COMMUNITY - FORUMS - DEVELOPER JOURNALS
The Adventure of a Lifetime
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Hail and well met, Elyrians all,

Welcome to 2017! What is your resolution? We at Soulbound Studios have selected 'kick so much ass' as our New Year's Resolution and we are feeling good about it.

State of Production

The team had a week off at the end of the year and, so, we are beginning the new year rested and ready. The next few months will see us preparing a playable demo for PAX East and building more of the core gameplay systems in SpatialOS in order to make progress toward the Prologue, ElyriaMUD, and Kingdoms of Elyria.

Looking Fabulous

In a previous update, I showed some of the concept sketches for some hairstyles we were going to be adding. We've modeled a couple and I'm certain you will enjoy seeing the finished product. Each hairstyle can take a character artist anywhere from 2-6 days depending on complexity. We'd like to include a variety of hairstyles for people to customize their characters with in game, so our character artists will be sick of hair at some point. These ones were done by Van.







The team fell in love with the hairstyle Heat used for the female adventurer for the store so we insisted Van model it

You will also begin to see additional equipment in the screenshots from our play throughs.

Making the Silver Run in 14 Parsecs

The team is becoming obsessed with finding Silver Run because the map is really huge and the spawn point is in New Haven. Several of us raced through the countryside to find it, and one of us even made it in the hour we spend playing every Friday. Did I mention the map is huge?


Haelgror is summoned to the New Haven keep


Haelgror prepares to deliver an urgent message to Silver Run


Haelgror checks the weather toward Silver Run before heading out


Haelgror goes over the river and through the woods to Silver Run


Haelgror makes it to Silver Run at last


Keveth heads to the bar for a stout ale and hearty stew


Keveth feels restless


Keveth's wanderlust makes him melancholy


Keveth celebrates as he sets of on another adventure into the unknown wilds

New Team Members

Soulbound Studios is still growing and we haven't updated on our new team members since I joined. While we are still looking for candidates, we have some new additions to introduce!

Colin 'Mudokon' Brown

An animator who joined the team in November after we hit the Gambling stretch goal, Colin has been in the game industry since 2006 on PC, console, and mobile games. Notable games include Star Trek Online and City of Heroes, where he used his talents to put tentacles on enemy's heads, among other accomplishments. He's hilariously deadpan and his sarcasm is over 9000 - a great fit for the team!

Michael 'Michael' Krusel

Michael is a software engineer who's spent the last 4 years working on gameplay and online modes at EA Sports, but spends the majority of his free time playing RPGs and strategy games. A graduate of the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, Michael has abandoned the sunshine of Orlando and traveled 3000 miles to help make the massive, dynamic world of Elyria a reality. He described the interview process at Soulbound as 'the weirdest' and 'probably the best'.

Production Baby

It's a boy! This week we welcomed our first production baby; a time-honored tradition where real-life expansion packs for project team members are released. This one is named Kai ChenHao and provides several exciting new mechanics for designer Jason 'Death' Welter. Death is a natural min/maxer so we expect great things.


The first true-born Elyrian

There's No Place Like Home

I have a lot of thoughts about the discourse that has gone on about the new packages and, largely, I've been impressed with the reasonable debate and supporting facts. Not many communities can tout such maturity! Still, it is clear that even with the transparency about the valuation of the new packages, there are still concerns. First, that the Kickstarter Exclusive rewards were included in the valuation of the package when it is felt that the risk that our first backers took was the real cost. Second, that manor is just too. damn. sexy!

Allowing our fans to doubt their decision to back us, question their value, or feel cheated is not something that was our intention and is entirely unacceptable to me. It is a simple and easy decision then to retroactively add housing to the Kickstarter pledge packages.

The fully-furnished Villa will be added to the following Kickstarter pledge packages:

  • Baron/Baroness
  • Astronomer
  • Count/Countess

These Kickstarter pledge packages will receive an upgrade to a fully-furnished Manor instead:

  • Artisan
  • Brew Master
  • Weapon Master
  • Celebrity
  • Artificer
  • Duke/Duchess
  • Chimera
  • King/Queen

This will be reflected in an update to the store soon, so your patience is appreciated in the meantime. I know I can count on you all to make sure folks don't get the wrong message in the meantime!

In addition, we may make some adjustments to the EP when we get closer to the launch of the EP store. The EP tables were not yet balanced - nor could they be - without more of the items designed. So please ignore any of the previously posted EP prices for anything and, instead, hold onto this: our intention is that the amount of EP in your package is designed for the average player to be able to buy exposition items suitable for that tier. For example, a Merchant will be able to get what equipment they need to function as a merchant, a Count will be able to design an average County and cover their Barony as well. A King or Queen will be able to provide an average set-up for their Kingdom, Duchy, County, and Barony. That's the intention. We're not trying to bait and switch an up-sell for more EP - it wouldn't be in our best interest. We will be relying on the folks in Exposition to build their civilization so it behooves us to make sure you all can do it!

The Web We Weave

We pushed out some fixes today for a few issues on the website. Most of these were features from the store update in December.

  • Inability to check TOS on mobile was preventing purchases on mobile
  • Issues making payments or paying off layaway
  • Long usernames were wrapping in the store header and covering up the menu
  • Packages left in the cart before the store update were still listed there
  • Stretch goals button wasn't working in some places (it's been removed since stretch goals are no longer in effect)
  • Social media links in the new store's footer were not correct
  • Only admins have been seeing featured posts since August
  • Kickstarter binding was not working correctly due to the pledge package updates

There are some other things we will be adding soon, in addition to retroactively improving the Kickstarter packages. Namely, itemizing the individual rewards so that greying-out functions between old and new packages correctly, and setting up a way to select one's server so that we can begin to definitively assign kingdoms, duchies, and counties to the intended server. This will help with things we are planning for settlement selection, as well as putting the appropriate caps on nobility packages.

ElyriaOnEarth Ending Soon

We are getting very close to the end of the contest and we've seen some awesome entries! It's been very cool to see what the community has come up with and what Elyria means to you. Submissions will be accepted through Sunday, January 15th. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, January 18th.

As a reminder of how to enter, upload an image and tweet it to @SoulboundStudio with the hashtag #ElyriaOnEarth! Entries must be submitted by January 15th to be eligible. To remind you about the fabulous prizes, they are:

  • Grand Prize: Two 3-Day passes to PAX East and $150 store credit
  • Second Place: $75 store credit
  • Runners-up (3): 250 EP each

If you were waiting for the last minute to enter, then now is the time! Show us what #ElyriaOnEarth looks like to you!

Questions & Answers

Our last Q&A on Biomes has been edited down to a more easily digestible size and is now available to watch here on our YouTube channel. It's got nifty camera angles and I'm pretty sure you can make out the mind map Souzou tried to show from his journal. You can still watch the full version here as well.

It's also time to announce our next Q&A! Please join us on our Twitch.tv channel on Thursday, January 26th at 12pm PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT for another Live Q&A session. The topic this time is Settlements!

Caspian will hopefully be joined by designer and new father Jason “Death” Welter to answer your questions in this 1-hour-ish Q&A live stream. We will be taking both pre-voted questions on reddit, as well as responding live to follow-up questions from those watching.

There have been some design journals that have touched on settlements before in different ways. They are here, here, and here. Check them out ahead of time so you can be well-informed!

For those who miss it, the recording will be watchable on Twitch.tv for a limited time afterward and on our YouTube channel forever. So even if you can’t make the live session, your question from reddit may still be answered.

Please follow these rules when posting questions for the Q&A.

RULES

  1. Please limit questions to 1 question per post, so it can be easily up-voted/down-voted
  2. Please limit yourself to 3 posts for a maximum of three questions per community member
  3. Keep your question brief. That makes it easier to read, and quicker to answer
  4. Make sure to upvote the posts of others you're most interested in hearing the answers to

In addition, many of the most common questions about CoE can be answered by reading over our design journals. If you're new to CoE, there is a wealth of information to begin with there.

We hope to see you Thursday, January 26th at 12pm PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT!

Pledged to Your Continued Adventures in Life, Both Actual and Fantasy,

Vye


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1/12/2017 6:21:29 AM #16
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*SpatialOS


Through the travail of ages, midst the pomp and toil of war have I fought and strove and perished countless times before So as through a glass, and dimly, the age long strife I see - for I've fought in many guises, many names, but always me.

1/12/2017 7:37:34 AM #17
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So when I trade in my Count title, will I lose my Villa or do I keep it because it's in the package I bought and not tied to the Count title?

1/12/2017 7:39:51 AM #18
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Posted By Hugh Bris at 8:27 PM - Wed Jan 11 2017

Posted By Alabast at 11:21 PM - Wed Jan 11 2017

Hugh Bris, if you bought a pledge before the Store Change that happened this year, you are considered a Kickstarter pledge.

Thanks, that's what I seem to understand but I haven't actually seen that stated. I myself wouldn't assume it since I didn't buy the package from Kickstarter.

Confirmed. The store packages we offered on our website up until the end of the year were the same as those offered on Kickstarter for those that couldn't use a credit card, etc...

The benefits described in this update - the villa and manor are available to all layaways who pledged before the store changed on 2016-12-27 once their layaways are complete.


1/12/2017 7:41:44 AM #19
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Posted By LeBron at 11:37 PM - Wed Jan 11 2017

So when I trade in my Count title, will I lose my Villa or do I keep it because it's in the package I bought and not tied to the Count title?

The villa is not tied to the Count title.


1/12/2017 7:48:00 AM #20
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Awesome news. Can't wait, and congrats on the mini Elyrian ;)

Re Q&As, there are many questions I'd ask for my own interest, but in terms of getting the best results for the game, I think a lot will hang on NPCs. A little time talking about their intended behaviour, daily routines, response to danger ie "shouts", assists etc, simulated spirit walks if they "die" assuming they are not one-hit troll targets etc. Changing clothes if they have any in cold weather etc. Heading to the tavern if they can afford to. That would be great.

On that subject, perhaps a mechanic where they assess the cost of local goods, even food, and decide to pass or look elsewhere if too costly. (Most obvious gamebreaker otherwise)


1/12/2017 9:31:35 AM #21
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Next update about beards?

1/12/2017 9:52:51 AM #22
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Posted By Caspian at 1/12/2017 7:41:44 AM

Posted By LeBron at 11:37 PM - Wed Jan 11 2017

So when I trade in my Count title, will I lose my Villa or do I keep it because it's in the package I bought and not tied to the Count title?

The villa is not tied to the Count title.

Thanks for this quick answer!

1/12/2017 11:53:57 AM #23
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Great update! The housing was a good decision imo, frees up aristocrats' and nobles' IP to be spent on improving the world rather than buying a home for themselves. :)


1/12/2017 12:30:13 PM #24
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Thanks for adding a villa and manor to the pledges! I really like it and think its a valuable and important addition to the packages!

I think a Q&A about settlements is importand because many people have questions about it. So 1 hour is quite short actually...


Life is too short to play bad games.

1/12/2017 1:33:13 PM #25
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Fantastic update! Lot's of info! Congrats on the newborn Death!

Looking forward to the Q&A. Should be great.


1/12/2017 2:25:16 PM #26
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This update sounds like it answers all the concerns which is great. I would like to confirm my understanding however for my pledge/layaway.

I pledge for the Merchant package during the kickstarter session and was happy with that at the time. Then I saw the new packages and decided to do a layaway for the Courtier package at the beginning of January.

My question is, since I was a kickstarter pledge to start with, will my Courtier pledge be considered a kickstarter pledge as well and will I be upgraded to include the full Villa and any other updates based on the changes for the kickstarter people?


1/12/2017 2:45:28 PM #27
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I doubt there's going to be any voices in game since it will be expensive to hire voice actors and be very time consuming?


1/12/2017 2:48:42 PM #28
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The Real Elyrian baby is adorable. <3


Friend Code: 36C047

"A good man can make you feel sexy, strong and able to take on the whole world... oh sorry...that's wine...wine does that..."

1/12/2017 2:52:58 PM #29
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Wow, thanks for addressing our concerns about housing. Not only did we get an answer about if we get some sort of residence but apparently we get a baby out of it too! My only concern is if the SBS team will have enough time to work on the game since they will be busy making all these babies for us.

As to what subject will be covered next on the Q&A. Relax, they will get to most of the important ones in time. Sure tribes and npcs are important but just as important is to know how you will pick where you will live and what it will be like to live there. With the questions asked on housing over the last few weeks and the fact that people would like an idea what it will be like to actually live in a settlement before they pick where they will live, this subject in a sense is a more time sensitive issue than the others.

Thanks to the team on listening to our concerns. Don't get me wrong, I am VERY happy we got Villas and Manors out of it but my main concern was an answer to if we got anything at all as it would have to be considered in my EP spending. And frankly I had never seen an "official" statement at all as to where us upper level pledgers would and how we would pick our residences. Though, Ironically, it seems it may be addressed in the Q&A as well.

Cheers on the new additions well. That goes both for the baby and new hires.


I do what I do.

1/12/2017 3:21:04 PM #30
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Wonderful! Congrats to Death on the addition of their new NPC child.

Quick question, will the Q&A include the architechture tool. It's included in one of the referenced DJs, so I'm hoping so. I need to know about designing secret passages!


Meh, my two cents.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Friend code: F41EFF

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