When I first launched the Chronicles of Elyria website nearly two years ago I had pointed out that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. At the time I launched the website it was just me working on Chronicles of Elyria. There were no other programmers, no artists, no animators, or web designers. There was no composer and no sound FX engineer, and the website was entirely black and white.
Over the last year and a half, the company has grown from just me to over a dozen people and where once Chronicles of Elyria was just an idea, today it's a living, breathing organism, with the 12+ member development team at the nucleus and over 30,000 community members being the mitochondria, bringing the game to life.
Where before the website was empty and colorless, today it's filled with not only beautiful screenshots and concept art, but over 30,000 forum posts and over 2,700 topics, from players who are motivated to be a part of something great. Unfortunately, where once the development of Chronicles of Elyria was free, today it clocks in at over $40k a month, and the team is nowhere near complete.
When I started Chronicles of Elyria my family and I made a decision to trade one dream for another. We sold the land we'd purchased to build our dream home, and used that in combination with our life's savings to put toward the early development of the game. We did that because we believed in the idea of Chronicles of Elyria, and we believed in our ability to bring it to completion. But even more than that, we believed we should never ask others to back and support us in something we weren't one-hundred percent committed to ourselves.
Chronicles of Elyria is unquestionably one of the most pivotal games of the decade. It's a game which encourages massive player collaboration through new game mechanics such as contracts and an evolving story line. It encourages meaningful player decisions through a risk-reward system that truly forces players to make those tough decisions. It connects players to their characters in a way no MMO ever has, by bringing the human condition into the game.
By watching your character grow from a young lad or lass, to an aging scholar or teacher, you bear witness to another being's life. By being present for the marriage of your character and the creation of their children, you become a silent observer in your character's family. And with each quest, task, mission or adventure to take, you live the story of your character's life through them.
But the first step in being a part of this new world is to bring it to completion. Like Bastian imagining the world into existence in the Neverending Story, we need the support and encouragement of the community to bring us the rest of the way. So while we'll be showing more video footage, including a combat video later this month, we're near the end of our funding and must reach out to the players to help support the development of the game.
While there are many ways to influence the success of the game, our most immediate need is financial. For that reason, we're announcing that we'll be launching our Kickstarter campaign in just a couple short months, on May 3rd, 2016.
Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter begins: May 3rd, 2016
Deciding how much to ask for is no easy task. Too little and we find ourselves unable to complete the game due to lack of funding. Too much and we risk the Kickstarter failing and not receiving enough funds to keep the team developing. In the end, the approach we took was to solicit feedback from the community to cull the game down to its most basic form, what people considered to be the minimally viable game. We estimated the cost of development based on that and used that as our funding goal. We then took everything else and set them as stretch goals.
In this way, we're able to release what we and the community feel is a complete game, but also gives backers the opportunity to communicate with their support which features they want to see at launch. All that said, we'll be setting a funding goal of $900k, with a slew of cool and important stretch goals.
As always, thanks for your continued support! Stay in touch as you await the Chronicles of Elyria Kickstarter:
Jeromy "Caspian" Walsh
We made it clear from the beginning that we wouldn't launch a Kickstarter campaign until we'd not only consumed all of our own resources, but also showed enough game-play footage and assets that we felt we'd earned your support.
While we've still got tons more videos coming between now and the Kickstarter, including a combat video, some lore videos, and some tech videos, we wanted to start off the video coverage with this announcement. So here's an in-development, First Look video of the world we're creating ... Chronicles of Elyria.