Development Roadmap

The Future of Theleston

Encompassing multiple planes of existence, the universe of Theleston is more expansive than any one product can portray alone save, perhaps, a fully expressed Multiplayer Evolving Online World (MEOW). Skyward* is a relatively small organization and is a long way from having the resources needed to make the Theleston MEOW at this time. They do, however, have a plan to get there.

Based on past experience, the Skyward* team has taken a staged approach to the development of the Theleston IP in its myriad forms, starting with smaller, more easily achievable projects, and building on them to move forward into larger, more complex iterations of the universe.

The development plan and current progress can always be found here on the Roadmap page.

Phase 1 represents the first steps being taken to move Theleston forward towards the ultimate goal, the MEOW. Here, the systems and dynamics pioneered during the Revival era are applied to the more abstract realm of pen and paper roleplay. Likely, the shortest of the phases, this also represents a potential long-term sustaining expression of Theleston with updates, new source books and auxiliary products, as warranted.

Theleston.com Website

The first task is the creation of a destination on the web for those interested in Theleston, in other words, this site. This will be the main hub for connecting to current events news, livestreams, bimonthly fiction stories, the community Forums, a wiki with all the latest data and more. Given the limited resources to start, the design will be relatively simple with focus going to creating templates for content and system to circulate new items to the front page to provide easy access and highlight new additions.

Setup 100%
Content Creation 65%
Art Placement 45%

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Game

Built from the ground up to include the collaborative storytelling dynamic and the interconnected systems design ideal from Revival, Theleston’s pen and paper roleplaying game will initially be comprised of five products:

  • Storyteller’s Guide
  • Player’s Guide
  • Theleston Source Book
  • Combat Stance Cards
  • Storyteller’s Screen

Initial distribution will be digital, via a print-on-demand house or an online RPG store, with potential for a crowdfunded physical bundle of all 5 products, using that as a spring board for selling the product as physical SKUs in game stores.

System Design 80%
Content Creation 25%
Book Layout 5%

Divination Cards

The final phase 1 product is the deck of divination cards for optional use in the roleplaying game or for personal collections. This will include the comprehensive set of divination cards, as well as an insert explaining how to use them to perform readings, both in the RPG and in life.

Layout Design 90%
Content Creation 100%
Art Placement 30%

In Phase 2, the base of lore created during the Revival era and Phase 1 will be applied to creating several works of fiction—a collection of short stories set in Crowns Rock and a novel spanning several continents across Theleston. Concurrently, support and enhancement of the pen and paper system will continue with a series of interactive apps and tools. The first of these will be the Character Creator including Origin Matrix, and will be followed by products such as the Thelestonan Clock and the pocket Narrator’s Helper, which will include die rollers and other RPG tools bundled into a single app experience meant as a convenient aid for players of the Theleston pen and paper roleplaying game.

Short Story Collection

The first book release will be a collection of short stories set in Crowns Rock, a city on the northern island of the Blackwell Archipelago. The book will contain 10-15 stories of varying length, each offering a different glimpse into life in Theleston and the strange goings on in Crowns Rock.

Story Writing 70%
Developmental Editing 25%
Book Layout 0%

Theleston Novel

The second book project in this phase is a full-length novel spanning the known world of Theleston and following a coterie brought together for an unusual expedition. The book will feature a small cast of characters, but highlight several locations, acting as much as an example of Thelestonan adventure as a fantasy story in its own right.

Plotting 0%
Story Writing 0%
Developmental Editing 0%
Book Layout 0%

Interactive Apps

Production of the interactive apps in this phase will happen “around” the production of the other two projects, so that whenever possible parallel development of the apps can take place. The apps are most likely to be done in C# (e.g. xamarin) given the resources and expertise of the core team.

Thelestonan Clock API 100%
Character Creator App 70%
Storyteller's Assistant 10%
Divination Card App 75%

Phase 3 will be devoted to the production of single-player Theleston games, including an isometric, party-based Theleston roleplaying game for the PC and other platforms, and a Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure (HOPA) for PC, mobile, and tablet platforms. This will be, by far, the most resource-intensive phase to this point and will represent a major step forward for the development effort.

Party-Based RPG

Using the existing assets, the design put into Crowns Rock and the MEOW’s VirtualDM technology, the RPG game will introduce players to the collaborative, world changing, nature of storytelling in Theleston, offering a glimpse into the MEOW experience scaled to the resources we have available in this phase.

Preproduction 5%
Production 5%
Testing 0%

HOPA

Presenting a story of intrigue, legacy, and conspiracy, the HOPA will give players a first-hand look at the rich history of the world of Theleston. Taking place in the city of Skypass many generations before the time of the pen and paper RPG and building on previous work such as the divination cards, the game is a series of puzzles and manipulations, the solution of each one bringing the player closer and closer to revealing mysteries and secrets of Theleston’s past. The HOPA’s compelling story, memorable characters, and intriguing puzzles will introduce the world of Theleston to players who might not otherwise discover its existence, potentially expanding the Theleston community.

Story Development
Preproduction
Production

Phase 4 represents the culmination of decades of effort to bring Theleston from a nebulous idea to a fully formed online world. The process will be long and require resources exceeding those of all other phases. Based on resources available at that time, production of the MEOW will either resume directly, or the task of acquiring development, funding and/or distribution partners will begin. The most challenging of the phases, this effort will no doubt span years, but the fruit of this labor will be nothing short of the release of the interactive and evolving world of Theleston itself.

Secure Resources
Preproduction
Production
Secure Distrubtion
Testing
Plan and Execute Launch