I sometimes get asked whether I will be developing a MacOS version of TerreSculptor. Or a Linux OS build.
Although it would be nice to fully support all desktop platforms, the simple answer is unfortunately: No.
The cold, hard facts of software development costs simply don’t allow for it.
TerreSculptor is a solo project. I am the only person developing it, performing the programming, creating the videos, managing the social media pages, and responding to support emails and messages.
I work on TerreSculptor after my full-time job. As of this month the software is about 800,000 lines of source code.
For me to develop cross-platform would require that I utilize a developer framework such as Qt. The yearly cost for a Qt license varies depending on who is managing it, as it changes hands, but as of the time of this blog post writing, Qt is $3950 US per seat per year ($5250 CAD for me plus taxes).
TerreSculptor has been in development for approximately 10 years, so that would be a cost for Qt alone of about $55,000.
To date TerreSculptor has brought in about $400 total in Patreon income.
TerreSculptor for the past 11 months, has had about two dozen Patreon patrons, typically paying $1 a month, and a couple of patrons are at $5 or $10. This Patreon income just covers minor business expenses such as my yearly web site domain, web hosting costs, my Google Drive, monthly business banking account costs, etc.
That is two dozen paying patrons from 75,000 downloads of the software.
I develop the software with zero pay to myself.
If I had to hire a programmer to develop the software, that would typically be $100,000 per year to them in wages. For 10 years of development costs that would be $1 Million dollars in wages just to get the software to where it is today.
And that doesn’t include ongoing costs of future builds and updates.
The bottom line is that TerreSculptor generates virtually no income, and I cannot pay for Qt out-of-pocket, I am a single guy making an average yearly wage. I simply don’t make enough money to be able to afford to put $5500+ a year into cross-platform frameworks plus minor business expenses, so that I can provide free software to the community at my personal expense.
If more people financially supported the software, then the results may be a different story, and features such as cross-platform support may have been possible.