Monday, 24 October 2016

Updates 45, 46, 47

Bigger post this time with updates 45 to 47. Doing all three together because I've been really busy with real life issues. That's my excuse anyway...

Update 45

A Living World

Soulbound Studio released a new video called A Living World, available to view on Youtube. To quote directly from the update:
With lounging Canis Rabbits, herding Trison, Elyrians going about their daily business, and an environment that will take your breath away, this video hits home and shows the first real glimpse at the depth and richness of life in Chronicles of Elyria.

Total Influence Points vs. Spendable IP and Other Things

There's a long discussion of Total Influence Points vs. Spendable IP. If you're in any doubt about the way IP is calculated, etc. head on over to the update on Kickstarter for an explanation.
There's further information on IP tables (no, nothing to do with firewalls) and what happens in day one, this is the opening day AFTER Exposition which is where players with early access will get the groundwork done, getting ingame stores and services aup and running - it's nearly all player run rather than having NPC's doing everything like most MMO's. Anyway, as usual, head on over to the update for further information.


We have news of two new employees at Soulbound Studio.
Maika 'Scarlet' Takanohara - Graphics Designer
Katherine 'Vye' Bridwell - Senior Producer

Concept Art

Otter Bear (wha?) - Quoting from the update:
The Otter Bear, taking after otters, can be found in most biomes given a river or body of water. The only biomes they wouldn't be seen in are the extremes such as the Tundra, Taiga, and deserts. They don't migrate, but they travel up and down rivers.

Update 46

Improbable Visits Soulbound

Folks from Improbable travelled to Seattle to spend a week with Soulbound Studio and the update talks about two major items of particular interest to Soulbound:
  1. Experimental - Unreal Client worker: You can now use Unreal as your client-side renderer / engine.
  2. Experimental - C# SDK: We’ve built a C# wrapper around our existing C++ Worker SDK. You can now build arbitrary managed C# workers and deploy them to the cloud.
 (Quoting from the update again)
The first one means Improbable has been working to greatly simplify the work that needs to be done to connect an Unreal-based client to a SpatialOS back-end. MMOs using Unreal as their client—you know, MMOs like Chronicles of Elyria—will have a significantly easier time using SpatialOS with Unreal. While there will still be some integration work that needs to be done on our end, Improbable has gotten the ball rolling and, if done correctly, moving from Prologue: The Awakening toward our Alpha 1 should be significantly less time-consuming.

The second experimental feature means we can continue to develop the Soulborn Engine in C#, the same language used previously. Not only does that mean we can re-use any existing services we had before, but it also means we gain all the power of the .NET Framework Library for things like web services, database interaction, and code generation via Reflection.Emit. In short, being able to continue to write the back-end of CoE in C# means huge time-savings for us.

Next Stretch Goal: Gambling / Gaming

 The next stretch goal is only 100k away, that prompted Jeromy to include a discussion of the requirements needed to implement this additional social experience.
As for us, hitting the Gambling / Gaming stretch goal means having enough resources to hire a new animator. This animator would be responsible for not only the new animations required to play the gaming / gambling animations, but a ton of new social gestures and interactions as well, leading to a richer role-playing experience.

Other Bits

The IP Store has been renamed to Exposition Store in order to make it clearer about what you're buying and we learned that it is expected to be launched in November.

Update 47

Vye's first update to the community...

Another View of CoE's Layered Clothing System

What I want to bring your attention to more than anything else is again the fact that equipment is layered, allowing you to create a very put-together outfit. Additionally, while the pants look a little silly, they do go to show you how much customization is possible with the crafting system.


We learn more about the weather systems on CoE and how you will be able to actually work out how far you are from a storm by counting seconds from a thunderclap (not yet implemented). A video was released showing a storm in the distance...remember this is a pre-production video. The video is on the CoE website for viewing at

November Store Launch Update

A reminder that the new Exposition Store lau ches in November and further information about what to expect from the store condensed into one short line - we are preparing packages that will make it easy to play the role you wish. Head on over to the update on Kickstarter for further details.

Other Bits

The Flower-cup Procupine now has fur! Progress on the hair and fur shaders for the game is shown off on the new porcupine. Someone described this thing as cute and cuddly...

A Design Experience Q&A took place on CoE's twitch stream, you can watch the recorded video.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Update 44 - 27th september

Update 44 was a huge one and I just don't have time to go through all the information imparted (mainly because I'm working on a new bathroom and free time is limited!) - the whole document is available on the kickstarter update page.

Cash Issues

With that excuse out of the way...we learned that the balance raised through Kickstarter is inadequate to produce the game (pretty much as we expected) and that Soulbound are looking into other methods of raising the rest of the money needed while still encouraging people to pledge/increase their pledges.

Online Store

At long last, we have a release date for the online store! It should go live on 3rd October 2016. Lots of information about that on the update, including how to use credits bought via kickstarter, future options for gifting items to other players, villager/guild tokens,  and we learned that Soulbound have implemented a 'no refund' policy.


More on titles, including lots of information regarding responsibilities, expected average times people will have to play each week carrying out the specific duties, etc. As expected, people with 'higher' titles will most likely have to spend longer maintinging their kingdoms that lowly peasants. There's also a timly warning about exchanging titles for IP: while it's possible, you stand to lose more than just a title so it;s something best avoided if possible.

16-Year Fair & Tournament of Champions

This is something new, something called the Sedecim! Quoting directly from the update:
In Chronicles of Elyria, the nobility, aristocracy, gentry, and best craftsman of a continent all get together every 16 in-games years (approx. 4 real-life months) to hash out the land boundaries and trade agreements, to arrange marriages, and to purchase and sample wares from the best craftsmen. Weddings and festivities are held, and there's temporary booths set up so merchants can show off their goods.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Update 43 - More on the north...

Website v2.1

Great news! The new and improved website has arrived...well, version 2.1 anyway with a load of new features...
  • Private messaging has been re-enabled
  • External font server has been abandoned, resulting in potentially faster loading
  • Unified CSS, which should also improve load times and make future changes easier
  •  Faster Access to Forum Topics & Posts
  • Advanced Moderator Tools - to help keep the bad  boys and girls at bay 
  • Loads of bugs fixed
  • Better mobile support, including a search function


Latest Concept Art

Say hello to the  Pteroguin doing what it does best...

Online Store News

Latest information we have is that the online store will launch in two weeks! Quoted directly from the update:
Once the store launches, you'll have an opportunity to back the game if you haven't already, or even upgrade your pledge if you did!

More Stuff

More work has been done on the playable areas of the Prologue and there are some interesting work-in-progress screenshots of the area. Head on over to the official update on the Kickstarter page to take a look...they're great looking images, you won't want to miss them :)

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Update 42 - A Labor of Love...

The Online Store is Coming!

After what seemed like a long wait, we finally have a launch date for the online store. Currently scheduled for 3rd october 2016. once open, Soulbound will be offering same backing tiers, add-ons, and prices as they were offering during Kickstarter for 28 days.

This is like an extension of kickstarter so that more people can get on board to support the game but, as they said on their site, it's not a repeat of Kickstarter, as such the early bird tiers won't be offered again.

Here's a list of the tiers on offer during this period...shamelessly copied from the actual update:
  • Elyrian - $35  
  • Adventurer - $40  
  • Patron - $60  
  • Beastmaster - $75  
  • Founder - $100  
  • Bloodline - $120  
  • Merchant - $150  
  • Ursaphant Rider - $200  
  • Baron/Baroness - $250  
  • Astronomer - $350  
  • Count/Countess - $500  
  • Artisan - $750  
  • Brewmaster - $1,000  
  • Weapon Master - $1,500  
  • Celebrity - $2,000  
  • Artificer - $2,500  
  • Duke/Duchess - $3,500  
  • Chimera or Karate - $5,000  
  • King/Queen - $10,000

Once the  28 day kickstarter extension period has passed, the IP store will open. There's a lot more detail in the actual update, take a look at it on Kickstarter.

Website Version 2.1

The newest version of the CoE website arrives next week, heralding the long awaited return of private messaging amongst other things.

More Concept Art

The latest release is the Dryas Elk, sporting an impressive bit of defence against airbourne attackers!

Under the Hood

Interestingly, Soulbound Studio are evaluating the Vulkan API. A layer that sits on top of modern video cards, apparently offering substantial performance gains over OpenGL and DirectX. It'll be interesting to see what cards are supported by this...a common complaint amongst players is being 'left behind' on the hardware side with development studios demanding more and more powerful video cards and CPU's. We'll have to wait and see how this all pans out.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Update 41: Dreams and Nightmares...

This weeks update is an odd one. The team spent a lot of time on interviews and doing the 'get to know the potential recruit' thing, presumably to see who'll fit in. It's hoped that three or four new employees will be signed up in September (2016 hopefully!).

Paper Prototyping

Caspian wrote a long piece on Paper Prototyping. Here are the first three paragraphs quoted directly from the update...if you want to read the rest, it's over on the Kickstarter page.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you go 'aha!' and either remember something you'd previously forgotten, or realized something so blatantly obvious you can't figure out why you didn't think of it before? Yeah, well, that happened to me yesterday.
I was lying in bed in the morning, half awake, half asleep, in that dream-like state when a few different conversations I'd had over the week started blending together. Before I realized it, I was prototyping a version of Chronicles of Elyria in my head as a table-top game (Note: that doesn’t mean I’m going to create a table-top CoE game. It just means I was thinking about CoE in terms of a table-top game).
I began looking at the different mechanics in CoE and thinking about the best way to represent them if CoE were a table-top game. What would I use to represent a soul? What about a character? How would they interact?

Meet the Pteroguin

We also learned a little more about the Concept & Design and were treated to some concept art of a dangerous flying creature called a Pteroguin. It seems that if you're spotted by one of these out in the open, you might as well start planning your spirit walk...

Site Changes

Version 2.0.10 of the CoE website has been released which brings more usability for those on mobile devices. We learned that the next update, v2.1 brings a reCaptcha verification which, it's hoped, will reduce the amount of spam accounts being created, followed by v2.2 which brings the online store.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Project Update 40 - Thought for food...

Thought for Food? Bit of a play on words there...anyway, moving on...

The process of filling positions with Soulbound Studios is ongoing. Appears all is going very well with another 25 candidates interviewed this week.

The Web Store should be with us soon, work is progressing nicely on that and the private mail system.

We learn of ongoing work on the food chain, which is, presumably, where the Thought for Food title came from. And we get to see some more concept art, including a a cute but prickly looking Flower-Cup Porcupine (yes, really!)
and it's predator, the Domino Fox.

There are some, almost disturbing, updated images of character ageing inlcuding a rather portly male who looks like someone you wouldn't want to tangle with and we get a new video showing some animations, etc. bear in mind that nothing has been optimised yet so the framerate doesn't look that great at this stage.

You can take a look at this video on Youtube if you prefer to watch it there and Soulbound Studio's actual update itself is available to read on Kickstarter.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Update 39 - A world being built...


Update 39 brings further news of the ongoing process of hiring talented people. We also learned that the web team have dismissed a bunch of bugs causing issues for the store/private mail so we hope to see those going live soon...usual disclaimers about the meaning of the term 'soon' apply.
We learned a little more about the female character models and some animation issues, including a hint that there will be some 'platformer-like elements' that the developers plan to integrate into the game. What form those will take remains to be seen! Jumping puzzles anyone?
More information has been forthcoming wrt the creation of the biomes, etc. that our characters will live in including an example map...

Strife on the Forum

Following last weeks update, there was some disquiet on the CoE forum regarding some of the changes that were announced. Caspian posted some responses to the issues raised by the players on the forum which are well worth a read, they clear up a lot of the misconceptions that led to the long thread.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Update 38 released (it's a long one!)

Update 38 has been released and it's a long one. Because I'm redecorating my house at the moment I just don't have the time to go through it all in detail (I'll do that later because it really is interesting) but since I want to keep up to date on this site, here's a summary of the contents of the update...

  • One Elyrian Year is now seven days instead of four
  • Children are now present in the world from birth to death, living as NPCs until either you, a friend or a stranger you've given permission, chooses to take control of them.
  • A new screen is being added to character creation to allow you to select an NTC instead of a Ward or a Family
  • A new screen is being added to character creation to allow you to select a member of your dynasty as your next character
  • The family/dynasty view is being updated to allow you to lock children and grandchildren, as well as see the NPC code of any NPCs in your family which have not been locked by other family members
  • NPC marriage is being added to the game, along with mechanics to woo your chosen
  • If you take over a married NTC, you can lock their spouse, preventing them from being similarly taken over by a player
  • New mechanics are being added to player-to-player marriage to make them more valuable than player-NPC marriage
  • All characters you create will require some amount of story points, even if that's zero. The more famous/powerful the character you want to create/take control of, the more Story Points they'll require
  • Soulbound Studio have a new web designer on board and are cuyrrently reviewing job applications to fill the other posts 
  • We have our first view of the female model
You can read the detail on the original document over on Kickstarter.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Update 37 - Passion and Virtue...


Update 37 brings us news of an interesting business lunch and a redesigned Ursaphant. We also have the important and welcome news of the arrival of a new Web/UI Developer joining the team today (1st August). Soulbound Studio have posted their remaining positions on LinkedIn and are hoping to get those filled asap. See the original update on Kickstarter for further details on the jobs avaiable.
As for the heading (Passion and Virtue), read about that in the original post on Kickstarter...

Early Access

True to their word, Soulbound are sharing the latest video, to those who have a max IP of 3500 or higher, some time this week. This will be shared on the early access forum which was advertised as a Kickstarter reward at the $350 Tier and above, and grants those with Alpha 1 access exclusive Early Access to game content and least it will when that part of the forum goes live...


Caspian said he was pleased with the work done on design last week but has nothing to share yet, instead promising some 'really good' updates later in August. Stay tuned...

Oh yes, the redesigned Ursaphant...

Monday, 25 July 2016

Update 36 released (Plenty of eye candy... )

Future Updates

In the latest update, Caspian informs us of a change in the way the plans to deliver future updates: he's going to tell us what has been achieved since the last update rather than risk setting unrealistic expectations of what is going to done by a particular date. That's not to say the team is abandoning its impressive level of transparancy, those details will still be available on IRC and ni the developer forum (when it goes live).

Website/Store News

The website continues to go from strength to strength, gaining stability and usability across a wider range of polatforms with each release. The web store has been delayed for a number of reasons including the unwillingness to risk putting something as important as the store on a platform that still has a few issues. The lack of a web developer, at present, is making this a time consuming process.

Concept Art

We're treated to some more concept art, including a preview of an amazing wallpaper for kickstarter backers and some vidies showing how things dynamically age over time.

CoE Timescales

We find out more about time cycles and we now know the following:
  • Day: 75 minutes 
  • Dusk: 15 minutes 
  • Night: 45 minutes 
  • Dawn: 15 minutes
Remember though, these are average figures, the actual times vary slightly thoughout the week depending on various factors. I've glossed over this but a lot of thought went into deciding these timescales. If you're interested in the reasoning behind them, it would be a good idea to take a look at the original post.

There's a lot of detail regarding seasons and the reasons for making them work the way they do. Caspian touched on farming, travel, survival issues out in the wild, etc. The upshot of all this is that seasons now range from two to eight real life days in length instead of the original one day that was planned. There'll be no calandar, instead players will have to learn how to recognise the signs  leading to unusually short or long seasons.


We're treated to some videos showing various animations of pieces of armour and even some animals that will be in the came, including the canis rabbit and trison.

There's a lot of detail in that update (including the eye candy promised in the headline) which I've tried to summarise. The original post is on kickstarter.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Project Update 35

The latest update (35) has been released and it's a long one!

Website Issues / Retrospective

We found out the results of an investigation into why the website update took longer than expected:
1. I'm [Caspian] filling too many roles. My next priority has to be the hiring of new employees or we're going to encounter this problem again in the future.
2. My team rocks. In spite of the fact that we had only 25% of a website up on Friday, myself, my client dev, my web designer, graphic designer, and community manager jumped right in and put in extremely dedicated, extremely long hours to create a website with a rich set of features that takes many production companies months to create. And it took us a week! The new website has the backend and middle-tier support for more fine-tuned banning controls, forums, expanded moderator tools, expanded blog support, a CMS, ranks & roles, updated user account management, and a bunch more.
So while I know there's a lot of people out there critical of the fact it took us a few days to get a "simple website" up and running, I can assure you it was anything but simple and I'm extremely proud of the hard work my team put in. It's reassuring to know they'll do what must be done, when it's needed. The passion from my team knows no end.


We found out that staff are actually moving to Bellevue in order to be closer to the Soulbound office, that's a good sign and we also learned the size of the team: 25 people incliding a new web developer who, if they had started a month earlier could have probably got that website up and running much's all so easy with hindsight :)

Caspian takes us through a detailed description of the new site and explains why parts of it are still 'in development', specifically the game guide section:
We're going to use the Game Guide section of our website as a bit of a project board. That is, as we start developing or revisiting the design of different parts of the game, we'll continue to add, change, and even flesh out the different areas of the game guide with concept art, 3D models, etc. so you can track the progress of each of the game mechanics. In fact, we're even going to put some kind of visual indicator like a progress bar on each of the game mechanics pages so you can see exactly how far and in what stage of development each of the mechanics are. How's that for transparency!?
In the meantime, while we figure out how we want to represent progress, and what kind of UI we want for displaying concepts, etc. we've put up temporary "In Development" pages. Stay tuned for more cool stuff coming to the game guide.

Max Influence, IP, and Ranks

 There's a long explanation of the IP/ranking system; how the information is displayed, what it all means, how it's calculated, etc. I'm not even going to attempt to summarise that lot, it's probably better to go and take a look at the actual post. That said, here's a short quote:
In short, now that the Kickstarter is over, you should look at the border / title you have on the website, not what was listed on the Kickstarter. That is, you got the highest border you paid for on the Kickstarter, but its name will be changing to disassociate it from the Kickstarter Tiers. Likewise, as Borders/Ranks are a function of Max Influence, not reward tiers, you may find that people who paid above their backing tier have higher Max Influence, and thus have higher ranks/borders. That's simply because their Max Influence is higher.
If you don’t like seeing Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, etc. under your name, don’t worry. We’re working to come up with new titles, and hopefully the new titles will make it clear that they represent ranks of Max Influence, not which backing tier you purchased.

Design, Concept & Environment Art

The final section in the update tells us a little more of the work being done by the concept and environment artists in relation to settlements. They want to avoid the possibility of  half a dozen artist created settlements and a bunch of haphazard messy structures thrown together by players in a hurry when the game launches. Just quoting directly from the update because my brain hurts after all that IP stuff...
Even if we could hand-create every starting town, what would happen after the game launches? We'd inevitably have some really nice hand-created settlements by our designers, and then a bunch of thrown together settlements by the players. Not to say that players aren't capable of creating amazing settlements, but artist are artists.
So our end-goal should be to create game-play mechanics that encourage players to create settlements that look and feel as good as the settlements created by our designers and artists. For example, when you look at the concepts and screenshots of New Haven you'll often see barrels and other stuff lying around that gives the world a "used" feeling. If those are purely cosmetic, then there's no reason for players to place the barrels there. If it's purely cosmetic, then at best it would be a waste of resources to create barrels and leave them lying around.
So if this is the vision we're trying to create, if this is what we feel a town should look like, then there needs to be a reason for players to lay barrels around such as exists in our current settlements. This is the symbiotic process that is currently happening between our Art Director, Environment Artists, and Designers.

Click here if you want to read the entire post...

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Website and Forum Online

Great news! The CoE website and forum is back online, though we have slightly limited functionality at present. There's no store or private messaging as yet but that should all be available soon.

Friday, 8 July 2016

CoE Website Down for Maintenance on 8th July at 5pm PDT

Just in case you're wondering what's happened to the CoE website, it's down for maintenance. Actually, it's a bit more than maintenance, it's a change to a completely new back end (what Soulbound Studio are calling 'version 2.0') giving us substantially more functionality. It's taking a little longer to get online than anticipated. Watch this space for updates...

Latest update:
(10:49pm PDT): Ok folks! It's been a long weekend, but we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Aside from two remaining issues which we'll deal with tomorrow, the site is feature-complete with what we want to release for v2.0. The site will go live tomorrow [12th July].

Additional official updates on Soulbound Studio's Facebook page and you can join the chat on IRC to keep up to date.
Here's a preview of the new forum front page:

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

CoE Store Delayed

Latest news from the hard working staff over at Soulbound Studios is that, in order to continue their best practice of quality over quantity, they're delaying the release of their web store till the end of the week. Coinciding with the release of that store, will be the new website launch.

See Caeoltoiri's post in this thread for the official version of the above...

Here's a nice image from CoE to liven up this rather sparse blog entry and give us all something to look forward to :)

Monday, 27 June 2016

Update 34: Kingdoms, Chronicles, and ElyriaMUD

Kickstarter Phase Completed

In the latest update (dated 27th June 2016), Caspian confirmed transfer of funds from Kickstarter which enables Soulbound Studio to get the process of hiring additional staff under way.

Text Based Games (!)

We learned about a new offline single player pre-alpha 'experience' designed to test some of the client features. It will be made available to Alpha 1 backers and high influencers only and also serves as an introduction to the world and the story. The events in 'Prologue: The Awakening' are described as 'quite significant' and take place approximately five Elyrian years before the start of Exposition. At some point before Exposition, Soulbound will make the Prologue available for all backers to play.

Some time after v3.0 of the website, Soulbound intend to release a web-based portal that will allow players to play the Dance of Dynasties.
While we haven't set the full feature set yet, what we do know is it'll enable players to form and change alliances, declare wars, fight for shared resources, and even invest in research.
If that's not enough, an ElyriaMUD is on the cards that will allow the players to get involved with the roleplaying aspects of the game in a text based environment. Caspian assures us that this won't affect the release date of the game since the systems these tie into are being developed anyway.

Character Creation

Work has been continuing on improving the character creation tool and we have a couple of screenshots of work done so far.

It's changing from the original clunky tool with dropdown menu's and checkboxes to a wizard orientated system.

This is an early rendering of the new system and is still under initial development so it is, obviously, very much subject to change.

Character Art

We're treated to some more character art, this time showing us the meshes they've designed for some of the more complicated pieces of clothing. The CoE clothing system is layered with some pieces being able to be worn under others, that presents potential clipping problems and issues having to work out what should be visible or not.

In this early render, we can see how the system brings an enormous amount of flexibility into the clothing system.

Sleeve lengths can be different on each side of the character, peices of clothing can be completely hidden by outer clothing or partially visible depending on the outer piece.

In the 'production' stage, each item is made up of sections (i.e. sleeves, etc.) and each section can be individually cut and dyed or even made of completely different materials. This opens up a lot of possibilities, not only for protective clothing, but also for more decorative items.

We don't yet know exactly how mech flexibility players will have in designing their own clothing, presumably whatever is designed will have to fit within Soulbound's meshes but it looks as if there are exciting times ahead for budding tailors and role players.


Heres the closing quote from the update (read the entire document here).
The main takeaway from this update is that development is steadily moving forward. Systems that will be part of the Prologue but were previously put together as proofs of concept or “rope bridges” are now being polished and cleaned up in preparation for the offline demo.
Likewise, we continue to iterate to bring players the best, most immersive experience possible. And finally, pre-Alpha (alpha 1) will not be the first opportunity players have to experience or impact Elyria. With Kingdoms of Elyria and ElyriaMUD, Alpha 2+ backers and then perhaps more will have an opportunity to write the history of Elyria almost 100 years before, and leading up to, the beginning of the official game.
That’s all for this week. Also, as next week is the 4th of July weekend we’ll be taking the week off from updates. Look for our next Update the weekend of July 9th and 10th.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Project Trinity: Quality, Cost, Time... (and other interesting nuggets)


In the latest update, Caspian talks about some issues getting their web store running the way they want and advises of a new release date for the store of 5th July. He also issued a reminder that the store will run with the same packages that were on kickstarter from 5th July to 5th August.

Kickstarter haven't passed on the funds yet so Soulbound are unable to start hiring. They have, however, finished the collection of funds from backers and are expected to initiate the transfer of funds next week.


We learned that there are five religions in Elyria each of which have their own beliefs about the cosmology of the world. The Qindred are the first, and the Virtori are the second. The other three yet remain a bit of a secret. What we learn about the religions is 'in character', so it's basically what you'd expect followers to believe. Which religion is correct, if any, won't be revealed for quite some time.

Background Work

There's been a lot of background work going on getting their existing data ready for the new systems they'll be using. Lots of work on animations and Eddie Smith continues to work his way through the Qindred mythology in order to provide visualizations of the Qin.

CoE Lore

Here's some Lore taken directly from the document:
According to the Qindred, after Angelica granted sentience to Luna, the two of them were inseparable. Where Angelica went, so Luna followed, ever beside her. But as the eons passed by Angelica's needs began to change. Where once she needed a companion, now she needed something else, something more. She no longer wanted just a sister, she wanted a lover.

Rather than turning to her sister, as Luna perhaps would have preferred, Angelica once again reached out with her magic, creating a consort for herself from the very light that created the world. She named him Ao, and he became the Qin of Life.

Eventually, Angelica and Ao would have two children, twins named Terra and Oceanus. In time, the twins would set off to populate the world with land and seas.

Click here to read the original document on Kickstarter.

Friday, 17 June 2016

What we Know so far About Character Names

There are limitations on surnames, beyond the obvious ones like inappropriate words. What we know so far is summarised here:
  1. There can be a (single) space in the surname
  2. There can be a hyphen
  3. There can be one uppercase letter aside from the first letter of each word
Soulbound are planning to add some roleplay elements to the website which will allow people to start 'playing' their ingame characters ancestor(s) prior to launch. So, if you pledged at a level that allows you to reserve your surname, better get your thinking cap on :)

A direct quote from Caspian:
As for cultures, there are several, and Elyria isn't Earth. Don't expect there to always be a 1:1 correlation. If there's a surname you'd like to use, it's best to submit it in the survey or on the website at the appropriate time so we can start a conversation about it.

The thread where Caspian made this comment.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Post-Kickstarter Survey Information

Here's an update pulled straight from the CoE site (no apology for that, it's important news!):

Just wanted to provide a bit of a mid-week update on our progress toward the post-Kickstarter survey.
First, as I think we've mentioned elsewhere, here's the timeline:
  • June 3rd Kickstarter ends successfully
  • June 10th Kickstarter closes payment adjustment period
  • June 17th Kickstarter funding period complete - no more refunds allowed
  • June 20th-30th Kickstarter funds should arrive in our bank account
We're now waiting on 3 things before sending out the survey:
  • June 17th funding period completes
  • Integration of Kickstarter accounts into CoE accounts where a shared email address exists
  • Website rewards store launched
As you can see, we're approaching the post-Kickstarter survey a bit differently than many projects. We want the situation to be as seamless as possible, so we're going to first integrate any accounts where the same address is used on both Kickstarter and your CoE account. [1]
From there you'll have a few things still to do - answer other questions (custom surname, region preference for server, etc.) and choose any add-ons from the web store with your pledge credits. This would typically be handled by a survey from Kickstarter or BackerKit, but we're going to do it with a straight email and choices on your CoE account.
The website rewards store is getting much closer to completion. The team is hard at work on styles, back end support, and payment processing.
So, all of this will come together in the next week, providing you with the ability to both integrate your Kickstarter pledge with your CoE account, along with the ability to purchase a reward tier if you were waiting for PayPal or other payment options.
We'll email everyone once the store is launched on our site. Thanks for your patience as we dot our t's and cross our i's...err, let's just say it has been a long few days at the SBS offices.

[1] This is causing some concern for people who use different email accounts. I'd bet they'll have a way to change the email address when they send our their survey but if you're concerned about this, it might be worth contacting Soulbound Studios to clarify the situation. Questions have been asked on the support site, we're keeping an eye out for the answer.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Phydra's Great Youtube Video - Ramble: COE, SOTA, MMOs, and PvP/PvE!

Here's a great video talking about CoE, PvP/{PvE, etc. by Phydra, of the CoE community, in which Phydra goes on a ramble about what she sees in Chronicles of Elyria and why it has taken the #1 spot away from Shroud of the Avatar.... and.... other.... things.

Love those ear-rings, btw!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Update 32 now on Kickstarter: Look both ways before you cross...

A really long and interesting update on Kickstarter.
... before we dive into the details, I wanted to once again thank the entire community for supporting us. A week ago today, we made history. Out of the 301,000 projects funded on Kickstarter, we are the 115th highest backed project to date. Out of the 9,180 successfully funded video games on Kickstarter, we are the 24th highest funded.
 And here's a quote regarding expectations:
Unfortunately, as our outreach team is still relatively small compared to the scope of our project, moving forward we will virtually always have to prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to keeping the community updated.

With that in mind, we'll be transitioning from the roughly daily Kickstarter updates we had during the Kickstarter campaign to roughly weekly updates throughout the remainder of the project. In addition, I know there were questions about the best way to stay connected to our progress so I wanted to list some of the most important sources here in order of regularity, from least to most.
  • Newsletters: Monthly  
  • Media: Every few weeks
  • Kickstarter Updates/Design Journals: Weekly
  • WIPs/Comments/Thoughts: Every couple days
  • Forum Questions: Daily if possible
  • Chat: Daily if possible

Read the rest on Kickstarter.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Lack of Updates Following Successful Kickstarter

I've noticed a few people showing signs of nervousness over the sudden lack of updates following the successful Kickstarter campaign. It would be nice to be a fly on the wall at Soulbound's HQ but, lacking an in-house spy, we have to make a couple of assumptions.
  1. The flurry of updates during Kickstarter were a project management decision taken to keep the momentum up in order to ensure enough pledges to meet the target.
  2. Soulbound currently don't know exactly how much they'll make from the Kickstarter because all the pledges won't have been collected. Until KS hand over the funds, the studio is guessing.
If (1) is true, then it's probably a reasonable assumption that they'll have a few more key updates up their sleeves that they're holding on to until they can get their 'alternative' payment/pledge system in place. As of 9th June (when I'm writing this post), Soulbound Studio are waiting for signoff of their financial system by lawyers, etc. before they can bring it online.

As far as (2) goes, we know that Kickstarter can take anything from one to three weeks to transfer funds and pledger details - this depends on how quickly they can collect the pledges. Since Soulbound Studio wants to link the pledges with the players accounts, there's not a huge amount they can do until they get that information. We're currently less than one week from the end of a successfull Kickstarter, it's far to early to be getting worried.

While it's nice to get lots of updates and constant interaction with the community, I think we have to realise that all the time they're spending talking to us, they're not working on the game. At present, since they don't even know exactly how much money they'll get from Kickstarter and their followup campaign, it's unreasonable to expect them to be hiring and making big decisions that lead to exciting updates. My guess is that they'll just be quietly getting on with their respective tasks while waiting to see how much they end up with.

If you look at comments made from other Kickstarter campaigns, it's normal for developer updates to drop off markedly after the fund collection phase. That's when the developers knuckle down and resume work after all the KS excitement. It's also natural for the fans to get withdrawal symptoms but we do, at least, have a pretty good community active on the CoE forums and we can keep ourselves amused while the devs get on with their work.

If you're watching out for updates, a few key places you can do this are listed below. Others include the CoE forums and the various fansites and blogs, of course.
CoE Reddit
CoE Discord Channel (details in the thread)
IRC Chat (gives details of how to join the channel)

Caeoltoiri has created a stickied and locked thread on the official forum as a place to post updates. That's a good one to keep an eye on. Soubound have indicated that they are moving from a daily update (during the kickstarter campaign) to a weekly update with the first one due on the kickstarter site on 10th June.

In summary:

Chronicles of Elyria #5: Skills For Skills! (Youtube video posted by Frithgar)

Here's a great little video from Frithgar. It was published back in November 2015 but is well presented, still very relevant and has some really useful information. Great both as a refresher and as something to keep your spirits up while waiting for the devs to build the game!

Published on 12 Nov 2015
In this episode I'm taking a look at how the skills in Elyria require actual player skills to develop. The mad queen makes a brief visit and there is even talk of game fights and guitars!

Monday, 6 June 2016

Limited Resources in Chronicles of Elyria

Interestingly, Chronicles of Elyria is going to be an unusual MMO in that resources are limited; once they're gone, they're gone. This applies to pretty much everything that is collectible, even hunted animals.

What this means in practice, is that players will have to carefully manage the resources around them. Hunt the local wildlife too heavily and there's a risk of wiping it out leaving people hungry. Work the nearby mine to the last fragment of ore and the town depending on it may have to move. This is in marked contrast to other MMO's where animals magically pop back into the world a few seconds after defeat and ore nodes reappear in the same spot over and over.

Utlising SpacialOS, not only do the player's characters breed, age and die but so do the computer controlled characters around them, including the animals they hunt and the plants and trees they rely on for crops and wood for building, crafting and cooking.

The possibility of running out of resources in an area creates an interesting quandry for the players. Do they go cap in hand to their resource rich neighbour and try to strike a deal or do they go in mob handed and try to take what they want, risking war? It's going to be really interesting seeing how all of this plays out.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Post Kickstarter Options

Post Kickstarter, as the elation subsides, we remind ourselves that there's a long way to go before Chronicles of Elyria becomes a reality. The community has done it's bit, for now, and secured the funding requested by the studio to alow the game to be worked on for the foreseeable future.

The funding stage is not over yet though. If you missed the Kickstarter or were not able to use a payment method acceptable to that site but would still like to get involved in securing funding for this new MMO, you'll get a chance very soon. Soulbound Studios are working on a 'shop' on their site which will allow people to buy into the game with the same tiers that existed on Kickstarter (minus the earlybird tiers) for a period of 30 days. After that, the tiers will be changed.

We don't yet have a date for the opening of this alternative payment option. It appears that most of the work has been done but Soulbound are awaiting sign off by the legal team before they can bring it online. Watch this space...

Friday, 3 June 2016

Kickstarter Completed - Chronicles of Elyria Successfully Funded

On a day that could prove to be the turning point for the MMORPG industry, startup indie group Soulbound Studios, successfully completed another major step in getting their new MMO Chronicles of Elyria off the drawing board and into the world's living rooms.

The Kickstarter Campaign, with a relatively modest $900,000 goal completed successfully with well over 10,000 backers and, as a result, we're one step closer to realising our dream MMO.

Hopefully other studios will take notice of what Soulbound Studios are doing and realise there are people out here who want this sort of game and are willing to dig into their pockets to support the developers. This can only be a good thing for MMO development in the future.

A toast to a visionary, Jeromy Walsh and his band of merry developers, without whom we'd all still be floundering in a sea of banality...

Second Stretch Goal Reached

When I crawled out of bed this morning, the first thing I did was turn my PC on to see how the Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter was doing. I found that we'd passed the amount required for the second stretch goal. That means we get Wards of the State at launch...more importantly for CoE though, it means an additional programmer on the team. This is excellent news.

If you want to support CoE via the kickstarter, time's growing short. The campaign ends in about 12 hours (from the time of this post) but Soulbound Studios have confirmed they're working on a 'shop' on their site that will allow people to continue to contribute to the project with the same rewards as the Kickstarter for an additional 30 days, using different payment methods. After that period the rewards will change. Please note, we don't have a start date for the 'additional payments system', it's not guaranteed to start immediately after the end of Kickstarter.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

World Interaction Technical Preview

Here's an interesting (pre-alpha) video showing a thief at work in Chronicles of Elyria.

SpacialOS Answers the Fundamental Question...

Shamelessly copied from CoE's Kickstarter page...
This partnership [with Improbable] answers the fundamental question, "How are you going to build a world this large, with a hundred thousands players, and all these never-before-seen features?!" The answer is SpacialOS.
SpatialOS will act as the fabric that our game is built on. It's the server technology that will allow us to support millions of entities in the world. Built first and foremost as a scalable, distributed operating system for games, SpatialOS means we don't have to spend time developing the things that generally take the most time when building a new MMO.
We don't have to worry about networking on the server, load balancing all the entities in the world, replication of entities across multiple server nodes, cross-process communication, collision detection of millions of entities, etc. In short, we don't have to worry about developing any of the technology that makes an MMO, an MMO.
Instead, we get to focus all of our resources on developing the game mechanics that makes Chronicles of Elyria truly unique.

That actually helps to answer one of the main questions people have been asking on various forums about Soulbound Studios: How can they build an MMO in such a short time and with such a small budget?
Well, there's the not having to reinvent the wheel.

If you're interested in the techie stufff, take a look at Improbable's Youtube Channel.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Soulbound Studios and Improbable Announce Partnership

Soulbound Studios and tech start-up Improbable have announced a partnership agreement to utilise SpacialOS for Chronicles of Elyria. It uses a distributed operating system where thousands of servers in the cloud enable simulations to run concurrently, enabling up to a hundred thousand players to exist on just one game world, one of the largest in gaming today.
"Instead of using the time and resources normally allocated for creating core server features, Soulbound Studios, relying on SpatialOS, can instead focus on bringing players the innovative gameplay mechanics that won Chronicles of Elyria the “Best Indie MMO” Award from MMO Games when it debuted at PAX East. Using SpatialOS to underpin the game’s engine will allow many more players to interact in a persistent, developing world where choices can have lasting consequences."
SpatialOS is an operating system that enables developers to create worlds that continue to simulate entities such animals and characters (player and npc) even when players are physically logged off. It also enables the creation of much larger worlds than is normally possible thanks to its method of distributing the processing power across multiple servers via the cloud.

Here's a quote from Soulbound Studios:
"People have been asking us how we plan to get a hundred thousand players spread across the largest geographic area in a video game to date - this is it," said Soulbound CEO Jeromy Walsh. "With the help of SpatialOS, we can do it faster than most people think possible, and with a smaller team. We've been talking with the folks at Improbable for nearly six months now, evaluating the platform, speaking with their CEO and team, and experiencing first-hand how committed Improbable are to helping make Chronicles of Elyria a success.”
More details here.

About Improbable

Headquartered in London, Improbable is a technology company dedicated to solving the toughest problems in computation and in reality, by allowing developers to build and understand complex worlds and simulations. The Company’s proprietary platform SpatialOS is now available for development teams of all sizes to sign up. Founded in 2012, Improbable received $20m in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz in March 2015.

About Soulbound Studios

Founded in 2015 by industry veterans Jeromy Walsh (Microsoft, Pandemic Studios, Liquid Entertainment) and Eddie Smith (Microsoft, DeNA, Sony Online Entertainment, Bungie), Soulbound Studios is a growing team of talented game developers that have banded together to create something truly inspiring. By challenging what it means to be fun, re-imagining what is possible, and re-defining "immersive", Soulbound Studios aims to create games unlike anything ever seen before. Chronicles of Elyria, Soulbound Studios’ first game, is scheduled for release in late 2017.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Only three days left to back the Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter Campaign

Only three days left to back the Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter Campaign. You know you want to be part of this :)

From the CoE website:
The most dynamic and immersive MMO to date, Chronicles of Elyria is the first MMORPG where your character ages and dies, encouraging you to think beyond your character to their role in a larger story.

Fearless in its design, it embraces a character's ability to impact other characters. A closed economy, finite resources, non-repeatable quests, and a fully destructible environment means the world is experienced differently for every character. Each time you log in there is something for you to participate in. Local, regional, and national conflicts are continuously unfolding, giving birth to repeated opportunities for you to change the course of history.

Enter the world as a member of a player-run family, then work your way up from a humble adventurer to a landed vassal, develop your dynasty, and work your way to King. Not interested in running a kingdom? The fully skill-based system and lack of classes means you're rewarded with the ability to create the exact character you want to.

Will you follow a path of virtue... or something darker?

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Kickstarter Pledge Calculator and Additional Info

A community member, Zazulu, has put together a great little google spreadsheet showing the IP requirements for your sprawling manor house and associated buildings, or your townhouse, or whatever else you want. If you use google, you can make a copy of the sheet and play around with the numbers of buildings, etc. and see how much your dream home is going to cost.

Take a look at his thread on the official CoE forum for more details.

Kickstarter Update 26: Reddit AMA and Steam Greenlight News

A few quotes from Lindsey Walsh. Head on over to the Kickstarter Update Page to read the whole message.

We also were notified today that CoE has been Greenlit on Steam. We had no idea it would happen that fast, but apparently when you gather 8,181 'Yes' votes in a week, Valve takes notice. Thanks to everyone who voted and added CoE as a favorite. 

The AMA today provided us valuable insight into what questions people have and what information is important to them. So Jeromy is preparing one of his longer updates which will talk about the things we're doing to help ensure CoE's success, and what his plan is for development going forward. 

Finally, as we mentioned in several of the AMA posts, we're going to have a big announcement by mid-week next week. So stay tuned for that!
Read the update on Kickstarter.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) Q&A Compilation

A nice compilation of the questions answered by Soulbound Studios on their Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) - still in progress at this time and Soulbound Studios have promised to keep answering the posted questions over the weekend.

Reddit AMA

Here's a reminder. Soulbound Studios will be hosting a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Friday May 27th at 9am PDT/noon EDT.  (Note: The actual thread on /r/iAmA won't go live until 15 minutes before the start.) This will be a great opportunity to ask the team any questions and should provide some really interesting information about the game and its development.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Update 25: More Things to Buy with Influence Points

The latest update talks about Influence Points and the prices/sizes of the buildings you can buy with them.

Go to the Kickstarter update to see the rest of the document.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Soulbound Studios to host a Reddit AMA on Friday May 27th at 9am PDT/noon EDT

From the latest Kickstarter Update:
In the goal of continuing transparency and community involvement (or as my kids would say, following the Golden Rule), we'll be hosting a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Friday May 27th at 9am PDT/noon EDT.  (Note: The actual thread on /r/iAmA won't go live until 15 minutes before we start.)
They've also set up a Thunderclap to remind people that the end of the Kickstarter project is coming!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Kickstarter update 23: Commercial buildings IP table available, plus additional details...

Here's an update that I've been waiting for. All about commercial buildings, more information on the IP table and a conifer rat...yes, you read that right, a Conifer Rat! I'm really interested in the buildings because I plan to run a tavern ingame and it will be expanding!

Details over on the kickstarter page, as always. But here's Ratty...

Caspian Answers a Critic on the Official Forum

Some really interesting information here from Caspian on the official forum. I decided to post it in its entirety since it's buried deep within a long drawn out thread (on page 5 if you want to go and read it).

Hey all,

I saw the amount of attention this post was getting and so thought I should respond. Let me take things in parts since it's a large post.

I love the idea of CoE and backed it on Kickstarter for a decent amount, but after REALLY studying it I'm now convinced that it is another project that is not ready for crowd funding and the developers are not being fully transparent.
Noted. Here's the thing. Funding in most startups happens in phases. There's the "idea phase", "friends and family phase", "seed phase", and then the various series... series A, series B. etc. In each phase there's an expectation that deliverables will come from the investment money. In the Idea Phase and Friends and Family, the output is generally conceptual documents, illustrations, theoretical calculations, prototypes, etc. It's enough to approach the seed round (which is generally angel investors) with enough information that investors can look at what's provided and go "Yep. I can see how this would work. I'd be willing to invest in it."

In our case, as with many other game companies recently, we've gone the route of crowdfunding for our seed funding. However, we also put a significant amount of our personal money into the "idea phase", so that we'd approach the seed round with significantly more evidence than most MMORPGs have come to the seed round with. We've got hundreds of models, dozens of animations, a working combat demo, videos of systems we're working on, etc... All of which is more than most other MMOs have come to crowdfunding with. So are we ready for crowdfunding/seed round? Yes.

As for us being fully transparent, I'm not sure what we've not be transparent about.

The screenshots on their website are staged. There is even a robot in one of them.
It's not staged. We showed video of us running around on that map to dozens of people. Also, the very fact it has a robot on the map should be evidence that it's not staged. That was taken by one of our artists who didn't have the character model. He took the screenshot with the built-in UE character actor. But, in case you don't believe me, here ya go. Walking Video

I also see a lot of purchasable assets in many of the screenshots.
Yes. It's how we're able to get so much done in such a short period of time. With only two character artists and one environment artist, it's unreasonable to assume we could produce the same volume as a larger team. But this isn't a bad thing. It's an example of things we're doing to ensure we deliver on time, and within budget. We don't waste time making assets when there are already high-quality versions available on the web for use. We instead focus our resources on areas that are specific to CoE, or when there aren't adequate versions available. Things like our Canis Rabbit, our Trison, and Ursaphant. Things like our armor and clothing. Do we buy furniture and material packs? Sure.

It is logical to assume if you have so much developed that you can produce the number and quality of screenshots they have, you would have at least a few videos, especially when you're asking for almost a million dollars.

We have videos on YouTube. We've also got near 20 hours of video recorded of us walking around in the world. The thing is, it isn't interesting yet. Because we've got a limited number of hair/clothing models, and the female is modeled but not animated, there's no NPCs populating the world. Could we throw in 100 copies of the same male? Yes. But we haven't because it doesn't serve to demonstrate anything beyond the fact the world exists.

There is mention of "investors" waiting in the wings. I've seen this before and in one case it turned out to be a complete lie and was only used to build confidence in their audience. I'm not implying SBS is lying but more details about this investment offer should be made available.
You actually are implying that we're lying. The investor (not plural), is a friend of the family and has agreed to put up the other $0.5M in friends/family funding once the KS is successful. That's it. There's no other investors. We haven't claimed there are. If you read somewhere that there were other investors lined up, then you (or the source) misinterpreted something. We're in seed round, not series A. That'll come later.

They don't need to name names but if I were donating I would want to know if the investors were going to become partners, have a say at their board meetings, what capacity they will serve SBS and so on.
They will become shareholders. They are silent partners.

The stated timeline of end of 2017 for FULL RELASE is not a realistic one. Not even close.
Noted. I'm curious, however, what you're basing that on? Is it based on your development experience? Your insider knowledge into what business deals we've been working on? Have you peeked at our Gantt chart? Maybe you feel like using purchased assets from the Unreal Marketplace won't speed up development? Could it be you know that our choice of programming language for the server will slow down development? Anything? You got anything to substantiate your claim?

Here's the thing. You complain about us being transparent, but it's easy to sit where you are and say we're not going to make it. If you're wrong, great. You were wrong, and you get the game on-time. If you're right, then nobody is going to be hurt more by it than us. Either way, you're sitting in a nice comfortable spot. Recognize it's easy to make statements from the comfort of your position.

They also have a lot more money to put towards their development and have industry veterans at the helm.
We will be raising more money. And we also have industry veterans at the helm. More than that though, we've got people who've worked in and outside of the industry. We've learned some things about good software development while not in the industry.

I just read in another thread by a fan how SBS is saving time by not having to code thousands of quests and the land is procedurally generated. That procedural generation still has to be coded to the specifics of their design document. Do you think the Soulbound engine they are building will be trivial? From what I've read, that alone could take many man months just to get it to its first iteration.
You are not wrong. But engineering months are different than content months. Higher initial cost, for lower long-term cost.

"Costs include the purchase of art assets, engineering fees, development tools, game engine licensing, server hardware, and marketing fees." Nowhere in there do I see costs for salaries but in their video we see them all in the same, barely decorated office. Is Jeromy and Eddie actually paying salaries?
At the time that was written, we in fact had only one contractor. Engineering fees were the cost for our single Engineer at the time. He was the only "fee" being paid. Now I pay 15 salaries. The reason the room is barely decorated is because we spend our money on salaries, not decorations.

I could be wrong but I suspect they were all flown to a location specifically to record the video and make it look like they work next to each other.
You are definitely wrong. Myself, Nathan, Eddie, Van, Brandon, Mark, Jason, Lindsey, and Miguel all work on-site, in the poorly decorated office. Where we collaborate, work late, and have NERF wars. The only people flown in where Dean and Heather. They were flown in because it was the week of our PAX demo, and we wanted our engineer on site to help with last-minute PAX stuff. And Heather was on-site both for PAX as well, as part of the outreach team, to help with the Kickstarter.

How was the $500K self-funding spent? Again, no videos that I could find.
You didn't look very hard. CoE on YouTube

As for where the money went, try the building you don't believe we lease, or the 15 employees you don't believe we pay. Or the mocap software, Maya licenses, MSDN licenses, Adobe CC licenses, the store-bought assets you criticized us for buying.

My last concern is that the numbers don't add up. SBS asked for $900K and said that would get them to full release in 2017
We've repeatedly said that's not the case. We've said $900k is all we need from Kickstarter. We have every intention of going for a Series A round of funding in the spring, and will use the next round of funding to get the game out the door. The seed round of funding, is, as stated, to get to a fully working game that can be shown to VCs.

They have 16 team members. Clearly they will be able to pay concept artists and even enviro modelers a smaller wage, but animators and character modelers come with a decent price tag.
Do you know what that price tag is? Because I do. I also know that we offer the team members stock options/equity in exchange for working on the lower end of the salary range. It encourages them do to their best work because they have a stake in the company, and it lowers our out-of-pocket, up-front costs.

Add in server and bandwidth costs during testing, marketing budgets to push the launch, licensing and upgrade fees, tradeshow expenses, employee turn-over and every other bump they will hit and it all adds up to 18 months is not long enough for all they need to develop, but they won't have enough money to last more than 18 months if even that long.
You are correct. This is the difference between the seed round and the series A. The seed round gets us to Alpha/feature complete, but to get into Beta and beyond requires a Series A.

I've lost thousands on projects like this because I fall into the hype only to see them end up locking their doors or getting a product that was nothing like what was promised.
As a last bit of advice, you may consider that a large percentage of a studios' time is spent answering unsubstantiated threads like this instead of working on the game itself. Literally, the 30 minutes I spent answering this thread was time not spent doing more important things. But when the community "demands a response," what choice do we have? If it were up to us, there would be less pointless accusations designed solely to insight controversy, so that we could spend the time developing the game.

@Caspian (6:46 PM - Mon May 23 2016)

Monday, 23 May 2016

Kickstarter Update 22: The CoE FAQ Edition

In the latest update, a number of frequently asked questions were answered. Topics include:
  • Kickstarter Topics
    • Adjusting/upgrading pledges
    •  Paypal options post kickstarter
    • Addons
    • Trading titles for IP
  • Game Topics
    • Magic
    •  Inheritance
    • PvP vs PvE
    • Custom Surames
    • Character Races
  • Other Questions
 Pop over to the Kickstarter Updates page to take a look. Also bear in mind that a lot of these questions (and many others) have been answered repeatedly on the official forum so it's worth taking a look there as well.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Post Kickstarter Funding

Here's an interesting snippet of information regarding financial backing for Chronicles of Elyria:

You will have the ability to upgrade your Kickstarter pledge when you back on our site.
We'll have PayPal backing for the first 30 days after Kickstarter, using the same tiers as KS to give our European backers the ability to get in on the original tiers. After that we'll change the tiers to a second iteration with different values and amounts. At that point if you upgrade it will be toward the existing tiers, not the original tiers, so you should keep that in mind.
The post is on this thread.

Update 21: Glowing Pinecones Achieved + Wards Stretch Goal Unlocked

Here's the usual enciting snippet from the latest Kickstarter update:
Just wanted to take some time this weekend to thank everyone for the continued support as we've now surpassed Stretch Goal #1. This means those of you at the Patron ($50+) tier or above will start the game with the seeds of Angelica's tear (or glowing pinecones, as they are now affectionately called), but more importantly it will also let us hire a new environment artist for the team. 
So now it is time to focus on the next Stretch Goal: Wards of the State. But what is a Ward anyway? 
Click here to read the rest of the article on Kickstarter.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Chronicles of Elyria: DM21 Exclusive Interview with Jeromy Walsh

Interesting chat with Jeromy Walsh of Soulbound Studios, talking about the way he plans to play his game. Gives us some insights into the way Chronicles of Elyria could play out and discusses the allocation of land early on, nobility and heirs.
Caspian explains why the kickstarter stretch goals are important and talks about Elyrian lore and also touches on the pheonix pet, continents, ocean travel and how NPC's can start unusual quests for players.

Kickstater Update 20: The Dance of Dynasties has already begun...

A couple of interest points from update 20:
The Elyria Herald, a fan run RP-heavy newspaper by in-character journalist Bradford J. Wilshire, has "interviewed" the Kings and Queens as well as the self-proclaimed nobility in an article titled, "The Kings and Queens Begin Their Reign." Master Wilshire states, "In my most recent journey across the kingdoms, I was able to speak to many of the monarchs and discuss their roots & aspirations."
That rich, immersive story that encourages players to make the world a part of them, to take it with them wherever they go is precisely why I created CoE. To re-create that feeling you have after reading an epic fantasy novel when you're simultaneously warmed by having experienced another world and lonely from having to step outside of it. But, where a novel ultimately comes to an end, the Chronicles of Elyria don't have to. The story can keep on being told.

Aside from that, another important bit for today is to point out that we're just $12k away from getting another Environment Artist through stretch goals. So make sure you're spreading the world!
Each environment artist we bring on has the potential to make the world that much richer. 
Read the rest of the article on Kickstarter.

And here's something unexpected!