Licensing model for Balder - feedback wanted

May 21, 2010 at 7:28 PM
Edited May 21, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Today Balder is licensed under the Microsoft Permissive License.

I am preparing these days to introduce more platforms, specifically the iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone 7 Series, but want to do a review of the license for the project. I would really love some feedback on this subject, as I have really not landed anything.

My thoughts for now is as follows: Change to a triple-licensing model.
Keep the existing Microsoft Permissive License for the Silverlight version, and not change it at all. Introduce 2 other licenses for the new platforms being added, one commercial license and one open source license. For the open source license for the new platform additions I have been pondering about GPL.

As for the commercial license, I also want to look at pricing, which is also a subject I have yet to decide on. My initial thoughts has been to have a per platform license and a discounted bundle price for all platforms. In addition I've been considering a per developer license, and discounts for 5 developers and a enterprise license for unlimited number of developers. I am not sure what price range to have for this, so feedback for this would be great as well. The numbers I've been toying around with is $200 for a bundle license with 3 platforms in addition to the free Silverlight version (iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7) per developer.

Also worth mentioning, in addition to the above mentioned platforms, Xna and OpenGL will get focus as well, and also looking into implementing a hardware accelerated Silverlight version utilizing WebGL for those browsers supporting WebGL. Another thing is added focus on cross platform work for making sure Balder runs on Moonlight.

May 21, 2010 at 7:55 PM
Edited May 21, 2010 at 7:55 PM
Wow! You're planning to support a lot of different platforms. The licensing sounds like a good plan to raise some money with all the hard work you put into. And a dual license is the only useful value of the GPL. :) Have you noticed that Ayende also uses a dual license model for his new Raven DB. - Rene
May 21, 2010 at 8:09 PM

I noticed he did that, and got a bit inspired by him for bringing licensing to the forums like he did as well.

I think its important for those who have invested in Balder on Silverlight, that they don't lose anything - so thats why I want to keep a separate license for that version.
And the more I think of it, GPL in combination with a commercial license is not that bad. Thanks for the input earlier on twitter for that. 

May 27, 2010 at 1:26 PM

yeah, it sounds like the best of both worlds :)

also, after polishing the engine, you may try to make development tools on top of it, they would present a real value to sell to your customers.

But the engine goes first :)
Personally mine misses the ability of having immediate-mode graphics, as opposed to scene graph model, as i`m trying to develop a 3d mesh editor in SL+XNA combo (for my diploma), and this implies changing the geometry a lot :)

May 27, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Thanks for the input. 

The immediate-mode is something I want to enable and has been on the wishlist from a lot of people and myself. 

Jun 8, 2010 at 7:53 PM
Since you have to convert the code to Objective-C for iOS, have you considered supporting android through the native developer kit for C/C++? Both iOS and android support OpenGL-ES.
Jun 8, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Actually the port will be in C# using MonoTouch and I have been thinking about Android as well using the MonoDroid when it becomes available. With OpenGL-ES being on both platforms and having everything in C# should then be a breeze to support both platforms.