Here’s an excerpted email to the Developer Guinea Pigs from SamSyn. It pretty much reflects where we are, and is VERY exciting:
* The General Plan is:
1.) Submit a variety of designs (we ultimately want to feel we have tested every possible submission category, but since there are 358 of those (or so), that probably won’t happen, at least not without a lot more coordination.
2.) Get ‘review copies’ of everything you submit and take a long hard peek at the item in world. Make sure the organizer/MyThings/ChangeMe/About information looks correct (name, icon, menu options, etc). To get a review copy, just open the review page for the submission (There will be a “review” link in the submissions description on your “My Submissions” page). The review copy should have the same menu options as a normal tryIt.
3.) For vehicles, make sure they drive around normally, and obey local permissions (and can be raced in a funzone properly). In fact, this would fail if you tried it today. .. snip ..
4.) submit reviews as much as you can, on your own designs and others. Currently it is only easy to see your own designs (From your “My Submissions” list), but we will be introducing various ‘search’ opportunities as we move forward. Your reviews should be ‘honest’ and represent your own best opinion as to whether or not you feel the submission violates any guidelines.
You are NOT reviewing the esthetics of the submission. There is no secrecy, everyone will be able to read your reviews. Your ‘reviewer weight’ (think ‘skill’) will change over time, depending on whether your review agreed with the final outcome of the approve/reject cycle. Feel free to share review page urls with any member you like (They will only be able to submit a new review if their avatar is also in the Developer Program, but they do NOT need to be a Guinea Pig to submit a review, or get a review copy of your design)
5.) This is not pretend… you are submitting real designs that people will see, and you will be charged real fees. It is not our intention to make you pay for the privilege of testing this stuff. Please use the ‘cancel submission’ option (again, on the “My submissions” list) once you feel no additional testing is required on a design. That should refund the submission fee to you (please verify that it does and report any failures to us for refund).
6.) If your submission is actually approved, it will unlock the ability to list it for sale in auctions, which we want to test as well, but please use your best judgement to keep it as ‘fair’ as possible, given your special Guinea Pig status.
The first few approvals will be VERY SPARING and looked at in great detail, and then very likely cancelled retroactively and “product recall” will be used to pull all sold instances from the world and provide full refunds to the buyers. This is just to test that we have the ability to pull a truly obnoxious design from the world should it become approved accidentally.
* Thank you! We realllllly appreciate your help in this project! The Whole World is Watching!
* This does NOT include the Developer BuyBack program yet, so your income is still only in ThereBux
* Vehicles submitted before the next server push will not obey the ‘can drive’ privilege, so please avoid teasing people in no-drive areas like Zona.
* We do want to start testing Interactive items in this Phase. You will need to help us understand how best to help you do that.
* Only developers on “The White List” (You Guinea Pigs) will be able to submit designs, and you Wave One piggies will recall that the White List starts out a little forgetful, so you might be able to submit today, but not tomorrow, for example. Just let us know if you think that has happened and we will kick it in the head again.
* Everyone who asked to be a Guinea Pig (by sending us the required email as described on Thumdar) has been added to the program. So if you think you SHOULD have been, but you did NOT receive THIS EMAIL (heh heh), then we must have missed your email. Nothing personal, feel free to send us another 🙂
* If you are testing a design and someone walks up, they can also review the design by using the ABOUT tag on the review copy (the ABOUT page for a ‘new submission’ includes a link to its review page)
* Once a design has been approved/rejected/cancelled, it should no longer be possible to submit a new review (but you can still open the review page and read the old reviews)
* If you submit multiple reviews on the same submission, only the ‘most recent one’ counts. The others still exist in the database, however, should Big Brother feel the need to retroactively check the behaviour of an individual reviewer.
* Try not to freak out if your reviewer weight goes DOWN from time to time. The current adjustment algorithm is very simple. If your review AGREES with the final approval/rejection, you earn one point (up to a max of 100). If your review DISAGREES with the final approval/rejection, you lose 10% of your current points (down to a minimum of 0, though there is also an explicit “banned from reviewing” opportunity, to be used for truly hopeless reviewers 🙂
So, as I have said before, while we are committed to giving Developers a way to make real money for their contributions, we are not planning a buyback program. As I posted in other places, our problem with BuyBack programs include (but are not limited to):
- Overhang. With a “Buyback” program in place, we have an accounting problem in that potentially every T$ in circulation is eligible for redemption. Optically, that’s horrible for the books.
- Fraud. I want to believe that people are basically good, but our experience with our last Buyback (even though it was coming right out of the Investor’s pockets, on top of other other losses in the business) showed that there are still a few bad apples out there. We had all kinds of cheating going on,
up to and including people buying T$ from 3rd party resellers to sell them back to us.
- Overhead. Handling a BuyBack program, especially in light of the above, is a lot of overhead. That would be more money we’d have to spend to manage the program.
- Sources of Income. Any BuyBack would be directed towards Developers, and not money you might have in your account. We don’t have any way to enforce this, and, without implementing for sort of dual in-world currency system, it would be a complex and error prone undertaking to track.
I know that some people believe we “promised” a BuyBack program, but that’s not what we did. We said we would implement a way for Developers to get a real $ benefit from their work, and that’s the plan.