Community copies are now a regular feature in the indie scene. Can we trace back to where this movement originated in the indie ttrpg scene in particular?

I'm also curious about the transition from direct contact to distribution-platform inclusion of community copies. So I'd appreciate any answers that additionally touch on the development of that subject.


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It started before me, but I was the one who gave it the name and wrote enough of a tutorial that people could replicate it. I wrote a bit about it on my site:

It used to be that if you had a price on your game, you also had a note in your store that said people could email you or message you on Twitter to ask for a free copy.

What I heard from people who did this was that it was fine for a bit, but eventually the load of fielding requests for free content became a source of stress.

Matthew Balousek wrote a quick explanation of his solution: to use itch’s Rewards system to supply a limited pool of freely available copies that anyone could claim. No emails, no messages, just a field in the dashboard that could be updated manually when the pool ran out.

I can only speak to the history within the indie ttrpg space I inhabit, but the name was chosen because it resonated with folks who had experience with similar models outside of indie games.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, Dee--welcome to the site! Thank you for your first-person perspective, which I think is one of the most valuable things people can contribute! I've gone ahead and given the post a quick edit to incorporate some of your site-writing (to future-proof against link-rot and to make the answer stand alone without someone having to click through). I hope I've preserved what you feel's the core of the answer: feel free to re-edit the post to improve it further, or even use the "rollback" option if you feel like I've goofed. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Nov 17, 2021 at 12:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Glad to have you on the site! Feel free to drop by Role-playing Games Chat sometime as well! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
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