29 December

Looking Back & Charging Forward

By Caspian

Hail Elyrians!

It feels like forever since I've done a blog update. And wow, what a year it's been! As I said in a recent forum post, holidays are a time for family, friendship, remembrance, and anticipation of the year to come. So in the spirit of remembrance, I wanted to begin the tradition of my anual Look Back. This'll take the place of Vye's normal blog post for this week.

Caspian does his best interpretation of Vye:
'Forsooth, doth this mean Vye hath been cast aside, ne'er to be heard from again?!'

Rest assured. Vye's updates will resume their regular schedule two weeks from yesterday. In spite of her fantastic blogging, I'm writing this update because while she's done a great job keeping you informed about our progress, this is really an opportunity for me to re-connect with all of you. Also, she wasn't here this time last year so her scope is somewhat limited. Also, she's on vacation. :-) But seriously, I'm glad I get this opportunity to review with all of you and I'm excited to think of what I'll be writing about this time next year.

Ok, with all that said, let's get started....

Sometimes it's easy to forget during the day-to-day hustle and bustle of work how far we've really come as a studio. We also take for granted that - since our community is such a devoted community - that all of you have been with us from the beginning. But logically, we know that's not true. So let's stop for a moment and take a look at where we were in Nov. / Dec. of last year, and where we are now.

Who And Where the Work Gets Done

Perhaps the most obvious difference to us is where we're working and who's doing the work. This time last year the three original employees - myself, TripNull, and Heat, had just transitioned from moonlighting as Soulbound Studios employees in the evenings and on weekends to being full-time Soulbound Studios Team Members. The three of us had left our day jobs, and along with our first animator - Strider, were literally working out of my basement.

We all sat within an 8' x 8' space with desks facing each other. And while we were all passionately pursuing our dream, we all wore many ... many hats. The four of us were cumulatively doing everything from IT, HR, and financing to 3D modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, engineering, and web development.


The first Soulbound Studios office

And remember, this time last year we had already put out over 100 pages of design journals and were planning a trip to PAX-East and a Kickstarter. With four people! Yeah. We were insane.

Fortunately, we recognized that more work was needing to be done than we could reasonably do, so after some personal financing, we began rapidly hiring. Of course, we knew we couldn't fit any more people in my basement so we transitioned to our shiny new office space in Bellevue, WA.

We didn't yet know whether our Kickstarter would succeed so our options were limited in terms of what office space we wanted to commit to. In spite of that, we found a place with 10 pre-installed cubicles and places for Heat and I to put our desks. Plenty of room for our four employees.


The second Soulbound Studios office


Making it our own

Today, we're no longer four employees. Over the course of the last year we've hired a couple more engineers, two character artists, two more animators, an environment artist, two designers, a community manager, a graphic designer, a web developer, a producer, and retained an attorney. Do some simple math and you'll quickly realize that's more than 10 people! To make room for all those extra bodies we had to ditch the pre-installed cubicles and upgrade our furniture to a more open office environment. We've now got room for 20 people in the same space that previously sat 10.


Renovation complete!

Hot damn! Now we're cooking with bacon! But we're not done yet. 2017 will see the growth of Soulbound Studios to over 20 people and likely a relocation to a nearby office suite with room to grow to as many people as as we need throughout the life of the project.

It really is amazing when I look back and think about how much we were able to accomplish with just the four of us, and how much is getting done now that we've got four times that many people. 2017 stands to be an incredibly productive year, and I can't wait to share it all with you.

Where the Money Comes From

Another big difference between last year and this year is where the money is coming from. This time last year the four original employees were being funded by me. I had saved up about $50k USD, and had gotten an SBA Loan for another $100k USD. The combined $150k was everything we had in savings, plus twice that in a line of credit. And that $150k is what the four of us based our futures on. We really were crazy.

After seeing the positive feedback from community members though, and recognizing that people really were passionate about our vision for the future of MMOs, my wife and I agreed to sell our land we'd purchased to build our dream home on. We were going to sell one dream for another. The land sale closed around this time last year which infused the company with another $350k - bringing us to a toal of $500k in starting capital. That was enough to bring on more people, move to a new office, pay for our trip to PAX East, and ultimately make it to a Kickstarter - but we knew the money wouldn't last beyond that.

So in May 2016 we launched our Kickstarter. It was successful. Wow was it successful. We managed to reach our $900k goal in just the first 10 days, with a final Kickstarter amount closing at just over $1.35M. That made Chronicles of Elyria the 24th highest backed Video Game on Kickstarter and the 115th highest backed Kickstarter project of all time. Not bad for a project many people thought would never get funded.


That's... a lot of digits.

We went the crowdfunding route because we knew the project and team were risky ventures. While we were made up of a team of professionals from AAA studios, we'd never worked together before. We believed if CoE was going to get the funding it needed to really get off the ground, it was going to take crowdfunding. We also understood that while it would have been extremely difficult to get publishers and VCs to invest in our idea, we knew that you guys would understand what we were trying to create, why we were trying to create it, and what potential it had to re-shape the landscape for MMORPGs going forward. And we weren't disappointed. You guys came out and represented gamers and said loud and clear - 'We want dynamic, immersive worlds.' And thanks to you, this last 6 months have been possible.

But you didn't stop there. In October we launched our online store for those that weren't able to back us on Kickstarter and since then we've raised another $675k or so in residual pledges - bringing our total raised to just under $2M.

What's going to happen next year? It's hard to say. But what I can say is we will continue to keep our online store open for residual income, and we've already been approached by multiple publishers and investors. We're in a good place right now financially and have more money than we expected at this point in the development process. We're also in no rush to make deals, and are instead holding out for the right deal for us - and the right deal for you guys.

Either way, 2017 looks to be a profitable year with us having plenty of runway to complete development and move into QA, Testing, Hosting, and Publishing.

The Public Face of the Project

The next main difference is our website. When we first launched the CoE website back in 2014, a full 6 months before really making our project publicly known, it started as just a black and white web page. Gradually over the next 6 months we released a handful of developer journals that talked about our plan for the game and laid the ground work for what was to become our design journals.

You can still find those original 5 dev journals in the blog section of our website here:

Of course, in July 2015 we launched the first version of the website. Remember, at the time it was just the three core members of the team - a concept artist / 3D modeler and a couple of game programmers.

So it should come as no surprise that our first version of the website looked like this:


I have no words to describe this website

Of course, by January 2016 we'd gotten feedback that our website sucked so we began adding new features, increased the contrast of the website a bit, and released what was something like version 1.5 of the website. It looked like this:


Better

It was largely the same visually, but added a lot of functionality that wasn't there previously. But, it was still built on a website technology that wouldn't scale well, wouldn't allow for many new features, and ultimately needed to be replaced.

So in July 2016 we released the version 2.0 of our website, which is more or less what you see now. Version 2.0 was a complete re-write of the website using a different web technology that allows us to add new features quickly, is easier to maintain, etc. It was a rough deployment that resulted in almost a week of down-time for the website. But in the end it came out much better.


Sexy in a retro sort of way

Between October and December 2016 we released two versions of our online store, with the latest looking more like what the next version of our website will look like. Something along the lines of:


Sweet, sweet, website...

And Of course, as per our recent update, my focus in 2017 - at least the first quarter, is going to be primarily on our game. I recognize there's still much to do on the website, and as you can see from the recent store release we'll be moving to a more open, full-screen, responsive design. However, for the time being, my focus is turning inwards toward the engine and game experiences.

We will periodically make updates to the website as necessary to cater to the game experiences; things like settlement selection, account merging, character-based portals, etc... but as the primary purpose of the website is to provide a place where the community can come together to discuss the game, see new media, and learn about the progress, we feel it's more or less where it needs to be for now. And correct me if I'm wrong - but what you really want to see is all the cool stuff we're working on for the game?

PAX and Forth

Another big event in 2016 was PAX East. We'd never been to PAX East before and so didn't know what to expect. Also, as our growing team of about 12 people hadn't ever hosted a PAX booth before, we were completely unprepared for how much work it would be. To make it more interesting, PAX East was just a solid two weeks before our Kickstarter.

So myself, Camigwen, Aurora, and Souzou were running around like crazy trying to get ready for the expo, as well as do filming for our Kickstarter. Meanwhile, the team was actively working on a multiplayer combat demo experience which lasted until around 4am the morning of PAX East.

What can I say? April was a crazy month. But, we had committed to going to PAX East, the team pulled through, we headed to Boston, and in the end had an amazing time. We had people come in on the first day who came back every day after that just to learn more about the game, play our combat demo, and talk with other exited people who came to learn about the game.


Some regulars at PAX

We had hourly tournaments for the combat demo as well as a bracketed tournament at the end of each day where the hourly winners could compete for prizes. Our booth was standing-room only for much of the weekend, we all lost our voices, and it was awesome. We also really enjoyed getting a chance to meet everyone from the community who was able to make it.


The hourly champions for the day, preparing for the bracket

In the end, there was a ton of coverage of us at PAX East - video interviews, videos of the combat demo, and even written reviews.

Among other things, we received our first PAX Award. MMOGames.com awarded us the Best Indie MMO of PAX East 2016.

So what's in store for 2017? Well, we're once again heading back to PAX East. This time with a booth 3x the size of our booth last year. We've got Scarlet with previous booth design experience, a larger outreach team, a producer, and a heck-of-a lot more to show this year than last. Plus, I'm even on a couple panels this year.

Finally, we're trying to get one of the smaller stages this year so we can do a talk about some of the finer details of CoE: what makes it unique and how/why we're changing the face of MMOs.

So we're super excited for PAX this year and can't wait to see you all on the show floor again.

Community Growth and Focus

The next thing I wanted to talk briefly about is community growth. As of November 30th 2015 we had just 11,000 registered community members on our website. As of November 30th 2016 we have 111,000 community members! That's an order of magnitude larger!

The steady and accelerated growth of the community is a testament to your passion for the game, your desire to share it with others, and our vision of what the next generation of MMOs should look like. And we're just getting started.

Part of my job as CEO is helping to grow the community, interacting with stakeholders, and ensuring people are seeing our company and product in the right way. So it's no secret that a big part of my focus for 2016 was on looking outward. I spent a non-trivial amount of time on IRC/Discord answering questions, on the CoE forums, and interacting with potential customers on other community websites such as MMORPG.com, MassivelyOP, etc... As a result of all of my efforts - as well as yours, the hype is real. People are genuinely becoming excited about CoE, even at this early date.


We're #1, we're #1, we're #1...

That's one of the reasons we've more or less remained the #1 Most Anticipated Game on MMORPG.com for nearly the last full year. It's also one of the reasons we've been nominated for two different community awards on MMOGames.com - Best Crowdfunded Online Game of 2016, and Most Anticipated MMO of 2017. If you have an interest in doing so, feel free to head over and vote. You can vote twice a day for the next 34 hours.

But while my focus this year has been partly on 'sharing the gospel of CoE,' that can only take us so far. What will ultimately grow our community size from 100k this year to over 1M next year, is continued progress, an increase in the amount of public content, and more exposure to what matters the most - the game.

So 2017 is going to see a lot less of me engaging with the community directly, and a lot more of me engaging with the community indirectly through released content. As was posted in a previous update, I recently returned from a trip to London where I was visiting with our partners over at Improbable. I came back eager to push forward and excited about the new opportunities presented to us in 2017.

So with my focus turning more toward development, expect to see a lot more going on at Soulbound Studios this year, and as a result, expect more and more people to move from that phase of cautious optimism into the phase of anxious excitement.

Chronicles of Elyria

Perhaps the most important differences between now and December of last year are our development workflows and the game itself - most of which you've seen yourselves in our recent updates. So I'll focus on the high-level rather than regurgitate a year's worth of updates.

This time last year the design Chronicles of Elyria existed mostly as a couple dozen physical journals on bookshelves. Throughout the course of the year the design has moved from physical paper to word documents, to OneNote, and finally to our internal wiki. The new wiki contains all that is CoE and represents the truth of the game we're creating.

Over the next couple months the pages of the wiki will continue to fill out with design mechanics becoming functional and technical specs, and the todo lists replaced with lists of items, consumables, equipment, the remaining tribes, and asset lists. This will then be delivered to you guys in the form of content additions to our Game Guide. Stay tuned!

Similarly, while our project management has moved between paper task lists, Excel, and even Visual Studio Online, we now have a Sr. Producer who keeps all of our epics, stories, and tasks neatly organized in our JIRA database. Each week we get to work on our tasks and on Fridays we end the week by doing a play-through of the game, a retrospective, and then sprint planning for the following week. Each sprint the team gets faster at sprint planning, and each sprint we've seen a steady increase in the velocity of the team.

We've also changed software quite a bit this last year. We moved from Git to Perforce, moved through three different game engines, finally landing on UE4, and moved through a couple different motion capture systems before landing on a final suit-based solution.


Our first mocap 'studio'

All-in-all, as the team continues to grow we've been able to incorporate new ideas, address development pain points, and improve our workflows to be even more productive. December ended nicely and January+ should be really exciting.

As for the game itself... back in December of 2015 CoE was a dozen different standalone projects, each designed as a test of a specific technology or technical problem we needed to solve. So while we had locomotion, an equipment system, character creation, and the beginnings of a combat system - it wasn't one cohesive game yet.

Today, everything has been integrated into a couple different clients - each intended as deliverables for specific milestones we're facing over the next few months. Now we're doing weekly play-throughs so we can share in the progress each of us is making. Finally, in January we begin our integration of SpatialOS, so we can move from a standalone offline game client designed to test the features and mechanics of the game, into one seemless, online world.

Conclusion

It's fairly easy to forget that while you learn about most games - and especially MMOs - only months before the game's launch, we began showing concepts, screenshots, and even videos a full two and a half years before our targeted launch date. I'm not saying that as a way to pat ourselves on the back, but as a reminder that even though it feels like forever since our announcement, we're still very early in the development process, and still have a ways to go before launch.

Seeing where we are today, with videos, screenshots, regular play-through, etc., it's easy to forget that just 12 months ago we were a team of four guys working out of a basement. We've grown so much this year, and achieved more than I can even put in a single blog post. Each member of the team has had to stretch him or herself in new ways, gain new skills, and become better than they were before.

As a result of the team's hard work, they've made great progress in a short amount of time. Realistically, more progress than should be expected of most 4-person-become-16-people development studios. But we set ourselves to a higher standard. Nay. We set ourselves to the highest standard...Because we understand that's what a game company should do, because we believe it's what you deserve, and because we know it's necessary for our small, motivated team to make a game like Chronicles of Elyria successfully.

Back in November of 2014 I said in the very first blog post on the CoE Website:

'It is said the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So it is true with Chronicles of Elyria...' and concluded with: 'There is a long, arduous journey ahead of us friends. But with your support, encouragement, enthusiasm and relentless demand for the best game experience possible, I'm sure we will take it in stride. It is indeed a journey of a thousand miles...'

While we've taken many steps since that date, our journey continues. Our pace is quickening and our stride lengthening, we are resolute in our heading and sure in our footing.

As 2016 ends and 2017 begins know that all of us at Soulbound Studios come to work each day dedicated to bringing this game to you as quickly, carefully, and as lovingly as we possibly can. And so long as we continue to receive your support and encouragement, and as long as you seek companionship with others who have dedicated themselves to the CoE community, the journey will be over before you know it... and we'll all be in Elyria.

Pledged to the Continued Advancement of the Soulborn Engine and the Chronicling of Elyria,

Caspian

Discuss

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Mystique Blaine - 3 months ago

It's absolutely amazing to see where this company has come and just how much hard work and dedication you all have devoted to such an extraordinary project! I wish you the best going forward and I'll be on the sidelines cheering you on the whole way.

Jastaronge - 5 months ago

I can't believe how far this company has come. I remember checking it out two whole years ago and the concept sounded amazing. Coming back and seeing just how much has been accomplished in such a short time truly is astounding. Great work!

HolyAvengerOne - 5 months ago

Nice summary, thanks Casp!

Stealthwire - 5 months ago

I can't believe I let myself wait two weeks to read this one. Loved seeing the side-by-side comparisons of the humble beginnings, to kickstarter when I discovered CoE, to now. I am so excited for CoE to release but I'm not anxious for it. Even with just the idea of Chronicles of Elyria, we're already building amazing communities, gathering data & researching, designing graphics and websites and recruitment posts using ye olde Mark Up syntax.

Thanks for sharing your passion and letting it be our passion, too. I hope your 2017 is filled with many successes and I can't wait to see the continued growth of both CoE and SBS.

With Love, Stealthy

Taliesin - 6 months ago

I only just stumbled on to this game, bouncing around from forum to forum, and I have to say; I am impressed and quite excited to see where this game and studio go over the next few years. Good luck Soulbound, keep up the hard work!

Grimlock - 6 months ago

Thank you! Fantastic

Suskia - 6 months ago

It seems like with the increase of workers you guys will finish in no time but the question for me is what Pc specs do I need to play the game?

HotOdinSauce - 6 months ago

We appreciate all the hard work and can't wait for the amazing experience that will be CoE!

LeafyPete - 6 months ago

Truly I admire someone giving everything they have to accomplish their dreams. You all have my utmost respect and I am so glad to be able to witness and be apart of the dream you are building.

Looking forward to the future!

xXIrken_InvaderXx - 6 months ago

First, I'd like to congratulate you all on how far you have come in such little time. Second I think this game would really benefit from being vr capable. I really think that vr is on its way to being a huge part of the gaming industry and and beleive that making it vr capable would put you in an entirely new league. Just my thoughts can't wait for this either way I'm buying a pc for the first time in years just for this game. Keep up the great work.

Oracle - 6 months ago

Awesome work as always. Wishing you every success ;)

Drakvon - 6 months ago

Alrdy love the game, can't wait to see what's in store for PAX East in Jan/march. I will be backing the game completely, I want to see this game come to life.

VladDeImpaler - 6 months ago

Amazing progress, love it. I can't wait to see more. I hope we have the ability to build and decorate our houses and color it whatever we want. I hope this game gets to be on VR, also if you guys want to be the pioneers of MMOS them you should look up EEG and it's technological advances; EEG + VR Headset + CoE = Reinvented Pioneers of the MMO industry.

Tierless - 6 months ago

I look forward to what 2017 brings COE.

Abuncha_nada - 6 months ago

The hype train died down for a while, too much too fast, but I'm glad to see things are picking up again. I'm very excited to see more of what the game IS, rather than what it is becoming. People need audio and visual to retain interest, and especially to interest others in contributing their money. I feel like what content is to come will be directly correlated to the growth of registered users. Well wishes for the start of a new year!

Hallowfest - 6 months ago
@Abuncha_nada:

The problem with that is that if you look back at the first video there were far more negative comments than positive. This was due to people being stupid and not realizing that was pre-alpha footage. A lot of developers have been withholding info because of this. This does two things. One, it makes good dev teams careful on what they do release. 2nd, it allows bad companies to get away with not showing more of the game. No Mans Sky is a prime example. Hopefully with more positive criticism game devs will be more open on their games. But the amount of idiots there are on the internet, such as trolls, its less likely that this will stop. But I do agree with you. I would love to see more. I think the game so far has made immense progress since the first video with the reenactment of Princess Bride. We're not even at the Alpha testing, so it'll be awesome to see the progress by then.

Bluetiful - 6 months ago

Awesome possum! So happy you guys didn't give up! So looking forward to this game, I've been spreading the word to all my friends ;)

Riptose - 6 months ago

Sounds good guys keep up the hard work... This game sounds amazing!

eltaninsroses - 6 months ago

Good Job! Keep at it! It's a fun for us to see the development! Of the game, and of the company.

And maybe, if you can and havn't yet, drop a line to the guys at CD Projekt Red? They we're in your shoes once, and now look at them. :) They are bound to have a few pointers for you!

They have done a helluva job not only developing great games without being swallowed up by a big publisher, that will just push and push because the bottom line is all that matters (Here's looking at you EA!.)

They are good at keeping the communication lines with their fanbase open(like you are) And are doing so even now, after they grew bigger.

Making good on their promisses and apologizing when warranted, if something didn't go as planned.

I'm looking forward to playing from BETA with my bloodline pack and helping build a community online.

Hallowfest - 6 months ago
@eltaninsroses:

I agree!!!! CD Projekt Red is a such a good company. The one company that actually made DLC mean DLC. Blood and Wine was like its own game. So good!

Arlo_ - 6 months ago

Reading this just made me remember how awesome you guys/girls at souldbound really are. And how I'm proud to be apart of this adventure

Verdecus - 6 months ago

Ow you really are a lovely individual, arent you? May I say, you have truly stood the test of following one's dreams. And with that, fair old chap, I say goodbye and be of good spirits. Spear ahead to the ultimate goal, you will be thanked tremendously by our harmonic community.

Elhamer - 6 months ago

Wow! This was a very nice read. I'm so happy that your dream is becoming a reality. I'm not only happy for you but for all of us. I'm so hyped for this game and I'm so glad that we can all be apart of this great community that appreciates the development team for keeping us updated. Really is astonishing!

Rojinn - 6 months ago

I was very reluctant to get into another "fund our game" deal. I decided to tell the community so. After reading some of the responses, I decided to send you a little money...enough to get an invite to the Beta. I have been very impressed with this game's community, and now I am shocked. When I read that you and your wife sold your property to further the idea of this game, I was taken. I will continue to send you funds. I am currently playing a free to play game, and it keeps me entertained, but I will be pretending I have a subscription to CoE. Please, stay on course. Stay true to the fundamentals you have described, ie. the life span character, the hybrid possibilities created by skill based characters, and the intention to have Inns be the social hubs. I don't want to see another brilliant idea sell out to become a WOW clone. This game is going to be amazing! Happy New Year!!!

Zytoril - 6 months ago

Very nice read there Caspian :D

Happy New Year Everyone at SoulBound Studios and Fellow Elyrians! :D

Aeryn Suun - 6 months ago

Is it just me? I can not check out the stretch goals. Like the new store design.

FredrickPointyNose - 6 months ago

I'll happily donate $150 when I see a little more in terms of a definitive date for the Alphas and Betas, keep up the progress, if done right this will, note WILL, be the best game in my life time.

kajoreh - 6 months ago

As someone who has not been around since the beginning, I found it very informative to see the whole story laid out all in one place...I might suggest doing this annually...As well as making it a keystone of reference for those new to the game...Perhaps by linking it to the section that tells what the game is all about...It puts a lot of perspective on the "how and why" of this game...

"This is Paul Harvey...And Know You Know The Rest of the Story...Good Day"

(and yes, i know i am dating myself with that reference, but you millennials can google it if you need to)

Gromschlog - 6 months ago

Crowfall recently started to allow investments in the game. How about doing the same for CoE? I dont want to back any higher as I want to start where I am and maybe work my way up... But if it was possible to invest money in the game... so to say to buy shares or just have money invested that might result in getting more money back several years later... Then I'd have much more money to spend than I already did.

Xander Steele - 6 months ago

Deducing from all of Goury's posts, he seems to be a disgruntled investor that got turned down by Caspian and now has a personal vendetta against him. Why you have to live a life so toxic is beyond me, even this close to the new year. Live and let live, Goury. Go spit your gall in a bucket, for you'll have no ears here.

All in all, Happy New Year to all! We all have patience as a virtue, so you guys are the best community I've seen in ages :)

Sperg - 6 months ago

Very nice post Caspian, and here's to many more to come! Happy New Year to you all!

Chintz - 6 months ago

Mister Goury, on what do u base your negatieve comments. Anyone can say stuff like that, but only hero's can back it up.

Goury - 6 months ago

This is, to be honest, is awful.

Every experienced and sensible developer knows that shitty cubicles (yes, the ones on photo is shitty ones) and open-spaces is the worst working conditions you can have and that it is very counter-productive to work in such conditions. Should you desire to know why — there is a lot of articles on the interners about this.

Sadly, I have to take note that you are just not good at what you are doing.

Hallowfest - 6 months ago
@Goury:

Not all of us are multi-million dollar developers sir lol Also open space isn't bad. As an artist I love the open idea. You can share your ideas, and you feel more like a community rather than a individual stuck in a single office cut off from your co-workers. It shows they are focusing more money on the game then themselves. If they get better desks that would be cool, but for now I'm sure they're all comfortable with what they have.

Barleyman - 6 months ago

Don't work too hard all at once. You don't want to burn out.

Hallowfest - 6 months ago
@Barleyman:

I agree with Barleyman, make sure to get up and stretch and keep your mind active. Making a game I'm sure can be grinding at times. If you have a block then a quick break can help. As someone who streams and is an artist I have to get up and take breaks every now and then to refresh myself. Keep up the good work though. <3 The Twitch Community is watching and waiting ;)

Goury - 6 months ago
@Barleyman:

I doubt they even know what "burn out" is, they are clearly novices at software development and have zero experience of team leading.

Hallowfest - 6 months ago
@Goury:

And your clearly an asshole. Every developer was a novice at one point. It took risk, practice, and school to advance from novice to experienced. If you have such great "team leading" and are a "Master" at software development then apply. Show them whose what. Don't come in here trying to diminish a brand new development team & a game that hasn't reached alpha testing. Or are you afraid that they'll accomplish more than half of what they promise and show big companies whose what. The Devs and this Community are sick and tired of getting shit on with games that don't deliver and charge us for everything. If you don't like this game then you can leave, the door is right there sir.

Chintz - 6 months ago

Stay great, stay open and follow the path you had in mind. Dont take offers of big company's that will limit your vision (like some game company do) Go in sea with someone that will alow u to make mistakes, that wont push you to release before u are ready. I personaly believe this game will be the next WoW, leading the mmorpg genre to a new age!

Thx for the hard work you guys do, and keep it up!

Happy new year ;)

Dante_Rhyne - 6 months ago

Love it let's get it man BOOM!

Patafoin - 6 months ago

Merci pour cette description.

Je vous souhaite une excellente année 2017 et une réussite que vous méritez

Bonne année et bonne réussite

Papotar. Un breton de Bretagne ;)

Tannin - 6 months ago

Very Emotional and True From The Heart Post . I Just Recently Discovered This Game and Website. Wish I Found Out About This Game Like A Year Ago. I Will DEF Back This Game And The World Needs A MMO True Sandbox Game. I Quit Playing MMo's Because They All Lack Certain Qualities. Stay True To Your Path. The Skies The Limit. Genius .

Maric - 6 months ago

$675k in less than 3 months (since Store went live). That's remarkable.

Aeryn Suun - 6 months ago

So January 2017 KOE, Elyria MUD and Prologue: The Awakening?

Keep up the good work!

stubs - 6 months ago

Great read! Really enjoyed this blog.

I for one truly appreciate your transparency and I am delighted at how far the team has come since I first started following.

Keep up the good work, and keep up the communication.

I wish everyone at Soulbound Studios a great new year and I hope for an even better year for CoE.

Cheers!

litleboyblue - 6 months ago

i am supper pumped about what 2017 will bring :) keep it up team :D

Ohnara - 6 months ago

What a wonderful read! Very captivating.

Lumifer - 6 months ago

You have done an amazing job with everything so far, thank you for your hard work Soulbound Studios. I wish you all the best of luck in 2017★! :)

Karillyn - 6 months ago

Thanks for reviewing your year with us. Its awesome to see how far you have been able to come in just a year.

CobraGhost - 6 months ago

Are we still in Alpha 1?

Aeryn Suun - 6 months ago
@CobraGhost:

It is a ways off, think maybe mid second quarter.

Antaryon - 6 months ago
@CobraGhost:

Posted By CobraGhost at 7:14 PM - Fri Dec 30 2016

Are we still in Alpha 1?

We aren't even in landselection yet not to mention KOE or Elyria MUD

QuintessencE - 6 months ago

<3

FateWeaver - 6 months ago

Was anyone else ready to go to Battle for Caspian by the end of this update?

Chintz - 6 months ago
@FateWeaver:

TO ARMS!

Cave_N - 6 months ago

Beware the strong-arm of investors. I have witnessed them destroy many games in the past. Make it your way. Make it influenced by community. Make it great.

Goury - 6 months ago
@Cave_N:

Many inexperienced self-hosted studios destroying themselves just by leading the team the wrong way. Some investors may provide good team leaders and good project managers, this alone is worth signing a contract with them.

Hallowfest - 6 months ago
@Goury:

So it continues. Your obviously one love is money. lol Getting a company like CD Projekt Red as a adviser would be good. But selling the soul of the game like No Mans Sky did is not in the devs interest or ours. You can kindly shove off sir.

Lech - 6 months ago

I like this kind of yearly report from Caspian. 10/10 like Mr. Ben.

-MX.

Iridium - 6 months ago

SO stoked! It's awesome to see how much you guys have grown!

Edd - 6 months ago

This was a very good read. I had no idea how big of a growth your Soulbound Studios and its community has had over the past months until reading this blog post.

I believe that Chronicles of Elyria as a game and Soulbound Studios as a gaming company will succeed on a grand scale. I really hope so as well.

Good luck to you guys at Soulbound Studios! You couldn't believe how great it feels to be part of your journey of developing the next massive MMORPG!

Domintheos - 6 months ago

Very nice, can't wait.

Barghest - 6 months ago

That was a great read! Can't wait to see what happens in 2017.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!

Talat - 6 months ago

So satisfying to read. All the emotion is so tangible on this post.

Silaven - 6 months ago

Holy crap, I'm in the DJ photos! Twice! Lol

Anyways, I wanted to thank all of you at SBS for all the hard work you have put into making this game a reality. It has been a fun year and a half getting to follow all that y'all have done. Now as you guys buckle down and keep pushing forward with your project we in the community will make sure to continue giving you guys our support! I hope I get the chance to come see all of you again at PAX east 2017 and have happy new year :)

P.S. Still trying to find the others from that PAX on our community site! If y'all see this message and are going to PAX again I'd love to catch up :D

Lentor - 6 months ago

Literally wanted to cry while reading this! More than a full year now since I have known about this game and it has progressed sooo much since then! :') Really can't wait for what next year has in store for you guys!

morbidar - 6 months ago

Well done! cheers I've only just heard about the game on December 16th 2016 and have KS on layaway. I am truly stoked about this game. I immerse myself daily in the forums, wiki, DJs and in the discords. After an 8 year hiatus from gaming after 20 years of hard core gaming, I am proud to say CoE will be the 1 I return with, and finish with. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication. cheers

Onosei - 6 months ago

"expect more and more people to move from that phase of cautious optimism into the phase of anxious excitement." ~Caspian

yeah im well past the anxious excitement phase lol trying to go to bed and spent another two hours just rolling through the forums, behind you guys 100%!!

Lazero360 - 6 months ago

Good post ^^ Looking forward to see what the future brings for SBS. Happy new year.

RedDoggybone - 6 months ago

Love the recap on the progression of the game and studio. I find that I am really enjoying the updates and following along with the development of the game. It's sort of like hgtv when they build the house from scratch just longer. To give you an idea why I like watching the game being developed right in front of me. I live a 30-45 minute car ride away from Yankee Stadium. When they were building the new stadium I made sure to make a trip or two every month up to the stadium and take pictures from the El train that goes right by it. I could just stand there for a couple of hours watching. It's sort of like that for me with this game too.

Ortherion - 6 months ago

Happy New Year my fellow Elyrians and great job SBS on the new storefront!

I am very impressed with the store front design and that the new website will eventually have the same look.

JaPeMo - 6 months ago

Congrats and happy new year!!!

We would like wacht more advances like pvp or ambientation....

OrangeBoy - 6 months ago

This made me tear up... Wow, so emotional much capital very good

Rhonynn Farstrider - 6 months ago

Three cheers for Soulbound Studios and Chronicles of Elyria! Hype Hype Hurrah! Hype Hype Hurrah! Hype Hype Hurrah!

P.S. - I've noticed some minor grammer and spelling errors, but in all the whole thing has me super excited and eagerly awaiting for what is to come.

Vanidon - 6 months ago
@Rhonynn Farstrider:

"...minor [grammar] and spelling errors..."

Rhonynn Farstrider - 6 months ago
@Vanidon:

Well played. =D

Muphinnz - 6 months ago

It was crazy to see all the progress you've made in just a year, specifically the shots of how your work space changed. Can't wait to see what it looks like by next year.

Darhk - 6 months ago

That was an excellent post and a lot of background information that I wasn't even aware of, I especially enjoyed the videos and game footage...

Chronicles of Elyria is shaping up to be the best place to be!

LeBron - 6 months ago

I'm happy to be a part of this and your post sounds like I really should be. Keep up the great work and create the game you dream about!

Joreel - 6 months ago

It's absolutely amazing just how far you guys have come in the last year... I've only been around for the past 9 months of it, but it's been incredibly to see the way Soulbound Studios has expanded just since KS. I am looking forward to seeing just how much the game explodes onto the gaming community by next fall. Hopefully we'll see the community hit 500,000 active members and supporters by summer...

Honey Burst - 6 months ago

Thank you, Caspian, for making me feel way more important to the development of this game than I probably actually was! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing you guys again at PAX. You guys completely made last year the best experience I've had.

Lofi - 6 months ago

Excellent blog post.

Shaping up to be one of the best games ever. Thanks for 2016 and best of luck for 2017.

Drefan - 6 months ago

Great work SBS. So proud of your team. Super excited for 2017

-Insert inspirational words

Hezrou - 6 months ago

This is amazing to read xD it makes me SO HYPED.

Also that 100k jump in 1 year's time is awesome! We can do better! HYPE THIS TRAIN TO OVERTIME! CHOO CHOO!

In all seriousness, though, thank you and to your team for pushing the boundaries and norms of the mmo genre and being generally awesome people all around. You guys make me smile with your posts and transparency with all of us. Most MMOs nowadays you don't even hear from the CMs and if you did it was always cold responses, like a programmed or faked response. But you guys talk to us on the regular and that's what will make this community, and by extension the game, better.

This won't be a WoW killer, and it won't be crazy hyped (or will it?!) like some of the other mmos that have come and gone quickly. I want this MMO to last. I want you guys to keep up the fine quality and I look forward to the updates of 2017 and interactions I, personally, will have and maintain with my guild in PAX and Kingdom of Vornair! <3

Cloudstrike - 6 months ago

Grats all. Thanks for your hard work.

Viktor Galliand - 6 months ago

It is nothing short of amazing what you guys have accomplished in such a short amount of time. Soulbound Studios has those big label developers quaking in their boots. I'm privileged to be able to walk on this journey with you, and with the community I now consider my family. Here's to what's yet to come!

Artax_Daane - 6 months ago

YES!!!

Nkrumah - 6 months ago

Cheers to 2017 🍻

Jarrad the Sage - 6 months ago

It is my genuine hope that you and your team succeed in achieving what you've set out to do. Largely because if you do other companies will see what you've accomplished and strive to do the same. I really want to see that, and i'm glad to hear my concerns about a lack of resources are a mostly non-issue at this point.

Goury - 6 months ago
@Jarrad the Sage:

$2M is not really a resource. You can spend it very fast and be left deep in debts.

Just imagine this: they rent an office and hire 10 team members: office is $150K, every team member is $200K. By the end of year you have nothing done because of mismanagement, but somehow half million dollars deep in debt.

Ragecontrol - 6 months ago

I can't wait to see what awaits us! Anxious excitement, hype, pre-game meta building, all of it is coming for us in 2017. I look forward to seeing everyone bit of content you'll share with us! Congrats to making it this far, and good luck in the new year!

Jarri - 6 months ago

It is absolutely amazing how much progress yall have made. Keep up the good work on creating a world in which we can all enjoy.

Mordakai - 6 months ago

WOooo Hella good read, keep up the awesome work, and I can't wait!!!

Kat5Khaos - 6 months ago

Let's get to work on 2017! Amazing, thanks again Caspian!