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Kyle

How would you like your Chronicles?

How Would You Like Your Chronicles?  

60 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Which Format Would You Prefer for Chronicles?

    • Ezine
      29
    • Blog
      31


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Hi everyone!

As you may or may not have noticed, I've been your friendly neighborhood game designer who has been putting Wyrd's bi-monthly ezine, Chronicles, together for the last year. In that time, we've been able to share some great and diverse content created by our community. 

We all download and read Chronicles for different reasons. Some open it up to discover new stories in the Malifaux-verse. Some read it to find out about our latest releases. Others look to be inspired creatively, with topics ranging from cosplay, painting tutorials, and suggestions on how to build a thematic gaming board. There might even be someone out there who appreciates the horrible time travel jokes that I try to sneak in here and there. 

That being said, this poll isn't about why we read Chronicles, but rather, how

Since Chronicles came to be, we've always understood it as a bi-monthly ezine. Every other month, a free magazine would be at your digital doorstep. But what if it was different?

Would you prefer to receive the content we put into Chronicles every other month in one big chunk (like we do now), or would you prefer the content to be provided in a more streamlined way over a period of time in something more like a blog format? This would allow us to get stories, tutorials, tactics articles, previews, updates on our releases, and other Wyrd news to you on a more regular and consistent basis. 

Let us know what you think with your vote! 

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I think the other question is where: if it was in blog format, would it be posted on the Wyrd site or would it still be a download from DriveThruRPG?  I'd personally be happy with either choice but I know there's a fair few people who don't like having to download to read it, so if that barrier's removed with the blog format then it's got my vote.

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I personally like the idea of the ezine since several times when looking at press stands I've thought that it would be amazing having a physical Wyrd magazine, but whatever format is fine with me... so choose the one that makes your life easier so you can keep the high quality showed so far!

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3 hours ago, bedjy said:

I don't check blogs :(

What if it was linked on the website? 

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I'm not a blog reader either. Also, not meaning to be rude, but the 'same content but spread over 2 months' is the kind of promise heard so many times in this hobby, and rarely delivered. It's easy to accidentally miss a few blog entries, but a deadline keeps you honest.

edit - i realize Chronicles is entirely free, and I greatly appreciate what's been done with it for that price tag. I'm just not a fan of blogs.

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5 minutes ago, Kai said:

What if it was linked on the website? 

well I think i will, you got me :)
Still, it was good to have the chronicles downloaded, to have something to read when there is no internet, in the train or whatever.

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3 hours ago, bedjy said:

well I think i will, you got me :)
Still, it was good to have the chronicles downloaded, to have something to read when there is no internet, in the train or whatever.

I wonder if they'd consider doing both; a Blog to post whatever whenever, and every two months they compile the articles (or just the best ones) into a .pdf? 

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I like the fact that I can download everything at once to my tablet and read it without data connection. It is a good mix of topics. I am afraid that blogs don't keep things varied enough. Admittedly, I don't follow blogs. So not the most informed on the topic. But the few that I have visited seem pretty focused. I also like the magazine layout of the Chronicles. I keep wishing on every star I can find for a print version. 

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If it was a blog, how would you handle something like a One-Shot adventure for Through the Breach? Would it still be downloadable as a separate document?

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Sadly, I can't speak on what we would and wouldn't do specifically on individual subjects because this was a hypothetical poll. It would make sense to have the one-shots downloadable so that they can be printed for general ease of use. Is there an even better way of providing that content? Maybe. I'm not the type of person to make an early decision on something without seeing all potential variables on the table, so who knows?

Both ezine and blog formats have their issues, and I appreciate everyone proposing their concerns with the theoretical change. It sounds like the biggest concern about blogs, though, is that the content would change - and it might, but that's because a magazine format has limitations as to what sort of content it can provide. Variance in content wouldn't change, in fact, we might be able to vary the content even more because of the type of content that we could create and deliver is wider with a blog. A blog would have its own limitations, sure, but the potential for something greater is there. 

In its current format, Chronicles struggles with a few things.

1.) Interactivity. It's difficult to start a dialogue with the created content and the readers. Posting your thoughts about a story or a picture on a variation of custom terrain that you made after following a tutorial in a blog would be much easier to do. Right now, you have to download Chronicles and then make a post in the forum about it, which isn't a big deal, but it definitely is more steps.

2.) Tech limitations. I can understand wanting to download the .pdf so that it can be read offline, but another issue is that some people can't download and read the file at all. There are multiple barriers that prevent some users from accessing Chronicles. The most basic example is if someone likes to use their cell phone as a way to read the content, there's a significant chance that they won't be able to easily navigate through a document that was not designed for that screen format.

3.) Content flow. Right now, because of the way magazines work, it's difficult to create content on what's happening in the now. A prime example: our painting contests. We usually either have to talk about them before the fact or after, but very rarely are we able to talk about something during (unless it's Iron Painter, which is an exception because of its length). 

I'm not trying to sway opinions either way. This is just a conversation about how we can make Chronicles better, and a format change was a discussion we wanted to have with our community. Personally? I'm a blog reader. I think it's really easy to look through content and click on what I want to read and ignore the content that I'm not interested in. I like reading content on my phone and not on my PC. But the way I consume content is going to be different from the next person, which is exactly why we made this poll in the first place. The magazines that I still receive in the mail get largely ignored because the content is likely already dated in comparison to the content I received the day or week prior. 

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The level of engagement with the chronicles is always disappointing considering the work that goes in, and I *know* people are reading them.

I wonder if a blog format would get more discussions going?

Also interesting that most of the comments here support an e-zine when blog is winning the pole. 

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4 minutes ago, Lalochezia said:

The level of engagement with the chronicles is always disappointing considering the work that goes in, and I *know* people are reading them.

I wonder if a blog format would get more discussions going?

Also interesting that most of the comments here support an e-zine when blog is winning the pole. 

Not surprising though. The people that are willing to take the extra steps to download an e-zine are are the ones who are more willing to take the extra time to post an opinion about it.

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2 minutes ago, Flinroz said:

Not surprising though. The people that are willing to take the extra steps to download an e-zine are are the ones who are more willing to take the extra time to post an opinion about it.

Maybe. I think they're also the people who have been around longer and sort of knee jerk to the way things are.

Not criticizing that though. I voted for ezine a few day's ago for similar reasons (and cause e-zines are cool) but after thinking on it and reading Kyle's comment I would change my vote to blog. So, uh, feel free to adjust the numbers mentally when you look at them.

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Well, if this is purely hypothetical, how about both? For your consideration, a proposal for a two-tier approach. It's just stuff off the top of my head, so I'm sure there's a lot more to think about.

Blog

  • Shorter articles (around 1 page, if published in the Chronicles)
  • Timely topic coverage, including events and smaller announcements
  • Short articles featuring minis or products available in that particular month; for example...
    • how-to painting for a single mini
    • tactical advice for a single mini or a team of up to 2 minis
    • Featured Through The Breach Fatemaster Character or location
    • In-character AMA with characters from any of Wyrd's games
    • Themed Malifaux scenarios
  • Short features, like a particular player's minis or tabletop scenery
  • Stories designed to encourage interaction
  • Interviews with Wyrd staff
  • Pictures! Lots of images.
    • It might just be me, but if I see a magazine where the content is predominantly images (*cough* a certain UK publication *cough*) it feels like padding. On a blog, though, I will--and have--happily browse pictures for hours for entertainment and inspiration.
  • Videos
  • Front-loaded with "timeless" content set to appear at scheduled times over the course of the next year
    • This will allow content to appear regularly even things are busy, or over holidays.

To Avoid with the Blog...

  • Duplicating output in other channels (e.g., Monday/Friday Previews)
    • Otherwise, the blog just becomes redundant and people will just stick to the forums and their Facebook feeds.

Chronicles - Proposed Content

  • Longer-form articles
  • Fiction
  • In-depth articles, for example...
    • how-to for custom or scratch-built scenery
    • faction analysis
    • TtB adventures
    • Malifaux campaigns
  • Basically, anything not timely in nature that would be too long to hold a reader's interest if posted as a blog entry.

To Avoid with the Blog...

  • Anything that people can get elsewhere (especially more easily)

 

Challenges with This Model

  • Content for Everything
    • Some blog things like event coverage would be very easy to do
    • Set blog content designed to be front-loaded would be more challenging, even if added periodically (as opposed to just one massive set-up at the start of the year, for example)
Edited by War Disciple
Videos! Darn it, I can't believe I forgot something so obvious...

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29 minutes ago, Lalochezia said:

Not criticizing that though. I voted for ezine a few day's ago for similar reasons (and cause e-zines are cool) but after thinking on it and reading Kyle's comment I would change my vote to blog. So, uh, feel free to adjust the numbers mentally when you look at them.

Justin, you should know if you click the "Show Vote Options" button you can resubmit your vote.

My vote to blog is simply b/c I don't like signing into RPG drivethrough and bothering to download a zip, and unzipping. Blog just feels a higher potential for less clicks. Plus since I'm inclined read at different locations at different times incremental content would probably be a bonus in my particular situation.

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33 minutes ago, 7thSquirrel said:

Justin, you should know if you click the "Show Vote Options" button you can resubmit your vote.

 

Oh, well, look at you and your "technology."

 

😛

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I can understand both sides of the argument but seeing as this is about opinions then I prefer e zine as a format... I never use my phone for anythng but phone calls and I look forward to an ezine every two months knowing I will read all of it because it is limited so I will often read Through The Breach scenarios even though I don't play it....a blog is take it or leave it and even the odd couple of blogs that I do follow I only check in a few times a year to see what has been going on generally but never as part of an on going discussion

Ultimately I'm easy...whatever makes people happy is ok with me even if that does mean less engagement for me personally 

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I think the biggest issue with chronicles right now is that its not a direct file you can get on the wyrd site. You are routed to drivethroughrpg, you then have several clicks to get the ezine downloaded on your preferred device. Where in theory a blog would be click and content is right there for the scrolling. Additionally removing the amount of steps needed to get to the content means your keeping people closer to where they can post about said content.   If you want more discussion on the items you need to the items where the discussion is occuring and limit the separation between the content and the discussion engines.

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I think a blog would be better for the game. Chronicles is filled both with cool and useful content, but hidden behind too many steps to get it.

Think back to when you first got interested in Malifaux. Did you search the web for info? Did you find many? Imagine if all the Chronicles articles were available online.
The articles about how to get into X faction cheap are fantastic, and the kind of content someone thinking about getting into the game would appreciate.

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One of my main points of issue is the short stories. Published in a PDF feels official. In a blog entry, no matter the source, will feel like fan fiction.

Also easy to lose if the blog ever stops getting supported and the pages go offline.

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I prefer the pdf ezine format. I'm not sure why all the hang up over going through Drivetru (it is a bit annoying, but really? First world problems! :)). As @-Loki- said above, an ezine feels much more official and polished than a blog would and having the 2 monthly timeline means it actually gets done whereas I imagine a blog would wither out over time.

ezine all the way for me!

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Thanks for your feedback, everyone! Your thoughts, concerns, and votes will all go into consideration with Chronicles moving forward. 

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