By now you have probably watched our trailers, played the pre-alpha and/or looked through our materials. It’s about time we gave you some insight on what is really happening with Legends of Ellaria and here at Larkon Studio’s.
Working here means enjoying every day because we get to do what we love. It means at any given moment we are either crafting our best ideas into Legends of Ellaria, jamming games in CS:GO to have a break, and eating great food all the while.
My name is Arik. My friend Adrian and I came together to form one digital art company. We’ve been talking about game development ever since we met.
After a couple of years we decided it was time to go for it, and started the adventure of a lifetime to create our own fantasy game.
The characterization stage was pretty easy because we both knew what we wanted to do and how Legends of Ellaria would feel. So we started…
As a hardcore gamer, becoming a game developer through my own company was a dream come true.
Over the years we’ve hired co-workers. Some full time, some as freelancers. We especially did this during our first Kickstart campaign. Crowdfunding was always our goal, we wanted to ensure our players had a voice in what we produce. The community interaction excited us immediately.
Kickstarter - Take 1
Creating a successful crowdfunding campaign is an enormously challenging task, and we realized that getting outside help was important. We hired a PR person, who thought that the words "exciting" and "innovative" alone would bring us somewhere.
We created a cinematic trailer showing the huge potential of LOE, set the goal to 150K, and successfully launched!
Then we crashed. We raised nothing. We did, however, receive a lot of positive feedback. Then we got a steam greenlight in only 3 weeks.
And after this, we knew we were here to stay.
Kickstarter - Take 2
We had to make use of the experience we had to take a second charge at running a successful campaign. Due to budget constraints we were back down to just the two of us. We started having to complete side projects to stay above water. Step by step we pieced together our engines to make the game better, posted some videos to show that the world was still growing, and after roughly a year, we relaunched.
Thanks to our adjustments we raised about $37k, but most importantly gained a wonderful community of a thousand backers. I will consider writing a more detailed blog on running a successful crowdfunding campaign sometime soon.
We finally had some of the pillars necessary for the game’s continued success and we couldn’t have been more excited (and we still are.)
During our campaign we promised to send a working pre-alpha to our backers in October, and it seemed to us as a possible task, but as the date came close and bugs came to visit us daily, we knew that we had to postpone. As usual we worked till very late hours. We added features and solved issues but the version wasn't playable, so we postponed again.
Finally in the beginning of 2016 the first official Legends of Ellaria pre-alpha version was released! So what now?
A game engine rebuild!
We found a great way to make adding new things easier and after a few months the next version was released, and plenty more hours were dedicated (with plenty of pizzas getting destroyed.)
Now the time came for yet another game engine rebuild, this time for optimization.
And that’s where we are now. We have a more optimized version with plenty of new features and more on the way. Our Steam early access release is also getting closer and closer.
So what did we learn?
If you are an aspiring indie developer, go for it.
Crafting your own product is a challenging experience but incredibly rewarding in a huge number of ways. The work is hard but those who love it will always have a lot of fun. Looking back on it all I can truly say these are the best years of my life so far, and it’s only looking up from here.
While there’s plenty more to talk about when it comes to Legends of Ellaria both then and now, you’ll have to wait for it.
Soon Adrian will be sharing his own side of the adventurous development road to get here. Be sure not to miss it! And thanks again to all who are supporting Legends of Ellaria. This is only the beginning.