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Default Shroud of the Avatar - Starr Long Joins Portalarium

July 7th, 2013, 03:30
Ultima Online Project Director Starr Long last collaborated with Richard Garriott on Tabula Rasa,has joined the team at Portalariu. He is to work on the upcoming Kickstarter-funded Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues as an Executive Producer.

Starr Long Joins Shroud of the Avatar Development Team at Portalarium

Starr to team with Richard Garriott on crowd sourced game; Duo collaborating for the first time on fantasy RPG genre since Ultima Online

AUSTIN, Texas, July 5, 2013 — The last time Starr Long and Richard Garriott teamed up to create a fantasy role playing game (RPG) was 1997. That game, Ultima Online, quickly became the first commercially successful massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) and many credit the duo with reinventing the RPG with that ground breaking product. Now Richard Garriott and Starr Long are preparing for yet another collaboration to reinvent the genre, this time on Portalarium’s™ Shroud of the Avatar™ PC based game. Starr was announced today as the project’s executive producer.

The announcement was made during RTX 2013, currently taking place at the Austin Convention Center. Garriott is a guest speaker at this year’s event. He is showing a demo of Shroud of the Avatar during a special presentation at 4:30 pm CDT, Saturday, July 6, in room 19 of the convention center. The entire presentation will be live streamed on RTX Live. Additionally, Garriott will be formally introducing Starr during his talk.

Starr is a 20-year veteran of the gaming industry. He started his career at Austin’s legendary Origin Systems studio where he worked directly with Garriott to produce and create Ultima Online, which continues its position today as the longest running massively multiplayer online game ever. In 2010, Ultima Online was inducted into the Online Game Developers Conference Hall of Fame, becoming the first MMO to be so honored. Starr later helped co-found Destination Games with Richard and Robert Garriott (the company was soon acquired by NCsoft) and as producer he again collaborated with Richard Garriott on the futuristic MMO game, Tabula Rasa. In 2008 Beckett’s Massive Online Gamer magazine named Starr Long as one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in the massively multiplayer online industry.

Starr’s move to Portalarium comes after spending the last four years as executive producer at The Walt Disney Company where he oversaw the Disney Interactive studio responsible for Pirates of the Caribbean Online, Pixie Hollow and Toontown. While there he was the executive producer of the Disney Parent App on Facebook, eight learning mini games in Club Penguin (including Pufflescape, the second most popular mini-game in that virtual world), Club Penguin mobile, five Disney Connected Learning games on iOS (ranked in the top 5 educational games) and the Disney Connected Learning platform.

“I am thrilled to be moving back to Austin to partner with Richard on his next fantasy role playing game,” said Starr. “Richard’s ideas for remaking the genre are well aligned with where the industry is today in terms of technology and design. It is really exciting to know that we are creating Shroud of the Avatar with the idea of bringing back the concepts and principles that Richard used successfully in making his Ultima series. With all of that said, what I most look forward to is working directly with the community to make the product they want, which is the real power of crowd funding.”

“If people enjoyed the leadership that was in place when we were creating Ultima Online, they’ll be very happy with the team we’ve put in place for Shroud of the Avatar,” said Garriott. “Starr Long is a longtime colleague of mine, and he is absolutely one of the visionaries in this space and his track record shows it. I know he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and jump right in to help us make the next epic RPG. This news sends a clear signal to our fans that the game they’ve been waiting 15 years to play is that much closer to reality.”
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July 7th, 2013, 03:30
So Shroud of the Avatar is now officially an MMO?
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July 7th, 2013, 03:36
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
So Shroud of the Avatar is now officially an MMO?
It's starting to sound more like it is. Their just allowing an offline mode to pacify the backers that wanted it.

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July 7th, 2013, 03:42
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Their just allowing an offline mode to pacify the backers that wanted it.
petitioning to change the name of offline play to retardo mode.

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July 7th, 2013, 03:44
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
It's starting to sound more like it is. Their just allowing an offline mode to pacify the backers that wanted it.
That's what I was afraid of. We will just have to wait and see how it turns out and how they will produce the 'offline' bit.
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July 7th, 2013, 04:59
Actually they were originally making the game as a single player rpg and it was the kickstarter that allowed them to add multiplayer to the game so that means it is single player first and multiplayer second.
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July 7th, 2013, 07:56
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Actually they were originally making the game as a single player rpg and it was the kickstarter that allowed them to add multiplayer to the game so that means it is single player first and multiplayer second.
I don't know what they were doing or not doing originally, but that claim is bogus. You don't even need to look beyond the main feature list on the Kickstarter page, where one of the bullet points is: "Multiplayer Online Game - which can also be played solo player / offline". Right there in black & white…it's a multiplayer game, which can ALSO be played solo/offline.
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July 7th, 2013, 10:52
That was what the kickstarter was mainly for and they had already started development of the game well before they did the kickstarter. That is the reason why the kickstarter focused on the multiplayer part. All of this came from posts or videos from the developers.
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July 7th, 2013, 11:11
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
That was what the kickstarter was mainly for and they had already started development of the game well before they did the kickstarter. That is the reason why the kickstarter focused on the multiplayer part. All of this came from posts or videos from the developers.
I know that's what they've said, but I won't believe it until I see it. No one will be happier than I if they prove me wrong and make a great single player RPG, but I've got a feeling it will be a seriously watered down experience, and I'm not really interested in MMO's.
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July 7th, 2013, 13:36
All I can say is that I'm glad I resisted the lure of nostalgia in this case. RG's tastes and vision for the future of games simply doesn't match my own any more, so I was more than a little skeptical when I saw the kickstarter that seemed to promote so heavily a single-player game (I can't point to any specifics, but in the early going, that was the overwhelming impression that I was left with: Shroud would be a single player game, with possibly multiplayer added if the campaign was successful. I just couldn't believe it, given what I've read about RG's preference for multiplayer games these days).

Am keeping an academic eye on the project and I hope it succeeds, but multiplayer gaming simply isn't what I'm interested in.

Edit: Incidentally, if Shroud really IS a single player game, with an additional multiplayer mode, then they really need to do more to promote that fact, rather than keep beating me over the head with the multiplayer aspects (such as Starr Long, long-time MMO vet, being added to the team). Every time I hear anything about this game, it's about multiplayer multiplayer multiplayer, and that just makes me tune right out.

Was actually excited for this game when I first heard about it, but that interest has waned now to the point of, as mention, academia.

Personal feeling is that no matter what this project started out as being, it's going to end up leaning far more toward the MMO end of the spectrum than the SP.
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July 7th, 2013, 20:30
RG hasn't cared about single-player games in 20 years. There's no reason to believe he suddenly started now. And if guenthar is correct, then we just paid him money to care even less.
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July 7th, 2013, 22:43
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
RG hasn't cared about single-player games in 20 years. There's no reason to believe he suddenly started now. And if guenthar is correct, then we just paid him money to care even less.
If this is the case, the this will be the final nail in RG career as a rpg designer and he can have his crown among the mmo crowd (and eat it!). "Selective-multiplayer - patent pending" in the latest demo does not inspire optimism .
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July 9th, 2013, 12:13
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
"Selective-multiplayer - patent pending" in the latest demo does not inspire optimism .
Wait so is the real plan to make money by suing Zenimax over their "Mega-server."
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