Aaron Rudderham

XP Ideas and Suggestions

So as most of you are probably aware CGCookie rewards its users with XP for doing things such as giving/receiving likes, interacting with streams, rating exercises and a myriad of other things. However, as of typing this it doesn't have much of a purpose, other than a a showcase of your dedication to the website. Through talking to both users and teachers of this site I've learnt that the desire for XP to be more meaningful is there (though if you're okay with it right now that's perfectly fine), so I propose that this thread be the main place we discuss our ideas to what we can spend it on/earn it from.

One thing I like the idea of is the badges, which is a little symbol you get on your account for completing certain courses, but perhaps having non-course related badges that give XP rewards for unlocking them (for example, get a badge for obtaining a collective 50 loves, or for participating each week in 3 workshops). Then, being able to display said badges on our accounts could be a neat idea as well.

One thing I remember theluthier suggesting is that with a certain amount of XP you could get a private critique lesson. Admittedly this was said quite a while ago and I'm not too sure how that'd work, unless there were schedules or something akin to that, but it's an idea worth entertaining. 

There are also some small cosmetic things you could possibly have, such as having themes for our profiles or even "nicknames" under our avatars in the forum, something silly like that.

That's about all I can think of for now. I encourage you all to give your ideas and discuss the pros and cons of each. Of course there's nothing wrong with believing that XP isn't very important (which I would kinda agree with, as we're all here primarily to learn) but hey, more fun things to do and more incentive for certain people to learn and interact with others seems pretty cool.

Thanks for your time!

  • I like the idea of having nicknames under our profile. It would be kind of like on Nitrotype, a website to improve typing accuracy and speed.

    I think CGC's badge system is good how it is.

    You could probably have live streams that will only let you in if you have a certain amount of xp. It would however, make so you don't have to get people who are just starting up to speed with it. You would be able to skip most of the first part of the stream, like saying the rules of the streams and things like that, because the ones who have the xp already know that. But I don't know if a social class system is what you want.

    It would be really cool and helpful to have a private critique for getting a certain amount of xp.

    These are my thoughts on the subject.

  • Hmm, I'm not sure how to best utilize the XP system.  I'll have to have a think as to what I would like to trade for XP.

  • Oh my that's a great question! I also have to think about it though..

  • You could also purchase more XP in order to get a better ranking ... wait no it's called pay-to-win and it's terrible  :D

    Joke aside I like the idea of boosting the XP experience. I'd like to keep it as a "fun" part of the learning process so I'm not very interested in earning lessons/additional access. That's what all users  pay for imo.

    But getting more visibility on the badges, nicknames / grades would be interesting and could give more credit to the "elders of CGC". It can be convenient for new members to directly know who to reach based on their XP.

    So more visibility at least would be a plus.

  • I would be in support of boosting the XP system, the only problem is what do we get with more XP? If parts of the site or particular tutorials are locked to only "high level" users based on XP, then an experienced artist trying out CGC only has access to "low-level" tutorials and makes CGC less appealing overall. If the rewards are restricted to gimmicks then attaining more isnt attractive either.

    One option could be to structure the gallery like artstation, where users with higher levels are "pro" users and are easier to find on the site or have more control on the gallery or get more attention on gallery or forum posts. The issue with that is new users can feel excluded and theres a huge amount of development required to implement a gallery organization algorithm.

    Maybe if users have high enough XP they can start authoring videos? Just a thought.

  • I was contemplating this topic on my way home from work, and hopefully I am able to express them coherently now. I think that "spending" or "trading" XP is the wrong way to view it! Would that mean that some XP would be subtracted after "spending"? Saying that reaching a certain level of XP could give you some kind of privilege would be more accurate, but to a certain degree I still see some issues with that. I love the badges and the ranking and all that. Watching videos and tutorials, answering questions, joining live streams etc could earn you XP just like it is now. It indicates how active someone is on here, and the more XP someone has, the more experience with this community they also have. I'm not sure what more XP could be good for, except for maybe limit some things for a user (nothing critical to the CG Cookie membership of course!), but more like....what kind of exercises you could grade and so on. Since the courses are divided into difficulty levels, perhaps you would need a higher amount of XP to properly grade the more advanced stuff. And maybe find other things in the same spirit to this.

    So what about things like a private critique lesson etc.? XP doesn't indicate success or even hard work. Because you could easily just open every course on here and just click "watched" and guess your way through the tests and gain a whole bunch of XP and then get all those "privileges". (Not sure why anyone would be so bored, but who knows!) So instead, let's introduce the "cookie"! So what's the cookie you say? It could be seen as a kind of community currency that could be spent on different "privileges". I have joined a few (although those are free) programming communities where you complete a whole bunch of challenges and contests and you earn coins. With those so called coins you can "buy" things to help you if you get stuck with some challange/exercise, or even in some cases (if you collect a really large amount of coins) can get a free T-shirt with their logo. While those examples wouldn't necessarily work here, they might give some ideas as to what could be done. Different privileges could cost different amount of cookies and you could pick and choose how to spend.

    While watching videos and participating in general on the website could earn you some XP, completing exercises and winning contests and other similar things that actually would require REAL work and effort could earn you XP plus some cookies. Smaller amount for a simple lower level exercise and more for advanced stuff, and then a bigger amount for the top 3 of a contest, get your stuff marked as "Staff Pick" etc. This could be taken much further. But the key point here is, it should never interfere with the normal membership or there will always be some backlash.

    So buying a private critique lesson, maybe get some "upgrades" for your profile page, a t-shirt or a mug or whatever "merchandise" whether real or virtual. I'm sure you guys will have tons of better ideas than I can come up with at the moment. So basically XP is for participation and being active in the community and learning, cookies are for effort and using what you have learned by actually creating something.

    ...I feel I'm forgetting to mention something, but anyways, these are my main ideas on this topic. And I'm sorry for the long post.

  • thebergh I like the way you think 


  • Just remove XP.  It's pointless.

  • williamatics that's just one mans opinion. For me it's stimulation to be more active.

  • Something came up in the stream today where we talked about crowdsourcing rendering power.  Maybe using a combo of the things suggested, XP could give you coins and then you can use those coins towards fast renders.  We could trade coins around to people who help others with rendering scenes, maybe.

  • I like the idea of the coins. Also the private critique would be a fun system :) 

  • I liked when below my avatar it said "Author" in a blue tag, I didn't know why it was there but I felt like I had written a best selling book in the new york times. I was ready to sign non existing copies. Imagine if I could unlock those tag kind of super powers. 

  • dostovel indeed been able to earn a title also is cool. Like what youre good at :) 

  • Reading these responses have really been giving me some ideas. One thing I will definitely say - as others have pointed out - is that XP (or whatever expendable currency we may get) should not be trade-able for learning, as that's the site's core premise and I feel gating some of that off would damage what the site is about.

    I especially like the idea of an alternative currency earned via more difficult means such as participating in classes, winning competitions, submitting work to the gallery, etc and being able to spend that on cosmetic things like profile upgrades. I think merch would be pushing it as CGCookie used to have a merch store and it doesn't seem to be around anymore but hey I'll save up for two years if it means I can get a Melvin plush.

    The render farm thing also strikes me as very intriguing, as it's something we've desperately wanted at some point, staring at a 20 hour long render time, so using that to earn/spend said currency would also be a great idea in my opinion. I know there's websites that already do that but having it integrated into the website seems not only more convenient but due to the potentially increasing benefits of earning currency it may have more active users.

    A small thing but maybe having each XP level have a title, or displaying a "Member Since X" under our forum avatars would be nice as well? Might give newer members an idea of who to turn to when it comes to this site and what it offers. Just a thought.

  • crew

    We've discussed XP and how it's used on the site quite a bit. I can't speak for the technical side of things for implementing it on the site, but we have discussed general ideas on how it could be used. I personally wanted to have a set of badges that members could acquire from doing specific things on the site such as watching all the animation courses would give them an Animator Badge or something like that. Grading enough exercises and they'd get a badge for that, and they would appear in their profile page like a rack of medals.

    Having a system for using acquired XP is probably not something that would happen. Unless we have a complete site economy for using this as some sort of currency on the site I just don't see that happening. 

    Having unique profiles, or nicknames is far more reasonable and something that could possibly happen. The crew already have special profile photos that denote we are crew, so something like that is already implemented.

    One thing that I liked from the Bodybuilding.com forums is the "rep" system they had. If you had a high rep count you had a green bar below your name in your posts, if not it showed up red. Reputable members who gave good advice and were generally good members of the community had high rep counts. Those who were giving out bad advice or just being trolls had negative rep. You could give and deduct rep points from members which was a fun interactive way to reward members for good posts.

    The points for a render farm is a unique idea and might be something that could possibly be done, although I'm not sure of the logistics of how that would work. dbrown Might be able to answer a lot of these questions. 

  • I really like the badges and rack of medals on your profile idea 😊

    thecabbagedetective I also want a Melvin plush! Though I think your right that turning in alternate currency won't be a thing, especially not for merch.. don't see that happen but the idea is awesome 😎