Kirstens Viewer: looking to Crowdfunder

Coming on top of yesterday’s tweet, there is good news for those who wish to see Kirsten’s Viewer continue.

Kirstenlee Cinquetti has announced that, following the outpouring of support for the Viewer, the team are going to try and obtain funding by going the Crowdfunder route.

In announcing the approach, Kirstenlee blogs:

Many of you have asked and wondered what the future would hold for the Viewer, well here is the answer..

After lots and lots of thought and quite a bit of behind the scenes activity we are going to go Crowdfunder!

The upshot of the whole deal is this, a target has been set to fund the entire project and it’s continued development for a period of one whole year. What happens remains to be seen, I can however reveal a few details of what does happen if we hit the target, and more critically what can occur if we exceed the funding target. If we seal the deal, almost instantly the binaries will become available for download the project will become active again and an updated and early build of S22 will become live.

If the funding target is achieved, it means that the binaries will be released once more, and work will immediately continue, with a list of juicy enhancements coming down the line over time:

  • Programmable camera positions
  • Enhanced photo making features
  • “Radical changes” to the user interface
  • Enhancements in the area of post processing and 3D vision

If the required funding level is exceeded, then the team will look into other aspects of Viewer development, such has obtaining a KDU licence, funding other developers, etc.

For those helping to fund the project, a special area of the Viewer’s website will be set up, providing preview access to builds and features, and where funders can vote on proposed new features and enhancements, etc. Rewards for funders will be based on their level of funding.

The project’s Crowdfunder page is now open. Using Crowdfunder is pretty much a win/win situation for all involved: if the target is reached, the project will go ahead; if the funding target isn’t reached, then money promised to the project will be refunded. So there’s no reason not to get involved!

2 thoughts on “Kirstens Viewer: looking to Crowdfunder

  1. Now this is interesting. First we have Qarl ex-Linden asking for contributions to fix mesh; now it’s KirstenLee asking for funds for her viewer. Mmh. I’ve naturally supported both projects with a tiny donation because I seriously believe that people volunteering their time to make Second Life better definitely deserve to be paid (specially if the alternative is dropping their work to improve SL and get a job elsewhere), but it’s somehow curious… isn’t Linden Lab supposed to be doing this kind of work — after all, they do have paid programmers! — instead of a community of “funders” who are happy to pay to get the features they wish done?

    If I were Rod Humble, and this trend of fund-your-favourite-features continues (it might well become a trend!), I’d certainly completely rethink the development strategy at Linden Lab 🙂

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    1. It’s an interesting turn of events – but is it that different for LL? Let’s face it, they’ve had a mechanism in place be which code can be contributed to the Viewer from the day the code went open-source. Whether submitted code has ever found its way into the Viewer has remained firmly down to them. As such, nothing really changes on that side of the equation; they’ve apparently informed the parametric deformer project that providing the code does what it is intended to do, and Karl/Qarl signs the required paperwork, they are willing to consider this code, when completed.

      As such, I really don’t see this impacting LL’s approach to things. They’ll continue to go their own way (as demonstrated by the (apparently) closed-door development of the new UI (which itself poses something of a high level of risk for TPVs), and doubtless they’ll continue to cherry-pick from the ideas submitted to the Snowstorm pile.

      The real difference is in people’s willingness to pay for functionality / Viewers and where this might lead.

      How feasible is it for a Viewer to be funded in this manner, long-term? How will internal issues be balanced?

      • For example, what happens if a Viewer becomes reliant on a handful of funders, who in turn start demanding that specific functionality is added or removed?

      What does it mean for other TPVs?

    2. What happens if a Viewer gains so much in the way of funding it is able to effectively syphon-off talent from other teams or persaude independents to focus solely on supplying code to it in return for a reasonable level of income?
      • Are these issues that will ever realistically raise their heads, or will this be a one-off situation (in terms of Kirsten’s Viewer), with other TPVs content to carry on as they have in the past? It is an intriguing wrinkle in things, and it’ll be interesting to see where this does go over time.

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