12 July

Soldiering On

By Vye

Hail and well met, Elyrians!

The entire studio had a couple days off over the USA's Independence Day holiday and, along with other vacations throughout the team, it was a welcome respite. We've got a company picnic coming up in a couple weeks so it's been relatively relaxed around the office. Even still, the team has been pushing ever forward on their various undertakings. Read on!

Chronicles of Soulbound Studios

Elyria, as a living, breathing, tangible world, is forming before our fingers. With every line of code, with each push and pull from Perforce, with every meeting, with each sprint, we move closer to our goals. Here's what our noble questors have been working on as of late...

The Tribe Foundry

Members: Caspian, Heat, Souzou

All of the launch-playable tribe write-ups have been released. If you missed any, they're now all available in our Game Guide. The remaining four tribes that will be discoverable at launch (the Erishé, Mydarri, Owem, and Yoru) will have information released later, after the Q&As conclude, but the write-ups will be constrained to things that the launch tribes would potentially know about them from afar, leaving plenty of mystery to discover about their cultures once players make contact in-game!


The eight launch-playable tribe line-up

The last Tribe Q&A is on July 24, and the question thread is already available. While more information will be released about the tribes as we continue to develop the game, and some mechanics may change based on pre-alpha experiences, any questions about the overall themes of the tribes and how and why they were developed, will try to be answered in this last Q&A of the series. Further discussion is encouraged on the forums, and there are already several excellent threads on various topics!

This party's quest is nearly at an end now. How much XP should I give them?

Society of Elyrian Ecology

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

As part of the grass layer work, the Botany Department has discovered a new type of grass that may grow in certain areas of Titan's Steppe. Before moving onto the riverbed or foliage layers, Wiz and Raevantiel will be addressing some new lighting technology and consulting with the Order of the Online with their voxel representations of the world. The flora and fauna of Elyria will have a voxel representation in the MUD, and most of the Society is working with the Order this week in order to set some standards and workflows for such assets. The goal is that our art and animation team will not have to spend time making voxel assets for the MUD and, instead, the design and engineering guilds will be able to import anything they need through a converter.

While movement can also be imported into the MUD, the fidelity is very different. Mudokon and Racronos have been feeding information to Strider for his work on mounts, in addition to starting the movement study on the Canis Rabbit and Otter Bear. The Ursaphant is getting pretty close to having its study done, so it or the Trison may be the next mount we work on. Wiz also took it upon himself to make the horse's coat super shiny.


If the saddle fits, then you're ship shape!

We're also investigating a new add-on for Unreal that could save additional work for us through animation mirroring. Since the world interaction systems do care about which hand you use to pick things up in addition to simply being able to move in any direction, it'll be nice if we don't have to do that ourselves. We've also been perusing the marketplace for some of the standard, Earth-like animals that will exist in the world such as rabbits, birds, and chipmunks. Elyria will have plenty of unique creatures, and we've already shown many of them, but we're pretty sure you'd rather play the game before the heat death of the universe than have us hand-craft an entire worldwide ecology from the smallest ant to the biggest tree.

Lastly, I must share a charming story from the trenches. Souzou, being tasked with adding some wildlife to Titan's Steppe, placed a number of Flower-Cup Porcupines in a field. He put them in "pancake" mode, which is what they do when they are trying to hide. Even though he had clumped together a small family of porcupines, he couldn't actually find them once he started playing in the level!


Flower-Cup Porcupine Camouflage Test 01: PASSED

Order of the Online

Members: Cynax, Tripnull, Glaive, Michael, Sekmu (temporarily)

Sekmu has spent some time converting the equipment work he's done to be compatible with what the Order is working on. As amusing as it is to be running around naked, we're pretty sure that most Elyrians are going to be interested in wearing clothes and armor. I suppose I should break it to you nudists now: being fully naked won't be a feature in the game. Even if you remove all your equipment, you'll be wearing some underwear. We're not making Vanimus Prime model and texture sex organs.

Aside from equipment, the simple combat, AI, UI, physics smoothing, and input handling in ElyriaMUD are just about ready. There will be footage of all this in the State of Elyria update coming up soon. Even though Caspian is hoarding all the assets for his post, I've managed to smuggle this across the border, but don't tell anyone I showed it to you:


The voxel character models as will be seen in ElyriaMUD

As you can see, it's made of voxels, as I've mentioned in these updates. We're utilizing a program called MagicaVoxel, which is freely available and well supported. This is just a teaser to what you'll see in Caspian's mid-year update, so remember to act surprised. This is our secret, after all!

Protectors of the Web

Members: ZRO, Death, Cynax, Scarlet, Serpentius, Kaizen

Though this intrepid team has an epic quest of the V3 version of the website as their ultimate goal, they stand on the front lines and cannot help but help out the people of Elyria whenever duty calls. Bounties continue to be collected and odd jobs also get taken care of on a regular basis. It's rare that these undertakings are not readily apparent to the community, such as the inventory itemization that occurred last week, and the retirement of layaway. These have immediate impact on the community, but are all working toward V3 improvements.

Now that the inventory work is done, ZRO is taking the graphics and UI designed by Death and Scarlet and building the new front-end experience. Glaive popped in to help as he passed through as well. Scarlet is continuing to create the graphics for other parts of the site, while Death feeds her wireframes. Kaizen is finishing up the Game Guide reorganization in order to help, so that finding information about the game will be much easier in V3. While the V3 game guide will be a marked improvement over the dated pages we have now, we still want the Wiki to be the community-curated source of current information. If you haven't ever looked at the Wiki, there is a team of dedicated editors from the community that pore over every update, every forum post, and Discord discussions in order to provide up-to-date information for your enjoyment. If you haven't said "thank you" to the contributors, or you want to help out by writing your own contributions, I highly encourage you to do so! The Wiki will continue to be a great reference for new members and seasoned veterans alike!

The Proto-Tailors

Members: Irreverent, Wiz, Sekmu, Heat

You wouldn't guess by looking at him, but Irreverent knows his textiles! He's spent the last few weeks creating different weaves that can be tiled seamlessly, resized endlessly, and colored independently. Though the current work is all around Titan's Steppe resources, such as thick wools and cottons, he is creating a system that will allow for everything from silks to chainmail.

Heat is continuing to provide visual targets for the rest of the team to evaluate. This includes asking questions like:

  • "What layer would this be?"
  • "Is this part of the base pattern, or is it an adornment or alteration?"
  • "Does this need to work with translucent fabrics?"
  • "How can we achieve this look without adding another clothing layer?"

Here's the latest piece we are looking at, a super-fancy Neran armor example:


If you use your imagination, you can see that the armor still provides similar protection even when crafted without embellishment

League of Extraordinary Locomotion

Members: Strider, Tripnull, Sekmu

Strider has been making strides on mounted locomotion and, sure enough, it's as satisfying as warm bowl of succotash while watching the sun set on Titan's Steppe. I'm sure there are some folks who have wondered why the League has been together for so long - surely it doesn't take that long to get things moving around in game, right?

Your head perks up, "Quite astute, I say! It strains credulity that it should be more than a trifle to do a thing that thine chosen Unreal Engine does out-of-the-box, if I am to use the current vernacular..."

Let me begin by saying that yes, we've been moving around with the default locomotion since we picked up Unreal. To be perfectly frank, however, whatever you imagine your characters will be doing in Elyria, a significant portion of that will be taken up with basic locomotion. Whether you are tracking prey in the wilds, caravanning goods between settlements, moving between anvil and forge, or even walking to your seat of government, you will be moving around in Elyria almost all the time. If that experience is awful, if you feel hamstringed or confined, if the controls are clunky or unresponsive, it will negatively impact the majority of your gaming experience. In other games, fast-travel and mounts and zone lines are often used to mitigate just how terrible it is to simply exist in that world. Because Chronicles of Elyria is shooting for a more realistic in-game existence, we'd like the way you move to be in-line with that narrative. There is no fast-travel, mounts will adhere to the same survival mechanics you will, and there are no zones. When you move from point A to point B, it will be under your own power and direction (unless you're on a cart someone else is driving) and that has to be enjoyable.

I'm pleased to say that, so far, it really is enjoyable. Walking around in Elyria is fun! And now riding around it is also fun! We still need to tune the movement speed while mounted on the horse (each mount will have different speeds) and improve its jumping, but you can totally get around in a horse and it's great. We're capturing some video that Caspian will share in his State of Elyria post.

In the meantime, Tripnull and Sekmu have been working with the Order of the Online to make sure that all the great things about moving around in Unreal are shared with the server and, subsequently, the MUD.

Tribe Q&As

We're nearly through all the Q&As, and you have had a ton of great questions about each tribe and about the tribes in general. The question thread for the last Q&A of the series is now available. The write-ups on all the tribes playable at launch have now been released so I anticipate some good questions, now that the full scope is more clear. We will not be releasing write-ups on the Erishé, Mydarri, Owem, and Yoru before the Q&A since we don't want the question thread to fill up with questions about those tribes. Information about those tribes is being intentionally withheld in order to make it fun and interesting to discover them later on. Any questions about the eight launch-playable tribes and their history, mechanics, or relationships is perfectly fine to ask about, and more information will provided about each one as we continue to develop them further.

In case you've not committed the schedule to memory or you need a refresher on anything we've covered, here's everything you need to know:

  • Tribe Q&A Part I can be viewed on YouTube.
  • Tribe Q&A Part I In Brief is available on YouTube.
  • Tribe Q&A Part II can be viewed on YouTube.
  • Tribe Q&A Part II In Brief is available on YouTube.
  • Tribe Q&A Part III can be viewed on Twitch and YouTube.
  • Tribe Q&A Part IV will happen on Monday, July 24 at 1PM PDT / 4PM EDT / 8PM GMT / 8PM UTC on Twitch.tv.

After this fourth Tribe Q&A, we will return to a more moderate Q&A schedule like before. In general, Q&As will be coincide with recent Design Journals in topic. While there are a million things to have Q&As about, we'd like you all to have at least some information before we do the Q&A so that the questions are delving deeper into the areas you want to know about, rather than simply providing an introduction to a topic. Information about whatever Q&A comes after tribes will be included in a future Community Journal.

Remember, starting in August, we'll have different types of blog posts from different areas of the team. The days that blog posts come out will likely change, but expect it to still recur on a schedule - it just may not be every other Wednesday (or Thursday if you're past the International Date Line) as it has been. No need to panic (cue everyone panicking) since there will probably end up being something new to feast your eyes on more frequently as a result! Until next time, my friends!

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

Vye

Discuss

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FASHION - 1 day ago

"being fully naked won't be a feature in the game" +1

ZeekPlayzYT - 2 days ago

Give us technical information PLEASE. We want the cool non voxel game. We will do anything for deep information on the mechanics and more gameplay. Your interest will litteraly rise so fast if you just give us technical and mechanic information!

Also: lower sparks of life to like 10$ who pays 30$ if their a noob and die 50 times and havea month left

Mirilidan - 2 days ago

personally the game is very interesting and even non gamers I have spoken to about it, have had a heightened interest, where normally they would not

Thaegar - 2 days ago

I am definitely going to be the far left tribe and wear something like the middle left armor concept, so damn cool! :D

Mirilidan - 3 days ago

I too find the route to have nakedness censored a little disheartening, as you said it never added much, but even in Rust it never caused a lot of problems I was ever aware of either, and there was also the option to censor it in game

Ragnar_Nordskov - 5 days ago

I hate to say it but I'm losing interest in the game rather quickly. It just seems like we are getting so much fluff information and not enough game mechanics. To much story and a lot less mechanics. I'm now on the fence with this game

Nitek - 2 days ago
@Ragnar_Nordskov:

I mean, i just skip past the fluff. The game is so far out most people realistically wont sustain it xD. They're just being transparent, and we're not the target audience. State of the Game will be more technical, hopefully.

Blade_of_Bone - 1 week ago

I'm inclined to ask about the movement of our characters. If I see two buildings, or objects, too close together to normally walk, would I be able to have my character turn sideways and try to shimmy through there?

DanielBlack - 1 week ago

In regards to character nudity:

I can certainly understand the difficulty, with modesty laws, age restrictions, and immature reactions to nudity. But I can't help but feel that not using it takes away slightly from the games realism.

But I expect you've gone over all of this in your meetings, and decided the way you did based on a cost benefit analysis.

Just hate that realism even has a cost, other than the time it takes to code.

Gunnlang - 5 days ago
@DanielBlack:

Posted By DanielBlack at 02:28 AM - Sat Jul 15 2017

In regards to character nudity:

What does being nude really add to the game though? Or any game for that matter. Running around naked on Conan/Rust while funny, you only ever did it as a noob. Even in those, probably more lower realistic games compared to this one. You wouldn't aim to be naked any longer than you needed to be.

You can't remove anyone armour when you rob/kill them anyway. So you would only see people naked, if someone perma died and whoever went to the extra effort to remove everything or anyone freely running around naked.

Great update as well. Can't wait to jump into that MUD.

DanielBlack - 3 days ago
@Gunnlang:

Posted By Gunnlang at 1:31 PM - Sun Jul 16 2017

Posted By DanielBlack at 02:28 AM - Sat Jul 15 2017

In regards to character nudity:

What does being nude really add to the game though?

As far as what it adds, it adds what I said in my comment, Realism. In reality, you strip someone of everything, they are naked.

I like the games I play to be as realistic as possible. In every respect, and probably won't be completely happy with a game until I can plug my nervous system into it and live a life that contains 100% game realism for the genre.

The character graphics change for this is minor from what I've been told, so I wish the socially retarded society I live in would accept it.

GregFrost - 1 week ago

Can't wait to see light armor from the brudvir

YHess - 1 week ago

"but we're pretty sure you'd rather play the game before the heat death of the universe" gotta love these developer posts Can't wait to see what'll be on the State of Elyria post.

About the mounts, is there gonna be a Q&A on mounts and taming? I know there are other Q&As already lined up, but it'd be nice though

ElijahInDaFrey - 1 week ago

Thanks for the information :)! Hopefully, we get more of this stuff.

Woogawoman - 1 week ago

Although I love the updates, I am starting to be a little concerned that they still only focus on asset creation and movement mechanics. When will we hear about the team working on the programming/logic for the various systems, like crafting, contracts, NPC interactions, etc.?

MoonChaser - 3 days ago
@Woogawoman:

Posted By Woogawoman at 6:02 PM - Thu Jul 13 2017

Although I love the updates, I am starting to be a little concerned that they still only focus on asset creation and movement mechanics. When will we hear about the team working on the programming/logic for the various systems, like crafting, contracts, NPC interactions, etc.?

The devs have mentioned that how well a character lives and is part of the world is greatly influenced by the quality of the locomotion system and that is why the focus is there right now.
ElyriaMUD and KoE as well as SpatialOS compability for online play are probably the most intensive areas where programmers are working on currently. And it will be a good way to enhance the development of CoE in the long run as it also tests various systems.

In the previous 3-4 updates we have seen the following in regards to programming and crafting systems:

  • Order of the online play - Basic combat, AI, equipment etc.
  • The proto-tailors - Pre-alpha footage of a decorative system in tailoring
    What Seams To Be

  • Order of the online play - Admittedly about the groundworks for using UE4 with SpatialOS, but is still an important step
    This Elyrian Life

  • The proto trailors - Previews of directions for how customization for clothes could look like
    Biodiversity is Key

More details on the systems we all want to see will probably be part of the alpha stage and more in focus after having KoE and ElyriaMUD ready I would assume.

Arroxius - 1 week ago

Bummer about the info for the 4 other tribes but the armor looks awesome. The screenshots are really nice too.

Nicademus - 1 week ago

I must say this is the first MMO I've been associated with at this stage of development. I must say it's extremely interesting to watch and learn what it takes to put a MMO together from the ground up. I can't wait for more.

Hieronymus - 1 week ago

If those porcupines go all Lord of the Flies and start killing each other, be afraid. Be very afraid.

BTW, love those armor sets. Hooray for warriors!

Nakhum - 1 week ago

I am very happy. Having some sort of first look at the graphics the MUD will be using is also exciting, I was wondering that for a while.

Lady Grace - 1 week ago

Love it! :)

Sunny River - 1 week ago

No nudity? tzzz

vernes - 1 week ago

This post has my hype refueled. ((O_O))

Silkow - 1 week ago

..must...have...Neran...armor... drools

Nice Update, Vye! And I really dig your writing style.

Wolfguarde - 1 week ago

Excellent update. The armour looks amazing, looking forward to seeing more!

Gammea - 1 week ago

I love the Horse! But still awaiting for the pure one! Seems It going to be gorgeous as well!

And about animals, I've found It! The colour was different than I had expected, good point!

Mesis - 1 week ago
@Gammea:

Posted By Gammea at 08:51 AM - Thu Jul 13 2017

I love the Horse! But still awaiting for the pure one! Seems It going to be gorgeous as well!

And about animals, I've found It! The colour was different than I had expected, good point!

I must be blind, I see only grass

Murrick - 1 week ago
@Mesis:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/nmgifd33gepyjcl/Photo%20Jul%2013%2C%2010%2012%2048%20PM.jpg?dl=0

This help?

Borgon - 1 week ago
@Mesis:

I think he is in the wrong spot. Look to the left side where the bigger blue flowers are. Just to the right and slightly above I think that is his face.

Oracle - 1 week ago

Brilliant work as always ;)

Erynn_Crystalmir - 1 week ago

I love reading these updates and hate them at the same time. Love em because of all the great things getting done and new info being shared. Hate em because it makes it very difficult to continue patiently waiting for the Play button. Seriously though, great post as usual. Really looking forward to seeing more.

Oh, and my guess is the porcupine is at the center where there is a dark spot under a small patch of flowers. ;p

Dongiovanna - 1 week ago

I like the armor. But is only an example or they doing the Neran now? Wich is the 1st tribe.

Archlord105 - 1 week ago

I can't bare the wait to pledge. Still have much to go and it's looking so great already.

Baronos - 1 week ago

Everything looking great!

Can't wait for clothing examples from other tribes and the videos you said Caspian will share <3

Maric - 1 week ago

For the first time I'm not very enthusiastic about an art reveal. Not a fan of any of the tribes concept art. /shrug

Also, CoEMinecraft? I'm trying to keep an open mind. :P

Armor concepts are spot on though.

Arlo_ - 1 week ago

Omfg that Neran armour so smexy

Fergus Redbeard - 1 week ago

Looking good!

whynot - 1 week ago

Thank you for another awesome post. When is the "state of Elyria" ? next month? 3 months?

Barghest - 1 week ago

Can't wait to see people cosplaying in these armour sets years from now. :)

Orisoll - 1 week ago

That armor's lookin' fly.

Rofus - 1 week ago

Now you got me all exited about the ElyriaMUD! Can't wait for the State of Elyria update to get more info!

And those Neran armor sets looks so cool! I would love to see some more sets from other tribes too.

RoqueKazin - 1 week ago

Love the developer journal, those neran armor sets look pretty sick. Would not mind one bit if I end up having to play one. Would be a happy crafter for sure!

CerebralDaemon - 1 week ago

Posted By Vye at

Aside from equipment, the simple combat, AI, UI, physics smoothing, and input handling in ElyriaMUD are just about ready. There will be footage of all this in the State of Elyria update coming up soon. Even though Caspian is hoarding all the assets for his post, I've managed to smuggle this across the border, but don't tell anyone I showed it to you:

gasps :O

Papa - 1 week ago

It's getting closer and We're all getting very excited. Looking forward to seeing how it comes together.

Moonlynx - 1 week ago

>>We still need to tune the movement speed while mounted on the horse (each mount will have different speeds) and improve its jumping, but you can totally get around in a horse and it's great.

Riding /in/ a horse? Do they have doors to open so we can get in? ;) I always thought we could ride ON a horse. ;)

Llewelyn_Disgyndwr - 1 week ago
@Moonlynx:

Trojan Horses FTW!

CaptainSeli - 1 week ago

So excited for the State of Elyria post!

HajimeSaito - 1 week ago

Awesome!

Adventsblood - 1 week ago

Very Exciting!