Proposal: $PLAY Revenue Projects Developer Grant

Summary
The unmet need for things to spend Creator Coin on has increased significantly. $PLAY is working diligently to meet this need. People know the $PLAY team as very active developers and community members. We are proposing a grant of 1.2M RLY to quickly build 5 high-value projects which together could generate upwards of 3-4M RLY per month.

Background
The $PLAY team is known as a group of very active developers and community members.
Currently at nine strong today with three to four team members currently being onboarded, we are a dedicated crew and most are working full time on PLAY projects. Most team members have 20+ years of success in their areas of expertise. We have product management, engineering, technical art, audio engineering, sound FX, music production, data analysis, project management, infrastructure, marketing, and video production on the team currently.

We recently did our planning for Q3 2021, focused on revenue driving projects for the Rally Community: (Behind the Screen: Q3 Planning at $PLAY).

$PLAY team members enjoy being active in the developer community and participating in weekly Dev Calls,as well as the Community Creator Calls. Some of the names you will have seen include @davey, @ericb, @ktthekiltman, @hatboyzero, @arcanor, @hg, @robr, and @noelproulx.

Since our launch in late April, we have released projects and programs which many are familiar with and which have provided value to the Rally community.

  • RallyBook: Data analysis around Creator economies
  • Creator Voting Tool: Poll/Proposal tool for Creators Communities
  • Creator Mastermind: Community to help Rally Creators connect and share best practices/brainstorming/support. 40 Creators strong and growing!
  • LifePlay: Accepts donations and weekly Pledge donations to help kids/families attend programs, camps, outings through LifePlay grants (3 provided to date for families in need)

We have also helped some new coins launch (with more on the way!), worked with community developers on moving past hurdles, helped set up server infrastructures, explained Coin economics to new Creators, tested/debugged Rally APIs, and created the Creator Mastermind community to facilitate community Creator support/best practices/brainstorming. We’re also consulting with Rally on some major new projects and initiatives.

We’ve been spending around $10k per week on payroll. We have typically paid in $PLAY and will likely continue to do so in some form. We have been paying our core team members far below market rate.

The Need for Revenue Tools
Rally is onboarding new Creators FAR faster than tools to spend Creator Coins are being released. Considering the pace at which Rally wants to onboard Creators, this is not likely to slow. Most Creators are in need of both increased utility for their coin, and ways to view/analyze their economy to make better informed goals and decisions. Given the nature of the verticals many Rally Creators have within their purview, we’ve identified several high-value projects which the $PLAY team is motivated to launch in Q3 of this year and reasonably create a monthly influx of 3-4M RLY across the current 150-ish Creators.


Project: Creator Coin Game Platform
This system will allow $PLAY to launch and organize the development of many Unity WebGL-based games and experiences which are free, premium, or freemium, and which operate in a model similar to an App Store. Imagine an arcade game Tournament or weekly high score competition with prizes (possibly NFTs?) to stimulate community involvement.

  • MVP Features: In-App-Purchase, web-based arcade, audience interaction, Creator customizations, coin-specific leaderboards, and fraud prevention. Of note, audience interactions mentioned here go way beyond tipping to involve multiple economic tiers which truly harness the varying levels of passion in Creator/Supporter relationships. Imagine helping or sabotaging the gameplay of your favorite Creator!
  • Revenue Potential: Each casual game has the capacity to generate thousands of coin transactions per week and give supporters a new form of value exchange with which to enter a Creator’s economy, particularly during live streams. 25K RLY/Creator/Month with upside.
  • Status: In progress, demo of basic IAP has been released on RallyBook.io.

Project: Creator Auctions
Web-based auction system using Creator Coin. Similar to old-school eBay. $PLAY can provide ideas to a Creator to help them make the most of their usage.

  • Revenue Potential: Highly dependent on the nature and quantity of the items, probably good for some high-value items. Minimally, 1K RLY/Creator/Month
  • Status: MVP near release

Project: VOD Gating
Coingated transcoding and delivery system for VOD (video-on-demand) and live-stream videos with Creator Coin or Creator Coin NFTs as tickets for live events. In Netflix style (ie open catalog) and Kajabi style (ie flow content or webinar)

  • Revenue Potential: Per user revenue dependent on content value. Exciting and expansive set of use cases
  • Status: Base MVP infrastructure and POC is complete, client UI in progress

Project: RallyBook v2
Economy analysis, daily, weekly, monthly flow KPIs, and dashboard tools to help Creators create and measure activity and growth targets.

  • Revenue Potential: Additional perk for Creators to offer their community
  • Status: v1 Active for several months with 14% DAU, 37% MAU, 40% WAU. Daily, Monthly, Weekly, Active Users respectively.

Project: Creator Coin Game Jam
A Shark Tank style Pitch Contest/Game Jam for Creator Coin games using the Creator Coin Game Platform. We will be drawing upon our Game Developer community of 35k members. Teams will pitch ideas to the community, be voted on/judged, assemble teams Startup Weekend-style, and be encouraged to work with Creators for inspiration. High level of promotion with mid-week team interviews and updates.

  • Revenue Potential: No direct revenue, though we hope to incubate 3-5 casual games suitable for all Creators to utilize and onboard a few dozen more engineers into the Rally Community
  • Status: Launching last week of July

Note: We are working on some other major unlisted projects for Rally and Creators which typically are funded separately, though some have simply been “good faith”.

Fundability
After a few months, the $PLAY team has achieved a level of cohesion and cadence with daily standups, project management, new engineer onboarding, infrastructure, project specification, and productivity. It helps that most of the team has worked together in other startups or, in some cases, dozens of projects together over the last 20 years.

Our inbound pipeline for custom development work is robust, and more is on the way all the time. To meet existing demand, we need to immediately add 3-4 more Unity engineers, a senior full stack web engineer, an artist, and a designer. Additionally, we need to pay the team closer to market rate to enable them to dedicate full-time hours without needing to work on external projects.

We have already shown value to the community. You know us and some of what we can do. We have the experience, market, demand, and process, and specialized knowledge. The time to escalate and build is NOW.

The Ask
Based on the guidance provided by this forum post and recently, this proposal discussion, we are proposing a single grant of 1.2M RLY to efficiently resource, build and deploy the above named projects in Q3 (and into Q4). We’ll be using a portion of the budget to operate, host services, review coin operation regulations, market, and award Game Jam prizes.
This budget/grant does not include projects which are pure $PLAY initiatives like LifePlay.

Item Cost
Software, Game Creation Assets, Licenses, Equipment, Legal Review $37,250
Marketing, Game Jam Prizes, gameplay incentives $46,000
Infrastructure/Hosting Costs $9,000
Labor: DevOps/Infra $36,923
Labor: Game/Web Engineering $276,923
Labor: Design/Art $46,154
Labor: Operations $76,154
Total Budget $528,404
RLY Equivalent (0.45) ~1,174,231 RLY

Deliverables and Progress
You’ll follow the progress of the projects as we develop and launch through the already established channels in our Discord and weekly blog posts (This Week at Play) here: The PLAY coin blog. Actually, we probably won’t shut up about it :slight_smile:

You can also stay up to date on $PLAY by attending or later listening to the audio or watching the video of our quarterly Town Hall Meetings held in Discord.

Future
The development of the above named projects would likely precipitate a larger traditional external funding event for $PLAY when one or more of the initiatives expands past MVP into a major product.

We are grateful to be a part of this incredible Creator community and are excited to have the opportunity to play a role in its long term success. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and we welcome any and all feedback!

Yours in RALLY,
The $PLAY Team

12 Likes

This is a great idea. It is larger than some previous grants but is set up to have more near-term impact with a broader scope of tools for creators. I like the idea that the $PLAY team is building out an ongoing capability to establish long-term value for the Rally network. I also like the specificity of the budget. Having built many early stage start-ups in the past, this is an appropriate pre-seed or seed-stage team budget for building out a core capability.

It is also good that specific deliverables and time frames are outlined and the target of generating more transactions and more engagement is sorely needed. There are many use cases successfully deployed by creators for holding, distributing, and tipping, but these coin economies will be stronger if there are also more ways to use (spend) coins. It will be a tool to sustain engagement with community members around the coins. That turns out to be a bigger challenge than initial coin holder recruitment and establishing values to hold.

One thing we might consider is defining what the creators will have to pay for use of these capabilities. Will they be free? Free for a period of time? We want to maximize impact so that means we also want to minimize friction to adopt.

8 Likes

I appreciated the work $PLAY is doing but i highly suggest to reject this proposal. Rally should stay neutral and should not fund creator projects directly like that. The money is spend mostly on a game and the other projects are similar to projects the core and other teams are already building. I don’t see why we should spend 528,404$ here.

I support this proposal and actually think the requested amount is small relative to the potential value it could bring to Rally.

@Lomo while it is true $PLAY is a creator, this proposal isn’t really about them. $PLAY gains from this similarly to how Uniswap gains from the ETH-RLY LP. But in both cases I believe the benefit to the community outweighs that of the utility provider.

5 Likes

Thanks for your question @voicebot Here is how we’re thinking of pricing on the above products. The guiding principle is that these projects are meant to generate transactions that benefit the Creator. We will be releasing plenty of our own games and products which use these platforms, so we will be keeping our own pricing LOW, to cover costs and operations plus a MODEST profit.

Creator Coin Games
Most Creators will simply point their fans to their game page where all of the basic games live, and enjoy immediate transactions in their own Creator coin.

It would be free for a Creator to publish to the platform, and a revenue share with the platform if the game has transactions. You will have needed to signed up/authorized your Rally account to have your Creator page be available for the public to see (and to let us know where to send your earnings).

For example, a Creator ($BOT in this case) could have their own page on Play Arcade. All games on that page would utilize $BOT as the coin of transaction. Some games might be free, some might be “pay to play”, some might have in-game items to buy. Another Creator’s page could have the exact same games but run transactions through a different coin, with some slight customizations.

If a Creator pays for a game to be made by a 3rd party or licenses a game (whether or not $PLAY makes the game), their cost would be a small platform charge, though they might have a deal with the game developer team to split revenue as well. We can also arrange for revenue splits on the platform, similar to how itch.io does.

Auctions
Free to list, and there would be a transactional fulfillment fee based on the item, similar to eBay.

VideoGating
There will likely be a platform charge based on usage. We will be examining pricing models used by comparative services to make appropriate price tiers that pay for hosting and operations with a modest profit. I found Kajabi to be too expensive, for example, and private Vimeo as well.

@Lomo We’re not “making a game”, but rather creating a full, server-based platform and client library for Creator Coin, similar to itch.io or analogous to the App Store. We’re calling this “Play Arcade” for now. The platform and library will be available for any game developer to use. A server-based platform is needed to provide authority on things like high scores, fraud prevention, tournaments, Rally account transactions, IAP item definitions and cost controls. Creators also get to enjoy the economies of scale which come from a platform in terms of cross-marketing and lower user acquisition costs.

We will be “developer evangelizing” it with our Facebook Game Developer group and across the Indie and AAA Game Development industry. The vision is to get large and small projects (both games and non-game experiences) published quickly to benefit Creators, which includes running quarterly game jams and incubating many smaller teams across the finish line with small amounts of subsidy. A publisher… but a publisher who comes alongside strongly with decades of experience.

We’ll be showing teams and individuals how to repurpose games, running game jams, and running comprehensive analytics to understand what is working best with which types of users to help optimize pricing guidance for things like in-app-purchases. We have access to people who have steered tens of millions of $ per month in user acquisition budgets against freemium models with tremendous success. This means finding sweet spots and dialing them in.

In the process of developing it, we will have made 3-4 small Proof of Concept games. Ongoing, we plan on creating, buying, or publishing a number of web-based casual games which would be free for any Creator to offer their community and customizable in limited form via web interface with custom images, sounds, text where appropriate.

For Auctions, the effort is much smaller. For the Netflix/Kajabi VideoGate project, there may be similar efforts to coingate content, but differ substantially from what we’re working on.

5 Likes

Thanks Vooka! For audience interactive games in particular, the definition of a Creator downscales to someone playing with a small group of people watching. That could mean any average person streaming live on FB or Twitch, with a few friends watching and paying a few cents to mess with their gameplay. To help or hinder… really excited about that part :slight_smile: This means a LOT more Rally community members over time. All it will take is one reasonably popular casual game to make this explode.

5 Likes

I think this has a lot of potential as well.

My biggest question, similar to @voicebot, is if these are for-profit then how does that play out?

If we are incentivizing creators to build for the rally echo system it may make sense to identify a list of priorities and establish bounties for each priority and then allow the community to vote for the dev partner to accomplish the award.

Just a different perspective.

2 Likes

In general, I like this - and I am a big fan of what you’ve been doing DaveY. Rallybook is super dope, and you’ve been way dedicated to the network in important ways.

I am under the impression that using community treasury funds for things means that git reps need to be made available to other developers/coins on the network. In the case of bonfire, that’s a tool for every creator.

Correct me if I am wrong, but this is essentially you paying out of pocket for a bunch of community tools (everything except the game) and then asking for funding for your privately owned piece? If that is the case, it might make more sense to instead scope out the building for everything you’re doing for general network use, so that you can instead direct your internal resources into your privately owned projects.

Would you mind please clarifying which projects are for integration exclusively with $PLAY, versus which projects are planned to be used openly by all creators on Rally?

2 Likes

This is a solid initiative.

Developing more utilities like the ones listed above, including our creator and support community in the creative/implementation process, and giving creators a better sense of the macro and micro ebb and flow of our economies are vital components of making this platform keep pace with and (imho) exceed other platforms like Calaxy who rely heavily on the celebrity of their creators.

Don’t get me wrong…I want to leverage the heck out of whatever celebrity I have…but not rely on it to drive the utility, stability snd longevity of my coin.

Gamification efforts- and the simplification of tokenomics for newbies like me- as displayed by $PLAY have the potential to create a more profitable & more informed community of creators…as well as increase the efficiency of getting new creators up to speed.

7 Likes

I am a big fan of the $Play team, have checked in on many of their meetings and chatted with a lot of their members. I am a big supporter of this. I feel creators need more tools and utility to engage community and the Play team looks very capable of deploying some of these needs. In particular, I really love the idea of Creator eBay, VoD/content gating and an updated version of RallyBook.

5 Likes

It plays out like this:
You tell your fans that there is a new web game/games for them to use $GARY coin on, and compete with each other in your $GARY community for high scores, etc. Maybe you’re giving the highest score of the week 10 $GARY or awarding them an NFT they get to hold which gives them access to one of your exclusive Clubhouse events. They come and play, spending $GARY. $GARY flows from the playarcade account, to your Creator account. Play Arcade keeps a %.

We did have a Bounty program once but it was sunset in favor of developer grants. Rally has set aside 750M Rally tokens for developer programs, because Rally itself doesn’t create the tools, they create the core technology.

As far as prioritization determination goes, I personally set up the prioritization framework in setting up the rallyboards over on Canny.io. This is what inspired a couple of the projects we’re working on already! Creators have been able to post things there and upvote them in the hopes that the overall developer community would make them. However, the overall developer community remains miniscule and so those efforts tend to stall. We also have Creator calls and needs are expressed, but those efforts tend to stall.

It is my fervent hope that by enticing more developers in with both an easily recognizable game framework plugin and a game jam, we will quickly net a few dozen more eager developers into the Rally world. Our own team will grow larger as a result of this work above, and be self sustainable which means more contribution towards smaller community-sourced projects.

Naturally, any team or developer (yours included) is free to propose something useful for the community!

4 Likes

None of the projects listed here are for integration exclusively with $PLAY. Like Bonfire, these projects will be usable by any Creator.

These projects have been included in this grant proposal budget by flagging them specifically as “beneficial to community”. There is other work planned this quarter which is purely for the benefit of $PLAY; this is only a subset of our full Q3 workload which I showed in a recent blog post. It would be in poor taste to request a large community grant to build a project which $PLAY would only benefit from.

In general @robvoice, we do trying to build things so that all other Creators can use them. Like the voting tool. They’re planned to be used openly by all Creators or as perks for Creators, and most are free. They’re not free to build however, not free to host, not free to acquire and train top notch talent and deep knowledge and expertise.

To be clear, this is not a grant proposal to just go make a game. It is to build a platform by which ANY Unity Game Developer can integrate Creator Coin capabilities into a game (or web-based Unity experience, sky’s the limit there…), and a place to publish those games! It will be usable for any Creator Coin.

For any project, where costs are involved, those will be typically be captured in a simple mechanism:

  1. Transactions will first flow to an app account
  2. The cost will be extracted
  3. Creator’s earnings will be sent as a tagged Donation to their Creator account

Also, I am unfamiliar with any requirement to open source code built partially using a Rally Grant. If it is a requirement we would surely honor it to the letter!

My impression is that the Bonfire App is USABLE by any Creator, but remains PRIVATELY OWNED by the Bonfire company and is their intellectual property

8 Likes

Love how ambitious this proposal is! @davey and the $PLAY team are awesome and have been consistently providing value to the community through RallyBook and other initiatives. Gamification will be key to onboarding the mainstream into crypto, and this proposal is one step closer to that. I’m in favor of the grant!

9 Likes

I love your thoughtfulness and you answered my questions! I’m in full support of this grant and these new tools! Thank you for all you do for our community!

7 Likes

Seems legit… I’m also a bit biased, so…
giphy

4 Likes

Hi everyone! Long time lurker, first time commenter. For those of you who haven’t met me yet, I joined Rally ~2 mos ago to head up Creator Success. A big piece of how I’m thinking about Creator Success at Rally is through the lens of the ecosystem of products, services and experts that we can directly support as a community, either through grants like these, or through new business opportunities created as more and more Coins come on line. I’m also super excited about peer-to-peer resources that our community can create to lift each other up.

To the conversation above, and also some of the comments made around the Bonfire proposal, in my view, as long as devs are building a utility that is generally useable by ANY creator, it is something that is worth our support.

Whether or not it is open source, adequately documented so as to be useable by others, the fees for use are in line with Rally’s values, and even the longterm commitment and overall investment of a dev in our community are also factors to consider, but again – To me it all comes down to the overall reach and utility of the product proposal up for discussion: Will this idea provide real and lasting utility for all creators using Rally? If so, then yes, let’s build it.

12 Likes

Thanks for being such an amazing member of the community, and love the initiative and thinking here as well as addressing the questions so deeply. I’m hugely supportive!

9 Likes

YES!! Super stoked to hear your position on this - glad to have you on the team :smiley:

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Hi. Great concept. Reminds me of early Linux days. Open source but for profit co-developers (eg. Redhat) really stoked growth of the entire Linux eco system. Might be nice to consider non recourse, no interest RLY loans for developers (that retain IP) in addition to grants. Get something back and sort of incentive devs to put a little more commitment to their build out.

4 Likes

Love the thought here. I think as the ecosystem gets going, this is probably a good direction to move in.

Question – when you say non-recourse, I’d assume there’d be some significant ‘defaults’, or did the Linux community strength essentially reinforce the eventual payback?

2 Likes