Over the past two years, in my spare time after work (at home, personal PC/Maya, working with my companies legal dept to retain my rights), I’ve been developing a Maya skin weight export/import tool: I looked at the current market offerings in this space, and couldn’t find anything that fit the bill with the features I wanted, so I’ve rolled my own. The goal, and I feel I’ve met it, is to make a tool that’s both easy/intuitive to use, and has every feature someone dealing with skin weights would need, with a pipeline integrateable API + consumer facing UI. And also: It’s really fast.
For some background / qualifications, I’ve been working in game dev for 26 years now, the bulk of that in a techart roll on AAA titles (Neversoft, Square, Visceral, Sledgehammer, 31st Union…), using Maya since v1, other 3D apps before that.
Preamble over: My question is : Since I’ve been in heads-down dev land for so long authoring internal-IP tools and pipelines, I’ve never considered distributing my own / selling them until now. So I’m looking for any suggestions on how to get this tool out to the people, and maybe make some $ on the side.
It’s Python code, which is easy to obfuscate but also easy to unobfuscate with a little knowhow: So I’m open to suggestion if people have found success in this space (basically: Copy-protection). And I don’t want to have to deal with firing up license servers and having to hand out/track licensing unless someone can convince me it’s not that hard.
So my other thought is go the donation route through something like Pateron? Or just sell copies via something like Gumroad? Again, looking for thoughts & guidance here.
Also, licensing. Not something I usually think about working on internal IP. Need some pointers here.
Finally, if you care about such things as skin weight export/import: How much would you pay for a tool that ‘just works’ and does ‘everything you want/expect it to do’?
Appreciate any feedback!