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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Yeah. The definition of CAVCON 5 has evolved significantly between when that initial post was first written and now.

CAVCON 5 was originally conceived along the lines of, "OK. We have some extra funds that we can put toward little things once in a while."

However, it soon became clear that CAVCON 5 was being interpreted as a bigger commitment than that, so with the expectations raised for CAVCON 5, the requirements to declare CAVCON 5 were also raised. Rand explained this a bit at Mysterium that year - we won't take the move to CAVCON 5 lightly.

Currently, the jump to CAVCON 5 requires an act of congress (by 3/4 super majority vote), the ashes of a red heifer, and sustained world peace.

Seriously, though, it requires:
A) a demonstration that funds will be adequate to sustain regular minor updates (and the increased expenses they would entail)
B) Cyan to be in a position where we have the resources (i.e. people, time, etc.) to make regular minor updates to MO:ULa.

The best way for you all to help is with A): say, 6 months or so in a row at 4.7 - 4.9. Having frequent months that are taking out of the reserve, or only adding a small amount to it does not make for the stability needed to make the commitment to regular minor updates. Expenses are currently at a bare minimum - server costs, a few hours here and there for Chogon, Tor'i, and a ResEng once in a while. Expenses will rise quickly if there are added hours for a programmer and/or artist that would be needed for those updates. The Powers That Be are not going to want to commit to additional expenses when we've been frequently dipping into the reserves even with expenses at a minimum.

B) is out of your (and to some extent even our) control.

To be fair, we have done some things that fall under the original definition of CAVCON 5 even without ever hitting it.

Summary - the best thing you can do, and can be done with the information currently provided with no guesswork required, is to keep those numbers in the high 4 range for as many months in a row as possible. All funds donated toward MO:ULa only go toward paying MO:ULa expenses. That money is not being used for anything else. So the more money coming in for MO:ULa, the better off MO:ULa will be, either in keeping the servers up longer, or in person-hours for updates.

Hope that helps.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:18 pm 
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Thank you, O Sage of Cyan, for your further elucidation.

(now if only I could get some of MY questions answered...)

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:17 pm 
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ventris wrote:
Thank you, O Sage of Cyan, for your further elucidation.

(now if only I could get some of MY questions answered...)

Get in line. I sent an e-mail to him on August 12th and have given up hope of ever receiving a reply.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:14 am 
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Hah! August 12th of what year?

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:42 am 
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1066 AD!

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:45 am 
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Thanks for the explanation, RAWA!

And to folks who haven't always gotten responses to your inquiries directed at RAWA, Rand, or any other Cyantist... please do not take it personally when they respond to someone else.

Look at the relationship other game companies have with their fans. If you've only ever really known Myst and Cyan, you might not have the experience or knowledge upon which to make such a comparison... but I can safely say that many companies do not have anywhere near the closeness to their fan communities that Cyan has with theirs.

Is it perfect and all roses and sunshine? No. I'd be whitewashing if I pretended that neither Cyan nor the fans have ever made mistakes. But I think we have a better than average relationship with Cyan than many other groups.

I've had questions directed at Cyan answered sometimes, and go unanswered other times. It happens.

Back on topic: Now that we have some empirical data (that is happily not far off from Mac_Fife's from-the-ground-up cost estimate), and now that we have RAWA's clarification... let's revisit:

How do we get to CAVCON 5 (revised)

RAWA put forth 2 criteria, one of which we cannot control. So focusing on the one we can affect, it appears we need more consistency in donations month to month. RAWA suggested CAVCON 4.7 through 4.9 (170% to 190% of expenses).

To put that into real numbers, we need something like 80 people donating $10 a month, or 40 people donating $20 a month. Consistently.

Now that we understand this... can we make this happen? If we believe it is possible, and if we want to do this, what steps can we take to make it happen?

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Last edited by Marten on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:57 am 
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Creative Kingdoms

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Marten wrote:
...it appears we need more consistency in donations month to month.

Gosh... That sounds soooo familiar... Can't quite put my finger on it.. Maybe a trip to Er'cana... That always helps my memory.

Marten wrote:
Now that we understand this... can we make this happen? If we believe it is possible, and if we want to do this, what steps can we take to make it happen?

Is the donation system allowing periodic email reminders yet? If it is, remind folks to click that checkbox, or whatever. If not, perhaps a fan website could implement a voluntary reminder signup page for an email with whatever frequency of reminder they choose. For that matter, I use Outlook, which comes with a quite functional calendar and appointment/reminder system. Folks could be encouraged to just create recurring appointments to donate to MOULa - provide instructions with graphics on how to do it. Emails can also be sent to Outlook that automatically enter these appointments for people. That's something else a website could do with a single email that remains effective forever.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:43 am 
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PayPal will let you set up an automatic monthly payment. That's what I've done.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:42 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
Marten wrote:
...it appears we need more consistency in donations month to month.
Gosh... That sounds soooo familiar... Can't quite put my finger on it.. Maybe a trip to Er'cana... That always helps my memory.
Marten wrote:
Now that we understand this... can we make this happen? If we believe it is possible, and if we want to do this, what steps can we take to make it happen?
Is the donation system allowing periodic email reminders yet? If it is, remind folks to click that checkbox, or whatever. If not, perhaps a fan website could implement a voluntary reminder signup page for an email with whatever frequency of reminder they choose. For that matter, I use Outlook, which comes with a quite functional calendar and appointment/reminder system. Folks could be encouraged to just create recurring appointments to donate to MOULa - provide instructions with graphics on how to do it. Emails can also be sent to Outlook that automatically enter these appointments for people. That's something else a website could do with a single email that remains effective forever.

Again, JWPlatt, you're nailing it, so, what you're saying is, where there is a will there is certainly a way ... :P

Where I cannot put my finger on, cool phrase lol, no really, what I do not really get is, when I have a passion, a deep and special love even, when I'm spending as much of my time as possible in whatever virtual environment/reality/computer game, which I even call my home or second home, and when it sometimes happens that the server is down for only a day or two and I'm already experiencing kinds of withdrawal symptoms, when my life and my thinking and feeling are so imbued with whatever passion or love like for URU/MOUL/MYST/D'ni and the community in this case, then why do I need someone else or any impersonal service or facility to remind me of contributing my share to keep this dream alive, when I know that it absolutely depends on such contributions ... I, of course, already considered all those who can absolutely not afford this, like some youngsters or students, unemployeds etc. into the equation, and I believe that those with more at their disposal, and there are those actually, and ready to share will compensate this ... So, it seems it really and only comes down to get this all onto a consistent level ... :D

It is great, TOOO, that you would post this here again, I knew I saw this automatic payment option for Paypal being available somewhere, but couldn't remember ... :)

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:06 pm 
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Can the reminder be set up if you do not have a PayPal account?

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Marten wrote:
And to folks who haven't always gotten responses to your inquiries directed at RAWA, Rand, or any other Cyantist... please do not take it personally when they respond to someone else. <snip> I can safely say that many companies do not have anywhere near the closeness to their fan communities that Cyan has with theirs. <snip> we have a better than average relationship with Cyan than many other groups.
It is precisely because of this extraordinary relationship that we feel comfortable poking at them like this on occasion. For the fans who have been around for awhile, I think it's more of an old, inside joke than a serious complaint. At least that was my intention.
From my post to the Thank You, Cyan site:
Tai'lahr wrote:
But, most of all, thank you for developing a special relationship with the fans which is the foundation on which this incredible community is built. Although we often ask for more communication from you, I understand it’s not easy walking the fine line between maintaining the connection and spoiling us, but your loyal fan base would indicate that you’ve managed to find that balance.

Back on topic: Yes, PayPal has an option to make automatic monthly payments, but what about the people who aren't sure they can make a payment every month or their payment might vary from month to month? A simple reminder with a link to the Donate button would let them make that decision each time.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:27 am 
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So, automated reminders. That's one thing we can work on. It's something of a technical solution to a particular problem.

What else can we do? How can we support (but not pressure) others in stabilizing CAVCON?

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:57 am 
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More fan content and code update activity to keep public interest. But the catch is that it costs CAVCON to make CAVCON.

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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:41 pm 
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janaba1 wrote:

It is great, TOOO, that you would post this here again, I knew I saw this automatic payment option for Paypal being available somewhere, but couldn't remember ... :)


You can't get rid of me that easily, janaba! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha...

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Murinna (the mermaid) 2484723
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 Post subject: Re: CAVCON Meter
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:46 pm 
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JWPlatt wrote:
More fan content and code update activity to keep public interest. But the catch is that it costs CAVCON to make CAVCON.


So what you're saying is, we need a Perpetual CAVCON-Generating Machine...

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