COMMUNITY - FORUMS - DEVELOPER JOURNALS
[Sticky] Community Journal: September
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Hello Elyria!

Another month has come and gone, and a lot occurred! Let's wrap up everything we announced in September:

A look back:

It was an exciting month, let's review what happened during September:

  • Vye showed off what Neran Tournament Armor may look like in this shiny share
  • We hosted a much-anticipated live stream Q&A, with Snipehunter and Souzou, on the flora and fauna in Elyria. Check out the replay video here.
  • The Rocky Mountain Steppe is yet another exciting and gorgeous environment Raevantiel has been working on, and we showed off screenshots of the work in progress here.
  • Our 2nd world event ended with record engagement and a ton of new players joining the Chronicles of Elyria community. Check out our conclusion blog for interesting stats we compiled on the event.
  • Our community has been conversing about the Tribes of Elyria quite a bit, so to foster even more discussion, we created a dedicated Tribes forum. Thanks to our moderator team who moved relevant threads there to keep things organized!
  • As we desire to keep our community in the loop and aware of all of our upcoming events, and because you kept asking, we published our annual calendar of events and promotions.
  • On the cusp of the end of the Searing Plague event, another lore event was introduced. Learn about the Faedin's Festival of Passage and how the Tribes of Mann celebrate it alongside this story from Snipehunter.
  • To coincide with the Festival of Passage, new promotional store items were released, which just left the store earlier today. We hope you were able to take advantage of all the Festival of Passage had to offer.
  • Since this month's store and lore events surrounded the Faedin, we thought it was appropriate to share an armor concept sculpt of one of the more fierce Faedin tribes, the Brudvir. Check out this beauty!
  • Love them or not, the Kypiq really know how to craft gear that seems perfect for blending into and taking advantage of their Broadleaf Forest home. Another Faedin tribe celebrating the Festival of Passage, we proudly introduced to you the Kypiq Light Armor concept sculpt just yesterday, we hope you enjoyed it.

Surname reservations:

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.

Favorite declines:

  • X
  • Wiggles
  • Llol
  • Fluffy
  • schmit
  • Binwackenhimer
  • BattleRattle
  • Fandango
  • The Spider

Most attempted surname: Dankworth

Standouts:

  • Køestritzer
  • Urséphíel
  • Tvaahand
  • Slya-Dagveinduae
  • Tehdæ-so'taa

Thanks for keeping the surname reservations flowing! We enjoy reviewing them and sharing the above with all of you!

Popular Memes

Each month we'll spotlight one or two of our favorite memes that were shared via the forums or Discord.

(EU)Walter shared their sentiments on the pro-plague situation that was regularly occurring in the event channel with this meme:

Not to be outdone and always present in one way or another during our events, Sanguinesh shared his thoughts about the Searing Plague:

Thanks for all the great memes and keep them coming! Maybe we will share yours in the future!

Meet a Mod

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 CoE and provide valuable feedback that helps keep our community amazing.

Each month we provide a little insight into who they are and what makes them tick.

This month, Blankwindow answers our questions, and helps give us insights into what he's all about.

(This is BW and his wife's favorite swimming spot, more famously known as 'Blue Hole Park.")

Q: Where are you based? Can you share anything about where you live?
A: "Texas, mostly in the Austin area. But work requires me to travel at times."

Q: Were you born somewhere else? If so, any interesting stories from growing up?
A: "Houston. I didn't live in the best neighborhood (well at the time; 20+ yrs later the area has been gentrified and all the 60+ yr old 2 and 3 room, 1 bath, 1 story starter homes are being replaced with 3 and 4 story McMansions) So plenty of stories, but none I really wish to share at this time."

Q: Consoles or PC games?
A: "Well the last console I bought was in 2008 (Wii). I've upgraded my PC twice since then (my PC was about 2 yrs old when I got the Wii). So what do you think? Generally speaking I wouldn't call myself a PC elitist. Just that I prefer the computer. But you get me a little tipsy and playing Rocket League and I'm gonna be calling some Xbox and PS players console peasants while I beat them. And if I lose, I'll just blame it on the booze."

Q: When did you start gaming?
A: "Birth: I was raised in a house of gamers with a NES and Master System existing in the house before I was born. One of my earliest memories is playing Super Mario 3 with one of my cousins. Of course, I know now that the controller was unplugged, but dammit I thought I was playing it then! LOL!"

Q: I understand you are married. Does your significant other play games, too? Do you play games together?
A: "As far as video games go, she plays casual games on tablet/cell mostly. I've gotten her to play Rocket League here and there, and she'll humor me enough to give CoE a try. However, our local group of friends who are family, the tribe, at least once a month get together and play table games of some kind: Monopoly, Sorry, Dice, Game of Life, Cards Against Humanity, Dominoes, Poker, Munchkins, D&D, or whatever the mood of the group is. Often someone brings some new game they picked up since the last one, or an expansion to something we already have as a group. She always participates in those, but for the most part video games just don't interest her. She'd rather spend the time chatting with people on Facebook or something."

Q: What was your most memorable experience playing together?
A: "That's a hard one: it is a tie between the first time she ever played a FPS. It was Ghost Recon on the PS1 (or maybe it was PS2). She kept killing herself with her own grenade launcher. I don't know why, but it was hysterically funny the way she kept managing to do it."

"or"

"Putting her as a gnome bard in D&D 4E was super hysterical. Especially her in and out of character responses to when our Diva monk decided to throw her across the bar (it was only like 30 feet...) at a group of humans who were determined to pick a fight with us. Or at least that is what our Tiefling Rogue told us. We are a bunch of murder hobos... we don't need much of an excuse for a fight... And it turned out to be a hell of a nice distraction for that same rogue to rob the place blind. Which got us all some nice magical weapon / item improvements."

Q: Do you agree “The couple that plays together, stays together?”
A: "I would say it certainly doesn't hurt your chances to have mutual interests. Though again, she really isn't a huge gamer. Even the table games (besides Scrabble or Jenga, she gets real competitive when those come out) are more because she wants to do something with us and converse with us, and the rest of the tribe are all life long gamers like myself, so it's what we wish to do. So when in Rome...."

Q: What are your plans for CoE?
A: "Well at least on my main, my day job will be as a blacksmith, but I also intend to own and operate the local combat arena (well if it does well, the local coliseum)."

Q: You are a technical engineer by trade. Do you think that helps you be a moderator?
A: "It certainly doesn't hurt. But I don't feel like my professional skill set is needed or used in the role as a mod for the most part."

Q: What do you like most about being a moderator?
A: "The early feedback we get to provide to the studio on various things as well as the tidbits of game info that comes with that."

Q: Least about it?
A: *"Dealing with individuals who weren't taught or failed to internalize the lesson that you should accept the consequences of your actions. I'm not saying don't appeal if you think you were wronged. I'm talking about the ones who know they were in the wrong, but just want to waste our time and energy going through the full three ring circus."

Q: If there was a single statement you could make to all of the community, what would it be?
A: "Don't be a dick?"

Thanks for your candid responses to our questions, we appreciate learning more about you!!

Meet an Organization

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. This month we meet the Myrmidon Order. Let's learn more about them!

Official Org Name: The Myrmidon Order

Server: Selene (EU)

Kingdom Affiliation: The Empire of Demalion

How we formed: "The very foundation of our group of warriors - to an order as knights acting as crusaders, came together by our belief of the legend of our half God Achilleus: our true Guardian of Wrath. This is our Virtori Cult, for the Church of Lyon."

Leadership: "Myrmex Namykos is the order’s Grand Master, the Supreme Commander all around. Völsung Steinkos the appointed right-hand, Marshal, Order Master and 2nd in Command. Barons act as captains of their units in times of war and distress; and as order masters in their specific region to cultivate the order with new squires and defensive holds"

Organization Purpose: Our purpose is to offer our lives to be truly enlightened and surrounded by brothers of high combat and weapon skills and masters of medieval warfare. To help in the construction of our ideal world; to prosper the County of Murmex and to help those in need. To fulfill our mantra “One for all and all for one.”

Motto: “One for all and all for one.” ; “From Knowledge comes Power.” ; “We are Lions!”

Fun Fact: This order is trying to incorporate the looks, techniques and ways of the greatest warriors, from the legendary ancient Myrmidon to the mighty Teutonic knight.

Discord: Here

Forum Thread: Here

Thanks so much Namykos. We are grateful to learn more about this organization!

Meet a Kingdom

This month, we learn about the Kingdom of Vornair from their monarch Adam Burrfoot.

Official Kingdom name: Vornair

Server: Luna (NA-E)

Leadership: "As many of the CoE communities are learning over time, the size and scope of this game requires a very interesting dynamic, tiered, structure in order to encourage an environment that covers a very diverse set of needs, wants, desires, and personalities. To this end Vornair has a multi-faceted approach to our leadership systems."

"First and foremost we are a community of gamers, not just a community for CoE. The Vornair Gaming Community (VGC) is led in a strictly authoritarian manor by the VGC Lead with strong authority given to the VGC Admins (chosen by the Lead) who lead the overall structure and environment of the community and who enable and empower our Game Leads to lead their chapter as they see fit so long as they remain within the bounds of our charter. From there we have our Members, Friends and Allies who are given full reign to play whatever games they want to with us, or set up their own groups and communities for games that they want to go off on their own for. We are not the type of community that restricts members to having to play a certain way or play with the group in every game they are remotely interested in approaching. We are simply here to create environments where our members can find friendly and helpful faces and personalities to enjoy spending their valuable time with."

"Now as far as CoE is concerned our leadership is as tiered as they come. We separate the management of our CoE branch into two functional areas: Community Management, and Game Management. On the Community Management side, Adam is the de facto leader of the community and is able to bring on individuals and systems as needed to help run the community management functions. Game management is a bit more nuanced, as needed for CoE. Each level of government or organization (Kingdom, Duchy, County, Settlement, Organization) has very different options depending on where in the Kingdom they are located. We keep as much flexibility as we can to allow for each of our duchies, counties, settlements, or guilds to be able to run the way they want to run and play the way they want to play. To enable this as much as possible our Kingdom level leadership is made up of a "Duchies of the Round" system. In this system, those Dukes and Duchesses who have been accepted into our community are given an equal representative vote in making decisions that affect the CoE Chapter of our community. As a whole all decisions made at the Kingdom level require a majority vote and the only thing that separates the King/Queen from the Dukes/Duchesses in this system is that the King and Queen have the right to an absolute veto. This system allows us to ensure that each decision made at the top levels of our community take into consideration the needs, wants, and desires of each of the sub-communities that make up the whole of Vornair. To assist with this system we have a High Council, composed of superbly qualified individuals, who are our subject matter experts in the various facets of the game (which we have culled out to 4 categories each with 3 sub-categories). These individuals are vetted and kept on the council in a meritocratic system. This ensures that only the most qualified people are in these positions, which is important as the function of the High Council is to advise the Duchies of the Round on the topics we are discussing as they relate to the field that each High Council member covers. Additionally, they lead and manage sub-councils or committees that can be spun up by the Duchies of the Round to cover a specific topic or subject. This system of subject matter expertise ensures that each of our voting members are speaking from the same general understanding of the mechanics, functions, and implications that a particular subject has as it relates to its impact on the actual game."

"As stated before, while these are our leadership systems at the Kingdom level we try not to be overbearing with our policies, processes, initiatives, and laws at the Kingdom level. Instead we favor setting minimum standards and allowing for each of the Duchies to decide how they will meet and exceed those standards in their own way as they so desire. At the end of the day we recognize this is a game, and the people in our community (ourselves included) just want to play it and have fun. By having a community who is serious about being a community (a group of people who support each other), we all have the greatest chance at enjoying ourselves in this world SBS is building for us."

Kingdom Colors: Teal and Gold (Primary) Black and White (Secondary)

Kingdom Crest:

Goals of the Kingdom: "The goals of our Kingdom have yet to be set in stone, we are waiting on domain selection and more information about the game before we really iron those out and set a path forward. That being said, the goals of the Kingdom are a different thing than the goals of our Community. Our community goal is to build an environment, within our domains, where our community members can enjoy playing this game how they want to play it with the support of their fellow community members. It's a pretty straight forward goal, and is highly achievable in our minds."

Fun fact: "I think the funnest fact about Vornair is: "There are more "facts" about Vornair, made up by people who have never stepped foot in our community, than there are actual facts about Vornair."

Link to recruitment thread: Here "Or if you are really looking to dig in and get to know what we are all about please feel free to check out our completely custom built website that has been specifically structured for this unique game! Esbon Owleye or Owl#3434 in discord has done an amazing job custom coding this site to fit this game’s unique needs. Check out the site link located in our recruitment post!

Link to Discord: Here

Statement from Vornair's monarch: "Regardless of if you are Vorn or not, please feel free to stop on in and get to know us. Our community loves the concept and ideology behind this game, just like every other community in CoE does. When you have that kind of shared passion for something, there is absolutely no reason to act like any one of us can't get along and genuinely enjoy each other's company. Our people have only ever proved that we care about this community and want to see this game and each of the communities in it succeed. After-all Vornair would not be the place it is without the amount of diverse individuals and communities who have come together to make it what it is today. 'From Many, Now One!'"

Thank you Adam for taking the time to provide all of this great info about Vornair!

Community Spotlight

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.


Duke Zephyr shared this impressive lore video showing the story of the Anemoi and their interesting history:


Countess Aileron/Scribbles1188 shared this creation, and described it as follows: "This is another piece for Drax Baxton. He wanted to come up with a concept of what his general army would be wearing into battle. It's heavily inspired by historical Anglo-Saxon armor."


Chimaera Corbeau shared his latest creation titled "Bard Nevermore"


Count Andreas Crowley shared this image, which depicts "The Commander of the Crimson Wings Garrett Hawke Crowley and his Vice Commander Zathros Tirosa riding victorious from the scene of battle. Their enemies lay in ruins behind them and they turn their trisons home toward Osthelia"


Remember, if you'd like a chance to get your community content featured in these Community Journals, send your submissions here.

Meet a Dev

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 interviewed Soulbound's Graphic Designer Scarlet. Read on to learn more about her and what she does at the studio.


As Scarlet mentions in her interview, Howl is a handsome fella!

Q: Can you help everyone understand more about what you do as the Graphic Designer for the studio?
A: "Sure! As the Graphic Designer for the studio, I work on almost all images that are used for marketing, UI, and the website. I also help with mock ups for the website and create all imagery that will populate the page(s). As a member of the Outreach team, I also assist with graphics for events, designing things such as graphics for any booths, T-shirts, or signage, or swag. If we work with a third party, I will also work with them to make sure that our branding is correctly used and looks up to our standards."

Q: You are one of the relatively lesser known members of the Soulbound Studios development team. Why is that?
A: "I guess the only reason is I don’t really like messaging a lot when I work, and I have never been interested in posting on forums."

Q: How long have you liked games?
A: "I liked classic NES games as a kid, which is what introduced me to games."

Q: Can you mention a memorable game experience (doesn’t have to be video games) from your past?
A: "When I was a kid, I got to test out a couple games on the N64 before they or the console were released, for a game magazine, that family friends were editors of. This dates me a lot I think…"

Q: You went to the Art Institute. That must have been amazing! Anything you can share about your experience there?
A: "It was fun learning in an artistic environment. I really enjoyed life drawing and illustration classes the most. I also enjoyed working with new mediums and learning more about digital illustration since that was not something I was exposed to much before I got to the Art Institute."

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: "I am a big fan of Wes Anderson Movies, especially Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom."

Q: Why do you like his movies so much?
A: "I think one of the things that draws me in are the highly detailed sets, the beautiful use of color palettes, and the way the commonly dysfunctional families interact with each other."

Q: From a creative standpoint, what inspires you? Or how do you find constantly create from scratch when most find it daunting to do only on occasion?
A: "I take inspiration from a lot of what I see around me. It can be small things like going outside and taking inspiration from nature, to seeing what other artists and designers are doing online or in galleries. I think as a designer, I like to get a huge range of inspirations, so that my designs and art don’t stay stagnant and can be molded to fit any situation or any design problem."

Q: I understand you have experience in animation. Will you be utilizing those skills for CoE?
A: "I currently work on animatics that we have released. I probably won’t too much within the game itself since I work on primarily the 2D side and have not touched 3D animation since I was in school."

Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: "I love working with other creative people that also inspire me in my own work. Working with other creative people of various disciplines helps me to stay motivated and continue to grow as a designer."

Q: Can you share an interesting fact about your pet(s)?
A: "My dog has (more than once) been told he is the most handsome dog in the world by complete strangers!"

Q: Anything you’d like to say to the community?
A: "Thanks for your support and enthusiasm for CoE. It’s one of the things that keeps me and everyone else at the studio going!"

Thank you Scarlet for taking the time to let us get to know you more!

Reddit community

The Chronicles of Elyria community has a Reddit community, lovingly managed by Hellmoon, Mickdude, and our newest Com Mod, ImbuedGreen.

ImbuedGreen made these really cool infographics of the Searing Plague event in order to share its conclusion with our followers on the official CoE subReddit. Check them out here and here.

Thank you for putting these together, they came out great!

If you have any questions about our Reddit community feel free to contact me, or any of our Com Mods listed above.

Community shows

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 contact@soulboundstudios.com.


The newest show on this list is Conclave 360. They are “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!"

Their Channel


Oceanus FM is "a collaborative broadcasting effort hosted by Alleykat and featuring the Kings of Aequitas, Lor Voskara 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!"

Their Channel


Cremoria News Network [CNN] "is a weekly CoE talk show brought to you by the Duchy of Cremoria. They do deep dives on CoE mechanics, interviews, and community news. Tune in every Sunday at 6pm Eastern / 3pm Pacific for this classy and sassy stream."

Their Channel


Vendor Trash is " two guys with a laundry list of gaming street cred dating back to the 80’s. It was first a failed dumpster diving blog, then they failed at motivational speaking, and then finally found their calling talking about Chronicles of Elyria. They are excited the game they've always dreamed of is finally being made. After many episodes they are still going strong, come join their throbbing obsession."

Find past episodes on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

Their Channel


Tavern Talk "airs every other week at 7pm CST/CDT with Jax and Gora. They talk about all manner of things Chronicles of Elyria. From deep dives of developer design journals to in-depth character profiles of prominent and notable players to hosting occasional guests on the show, we bring the Dance of Dynasties to you live!"

Show schedule is the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturday of the month at 5pm PDT / 7pm CDT/ 8pm EDT

Their Channel


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.

Their Channel


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 Thursday at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. Watch the CoE forums for their announcements!

Their Channel


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 Wednesday at 3pm (PT)/6pm (ET)/10 pm (UTC).

Their Channel

Community contests

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.

The Searing Plague has ended, but there are a lot of other really cool contests going on this month, so check it out!

The Art of Elyria!

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!

Ambassadors

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!

Meet an Ambassador

October brings us a chat with one of the original and first Ambassadors, Scylurus.

Q: So you are from Europe I understand, were you born and raised there?
A: "It’s… complicated. I’m half Finnish, half German and I was born in Europe; Sevilla, Spain to be exact. I was raised in many countries; in quick order Spain, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Finland… so quite the global tour. Currently living in Germany."

Q: Is there anything unique or special from your upbringing that you’d like to share?
A: "My father was a diplomat and my mother was a second generation world traveler, so I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had the chance to experience the world, its people, its cultures, the sheer awesome breadth and variety to be found on Earth, however, that has brought hardships of its own. As an adolescent I had problems figuring out where I belonged in the world. For the most part we humans are still somewhat tribal in nature. We say we’re a certain nationality, we were raised somewhere, we have roots tying us to places, we share a mutual culture; it becomes easier to understand one another that way. I do too technically, except I’ve never really felt it like that. My upbringing precluded that kind of understanding. So for a good while it was a big problem for me to identify myself as anything."

"As I grew up, I finally went, yeah, nope, I’ll just be me, my story is my own. I don’t need to be anything but me and make my own place in the world. Granted, that always sounds awesome in stories, in reality it usually involves a bit more hardship."

Q: Where did your alias come from, can you share the story or the making of?
A: "It starts with Herodotus, so it’s quite the ancient story. About 2500 years in the making. I’ll skip all the boring bits, the rise and fall of Rome, the fallen empires, new kingdoms, human rights movements and all of that and go straight to the good bit. Me. (I am joking of course, you really should read up on all of that; and yes, I did steal it from Kvothe.)"

"So I was reading Herodotus’s Histories (He gets a bad rep for being the Father of Lies) and stumbled upon the name Scyles, I liked the way it looked and sounded, so I googled it, then stumbled upon Plutarch’s Sayings of Kings and Commanders where a Scythian King by the name of Skilurus or Scylurus had this to say:"

"'Skilurus on his death-bed, being about to leave eighty sons surviving, offered a bundle of darts to each of them, and bade them break them. When all refused, drawing out one by one, he easily broke them; thus teaching them that, if they held together, they would continue strong, but if they fell out and were divided, they would become weak.'"

"I liked it. It made sense. I didn’t make much of it though, except filed it away for future reference. I then played Rome Total War and got myself a general by the name of Scylurus, and went, ‘I know that guy!’ Sadly mine didn’t breed eighty sons and I did lose that campaign."

"The next time I was prompted to make a username I just went: Scylurus. That’s been my handle ever since."

Q: You are well known as a talented author in the CoE community, how did you get started in writing?
A: "Gods, it just keeps coming with the intimate questions, doesn’t it? I probably have to admit it started when I was seven or eight. My mom had this old battered copy of Lord of the Rings, which she gave to my older brother to read. Now he started reading it and told me stuff about Sauron; naturally, me being that young I assumed it meant he was some kind of dinosaur. Color me surprised once I finally did read the book. Anyway, back then I wanted to read it so badly. My mom didn’t think it was the best idea, so she bought a copy of the Hobbit. I finished it and wanted more. Slowly my collection of books, my own books, not belonging to anyone else, started to grow. We were living in Malaysia at the time and I bought a copy of Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. (At the time the entire series had released, but the store only had the first book.) So I read it, which at eight or nine wasn’t the best idea ever, but I survived. I wanted to know how it continued so I begged my parents to buy the other books. It took a while for the books to arrive and in that time, impatient me started to dream about what happened next. I started piggybacking stories off other writers. Then I finally got a hold of the Lord of the Rings, which was awesome and tough going for nine year old me, but I finished it. Naturally, I wanted more stories. So at some point my mom suggested why don’t I write my own stories?"

"Thus began my first foray into writing; my tentative first novel… It was not my finest work. It was derivative as all hell, about ten pages long and titled Lord of the Seven Farts. Please don’t blame me, I was ten. Then other things happened and I stopped writing until I was about fourteen or fifteen, started doing it as a hobby, for pure enjoyment and I’ve not stopped since."

Q: As far as CoE stories go, which is your favorite that you’ve done thus far and why?
A: "You’re asking me to choose between my babies! Ok, so, yes, I have a clear favorite. It’s Elyria at War Part 4: The Neran. Now, before you all start grabbing pitchforks and going ‘but this tribe is better!’ There is a reason and it’s got nothing to do with tribe, but with the story itself. In all of my stories I tried to go for character over tribe, adding the tribal nature more as something cultural and physiological, rather than to make them alien or other. They’re all still people, in my opinion, which was important to me."

Catriona, my main character in the story has an inherent tension, an inherent conflict through the use of being ‘other’ than the culture surrounding her. That allows for some good, solid exploration of motivation, of tense interactions and conflict with other characters. The tension in the story and her disregard for parts of her own culture also just made it fun to write."*

"Most of the others I wrote have been more in line with the culture of the tribes we were presented, then shown through the lens of an individual’s perception and understanding. This was a conscious choice, to make the tribes relatable. With the Neran I went in the other direction, I wanted to make them stand out more; to make it so that people didn’t see just the vanilla, the ‘oh they’re the normies’ aspect but rather a rich tapestry open to plenty of interpretation."

"Not to mention she is a badass."

Q: Many countries in the world offer free college education for its citizens. Some others require their citizens to incur a lot of debt to get a higher education. Do you feel a college education is necessary in this day and age of instant information and the internet?
A: "Wow… that just came out of nowhere. Ok, so in general, I believe if it is necessary to get a secondary education to survive and inform yourself in today’s society then our primary education has failed its purpose. Now, I do believe education, formal or otherwise is a good thing. We should all seek to better ourselves, to learn and grow as individuals. College or university can offer great opportunities, so I think everyone who wants to, who feels like it is the right choice for them should get the chance to pursue it without crippling debt hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives."

"That said, I certainly don’t think it’s necessary for someone to pursue an academic degree to have a chance at a full life. That’d honestly just suck, for everyone."

"The key aspects we should be teaching our children are to understand how our society functions, especially with the new information sourcing, how these sources come together, how to evaluate primary sources, how to question everything and to make up your own mind and for the love of all that is holy, to not request a summary of a summary. It’s a complicated world out there, there’s only so far you can summarize something until all meaning gets lost, all nuance. The issues facing our society, our planet are only going to get more complicated. Brevity, while convenient, is not your friend when the stakes are high."

Q: Do you have any pets? If not current past? Care to share?
A: "Currently I have no pets. For fifteen years we had a natural (as in no flat nose) black Persian with yellow eyes and a white spot on his chest who had to be one of the most well traveled cats out there. We got him in Saudi Arabia and he traveled with us all the way to Finland, where the first time he saw snow, he jabbed at it with his paw and recoiled; after the desert and the tropics who could blame him? He favored us with a look so dubious you’d think he thought we were insane."
If I ever do get another pet it’d probably be a cat."*

Q: What do you enjoy about being a Community Ambassador?
A: "Interacting with the community, being able to help and just to work together with a group of great people."

Q: Least about it?
A: "It ain’t easy being green."

Q: In your opinion, what is one way the Community Ambassador program could be improved?
A: "Damn, a tough question… honestly? I’d kind of like us to be able to do some more community focused content, in an organized fashion, contests, challenges… stuff like that. I mean there are some great groups doing it already and I don’t want to detract from them, but we’ve got a great team of creative and organized people who just love to help out and so something in increased community engagement would be great."

Q: What is your plan for when you get in game? Who are you planning to be in Chronicles of Elyria?
A: "Uff... There’s plenty to potentially do. I am a mayor and will be running my town but I’m also planning on making a school, be some kind of scholar. While I have many ideas, I’ll need to see the mechanics before I decide on what it is exactly, though my main goal as a mayor is to help facilitate and encourage other playstyles, at least at the start."

"In most games I’m usually an explorer, someone who seeks the next horizon, so it’s going to be hard to resist the urge with my mayor; so I’ll hopefully find the time to run an alt."

”Oh and when the Yoru are discovered I do plan on making a Yoru alt."

Q: What is your current favorite game that you are playing? (while waiting for CoE, of course)
A: "I like so many games. I’m personally a fan of Rimworld. It’s a great use of apophenia in games to tell stories. (Apophenia is the habit of people to detect patterns in randomness). It allows you to tell strange and interesting stories with your colonists. Witcher 3 for story, if any game recently has done a linear story well, it’s Witcher 3. Currently also playing Assassin’s Creed Origins and loving the world building it’s a real treat."

Q: What can we, Soulbound Studios, do to ensure we are supporting the growing young authors in our own community?
A: "Well, one way is obvious. Lore. Now I don’t mean dragons and liches, magic and all that jazz, you should keep that for the game, let it all be a huge mystery and surprise us, but rather something more mundane. A day in the life of the average Elyrian. How the various tribes spend their time, how they love, they mourn, they celebrate and indulge. It’s a challenge to write something that you think will capture the spirit of Elyria, when you’re a bit lacking in details and aren’t entirely certain what the spirit is, though since it’s a world it can be anything. I’ve always tried to be firm on the characters and fuzzy on the world for precisely that reason; touching only on the known aspects to sprinkle over the story. It helps tremendously when you can say ‘They sat down for a game of chess.’ Most people wouldn’t think so, but that game of chess can be incredible exposition, when you want your characters to talk about something but you need to get them to that point. Or let’s say you’re starting off a tragic story. The opening scene is a funeral. If you know how the Song Priests of the Neran conduct their funeral rights, do they extol a life well lived? A short passing? Would the character be expected to rejoice because their loved one is now among the Virtues?"

"All of these tiny details add such unimaginable color to a world, make it more vivid than any mythical creature ever can. It can make a reader feel like they’re in the world, rather than merely observing it."

"Another is writing prompts. A Kypiq, a Bruvir and a Janoa walk into a bar, they are served by a surly Hrothi bartender when suddenly the door slams open and…"
"It both forces and enables a writer to continue the story. It can end in a thousand different ways. What’s going to happen? Why are three together? What’s the bartender’s problem? Who slammed the door open? I could give you a hundred variations of what happens next. A problem for new writers is often they dream big, but can’t do small, can’t even start. Now, there is a difference between a short story and a novel, but the creative drive, fostering that helps you in both. It can be hard sometimes to write something, when you think you have no ideas, nothing to inspire you; so if you as a studio set the stage for someone to start the play, then that could help people."

"Beginnings are hard. One of the hardest things, for me, in writing. I personally decided a while ago that my story beginnings are never the beginning, all they are is a start, a way to get me rolling. So giving a kick up the backside like that is a great way to inspire aspiring writers."

"Finally, competitions, either by encouraging the community to run them or to run them yourselves. Perhaps even give them the opportunity to have their writing appear ingame. I know I would jump at the chance and so would many others to have the opportunity to contribute to the world like that before we even get into the game." "Imagine if you gave the community the chance to be Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm, with a household book of Elyrian Fairy Tales. Think of how awesome that’d be for the community to compete for and create. Hells, choose the best ten tales and put them in the book!"

Q: If there was one thing you could say to the entire community, what is it?
A: "A last final challenge, eh? Fine here goes. We’re stuck with each other. Going on two years with at least ten more, we’re all stuck with each other. Bear that in mind. Rivalries, warfare, bloodshed, tough talk, just remember it is a game. When CoE launches we’ll be the ‘Old Guard’ we’ll know each other, know our habits, our likes and dislikes. Know what each of our words are worth. We’ll need that cooperation, need that knowledge to survive the storm of launch, not to mention I foresee that the story engine will seek to divide us, tear us apart and then unleash the worst Elyria has to offer on us, if we cannot rise above ourselves at that time, if we cannot cooperate when it comes down to it, then we’ll all lose."

"Oh, you’re all awesome by the way, just as an addendum. Yes, even you over there in the corner sharpening your knives."

Thank you Scylurus, those were entertaining, insightful, and verbose answers!!

Ambassador Nominations

There have been no new community Ambassador nominations since we last reported in September. If you want to learn more about this program, or know someone you would like to nominate, click on the link! Thanks for your support, as always.

Subject Matter Experts

It’s taken a while for us to review all of the submissions we initially received during the 1st round of invitations for experts in the fields of farming, chemistry, linguistics, metal crafting, and tailoring. After our 1st round of reviews, we had some follow ups for each of the SMEs that were communicated to them. Once answered, we did a final review of all the information that was provided, and we completed our evaluations: 7 SMEs were named, 2 SMEs were identified as backups, and 2 SMEs haven't responded to our 2nd round of follow up questions.

As of this writing, everyone who submitted an application has been contacted via email. This includes approved SMEs, those who were named as backups, those who still owe us a 2nd response, and the few that we didn't feel met the criteria we were looking for.
Based on that, I am proud to announce our very first Subject Matter Experts!

Congratulations and welcome to:

  • Trug - Linguistics
  • huntsmaster - Metal working
  • Nazrab - Law
  • Raykonx - Chemistry
  • Baronos - Jewelry/Casting
  • Turlorn - Farming
  • HajimeSaito - Pharmacology/Chemistry

It is possible that someone applied for a SME role and had many areas of expertise. Based on our needs and their knowledge, we may accept a SME based on other skills they possessed regardless of the initial SME role they applied for.

The next step will be for us to announce the 2nd round of invites into the SME program for additional skill sets beyond what we've invited thus far. Look for your new SMEs in Discord with a special tag and role now!

All in all, this first round taught us a lot about our process and what we can improve moving forward.

We are still and will continue to accept SME applications, if you want to learn more about this program or are interested in applying, check out the announcement here.

What’s next?

October is shaping up to be an extremely busy time for both Soulbound Studios and our player community.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the stuff coming down the pipe:

  • Map Voting! A most eagerly anticipated event, know that we have a tentative date for announcing this now and we are eager to share it with you ;-)
  • Queen's Gaze holiday and October promotion! (We are going to leave you guessing for now, scary!)
  • Package Combining (formerly known as package claiming and/or merging)
  • Production updates (0.4.0 Adventure completion & 0.5.0 Adventure announcement)
  • Ambassador program revamp
  • Another ChamberBot Session
  • Our Code of Conduct, version 2.0
  • More contests!

Make sure you keep an eye on our forums & official Discord server so you don't miss out on any late-breaking news and info about CoE!

Until next time,

More to come...


"Stupid questions make more sense than stupid mistakes."

9/28/2018 9:07:38 PM #1
+3

Nice job guys, Can't wait for map voting 😅

9/28/2018 9:10:47 PM #2
+4

Look mum! I made it!


9/28/2018 9:13:51 PM #3
+1

Great work this month everyone. ^^


9/28/2018 9:37:41 PM #4
+2

It's good to hear about the continuing progress. Excited about more on map voting to come! And I'm looking forward to the Queen's Gaze. Hoping for creepy lore to have fun thinking about in time for Hallowe'en. ^_^


Pacyen is a Virtue.

Friend Code: 4ACB46

[EU - County Dale, Kingdom of Nirath] Lady Iola Berankin, Mayor of Crowleigh

~Neran Maiden~

9/28/2018 9:38:59 PM #5
+2

Great update, and October sounds lika a really good month.


9/28/2018 11:15:39 PM #6
+1

I am honored to be mentioned. Thank you Serpentus

The Anemoi

There are beasts to be tamed, ore to be mined, and hell to raise!

Click For Sound
Join us on discord

Simply Click to Join Discord. A member of leadership will greet you and do their best to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

9/28/2018 11:17:31 PM #7
+1

I almost lost my job, because I was creating trade links and all I got is this lousy comment.

:P

But it was worth it.


"Køestritzer" like the beer "Köstritzer" is see what you did there :D


age quod agis

9/28/2018 11:23:31 PM #8
+3

Lol this whole thing for just that last paragraph being the only thing I really care about.


9/29/2018 12:34:27 AM #9
+2

Thank you SBS and Serpentius, I am honoured to be considered an SME and look forward to helping anyway I can.


9/29/2018 2:21:39 AM #10
+1

Thank you for allowing me to be a SME. This is a great honor and I am looking forward to lending my expertise to the game.


9/29/2018 2:49:42 AM #11
+1

It will be a pleasure and honour to help you guys with my expertise, many thanks for considering me to be part of the program =)

And October will be a great month, I can't wait to see what is coming!


9/29/2018 4:59:25 AM #12
+2

Can I just say a huge shoutout to Scy? Thank you for that spot-on writing advice; some of us are in that place where we just need some clear-cut "what-to-do" information. It was perfectly stated.

Overall, an exciting September update! Thank you, Serp and the team for all your hard work.


There is hope impossibility.

9/29/2018 6:46:58 AM #13
+2

It's funny Llol was denied, even though it was suggested to me by the name generator (a To'resk name).


Looking for barons, mayors and players to join my county.

9/29/2018 7:11:41 AM #14
+1

A corgi! I love corgis, I have one troublemaker at home as well :) Tell Howl he looks like the goodest boy!

Also thanks for the update, October is going to be interesting!


9/29/2018 1:34:26 PM #15
+1

Another great CJ! I'm really loving the Meet a Dev/Mod/Ambassador sections!

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