Steam has a wide range of ways to support game developers, ranging from buying early releases through to countless add-ons. But it doesn’t have a way to pay developers out of sheer kindness. How are you supposed to donate short of visiting a website? Pehesse has a way: turn those donations into add-ons. The developer’s Honey Rose: Ultimate Fighter Extraordinaire is available for free, but includes eight DLC purchases that do absolutely nothing besides reward the team for its work. The creators of this brawler/visual novel hybrid are very explicit about their pay-what-you-like model, too — tier labels even offer suggestions, such as “symbolic,” “2016 standard” and “above and beyond.”
There’s no certainty that Valve will be completely fine with this approach. It’s easy to see less-than-scrupulous studios promising extras that never show up. However, Honey Rose does make a case for purchases that aren’t strictly tied to in-game content. Many developers (especially indies) don’t want to charge up front or restrict material to paying players — so long as they’re honest, why can’t they have a built-in tip jar?