If you have been trying to access the Closed Alpha Test site, you will notice that over the last few days that (A) you can't and (B) as of now, it currently requires further authentication for access. We are doing some preparations for opening the Public Alpha Test and, unfortunately, this is necessary for a few things that have changed. I will list the changes and pending issues. This information will also be in a public newspost when we open the Public Alpha Test:
We have addressed the most common points of criticism, notably the font size being too big, and the My Characters page not being compact enough. Overall, most of you seemed to be happy with the direction of the design, but it is still very much open for input.
The Gender System
The closed site alpha included a redesigned gender system, with the intents to allow you to be more detailed, and alleviating the need for labels that some perceive as slurs.
Your feedback on this was clear and we have heard it. You brought up issues with searching, filtering, quickly identifying genders on a profile, and general ease of use. All of those are very understandable concerns, and we do not have clear solutions for them.
We are now trying something different; a more general approach that many of you have asked for for a long time. Every non-text character information field now allows you to add an optional comment to it. This includes Gender, and allows you to specify exactly what your character is.
We are also aware that this doesn’t directly address the issue of what some perceive as slurs being used as official labels on the site. During the Public Alpha Test, we will be running a poll to collect user opinions on the gender system to see what you prefer.
A very common point of criticism was kinks being hidden away in a tab rather than immediately visible, and we have therefore adjusted this. Also, many of you rightfully brought up that with inlines now being a part of a character’s normal gallery, you overall have fewer image slots available. To compensate, we have raised everyone’s image limit to 60 (from 50) and further raised the image limit for Subscribers to 200 (from 150).
Many of you seemed excited about animated inlines coming, but also voiced concerns about having to see shocking or unexpected content. In addition to the “Image Display Mode” setting, we have therefore added a setting to “Auto-play animated content”. If you turn this off, animated inlines and icons will only play if you hover over them, and display only their first frame with a play symbol otherwise.
The icon/eicon BBCode
While a lot of you seem to appreciate or at least understand and be indifferent about the changes to these tags, you have also voiced understandable concerns about having to fix existing usages of these codes. Therefore, with this migration, we are trying out an experimental fix for existing usages on profiles. This is ultimately just a simple and stupid text replace, so in some cases this may have caused issues - but based on your feedback, we figured that this would overall cause less work for you.
Obviously, with this now being a public alpha, Subscriber status is no longer required to access the alpha site. Instead, you can now unlock Subscriber status by linking your Patreon account to your F-List account in your Settings. Consider this an evaluation period - if this goes well, we may very well be able to carry this system over to the live site and finally offer a way to unlock Subscriber status again!
The following are issues that we know about and haven’t been able to address yet, but are working on resolving.
Many of you already correctly assumed so, and yes, the current logo on the new site is a placeholder. We are working with a professional designer to finish up a new and much better one, but it is not quite ready yet.
Renaming characters is still disabled on the alpha site. The details of this system are still being finalized, and it will be ready soon.
Filtering RP Ads
Many of you have suggested that these need better filtering options, most notably basic things like gender and species of the character posting them. We agree! How exactly those filters will work depends on how the gender system will ultimately work on the new site, though, so this will have to wait until that decision is finalized.
Yep, still missing! Work on it will resume once the initial feedback on the new site is sufficiently addressed. It’s pretty far along though, and it has some awesome things to look forward to.
There will be more information once the Public Alpha Test launches. We are still on track to release the Public Alpha Test tomorrow, pending any serious issues. Access to the Closed Alpha Test should be available some time in the next 8-10 hours, and Closed Alpha Test users will have a few hours to take a look at the new changes before the Public Alpha Test access begins.
That's all for now! Thanks for reading!