Why we intend to make it easy to leave (and hope that makes it easy to stay)

Running a company as part of an open source project is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you want to ensure that the company is successful and profitable. On the other hand, you want to maintain the health and sustainability of the open source project. After all, if the project fails, the company will also fail. For Ramatak Inc. and the Godot engine, this means being mindful of how the company’s actions impact the open source community and making sure that the project stays open, accessible, and inclusive for everyone.

Since talk is cheap we set up Ramatak Inc. as a “Public benefits company”. For Ramatak this means that we will not be allowed to, for instance, “take back” contributions by making a piece of code we once released under an open source license proprietary in the future. In this way we feel that we can be a trustworthy member of the community.

Ramatak’s focus is on improving the developer experience of Godot on mobile platforms. In order for us to succeed we will need to ensure that the mobile games get built! To achieve this Ramatak is spending a lot of effort on improving the mobile renderer for iOS and Android and improving the export experience. We believe it is important to gain the existing community’s trust by making substantial improvements to the engine that are not tied to Ramatak’s products.

One way we plan to be productive members of the Godot community is by ensuring that Ramtak’s commercial offerings are both forward and backwards compatible with the official open source builds from the Godot project. We want to make it super easy to switch to our products and we want to make it equally as easy to switch back! We believe that effectively forking the engine by creating competing almost-but-not-quite compatible versions would be very damaging to the Godot project but also the wider commercial Godot ecosystem.

A piece of software as complicated and large as Godot is really only as good as its documentation. The current state of the Godot documentation is already very, very, good but lacks details on mobile specifics. We are hiring Godot documentation authors to improve this aspect of the Godot documentation in the upstream project as well. This documentation will not be in any way tied to or specific to Ramatak’s commercial offerings either.

Finally, the health of the project is highly dependent on the contributors! Ramatak hopes to help existing contributors spend more time working on upstream Godot by recruiting from the community and making sure that the majority of their time is spent working on upstream code. This way we hope to improve the work/life balance of these contributors while paying them to do something they love! This strategy is, however, only helpful to the wider community if these contributors are actually working on upstream code. 

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