October 06, 2023

Status update regarding Project-R

Hello, heroes!

Since our last major update (link here), a lot has been happening at Vela, as you can imagine. The three things we’ve been focusing on most have been:

  1. Helping the team members leaving Vela as much as possible, and transition smoothly to our new world of being a small studio (again).
  2. Securing the future of Vela, through additional business relationships.
  3. Starting work on some key adjustments to Evercore Heroes, that we’re calling “Project-R”.

This blog post is going to focus on Project-R and how we move forward with your help!

Currently, the team is testing a new version of the game already. We’ve made a lot of changes so far (some you may not expect), and are working through the awkward transition phase, where some new features are half-way done, and some features we are removing are still there. Game development is always interesting, to say the least. When we’re able to get out of this transition phase, we’ll share more details in updates like this.

Whether you’ve been following along with us for a short time, or since day one, you might know that our ethos on building games at Vela has always been centred around the idea of cooperation. We want to build games you love playing with other people online, and we want to do it in a way that’s very collaborative on not only our development team, but also with our players (that’s you)! As we embark on the next phase of development post-Closed Beta, we plan to increase our interaction with the community in soliciting feedback, as we want to ensure we take the best lessons from Evercore Heroes.

Our first step in that starts now, which we’re calling Co-Op Questions (Co-Op to Co-Dev?). For the coming time, each Monday, we’re going to post a question for discussion in Discord that we need your opinions on. These are questions the Project-R team are actively thinking about, discussing, and potentially iterating on, and we want your take to help inform our direction! Anyone is welcome to chime in, whether you played 100 hours of ECH or are just joining us now - we promise someone will read all of it. After a week, we’ll post a new question in a similar category, and repeat that a few times. After your excellent responses / debates / theorycrafting, we’ll make sure to post a dev blog update with some of our thoughts on the topics as well, and highlight any points that especially stood out. We really want this to be a dialogue, not just a one way interaction. Through this process, you’ll be actively helping inform the debate around Project-R!

As a reminder, here’s a high level summary of Project-R to date:

  • We want to maximise the strong, roster based Co-Op teamplay featuring our unique heroes.
  • We want strategic gameplay decisions, specifically rewards, to have a much greater impact, resulting in wider variation between games.
  • We want to bring back the danger of PVE (losing to the game).
  • We’re still debating the best ways to realise mastery - either via competition between teams or some other method for those who want this.
  • We remain committed to letting you test an early demo-able version as soon as possible (more details when we’re closer).

So, to kick off our first series of questions, we’re going to be asking you to discuss your thoughts on Teams, with the first specific question hitting Monday!

The last several weeks have definitely been challenging for Vela, our team, and community, but we remain committed to moving forward with Project-R and realising the core potential in Evercore Heroes. With your help, we can get there!

See you in Discord, -Volibar