June was a tough month and I never got a chance to check in. Everything seemed to be moving at hyper speed for me and suddenly I was moving and juggling new projects and everything in my offline life felt chaotic and oppressive. It was also just a really rough month for me personally, and for whatever reason the universe has been putting obstacles in front of numerous other staff members as well during the past few weeks. It's been kind of an odd month for us. I know several requests/messages went to the maximum wait time recently and I really appreciate how understanding everyone has been about it, things are getting back to normal now.
I feel bad that I haven't been able to make adoptables, submit much group artwork, or hang out much on the Discord for a while. I'm looking forward to August when I will have some free time to be more a part of things. From July 5th - July 25th I am traveling a lot, most of it is for work and I will be really busy. I'll keep checking in and do what I can, but it will be a bit of a semi-hiatus for me and I will again request that people send species/game questions to the group directly during that time instead of sending me notes or DMs that I might not be able to answer right away.
I'm happy to have our new admins fiachmara
joining the team. I want to continue working on being transparent and communicative so I'm going to make some open comments here about hiring at TWWM. I know the choices for this round could be considered unconventional, but maybe we are a little different from other ARPG/CS groups. I'm not really preoccupied with experience level or past ARPG participation/admin work in applicants and I don't think it can accurately predict whether someone will be a good team member or not. I think it can be too easy to pass on a good candidate just because they are newer to something; opening the door to someone new can be really great and I don't really want our staff team to be restricted to old school TWWMers. Fiachmara had sent in an inquiry when applications first opened and then became eligible during the review period, we felt it was fair to give them a chance. We brought a newer TWWM member into the team but I don't see that as a bad thing, and I hope it gives encouragement to anyone who is on the newer side and wants to apply for our next round of applications (which will continue to open gradually).
I also feel like it may be necessary to address that we did bring in a new staff member that is in a relationship with an existing staff member. Concerns about how this would be perceived weighed heavily on me because I want you all to feel that we are unbiased. I know it would feel really bad to apply for a position and feel like you didn't have a fair chance... I really don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or make anyone feel disrespected and I'm really sorry if you have felt this way, I know a bit about how that feels and it sucks. This was one of those hard choices where I had to trust myself despite these worries because in my mind no one should be disqualified from applying just because of their relationship status, it's really not fair. It has no bearing on whether someone is a good candidate or not, and when it came down to it I either had to make a decision based on perceived bias from players or based on actual bias from myself against admins in relationships. My integrity is important to me so I decided to make an unbiased choice. I thought Bagel was the right choice and relationship connections is not a factor in my decision, and I think it is unfair to make those connections into an automatic rejection. And, if it matters to anyone, Snoodls was not involved in their review process or hiring decision.
I wish I could give jobs to everyone, I want you all to feel important and validated because that's how I feel about you. The game doesn't exist without the community! I want to think of more ways to thank you, I don't feel like I have done enough so far. I want to do more with the TWWM Volunteer Projects
but it still hasn't gotten its bearings quite yet. We are having a meeting this month to discuss the feature and I'd like to get your feedback as well. I hope we can do this better.
The current event is really driven by your feedback from the Fresh Waters Biome Event
and I am eager to see how it goes. I hope you all enjoy the narrative and different parts of this event. I think next time I would like to bring back the bonus quest challenges (and make those more writer-friendly) and I am still working on ways to integrate NPC-created MYOs into events. I felt that taking a gradual step forward by adding the Greenhouse raffles with preference-based tickets to this event was a good way to test some new things out before throwing a whole new mechanic in the mix. I hope you have fun with it and find the raffles to be lower stress. We will again have a wrap-up at the end of this event for feedback and discussion, your suggestions are really driving the development of the game and I am so grateful! I can't wait to see everyone's event submissions~
The team has worked overtime to put everything together for this event — we are so excited to share it with you all! Really huge thank you to the team, I cannot do this without you~