Heyo everyone! I hope you had a happy new year! LK weeklies will be resuming their more consistent schedule now that the holidays are winding down.
I'm really excited to get back to it. While last year was a productive year for LegendKeeper, I still feel like we could move faster and be better. This year I want to focus on two things:
- Getting more people to know about LK
- Development speed
- Quality of life improvements and polish
I think the first goal is simple: LK is a neat thing and I'd love to see more people use it! That means better sharing and collaborative tools, more interaction, etc. There's still a ton of places we can improve our presence and product for the purposes of helping more worldbuilders achieve their dreams.
The second one is also straightforward. 2022 was a productive year for us, but it also marked the first year (in 4! How the time flies!) that we really started to feel the pain from technical debt. Technical debt is implementation decisions made in the years prior that trade fast development immediately for slower development later. In my opinion, it's generally a good idea to take on technical debt, carefully: a feature that is out there and usable is better than a perfect, unshipped one. That said, every decision has a cost, but LK's big success allows us to spend the resources to "pay off" that technical debt so to speak, and gain back that scrappy startup development speed we once had.
The public worlds + Mobile feature has put an enormous amount of work towards exactly that: Public worlds runs on the fresh new LK client that will soon replace the older one. The "tech stack" (the technologies the app uses) are much more mature and standard this time around, and I have the help of ace developer Danlite. (I've also gotten slightly better at coding as the years have gone by, I hope. 😇)
Soon we'll be launching the new legendkeeper.com that Public Worlds will run on. You hopefully won't notice a difference; the goal is to move our LegendKeeper landing page off of our current host, onto our own server so we can have more control over what we can serve from our main legendkeeper domain. This will allow us to iterate on the homepage and the new LK app, quite literally, 20x faster.
With the new home page launched, we can flip the switch on Public Worlds and finally enable the feature for everyone. There's still some housekeeping to be done: For example, what happens if someone copy pastes the entire copyrighted script of Bee Movie and then shares it from LK? We're legally obligated to have a moderation strategy for IP-related stuff, which makes a relatively simple switch-flip a lot more complicated! That said, apps allow sharing content all the time, so it's just a matter of following well-established protocols.
Editor and Polish
A big part of Public Worlds has been building the new editor that will render articles and work on mobile. (There's no excuse for not working on mobile in 2023!) LK's editor is really showing its age, and it's time it got an upgrade. We'll backport the new editor to the current production app so that you can use it for editing, hopefully eliminating that Editor Jank we all know and love.
Full Replacement, Timelines, and Beyond
Following that, we'll turn our attention to moving the rest of LK's functionality to the new LegendKeeper client, as well as turning our Timelines prototype into an actual feature. (We showed the prototype on a Twitch stream a while back; a little surprise for folks that tuned in.) The launch of timelines will actually mark what I think of as LegendKeeper 1.0!! But, that certainly won't be the end---We have enough ideas and improvements on our internal roadmap to last us 5+ years.
The past 6 months or so, I've broken my personal rule of not giving ETAs. This has understandably led to some frustration. The reality is, making an app with such a small team can be super chaotic, and estimating deadlines is nearly impossible in these circumstances. There's a lot going on behind the scenes that needs to be done to keep the LK ship afloat, including accounting, marketing, legal (per the copyright stuff I mentioned above), support, partnerships, moderation, feature prioritization, not to mention actually coding the thing! All it takes is one big support ticket to derail a whole day of dev. I'm not trying to make excuses, but just wanted to paint a bigger picture. We're also getting better at hiring out and delegating, and we'll certainly be doing more of that in 2023.
All that to say, this stuff will be done when it's done! :P
We appreciate all your kind words and support! Folks using LegendKeeper to unleash their creativity really means the world to me. I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
Happy new year!
Make something amazing!
Be kind to yourself and to others!
Write an RPG campaign featuring a moon demon and a fire-whale locked in a continent-melting struggle for world domination!
Tell your friends about LegendKeeper! 🙏
smash that like button
Did you know we publish TTRPG content? We made an awesome Mork Borg bestiary in collaboration with Limithron, Walton Wood and Thomas Novosel. If you want grotesque, shocking monsters for your next Mork Borg one-shot, look no further than Ravings from Skarhuld.