I often receive emails and messages asking me “Where is the Mac version” or “Is it available for Linux”, and those are examples of the kindly worded emails and messages, you should see the nasty ones. Well, the short answer is: TerreSculptor is Windows Only.
Why? Because one platform had to be chosen back during initial design in 2010, and that platform was Windows simply because it has the significantly larger market-share. Windows is ~100+ times the market size of Apple or Linux. So it makes sense to develop for that platform if only one must be chosen.
So why the limitation of only one platform back during initial design?
Because I didn’t have some anonymous investor who had put up $1 Million to bankroll the development of the software, I paid for everything out of my own pocket. And I only make an average income in rural northern Canada.
To hire a small team of programmers is typically $100,000 per-programmer per-year. So $1 Million doesn’t go far for development of a major application. So if I had only one programmer per platform that would be $300,000 per year I would require just for wages.
And cross-platform libraries like Qt, which would allow a single programmer (or a team) to develop a cross platform application, costs upwards of $8000 CAD per-year per-seat for the retail license (yes, the plan with TerreSculptor is to eventually sell it for a nominal fee, so I can’t use any open source licensed development kits). So for the ten+ years that TerreSculptor has already been under development to get it this far, I would have had to pay out of my own pocket more than $80,000 to give everyone free software. Now that seems like a reasonable expectation to have from an individual, no? #sarcasm
Even on the Windows platform, with more than 100,000 downloads since 2017 (to Q2 2022), I typically have 25 to 30 Patreon subscribers paying typically an even split between $1 and $5 a month. So that should give you a ballpark idea of how much income the software gets for financial support.
Patreon basically covers my Adobe subscription for creating graphics and tutorial videos for the software, it does not cover the web hosting fees, domain fees, development tools and libraries, computer hardware, electricity, utilities, which cost me out-of-pocket a few thousand dollars a year.
So one might say “Well Blender can do it”! Yes, but Blender gets more than $1 Million dollars a year in donations. See pages 26 to 28 of their annual report:
If I was bringing in $1 Million a year, then I could afford to go cross-platform as well. I could also afford to quit my day job so that I could work on the software full-time instead of working 16 to 18 hour days (8 hours at my day job then 8 hours on software programming or creating videos) plus weekends, for more than ten years, to bring everyone what is currently free software.
I don’t mean to sound upset, I don’t know whether it is simply a case of ignorance of software development costs, or hubris on their part, but the tone of the comments and emails that I get are usually quite angry that I am not meeting their cross-platform needs… for free.