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. http://chroniclesofelyria.com/media#image-15
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!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Kickstarter has passed the million dollar mark :)

Congratulations are in order to Soulbound Studios who's Kickstarter Campaign for Chronicles of Elyria passed the million dollar mark today. Some more concept art has been released to whet our appetites (not that they need whetting in most cases!)

And for those who like to have a cat by their side...

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Kingdom & Land Management Design Journal

Kickstarter update 18 the Kingdom & Land Management Design Journal is the largest design journal to date and answers a lot of the questions I had about the role of the gentry, etc. It's a must read if you're planning on owning land and/or progressing up the nobility tree.

Here's the usual quote from the document:
At long last! I know many of you have been waiting for the design journal on Kingdom and Land Management. Coming it at 9 pages and over 4,000 words, it's the largest design journal to date!
Hopefully it answers most of your questions regarding the roles and responsibility of the nobility, how one becomes a landed gentry, and how one builds up from a tiny, little hamlet to a thriving city as a member of the aristocracy.
Click here to read more on Kickstarter

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Project Update #17: On our way to stretch goal #1!

Jeromy Walsh's 17th Update on the Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter Project.
The Soulbound Studios team is still in awe from the success of the project thus far. We hit our Kickstarter goal over the weekend, so coming in to work today was a great time for the team to celebrate this huge milestone. 
This, however, is the point in a Kickstarter campaign where funding tends to level off in the middle stretch. While this is very typical, we're not a typical game. We, and you, are set to make waves in the MMO industry. So, let's work together now to take the storm up a notch.
He talks about:
  • Technology & Research
  • Identity, Disguises & Reputation
  • Maps, Cartography & Navigation  

Read the rest of the update.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Caspian REACTS to Chronicles of Elyria's successful kickstarter!

BicycleWalrus talks with Jeromy Walsh about the future of CoE.

Stretch Goals Explained (KickstarterUpdate 16)

Kickstarter update 16, posted by Jeromy Walsh is now available. After taking a full day to analyze the players' poll and compare the results against development costs, Soulbound Studios have come up with what they believe is the most logical, most rewarding set of stretch goals possible.

It's a long document so here's the link if you want to take a look. It's an interesting insight into the way the developers have to weigh up costs, etc.

In summary though, here's the list of stretch goals:
  • ($1,050,000) Reward: Seeds of Angelica's Tear
  • ($1,300,000) Feature: Wards 
  • ($1,350,000) Reward: Religious Statues 
  • ($1,500,000) Feature: Gambling / Gaming 
  • ($1,650,000) Reward: Backer Exclusive Pet/Mount Breed & Customization 
  • ($1,750,000) Feature: Tunneling 
  • ($1,800,000) Reward: Pheonix Pet 
  • ($2,000,000) Feature: Digging / Burying / Sensory Map 
  • ($2,100,000) Reward: Mac/Linux/VR Support 
  • ($2,250,000) Feature: Mounted Combat 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Stretch Goal Poll - Results are in!

Following the short poll where Soulbound Studios decided to let the backers have a say in which stretch goals would be implemented first, we now have the results. There's a lot of data and information there so I'll just quickly summarise the results and point you to Caspian's post on Kickstarter which has the basic details.

  1. Tunnelling had the strongest vote by far.
  2. Mounted Combat, Natural Disasters, Heirlooms, and Digging/Burying/Containers.
  3. Gaming/Gambling.
  4. Wards of the State. 

Some of those options in second place have wildly different requirements in terms of staff required to make them happen so it's something that the developers will have to look at closely. We'll have to wait, no doubt with bated breath, to see exactly what stretch goals they come up with.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Chronicles of Elyria - Still Wavering?

A major milestone in securing funding has been reached with plenty of time to spare. Now we set our eyes on those stretch goals. With that in mind, I wrote an article on mmorpg.com for those who might still be wavering about supporting the project.

If you're still in two minds about it, just take a look at this piece of concept art :)

We did it! Chronicles of Elyria is 100% Funded!

Quoted directly from Kickstarter Update 13, because it deserves to be splashed about all over the internet :)

You did it! With your help... all of you, we managed to reach our funding goal! We're super excited by what this means. It means our efforts up to this point were not in vain. It means our vision for Elyria is shared by over 7,000 other players and we're headed in the right direction.
You've voted for this game through your support, and we won't let you down. We will continue to drive development forward with the seed funding you're providing and will not stop until the game meets our high standard of quality.
We recognize that in a world of funding fatigue, failed Kickstarter projects, and startup indy studios attempting the impossible, you've taken a risk in supporting us. It means the world to us - to me, that we have your support and your trust. As we navigate the murky waters of business, development, distribution, etc. we will do everything in our power to maintain our transparency and uphold our honesty policy. Because that's the kind of company we are, and that's how we'd want to be treated in your shoes.
The game would not be possible without your support, and we won't forget that. You've made our, my, dream a reality. In just a few short weeks after the Kickstarter ends we'll receive the pledges you've provided to us. Then it'll be our turn to bring your dream of a dynamic, immersive world to life. And we can't wait to write our stories right along side yours.
As we look past the $900k, there's still plenty of cool features that can be added, and plenty of opportunities to go above and beyond the $900k. A project of this size unquestionably comes with risks and uncertainty, and while we've done our best to account for those, they are by nature, unexpected. So while we've met our minimum goal, we look to you now to help us go above and beyond, so we can bring you the best experience possible.
We will post our stretch goals tomorrow, however, in all the excitement and anticipation we've gone and stayed up until 3am and it's time for sleep. :-)
Thank you again for your continued support. Now that we've proven there's passion in this project, let's show the world how high we can really go in the next 20 days.
With much love and gratitude,
Jeromy Walsh

900k Goal Hit!

At 10:45 on 14th May 2016, The CoE Kickstarter hit the 900k target line :)
We're rocking!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Kickstarter Update 12 - Post-Launch Features & Stretch Goals

Post-Launch Features & Stretch Goals

The latest update talks of stretch goals, the features that were cut to allow the building of the game within the financial constraints and mentions that we'll soon get to vote on which features we get added to the stretch goals list.
When we first made our Kickstarter Announcement at the beginning of March we let people know that the $900k asking price was not arbitrary. We came about that number by taking all the features we had planned for CoE and bringing them before a panel of about a dozen or so community members. We asked them to help us select the features we could cut from launch relatively easily, without changing the overall spirit of the game, and which features we could cut from launch if we absolutely had to.

From the list of remaining features we calculated the engineering costs and art costs and came up with the $900k. It had been our plan all along to take any money we raised above and beyond our funding goal and use it toward helping us get those features back in for launch. However, after talking with the community we've decided to take only those features which are most anticipated by the community, and re-introduce them, saving the rest for addition at a later date.

This allows us to take some money and put it toward extended features, while taking the rest and using it toward taking the features we already have and ensuring they're of the highest quality. In exchange, we'll be offering additional rewards at a few of the tiers to increase the overall value of supporting us.
Click here to read the rest of the article.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Chronicles of Elyria now part of Steam's Greenlight Program

In a move that surprised the fanbase, Soulbound Studios today announced they're submitted to Steam's Greenlight Program.

To set people's mind at rest, here's a comment from Soulbound Studios on Kickstarter.
First, no, we are not at ALL committed to selling on Steam, and if we do, not for Beta/Alpha. We view that period as for true game testing, not casual gamers who want to play something only to complain that it's not fun/stable/good. We also share your concern about casual Steam players, and will definitely take that into consideration when discussing a potential (and by no means certain) Steam release. We also have to consider the fact that Steam takes a percentage of profits, which we're not too keen about. So lots to think about there.
Second, this is really about publicity for the Kickstarter project, to get more eyeballs to the page and help us toward our goal. So if you'd like to help us out there, this gives you another avenue. If not, feel free to skip.

Kickstarter has just hit 90% of its goal with 22 days left

Continuing it's quite remarkable progress, Chronicles of Elyria's Kickstarter has just hit 90% of its goal with 22 days left. Lets keep the momentum up :)

Further clarification on Kickstarter options

Quoted directly from the official forum over at chroniclesofelyria.com

There are a few other things on the charts which are causing a little confusion mainly when comparing this FAQ answer to the chart:

"Q: Which reward items stack vs. upgrade? Mounts, cloaks, titles, packs, design experiences? Do I get all previous items or just my tier level?

A: Titles, cloaks, and packs all stack - You get your tier’s item and each previous. This means that if you back at the $500 Count tier, you’d not only get the Count’s title & cloak, but also the Baron’s title and cloak. You can either keep this for yourself or appoint a friend as your Baron. Keep in mind that they won’t have the same level of IP, so they may be at a disadvantage in that role.
Most mounts also stack (you get your tier's mount plus earlier tier's mounts) - the exception being the Ursaphant which is upgraded to the War Trison."

Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter Update (10)

Jeromy Walsh, in this latest Kickstarter update, gives us exciting news of an updated tier. See the brief quote, below, taken from the update.

I've got some exciting news! We've been looking at the $5,000 "Chimera" tier which gives people the opportunity to design a creature in the world and noticed the number of backers at that tier is relatively low. In fact, it's zero.
While zero is a nice round number, we can do better. We'd been thinking about a way to get that number up when I believe a member of the community made a suggestion. Shortly after the suggestion was relayed to me and I got together with the designers and we came to a conclusion. We're going to offer an alternate Design Experience for the $5,000 tier. You can either design a creature - or a combat style!

The Kickstarter itself is going really well. Over 85% of the way to the target after barely a week has passed. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Kickstarter Update 9 - One Week in

Today marks the end of week #1 of our Kickstarter campaign, and what an amazing week it's been! Today, before the clock struck noon we'd achieved 80% of our funding goal of $900k. 80% in one week!

I can tell you that nobody here expected that kind of response. We believed deep down that we were making a game that others wanted to play, and hoped against reason that we'd get fully funded, but never did we expect to get 80% in the first week. Thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Also a couple of cutesy bits of concept art for the Beastmaster skill line...

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Permadeath in Chronicles of Elyria

I wrote an article on mmorpg.com a while ago about permadeath in Chronicles of Elyria but it seems that some people are still finding it hard to imagine how permanent character death in an MMO could work. I've decided to copy that article here so that more people might see it and, hopefully, find it useful.

Update 8 from the CoE Kickstarter Project

A couple of quotes from the project:
The Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter continues to be a success. Today we passed 75% of our funding goal and will more than likely hit 80% by the time the devs wake in the morning. You know what that means! It's time to start talking stretch goals.

While we did have some features which had already been planned for CoE, such as Wards and Mounted Combat, we had to remove them in order to fit the "minimally viable game" into $900k. So our first priority for the stretch goals is to get those features back into the master plan.
Read more about the project.

Also, revealed in the update (but leaked by Caspian himself in the Q&A session just before the update was released) is something that would send shivers down my spine if I saw it charging at me...

A War Trison:
Isn't that something!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Soulbound Studios live Q&A with DM21 Gaming - May 9th at 4pm PDT / 7pm EDT / 12am BST.

Quick update. Pre-Kickstarter it was common for Soulbound Studios to be a guest on DM21 Gaming's YouTube channel for live Q&A's. We will once again be a guest on their channel today, May 9th at 4pm PDT / 7pm EDT / 12am BST.

If you have questions you'd like asked during today's Q&A head over to the CoE forums and post your questions. Please read over the rules, make sure your question(s) haven't already been asked, and upvote those questions you'd like answers to.

The Q&A Question thread can be found here: May 9th Q&A Stream - Ask Questions Here

The Live Stream will be on this YouTube channel: https://gaming.youtube.com/c/DM21Gaming/live

73% of the way to the goal at the start of day 6

Every now and then something completely new pokes its head above the parapet. Sometimes people shoot at it, the idea dies away and that’s the end of the story. Occasionally, however, the idea is too strong to go away and just keeps growing until it becomes impervious to the attacks. At that point, others start to take notice and the idea becomes a physical thing, a reality.

Chronicles of Elyria, now on Kickstarter, is at that point. People are getting excited, and they should. This game, while very ambitious with its goals, promises to be a breath of fresh air (yes, I’ve said that before about CoE and no doubt I’ll say it again) and is, for a lot of us, the game we’ve spent years looking for.

Imagine a true sandbox MMO in which there are no NPC's with question marks over their heads. No endless quests to 'go kill ten rats'. An MMO where the actions of the players have some meaning, to the extent of completely changing the game world and where the players hold all the tiers from monarchy down to the lowliest peasant. A game where every character has a place, defined by the person playing it. A game of politics and strife where the concept of a family is important with parents passing down genetic information to their offspring, leaving their wealth, etc. to their children. Well, it’s here at last. 

Chronicles of Elyria is doing well on Kickstarter (73% of the way to the goal at the start of day 6) but there's still some way to go - will you help us realise a dream? :)

Chronicles of Elyria - Akashic Records Lore

Just realised there's not much in the way or CoE lore on this blog so here's a tidbit for you, from Youtube.

An introduction you to the Akashic Records, The Ancients, The Virtorians, The Awakening, and a very special narrator.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

600k pledged in just a few days!

The Kickstarter campaign is going really well with over 600k pledged in just a few days.  At this rate, there's a very good chance that we'll have a great new MMO in a year (or two!).

Here's someone who shares our excitement for the game :)

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Compilation of Dev Q&A on Kickstarter Comments

Bremnah, a member of our great community over on the Chronicles of Elyria site, put together a list of questions and (official) answers from the Kickstarter page. It's well worth a look if you have any queries at this stage.

Want to back Chronicles of Elyria but have no credit card?

And, here's an important bit of information imparted by Camigwen, of Soulbound Studios on the official forum. It was in answer to a query about the lack of payment options (other than credit/debit cards) accepted by Kickstarter.

There will be an option for PayPal via our site during the Kickstarter, but we're not putting it up until we hit our goal so that we don't take away people who would back via Kickstarter itself. While we'll count PayPal backers as part of success toward any stretch goals, Kickstarter does not so it's important we meet our $900K goal first. 
At this point we know that there will be the ability to back on the site after the Kickstarter, but that the tiers and values won't be the same to give the Kickstarter it's exclusivity. We'll likely change around items in the tiers, much like other Kickstarter MMOs have done, based on what we've learned from the KS backers.

So, once we've hit that kickstarter goal, Soulbound Studios will open up the possibility to back the game using Paypal (and maybe some other options) via their own site.Good news all around :)

Jeromy Walsh Answers Critics of the Three Month Exposition (headstart) in Chronicles of Elyria

Some people have been, understandably, worried about the idea of giving others a three month headstart in what is essentially an open world PvP game. Soulbound Studio's Jeromy Walsh explains the reasoning behind this decision.
With all of the questions about Exposition (the three month story-development phase), losing resources, land, titles, etc... we wanted to re-assure people that the goal of exposition, while partly to build conflict, story, and unfolding events, is also about giving early players an opportunity to build out a flourishing world.

It's notably difficult to do that when there's potentially people attempting to tear it down. The point of Exposition is to exit with a world fully developed, not smoldering in ashes. 
Read the entire post on Kickstarter.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Dev Journals: Soulbound Studios Talks Crowdfunding, Funding Fatigue, and Transparency

Jeromy Walsh, the boss over at Soulbound Studios otherwise known as Caspian, released an interesting article on mmorpg.com about crowd funding and the difficulties faced by developers trying to secure funding for their games. It's an interesting read - it’s the developer’s job to be transparent with the backers, he points out while talking about funding fatigue and trust.

Speaking of kickstarter funding, as of 16:00 UK time on 6th May 2016, Chronicles of Elyria has secured 520k of the 900k it is looking for, that's about 57%. We are only in day three, pretty good going by anybody's standards!

New! Reward Tiers from Kickstarter

Soulbound Studios have released some nice charts showing what you get for each tier of support from the Kickstarter. If you haven't already, please do head over to the kickstarter and take a look. This is a real opportunity to get a brand new fresh MMO rather than the usual clones.

Chronicles of Elyria: Too Good to be True?

Still lots of questions popping up on social media about Chronicles of Elyria. Here's a great little video from DM21 Gaming telling us why we should support the team of developers.

We're at just over 50% of the kickstarter funding required, lets keep getting the word out there :)

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Kickstarter Additional Sparks of Life

Here's a welcome announcement for Kickstarter backers concerned about the cost of playing the game with having to buy Sparks of Life once their character dies.

Quoted from the official Chronicles of Elyria forum:

ANNOUNCEMENT - Bank error in your favor. We messed up on Sparks of Life when creating the Kickstarter reward tiers and under listed the number of Sparks of Life that should be included in your rewards.

Here are the actual additional Sparks of Life (Note: One is included with the game, not mentioned in this list) that are included in each tier:

$75 - $120 : 1 extra Spark of Life
$150 - $250 : 2 extra Sparks of Life
$350 - $500 : 4 extra Sparks of Life
$750 - $1,000 : 7 extra Sparks of Life
$1,500 - $2,000 : 10 extra Sparks of Life
$2,500 - $3,500 : 15 extra Sparks of Life
$5,000 - $10,000 : 20 extra Sparks of Life

Kickstarter is doing well!

Halfway through the second day (UK time) and Chronicles of Elyria has reached 46% of its kickstarter goal. That's very good going. Jeromy Walsh, aka Caspian, the head of the development team at Soulbound Studios said the team were "cautiously optimistic."

The excited CoE community is doing a great job keeping this in the public eye with the mmorpg.com hype-o-meter about as high as I've seen it recently and tweets about the game and the kickstarter coming in from all corners of the world where the game is likely to have a presence.

This is a game that I think deserves it's chance so I hope this momentum keeps up and we blast through that target of 900k :)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Kickstarter Campaign Launched

Soulbound Studios launched a Kickstarter campaign on 3rd May 2016 for Chronicles of Elyria. As of 4th May, less than one full day into the campaign, it has raised one third of the 900k target.

If you're interested in the game, please join the kickstarter and pledge some funds so we can all finally get the game we've spent years searching for. The video on the kickstarter page provides a very good summary of the game, it's definitely worth watching.