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Author Topic: Using Bitcoin to support indie games development  (Read 770 times)
VerticalRush
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March 26, 2012, 04:21:55 PM
 #1

Looking for thoughts and constructive/destructive criticism on this one:

I'm working on a project with a little indie games developer - we're making a game that ideally we'd love to be able to give away to get it as much exposure as possible, but realistically given the difficulties of getting skilled people to work for free we're going to have to try to sell it, and there's a limit to how many people will buy a game from an unknown developer.

So, having been involved in Bitcoin for the last year or so (I mine/trade extensively), I've made this suggestion:

-Distribute two copies of the game - one paid @ $10 or so, one free, but with an added component that mines on behalf of the developers using any spare GPU power whilst the game is running (perhaps throttling the mining client if fps falls below 50 or something like that).

This would obviously be something we'd have to make very clear before people downloaded the game, so that they didn't freak out about the connection activity/unusually high graphics card load whilst playing, but to my mind it's a neat way to offer something like this for free. I'd hope it even stands a chance of getting us extra exposure due to a fairly unique way of monetizing the development. The game itself will be based on Cryengine 3, so it's unlikely too many people with low-end GPUs will be trying to play anyway.

What do you think? Obviously there's the issue of people not understanding that we'd be using their computing power for profit, but I'd hope that this sort of thing can be explained online easily enough.
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TomatoCaqe
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March 26, 2012, 04:28:20 PM
 #2

so, if i bought your game, it would mine on my computer on your behalf? and how did you get CryEngine3?
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March 26, 2012, 04:34:56 PM
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so, if i bought your game
My understanding is that if you buy, you will get the game. If you download for free, you will get game with miner.
Excellent idea!
Reall Blue
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March 26, 2012, 04:37:55 PM
 #4

Sounds like a good idea i was actually thinking of something similar. Something which is free but only uses your resource which you cannot really use to pay in any other way. Its great idea but people these days are worried about being "hacked" and connecting to people they don't know and all.

This does remind me of a book i read once, it'd been a PDF i downloaded and it talked about a "Chinese lottery". It'd had something to do with trying to crack high level encryption by brute force (I think it was, Something to do with guessing). They'd put these decryption algorithms into all kinds of devices from radios to CD players and sent them a code to crack, if one person is lucky enough to have cracked the code all they do is send it to the government and they get money! I thought that would be relevant Tongue Its similar to what you are doing except your not trying to crack a code your mining a block to make capital to pay for the game!

Anyways Good luck seems like a legitimate idea and a few people should be interested in this!

~Reall blue
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March 26, 2012, 05:00:28 PM
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so, if i bought your game, it would mine on my computer on your behalf? and how did you get CryEngine3?
Not exactly, if you bought it there'd be no mining component in the game (obviously consuming less resources etc)
Basically, the copy that mines would be for people who want the game without paying the $10 or whatever for it. The game is likely to wind up fairly resource intensive as-is due to cryengine, so we'll only make money out of the high-end machines, but the hope is that we'll get enough interest that enough people will be playing/mining at any one time to make us some money.

Quote
so, if i bought your game
My understanding is that if you buy, you will get the game. If you download for free, you will get game with miner.
Excellent idea!
Yep, exactly this.

There are still a few things to sort out with this though - the need to set up a pool of some kind (could be avoided with some clever p2pool implementation perhaps?) or get an agreement with a pool op to handle the game client's traffic, and the relevant tax situation, the company structure at the moment is all based in Thailand, and I have to admit I'm not familiar enough with tax rules over there as of yet to work out how to have Bitcoin mining activity on our books.

Sounds like a good idea i was actually thinking of something similar. Something which is free but only uses your resource which you cannot really use to pay in any other way. Its great idea but people these days are worried about being "hacked" and connecting to people they don't know and all.

This does remind me of a book i read once, it'd been a PDF i downloaded and it talked about a "Chinese lottery". It'd had something to do with trying to crack high level encryption by brute force (I think it was, Something to do with guessing). They'd put these decryption algorithms into all kinds of devices from radios to CD players and sent them a code to crack, if one person is lucky enough to have cracked the code all they do is send it to the government and they get money! I thought that would be relevant Tongue Its similar to what you are doing except your not trying to crack a code your mining a block to make capital to pay for the game!

Anyways Good luck seems like a legitimate idea and a few people should be interested in this!

~Reall blue

This is the biggest concern for us right now, we think that we're fairly well covered against people claiming abuse if we make it very very clear why the free version is free on the download page, and also include a notice of some kind on startup for the free version. Sure it'll put a few people off, but hopefully not as many as a "please pay us $10" notice Tongue

The other issue is performance impact, I'm not sure personally how to make a client throttle the amount of work it's giving to the GPUs based on current framerate, so that's something we'll have to look into.
TomatoCaqe
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March 26, 2012, 05:08:40 PM
 #6

Oh okay. I got it. The Free one comes with a mining part. And will that part mine continuously or will it stop once it mined a specific amount?
VerticalRush
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March 26, 2012, 05:14:54 PM
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Oh okay. I got it. The Free one comes with a mining part. And will that part mine continuously or will it stop once it mined a specific amount?
At this point the idea was to make it mine continuously whenever the game is running - given that we'd be looking at a lot of machines with not much more GPU power than cryengine requires, and a lot of nvidia systems, we think we'd be lucky to see more than 50Mh/s per running game on average, so it would take quite a lot of hours played before we'd make as much off it as a paid copy.
The idea isn't to make more per copy doing it this way, the idea is to try to distribute more copies and therefore make more overall.
TomatoCaqe
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March 26, 2012, 05:25:03 PM
 #8

I see your point. And is there a way to do half & half? Half paid and mining the rest? Or a generous buyer that also want to donate their mining power to you?
Aberrix
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March 26, 2012, 07:12:51 PM
 #9

interesting idea

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bitcoinsarefun
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March 26, 2012, 08:04:29 PM
 #10

If the game was good, I would probably give free cycles when I wasn't playing the game just to give the developer some extra bitcoin
TomatoCaqe
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March 26, 2012, 08:09:49 PM
 #11

what kind of game are you are making anyways?
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March 26, 2012, 08:23:45 PM
 #12

what kind of game are you are making anyways?

Every time I see you post, it sets off my Norton AntiFaggot.

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