About that quality vs performance and realtime i don't think you get my point. It isn't that we have to fear UE5 or Unity or Eevee. What i mean is that each render engine have a relative Performance/quality ratio or balance linked to a set time. And no matter you're on realtime or offline this Ratio is perceived according to the best average ratio reached by other software in the same field. Higher ratio tend to be easily adopted while lower one are depreciated until they die. Example :
Before Corona. Vray was seen by artist like the best option for Pro artist and because of Vray cycles was look as too slow for archviz for example.
After Corona Vray user already a bit unsatified by Vray setting complexity Start to complain and migrate to corona faster and easy to use. Same happen to Octane at certain Level because of Redshift. You can even extend the concept to blende vs Autodesk & Co.
But this ratio don't only concern 2 software only the industry is moving at a giving pace with a certain standar you have to fit or overtake to catch attention.
To go even far this Ratio impact the way your product is perceived among artist in the field it is basically your reputation. So my point is that if the standar move up you have to level to that and this standar isn't static it isn't set by a particular softaware it evolve with time and competition. I don't mean Luxcore should become a realtime software.Cycles X isn't realtime and Unreal quality isn't at Luxcore level yet But Both get higher ratio compared to the past. And in our case we are in direct competition with Cycles for sure.
People always compare Nvidia performance relative to AMD.because of AMD CPU performance INTEL small incremental upgrade can't be supported by COnsumers. And Now people start to wonder About apple M1 arch against X86.
Now back to another concept : Quality
I agree that not everyone can see it.And also we are all in this community because we like Luxcore output quality. It isn't about sacrifice Speed for quality I mean .But in our field Performance is part of Quality. Let me explain :
How for example you can a Birdirectional render to look better ? There are two ways :
1__ Increase bounce level from default 10+10 to 32+32 or 128+128 ( it cost you speed it cost you time it performance )
2__ Add feature like SDS cautics and Spectral capabilities ( Spectral can cost performance depending of your code approach/ and SDS cautics can speed up your render considering that sometime noise come from unresolved caustics )
In fact Bidirectional is already a well known precise and qualitative engine i'm a fan of it myself
. The thing Bidir miss the most is Speed. I mean both speed and performance are connected in our field. What happen when when performance is low ? most user tend to sacrifice quality in the settings for speed boost (Lower max bounce very low Clamping value ....)
About Funding I agree we need to put a strategy in place. But things are to be clear for people to decide. The community should know what is missing for the project and what system to follow to fix that.I think people will not be against fund to help Devs get more time on the project .What about a roadmap with taged funding goal ?