Saturday, 17 May 2014

Help John Harper make more great, free games

The Owl, from Lady Blackbird

John Harper is the author of, among others, Lady Blackbird, Danger Patrol, Ghost Lines, Ghost/Echo, and Lasers and Feelings. He made all these free games while working at his day job, and most of his games are Creative Commons licensed, meaning they are free to play, remix and share. He wants to spend more time making great, free games, and so he has launched a Patreon to get some finance.

What is a Patreon, you say? Patreon is a crowdfunding platform. Unlike Kickstarter, which is about getting a big pile of capital for a single project, Patreon allows you to pledge some money - $1, $5, $100 - to the creator, every time they release something. You do this because you trust that you will enjoy and appreciate most things this author creates, or just because you want to support them. You can cap your monthly payments, so if the author goes on a publishing spree and makes ten things in one month, you don't pay loads of money unexpectedly.
Because the money is pledged in advance for each item, the author has a good idea of what their "salary" will be. If collectively people have pledged $400 for every thing John Harper makes, he knows what income he can expect for releasing once a month, and how much time it is sensible to take away from his day job.

Of course, if he releases bad things, or things his audience doesn't enjoy, people may reduce or cancel their Patreon. And the reverse is true. So John Harper is incentivized to make good things that his audience likes.

So, if this interests you, do head over to the Patreon and check it out.


  1. (Just a quick note that Ghost/Echo is not under a Creative Commons licence).

  2. Quite right Chris. Thanks for catching that. I have corrected above. I wonder why Ghost/Echo is not CC licensed?

  3. Certainly we doesn't seem to mind people hacking it - e.g. I wonder if he effectively thinks of it as CC licensed, but just hasn't put the licence notice?