Over on another Website, an indie table top developer was talking about how her free and pay what you want content doesn't do nearly as well in terms of downloads as the stuff you have to pay for. This isn't the first time I've heard of this, and I understand it's generally true for software.

I wonder if I should set it up so downloading the latest release of Tangerine costs a nominal fee, and just make the past releases free and try to update often so it doesn't realistically impede access 🤔

I don't really like the idea for a variety of reasons, but also as far as I'm aware nobody has actually tried to use it for anything yet 🤷‍♀️


I doubt a distribution gimmick would help, but in general I'm just not really sure what is missing to get anyone interested enough to try to actually make something with it anyway 😕. Maybe making the rendered image prettier? Add a full PBR lighting model? Write a tutorial for how to use it as a CAD program? Finish up the basic interactivity features? Making more example stuff with it? Idk!

@aeva I am not sure if it is a tool that is production ready
it's a matter of marketing
maybe showcase an example of making a model and putting it into a game

@efi That's a good point. As a game tool it isn't anywhere near production ready, but it's perfectly fine as a programmatic art tool. People use Magica CSG even though there's isn't any way to use the SDF models in games either without first exporting a super dense polygon mesh and decimating. Of course Magica CSG also has a really slick renderer and a nice GUI 🤷‍♀️

@efi random lightbulb moment: I could probably export the models and import them into unreal as Nanite meshes lol

@efi though I suppose that might be a hard sell because Houdini already serves that niche well

@efi unreal definitely would make that problem worse tbh

@aeva I've been tempted to check it out for both art and cad purposes but also, not enough spoons available on my end, and it's been unclear what level of "ready" it is.

@aeva re: paying for something - it can help it can not. Getting traction on something can also just take a bunch of time. But a common way on itch and gum road and so on to sift out most of the chaff is to drop free content from your search, since a lot of it is rubbish

@maxc it's a little rough in places, but it's at a point where it would benefit from other people trying to use it. Works great for making art so far if the art is focused on form. It can export point clouds and noisy meshes, that i've been able to reliably clean up with mesh lab (screened poisson reconstruction + decimate) for 3D printing. The attached images are examples of things I made this way.

@maxc I was hoping that putting release builds online would have signaled that I was ready for people to try it out. What do you think might help give the impression that it's safe to use?

@aeva not sure honestly, haha.

Specific announce stuff would help maybe - if I happened to be online as it was happening - but this is why people are constantly signal boosting their projects on social media and doing devlogs in more creative spaces, it's easy to miss stuff in the firehose.

For this specific case it's hard for me to envision it going from looking into languages that'd fit to it being ready for consumption in a few months. I know the total timeline is longer tho

@aeva re: turning into 3d with meshlab - sounds fine ish haha. My cad process has been all over the place. I was doing curv into blender or meshlab for a while but have been doing pure blender for a while, geom nodes get you part way to non destructive, and honestly just editing the geo isn't that awful (eg for stuff like the little card containers). Blender shitting the bed with coplanar booleans is honestly my main pain point day to day

@maxc it's astonishing how bad blender's boolean ops are even today. it's like they haven't changed at all in a decade. geo nodes serve a similar niche to tangerine i imagine

@aeva yep but you still end up doing all sorts of nonsense cause some things are separate modifiers so you have a normal modifier stack if you want stuff like booleans. It's in a kind of half effective state but good enough for some parametrics. There's a cad plugin gradually growing too. Lots of duplicated and kinda janky efforts. And yes the booleans feel ancient there was a new solver added which just has its own fresh issues.

@maxc idk how people find the energy to do dev logs ._.

re the language change, that's a good point. it turned out to be really easy to slot in Lua in place of Racket but I see how that sounds like a greater under taking.

@aeva re: devlogs - just posting in the equivalent of love discords creation showcase counts imo. To creator audience and generally quick screenshot and "I did the thing". Higher yield than Twitter etc by orders of magnitude for creator audience stuff ime

@maxc sorry i'm a little out of it tonight where should i be posting such a thing?

@aeva I've had a lot more luck with creative tool specific communities, forums and irc in the past but discord now. Mastodon mixed bag. The love discord in particular (as in love2d.org) is good for games and has an off topic creations showcase channel for WAYWO but there are 3d modelling and tech artist ones too.

@maxc wouldn't it be rude to promote tangerine on the love discord though?

@aeva not if you were an everyday person there. If you've got no time for that then yeah drive by xpromo isn't a good look haha.

I've found investing time into those kind of things to be much more pleasant than trying to get traction on twitter etc though, cause you can cultivate discords or forums that you visit specifically of like minded people instead of a big bundle of EVERYONE ALL AT ONCE.

@maxc i wonder if there's a more general lua discord

@aeva I think tangerine would also fit tech art communities, anywhere folks are into sdfs haha

Can't recommend any currently though, worth checking the public registry and search engines

@aeva pc or Web client only, "explore servers" or whatever. Some communities delist from it deliberately (eg love2d one) because it attracts unsavoury types at times but there's also 3rd party listings iirc (search engine gonna be better than me).

Worth keeping in mind that discord has a lotta kids on it so searches for lua will be full of roblox

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