Happy July friends,
The studio has been hard at work finishing D&SS and continuing work on Chronicles of Elyria pre-Alpha via the Prelyria client. We are always moving forward, but here's a glance at what occurred last month.
Additionally, throughout the last few weeks both Snipehunter and Caspian have been sharing regular updates in the Domain & Settlement Selection channel in our official Discord server. Over the next few days I will be adding them to a thread in the forums for those of you who can't make it to the official Discord.
Speaking of Discord, did you hear we recently registered our 15,000th player? Congrats to Aerfist who owns that distinctive Discord role, and welcome!!!
A new feature added recently by Discord giving server communities bonus perks to spruce things up!
You can learn about the benefits the varied levels of Server Boosts provide at the link above, and since you can only choose 1 server to dedicate your love towards, we'd like to thank the following members whose boosts helped us gain new perks in June! (boost verified on July 1st, 2019)
Thank you all (heart)
We consistently review surname reservations on a daily basis. Each month, we like to share a few from the past period that caught our eye.
Most attempted surname: Burrfoot
Each month we'll spotlight one or two of our favorite memes that were shared via the forums or Discord.
Inaye Igara [NA-E] provided this laugh-filled meme demonstrating what a Brudvir invasion may look like to a Dras:
Many people have feelings one way or another about memes and those who post them. Here's a perspective on a recent event from the perspective of a member named Mostor:
If you'd like to see your meme highlighted, share it with us in our Discord or forums and it may show up here one day!
A brand new column in the Community Journal, this section will highlight and provide answers to interesting questions submitted to us by the community.
This month, our question comes from Nico The Red or Arawn Cardan, and he asks:
"For a while, I have been quite curious if or how SBS will implement the visual arts in CoE."
"I understand sculpture with dynamic mesh may be difficult if not impossible to implement with current hardware. That being said sculpture is rather culturally significant so I suspect there may be a library of pre-made sculptures for architectural use. As for painting, I have seen some forms of rather rudimentary painting tools in some games but with low resolution and sub-optimal functionality due to design limitations, tech limitations and lack of development."
"There are many possibilities for visual creativity off the canvas as well, tattoos, stained glass windows, murals, painted armor, graffiti, body paint, embroidery and tapestries. Though the middle ages are depicted with a rather drab color palette in media, in actuality color was widely associated with wealth and thus everyone wanted their possessions to be blindingly colorful. The same goes for castles, though now in ruins most castles show signs of heavy whitewashing and colorful murals using natural pigments found on the site. Region specific pigments were a major driving force behind trade and I would love to see that dynamic played out in CoE."
"I would love to be able to fully apply my creativity in CoE and I would like to know more about your thoughts on possible mechanics. Will the visual arts be mainly limited to choosing from libraries or will we be able to have complete creative freedom with player skill driven art, is there a middle ground? Not that being limited to libraries and color pallets is a bad thing though, one can still be rather creative with them."
"Keep up the good work."
Snipehunter responded by saying: "While there is still a lot of work to do with this particular feature area, it's important to us that players have a way to impart their own signature 'style' to their work. Paintings, sculpture, music, and even the written word are all ways players will have to create unique creative work in the world of Elyria. However, in some cases, such as painting, how much of that will be assembled from preexisting components or freely created by the players remains to be decided. Our focus instead has been on ensuring the game itself had mechanical reasons to value that creative output. One way art and performance impacts the game, for example, is that resting is more effective in places where people are comfortable. E.g. you'll mitigate more fatigue in a place with nice music, comfortable seats and something pleasant to look at, than you will in a quiet, drab room with spartan furnishings and austere decorations. Mechanics like this ensure that even players who have no interest in art for art's sake will have an interest in the creative works of other players."
"One thing we are striving hard to ensure is that taverns are a place Everyone wants to go, and being the most effective place to rest and replenish for an adventurer, thanks to the performance and art on display, is just one way we ensure that."
"Though they are still being worked on, the following skills represent the current thinking of how art and performance skills will appear on your character."
"Though dancing is an art, that doesn't mean only a master dancer can move to the music. Dancing will also be a 'paired emote' that players can participate in together."
If you would like to submit a question for the Ask a Dev column in hopes it will get answered in a future Community Journal, use this form.
Our volunteer moderators are not only bastions of peace in our community; they are a helpful hand whenever you need assistance. They are very knowledgeable about Chronicles of Elyria and provide valuable feedback that helps keep our community amazing.
Each month in the past we provided a little insight into who they are and what makes them tick.
However, as we have interviewed everyone on the team, this column is being put on hiatus for now.
Look to previous Community Journals for interviews with everyone on the current and former mod teams.
As you may already know, our volunteer Moderators and Super Moderators spend countless, often tedious hours supporting and helping the community by ensuring peace and happiness across all of our platforms.
This last period, our moderator team continued work finalizing our updates to the Ambassador program, aided the studio with plans to expand our Discord RP, and reviewed any other solutions they can participate in to aid our community.
If you want to talk to a moderator, you can find them in the forums with a Moderator title, or in our official Discord server in purple (moderator) and gold (Super Moderator).
If you have an interest in becoming a moderator for our team, please; don't call us, we'll call you! There is no application process, we constantly seek out capable, kind, considerate, helpful, and supportive individuals who have a reputation in the community of being upstanding players who are honest and have integrity, If that sounds like you and you are present in our community, keep up the efforts and we'll find you!
Each month we spotlight an organization from our community.
We have many creative members who are building amazing groups in Elyria, and this is one way we can make sure you know about them.
Today, we introduce you to the The People of the SunRose, as explained to us by their leader, the Queen's Voice.
Official Organization name: People of the SunRose (The people of the water of the sun)
Server: Oceania (OCE)
Kingdom affiliation: Independent Waerd Community
How did you form? "A group of cross-kingdom Waerd players wanting to coordinate and protect the Waerd on OCE from harm, and to use the unique Waerd family traits to improve trade got together and built a secret organisation over the last year. There are not many who so far wish to play Waerd on OCE, and so we decided that creating a close-knit Waerd community is in our best interests. "
Leadership: "The society is a secret one, so membership is "invite only", members then move through the ranks by either proving themselves through contribution in promoting the Waerd, or once the game has launched we will add options to complete society-related quests. The upper ranks form the "Council of the Unnamed" who make the decisions, however no one other than those on the council know who is on the council and only senior members of the society even know of it's existence in any concrete terms. New members of the council are elected into position by existing council members. The Queen's voice acts as the official spokesperson for the group and is elected from among the council of the unnamed."
"Queen's Voice: The Chair and Spokesperson for the Unnamed. Elected from among the ranks of the Unnamed by the their own upper ranks only. The Queen's voice is always revealed (within the Discord/internal society only). Must maintain absolute faith in the Two-Fold Queen."
"The Unnamed: The truly devoted who have forsaken further titles in their service. Only the unnamed know who are unnamed. Only the Unnamed can make other Unnamed. Orders baring the seal of the Unnamed are absolute."
"The Received: Proven, dedicated and loyal. Those who have passed the final tests and earned the trust of the society. Act as Lieutenants in local regions."
"The Bonded: Those of The People who have completed the rites of passage and sworn their oaths. The People: All Waerd or part-Waerd who are invited to join."
Organization purpose: "To unify the Waerd of OCE, protect the Waerd people from genocide and oppression, to promote Waerd culture and religion in a positive light, to connect Waerd merchants across the world with one another in order to facilitate an OCE "silk road"."
"We spend a lot of time working on gathering lore for the Waerd, promoting the Waerd in threads, comments, discussions etc. across the forums and various discords (not just in OCE). Some of us are also heavily involved in developing trade links and networks ahead of the game, and promoting the idea of a Waerd Silk Road through the arid lands in Lor Voskara and Tylsia."
"We also interconnect with Dras and Neran Merchant focused players where possible."
"The secrecy is to protect Waerd members from persecution or competition, and to allow us to facilitate more "drastic" actions should it be required to protect the Waerd people from harm."
Motto/Slogan: "The Queen's Sun shine on my family."
Fun Fact: "The People of the SunRose has around 50 members spanning every duchy in all 4 kingdoms on the OCE server, however no one in the organisation specifically knows more than 6-7 members at all. The current Queen's Hand knows indirectly around half of the membership. Only a small number of the organisation are even on the society discord - almost entirely the leadership - in order to keep their membership secret. As the community grows and people lock in their characters this will likely change however with tighter community connections within the society."
"Instructions/orders to members either filter through the chain of command gradually, or are hinted at in coded language within forum posts for members who already know the signals/phrases to see, and we already possess our own quest system built on what we know about contracts etc. in CoE which we seek to implement in the game itself."
"There are three factions within the People of the SunRose society itself. One focused on religious observance to the Two Fold Queen (currently very small). A second - and currently largest - focused on "deviant actions" against enemies of the Waerd. The third, and second largest, is more of a "political" focus aimed at protecting Waerd interests within the existing 4 kingdoms polity, primarily through diplomatic actions where possible."
Discord: "Don't contact them, they'll contact you"
Recruitment thread: "Don't contact them, they'll contact you"
We hope you enjoyed learning more about the People of the SunRose!
(This column will return next month!)
To be considered for this spotlight, submit your content here.
Thank you for continuing to send us your wonderful creations!
Important: Continue to share your creations. We need more of them. Please utilize the link above so we can show off your efforts to all Elyrians!
Remember, even if your submission wasn't featured this month, we may still use it in the future.
Elsy, the winner of our Tribemoji contest last year, continues to impress with "Rhyne's Call: The clans of to-be Vornair unify to defeat the Deranged King. Created for Vornair's 3rd anniversary event!"
Athorias showed us the latest iteration of their county and described it: "Yet a new map of our county, I have started trying to create a new map every month so expect more to come! :3"
The Community of Faefoth shared with us their depiction of what they describe as a "Mokshin of Faefoth"
Lastly, since you are all on about maps lately, Duchess Alluvial Maris spent some time creating fan-made overlays of the map samples we've been sharing lately.
You can view all of them at her Imgur link here, nice going!
If you have art, songs, poems, or any creation that relates to Chronicles of Elyria you'd be willing to share in a future CJ, find the link at the top of this section, submit, and thank you!
Thank you to all of those who submitted your fan pieces!
To help you get to know our team better, we try and interview one developer each month, or as often as is possible.
This month we're delighted to interview Heat, the Art director of Soulbound Studios. Let's go!
Q: I understand you spent some time in California like many of us in the studio, care to share anything interesting about going to school there?
A: "I'm born and raised in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I couldn't provide anything I would have thought was interesting about going to school in California because of being from there and not seeing anything interesting per se. You tend to take home for granted at a young age. I would have liked to have gone to school out of State, but that would have cost my parents too much. Plus they wanted me close lol."
Q: Where did you grow up, what was that like?
A: "I grew up in Los Angeles, California. From the time I was a baby until I was eight, I grew up in the famed Crenshaw district. It was fun growing up there because the blocks were very family oriented. Everybody knew each other. And every house on my street had kids in it from toddlers to teens. Things were good up until I turned seven when the gangs started really taking over. Once our house got robbed a couple of times and other unfortunate incidents threatened our lives/piece of mind, my folks moved us to Baldwin Hills where I lived until after College and my parents still live today. Ultimately I enjoyed growing up in LA because it's like anyone growing up in New York or any major hub of the world...Lots to do, plenty of major events and different types of people. And of course....I grew up with The Lakers. ;)"
Q: What made you decide to get into art in the first place?
A: "I could draw proficiently at an early age. And it was something I just felt innate in. I also found it to be something that I never lost interest in like most kids do when they hit puberty. In High School I was recruited by an elite Academic Art Program for High School students where they pick 15 of the best art students in LA county and allow us to attend Otis Parsons Art Institute for a Semester. I spent three consecutive years in this program. From there I knew I wanted a career in Art. Then, or course, because of movies like Star Wars and Aliens, and when my Mother bought me the famed first edition of "Industrial Light and Magic"...I wanted to be a concept artist for sci-fi fantasy films."
Q: Did you first start your career in gaming or did you work in any other industries?
A: "I started my career in gaming to eventually get into film. But by the time my career took off, I noticed a lot of film industry artists moving over into games. So - common sense wise - I decided to stay."
Q: First game you remember falling in love with and why?
A: "Super Mario Brothers. Why? You ask me WHY? You kidding right? XD"
Q: Raptors or Warriors?
Q: As a tall person, can you tell us something funny that short people (like me) wouldn’t understand?
A: "Short people don't have to worry about not finding jeans that fit."
Q: What are your favorite, must-have toppings on a hamburger?
A: "Just hold the mushrooms. Green light the rest! "
Q: Which program that you use to do your work could you absolutely not live without, aside from Photoshop?
A: "Maya, Mudbox."
Q: Any advice for aspiring artists and graphic designers looking to get into the industry?
A: "Develop your portfolio. Network. Network. Network. Find out where "industry nights" are in your area or near your area and try to attend them. Make friends. And make sure your portfolio is ready for when those friends who know people in the industry refer you to a prospective industry professional looking for someone with your talent."
Q: As one of the original members of Soulbound Studios, can you share any funny stories of Caspian from the early days?
A: "Unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to discuss that. lol"
Q: I understand you worked with Microsoft on the HoloLens project, what did you do for them?
A: "I did conceptual design, mostly sketches during meetings to help flush out ideas for deck proposals to pitch clients on how HoloLens could be used for their products/for their business endeavors/to improve their respective industries."
Q: If you could say anything to the entire Chronicles of Elyria community, what would it be?
A: "Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and your unwavering, absolutely inspiring support!"
Much obliged Heat, very kind of you to help us get to know you better!
Chronicles of Elyria has a Reddit community, lovingly managed by Hellmoon, Mickdude, ImbuedGreen, and SirApetus.
We recently surpassed 4,000 subscribers, and continue to grow every month! Keep up the great effort everyone and if you have an interest in helping spread the word about Chronicles of Elyria, join in!
If you are interested in joining our subreddit, find it here
The Chronicles of Elyria community is a busy one, and has been for a long time now. It’s so active that there are many live shows hosted each month. To help you be aware of them, and attend these enlightening and often revealing events, we've summarized those we know occur consistently each month. If you host a show on CoE and want to be included here, please contact us at [email protected]
As a recent change, if your channel hasn't added any new content in the last 90 day period, we'll remove it from this list. If you feel your show was removed accidentally, please contact us or reach out to Serpentius.
Learning Elyria is "a series hosted by Jason and Ryan from Jbros (forum names Duyo and MeltedWater). We are a new weekly show that covers different topics from Chronicles of Elyria as well as starting a weekly lore show."
A CoE Talk show from and for German speaking community members is online, hosted by Olaf Biebelix, Loki and Creamas.
"In our CoE Talk we discuss the latest CoE news, previously prepared topics and answer questions from the viewers. All of that in a fun atmosphere. We want to bring this awesome game to a group that isn't able or willing to translate everything on their own so they can be a part of an awesome community. It's hosted every Wednesday at 8 pm."
Run by Anibal and co-hosted by our Spanish-speaking Ambassadors and long-time community supporters, Gammea and Daedhel, Taberna Elyria is "a monthly podcast in Spanish where they introduce *Chronicles of Elyria and its news to spread the word to all Spanish-speaking gamers."*
"Join Anibal, Daedhel and Gammea in this new adventure!"
The Arkadian Herald "focuses on creating presentation videos for CoE from the Kingdom of Arkadia in different European languages to help people that don’t speak English. or speak very little, to learn about the game and its major features. As of now the covered languages are : English, French, Italian and Russian. A new series of videos exclusively in English, focusing on debating on specific matters regarding the game are being worked on right now. We hope to see you soon to help us spread the world of CoE to the World!"
Conclave 360 is “a community based discussions channel that seeks to help people find their home in the larger Elyrian community. Videos focus on topics ranging from introducing local community leaders, guilds, associations, and schools to discussions on how the mechanics “as described so far” will impact those people and institutions."
"Free at 1pm PDT/4pm EDT on Sundays? If you're looking for a home in Elyria, tune in to Face the Conclave and find one!"
Oceanus FM is "a collaborative broadcasting effort hosted by Alleykat and featuring all OCE Kings including Aequitas, Lor Voskara, Caprakan, and Tylsia as regular co-hosts. The channel was created to provide an Oceanic time zone live stream and video series, to talk about issues relevant to the Oceanus server of *Chronicles of Elyria."*
"Oceanus FM does not follow a strict broadcast schedule due to shift work. Watch out for announcements!"
TheoryForge. "This veteran team of streamers began a new show on Friday, May 10th, focusing on Chronicles of Elyria. The current hosts have all purchased packs with Alpha I access, and are excited to become more active members of the community. We are drawn to CoE because of its unique mechanics, and the migration of the Revival community."
Follow them at the link below, they are live every other Friday at 9pm EDT, 6pm PDT.
The BBC "(Bordweall Broadcasting Company) livestream deep dives into the latest developments from Soulbound Studios. Watch and discover what has them so excited about CoE, then join them and their guests in the CoE Discord voice after party and find out why they believe CoE is going to define a whole new genre in online gaming!"
They stream live every other Tuesday at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. Watch the CoE forums for their announcements!
The Town Crier is " a live informational show/podcast featuring Morbis (Duke of Vornair), Adam (King of Vornair) and Mickdude (Count from Alésia). The topic is typically the latest goings on with the game or in the CoE community, theorycrafting about things Caspian says, or watching them blunder around with recurring technical difficulties with all the grace of a three legged giraffe. Super entertainment!"
You can catch them live every Thursday at 3pm (PT)/6pm (ET)/10 pm (UTC).
A Pirate's Guide to Elyria. It is "an interactive Lore and RP based CoE Talk Show, hosted by Captain Seli and Zigsmash, where we casually dive into the world of Elyria and talk about its lore! Each episode will cover a range of topics from the Tribes of Mann and their Religions, to the solar system and everything in between. Chat from the audience is highly encouraged, and we'll discuss theories and fan lore as well!"
"Show times are determined by how much rum the crew has had the day prior, so stay alert for announcements of when (Generally Tuesdays around 2PM Eastern, but could happen any day and time)!"
We love running contests, promotions, and events for our players — but it turns out our players love running them as well! To help you keep track of all of the different contests and events at any given time, we've summarized them into one directory and stickied it in our General Discussion forum.
Soon we'll have a few extra contests to add to the list, so if you like winning stuff, don't miss out on these fun and exciting events!
There are a ton of talented artists in our community, many who share their creations in our forums and on our Discord server. Recently, some of those artists (including our super awesome Hellmoon) have created an official Chronicles of Elyria group over at the ultimate web destination for all art, Deviant Art.
Explore the creations, add your own or just support the creativity of our members in the CoE Deviant Art group!
Each month we'll get to know one of our esteemed Ambassadors, as well as let you know the status of current nominations and votes!
This month we meet Duffy de Concierge, let's learn more about him!
Q: Tell us a little about your upbringing, where did you grow up?
A: “I grew up just outside of Buffalo NY, went to Clarkson University for Software Engineering, and ended up moving back home for a job opportunity. Still here today, only a few blocks from where I grew up!"
Q: Anything out of the ordinary happen that you would be willing to share?
A: "Every friend and relative has called me Duffy since the day I was born even though it has no direct relation to my real name. My dad originally wanted to name me Duffy, but instead I was named after him...so he called me Duffy anyways. People that have known me most of my life don’t even know my real name. The only folks that use my real name are ones I’ve met in an official capacity like school or work."
"And that’s why I often use Duffy as my handle in video games."
Q: Can you remember your first video game that you fell in love with?
A: "TIE Fighter (yes on the old 3.5 inch disks, I still have them!) I was and still am a huge Star Wars fan and while I had dabbled with various other games as a kid, TIE Fighter was the first real game I got into that was mechanically robust and story driven, kicking off an early dalliance with space and flight sims until I later discovered First Person shooters and RPGs"
Q: Chocolate or Caramel and why?
A: "Chocolate, I’m not a fan of particularly sticky or gummy candy or desserts."
Q: Do you have any pets? If so, can you share about them?
A: "While I do not currently have a pet, I had several dogs growing up. I grew up with my parent’s black lab Molly and later a sheltie named Lucky (my younger sister picked him out, but he never liked her and hung out with me all the time). I also took care of my sister’s two dogs for a bit before they ended up staying with my parents: Bauer a black lab, golden retriever, and husky mix along with Kirra, a crossbreed we’re not entirely sure of but is some sort of greyhound, pitbull, terrier mix."
Q: How did you end up becoming a part of the CoE community?
A: "A friend of mine pulled me into the Kickstarter (as he has done several times now), but I didn’t really get into the community until the Free Kingdom event where I proposed a more deviant oriented kingdom, but alas it was not meant to be. However, I possibly ended up with the most expensive county package in the game so I still got that going for me :-P"
Q: What are your plans once the game is live?
A: "Assuming nothing truly bizarre happens during DSS I’ll be a count in the Duchy of Rhyddid, in the Kingdom of Alesia. I’ll be primarily focusing on my duties as a count with any extra time spent pursuing whatever business endeavors I can drum up and building a school with a focus on research adjacent to such endeavors. I’ll most likely be of the Waerd and may dabble in some cultural activities that touch on some other mechanics I’m interested in"
Q: What do you think about being a community ambassador?
A: "It’s a very different experience, for me at least, compared to similar endeavors in other games. I’ve never been part of an officially supported info/teaching organization like this. Getting that extra little look at the going ons of SBS also helps put some of SBS’ actions into better perspective."
Q: What do you like about being a Community Ambassador?
A: "Since the creation of the EAP, I've grown to quite enjoy helping people. Seeing the smile and joy on their face makes it all worth while IMO. So just being able to answer peoples questions or direct them to the answer they've been seeking is enjoyable to me."
Q: Anything you dislike about the program?
A: "Not about the program per say, but it would be awesome if we had better tools for collecting and sharing information. Right now we all tend to have our own pile of quotes and screenshots that we pull from, it’s rather haphazard. I don’t have a solution, but it would be cool if we came up with something."
Q: Which tribe(s) are your favorite(s) and why?
A: "My favorite tribe is the Waerd due to their culture lining up with some of my favorite parts of the game mechanics, and their version of the Two Fold Queen is my favorite in-game religion. I also like their particularly unique culture and how it may complicate and impact game play compared to the other tribes. My second favorite is the To’resk, their focus on relationships, contracts, and mercantilism appeal to my usual sandbox activities. Amusingly my favorite tribes are particularly unfriendly with each other."
Q: Which confirmed feature in Chronicles of Elyria are you most excited about?
A: "The contract system is what really got me excited about the possibilities of CoE. I’ve always been a fan of playing the business and trade side of games (almost all I did in EVE for years), but just how flexible you could be (and maintain player trust) was always restricted by very limited mechanics. I’m hoping the contract system will allow a greater deal of flexibility and content for the average player."
Q: If you could say anything to the entire community, what would it be?
A: "Relax and take a breath sometimes, things will come in good time, all in good time."
Thanks Duffy, it was great getting to know you a little better!
This month we received no new nominations for the Ambassador role.
If you want to learn more about the current Ambassador program, or know someone you would like to nominate, click on the link!
Thanks for your support, as always.
The Subject Matter Expert program allows players in the community to lend their expertise to the studio to help make Elyria the best it can be!
Find our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in orange in our official Discord server, and identified as "Subject Expert" in the forums.
Learn more about the SME program here
As always, we have plenty on deck coming up after our current projects are underway fully, let's review:
We're not quite there yet, but we're closer than ever! Thank you all for your undying patience and perseverance, we love you for taking this journey with us.
Until next time,
More to come...