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 It's that time again - donation ideas thread.
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Matthew
 Monday, September 24 2012 @ 08:57 PM UTC (Read 29067 times)  
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You are good at separating me from my money, sir. And trust me, getting anything from PennyPincher McScroogeFace me is a feat worthy of song.

Thank you. I mean it. If I've been here since June of '10, that's $283/28 months, or about $10.11 a month.
That's cheaper than most MMOs.
And this game is, like, way more fun than World of Warcraft or some shit.

Anyway, an idea came up in Banter and I'd like to reiterate it here: I would pay money for a Journal item in your bag that lets you reread/reexperience all of the quests in the game so far that the character is flagged as having completed. Perhaps it would cut the travel - for Maiko's Pan, etc - and just let you click on through, but I think it would be great being able to reread and explore the different options. Obviously, it wouldn't change how you 'actually' experienced it.

Maybe instead of a journal, it could be like a Memosphere? A chronosphere, except filled with memory. That might be a dumb idea. I dunno.


 
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Shiloh
 Monday, September 24 2012 @ 09:04 PM UTC  
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I would pay money for a Journal item in your bag that lets you reread/reexperience all of the quests in the game so far that the character is flagged as having completed.


THIS. I would pay money for this yes please. I only recently got the bright idea (that I am sure other people figured out long ago) of keeping logs in gdocs of the stories. But I know, for instance, that I accidentally clicked through a couple of Rohit's conversation bits on the way from CC404 to NewHome, and I'd...yeah, I'd just love to be able to re-read all of those bits that are disintegrating in the tatters of my memory.


Witch Doctor Makiwa leans over and taps the duck on the beak, "This round's on you! Should we put it on your bill?"
 
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lowkey
 Monday, September 24 2012 @ 09:25 PM UTC  
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First a suggestion for folks commenting in this thread -- make a difference! Don't tell me why my idea, or those of others, won't work -- tell us how they'll work *better*!


Random thought...the island operates on chance. Many players would like the chances of various events (e.g., breaches, or titan spawning) to shift...to happen more frequently, or less.

What if players could vote, for small amounts of SP, to actually affect (slightly) the probability of certain events? To prevent massive shifts, the impact of voting would need to be limited...and players would ideally be able to vote both for and against.

So...if there's a .02% likelihood during any real-world minute that an outpost breach might occur, allow votes to shift that likelihood through a range of .01% to .04% likelihood. Each vote could shift the 'needle' 1/1000th of that range. Impact could be immediate (more monsters spawn in the jungles?), or effect might only occur when votes reach a certain level. Individual players could be limited to, say, 5 votes per day, with impact of each vote lasting only 2 days...so the concerted efforts of multiple players would be needed to have a larger impact.

This is suggested as alternative to other ideas kicked around, such as ability to 'buy a breach'...effects here are less drastic, and more subject to vox populi than one cashiered player's actions.

Think the idea sucks? Maybe it does...how can it be *better*?


 
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Nonners
 Monday, September 24 2012 @ 09:42 PM UTC  
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We're chatting about all this in banter and I figure I should post here, too.

Firstly, I am totally for the idea of buying some sort of journal thing for the stories. After this latest batch with the Dancer and the Watcher... Oh goodness, I want to reread all of it. So yes, that would be amazing. Even if I had to re-travel to the places... That might be cool, like, re-immersing myself in the story.

Secondly, we're talking about Buddleia's idea of a vote on things for CMJ to work on for the game - bugs, new stories, features, whatever - and having a small fee in order to vote. This I think we were saying would either be say, a dollar per vote, or a vote per character (per new day or something?) no matter the donation amount. I am totally for this.

The way I see it, if I provided a list of things I kinda wanted to work on in the future, and had people vote it would give me an idea of what to prioritize. Which I think would be good. It'd give us a way to be involved in the Island-improvement-process, and give CMJ an idea of what we want. The only thing is that I'd think it should be clear that this was a suggestions thing, so CMJ could work on whatever he pleased and not be forced to work on what we wanted.... Just use it as a guide to the order things should be done in.

Also, my concern with this type thing is that players who dont have the means to donate wouldnt be able to be involved in this voting process were it donations based, and that makes me sad. I am lucky to have a pretty steady income and would be more than willing to contribute extra to a feature that allowed people who couldnt donate to vote anyway... Perhaps a feature that you can buy votes for people, or something? Or a pool of free votes people can use if they are a bit down and out? This would have to be sort of on the honor system (people who have the means, donate for a vote, otherwise use a free one), but I believe everyone who sticks around enough to want to vote are decent folks, so that shouldnt be a problem.


 
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lowkey
 Monday, September 24 2012 @ 11:02 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Nonners

Also, my concern with this type thing is that players who dont have the means to donate wouldnt be able to be involved in this voting process were it donations based, and that makes me sad.



Agreed! I've played a couple of games where those players with a big bankroll completely ran the game...and that tended to both run off lower-income players, and (perhaps more importantly to the long-term viability of the game) dissuade newer players from sticking around and getting sufficiently involved that they were motivated to contribute financially.

On top of that...in those games, when I decided to invest in a higher-level paid option, the game often got to be too easy...and, as a result, boring.

So...when considering paid options, it's definitely good to watch that they don't exclude free-to-play and new players, or make the game too easy. Better to make them *fun*...and repeatable.

Chronospheres are a perfect example -- more game play, they stick around, and you can buy more and more as the whim hits...without taking away the need to feed effort and creativity into game play. What else can we come up with along those lines?


 
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Pinrut
 Monday, September 24 2012 @ 11:10 PM UTC  
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I'll do my best to keep this short. Oh, who am I trying to kid, I'll drag this on so long that no one reads it all! I will however try to organize it in such a way that it's easy to skim through. This will be a list of all the strange little things I think should be added to the island. But, as the topic of this is for donation items, they'll be skewed in such a way to make people pay for them. As well as a few other, more nonsensical ideas to just get money.

The set up will be: 1) The name I make up off the top of my head,
2) the cost I make up off the top of my head, 3) the effect that I've put moderate thought into, 4) why I believe this is necessary, and 5) some random fifth thing.

1) Voice in a Box
The same as a permanent changer.
A one time use item, that [b]can[/b] be traded, which allows the user the ability to [u]underline[/u], [b]bold[/b] or cross out words that appear in their story/banter posts.
I'd say this necessary purely on an OCD agenda. It would be 'cool' to be able to put emphases on certain words in more ways than just italicizing them or changing their colors. Generally, just more freedom with the text.
Some other fifth thing.

2) Prismatic Osculatior
About the same as a one time changer, or a permanent changer depending on which one you want.
A one time use, or infinite use, item that allows you to change the colors in your title (or name if you've a really long one). This would be separate from the actual title changer or name coloriser so that you won't need to worry about keeping both the title and colors within the character limit.
It's necessary because awesome can not be contained by limits.
Some other fifth thing.

3) Best in Show
same as a temporary or permanent changer.
A temporary or permanent changer that lets you change the mount you're riding. Like a race changer, but for your mount. Wouldn't change your buff or the messages you get, just what the mount is called.
Because some guys just want to drive a delorean at 88mph.
Some other fifth thing.

4) Don't Scratch the Paint
same as a temporary or permanent changer.
A temporary or permanent changer that lets you change the color of the name and mount you're riding without being counted in the character limit of either the name or mount changer.
Because if I payed to change my own name and title colors, I'll damn well pay to paint my zombie donkey green.
Thought I'd put something else here, didn't you?

5) Dear Dia- Journal!
Ten bucks.
An item holder, much like the Card Case and Lodge Bag, only a Book. It would hold Chapters rather than items, though you could probably fit a ribbon or something in as a bookmark. This can be traded, sure.
To hold all the chapters in one convenient place.
Well I wrote something different here too!

6) Chapter One: How it all Began
A dollar each.
A log of each in game story or quest, numerically ordered in terms of how they appear in game. Each log would be a separate item and thus cost a dollar each. Since they're just paper, it would be hard to carry them safely in your backpack, so they'd weight more if not put into the Journal. You'll have to go through the quest before being allowed to buy the log.
Because sometimes you just want to relive the good old days.
To make sense of it though, perhaps it's less of you buying the logs, as it is you're buying the paper and ink to write them down yourself. As for events that used to be around but no longer are, or stories that are part of the lore but were never put in game, you can buy those too, but it would be more like you wrote down rumors. Or tales told by crazed hobos. Or, for the stuff in the museum, just copied them. Hell, maybe you could also record your Dan quests in there. You know, hang on, this gives me another idea...

7) Player Stats
~$1.50
A Hall of Fame for your inventory. Personal like, to only hold your own records. Titan kills, hat size, record damage (taken/received), Dan quests (number completed and record of the actual quests), most eaten food, most drank drink. Highest Timed combat score.
Convenience, so you don't need to run around to different places to learn stuff about yourself, or have to dig through the HoF.
Not the most necessary idea, to be honest, but come on. This is a television show, a survival television show. Why wouldn't we all get baseball cards?

8) Cover Me!
$5.00
A permanent contract for the mercenaries. So they're always with you and stuff.
Why not?
...

9) Color Me!
the same as a temporary or permanent changer.
A changer to change the colors of the mercenary companions.
Seriously, why not?
...

10) Who Did I Hire Anyway?
Same as a temporary or permanent changer.
A changer to change the name of the hired Mercenary.
Because.
...

11) What Did I Hire?!
Same as a temporary or permanent changer.
A changer to change what exactly you've hired. Mercenary? Nah, now it's an Imaginary Tacodog.
Mmmm, tacos.
...

12) Yellow People Eater
temporary or permanent changer.
Add color codes to your Race.
Seems like as good an addition as any...
...

13) Bribe the Failors!
double the cost of buying an instant newday.
Get off the Failboat without using a newday!
Because sometimes you're a midget, with 300% stamina, two hours till newday, and no more cage fights.
I suppose it can also be: Shoddy Lifesaver.

14) Titan Shrugged
$20.00
Spawn a barrel of Titans to surround the island!
Because with a Tyrannous and an Omega floating around, there's never enough titans to go around.
Maybe: Rise of the Titans? or would that be copyright infringement?

15) To The Watcher We Beseech!
$5.00
Instantly save a breached outpost ONCE. Island wide, can only be used once every day (not newday).
Because sometimes you want a 99% chance of a slice of cake, but don't have the power to get to the front of the line.
She's a busy lady after all, and can't save our butts all the time.

16) We All Wear Masks.
the cost of a permanent changer for a single use, or the price of a selection box for the permanent version.
Works like a switch. When on, the name you have is hidden. Not just color code M hidden, but just not there. When off, your name returns to being visible. It wouldn't change the link to your bio. Just how it looks in posts.
Would make it smoother to have your character be a whole new character without needing to make an alt.
Granted, this can easily be abused, and thus may not be possible, or may need to be restricted like normal name choosing is restricted.

17) Relocate.
$20.00
An item that lets you change where your (as in you OWN them) places are located. Or demolish some of them and instantly move the materials to another of your Places.
Say the squares around Kitt are too busy for your liking, buy this and you can move shop over near Ace. Or, say you've already got a place near Ace, you can bulldoze or place by Kitt, and all the building materials inside and used will be dropped in a Lodge box in your inventory so you can move them.
It could help clean up the map a bit...

18) Tickle Me Pink
Same as a changer.
Adding a color code or two to your alterism modifiers, so that when you use them, the colors change to yours.
Because if I'd spend money on it, someone else probably would too.
Another idea could be: Paint the Town Red, and using it could change the default text of an outpost or the common grounds. Food for thought I guess.




Bored now, so I think that'll do it for my ideas. Expand on them, consider them, disregard them, insult them or otherwise at your own leisure.


 
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Pinrut
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 03:41 AM UTC  
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Quote by: lowkey

So...when considering paid options, it's definitely good to watch that they don't exclude free-to-play and new players, or make the game too easy. Better to make them *fun*...and repeatable.

Chronospheres are a perfect example -- more game play, they stick around, and you can buy more and more as the whim hits...without taking away the need to feed effort and creativity into game play. What else can we come up with along those lines?



This raises a good point, but one that mildly distresses me.

In looking through the Lodge, I've noticed that the only items that really can be purchased again are Chronospheres (which as you mentioned don't change the game for anyone else), Alterism Modifiers (that make the game better for everyone), and Cookies (which can easily be given to others to make the game better.)

Now, yes. Items like the Health Insurance, and the Boxes of stuff can always be repurchased, but those help only the buyer really. And yes, most items payed for in the Lodge can be gifted to others as the whim hits, but it's over all less likely that someone will donate to get an item just to give to someone else.

(By less likely, I mean that most people who've given lodge stuff to others have either already had SP just sitting around, or had items gathering dust. I've seen maybe three occasions when someone gave money just to buy something for someone else, and even then, two of those times the people were already going to put money in to buy stuff for themselves.)

Alright, so that's a lot of black text there... The point I'm trying to bring up is that a lot of items that exist just aren't going to be bought a second time. Who would by a single for themselves if they already have a permanent changer? And any more items that would consistently be purchased would easily skew the game to the point where winning is just chucking money into the system.

Now, an easy way to fix a bit of this would be to get rid of all the permanent changers. Buuuut... that would irritate a lot of people I think. So I'm not advocating that.
Neither am I advocating that thinking up new ways to get the island some revenue is pointless, nor that donations shouldn't receive something in return.


Perhaps, rather then yet another buff or more vanity items, we get more merchandise? Stuffed Spiderkitties... more posters of different Eboy items... An audio track of the Newhome Song? Triple Hedgehog keychain... ummm... Bio Medal awards but like... real? Maybe in button form? Key chains of the stuff you need to collect for Stern's museum quest? Or... or! Small keychains of those old race identifiers! Or Eye-con buttons! I know I want an Eye-Con badge.

Or perhaps create a new monster that stalks the world map, but stronger than a Titan, only showing up after X amount of dollars have been put into the hat?

Hell, what if you could just chew on your SP, where one point = 1% stamina? (Yeah, I'm sort of contradicting my self with this, so... how about you regain health or something instead? Could be useful in a pinch if you can do it during combat. Still contradictory though.)

My god.... what if you could buy a gun from the Lodge, that lasted a single DK.... that fired your cobblestones as ammo! It would work like.... maybe a cat launcher, and would have as many rounds of ammo buff as you had cobblestones!

On the topic of cobblestones.... what if you could use them as normal stones in Place building? Just... like... fifteen or so of them would count as a single actual stone?

Granted... that is probably the whole point. If you donate, you're given better treatment game wise then if you don't. Maybe that's for the best, and maybe it isn't, but if you remove all the buffs you can buy, you're left with just changers. And once you buy yourself a permanent changer, the chances of you buying another is very low. That's fine though, I think, with a text game there really is only so much customization you can buy... so giving buffs is completely understandable.

Having an award at the end of X amount of time for whoever donated the most might be a bit too far...

I'm not against island wide buffs to be sold in the Lodge, I just feel like if that were an option, some people just wouldn't buy them in the hopes some other people did!

Like an island wide req multiplier, cookie buff.... shit man, an Island wide cig handout.

Increased chances of SOMETHING IMPROBABLE happening or getting to brawl with the Magpie or GTM!

Maybe... (stay with me on this one) you can like... buy one of each food... but not eat it. Then take them all... and put them into a burrito... and then eat the burrito with a gargle to wash it down... and be able to kill the drive with the Nightmare's corpse! (this is a joke)





Anyhow... that's enough out of me. Apologies for this not being in a nice format this time. It's really more of a babbling rant of nonsense than an actual idea stream. But maybe someone smarter than I can take something away from this horrid jumble and sow the seeds to the grand daddy of all ideas.


Here's to hoping!


 
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CavemanJoe
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 05:36 AM UTC  
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Okay, so this notebook idea.

I love it, and I'm gonna make it happen. It means rewriting a lot of the stories - but it means rewriting them in a good way, separating out the logic from the writing, and that's something I should have been doing all along anyway.

I'm also toying with the idea of offering Early Passes, so that when future plot content is revealed, players can get to see it a week early for, say, a dollar.

The thing is, lads, when I make a new Hunter's Lodge thing - say, the Super Chronosphere - then I can see people buying it straight away, and I can say "Yes, it is good that I have done this, I will be able to buy health insurance and such." When I put out a new plot point, I don't get that positive feedback. This will encourage me to write more, which I think we can all agree is a good thing.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 06:16 AM UTC  
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And so, you might be wondering... how did we get into this situation, how come CMJ can't pay his rent.

Well, in the interests of full disclosure, this is how it happened.

In May, we were doing okay. The tax bill had been a real stinger, but we'd recouped a pretty good chunk of it through your generous donations. Not all of it, you understand - not even half of it. But we were paying it off month by month, and it was manageable.

Then my nan died, and I had to get back to England for the funeral. You remember the MotD, you remember how much it cost - this was during the Queen's jubilee celebrations, with the Olympics just around the corner, so plane tickets for me and Emily were three thousand bucks and change. With the tax bill and the plane tickets, we pretty much exhausted the last of our savings even with your donations, and we had to cut off advertising for the Island.

Now, let's talk about advertising. How it works is that I put a hundred bucks into Project Wonderful, and then a month later I have fifty to two hundred bucks back. It fluctuates up and down a lot, and those are just averages, but that's how it works as a general rule, and as you can see over time the odds are squarely in my favour.

You're correct in thinking that mathematically, this is a money-making machine - money goes in, and a little while later money*1.5 comes out. That is indeed how it works - in a vacuum. Unfortunately Improbable Island doesn't exist in a vacuum, and is subject to external influences - like the churn rate.

Churn is what happens when people come and go naturally. Someone new signs up, someone old drops out, it's normal and to be expected - no game can hold someone's attention forever, and nor should it (the only game I still play now that I played ten years ago (hell, fifteen now, probably) is Pro Pinball: Timeshock, and you can buy it on gog.com for like a fiver, and you should totally buy it on gog.com for like a fiver).

Without a certain minimum level of advertising going on, the Island's numbers dwindle, and income drops sharply. People don't tell their friends about this game - they have their own wee world in here, with their own roleplaying going on, and maybe they don't want their friends to know the sorts of things they get up to. That ain't a measure of people not having fun - going by the numbers, the people who are the most active, the most engaged, are the people who are the least likely to refer someone else to the game. We don't get advertising through word-of-mouth, we have to advertise and spend money.

The other element stopping this place from being a magical money-generating device is the fact that there has to be some money to put in it in the first place. It's all very well saying "Well, if I put a thousand dollars in, in a month I'll have fifteen hundred!" but you've got to remember that during that month you will not have that thousand dollars, and you need it so that you can eat.

So when I stop advertising, money doesn't stop coming in straight away - the money in my pocket goes up. But then it comes down again, and it keeps going down for a while. When I tell Project Wonderful "Stop," what I'm doing there is I'm borrowing money from Future Dan.

I'm in this mess now because after the sudden massive expense in May, it was two months before I could afford to put even ten bucks a day into advertising again. That's the longest we've ever been without advertising, and now we're paying for it - I'm working long hours for less than minimum wage, and I've got a head full of big red dollar signs, and having a head full of big red dollar signs means I can't have a head full of story, because story is for the long-term and damn it I just need cash right now and you can't write a decent story when you're this worried.

When you're this worried, when the situation is this dire, all you can think about is the short term, and you do things like massive bundle deals that will hurt you in the long run, and adverts that will discourage new players from donating but earn you five bucks a day right now. You make decisions that would be stupid, were they not so necessary.

Working on the Island is a survival thing for me, now, not an artistic thing. That sucks, big-time.

I've been trying to mitigate things somewhat by making a shitload of ads and A/B testing them so I can make my ten bucks a day go further and get more players for it, but it's gonna be a while before we get a clear idea of which ads worked out the best. Tomorrow I'm gonna be looking for a 9-5, and that means Bad Things for the Island, less time to work on it.

Every month so far since June has been the worst month since 2009. Every month has broken the record for not-earning-any-money, and it looks like September will break the record for worst-month-since-Season-One. Put simply - and I say this with no desire to cause undue alarm or be overly dramatic, but just because it's true and I think you ought to know so that maybe we can get some ideas on how to stop it - Improbable Island is dying. It will take a while for it to go into a full-on downward spiral until it can't pay its server bill anymore, but if these trends continue, if I don't think of some way to pull up, we're looking at an inevitable nosedive that will be very hard, perhaps impossible, to get out of.

So, uh. That's where we are. We're at Kickstarter-for-five-grand-to-keep-the-Island-alive-another-year territory.


 
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Anonymous: Escemfer
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 03:56 PM UTC  


I think some good ideas have come up in the past that haven't been implemented. A one-time-only Name Changer would, I think, be pretty popular, as would Extra Sex Change passes for Paprika's (as I know a lot of people have hit their limit). Or perhaps even an item like the one-shot/permanent race changers to allow players to change their character's gender the way they can change everything else. I think that many people would be interested in some kind of Improbability Point Reset Token, which could just be a one-time-only item, or an item with a price that scales according to number of DKs from a preset lower to upper limit? A race changer for your mount would also be cool; not a lot of people use the Collar item, as I understand, but I think many more would use an item that lets them turn their Budget Horse into a Fire-Breathing Kangaroo.

It might also be cool to have an item that allows players to set a default text color for their comments in the chatspaces.

I know the silly idea of Tents was kicked around long, long ago; that might be a cool donator feature, but would likely be way more trouble than it's worth as a money-gathering measure.

Extra carrying capacity for C&Cs or building supplies, maybe in the form of a mercenary/sidekick, which can be rented for one Game Day only for the cost of some SP.

Wedding rings buyable from the Hunter's Lodge might be popular amongst the roleplay-only crowd, as the wedding ring price is hard to achieve for a new player or someone with few DKs (speaking from experience).

Custom tattoos or jewelry would be cool, but those might be better as a cig-sink item the way tattoos and jewelry currently are.

This might be a game-breaking sort of idea, but what about a once-per-DK item, rather expensive, that lets you change your in-game race? I remember hating my Mutant and Robot runs so much that it was a real effort to even play long enough to DK out of it. I don't know, though, if there would be enough interest in this item.

I think Bug Fix Sponsoring would be a really cool idea. We already have a list of bugs, in the Petitions system, and if players could sort of vote on the priority for those, then I think that gives CMJ a better idea of what matters to the players. An SP-based bug fix priority system doesn't seem, to me, like it would be damaging, or putting less monied players at a disadvantage, because bugfixes improve the same game we're all playing. If such a system would help CMJ find which out of hundreds of bugs to prioritize, then everyone wins. The game's more polished, works better, and CMJ gets a little more cash in the pocket.

Also, I am super excited that you are going to do the Quest Log thing, CMJ. That will be really awesome. Here's hoping the financial situation starts looking up.


 
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Cherriki Ten
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 04:26 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Pinrut


16) We All Wear Masks.
the cost of a permanent changer for a single use, or the price of a selection box for the permanent version.
Works like a switch. When on, the name you have is hidden. Not just color code M hidden, but just not there. When off, your name returns to being visible. It wouldn't change the link to your bio. Just how it looks in posts.
Would make it smoother to have your character be a whole new character without needing to make an alt.
Granted, this can easily be abused, and thus may not be possible, or may need to be restricted like normal name choosing is restricted.



I like most of the ideas you came up with but I think hiding your name would remove the need for special comments which I would think is a pretty decent money maker for the island, so I am not so sure about this one.


I have a couple ideas myself.

One: I think maybe it would be nice to have a bag that you can purchase through the hunter's lodge which has no stamina impact on your travel. But so that it isn't the immediate go to for people, give it three or four slots.

Or how about even a "cooler" to hold you herbs so they don't take up space in your bag. Could be an idea.

Two: I don't know how possible this would be, but maybe advanced colours that you can purchase. Make it like a colouring box and it gives you a wider selection of colours. Again, though, I don''t know if this would be possible.




"Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness." -Mark Twain.
 
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lowkey
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 04:53 PM UTC  
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A few more thoughts (some already shared in banter):


-- Limited-edition mementoes: These would be available for purchase only for a month or two, and new ones would come available every month or two. Could be simple cool mementoes...or could confer, at greater SP cost, some special benefit (like a once-a-calendar-day/week stam/attack/def boost, req multiplier, or the like). The simple ones could be relatively inexpensive, and fun to collect...any special benefit ones would be considerably more expensive.

-- Consider adjusting the text around the Paypal link that appears throughout the island -- the comment about first ensuring that you're logged in might leave some thinking they have to log in to paypal...and donations when logged in there just got more challenging. Maybe even specifically add a note that one not need be a Paypal member to use the service -- just have a credit/debit card. Also, perhaps emphasize the site admin link over the author one still more.


And above all, what do we need MOST to increase revenue for the island -- even more than neat new revenue-generating ideas? NEW MEMBERS. Especially as players seem more cash-strapped, fewer may be able to pitch in greater amounts at an individual level...so widening the player base becomes that much more important. So...

-- Membership drive: Yes, it's possible to gain SP by referring other players...but how many players know this? What other motivations can there be to get more referrals? How about having a membership drive -- broad announcements about the referral feature, coupled with a contest to see who can get the most valid referrals in a single month? Repeated mentions of the referral option in MoTD and elsewhere might help, too, to keep that top-of-mind -- if we can all get another player or two here by word of mouth, that's benefit to everyone without more advertising cost.


 
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lowkey
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 04:57 PM UTC  
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...oh, and...periodic reminders of some of the nifty things available in the Lodge might be helpful, too. Not a flood...but an occasional "Did you know?" announcement. New players, especially, may not be aware of ability to buy ciggies, quills...or mementos, among other things. Took me a while to find 'em...I might not be the only slow one in the bunch. Wink


 
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Count Sessine
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 05:02 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Pinrut

17) Relocate.
$20.00
An item that lets you change where your (as in you OWN them) places are located. Or demolish some of them and instantly move the materials to another of your Places.
Say the squares around Kitt are too busy for your liking, buy this and you can move shop over near Ace. Or, say you've already got a place near Ace, you can bulldoze or place by Kitt, and all the building materials inside and used will be dropped in a Lodge box in your inventory so you can move them.
It could help clean up the map a bit...

This is a very good idea! Well -- relocating a Place is technically very easy. I'm not sure I'd like to see the 'bulldoze' option in the game. The real investment in a Place isn't the materials; those are very easy to come by now, what with SuperDays and Brews and Creator Bundles. It's the writing, and sometimes the programming. (If you really want your place demolished, I can do it for you, though you won't recover any materials.)

But being able to hire Improbable House Movers* to pick up an already-built Place and put it on a vacant lot somewhere else... that would be a very cool item to have in the game. I think you've priced it exactly right.

Along those same lines... The House Movers could offer extra-cost options that would allow you to relocate an existing building to stilts over swamplands ($5 extra), or even onto floats over shallow water ($10 extra).
--
* Edited to add: The firm needs a better name. Are they Jokers? Structural Space-Time Relocators, Inc. ? Or Midgets -- MOV UR CRIB.


 
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Ada
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 05:27 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe


I've been trying to mitigate things somewhat by making a shitload of ads and A/B testing them so I can make my ten bucks a day go further and get more players for it, but it's gonna be a while before we get a clear idea of which ads worked out the best. Tomorrow I'm gonna be looking for a 9-5, and that means Bad Things for the Island, less time to work on it.



I'm not convinced this is a Bad Thing for the Island, actually.
You talk about how it's become a survival thing for you, not an artistic thing - and surely that is worse than slow updates? Yes, you'll have less time to work on the Island if you have a full-time job, but you'll have more freedom with it, and you'll be able to afford advertising on Project Wonderful, because our donations will be able to go to that instead of "oh god what is the cheapest thing in the supermarket". You having more financial freedom is a positive thing for the Island, and - I think - more important than us getting overhauls like the new food system, and so on. It seems like it would mean less stress for you, too - also a good thing.
In short: do what you gotta do. We're happy the Island exists, and I don't think you'll find too many people complaining about slow pace of updates (not more than you have now, anyway) when you're busy working a full-time job to keep the place alive.



As far as ideas go, I have to say I think all of Escemfer's are excellent, and Sessine's idea about moving dwellings to swamp or water - with all the people who want to be able to build on water, surely someone would throw some money at you for that?


 
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Nonners
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 05:28 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine


Along those same lines... The House Movers could offer extra-cost options that would allow you to relocate an existing building to stilts over swamplands ($5 extra), or even onto floats over shallow water ($10 extra).



Oh goodness, yes. That would be super cool. I'm sure a lot of people would pay for features like that... besides, who wouldnt want a castle in the lake, or some such dwelling? Had I the time, I think that would cause me to seriously consider building a whole new dwelling just to eventually move it somewhere like that, haha.

But just in general about this idea, even without the swamp or water options, I think this is a good idea. I know that I sometimes wish I chose a different square for my dwelling, though it is in a nice place, and I'm sure plenty of people wish this too.


 
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Anonymous: Escemfer
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 05:50 PM UTC  


Quote by: Count+Sessine


Along those same lines... The House Movers could offer extra-cost options that would allow you to relocate an existing building to stilts over swamplands ($5 extra), or even onto floats over shallow water ($10 extra).



Would I pay $30 to move my houseboat onto the actual lake? Fuck yes. Would I regret it? Maybe. Until I got to revel in my houseboat being on the lake where it belongs, awww yessss.


 
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rbead
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 06:18 PM UTC  
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Mess all that, here's an entirely new something for your brain to munch on, if you haven't thought of it already (hell, you probably have, but here goes anyway--): Would it be possible to use BOINC to do all the server's processing work?

This is me talking as someone who has no idea how any of this works, of course. And I do acknowledge the whole thing about downloading projects... I'm thinking something more along the lines of torrents, probably, here.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 06:36 PM UTC  
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Quote by: rbead

Mess all that, here's an entirely new something for your brain to munch on, if you haven't thought of it already (hell, you probably have, but here goes anyway--): Would it be possible to use BOINC to do all the server's processing work?

This is me talking as someone who has no idea how any of this works, of course. And I do acknowledge the whole thing about downloading projects... I'm thinking something more along the lines of torrents, probably, here.



Nope!


 
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Count Sessine
 Tuesday, September 25 2012 @ 06:40 PM UTC  
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Quote by: lowkey

-- Limited-edition mementoes: These would be available for purchase only for a month or two, and new ones would come available every month or two. Could be simple cool mementoes...or could confer, at greater SP cost, some special benefit (like a once-a-calendar-day/week stam/attack/def boost, req multiplier, or the like). The simple ones could be relatively inexpensive, and fun to collect...any special benefit ones would be considerably more expensive.

I really like this. To be clear, you're not talking about the current player-created mementos, right? You're talking about using the same mechanism to offer game-created limited-edition souvenirs.

That is a fantastic idea. I would have to buy every single one.


 
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