Making Eleven financially viable in the long term

edited October 2015 in General
Hi, I'm new here so please forgive me if this is in the wrong section.

Keeping Eleven sustainably funded in the long term is going to be key. I've read a few posts on this forum about what to do about it, including donations/kickstarter etc., so I thought I'd throw out some ideas. I doubt donations could sustain the game in the long-term, although they might help get it off the ground. The same for Kickstarter. While these things could be good, I'm more interested in the longer term: what will be funding Eleven five years from now? In particular, are there feasible methods that don't compromise the game (e.g., make certain content only available to paying customers)?

Cosmetic items are an easy starting point, and Glitch experimented with this with limited effect. I'm sure Eleven has plans for this already.

One thing I think Glitch really missed an opportunity on was merchandising. I would have paid for a 3D printed glitchen, or a poster print of my house. Compared to the technical hurdles of setting up the game itself, these things wouldn't be hard to do, and you could follow the same model [Soma FM]( do and make an explicitly large markup on the merch and make it clear it's supporting the game. There are lots of merchandising options for a game like Eleven.

Another model that's worth investigating is that of [Kingdom of Loathing]( There is an 'item of the month' on sale for $10 every month. These items usually unlock new and unique areas and quests in the game. The items can be sold for in-game currency. While I wouldn't like to see areas of Eleven only open to subscribers, there is one particular model that could work: Sometimes in KoL, the IotM actually produces another item on a regular basis, and these items are then used to access quests. This means that gradually, the market price for the area-access items gradually decreases as more and more are made. This means that while newer areas might be expensive to access, in time, all areas become easily accessible, and nobody is locked out. KoL's model works very well for KoL, and has sustained the game for many years.

These are just a couple of ideas I've had. What do people think?


  • I'm not entirely sure I like any areas locked off (however temporarily) from any Glitchen, aside from the small rooms in those two towers. However, I do think we need to be prepared for when the game is back. I don't want our game to rely on its re-creators' funds. Anything we can do to help you guys, let us know. This forum is comprised of a mostly dedicated community of players who are dying to have another long term version of their beloved game.
  • Yeah, my thoughts too. There's a balance to be struck between providing something valuable enough that people want to pay for it, and not spoiling/tiering the game.

    Maybe (in the vein of Random Acts of Kindness), you might be able to pay for something which bestows benefits only on other players?
  • It's been discussed elsewhere that the problem for Glitch was not sustaining it based on the subscription model they had, it was making it profitable fast enough to satisfy the venture capitalists who had invested millions in it to get it off the ground.
  • Well... No venture capitalists here! Just eager glitchen.
  • +scarlett bearsdale thank you for a perfect explanation. but should elevengiants volunteer effort ever need support, i am pro subscription. i subscribed to glitch during beta specifically in appreciation of the devs efforts. the fact that i received additional wardrobe choices and currants to spend on wardrobe was icing on my cake. i originally subscribed to $9 per month deluxe for 6 months but downsized to $6 per month when i subscribed two additional alt accounts. totally worth every penny :)

    so if /when dollars are needed to keep the game development moving or support of volunteers, but subscriptions are not in the plan maybe consider something like this...

    ftp is king now and micro transactions seem to be very accepted when applied to things like additional wardrobe, vanity choices and emotes. this could be translated into income with new items for purchase being offered monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly/holidays? items from past offers could be made available sale priced as the incentive to buy. or something like that.

    wardrobe, vanity choices and or emote purchases should have no impact on game play since they can't be dropped, mailed, auctioned or gifted. it seems (to me) to be an easy way to allow people to get something they value that in turn generates financial support and fun for the game. there can never be too many weird eye choices, animal hats or new hairstyles!!!!!
  • i'm all for subscription, other than the fact my family is too broke to get one xD
  • @fredly said: "Maybe (in the vein of Random Acts of Kindness), you might be able to pay for something which bestows benefits only on other players? "

    I really liked* Improbable Island's system: there's a visible donation meter and when it goes above a certain amount (equal to how much the game costs to run), everyone in the entire game gets a stats buff. So you can see how much/whether the game itself needs your support right now and you can also contribute to a huge RAK for everyone else.

    * Disclaimer, I haven't played the game in a couple years so I don't know if they've changed it or not.
  • @Chimeric I love that idea. Maybe incorporating something like Humble does:

    * Visible donation meter of required funds for the month, whatever it may be
    * Top donators visible, maybe a special wardrobe item available each month for whoever ends up in the top five?
    * Once meter maxes out, everyone gets a buff, or there are global effects (maybe with stretch goals for 150%, 200% etc.) e.g., respawn timers for coins shorten, greater odds of random events occuring, or maybe even an area that unlocks (for everyone) iff the meter is full.
  • Speaking of random acts of kindness +eirafae if eleven giants reinstates gifting of subscriptions, I pledge to gift you! In tribute to acreditando, the finest glitch I know.
  • Faunasphere had an income idea that I really hated and apparently others weren't too fond of either because soon after that the game failed due to lack of funds. They had four add-on spheres (habitats) that were seasonal. You could purchase them for about $9 (I think) which made them cheap enough for most but in the end, too expensive because of how they sold them. You had to purchase them in order. Something like this order Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall. If you wanted Summer, you had to buy Spring first, etc. I wanted Winter but could not afford to buy the other seasons to get it so I did not buy any. In time I would have bought all 4 but they lost my money and thus my financial support by making what I wanted/needed unavailable to me. These add-ons each came with their own store at which others could buy premium items with premium monies purchased for real money. Why, I will never understand, FS did not allow purchase of any desired add-on. They would have made more money on the sales of those plus additional monies from the store sales in each. Still a mystery to me as to why they so mismanaged a good income idea.
  • edited October 2015
    Im not against sub-like options, more along the lines of a set amount of tokens to buy whatever cosmetic items each month, but i dont want the game to be sub only and lock out free players. Various ways to pay for cosmetic items would be best, both deco, wardrobe / vanity, and maybe (if possible) one time use items that come in packs, things simmilar to potions or emotes. Could also have rental costumes , seasonal ONLY things, in addition to the normal wardrobe
  • Ultimately, it'll come down to how much we, collectively, want to keep it alive.

    If we build it, they will come. If we fund it, it will stay.
  • As Fredley mentioned "One thing I think Glitch really missed an opportunity on was merchandising." I agree with that, I would have loved to buy some cubimal plushies for example. They can try to invest in the merchandise area and see how it goes.
  • Maybe make the game an app also which costs money
  • I like the idea @Elitis presented. An app is a convenient way to play, but doesn't lock free players out by any means. Maybe set the purchase price at $2.99 or so? I would definitely buy that app.
  • There are lots of new models out there now that weren't available when Glitch was around. Yes buy limited time items (I'd go for that), yes subscription model with special events perhaps? (no locked areas)
    Humble model is pretty good as well as mentioned before
  • I love all of the ideas being thrown around here. I've got a good set of ideas to work off long term, though we haven't had too much discussion internally about them yet, since we're a ways off still from needing it, but I'm always keeping new ideas in mind. Once the time comes, we'll try to keep the community as involved in the process as possible, and may experiment with several options before settling.

    Regarding merchandising, as some of you may have seen on my twitter account, I recently had a shirt made for attending Dragon Con. While this exact shirt isn't quite up to par with what I'd like to sell (it's a pressed shirt), I'm looking into options to get something I would be happy to sell.

    Regarding pay-locked content, that is not something being considered currently, and I don't ever see that changing.
  • @KaiyonAlatar that TShirt was awesome...would love to get a variation of it at some point. Also would love another happy crab shirt (got one with my music box from Danny, but it's a smidge small) if you are looking for other TShirt merchandising ideas... I really like the "merch" ideas because I'd rather do that than buy an app as long as the merchandise isn't over the top expensive...though I don't mind subscriptions for credits either, like we used to have.
  • edited October 2015
    i absolutely bought into the subscription of glitch because i wanted to keep it around. i also agree that there were tons of missed physical good revenue streams. for example, i wanted nothing more than having a cubimal necklace. i wanted glitch to partner with square (the credit card reader) to make cubimal designed square readers that were wearable.

    another idea of "in game advertising" by allowing companies to buy branding on an item (think like the flash boxes). not sure if that idea would have traction until there was a solid base of users, but something to think of maybe in the future.

    also: since glitch really had such an enthusiastic base of users, i'd like to see some "user submitted" products (think like threadless, but not limited to tshirts) that can run on a monthly / bimonthly rotation of "limited edition" products. i can imagine the users could come up with some ammmaaaazing stuff.

    and for a more immediate revenue stream (for development purposes), what about having any user who's interested in getting alpha access can bypass the wait by giving $X/month? i think there is a dedicated enough core base that would be willing to help test and pay for the development right away. heck.. even using something like for different levels of access is something i'd be interested in.
  • I would like a subscription system for Eleven, I think that worked in Glitch. There were various sums and most were not beyond the pockets of most people.

    I also realise that extra-payment items are popular with those who can afford them, but I think that there are quite a number who cannot and might feel a bit excluded. That does not mean I am against them, just that I think they should be chosen judiciously so as not to cause disadvantage to some people in playing.

    Whilst I see the attraction of payment for alpha access, the sum would have to be large in order to limit the numbers to suit the limits of the servers at present. What about a lottery? A small sum would buy a ticket each month and the lucky winner gets to crash regularly as we do now?
  • edited October 2015
    @tapps, I seem to remember the devs of Glitch were eventually against the branding idea, though they kicked it around for a quite while (sadly, I can't find the reference in the old forums). I have to say, I'd agree even for Eleven. I'd really dislike seeing branding in the game because none of it would be Glitchy/Eleveny enough and would be direct link back to reality, which I'm often trying to escape by being in game...

    I do like the idea of user submitted products on a limited basis where both the player and devs could benefit. That's a pretty neat idea.

  • Hmmm... some ideas of my own, largely based on previous ones:

    * Make the Donation Meter a Random Act of Kindness thing, too. If you donate, you get a small area of effect that gives little bonuses to Glitchen near you. Nothing too big, just a little something. Perhaps you could donate in the name of a Giant, and the area of effect bonus applies to that Giant's domain? So if you donated to Spriggan, people get a slight bonus harvesting from trees near you, and if you donated to Friendly, drinks give a bit more Mood to people around you.
    * In addition, the Donation Meter also, as has been mentioned, will give everyone a nice bonus if it fills up. Maybe a buff, maybe some iMG. Who knows?
    * Maybe some game events? Every month, a large game—much like a feat—is held. Glitchen don't have to pay to join up, but they can. All money that gets put in to join has either a credit or a currant equivalent added to a "pot" of sorts that gets distributed to the top ten performers. Maybe everyone who participated also gets some sort of novelty item based on the event?
    * I'd like to say Patreon, but I think a lot of us, including myself, prefer ideas that can be turned into fun gameplay things.
    * Perhaps a few really special party spaces that can only be bought with credits. Not sure.
  • I love the idea of physical merchandise, fredley! I want a whole 3D printed street with trees, piggies, chickens, and glitchen. I will pay $100.
  • Now that there are 3D printers, what about play sets like Play Mobil, but you can create a Glitch world populated with your customized avatar friends--likely still an idea for the future when we each have a 3D printer at home. But wouldn't that be so cool? Nice for small children not yet ready for online and a way those of any age to exercise parts of brain that engage offline.
  • edited October 2015
    I feel like people kind of glazed over a pretty good idea from @tapps:

    "since glitch really had such an enthusiastic base of users, i'd like to see some "user submitted" products (think like threadless, but not limited to tshirts) that can run on a monthly / bimonthly rotation of "limited edition" products. i can imagine the users could come up with some ammmaaaazing stuff."

    I could see this working. The staff pick out a few designs they like, restructure them to fit on a Glitchen, and put them up as Limited Edition items in the store. Maybe they switch out twice every in-game year?

    I imagine that they could cost small little lumps of change each, often between 50 cents and $3.

    Maybe some submitted designs can be sets, and some can just be individual items, but you definitely should never be forced to buy a whole set. There may be about 20 per "series", and players get accredited for their designs. Maybe they even get a nice little trophy and a free copy of the design for themselves.

    They could also include special seasonal items, such as an anniversary item that costs $1.11 or some meaningful number such as that.

    Hell, you could even apply the same concept to furniture, really. I bet players would be entirely willing to design that, too.
  • patreon. practically an optional subscription model
  • edited October 2015
    I will give all my monies to have Glitch back. =^.^=

    I know I'm not the only one. :-)
  • It would be neat if you had premium cosmetic items or furniture created by people in the community, tf2 style. I'm sure there's enough passionate good artists floating around here.
  • edited October 2015
    If we have plenty of options for deco & wardrobe/vanity items, I think well be fine. But being able to design items as well as seasonal or limited addition deco & wardrobe/vanity would be nice though. Im not in favor of meters, or buffs only ppl that pay x amount can get , or adds to generate revenue. Please keep in mind when it came to finances in Glitch it had very little to do with what we spent, it instead mostly had to do with venture capitolists wanting a much larger return alot faster than would ever be possible. Its just us this time so there shouldnt be anything to worry about
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