The harvest season is upon us and we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor here at Soulbound Studios. Though it starts as small steps, when made continuously, it quickly becomes a journey.
Our last sprint saw some foundational work completed that will make our Production development be more cohesive. Very boring-sounding things such as “serialization to disk” and “establish asset standards for equipment layer system”!
How will this turn into the game we are all anticipating, you might ask? Well, these things are just part of a whole. For example, asset standards are part of “As a player, I want to be able to wear multiple layers of equipment that suit the needs of my character”. That sounds pretty useful, right?
There are other pieces to each User Story too. In the end, they are building toward the Offline Prologue, Kingdoms of Elyria, and ElyriaMUD (and eventually Alpha 1).
Sometimes we take more obvious steps, like this:
Creating a character in Chronicles of Elyria will be a novel experience, so we are starting on that now. If you haven’t read up on our approach to character creation, it’s been covered at length in Caspian’s design journals. Here, here, here, and here.
The short version is that your character will be constrained to a range of qualities inherited from your soul and genetics. Once you enter Elyria, you’ll be an adolescent like in the pictures above. From there, you will age, as demonstrated in our aging demo.
Several weeks back in the update titled 'Mission: Improbable' we talked about how our over-use of the term 'Influence' was causing some confusion. To make things clearer, we renamed Bonus IP to 'Exposition Points' (EP). That was extremely well received, but there's still some confusion between Influence Points (IP) and Total Influence. Understandably so.
Well, we heard your feedback and, with the roll-out of the new store, we're taking it one step further. We're removing Influence Points (IP) as a currency altogether!
'But, then how do I get rewarded for all the effort I put in to making the game successful?' you ask, eyebrow raising slightly.
Simple. We're just giving you store credit instead.
That's right, with the launch of the new store we'll be removing the term IP from our vocabulary and instead awarding you Store Credit for all the things which used to result in the awarding of IP.
As an example, we used to award 50 IP for recruiting friends who purchased a copy of the game or contributed significantly to the community. 50 IP was the same as $5.00, due to the 10:1 ratio, so now instead of giving you 50 IP and forcing you to keep track of the conversion yourself, we're just giving you the $5.00 in Store Credit. Easy peasy.
Store credit remains the same as it is today, and can be used to purchase Tiers, Merchandise, Add-ons, or even EP to be used in the EP store.
Influence, as it was originally intended, remains and is just a measure of your overall contribution to the game's success. As community efforts are now rewarded with Store Credit, your Influence is equal to the money you spend in the store, plus all store credit you've ever received, x10. Simple.
So, when the new store opens, look for how much Credit you have and how much EP you have, as those are the only things that contribute to your buying power now. And, if you happen to make your way to the merchandise/add-ons area of the store, also take note of any merchandise credit you have.
To recap quickly...
I know you are all wondering when the store update is coming. I said mid-November, intentionally leaving it a bit vague. To give you something more specific, it will be out next week!
Last Friday marked the end of our latest sprint and we will always conclude these with an internal playtest. This sprint, our beloved programmer Tripnull created a scavenger hunt of sorts by placing some exceptionally gaudy meteors around New Haven. He promised to buy a beer to anyone who found all three (but realized later he should have said he’d buy a beer for the first person to find all three). I shall now share our adventures with you!
Remember last update when I talked about the next stretch goal: Pet/Mount Customization?
Well we’ve already hit it! So now our next stretch goal is $1,750,000: Tunneling.
Tunneling is no small feat, so let me talk about some of the potential design and technical challenges we would have to solve in order to include this. Keep in mind, this is not a declaration of design intent.
Consider this our challenge, while yours is reaching this stretch goal. We're pretty confident we will both succeed at this!
Raise your hand if you’re going to PAX East 2017?
Soulbound Studios raises its collective hand
Yes, that’s right! We will be heading to PAX East, March 10-12. We will have a booth where you can visit us and get some swag, as well as something you can play.
Badges for PAX East are nearly sold out, so get your passes while you can. For one lucky winner and companion, however, we are giving away a 3-Day pass and other prizes in our brand new, Elyria on Earth contest!
No, I don’t mean Elyria, Ohio.
Between now and January 15th, post to @SoulboundStudio on Twitter your best attempt to capture what Elyria on Earth might look like. Here’s Souzou and my entry:
Think you can do better? We think you can too! Show us your photos, drawings, or videos of Elyria on Earth. The winners will be chosen by the staff at Soulbound Studios and announced on January 18th.
The Grand Prize is two 3-day passes to PAX East in Boston, MA (does not include travel or lodging) and $150 Store Credit. Second place gets $75 Store Credit. Three runners-up will each receive 250 EP.
So, Elyrians, get creative and show us Elyria on Earth! (not Elyria, OH)
Pledged to Your Continued Adventures in Life, Both Actual and Fantasy,