The Fate of Io project uses a system of points and awards to encourage contributions and show who has put the most and best efforts into the project.
Posts to the Fate of Io web site may be awarded points. Points are awarded by the project managers to contributions that they feel are deserving.
A typical post may receive between one and three points. Larger submissions, such as music, art, or very long, involved posts (called "articles") may receive five or more. You may also receive points for making insightful comments in chat.
Points are awarded based on several factors. These include the quality of the contribution, the amount of work put into the contribution, and whether or not the contribution solves an open problem. The last point is important! If you simply draw a random picture or write some random music and upload it without thinking about where it fits in the game, you will receive no points. To avoid this, always make sure to specify exactly where and how your contribution fits in. Or, better yet, look at the current tasks forum and try to work on problems explicitly listed there.
It is also possible to lose points. If you post ad hominem attacks (that is, name-calling) or otherwise negative, hurtful posts, you may be docked points for them. If you do something really bad, like submitting work that isn't your own, you are likely to just be permanently banned.
Do not complain about points. If you think you deserve more points than you have received, you may make an appeal to the managers in private communication. Perhaps they simply missed your post, or didn't think carefully about it. However, if the managers reject your appeal, their decision is final. Do not post publicly to complain about not receiving enough points, or about someone else receiving too many points. If you do so, you will be docked points for the post. If the misbehavior continues, you will be banned.
Do not brag about points. Your point totals are displayed for others to see. However, it is not nice to brag about them, or to act like you are better than other people because you have more points. If you do, you will lose points for it. In general, you should simply avoid discussing points at all.
Once you have earned enough points, you can use them to get special rewards. At this time, there are three available rewards: Avatars, post colors, and signatures. All three rewards apply special features to your posts to show others that you are an outstanding contributor. To redeem your rewards, or to find out how many points you need for your next reward, simply edit your profile.
People with more points have more "influence" in weighted polls and ratings. For example, if you have five points and some other person has only one, then your vote in a poll will count five times as much as the other person's. Also, when ranking art and music according to ratings given by users, the system will give more weight to the opinions of users with a lot of points.
Decay Over Time
Your points don't last forever. Points are counted in two different ways: current points and total points. Total points are just what they sound like: the total number of points you have received in the history of the project. Current points, on the other hand, show how active you have been recently. If you go three months without receiving any points, your current points will be half of what they were originally, while your total points will remain unchanged.
A user's current and total points are displayed both in their profile and by their names in every post. If you see "[5/10]" by a user's name, that means the user has five current points and ten total points.
So, say you're a new contributor. You earn eight points for a really good music submission. Now your score is [8/8]. Over time, your current score will decay to [7/8], [6/8], etc. After three months, your score will be [4/8]. After six months, it will be [2/8]. Say then you write a post which receives two points. Now your score is [4/10]. It will again continue to decay. In three months it will be [2/10], and in six months [1/10].
Your influence in polls and rankings depends on your current points. So, if you want to play a big role in decision-making, you need to keep contributing regularly. On the other hand, rewards like avatars and post colors only depend on your total points. Thus, you will never lose your rewards once you have earned them.