We at Elysium Studios have a lot of amazing things to look forward to in the new year.
How’d 2018 go?
It’d be irresponsible for me to talk about what we’re up to in 2019 if I’m not going to mention what happened in 2018. I’ll lay it out pretty simply.
We got sideswiped
Originally, my plan was to launch an online dating service first and then, work on visual novels. I figured it would be easier to monetize an online dating service. After that, we could develop the bandwidth we would need to develop amazing visual novels.
Then, FOSTA-SESTA happened.
We have done an amazing amount of work to launch a dating service we can be proud of with a unique premise. But, we have to table it thanks to FOSTA-SESTA. Rest assured, it’s still on our minds. We’ll be working extra hard to launch this in a way that is consistent with our values. However, we have had to switch focus.
Our First Visual Novel: My First Castellan
We’ve been talking about it little by little on social media. We’ve hinted about it here and there. I’ve always thought of the Kickstarter as the point where we’ll officially “announce” My First Castellan. However, there’s no use playing coy now. Our first visual novel is coming along quite nicely. The theme song is (almost) done, thanks to Matt and Mioune. The character art is progressing nicely and our background art is phenomenal. Furthermore, we have a team of amazing professionals who I’m proud to announce will be our first employee-owners in 2019.
What’s on Deck for 2019?
Our Visual Novels
Yes, I said “novels”. The writing is finishing up quite nicely for My First Castellan. Madison is doing a phenomenal job at creating background art. We’re looking forward to launching the Kickstarter in March, doing a Steam early release in July or August and finishing up the game in December. However, we also have two other visual novels in our road map. I think we can get started on one of them soon after the early release of My First Castellan.
I’m looking forward to telling you more about that one soon. For now, My First Castellan is progressing very nicely. We’re looking for co-op and union shops to produce the backer rewards for our Kickstarter, including some nice dakimakuras.
The Elysium Standard & Authors Room
Writing a visual novel on Scrivener has presented a number of challenges, not the least of which is the format. Currently, I’m using the UK Stage Play format published by Matt Carless on the BBC website. Even with this format, it’s tough to delineate the choices. As such, I’m working on two things to help delineate these choices and improve collaboration in the creation of visual novels:
The Elysium Standard
The goal of the Elysium Standard is to create a format that works for visual novels. This will make it easier for casual readers of the script to be able to ascertain nested choices. This will be an open source standard and we will publish it for free (along with templates for Scrivener, Markdown and LaTeX) on elysium.coop. But, if you want to use it in a more collaborative way…
The Elysium Writer’s Room
This is a cloud app that we’re developing to allow writers of visual novels to use the power of git to work collaboratively. Access to Writer’s Room will be free to authors willing to push their work to an open source repository on GitHub or GitLab. We will also work on versions for the desktop and mobile.
We’re looking forward to launching games.coop in 2019. It will be the ultimate place not just to buy games but also to make games. We plan to open games.coop in June to visual novel creators. From there, we will slowly roll it out to developers of other games.
Our online dating service
We’re hoping that we can make enough modifications to launch our online dating service towards the end of 2019.
- Simply put, we don’t have enough engineers. I would love to put a front-end and a back-end engineer on each of our projects. However, we don’t have the resources to do that. Yet.
- Nothing’s been released yet. As much as I hate to say it, we don’t have anything to show for our work. This tends to hurt us in the credibility department, though we’re hoping we can change this in 2019.
Elysium Studios is planning to announce a couple of paid internships in mid-2019 or so. Likely for a second character artist and a PHP Software Engineer. While we’ll be attending a few college career fairs in the area, if you live in the Boulder, Colorado area… keep your eyes posted on us.