Unpaid Development

Hi, I’ve been with the network since the early ENG days and started working with Secret Heroes but was recently informed that our approved work will not be paid out fully.

I’ve noticed the UI/UX team (Pajamas alias) posting updates on other projects they are working with and of course Baedrik has built out the backend contracts. We built a Unity Forge which was communicated as the most difficult tier and one that should be handled first.

The problem I have is that the actual (non hackathon) workflow took several months and we communicated throughout it’s release and were approved for our final pull request and told it was good work… only to later find out our funding was being pulled and @floAr had spoken to someone about closing it early and paying out a partial that didn’t include 5 hours of debugging or the other tracks.

Then we were informed @floAr would be taking 2/3rds of our Unity development work for integration even though we had spent a considerable amount of time producing a product while other members admittedly did it in a few hours and didn’t feel like they needed paid a full amount. Something isn’t adding up and why not take the integration portion and something from those members who say they don’t care to be paid and have been given other work within the network? Why are we being targeted when we went above and beyond expectations?

We were vocal in the community on on the forum and have proposed several grants. We objected to funding going into Domerium Wars and not a Unity grant and were given some space to build and grow with a team. Now we see it was a big mistake to trust Tor, Guy, Dumdididum, or whomever controls the decision making process… It was mentioned that Dumdididum was pressing for a timeline and Guy and team have made a competing project.

Regardless of these core network or internal projects, there should be funding and payment for those approved grants who contributed to the growth of the network and so I’m appealing to the community on the forum for help.

The reasoning behind not paying my Senior software engineer and me as a 10 year Unity developer with multiple major releases is that we lacked some kind of technical understanding of NFT image integration that we offered to help with when I took on additional responsibility early on in order to make it feel like MY work was worth the fee WE all chose to put on the community. I’m not sure how @floAr doing integration work for a few hours somehow negates the fact we did way more than the planned Unity involvement and have video walk-throughs and records of 6 major milestones as we worked through them. My point is he understood the required architecture and as a doctoral what he was asking was more aligned with his integration ability from the beginning. After onboarding and paying out of pocket a senior level engineer did I realize he struggled with core functionality and a system he didn’t design and that either I would have to spend EVEN more time or @floAr would reasonably have to start to do his integration work or give feedback. To me, that’s reasonably expected from someone who claimed the whole time he was too busy earning with NiftIsland on ETH and ready to knock it out at any second the same way he did with the hackathon.

At no point, while communicating spending money and building out better design patterns with a seasoned engineer to assist me did anyone mention a time crunch or lack of ability to contribute Unity work…

I also want to add that we have two years of web wallet and mobile wallet experience on the Unity development side with KIN and have been involved and communicating for months before being put on the grant. We started posting Unity battle videos in the same art style and that’s when we were asked to join. I see now it was an attempt to suppress? I was told when I added a Unity Lobby integration showing a login and multiplayer MOBA on Reddit that I (messed up).

We consulted (sometimes honestly) the ideas and experiences we had and offered education in an amount far exceeding $5K, or the money we are owed @1000-1300 SCRT.

It’s fine if we want an Education lead to build a game in Godot or to pay $100K in SCRT for an API and in-house hardware. It’s not my expertise and I can only add what I know about Stellar to Solona and having a python server speak to the API for multiple massive apps like RAVE and Madlipz. If this was intended to be a jest at me for informing the community of my experience or asking for a role on the front-end somewhere then I guess that’s just the behavior we will witness.

Domerium Labs have not received any funding from any pool
Not the grant pool
Not the accelerator pool
Not from the foundation in the form of SNACs
Not from the community pool

Domerium Labs pays everything out of pocket

I do not press anything, I merely ask question to create the monthly ecosystem roadmap. We haven’t had a conversation since last summer. Stop pretending like we did.

My education lead role was for education, not to built a game. I worked my hours on organizing the community, documenting answers to the inner working of the ecosystem, creating educational content in the forms of explainers, comparisons and tutorials.

And for the record, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m no longer education leader as my work on Orbem Wars is taking to much time. The role of education lead is now with Ertemann and SeanPop.

Summary: Stop this witch hunt you have been on for months; on Discord, on Reddit, here on the forums. You imagine things that aren’t real, and if you would have invested all the time you spent on writing these long complainer messages, to actually build your original idea of last summer with the dragon eggs, you may have found yourself with a PoC or release already.

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Ok here we go again. I will take the time to respond here as I hope that a persisted place of this events will allow me to just link to it in the future and not spend any more time again and again and again talking through this.
This is going to be a longer post, but honestly by now it is just draining that you are going around slandering people and roping in more and more folks that have literally nothing to do with the whole situation.

My TLDR: @SCRTHodl was brought onto the team to deliver unity features, spoke misleading about their ability to deliver them, did not deliver the features and is now looking to get paid more than was initially agreed upon.

Background:
SecretHeroes was done as a hackathon project to showcase the capabilities of secret nfts and on-chain gaming. After the hackathon the core team (@johnbrodish, @baedrik, @can and me) spend roughly a month polishing it up and release it mostly in the state you see today.

Afterwards we applied for a grant to build out additional features to turn it into a more sustainable gaming experience: Secret Heroes - The Road to V2 · Issue #13 · scrtlabs/Grants · GitHub. One thing to note: The grant was done back in the days when $SCRT was at 1.644$.

Context:
@SCRTHodl was brought to the team as someone who had Unity experience and wanted to do some compensated work for the ecosystem. Right after joining the team chat he showed some video of assets he had imported into Unity and spoke about extending SecretHeroes.
It was stated by almost everyone multiple times early on that the focus is completing the grant.

Note here that it was very explicitly stated and received that the compensated work is for the grant related tasks only.

Ultimately it was agreed upon that @SCRTHodl would help with the unity work for the first milestone (The Forge) which was earmarked for 15hrs of Unity work (estimation done by the core team when writing the grant) at 70$SCRT / hour (again, this was when $SCRT was 1.6$ so we are talking about ~112$ per hour)

The milestone required 3 elements form the Unity side, which @SCRTHodl committing to do 2 of them:

  1. Finishing up a dynamic hero renderer to show the heroes (which change appearance based on attributes) in the grid view
  2. Implement a grid view to show your hero rooster and allow sending them to battle / upgrading them from there

What happened

@baedrik completed the backend work early on, @SCRTHodl started working on the grid logic (2), and I did the integration between Unity and the frontend (3). The flow of work was very asynchronously and parts of the team moved to other projects and I take full responsibility that this could have been handled better from my side.

Things started to get a bit weird at some point (Like @SCRTHodl putting up their own grant for work on SecretHeroes, making it sound like it involves the core team: Secret Heroes Game Development Unity Supplement · Issue #23 · scrtlabs/Grants · GitHub ), but we mostly brushed it aside as maybe miscommunications and kept refocusing on the grant. In hindsight this is something that is also on me and we should have stopped this way earlier, but I choose to trust @SCRTHodl in their ability to deliver.

What followed were many month of going back and forth between the core team and SCRT Force trying to get those features locked in that by his own words would only take them a few hours to implement.

At some point it surfaced that @SCRTHodl has hired an engineer to do the unity work for him, putting up another ? of the ability to build out the feature that we initially agreed upon.
At the same time we kept pushing the release date for SecretHeroes 1.5 back over and over again and @Stefan_DomeriumLabs, who manages the secret network roadmap, kept (very rightfully) knocking at my door every month.
Early this year we agreed that pushing it month by month over and over again was not a sustainable solution, so there was an agreement that we will take a proper assessment of the current state and figure out how to tie it up until February.

The state of the Unity work at this point was:

  1. The ‘renderer’ was an 8$ Unity assetstore asset that was purchased and dropped in, which (very clearly) states that I cannot be used in live and was meant to pre-generate images in editor.
  2. The visual element of the heroes grid were implemented but are not connected to any of the live game data, instead only using static test-data.

At this point the time spend on discussing potential implementations and resolving git issues massively outweighed the time it would have taken me to implement the features myself and the assessment of the current state, showed no clear path to a releasable version of the forge. The way a grant works is that you agree on deliverables and compensation beforehand and you only get paid this compensation once you deliver the deliverables. My proposal was to take the visual grid work done by @SCRTHodl , I properly connect it to the game logic and build out the renderer myself, so that we could release the first milestone. In this scenario @SCRTHodl would have received 1/3 of the Unity allocation for the work they have done with the visual part of the grid.

(Under the assumption that the grant was still valid anyhow. We took 10x the allocated time and the rate effectively quadrupled, so there was absolutely the expectation from the core team that we would either re-negotiate the grant with SCRTLabs or even would not be surprised if it just defaulted by itself)

This turned into weeks of discussions between core team and @SCRTHodl, later even getting non-involved community members in with the aim to potentially mediate.

By now the whole thing has blown complete out of proportion, roping in other community members and building up the idea of a conspiracy that honestly is not even worth writing up in here, also in an utter misconception of how grants work @SCRTHodl keeps asking to get compensated 1000-1300 SCRT. For reference that is 95% - 120% of the total allocation for Unity, for basically doing slightly less than 1/3rd of the work, which would only every pay out anyway if the grant-milestone is completed.

To be honest I have little idea how to respond to this further, I think I speak for the whole core team that any joy or drive to wrap up the grant-milestone has been completely vaporized.

To everyone who got roped into this: I am extremely sorry for any time and nerves you had to spend on this, I can just restate that I (and I think everyone of the core team) holds no grudge against anyone in the ecosystem and we are extremely unhappy how the whole story has played out.

To @SCRTHodl: I am truly sorry how things went down and that apparently there was a huge mismatch on what we each expected from this project and collaboration, as mentioned early on

I feel like the team really tried to figure out a way that works the best for everyone, but instead of working on a resolution you choose to post your personal version of this all over the internet:

https://web.archive.org/web/20220324110822/https://www.reddit.com/r/SecretNetwork/comments/tm1p6n/shilling_goes_both_ways/

https://web.archive.org/web/20220324110836/https://www.reddit.com/user/Crazy-Bumblebee-5060/


To anyone reading this far: Please feel free to ask any questions and voice any opinions, I am absolutely interested in getting a reality check on this and providing as much clarity as possible.

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@SCRTHodl I sincerely hope you get the psychological help you need.

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Hang on a second. It’s your grant and you encouraged our participation and reached out about getting paid all of Unity and more. Also, you are responsible for the integration work and to step up and participate in the completion of the project you laid out. Instead you encouraged more engagement and offered to give me a bigger cut of the grant, as you worked on other projects. This is a 180 and the last conversations we had about the project we were clear that the latest update was good and pulled into the main branch and that we were interested in diving into integration to see it all come to life. You didn’t respond at that point or respond to our intention so we started exploring integration and saving data etc. This is the point where you came around and started demanding that we finish it as a part of Unity work and that we should know how to do integration and save game data and thumbnails on WebGL. This conversation went from getting more than Unity’s share to just Unity to less than 1/3rd or nothing if we didn’t do your work.

There are test scripts that connect to the bridge and the difference between actual game data and these test scripts are INTEGRATION work that you should be completely capable of performing having written both the test version for the Unity editor and the real functions to call…

Again, I’m more than willing to have a discussion about completing the grant we started and we refined and revised (debugging) both the hackathon and our own code to integrate smoothly throughout the different areas while using a Grid layout. This was a lot of work and we treated it like a scalable solution and did the work so should be paid.

The fact I continued to develop my own grants is only evidence that I intended to build quickly and scale front end solutions and games with AAA quality assets and plugins. The onus of responsibility is clearly on you and the reason I’m here now is that you were silent or encouraging when you should have let us know we were not going to be paid or there was the possibility you would just drop the Grant because it was too lucrative for you and again the conversations were very encouraging and misleading to the point of being evil in nature.

It’s not your money and the price fluctuation is irrelevant and if the price drops to .80 would we be paid more? We wouldn’t demand or expect it and I have said openly for a long time that this project reminds me of early ANS or NEO which exploded in price like every other project. We took risk in any early grant proposal and the price increase was used to squeeze additional resources and work from people who are not being paid.

You have little to gain from ripping off my engineering team and me. Unless of course you have an inflated ego with little to stand on and you’re afraid of the gaming industry and Unity which have a bigger addressable market for advertising than the music industry and paid television combined.

Good luck and be prepared for the consequences of your actions as it is my right to protest the unfair business practices you facilitate.

I’m going to go ahead and lock this thread. It seems like a private matter that has no benefit to being openly discussed on the secret network forums. I know how you’re feeling because I’ve posted things like that too, but we are trying to do better.

Work it out privately @SCRTHodl

Best regards to all involved.