In my last post, I covered a list of the major features we launched over the last six months. In this post I'll be detailing what our plans are for feature development and upgrades for 2021! 🎉
But first I want to take a moment to recognize all of you for your 💗support, 👓input, 📯feedback, 🐛bug reports, and ⭐feature suggestions. Thank you so much! PaperDemon.com is a complex beast and it's hard to know where all the problems are. So thank you for reporting them and letting us know how we can do better!
I'd also like to recognize the efforts of Shyftlock for drafting mockups of upcoming features and for communicating and collecting feedback from our partners. I'd also like to thank the Dracostryx admin team and Kassumi from Dragon's of Aquella for taking the time for meetings and reviewing documents to provide their input and feedback on our early prototypes and plans for these features. Thank you so much for helping us provide more useful tooling for the Art RPG community.
Ok! Onto the plans and priorities for 2021...
Late last year we began some ad campaigns and we've seen new people joining over the last couple months. Conversion rate on the ad campaigns was poor because we weren't clearly communicating to users what PaperDemon and an art RPG are. In January we launched a new marketing landing page to better communicate what an Art RPG is and how it can benefit artists and writers. We've already seen improvements in conversion rates, meaning more members are signing up! Soon we'll be ready to turn up paid traffic and get more eyeballs to our marketing page so we can start growing.
The main things we need to get launched before we can crank up ads are:
Launch and populate our character database so we can track characters at scale (more on that below)
Launch and iterate on a walkthrough wiki to help onboard new players through getting started with the PaperDemon Art RPG
By accomplishing these first, we can more efficiently invest our money in advertising and have the capacity to process more players.
🎲 Feature development: Easier game state tracking
These are features which are being developed not just for the benefit of the PaperDemon Art RPG and it's players, but also for our partnered Art RPGs who pay for access to these special tools for tracking Art RPG game data.
🕺 Character Database
The next thing to land will be a character database system. This will allow partnered Art RPGs and our own PaperDemon art RPG to better track player's characters and make for a much better experience for players.
Players will be able to attach items to their characters at will without having to involve an admin. Characters that belong to you will appear on a new tab on your profile page.
Admins and players will be able to browse and search characters from a given game.
Expect to see this by April 2021.
✍ Writing Tags
In order to allow trackers for writing submissions, we'll need to implement the tagging system for writing submissions. This way we can attach written submissions about a character to that character's sheet in the character database.
🎁 Other misc feature requests and improvements
I listen closely to the needs of Art RPG admins. As time goes on they'll be letting me know about things they need. Here's a few we have planned per their request.
Support html/rich text in comments because this will allow ARPG admins to post images about item drops and more for comment based queues.
Automatically send players a notification when items have been transferred to/from their item bank.
Forum usability improvements
So expect to see more feature additions like this throughout the year. If you've got a request, please drop by the #arpg-admins channel in the discord or reply to this blog post. I can't promise to deliver all or even most of your requests, but I'll at least get to the ones that are most practical and help meet the needs of most ARPGs.
We have a lot of legacy code that still needs to undergo upgrades. I have a rule that no new features can be added to legacy code. It must be upgraded before any new features can be implemented.
🎨 Art Submissions
I had promised multiple times last year that I'd make major upgrades to the art submission process and they have not yet arrived. This is because I had made a change in priorities and prioritized game features like the character database and item database in order to allow us to continue adding new game elements to the PaperDemon Art RPG.
You should see some upgrades start to launch by June 2021. Included in these upgrades will be obliterating the categories system and merging it with the tags system to make a quicker and more simpler submission process. As well as an improved tagging system with autocomplete and featured tags.
📜 Writing, Comics, Forums upgrades
As many of you have noticed, there are inconsistencies between some parts of the site. Forums, Writing and Comics sections appear in an entirely different UI. This is because they are on legacy parts of the site that need to be upgraded. The later half of this year will be spent upgrading writing, comics, and forums section with a new UI for browsing and submitting.
But I need to make the upgrades to the Art section first. Under the hood, I'll be merging the code bases for writing, comics, and art to reduce code and make it more maintainable. Once the writing section is upgraded I can then implement the tagging system for writing submissions.
✨ PaperDemon Art RPG
We've got lots of new content and mechanics planned for release. I don't want to go into detail on it as a lot could change between now and content release. But I will say we're planning to introduce more items, a premium currency, crafting mechanics, and new portals to explore.
I want to eventually have more of a game UI available to make participating in battles easier and more automated. I think that will make things very exciting. But that will have to come after we have the character database and finished migrating the forums.
We've got a lot going on and planned for this year and I can't wait to launch all these lovely goodies for you.
If you'd like to follow along with more granular updates, join the discord and click on the [white PaperDemon wing] in the #rules-and-info channel to get notified of every release. Each notification includes a detailed list of bug fixes and feature additions.
Thank you all for reading this to the end and for supporting PaperDemon!