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biglanky14's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Hi everyone,

I’m hoping you’ll take a few minutes to post your thoughts here. We’re going over some projects we could potentially do in the future, and would love to get your take. What we’re looking for is generally how useful and fun these types of features would be for you. These are really high-level descriptions of the projects, as the exact details haven’t been fleshed out yet (and could be influenced by your comments), so while you’re free to suggest details, we won’t really be able to answer questions about any of them right now. Same thing with the mocks we provided below - they're really just the very initial concepts, and are just to try to help show you what we're thinking of. It's almost certain they'd go through a bunch of changes before we actually implemented anything (if we even do).

One very important note: by considering new projects, it does not mean that we’re dropping everything else. We’ll still be working on existing features (such as Alchemy, and on fixing bugs and such), as well as anything new.

Ok, without further ado, here’s a description of three of our possible projects.

Forum Titles
This would be tied into the Achievements system, and allow you to earn a Title based on your actions on Gaia. For example, if you post X number of times, you could earn a title such as “Forum Master” that you could choose to display underneath (or somewhere) on your avatar. Or if you catch Y number of fish in the Fishing game, you could get “Crazy Fisherman.” Another possibility is for you to earn a certain number of adjectives and nouns for each action, and then put them together however you want, like in Mad Libs. For example, let’s say you catch X bugs in Towns. That could earn you “Awesome,” “Nuts,” and “Determined” as adjectives, and “Net Pro,” “Hunter,” and “Insectivore” as nouns. You could then stitch those together however you want. The more Titles you earn, the more possibilities you’d have.

Art/Writing/Whatever Directory and Contract System
A lot of our users run Shops selling their Art, Writing, or other creative works, using threads as their home base. We want to try to make this easier by creating a Seller Directory where buyers could look up sellers by category (ranging from everything from Art to services such as coding Profiles or simply Bumping threads). Sellers could have a personal store/page to show off their stuff and give some info about themselves, from which the buyer can talk to them about making an order. We’d likely also implement some sort of Feedback system to inform each party about potential sellers/buyers, and use that to help good sellers stand out in the Directory.

We’d also look at creating an official Contract system that would make it easier to have official agreements on what’s being bought/sold. It would likely be based on an escrow system, with each side agreeing to terms (e.g. “You will make me avatar art and I’ll pay 10000 gold”) and a certain timeframe. The gold would be held by the system until the deal is completed and agreed upon by both parties, or the agreed-upon timeline expires (at which point it’d be refunded). Once the art/writing/whatever is done, the link is shared within the Contract system, both sides agree that the deal is completed, and the gold is paid to the seller. It’s possible that you’d also be able to communicate about that deal (such as any feedback on the product mid-way through, renegotations for additions or changes, etc.) within the Contract system as well. Any disputes and such will be handled by mods, like now. Basically, it’s a more formal way of doing things than the current setup, which should be easier for both parties, and easier for us to intervene when we need to settle a dispute.

Here are a couple of mockups (again - totally conceptual):

User Image

User Image

Forum Wars
IThink of Forum Wars as competitive posting. Participants in a thread take a side - Team Blue or Team Red - and compete with each other for votes from other users. The users with the most blue and red votes become the Blue Leader and Red Leader. The leaders get a special spot at the top of each thread page where they can fill in a post. The different teams will represent whatever you guys can think up. It could be a simple debate, but it could also be used in RPing, avatar contests, etc.

Here's a quick conceptual mock:

User Image

Let us know what you think!
Owlie's avatar

Winged Phantom

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The contract system looks great! The others seem like a waste of dev time.
MrsrachaelSnape's avatar

Invisible Cat

Not sure on the forum wars idea. Is it just two teams? So it's a combined score?

For the Contract System ,I like the idea.
for Forum Titles- I like the idea , it's another way to express your self. Hope that means more achievements and you are allow to changed your title from time to time.
Ysavvryl's avatar

Peaceful Lunatic

I love the forum title idea when used as a Mad Libs. That way there'd be lots of different titles around the forums instead of a bunch of the same ones. It'd be fun!

The contract and shop directory idea sounds great. I haven't done much with user-run shops, but it'd be a nice way of making things official. Having the payment gold held by the system until cancellation or completion seems like a nice security against scamming too.

I dunno if I'd be involved in Forum Wars, but some people might enjoy it.
Toolee's avatar

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I love all these ideas. I think this site really needs the "contract system" for artists. The other two would be fun, though. I'm hoping all three will be implemented.
Kill Hybrid's avatar

In a relationship with mean mina

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The Forum Titles sound pretty nice, especially being able to earn unique ones from games. Hoping zOMG would be included with that.

The contract system sounds neat and useful. Not sure if I would use it, but I know a lot of others would.

Forum Wars honestly sounds like a waste of development time :/ I doubt many people would use it after the first few weeks. In any case, I probably wouldn't use it.
Radpops's avatar

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Forum titles sound amazing.
The rising trend in these sort of "games" is shown on other website and features such as Foursquare.
I like silent bragging rights so... biggrin
Darien S.'s avatar

Valenas's Husband

Omnipresent Informer

Forum Titles: While it seems like a pretty good idea, I can see it getting stale after awhile. Personally, I probably wouldn't use it but some users may find a use for it and enjoy it. I do have a question about the words used though; will they all be released with the introduction of the feature, or more added later on? Reason I ask, if they're all going to be released at once then chances are users will probably want more words to pick from later on. I can see this being something that users want updated when they get bored of the words available to them and they're looking for something new.

Art/Writing/Whatever Directory and Contract System: Brilliant idea! It looks fairly thought out and seems like something a lot of users would enjoy. Something that wasn't mentioned, yet I'm sure is possible, is the ability to negotiate a new deadline. As I know there are plenty of times where something comes up and deadlines can't be met, it happens. So making sure the deadline can be negotiated would be a great addition if it's not already apart of the feature.

I did notice the rating above the avatar and unfortunately the first thing that came to mind is this sounds like it has the potential to be abused. A lot of users already get a bit ruffled about the [<3] [</3] feature when it gets slammed by people down voting, having artists get a low rating due to someone being spiteful could be detrimental to a user's reputation as an artist.

Forum Wars: This seems like a pretty interesting feature and seems to have some potential to be used quite a bit in the right circumstances. Personally, I see it only being useful in forums that offer some heated (or not so heated) debates, other than that I could see this feature being spammed to death elsewhere. Unfortunately, this could draw the wrong attention by people possibly spamming votes just to shift the odds in their favor, or even, people offering to pay people for votes. It's a neat idea, but looks to be too easy to manipulate to cause the same sort of reaction that users get from the [<3] [</3] feature.
SnowbaIl's avatar

Shirtless Girl

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I like the idea of Forum Titles. heart
Lucidly's avatar

Magical Girl

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I love the forum titles and art/contract system ideas. I think those would be useful additions to the site.

The forum wars, I fear, will just be scrapped in a few months like many other features on Gaia. At the moment, I can't quite see a long term use for it. It just seems like a novelty.
The contract system looks great! The others seem like a waste of dev time.

I agree with this. The contract system looks very useful, however the other two I think people would get bored of fast. The titles seem like useless clutter since their two functions are showing an activity completed and giving personalization and we already have achievement stuff below the avatars and we can customize our avatars, signature, and posts like there's no tomorrow. Forum wars . . . I can see it now how many more complaints will come up about people feeling that because they get a lot of negative votes they must be getting trolled and they want people smote by the mods for it. People complain enough with the voting system for just the thread itself, now imagine if there is voting on every single individual post. gonk

As for the contract system, I already said this looks really useful, I give it a big thumbs up.
I'd like to add though that it sounds like this could easily be adapted to make a system for looking up roleplays in Barton town and its various subforums. That place moves FAST, has a ton of stuff in it, it requires constant bumping to keep a thread where anybody might find it while you are looking for people to RP with still . . . it's a big mess that could be so much easier to navigate if there was some kind of system where you could look these things up by more specific categories. Looking up threads by if the role play (or person looking for one) is for a group or one on one, currently taking new members or not, what literacy level it is, if they positions open for males characters, females characters, or both available at the moment, what the topic is (Some things are really common, anything that isn't one of those major common categories could go under "other" ). The art shops are getting ratings for their reliability, similar could be done with ratings reflecting how many role plays somebody has done before to give some quick idea of their experience (people could still elaborate on that elsewhere though) and a percentage is there to show how frequently they stick with an RP, whether they do so reliably or if they have a habit of dropping out frequently. ninja
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Mistaken Life's avatar

Romantic Lover

That contract system is a wonderful idea!
Opera Phantomess's avatar

Apocalyptic Streaker

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Masquerade! Paper faces on parade. Masquerade!

Forum titles: This has been requested for from users from time to time over the years, so I say yes to it being implemented.

Shoppe directory and Contracts: HELL YES. Just make sure the shoppes in question can only gain feedback scores based on contract completion and user experience with the artist rather than from a general voting system like threads have. This way, it cannot be abused, and if it is, you can contest the feedback like you can on eBay and have it reversed if the customer is leaving horrible feedback based on selfish reasons or via lying.

Forum wars: I am not fond of the idea just because it can and will be abused by trolls. This is a reason why the Arenas do not function in the way theory states it should and why the <3 / </3 system in the forums causes heartache for many users.

Hide your face so the world will never find you.
Pink Universe's avatar

In a relationship with Rose Universe

Magical Angel

Forum titles sound really fun! I'm always down with more ways to customize my avatar. I especially like that you can mix and match words you earn. I know I'd definitely use it a lot, and implementing it through the achievements system sounds like a great idea since it has pretty much no use at the moment. Would words that already comprise the names of the achievements we have (e.g. Bunny Hoarder, Hunter, Invisibility, etc) be able to be mix and matched as well?

The contract system, I just... it's brilliant. I love it. xd And it was really needed.

Forum wars I'm not so sure about, however. I suppose it could be fun and it might generate a little more interest in the forums, but... it kind of seems just like a poll, only slightly more interactive. I can't tell if it's something I'd participate in regularly. Hopefully this wouldn't be something that every thread must have? It would get very tiring otherwise, with competitions in each thread I visit...
Deandriea's avatar


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Forum titles, yes, no to the other two ideas.

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