You know what happens to free things that creators maintain from their own pocket and time? They die.
Creators of free things dedicate their own money and free time working for long hours and replying to support questions (over and over again that have already been answered several times but people are too lazy to search).
And there's one day that the game you loved to play or the website you visited, or the youtuber you watched, shuts down. Because they grow tired of throwing their money and their time away, or they need to spend their time working on something that pays for rent and food. Because people need to pay for shit to live.
You may not understand this if you are young and live with your parents that pay for everything, I don't blame you, one day you will understand when you earn $10/hour and have to pay $1,000 a month just for a place to live, and then buy food and pay for gas to go to work.
As incredible as it may sound, maintaining an online game is not free, unfortunately. I've spent more than $1,000 just in server costs, from my own money that I worked hard to earn. Imagine I asked you to pay $1,000 to play the game, would you? Well, that's what I did.
And I also spent thousands of hours working on it. If I had spent those hours working on something that pays, I could've bought a nice car, or a boat, or a trip around the world on 5-star hotels. But I decided to make a game for everyone to play for free, am I a “selfish greedy bastard”?.
And that's not counting the sacrifice and dedication I wouldn't have in a normal job. 14-hour marathons spent working until late, or waking up at 4am because people are complaining that something is not working and I get out of bed, turn on my computer and fix it. For free, for you. And then at 8:00am waking up again to go to work a normal job until it gets dark, which, surprise! Is what actually pays for SpaceHunt.
I love SpaceHunt, it is something I envisioned and wanted to make a reality. But if it just costs money and time, I will eventually become bored, or I will find another hobby, or I will need to pay to live and need to dedicate my time to something that pays the bills, and the game will eventually die because it can't sustain by itself.
I am really grateful that some players have asked to help me with the costs. This is why I created a way for you guys to donate and I wanted to thank you too by giving something back. This doesn't make it a paid game but a way to keep the server running. SpaceHunt needs to be sustainable in some other way than simply my own pocket. It's funny how some people complain it makes it pay-to-win, while others protest it is too expensive. Well, I've learned to accept that it's impossible to make everyone happy. But I'll try to find the balance.
And before you say “oh, but you are getting rich!” consider that with all the donations and payments I've earned $9.74 since I started working on SpaceHunt back in July 2019. Working at McDonald's would've been a smarter decision if I wanted to make money…
I'll keep trying to make the game sustain by itself, so we can keep playing and enjoying great times together, launching new features and getting faster servers. Even when my life gets rough.
If you like a free service, make them charge you or show you ads! Or the next time your favorite free thing shuts down, because it can't sustain by itself, you'll be wondering why…
Dedicated to all the haters, I hope you remember this when you grow up and need to wake up early to go to work. Then come home to pay for something that you give away for free to strangers.