Month End Summary #1: April 2017
Good evening, everyone! I hope the weekend finds you all well, and that you have been enjoying the new maps that have been released over the last two weeks.
It's time for our first Month End Summary update here on Kickstarter. This first summary is a little odd since we're only covering the two weeks since launching the Digital Distribution Tool (instead of the four weeks all future summaries will cover).
However, it has been an eventful two weeks! In addition to releasing the high resolution versions of the sample maps from the Kickstarter campaign, I've also released four new maps on our twice-weekly schedule.
I've also released the first two map icon sets "Doors & Passages" and "Furniture & Shelves" consisting of 43 icons. Each map icon set is supposed to consist of 20 icons, but in some instances with smaller icons (chairs for example) I decided to create an extra icon to offset the smaller size and help make sure the map icon sets retain their intended value as tools.
Here's a quick look at what was released via the Digital Distribution Tool in April 2017:
I have the twelfth map schedule to roll out tomorrow morning, and tomorrow evening our third map icon set "Statues & Columns" will become available.
I am currently working on wrapping up the first two custom maps which will be released as bonus maps in May, and I will be contacting the next two custom map commissions next week.
Once I have all the custom maps created and released for backers who pledged at the applicable levels, I'll focus on releasing more of the bonus maps in addition to the twice-weekly core map releases.
I am also working on finishing the "Cartographer Toolkit" for release. Our unlocked stretch goals considerably increased the products size, and it takes a bit longer to create border themes than it does map icons. That being said, my goal is to have the toolkit released by the end of May.
Updates & New Features for the DDT -
Monday afternoon I will be applying a new feature to the "My Account" page which will allow you to download a ZIP containing all the content released in April.
This new feature will be updated with each Month End Summary update so that backers have the option to download content in monthly chunks. If this will be useful to you, be sure to check your "My Account" page options starting May 2nd, 2017.
I have been posting to the comments section here on Kickstarter when new features are added to the Digital Distribution Tool (or when bugs are found and resolved), but I figured this Month End Summary is a good time to do a short recap of the new features I have added...
1) Release Schedule Calendar (powered by Google) has been integrated into the DDT, and can be accessed by clicking on the "Update" option on the horizontal menu bar. This is a quick and easy way of seeing when new maps, map icons, new features, and bug fixes are available as well as keeping track of the future release schedules.
2) Map Index feature added for all account levels that receive digital maps. In addition to the existing maps download page, the index is a quick view of all maps released sorted from newest release to oldest.
3) Account Upgrade options have been created in the DDT per backer request. This allows for a backer who pledged to the kickstarter at a lower level to pay the difference to upgrade the account and receive the benefits of a higher pledge level. The only option not available to upgrade to is the publisher level as that license was intended to only be available during the kickstarter as a unique opportunity.
Updates and New Features Still Pending...
Already downloaded flags. This feature was intended and included in the DDT from the start, but due to the concerns about data collection from several backers I was prompted to place it on hold until I can complete an "opt-in" option for accounts. This way the DDT isn't automatically collecting data about anyone, but users will be able to "opt-in" if they want to see the little red check marks beside files they have downloaded. I'm hoping to get this feature worked into the DDT in May, but that is a tentative release target.
In Conclusion -
The initial release of the DDT has gone relatively smoothly, and everything is on schedule as I had hoped. There have been a few minor annoying bugs along the way as I added new features, but several backers have been incredibly helpful in helping me to spot those and get the errors squelched. A huge thanks goes out to those who have reported any bugs and helped follow up on fixes that I deployed.
I'm excited to dive into May and get more maps and map icons your way. I hope you all are enjoying the releases so far. Always feel free to leave a comment, and don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns.
Thanks again for your amazing support.
Have a great week!
-- Justin Andrew Mason