Holy guacamole, this past June marked the one year anniversary of the Role Kickstarter! Where has the time gone? It feels like we closed our Kickstarter just a few months ago. This also means that Role Early Access has now been live for the public for over six months! I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year since we successfully closed our Kickstarter, and take peek at what’s to come.
October 2020: Private Early Access
We launched our Private Early Access at the beginning of last October. We invited everyone who backed our Kickstarter to come and join us in the earliest days of the Role Platform. We learned so much in the two months during our private launch. We quickly saw where the platform needed work and immediately saw where people were finding value. It helped immensely that we had such a vocal early cohort of users willing to use a beta product.
December 2020: Public Early Access
As we entered December, we made a couple of big changes that would set us up for the first half of 2021. First, we opened up Early Access to the public to allow anyone to create a Role account. Second, we launched the first version of our Template Creator tools. How we enable people to create and share content on Role has always been one of our top priorities. With the launch of this feature we saw a huge spike in usage of Role as well as the games that Role supports dramatically expand!
January-February 2021: Video and UX Improvements
Our first few releases of this year saw a big improvement in the stability of our video and audio calls. We also made several UX improvements and released new features like collaborative sheets, text chat, and enhanced dice tray options.
March 2021: Native Safety Tools
Safety has been on our minds since Day 1. It was even one of our Kickstarter stretch goals! With the help of Safety Consultants Kienna Shaw and Lauren Bryant-Monk , curators of the TTRPG Safety Toolkit, we became the first tabletop RPG platform with native safety tools built in from the start! We built a safety tools agnostic system that lets GMs and players choose whichever method they would like for safety at their table. We are excited with how our initial approach to safety on Role came out and we will continue to invest in making Role a safe place to play.
April-June 2021: Continued improvements
The last few months we’ve continued to release improvements to existing features as well as release minor features to enhance play. Improvements such as opening up access to more people to experience Role, allowing Markdown in Text Chat, and bug fixes.
The Rest of 2021: Big changes coming!
Last week we posted a Kickstarter Backer Update and a blog post outlining some of things we’ve been working on behind the scenes and what they mean for the rest of this year and going into 2022. One of the more exciting developments, we’ve officially onboarded three new hires! Over the last year, Logan and myself have done our best to continually push the development of Role with just the two us full-time. We are now in the wonderful position of being able to bring on additional people to help us accelerate the growth of the Role Platform. We are so thrilled with the initial people joining us and know they will be adding a ton of expertise in games, design, and engineering. Not only did we onboard new people to the team, we still have openings for a couple more positions! We are looking for a Marketing & Growth Manager and a mid or senior level Frontend Software Engineer to join our team. Check out our job postings here!
In terms of product, the next six months are going to see some big changes and improvements across all of our current features as well as some new ones. We’ll be updating our Templates/Sheets systems, Maps, Cards, and more! We continue to speak to our community of early access players, who have been pivotal in helping us validate what works and what doesn’t. Their continued feedback has helped shape what Role is today and where we are going tomorrow. I’m thrilled at the team we are building and know the Role Platform is about to level up in a huge way. I can’t wait to share more as our progress continues!
If you are interested in trying out Role, you can create a free account by visiting playrole.com!