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Question for Devs and/or Token Artists

1367202575
Forge
Plus
I have a question for the devs (or maybe the artists) regarding tokens in the marketplace. I love the fact that there seems to be a good community of artists that have started to engage with the roll20 marketplace.  Many of them are doing really great work too.  I really want to be able to support them.  However, I'm finding that the fundamental paradigm of how the marketplace is organized (20-ish tokens in each $5.00 set) is creating an artificial barrier for me.   All of the sets are really great, but, I'm finding that I'm usually only interested in one or two tokens from a particular set.  I really WISH I could afford to buy them all, but... I can't.  I'd like to have some way to pick and choose what I buy to help manage cost, but, I'm more than happy to pay for such high quality work. My question is this:  would it be possible to use a micro-transaction paradigm with these things?  Or, alternately, somehow allow us to buy tokens a-la-carte?  I'd be a really happy camper if I could pick and choose to build my own set of tokens.  Heck, I might even pay a little premium to do that cause in the long run I'd actually be getting more for my money.  In other words, I'd rather spend $10 on 20 tokens I _know_ I'll use that spend $5 on 2 tokens I know I'll use and 18 that will never see the game table. Does anyone else feel the same way?  Or am I an oddball here?
1367203847
Konrad J.
Pro
API Scripter
I'm sorta the same way.  The packs are all really nice, but they do only have a few tokens at a time that I'm really interested.  I bought all of Devin Nights Kickstater tokens though and am thinking of supporting Fred Lang's efforts even though his current tokens I don't have a lot of use for right now.  There are a lot of tokens of Orcs, Goblins, etc., but I would use those more in lower levels. I think a pack that would be really great is a high res beautiful pack of typical Adventurers.  Fighters, Monks, Clerics, etc.  THere are a bunch on the marketplace right now, but the style is a bit dated at the moment.  I'd like to see some updated ones. :)
1367206029
Lorien Wright
Pro
Marketplace Creator
I'm working towards releasing some fantasy genre tokens similar to the Galactic Grunts pack I did.  I'll try to keep the input presented here in mind as I work on the sets.
1367235090
Fred Lang
Marketplace Creator
Forge, we Marketplace creators are restricted to $4.99 as the lowest price we can charge for content, so that's the baseline no matter what is in the pack.  As I understand it, this is primarily due to the charges that credit card transactions charge per purchase.  Roll20 did the calculations and worked out a minimum price at which those charges don't eat too far into the actual profit for each sale.  A ton of $1 sales, each with an attached percentage or flat fee per purchase would not be feasible for the Roll20 folks. There are other voluntary reasons why that $4.99 is in place, but I think the hard-and-fast numbers reason is those darned transaction fees that Roll20 has to pay. Hope that sheds a little light on it--and I'm not a Roll20 employee, so consider my response an interpretation of how I understand things from the content provider's point of view.
1367237095
I agree with Forge. There are a few packs e.g. Orcs or Goblins where the pack makes sense. But a lot of packs contain mostly things that exist in a sourcebook but not in my imagination. Even an adventurer pack is going to contain 'classes' that don't fit my setting.  If you compare it to actual tin/plastic, how many companies sell 'sets' and what do they put in them. I would say few and they only sell as 'starter sets' I am not as concerned with the cost as I am with filling up my library with stuff I wont use. (If I could tag it as 'not relevant' and have the search exclude it then that might be OK). Others may be looking at the VFM angle particularly if they want to buy lots of tokens! Single token packs may be difficult for the market place but the option of smaller sets would be a good thing.  Edit - Just read Fred Lang post so I see why we can't have 'smaller sets'    PS I like the new undead pack! Perhaps the artists might consider selling the same items in different size packs for different things e.g. big packs for NPC/monsters that come in packs/gangs, small sets for a particular use, character blister with chat avatar/poses/equipment choices/mounted. I would rather have a fighter with options ( adventurer gear/mounted pose/carrying torch/etc) + avatar than have a collection of fighter + illusionist + anti-paladin + talking badger + .... ...   well a talking badger would be cool but you get the idea anyway.
What about a system whereby we could choose our OWN 20 tokens/objects from an artist to include for the $4.99? A sortof grab-bag approach?
1367244782
That's a great idea, Paul! I would like to hear from the Devs if that is a possibility, although I'm afraid that distributing the $4.99 to each artist would incur further costs to Roll20 anyway - which would be a problem. Also, I've noticed that the only way to buy tokens at the Marketplace is by using a Credit Card. I thought that maybe by including the option of using Bitcoins or Paypal would cut these extra costs associated with the Credit Cards, making the idea of buying a smaller amount of tokens or a grab-bag more feasible.
1367259352
Forge
Plus
@Fred -- I suspected that credit card fees were the likely culprit behind the current paradigm.  I love Paul's idea of creating our own sets.  I understand that it would create extra work on the back end for roll20 (and it might also require a bit of trust from the artists that roll20 is correctly reporting sales), but, I think it would really increase the amount of buying in the marketplace.  Like I said in my OP, I would be willing to pay a premium for the ability to pick and choose what tokens were in my set.  I'll gladly pay $10 for 20 tokens that I know I'll use. One interesting side benefit of this is that it would provide the artists with near real-time data about which of their tokens are being purchased, perhaps helping them to better refine their products and offer things that the marketplace wants.
1367261628
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
These are all things we're interested in.  As any Marketplace creator can tell you, there actually was a "sell individual item" option we coded, we just haven't found a way to make it a financial reality.   We may someday resort to a "Microsoft Points" style system, which would allow some more breathing room for these sorts of transactions, but we're some ways off from doing that.
1367264615
Forge
Plus
@Nolan: The points idea is actually a really good one!  Normally I think those are annoying, but, it makes sense in this context.  I would totally be down with that.
If a points system could be integrated into the gifting subscrpition system AND the marketplace, we're on to something.
1367368768
Lorien Wright
Pro
Marketplace Creator
Forge said: The points idea is actually a really good one!  Normally I think those are annoying, but, it makes sense in this context.  I would totally be down with that. I agree.  Transaction fees are, as I understand it, the primary reason why most micro-transaction sites, like those on Facebook, use a points based system.  Microtransactions simply don't work with credit cards cause the seller ends up giving more money to the card company than they can afford to. Unfortunately, a points based system comes with its own collection of logistical headaches to overcome before work could even begin on implementing it. But if Roll20 ever does, I'm sure there are lots of artists (myself included) whom would be happy to specially tailor new packs to the system.
1367681965
Devin N.
Pro
Marketplace Creator
I like the idea of individual token sales as well. I am considering doing this on my site. It would be easier for me to do it than Roll20 because I can gather the tokens by hand and send them to an email address. SO the system would not be automated. As far as characters/avatar I have 200 character tokens that I just haven't found the time to release yet. I have to fix some sizing issues on my existing packs but the character packs will eventually be on the marketplace.
1367783266
Forge
Plus
Devin N. said: I like the idea of individual token sales as well. I am considering doing this on my site. It would be easier for me to do it than Roll20 because I can gather the tokens by hand and send them to an email address. SO the system would not be automated. As far as characters/avatar I have 200 character tokens that I just haven't found the time to release yet. I have to fix some sizing issues on my existing packs but the character packs will eventually be on the marketplace. Devin, I'd be really interested in knowing if/when you get this up and running.  You're one of my favorite artists in the marketplace. How will we know if you ever do this?
1367806375
Devin N.
Pro
Marketplace Creator
I don't like spamming the forums about my work, but I'm sure I will make a bit of noise when I get them in the marketplace. :)
Would you please spam the forum when you have some Lovecraftian/Cthulhu Monsters and appropriate 1920's humans?:)