End-of-the-year post here, and it’s a massive one, so settle in with some coffee or a glass of wine. Or some mead.
First up, we wanted to thank everyone for an amazing 2016.
We saw several builds take place over the course of the year, including a completely new starting zone that was 16 times larger than the original. We saw the stabilization of our networking (there were no issues this year beyond what you would see in any operating MMORPG), the integration of hundreds of new assets, we brought Elloa into the fold (you should totally be following her YouTube if you love ESO), we brought Andrew on board (new world builder), and we’ve got a new artist who is planning to come work with us on some pieces in 2017.
We launched our new account system. A huge shout-out to our dedicated community who have helped us out with pre-orders, and those of you who also picked up subscriptions to build your pre-order tiers up over time. This is the first year we haven’t had to spend out-of-pocket for expenses. That’s a huge thing for us. And it’s helping us build up towards our first public presentations, where we actually attend a few cons and worry about press and advertising.
The monthly subs are incredibly helpful, because they are currently paying for things like the ongoing server costs and administrative costs (website hosting, lawyers, accountants), while the pre-orders cover the assets and licensing, plus give us extra to store aside to help mitigate convention attendance costs. Before, we were paying for all of this out of pocket, on top of assets and licenses, for 2014 and 2015. But this year, it’s all come from pre-orders and monthly subs.
So a HUGE thank-you to everyone out there who has supported us financially. We’re still not drawing paychecks until we launch the game, but it’s amazing to see something that we just set out to build for ourselves generate a passionate following and people who have trusted us for the last 33 months since we first started sharing screenshots on Facebook (before we even had a website, much less founded Stormhaven Studios). Don’t forget: you can sign up for a monthly subscription here.
The Volume I tale went from chapter 12 to chapter 28 (I’m mid-way in that one presently) over the course of mid-October until now with a current word count of 170k. I’ve blocked out the 23rd – January 3rd, 2017 to bang it out completely.
We played a few games together with folks this year. At the start of 2016 we did another round of Project 1999, then in the summer we did a round of ESO. This winter, we went into EverQuest II at the end of November, and the group is having a blast after our first month.
We’ve been questing, leveling, hanging out, and recently are starting to work on longer quest chains and working up towards our Mythicals, which we’ll likely start raiding for in February. You should join us. We play Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. Eastern Time, and we mostly hang out in our EQ2 Discord channel.
Next year, we move into the next stage of development. Which means NDAs are coming for those of you who will be moving from Early Access to also helping us alpha test in-game content.
Next year, we cross a threshold. In March of 2017, we’ll have been working on Saga of Lucimia for three years. To mark the occasion, we’ve got another meetup planned.
In 2016 we met in Austin, and after putting things to a vote internally, it looks like our next meetup will be in my base of operations: Cancun, Mexico.
The Cancun 2017 meetup is open to any of our community members who want to come down and hang out with us. The dates are March 31st – April 2nd.
We wanted to do something a little different for our anniversary, and since my wife and I have a small home where we can host things in a place away from the cold of spring up north, it made sense.
No tickets required; if you want to come into town for a few-day vacation that coincides with our 3rd year anniversary meetup, come on down and hang out with the development team.
The rough plan at the moment is a dinner meetup on the night of the 31st with everyone, then on the 1st we’ll be meeting up at our home for breakfast, then in the late morning we’ll be hanging out, showing off some behind-the-scenes content to anyone who shows up, giving away some Saga of Lucimia loot to guests, and possibly even live testing into the late afternoon. We’ll head to the beach for a sunset stroll and then dinner.
On the 2nd, we’ll meet up early morning and head out for a day of exploring Maya ruins, Yucatecan cuisine, and colonial architecture, before a final dinner on the night of the 2nd.
For those who don’t know, my wife and I have been based in Cancun since 2010, and our travel brand operates from here. We’ve been organizing food, culture, and adventure tours around the Riviera Maya and all the way out to Palenque since 2013, on top of our travels around the world, and we’re pretty stoked to be able to share our home with friends and family.
For the sake of transparency, because we know some people will jump to conclusions just like they did back in June of 2016: pre-order funds are not used to pay for our meetups. Just like Austin 2016, our team members pay out of their own pockets to fly in to these meetings, and they pay out of pocket for all their own accommodations, food, transport, airfare, and any activities we do. Not every team member makes it to every meetup; everyone has a different budget + day job and family requirements that come first. But around half of us will be on-site, with the others joining remotely throughout the weekend.
I wanted to take a moment to give a shout-out to those of the development team who work creatively. As most people know, everyone working on Saga of Lucimia has a day job that pays the bills while we build this game in our spare time. Some of our day jobs are clerical in nature, but others on the team dabble a bit in the artistic side of things with their creative juices.
Robert was the first of our team members to move to Austin, and a few months after landing he got a day job working with Portalarium, another Austin-based company. As huge supporters of SoTA across most of the team, it was a pretty awesome moment to see one of our team members getting a day job working on a game…especially since the whole reason we started building our own was to make our way into the game development industry and chase our dreams down.
Alex had one of his Savage Worlds adventures published by RPG Now. You should totally pick it up if you love pen-and-paper!
Emma is continuing to kick ass as an artist. You can check out her portfolio site here, and you should totally hire her if you need something!
The same goes for Joseph Bennett, who is working on expanding his freelancing career. He started a Facebook page earlier this year and is slowly populating it with his work. You should follow along!
David is rocking on a daily basis. He published a new album this year, and there have been a slew of interviews in recent months about the album and the work he’s doing on Saga. Check out his site here.
2016 has been a blessed year. 2017 is shaping up to be an even better year. As we look forward to crossing our three-year anniversary threshold and wind down the clock for this year, a huge heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been with us since we were just sharing screenshots on Facebook back in 2014.It’s been an incredible journey and one we’re proud to share with everyone. Thank you so much for your support, and we can’t wait to share the fully realized project with you!
Stick around…next year is going to be intense!
Happy Holidays to everyone, and we hope to see some of you down at our third-year anniversary meetup in late March, 2017!
Talk to you all after the new year.