18 May

A Story Developing

By Vye

Hail and well met, Elyrians!

As the days grow longer and warmer, the team grows larger and faster. We are encouraged by the warm rays of the sun and our game garden is sprouting like mad! The blooms we planted back in April are going to be beautiful.


Concept art from the talented Eddie "Heat" Smith

Destiny Brought Us Together

We've brought another engineer into the fold! Victor "Sekmu" Rachels is our new Senior Client Engineer and brings with him a wealth of experience with game engines. He hails most recently from Konami, where he shipped Metal Gear Solid 5 and Metal Gear Online, but has also worked on a variety of other interesting projects such as Lost Planet 3 and VR game ArcSlinger. He's a serial-team-player, and his dedication to quality and integrity really impressed the team. He's excited about working on the experiences that you, as a player, will interact with and creating tools to unleash our content team. We're excited about that too!

When he's not programming, he has a cornucopia of hobbies both in-and-out of doors. In the outdoor variety: hiking, kayaking, and travel. Of the indoor variety: minis and books. And of course he's a gamer, where he enjoys both digital and analog varieties including: MMOs, co-op games, adventure games, and board games. He's currently playing one of the most ancient and challenging games ever created: Fatherhood.

Please give Sekmu a warm welcome!

Chronicles of Soulbound Studios

Now, let's check in on our brave adventurers...

Asset Archival Alliance

Members: Wiz, Raevantiel, Vanimus Prime, Irreverent

Their adventure is complete! This brave party was rewarded with the admiration of their peers and satisfaction of a job well-done. They have bonded through this experience and, rather than move on separately, Irreverent and Vanimus Prime have recruited Wiz and Raevantiel into their other party and successfully negotiated the expansion of the Elyrian Zoological Society into an organization that considers all aspects of the natural world. Henceforth, the group is now the Society of Elyrian Ecology.

Society of Elyrian Ecology

Members: Mudokon, Racronos, Irreverent, Vanimus Prime, Souzou, Wiz, Raevantiel

This group's contract was expanded to encompass all the flora and fauna of Elyria, including its peoples. Anthropologically-speaking, the group is investigating the links between the Tribes of Mann and the legend of their shared ancestry. Is Mann truly the father of all Tribes, what of their mother(s), and what of the whispered rumors of another lineage? By examining their skeletons, facial features, physiques, and other characteristics, we may finally know...

In concert with this, there is work being done on the Horse, Dryas Elk, Canis Rabbit, Ursaphant, and Flower-Cup Porcupine. How they move is of primary interest, but the Society is also recording the sounds they make and detailing their musculature.

Souzou is leading the efforts to catalogue all the aspects of the Lower Montane Forest ecology: the plants, animals, and insects that live there; the weather patterns; the natural resources that the tribes in the area make use of; and everything that lends itself to the balanced operation of the region. Wiz and Raevantiel are now assisting in the catalogue, making sure that all the pieces of the puzzle are accounted for. The Society dreams of cataloging all of the Elyrian biomes in due time but are focused on the Titan's Steppe area because it's where the Prologue takes place.

League of Extraordinary Locomotion

Members: Strider, Tripnull, Sekmu

Our newest addition to the team is consulting with the small party tasked with moving around Elyria. Having got basic walking, running, and sprinting into good shape, they've focused their recent efforts on improving crouching and falling. With the work on the horse by the Society of Elyrian Ecology, work on mounting and riding is imminent as well. The horse will have its own gaits (walk, trot, canter, gallop, swim, jump, etc) that the rider will be able to control, so the team needs to make sure that silly things don't happen while in the saddle.

The Tribe Foundry

Members: Caspian, Heat, Souzou

The final details about the tribes are nearly complete! The Society of Elyrian Ecology has provided some of their research to this endeavor and we've seen all of the tribes begin to take actual, if crude, form in the world. This party will have completed its current adventure with the culmination of the upcoming Q&A on Tribes.

Order of the Online Play

Members: Cynax, Tripnull, Glaive, Michael

The foundation started a couple weeks ago has become pretty solid. Already we've got Unreal and SpatialOS running in concert, multiple characters running around and animating, entities persisting after logging off (the way OPCs will), colliding with one another without passing through, and server-side authority of location and other data such as character vitality.

Currently, the party is adding the bricks for generating equipment variations for crafting, sending character appearance, loading and instantiating levels from the server, and providing additional design tools for creating and managing objects and entities in the world. All of these lead toward a glorious future where the game client on your computer is able to take the data sent from the server and provide you a persistent, living world that is always in sync with those around you. When the server is the authority, it means that there is less opportunity for hacking and exploiting. We think that this is a very good thing!

Though they are working well to complete their adventure, I wouldn't necessarily say that all the members of this adventuring party are lawful-good. Glaive, in particular, is a bit of a maverick and keeps roping in others to game jams on the weekend. This has resulted in both new advancements toward ElyriaMUD, but also questionable "games" about dancing dinosaurs. With the backend being cleverly constructed the way it is, though, we can see the online players represented with the same data in either the Unreal client and the simpler, voxel-based client that ElyriaMUD will use - so that's pretty neat! Since ElyriaMUD is designed for us to get much of the gameplay tested and iterated on before we match it up to the full, 3D experience in Unreal, seeing this come together with the same data in the backend is exactly how we planned to do it from the start. In the immortal words of John "Hannibal" Smith, "I love it when a plan comes together!"

Protectors of the Web

Members: ZRO, Death, Cynax, Glaive, Scarlet, Michael, Serpentius

Now on to the heroes of the hour! This group has been slaying monsters left and right, cleaning up the website and providing numerous improvements. The citizens of the Elyrian forums have been made safer and happier as a result. With the most public contributions out of all our adventuring parties, these intrepid adventurers have been putting it all on the line!

This week, the functionality to contribute Tokens to settlement and organization leaders will bring communities closer together. Other improvements have also come out recently. Work continues in earnest on forum organization and pledge package inventory, as well.

Their primary objective is still the V3 version of the website and the wireframes for this experience are nearly complete, but already the members of the Order of Online Play are conforming the backend structures they've created for the game to the backend needed for the website. Ultimately, we are driving toward a fairly thin veil between the game and the site. We want many aspects of the game to be accessible via the forums, be that organization management and recruitment, server-specific feeds of major events going on in the world, communicating with players in and out of game, and more.

Serpentius has been a fine addition to this party, as well. Already an experienced online warrior, he has jumped right into tackling support and community issues with gusto. Many of you have seen him around the forums and Discord. He and ZRO have been a dynamic duo, investigating many-a-wacky-bug affecting some folks. Beyond making sure folks are getting the support they need, thought is getting put toward more community-focused things such as affiliate programs, player-sourced content, community events, fan site kits, and other fun things to get involved in.

The Proto-Tailors

Members: Irreverent, Tripnull, Wiz

This party is undertaking a crucial mission that will lend itself to several, future endeavors including character customization and crafting. In past updates, you've seen a variety of clothing and armor. You've seen different hairstyles and different genders and different body types. Until now, those combinations were relatively random. As we nail down the tribes and begin to populate more data from the server, we need to be able to reconstruct different combinations for data integrity across the server, as well as validating how equipment works across different proportions.

Enter the Proto-Tailors, who are stitching these things together, beginning with a wardrobe tool to construct all the types of wearables with all the different materials we've got. This lends itself to the type of equipment-crafting experience we will want for pattern-creation and crafting. The next step is adding the tribes and all their unique proportions (ex. longer than normal legs or arms, more gaunt or more stocky) and then it's on to things such as skin color, facial features, hair, and other visual aspects of character-creation. Though not every tribe will feature in the Prologue, the technology that supports the tribes needs to work across the board because of our breeding and genetics system. To that end, the next set of assets that we generate will be based on the Neran who are the dominant culture in Titan's Steppe.

Questions & Answers

Open Topic Q&A in Brief

The last Q&A was of the Open Topic variety. We really covered a broad set of questions, and you can watch the entire 90-minute session here. If you'd just like the highlights, though, we've prepared a pared down version. Head on over to our YouTube channel and watch the Open Topic Q&A in Brief!

Tribes Q&A

The next Q&A is on Tribes which, if you watched the last Q&A, should be no surprise! The next Q&A will be held on Thursday, June 8th at 1PM PDT / 4PM EDT / 8PM GMT / 8PM UTC. I'm not posting a question thread yet because we haven't released the tribe details yet, so there's not enough to ask about. Rest assured, the details will be posted in the next couple weeks so you'll have ample time to read and digest the information before posting your questions and tuning in to the Q&A.

To reiterate, Tribe details will be released in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, practice your pronunciation of the Tribe names with this handy recording!

That's all for this update, but we've still got plenty of other things going on in May. We're halfway through our anniversary promotions with more announcements coming soon. The Token Contest is imminent (AKA tomorrow, May 18th) and there's still the mystery about the Week 4 promotion. Stay tuned for that, Tribe information, and more...coming to a blog near you!

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

Vye

Discuss

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Prysmo - 2 weeks ago

That sounds like you're putting a lot of Work in it right now, lets see how this is going to turn out in the end. :)

AstralSky - 1 month ago

I am not sure if this is the right place to ask...

Does anyone know whats the difference between a Villa and a Manor for this game? I have a Count package from previous kickstarter package that gives a Villa and a phoniex. The current Count package gives a Manor instead of a Villa, but no phoniex.. I am wondering if its worth it to "upgrade" to the current Count package.

Can a dev share some information on this? Thanks.

Iryano - 1 month ago
@AstralSky:

Probably not the best place to answer this but this is from the kickstarter page,

https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/012/528/073/e6431cc32fc1ebe6aad13d6710437581_original.jpg?w=680&fit=max&v=1464238437&auto=format&q=92&s=72b8752f55639e169bee5b99220cc4ab

Kaelius - 1 month ago

I am just an average working guy who is awaiting what appears to be a beautiful and well thought out experience. I love the vision and hope that it manifests into an experience that we can all enjoy soon. Creating something on the magnitude that you all are working on does take time, so I wait patiently and appreciate the care you all are taking to make this experience a reality, or as close to it as we can come. Look forward to seeing more and thank you for all the time and effort that you are putting in.

Artaer - 1 month ago
@Kaelius:

This is almost exactly how I feel. I have waited so long for a game to hit this many of the marks of my "dream game". I would rather wait all the time needed for the game I've already waited for, than have the swift completion of a pale shadow of it.

Thank you SBS for all the TLC you provide for COE and our community!

mystichaze - 1 month ago
@Kaelius:

Posted By Kaelius at 09:33 AM - Tue May 23 2017

I am just an average working guy who is awaiting what appears to be a beautiful and well thought out experience. I love the vision and hope that it manifests into an experience that we can all enjoy soon. Creating something on the magnitude that you all are working on does take time, so I wait patiently and appreciate the care you all are taking to make this experience a reality, or as close to it as we can come. Look forward to seeing more and thank you for all the time and effort that you are putting in.

I have to admit that is the most pleasant first post I have read in a while. Thank you and welcome to the community Kaelius

Iccubus - 1 month ago

Welcome Sekmu to CoE

HolyAvengerOne - 1 month ago

Thanks for the update Vye! You're good at that. Very good :)

Flog - 1 month ago

Vye: You are the most Agile of storytellers. I ❤️ how you craft these. Your tales of adventure give me a lot of confidence in the team's efforts...thanks!

SbS Team: You're making great progress. Props and thanks, you shapers of worlds 😎

Hugh Bris - 1 month ago

So, the token contest was for week 3 and the info for it is coming out on Thursday the 18th...

You all need to work on your planning. If you're going to have weekly content it needs to come out at the beginning of the week at a published time. Thus far every one of these has been "late".

Yes, I am aware that can be a subjective term given the general vagueness SBS tends to shroud itself in but if you're going to do this sort of thing stop using terms like "Soon" or "In a couple of weeks" or stating time actual dates and blowing past them by a few days without even acknowledging it.

... I await your angry downvotes and snarky jabs.

SmartCheetah - 1 month ago

"When the server is the authority, it means that there is less opportunity for hacking and exploiting. We think that this is a very good thing!"

The only thing I'm afraid of is a "lag". :< Lets hope it won't be noticable and won't spoil our dreams. I'm rather nervous because I've heard that SpatialOS in some cases loves the company of network lags.

Daynen - 1 month ago

Progress. A melodious sound, resonant with high hopes and confidence in spades. Pace yourselves and stay the course, SBS...

kajoreh - 1 month ago

Tribes...Tribes...Tribes...continues chant

PirateGentleman - 1 month ago

It's amazing to see what it is done and how everything seems to have speed up

Ecir_Edyah - 1 month ago

Posted By Vye at

The foundation started a couple weeks ago [...] has become pretty solid.

[...]colliding with one another without passing through[....]

I saw that... ;)

Antaryon - 1 month ago

I'm happy to hear that development is going well, thank you for the in character update and the tasty concept art too @Vye :)

Renzo - 1 month ago

Another waffle DJ with little real substance, nothing to see here....

dada - 1 month ago

Welcome to the Elyria, sek'! May your journey be prosperous and your quests glorious!

Tiernan_Colborn - 1 month ago

suggestion for this q&a: Since the reddit based q&a's seem to have at least some bot influence. perhaps we could use these forums. create a new community room, and instead of threads, just use the OP, and lock the thread. The title is the question ,which could be detailed in the OP itself. If we want that question answered, we like the thread. Day of q&a, top liked threads are the q's to follow. Just a thought.

Hludowig - 1 month ago

First, i want to welcome the new addition to the team, Victor "Sekmu" Rachels.

Second I want to give my thanks to Vye and the rest of the team for they hard work.

Finally, i will be waiting impatiently for new information about your progress.

As a final note, the form in which you organize your work in such imaginative teams is something that i found pretty original.

Thanks and continue with your amazing work.

Elbereth - 1 month ago

Welcome Sekmu!! Thank you in advance for your future hard work. :)

And thanks for keeping us informed, Vye. :)

Oracle - 1 month ago

Welcome Sekmu. Glad you chose SBS to work with. You couldn't have made a better choice. Make them proud ;)

Once more fantastic news Vye. Many thanks - and great decision with server side authority. Something games have needed for a long time, and invaluable in an engine.

Scipion - 1 month ago

Nice to hear the names of tribes again. By shape and origin I would say I'm a Neran, Owen or Brudvir. What do we know about height? Is there a variety within tribes? 10 cm up and down,,, so, are there Neran of 1,92 m?

And what about color? Not only the color of skin (that should be pale or slightly tanned) but the color of hair... I really need red hair. At least a red beard. That is an essential part of my story.

I really need more knowledge on tribes to write more books on tribes for my german speaking readership.

Antelino - 1 month ago
@Scipion:

Either the DJ prior or the one before that had a decent sized picture with shadow outlines of all the different tribes, height included.

Abuncha_nada - 1 month ago

"How they move is of primary interest, but the Society is also recording the sounds they make and detailing their musculature."

Please please PLEASE talk more about the sound and music design aspects of this game. Sound is such an important part of immersion, and we have not heard anything really (no pun intended) new in such a long time! How is the music coming? How will sound affect stealth gameplay? Are there plans for NPC's to actually hear things and react accordingly? Thanks!

Ortherion - 1 month ago

@Vye

I really like the Dev Journals and the descriptive teams working for our common goal to see this game shipped.

"Chronicles of Soulbound Studios". I like the ring of that ;-)

Drakvon - 1 month ago

Vye, I love that you Quote the A-Team. and your Ringer on your phone is set to the theme song! Love it!

whynot - 1 month ago

Ultimately, we are driving toward a fairly thin veil between the game and the site. We want many aspects of the game to be accessible via the forums, be that organization management and recruitment, server-specific feeds of major events going on in the world, communicating with players in and out of game, and more.
^^^^^^^^that sounds neat

Joreel - 1 month ago

I love these updates, but please show is some of the behind the scenes things that go on in the office... the making of the animals, fauna, animation of people and creatures, etc. These are the kind of things that most of us would love to see, things that would excite us that we could show our fellow gamers... they don't have to be super in depth, but they are things that would make the production of the game more personal for us.

Sharielane - 1 month ago

I'm so glad voice chat won't be a thing. No one will then have to suffer listening to me butcher Brudvir and Hrothi because I can't roll or trill my Rs.

Eurickdm - 1 month ago

Nice, the date for th Q&A! I forgot about it!

MusaKn - 1 month ago

Tribe details will be released in the next couple weeks...

ugh, can we get an actual date or something? you literally said the exact same thing weeks ago...

Xeryn - 1 month ago

Welcome Sekmu! So nice to hear about so many things progressing and coming together. Looking forward to domain selection and coat of arms creation!

Talakrin - 1 month ago

I just read this article, and this section is broken: https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/19399/Part-of-Something-Noble-and-Purposeful

Just wanted you to know... page 404.

Vye - 1 month ago
@Talakrin:

Posted By Talakrin at 6:55 PM - Wed May 17 2017

I just read this article, and this section is broken: https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/19399/Part-of-Something-Noble-and-Purposeful

Just wanted you to know... page 404.

Oops, my mistake! That post will go out tomorrow, so it's hidden right now. :P Removed the link for now.

Deadlymad - 1 month ago
@Talakrin:

Posted By Talakrin at 9:55 PM - Wed May 17 2017

I just read this article, and this section is broken: https://chroniclesofelyria.com/forum/topic/19399/Part-of-Something-Noble-and-Purposeful

Just wanted you to know... page 404.

FYI, Bug submitted

Also welcome all the new folks to SBS we appreciate all the hard work... Thanks for the updates.

Boudragon - 1 month ago
@Deadlymad:

It's not a big so to say... you can't contribute the tokens just yet.

Boudragon - 1 month ago
@Talakrin:

the link to contribute tokens... chances are it's cause you can't contribute just yet.

CerebralDaemon - 1 month ago

Welcome, Victor "Sekmu" Rachels!

Sekmu - 1 month ago
@CerebralDaemon:

Thanks! It's great to be here. Super excited, and hitting the ground running... er... galloping!

Boudragon - 1 month ago

If it's spelt the same as it sounds in the recording... Terresque? The nearly unstoppable behemoth from dungeons and dragons? Lol

Amira - 1 month ago

not read everything but n1