soulbound studios

See: Chronicles of Ellyria

Chronicles of Elyria walks you through the process of gathering and crafting

The crafting system for Chronicles of Elyria has been overhauled in the latest test build, and it is all about making sure that your characters do not have something so simple as filling up a bar to craft. That’s a commendable goal. But it also doesn’t want you to play a minigame to craft, either. Instead, you’ll be going through a process described as being as close as possible to actual crafting without requiring you to actually get degrees in any of this.

So, if you want to craft a sword, you’d better be prepared to dig up rocks, look for ore, smelt down impurities, hammer the metal, shape the metal, learn about quenching forged steel, and generally go through a wide variety of steps to get the basic weapon finished. It’s meant to be a game in and of itself, and considering the sheer amount of detail offered in the latest development dispatch, that sounds like a defensible claim from the design documents.


Chronicles of Elyria eschews ‘silly stat-fest’ MMO gear in favor of ‘dramatic realism’

Now that Chronicles of Elyria has got a handle on its flexible character creation system, the team has switched over to working in the area of inventory management and equipment. The developers looked at some of their favorite inventory systems as inspiration for Elyria’s model.

“We are aiming for a relatively realistic feel to equipment and inventory,” the team said. “You can only carry what you can realistically carry, so no wearing eight backpacks or putting great swords in a belt pouch. That said, the type and number of bags or containers you have are quite flexible.”

The team also said that gear won’t be a ‘silly stat-fest” but will provide protection while a player’s skill will power offense. Even changing gear will take time, considering that Elyria’s models will have multiple layers of clothing.

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GDC 2018: Exploring SpatialOS with Improbable CCO Bill Roper

SpatialOS: You’ve probably been seeing this name pop up more and more in the MMO sphere. Worlds AdriftMavericksFractured, SeedMetaWorld, and Identity are just some of the titles we’ve mentioned that have sprung up to use Improbable’s platform. The company picked up more than half a billion dollars from Japanese company SoftBank, roped in MMO veteran Bill Roper, and got Jagex to announce its intention to use it in a future project. However Chronicles of Elyria recently noted it’s dropping Improbable’s baby, and both on and off the record, developers I spoke to at GDC 2018 had mixed reactions – assuming they’d even heard about SpatialOS at all.

What’s the big deal about the platform? What does it do? Why should developers care? Why should MMO players care? I attended a panel by Improbable and briefly sat down with CCO Bill Roper to try to figure it all out.

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Chronicles of Elyria puts constraints on your character’s creation

“Character creation” is the watchword of the week at Chronicles of Elyria. In addition to a developer livestream that showed off the first iteration of the character creation system, Soulbound Studios pumped out a blog post to explain some of the finer points of making an avatar in this game.

“Although Chronicles of Elyria is a fantasy game, we want the ranges of character creation to be realistic,” the studio said. “This means that we need to create constraints for each of the tribes when it comes to customization sliders — so no, you can’t create big-head mode. We’re creating an immersive experience, and that means each character created in game needs to look and feel like they belong to the tribe to which they are born.”

Backers for the game will soon have a way to check out their character outside of the alpha, thanks to a standalone program called My Akashic Records that’s in the works.

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Chronicles of Elyria demos its character creator in front of a live studio audience

Who’s ready to look super-duper freaky? Chronicles of Elyria, that’s who!

The in-development indie MMO demonstrated the first iteration of its character creation system in a livestream yesterday. The character creation is coming with the game’s 0.2.0 release.

The team is obviously proud of the wide selection of faces and body types available to represent the game’s different “tribes” of humans. Want a sturdy chin? Anime-style eyes? Deformations that will haunt you late tonight when you are trying to sleep? And unless you’re dying to know how the team feels about their precious coffeepot, you’ll want to skip ahead to minute 11 on the video for the scoop on character creation.

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Chronicles of Elyria starts taking surname reservations

Clutterbuck. Butterworth. Pigfat. McSneezy. Featherbottom. Wisenheimer. Horsefeathers. Dizzydame. Readmassivelyop.

All of these surnames — and more — are up for grabs over at Chronicles of Elyria. While the game is nowhere near ready to produce characters to adopt those names, backers who have purchased a Bloodline or better package or have bought the surname ability outright can grab them now. Surname reservation just went live on Thursday, allowing the community to grab “Peppypewpew” and the like for future use.

Soulbound Studio said that it’s making progress toward getting VoxElyria, the graphical MUD version of the MMO, up and running for alpha backers. It also hinted at a new design journal to come soon and another event to take place in March. Hey, Soulbound, no need to be coy; you could just come out and deliver information instead of giggling about it and then fleeing the room!


Chronicles of Elyria has ways for you to be naughty or nice this Valentine’s Day

Let’s get this out of the way right from the beginning: Yes, Chronicles of Elyria is literally selling players a chainmail bikini.

This is but one of several special Valentine’s Day gifting options that Soulbound Studio is promoting this week. If fans want to express their naughty side, well, there’s the aforementioned bikini and its accompanying whip.

For the more tender and romantic souls, there are necklaces, song birds, and a picnic basket. And if you’re ready to take your relationship to the next step in a virtual game world that hasn’t been released yet, Elyria would like to sell you a “ring of devotion” or a cottage built for two.

This sale will be running through February 19th. Please do not gift Massively OP staffers any bikinis — we’re full up, thanks.


The Daily Grind: How do you feel about the increased focus on PvP in upcoming MMOs?

Don’t look now, but PvP is coming — and it’s coming to almost every new MMO in development. It only recently hit me just how many upcoming games are being centered around PvP as a core mechanic. Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, Ashes of Creation, Wild West Online, Worlds Adrift, Dual Universe, Chronicles of Elyria, every survival sandbox you could name… all PvP, pretty much all of the time.

I don’t outright resent PvP from being in MMOs, but as a primarily PvE player, it concerns me to see a flood of this washing over titles that I would otherwise have no reservations about playing. Many of the worlds and mechanics of these games have appeal, but not at the expense of having some jerk ambush me and kill me in 1.5 seconds flat at any moment.

Heck, even Sea of Thieves’ piracy gameplay loop has triggered alarms in my head that captains will be looking to swarm the title with griefing tactics once they’re done playing the “proper” way.

Maybe I’m overreacting. How do you feel about the increased focus on PvP in upcoming MMOs? Why do you think we are seeing a rise of such games?

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Chronicles of Elyria isn’t afraid to enter the ugly zone of character creation

It’s a no-brainer that a lot of your MMO audience is going to want to create good-looking, attractive, and physically fit characters. But if you’re a studio that’s attempting to represent a virtual world populated by a wide array of human races, you might also consider the odd and off-putting as possible options.

Simply put, Chronicles of Elyria has some ugly races. Maybe that will have its own counter-cultural appeal, especially among players looking for a different experience. The 12 races — or tribes — of the game span a range of skeletal structures and facial makeups, with options available to the player to customize each upon character creation.

In addition to showing some early prototypes of the character creation process, Soulbound Studio discussed how it’s trying out simple world interaction in its upcoming VoxElyria client, merging accounts in preparation for name reservations, and handling the different languages in the game.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 154: A Prime experiment

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin hit up a week of huge MMO news, including Camelot Unchained’s investments, RIFT’s new subscription server, Devilian’s demise, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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SpatialOS ‘tactical shooter MMO’ Project X will show off gameplay footage in February

Back in September of last year, we covered a mysterious “tactical shooter MMO” called Projext X by Automaton Games. Its chief claims to fame revolved around scale: It says it can support 1000 concurrent players to a 12km-square shared world without sacrificing graphical fidelity, set in a “huge, photoreal, and highly dynamic environment, with strong character progression, social hubs, intelligent mission systems, and global-scale player-driven narrative.” AND A PONY. OK, no ponies. But it does have a battle royale mode, so you know where this is going.

PC Gamer reports today that Automaton will debut the game’s first gameplay footage at the PC Gamer Weekender event in London in February, so expect more on the game in the next few weeks.

Also worth noting is that the game is being built partly on SpatialOS, the distributed computing platform that snagged half a billion bucks in investor funding last year – and that MMO Chronicles of Elyria just dropped because it couldn’t handle that game’s size without too much expense.

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Chronicles of Elyria’s latest cinematic pits elks vs. everything

“The only enemy more dangerous than the one you see is the one you don’t see.”

Poor Dryas Elk, they can’t catch a break. If death isn’t coming at them from the sky, then it’s trotting over the next rise with a bunch of pointy sticks. Just count yourself lucky that you aren’t one of these creatures in Chronicles of Elyria.

The plight of the elk — and we suppose, an example of the interactive ecology of the game — is delivered in the latest short cinematic from the team. It’s not super-long or super-animated, but hey, it might be enough to spark possibilities in your mind.

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Chronicles of Elyria confirms layoff rumors

Earlier today, we asked the Chronicles of Elyria team for a statement regarding a tip we’d received about layoffs and salary cutbacks at Soulbound, and presumably in response, the studio has published a fresh letter to the community addressing some of the rumors. Turns out they’re true, and the studio has indeed suffered a round of layoffs.

Jeromy “Caspian” Walsh explains that over the course of the last year, his team had “nearly doubled” in size, but that size was unsustainable, as the company was hoping to have secured a publisher or additional investment but hasn’t yet done so, necessitating the staff reduction.

“As a result of our change in focus, we adjusted our resources accordingly so as to be sustainable solely through sales from our online store,” he says. “Unfortunately this meant parting ways with a few of our team members. This was painful for all of us as we had developed a close bond with everyone in the studio, but it was a necessary action to move forward at the velocity and cost we need to succeed.”

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