Let’s face it, GameFlow is not and never will be the most popular visual scripting tool out there. Why? well, precisely because it was born to be a real alternative for a niche of users that never surrendered to the imperating graph-based approach.
GameFlow users are the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently… And while having such a rebellious target audience worked insanely great for a guy called Steve Jobs in the 90s, it is not working that great nowadays for Jose (Xeleh), a solo developer trying to make a living by selling a visual programming tool.
The ugly truth is that GameFlow is currently far from being a profitable product because 1) I am not Steve, 2) the competition is really strong in this niche and 3) that is exactly what happens when you have no choice but accepting a deal to make your product part of a big promotion like the Humble Unity Bundle: you get some quick money but, unless you plan releasing a major paid upgrade immediately after, you are also shooting yourself in the foot.
That was exactly what happened. After the Humble Bundle -where thousands of users got GameFlow basically for a tiny fraction of its regular price- the potential market for the current version got drained reducing sales to a minimum. That was expected, but it was also expected that the bundle earnings would be good enough to at least give me a chance to developing a new major version (the famous v2). Sadly they were not.
In spite of this I managed to release several updates since the promotion ended to ensure that GameFlow remained compatible with the new Unity versions. I even considered working on a new v1.x update with some features that are important for you (mobile, integrations, etc.), but in all honesty keeping the motivation up is very hard when you know that you are not that far from running out of money and you need to start focusing in more profitable activities than updating a commercially dead product.
So I want to take this opportunity to announce that GameFlow has officially entered in maintenance mode. That means no frequent updates, no quick support replies, no new features and no further work on documentation or tutorials, but just my commitment to having the tool working flawlessly with each new Unity version.
It sucks, I know, but honestly this is all I can do considering the limited time that I can dedicate to a non profitable product.
But I would love things to be different and that’s why today I am launching a Patreon for all GameFlow users willing to change things and have me working full time again on the product like I have been for the last years:
As I explain in the Patreon page, I am doing this because I really think that GameFlow deserves another chance. Not of becoming the most popular tool and definitely not of becoming a profitable product -it won’t happen- but just of being maintained, documented, improved and ultimately completed for your use and enjoyment. I still feel that is my mission and I would like to complete it.
That is what the Patreon is for and I believe that the benefits that I am offering for the different tiers can be valuable for any serious GameFlow user out there. Anyway I am open to new ideas, so let me know your thoughts. These are some of the offered benefits:
- Early access to monthly builds.
- Access to a private forum for support.
- Access to exclusive tutorials and other learning materials.
- Voting for issues or even new features to be implemented in the next update.
- Having me personally involved in your project weekly.
Regarding the Patreon goals -which are based on number of patrons- I believe they are quite humble. That is because I am not aiming to get thousands of patrons, but just a number good enough to gather the required finantial support and to fully convince me that all this is worth it because at least some hundreds of users really want me to give GameFlow some love.
What if the goals are not reached? well, if we only reach a few goals I would not consider it a fail. I would simply deliver my part as promised. However if we fail to reach even the first goal (100 patrons) by the end of August (that is, 2 months from now) I will simply cancel the Patreon and will get to an agreement with the active supporters so they can have a final v1.x update before I close the GameFlow project for good.
So now you know it:
The future of GameFlow depends on you.
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for using GameFlow, and…
THANKS A MILLION if you finally decide to support this initiative.