That we can proudly talk about the long-awaited, upcoming release of Elvenar’s Chapter 21 today, is a tribute to all the blood, sweat, and tears invested by all different talented people at InnoGames, who brought the fantastic story of Elvenar to life. But first if all, this milestone is a testament of the love of Elvenar players, that enabled us to continue the story of a magical world that holds so much to discover.

The release of a new chapter is always highly anticipated and thousands of Elvenar players love to learn about new challenges ahead as soon as they can! Obviously, there is no better way to get in-depth information about a game from firsthand than asking the team creating the game, so we turned to the Elvenar Team to ask them about what made us most curious about Chapter 21!

We are very pleased that Timon, Senior Game Designer, has agreed to answer our questions! Subscribers of the Elvenar Youtube Channel might know him from our preview video about the Cauldron!

Be cautious, spoilers are lurking ahead!

A picture of the chapter 21 banner without a background. The banner is made of red cloth with silver lines on the left and right border, and is hanging down from a long grey bone. The banner is ripped, almost burned, at the bottom. The silhouette of a dark-red dragon head with a golden eye is depicted in the middle of the cloth. Below the dragon head, a golden XXI is written.
The in-game banner of Chapter 21

First, let us have a look at the title of Chapter 21 – The Vallorian Legend.
Of course, we do not want to reveal too much about this epic new story, and players will surely find out very soon what is hiding behind this epic title. But we cannot turn our eyes off the bloody-red banner of Chapter 21, depicting a dragon head.

There are always months of work involved for game designers, developers, and artists when creating a new chapter, or any other new addition from Elvenar. How do you perceive the past role of dragons in the Elvenar world and how does this role shift with the new chapter?

Timon: Elvenar is a world full of mysterious peoples and creatures. It was always clear that sooner or later we would also feature dragons. At the same time, we also wanted to create a consistent world in which everything fits together as much as possible.
A world in which many things are possible, but still follow certain rules that avoid contradictions and make an interesting story possible. That’s why we thought very carefully about whether dragons should be separated like humans, elves, and dwarves, with their own culture and background story that can be told in the chapters. Or whether they should rather be counted among the creatures, and thus be able to appear in a more uncomplicated way, independent of the story. In the end, we decided on a compromise.
Dragons are not completely separated with their own story, but they play a prominent role for certain, already established populations in Elvenar: for the sorcerers, for whom the transformation into a dragon represents the completion of the study of arcanology;
And now also for the orcs: In Chapter 21, we discover an orc tribe that has specialised in dragon taming and rides these mighty creatures through the skies. At the same time, this also means that all players can continue to look forward to dragons in events and other sideshows, regardless of which chapter they have arrived at.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you approach new chapters, from the idea to the design process, to the eventual implementation? How do you decide on the main objectives of a new chapter?

Timon: In principle, we look at three areas: the story, the art direction and the features. At the beginning, of course, we take a close look at what happened in the last chapter and how the story can tie in with it. We also have a multi-chapter and pre-planned backstory that will be retold and revealed step-by-step. This often results in a certain amount of leeway for art and game design: Which peoples could experience which adventure? How then do they differ from their final appearance in earlier chapters? What would be interesting buildings and functions in this concept? Which existing mechanics could we develop further, which new ones could we add? Basically, we always try to gently increase the depth of the world and increase our possibilities from chapter to chapter so that we don’t run out of ideas for interesting gameplay. We want to create many more exciting chapters in the future.

What would you say makes this release so truly special for the whole team? What about Chapter 21 makes you exceptionally proud, and what can players expect from that?

Timon: This time we’ve put a lot of effort into the core city, which is the part of the city that you keep upgrading throughout all chapters. Many city building simulations have the problem that too little changes in this part of the game over time, and the players then find it boring or even unnecessary to keep this part of the city. But where does the story take place and where can we offer new features for late chapters if each player had completely different buildings? We have therefore always made it our goal to keep the core city interesting and worthwhile. And that’s where we made great strides in Chapter 21. Being able to count on each player having Residences, Workshops, Manufactories, and Armories will make it a lot easier for us to keep filling future chapters with interesting new content that players can look forward to. In Chapter 21, for the first time since Chapter 1, there will be a new “Requirement” that works very similarly to Culture and Population – Prosperity. It comes from your core city buildings and will allow you to construct settlement buildings. And also brand new and permanent is the new resource “Community Work”, which you can collect from your high-level Residences as an alternative to Coins.

Each new chapter brings our players not only new challenges but also numerous fantastic new buildings to the game. The art in Elvenar is always top-notch, and we are sure that the Elvenar Team loves all its creations as much as the players do.  

But does the team have one favorite building that players exploring Chapter 21 will find on their journey? Please show us and tell us what makes this building so remarkable!

Timon: For me that would be the Dragon Tower. It’s the main settlement building of the chapter and shows the magnificence of the dragons and the richness of the Vallorian culture in one spot. It’s very impressive! But wait… did we even mention the Vallorian culture already? What is that again? Well, I guess you have to play “Chapter 21 – The Vallorian Legend” to find out!

The picture shows two colorized sketches of the Vallorian Dragon Tower, as well as a grey sketch of both the dragon and the orc, on a grey background. The second sketch of the tower doesn't show the orc-ridden dragon to uncover the destruction from the landing of the dragon.
The Vallorian Dragon Tower Level 1 (concept art)

We thank Timon of the Elvenar Team very much for giving us his answers about Chapter 21 and hope we made you more excited to make your own discoveries in the Elvenar! If you’re especially hungry to check out new content in Elvenar even before we write a blog article about it, join the Elevenar beta server!
And if you prefer a city-building game outside of the fantasy setting, try out Rise of Cultures!

– Vivien Redmann –
Trainee Community Management, InnoGames