Mon 28.06.2021

YARPS is Back!

Dear friends and backers of YARPS!

A lot has happened in the past. Worlds have been struck by pandemics. Vaccines have been developed. Businesses have struggled and undergone restructuring processes for a better future. As announced a few weeks ago it is time to share two very important pieces of information with you.

At first: To pick up a picture we’ve already used in the past: another gate has opened widely. YARPS is back in the game!
And second: YARPS has not only regained the long-term perspective we all were working on and hoping for- odds are even more promising than we could have expected!

Before getting deeper into details we would like to briefly summarize our so far journey.
The idea of YARPS experienced overwhelmingly positive feedback almost from the beginning, somehow reaching a peak with the great success of the Kickstarter campaign in late 2019. The support from all of you sharing our vision of YARPS being a very promising platform, enriched by countless ideas about useful features, made it always a challenging but joyful way to go! Thank you all for your confidence and your faithfulness!
In early 2020, YARPS became haunted by two demons. The first was a global pandemic, and, beyond tragic consequences for so many people, it went along with changing plans, perishing strategies and adjusting expectations.
The second was the risk of failure. This demon is crafty and malignant, since it can take possession of optimism and put heavy weights on all your efforts. We were chased by these demons, all the way convinced that we will continue our journey, even though constrained to realign the route and let loose some of our planned activities.
While focusing on overcoming the circumstances caused by virus and lockdown, the company’s core business went through some unexpected changes as well. And to make sure we won’t get too comfortable with the situation, life provided us with some extra events in the YARPS team, each one connected with individual challenges and decisions. All this finally led to the YARPS is in trouble announcement we had to make in late 2020.

Being humble enough to clearly see that there were more severe things going on than our shaken vision, we never stopped working on the creation of an enduring perspective for YARPS. As already brought up in the same announcement, we had also applied for a federal start-up funding grant in the middle of 2020. And guess what: in its final round, the application was successful! From mid 2021 on, we will receive substantial federal co-funding for the development of YARPS for at least 2 years. We are very grateful and enormously thrilled!

Imagine you are haunted by strong enemies. Imagine after endless endeavour through woods, rocks and swamps, you finally end up in front of a closed gate beyond which you would find shelter and a future. Imagine that while the enemies are approaching, all it needs is someone to open the gate. The most powerful sorcerer tries reams of spells. The mysterious adventurer tries lockpicking. And the barbarian warrior, known for his tremendous power, rages again and again towards the gate. But despite all efforts of the cherished fellowship, the damn gate stays closed.

Well. We bet you’re all really good at imagining far more sophisticated adventures. We just wanted to point out that our particular open gate is a rather big deal for us.

So. Here come the key take home messages (or, since we’ve all stayed at home a lot in the recent past, the take it to wherever you want messages):

  • We will now focus on restarting the work on YARPS.
  • We will put efforts into re-establishing a stable and long-term team perspective.
  • We will put efforts into establishing better management and communication processes and aim at keeping you informed and updated more regularly.

Right here, if you are like “Alright. Sounds cool. Keep going mates!”, you can stop reading and simply start to be happy with us. If you are more like “Yeaaah. Sounds good. But what does all this mean more concretely?”- just go on reading.

What does all this mean more concretely?
We are absolutely aware of the many questions you might have now. Simply proclaiming that “YARPS is back in the game” may be not satisfying. Be assured that none of these questions will stay unanswered. In many cases, the answer will pretty likely be an elaborate version of “Don’t worry, we got you covered” anyways. For now, we will address those which have been crucial for you.

Many of you have become intense users of our YARPS prototype. You created instances, uploaded content and sent us a lot of great feedback and ideas. In our announcement of March 2020, we stated that, as a response to many requests from you, we will aim at implementing offline usability for YARPS before its final release. Since this was not part of the prototype’s original concept and to correspond to several other technical developments, we had decided to create a completely new YARPS, knowing that this means more resources to be invested. With the backing of the federal funding and therefore a reliable base for the project, we will now more than ever pursue this goal. We always looked at YARPS as a pretty cool tool, but now, we will definitely make it an outstanding platform!

From the perspective of you all- the community- this decision raised, among others, one central question: “Wait. If you create a completely new YARPS, will I still be able to use all the created instances and content from the old YARPS?”
And here comes, clarion call, the answer: Yes, you will. We guarantee you that none of these will get lost. The only constraint we have to point out now is that your instances and content might not be available from day one of the new YARPS’ release. An extra migration step will likely be necessary. But we are definitely working hard on it.

Another, yet maybe the most important question you might have is about the timeline of the project. As you all know, Corona isn’t over yet, and the mutating virus is still able to put some extra obstacles in the way of our lives. But the next milestone on the project agenda is the release of the new YARPS’ alpha version. This milestone is scheduled to be reached during the first quarter 2022.

Concerning the management and communication perspective, besides the needs of the company’s core business, the two most important next steps are recruiting (by the way: if anyone is or knows a skilled or talented web developer looking for a cool job in a cool team based in southern Germany- contact us!) and setting up a new communication strategy. We want to communicate in a more regular way that keeps you all closer and familiar with what we are actually doing.

That is it for today. We are incredibly happy about sending out this announcement. Thanks for your patience and support! Below we’ll preview some of the topics which we will address within the next months. If you have questions- don’t hesitate to ask.

All the best
The YARPS team

Preview to upcoming topics:

  • The team is growing: we want to inform you about team development and recruiting progress.
  • the idea hub has not been forgotten! It will be revived when the time comes- stay tuned! More info will follow.
  • We’re considering renaming YARPS. As soon as internal debate leads to bloodshed, we will involve you!
  • We will provide you with more information about cooperation partners.
  • We are rebuilding the YARPS UI. Some cool people are developing first designs. We will eventually give you the opportunity to throw a glance at it and give us feedback!