7 March

Dev Journal #3: Out of The Frying Pan...

By Caspian

Time has flown by the last three months as I dove head first into my new role as Software Engineering Lead at Microsoft. The transition from developer to Lead, during one of the busiest times of year, lead to extended work weeks with late nights and more than a little stress. The end result was very little time to work on Chronicles of Elyria.

However, the dust is beginning to settle so rather than lament the fact I lost a few months of development time, I'm instead re-doubling my effort to complete Chronicles of Elyria.

Introducing Soulbound Studios

Now that it's 2015 it's time to look at what's happening with Chronicles of Elyria. Beginning in January the engine had come far enough along that I needed to start hiring contractors to provide concept art, textures, 3D models, music, and SFX for the demo, as well as art assets for the website. Additionally, I had planned to launch one or more crowdsourcing campaigns this year to get the game fully funded.

This all meant that in the near furture I was going to be making financial transactions in the name of Chronicles of Elyria. To make it official, I started a new, Washington State based Limited Liability Company named Soulbound Studios, LLC.

The title Soulbound Studios has deep meaning for Chronicles of Elyria. As we'll talk more about in the Summer, each character in Chronicles of Elyria is tightly bound to a soul. A soul is unique among MMOs and provides both short and long-term benefits to your character, as well as a degree of randomness that is beyond the player's control. It's through souls, among other things, that players can become the most powerful magic users in the world. It's also through souls that players are bound to their bodies. So... what do you think would happen if a character's soul got lost?

To help get Soulbound Studios moving on it's way I've created a stub Facebook page and Website.

Feel free to stop by and "Like" the Facebook page. Also feel free to provide your opinion on the mockup of the Soulbound Studios Logo. Please note, this isn't official. The artwork was thrown together by myself and a friend as a concept. Once we're satisfied it's the direction we want to head with it, we'll replace it with the official Soulbound Studios logo.

The Proteus Engine Becomes the Soulborn Engine

In Dev Journal #2: "Introducing the Proteus Engine" I spoke all about the five guiding principles that drive design choices for the Chronicles of Elyria game engine. To quickly recap:

  1. Dynamic: If something in the world can change - it probably should.
  2. Heroic: For characters to be heros, they must perform heroicly
  3. Skill-based: Any action that requires character skill should also require player skill
  4. Event-driven: There is a constantly evolving story-line that is impacted both directly and indirectly by player choices
  5. Realistic: Game mechanics should feel natural and realistic - more like a simulation than a game

While these principles still hold true, the name of the engine no longer does. After doing some research it appears that numerous "Proteus Engine" results now show up on the web that didn't show up a few years ago. This detracts from the IP and makes searches confusing. So, to better align with the name of the company, as well as provide some additional insight about the mechanics of the engine, I've renamed the engine to the "Soulborn Engine." All future conversation will refer to it as such.

Up Next

That wraps up this developer journal but you won't have to wait long for the next. This is just the first of a two-part developer journal. The next journal will talk more about the plans for Chronicles of Elyria in 2015, as well as introduce Influence Points.