Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

[Rabbits] Rabbit Only Items in Dangling Carrot (was Re: Gray 'mids?)

  • FromMarc Hartstein <marc.hartstein@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 26 Jan 2007 14:45:55 -0500
On Fri, Jan 26, 2007 at 12:44:26PM -0600, Carol Townsend wrote:
>    On 1/26/07, Marc Hartstein <[1]marc.hartstein@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>      May I ask the reasoning behind needing to use at least one rabbit
>      point on orders from the Dangling Carrot?  I want to make a
>      comment on the policy, but I'd like to start off from a position
>      of knowing what the intended consequences of the requirement are.
>    The reason we restrict some of our merchandise with the requirement of
>    "you must have at least one Rabbit Point to purchase this" is as a
>    reward to our loyal fans who run demos and spread their love of Looney
>    Labs games.

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, Carol.

You've sort of answered my question and sort of haven't.  I think what
I'm looking for is why it's "you must have at least one Rabbit Point"
rather than "you must be a registered Rabbit".  Is this to encourage
Rabbits to go out and do more demos and such?

Maybe I should just make my point, and then it will be clear what I'm
driving at with my question:

I think the current setup has some unintended (and unfortunate)
consequences, which turns the whole Rabbit Point thing into a sort of
game in its own right, and not a particularly fun one.  The issue is
that Rabbits have three potentially limited resources: money, Rabbit
Points, and time.  Rabbit Points and money can be substituted for one
another at 1 point:USD 1 with some restrictions.  At the time I choose
to make a purchase, I need to decide how many of my Rabbit Points I want
to allocate to it (with a minimum if I'm ordering from the Dangling
Carrot), and how many I want to hold in reserve to be able to make
future Dangling Carrot purchases.  If both money and Points are in low
supply for me, this can be a tricky decision.  Here's an example:

Say I decide I want to eventually own both a Daddy-O Plush Pyramid (17
points) and a Martian Icehouse Bag (16 points).  I currently have 10
points, and can allocate USD 6 out of my budget for this purpose (plus
enough money to cover shipping on the bag alone, which I don't want to
look up).  I expect that in three months, I'll have another USD 17 (plus
enough to cover separate shipping on Daddy-O)  I won't have an
opporunity over those three months to earn any more Rabbit Points than I
already have.  If I buy the bag, I'll have to spend all my Rabbit
Points, and I won't be able to buy Daddy-O next quarter.  My other
option is to wait.  What's frustrating is that I actually have enough
total resources to afford to buy the bag now and the Daddy-O later, but
the rules of the game mean I can't have Daddy-O unless I wait on the

It's a contrived example, sure.  Of course it is.  But I've definitely
been confronted with the "I want to buy this item from the Dangling
Carrot, and I'd like to pay mostly in points so it doesn't hit the
wallet so hard, but how many points do I need to keep aside for future
Carrot purchases?" question, and I'm sure other Rabbits here have as
well.  Points may be easy to get, but it's not always predictable when
you'll get another opportunity.

I have two suggestions for alternate ways of doing this which I think
would preserve your goals, but remove the weird meta-game:

1. Only registered Rabbits may purchase items with prices listed in
points.  Any portion up to and including the full price may be paid for
in cash ($1 = 1 point).  This preserves some of the "this stuff is only
for people who are dedicated fans" aspect, but loses some of the "you
need to keep being dedicated to keep buying the stuff" aspect.  It has
the advantage of simplicity.

2. To purchase an item with a price in points, your Total Points Earned
must be greater than the number of items with a price in points you have
ever purchased.  You could think of it this way, or as there being two
kinds of points (discount points and stuff points), where one kind
reduces the cost of items with the carrot symbol, and the other allows
you to buy items with a cost listed in points.  It's the same thing,
really.  You spend exactly one "stuff point" on an item with a point
cost, and use "discount points" to pay for some or all of the cost.
It's also sort of like letting people always spend only one Rabbit point
on each item they buy, while letting them pay for as much of the cost in
points or dollars as they wish.

I'm not sure if I'm communicating this idea clearly, which is a shame,
because I think it might be the preferable one.  It has the advantage
that it preserves the "you have to do stuff to be able to get these
really cool things" idea that you have going right now, but it removes
the "how many points do I have to keep in the bank to get cool stuff
later" "feature".  It has the disadvantage that it might be a little
harder to explain, and that the ordering system would need to be changed
to accomodate it.

If there's anybody out there who understands what I'm driving at here
and can rephrase it in a more clear manner, I'd welcome that.  I'm in
brainstorm mode, which probably isn't the one in which I communicate my
ideas best to non-engineers.

So what I'm looking to find out is what the specific goals are for which
the current system has been engineered.  Is what I'm perceiving as a
flaw actually an intended feature?  (It does result in more money,
rather than points, being spent on point items.)  Is there an intended
feature in the current system which one or both of my suggestions would

Another question, of course, would be whether there's a better approach
to correcting what I see as a flaw in the system as it is.  I find that

And, yes, to anybody who's read this far and is wondering, this issue
*has* resulted in my choosing not to obtain items from the Dangling
Carrot which I otherwise might have, choosing to conserve my points for
future purchases.  (I was in a phase when money was very scarce, but
expected to become much less so in the future, so I could have bought
something then for points, and another thing later for money, except for
the wanting to keep points on hand for later.)


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