This has to do with our forums and the nastiness here. Stay on target.
Hey folks, here's the thing. We want you to feel free to come to these forums and talk about Exalted stuff, critique, laud, and complain. And for a very long time I have been of the mind that because of the delays on EX3, posters here should be given more leeway to vent their frustration over the situation. Unfortunately, that has now led to a new situation where once a week someone posts something from my weekly blog post and multiple arguments break out, insults are hurled, and somebody demands an apology from me. And then we close the thread.
Can you complain? Yes you can. But as you all know, if you really want to talk about improving a problem you see, the almost immediate acceleration from stating a concern to accusations and insults shuts down any chance that the very people who can gain from you voicing your concerns will actually listen. Rants and vitriol as standard operating procedure are not acceptable. Pouncing each and every week on each piece of info with an eye towards how it proves how we're fucking you over is not conducive to communication.
For my part, the amount of abuse I or my team have taken with each and every update here or to KS backers has reached the point where I really don't want to share any progress with all of you. That is how I feel. But I know that there are plenty of fans and backers out there who have not participated in the comments that have caused this accumulated feeling, and you can see a lot of folks here trying to do their best to be patient and to appreciate the complexity of trying to get EX3 to all of you. That can't be easy, and I truly appreciate each and every one of you who has made that effort- your posts here have kept me posting and from just sharing nothing until we have a PDF ready.
So we can't keep going like this, and if I am going to continue to share the progress, or lack thereof depending on the week and topic, of the EX3 book and line, then change must happen in different ways in order that these forums be a place where folks can once again feel like they can read and participate in interesting discussions about the game we all love. I'm not going to set up any more rules here than we already have on these forums, but expect the rules to be enforced with less concern for your situation and more for the overall good of the forum. In addition, if you are clearly waiting each week to pick apart the update- and yes, the mods and I and half the posters here can tell that that is what is happening- then expect to be given time away from these forums.
As always, I know and deeply regret how frustrated you are. That is not the issue. You don't need me to tell you that you have a right to feel how you are feeling, but so you know, I do respect that and am not telling you all to "get over it". What I am saying is that there are constructive and destructive ways to express yourself, and here on these forums, we need you to be aware of which kind of posting you are doing.
How about this? We have worked with them as they requested, I have no idea how their work is going because making Anathema is not my company's project, and I expect to hear from them when they have news or need something else. Since they are the only character generator we are doing this with, this is currently pretty friggin' official.
Originally posted by Jutlander
As many others I am impressed that you do so.I get that.
AtG expressed surprise that the backers expected more than a name-drop. I expressed that this was not my perception of the situation, and that the backers simply expected an accurate name-drop.
It is obvious now that the backers were never promised anything more than the appearance of a string of letters identical to the string of letters they use to identify their characters. And in that sense you have done nothing wrong. I truly believe and accept that this whole thing is a misunderstanding. The backers thought they were paying for one thing when really they were paying for another thing.
But does it surprise you that the backers are surprised that they were not even guaranteed that you would use the correct gender?
This reward has been popular with every single one of our Kickstarters and while I tweaked the language to get us to this point along the way, there have only been a couple of complaints from those dozen KSs along the lines of what we've heard here. So you tell me- in the face of evidence that most times this reward has been offered that most backers "got it", is it something about this EX3 Kickstarter or the Exalted fans that tends towards more backers wanting/expecting more? Maybe a lot of our backers here never backed one of our KSs before? Certainly, it being a surprise to so many of you that we'd fix obvious errors like SSSerafina because it's a PDF is a shocking surprise to me. That's been our working method for years now.
Or is it unusual in the pattern of discussion which involved posting here in the forums instead of backers sending concerns to me via the Kickstarter site? I mean, that's what the "Contact Me" button is for, and I have access to all your pledge info that way. Again, maybe backers here didn't know that.
Or is it this forum and the expected posting patterns that turn something that can be discussed, and potentially resolved, simply, into a mess of accusations and insults? This would have been a really useful thread, and I would have been much quicker to respond to the OP, if it hadn't so quickly turned angry and ugly. And that was not the fault of the OP, btw. The more noise we have to get through to get to the signal, the longer these things take and the harder it is to determine if there are things I can do to help.
Originally posted by Jutlander
I think people expected A) the names to be correct and B) the names to be attached to characters who were at the very least the right gender and type of Exalt.
A) I agree, and we are taking steps to be sure that the names are as they were submitted. B) then they are expecting something that is not the stated nature of the reward. I am more than happy to help backers reconcile problems they have with their reward so that any misunderstandings can be resolved.
Originally posted by Lord Pomposity
Since the only guarantee was that you would be able to submit your character's name and description, you received the entirety of your reward the moment you clicked the "submit" button on the backer survey. An absolutely literal reading of the text you quoted--which is the sort of reading OPP apparently uses--creates no expectation that your submission will be read by anyone, let alone used.
We use a _specific_ and exact wording for our Rewards precisely because some backers build up the extent of the reward beyond the intention. I do not try and cheat backers out of the intention of the reward as you suggest here.
Originally posted by auroradragonkaya
So as someone who baked the Novia Novel level, I DO want to know what's going on. I actually chose it over slightly higher levels because in the description on the tier rewards, it said "In addition, we will open up a Reward Tier to allow backers to submit their character's names and description for inclusion in the text of the novel" and I actually assumed the part where it only mentioned the name on the tier itself was simply a matter of abbreviation. (I've backed a lot of kickstarters and it's pretty common for the tier rewards to be concise but more specific descriptions posted on the main page.)
Not expecting the novel to be about my character, but I was sort of expecting the cameo to feel like my character, and I'm a bit worried it won't now.
Also, specifically mentioning and asking for the description made me think that, well, it was going to be used.
Not to say I wouldn't have backed a unique tier, but I probably wouldn't have done this one. (Probably a higher tiered one, in fact.) And... now I'm more nervous then excited about it. (I hope this doesn't sound spoiled, I'm just trying to explain why I was confused about it.)
You are absolutely right to ask considering this whole thread. The Novia novel was discussed ahead of time with Jess Hartley, and the idea of getting in their descriptions was part of that discussion. Anthologies, by their nature of being written by multiple authors, make it a lot harder to insist on that level of detail, but Jess was open to names and descriptions. That still doesn't mean she'll be working in their backgrounds or anything like that, so they may show up in a place you never had them go to, or similar things like that.
Originally posted by nalak42
Did what I say not come across as that? I mean I actually backed at the other cameo, so I know what you're talking about as far as how the survey was put together. I was just trying to explain why I figured a description was asked for because we had one person arguing that asking for character descriptions without using them was disingenuous.
I wasn't correcting you, I was adding to what you had pretty much correctly posted.
@Weimann Thanks for coming back onto this. I was not even going to enter this thread because the OP seemed to be a pretty fair way to vent, it was the shift with other posters that made it necessary to post. But since I'm here, have you thought of using that "Contact Me" button near my photo on the KS page and asking us to change the name you sent in? Whether or not you feel like the wording was kind of ambiguous, the PDF that was sent out is just a PDF - we can change things now that you know what the reward actually entails.
Similarly, I'm checking with the editor and writer about what happened to the Seven Steps part of Serafina's name. My guess is that someone in the chain of relaying the names didn't realize it was part of her full name because of lack of familiarity with Exalted naming styles. But again, this is something we could and would look into and change at this stage of the PDF.
@nalak42 I mentioned in the Backer Survey that the backers could include a brief description if they wanted (and several did not) in order to allow authors to use that info to better grasp the character if the writer found that useful. Again, we did not mandate that the description be used, because we have no idea going into these stories just what direction the writing would take and wanted the writers to have as much freedom as possible. ANY description that had to be made to work in their story puts pressure on the story to conform to our needs and not the writer's and we won't do that at this Reward Tier level - which is why the Reward Tier has been phrased as it has.
While I regret any backer disappointment with this reward, backers received the intended reward of getting their character's name in the book, which is exactly as the Reward Tier is worded:
"In addition, your character's name will be used as a name within the text of the EX3 Fiction Anthology
There was no rip-off, no bait and switch, no backhanded disdain, no miscommunication on our part. We delivered the reward exactly as it was described, and exactly as we have on all of our other Kickstarters that have had this Reward Tier- which is pretty much every one of them. These Reward Tiers are a never before possible chance to get backers' chosen names into an official WW/Onyx Path book, and the level of pledge reflects that.
The other Reward Tiers mentioned by the OP started at $435 and that pledge amount reflected that those visual representations would need to have a tighter level of communication to get them to the representation as promised in their pledge:
"Plus we will include your character in one or more panels as an "extra" in the EX3 Comic Book as per your description and/or sketch. We reserve the right to modify character designs for appropriateness with the rest of the comic.
Even higher Reward Tiers are priced as they are because of the expected amount of work needed to fulfill the reward as written.
@turkeygiant In what way am I "pretending" that nothing is wrong? At the beginning of both the download message and the backer Update I laid out for all of you the intention of the Anthology and even included Holden's very well written explanation. For some of you, letting the authors write whatever they wanted based on the nascent 3rd Edition info they had was a bad thing because there are varying degrees of adhesion from story to story to what "Exalted" has always been. And some of you are judging the stories based on literary criteria or whether you just plain enjoyed them. It's not my intention, or place, to come on here and judge one set of reactions wrong.
When mis-statements were made as to the development process of the Anthology I stepped in to clear those up, but otherwise I'm not going to try and convince folks whose minds are already set on their interpretations of what this Anthology is or should have been. We made a decision, as a group of the EX3 Devs, the Anthology Devs, and myself, to present the material John and Holden had prepared to the writers and allow them to work from that. To deliberately not force them to adhere to canon if they felt their story needed to go a different way. We chose the "inspired by" route, there was nothing "careless" about it.
We didn't make that decision as a giant Fuck You to fans of the canon Exalted; we did it to show that Exalted's possibilities are opening up. If we need, now, to go back in and replace Emperor with Regent, for example, because some of you just can't get past that, then that is something we will consider because we want you to join us in an Exalted that is just filled with new ideas. It's a PDF, we can change things.
The Devs created a setting doc that all the anthology writers should have had access to, as it was pulled together for them well in advance of any deadline. The final anthology text was sent to the Devs, and I did not hear from them they they were unable to read it for some reason. So basically, exactly as I pointed out above, despite what the grapevine might have said.
Originally posted by Crescens
This is so completely wrong, I can barely believe someone could think this. First off, Exalted is licensed to OPP, which means that it's Rich's responsibility. John and Holden are only allowed to develop and do projects that Rich says they can. When I say they have nothing to do with this, I mean that they were both unaware of it going on and, even if they were aware, could not do anything about it aside from share their opinion. They are not the final authority, Rich is.
Secondly, a lot of your statement is just a veiled jab at the developers. The line about how they might be overworked or how they might have taken too much on is a not so sly aspersion that they are not capable or up to the task that is Ex3. It is uncalled for and completely untrue. The proof of their blood, sweat, and tears is out there for you to lay your eyes on. Also, even though the official book isn't out quite yet, they still improve on it while they wait for art and such. They still work to make it a better game, while you try to lay blame on them about something they had no control over. Just not cool.
You are absolutely correct in where ultimate responsibility lies for anything Onyx publishes; that is totally me. But please be aware that at no point would we publish anything that the Devs did not have a chance to contribute to, ranging from full editorial control through to review. This goes for all of our creative teams on different projects for other game lines, as well. Holden's thoughts on the editorial direction of this particular project were included in the Backer Update, and expresses that direction better than I could.
Originally posted by Seconis
Monday Meeting 03/02/15
Monday Meeting 02/23/15
- EX3- RichT here, once again tagging onto Mirthful Mike’s report: Waiting on the last few pieces of art. Waiting for Dev notes on the roughly laid out pages.
Monday Meeting Notes 2/16/2015
- EX3- RichT here, once again tagging onto Mirthful Mike’s report: Waiting on the last few pieces of art. Waiting for Dev notes on the roughly laid out pages.
Monday Meeting Notes 2/09/2015
- EX3- RichT here, once again tagging onto Mirthful Mike’s report: the last few pieces of art are still coming in. Waiting for Dev notes on the roughly laid out pages.
- EX3- RichT here, once again tagging onto Mirthful Mike’s report: the last few pieces of art are still coming in. Maria and I went over her first “drop the text in” proof and made several significant decisions on fonts and sizes and sent that version, which had reduced the page count dramatically, back to the Devs for more extensive text revision. Maria has some beautiful ideas on different page borders for each chapter which still hold together with a single design aesthetic that she can now match to the text.
I like to think that there has been a ton of progress and that RichT is simply lazy and just copies and pastes from previous updates.
Careful with how you phrase things, friend.
So here's the thing, turkeygiant: trying to write up all-inclusive text for Kickstarter that covers ever possible way folks will take the information is simply not possible. It is clear, since I don't think I've ever posted anything you personally didn't need clarified or expanded on, that you are looking for more than the amount I or the Devs are capable of giving. And you are one person. There are thousands of backers, and while we can certainly put all of them on a spectrum of how much info they need and how they need it expressed and delivered, ultimately we just try and get out the best info to you folks as we can. Simply look at the amount of info EX3 gets every week compared to say, Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition, another book that is rolling later than expected. I already make sure more gets given out every week about EX3 than any other project, because I appreciate how long folks have waited. And it seems most people are fine with that, and a bunch, like yourself want more, and a bunch have written me asking for less as well. They don't want any of these behind the scenes details, they want their book un-spoilered, if you will. They don't want to know how the sausage is made. Fair enough, this is always the nature of our community.
So we try and do the best balance of info we can. You mention how Holden's message in this last KS Update was "about right" in terms of the depth of info you need. Have you looked at the size of that message? It's about the size of one of my longer Monday blogs, and they take all afternoon and into the evening for me to write every Monday. Now Holden is a writer by trade, so hopefully he can fire one of those off much more quickly, but look at all the carefully worded info in there. The time it took to pull that together is time Holden could have spent on savagely ripping out your favorite part of the EX3 text, or, all kidding aside, time that could have been spent on Arms of the Chosen, or the Realm outline. Instead, he felt that this was something folks might have been expecting and he didn't want to have the PDF show up and it be a surprise. Even that sort of thinking was simply not possible even three months ago as the Devs were so heads-down in the trenches of just making EX3 that no other considerations were possible, so it is fantastic that such a message could be posted. And yet still, it being the right amount of info for you, we still have folks asking about whether we'll include the concept in an upcoming book or EX4 (gods!), even though most of Holden's point is the concept was dropped because it was a dead end. So even with that much info, the point is being lost. This is why I say, we do the best we can to deliver an amount of info each week, or each KS backer Update, or whatever, because there is no way to deliver the "perfect" amount.
If that doesn't work for you, and all signs are it won't, I can only hope that when you finally get the book we can move our conversations to discussing Exalted again and not the process we used to get to it.