Faenaria is an avatar site and forum with plans of integrating pets and browser-based RPG in the near future. The site is named for the world in which the story takes place; Faenaria, a land inhabited by the fae. The fae are humanoids that take many shapes and forms, including centaur, naga, kitsune, and even oni. Vast kingdoms and savage tribes alike cover the world. The mighty beasts that also live in Faenaria fulfill multiple roles within the plethora of fae societies. Some are seen as guardians, others companions, and a margin are feared as ill omens. As a player you will get to explore these various aspects of the lore and world.
We aim to make Faenaria a place of magic, where myth and imagination come together to form a compelling story for our users to roleplay through. As one of the fae, tame a wild beast, fight tyrannical leaders, and uncover the mysteries long hidden by history. If RPG isn’t your thing, then you will still have plenty of activities to participate in. Such as...
Our avatar system allows for creating and saving multiple avatars. We have a lot of clothing and accessory options available and more being added each month. We have even started doing Color Your Own avatar items, allowing users to add a personal touch. In addition, all baby stage pets are made available as an avatar item to keep your FA from getting lonely!
We plan to add a Color Your Own pet system with this update. Users will be able to color and design unique pets that are stored in what we are calling the Snuggery. The Snuggery functions as a lair or den and will have options for sorting, creating profiles, groups, and other fun features for your pets.
There are two stages of pets. Babies and Adults. The adult stage will be available exclusively through the Color Your Own system, while the baby stage has already been made available as avatar items. The new CYO feature will have options for uploading baby art to the Snuggery so that users can enjoy the full size version of their little ones in addition to their availability in the FA wardrobe.
Alongside the pet art we will be releasing gene packs as one of many resources for our users. This is our way of making it so that members who lack the ability or tech can still create custom pets. Our first pack release will include simple things like tiger stripes, leopard spots, etc. They will be available for download on a special gene page. Gene packs will be made and released for both adult and baby stages!
Our avatar system is the primary impetus for this Kickstarter campaign due to all its bugs and kinks. The original system involved a ton of tedious clicking to rearrange the layer order, but we've since managed to introduce cool new features like drag and drop layering. However, as of right now the new avatar wardrobe has been overtaxing the system and causing the site to crash. This means users must refresh and save frequently, bogging down the whole experience. The other frustration is that the shops were never properly integrated so the preview avatars still use the old system. As a result, it isn't possible to equip the preview outfit or even save it.
The truth is that the coding is poorly optimized, which means we could continue to make modifications (which usually breaks several other things in the process) or we could just rewrite the whole thing. This wouldn’t create very many changes on the front end. All of the same features would remain and we would be able to more easily expand upon those features in the future.
There’s another issue here, though. The avatar system isn’t the only part of the code that isn’t optimized. Our backend looks like your grandmother’s attic! Sure, we can do some clean up, but as we expand upon the site, release new features, and get more members, it’s going to create problems. Our site resources will become more and more taxed, the site will move slower, and things will be more prone to breaking.
I’ve been discussing this with Lyro, a programmer that has worked off and on with us since 2013. He will be the person coding our shiny new RPG system (which has been paid in full already yay!) and he’s agreed to rewrite the avatar code as well. But, I’m hesitant to make such a big change while leaving so many other systems out of this necessary overhaul.
Having come so far with this project, having learned a lot of hard lessons, I have come to realize that the best time to start planning for the future is right now. I worry that if we don’t take the time, put in the effort and expense now, to fix the very foundation of the site’s programming, that it will be nigh impossible to do so in the future. That is the reason for having the Kickstarter now.
With the funds from this Kickstarter we will not only rewrite the avatar system, but rewrite the entire site’s programming using a popular PHP framework known as Laravel. Lyro has a lot of experience with Laravel and in fact, has programmed his own website with this framework. I trust him explicitly to get the work completed correctly in a timely manner.
Why Laravel? What are the benefits?
- The programming will be more organized rather than “spaghetti code”, allowing for easier, faster, and safer modifying and upgrading as well as having less overall bugs.
- Laravel is more optimized, so the programming will cause less of a strain on the server than the current code. This is especially important for the future when we have more players logging onto the site at the same time.
- Laravel is quicker, not only in running the back end code but also the front end like the html and displaying data from the database.
- Due to the ease of adding new features, it will reduce both the time and cost of updating and upgrading the site in the future.
- Laravel is more up to date and rising in popularity because of its many functions and ease of use. It will be easier to find another developer should we need to add one to our staff roster.
- Perhaps the most important benefit… Laravel is simply more secure. It uses a more secure password encryption and also helps protect against SQL injections.
Is the whole site going to be different? What about my wardrobe?
On the front end you won’t notice much of a change. We’ll be keeping our current layout. Most of these changes are going to be subtle and will be felt most in the avatar wardrobe in that it will run a lot more smoothly.
Lyro will create the new site foundation on a sub-domain of faenaria.com. When it is completed, all those who have backed at least $5 to the Kickstarter will be able to beta test everything. Once we’ve rooted out bugs and gotten user feedback, we’ll make the final necessary changes, and then release the new version. Other than a brief period of downtime while the swap takes place, there shouldn’t be any interruption or hiccups. This is a very low risk, high reward process or I would never propose it.
We really hope you all enjoy the incentives we put together! For anyone who was wondering, the pledge tiers are inspired by the social pyramid of feudal Japan, in keeping with our loose Asian theme for Faenaria.
The following items can be added to any reward tier. Just increase your pledge by the amount listed beside the item(s) you're wanting.
- CYO tickets for baby Wendigo x2 - $10
- CYO tickets for baby Majouneko x2 - $10
- CYO tickets for adult Wendigo x2 - $10
- CYO tickets for adult Majouneko x2 - $10
- CYO tickets for baby Wendigo & Majouneko - $10 (1 each)
- CYO tickets for adult Wendigo & Majouneko - $10 (1 each)
- Same CYO ticket deals for crane & nian (babies/adults & pairs/singles) - $10
- Witchy/Wizard Exclusive Set - $10
- Sun & Moon FA Set - $10
- Currency Pack - $15 (250k WS / 25 DS)
- FA Starter Pack - $15 (your choice of FA set x 2)
- Pet Starter Pack - $15 (basic pet creation items x3)
- CYO ticket for Centaur base - $5 (normally $10)
- $950: Kessho adult/baby (added to every pledge of $25 or more) UNLOCKED
- $1000: Kudo adult/baby (added to every pledge of $25 or more) UNLOCKED
- $1200: Finish up baby stages
- $1400: Premium feature
- $1500: Bank system
- $1600: Advent Calendar
- $1800: Referral system
- $2000: User Profile upgrades
Risks and challenges
With any project there are risks, but at this stage the risks are minimal. Once we have the funds we will be able to proceed with the site upgrade immediately. Account information and inventories will not be changed or disrupted. Of course there is always the chance we’ll be hit with a curve ball, but we are prepared and willing to deal with any unforeseen challenges that may arise.
What about the last Kickstarter?
Our last Kickstarter was a mixed success. We raised the funds we needed, but they didn’t stretch as far as we planned for them to. For one, we had more art debt than we originally calculated and that took up a bigger portion of the funds as a result. The other main issue we ran into was that the programmer we hired disappeared without fully finishing the job - he was paid in full and still did not complete the work as agreed.
We managed to put out the rewards we promised and jury rigged the avatar system to work with our existing coding, but as I mentioned, it is full of bugs and errors. The pet system was incomplete and at present is unusable, prompting us to provide an alternate means to release some form of pet interaction - hence baby stage pets appearing with the Fae Avatars.
In spite of these setbacks, we have pushed forward, persevering through them in order to deliver on our promises to the best of our ability. And even though we made mistakes with our last Kickstarter, we also learned a lot from the experience. I have made sure to be more exact with my cost calculations so that the amount we are aiming for will cover exactly what we need to accomplish our goals. Furthermore, I am working with a tried and true programmer that has proven himself to be dependable and capable. The staff and I remain dedicated in bringing Faenaria fully to life and we hope that you will continue to join us in the days ahead!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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