6 April

The Game Garden Grows

By Vye

Hail and well met, Elyrians!

Welcome to another blog update about Chronicles of Elyria! The spring thaw has begun and it brings beautiful blooms. Also hayfever...but mostly beautiful blossoms of goodness, like the ones below. Read on!

Production Update

Lighting the World

Almost anyone in the games or film space would tell you that lighting is one of the single most important visual elements. Not only does it set the mood and ambiance, but it can be the difference between the end product looking professional versus amateurish. Consider lighting between a daytime soap opera and a primetime television show. A lot of the perceived quality is a result of the lighting.

Chronicles of Elyria is no different, and we aim to look like what one would come to expect from a AAA game. To that end, we're concepting our lighting targets in different times of day and in different biomes. Since development of the New Haven area is key to developing the Prologue, we've started creating targets for that area first. It's not just about the ambient light though, but also what the sky will look like. Elyria is not Earth, so we get to make it far prettier than Earth if we want to!

Don't worry, there will be enough stars for you Astronomer Tier backers to make the constellation of your dreams

Furring the Animals

The unique creatures of Elyria were not featured in the Silver Run Mines, so it's been nice to get back to them. In the last couple weeks we've been making improvements to the hair on the Dryas Elk, getting the fur on the Trison, and improving the animations on the quadriped rig in general.
Getting in the path of a charging Trison is not recommended

Weathering the Grass

Weather was also not a primary feature inside the mines, so we are making improvements there as well. Previously the grass had not been affected by the snow, which you can see in the first snow demo video. We're still hashing out some of the finer points to get it looking just right but it's already a marked improvement.
Clip has been sped up for your convenience

Website Improvements

Version 3 of the website is a highly-anticipated and crucial phase of our development because it is not just about a more attractive, more modern re-imagining of our existing content. No, V3 encompasses a great deal of backend work that will hook into our community-created content and pre-alpha experiences. It is also a prerequisite of Account Merging, Package Gifting, Surname Reservation, Family Crest Creation, and Settlement & Domain Selection.

As mentioned in my last update, the playable demo at PAX East was a subset of the Prologue and, therefore, a single-player experience. Many of you know that we are developing a game of the Massively-Multiplayer and Online varieties, and V3 is one of the steps leading to that.

Updates to the website with incremental improvements, new features, and - ultimately - the 3rd Version, will be coming on a regular basis for a while. We pushed out a release on March 27th that included:

Borders, Tiers, and You

Forum Borders and Tiers are based on Total Influence, and can thus be upgraded either through purchases in the store, or anything else that awards Influence. There are now 12 Tiers broken down as follows:

These correspond with the Adventurer Pledge Packages and have a bronze border

These correspond with the Gentry Pledge Packages and have a silver border

These correspond with the Aristocracy Pledge Packages and have a silver border with additional filigree

These correspond with the Nobility Pledge Packages and have a silver border with gold trim and filigree

This means that, generally speaking, you can identify whether someone has pledged in the commoner, gentry, aristocracy, or nobility tiers simply by looking at their borders. But, be advised, not everyone's in-game character title matches their border, so, don't make assumptions.

PMs and RSS feeds and More, Oh My!

Some additional low-hanging fruit made it out with some bug fixes we released also.

  • Better landing page on first visit - you can experience it again here or when your cookies expire
  • PM button under a poster's name in a forum thread, so you can message them privately and tell them how much you appreciate their enthusiasm!
  • RSS feed support here
  • Guild Recruitment forum filtered from recent posts so you can find the rest of the threads a little easier until V3 forums are up

Express Yourself

We've got a release in the pipeline that is currently undergoing final testing, and it is set to include the following, seriously-awesome features. I'm excited about this. It seems like a short list but, wow, it packs a punch!

  • Free, One-Time, Username Change!
  • Update Your Own E-mail Address!
  • Set Your Own Avatar Picture!
  • Preview Your Signatures Without Needing To Post!
  • Preview Your Posts Before Posting!
  • Staff and Moderator Posts Are Visually Distinct!
  • Posts Can Be Reported!

Once that release goes live, we'll make an announcement here on the site. I just couldn't keep it to myself any longer, so get pumped!

Q&A Videos

Survival Q&A in Full

Last week we did a Live Q&A on Survival - one of the unique feature areas of Chronicles of Elyria. It's still available to watch on our Twitch.tv channel for a couple more weeks, along with all the banter that was going on in chat. It has also been copied over to our YouTube channel where it will be available to watch indefinitely.

We started on time, had no problems with audio that I know of, and actually kept it to about an hour! Our A/V game is improving!

Survival Q&A in Brief

Because we were so on-point in the Full Q&A, the Brief Q&A video that is now available to watch and share, is still 20 minutes. There's just that much information in the video, even when you cut out apple juice shenannigans and laughing fits about protecting one's backside!

The Name Game

Tribes. What can I say? They have been in the works for a while but we haven't been ready to announce them. While we are still working on the concept drawings that depict each Tribe in detail, we're ready to share the names. Naming can be difficult, and a lot of good ideas are already copyrighted or are featured prominently in other fantasy universes...

Let's name the freshwater wetlands tribe the Gorn! Nailed it!


We've done the appropriate amount of research now and I'm happy to announce the names of the Tribes of Mann.

  • TUNDRA Yoru - /ˈjɔːr.uː/ (YORE-oo)
  • GRASSLANDS Neran - /ˈnɛɹ.ən/ (NAIR-un)
  • SAVANNAH Owem - /ˈoʊ.ɪm/ (OH-im)
  • ARID DESERT Erishé - /ˌɛeɹ.ɪˈʃeɪː/ (air-ih-SHAY)
  • BROADLEAF FOREST Kypiq - /ˈkɪp.ɪk/ (KIP-ick)
  • ALPINE FOREST Brudvir - /ˈbɾu̜ːd.vɪeɹ/ (BROOD-veer)
  • MOUNTAIN STEPPE Hrothi - /ˈrʰoː.θi/ (HROH-thee)
  • TROPICAL RAINFOREST Janoa - /d͡ʒaˈnoʊ.ə/ (JAH-no-uh)
  • SEMI-ARID DESERT The Waerd - /ðə ˈwɛɹd/ (the WARED)
  • FRESHWATER WETLANDS To'resk - /tɔɹˈɛsk/ (tor-ESK)
  • SALTWATER MANGROVES Mydarri - /mɪˈdɑːr.iː/ (mih-DAR-ee)
  • SWAMPLANDS Dras - /ˈdɹɔs/ (DROSS)

Here I am, literally announcing the names. And pronouncing them... Prannouncing? Can that be a word now?

The concept drawings for the Tribes are coming before Settlement & Domain Selection, since we can all agree it'd be nice to know what Tribe you'd be playing when you pick your lands. When they are ready, we will share those concepts. For now, I will share with you this line-up. It shows average sizes and proportions for males and females.

Some of this is subject to change. A couple of the Tribe names may be altered and we may make a couple adjustments to the tribe proportions as well.

That's it for this update. Look for the additional announcements about those website features to be released soon!

Pledged to Your Continued Adventures in Life, Both Actual and Fantasy,