Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

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

  • From"Seth Ruskin" <rathorne@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateSun, 28 Jan 2007 13:06:12 -0500

First, let me apologize. I never meant to insult you or imply anything about you or your situation. When involved in discussions like these, I use "you" to refer to "the reader" and thus I'm addressing the list as a whole. It encourages the exchange of ideas, as if someone sees a flaw in my reasoning, they're open to respond to it. If I used "I" and "me", then I would've been talking to myself, shutting everyone else out of discussion. If I used "he/she/they" I would be referring to a fictional person off list, who wouldn't even have this issue, because they wouldn't be a Rabbit.

Second, I think understand what you see as a flaw. I just don't see it as one, but as a benefit the Looneys put in to make things easier. But to take the focus off of you (as Marc), I'll just explain why I see it as a benefit.

For what follows, "you" refers to the person setting up the reward system, and "the person"/"they" refers to the person getting the reward from the system.

When you have a reward system, there's two ways you can go:

1) All rewards have the same value (quality/rarity is a constant). Either you just send the person something for their effort, or you let them pick an item from a list. If you bother with points, it just determines the number of items a person gets for a task, with the remainder being banked towards the next reward or discarded. (This is a non-budgeting system. The person gets stuff as they earn it and that's it.)

2) All rewards do not have the same value (quality/rarity is not a constant). You have to set up some kind of token economy for this, assigning token values to each item. You can either assign a set amount of tokens for the person making an effort of any kind, or you can set up a sliding scale where you determine what the effort is worth (you can even have the person state how many tokens they want for their effort, if you want). If they want a higher quality/more rare item, they'll need to bank their tokens until they have enough to get the item they want. Or they can forget the higher cost items and spend their tokens on smaller items, getting quantity over quality/rarity.

(Resume my original use of "you" here)

Looney Labs uses a derivative of the second system. Their tokens are called Rabbit Points. They assign these points based on the size of the event or project, based on a set of criteria outlined on the Rabbit Points page (http://www.looneylabs.com/Rabbits/RabbitPoints.html). These Rabbit Points can be spent on shipping costs, discounting the cost of non-main game line items, or special Rabbit-exclusive items (each with their own cost in Rabbit Points).

But Looney Labs has recognized that people don't always have the time to run point-earning events or do point-earning projects. So they added in a bonus feature on the Rabbit-exclusive items. Instead of having to bank Rabbit Points until you have enough for the Rabbit-exclusive item, you only have to spend 1 Rabbit point on it. Once you've spent that one Rabbit Point, you now have the option of reducing the remaining Rabbit Point cost of the item by 1 for each dollar you spend on it.

Looney Labs has even gone step further, allowing for Advances and their IOU program, but those only apply of you're going to be running an event and need the points for promotional materials. As such, their effect on the banking and budgeting of points is only felt as long as you are actively running events. Though their effect is focused away from Rabbit-exclusive items, they help make more points available for Rabbit-exclusive items by reducing the cost (Point or money) of promotional materials that you're going to be giving away anyways.

So now you have a greater opportunity to get Rabbit-exclusive items than before. Yes, you still have to use budgeting skills if you want to ensure that you have enough points for future purchases. But that's comes with assigning different point values to items based on quality and/or rarity. It's the necessary evil of variable cost systems. You just have more flexibility in how you budget for future purchases under the Looney Labs system, choosing how much to bank based on how much money you think you can afford now and in the future.

I see that level of flexibility in a reward-based system as a benefit. It maintains the concept of what a reward is (you have to earn it because you're normally not entitled to it). You just have the option to do something extra (spend money, the standard token in our global variable cost token economy) to get the reward sooner. The Rabbit Points system still maintains the need to do more "things" to earn more rewards (which I see as vital to any reward system, variable cost or not ). No matter how much money you have to spend, you still need to be running events or doing projects to keep earning points for rewards over time.

I hope this explains my point of view.

aka GnTar, the evil teddy bear Rabbit

P.S. You (the reader) may have noticed that what was referred to as "hoarding" I've labelled as "banking". It's just semantics. I've assigned a positive connotation to concept by saying "banking" and I recognize it as such. "Hoarding" has a negative connotation and would have made the above jarring to read if I'd used it.

Valentine?s Day -- Shop for gifts that spell L-O-V-E at MSN Shopping http://shopping.msn.com/content/shp/?ctId=8323,ptnrid=37,ptnrdata=24095&tcode=wlmtagline

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