Masoonite

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About Masoonite

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    Sp00ky Timez
  • Birthday 05/26/1992

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    Male
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    Look Around...
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    The future.
  • CT Name
    Cipher

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  1. Grab some snacks, put on your favorite album, and get on your comfy clothes because topic 1 is a heavy read. As you can imagine, it took quite some time and research writing it, and ya'll told me months ago if I did it you'd read it. So, topic 1 is up now. Your move :allstar:

    1. Josh123

      Josh123

      Just got off an 8 and a half hour shift. I like what I could skim through, can't wait to look through this completely tomorrow. :) 

  2. State of the Game August 2019 Introduction Collectoons isn’t doing too hot as evident in the donation goal meter. There are many reasons for this that are outlined in different sections of this paper. I’ve been here since 2010 and have been everything from banned for 2 weeks to admin for 2 month, and while this does not at all make me an expert at game design, I’d like to think that I can offer guidance in helping the site in a way similar to how I did it in 2014. I’ve written this paper as unbiased as I could, separating myself from the situation. This is a deep in-depth look at the website and all it has to offer. Due to the extent of which I cover each section, I’ve split each section into its own topic. This is topic 1 of 7. Limitations There are limitations as to what I say is factual information. Unfortunately, I do not have access to specific numbers or percentages that might be helpful when looking into activity, amount of decaying accounts, and so on. Nor is there any data from surveys or experiments done that can prove or disprove points. While I’ve done my best to not speak through my own point of view, many of the data is anecdotal and cannot be proven by myself. If any admin/Poobah himself would like to shed light on any useful data that can either prove or disprove a point, I think that would be paramount in this discussion. I. Gameplay Collectoons started in 2008 as a successor to Cartoon Network’s Cartoon Orbit game. While the site offers nostalgic satisfaction as well as a no-cost hobby for collectors, it has ultimately stayed the same game for over 10 years. While the video-game industry has boomed over that time and offers consumers new exciting games as well as updated classic, CT has not kept up with its competition. While this game is unique in its own right, changes must be made in order to keep players’ interest as well as attract new people. Cosmetic changes go a long way in order to attract new visitors, but the overall gameplay can also use adjustments. Trading/Trade Board We’ll begin with the most used feature on the site, the trade board. This feature is unique to Collectoons and is one of the ways Collectoons has shown to be the successor of Orbit. The reason members prefer to use the trade board rather than auctioning off their toons is because it is safer (set your own price), more interactive, risk free (no payment to post), and you can trade for toons rather than just points. Players having the ability to set their own prices, can buy/sell whenever they please, and there are no restrictions to how many of a toon can be owned. This creates a truly free market. While this system has worked for years, small changes have only been made for better quality of life (QOL). A cosmetic change, a flame labeled “hot”, was created to inform members if many people were bidding on an item. A more fundamental change, letting members see the highest offer of a listing, has been helpful for members who wish to go-in on a listing, so they could see what offer they’ll have to beat. Other than that, no changes have been made, but that doesn’t mean the trade board does not come with its own problems. Since there is no risk/cost for posting, members can post as often as they’d like and keep reposting the same listings. This can lead to clutter on the trade board and lead to many listings being overlooked due to people seeing a repost and thinking that they must have already seen everything after that as well. Considering the trade board is a much more “sure way” of getting as much from your toons as possible, most users would rather use it over auctioning off their toons, which means auctions are not very active. Implications: If clutter becomes a big enough issue, players should have a “cooldown” on the time that they can re-post the same toon. This isn’t something that needs to be coded, but rather a rule change should be implemented such as, “You cannot re-post the same toon (by name [so they can’t just post the same toon and say ‘its a duplicate’]) within x hours of the first posting”. I think that the TB could use some cosmetic changes as well, such as featuring a listing similar to auctions. Auctions Auctions are the only other way (non-premium) members can sell their toons. Back in the day, the auctions were quite active, because members coming from Orbit knew this as their only way to sell toons on that site. As time moved on, auctions became inactive other than if an Auction Only (AO) was active or if a member/staff took it upon themselves to do a massive auction sale. Auctions aren’t as safe as the tradeboard, and they cost members points to post (price depends on the starting price for the first bid). While the layout of the auction page is more appealing and interactive, changes must be made in order for more people to participate in them. These changes must not be made at the cost of the trade board (for example: do not make auctions free to post and make trade board cost 100 points per toon), but rather changes must be made only to the auctions to create something more rewarding for posting. Implications: More AOs and a way to incentivize people to sell through auctions rather than TB. An idea could be to have points made from auctions convert into a different type of currency that can only be obtained through auctions, but that idea might be too big for the time being. cWorlds Once you have some toons in your collection, what can you do with them? While some people collect for the sake of the hobby, you are also given the option to show off your collection in your cWorld. Using over 100 different backgrounds and as many toons as one likes, members can create individualized cWorlds that can be displayed for all to see. While most toons are still images, many are “animated” and move around, and others even play sounds/music. Still, even with though many toons have some sort of interaction, there are still limitations holding the cWorld feature back. The biggest limitation could be that toons sizes cannot be manipulated when put on a cWorld because the image used is the set image put into the system when an image is uploaded. This means you cannot make a toon bigger or smaller on your cworld, which limits the possibilities/fun one can have when working on a cWorld. The one change added to cWorlds (somewhat) recently is the “greeting” that one can create above their world. While progressive, certain features such as adding music (similar to a shop) and other customizations may be well received and help create a more unique cWorld per member. Implications: Let players distort toon images! Allow us to make toons bigger, smaller, upside down, etc. It would open so many fun opportunities for those who enjoy creating cWorlds. Also, let us put music in our cWorlds just like our shops. Collections One of the great things about this game is that there is no “one-way” of playing it. While some may choose to “catch them all”, others only intend to purchase toons from shows/movies that they like. Some buy popular toons in shops in hopes to make riches off them in later years, while some only keep the essentials in their collection. I could go on, but the point is that people can find joy playing in their own style. After playing for a couple years or so, people often become satisfied with the toons they own and may feel that they own just about everything that they’ve sought after. So… what comes next? What happens when you’ve completed a full set? Nothing. What happens when you’ve owned all the AOs the game has to offer? Nothing. It is up to the players to create their next goals. Maybe someone’s new goal will be to morph every new Pokemon that came out this year, or maybe someone’s new goal is to own x10 of an HR they like. For the ones who really enjoy this style of game, creating new goals could be pretty easy. However, the more casual players may not be interested in making up their own goals and feel that the site has nothing else to really offer them. Alternatively, what if someone’s new goal is to “hoard” certain toons as a way of collecting as many of it as they can? Is this a problem? This has been a topic ever since I’ve joined this site, and it always has mixed reactions. The bottom line is that if rules were created to cap the amount of toons (of the same kind) that can be owned, it would no longer be a free market and kill a huge gameplay design that has worked well for the site for years. Implications: There is a big idea I have that will benefit the site in a lot of ways. Idea: Once a player has finished a set, they unlock a “ghost toon” or some other sort of prize for that set. Currently, there is no reason to complete a set other than to say you did it. NO VIDEO GAME DOES THIS. Pokemon, once you complete the Pokedex you get a prize. Mario, once you collect all the stars you get a prize. So on and so on… Players should be good about an accomplishment that may be very difficult. And what better way than with some sort of prize. Not only will this promote trading due to people needing to complete sets, but this will also increase the value of older toons. One thing I hear a bit on CT is, “why is it that toons with only 45 copies are worth less than toons with 100 copies? This doesn’t follow a basic rule of economics, supply and demand.” Well, with this change then toons with low owner-counts will sky-rocket due to people needing them. This gives more value in the time-machine that often gives toons out with low numbers in the game. Obviously, mods would have to monitor that players aren’t just borrowing toons to get the prize, but this could be a huge and positive change if done right. Buying cToons/HR Hunting Every Sunday at least 2 new sets are introduced into the game. You can purchase these toons as well as other “active” cToons from different shops at the Shopping Plaza. If you’re lucky, you might even come across a Holy Rare (HR), which typically can be resold for a lot more than you bought it for. Once the HRs sell out, they will refresh on Saturday morning. This formula of producing new toons has changed quite a bit since the dawn of the site. These changes include the rules regarding HRs (at one point there was no limit, later turned into a limit of 1 per week, and is currently in a sort of gray area where there is no limit again but only if they hadn’t sold out in a few days), times of release, and amount of toons released per stock. There were also some cosmetic changes which include a different colored text for different rarities, making it easier to find what you are looking for. Now, I’d like to take some time to talk about the changes of 2014 and why they ultimately have been a huge failure and one of the biggest contributors to CT’s downfall. In 2014, major changes were made to how shops produced toons. Please refer to this link in order to see them for yourself in detail, but I’ll run through them quickly here for you as well. For starters, the total amount of toons per set were reduced substantially in all rarities other than HRs (which around that time had gone up from x80 to x100). The change to HR’s that did occur however, was that there would no longer be 8 HRs active through the weekend, but only half that amount (4). Despite the huge change in numbers, the overall impact of this change was small because hardly any toons were being bought close to the previous amount. The massive change that did occur was that VRs were going to start stocking in the same “special spot” as CRs and HRs. What this did was inflate the possibilities of toons that could stock in that spot, which caused HRs to appear in shops far less frequently. What once took 24-48 hours for all HRs to be bought now took much longer. Since the changes, it hasn’t been uncommon for HRs to appear towards the end of the week, with some not being bought out by the weekend. An example of this is one of the new HRs, Liberty Bell, which has only stocked 5 times in the first 48 hours of its release. This changed HR hunting as we knew it, and that ultimately had dire consequences. HR hunting in the past was something of a weekly community event before these changes. It was the one time of the week that members would log on and stay on for hours on end, lasting from the morning till late night for some. There were 2 main reasons for this: HRs stocked at a much quicker rate (1) and it was a social gathering amongst members (2). HRs stocking at a higher rate made players feel like their time invested into hunting was typically worth it, because even if they missed out on the HR they were looking for during one stock, it wouldn’t typically take the same time that it does now for it to appear again. The HR:hour rate was also much higher because there were 8 HRs active during the week, so even if you miss the one you wanted you can still look around and find one in another shop. As someone who had good internet connection and paid attention to restocks, I typically got at least ~5 HRs in just a couple of hours, and one weekend was able to get all 8 HRs in one hour. This was great because you basically do “the work” of getting the HRs during the weekend, then you have all week to sell those HRs, which keeps members logging back on. During all the hunting, players connected in the chat room to kill time in between restocks. Players would talk about how their hunts were going, make deals on toons amongst one another, or joke around and chat. The chat made things more competitive with hunting HRs, because you got to know who sniped what in real time and see reactions when people missed out. While members came and went throughout the day, there was rarely a time on Saturday where it wasn’t active. Even during the night time, the chat did not die out because new sets (at the time) came out at midnight CTTime. While many competed to be the first to snag the new HR, many came to the chat just to hang out and connect. There was rarely ever contests done to get members to join, members joined the chat because they wanted to be there. The design of the original shops created a culture for players without even intending to. This culture kept spiked activity for the site and allowed members to make great connections amongst each other. Since members had so much fun in the chat during the weekend, many tend to stick around during the week and keep the good times going. Isn’t that what this site is all about? Making connections with others in the form of deals, banter, and most importantly friendships? This culture was no longer able to process due to the shop changes because members felt that the time put into HR hunting wasn’t worth it and so the chat activity slowly but surely widdled out as well. Not even the themed chats during the week could bring back the same feel as the old chat. Voice of public opinion (VOPO): “But Mason, you said that you were going to be unbiased and not use any ‘I’ or ‘me’ statements. But you said both of those right now. You are only using your own experiences, many people did not experience what you did and maybe they didn’t like the way that it was.” That is fair. Honestly, explaining how much better the old system was at the time was very hard and frustrating for me to do without using any personal stories with it. So yes, you have a point there because not everyone had good internet connection like me so it might have been hard for them to get HRs and I get that. So instead of using more personal examples, I’d like to look at how releasing new things all at once/in a short span has been very successful for real-world collection companies Nike, the biggest shoe producer in the world, sells shoes that are limited to only a small quantity for the public. There is a huge market for this amongst “shoe-heads” and people who enjoy streetwear. Nike almost always teases/announces the release of these shoes ahead of time, similar to how the front page of Collectoons announces sets and their release date. When the date comes, Nike releases these shoes all at once online and shoe shops release them all at once when they open their stores. The impact of this style is huge in pop culture, as evident in Chris Brown’s 2007 hit, “With You” in the lyric, “You’re like Jordans on Saturday”. Since the shoes are so limited, many sell out within minutes, leaving many consumers unable to purchase the shoes. While those who hit might be happy, and those who didn’t might be sad, neither are too upset because they didn’t invest that much time into it. They spent a few minutes trying to make a purchase, and it either went through or it didn’t, but either way they can now move on with their lives and wait until the next release rather then spend all week waiting for a restock. Supreme, a clothing brand that succeeds because of how limited its products are, releases new items every Thursday. This brand is huge in streetwear and can sell literally anything, including a regular brick, that it puts its name on. Similar to Nike, everything is announced ahead of time and it only takes a few minutes to either get what you want, or get nothing. Either way, the amount of time invested is not substantial. VOPO: “But Mason, those companies have nothing to do with collecting things similar to Collectoons. They don’t sell Pokemon, Batman, DBZ stuff.” Correct again, VOPO. OK then, let’s look at a company that is the closest thing we have to real life Collectoons, Funko POP. Funko is a company that sells plastic figures of just about any character you can think of, including Pokemon, Batman (holy cow so many), and DBZ. While many POPs are “common” and can be bought for their retail price at any big retailer, many of its products are “limited edition” and can sell out very quickly. While Funkos do not follow the same formula for all of their releases, they tend to for their own LEs as well as events such as Comic-Con. Every Wednesday Funko releases its own LE exclusive at the same exact time and notifies consumers ahead of time on what the item is. During events, such as Comic-Con, Funko works with retailers such as Hot Topic, to assure that items cannot be sold until the day of the convention. Typically, retailers will release online at midnight and at their shops during opening. Funko also releases its own exclusives all at once now. There was a time where Funko would release a different exclusive each day of the convention at a random time, similarly to how HRs stock over the weekend. This formula of release was heavily criticized by consumers, and Funko changed the model since then. While it isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, it is pretty much an apple-to-peach because of how similar the two are. Another big thing regarding the shop changes is that there has been no evidence that the changes were positive in any way. There was never any survey or poll done to see how well players perceived the changes, and this is a problem I will go into more detail in another post. The changes were made by admins who left the site shortly after. So the whole conversation was kind of dropped and nobody thought to ask if the changes should go back to the way they were or stay the same. If you refer back to the original post, one of the reasons for the change was that “this is how HRs were intended to be…” The idea that HR hunting should be stretched out through the whole week tells users that this site has nothing else to offer during the week. I’d love to sit and argue quote for quote and dissect why the logic didn’t hold up after implementing, but I believe I’ve provided enough thoughts as to why the changes were bad already. Implications: With all this said, I don’t know if the shops need to go back to the way they were. I’ve listed reason as to why that system is better than the system we have now, but could there be an even better system than both? I believe so, but I don’t have a plan at the moment for what that would look like. I recall proposing something called “CT Happy Hour”, where there would be a certain time on Saturdays where shop restocks went from 4-5 mins to 2-3 minutes. This would of course give players a good time to be active and hunt HRs a little faster. I believe we only tried it a couple times and can’t recall the results. Something like that definitely has benefits, but I’d like to get back into making a culture within CT for long-lasting activity and friendships, so all ideas are encouraged. Member Implementations: I’ve given my ideas, but again I’m only one mind. I’d like to hear your guys’ thoughts now. If you (dis)like my ideas, feel free to say so and why, but I’d also like it if you had your own ideas to write those down as well. I’ll read each comment and keep a list of the ideas below in order of what people agree with the most to the least, so please also be reading other people’s ideas and commenting on those. Let’s get it together and help CT thrive! d d d d d Lastly, please make sure all discussion on this topic are only on GAMEPLAY (what is being covered here). Toon in to the next episode when we cover the last bit of gameplay that the site offers: Mini-Games (Arcade, Smackdown, Clashcards). @The Grand Poobah, I know you hate walls of texts, but I didn't necessarily enjoy spending hours writing this either. Let's get this buggy back on its feet.
  3. I'm now on page 8 of my "state of the game" topic and I'm not even close to half-way done yet. I think for everyone's sake I'm going to split it up into sections. Get ready to do some reading tomorrow for sections 1 and 2; Gameplay and Mini-Games. :ike:

    1. Fierce Deity

      Fierce Deity

      That is a great avatar btw

    2. Masoonite

      Masoonite

      Thanks @Fierce Deity ::up

      My apologizes for the delay on the topic, it turns out I've got a TON more to say on both topics and would rather not leave anything out. Prepare for a much larger read for both of them after all. I don't want to delay getting these topics out since time is of the essence as far as longevity of the site goes. I'll for sure have parts 1 and 2 sometime over the weekend, so be on the look out!

  4. There are many reasons said player don't even want to donate $5. I'll go into that a bit later. For now, I'll give my own take on the donation meter. Part of me saw how low the donation meter was an hour after double points weekend was over (I typically forget to donate until an hour after double points weekend but it never is shut off at that point so I always get away with double points teehee). When I noticed, I said to myself, "Dang, I could probably donate like $60 and get it (as opposed to the $205 I spent on my first one years ago)". But then, part of me said, "Wait... It wouldn't matter since if donations aren't being met for THIS type of contest, then I doubt further donation goals would be met and I'd basically only have my OOAK for like a week before the place shuts down". So... found myself in somewhat of a paradox and just donated my regular $11.
  5. I'm unsure if I understand the feedback here. You first claim that the TB is the greatest thing CT has to offer, but end the post explaining why it is a bad feature. So does that mean every feature CT has sucks and this just happens to be the best one? I doubt that is what you are saying, so some clarification I think could be helpful.
  6. We stan hats/outfits for our toons to wear
  7. Cipher has re-entered for more funzies
  8. http://www.collectoons.com/mycworld/viewcworld/8747 Think they might work better if a bit smaller. Most toons don't have huge heads. These eggs are examples of toons WITH big heads and even they aren't big enough. Just a suggestions
  9. Let's get it to 100! Cipher
  10. CT staff: after all this time? @thelastsith :
  11. Thank you guys for the birthday wishes (I know I'm a bit late). I'mma have to do something to celebrate because I also just got my master's as well! Look out for some giveaways in the form of a contest or sumn :)

    1. Josh123

      Josh123

      happy 69th birthday man! Took you long enough to get your masters but good for you nonetheless! 

  12. Happy birthday!

  13. Happy birthday!:bday2: I hope your day is awesome!

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