Deby is creating School Idol Tomodachi, Bandori Party, Cinderella Producers &more
49

patrons

 I make websites with databases and communities to help players keep track of their progress in their favorite mobile games, share their collections and make new best friends! 




















Click for details + photos of the rewards






Monthly Ranking

Each month, we will give to all our donators a special badge that will be visible on their profile (see above for more info). The top 3 donators of the month will get a different badge!




1st ultimate donator

The 1st donator to reach the "ultimate" status gets to decide, among all the characters in the game, who should be the one displayed by default on the homepage, for an entire year.
This is what we call "ultimate devotion."








Can't donate much every month but still want the higher tier rewards?
Don't worry, you can get them!

We take into account your lifetime support and every time you reach a certain milestone, you'll get more and more rewards.



See list of milestones and rewards







  • 2015 - February 2nd - School Idol Tomodachi I started it as a side project. Today, it has over 100 000 users, dozens of staff members, and a new version is in development!
  • 2015 - August 2nd - fr.gl started as a proof of concept that database and communities for mobile games could be extended to other games.
  • 2016 - June 20th - MagiCircles development starts: a full-featured web framework to create database and community websites. It's the base of all the new websites, and gets updated every day!
  • 2016 - August 12th - Stardust Run jumped on the Pokémon GO wave. It helps trainers showcase their Pokédex to the world!
  • 2016 - September 27th - Cinderella Producers was a project initiated by the community itself, who asked the maker of School Idol Tomodachi (me!) for a similar website. It started as a beta, to allow all its members to be part of the development process. It's now open for everybody!
  • 2017 - April 9th - Bandori Party is the first database of cards for the game BanG Dream! Girls Band Party. I launched it only 2 weeks after the game started!
  • 2017 - July 12th - Circles: finally a name behind our little family of websites, and an identity behind which all our staff and contributors proudly share their love for idols and rhythm games!
  • 2018 - ? - Maji Love is the first website affiliated with Circles to get its own fully dedicated team, and I only help write code reviews and pay fees. I couldn't imagine that my little project could get this big so fast. What an adventure!
  • And more? I'm currently working with various mobile games lovers to open more similar websites, under Circles. Stay tuned!









Most donations are used to pay for the servers.
Our servers cost approximately $375 / month.
It sounds expensive, but we have a lot of traffic, which requires us to pay for a very good server and lots of bandwidth.


Besides server fees, we also need to cover the costs of the rewards. Though most prizes are handcrafted, I still need to pay for the material used to make them, and craft products can be expensive.


Finally, we regularly organize events to thank our communities. We organize giveaways with the help of volunteers, but I also sometimes buy prizes and pay shipping fees using Patreon funds.


Transparency & honesty are and will always be my main priorities! That's why I publish a full detailed budget here.







After running into lots of scalability issues and going through multiple iterations of infrastructure, we're now proud to say that we have a pretty robust architecture that corresponds to our needs!

We use Amazon Web Services (~$375/month):
  • All our databases are centralized on a t2 large RDS server (~$110/m)
  • Our static files are hosted on S3: images, CSS, javascript, etc (~$30/m)
  • We have multiple EC2 servers: (~$130)
    • School Idol Tomodachi runs on 1 t2 large instance
    • Cinderella Producers, Stardust Run and Maji Love were recently moved together to a single t2 small instance
    • Bandori Party runs on 1 t2 medium instance
  • Elastic Beanstalk helps us scaling automatically depending on traffic and during peak times. Due to its cost, we only activate it when websites reach a big traffic peaks.
  • The notification emails you receive are sent by SES.
  • A big part of the cost comes from data transfer (~$50/m)

Other tools we use:
  • CloudFlare is free and helps us with DDoS attacks and security. It also caches assets which helps us save around $600/m that would otherwise be spent on data transfer (free)
  • TinyPNG significantly reduces the size of our assets, reducing data transfer cost and speeding up loading on mobile data (~$20/m)
  • Domain names (~$150/year)

You can see the full details of every single bill we pay which contains all the technical details in our full detailed budget here.
If you have any technical questions or anything else you'd like to talk about regarding our infrastructure, feel free to contact us







Where should I send you my address, profile URL, T-shirt size, etc.?

When you become one of our patrons, please fill this form to specify the project you would like to support and your info!

I can't pay on Patreon, can I use Paypal or something else?

Yes!
Don't forget fill this form as well to specify the project you would like to support and your personal info!

Can I support multiple projects?

Yes!
Divide your pledge by the number of projects you want to support and submit the form multiple times for the different projects you want to support.
For example: if you want to support School Idol Tomodachi and Cinderella Producers and you pledge $50 per month, fill this form twice and check the $25 pledge each time.

Wait, but this is way too expensive for just a T-shirt!

This is not a store and we don't sell products. We use a % of the donations to create the special rewards, but the majority will go to our server. See the section "How will the money be spent?" for more info.

Why can't you pay for the servers yourself?

I'm currently balancing my life between managing these sites and doing freelance missions once in awhile to sustain myself financially. I don't have stable income, if any. I have absolutely no extra money to spend on this or buying love gems ;)
If I can't pay for the servers and nobody else thinks it's worth paying for them, I'll regretfully have to close the websites, but that's all I can do. If we have communities behind them, that want them alive and are willing to help me pay for the servers, I will keep maintaining the websites. I think it's a fair trade!

Are servers really that expensive?

Yes, they are.

We experienced a lot of problems in the past because our servers were too small and couldn't handle all the requests. The websites were slow and unusable whenever something good happened in the game. Finding a good balance between the features we can provide and the cost they cause was not easy. We had to say good bye to features that we liked, but we can't remove our main feature: progress tracking, which involves a lot of database interactions.

For this reason, I work a lot on optimization. I spend entire days every month just optimizing every single database query to make the page load faster, cache pages and assets, and more. I also use auto-scaling. I had a 2 hours appointment with 2 AWS official experts to get advice. And more.

Our infrastructure today is the fruit of that combined hard work (see Server & Tech Specs above). We save A LOT of money thanks to all these optimizations, and the cost would probably be 10 times higher without them.

Some say AWS is not the cheapest option, and though it might be true, I don't want to host the websites on a dedicated server. Maintaining them is a pain, the bandwidth offered by cheap providers is not reliable, and you have to do everything yourself. Cloud hosting on the other hand, offers a large range of services that make server management easier and safer. It suits my needs since system administration is not my expertise.

If you're not convinced because you're a software engineer or a system administrator and think you can do better, we would love to talk to you. Everything we do is open source and open for contributions, so your help would be welcomed with open arms 

Aren't those images on your website copyrighted?

After discussing with the company behind the game of our main website, we confirmed that since we provide a community website about the game, using the licensed images is considered fair use.

We are, however, not allowed to use these copyrighted images on our T-shirts, and that's why they feature the logos of our websites instead.

What will happen if you don't get enough money?

So far, I covered the extra expenses myself when the server was smaller and cheaper (~$75 / month). But in the future, if I don't get enough funds to cover the majority of the servers costs, I might consider shutting down one or more websites. This would be the very last option and I'll keep doing my best to keep them alive, since I love these websites and their communities!

What will you do if you get more money?

Extra money we get for one month will help cover the cost of the next months that might not get entirely covered by the donations. In other words, we save the money for the future!

It's inappropriate to ask for money when you have funds left. You should only ask when you need it.

Since I can't personally afford to pay for it myself, waiting for the cash we have to run out before asking would probably mean shutting down the websites while we wait for funds to come. That's a risk I'm not willing to take, so I feel more safe making sure we always have a little bit of funds left for the upcoming months.

You can see how many theoretical months we can "survive" with the current funds on our detailed budget here.

Did you consider adding ads on your websites or affiliate links instead of asking for donations?

In general, advertisement banners on websites have a big impact on user experience and don't pay much. We want you to have a great time on our websites and don't want to make your experience unpleasant, so we decided to ask for donations instead. We think it's a more transparent and honest way to cover our expenses.

We use affiliate links on social media and on our websites. We try to only share links for items that we think you will truly be interested in and we don't make the links invasive or too frequent. So far, we received positive feedback on these and we get around $40 / month thanks to the affiliate links. Transparency & honesty are our priorities! That's why we published a full detailed budget here (including what we get from affiliate links).













School Idol Tomodachi, Cinderella Producers, Stardust Run, Bandori Party, Maji Love and fr.gl are not representatives and are not associated with LoveLive! School Idol Festival, [email protected] Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage, BanG Dream!, Uta no Prince-sama, Pokémon GO and Glee Forever. Their logos, contents and images are Trademarks of the respective companies that own them.

Tiers
New student
$1 or more per month
  • Your name will be added to our donation page.




❤ Thank you so much for your support. Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Normal
$10 or more per month
  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅



  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.



  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.



❤ You score phenomenally high in the kind-o-meter. Seriously, we checked. Thank you so much. Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Rare
$25 or more per month
  • A personalized hand-drawn postcard in the mail.



  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅


  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.


  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.



❤ Is there no limit to your awesomeness? Thank you! Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Super Rare
$50 or more per month
  • A personalized keychain just for you, featuring your favorite character and the website you support.



  • A personalized hand-drawn postcard in the mail.


  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅


  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.


  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.


❤ You’re awesome. And we’re grateful. Thank you. Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Super Super Rare
$100 or more per month
  • A T-shirt featuring the website you support.



  • A personalized hand-drawn postcard in the mail.


  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅


  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.


  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.



❤ Start practicing autographs because you’re a rockstar. Thank you! Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Ultra Rare
$200 or more per month
  • A personalized surprise box, made just for you. Full of goodies, merch of your favorite characters, art, snacks from Japan and many more surprises!



  • A personalized hand-drawn postcard in the mail.


  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅


  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.


  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.


❤ You should wear a cape from now on. Because you’re our super hero. Thank you. Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Goals
51% complete
I can now consider moving to a part-time job to spend more time on the websites and help them grow even more. Help me make my dream come true!
3 of 6

 I make websites with databases and communities to help players keep track of their progress in their favorite mobile games, share their collections and make new best friends! 




















Click for details + photos of the rewards






Monthly Ranking

Each month, we will give to all our donators a special badge that will be visible on their profile (see above for more info). The top 3 donators of the month will get a different badge!




1st ultimate donator

The 1st donator to reach the "ultimate" status gets to decide, among all the characters in the game, who should be the one displayed by default on the homepage, for an entire year.
This is what we call "ultimate devotion."








Can't donate much every month but still want the higher tier rewards?
Don't worry, you can get them!

We take into account your lifetime support and every time you reach a certain milestone, you'll get more and more rewards.



See list of milestones and rewards







  • 2015 - February 2nd - School Idol Tomodachi I started it as a side project. Today, it has over 100 000 users, dozens of staff members, and a new version is in development!
  • 2015 - August 2nd - fr.gl started as a proof of concept that database and communities for mobile games could be extended to other games.
  • 2016 - June 20th - MagiCircles development starts: a full-featured web framework to create database and community websites. It's the base of all the new websites, and gets updated every day!
  • 2016 - August 12th - Stardust Run jumped on the Pokémon GO wave. It helps trainers showcase their Pokédex to the world!
  • 2016 - September 27th - Cinderella Producers was a project initiated by the community itself, who asked the maker of School Idol Tomodachi (me!) for a similar website. It started as a beta, to allow all its members to be part of the development process. It's now open for everybody!
  • 2017 - April 9th - Bandori Party is the first database of cards for the game BanG Dream! Girls Band Party. I launched it only 2 weeks after the game started!
  • 2017 - July 12th - Circles: finally a name behind our little family of websites, and an identity behind which all our staff and contributors proudly share their love for idols and rhythm games!
  • 2018 - ? - Maji Love is the first website affiliated with Circles to get its own fully dedicated team, and I only help write code reviews and pay fees. I couldn't imagine that my little project could get this big so fast. What an adventure!
  • And more? I'm currently working with various mobile games lovers to open more similar websites, under Circles. Stay tuned!









Most donations are used to pay for the servers.
Our servers cost approximately $375 / month.
It sounds expensive, but we have a lot of traffic, which requires us to pay for a very good server and lots of bandwidth.


Besides server fees, we also need to cover the costs of the rewards. Though most prizes are handcrafted, I still need to pay for the material used to make them, and craft products can be expensive.


Finally, we regularly organize events to thank our communities. We organize giveaways with the help of volunteers, but I also sometimes buy prizes and pay shipping fees using Patreon funds.


Transparency & honesty are and will always be my main priorities! That's why I publish a full detailed budget here.







After running into lots of scalability issues and going through multiple iterations of infrastructure, we're now proud to say that we have a pretty robust architecture that corresponds to our needs!

We use Amazon Web Services (~$375/month):
  • All our databases are centralized on a t2 large RDS server (~$110/m)
  • Our static files are hosted on S3: images, CSS, javascript, etc (~$30/m)
  • We have multiple EC2 servers: (~$130)
    • School Idol Tomodachi runs on 1 t2 large instance
    • Cinderella Producers, Stardust Run and Maji Love were recently moved together to a single t2 small instance
    • Bandori Party runs on 1 t2 medium instance
  • Elastic Beanstalk helps us scaling automatically depending on traffic and during peak times. Due to its cost, we only activate it when websites reach a big traffic peaks.
  • The notification emails you receive are sent by SES.
  • A big part of the cost comes from data transfer (~$50/m)

Other tools we use:
  • CloudFlare is free and helps us with DDoS attacks and security. It also caches assets which helps us save around $600/m that would otherwise be spent on data transfer (free)
  • TinyPNG significantly reduces the size of our assets, reducing data transfer cost and speeding up loading on mobile data (~$20/m)
  • Domain names (~$150/year)

You can see the full details of every single bill we pay which contains all the technical details in our full detailed budget here.
If you have any technical questions or anything else you'd like to talk about regarding our infrastructure, feel free to contact us







Where should I send you my address, profile URL, T-shirt size, etc.?

When you become one of our patrons, please fill this form to specify the project you would like to support and your info!

I can't pay on Patreon, can I use Paypal or something else?

Yes!
Don't forget fill this form as well to specify the project you would like to support and your personal info!

Can I support multiple projects?

Yes!
Divide your pledge by the number of projects you want to support and submit the form multiple times for the different projects you want to support.
For example: if you want to support School Idol Tomodachi and Cinderella Producers and you pledge $50 per month, fill this form twice and check the $25 pledge each time.

Wait, but this is way too expensive for just a T-shirt!

This is not a store and we don't sell products. We use a % of the donations to create the special rewards, but the majority will go to our server. See the section "How will the money be spent?" for more info.

Why can't you pay for the servers yourself?

I'm currently balancing my life between managing these sites and doing freelance missions once in awhile to sustain myself financially. I don't have stable income, if any. I have absolutely no extra money to spend on this or buying love gems ;)
If I can't pay for the servers and nobody else thinks it's worth paying for them, I'll regretfully have to close the websites, but that's all I can do. If we have communities behind them, that want them alive and are willing to help me pay for the servers, I will keep maintaining the websites. I think it's a fair trade!

Are servers really that expensive?

Yes, they are.

We experienced a lot of problems in the past because our servers were too small and couldn't handle all the requests. The websites were slow and unusable whenever something good happened in the game. Finding a good balance between the features we can provide and the cost they cause was not easy. We had to say good bye to features that we liked, but we can't remove our main feature: progress tracking, which involves a lot of database interactions.

For this reason, I work a lot on optimization. I spend entire days every month just optimizing every single database query to make the page load faster, cache pages and assets, and more. I also use auto-scaling. I had a 2 hours appointment with 2 AWS official experts to get advice. And more.

Our infrastructure today is the fruit of that combined hard work (see Server & Tech Specs above). We save A LOT of money thanks to all these optimizations, and the cost would probably be 10 times higher without them.

Some say AWS is not the cheapest option, and though it might be true, I don't want to host the websites on a dedicated server. Maintaining them is a pain, the bandwidth offered by cheap providers is not reliable, and you have to do everything yourself. Cloud hosting on the other hand, offers a large range of services that make server management easier and safer. It suits my needs since system administration is not my expertise.

If you're not convinced because you're a software engineer or a system administrator and think you can do better, we would love to talk to you. Everything we do is open source and open for contributions, so your help would be welcomed with open arms 

Aren't those images on your website copyrighted?

After discussing with the company behind the game of our main website, we confirmed that since we provide a community website about the game, using the licensed images is considered fair use.

We are, however, not allowed to use these copyrighted images on our T-shirts, and that's why they feature the logos of our websites instead.

What will happen if you don't get enough money?

So far, I covered the extra expenses myself when the server was smaller and cheaper (~$75 / month). But in the future, if I don't get enough funds to cover the majority of the servers costs, I might consider shutting down one or more websites. This would be the very last option and I'll keep doing my best to keep them alive, since I love these websites and their communities!

What will you do if you get more money?

Extra money we get for one month will help cover the cost of the next months that might not get entirely covered by the donations. In other words, we save the money for the future!

It's inappropriate to ask for money when you have funds left. You should only ask when you need it.

Since I can't personally afford to pay for it myself, waiting for the cash we have to run out before asking would probably mean shutting down the websites while we wait for funds to come. That's a risk I'm not willing to take, so I feel more safe making sure we always have a little bit of funds left for the upcoming months.

You can see how many theoretical months we can "survive" with the current funds on our detailed budget here.

Did you consider adding ads on your websites or affiliate links instead of asking for donations?

In general, advertisement banners on websites have a big impact on user experience and don't pay much. We want you to have a great time on our websites and don't want to make your experience unpleasant, so we decided to ask for donations instead. We think it's a more transparent and honest way to cover our expenses.

We use affiliate links on social media and on our websites. We try to only share links for items that we think you will truly be interested in and we don't make the links invasive or too frequent. So far, we received positive feedback on these and we get around $40 / month thanks to the affiliate links. Transparency & honesty are our priorities! That's why we published a full detailed budget here (including what we get from affiliate links).













School Idol Tomodachi, Cinderella Producers, Stardust Run, Bandori Party, Maji Love and fr.gl are not representatives and are not associated with LoveLive! School Idol Festival, [email protected] Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage, BanG Dream!, Uta no Prince-sama, Pokémon GO and Glee Forever. Their logos, contents and images are Trademarks of the respective companies that own them.

Recent posts by Deby

Tiers
New student
$1 or more per month
  • Your name will be added to our donation page.




❤ Thank you so much for your support. Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Normal
$10 or more per month
  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅



  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.



  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.



❤ You score phenomenally high in the kind-o-meter. Seriously, we checked. Thank you so much. Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Rare
$25 or more per month
  • A personalized hand-drawn postcard in the mail.



  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅


  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.


  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.



❤ Is there no limit to your awesomeness? Thank you! Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Super Rare
$50 or more per month
  • A personalized keychain just for you, featuring your favorite character and the website you support.



  • A personalized hand-drawn postcard in the mail.


  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅


  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.


  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.


❤ You’re awesome. And we’re grateful. Thank you. Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Super Super Rare
$100 or more per month
  • A T-shirt featuring the website you support.



  • A personalized hand-drawn postcard in the mail.


  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅


  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.


  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.



❤ Start practicing autographs because you’re a rockstar. Thank you! Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards
Ultra Rare
$200 or more per month
  • A personalized surprise box, made just for you. Full of goodies, merch of your favorite characters, art, snacks from Japan and many more surprises!



  • A personalized hand-drawn postcard in the mail.


  • A different achievement badge every month you donate. Collect them all! 🏅


  • A special status that everybody can see all around the website, forever.


  • Your name on our donation page, with a link of your choice.


❤ You should wear a cape from now on. Because you’re our super hero. Thank you. Our websites can stay alive thanks to you ❤


Click for details + photos of the rewards

Includes Discord rewards