Welcome to the next evolution of Line of Action! Over the years, we've grown and changed together, but never so big a leap forward as today. And we're not done yet: although we're inviting you into the new site so you can begin enjoying what's being built right away, expect more major updates to arrive for the rest of September.
Almost everything! The entire site, even the features that already existed before, has been rebuilt from the ground up to support the demand our massive international community places on the site. But here's a taste of what's been added:
- "Your studio," a new section of the site designed to keep you up to date with everything going on in your community and with your own artistic practice.
- Goal setting and progress tracking. All accounts can set a practice goal, but members with full or doodler subscriptions can also specify how long they want to practice each day and how many days per week, and see how their actual daily practice time stacks up to their ambitions. Plus, unlock achievements as you engage with the community, further your practice, and help fellow artists with thoughtful critiques.
- The study store! Want more photos to practice with? OF COURSE YOU DO! Check out the study store to immediately acquire more photo bundles for the study tools. Plus, members with a full subscription will enjoy a massively expanded library as photo bundles leave the "early access" period and become available to all full members. There's several photo bundles in the study store already, and there will be more released on a regular basis going forward.
- Photo submissions! If you are a photographer, you can now contribute to our study tools by going to Submit Photos, and even sell your photos in the study store. Please fully read the photo bundle and profit sharing policies before submitting.
- Upload your sketches right to your Line of Action sketchbook, and get critique at the click of a button! No more fiddling around with imgur or another image upload service in order to share your work for critique; Members with a Doodler subscription can upload 5 images a month, and members with a full subscription can upload unlimited sketches per month.
- Direct messaging, avatar image upload, "reactions" that give feedback on other member's critiquing skills (it's a skill to develop just like drawing is!), and other community-focused features.
- Lots of new tools for the moderators, to help keep an eye on all these new methods of communication and make sure our community remains safe and welcoming.
- A speedier site! We have a new, custom-tuned server and a rewritten code base that emphasizes being able to handle the load. We hope to see faster load times and rarer or eliminated downtimes.
What else is coming?
Most of the love so far has been to the website that houses the study tools, and in providing supporting features to track and enhance your practice. This is some of what we plan to add over the rest of the month:
- In-class tips and focusing goals
- Doodlers and Full subscribers can choose to be forwarded directly to the image upload page after a practice session, with their current practice goal and the study time intervals they were working with already pre-filled into the description of the uploads... Automatic critique requests, just upload your work and hit go!
- Even deeper filtering for the practice tools: Want to only study people who are sitting down? Exclude images that feel too glamorous? Only draw birds seen from behind? Stay tuned.
- Ads for non-subscribers -- doodlers and full subscribers won't see these, but soon non-subscribers can help support the site's continued upkeep and improving by seeing a few ads.
- More work done on caching - this isn't exciting or sexy, but it will help to keep the site speedy and strong for years to keep up with our growing community! :)
- Adding back the book resource suggestions
- A raft of convenience features, like filters for the study store so you can browse by tool or tag, search tools for the forums, management of photographer credits so you can update your portfolio link on your submitted photos whenever you need to, and whatever else we can pack in on this tight schedule!
For more on what we have planned this month and beyond, please visit my "Planned features" topic in the support forum. :)
What to do if you find a bug
This is a MAJOR update, with more on the way, so a certain number of bugs are inevitable. We're standing by to squash them!
Please make us aware of anything you think isn't quite right by either requesting help on our support forum, or contact us directly for assistance if you are concerned that your issue involves personal information.
Please include as many details as possible when describing your problem, including what you're trying to do, how you're trying to do it, and what happens when you try. If you see a specific error message, please include it.
Reports that exclude these details and simply say "It won't let me ____" or "___ is broken" take much longer to resolve, as we'll need to ask a lot more questions to understand your problem before we can start working on it.
Not sure if you're experiencing a bug? When in doubt, shout it out. ;) There's absolutely no penalty for submitting a bug report that turns out to be "nothing," you won't ever be bothering or upsetting us by doing this, and if it DOES turn out to be something you could be helping hundreds or thousands of other people to not experience the problem too. Even if it's a real problem and we already know about it, your report can help us get a sense of how many people are experiencing the issue and can help us better prioritize what to work on first.
Still want to double check before submitting? Visit my "Known issues" topic in the support forum.
If you supported our fundraiser to make all this possible, check your email! We will be sending out backer codes via email throughout the weekend (the 7th, 8th and 9th of September.)
Once you receive yours, you can choose to apply it to your account right away, or wait until the end of September when our major-update dust has settled; completely up to you! These codes will give you a full subscription to Line of Action for anywhere between 3 months and a year, depending on your contribution level.
These backer codes are not locked to any particular account, so if you have an existing account, great! Go ahead and apply the code to that account. If you don't have an account, you can create one now to use your code with. And if you supported the fundraiser with someone else in mind, you can give your backer code away to them so they can use it on their account.
If you have any trouble with your backer code, please contact us at email@example.com. If you are able to include your receipt number or Paypal transaction ID, that can speed up the resolution of your issue dramatically.