A few months ago we started a tentative donation system to see if members of the GameGuru community wanted to push development in specific directions by directly contributing to funds that could be used to hire freelancers to act on their behalf. Well, it's been in operation in tandem with our GitHub community collaboration efforts, and we're pleased to be able to give you a report of how things have gone so far.
Since the launch, we've seen three projects completed by freelancers:
Performance - Shadow Improvements ($200)
A better shadow rendering system was created to produce better shadows and through optimisation techniques also increased the speed at which shadows were rendered. Some users reported a boost to FPS on highest settings by up to 50%.
Misc - Memory Improvements ($200)
By analysing all the GPU memory used by the editor and in-game it was possible to dramatically reduce how much video memory GameGuru requires to load and play game levels. This also had the net effect of speeding up loading times and in-game performance.
Misc - FBX Importer ($500)
We had to chip in some funds from GameGuru revenue but managed to secure a new FBX importer that can handle a wider variety of FBX models including those exported from Sketchfab, Fuse Character Creator and those used by Unreal.
The Donation System
It's still early days as to whether this system will work long term, but we're very pleased with the early features that would not have been developed so quickly were it not for donations by the community. You can get the latest news about past projects completed and new projects tendered for here.
You can also check out the latest fund pots for the categories you can donate to by visiting the donation page and, of course, donations are entirely optional and will not affect the core development plan. These funds are exclusively used to hire freelancers on short-term contracts with very specific project aims, which can often reside outside of the core development direction.
Our DLC Assets
As you may know, GameGuru is one of only a few game makers that provide their users with over 6GB of royalty-free 3D game ready assets to get you started right away. The ability to import animated FBX models gives you even more choice from the vast array of asset stores available today, but we also appreciate you might just want to buy a collection themed around a specific topic, perhaps around an idea you have for a game. To this end, we have created a number of optional add-on packs that we sell standalone and as part of bundles which you are welcome to check out here: https://www.game-guru.com/order#bundles
Right now we have a few of these DLC packs on discount promotions, one of which is a brand new release on a launch discount, and a must-have collection if your next game is a first person shooter.