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Chronicles of Elyria Mood Piece Removed After It Raised Questions About Asset Authenticity

Poorna Shankar Updated: Posted:
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Recently, Chronicles of Elyria shared a forum post originally containing a pre-production mood piece of Pyqish Architecture. The image itself raised concern amongst the community regarding its authenticity.

The image (viewable as archive here) depicted a forest scene with a few houses, a walking path, and fence. Looking closely, however, reveals a “FreeArt.com” watermark. This watermark has been pointed out by the community in our own forums, as well as on the official Discord channel.

This image was shared on the Discord channel, calling attention to the watermark. Additionally, this Pinterest image shares similarities to the house portrayed in the official image shared from the Chronicles of Elyria team.

Additional discussion in the Discord server also discusses the similarities from the official shared from the SBS team to seemingly stock images found online. This raises a few questions, chief amongst which asks whether or not the mood pre-production piece is a compilation of external assets, or if it is entirely original art. Discussion on our forums also raises concern as to why the team seemingly only has this mood piece to share instead of in-engine or in-game images/footage.

To be clear, all of this was circumstantial. There was simply no concrete, irrefutable evidence to suggest that the mood piece did contain external assets, or whether or not it was indeed wholly original. We reached out last week for comment and indicated our intention to publish the news today, January, 20. We received no response. However, after nearly 10 days of silence from the original forum post, the team edited the original forum post and removed the image. Their edited post – which was seemingly edited today, January 20 – now reads,

“Thanks to everyone who commented and contributed to this thread. At various points throughout the game development lifecycle, it is necessary to capture the feel and quintessence of an idea, location, prop, or character design, so that a mood and vocabulary can be created that allows designers and artists to have a conversation about what it is they're creating. These mood pieces are generally put together very quickly and often act as a precursor or prototype to the concept art and grey box assets being created by the team of designers and artists at a studio.

The image, which we removed, is one such mood piece. It was created as part of an internal discussion between our principal concept artist and the designers about the nature and structures of the Kypiq biomes. Snipehunter felt that it looked cool and, being a mood piece, (when combined with sufficient explanation) would help people understand a bit more about the process of making games. It would also allow us to track the piece over its evolution, from mood piece/paintover, to more fleshed out concept art, to a finalized design for the Pyqish architecture.

Unfortunately, the mood piece, being a photobashed compilation of several items of stock art with some rough paint over, was not received well or understood to be what it was: a means for us to visually communicate with each other (and now you) a mood or idea, not a finished concept or piece of art. We have taken the image down and locked this thread for further discussion, and removed all previous posts to discourage further replication or dissemination of the mood piece.

As a final note, if you'd like to see our in-game screenshots of what the Broadleaf forest currently looks like, check out this page on our official Wiki:

Biomes of Elyra

Sincerely, Soulbound Studios”

Thanks for the tip, Slapshot!


Poorna Shankar

A highly opinionated avid PC gamer, Poorna blindly panics with his friends in various multiplayer games, much to the detriment of his team. Constantly questioning industry practices and a passion for technological progress drive his love for the video game industry. He pulls no punches and tells it like he sees it. He runs a podcast, Gaming The Industry, with fellow writer, Joseph Bradford, discussing industry practices and their effects on consumers.