Tournament & API Update Leads to Player-Run Tournaments

Below is a recent post about an update to tournament squares. These squares are special spots in the game-world that can be fought over or held as part of large contests or tournaments. Essentially, we now have a graphic for each square (as well as squares in the Broken Lands, the dangerous landmass to the South) and this — along with our combat API keys — will allow players to create and run their own tournaments. From the forums:

“Great news!

We have talked for a while about wanting to give Illyriad’s players more freedom to play how they want. Today we have given another tool to players, one that will hopefully allow them to host their own player-ran tournaments.

Some of you might have already noticed, but the current tournament squares in game now have a graphic. We have also included tournament squares in the Broken Lands.

You can see a list of these squares and terrain types and other information at this link. (You must be logged in to see the graphics.)

These squares are live right now. Keep in mind that on these squares all NAPs and Confeds are suspended; this means that only members of your Alliance can occupy these squares. (Players, if you can, please help us test this out. If you see an issue with any of the squares concerning the suspension of NAPs or Confeds, let us know immediately!)

We are even open to the idea of donating official prizes to players who need them to run a successful tournament! We will flesh these ideas out as we go along, but we would reserve these official prizes to server-wide tournies that would be open to a wide section of players. If you want to discuss details, IGM me in game, so we work on getting the pre-approval needed for any prize donation.

If you have any questions, please let us know! It’s possible that some of the kinks will still need to be ironed out, so be patient with us while we work on them.”

This development has led to Kodabear (the only magical bear in Illy!) to host his own tournament, due to launch soon. For more information, check out his thread.

What does this mean for the future of Illy? We’d like to think that players will learn to create their own content and will continue to leave their stamp on the game-world. We have always thought of Illy as a place for those who want to play how they want. The ability to host a tournament is just one more tool in the player’s belt.

Here’s to many more tournaments!

/me drinks some ale


GM Rikoo

GM Cerberus: Behind Illyriad’s Art


We’ve always loved the artwork inside of Illyriad and now, Age of Ascent, the upcoming MMO shooter we’ve been working on. So, who makes all of those pretty pictures, graphics and icons that you see while playing? It’s GM Cerberus, that’s who. We wanted to let him talk about himself so that you, the player, can get to know this superbly creative individual who pops into chat once in a while.

What got you started in art?

I’ve loved creating art from a very young age, I was fortunate enough to be raised by a family of artists; my mother being a singer/writer and my grandmother being a painter. They helped and encouraged me to cultivate my talents. What really got me into art, though, was video games. I loved drawing Samus from Metroid and Mega Man bosses as a kid, and I would occasionally get in trouble in grade school for doodling when I should have been working on school work.

What is it like making art for the specifics of a video game? How is it different than other projects?

It has been a learning experience from the get-go. There are a lot of technical aspects when creating digital art that you don’t have to account for in physical media. Not everyone who views the work I create is viewing it at the same settings I am, for example, there are different resolutions and browsers to take into account. Heck, some people’s monitors aren’t even correctly color calibrated. One of the biggest things, however, is that i’m creating artwork not just for form but for function. Everything I create has a purpose in some game mechanic, and seeing it all in place and functional in-game brings on a sense of self-satisfaction unrivaled by any other project I’ve ever undertaken.

Do you have an estimate of how many pieces of art you’ve made for Illyriad? How about for Age of Ascent so far?

I’ve done upwards of 250-300 “large” pieces that players can view in the tech tree in Illyriad and hundreds of other miscellaneous graphics and doodads that I can’t even begin to put a number on. It would be difficult to put a number on Age of Ascent as well, but I’d be safe in saying it’s over 100 pieces. These numbers can be misleading however, as I’m including something as small as a scout unit or afterburner icon.

Do you have a preference of working on fantasy or sci-fi stuff?

I’m really torn on this, so much that I feel like two different artists when I’m working on the styles. With my fantasy work I feel more at liberty to have them look hand illustrated where with science fiction I feel the need for precision and almost have the work be Trompe l’oeil. With Illyriad most of my work is done using a form of vector illustration and some freehand with a tablet, and on Age of Ascent it’s a lot of photo-manipulation illustration and a bit of drafting. I can’t claim favorites honestly, I’m fortunate enough to have the freedom to explore so many different styles that I love them all.

What is your process like? Do you sketch? Work on paper or all digital?

My process is very traditional in the sense that I start with a very basic sketch to act as a skeleton for the piece, and work up from there. My vector illustrations, for example: I begin by getting a very basic sketch, sometimes I refer to photos I take and chop up to insure I get my angles and proportions correctly, and then I create the dark contour lines. After the contour is complete I move to coloration and then shading to give the piece depth and light. For work with Illyriad and Age of Ascent I don’t really touch paper, everything can be done digitally and it’s very convenient to not have to scan in sketches or attempt to translate what I created on paper to digital media.

How do you create so many pieces of art while still maintaining your sanity?

Who said anything about me being sane? I very much doubt my sanity and it spirals downward daily. Seriously though, as I said before I am fortunate enough to have the privilege of being able to work on a myriad different styles. If I get burnt out on making logos for corporations in Age of Ascent I can switch over to creating freehand military units, isometric machines, blueprints, or vector illustrations. Variety is what keeps me sane, and I have lots of it.

Thanks to Cerberus for taking the time to talk with the blog. Now, get back to work! Those drawings won’t draw themselves!

Feature Preview: Avatar Customization

It has been a busy time since the July game update that added so many new features to Illyriad. As we continue to work diligently on aspects of that update, I wanted to take a quick break to share with you a little something different.

One of the things that I believe is important in gaming is the ability to put your stamp on the game and world in which you play. Individuality. And while there are a lot of ways to do that in the game world of Illyriad, one area that has been lacking is in the representation of player avatars.

More variety and customizable avatars has been requested by players in the past, and has been a goal of the dev team for some time. We’ve been working with some very talented artists to expand our selection of avatar display choices and have made some significant progress toward finally bringing these options to you in game.

Each race and gender will be able to choose a pose for their avatar as well as choose from a selection of faces, hair styles and colors. You will also be able to purchase  a wide variety of background options for your character that represent different types of environments in the game world, or even choose a favorite color if you prefer a simpler look.

One of our core values with Illyriad is not to add Prestige spend options that give a significant advantage to gameplay. In keeping with those values, vanity items like these new avatars and backgrounds will be available for a small Prestige purchase. We cannot say yet when these will be available in game, but we look forward to hearing your feedback and giving our players more options to customize the appearance of their avatars.

Examples of new avatar options are shown below.



(Work in progress art may be subject to changes.)

GM Luna

Preview: Commander Screen Re-design

With the introduction of gathering and crafting for troop equipment, armies in Illyriad are going to become much more customizable and can be tailored to suit specific combat situations. You can specialize for terrain, biomes, tactical roles or even day/night combat.

But who says the armies are the only ones who get to have all the fun? Your commanders will be able to use equipment items too.

Just like their armies, commanders will get to choose a piece of armor, a weapon and a mount on which to ride. So, for example, if you had equipped your army division with this specialized horse that gives a bonus to movement speed, you would want to make sure to give one to your commander also, so that he will benefit from the bonus as well. Or you may choose to give your commander the best equipment available, while finding more cost effective versions for the rest of the army.


The second part of the addition of equipment for commanders is the re-design of the commander screen.

Now, rather than being only a text-based screen, you can see all of the icons for commander abilities that you have researched.

Items in color are those you have researched, with the others in black/white.

The commander is shown as a silhouette with three slots available to add the equipment items.

Health and experience are shown in bars, so you can see how close you are to the next level or how much health your commander has left.

If you have the required experience you can click the button next to each ability to level it up.

The re-design of the commander screen, as well as the ability to equip your commander will be coming with the harvesting and crafting update.

Preview: Illyriad UIv3

Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_post_publicly_viewable() in /var/www/html/wp-includes/media.php on line 1648