Spring Cleaning

An informative "state of the union" style report on the current and future status of Shattered Isles. New announcements from the creators will also be listed here, such as updates and new area openings.
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Spring Cleaning

Post by Snaek » Wed May 14, 2014 2:21 pm

Spring tends to be a slow time of year for MUDs. Students are on spring break, families go on vacation when school is out, and people are excited to get out and enjoy the weather after an especially brutal winter. In April, Austere and myself took a business vacation to Seattle, WA to explore the gaming industry and get some advice and ideas for Shattered Isles. Upon returning, we felt we had a better direction laid out in front of us, and began to change some organizational things so that we can more efficiently make the most out of our time.

The structure is fairly simple. A live team dedicated to managing the IC world, including its events and scenarios. A design team responsible for the expansion of the IC world, which means adding new locations, hunting grounds, and shops. And a production team responsible for game updates and ensuring our standards are upheld when introducing new material to the world. We felt we had the pieces in places to make this happen, but before we could get it off the ground, we unfortunately saw two of our designers step down. I've debated how best to pass this news along, battling between sweeping it under the rug and pretending all is well, or being upfront and keeping you all informed. I've always sided with keeping the player base informed of major changes but this has been a difficult one. So without further delay, it saddens me to announce that both Anselm and Soigne have decided to move on. It's been a tough adjustment on our end as it is never easy to lose a staff member. This isn't the first time we've lost a staff member and most certainly won't be the last. When your positions are filled by volunteers, life is going to get in the way of game progress. It happens all the time. We are a streaky game as far as growth goes and I am happy to say that after some adjustments, we are ready to hit our next streak.

In an effort to make the most out of our time spent on the game, Austere and I, along with Gir, Meder, and Birian, will be shifting focus to managing the IC world and expanding out from Pearl. After all, we are nothing without our players so you are our first priority. Gir, Meder, and Birian will head up our design team while Austere and I devote more time to actors, events, and scenarios. May is a slow month for us while we adjust to new assignments, but we fully expect to see June return to normalcy. We realize the events calendar for May is light. We decided to skip OOC Fight Night this month while the player base stabilizes. Changes are already being made to get us back on track.

On the production side, we are going to be installing one scheduled update a month instead of several smaller ones with no consistency. This will mean larger updates, but a bit less often. This does not include small patches put in place to fix bugs that need to be addressed sooner than later due to the issues they create. Those will still come before any planned updates. We're also implementing target dates for each assignment we're currently working on. We've always avoided deadlines and crunch time because this is a part-time volunteer project, but we feel we can comfortably set dates for completion to better help ourselves stay on task, and to give you all a better time frame for when something can be expected. The same is being done for design projects.

Being efficient with our time is the only way we will recoup the loss of staff until replacements are found. In a way, there is no replacing someone like Anselm, but this also opens the door for someone with a fresh perspective to join our team and bring new challenges to the mix. I do truly believe that we'll be able to focus on the tasks at hand better going forward, and not be distracted with projects that can wait until a later time. While we are far from perfect, there are many areas of the game that fit the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality. These are issues that can be addressed in order of priority. For too long now we've let ourselves get off track in an effort to do more for select players, when all we've really accomplished is putting off the more pressing needs of the community as a whole.

So I ask that you bear with us as we bring some much needed organization to staff, and continue to support player ran events such as the fight club and emissary office hours. Your fellow gamers depend on you as much as they do us and together we can convert new players into long term members of our community. And rest assured we've heard your complaints about how some things have developed in recent months. We are aware of the bickering during Conclave meetings that has caused attendance to drop. We know you miss seeing actors about town to interact with. These suggestions have not been overlooked. You will see better from us.

As always, if you have any issues or concerns with anything IC or OOC, make use of our in game commands such as ASSIST and BUG, or email us at [email protected].

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