The next Home Base update will be coming later in March!
*Please read this entire post before commenting*
We are adding Content Creation features to Home Base. This will include an updated forum called the Newsfeed where you will be able to write and share posts, respond to others, and heart your favorites. You will also be able to create comics! The comic creator will contain tons of images from our series - you can mix and match it and add your own text. Will there be caption contests? Heckin’ yes.
Phil will officially hand things over to his son, Phil Jr aka Lil Phil
Along with content creation comes an entirely new moderation system built into Home Base. You’ve already seen this a little bit with the chat. With this new system, we have control over what is and isn’t shared within Home Base in a more hands-on way. There will be a new filter as well as a dedicated human mod squad who will read and approve or remove your posts.
This means there will be far fewer confusing or mistaken filtrations, as we'll have a better understanding of context. When there are mistakes we can update the filter easily, as you've already seen us do when book terms or in-game terms get blocked in chat. This change is something I’m really excited about - and you’ve been waiting a long time for something like this.
Ok...what does this mean for the current forums?
This has been a long discussion amongst everyone on the team who’s been a part of the forums for the near decade they’ve been around. In the end, it became clear that the forums needed to evolve. They just aren’t working in their current state for a bunch of reasons, many of which you've unfortunately had to deal with over the years as they've gotten older and older. This meant either getting rid of them entirely, building new forums on the site, or building new forums into Home Base. We decided that the future of the forums will be within Home Base, and the current forums will retire.
This is for a few reasons:
1.) The current forums are so, so old and broken in many ways that are pretty unfixable at this point. Remember that time no one could post for 12 hours for seemingly no reason? Glitchy stuff happens, and we just can’t figure it out or fix it.
2.) All the features of the forums will be in Home Base, plus more. It will also be much easier for us to change, update, and fix things in the future - it's significantly easier for us to update things within the game infrastructure than outside it. We’re looking into features like auto-messages that explain why a post was rejected, gaining/losing trust in chat so trusted players are rewarded with a freer filter, building in better video & livestream functionality on the admin-end so we can do Q&As with authors etc.
3.) Why couldn't we build updated forums outside Home Base? In the end it comes down to limited resources. Building two separate New Things instead of one unified new thing and bringing the new filter to both of them (even if we didn't have a Newsfeed in Home Base, chat is just necessary for an online game like this) would end up with both spaces feeling much worse.
One example of a new feature: you'll be able to tag your posts by series (don't worry, we will add more than this) and browse posts based on tags. A different, more helpful meaning of "filter"!
**Note: Only admins will be able to upload videos.**
At the end of March, the forums are scheduled to go into read-only mode: you will be able to go through your posts and save your work, but you won’t be able to create any new posts.
Later in the spring the entire kids site will be replaced, and the forums will be gone. I don’t have the exact date for this, but I recommend you take this month to save your work!
I know it's frustrating not to have exact dates for any of this. As soon as I have them, I'll update here, and once the Newsfeed is available, within Home Base as well.
I know some of you will be sad or mad about this, or maybe just feel conflicted. I understand. This is something new replacing what you're familiar with. That’s why we’re working really hard to make sure this feels like a natural evolution. I hope alongside the sadness you also feel excitement for the updates we're able to make and the future of all this.
I’ll be honest: at first it will be a transitionary period and it will be tumultuous. The initial Newsfeed features will seem pretty basic. There will be bugs. You’ll be annoyed that we couldn’t keep the web forums around simultaneously until we have all the kinks worked out. There are some of you who might have more trouble accessing the game than the web forums. We recognize all these things. Will it be more frustrating than when Phil doesn’t let any of your posts through for half a day? It might be, at times. It’ll take a few months, but we’ve devoted our team to the future of Home Base, making it more accessible, and making it, well, awesome. It will be worth it.
I’m a nerd so I think of this like upgrading to an advanced class in a role-playing game: you’re starting over at level 1 so the beginning is rough, but by the end you’re much stronger than you ever would have been if you’d stayed as the early class. Then you can defeat the ancient evil and save the world. That’s my metaphor and I’m sticking to it.
If you decide this change is just too much and you move elsewhere - you’ll be missed, and I hope you've made some great memories in this place (and come back to visit sometimes!) I also completely understand if the transition itself is too stressful to be around for, but you come back once things have settled a bit.
While this will be a blank slate for you to pioneer, you have months if not years of experience being part of this community. You can grow this new space on the foundation of what you’ve all built here, and I’d love your help in getting it ready. Any tutorials on creating original characters, RPs, worldbuilding, general writing tips, etc. that you want to share once the Newsfeed is launched - please do. I hope you bring your current RPs, FWRPs, stories, and chat threads into Home Base so you can continue them there. We're on this new journey together and I'm here to be your voice to the rest of the team. Any concerns, feedback, etc. please let me know.
I’m sure you’ll have questions about this, please ask away!
Here's what you can expect:
**Note: Your avatar will go above your username by your post. It won't just be empty white space.
In the Newsfeed you can:
-View your own posts
-View most recent posts
-View your friends posts
-Filter posts by content type and book series
Beyond this update, we're planning:
-Home Island: Exactly what it sounds like, this is your personal Home Base in Home Base! You’ll have a house you can decorate with a new suite of furniture items we’ll be adding. You’ll have your own personal bookcase where you can add books you want to remember to read, that you’ve read, and that are your favorites. You’ll be able to invite friends over!
-Author events: Over the summer, we’ll be bringing authors in and having events in game. Whether it’s a video, a Q&A, them hanging out in the chat with you, or something else, you’ll get to interact with them in a whole new way.
-New islands: We’ve got some new islands in the works, which means new characters and events!
-New games: Some new WoF, Bad Guys, I Survived (and more!) minigames are in the works. They’re pretty darn fun and the game mechanics are all ones I think you’ll enjoy a lot. Some are types of games I’ve seen folks ask for so again, I think you'll be happy with the new minigames :)
-New items: over 50 new items for your avatar are coming in the new two months, better start saving up those tokens now. And then of course you can look forward to more over the summer + furniture items for your house!
-Some kind of Shrubbery Appreciation Outfit (Soon™)
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Wings of Fire Book #12: The Hive Queen....it's out now!!
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