Commissioning Plugins

not sure if this has been discussed, but it would be interesting to open a dialog that would discuss the process of commissioning a developer to build a plugin, cost, time, responsibilities. I’ve been involved with software projects at a business level so I would imagine it’s rather similar.

is this something anyone is interested in?

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I’ve been looking for a service like this for ages that does the following:

  • Allows a developer or “creator” to create a “project page” with details. Projects can be as small (solve a minor GitHub issue) or as large (port a company’s Eurorack modules) as needed.
  • Patrons can promise funding of project upon completion. Either they enter their payment info immediately, or promise to provide it upon completion.
  • Funding is awarded to creator when creator claims they have released the feature/bug fix/project.
  • No patron rewards or stretch goals. Once funded to X amount, no additional funding is allowed. (This is an optional requirement, willing to loosen the definition a bit.)

This is different from Kickstarter, IndieGogo, etc because tasks would generally be much smaller, they wouldn’t require approval from the service (but instead rely on the creator’s brand reputation), and most importantly, funding would not be claimed after X months but instead after completion of the “deliverable” detailed on the project page, whether it’s 2 days or 5 years.

Something like this would be ideal for your proposal. It would also be ideal for VCV to priorize certain features that I can’t justify spending general Rack funding on. (e.g 14 bit midi in 1.0?) Has anyone seen any service close to this concept?


Something like this would be awesome for rack and developers! But care would need to be taken with it.

Iv’e seen a market based thing can’t remember the website. Basically the lowest bidder out of a pool of many 100’s maybe 1000’s of coders got the dough. :face_with_thermometer:

I don’t want that. The creator should be “assigned” when they decide to create a project page. Not after the project is funded. It’s important for people to know who they are funding, because creator reputation is the most important detail of the project. Funding unknown creators while the project is open for funding will result in nothing but utter garbage results. (And who writes the project page? The funders? That couldn’t get any worse.)

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I wouldn’t like that myself. In contrast it would be the complete opposite of your model. Would such a model be open source?

If someone commissioned a developer I’d have a feeling they would want to have a one off payment to that developer and release the plugin commercially.

I’m not following your point. Too many undefined pronouns.

This sounds like the “code bounty” concept from some open source projects. Having said that i have no idea how effective any of those schemes were. There appear to be a few websites that allow people to do code bountys but i can’t recommend any.

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Yes, code bounty is the name for what I described. Unfortunately most services only tend to last for a few months it seems. Must be a difficult business plan, perhaps because of the small demand, or high accounting overhead.

As for the effectivity, I’d use code bounties for things that wouldn’t happen otherwise (due to lack of time, funds, or personal interest). At the minimum, it would allow users to simply understand how much certain tasks cost, which is a great answer for “Why doesn’t VCV have X module or Y feature?!” And at best, it would allow users to prove that niche ideas (using 14 bit midi in 1.0? as an example again) might not be niche after all, if it receives the $XXX.


Returning to OP’s discussion, the following idea might actually make sense for modules that users demand.

But you have to be careful with this. User A might want “an authorized Buchla 200 clone”. User B might want “a module with a professionally written 292e DSP model”. User C might want “modules with the Buchla look”. There is no easy way to combine these ideas, unless a motivated developer writes a detailed design document for a hypothetical project, allowing each user to decide if this design is something they want to spend $XX for. If the users come together and try to design a proposal, the only thing they’ll come up with is “a Buchla clone”. Whoever takes the lowest bid for something like that will design a plugin that disappoints all users, yet technically checks the box so the funds can be claimed.


High Fidelity also created their own.

Depends. A marketplace is free to say that everything that flows through it must be GPL compatible. It just means that you might get less business, since there wouldn’t be the exclusivity aspects.