I promised you that the layaway announcement on Sunday was not the full update, and here is the other part! As the dust settles from a whirlwind of activity at Soulbound Studios, I share with you the current adventures of this brave team.
Many people have posed the question about how long they had to pay off their laid-away packages and whether there was an enforced payment schedule. Since you won’t receive the full benefit of the package until it has been paid off, I can see why this would be important to know!
Regarding payment schedule, there isn’t one. It’s not like renting or leasing so, if you don’t pay on a regular schedule, it’s no problem. Pay when you can make an increment—we aren’t going to repossess your duchy (mostly because you haven’t actually got anything until you finish your payments). But that brings me to the other part…
The deadline to pay off your tier is before Exposition begins, so it is quite a ways out. However, there will be settlement selection, Kingdoms of Elyria, and ElyriaMUD happening before that and you won’t be able to participate in those until you’ve paid off your layaway. It shouldn’t be a surprise that you don’t get to own something until you pay for it, but you still have plenty of time with which to do so. We will provide more concrete dates as we get closer, but it’s quite safe to assume you have until March at the very earliest.
We’ve reached the $1.5 million stretch goal for Gambling/Gaming! Apparently quite a lot of you were waiting for the layaway feature and rocketed us over the goal line the day it was released to the store. We had the utmost confidence this would happen so we went ahead and started interviewing animators for the position…and he starts next Monday!
As one might imagine, rolling dice, dealing cards, making terrible poker faces, and celebrating a win will require your character to animate. This is why an animator was crucial to this stretch goal. We look forward to putting on the mocap suits and playing a friendly (read: highly competitive) game of cards. I haven’t figured out who has the best poker face in the studio yet…it really could be anyone’s game!
Our next stretch goal is for Pet or Mount Customization. Reaching $1.65 million in backing will allow us to hire a Character Artist for this purpose. Some of you may be asking, “What is a Character Artist and why is that needed just to make my dream trison, Emilio, who was born piebald with curly horns due to a rare genetic mutation?”
Well, a character artist does several things that are relevant here.
There are myriad different customizations that could be made for pets and mounts, including pattern, color, musculature, scars, mutations, size, and more. This is why our next stretch goal calls for a Character Artist.
The end of October signaled the end of our latest sprint and we all loaded up the game to play and explore around the Prologue region that we are building. While we still have plenty of work ahead of us, I can’t resist showing you some of our favorite shots.
A couple weeks ago we did a live Q&A about the Design Experiences: unique, in-game content co-designed by the team at Soulbound Studios and backers in the community. We’ve finished editing the 90-minute session down to a very-informative 17 minutes. You can watch it on our YouTube Channel.
If you’d like to see the entire session—chock full of witty banter—it is available to view on:
As we are transitioning into the Production Phase, the intensity of work is taking an upturn. The team is adopting more rigorous processes and spending time detailing everything that will eventually be Elyria. This is an exhaustive and time consuming process so our updates will be slowing down for the next couple of months.
Rather than weekly updates, we will be updating every other week through the end of the year. Also, the day of the week will be changing from Sunday to Wednesday in my attempt to get the team to stop working every. single. weekend.
The progress on the game is good, and I don’t want the team to become zombies because they aren’t getting enough mental and physical rest. There are all sorts of interesting studies about overtime with the take-away being that it only has a net-positive for about two weeks. Since it will take longer than two weeks to build this game, it behooves us to adopt a sustainable and ethical pace for development. In the long run, this means better quality work at a better velocity!
That means that there will not be an update this coming Sunday, nor on Wednesday. The following Wednesday, November 16th, will be the next developer journal to anticipate. That doesn’t mean there won’t be news and announcements in the interim—there will be! We will also continue to be on IRC and Discord as time permits.
We love hearing from you and will continue to be transparent and forthcoming with our progress. It will just be on a slightly slower tempo for a couple months.
Pledged to Your Continued Adventures in Life, Both Actual and Fantasy,