Ways to raise money for BGA

Suggestions & ideas / Suggestions & idées
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Jest Phulin
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Joined: 08 July 2013, 21:50

Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby Jest Phulin » 24 May 2017, 12:04

So, over in the discussion forum, there is a thread raging about why the wait screen was introduced, and how bad it is. I'll leave it to that thread for anyone to complain about it.

It was introduced, though, to try to raise membership levels. BGA seems to be wanting more funds.

BGA has listened to our suggestions before, and implemented a bunch of functionality that we, the player, wanted. It is time we return the favor.

BGA wants to raise funds. We need suggestions on how to do that.


Please, let's keep it to suggestions. No bashing them for what they've already done. No suggestions that they don't need to make enough money to pay for a full-time administrator. No beliefs that hosting a website takes no money and therefore should be free. Thanks.


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As to my suggestion, I'm repeating someone else's and to implement Ranking and Trophies only to members. Apparently membership levels were acceptable when ELO was shown only to members. When ELO was shown to everyone, membership dropped. Most people who care about ELO do not really care about that number -- they care about what that number represents. Having an ELO of 376 by itself means little. Having an ELO of 376 and be on a list showing that number 1 is rated 377, you are number 2, and number 3 has 285 means much more. Having everyone who visits your profile page and seeing a "Ranked #2" trophy means a bunch also.
For those that play the games for fun, (OK, for me...) ELO knowledge is nice, but not important. It was necessary so I could know if I could join games limited to skill level (Average, Good, etc.,) but that was about it. It is also nice, but not necessary, to know how I'm ranked among BGA players.
For those that play the games for prestige, I believe they need to have others know that they have attained their level. They want people to see them on the rankings page. They want people to see trophies in their profiles. They might even pay (become members) to do this.

ELO doesn't need to be removed. It is still needed to see skill level (unless skill level alone was made known to each player). However, having an ELO higher than the highest ranked member is quite different than having the highest ELO. One says "I'm very good, but if you go through every player profile you might find someone better than me." The other says "I'm the best of everyone on this site, no question."

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Jest Phulin
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Re: Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby Jest Phulin » 26 May 2017, 08:12

Hm, looking at another site, how about making some functionality members-only.

Tournaments already can only be created by members. Why not extend this to turn-based games as well? (Or real-time, depending on which is being used more by members).

Turn based games have a memo section. Are people willing to become members to keep that? This is a direct resource cost, as it is an extra database query for every player each time they return to a table.

Liallan
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Re: Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby Liallan » 26 May 2017, 12:24

Are we allowed to bash the other suggestions? :lol:

As to your first, the one part I don't like is not showing a ranking. Well, I suppose it depends on what you mean. If I'm looking at your games in your profile, it shows a rank in parenthesis. I'm good with that not showing. But I don't like the idea if I look at the top 10 players that non-paying members are not showing, because it sort of makes it a worthless list. Unless.. the number still exists. Like #1 is Player X and #3 is Player K and #4 is Player N, so we see #2 is a non-paying member and just doesn't show. That would be OK. (What I wouldn't like is just a list showing Player X, Player K, and Player N cause it just doesn't make sense.)

I think limiting making either real-time or turn-based games to members only is a not so great idea. While it might get a lot of people to pay to play, it might also chase off a lot of people. And their goal seems to not just get more funds, but to also not lose a bunch of players in the process. That has too much of a "pay to play" feel that I don't think they're going for.

As to the memo thing in turn-based, I personal am not willing to pay for that, no. Partly because it's not that important to me, and partly because I don't like how it was implemented. I can always use paper, like I did before they added that feature. (I didn't have to pay to have the feature added and it wasn't there before.) I know it was a feature a lot of people wanted, so just speaking for myself. (I really can't afford a membership so I'm not the best person to answer "would this make me pay" cause the answer is pretty much no regardless, but if I could afford it and was borderline, that's not a feature that would get me to pay.)

I really do wonder if the rankings and trophies and such like that would be enough. I think that's worth a try and see how it goes. I also kind of think it's a shame that this would be the kind of thing people would pay for. I really like having that ELO, partly to know who I want to play with, but partly as a judge of how I'm doing. It would be a funny idea to me to pay to show it off.

Sorry all my comments are on your suggestions. I'm just not thinking of anything off the top of my head, but I can ponder it a bit.

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jhauser42
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Re: Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby jhauser42 » 26 May 2017, 21:07

Unfortunately, most people think that everything on the web should be free and they do not realize the costs associated with running something like this.

In my opinion the only way you are going to get more people to be members is to offer them something for the money. If it were up to me I would take all of the games that are now considered premium (but which really are not as anyone can play them, just not create them) and make them members only. If people want to play those games they can become members. If they are ok without them, they can stay as free members and still have 95% of the games available. Just like with Cable TV. If you want the premium channels you pay for them.

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Jest Phulin
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Re: Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby Jest Phulin » 26 May 2017, 21:23

Liallan wrote:Are we allowed to bash the other suggestions? :lol:


Of course :) Instead of the admins coming up with the ideas, implementing them, and then getting community feedback, this thread is for the feedback first.


I dislike the idea of non-members not even being allowed to play any game. First, it would really be pay-to-play. Second, it would not allow people to experience the game at all, meaning they wouldn't know if it was worth it to them to be able to play the game whenever they wanted. (by being able to create the game).

dudi2
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Re: Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby dudi2 » 27 May 2017, 00:01

I like the way premium games are implemented at the moment (members create tables, non-members can join them).

Making such games members only would make it too difficult to create a game with enough people.

I think all people which are playing lots of games per year should become paying members. Playing is then only a few cents per game which is cheap.

Liallan
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Joined: 26 May 2014, 07:01

Re: Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby Liallan » 27 May 2017, 09:39

I agree that I don't much like the idea of making it so only members can play the premium games. But if I had to be honest, is that only because then I couldn't play them? Or do I honestly think it's not a good idea? I'm usually good at thinking past the end of my own nose, but apparently not in this case. :P

The thing is, I'm not sure they're attempting to turn anything into "pay to play," but rather more either get rewards for paying, or in some cases punish for not paying. I also do see the point that it might be difficult to get enough players, or at least in a reasonable time.

But this does make me think of something else. Someone posted a few months ago that they would happily pay just to play Carcassonne, but didn't want to pay a full membership just for that one game. (After all, I could get Carcassonne on Amazon for about the same amount and be done with it.) So the thought was put forward about allowing "levels" of membership, including paying a much smaller amount than the normal membership just for that one game. It sounded like an odd idea to me at the time, but sourisdudesert did say he might consider something like that.

So maybe some people can't (or won't) pay 24 euro a year and get access to everything, but perhaps they would pay 4 euro a year to have access to Carc or Love Letter, or 7 euro for access to two games, or whatever combination you want to think up. That is not as much money, but maybe more people would be willing to do it.

Ankeszu
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Joined: 06 January 2014, 15:29

Re: Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby Ankeszu » 27 May 2017, 20:04

Someone posted a few months ago that they would happily pay just to play Carcassonne, but didn't want to pay a full membership just for that one game. (After all, I could get Carcassonne on Amazon for about the same amount and be done with it.) So the thought was put forward about allowing "levels" of membership, including paying a much smaller amount than the normal membership just for that one game. It sounded like an odd idea to me at the time, but sourisdudesert did say he might consider something like that.

So maybe some people can't (or won't) pay 24 euro a year and get access to everything, but perhaps they would pay 4 euro a year to have access to Carc or Love Letter, or 7 euro for access to two games, or whatever combination you want to think up. That is not as much money, but maybe more people would be willing to do it.

I like that idea. I really think that's good option for BGA admins to try. Best of all mentioned here, IMO. (Though it's hard to assess the turnbased-memo idea, as I rarely play turnbased. I thought it was nice idea to include the notes possibility on the site - but that's not something that anyone I know would pay for.)

I agree that I don't much like the idea of making it so only members can play the premium games. But if I had to be honest, is that only because then I couldn't play them? Or do I honestly think it's not a good idea? I'm usually good at thinking past the end of my own nose, but apparently not in this case.

I barely play 'premium games'. And yet I think it would be a bad idea. Bad for BGA. It's troubling enough to have a place / find tablemakers in those games (during some hours) - troubling exactly enough to make people consider membership and not stopping them from playing on BGA. If the access to the games was more restricted, people would have more trouble finding players (as only members could join) and it would make them less enthusiastic about the site/the game. And that would make them less willing to prolong their membership.

I don't have my own ideas on this, I am afraid. Generally I just agree with rather 'having the extras' for members (like previous seeing elo and stats), not punishing the non-members.
I am currently not a member. Nothing in BGA actions itself (including making it 100% pay to play) could make me be member - I would just leave the site in worst case scenario.
However there was a time I was member. Not to see the stats, create tournaments or anything (for the game that keeps me on the site it doesn't really matter) - just to show somehow my support and gratitude for this awesome place - but mostly because I could afford it at the time. I think I'll join the club some day in the future again - when I'll be sure it won't make harm to my budget in the long term.
How many of players are like me in this case? And how much it hurts BGA? I don't know.

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shadowphiar
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Re: Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby shadowphiar » 27 May 2017, 22:51

Design some t-shirts and sell them? (e.g. via teespring)

Liallan
Posts: 848
Joined: 26 May 2014, 07:01

Re: Ways to raise money for BGA

Postby Liallan » 28 May 2017, 06:14

Ankeszu wrote:I am currently not a member. Nothing in BGA actions itself (including making it 100% pay to play) could make me be member - I would just leave the site in worst case scenario.
However there was a time I was member. Not to see the stats, create tournaments or anything (for the game that keeps me on the site it doesn't really matter) - just to show somehow my support and gratitude for this awesome place - but mostly because I could afford it at the time. I think I'll join the club some day in the future again - when I'll be sure it won't make harm to my budget in the long term.
How many of players are like me in this case? And how much it hurts BGA? I don't know.

Well, I'm just one person but this is actually all true for me as well. I simply can't afford the membership so there really isn't anything they could do to make me become a member. But, let's pretend I can afford it. If I ever became a member, it would not be to get privileges, it would be to support the site. There are "pay to play" places out there, and there was a time I could afford to do that, but never did. I'm simply not interested in paying for that. But if there were a free site, I might "donate" to them - I think that is a different sort of thing.

So it makes me wonder, how many members do it to support the site and therefore, all of this is a moot point to them? And how many have to "get something" for it?


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