Back when things first took shape as the D&D campaign I played with my high school buddies out of our shared rental house in Springfield, Missouri, it was nothing more than a pot-fueled summer of waking up on Saturday mornings to watch the then-once-again-airing of the D&D cartoon, playing D&D all day in between our jobs, and watching Star Trek: Voyager at night. Everything else is a blur.
Fast forward to 2008 when I moved to Bulgaria and started working for a living as a writer, after years of fantasizing about doing so, and the world began to take shape in an even larger way. As the outline for the books expanded and I began to delve deeper into the world that the Kingdoms of Lucimia are set within, politics and subplots started cropping up, and short stories emerged.
Even then, the idea was never more than books.
Fast forward another six years, to 2014. Technology had progressed leaps and bounds. Facebook had grown from being a twinkle of stardust on the Internet, to one of the largest and most progressive firms on the planet. YouTube, Twitch, and programs like Unity, had emerged, allowing people from all around the planet to share, to explore, to create…without the need to spend tens of thousands in software costs or college courses.
I can remember back when I was a kid, one of my dad’s friends who was a graphic designer for a living in the 80s and early 90s, paying literal thousands of dollars per year on Adobe products to run his business. Now, Adobe offers an affordable monthly payment plan rather than needing to fork over thousands (and of course you can pirate things as well these days if you are a completely cheap bastard).
I couldn’t have dreamed that Lucimia would grow to where it is today, back then when it was first conceptualized in the late 90s. Back then, it was just a great way for half a dozen high school buddies who were fresh out of school and in the early stages of college (apart from me; I was working in the family business with my uncle at the time) to smoke weed and disappear into a realm of magic and elves and dragons.
I’m 35 now (as of this writing; 36 is creeping up on me in January), and the world continues to expand. With the team we have assembled to work on the game, new ideas are constantly thrown around as we work on taking the concepts of the books and putting them into an MMORPG format. It’s challenging, and some things have to be changed, but that’s the nature of cross-medium work.
The most recent evolutions have taken place as a result of the Saturday night D&D group that I’ve been running with some of our community members. Set 750 years before Volume I. It’s allowing me a chance to delve deeper into a time of history that was little more than a vague concept up until this point.
There’s something magical that happens when people put their imaginations out there, and let the minds wander. If you haven’t tuned in to one of the Twitch streams for the show yet, you should; we’re streaming portions of the show every other weekend on Saturday nights somewhere between 7 and 11 EST. The giggles, excitement, and energy is palpatable, and it’s evolving every session.
It’s also through the community involvement that our game is growing. Our Early Access program is there so that players who want to be involved in the evolution of the game and the world it is set in, can do just that: help it to evolve. Every day we hear feedback and ideas and concepts from players that take things in new directions, and while not every concept will make it into the game, many of the ideas spark new lines of thinking and conversations that lead to exciting new concepts of ways we can do things.
During interviews, when people ask me what is the most rewarding thing about working on this game, I always give the same answer. For me, it’s the ability to see my imagination coming to light. I couldn’t do this alone; the team and the community are what make this project work so well, and what have brought us to where we are today.
Seeing things that were previously only in my mind actually taking shape as part of a living, breathing, world….that, to me, is a reward beyond measure.
I had a dream…..