Elemental: Destiny’s Embers Preview

By on April 28, 2010 11:23:37 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

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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 Hiergamenon

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.

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April 28, 2010 11:48:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome! Reminds me I should start writing again... so many distractions...

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April 29, 2010 12:01:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Definitely gonna pick up the book when it comes out  I need something o tied me over until the next song of fire and ice book(sigh). Kudos to you brad, if you put the same amount of work and passion into the book as you do into your games I'm sure it will be a great read.

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April 29, 2010 12:15:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm looking forward to it.... do remember though that not everything in the game needs to make it into the first book.... You could even go so far as to have whole races and cultures in the game that are not even mentioned om the book because of it's focus on an individual... Anyway good luck with the book writing- I'm sure it will be an exciting tale.

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April 29, 2010 12:31:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh yes I did order 2 days ago! Can't wait to start reading!

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April 29, 2010 1:16:27 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Im going to buy this. You best not disapoint me or... Ill cancel my subscription! Oh damn, this isn't the WoW forums.

 

No seriously, looking forward to seeing what you all have done.

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April 29, 2010 1:25:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I' can't wait to read it. This world you are creating is seriously interesting and your turning me into a fantasy nerd. [e digicons]XD[/e]  

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April 29, 2010 7:28:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good to know the Destiny's Ember is still due on time, thanks for the info Brad .

 

Edit: fixed typo

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[e digicons]:beer:[/e] [e digicons]O:)[/e] [e digicons]:cylon:[/e] [e digicons]}[/e] [e digicons]:hugme:[/e] [e digicons]out:[/e] [e digicons]:sheep:[/e] [e digicons]:rofl:[/e] [e digicons]^_^'[/e] [e digicons]:thumbsdown:[/e] [e digicons]:thumbsup:[/e] [e digicons]:time:[/e] [e digicons]:troll:[/e] [e digicons]:typo:[/e]

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April 29, 2010 10:23:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow, you got the NBA commish to help you?

 

There better be a palace of auburn hills reference in all this mess.  [e digicons][/e]

 

 

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April 29, 2010 11:04:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I dunno about Destiny's Ember but I definitely want that Hiergamenon. Where do I get my hands on a Limited Edition box?

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April 29, 2010 11:22:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"spend hours looking at the D&D Monster manual"

I still pull my 3.5 version from its appointed spot, next to the Rules, on my Computer Desk shelf every now again. So many adventurers have perished to my own corrupted versions of so many monsters in that Manual. LOL

Makes me sad that the gang had to grow up move away. Growing old has its draw backs. [e digicons]:')[/e]

 

The Hiergamenon sounds like Icing on an already very tasty cake.

How about a Limited-Limited Edition run that contains the Book? pleeeeeeease

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April 29, 2010 1:08:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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.

Sweet. (Sweeter still if the virtual version has some 'data driven' connections to individual games, mixing in player-made names and important history notes like Ancient Monster Z was attacked by Sovereign X and now wears said sovereign's skull on its charm bracelet.)

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April 29, 2010 4:43:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Love the idea of the Hiergamenon. Can't wait for that! [e digicons]:grin:[/e]

 

I must be honest though, I am not liking the amount of influence Random House seems to have in the development of the story. To me, this means some of the story is being outsourced, ergo, some of the story will not be from the original creators' mind. This could adversely effect the original vision intended for Elemental. I am worried that lore and content will be added simply because Random House says its a good idea.

For example, I remember first reading about Elemental and there was a mention that this would not be a typical fantasy game in terms of the types of people you see in the universe. It was mentioned that there would be no elves... I was ecstatic! I have been so sick of seeing elves in most fantasy games/stories/etc... out there. Now imagine RH says, "Hey, you should add elves to the universe because they are popular." And they keep pushing this idea and then all of a sudden, WAM! There are elves in the game.

Perhaps I am overreacting. Perhaps RH doesn't have that kind of a big effect on the development and lore of Elemental. But I still must say that I don't like outsourcing content and story in gaming. The outsourcing company is strictly there for money. The more successful the product they work with, the more there is a possibility of continuous work, the more cash signs you see floating in their eyes. So, they would have more reason to supply ideas which are more "popular" and appeals to everyone and not just the people that would most like this genre/type of game. Now, the creator can be there for the money as well, but they are also there to see their vision come through. I simply just don't want someone else to warp the vision Stardock has maintained for Elemental.

Never the less, I am still confident the story and game won't disappoint. [e digicons][/e]

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April 29, 2010 7:49:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Perhaps I am overreacting.

I'm no fan of mega-publishers like Random House because I believe that on the whole they are dumbing down popular fiction in ways that would shame Charles Dickens' publishers. But I'm pretty confident that Brad et al are assertive enough that Stardock will have its way with the project(s). Take the currency name for example--RH apparently liked the made-up word "rigma," but some combination of forum hecklers and Stardock devs led to RH's second choice, "gildar," winning. An admittedly minor point, but encouraging nonetheless for those of us worrying about what damage cross-marketing efforts might do to the game.

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April 29, 2010 8:25:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GW Swicord,

Perhaps I am overreacting.
I'm no fan of mega-publishers like Random House because I believe that on the whole they are dumbing down popular fiction in ways that would shame Charles Dickens' publishers. But I'm pretty confident that Brad et al are assertive enough that Stardock will have its way with the project(s). Take the currency name for example--RH apparently liked the made-up word "rigma," but some combination of forum hecklers and Stardock devs led to RH's second choice, "gildar," winning. An admittedly minor point, but encouraging nonetheless for those of us worrying about what damage cross-marketing efforts might do to the game.

Loved the Charles Dickens part. [e digicons]:thumbsup:[/e]

Very true, I forgot about the currency issue. As I said, I am still confident that the right decisions will be made, I am really just not a fan of these mash ups with publication houses or rather "professional" think tanks. They make me nervous. And with my being very pleased with all I have seen going into Elemental thus far, I wouldn't want RH to sully or hurt the game.

(And damn right they are dumbing down fiction!)

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April 30, 2010 12:58:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, I am glad that you have a persistent world separate from both the book and game.

I have my own persistent world as well ... hopefully I can one day mod it into elemental

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April 30, 2010 4:26:02 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Everyone has thier own persistent worlds. It is as common as the wind, and just as fleeting!

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May 1, 2010 9:51:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, well, well... good news, clicked on the link, and there is now a link to a Kindle edition!! Thanks, Pre-ordered!!

Pretty sure I talked about this in the much older thread about this book, gonna go and update that thread also if I can find it.

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