Well, it looks like the experiment was a success! I used the money that you lot gave me on the first day of my Beggin' Marathon to fund some advertising (and then on the second day, and the third, and... well, you get the idea), and we have 2,157 players at time of writing. The donations bar has been green for the first time since we started using it, and I can quite confidently say that I'm happy for Improbable Island to remain my full-time job.
So, we should probably start thinking of things for all these lovely donators to spend their donator points on, eh?
Planned Donator features:
The "Buy your way off the FailBoat" option generates an instant New Day in exchange for 25dp, but only works on the FailBoat. It'd be nice to tie the Saved Days feature in with donations somehow, as well as offering an instant New Day in exchange for DP's while the player is on the mainland. Ideas as to how this can be done, and suggested prices, would be welcome.
(I think I'd like to include a pref so that donators can only buy one new day per system-newday, so that they don't have too huge an advantage - I do want to offer incentives, but I don't want non-donating players to be unable to compete against donating players)
Item of the Month:
With the new IItems system, creating items is easy. Here are some ideas for items that would be rented to the player in exchange for DP's. I have it in mind that there would be a finite supply of these items, and they'd be rented by the day, as these items are rather powerful:
This little device of brass and magnetized needles will always point you in the direction of the closest item crate while on the World Map.
A brass frame about the size of a paperback book, plus extendable radio antenna, shows the current prices of all items for sale in all eBoy branches via an array of constantly-clattering number reels.
The lovely thing about the IItem system (one of the lovely things, anyway) is that the player can have any number of possible inventories - they're all stored in one big serialized array for each player. I designed it this way knowing that sooner or later I'd want to do things like saddle bags on mounts, storage lockers in dwellings and so forth. A Joker Hat basically adds extra inventory space.
This is my favourite Donator idea so far. All this does is add new flavour text in the form of encounters, extra subplots, "deleted scenes" and so forth - the donator receives no in-game advantages, but they do get a bit more content. Current descriptions are extended, more dialogue options are added, silly little subplots are introduced, and so forth. I like this idea because it doesn't unbalance the game, it lets me write new aesthetic and cosmetic stuff without having to worry about making it functionally exciting, and it feels... right, somehow. There's something satisfying about the phrase "I've bought the extended version." This is probably 'cause I've recently watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy with my housemate (who hadn't seen it until now!).
Any thoughts from you guys on what you'd like to see in the Hunter's Lodge?
I like the IItem of the Month idea, but the Extended Edition idea had me drooling. I would definitely buy that.
As for other ideas... hmm... how about some sort of skill experience multiplier? Like, the amount of exp you would get from standard fighting all day is multiplied by 1.25. I don't know how unbalancing that would be, though.
Subplots, crate locator, subplots, more inventory, subplots, Eboy stock ticker, SUBPLOTS!
Let me put it this way:
my credit card number is 1234....
As for ideas, I think the skill multiplier is a good idea. Also, maybe you could offer an item that would keep you from losing stamina due of starvation for maybe three days or so. It would reel those who don't want to spend hard earned req on food.
All of your planned donor features are good so far. One thing I'd really like to see would be a custom weapon name that would stick, ie every time I but a riot hammer (just dreaming, so far, but I hope to have enough dks to be able to buy one soon), MY riot hammer would be called a Driftwood Staff.
I don't know a thing about coding, is this in any way possible?
Extended Edition made my eyes glow. Woo-hoo!
Catering service in the lodge.
Some way to buy some good, healthy food. Think that with all that we got right now, we need some way to easily access some good eats with DP. Plus, it'd probably hold off the people that want restaurants in AceHigh and CC404 and such for a while, since they could feasibly access the Hunter's lodge and purchase from whatever catering service they offer there.
Extended edition. Yes.
All I want from it though, is an indicator that what I'm viewing right then, is part of the extended edition. The thing I hate the most about watching the 'Director's cut' and 'Uncut' versions of movies? Is when I sit there and then look at whoever I was watching it with, frown, and say "What the Hell was so uncut about that?" And then they have to explain which five minutes of the movie I didn't see before.
VIP pass for the Comms Tent.
Allow a player to purchase, for instance, a Louisville Slugger from the Hunter's Lodge. They can then use this to concuss Misery Guts in the Comms Tent and replace him with a mannequin. Out of the goodness of their hearts, they would continue to donate five requisition every time they visited, pressing it into his clammy hand while he lies slumped in a corner.
I was planning to try to code this in Improbable Labs, but I think a 2.5 - 3 kg item in your inventory which would allow you to tune into any Outpost while traveling around on the world map would be a useful addition to the Island.
I'll be first in line for the Extended Edition, and I agree with the other suggestions so far -- permanent items and an inventory to select them from? Oh my, fetch the smelling salts! *swoon*
this is starting to sound interesting
i too am interested in persistent weapon (and armor) names.
either as any weapon i am holding will be identified as "excaliber", be it spork, bat or chainsaw;
or replace each unique weapon name with my preferred name: anytime i buy a spork it would be "french tickler", a bat "tasty brain extractor", or the chainsaw as "can opener extraordinaire".
the key though, is the persistence across drive kills.
the eBoy ticker and extra trunk "joker hat" also sound intriguing.
the crate locator though sounds powerful. i know you just threw it out there without much detail, but my unsolicited thoughts on it are thus: either make it short range ( you are either within one or two squares of the crate) or it only has enough power to find one crate per day.
Item of the Month sounds kinda like... Kingdom of Loathing. I played that before some, and they had Items of the Month. But yours sound different (and your game is better!).
Extended Edition sounds great. You'd probably want to charge like 1000 or 1500 points for it, considering the amount of extra effort you'll have to go through to add more descriptions. I'd buy it.
As others have said, it'd be nice if the custom weapon and armor was more permanent, somehow.
what: saving uncooked meat across game days.
why: even after i've stuffed myself to the gills with steak, i still clean my kills, so i can get the cleaning XP.
- allow players to 'rent' space in a walk-in freezer in the hunter's lodge
- sell preserving salts in the lodge so players can salt their meat
- when houses come back online, sell refrigerator/ freezers to players to put in them
last thoughts: i don't think this would be an unbalancing change. at the most, between the time a person gets full and can no longer cook and eat their kills and the time they get exhausted from hunting, i figure they might get enough meat to make an additional 20% stamina at the start of the new day, when they can again cook meat. 20% would be a nice perk, but i think the average would probably be more like 10%~12%.
and i don't much feel like waving good bye to the meat as it crawls away in the morning.
Hmm. So you lot like the idea of the extended version, huh?
I'm gonna go off on a bit of a tangent, here, so I'll continue in this thread.
*drools* this... all... sounds... AWESOME!!!
One thing that I'd like to see (not in the Lodge, however) would be a way for younger players, who don't have credit cards, to be able to donate.
For instance, somehow be able to donate from debit cards?
That would be nice, so that the only way to get DP's isn't just from suggesting monsters (if that comes back), or other nice players giving them their own DP's that they themselves bought.
While we're on the subject of renaming weapons, I seem to recall someone suggesting being able to rename mounts also. Not something I'd do myself, but then I wouldn't rename my weapon either. Some people might like that.
Um, it is possible to donate from a debit card. That's how I donate. PayPal treats debit cards under the major brands (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) as credit cards.
Hmm. Here's an idea for an item, maybe.
What if we could have 'tame' captured versions of some of the monsters around the island? They'd work kind of like a grenade, maybe. Buy it and you get 5 uses or so, and they'd have various effects.
So a 'tamed' banana peel monster, thrown at an enemy, could trip (deal some damage) and then bite (deal minor damage for a couple rounds) them.
The Improbable Island Enquirer - Forum