Updates and contests!

Unambiguity

As you may have noticed, the “Bookmarks” page has been recently renamed “Follow List” on the website. While other minor changes have been occurring at a steady pace over the years, we feel this particular one needs a bit of an explanation from us.

Until about 2 years ago, the button that today says “Follow” on the fiction page used to say “Add to Bookmarks”. This has caused not a small amount of confusion: “Bookmarks” is a browser feature to mark a specific page, and clearly, this isn’t quite that. On top of that, a bookmark as a real life thing is used to mark a specific page of a book; it really has nothing to do with staying up to date and getting notified of new content being released.

Therefore, “bookmark” was replaced by follow. We had planned to also rename the other lists at the time, but due to a number of reasons it hasn’t happened back then, so the site was left in a bit of a limbo.

This, however, has caused numerous users to be confused and ask the question “where do I find my follows?”. Bookmarks is simply not an intuitive name for the page to find this content. Hence the recent rename.

We hope to achieve a degree of unified language with this so we aren’t communicating conflicting messages anymore with this. Additionally, we’ve been told numerous times that the existence of “Favorites” along with “Follows” may also not be quite clear, so we’ve started discussing how exactly the favorites list works and how it is displayed.

We are also looking for further feedback on this and similar issues. Did you find “follow” and “bookmarks” confusing before? 

As usual, our suggestion boards are welcoming your contributions and feedback at our suggestion platform.

More Achievements

We added more achievements! Instead of 12 levels, we now have 25 levels! With the new batch of achievements, you can level up faster than ever before.

As people reach new heights, we will add more achievements to follow them.


Check out your own achievements and the list of new achievements in the user settings https://www.royalroad.com/user/achievements

Here are our latest achievement recipients, excluding those that received the golden achievement for the oven(bake a cake) event. 

 

Writhaton Contest Results

As you may know, we started November with a big contest. We have tallied up the scores and would like to congratulate our Writhaton winners who managed to complete the challenge they took on:

DarkRay
Mighty Moushie
Asviloka
Tsaimath
javert
alstonsleet
sarvashaktimaan
M-C
Wayward Scholar
Avery Light
TheEpicLotfi
Bizmatech
Oddmar
BeauVD
I Don't Bite…
Etzoli

As for our special winners, these 3 authors will receive 3 months of Author Premium for writing at least 35000 words and having the most favorites in their category:

CherShootX For Magical Cosmic
BrokenOath for Warhammer 40k - Tyranid Project (fanfiction) 
AwakenedKingdoms for Slime and Punishment

The following authors will each receive 5 months of Author Premium for writing at least 55555 words and having the most user favorites in their category:

Joyueguie for The Dungeon Novel (new)

Irrelevant  for empire of salt
Kyshies for Elena from Hell
JackayAck for Broken Sky and Shattered Earth: Apocalypse Convergence 
*And our grand winner of Writhaton 2019: l nimbus for Locking Horns, Breaking Teeth

We are not done yet!

For our character creation contest, we had a lot of very fun responses to go through, and the staff has picked the following winners judged solely on the following categories. 

Most ridiculous character design by CoolGuy00 
Most emotional character design by Bochinator
Most creative character design, and our top winner: Dabombd1g1t1

 

The days after Christmas 

Christmas is over all around the world for those that celebrate it on the 25th of December. It is time for Santa to go back to the North Pole. On his way back he excitedly looked for his cookie bag filled with rewards he received from children all around the world. Only to find out that the bag is gone.  

Santa is exhausted. The cookies are what helps him keep going from year to year, and next Christmas he might decide not to work if he didn’t get his sugary intake. Royal Road team, has been collecting cookies for a long time and decided to help Santa and gave him some of our cookies reserves.

But! Now we ran out of cookies! And our oven has exploded while baking a Cake for our birthday celebration, so we can’t bake new ones! Luckily Santa said we can keep his cookie bag if we found it.

Help us find Santa’s cookie bag and refill our cookie stores.

Using advanced software we managed to narrow down the neighborhood where the bag fell down. Even more so, we narrowed down the people who have relevant information. 

Check out Giraffe Silver Raccoon

Please make sure to find it before the year ends. We want to start the new year with as many cookies as we can hold. 

Deadline: December 31st. GMT midnight. 
Reward: Golden Achievement and fun. 

The days after Christmas riddle Solution: 

Miss Giraffe says she knows something. However, everyone has been knocking on her door the whole night and she refuses to answer, she simply wants everyone to leave her alone, and give her silence.

Give Giraffe something that she would want to bribe her for answers.

 

The answer to the riddle was "silence", which was stated in the statement itself. You didn't need to guess, you only needed to read what was written.

Once you solve the Giraffe Riddle and open this page https://www.royalroad.com/pages/giraffe

You will be lead to the doggo profile https://www.royalroad.com/pages/thedogo. The doggo will give you hints about what the raccoon's password is. 

The Doggo says "I heard there was a major cake bake-off where you came from. If only I had a cake, I’d be able to give it to you and to the raccoon. But you have to find it first. They say some remains in the form of gold? That made no sense to me. Weird people."

Previously in this blog post, we talked about the "golden achievement for the oven(bake a cake) event" and how to view said achievement. This will now no longer be visible, but this is how it used to look for everyone for the duration of this event:

  

In the achievement, It is stated that you can't give a cake anymore, but you should give a hug instead.

Jumping back to the raccoon, the password was hug https://www.royalroad.com/pages/racoon1 

Once you open the page, you will be lead to another one https://www.royalroad.com/pages/wing the answer to this page was written in the previous blog post from the last event https://www.royalroad.com/blog/25/it-is-our-5th-anniversary-again, listed under password for Wing which was "cookies".

And with that, the riddle is solved. 

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Comments(84)

Admin/Mods, keep up the good work.

Now to help Santa huh?

Also thanks!

I had a confusing time figuring out the difference between bookmark and favourite etc when I first came to the site, I remember favouriting a few novels only to come back later and realize I wasn't "following" them. I was one of those who recommended a change on the forum, cool to see it enacted. Won't make much difference to veterans but for new users it is certainly a more intuitive UI feature now it's labelled more clearly. 

    so what does favouriting do them? like an even better but more personal review? might not help too much with the skewed ratings system of the site.

      Wing
      Admin
      Follow is for stories you want to keep following and get updates and notifications for new chapters.
      Favorite is just a list of fictions you enjoyed reading. It is also public on every user profile page. 

      Well, users can definitely see your favorites on your profile, but they can't see your follows. So I guess in addition to "following" a story, it also gives them a bit of micro-publicity? If it's enough to be in somebody's favorite page of 3, then it must be worth a read, right?

I bet Santa didn't misplace his cookies, he just ate them all and said he did to get more.

Cookies? Can I have some?

Let us find some cookies

Just a heads up but the link for Elena from Hell is busted. Can follow reach if through the authors link but I just figured I'd bring it up. ^_^'

 Gasp, the cookie scandal.

Congratulations to the winners!

Personally, I think Follows make more sense.

That being said, what's exactly the point of Favorites?

Finally, can someone recommend any of the winners' stories? No novels in hiatus, please.

How about just having an option to make lists of books that we can name ourselves like novelupdates.com has. It works well and allows more Individual organization. Forget 3 lists, I have 7 over there for things like to read, reading, finished reading, favorites, not currently reading, never reading again, and on hiatus

Coooooooooookiesssss!!!!!!

When I first came to the site I saw a comment saying about his bookmarks and thought he was using browser bookmarks. It didn't really harm my experience though, and I figured it out pretty quick.

At this point I have so much habit of constantly checking bookmarks that this change is pretty annoying.

 

"Read later" should be changed to "Bookmarks". Just like all manga aggragators do, when you find a series that seem interesting, you bookmark it. It's a term that most people are familiar with. Then if you enjoy a specifi series, you could add it to "Favorites" where there is an option next to each series to enable new chapter release notifications which makes "follow list" obsolete.

Basically, we would have only 2 options, "Bookmarks" and "Favorites" which seems less convoluted to me.

    Good points, but I sometimes follow a story and it is not a favourite.

    The favourites could be used with ranking and search features or something like a recommended for other people. Not everyone writes reviews etc.

      Fair point, people may wish to follow a series without it being in their Favorites. Therefore going back to my idea, RR could simply add a new chapter release notifications option to both "Favorites" and "Bookmarked" series. That way you can follow a series wether it's in your favorites or not and we still can get rid of the superflous "follow list" tab.

Bookmarks did not make a lot of sense at the start. Follow list is a lot better.

Thanks for the hard work and the great site.

Still waiting for my 1000 Comments achievement!!! when Will I get it this has been a day;-;???

Don't really know if it is supposed to be like this

But the first time I used the link in silver racoon's page it didn't ask me for a password 

The second time it did though, but I had already read what was written in his page the first time so I had an idea about what it was πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Why not call it 'Reading List'? 

Seems suspicious that Santa suddenly lost all of his cookies. 

Perhaps he has his own business, where he steals cookies to sell them off or eat them.

He is a devious guy I tell ya! I've heard stories that the charcoal he gives to children is the burnt off remains of the original gifts.

Don't trust him, I would say, but you already gave him your cookies. 

Hm, another silver raccoon and an extra festive giraffe? but the giraffe likes hear nothing and the raccoon likes a ... the raccoons like pizz-- okay, come here, pat pat and whatever, not a tsundere... 

Thanks for the cookie. 

There's actually 12 days of Christmas starting on the 25th.

The following/bookmarks never bothered me, BUT, what does annoy me to no end is the lists on the Latest Updates page with the books being newest/latest up top with older ones below but then the chapters are the other way around with the newer chapters being listed after the older ones.

Only 25 of us reached our goals? Damn. With the number of new stories I saw starting up, I expected there to be more of us. Now that I think about it, what was the general "entry vs completion" ratio?

Do you think that next year we could get a list of the people that are participating? As a writer, I'm more than heppy with how well my own fiction has been doing, but as a reader, I really would have like to read the other participant's entries. I like I Numbus's stuff, but I had no idea I was even competeing with him.

If there was an easy method to find the stories that were participating, I think a lot more people would have completed their goals. A single extra read, review, or comment could have made the difference between them continuing the fiction, or dropping the project entirely.

 

    Wing
    Admin

    I am considering doing exactly that. Either adding a tag for the writathon month, or in the middle of the month to list all the people that showed they are half way through at least. 
    Might re-run the writathon in 6 months or so. We will see how to improve it at that time. 

    Everytime we try something new.

      I'd choose the "half way through" one. If they can't make it that far, they probably wouldn't finish anyway, and we all want to see the stuff that's going somewhere.

      Another Writathon around June~ish would be awesome. I'm pretty focused on the fiction I'm writing now, but starting a shorter story could be fun too, and I'd probably participate again. It was this Writathon that finally got me started on the story that's been brewing in my head for years, and I'm really glad I joined in.

      Doing the 55k+ending challenge would probably be a lot of fun now that I have a bit more idea of what I'm getting in to.

      Please do! I wondered why there was no easy way to read fellow writeathoners' books, having a way to find each other would be very helpful.

Merry christmas to all penguins of the world!

And what a splendid cookie hunt! I had a blast finding all the clues. Great stuff as always! Keep it up Mods and Admins!

-Dok
All Hail the Penguin Empire!
BANANA!

i dont think there is much confusion b/w fav. and follow(bookmark) lists. I think those 2 separate lists help. 
ps: I think there needs to be a 4th list as well, the dropped/paused list for novels where you are waiting for chapters to pile up so you can binge them in 1 sitting. 

 NaNoWriMo still doesn't hold a candle to NNN.

Thanks for the info.  I was confused when I first noticed the change, but that didn't last long.

The new name is likely a better description anyways.  The website is awesome.  Keep up the good work.

@admin can we get a (continue reading) button added to all the stories on our follow list?

 

    kanadaj
    Admin

    A change is coming to how the follow list works. This is currently in beta accessible by Premium subscribers for feedback before release to General Availiability.

MOOR COOKIES FOR THE COOKIE GODS

Any reason for the bouts of malicious ads that I experience on mobile? If I have to exclusively browse on PC with Adblock running I will, but I'd like to be rid of these ads. There's bouts of them every month or so which is the strangest bit of it, it's not even consistent. 

Cookies?
Cookies?!
Cookies!

Follow is better accordiac to me

Follow is better according to me

 

I was confused for a moment after bookmarks was replaced, but I think this change is going to be better in the long run.

Is it possible to view the winning character designs?

    Wing
    Admin

    Since art design requires the author specification we can never pre-prepare the prize, but rather just the budget for it. Since we are quite flexible about that, we prefer to give the author what they want rather than something they don't need. In this case, one of the authors decided to take a cash prize instead to do what he wants with it.

    We sent the notification not long ago, but the other winner hasn't logged in a month, so I have no idea when he will claim his reward for us to show it. But we sent him an email and a PM, and his prize budget waits on the side for when he logs in to see the surprise. 

    But, I can show you from the contest before this one. At that time we offered a cover art, but the author already had his own by the time the contest wrapped up, and so he asked us to get him a character drawing (line art/no coloring) so we commissioned him 2. 

    I should just offer $ from the start the next time. 

     

I didn't win

sad :(

Santa didn't give me cookie

One Oops in the Bookmark to Follow change. In the Follow List, if you click to Unfollow something the popup mentions removing a 'Bookmark'

Thank you very much for the feature and congrats to the winners!! πŸ™πŸŽ‰

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