Hello folks, I hope you and your families are doing well. The past five years have been very successful for Layonara, the little Pen and Paper world growing into a very vibrant and rich realm of fantasy and fun.
Over this time, Layonara has gone through many changes as faces came and left, team members volunteered their efforts and the gamemasters, the writers and of course, you, the players shaped the world. We took the Neverwinter Nights game engine to places I never imagined could be possible with the help of the Project Team and the lead developers. However, just like any good gamemasters, we have been thinking ahead, maneuvering and planning in the background.
For the past two and half years, a small group has been developing a new version of Layonara, one that does not use the NwN engine in any fashion and indeed not a single bit of its code or art. This group of individuals then formed Layonara Studios LLC, investing thousands of hours, dollars and air miles toward brainstorming, designing, programming, writing, building, art, marketing, legal and financial issues and many other aspects to the next generation of Layonara. These Board Members are: Dorganath, Pankoki, EdTheKet, OneST8, orth, Rhizome, Thak, myself and my wife, Beverly. Our team has also grown with additional members from both within the Layonara community and from the outside as we recognized dedication, talent, teamwork, trust and the willingness to take a risk with ones time and effort. This awesome team now totals 22 members. The other members that are on the team (and not listed above) are: Boxcar, Carter, Chongo, EonBlue, Eorendil, Honora, Kolgrima, Laldiien, Minerva, Nibor, Rasterick, Raxx, and Rowana. They all fill various important roles on the team.
With all that stated, the NwN world is slowly shrinking and some of our best assets and time are spent upon it and it is time we divert these valuable resources to the future. Nibor is working on the final update for Layonara NwN, except for the possibility of critical fixes. He will then be moving over to the new product to provide us some much needed help. This next massive update being lead by Nibor and worked on by the entire Project Team includes Central and East are being merged and about 20%-25% of those area being completely rebuilt with loads of creatures, items and entire area updates and additions. It is a pretty major update that has been worked on by a number of individuals for several months.
We will keep the world up as it is now but running on less server resources which is not a big deal since the community is diminishing. The GM Team will still be running quests like they do now and like everybody knows and loves. Making your mark on the history and lore of Layonara will transcend to the next generation and the result of many of the final quest series will shape the world to come. The Project Team, however, will no longer update or work on NwN and indeed will likely be dismantled within a month or two, at least the few that still remain and are somewhat active. The Writing Team is still working on the Layonara history and lore, like they have been for years. Their work will remain very important in this and the next incarnation of Layonara and I hope they continue their work.
The NwN servers will stay up and running until it either a) gets to expensive for me to keep it running, so keep donating as this is important for NwN or b) the world or community becomes to much of a hassle in terms of time, effort, or headaches for the servers to stay online or c) we make it to beta testing of the new product which is still a ways away. Layonara is not going away, nor is it fading away; but much rests on the communities shoulders for how long the NwN servers remain online.
I am sorry, but we cannot and will not talk about the new product beyond what I have mentioned already. So please do not PM me or anyone else asking for any more information. We are also not taking any sort of applications at this time for volunteers.
Rest assured, this next generation revolves around Layonara, online roleplaying, and a fun and immersive world. We do not know when the new product will be out nor do we know when it will be in beta, the official words are "when it is ready." Other than that you will need to wait for announcements and updates as that is all we are saying at this time.
So Layonara on the NwN engine will stay online for now but for how long I cannot say as that greatly depends on the community as a whole. Layonara will continue on to a new dawn with a new engine at some point down the road. If the donations continue and are enough to keep the servers running (it is not there right now btw) and the community is positive and remains active then the NwN version of Layonara should be around until at least December.
I want to make it clear that we fully understand that some of you will likely view this in a negative light, it is not negative though. It is a heads up on what is coming down the pipe for Layonara. Layonara is going to grow and it is going to be using its own engine, something that will give us more flexibility to do more of what we want to do in order to support the community. So, please understand that this is a positive thing for Layonara and try to think along those lines.
There are many great things coming for Layonara!
Stay tuned for more information, screenshots, and much more at a later time.
The FAQ has been moved to the MMO Forum: