HârnMakers & Confidentiality

Fastred's picture

Robin would prefer it if we HârnMakers could keep future product developments confidential, until we collectively decide to tell the world a product is coming out.

Otherwise we can create unreasonable expectations, and then disappoint people, which isn't good marketing...

Cheers and thanks


rbs's picture

I am in full agreement with Robin on this.

It bugs the snot out of me to see people gossiping one one of the message boards about products which may or may not ever see the light of day.

If something is in on clear course towards publication, and one can even make a half decent guess when publication will occur (particuarly if it's in the next 2-3 months), then that's fine. In that case I don't have much trouble with mentioning that it's coming out.

Otherwise, I think it does a dis-service to both KP and to the consumer to be talking about products which are nowhere near publication, assuming that they are even on course to being published.

I'd cite as particularly problematic one kingdom article which has been "under development" for more than a couple years and which several times saw active discussion on the HarnForum. Talk about raising unreasonable expectations, that one was doing so.

ken's picture

There's another side to it though. Letting the community at large know that something is being worked on or is even just in the consideration phase allows that community to direct it's own development energies in other directions. We (and CGI) have mostly been able to avoid the Fanon vs Canon battle of having a well done fanon setting article superseded by an official one. It also allows the talent pool out there to lend their own efforts towards an official product that they might be particularly interested in or suited to. If we don't communicate to the fan base, then they have nothing to go on.

In addition, simply letting folks know that things ARE being worked on is better than stony years of silence. At the rate that things get released, it would be easy to slip from the consumers consciousness if we gave them no hint that we are indeed working on material. The natural question they're going to have is...well, WHAT are you working on. Simply answering that it's a secret is likely to be more frustrating and disappointing than letting them know, but making it clear that there's no fixed time table.

There are exceptions of course. Nothing wrong with some covert projects just as long as folks perceive KP as an active, alive, development house. Trierzon for example, I think should be kept a secret as much as possible.

But... it's Robin's rules around here, so that's that. :)

rbs's picture

Ken, If Kelestia's production line was better organized, I would agree that it could be good idea to let the community know that something is being worked on and there is a target publication date of X. But right now, Kelestia's writers are basically a herd of cats working on whatever happens to interest them and only a few of the modules/articles have a dimly viewed target date for finishing up. Jeremy does his best to direct the cats toward a common goal, but without a big checkbook in hand there's only so much he can do.

I alluded earlier to a kingdom article which has been "in development" for at least three years but which the last I checked in was no better than half written. And yet it has been discussed on HarnForum several times during that period. What good does that do? In regards to that particular kingdom, I seriously think years of stony silence would have been a lot better.

As a second example, take a look at the exchange that occurred on HarnForum a month or two ago when someone said he was going to work on a fanon thing about Altland, and Jeremy popped up to try to draw him into the Kelestia fold. There were people who were more than a little irritated that Kelestia is "working on" uncountable things but is delivering on hardly any of them, and frankly I had to agree with their complaints.