|Vic Wertz Chief Technical Officer|
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I supported the recent legendary gamess mythic kickstarter, and the plan seems to be to send out the pdfs to us, then gather the feedback to fix every typo and only then send it to the printer.
I appreciate, that this might cause some trouble with retail, but would this be an option you would be willing to experiment with?
Crowdsourcing development and editing come with their own problems. Yes, you will probably catch and fix more mistakes, but the in-house effort spent to find each issue will be significantly higher. Let me give you a small-scale example:
Whenever we prepare to reprint a book, we have somebody—usually Jason—scan the FAQ queue and go through the main discussion threads for that product looking for things that need to be fixed. This is a process that might take a few days. Then, he and his team work on solving those problems if they haven't already been solved. During this process, they will also be investigating problem reports that are actually false positives; for example, somebody might have complained that a number in a stat block is wrong, but when we redo the math, we often find that we were right in the first place. This might take another few days. At the end of it, we have a list of changes that then go through editing, layout, and proofing, meaning more people spending more days. And the end result of that work gets summed up in an errata doc that's usually less than a page or two. In short, many man-hours of effort that result in maybe a dozen little changes.
Now image that we do that as an open call. Our days would turn into weeks, and maybe our errata doc would grow from a dozen items to two dozen, with each of the additional items very likely being far less noticeable than the previous dozen. It's the law of diminishing returns.
And crowdsourcing still won't catch everything. We're in our 6th printing of the Core Rulebook now, and in each printing, we've made corrections in response to our community identifying problems, which is a pretty similar effect to the crowdsourcing you describe. An amazingly high number of people have been using that book every day—it's referenced far more that any other book players use, for sure—yet we're *still* finding problems that nobody pointed out in the first five years the book was out.