Two Years of Kanka and Future Goals

Dear Patrons and users,

Kanka is about to turn two years old, meaning the time is right to look back at what started as a small project for my wife and I to track our D&D world together evolve into a massive tool uses by thousands of users and supported by hundreds of kind souls.

A year ago I laid laid out some plans on how the future of Kanka would look. This list included a lot of large goals, yet none of them ended up being implemented. This is due to me having had less time to work on such features, and also spending a lot of time improving some of the existing features of Kanka instead. In hindsight strengthening those features rather than spreading myself thin was the right move, but I still want to be able to build those crazy features.

As a reminder, here are said features, re-organised to be more in line with my current ideas for Kanka’s future:

  • Improve the mobile UI and workflows of the app.
  • Help the community build amazing tools for Kanka with the APIs. Initiative tracker, generators, discord integration bots, etc.
  • Create tutorial videos to help new and experienced users.
  • Redo the landing page to better promote the app and showcase what it can do.
  • Build powerful moderation tools for moderators to curate public campaigns and make sure Kanka doesn’t get in trouble if people abuse some features.
  • Build a light Virtual Tabletop tool or integrate with a third party VTT that plugs in directly with Kanka.
  • Work more with the community to have community themes, promoting community content, and reward/distinguish people who make the app better.
  • Build a mobile app with proper text editing.

The obvious question is how do I succeed in working on those features when I wasn’t successful until now?

Rethinking Patreons and Patreon Bonuses

I still don’t want to add ads or paywalls into the app, as those would kill what made Kanka special. This is why I want to build more bonuses into the app for people who support me on Patreon. More support on Patreon will help me achive my goal of working part time at my day job, and part time on Kanka. The ultimate goal is to work 100% on Kanka in the future.

Introducing Boosted Campaigns

Inspired by Discord’s Nitro system, starting at the Goblin tier ($3 a month), each Patreon gets a boost that they can use to boost a campaign. At the moment there is only one tier of boosted campaigns, but the future will see several tiers unlocked by having several boosts.

Anyone can become a Patreon to have a booster and give it to any campaign they can see. This allows players in a campaign to support their DM.

What features will be included in boosted campaigns as launch?

  • Campaign-wide theme: Campaign admins can set the campaign to always use an existing theme.
  • Campaign custom styling: Campaign admins can define custom CSS loaded on each page of a campaign.
  • Custom entity tooltips: Ability to set an entity’s tooltip in the edit interface. The default behaviour is to take the first 250 characters of an entity for the tooltip.
  • Entity header image: A large image displayed above an entity when viewing it.
  • Increased file upload size for all members of the campaign: Currently only patrons have the increased file size. This will unlock this feature for all members in a campaign.

Hopefully you get an idea of what’s a bonus and what is a core feature. I have other ideas on bonuses to add to Boosted campaigns in the future but still need to flesh them out. The goal is to keep adding small improvements for boosted campaigns to get more people to support me to work more on the app’s core features.

Kobold ($1 per month) Tier changes

Part of this shift in focus sees the Kobold tier drop out of the Hall of Fame. This is done to keep the hall of fame readable as the amount of supporters grow. All previous bonuses stay as is.

Goblin ($3 per month) and above Tier changes

The current monthly votes feature will be moved to a bi-monthly vote instead. This will allow me to flesh out features during a longer time frame with the community, while also allowing me to work on bigger features that wouldn’t fit in a single month. During the last year I had to cancel or delay several votes as features turned out to be more work than expected, and ended up being half-delivered. I want to avoid this situation in the future.

This might evolve into a quartely vote instead. This could allow having more options to vote for, with bigger impacts on the app, and with the possibility of working on several features instead of just one. The vote would then become more of a roadmap for the app. The app would still get several updates a month that concentrate on smaller features.

Going Live

These new features are planned to go into effect on Friday the 25th of October 2019. I am hoping to hear back from the community regarding some of these changes, and hope that users are as excited as I am.

Want To Help?

Love the tool and want to help even more? There is always a need for more volunteers over at the Discord server.

  • Onboarding team: I want to have an onboarding team. Users who know the product, follow the updates, and can help new users figure things out or find information they are looking for.
  • Translators: translation work requires about one or two hours of work a month once the first batch of translation is done.
  • SEO: Kanka’s SEO is terrible. I need help with canonical urls, sitemaps and GTMs.
  • Promotion: know of a community that could benefit from using Kanka? Spread the word!
  • Cross-promotion: If you are a content creator, streamer, worldbuilder or built a cool tool that share a user base, get in contact with and let’s help each other out.
  • Artists: I can scribble a few of the easy pokemons but that’s about it. I would love to have artists on the team to produce a few icons, banners or logos for various promotions and features.

Closing Words

As always, thanks to everyone who uses and loves Kanka. Thank you to those who share stories of Kanka helping them improve their worldbuilding and DMing, thank you to those who spread the word to new communities, thank you to the amazing Patrons for helping pay for the bills and guarantee continued improvement of the app.

Become part of the community by joining the Discord, or help the app improve by supporting me on Patreon.

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