Spending and Earning Patreon Money

This is meant to be kind of a state-of-the-blog as pertains to how I’m using your Patreon money to make content and how and what it’s being used for.

The Content

Okay, so what am I making?

One of the weird, neat things about working a month in advance or more, depending on if this gets bumped — is that there are times when I just don’t feel the drive to write. This blog’s stockpile of posts can sometimes reach from 20 to 60 posts ahead of time, depending on if I’ve had the time to write and the right responsibilities to hide from.

What this means is that as I check the queue, I find myself seeing seams of content that I hammer out in lines and kind of don’t want to return too too quickly for fear of repeating myself or making the same joke. This is how the Magic Articles go – I tend to get a wild hair of inspiration, write a bunch of articles (like the Pet Card articles), and then deliberately space them out so I’m not just firehosing one kind of content onto you.

I mean, if you want firehoses, let me know, because I’m doing a lot to keep this blog from becoming too monomanic. I don’t want to give you five days of blogging about Miraculous in a row because I feel like variey is one of the few things I can offer you.

Also, I want to minmise my complaining on this blog. I complain a lot, but I try to keep that to Twitter, where it both goes away reasonably quickly, and I can rely on the brevity of the format plus its comedic nature to mean that my complaints can at least be a moment of spiteful comedy rather than anyone, like, respecting the sincere problems at the root of my sadnesses or anger. That’s not what Twitter is for.

Sometimes, with long-form writing, there are topics I want to touch on, but if it’s not complaining about a thing, like a videogame, or a media piece, or something like that, I feel it’s a bad idea. Sometimes I cook it down a bit and find a piece of critical analysis or conceptual work at the root of it, and I can build on that. Video content falls into this too – I’m not yet in a groove for regular production. At the moment, I’m just throwing video content together, seeing what gets responses or interest or appreciation, and then, with that in mind, make more of that. It’s kinda tricky to work out where to go with that, especially since the turnaround of video content is real slow with my upload speeds.

Podcast stuff is tricky, because at the moment I only podcast with other people, and for all the podcast projects, getting people in position to talk is super hard at this exact moment. These things should pass, but don’t underestimate what Daylight Savings does to international schedules for casual work.

Part of the principle of I will keep this blog free, and you can pay me money if you like what you see is that I figure I’d do this anyway, and the only difference the money makes is if I let a depressive funk make me give up and throw it all away for a few weeks at a time, because that’s a thing I do sometimes. I do currently think of the blog as being built around three basic content poles – the Game Pile, the Media Pile, and the Magic: The Gathering Pile. Now, the MTG Pile, I could see easily shifting into Tabletop Pile, maybe, or Game Design Pile, but that’s basically, three posts a week that feel like the ‘main’ content.

What’s more, content on those themes might make good video content, and that pulls me in two directions. Do I want to ramp up to the point where I can make multiple movies a month, like, video versions of say, Game Pile, if it involves changing what the Pile is about (again)? I don’t know. At the moment, I’m resistant to the idea that my Video content can cannibalise my other content, especially while I’m doing, y’know, my studies.

That’s where we’re at: Continually trying to promote work that’s at least two out of positive and useful and entertaining.

The Costs

At the moment, the money has gone, largely, unspent. That’s not to say it’s going to go unspent, but at the moment, I regard the Patreon money as a fund for game development. Older games tended to go with a minimal number of playtests and only one major iteration on the visuals, because the turnaround is months at a time.

However, the big thing that I feel okay doing with the money is paying for art. I don’t have to be constrained right now by the art assets I already have access to, but I can afford, reasonably, to spend twenty to forty dollars on professional asset packs, or commissioning artwork for games to work with from the ground up. This means that I can be a lot less pie-in-the-sky about artwork as I build connections with artists: Hey, here’s a thing I want to do, I think you rock at it, my current budget for this month isssss… seventy-five dollars.

Now, ostensibly, this money is also paid to me, for my labour! And that’s so exciting, the idea that you like my writing, you like the things I already do for this rate.

Another thing I’ve been kicking around is the idea of adding a tier where you get That Month’s Game. Just, like, as a given: You pay $15-$20, and every month, I send you a game, regardless of the game size, a sort of combination of Lucky Dip and Lootbox, and dispense with Group Sales instead. I don’t know if that’s a good idea.

The Group Sales are an experiment of sorts – I had to actually do it to see what kind of costs/margins work while I’m dealing with shipping things and shipping things in groups. The more we ship, the lower those costs are, but the scale of it isn’t important to you as an individual. At the moment, I have a ground rate I can offer where if I want to ship to you, every month, a Middleware-scale game, I can have an idea of that price point where I can do that and still get some money.

There’s a small update, and a few ideas. Hope it’s interesting!

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