Unveiling the Mysteries of Elderym
In Guild of Guardians, we didn’t want to make just ‘another generic fantasy game’. Our core mission is to craft an immersive and engaging universe that captivates players, drawing them into a world that extends far beyond the screen. Over the last few months, we’ve been investing heavily in building out the world of Elderym, revamping our design systems, tweaking narratives and even overhauling our art style and design to be able to give our world that magic touch. Our commitment to lore and world-building is rooted in the knowledge that a truly immersive universe can engage players deeply, keeping them invested and engaged in the game for years to come. Deep world-building is fundamental to this mission, allowing players to fully immerse themselves in the gameplay mechanics and vivid world we've crafted.
Philosophy on World Building
At the core of Guild of Guardians lies Elderym - a mystical, fantasy world designed to be rich and complex. Our world-building philosophy is focused on creating a universe that is not just visually stunning but is also brimming with history, culture, and diversity. From the eerie, echo-filled catacombs of Requiem to the intense, flame-wreathed depths of Brimstone, every location is designed to have a unique identity and narrative.
In Elderym, every corner of the land is alive with ancient magic, formidable creatures, and timeless tales. These elements are not just backdrops; they are integral to the gameplay experience. The game beckons players into a journey of exploration and challenge, told through dungeons and events in-game. The allure of the unfolding story alongside a vibrant and diverse ensemble of characters encourages extended play, prompting players to venture 'just one more chapter.'
The essence of Elderym is captured in its thematic core of duality and balance. Here, the concepts of good and evil, right and wrong, are not clear-cut but intricately intertwined, creating a narrative rich in complexity and conflict.This theme is a guiding force in our narrative and design, shaping everything from the grand storyline to the intricacies of individual characters and realms. In Elderym, this equilibrium is not just a narrative device; it is a necessity, for without balance, the world risks falling into chaos.
Our approach to storytelling in Guild of Guardians is dynamic and multifaceted. We've introduced new features like the dialogue systems and character banter, breathing life into our characters and their interactions. This layered storytelling paves the way for introducing narrative-themed events in the future, ensuring that the world of Elderym remains ever-evolving, continually offering fresh and captivating experiences to our players.
Through this detailed and thoughtful approach to world-building and narrative design, we aim to offer players an experience that is not just a game but a journey into a living, breathing universe, filled with stories, challenges, and adventures that beckon players to delve ever deeper into the world of Elderym.
In the world of Elderym, there is no clear-cut good versus evil. The Dread emerged during the Time of Creation as an intrinsic part of Elderym that counterbalances creation itself. As such, the Dread works to corrupt and pervert all that was created. Having grown in the shadows, the Dread now sweeps across the land, corrupting everything in its path.
An infection in the world, the Dread creeps in the spaces often forgotten by gods and mortals, poisoning minds with fear and apathy, spurring them to discard their values & create strife. The Dread is all that stems from creations. The Dread is apathy. The Dread is fear. The Dread seek to eliminate all life from the Eucos and herald the Time of Destruction.
Once the Dread’s corruption has spread enough through the land it is able to control and re-animate the bodies of fallen beasts and warriors. These enemies fight without remorse, consciousness or fear for the Dread and frequently trouble the Guardians.
Factions: The Pillars of Elderym
Elderym is divided into three main factions, each representing distinct ideologies: The Keepers who seek knowledge and harmony, the Imperials striving for advancement and authority, and the Redeemers fighting for empowerment and justice. The interplay of these factions adds depth and complexity to the lore, painting a rich tapestry of alliances and conflicts between these differing factions shaping the history and future of Elderym. We made the decision to change these Faction names from Glade, Empire and Horde when we overhauled our narrative to better capture the ethos behind each faction.
Guardians: The Heart of Elderym
In the rich tapestry of Elderym, the Guardians stand as the heart and soul of our narrative, each playing a crucial role in the unfolding saga. Our vision was to create a cast that is not just vibrant and diverse but deeply nuanced, with each Guardian having their own unique story to tell. These individuals are complex amalgamations of virtues and ambitions, reflecting the multifaceted nature of Elderym itself.
These Guardians transcend the traditional archetype of ‘heroes’. They are not merely saviors with a singular focus on heroics; instead, they represent a spectrum of motivations and moralities. Their stories are layered, sometimes even conflicting, offering a more realistic and relatable portrayal of characters that exist beyond the black-and-white dichotomy of good and evil.
“Do I want to marry them or be them?” is a question we throw around in our creative room. The key is crafting characters that are not only legendary in their stature but also deeply resonant with our players' diverse imaginations and desires. It's about creating figures that players can aspire to be, or form a profound connection with while honing in on what makes a Guardian stand out from the rest. Each Guardian is a story unto themselves, inviting players to explore the depth and breadth of a world rich in lore and character.
Co-creating with the Community
Your role in shaping the world of Elderym is, and has been, invaluable. Your feedback, votes, and engagement are crucial in shaping the legends and monsters that inhabit the realms of Elderym.
Jady: A Community-Crafted Legend
Take, for instance, Jady, a Legendary Guardian born from the synergy of community creativity and our design vision. At key points in our design process, we’ve been sharing design variants for the community to vote on. We presented our community with three design options, and the overwhelming choice was Design B.
As such, we took B, refined the the design, and came up with the concept below:
This collaborative approach not only brings our characters to life but also ensures they hold a special place in the hearts of our players.
Ennara: From Concept to In-Game Reality
Ennara's journey from a mere concept to a fully realized in-game model shows how we incorporate and weave community choice and feedback into a finalized design.
The community chose Option C in the original concept vote above. When refining Ennara’s design we knew that she should have black hair, as the content being released alongside her would benefit from this distinction. On top of this, our Legendary Guardians typically use more gold in their designs than other rarities. Keeping that in mind, we took the community's suggestion and incorporated it into the final design.
After which, we had to model her out in-game and build the her visual effects for her spells.
The final model of Ennara, complete with stunning VFX, is a testament to this collaborative and detailed design process.
Your feedback, votes, and engagement are pivotal in shaping the legends and monsters of Elderym. As we continue to expand this universe, we invite you to join us in this creative journey, contributing to the evolving world of Guild of Guardians. Jump into Discord and make sure to be heard on our server!
We hope this glimpse into the world of Elderym has been enlightening. As we approach the game’s launch, stay tuned for more Dev Blogs, where we'll dive deeper into each region and aspect of Elderym. Your continued feedback is crucial as we strive to build a world where each Guardian and creature has its own story, and where every player is an integral part of this fantastical universe.
Together, let's forge a legacy in the Guild of Guardians, creating a world that's not just played, but lived and experienced.
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