Elemental: Destiny's Embers
is due out in August. Published by Random House, the story revolves around the Kingdom and the Empire trying to regain mastery of the world. Myself and the editors and writers at Random House are collaborating on a single set of lore that the game and the novels make use of.
The novel helps underscore how serious we are about delivering to gamers (and readers) a world that isn’t simply generic fantasy. Starting with beta 3 of Elemental, the lore starts to get integrated and there is a lot of it. The novels don’t focus a lot on the races of Elemental since it is told largely from the point of view of an ordinary person who is discovering the greater world as the story progresses.
One of our principle goals was to make a story that was not based on a game or a game based on a book but rather to collaborate on an epic world in which the game and the book could both readily draw on. I think those of you who enjoy Feist or George R. R. Martin in particular will appreciate a lot of the subtlety.
For those of you not in the beta
In Beta 1 (and 2) there is basically no “lore”. It’s just features. I click on a city and it tells me its stats. I click on a spider it tells me its stats. There’s not the slightest bit of character in yet. It’s one of the reasons I have strongly recommended against people joining the beta unless they were interested explicitly in developing the game mechanics because Beta 1 and 2 are completely soulless.
The Limited Edition of Elemental will include a book called The Hiergamenon. As someone who used to spend hours looking at the D&D Monster manual or reading Gnomes I have missed the days of being able to to sit and read a book that presents me with a world as a kind of encyclopedia. Luckily, The Hiergamenon will also be integrated into the game itself as a virtual book. Thus, clicking on a city or an NPC or a monster will bring up its entry in The Hiergamenon.
Dave Stern is my mentor/editor on the book so he gets to torture me with masses of suggested edits and changes. On the game, the roles reverse as he leads the Random House team in producing the Elemental in-game lore.