Wesnoth Board

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UK1
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Re: Wesnoth Board

Post by UK1 » December 1st, 2016, 3:12 am

Pentarctagon wrote:
UK1 wrote:Look, I don't know what the politics are with the board or Wesnoth's governance, but I've done some thinking with regard to finances:

-If Wesnoth is a nonprofit corporation, could we consider starting an endowment? I've seen two charities, one of which I was a part of, get more or less bailed out by starting an endowment. Donors tend to be more willing to give to an effort that they know will be lasting and not just hand to mouth. I'd be more than happy to get the ball rolling.

-Has anyone tested the waters for selling the rights to the Wesnoth name, story line, and mechanics for a miniatures game? I've known a lot of miniatures players who played Wesnoth, it would be free money, and could increase the player base of the virtual game and Wesnoth Inc. could start to build a brand. The mechanics need a tweak here and there to be more dice friendly, but nothing major. You'd be saving them the effort of making a mechanics system, creating storyline and be providing them with mechanics that have 10+ years of data behind them. I can absolutely see why it would be worth it for a miniatures company to buy the license even if they didn't believe the name itself had much value.

-I haven't seen Wesnoth represented at the various Cons I go to. It seems Gencon and board game/miniatures conventions would be really good places to market Wesnoth as well as the app. Having a stall isn't even really necessary. Just an iPad and an official-looking Wesnoth T-shirt.

Excuse me if these options have been explored already, I just... really want this game to thrive.
#1 - No idea. I'd have to look up what an endowment even is.

#2 - The entirety of wesnoth is currently under the GPL, so there isn't really anything to sell that anyone who wanted to couldn't make use of on their own for free.

#3 - That might be something for the board to look into at some point, probably when there aren't so many other issues going on.
#1 - Basically an account managed by a bank that pays an above average interest rate on the condition that the principal is never touched in any scenario short of legal bankruptcy. And even in that case, the bank is sometimes entitled to keep a portion of the principal if they're not given proper notice. The interest is paid out to the organization, typically minus a percentage that's added onto the principal to guard the endowment against inflation weakening it. It's basically a way of forcing charities or companies to not spend your donation immediately and allow it to continue to provide for them in the future. It's a way of ensuring that a donation goes towards financial sustainability instead of hand to mouth. If wesnoth inc. is NOT a nonprofit corp. (the intelligence of which I'd question given that I've just been informed it might have no intellectual property whatsoever) it probably cannot accept donations. I'm not positive. I know for-profit corporations CANNOT have volunteers. So first and foremost I'd like to know how Wesnoth Inc. is incorporated. That's, honestly, step one in terms of finances. Non-profit corporations have options that for-profit corporations do not.

#2 - So Wesnoth Inc. has no intellectual property?

#3 - Fair 'nuff.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Wesnoth Board

Post by Pentarctagon » December 1st, 2016, 5:25 am

UK1 wrote:#1 - Basically an account managed by a bank that pays an above average interest rate on the condition that the principal is never touched in any scenario short of legal bankruptcy. And even in that case, the bank is sometimes entitled to keep a portion of the principal if they're not given proper notice. The interest is paid out to the organization, typically minus a percentage that's added onto the principal to guard the endowment against inflation weakening it. It's basically a way of forcing charities or companies to not spend your donation immediately and allow it to continue to provide for them in the future. It's a way of ensuring that a donation goes towards financial sustainability instead of hand to mouth. If wesnoth inc. is NOT a nonprofit corp. (the intelligence of which I'd question given that I've just been informed it might have no intellectual property whatsoever) it probably cannot accept donations. I'm not positive. I know for-profit corporations CANNOT have volunteers. So first and foremost I'd like to know how Wesnoth Inc. is incorporated. That's, honestly, step one in terms of finances. Non-profit corporations have options that for-profit corporations do not.

#2 - So Wesnoth Inc. has no intellectual property?

#3 - Fair 'nuff.
#1 - Huh, that's interesting. I'm not really in a position to say/speculate on whether or not wesnoth would benefit from that kind of setup, though given that there doesn't seem to have been any sort of financial difficulties (that I'm aware of), it sounds like it would be somewhat more complicated than it is really worth.

#2 - It's not that is has "no" intellectual property, it has the trademark for example, but I would question how much anyone would really be willing to pay given that wesnoth isn't hugely popular and is under the GPL (as well as the CC-BY-SA hopefully eventually).
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code

UK1
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Joined: January 4th, 2010, 7:34 pm

Re: Wesnoth Board

Post by UK1 » December 1st, 2016, 5:36 am

Pentarctagon wrote:
UK1 wrote:#1 - Basically an account managed by a bank that pays an above average interest rate on the condition that the principal is never touched in any scenario short of legal bankruptcy. And even in that case, the bank is sometimes entitled to keep a portion of the principal if they're not given proper notice. The interest is paid out to the organization, typically minus a percentage that's added onto the principal to guard the endowment against inflation weakening it. It's basically a way of forcing charities or companies to not spend your donation immediately and allow it to continue to provide for them in the future. It's a way of ensuring that a donation goes towards financial sustainability instead of hand to mouth. If wesnoth inc. is NOT a nonprofit corp. (the intelligence of which I'd question given that I've just been informed it might have no intellectual property whatsoever) it probably cannot accept donations. I'm not positive. I know for-profit corporations CANNOT have volunteers. So first and foremost I'd like to know how Wesnoth Inc. is incorporated. That's, honestly, step one in terms of finances. Non-profit corporations have options that for-profit corporations do not.

#2 - So Wesnoth Inc. has no intellectual property?

#3 - Fair 'nuff.
#1 - Huh, that's interesting. I'm not really in a position to say/speculate on whether or not wesnoth would benefit from that kind of setup, though given that there doesn't seem to have been any sort of financial difficulties (that I'm aware of), it sounds like it would be somewhat more complicated than it is really worth.

#2 - It's not that is has "no" intellectual property, it has the trademark for example, but I would question how much anyone would really be willing to pay given that wesnoth isn't hugely popular and is under the GPL (as well as the CC-BY-SA hopefully eventually).
#1: Money makes a lot of problems go away.

#2: This is a valid point. You can't trademark or patent a system of mechanics, after all, unless it's incredibly specific. WotC tried to patent the D20 system and it was dismissed out of hand.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Wesnoth Board

Post by Pentarctagon » December 1st, 2016, 5:47 am

UK1 wrote:#1: Money makes a lot of problems go away.

#2: This is a valid point. You can't trademark or patent a system of mechanics, after all, unless it's incredibly specific. WotC tried to patent the D20 system and it was dismissed out of hand.
#1 - But it becomes a question of "would the amount of money returned by this be worth the extra effort"? To me, it seems likely that at the amounts of money available to Wesnoth, Inc, the return would be pretty small. If all an endowment requires is basically just setting it up and forgetting about it, except for the periodic money received from it, then maybe it would still be worth it. But if it's something that requires more consistent attention, and especially if it would result in the accountants currently hired to do Wesnoth, Inc's taxes charging more due to additional complexity, then it probably wouldn't be worth it.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code

UK1
Posts: 118
Joined: January 4th, 2010, 7:34 pm

Re: Wesnoth Board

Post by UK1 » December 1st, 2016, 2:19 pm

Pentarctagon wrote:
UK1 wrote:#1: Money makes a lot of problems go away.

#2: This is a valid point. You can't trademark or patent a system of mechanics, after all, unless it's incredibly specific. WotC tried to patent the D20 system and it was dismissed out of hand.
#1 - But it becomes a question of "would the amount of money returned by this be worth the extra effort"? To me, it seems likely that at the amounts of money available to Wesnoth, Inc, the return would be pretty small. If all an endowment requires is basically just setting it up and forgetting about it, except for the periodic money received from it, then maybe it would still be worth it. But if it's something that requires more consistent attention, and especially if it would result in the accountants currently hired to do Wesnoth, Inc's taxes charging more due to additional complexity, then it probably wouldn't be worth it.
The whole point of an endowment is that they require zero attention.
"Hey you, bats should be nerfed."
"Why?"
"Because I lost a game to bat swarm and I'm bitterUhm... clarity... and... consistency? Yeah yeah that sounds good. Clarity and consistency."
Do not. Nerf. The bat.

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iceiceice
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Re: Wesnoth Board

Post by iceiceice » December 1st, 2016, 7:30 pm

chewan wrote: Would you reconsider your resignation?
No, I want to take a break.

Look at it this way, one of the terms in the whole "board" thing is if one of the board members disappears or becomes inactive, then they can be replaced. That's not really my style, I'd rather resign than make Dave come to me and ask me to leave or something.

If I were resigning in protest I would have made a much more specific statement. I'm not really doing that. I've been around for a while, and my reasons for wanting to resign are influenced by a lot of things and not necessarily all that concrete. And also, not that important, the important thing is for the project to move forward.

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Wesnoth Board

Post by Pentarctagon » December 2nd, 2016, 1:35 am

UK1 wrote:The whole point of an endowment is that they require zero attention.
Well, like I said, I don't really know much about endowments at all.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code

Dave
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Re: Wesnoth Board

Post by Dave » December 2nd, 2016, 1:46 am

A few things:

- The main purpose of Wesnoth Inc is to manage the money we have obtained over the years. This is largely to keep our servers running and other necessary expenses.
- It has never meant to be the focus of Wesnoth development and shouldn't be. Anyone can become a Wesnoth developer and we always welcome people to join and help out with Wesnoth. Wesnoth is a community driven game. A game by players for players.
- Most of the revenue Wesnoth has received has been from sales of the iPhone port of the game. We haven't accepted donations because (1) it's some overhead to collect them; (2) donations have always been a very small amount of revenue anyhow; (3) I liked the idea of having a game which is free and doesn't try to feel like it's "guilting" you into giving a donation. If people really want donations to be a thing, sure, we can have them.
- An endowment is not a realistic option for us. We don't and have never had anywhere near the amount of money for that, given typical investment returns.
- If someone wants to represent Wesnoth at a convention in some way they are welcome to. Wesnoth is a community-driven project and things like that happen by someone deciding it's a thing that should happen and driving it.
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