Why do I ask? Well, the new version of ShapeShifter is coming along quite nicely, with tons of nifty new features. Included in those will be a mechanism allowing the player to make a donation to the cause, completely voluntarily. I'd like to reward people who do donate, but at the same time I don't want to restrict any of the basic game elements to only those who've donated. Then it becomes more like payment than donation.
Many types of games have it pretty easy - if a game has the concept of different "levels," then the designers can easily offer some levels for free and some for pay. I believe this is working quite well for DragonSnot. ShapeShifter doesn't have this concept, so I'm forced to come up with something else. Here a few specific things I've considered:
- Create an "expansion pack" with a whole bunch of new shape icons. Players who've donated will be allowed to download this and use the new icons in their games. It won't change gameplay at all - for any given game, seven of the available shape icons will be randomly chosen and used, just as it is now. I'm pretty sure I'll do this regardless of anything else.
- I could charge for the new gameplay features. But I won't do this because they're just too cool to restrict to those few who are willing to donate. You have to see them to believe them!
- On the other hand, I'm considering making a "classic" mode that will behave just like the current version and charging for that. Anyone who doesn't like the added complexity of the new features could revert to classic mode, but I don't see why since the new features are so darn cool. ;-)
- There will be pause functionality in the new version so that you can pause your game without losing accumulated bonus credit. I'm about half and half on whether I should make this a pay-only feature. It has little effect on gameplay, but it can be nice to have.
- In the high scores list, players who've donated will be recognized as the great philanthopists that they are. ;-) I suppose I could add an option to suppress this for those who wish to remain anonymous to the world.
These are my current ideas and thoughts. Anyone else have anything to add, either specifically regarding this, or more generally for all games?