2022, funding, macOS port and random rants
When I started this project in 2018, I absolutely didn't anticipate it would one day have more than 7 users. Three years later, Material Maker has thousands of downloads per release, and a small but awesome community of very active users.
I recently stumbled upon Material Maker's review on Slant, and I have to admit it made me smile.
Pay what you want
Material Maker is and will remain free and open source, but it is still possible for you to help the project in many ways.
- If you don't feel like paying anything, just click the "No thanks, just take me to the downloads" link when prompted for a donation. You can still help the project by submitting awesome materials on the website, reporting bugs, suggesting new features, or even contribute code on Github.
- You can, of course, donate once when downloading the software on itch.io. Thanks a lot for doing so, this is what covered all expenses (mainly related to the materialmaker.org website) until now.
Speaking of this, the 5 USD suggested donation is just there to make sure your money will actually help Material Maker. If you donate 2 USD, more than half will vanish into payment processor fees (due to their fixed fee) and taxes (just ranting about banks and governments, I get huge donations a lot more often than tiny ones).
- If Material Maker is really useful to you and you wish to contribute on a monthly basis, I now have a Patreon. This should eventually allow me to spend more time on this project.
Backers have Discord benefits, and I will assume they use (or want to use) Material Maker for serious projects and consequently I will hear their feedback with particular attention. Finally, their names will be shown in Material Maker's About dialog and on the website, when there are enough of them.
As you probably already know, Material Maker has been selected for an Epic Megagrant in November 2021. This will help me dedicate more time to this project throughout 2022, and will be very useful because it wil be an extremely busy year. If nothing goes wrong, I will be able to keep releasing a new Material Maker every three months while migrating to Godot 4 when it is available.
Speaking of releases, I will focus on bug fixes and stability so we can have a solid 1.0 in July. Godot 4 will make it possible to rework the user interface with flexible layout with multiple windows. Part of that extra development time will be used to improve export to Unreal Engine, with more robust GLSL to HLSL translation (for dynamic materials) and a completely automated process. And of course there will be new features and nodes in each release.
The specific case of macOS port
I never owned an Apple product and don't care that much about this brand and ecosystem. But I do care about users, and I've been surprised by the download count for that port.
And I'm absolutely not satisfied with the macOS port, because:
- I cannot test it seriously nor investigate bugs efficiently when I receive reports
- The release is not signed which makes install a bit of a pain.
Lifting the macOS port to an acceptable state will require that I buy a Mac and enroll in the Apple Developer Program (annual fee is 99 USD). For obvious reasons, I will not use the Megagrant to purchase an Apple product, that cash is better used to help the development as a whole and not a specific port.
This is why my Patreon has a specific tier for the macOS port. It is less for actually funding the port than try to evaluate the actual interest for investing (time and money) in it. So if you feel like becoming a patron for Material Maker and are a Mac user, please don't hesitate to select this tier.
Of course, as soon as the Mac port is on tracks and overall income from Patreon is sufficient, I will merge this tier into the "silver" tier.
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Just in case you are still looking for a mac, you can get a M1 mac-mini refurbished, it is still expensive but probably one of the best deals in my opinion on the mac family. It's less than $600 before taxes. I just discovered your tool on twitter, I looked up the documentation and these logs here and your youtube channel. I haven't had time to try it, I'll sure give it a spin and read more about it. Thanks for your work. Oh, from your youtube, I indeed had seen your hairy mouse and grass shader videos before, probably some years ago.
I just bought a Macbook Air M1 a few days ago (new, decent deal). I'll probably enter Apple dev program thing so I can sign MM 1.0 and Mac users no longer have Gatekeeper messages as first experience.
As for videos, I guess you're confusing with Arnklit who did many great videos about MM (I focus on coding and don't create videos), and also contributed quite a few nodes. And you may also want to check his "river" addon for Godot.