Hmm well, flattr changed their interface a lot since the last time I looked at it. I guess that they got rid of the flattr widgets? And all the pages for the different flattr accounts look very different.

But I still can't find "Battle for Wesnoth" flattr in search, using google, or any other way. So whether it was deleted, closed, or just has some configuration problem, clearly something is different from how it was in 2014. I don't think what I wrote was "blatantly wrong".

On google I still find a link from your blog: https://flattr.com/thing/56371/The-Battle-for-Wesnoth

but it leads to 404, even when signed into flattr.

Also on the "useful links" wesnoth wiki page: https://wiki.wesnoth.org/Usefullinks
it has this link:

https://flattr.com/profile/wesnoth

which also leads to 404.

So I beg your pardon if I made a mistake and I understand you think / thought I accused you of something. But I don't think I claimed anything blatantly wrong, and there's no need to make it personal.
Rhonda wrote: I wonder about the agenda you like to push through with such blatantly wrong accusations.
Edit: It looks that you can still see the page circa July 2014 via the wayback machine:

https://web.archive.org/web/20140723073 ... le/wesnoth

And in 2015:

https://web.archive.org/web/20150402094 ... le/wesnoth

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Rhonda » August 30th, 2016, 3:37 pm

iceiceice wrote:
Rhonda wrote: Hi. I have no clue how you came up with a number of $5000, never saw that and never heard about it, nor did I see it anywhere in any report I ever received. Also I totally like to challenge the accusation of having deleted the account, why do you throw around blank statements that are honestly just wrong?

The last report mail that I received to the treasurer mail address (which Noy also has access to) was from january 2013 and contained $800.30. I haven't received anything since, am not in the treasurer mail address anymore. In February 2013 a new email address was added to the account, that mail didn't contain which email address was added, and I haven't received anything anymore about it since then. I see a recovery try in december 2015 which failed with the claim that the flattr mail address isn't registered - which is likely related to the newly added address from February 2013 and potential removal of the flattr one.

These are the facts which I can back up with emails received. I know I didn't follow up to the events back then, and can't remember anyone addressing me with respect to it, but I definitely hate it when people claim things simply wrong. Please stop that, I wonder about the agenda you like to push through with such blatantly wrong accusations.
@Rhonda: Well, that's what I remembered being listed on the flattr page in May 2014. I tried to find some record in irc logs because I remember we discussed it in channel at the time, but I didn't find specific mention of any numbers. I do remember that we did specifically mention a number when we did discuss this, but I can't find it so maybe it wasn't the main channel. I thought that it was though. Not sure... :hmm:

Edit: I found an email record also, but it didn't mention number: https://www.mail-archive.com/search?l=w ... newest&f=1

To be clear, I'm not trying to accuse you or anyone else of anything.
Then don't make statements that accuse others of things they didn't do. It's as simple as that.
And somehow I highly doubt that it should have moved up to over six times as much in a bit over a year in which I didn't have access anymore and have no clue to which contact address it was changed. Seemingly you had access from what you wrote, so a person who could have deleted it was rather you, not me.

iceiceice wrote: So I beg your pardon if I made a mistake and I understand you think / thought I accused you of something. But I don't think I claimed anything blatantly wrong, and there's no need to make it personal.
If you don't see that the claim that I deleted it while I didn't is wrong then I am left quite puzzled over here, and I think you have a complete different definition of what wrong claims are than the rest of the world. Also, that statement is already pretty personal if you try to blame me for that I have no clue anymore how to get to the account.
iceiceice wrote: Edit: It looks that you can still see the page circa July 2014 via the wayback machine:

https://web.archive.org/web/20140723073 ... le/wesnoth

And in 2015:

https://web.archive.org/web/20150402094 ... le/wesnoth
Like I pointed out, someone added an email address to the account in 2013 which I'm not aware to which, seemingly the flattr mail address got removed because recovery for it doesn't work, and you stated yourself you saw something in the account in 2014. So maybe you could shine a light on the issue yourself instead?

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Dave » August 30th, 2016, 4:56 pm

@iceiceice:

Let's start with a few factual things:

- I have no idea what you mean about there being $5000 in the flattr account. I never heard of there being anything remotely close to this.
- I don't think I edited any posts I made lately. I'm not sure what you are talking about there.
- I don't think Wesnoth is "more famous" than it was eight years ago or so. Quite the opposite in fact. Google trends shows interest in Wesnoth way down from heights in 2006-2008: https://www.google.com/trends/explore?d ... &q=wesnoth ... website visitors are down too. Is there some metric that makes you think it's more famous than it used to be?
- I don't see how an organization not accepting donations could possibly seem "weird and suspicious" or even what you're getting at there.
- The reason we haven't accepted donations has nothing to do with "corporate registration" or anything similar. It's simply a personal preference not to accept donations.

My points of view on some things:

- Personally, at least, I don't really like a model of "aggressively soliciting people to help" on a FLOSS project like Wesnoth. I think people help if they enjoy it and if they don't they don't. We should make people feel welcome to help if they like the game and want to help with it.
- I find it tiresome when it seems like every project I use is asking for a donation. I like the idea of a project that doesn't accept donations and relieves users of any kind of feelings of guilt about not having donated.
- I don't really feel all that strongly about the donations though. I just thought it would be cool to not ask for people's donations. *shrug*. If people really want to try donations as a funding model I'm certainly happy for us to do that. We have had a flattr account after all as you pointed out, and with the rise of Patreon and the like perhaps donations are a viable funding source for us.
- All this notwithstanding, especially if we make further games happen under the Wesnoth banner, I think it's important for us to come up with a 'policy' / approach toward distributing the game on online marketplaces such as the Play Store and Steam.

David
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by ForestDragon » August 30th, 2016, 5:09 pm

Dave wrote:- I don't think Wesnoth is "more famous" than it was eight years ago or so. Quite the opposite in fact. Google trends shows interest in Wesnoth way down from heights in 2006-2008: https://www.google.com/trends/explore?d ... &q=wesnoth ... website visitors are down too. Is there some metric that makes you think it's more famous than it used to be?
i took a look, yeah, the trends don't really look good there (softly said) but on a more positive side, after we publish bfw on Steam, we could increase the trends to the not-so-bad levels
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by iceiceice » August 30th, 2016, 6:31 pm

Look, the only thing I'm particularly interested in is gauging like, a ballpark estimate
of how much money wesnoth might raise via donations, in connection to what point Dave was making.
I might be wrong, it might in fact be a very small
number, much less than I thought. I have no information about the flattr other than what was publicly
visible and what was said in channel. The only reason I had any idea you were involved at all was that it said
so in a post I linked earlier, and a few others scattered around the forum.

I still couldn't find logs of this irc conversation, so I really don't know how 1700+ flattrs from 600+ people
is supposed to translate to $5000 (which is what I remembered). IIUC the value of a flattr fluctuates but probably not that much.
So quite possibly I'm just wrong. I remember that it was discussed back in 2014 -- maybe we were wrong then too.
I don't know what I could have done to double check a number like that. I guess nothing.
Rhonda wrote: If you don't see that the claim that I deleted it while I didn't is wrong then I am left quite puzzled over here, and I think you have a complete different definition of what wrong claims are than the rest of the world. Also, that statement is already pretty personal if you try to blame me for that I have no clue anymore how to get to the account.
You're right, I jumped to a conclusion when I thought you would still have control of the account.
Sorry. I don't know how I could have known that, given that none of this info is publicly available. I think my claim that
*someone* deleted it, was apparently accurate.

Also: it's not at all obvious based on what info I have / had that deleting the
account was bad -- maybe it was *supposed* to be deleted. After all in the 2008 post Dave also said "thanks, no more donations".
So I don't see that saying you deleted this flattr when you didn't was an "accusation". To an outside observer nothing looks wrong with that.
But you're right, I did imply that you did it, and it turns out you didn't, and it was a contentious issue. I had no idea. Sorry again.

Maybe there's someone who's job it is to look into a lost flattr account. I guess that's what AI0867 was
asking in 2014. It's certainly not my job. But the bigger picture is, $5000 over a few years might not be an unreasonable goal.
And if it only generates $2000, and other sources, like sales, generates a matching amount, that's also probably
pretty good. That's pretty much what Dave suggested anyways in the other thread. If donations only gathered like $500 in five years,
that's a much weaker estimate. Just trying to get an idea...

The only "agenda" I have in this messages is to try to get an answer about donations. I feel like I had small pieces of
this discussion played out over and over again with different developers many months and years apart. It's only recently that
any of this was discussed publicly and in more detail.

This thread is to some extent about the future of the project. I contributed quite a bit to the project two or three years ago,
and a little to Argentum Age. I think I'm entitled to respectfully give voice to various opinions and concerns that I may have,
and to ask questions to understand where the project is headed. Most of these issues won't ever be discussed except in threads
like this, which already has been quite informative, at least for me.
Rhonda wrote: I definitely hate it when people claim things simply wrong. Please stop that, I wonder about the agenda you like to push through with such blatantly wrong accusations.
Well, sorry if you hate it when people claim things that are wrong. I don't think I was too far off the mark in what I said, or that it was hurtful. When there's very little transparency
there's inevitably going to be some misunderstandings. For instance I had no idea you were a treasurer for the project in some capacity. I got impression in 2014 from AI0867's comment
that it was loosely organized, given that he is like one of the github owners and he didn't know the answer himself to such question.

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Dave » August 30th, 2016, 6:52 pm

iceiceice wrote:When there's very little transparency there's inevitably going to be some misunderstandings.
For what it's worth I don't think it's fair to say there is "very little transparency".

What is fair to say is that Wesnoth is and always has been a very loosely organized project. Worked on by volunteers who enjoy what they are working on.

This leads to some rough edges as an artifact of the way it's run and one of those is sometimes the structure of things or who is working on what or whatnot is unclear.

But this is due simply to loose organization. Not due to some machiavellian schemes or some intentional attempt to be opaque about things.

Even with finances -- in the early days of Wesnoth Inc I posted financial statements. I got only a little interest as far as I can recall and most of it was vaguely negative. It took a non-trivial amount of time to put those things together, and so I got tired of it and stopped. I didn't think anyone cared all that much until recently.

If a trustworthy fellow (you, perhaps) came and said "I really think we should try to make finance statements available can I do that?" I would most likely say "sure here's how we can make that happen."

"Lack of transparency" makes us sound machiavellian and creepy. We are simply loosely organized with a focus on engineering excellence and making games for fun.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by iceiceice » August 30th, 2016, 7:06 pm

Dave wrote:@iceiceice:

My points of view on some things:

- Personally, at least, I don't really like a model of "aggressively soliciting people to help" on a FLOSS project like Wesnoth. I think people help if they enjoy it and if they don't they don't. We should make people feel welcome to help if they like the game and want to help with it.
- I find it tiresome when it seems like every project I use is asking for a donation. I like the idea of a project that doesn't accept donations and relieves users of any kind of feelings of guilt about not having donated.
- I don't really feel all that strongly about the donations though. I just thought it would be cool to not ask for people's donations. *shrug*. If people really want to try donations as a funding model I'm certainly happy for us to do that. We have had a flattr account after all as you pointed out, and with the rise of Patreon and the like perhaps donations are a viable funding source for us.
- All this notwithstanding, especially if we make further games happen under the Wesnoth banner, I think it's important for us to come up with a 'policy' / approach toward distributing the game on online marketplaces such as the Play Store and Steam.

David
I see, fair enough.
Dave wrote: "Lack of transparency" makes us sound machiavellian and creepy. We are simply loosely organized with a focus on engineering excellence and making games for fun.
Ok, again fair enough. :D

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Pentarctagon » August 30th, 2016, 11:27 pm

Also, if I might interject; if someone says things that are incorrect, then just correct them and move on. There's no need to get defensive and start making accusations of your own.
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by shevegen » August 31st, 2016, 1:02 am

Sounds interesting so far. I am curious how it will turn out.

Many of the comments on what to do better make sense.

I am one of those who did not like the WML specification. I gave up trying to
create a campaign. I also did not really like the size growth... 1 gigabytes download?
Hmmm... Ok it was not that bad but you get the idea. I can download a full
slackware dvd with that and it has more than ONE game ... ;)

The artwork of wesnoth got better; the game mechanics, although very simple, were also ok-ish.
The campaigns created by people were also quite nice. So overall I think that wesnoth1
did really ok and I hope that wesnoth2 does not lead to the demise of wesnoth1 per se.

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by shevegen » August 31st, 2016, 1:06 am

Oh dave, I also got a question for you.

I know that not everything may be set in stone and be subject to change and so on.

Will there be heroes available? Customizable? Can wear/wield stuff?

The "old" wesnoth has sort of heroes too right, like we have regular units; and
then we have heroes who may not die or a campaign may end. I am wondering
if one can have more freedom here - not solely pre-made heroes for a storyline
alone but also whether you can build or customize and invest into heroes, where
different resources may get poured into (like, buy the best items for your hero
but then you have a smaller army since you have less money available etc...
that kind of tradeoff).

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by tr0ll » September 3rd, 2016, 5:19 am

Tad_Carlucci wrote: My only issue is calling it "Wesnoth2" because that sort of cuts off any hope of the current Wesnoth moving from 1.x to 2.x and not creating confusion.
Yes please consider renaming "Wesnoth2" ASAP to prevent confusion. Although the trademark is on "Battle for Wesnoth", the shorter name is far more widely used. See for example the base domain name of the websites.

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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by LordBob » September 15th, 2016, 10:32 am

Hey everyone, Lordbob coming back from the limbo. Sorry if I jump a little late in the discussion, I've been busy with a number of things this past year (the good sort of busy, family and other projects).

On the topic of Wesnoth Inc. and the policy towards distributing the game on online marketplaces, I think they're a source of income that should not be ignored if we want to retain the ability to commission work (and I don't mean just art) in the long run. In another creative domain (webcomics, which I've been ardently following for a few years now), authors have often had to rely on merchandising and other revenue complements in order to make a decent living out of their comic. Donations do work for a time, or as a way to fund a particular endeavour, but I don't think they can be depended on as your sole source of income in the long run. (Patreon has started to change things lately, though, and maybe this is a path we could explore).

Besides, if someone is going to try and earn money from the game anyway (see Steam Greenlight affair) I would rather have it benefit contributors and help improve the game. So it does seem a sensible approach to ensure that there exists a structure that can legally distribute the Wesnoth game(s) on chosen platforms and, more importantly, protect it from theft and abuse.


On the topic of Wesnoth 2 and art, I've been itching to create a HD Wesnoth for a few years now. The current graphics are very nice however scaling things up a bit wouldn't hurt -especially in the age of HD screens. I'd give a lot to see a Wesnoth game with the sort of environment you find in Might and Magic!
It doesn't have to be 3D (I would be naturally inclined towards 2D), yet 3D could help produce 2D graphics with a more streamlined approach and ease the workload when creating modular assets and animations.

That's my two cents anyway
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Re: Wesnoth2, Wesnoth, Inc, and other things

Post by Dugi » September 15th, 2016, 11:26 am

Speaking of money, have you considered some microtransactions? I don't mean stuff like pay 20€ to have +1 damage on all your Elvish Fighters for 30 games, just some cool stuff that doesn't influence the chance to win. I can imagine a few things like leaders wearing crowns, choosing a more elegant team colour, using some alternate versions of sprites, units getting extra flares when attacking, blood, cooler missiles, alternate attack pictures, pulsating experience bars... Opponents/allies would see it in multiplayer and envy them, getting motivated to pay as well. There is a game that uses it, Path of Exile (thanks Faerie_Storm for telling me about it), and plenty of its players (about a half of regulars) has their characters decorated with cool armours, shining weapons, smoke wings, burning footprints, pets and other things that cost over $100 in total per character. It allowed its devs, initially a garage team of ten people, to grow into a company employing over 200 people with a game that is free and paying has no gameplay advantages.
LordBob wrote: I've been itching to create a HD Wesnoth for a few years now. (...)
It doesn't have to be 3D (I would be naturally inclined towards 2D), yet 3D could help produce 2D graphics with a more streamlined approach and ease the workload when creating modular assets and animations.
This might not be so easy, some people still use HD displays with 1366x768 pixels, others use 4K. Whatever that is appropriately suited for 4K displays will be horribly large on smaller displays. Could the game create 2D assets from 3D when loading to deal with this (it should also reduce the amount of disk reading, speeding up the process)?

Anyway, even if 3D was used as an external tool, it would be great because it would finally destroy the problem with lack of animations and make frankensteining much easier.

Disclaimer: I still think that this endeavour is futile and that the project is doomed for early failure, I've written why I think so elsewhere. It just doesn't mean that I want it to fail.

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