On January 18th, 2020 we posted a survey mainly for our Discord server members and Twitter followers to take part in. The idea of the survey is to ask questions about the Discord server experience, outlook on Trixel Creative and its content, and various personal questions (all anonymous) so that we can have a better understanding of our audience.
We received a high number of survey submissions, so we want to thank our community for taking part! The results will influence our platform going forward, and we intend to post similar surveys more than once a year to best understand the community's feedback.
The results of the January 2020 survey has encouraged the following changes and plans:
Discord Server Moderation
We have tinkered a bit with things behind the scenes and are working to change our moderation methods. We have now appointed a lead moderator to oversee the moderation team, have recently brought on new moderators, have written extensive guidelines on general Trixel Creative team member ethics, and specific moderation guidelines as well. Additionally, the moderation side of the server now has an audit log for record-keeping and tidier communication. Peer approval for a moderator's question of the day suggestion is mandatory, and moderators are generally more interlinked with internal happenings at Trixel Creative, such as events, giveaways, contests, etc.
We are still working to improve in the near future, including further changes to the way the Discord server's rules and auto-mod bot is handled.
Discord Server Activities & Events
We've seen how open the community is to the idea of starting server-wide activities and events. We're in the process of creating an all-new Discord Create-Off contest for February. The contest will be based in LittleBigPlanet, and the winner will receive a reward! Along with community contests, we are looking into server-wide game nights, more giveaway opportunities, streaming events for general gaming and project development, and even more...
No Discord Server Phone Verification
It's gone! The phone verification requirement was put into place last month, and has proven to be a bit of a pain to newcomers. We've lifted this requirement and already have alternate security measures enabled for the server.
More Project Updates
As we expand to work on more projects, our goal is to provide more regularly-scheduled progress updates. This isn't always possible to the casual nature of our team and development schedules, but in addition to our projects being spotlighted yearly at Tri-Expo, we are planning to bring you updates on our content right here on the news blog as soon as its ready to show... and if you're in our Discord server, you might just get extra peeks!
Discord Server Developer Communication
You can chat with our project developers through our official Discord Server from time-to-time as they pop into their respective project channels. We are looking into scheduled Q&A chat sessions with them, and will update you all as soon as we have an answer on that.
One of our most highly-voted proposals is for us to reach out to respected or promising community creators from your favorite UGC communities and ask them questions we all want to know. Questions that would ask them how their creation(s) work, what their inspiration was, how long it took to make, their favorite personal creation, and more questions that you guys want to hear answers to.
Representation and Diversity
With a large chunk of our community being in minority groups, we want to ensure that everyone is fairly represented. It's not uncommon for developers and creative decisions to sometimes overlook those who may never get to see themselves fairly represented in their favorite media. At Trixel Creative we have always been, and always will be, vocal in our support for everyone, regardless of who they are. We take things like mental health, discrimination, and bias very seriously.
Our goal is to create a community where everyone can feel equal and fair, and free from unrelated things like politics and personal bias. We anonymously polled the community on their ethnicity, orientation, location, etc. so that we can have a better understanding of our audience and how to best represent and protect them in our content and on our platform.
The majority of votes on our survey are in agreement that we should continue to support minority groups and represent diversity. This is not a matter of opinion or politics.
Question of the Day Role (Ping Opt-in)
We're aware that daily pings for the Question of the Day channel can annoy some people. This can be turned off at any time by suppressing @here and @everyone in the channel's notification override settings. As an easier way to make sure only those who want to participate are participating, we're exploring the idea of allowing server members to opt-in to see the channel and receive notifications for daily questions. This opt-in/opt-out system would be instant and easy, and would likely be done through a bot message that you'd simply react or un-react to.
Spotlights Channel Changes
We will be giving everyone a better chance at being spotlighted by potentially opening a spotlights channel request form on our website. Instead of linking only community servers, you could also link creations! You'd simply link your server or creation link, write a description, title, and credit yourself, and the moderators will decide on whether or not to add it. The Spotlights channel serves as a quick hub destination for server members to easily find exceptional stuff, like community creations and other servers.
More Open Donation Stance
We are able to accept donations for our platform and original projects, but not those based on existing IPs (example: not our LBP3 levels). We offer the community a chance to support us via our website, where you can find a donation page and a merchandise page. Merchandise gives us a small amount of profit to use for our platform itself, and donations allow you to donate more generously (even if it's $1-$5+), and will go directly toward the improvement of our platform.
Memes Channel Changes
Our Memes channel has a pretty "meh" bot, huh? Well, we are removing it. Who needs a stale bot when you can just post your own funny memes and share them with each other? Please make sure they're appropriate and NOT NSFW. The channel will no longer be marked as NSFW, so keep all funny business to yourself please.
Unfortunately, we write to you with some rather upsetting news. We've very recently received a cease and desist notice for our "LittleBigPlanet Restitched" project. The C&D comes from Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, and states the reason for the take-down being "commercialization" of the project. We have complied with all regulations that were given to us, including the project being non-profit, but we ultimately have no legal say in the situation.
This comes as a bit of a surprise due to the continued interest and support of developers who were involved with the original series. We've been in contact with the LittleBigPlanet community manager from the start, who believed the project would be generally acceptable to make as long as it stayed non-profit and was always disclaimed to be a fan game. We were in the process of working with the community manager to reach out to Sony for further guidelines for the project, but before doing so, we received the cease and desist notice. We are very, very gutted by this news, as it's been everyone involved's dream to create a new nostalgic experience for the community.
This is not the end of our story, however. When starting this project we knew of the risk, and despite negative comments critiquing our reveal methods, we now know Sony's ultimate stance on the situation, and we can say we knew sooner rather than later. Because of this coming so early in development, we are now able to use our platform and project's framework to bring our alternate vision to life. From the start, we have occasionally reminded and prepared ourselves for this outcome, and now we are ready to shift gears and bring you a similar experience albeit in a different package.
"So, what does this mean?" you're probably asking yourself. This means that we are doubling our creative energy as a team to create something original and unique... Something that is inspired by our favorite franchise, but is all-new, and conjured up by the same team of community veterans and creators. Think of this new chapter as a homage to all like-minded UGC games. We've heard you loud and clear when you say there's nothing quite like it available for PC, and we're working to change that by creating what we believe will be a spiritual successor. This will not be a fan game or re-imagining like before, but instead a new indie passion project that will become an entirely new game that can stand on its own, and we hope to keep the same feeling and style that we all know and love. This re-imagining of the Restitched project might be a small bump in the road, but it will ultimately open new opportunities for Trixel Creative, its developers, and the community we continue to build through our content. With the restrictions of copyright being lifted, we can now focus on providing a multiplayer and social experience for the game; features our community have been very vocal about having. Additionally, we are now exploring other avenues for distributing the game.
The motivation and passion behind this project is overwhelmingly large. We are all united by our love of the same thing, and if there's anyone who understands what makes LBP special, it's our team of very talented creators and developers. We are confident that we can create an experience we'll all find familiar and special. LittleBigPlanet will always be there, and will always be a special source of inspiration for what we are making next.
So, thank you all so very much for being a part of this. Your support has pushed us a long way, and has changed everything for us. We're very grateful to have your support and encouragement, and only hope that you will join us as we continue to develop an all-new handcrafted experience. Just because this isn't LittleBigPlanet or Sackboy doesn't stop us from creating what we initially set out to make.
We are saddened by this news, but we are excited about the new opportunities it will present. We already have ideas and the cogs keep turning. We can't wait to show you all what you can expect in the near future, and how this change will benefit the players.
Because of the C&D notice, we were required to remove any mention of LittleBigPlanet Restitched from our platform. Namely, our website.
You can keep up-to-date by following our Twitter and Instagram accounts, keeping an eye on the website, and by joining our Discord server (news is usually posted there first).
Some of us are back from a short break, and our creative cogs are already turning for 2020! We had an excellent 2019, and in the last month of the year we grew our community by a nearly overwhelming amount. So, thank you for joining us and being part of our creative journey!
To start the year off, we have a few things we'd like to cover, including news and content:
You guys are incredible. We never anticipated such an overwhelmingly positive response to our project, especially in its early stages! We've heard you all loud and clear, and, although we are a small team, we are taking note of all of your suggestions and feedback for what you want to see in a LittleBigPlanet game.
Our team is very embedded in the history of the series, and are community members and creators themselves, so rest assured that we know the magic of the imagisphere very well, and we hope to recapture it in what we create from here going forward.
We have plans to bring the spirit of LBP to you via PC, and will talk about them soon.
Downloads Page Overhaul + New Media Kit
We've given the site's Downloads page a much-needed overhaul to fit with the aesthetic of our redesign. From the Downloads page you can find useful media and assets, such as our:
You can visit the Downloads page now to view our collection of growing content, including our new Trixel Creative Media Kit that will provide you with our signature patterned backgrounds, themed and standard logos, and various useful assets related to our platform.
New Store Merchandise
If you find yourself wanting to support us while still receiving some neat goodies, you can take a look at our site's Store page! On our Store page you can find a small selection of neat LBP and project-related designs for various merchandise items, or you can represent our platform by purchasing a Trixel Creative design on products like apparel, notebooks, stickers, and more. We also have a Tri-Expo logo for fans of the event!
Profits from our fan art designs (we're in the fan art program now, woohoo!), Trixel Creative designs, and project designs will go straight to our reserved money pool for the platform, where we hold funds to use for domain/site costs, web storage hosting, and more. Most t-shirt items will profit us with around $2-5 each.
By donating, you can help us afford our platform and our original projects' outsourcing. We may use the funds to purchase things like file hosting storage space, our web domain fees, and giveaway items to give back to the community. Your donation will be a one time payment and would help us immensely!
By clicking donate on our Donate page, you will be taken to a money pool on PayPal. This pool was created by a Trixel Creative owner and your donation will be stored away into a secure place only accessible by the Trixel Creative owners. Whether you spare $2 or $10+, we would be very appreciative, as every bit helps us to keep our platform running so that we can continue to offer amazing community creations for you!
Because of the fact that our projects may be based on existing intellectual property (fan games, in-game UGC content, etc.), we are not able to accept donations for those projects themselves due to legal reasons. Your funds will support our platform, such as our website and storage space, in which the projects are indirectly benefited by allowing us to share them with you!
New Trixel Creative Team Picks
The lovely community manager, Steven Isbell, has given our Tri-Expo spotlighted LBP3 projects a glorious pink rosette with this Friday's Team Picks.
Whack away those pesky minions in the Evergreen Park spin-off mini-game, "WHACK-A-BUBBLE!", or get a taste of LittleBigPlanet Restitched by playing our large sticker kit giveaway level, "'Restitched' Sticker Kit", where you can collect 80 new stickers to use in your own creations (all from LBPR itself)!
These levels are only available in LittleBigPlanet 3, and can be played right now!
New Growth (wow!)
Wow... Wow! No, seriously... WOW. You guys have blown our minds, and our numbers! Before Tri-Expo, our Discord server had around 280 members, and our Twitter following was around 980 followers. After Tri-Expo, our numbers shot up to 2,200+ server members and 1,900+ Twitter followers (and growing!).
We can't thank you enough for your support. Numbers mean nothing, but community means everything. Each and every one of you play an important role in allowing us to create and share the things that we do. Without you guys, LittleBigPlanet Restitched, our other projects, and our platform itself was only a dream. Thanks to our growing community we can make sure that our projects and platform are as well-supplied and well-maintained as we can make them, and that's a gift that will keep giving.
If you're new to Trixel Creative, be sure to check out our previous projects in LittleBigPlanet 2 and 3, and take a look around our site. You can find some really neat info and accolades on the "About Us" page!
To stay up-to-date on all things Trixel Creative, join our Discord server. It's where the cool kids hang out, and if you're not a cool kid, then you're... a less cool kid!
Our Discord server offers immediate access to chat with our community and team members, and we also post announcements and internal info and media there. We also host the occasional competitions where community members can enter to earn potential rewards like LBP DLC and physical items. We plan to do a lot of neat community activities soon, so come and check it out! We can't wait to chat with you. :)