ID:201577
 
Keywords: trialmembership
Applies to:Website
Status: Open

Issue hasn't been assigned a status value.
Now that many prominent features rely on having a BYOND Membership, I believe that there should be some form of trial membership for people that have not had membership in the past. Any trial would be better than no trial, even if it just lasted two weeks or so, but it would be nice to offer new players/developers around the community a chance to test out the features before they commit to buying them.

Thoughts?
You can see the features being used before your eyes.
The membership price is $25 per year.

Are people really this cheap?
I think the concept of "try it before you buy it" is a good marketing strategy. Regardless if people are cheap or not, it reels in the people who are either new or are on that borderline, or are unsure, of buying a membership. There is that demographic that exists that would rather have more than "see it to believe it."

Besides, the people that don't buy a membership after the trial had no intention of doing so in the first place.

There's really no downside to doing this. Of course, features would have to be limited to prevent abuse, such as a cutoff date for account creation, limitations to hub editing and hub visibility/availability, inability to submit games, etc.
Hmm, Membership is now mainly aimed at people who are making games, so in the case of giving out a trial 1 or 2 week membership for brand new people would not be worth while for Byond or even the person.

I do think Byond could easily give out a weeks trial but certainly not for new people, and it probably wouldn't benefit Byond.

A try before you buy would be nice, that you could choose as an option wouldnt be bad. As Mega just said. :)
The only problem I see with this is people getting trials, creating their hubs and then letting the membership expire. BAMBOO! Instant listing on the hub for free.
In response to Flame Sage (#1)
Flame Sage wrote:
The membership price is $25 per year.
Are people really this cheap?

$25 dollars is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for something that gives you practically nothing in return. Even for something good, $25.00 is a lot to ask. Not to mention, that is a single shot payment for the entire year, most people aren't thinking that far ahead, and most of them probably won't even be on BYOND that long. They just see "25 dollars for membership? No thanks". Hence my suggestion for a 1 month membership option.

As for a trial period, it sounds like a bad idea that would lead to nothing but abuse. There really aren't any features to try. Majority of what you can do on BYOND, you can do without a membership, there's your free trial. Free memberships would probably just lead to malicious spam on the pager, and pointless creation of hubs.
I think it's a great idea. If Teka never bought me this membership, I never would've bought a BYOND membership period. Now I'm considering purchasing a new membership when this one runs out. A trial membership in some way or form could turn out to be beneficial.
In response to Flame Sage (#4)
Flame Sage wrote:
The only problem I see with this is people getting trials, creating their hubs and then letting the membership expire. BAMBOO! Instant listing on the hub for free.

This is the main thing for both this request and Falacy's 1-month suggestion. We'd have to do more to limit expired hubs if we are using hubs as a major selling point of membership.

Now personally, I'm finding the new web pager to be extremely useful and that's something I wouldn't mind pushing as a trial (maybe like "Free Pager Fridays!)
In response to Tom (#7)
Tom wrote:
Now personally, I'm finding the new web pager to be extremely useful and that's something I wouldn't mind pushing as a trial (maybe like "Free Pager Fridays!)


That would actually be a pretty good idea, although I'm sure Fridays would always get some sort of mass spamming("join mi gam guis") but that would be easily fixed by putting some sort of limit on the amount of pages that can be sent on such a day.
In response to Tom (#7)
Tom wrote:
This is the main thing for both this request and Falacy's 1-month suggestion. We'd have to do more to limit expired hubs if we are using hubs as a major selling point of membership.


I love that it's this way now for the obvious reasons. Though it can be argued that you won't need it because you could easily register a domain yourself and have your own website created to host standalone versions of your project.

While I think in that case it does make sense considering you can get a domain relatively cheaper annually then a BYOND Membership(Please don't take this as me disrespecting your price; or your judgments in doing so) you get easier promotion for your project on BYOND with a hub for it for the vast community on BYOND to see.

Plus for the people who put out multiple projects and the like they can make multiple hubs with no additional cost where as a registered domain could run you higher(Depending on if you push the website first and don't think it through; or don't wish to have a central portal site for the projects).

Perhaps if anything my thought on this would be every now and then allow Non-Members a discount price for a membership? Even if it's something like 5% or 10% off for the one year one? However you could just be like "Here's an extra [insert month number] free for getting a membership within [hour number] of [date and time]!"

Just my idea to perhaps better it?
Two dollars a month is a lot of money, even for something good?

Jeez, I lose that much in my sofa or laundry.
In response to Airjoe (#10)
Airjoe wrote:
Two dollars a month is a lot of money, even for something good?

Two dollars a month isn't a lot. Two dollars in a single payment isn't. However, you have to pay for an entire year at once. As I explained, nobody is looking at this as, OH WHAT A DEAL, ONLY 2 DOLLARS A MONTH. They're looking at it as WTF? 25 DOLLARS FOR MEMBERSHIP? For 25 dollars, they could get a ton of better things than a BYOND membership. If there was an actual 2 dollar payment option, I think a lot more people would be inclined to buy.
In response to Falacy (#11)
Falacy wrote:
Airjoe wrote:
Two dollars a month is a lot of money, even for something good?
Two dollars a month isn't a lot. Two dollars in a single payment isn't. However, you have to pay for an entire year at once. As I explained, nobody is looking at this as, OH WHAT A DEAL, ONLY 2 DOLLARS A MONTH. They're looking at it as WTF? 25 DOLLARS FOR MEMBERSHIP? For 25 dollars, they could get a ton of better things than a BYOND membership. If there was an actual 2 dollar payment option, I think a lot more people would be inclined to buy.

Why do people always say it's $25 per year, it's $24, and nobody'd sell you a 1 month byond membership for $2, actually a 6 months membership costs $15, so it'd cost at least $3. And $3 is nothing, you can create a decent hub if you have a decent original game and earn enough to give yourself byond membership in few days if your game's liked by the community, you can always advertise it outside, that's the way NEStalgia got it's fame (Im not sure about thiz).
Eternal_Memories wrote:
Why do people always say it's $25 per year, it's $24, and nobody'd sell you a 1 month byond membership for $2, actually a 6 months membership costs $15, so it'd cost at least $3. And $3 is nothing, you can create a decent hub if you have a decent original game and earn enough to give yourself byond membership in few days if your game's liked by the community, you can always advertise it outside, that's the way NEStalgia got it's fame (Im not sure about thiz).

Yea, NEStalgia's current 9 players is definitely worth noting as "fame". That massive advertising campaign was a complete failure that should have ended with SilkWizard and his team of trolls being BYOND banned.

Also, though I was sticking with a 2 dollar suggestion to stay in context, my actual suggestion was 1 month for 5 dollars. I bet they could almost double their membership income if they added such an option.

Also, though I have probably explained this several times before; as usual, they are attempting to work around a problem by implementing flunky restrictions, instead of fixing the actual problem.
If people creating hubs is an issue, then fix the way hub creation works, don't limit the entire system in a failed attempt to avoid the actual problem.
Like I said, the main reason a shorter-term Membership doesn't work in our current context is that we don't really limit hubs when a membership lapses, which doesn't give as much incentive to renew. However, we are toying with another model using free, limited hubs, and more useful hubs that require a current Membership. In this context, we could have arbitrary-length Memberships because they'd hold more value when active.
Using hubs as the primary, if not only member feature seems like a bad idea. You do realize what a small percentage of the user base actually makes games?
Right, although our current statistics show that most Members do make (or try to make) games. Ideally what I'd like to do is make things free for players but encourage them to try their hand in game development (since that's primarily what BYOND is about), and hopefully transition into being paying Members. But it's clear that the current model is too restrictive.
There's really not much we can charge players for in the current model-- the "membership benefits" didn't really catch on (probably not enough incentive for devs, and they found the splash screen annoying), and I don't want to charge for DreamSeeker in any capacity (and also it's just not technically possible at this time). When the Flash comes out, we'll have more options.
In response to Tom (#17)
Tom wrote:
Right, although our current statistics show that most Members do make (or try to make) games.
Making a hub and making a game aren't necessarily related. And a lot of people probably have more than 1 hub per key (not sure what these stats say exactly).

the "membership benefits" didn't really catch on (probably not enough incentive for devs, and they found the splash screen annoying)
As far as I know, this was never effectively implemented. There are no default "member benefits" that a developer can easily include. There is no ideal way to make sure people who are buying a membership for your game, are actually buying a membership through your game, and not just getting a generic BYOND membership that doesn't benefit you at all. The splash screen issue could be resolved in the same step as implementing certain built-in membership bonuses. Plus with the pricing scheme that I keep complaining about, nobody was making any money?

and I don't want to charge for DreamSeeker in any capacity (and also it's just not technically possible at this time). When the Flash comes out, we'll have more options.
Making DS a paid feature doesn't seem very sensible, considering that it is what drives the income to begin with. The focus needs to be on community related features. Not like blogs or forums, but things that enhance common communication (the profile image that you can upload is a good example).
In response to Falacy (#18)
Falacy wrote:
Making a hub and making a game aren't necessarily related. And a lot of people probably have more than 1 hub per key (not sure what these stats say exactly).

I have like 50 keys. Def less hubs than that.
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