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May Office Hour Highlights

Posted by Kim on May 20, 2023, 1:15pm

how did walruses originally become a Thing on RPR? like, is there an origin story for why the walrus specifically?

Okay so... April 1st 2016 I pulled an April Fools prank where I changed all of the accolades into little pics of walruses. I put out a news post saying this was because walruses were the embodiment of every trait the RPR community should strive for -- dignity, grace, social elegance, etc. Had a good giggle. One April 2nd when all the accolades turned back into trophies and ribbons and things, people freaked out and said they needed to get the walruses back, and were willing to pay for it. I said I could add walrus *items* but not accolades since I have always maintained there should be no way to pay for accolades. And the site community basically said "Fine fine just please also let us put hats on them"

In July 2016, after working with some artists, Moa started turning up with a limited number of walrii every month, as well as the first two walrus costumes, the dandy walrus and the fancy walrus. These proved VERY popular and thereafter every few years I would add a new style of walrus that matched the theme of Epic Week.

And from there the RPR love of walruses just kind of snowballed until this year we had the walragotchi, 3 new walrus costumes (walrus rogue, walrumancer and walrus wizard) and an entire mini game about captaining walrus companies. XD

What is the current SOTH (State of the Herd)? Are they adjusting to having a puppy around?
The guinea pigs are, I think, a little bit jealous of just how much time and energy the puppy takes. They get less of me than they did before. But they aren't afraid of her AT ALL, even when she gets the puppy zoomies and jumps up and "digs" at the side of their cage or barks directly into their faces. They don't run from her, they just sort of tilt their heads at her. They think their cage is absolutely impenetrable (and I pray they are correct.)

So I can pre-plan... what's the next yearly event? Summer Soree?
Art trade signups should be starting on or about June 2nd, and Summer Soiree should kick off on June 24th. :)

tell us what? 👀
So, a handful of you have seen it already due to your previous record-keeping efforts, but post-Epic Week I started dinking around with building a sort of wiki for the RPR, so we can record the "official" lore together. It's not officially launched yet, but it is visible if you know the link, and I've begun seeding information into it. Anyone who is interested is actually welcome to jump in and add stuff. You can see that I've really been going wild fleshing out Epic Week plots, especially 2021 so far. :)

I'm mostly curious about why EW doesn't involve our characters, since, well, RP site, haha.

I'm not bothered about that at all but I would like to know some of the history of how EW started and how it ended up fitting into the site.

That's a really good question... I think in the first few years we had an "Epic Week," it was a bit like a pledge drive. It was a week where I released a series of new features and character styles and talked relentlessly about how Epic Membership was what powered the site and supported us in a way that allows us to exist. Really gave the hard sell I try to avoid the rest of the year. And it... evolved, slowly at first, into the features and styles only being released as a reward for the community engaging with puzzles and games of various sorts together. And then it stopped evolving slowly and blammo turned into this huge MMO experience with multiple games and a major plotline. But it continued to be about the site and the people on it rather than the characters, if that makes sense? We've always had IC events at other times of year as well.

The push on epic memberships has almost entirely gone away from Epic Week's original origins, although I did try to make a point to at least *mention* that Epic Members support us in the Epic Week posts this year. ;)

I see that EW items go back as far as 2014. What was EW like before it became a yearly-event?
It was always an annual in the event that it started on April 24th (the anniversary of the site opening its doors) and lasted 7 days, but before the plotlines it was just a newspost every day of the week where I announced stuff.

I think one of the things that REALLY let Epic Week go nuts on the MMO front was when the RPR added items inventories for the first time, in late 2014 ( And indeed the first EW where you saw combat was 2015.

Is there any chance that a style-cloning feature could be added? I have group A all set up, but want to make group b. I currently have to set it up too. Was wondering if I could be able to copy group A's settings to a new group.
In response to the question: "Is there any chance" that that feature could be created, there certainly is a decent chance. I'm writing it down.

Maybe some kind of export/import system would be useful. Then you could move around your own group styles, but also if you asked someone else to come up with a good combo for you, they could just send you the thing to import.

While I'm on Groups... about the Forum function. Could the 'drag and drop' feature be added to make arranging forums easier? Also, could a 'save' popup be added? I cant count how many times I arranged forums, then went to add another, and the new one adds, but I forgot to save and all the forums revert back to their original positions.
*scribbles notes furiously*

i kinda wish there was a simpler way of showing images
That is fair, I wish that all the time. I'm still *extremely* cautious about the hosting costs of storing an arbitrary number of images. I've thought recently of experimenting with letting people paste images into chats, but it would absolutely have to be an Epic Member only sort of thing, or otherwise limited to keep Server from blowing up. Those sound like relatively easy fixes. Drag and drop is indeed on my list, I'll make a note it is urgently wanted. :)

Is there a way of integrating with an image-hosting service, or is the bureaucracy involved in that not worth it for smaller platforms?
I've worked with Amazon's storage platform and similar in the past on other sites, but at large scale it really started to generate quite the monthly bill, and I was also terrified of sudden rate adjustments mucking that up further. So... maybe? I'd certainly have to examine those options again.

On image hosting... there has been discussion about imgur limiting their image linking. I use imgur a lot so am looking for other options.
Right, and imgur is doing that because of costs, and because they don't make ad revenue when people look at the images on another site. =/ I feel their pain on that front, and as more and more image hosts pull back like that, it's going to put pressure on me to pick up the slack over here. I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do there, but I know it'll need to be... something. The internet runs on images these days.

I believe the question has come up before, but I'm curious if a more basic tier of epic membership would be possible in future? Maybe one that doesn't include extra character slots or pages, but gives people a way to support the site when they aren't able to pay $50 a year? It's more of a donation at that point, I suppose, but maybe it just comes with less features if you're not comfortable with a tier that has none?
Yes! I had once proposed a "supporting membership" for about $1 a month. All it would do is remove ads from the site, and give people the pride of helping the site out. I had since convinced myself that there wasn't much interest in it and put it aside, but at my last office hour people were so interested in it that I am re-convinced and it has jumped back toward the top of my list.

Could a popup confirmation be added when the 'add friend' is clicked on a profile? I believe someone asked about this last month on the forum.
I saw that on the forum! It could, it's on my list. :) Now that EW is over and I'm starting to recover I'd love to do a bit of a flying pass at minor QOL features.

Speaking of minor things... When are we getting new pet roccs
XD It's only been 48 days since we introduced the first 10 and you already want more?

How are maps coming along? >.>
Maps got put on pause for the last couple of months because Epic Week consumes all, but I've been gearing up to get the Bake Sale on this summer so that I can hopefully raise the cash to be able to focus on maps and not be constantly interrupted by client projects. I'm SO eager to move it forward.

Is the Bake Sale going to have any of the stuff from the last one? I've been getting more questions about my phoenixes. ^^;
There's been a lot of interest in bringing back the phoenixes. I can't make a firm promise on that, but I'll say... I am swayed by the pleas. ;)

How many text widgets can be added to a profile page?
The current upper limit on widgets per page is 20. It doesn't matter what type.

Can we get a proper trade feature? People here are super cool and honest about DM trading as it is but personally doing it that way makes me nervous and I doubt I am the only one. I was once 30m slow to responding to a trade and I felt like "oh no if it were me I would be so anxious" plus I dunno if the mods would really be able to enforce honest trades ^^;
Mods don't have any tools relating to inventory items, but I could move stuff around if it ever came to that. The truth is, "proper trades" was on my list to add back in 2014 when inventories, items and the ability to give items to others were added, but it's slid down my list of priorities with every passing year that we continue to have never had a complaint about someone stealing an item in an RPR item trade.

I understand that adding it after it's become a problem is not ideal, but if it were a documented trade such as a PM or forum post that was reported, and someone said "So and so never gave me the thing, I want my gizmo back," it would be easy enough for me to check the item history log, confirm that a thing was sent and not received, and reverse the transfer.

Can we see your puppy?
A photo of a 13 week old standard poodle puppy. She is small and thoughtful looking, gazing off into the distance in this photo. Her hair is curly and black, her eyes very dark brown.
My beautiful girl

The poodle puppy is in the bathroom, next to a toilet. She has gotten hold of the end of the toiley paper roll and is happily pulling several feet of toilet paper from the roll, rapidly stretching it across the room, apparently for funsies.
Being naughty

A woman stands behind a farmer's market stand, her wares of doggy cookies, cupcakes and other treats on display. She is holding the puppy and making an AWWWWWWWW face as the puppy gently kisses her cheek.
From today at the farmer's market. I took her for about 20 minutes just as an adventure, but she was so overwhelmed she wanted to be carried. She didn't even know there were that many people or dogs in the entire universe! A vendor offered to hold her for me while I got money out of my purse to buy a doggy cupcake.

How about creating a forum specifically for trading items? <_<
I guess I wonder how much it would get used? Maybe we should make a sticky post that points to existing groups that exist for this instead...



May 25, 2023

dedicated image server upgrade / maintenance funding drive? like i sort of see the correlation between epic memberships and those paying toward server costs, but it's right that those don't much matter if it's images in posts / many more images per character rather than many characters with a few images

every online gallery i have ever loved eventually hit the image hosting pricing wall and categorically switched to 'quality control' to outlaw things like lined paper or simple sketches or even resolution size. those seem reasonable but the cost in mod attention, as far as i saw, was goddamn daunting.

and it made submitting images fraught with beginner artist nervousness, was kind of hostile to people with limited access to art supplies or limited time to finish or polish a drawing, which killed user engagement more than bolstered.

I CONTINUE TO HAVE NO MONEY to share but i can stick a pin of intent on this like yes, please, let us collectively support the physical realities of the Things We Like to Do On The Internet. big imagehosting doesn't need to win their market cornering, dammit, homebrew sites deserve shiny graphics and seamless loading times too!!


May 20, 2023

I am completely and utterly all for bringing the Phoenixes back. I missed out on that one and I love them. 😍 I also really like the cups of tea and all the adorable little baked goods.