VR MMORPG Ilysia releases an updated trailer and a final list of Kickstarter stretch goals as it preps for alpha


Earlier in the month we cast our eyes to Ilysia, an in-development VR MMORPG that promised to bring back “the glory days of MMORPGs again.” Much of its feature set looks like standard MMO fare with crafting, fighting, fishing, pet battling, and exploration on offer, just in the unique gameplay format of virtual reality. The game kicked off its crowdfunding drive last week and immediately landed its $60K ask.

Now, with just about a week left in its campaign, the devs at Team 21 Studio are adding one last set of stretch goals. Each of these goals hit the six-figure mark, but if the funding is raised, the devs will work on features such as full body tracking, airship and naval combat, a PvP honor and reward system, guild XP, and a more in-depth player-owned inn and shop system. The first of these goals will be unlocked at $100K, and with the drive currently over $96K at the time of this writing, it’s entirely feasible that at least a couple of these stretch goals could be met.

Right now the latest update post notes that the devs are hard at work on backend systems that control persistent account management, in-game chat channels, in-game player mail, and day/night cycles in preparation for alpha. The post also notes the release of an updated trailer in an effort to better showcase the world of Ilysia. You can watch the new and improved peek at gameplay below.

source: Kickstarter

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The $60k goal with $114k raised so far is kinda weird. The funding target would’ve made sense if it was a VR studio with the stature of StressLevelZero which made Hover Junkers and Duck Season before using their revenue to fund Boneworks. If the staff didn’t seem so earnest on their Discord server I’d almost consider that amount derisory.

Assuming software developer wages are 25% cheaper in South Carolina compared to California, and the rule of thumb of gamedev in LA is $13k per month per person (which includes salary, benefits, facilities, software, hardware, HR, legal) where the bulk of that 13k comes from salary, at a generous estimate I’d put it down to $10k per month per person.

Then we’ll factor in the fact that Team21 is mainly a Fogle brothers enterprise with 5 more dudes. For the sake of giving this the best case scenario, the 3 Fogle brothers share the same $10k/month cost, that still makes it $60k/month in total. Unless Team21 is backed by heavy levels of SC state subsidies (like Georgia does for creative ventures) or trust funds, I can’t see how they can last more than 2 months if, according to current funding velocity, they raise a projected $120-140k on Kickstarter.

The other factor weirding me out is the amount of attention furries are giving to Ilysia because of Team21’s overtures. I don’t know about you, but any community dominated by furries guarantees a higher than ordinary level of sexual harassment or underage grooming by that ‘fandom’. That shit raises enough red flags for me to sustain a Bernie Sanders 2024 campaign.


Asides the lol factor here with the furries (lol), I’m right there with you for the financial aspect. Even if half the team is working for free and the other half is taking super low wages, there’s no way they can make that game on such a budget.

They’re either deiusional on the costs, or just plain don’t need the KS to deliver (ie. they already have the resources), but either way, people should steer clear of this one.


Maybe there are things they aren’t explaining in the campaign, but again how can someone make an MMO (or any/most complex game) on 60k? They’re saying:

“our team has been working on the design of Ilysia in the concept phase for over 3 years, and in the last 8 months brought on an additional developer with over 20 years of development experience”

“These funds will be to expand our small team by hiring additional developers, artists, and other specialized game development staff”

They already have a team of 8 listed, and plan to bring aboard more with the KS funds. So, where did their resources/funds come from, prior to the KS? What other funds/income do they have? What business model do they have?

Asking for 60k in a project that costs, at least, several hundred thousands (running a team of 8 for a few years) is just, once again, very suspicious. And the Stretch goals? 5k for a pet breeding system? That kind of money runs you what, a week maybe, if you got 8 very frugal employees? Developing a whole system like that in a week or two?? Come on. Come. On.

I’d stay far from that one if I were you.

Andrew Ross
Andrew Ross

I like the basic idea, but the camera is super shaky. That’s gonna turn off a lot of players before they even try it, and especially female players (as they tend to be more susceptible to motion sickness). PvP sounds tough too, since the game plans on having both teleport based movement and free-range. That means melee-players who can’t chase people are going to be SOL. And then damage is physics-based, so big swings count for more damage. That means people with more physical endurance will do better, and I feel like one of gaming’s advantages tends to be to flatten physical skill differences.


The camera is only shaky because it’s mounted to someone’s head. That’s just the nature of VR. Unless they do caps with a HMD mount, it’s gonna shake if it’s on a player.

On the flip side of your other point about physical endurance, it means possibly getting people more active and maybe more in shape! I know I sure could use ANY other form of exercise right about now since we can’t play organized sports. As much as I’m unsure about this game in general and the KS campaign (such a small amount of money being asked to make rather large features – never bodes well, plus KS MMOs are just -_- in general anyway), I’d happily give it a shot if it appeared to be in a playable state.


Bringing back the glory days is hard enough for any MMO but saddling it with VR just makes it so much more complicated to do.

I checked out the video and it actually made me somewhat disoriented so I don’t think I’m in their demographic.