12 September

Labor of Love...

By Caspian

Hey All,

Welcome to the Chronicles of Elyria update for the week of September 5th. This was a shortened week due to Labor Day in the US, however, we didn't do an update last weekend for the same reason, so there's still a good amount to cover this week. Actually, while the majority of the team was off last weekend for the holiday, some of us were still working. Either at the office, or in Seattle working the crowd at PAX.

While we didn't have a booth at PAX, we did want to make our presence known here in our backyard. And it was worth it, too! It took our community members less than 5 minutes to spot us coming up the escalators with T-shirts to give away, and man did that feel good! Is it taboo to be working on Labor Day Weekend? Or does that just make it a Labor of Love?

Let's get to the stuff you've been waiting for...

The Online Store Cometh

The first, and most significant part of this update, is the announcement that the online store will finally be opening on Monday, October 3rd, 2016. When the store opens we will, for 28 days (until October 31st), be offering the exact same backing tiers, add-ons, and prices as we were offering for our Kickstarter.

To clear up any confusion people may have, this 28-day period is like an extension of our original Kickstarter, not a repeat. As a result, we won't be offering the 'early bird' tiers again, as those were a limited availability and have all filled up.

We will also not be offering the $5 'Contributor' Tier. That had a small number of backers in the original Kickstarter anyway, and was mostly used by people who misunderstood that you can't use Influence Points purchased as add-ons to the Kickstarter Tiers, to later buy a Kickstarter Tier with Influence Points. That all said, the tiers being offered for the next month will be:

  • Elyrian - $35
  • Adventurer - $40
  • Patron - $60
  • Beastmaster - $75
  • Founder - $100
  • Bloodline - $120
  • Merchant - $150
  • Ursaphant Rider - $200
  • Baron/Baroness - $250
  • Astronomer - $350
  • Count/Countess - $500
  • Artisan - $750
  • Brewmaster - $1,000
  • Weapon Master - $1,500
  • Celebrity - $2,000
  • Artificer - $2,500
  • Duke/Duchess - $3,500
  • Chimera or Karate - $5,000
  • King/Queen - $10,000

IP Store and Purchases

In addition, before the store opens we will have an expanded chart of items which you will later be able to purchase with Influence Points in our IP store. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of issuing refunds with tiers that award Influence Points, we're going to hold off on opening the Influence Point store until after the 28 day extended Kickstarter period has passed.

But don't worry, once the new packages go up on November 1st, the IP store will be available shortly thereafter. And, in addition to the new packages, we'll be posting limited-time items each month. These could be things like specific building patterns, a couple unique breed animals, and patterns for specific limited technology. Grabbing these patterns, animals, etc. while they're available will help seed the world with the schools, organizations, and craftsman who have knowledge of some of the more interesting and advanced recipes.

Server-Specific Tiers

The other slight difference to our original Kickstarter is the addition of server-specific Tiers. Before the launch of the store on October 3rd, we'll be giving a survey to all of the nobility to indicate which server they'll be playing on. Based on that, the Count, Duke, and King tiers will indicate which server they're on, in specific quantities.

For example, it might read 'King (NA-W)'. This indicates that it's a King tier award, on the North America - West server. This is being done as there's a limited number of King, Duke, and Count spots per server. And when they're gone... they're gone. We don't anticipate the Count titles filling up, however it's entirely possible that the Duke and King tiers will be exhausted on specific servers. So grab them while you can.

Stretch Goals

Another question people have been asking is, 'What about the stretch goals?' As promised, funds raised between now and December 31st, 2016 will apply to stretch goals. Beyond that, funds will be used to hire additional staff, spend more time on improving the quality of the code and assets, etc, but no new functionality will be added to the game. This is being done to ensure minimal feature creep, as well as to make sure any new mechanics which do get added have plenty of time to be tested before the game's launch.

Once the store goes live, we will have an indicator on the site showing how much money has been raised, as well as showing which stretch goals have been achieved.

Beyond October

As many people have asked us what the plan is after the month of 'Kickstarter' tiers, I wanted to give you a brief bit of information. In addition to the rotating IP items I mentioned above, we'll be moving to a set of 12 packages people can purchase with real-world currency as well as Influence Points they've earned in the community.

The 12 packages will be broken up into four categorical tiers. These are:

  • Adventurer (1, 2, 3)
  • Gentry (4, 5, 6)
  • Aristocrat (7, 8, 9)
  • Nobility (10, 11, 12)

The first three packages will be under $100 and are mostly for individuals looking to buy in at progressively higher tiers. The second three packages are for families or small groups of friends who want to start with some plots of land so they can begin building their families immediately. The first package in the Gentry Tier will have many of the same things as the old Bloodline Tier from our Kickstarter, including a custom surname. As with the Adventurer tier, each of the three Gentry packages will have increasing value.

The Aristocrat tier is for people looking to start settlements from an early part of the game. The first package of the Aristocrat tier will have many of the same things as the Baron/Baroness Tier from our Kickstarter.

And finally, the three tiers of Nobility will include Count, Duke, and King, and in the case of Count and Duke, will likely be significantly more expensive than they were previously. So if you're considering a Count or Duke title, make sure to get them in October.

Website Version 2.1

The last thing I wanted to touch on with respect to the store and website is that version 2.1 of the website will be launching next week. Among other things, this version sees the return of private messaging, in addition to other useful new tools for admins and moderators. Stay tuned for that next week.

Concept

Over the last couple weeks, the concept team has continued to work with design on the introduction of new animals to the Tundra and Taiga. This week we're showing off the latest primary consumer. This is another plant eater like the Flower-Cup Porcupine, however unlike the Porcupine, this latest creature is primarily a source of fur for clothing, rather than food to eat.

But the fur isn't the only benefit the Dryas Elk provides, there's also the massive antlers. While still spending most of its time out in the open tundra, the Dryas Elk has no fear of the Pteroguin, as it's over-sized rack makes it an unattractive target. Don't be surprised if you see Northerners walking around with pieces of those on their head and body for protection.

Example map of Elyria Figure 1 - Concept of the Dryas Elk

Design

Speaking of Northerners, while I'm not allowed to give away any details yet, I can let it slip that the design team has been working on the different Tribes of Mann (previously called bloodlines). Each Tribe represents a group of Mann that has gathered in a single biome or region and through a process of evolution and adaptation, has acclimated in the best way possible to their surroundings.

While there's nothing official yet, the work we've been doing on the Tribes this past week is pretty exciting. Once we've nailed down the design of the current Tribe we're working on more completely and have got some concept art to share with you, we'll let you in on the first publicly announced Tribe in Chronicles of Elyria.

Production

Ok, moving on to the Production roll call. The last two weeks have continued to be spent primarily in hiring. On the positive side, we've finally cleared our initial list of candidates and we've got some super talented Engineers and Producers lined up for offers. Once we get employment contracts signed and get people here in the office, we'll have the new folks introduce themselves.

In addition to the HR work, I've been working with the team leads on sprint and milestone planning. This is a time-consuming process that involves identifying the user stores for the upcoming milestone, based on feature areas we want to tackle or do some R&D on, and then making a list of all the tasks that need to be done across each discipline, costing them for time, and then prioritizing them in the backlog for the upcoming sprints.

The takeaway from all of this work we've been doing on sprint and milestone planning is that I can't wait to have a Producer in-office who can do this for me. :-)

In preparation for the new Producer I have officially switched the team over to using JIRA for our Sprint and Milestone planning, as well as our bug reporting software. While I'd been testing it previously, I've migrated us over to a production server this weekend and moved all of our issues and spaces into the new server. It feels so good being organized.

Engineering

The Engineering team has moved away temporarily from their production work to do a bit of R&D on the Vulkan API. The Vulkan API is a new rendering and compute API by the Khronos Group, the same group that oversees Collada, as well as OpenGL. Vulkan, original named OpenGL Next, is a next-gen Graphics API that sits on top of modern video card drivers to deliver even better performance than OpenGL and DirectX. In early benchmarks, Vulkan appears to consistently provide about a 20% performance improvement over the other two APIs.

This is extremely important to us, as the vast number of materials and objects we're rendering at any one time leads to performance issues due to a large number of draw calls. While we can institute constraints on the number of objects on screen at one time, and while we can design around some of the performance issues, leveraging Vulkan going forward means we won't necessarily have to, and can continue to provide an interesting, object-rich world for you to look at.

Animation & Character

Finally, the animation and character teams continue to work on the female models, rigging, and animation to get the full set of female models into the game.

In addition, the animation and character teams are in the middle of discussion on rigging and modeling of the unique physical characteristics of the different Tribes of Mann.

And finally, the team continues to work on modeling, rigging, and animating the many new creatures you'll encounter in Chronicles of Elyria.

Conclusion

That's all for this week folks. The store is opening up in just a few more weeks and the team is pushing forward, transitioning from Pre-Production into Production with the development of new workflows, rendering R&D, and finally, the introduction of new creatures and the female into the world.

Discuss

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Lodestone - 1 year ago

So, while reading about the APIs, I had a question come to mind. With all the dynamic features of this game, causing items, locations, and characters to change code, would it be in my best interest to install this on a regular hard drive rather than a solid-state hard drive? I know that if I attempt to render video or pictures using my SSD, the product is often corrupted which is one reason why these tasks are often suggested to be done using a standard or hybrid drive.

I intend to ask this question on the forum as well and will post the response in the opposite location that the answer comes from.

Captain - 2 years ago

God, I forgot about this for a short while. Gotta get it ASAP

Urbanmyth - 2 years ago

Jira Admin here, huzzah :) And if you're working with Vulkan, would that make a Linux client more of a possibility?

Communicator - 2 years ago

I'm really digging this

Kalfax - 2 years ago

will we be able to mod the game to look different or will you make it so that theres enough customization, to a point where we don't want to do it?

Decifith - 2 years ago
@Kalfax:

I highly doubt you'll need to mod the game, if you take into account that there's over 24 professions and the fact that if you travel a couple of days into the wild your characters hair would start to grow and their face would have obtained some dirt unless you've washed it. Wrinkles will show has you grow older etc....

Maulvorn - 2 years ago
@Decifith:

way more then 24 professions.

Sleep - 2 years ago

Always enjoy the updates. Like others, the game becomes more and more appealing and interesting. I've been waiting patiently to get myself a CoE shirt.

Maineiac - 2 years ago

Amazing stuff! Thank you for the update! I wonder if you will have to be at a certain lvl of Skinning or Butchering to acquire the antlers? They will make an excellent addition to any armor!

SadFazil - 2 years ago

One thing worth being patient for ^^

Morgana - 2 years ago

I can't wait. I am excited about each update and eagerly await the game being released.

Fintan - 2 years ago

Awesome! The store opens right on my birthday! Honestly, this is the best gift ever. (^-^)

Lukith_Bertucci - 2 years ago

this is GEEEREAT

Bobz - 2 years ago

woot! glad to hear the kickstarter is being extended next month since i missed it =D

Kalobd12 - 2 years ago

another post!

Serverus - 2 years ago

The different Tribes of Mann (previously called bloodlines). Each Tribe represents a group of Mann that has gathered in a single biome or region and through a process of evolution and adaptation, has acclimated in the best way possible to their surroundings.

I love this idea! I always wanted realism like this in a game where your bloodline adapts to your environment. I look forward to seeing the tribes of Mann.

Altanis - 2 years ago

Glad to hear the store will be going up soon. Cant wait to spend my IP!

Papa - 2 years ago

Lots of tidbits here that people have been waiting on. I intend to get my wife on a tier and then consider upgrading my own if I have the funds

lenkek - 2 years ago

New Info <3

NothiN - 2 years ago

Awesome

AdequateGnome - 2 years ago

Man this game is going to be AMAZING. I can't wait

Egore - 2 years ago

Awesome!! Can't wait for the store to open up!! Thank You Caspain and team!

Cpt38 - 2 years ago

Will this money from the extended kickstarter be used on the stretch goals? if yes there will be a place to see how close to the next goal the game is?

Vucar - 2 years ago
@Cpt38:

Posted By Cpt38 at 9:49 PM - Mon Sep 12 2016

Will this money from the extended kickstarter be used on the stretch goals? if yes there will be a place to see how close to the next goal the game is?

The answer to both are in the dev journal.

I'm helping you help yourself on this one :)

SaitamaBalen - 2 years ago

I hope this doesn't turn out to become a Pay-To-Win game

EndlessNights - 2 years ago
@SaitamaBalen:

It's more of "Pay for an initial advantage" since in theory all your titles and holdings can be lost if you're too incompetent or unwilling to put the time/effort into a position.

Any king unpopular with the other aristocrats won't be staying King long.

Vucar - 2 years ago

Nice update.

Very glad to see the caution being taken on feature creep, keeping things conservative and improving quality rather than over-extending like a certain sci-fi mmo has been doing...

Falendor - 2 years ago

What about previous IP shop lists that where put out during kickstarter?
Are those still valid or is this new system replacing that?

Also, at what point will we stop being able to spend IP? Can we spend it after alpha during early start? Will it be usable in game, or only oit of ge in some type of shop?

Malais - 2 years ago
@Falendor:

Posted By Falendor at 3:52 PM - Mon Sep 12 2016

What about previous IP shop lists that where put out during kickstarter?
Are those still valid or is this new system replacing that?

Also, at what point will we stop being able to spend IP? Can we spend it after alpha during early start? Will it be usable in game, or only oit of ge in some type of shop?

The shop lists will be the same for the first 30 days (see dates in OP). The exception is no early bird versions.

IP will not be available prior to exposition. IP is used to buy items for use in exposition to build the world. Wouldn't make much sense robust it in beta only to have it wiped.

markof - 2 years ago
@Malais:

Posted By Malais at 7:04 PM - Thu Sep 15 2016

Posted By Falendor at 3:52 PM - Mon Sep 12 2016

What about previous IP shop lists that where put out during kickstarter?
Are those still valid or is this new system replacing that?

Also, at what point will we stop being able to spend IP? Can we spend it after alpha during early start? Will it be usable in game, or only oit of ge in some type of shop?

The shop lists will be the same for the first 30 days (see dates in OP). The exception is no early bird versions.

IP will not be available prior to exposition. IP is used to buy items for use in exposition to build the world. Wouldn't make much sense robust it in beta only to have it wiped.

depending on what will be in the IP store, some of it might be available before expo (titles for exemple) and i guess it would be safe to test the IP things in one of the alpha too, just to be sure expo goes smoothly ;)

RedDoggybone - 2 years ago

No such things as dwarfs and elves. Just short pudgy people with beards and tall thin people. "Maybe" with pointed ears. So yes they should be able to mate.

Thrasonic - 2 years ago

How will inter-tribe marriage work? Will you be able to reproduce with members of other Tribes? I could see a 'Dwarf' and an 'Elf' not really being...compatible.

VictoriaRachel - 2 years ago
@Thrasonic:

Posted By Thrasonic at 2:39 PM - Mon Sep 12 2016

How will inter-tribe marriage work? Will you be able to reproduce with members of other Tribes? I could see a 'Dwarf' and an 'Elf' not really being...compatible.

You have to remember they are all Mann. They are not different species but more like the races of our own world who have different attributes based on their environment.

This is a quote from the Developer Journal that spoke about bloodlines or tribes as they are now known:

And, unlike other MMOs, these racial differences are dynamic and will evolve as new families are created with parents from different bloodlines.

[Source - Developer Journal on Character Customisation and Bloodlines]

Kaloki - 2 years ago
@VictoriaRachel:

Posted By VictoriaRachel at 2:49 PM - Mon Sep 12 2016

Posted By Thrasonic at 2:39 PM - Mon Sep 12 2016

How will inter-tribe marriage work? Will you be able to reproduce with members of other Tribes? I could see a 'Dwarf' and an 'Elf' not really being...compatible.

You have to remember they are all Mann. They are not different species but more like the races of our own world who have different attributes based on their environment.

This is a quote from the Developer Journal that spoke about bloodlines or tribes as they are now known:

And, unlike other MMOs, these racial differences are dynamic and will evolve as new families are created with parents from different bloodlines.

[Source - Developer Journal on Character Customisation and Bloodlines]

So basically...different races of people. Which shall be awesome :) I'm really thinking the northern people are going to be much like vikings etc. Will be interesting.

RedDoggybone - 2 years ago

Hmm, so let me get this straight if you have a "over-sized rack" on your body it makes you an unattractive target? I might have to question that. :)

@Adraunos "Nice ! But where i can bought the game ?"

You might try reading the thread again.

Cave_N - 2 years ago
@RedDoggybone:

Versus a dive-bombing avian apex predator... I could see how having many pointy things on top would slow them down a little bit.

Versus Mann? Not so much. But it didn't evolve the rack for Mann. It's to combat those pterodactyl-penguins.

Oblivious95 - 2 years ago

in regards towards having different attributes as per your tribe i was wondering if your attributes would differ depending on whether you are male of female in game?

VictoriaRachel - 2 years ago
@Oblivious95:

Posted By Adraunos at 2:15 PM - Mon Sep 12 2016

Nice ! But where i can bought the game ?

The game is currently in development and not able to be purchased. When the store opens on October the 3rd you can give money to the development of the game that will reward you with a copy, and other perks, when the game is released.

Posted By Oblivious95 at 2:19 PM - Mon Sep 12 2016

in regards towards having different attributes as per your tribe i was wondering if your attributes would differ depending on whether you are male of female in game?

The sex of your character currently does not affect your stats. It simply effects your appearance and some clothing will be sex specific simply die to the issues of it clipping on the opposite sex and the amount of work that takes to fix.

Adraunos - 2 years ago

Nice ! But where i can bought the game ?

xAgornx - 2 years ago

Tribes of Mann sound cool as funk.

Kaloki - 2 years ago

YAY! Now I just have to decide whether I'm going to be a baron/mayor strictly or a Countess. Decisions, Decisions.

CaptainSeli - 2 years ago

I'll finally get to buy some stuff woohoo! Can't wait for more updates.

Zampher - 2 years ago

Your work is much appreciated an your game will be much played.

mace771 - 2 years ago

UPDATES!!! woo

Dakota - 2 years ago

WOOHOO! BUY ALL THE IP!

I also have a question, in the past you have mentioned the possibility of selling Design Experiences as separate items, (I believe you had mentioned for money not IP)

Is this possibility still being considered?

HolyAvengerOne - 2 years ago

Massive. Thanks Caspian!

Gunnlang - 2 years ago

Awesome update and very nice to see the store is coming soon.

One question myself: When buying of IP store gets released. Will the price of IP stay the same the whole time?

Eisenhardt - 2 years ago

This is awesome. Can't wait!

Zunjin - 2 years ago

Epic Update, thanks guys! The new artworks are a highlight of every sunday. :)

One questions:

You said, that after the 30 days, we will be able to purchase slidely different packs, for a higher price, which will give us access to the bigger milestones, like beeing part of the Exposition as well as titels like Baron, Count, Duke etc.

In support of their earliest supporters, other KS Studios offer the original Kickstarter Backers allways access to the original KS-Tiers and for the same price.

If nothing got lost in translation, it seams that you will handle it differently. So just for clarification: Does a new player, joining in December, backing the new slidely different Count Tier, get the same content, as one of the erarly Kickstarter Supporters, who wants to upgrade his KS Astronomer Tier to the new and now more expensive Count Tier?