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Another news update

Well, I had hoped it wouldn't be another whole month between News posts, but here's what's been going on:

The mailing list is basically finished, and has been successfully tested on the PCC userbase. We're currently working towards some changes to make our first wide-access newsletter more worthwhile, but we expect it to go out this month. If you are interested in receiving the mailing list newsletter, or especially if you are part of the PCC, please check your account to make sure your listed email address is up-to-date.

We're also in the middle of re-working how new trial signups and subscriptions are handled. New trials will now require a functional email address, and confirmation via a special URL mailed out to the new account holder's email address. This is being done because of the excessive overhead we've experienced on people wanting to recover old accounts, forgetting passwords, or generally not having any way of being contacted by us for administrative problems. Signing up for the newsletter is still totally optional and opt-in (double opt-in, technically, considering the address is also confirmed on signup, and the email confirms their selections).

This process will also make sure people have more information on how to subscribe, how to cancel, where to find more information, and hopefully handle a lot of the common-case scenarios that we usually have to address via support email.

Only one account will be permitted per email address. If an already-used address is entered, a button will allow the person to send a single account recovery email. New trials will also get 16 hours of gameplay, instead of the previous 8 hours, but will not be able to join or create guilds. For those of you who have guilds built on trial accounts, please take notice, you'll need to restructure your guilds with real people (if a previously subscribed guild member becomes unsubscribed, they will still remain in their guild, this only covers new, never-before-subscribed trial accounts).

With some luck, this revised trial behaviour will go into production next week.

I know I said I would be looking at Border Skirmish in the immediate future, and I have a long list of changes based on user feedback and my own time playing, but this work has not yet been completed. Hopefully we'll be back to that very soon as well. I'll be posting a general "todo" list to Suggestions once it's more finalized.

Some of our time is being absorbed by a very cool feature addition that we can't really talk about yet. Hopefully you'll all be able to see the results within a couple of weeks. I hate to be vague and secretive like that, but this involves another company and some outside technology. I do want to mention that it's happening, simply because it is using up some of our time, and looking at the list of things above would probably incline one to wonder "what are they doing?".

Michael's also been doing some cool work on PCC features. Hopefully we'll have the PCC more "production-ready" within the next couple of weeks, in time for our newsletter and other announcements.

I would like to have posted more broadly exciting stuff in here, rather than a lot of fascinating administrative changes, but this is work that we need to get out of the way before we bring in more players. What with there being only four of us, the administrative overhead of, say, answering billing questions, is higher than we would like, and detracts from our actually developing the game. The better we can optimize this through more streamlined signups and information availability, the better.

Thanks everyone, I'll try to post again within another week or two, and get these newsposts back to being a more frequent event.