Howdy! I spent this past month working on this Dapp. Unlike many of the recent copy paste ponzi games, I came up with a few interesting mechanics, if I do say so myself. I'm gonna try to explain what it does and what the philosophy behind it is.
The pit is designed as a game where players "jump in" with a certain amount of ethers in hopes of getting some more. In order to get out, however, they require the help of other players. When enough people jump in, the first player is released from the pit, with a random profit. In certain cases, that profit will be automatically split with the person who saved him (the share is also random, but in part determined by how much the other person risked). In addition, saviours get Rescue Tokens which can be turned in for additional rewards on subsequent jumps.
Another interesting feature is the Hero of the Pit. The person who saves the most people will be displayed on the website/contract (you can even set your own nickname!). Being the hero has a very nice benefit: it lets you get out of the pit without having to share your profits with others.
The payouts you get are random (within a range, by default x1.1~x1.5, up to x2 with tokens, and they are also adjusted dynamically depending on how many people there are trapped in the pit. The contract is designed to last and to keep things relatively fast (deposits are limited to 50ETH to prevent excessive greed, which is also punished to some extent by other subtle mechanics). There's also some strategy involved. Jumping in at the right time and with the right amount can make a world of difference. Combined with the random elements and incentives to play, I think it makes for an interesting mix.
In order for people to succeed, they have to rely on others, and even though the motivations are ultimately selfish, a group effort is required so that everyone can continue to earn ethers. I believe the pit metaphor reflects the situation quite well: when you jump in you don't know what to expect, but you're somewhat optimistic that you'll be able to come out with some gains; while you're in the pit you're surrounded by darkness on the outside, fear and doubt in the inside, yet you must hold on to the hope that someone else will be brave enough to take the risk and rescue you. When you come out with your profits, you feel happy and empowered, perhaps enough to jump back in (it's certainly been working great for some people).
I hope you enjoyed my post. Rather than talking about the code itself, which you can review if you're bored, I figured I'd focus on the conceptual implementation and the ideas behind the design.
Feel free to join us in the pit; the more the merrier! (we got 400+ ETH in deposits on the first day in spite of some problems with the website - still working on that, it's been a long day).
Shameless plug time:
(expect it to be very slow for the next 12~24h, using emergency host)
Contract address: 0x446d1696a5527018453cda3d67aa4c2cd189b9f6
Verified Source Code: https://etherscan.io/address/0x446D1696a5527018453cdA3d67aa4C2cd189b9f6#code
Other discussion threads:https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1415365.0https://www.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/comments/4c9gdv/thξ_greeð_pit/