The Forthright Open Roleplay Early Access ruleset is in the wild so we can gather feedback and make changes that will improve the game’s presentation and make it more accessible for readers and gamers of all stripes. Gathering feedback is easy: there’s no shortage of people willing to tell you everything you’ve done wrong (ever), and in this case that’s a very helpful thing. But pushing updates out, that’s another matter entirely.
If you push lots of updates out too quickly, what you’re saying to your reader is “this product wasn’t really ready” and “the ruleset still has a long way to go.” Even if what you’re sending out are corrections to typos, lots of updates leads to Update Fatigue: people will stop reading because what they’re reading is just going to change in the next few minutes, so why bother?
Introducing Update Fatigue to readers means not only that they stop reading, but you stop getting feedback as a consequence. And your final release will be inferior as a result. Certainly not the desired result!
At the same time, if you don’t make changes based on feedback (by updating the document available to Early Access players), readers will take that to mean that you’re not actually doing anything with their feedback. They might continue reading, but they’ll stop giving feedback and the ultimate result will be the same as if you made too many updates.
Like so much in life and business, it’s a balancing act. You don’t want to be too extreme in one direction or the other, and you want to clearly communicate your intentions to the people who’ve done you the service of paying attention to what you’re doing. Because attention is a valuable resource and a gift, and you want to reward that gift in turn by providing quality service, support and product.
So what we’ll be doing to balance this is updating the Early Access ruleset monthly with the feedback we’ve gotten the previous month. This will include changes as small as corrections to typos and as major as refining subsystems. Each new update will include the names of the folks who have provided us with valuable and helpful feedback (think of this as the “Thank you! You’re getting a coupon!” list) and an entry in the changelog at the back of the book as to what we updated.
The first update will be coming the last week of this month. Be on the lookout for it!