I started creating RPG cartography on Patreon in 2015. I had no idea how Patreon worked and after browsing through a bunch of other creators made up my own rewards and chose the per creation model as I was not completely sure if the whole Patreon thing was going to last at all. Well, it lasted. But over the months and years, I learned more about Patreon, new talented creators started their own projects, Patreon introduced new features and my own creative ambitions changed. With the changing conditions, I made little adjustments to my own Patreon project every now and then.
Back in 2017, about a year ago, Patreon decided to make a big change to their payment model. Back then I was going to switch to the monthly model instead of the per creation model, but as Patreon rolled back their changes, I decided to cancel my plans also. This left a big mess. My rewards and tiers were all changed as a quick afterthought and I was losing my focus on RPG cartography.
In fall 2018, I came to a sort of a breaking point. I had to admit that I was often short of time and the per creation model was pushing me to create multiple maps per month instead of putting more effort to one or two more detailed and finished maps. Also, the per creation model required me to make more or less similar content as all of my patrons were charged for each paid release. For example, I could not make a small extra release only for certain patron tiers. With the monthly model, there aren’t restrictions like these.
When I finally figured out what was the issue with my own creative ambitions and Patreon, I decided to arrange a poll for my patrons on Patreon. Not a very scientific one, but something that could clarify my own thoughts. The results spoke for themselves.
With 67% supporting the monthly model and only 2% preferring the per creation model the decision was quite easy. I decided to switch to the monthly model, but as I needed to revise my tiers and rewards anyway, I thought that there would not be as good an opportunity to make a big overhaul than this. So, I decided to build my patreon tiers and rewards again from the ground up based on my 3 years of experience and lessons learned.
Miska’s Maps Reborn
After being three years a creator on Patreon, I decided that this is also a good place to clean the slate and rethink my whole Patreon project. By and large, it’s the same project, but I have tried to make it more focused on what I’m enthusiastic about and what are my strengths. So, in brief. More time and effort dedicated to drawing maps – especially sci-fi and modern maps.
Monthly model. Unlike with the per creation model, you know exactly how much you are contributing per month. With an archive of over 150 maps, access to patron-only feeds and discussions, Patreon exclusive live streams and such Miska’s Maps is more like a service than a product, and in this case, the monthly model also makes more sense.
Focus on modern, post-apocalyptic and sci-fi. I’m going to switch my focus to sci-fi and modern maps. Those are the themes that are the closest to my own interests (I do love fantasy too, but space opera, sci-fi and science fantasy have always been my first choices). There’s a lot of other great artist doing fantasy maps anyway, so I believe there’s also room for one sci-fi artist 🙂
Mainly Patreon exclusive material. This is a big thing. From now on the majority of my creations will be patreon exclusive. I will continue publishing some sort of free versions of my maps, but stock maps will be sold mostly as collections or map packs with fewer options in comparison to what I publish on Patreon.
The revisited tiers and rewards: I hope I managed to make the tiers a bit more focused and clearer. The new tiers and rewards are based on my 3 years of experience on Patreon, my creative ambitions, workload, and workflow. I had to give up some of the rewards and redesign some to get more focus on the actual cartography. There are 4 “hobbyist” tiers, and 2 “professional” tiers.
Commercial use credits: Commercial credits is a new way of handling the commercial use. Each month you are eligible to receive commercial use credits, you will get these credits. They are yours until you use them. The credits come with a license for clear instructions on how to use them. No more “renting” the use rights or such.
I welcome you to check out the reborn Miska’s Maps project on Patreon and see what it has to offer to you.