Well, what can I say?

I created a thread for your feedback, and to gather information that helped us get to know you guys a bit better. You all responded far, far more than Syn or I expected! And your answers… well… we didn’t know exactly what we’d hear, but we were certainly interested in the outcome.

In fact, I was so interested that not only did I try to respond to everyone, but I actually compiled each response you gave us into a spreadsheet to get a better idea of the response demographics. Here’s what we discovered, and the choices we made based on your feedback.

Most Readers of Wayrift Didn’t Start Out as FFIV Fans!

ffivfanfirst

This took Syn and I by surprise. We knew there were a number of folks who had never played the game before they read Wayrift. We had NO idea that made up 70% of the readers who responded!! Seriously?

And 43% of you said you either went out to play or watch the game as a result of Wayrift! What do you think? Squeenix should let us handle some of their marketing, eh? J/K

What does this tell us? Well… that Wayrift has an appeal beyond FFIV fans. In fact, it encourages people to become FFIV fans. That’s really flattering, actually! ^^;

There’s some things I still can’t make conclusions about. These numbers might say that maybe we don’t retain FFIV fans as much? Or maybe FFIV fans are just somewhat rare? Hard to say.

 

Do the FFIV Elements in Wayrift Matter?

ffivelements

Well, the majority of people said that we should do what we thought was right whether we remove FFIV elements or not. Some of those “Up To Yous” were positive and embraced the idea of change. Many of these, however, were concerned that change would be bad, but trusted us to do what we saw best for our creation.

Many responded that they didn’t feel they knew enough about FFIV and the game’s elements to make this choice. Quite a bit, actually. And that’s fine, too.

We had a small percentage that was positive and thought it would be interesting to see how we’d work it.

But 30% of you flat out said no or that it would take out an important part of what you enjoyed of Wayrift.

It was also mentioned that if we weren’t careful to change enough FFIV elements that we might end up crossing a line that would get us in trouble.

Well, based on this response, and on the response to the next question, it looks like we’ve decided to leave the FFIV references as they are. We appreciate folks offering information about how they view the changing FFIV canon. It gives us a reassurance that just because FFIV changed, doesn’t make Wayrift any less valid. (I guess sometimes we all need to hear that.)

Should we Reboot the Beginning of Wayrift?

reboot

I had a feeling we’d get this kind of response (especially since I dropped the ball with Shimmer… I know… I know…), but I didn’t foresee as large a group — 63% — who were either completely against it or uncertain (though borderline negative). Again, there was a healthy group who said they’d leave it up to our artistic vision. Only a few were really behind the idea completely.

I responded to a lot of your posts, listened to why you felt the way you do, and you guys have convinced Syn and I. Rebooting Wayrift is not a good idea, not even if that means rewriting the beginning completely. I’m alright with that, the more that I read and digested the responses.

But I still feel like we need to do something to help new readers slide into the comic easier.

So Now What?

Well, firstly, I migrated Wayrift to Comic Easel. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it has some nice features that’s going to help me out in the future. I’ll talk about those things as I get them implemented.

Secondly, I wanted to thank Sworday for an excellent suggestion that really got me thinking. Syn and I have discussed it some, and I’d like to propose this as a way to keep the old work, introduce new readers to a more manageable amount of content, and offer them the option of swimming through the archives if they feel inclined to read it all.

You could, once the things calm down in the main story, do a “second beginning”. Basically, start a chapter that is still current in the story, but gives enough explanation of previous plot points so that if somebody wanted, they could just start reading there and read the previous chapters later. Drowtales did this after their continuity timeskip, and the manga Berserk did a version of it where everything that came before it became non-essential knowledge to understand the current plot. Berserk’s application of the method may not work in this case, but the general idea could. I don’t think you guys would have to hard of a time making a chapter that goes over the previous essential plot points in the near future, especially since Cecil seems about to get an overdue explanation.

What I’m considering doing:

  • Archiving everything in Book 1 as Wayrift Legacy Chapters. Nothing would change — they’d still be on the site, no comments lost, just organized in a different way, separate from Book 2. 
  • Creating a Prequel type chapter that comes before the Introduction of Book 2 that summarizes the most important parts of Book 1, and introduces important elements up front, such as the Dimensions. I’d make sure to reference chapters and pages where readers can go back to explore these happenings. Completely new art for this. This would be where new readers start.
  • This would be done alongside continuing the current storyline, so we keep moving forward. I’d be working on getting extra pages out when I could for the Prequel from time to time.
  • Start advertising using banner ads again. It seems like that was really what brought a number of folks to Wayrift!

I’d love your feedback on this solution. I feel like it would work well, but if you have other suggestions to add to this, let me know. We are listening!

Oh, and if you have a moment, I’d like to know one last thing. If you haven’t taken the poll already, please do. It helps me know what platforms people are using to see the newest updates for Wayrift. Thanks!

[poll id=”15″]