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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Shroud of the Avatar - Developer Insights – From Vision to Virtual Worlds

Default Shroud of the Avatar - Developer Insights – From Vision to Virtual Worlds

March 13th, 2013, 17:42
In a developer blog, Shroud of the Avatar developer Rick Holtrop shares with us on how an idea is transformed into a virtual world.
This scene started from conversations with Richard about the gypsies who will live in this world. A very early first pass resulted in a large camp where many gypsies lived and sold their wares. Richard felt that this didn’t quite match what he had in mind for this. Instead he had envisioned a much smaller, temporary encampment, possibly even a single gypsy family.
Once I started to visualize the scene in that way, ideas came to mind much quicker and more easily. This is a family that would almost certainly come under siege by a small group of monsters, they probably don’t have much in the way of money, and they probably had their own family issues to worry about.
We settled on two stories to represent here, one “local” and one “global.” Locally, the family comes under ambush from a pack of skeletons just as the hero arrives. This is a nice, quick little piece of gameplay that leaves the player feeling a sense of reward and accomplishment.
On the “global” scale, one of these gypsies has a wedding ring and offers it to the player as a reward for helping. On the surface, this appears to be an easy, extra reward for the player, but there is actually a great deal more happening here. The player has found himself or herself in an ethical dilemma, and that’s only apparent once the player has explored more of the world and uncovered more of the ongoing story. In this very organic way, quests can have both a long term and immediate consequence for players, and represents much of what questing means in a “Richard Garriott RPG”.
More information.

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March 13th, 2013, 17:42
https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?p=2687

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March 13th, 2013, 18:13
I'm curious about how this will turn out in practice though. Hopefully, people on the other side of the world aren't aware that you've been a bad boy and cheated people out of their pocket money.

I actually suggested for Tides of Numenera that the Tides, IOW your behaviour, shape you appearance, so other people can have an idea of what you're up to. That might be just as cheesy, in certain ways, but I'd prefer that.

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March 13th, 2013, 18:27
Hello 1990's 3d graphics.
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March 13th, 2013, 21:48
Originally Posted by Ashbery76 View Post
Hello 1990's 3d graphics.
Nyuk nyuk, I bet you are great at parties. Cya.

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March 13th, 2013, 21:53
Originally Posted by Ashbery76 View Post
Hello 1990's 3d graphics.
gameplay > graphics. if you dont agree, you are not an rpg fan. period.
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March 13th, 2013, 22:03
The problem is it has been mentioned many times a lot of the art is placeholders and it is just getting repetitive.

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March 13th, 2013, 23:03
Rather like the ideas in this blog, but still don't quite get the overall multi/single player balance in the game or whether they've really worked that out internally. It just seems that these ethical dilemmas would work best in a offline game, where the player gets to choose his/her destiny. In a multiplayer game you can't really make choices that can have any persistent impact on the world.
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March 13th, 2013, 23:52
Originally Posted by Roq View Post
Rather like the ideas in this blog, but still don't quite get the overall multi/single player balance in the game or whether they've really worked that out internally. It just seems that these ethical dilemmas would work best in a offline game, where the player gets to choose his/her destiny. In a multiplayer game you can't really make choices that can have any persistent impact on the world.
Actually only one MMO actually gave you the ability to have an effect on the world and that was ultima online. Nothing esle has come close since.

new info in this interview:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013…y-he-needs-ks/

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Last edited by rune_74; March 14th, 2013 at 00:16.
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March 14th, 2013, 06:59
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Actually only one MMO actually gave you the ability to have an effect on the world and that was ultima online. Nothing esle has come close since.

new info in this interview:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013…y-he-needs-ks/
Hehe, rune - if you think people here are harsh, have a look at the comments there!
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March 14th, 2013, 09:30
I like most Kickstarters but I'm a bit uncomfortable wtih this one.

I will pick gameplay over graphics but those graphics don't even look like placeholders - they really are quite mediocre. The concepts of the gameplay seem a little interesting but some are weird (e.g. player housing). And the fact that the man has spent millions on wasteful things but is asking for a million for his game? The RPS article even asked him and he didn't answer it satisfactorily.

I will wait and see how it develops further before I am convinced. But hey at least the Kickstarter seems to be going well!


P.S. In the RPS article, the classic shot of Lord British looks uncannily like Tom Green!
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March 14th, 2013, 10:39
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
I will pick gameplay over graphics but those graphics don't even look like placeholders - they really are quite mediocre.
Like InExile and Obsidian (and many other KS projects) they are using Unity, so they aren't really limited on the quality of graphics. That's up to their modelling guys and perhaps whether they make compromises to support ancient hardware.
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March 14th, 2013, 11:57
Originally Posted by Roq View Post
Like InExile and Obsidian (and many other KS projects) they are using Unity, so they aren't really limited on the quality of graphics. That's up to their modelling guys and perhaps whether they make compromises to support ancient hardware.
You know, I'm working on Unity (right now as I type this) for a work project so I'm familiar with it. Unity has a store from which you can buy cheaply or for nothing at all models, sprites and other stock graphical files.

Those assets look significantly superior to what is on display in the video which is pretty weird.

Hopefully this is all just VERY work-in-progress…
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March 14th, 2013, 12:14
Putting in simple models doesn't cost and takes a low amount of time. All you need is the basic shape and you could just generate basic textures.
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March 14th, 2013, 12:15
Well, you know, their previous game looked like this


So you could say they are definitely making progress
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March 14th, 2013, 12:53
Even though I'm totally in support of the kickstarter - I think their decision to show the placeholder graphics was a mistake. So many people are looking at it and making snap judgements, thinking it's their final art direction. And many won't take the time to find out they are placeholders, they'll just move on. People generally don't understand the concept of a prototype.

Just having concept art and no gameplay might have worked better (as Torment, Eternity, Wasteland, etc).
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March 14th, 2013, 13:21
I am not sure its the graphics alone. I am confused by the single player, solo, offline, multiplayer and MMO keywords that are flying round and mentioned by the developers. Moreover, since I play single player rpgs mainly, I don't see how the multiplayer fits in and why should I play it anyway.

This is in addition to the fact that this is just a single episode and there are 5 more larger ones to come which puts me off a bit as I don't feel I am getting a full game. I don't mind expansion packs to an already huge game like Skyrim, but episodes .. not comfortable with them.

Another issue that bother me is the RG on the first day of the kickstarter mentioned in an interview that they had surveyed fans before the kickstarter about their prefernce and they preferred a single player rpg. But in his wisdom and far reaching sight said in that same interview that multiplayer is the way forward ignoring fans preference and that is how they designed that game originally. Now few days after the kickstarter he is saying that now they are listening to fans! and they made a single player only part in addition to the multiplayer. This immediatley tells me that they have not thought this through, they are only saying this to get money while the original concept is highly likely to remain, which is fine for people who like MMOs but not for me.
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March 14th, 2013, 14:40
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
This immediatley tells me that they have not thought this through, they are only saying this to get money while the original concept is highly likely to remain, which is fine for people who like MMOs but not for me.
Yes - I also have the distinct feeling that they are making it up as they go along.

And if they are making an MMO to compete in the market with say GW2/Archeage/Elder Scrolls Online etc. they would seem to be taking an odd approach, not to mention that their budget and timescales, from all appearances, seem somewhat optimistic in comparison.
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March 14th, 2013, 15:46
Yup, the placeholder graphics were a mistake. If they felt like they had to have it in the video there should have been a huge label on top of it saying WORK IN PROGRESS!! or FPO or PRE-ALPHA or similar…
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March 14th, 2013, 18:18
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
I am not sure its the graphics alone. I am confused by the single player, solo, offline, multiplayer and MMO keywords that are flying round and mentioned by the developers. Moreover, since I play single player rpgs mainly, I don't see how the multiplayer fits in and why should I play it anyway.

This is in addition to the fact that this is just a single episode and there are 5 more larger ones to come which puts me off a bit as I don't feel I am getting a full game. I don't mind expansion packs to an already huge game like Skyrim, but episodes .. not comfortable with them.

Another issue that bother me is the RG on the first day of the kickstarter mentioned in an interview that they had surveyed fans before the kickstarter about their prefernce and they preferred a single player rpg. But in his wisdom and far reaching sight said in that same interview that multiplayer is the way forward ignoring fans preference and that is how they designed that game originally. Now few days after the kickstarter he is saying that now they are listening to fans! and they made a single player only part in addition to the multiplayer. This immediatley tells me that they have not thought this through, they are only saying this to get money while the original concept is highly likely to remain, which is fine for people who like MMOs but not for me.
You're not alone. I think thats why the campain goal hasn't been met yet. I fully expected them to reach their goal jsut based on RG's name. But, i thik people (met too) are still confused on what kind of game its going to be. I read one thing and then read something else that contradicts what i read prior. So, i'll continue to wait to see if i will participate in the KS.
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