cannot stress enough how important this is to the longevity of dfs. you must have a private contest system where the creator has great freedom to customize buy in but most importantly, as knova has said above, the system must allow game creators to have confidence that if the contest doesnt fill it will STILL GO AHEAD and just recalibrate the prize pool when it goes live.
This was the single biggest reason custom contests largely failed on the old platform.
If i create a game say for 5 people at $50, and we all spend our time making our teams, preparing for the banter of the weekend etc etc, and one of the five doesnt put his team in, then no rake for ds, no fun for the players. sooooo much better to have a system where the game would just recalibrate the prize pools. no one has an issue with this on the custom game front.
It would also allow for innovative contests created by players that could become quite popular. for example i could set a $8 two game friday nrl contest for 50 people with a $360 winner take all setup. without you guys having to guarantee a prize pool by creating the contest yourself (or constantly think about engaging contests in general) it would be player driven - in this example without ds having to lift a finger it could become a great weekly contest for non=nrl players to engage in nrl. who knows, $9 in for a $360 friday night could take off. so could top 3 25 man at $75 buy in. point is let the players do the work for you on this front, just make the system flexible.
id go further than knova's half-fill suggestion and just say the system needs to ensure the contest goes ahead whatever the number is, regardless of whether i create a $100 30-entrant game and only 7 of us put teams in, the system recalibrates the prize pools and goes ahead with those 7.
obviously there would need to be some default payout structures in place but if it is displayed clearly then peope know and will understand the payout structure change should the contest not fill.
its insane to have a system like the old ds where we the customers were taking time to put teams in for games that we werent even sure would fill.
a much-improved custom contest feature is an excellent way to engage new players
In addition to this, for Private Contests I'd like to be able to set them up really quickly, and only making them available to all or any friends I have linked to my account.
Longer term priority.
Ability to create custom contests that will run if at least half full (with reduced prize pool) and the ability to create the contest with the ability to grow if it fills.