June Happenins and July Changes

Posted 1 July 2021, 13:02:04 PDT by Starbask

Hi everyone! We're here to bring everyone up to speed on what's up as far as wrapping up activities this past month and changes to the group this July.

June's Spring Summer Splash Event

The moderator event has come to a close but as the last news post stated, we'll be wrapping up the Overwild (Aquatic) tail raffle this upcoming Saturday, July 3rd. Please be sure to double check your form was submitted. We'll be rolling the raffle in our group discord.

We'd like to extend a big thanks to everyone for your participation this past month in showing your support for our mods, wether it was through kind words shared or directly supporting our sales.

Prompt & Questing Changes & Group Activities!

For those of you who've been following Manaberry's patreon updates you might already know she's been working with the mod team to get some more autonomy in areas, including some quality of life suggestions we had for our written monthly prompts and questing acts.

Starting in July...

You'll see the bonus wordcount for our usual monthly prompt will drop down to be 900 words (opposed to the old 1200 words). Questing acts will mirror this change, dropping down to be 900 words per written act as well (opposed to the old 1000 words). Our mini-requirements when standalone are roughly 300 words, and when we break things down into smaller pieces 300 words is typically the number we're using. So for consistency and to make things a bit easier for future opportunities, for prompts, and questing alike this is a change we're hoping will help in the long run.

Two new prompts available called "Monthly Regular" prompts. (Maybe not the best naming choice but it's the content that matters right?) These prompts will be open long term, unlike our standard "Monthly" prompt, and will allow for 1 submission per month for a little extra currency. Please be sure to read the details for these prompts when they come out as they vary a bit in terms of what currency you're able to earn, requirements, and so on. That said they should sound familiar! The prompts are...

  1. [MR-001] Regional Scenery
  2. [MR-002] Gift Giver

You can find them under our "Monthly Prompt" category alongside our standard monthly prompt entry.

Please keep in mind this is just a first small step. We will continue to take it slow as we get a feel for how our changes are impacting the group and workload on the moderator end.

On the group activity front...

We're also wanting to take a crack at doing activities for small amounts of currency on the side more regularly, however some of this is dependent on some areas of the site being adjusted. So while it's something we want to do we'll have to tread a bit carefully about what we do and how much until those site adjustments are in place. We have intent to do something this month but it may take a little bit longer to roll out compared to the monthly prompt.

Event Planning & The Website

Things have been pretty busy behind the scenes. As mentioned above Manaberry has been working with the mod team (mainly with communications through Starbask/Nai) to see what we can do to get some forward movement in areas of the group. Event planning is one of these areas. The mod team has had quite a bit of autonomy in this space already, but some aspects that were previously needing approval from Mana are now ok'd for Nai to coordinate with the team on. This just means you may see some subtle changes to guest sale trait allowances or activities/puzzles mixed into some events.

We also have some other relatively important news on the website front and we want to keep everyone in the loop. As we evaluate things we want to do down the road we're taking steps in that direction on the website as well. The last week or two has involved some questions put out to the wonderful Cy, who developed our site.  Currently we're aiming to have some work and updates done on the website some time early August, sooner if time and availability permits.

"Ok so what's that mean Nai?" Well, that just means a few things...

July may be a bit slow on some fronts. We've made small steps in what we think is a good direction to prompts and a few other areas. These changes are intentionally small. This is in part so we can see what the impact is on our workload, but also to try not to complicate the site or add more deadlines than necessary during a period of time when website development work might happen.

Typically we would already have started planning some late summer/fall events by now, having them planned a month or more in advance is ideal but we're running a little behind. We wanted to get a handle on what sort of updates were feasible and which ones we wanted to move forward with. So we've been trying to get an idea of the timeline for our website work before diving too deep into event planning and setting deadlines months out.

With the website updates falling around the same time we would typically be having Starfall Faire, we'll be treading a bit carefully and Starfall Faire may be a little smaller this year due to it! The sort of changes we're looking to make to the website aren't negligible. There are some really neat features we'd like to see on site as a result of these updates, however our site is heavily customized already for how this species runs and we've already done a lot of small quality of life changes in the past that make updates potentially more tricky.

It's incredibly helpful to have the same very capable developer that built and modified our lorekeeper site present for future updates. When you do custom work on a site inherently it means you run some risk of other parts of the site that are currently functional, possibly breaking or ending up buggy as a result of changes or updates. With that in mind...it's daunting to say the least. You may experience some down time or maintenance periods in August to make sure the site is set up to work the way we want it to. As August gets closer we'll try to get an idea of when some of these periods may be if they're necessary.

It has taken us a while to dive into these site questions. Figuring out how changes will impact workflows or what they will mean for the group site as a whole is a job in itself too. Our hope though is that once these updates are done we'll be able to do some pretty neat stuff in the group. We're really looking forward to it and we hope you are too but as always we hope you'll be patient with us as we navigate this. The site work may mean having to be flexible or shuffle around some of our usual processes and adapting takes time.

Guest Artist Applications

Since we're getting back into some event planning if you haven't submitted a guest artist application in a while, or want to update your existing application, this is a gentle reminder our application form is always open and we revisit it over time! Simply visit our Guest Artists Applications page on site and you'll find a link to the form and guesting info there. You'll need to be logged into your google account to edit an existing form if you've submitted an application to us once already.

If your application is over a few years old and predates the google form's creation we highly recommend submitting an updated application to the form. A lot can change in a few years and we want to be sure our info is up to date. Some of the older forms (back before we used a google form) were missing some fields that indicated user preferences. So they're not very helpful at highlighting what types of events or sales some previous applicants may be interested in.

Thank you again everyone for the continued patience. We'll provide further updates as we work through updates to the group! ^^b