Anyone who's followed Dragon and Dungeon over the past six months knows that we've had ups and downs. Since January, we've been targeting certain key issues very aggressively with new review procedures, new scheduling processes, and even some new angles in the fundamental way that we think about online 'magazines'.
At the start of the year, we set two big goals for March 31. The first was to cut the number of corrections needed in published articles nearly to zero. The second was to get enough material in the can so that no more articles would miss publication dates.
We've scored a solid hit on the quality target. The number of after-the-fact corrections being made on articles has been cut to the bone, and those fixes have been minor.
That improvement came at a stiff cost to the schedule. Back in January, we stated that things would get worse before they got better; we didn't expect them to get as much worse as they got. And we're not out of those woods yet. The article schedule is likely to be 'clumpy' for a while to come.
In a key, behind-the-scenes regard, the past three months have been a resounding success. They've established that Dragon and Dungeon can be more than auxiliary components of the Dungeons & Dragons publishing scheme. The online, subscription elements of the game should be, and need to be, fully integrated into the overall product offerings for D&D.
That doesn't mean everything in Dragon and Dungeon needs to be written by our full-time staff of designers, or that we're cutting off the flow of unsolicited article proposals. Submissions@wizards.com will continue to be the wellhead for great ideas from aspiring writers and designers—keep those emails coming!
What it means is that everywhere possible, online material will be closely coordinated with everything else D&D-related that passes through the R&D department. It also means that, for most intents and purposes, the distinction between "magazine staff" and "R&D" is disappearing. From here on, the Dragon and Dungeon content stream will flow through the main R&D pipe instead of a secondary magazine pipe. That applies to the whole process, from big-picture, long-range planning down to the day-to-day functions of contracting, editing, and typesetting. I'll still be here as editor-in-chief, culling through the inbox for innovative and inspiring ideas, sitting on the editorial board, and popping up in a monthly editorial like this one.
I'll also, however, be devoting a lot more attention to what's happening online and communicating frequently and directly with readers and fans, thanks to my new role as D&D Community Coordinator. Trevor Kidd's migration to Iowa created an opportunity for me to shift modes. Even though Trevor will continue to be involved—something we're all grateful for—he's leaving behind some functions that I'm very excited to take over. This is a hybrid position that's likely to evolve over time. The best way to describe it now is as an ambassador between you and R&D. I'll bring you news, updates, and insights into what's happening here, and in turn see that your concerns, comments, and occasional compliments are heard by the people who will benefit from hearing them.
For now, the best way to get my attention is to participate in the forums. I'll be there, answering questions, posting updates, and reading as much as possible. You can also PM WotC_Huscarl, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on Twitter as StvWinter. We'll be experimenting more with direct communication as events move forward.