Update: The rewards for Patreon have been changed significantly, so this article no longer fully applies.
So, for those that saw my Patreon page, one may have noticed that I do in fact, have rewards set up.
The lowest tier is simply $1.00, and it is the minimum required for Patron status. Patrons will have a few perks with my content that include being able to vote on polls that relate to future content (more on that later), being able to view the first draft picture-less versions before the full version is put up on the site. Yes, I will still be posting some reviews to GameFAQs, but reviews requested by a Patron (more on how that works later as well) or that I received a code for from the developer or publisher will be exclusive to Guardian Acorn. Additionally, I will follow anyone who donates on social media if they request me to.
I also am interested in starting up a Discord group for any of my patrons, and a recommended reward by the site were a monthly live stream. The latter was listed as examples for higher level rewards, but they are only suitable rewards if there is actual demand for them, and I’m practically a nobody. As such, I’m not going to put too much of a price on it. Additionally, I WANT more people to interact with and the last thing I want to do is any gatekeeping.
Hell the dollar is negotiable. The rest of the rewards follow a fairly simple pattern; that being I will review a game of your choosing if I either own it and am currently able to play it, it is a free to play game, I can purchase the game for less than two thirds of the pledge (this includes if a game is on sale at the time and I can afford it at the time, but If i miss the sale it won’t count) or if you are willing to provide me with a copy of the game without me needing to pay for it (including shipping if it is a physical game). If someone who is not a game developer or publisher rep is willing to provide me with a code for a game they would like to be reviewed but does not want to pledge, it is advisable for them to talk to me first because it will not be a guaranteed review if it is given to me unsolicited. Hell I can’t even guarantee that I will even play the game and not just give it to someone else. In fact, the rule for unsolicited codes also applies to Developers or PR people so please ask me first if you want to give me a code. Also I’m not saying that I will even get that popular in the first place (although it would be nice) but that if I ever do, that is the established policy At a pledge between $15.00 and $30.00, there will be two games allowed at most as long as the combined price for them is under 2/3rds. A request in the other three categories will still count even if the exact price of the first one is only on cent below the limit including tax. $30.00 and over gets you a max of three requests following the same general pattern. $60.00 or above means damn near anything I am capable of doing that I won’t need additional money for (sorry, I’m a poor college student, otherwise I wouldn’t need Patreon), won’t get me into trouble/is legal, and won’t cause me physical or mental harm. It is advised that if you actually think you may want to do so for something, that you talk to me about it first as I don’t want anyone to end up wasting their money if it’s something I can’t do, or if it’s something that I would not need to be paid that much to do. The reason for the 2/3rds limit is because I want most of the money made through Patreon to go towards site related matters as opposed to more games, and if people kept requesting games that costed the full pledge amount, I would not be able to save up enough to afford new additions to the site like the paid plans. Granted, the pledge is set to “per month” so if my Patrons stay for longer than a month, I probably am already making more than the amount of the initial pledge. However, I am trying to prepare for any possibility so that I don’t end up not having enough funds, but I am allowing for some leeway by having the price limit be two thirds so that at least some of every transaction goes towards the overall goal. I also plan to keep track of how the funds are spent and will inform my patrons of what the donations are spent towards (I will go over possible expenses later).
The reviews that are written at the request of a Patron will not be posted on the site until I receive the 1st month’s payment as to prevent anyone from pledging, requesting a review, than withdrawing the pledge after the review is up. If a pledge is withdrawn in a manner I believe to be exploitable, then work on the review will cease indefinitely. If one is unable to maintain that pledge for any reason, one can talk to me about it and I may still put it up. Just don’t be manipulative though. I don’t want to withhold content intentionally, but I’m not going to encourage anyone trying to play a fast one on me.
On top of this, any rewards given (IE the reviews
and whatever I do for the $60 one) will be allowed to be redeemed again for every six cumulative months of patronage. If one switches to a higher pledge tier that involves more than one request, and I have already fulfilled the first request, then the first request will count towards the requests, and the money spent on it will be subtracted from the new pledge amount. In order for the rest of the request to be fulfilled, they will need to remain a patron for at least until I receive that month’s payment, otherwise, it will be withheld if the price exceeds the allotted amount of their current pledge. If one thinks they will need to lower or drop their pledge due to any personal concerns, it would be preferable if they notified me beforehand, and I may be able to work something out based on the circumstances. Unredeemed rewards will not stack over the course of months simply because it would be too hard for me to keep track of everything for every user. Also, if it becomes too hard to keep track of total months someone has been a patron, then I may just change it to having it reset every six months on a set date for all.
Lastly, these rewards or the rules based around them will likely undergo alterations if I ever end up gaining a large amount of followers, because otherwise I would have way too many requests to complete. I do want to continue posting non review content after all, and I would still like to play games by my own choice to. Either way, the priority of reviews will be review codes 1st, patron requests 2nd, and my own stuff 3rd. Of course, if I ever reach a point where I am flooded with either too many review codes or Patron requests, I may decide to put my current schedule on hold to handle the stuff I’ve had waiting for a while in the other category. I will also shout out the Patron that has requested the review at the end of the review unless they want to abstain from being mentioned, and if I have received a review copy then I will mention that as well.
Now there is the subject of the goals. So far, my set goals are $54 per month, in which case I will switch to the WordPress personal plan, although I will very likely set it up as soon as I get $54.00 from Patreon in general. I should clarify that the plan itself is $36.00 per year, and that I have the goal at $54.00 so that I have 1/3rd of it to go to other expenses. Of course, if I get to this goal, it will mean that I pretty much have enough to keep that plan indefinitely, which is what I am referring to in the sense of “switching to” the plan. It is also worth mentioning that switching plans will also benefit you guys as well since more customization options means better quality work, in addition to the fact that I will be able to access the site’s SEO which will greatly improve the sites placement in search engines. The other two goals involve switching to the Premium and the Business plan respectively. If I get the Business Plan, I can also allow ads on this site and get the WordPress branding removed. Depending on how I am doing at that point, I may not even need Patreon anymore, but I would be unlikely to remove Patreon until I know I can sustain enough revenue to stay afloat without it, and I may keep it up anyway if enough people want me to. Anyway, now for an explanation of what the expenses will go towards. As previously stated, 2/3rds of the funds will go towards the plans. The remain 3rd will be used for buying games for Patron requested reviews. Additionally, there is a personal policy I would like to adopt when it comes to review codes.
If I receive a code for a game from a Developer or Publisher, and I find the game to be of especially good quality, I will buy a copy of the game so that the developers are compensated for their efforts. Part of a reason I am adopting this policy is to hopefully make myself more inviting for developers who may be hesitant to provide me with a code due to the small size of this website, and may assume that I’m just trying to get free games. Additionally, this ensures that If I don’t like a game, I would feel a greater obligation to explain why since I don’t want people to assume I’m just nitpicking so I don’t have to pay. Yes, this will also apply to games I have received review codes for in the past, and there are a few I already would like to buy.
Both Nekopara 1 and 2 qualify not because I didn’t buy them, but because I didn’t buy the patches for them. I am rather regretful for this in Nekopara 2‘s case since the patch was up for sale at the time, and I would like to be able to rectify this. This will also apply to Nekopara 1 even though Denpasoft was not selling a patch at the time I played it.
Additionally, Kindred Spirits on the Roof, which I have written a glowing review of, will apply, although in its case, I would likely be getting a hard copy, in which case I will use Patreon funds towards as much as a digital copy would cost and use my own money for the rest. As such, it will be a while before I decide to get that one. Tales of Hearts R would also qualify but I actually already bought it because I redeemed the digital version on the wrong PSN account and couldn’t access it on my Vita. I would have counted Rosenkreuzstilette if the Steam port was more polished, but it wasn’t. Although I might if there is a patch later on. Lastly, if I ever get an improved computer that is able to run Depths of Fear: Knossos and Talent Not included, and I find them of exception quality, then they will apply.
Furthermore, there is also the possibility of using these spare codes of mine as part of a raffle for Patrons, in which one of them will get it. Hell if I’m feeling particularly devilish, I may do that with unsolicited codes if they are ever a problem. Additionally, I mentioned that I currently have some spare codes that I have used for Indiegala trades in my article about my backlog, so I may use them first once I actually get some followers so they don’t all just go to my current 1 patron (you are awesome btw). These will also be handled the same way review requests do, in which I wait until I get paid for the month before I draw the winners. In fact, I will probably set that up starting in July.There is also the possibility of using some of the expenses to pay for these raffle prizes if I don’t have any available, which may be themed after a game relevant to the blog at the time. Lastly, I do want to review some modern and bigger games that I’m less likely to get review codes for, so what I would likely do is hold a poll on which releases the money goes towards acquiring for review purposes, if there is enough left over.
As one can see if they read this, I have put a lot of thought into how this would work, as I feel that is necessary when I’m talking about other people’s money. As a have said on my page, the only exception would be in emergency situations. I do not want to feel like I am overstepping my boundaries with any of these things, which is why I am illustrating my plans. Additionally, I am open to suggestions for any other goals or rewards that may be suitable.
Anyway thanks for reading.