Monday, February 1, 2010

Sharing Moviestorm Points option opens new and interesting doors

Recently, Moviestorm announced that they have implemented the long-requested feature to gift or share MS points with other members.
This feature was originally requested as a way to say thank you to modders who created exceptional mods or other members who have made a significant contribution to the MS community. Since it's been put into place though, it's interesting to see how it is being used, and consider other ways it could be used.

For example, recently Davidwww, a prominent modder and Pioneer member of the Moviestorm site, was in need of content from the MS marketplace but didn't have enough points to purchase it. He humbly and begrudgingly asked if anyone would be willing to loan him the points to get it, and in a wonderful show of community spirit, fellow member Squirrelygirl helped him out in his time of need.

Speaking of Squirrelygirl, she recently posted a request for Voice Acting talent, wherein she would pay them 1000 MS Points per line. This translated to payment of about $10.00 per line. It's an interesting approach, and it could a director attract voice talent. This approach could also be used as a way of "thanking" a voice actor who has done very well for you, or someone who has been particularly helpful in your production.

Recently another member had asked the MS team if they could run their own contests and use points as prizes, and the people at MS gave their enthused blessing. I'm eager to see what contest ideas people will come up with.

Just thinking of it, I can imagine many other ways points can be used with this feature. For example:
  • Let's say you want to make a movie but can't come up with an idea. Offer points for a story idea or a script. Or on the opposite end, you could offer points to a director to make your story idea or script.
  • Using points to commission a mod, scoring, or some other form of aid.
  • Giving points to the director you feel made the best movie of the week/month/year/ever.
  • Giving points to someone who gave you a particularly helpful review of one of your movies. 
Now, I'm sure some people may not feel this is too big of a deal, and maybe in the scheme of things it isn't. I guess it all depends on your perspective.
Some people may think that this wouldn't be much use to them. What if you already have all the content and don't have a use for points? What if you support the MS community in some fashion but don't use the software? Points aren't of any use. Right?
Not necessarily. See, you could always gift them to someone else for some reason or another, and I imagine there may even come a time when people will sell excess points for a discount to other MS users, so if it suited you you could take, say, 1000 points someone payed or gifted you and sell it to someone for $5.00, so even if you don't have need or use for the points, they could still end up having value for you.

I'm not recommending anyone do any of the things I've mentioned, but it will be interesting how the community uses this feature. It has the potential to hopefully create greater enthusiasm and diversity in the MS community, and it's adds even more appeal to the Moviestorm subscription plan.

What do you think?


thebiz said...

When I first heard about the move to subscription points, I thought back to the days of The Movies VCs (virtual credits you could use to buy things from a prop shop). Similarly to your ideas vc's were used in contests and to help squire help in various stages of movie making (VOs, posters, ect). Also similar to the linden dollars of SL I suppose.

As long as theres a good supply of new content to spend those credits on they will no doubt be a useful resource.

Armanus said...

I agree, especially when the community starts developing other unique ways to use them.

Some other thoughts I've had about possible ways to use points.

- When Moviestorm first switched to the subscription plan, there were some people who were considering modding for the MS community, but would not do it because they didn't actually use the product and didn't want to get a subscription they had no use for.
To the hobbyist modder this is a valid argument. For those who may be more enterprising and wish to sell their content, there was also the issue of "will I sell enough of my content to at least pay for the subscription?".
I think this option now helps alleviate that. If someone is willing to create 3rd-party content for MS and sell it, they could simply sell their points at a discount, or use the points to "pay" users to beta test, or even hire another modder to assist on a project.

- The one that I think excited me the most is the idea of sponsorship. Wouldn't it be something if a director (or group) saw a new director with talent and gave them points to help them with a project? Unless the new director spends a lot of money beyond the subscription cost, it will take them a long time to get all the content they may need, and a sponsor would be a big help. It would be a great show of community spirit to see an "older" director who has points to spare help a newer director experience their vision by helping them get the content they need.

- I don't condone this, but I have a vision of someone eventually trying to make money with points....something to the effect of loaning MS points if it is repaid with interest. I have a feeling that would fall like a lead balloon, but I'll wager someone will try it someday.

It will be interesting to see how this feature is used.