Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues - All News
Saturday - May 18, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Dev Chat #3 And Tier Changes
Thursday - May 09, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Request for New Tier Titles
It seems Lord British wants your help renaming the tier titles for new and old backers.
Greetings and Salutations!
Lord British has a request to make of you, his Royal Subjects. We are in the process of defining the new titles for new tiers and would like your input! Our current thoughts are to add the prefix Royal to many of the Kickstarter only titles, making the basic title available to any new pre-launch pledges. We would like to know what you think of that!
And then, there are a few titles that just didn’t seem to work with the Royal Prefix, like Lord (and have been left blank in the chart below). So we would like some feedback as to what titles should be given to new backers for those tiers.
We are also open to considering new names for the existing tiers. For example, during the Kickstarter campaign, some players suggested that “Lord of the Manor” be changed to “Archduke”. So if you have any suggestions for alternate titles, now is the time to share your feedback!
Please leave your feedback in the comments, or preferably on the forums in the following thread: Community Feedback Request for New Tier Titles.
Saturday - May 04, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Art Time with Stephen Daniele #2
Shroud of the Avatar is back with another video in their weekly dev chat. This time it's Art Time with Stephen Daniele #2.
Wednesday - May 01, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Tracy Hickman Video
Shroud of the Avatar has a new video with Lead Story Designer Tracy Hickman discussing the story behind the game.
Friday - April 26, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Housing Developments and Upcoming Guild Features
Shroud of the Avatar has a new video talking about housing developments and upcoming guild features.
Wednesday - April 24, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #28, Translation To German and a New Tier
If you want you can still pledge for Shroud of the Avatar. As they are translating to German first, they added a 'German' tier as well.
$550 EDELMANN TIER - The Edelmann Village House Tier contains the following:
- INCLUDES ALL THE REWARDS FROM DEVELOPER TIER
- Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Edelmann" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player)
- Rent free, Village Level House Deed, transferable between players
- A special, commission free Vendor!
- An upscale, German Edelmann's home (German home styles to be submitted and voted on by community)
- A waterfront, German-style Cabana, sitting on stilts, in the water, attached to your Village property by a bridge (**Village waterfront lots available to Village, Town, or City property deed holders; higher value pledges have lot selection priority over lower value pledges**)
- Unique Beer Brewing Ability adhering to the German beer purity law, Reinheitsgebot. Only you will be able to teach this unique beer formula to others!
- An animated, German Automaton house decoration (we are inspired by the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Munich)
- Unique, in-game, Deutsche Dogge house pet (or maybe a Dachshund)
- Special Founder Level plaque as a digital, in-game decoration for your house
- Printed Shroud of the Avatar novel signed by Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott!
- Printed Village Property Deed, hand signed by Richard "Lord British" Garriott
There will also be an all digital version of the Edelmann tier available for those that do not want physical goods shipped to them:
$545 EDELMANN - ALL DIGITAL TIER - Contains only the digital rewards of the Edelmann Tier
Also Garriott is talking at the Quo Vadis German game conference.
Shroud of the Avatar - Art Time with Stephen Daniele
Shroud of the Avatar's website has posted a new video with Stephen Daniele. The video showcases the various artwork in the game.
Join Stephen Daniele and FireLotus for another Art Hour! We’re looking for a groovy new title for our weekly art hangout, so come prepared to offer some suggestions!
Saturday - April 20, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Interview with Richard Garriott
Here is another Pure Sophistry's interview, this time with Richard Garriott. He talks about Shroud of the Avatar, why graphics aren't that important and moreover about Kickstarter and gaming. The interview is part of a larger sets of talks and this specific interview can be found at 31:30 (The Witcher 3 interview is also on this and can be found at 21:00).
Wednesday - April 17, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update # 26 & 27
Well we missed two updates on this popular Kickstarter. So without any further delays here is the news. Update #26 is called Welcome to your new Home.
We have great news for all of our Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter Backers! We are now ready to merge your pledge information on the Shroud of the Avatar Website. And the process couldn't be easier!
If you are already registered on our official website:
Log in to www.shroudoftheavatar.com.
Click the account button at the upper right corner of the screen.
Select the "Link Kickstarter Account" button.
- Follow the instructions. That's it, you're done!
If you haven't already done so, we really need for everyone to register on our site and link your Kickstarter accounts so we can manage your pledges and rewards going forward!
Update #27 is called Extended Grace Period and Ongoing Kickstarter Integration.
We had a pretty exciting weekend after launching Kickstarter integration functionality on the SotA website last Friday! Due to email exchange glitches, many of you had trouble receiving confirmation emails allowing you to register on the SotA website and link your Kickstarter account. Fortunately, we were able to track the issues down and get that email pipeline unclogged by Saturday! As of today, there are over 13,000 registered members on the SotA site, and more coming in every day!
There are over 22,000 Kickstarter backers for SotA, so we still have over 9,000 backers that haven't registered on the SotA site and linked their Kickstarter account. For those of you that haven't linked your Kickstarter account on the SotA website, please click here to do so at your soonest convenience!
Extended Grace Period
It is taking us a little longer than expected to get everyone migrated across and the new tier functionality integrated into the SotA website. We expect to have the new tiers ready to go early next week, so we are extending the grace period until then. Once that integration is complete, all Kickstarter backers will be able to purchase/upgrade to both the previous tiers (pending availability of limited tiers), and the new tiers, whereas new backers after the grace period ends will only have access to the new tiers.
So, tell your friends to come take advantage of the few extra days that the Kickstarter Tier Rewards are still available!
Wednesday - April 10, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #25, Thank You
A big thank you and information on what is next is provided by the Shorud of the Avatar team.
Wow! Words can't adequately express how overwhelmed we are with the incredible outpouring of support and dedication that all of you gave to the Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter campaign, and to all of us on the SotA Team! Because of your incredible support, we raised a total of $2.03M, double our original goal!
We were totally amazed by how many stretch goals we blew past in our final 24 hours! We began Saturday morning at the $1.5M stretch goal, and were really, really hoping for some miracle to get us to the magical $1.8M stretch goal (yeah, along with all of you, we really want Tracy Hickman's prequel novel, plus all the other cool stuff in the $1.6M & $1.7M stretch goals)!
Quite honestly, with only 24 hours to raise almost $300,000 we felt the $1.8M stretch goal was out of reach. Boy, were we wrong! You guys showed us the incredible power of community! Reading through all of your comments going into the final stretch, the relentless cheering, challenging, shout-outs and sharing, it was apparent that all of you created the rocket fuel that caused the pledges to explode like nothing we could have imagined! You not only drove us to the unexpected $1.8M stretch goal, but your infectious enthusiasm propelled us past the $1.9M stretch goal, and with less than an hour before the end of our campaign...because of all of you...we pushed past the $2M stretch goal!
We couldn't have gotten this far without you, and together we will continue this incredible journey! We have learned so much from you about what this game should become, and we very much look forward to continuing that interaction, so please continue to discuss your ideas with us on our official site at ShroudOfTheAvatar.com! We’ll have regular updates and information for friends old and new. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter, or tweet us with #LBSOTA to keep the conversation alive!
Together, we will craft Shroud of the Avatar to be a truly unique, amazing, and FUN gaming experience!
For anyone who missed the final moments of our 24-hour, Kickstarter Live Dev Cam, here it is, forever archived for your enjoyment!
Sunday - April 07, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Updates 23 & 24
With four hours to go there are a few updates for RG's Kickstarter; one update with property and another with concept art and videos. Update 23:
We're down to less than 20 hours to go for our Kickstarter campaign, and we need everyone's help for our last big push! We're adding even more bonus rewards that make for some juicy upgrades!
Waterfront! Waterfront! Waterfront! Houseboats, House Ships, Lighthouses, and Even Island Castles! Yeah Baby!!!
You asked for it, and here it is: we've added waterfront property options to villages, towns, and cities, allowing you to live on houseboats, ships, and islands! Oh yeah!
We received feedback that the Baron 2 tier is priced too high compared to the Baron 1 tier, so we're juicing up the rewards for the Baron 2's! Now you get a huge, double-decker Galleon to moor on your waterfront property, and you'll be the talk of the town when everyone sees the uniquely glorious crown perched proudly atop your avatar's head!
We are in hour 10 of our 24 hour sit-in here at the Portalarium offices and we are so very humbled by your continued support and feedback! If you haven’t swung by the Kickstarter page lately, we are hosting a continuous LIVE Dev Cam as we count down the final moments of the campaign with you, our community!
We also have some new Concept Art and special videos to share with you!
The Forgotten City: New Concept Art by Stephen Daniele
In the arid lands to the East lies a forgotten city filled with magic and wonder. A place where few venture and even less return. Are you ready to accept the risk for the chance of reward?
Friday - April 05, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #22, More Bonus Rewards
With little over 2 days to go this update for Shroud of the Avatar brings us more bonus rewards, like these.
Many of you may get all glassy eyed and nostalgic when you hear we added a special Crystal Sword to the $60 tier that has the ability to kill almost any enemy you encounter (single use)! And with Early Skill Access available at the $50 tier (and above), you'll be the envy of all the players when they see you wielding new skills they don't yet have access to!
Not only are we crowdsourcing content from users but we're also crowd sharing! At least once a month we will release Unity content packs for download by those at the Developer tier (and above)! These Unity content packs contain a large number of game assets which can be used, free of charge in your own creations. Now that's a sweet deal!
Many of you suggested we add a tier to bridge the gap between the $500 Village house and $1500 Town house tier, so we added the $750 KNIGHT tier, which comes with a high-end, unique Village level Founder's home, appropriate to their stature as a Knight, complete with their very own house servant!
We also added a bunch of new rewards for all the SotA Homeowners, including unique high-end houses, house pets, house servants, unique furniture, and special Founder's Expert-level Crafting Stations!
So, without wasting another second, check out all our exciting new bonus rewards and pick your upgrades! And remind all your friends that haven't already pledged to come on out and get in on these Kickstarter-Only pledges before our campaign ends on Sunday morning!
Thursday - April 04, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #21, Their Art, Your Art and Emotes
With 3 more days to go, this update for the Shroud of the avatar Kickstarter brings us a piece of artwork.
If you want to leave your mark in the game you can also provide them with your art.
With Shroud of the Avatar, our team is breaking new ground in crowdsourcing art through the Unity Asset store AND the crowd sharing of assets to help build a powerful community! During the prototyping phases of SotA we found the Unity asset store immensely valuable. After seeing how the use of informal crowd sourced art and code from the Unity store enhanced our team’s velocity during prototyping, we decided it was time to take the next step and formalize the process.
We want our players to have a hand in creating content for the game. Our plan is to put out calls for art on a bi-weekly basis and then take submissions over the two weeks following the call for art. To help artists better understand how to create their pieces for SotA, a full art style guide will be published on our website, a SotA asset starter pack will be added to the Unity store before the first calls for art, and a detailed description or concept art for the piece we’re in need of will also be included for each new call.
If any submission is selected for use in Shroud of the Avatar, we will not only pay the artist four times the Unity store price for it, but you will also be rewarded in-game with appropriate trophies, or in some cases, a statue version of your art for display.We will also announce the winning art on our website and include it in our art blog with full credits to the maker and include them in the credits of the final game. And you continue to own the rights to your work, allowing for you to sell your piece in the Unity store, where it will include a “Shroud of the Avatar Approved” art banner.
For quality pieces that are not accepted, we will provide constructive feedback from our veteran art staff to help with future submissions.
Our next goal is targeted at our Developer Level Backers ($400) or higher, and is the addition of monthly Unity asset packs that include a variety of SotA in-game art assets! While the SotA Unity art packs won’t include 100% of our assets, it will include the majority of our non-quest related elements as well as some code systems. This will only include assets created within Portalarium, and not user submitted assets.
The assets will be useable and royalty free in any project the backer is directly involved in and will only carry the requirement that Portalarium is listed in the credits! Our goal is to get professional game assets in the hands of our most ravenous fans and indie game developers.
For indie game developers or small game teams, this gives them access to a stream of top quality fantasy content for their own creations. For the super fans out there, they can use the assets with the free or paid versions of Unity to make their own fan applications! Fans who are developers can also submit their own scenes created with the assets for use in the final game! Look for more details on the scene submission process and rewards after our Kickstarter ends!
And ther is a video on the emote system.
Wednesday - April 03, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #20, Crafting and an Interview with Warren Spector
Update number 20 of Shroud of the Avatar offers the opportunity to enter a contest involving a video you should make related to SotA and information on crafting.
When we started the crafting design discussions there were a number of differing opinions on how to attack the problem a design standpoint. One idea was essentially work in reverse and figure out the outputs we wanted from the system and design the crafting system around the outputs. Another important voice on the topic was that crafting itself should be able to stand on its own without regard to the output because if not we could be asking a whole class of players(crafters) to endure a system that was designed only with another class of people (adventurers) in mind. Finally, some voices believed that we should address it from the head and base everything on realism because that is what people will expect from a Richard Garriott game.
In the end we feel have a system that will please most everyone and, most importantly, is a solid foundation from which to build on for future expansion. During production we will continue to tune both the systems, the inputs, and the outputs based on both player feedback and player behavior.
So now that we got all that BS out of the way, let’s get to some of the reveals!
We’ve split the large category of “Crafting” skills into two major categories of resource production and crafting. While we haven’t revealed much information on the skill system just yet, players who prefer to split their time between crafting and adventuring will be happy to hear that the crafting skill trees and adventurer skill trees are completely separated and do not share skill advancement points in any way. In other words, working on crafting skills will not hinder your combat or magic skills in anyway other than the time you lose to crafting!
Each of the five categories for the resource production is split into a gathering skill section and a refining skill section. For instance, for mining, there is one skill tree dedicated to the collection of ore and gems, and another for the refining of those into final forms for use by the crafting skills. This same idea is mirrored for the other four categories of hunter(skinning/tanning), forager(herb collection/preparation), woodsman(lumber collection/lumber cutting and planing), fishing(fish catching, fish cleaning).
Skill trees for each of the above categories has branches for faster collection/refining, more output from each collection/refining, higher quality collection/refining, and greater tool endurance for collection/refining.
The output from the above sets of skill result in the majority of the input for what most people think of as crafting. The major categories for crafting are Blacksmithing, Cooking, Tailoring, Alchemy, and Carpentry. The outputs from crafting are any of dozens of various recipes but the the outputs tend to fall into the categories of consumables, wearables, and decorations. They also generally fall into one of three categories for durability which are hard goods (never breaks), soft goods (wears out through use and needs maintenance), and consumables (use it is gone).
More info in the update, which also offers more information on Farming. Besides that you can also watch this video
And to wrap things up Richard Garriott has interviewed Warren Spector.
Tuesday - April 02, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #19, New Stretch Goals and Bonus Rewards
You can't have enough Kickstarter bonuses and stretch goals, so here are a few more for Shroud of the Avatar.
$1.5M: Content is King + Iolo + Spoony interviews Richard
- Denis Loubet Cover art! (Denis made every Ultima cover except Ultima 2)
- New David “Iolo” Watson musical composition! (Iolo created “Stones” for Ultima!)
- Noah “Spoony” Antwiler interviews (roasts?) Richard “Lord British” Garriott
- 20 additional unique scenes including arctic scene sets
- Starting continent doubles in size
$1.6M: Shipping Lanes Open for business + New Island Content Set + Soundtrack
- New “Mysterious Island” content, city, and scenes
- Ports with boats that run on schedules to transport players to areas beyond the mainland; Safety not guaranteed! (In short, be prepared to defend your vessel!)
- Trans-Atlantic shipping lanes open the way for localization to other languages (languages for consideration based on player support: German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, etc.)
$1.7M: Dynamic and Contested Resource Nodes + Optional Minimap System
- Meteorites, volcanic eruptions, outbreaks of rare plants and animals can appear and vanish suddenly (online and offline) for those who are paying attention. Some PVP focused resources appear in tile
- Optional minimap system for the directionally impaired!
- The Lost Vale - A new mini-adventure centered around a lost valley previously hidden to players, now visible only during special astronomical alignments.
$1.8M: Tracy Hickman Novel + Catacombs + Apprentice System + Cloaks!
$1.9M: The World is a Stage!
$2M: Players Take over the World!!!$2.25M: Mod tools + Unique Art Creation skill + Expanded Player Customization
$2.5M: Full VR Treatment!
If you like to see more details or would like to know about the additional bonuses, check their update page.
Monday - April 01, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #18, Terrain and Weather
The terrain and weather systems are the most important parts in update #18 of the Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter.
Let's start by talking about Terrain. As you know, we are working with a hex style map. One of the things we've done to streamline content development is to assign hexes with terrain presets, such as swamps, forests or mountains. Each terrain type can then be assigned primary characteristics such as height maps, textures, basic physics, which allows for simplified world building. In addition, the hexes are also meshed to give them a certain unique look and feel. These hex presets allow engineers to take what the designers want and easily translate it into the game world. Whether we want to add an ancient, forgotten desert to explore, or remote island ruins filled with treasures and peril, this tech allows us to change one tile and change the world!
We also want to focus on maximizing player performance as well, and have developed several systems to optimize data flow. Overall, hexes will be processed in 3 x 3 chunks for basic rendering, and only the data currently onscreen is processed. Behind the screen, we will be utilizing two different styles of GPU acceleration, which will automatically adapt based on your hardware specs to ensure the best possible performance while allowing for breathtaking visual impact.
A great example of this tech in action is our new Weather system, which we were able to implement partly because of these presets. We want the weather to look and feel real, while also having a meaningful impact on the player. Our weather will be simulated to not only look realistic, but to provide for evolving weather patterns that influence other aspects of the game. Weather, along with the day and night cycle, will be an important part of each scene. For example, perhaps a player can only approach a secured location under the cover of darkness, or maybe there is a rare herb that can only be gathered during a thunderous rainstorm.
Saturday - March 30, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #17, Summary and Character Concept Art
In the latest update a summary of Shroud of the Avatar is can be found:
Shroud of the Avatar is the “spiritual successor” to Richard’s previous work in the FRP genre. Our primary objectives are to tell a story even more compelling than Ultimas IV-VII, create a virtual world more interactive than Ultima VII, develop deep rich multi-player capabilities beyond combat akin to Ultima Online, and offer a bold new approach to integrate them with “Selective Multi-Player”.
- Shroud of the Avatar is infused with rich storylines, deeply integrated into game play, developed by Best Selling Author Tracy Hickman and RPG legend Richard Garriott.
- Players will adventure in an interactive world where their choices have consequences, ethical paradoxes give them pause, and they play a vital part in weaving their own story into the immersive world and lore surrounding them.
- Shroud of the Avatar is a Selective Multiplayer game, allowing players to choose how they want to play! Whether in Single-Player Offline mode or any of three online modes, the main quest line will provide greater than 40 hours of focused, story driven content.
- Shroud of the Avatar can be played as an offline DRM free solo experience or online, where our servers will enable player to player transactions, group finding, patching, streaming of dynamic content, and exploit prevention.
- Built using the Unity Game Engine, Shroud of the Avatar will support Win/Mac/Linux for official launch.
- Players can specialize in a wide range of combat and non-combat skills, provided by a robust, classless skill system, and full-featured crafting and housing mechanics. Play the way you want to play, molding your character into the hero, anti-hero, or artisan you want to be!
- Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtue is the first of a 5 game series of full-length, stand-alone games (each using the same game system), referred to as Episodes 1 thru 5. Estimated availability of Episode 1, Forsaken Virtues, is October 2014, with Episodes 2 thru 5 estimated for subsequent yearly releases.
- Shroud of the Avatar is a “buy-to-play” game that, once purchased, does not require a subscription to play!
Also a new tier has been added at $80, which gives you episodes 1, 2 and 3 as a reward and some new concept art is given.
Now we know that there is really no NEW information in there, so we wanted to give you something else! For those of you who have asked, “Will I be able to play as a female Avatar?” Yes you can, as seen in this new Character Concept art! (The full sized version can be downloaded from the Shroud of the Avatar Media Gallery.
Wednesday - March 27, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #16, Bonus Rewards
Update #16 brings us more bonus rewards: future episodes, new tiers, immortality fruit, indestructible artisan tools, unique taming ability and more.
We received great feedback on our forums for additional Pledge rewards, and based on this feedback we're adding lots of new bonus rewards!
Two frequent suggestions included access to future episodes and a bridge tier between $60 and $100, so we combined those suggestions and added a great new tier! We are introducing the reward-packed, $80 Royal Artisan Tier! This tier is loaded with goodies, including full access to future Episodes 2 & 3, a David "Iolo" Watson-designed range weapon, indestructible artisan tool, unique (teachable) emote, and special ability which will allow players to tame a normally untamable monster!
We also added a new $50 tier, the Immortal Adventurer, that includes an awesome, one-of-a-kind Immortality Fruit, used with the farming craft to sow a regenerating seed and an edible fruit that grants a full damage heal!
Tuesday - March 26, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #15, What Influences Art and a Video
The Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter enters its 15 update and brings us news on how design and story influenceses art and Garriott answering the Popeye question.
This piece of concept art, by Stephen Daniele, was a truly collaborative piece and has gone through multiple revisions. It started with the ideas that the statues could have been part of a large promenade that led to the citadel at the base of the volcano. That is where a closer look at the lore introduced the idea that they were part of an ancient culture that had harnessed the power of the volcano using it as an energy resource.
That idea led us to contemplate; if this ancient race of monument builders were able to harness the power of the volcano, what were they like? What imagery and symbols would appeal to that society? Perhaps Dragons and Succubi!
But these powerful, ancient society flourished during a time long past. Now, the statues are in a semi-ruined state, cracked and somewhat broken up with rock caked around their bases. They are standing in the lava because they have been there since before the lava flowed freely from the volcano. So what would compel adventurers to traverse the dangerous landscape?
Riches beyond imagine.
What if this area was the only source for rare resources? Obsidian, diamonds, rare metals not found elsewhere in the land! What if some, very rare resources could only be gathered in extremely dangerous areas, like a lava field? One thing we are confident of, is that resourceful players will find a way.
And then there is news on the AMA at Reddit we already posted about and the video where LB answers the Popeye question.
Also the $1.3M and $1.4M stretch goals are announced:
$1.3M Interactive Music Instruments
Shroud of the Avatar - Reddit AMA
As mentioned before Richard Garriott did an 'Ask Me Anything' session at Redditt, which you can read here.
Good day Richard Garriott. Are you planning to have the farming system work along with the seasonal weather system? it only seems logical to me. plant in spring harvest in summer :D also the hexes surrounding the villages would make good purchasable farming plots.
Wow, great idea... my team (or at least Chris Spears) will freak out on that one... I do hope we get to the weather stretch goal ($50k to go). If so, I will look into "seasonal" influence as well!
Excited for your responses and loved your Matt Chat interview My question: Played UO when it first released and use to get murdered by PK's all the time and hated it. Turns out I now miss that in games. I miss the literal fear I would have for my things and the loss that would happen if I died. Why are games so easy now and will Shroud of Avatar have PK's running around murdering me?
We fully understand the potential horror as well as exhilaration that comes from being in full PVP. We are working hard to properly thread the needle, such that newbies don't get ganked, and yet mature players are encouraged to become exposed to PVP risk, such that the feeling is returned. We know this is a hot button issue, and we are working hard aon what we hope is an elegant answer!
Monday - March 25, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Matt Chat Interview
Matt Barton has interviewed Richard Garriott on Shroud of the Avatar and him being one of the first making role playing games.
Sunday - March 24, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #14, Paypal and Virtues
Update #14 brings us news that you can now pledge through Paypal.
The tier rewards are identical both on Kickstarter and at our Shroud of the Avatar store. It is simply an alternative that will allow new backers to pledge using PayPal as a payment option.
Then there is a video on virtues where Richard Garriott asks on of their programmers a set of questions about player virtues. If this video makes it past 25000 they will post Richard's answers in a future update.
Also, Richard Garriott will be hosting a IamA session on March 25th at 4 pm CST. Join him here: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/
Shroud of the Avatar - Interview @ Dagon's Lair
Dagon from Dagon's Lair informed us that they had the opportunity to chat with Richard Garriott with a focus on the single player part of Shroud of the Avatar. The inhhteview comes in two parts and is available in both French and English (part 1 and part 2).
So in essence, the way you do it so that the single player experience is not say gimped by multiplayer is by building the multiplayer around it?
That’s right. That’s exactly right. And I also think than when you think of multiplayer, the… in a multiplayer sense, it’s actually very uncommon that your actual friends, people you actually know will happen to be online at the same time you happen to be online. You know if you think of your friends in the world. Most people have maybe a hundred people they would really call their friends and maybe only thirty of those people are actually as hardcore gamer as you are, and so the probably if you log on every other night, once every other night let’s say, the probability of you and your other thirty friends being online at the same time and in the same city at the same time is not a very likely occurrence. It’s actually, you know, it’s not something that will constantly be happening it’s something that’ll only occasionally happen and so I actually think as much… I want to convince people first of all to play online, not offline. But also by the way I think there is no reason not to expose yourself to letting your friends and you see each other because it’s not gonna happen that often, and whenever you happen to be in the same town, or happen to be travelling across the same part of the map, what a great joy it is to say, “Hey Bob, Chris, you know, what’s up? Hey how are you doing?” and make a celebration of the fact you found each other in this virtual world. Now if what you don’t wanna do is play with thousands of stranger tromping across your map, and killing all of your monsters, and getting all the loot ahead of you, and struggling for limited resources and you don’t to play that what I call competitive aspect of what sometime happens in multiplayer games, then don’t. We have a very simple slider that you move and set anywhere you want between travelling literally alone to only with people you know, to only with people you know and the know, so kind of two steps, or frankly anybody that happens to be nearby and so you can adjust and choose your level of comfort and you can change it on a daily basis. You can be going like you know last time I played I went ahead and slide that slider to let other people play and I didn’t like it. Well okay, you‘ll slide it back to solo player, no harm.
For those who don't like to read, there is also an audio version available on Youtube.
Friday - March 22, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #13, Housing
It's all about housing.
As promised, we’re ready to reveal more design details. Based on feedback from the forums we’re revealing some details on housing!
Let me jump right into the stuff you guys really want to hear:
- House maintenance and acquisition can be paid for with in game currency (KS houses have no upkeep cost ever)
- House deeds can be traded between players
- Houses are 100% secure for items stored in them though not always 100% accessible due to nasty sieges by evil forces
- Houses exist in shared spaces (not instanced) and everyone will see your house and its decorations
- Houses can be decorated both inside and out
- Houses will be fairly limited but more will be added over time as we grow the world
- City houses > Town houses > Village houses
- Vendors for houses will be paid a percentage of the item that they sell (KS vendors will not take a cut of the profits)
Ok, hopefully that answered 80% of the housing questions we've received! For the other 20%, here are details, in written and video form:
Thursday - March 21, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #12, Art Direction
In update number 12 of the Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter the art direction is discussed.
When we first started discussing Art Direction for Shroud of the Avatar, we felt it was critical that the virtual world be steeped in a traditional medieval fantasy feel, but have added a modern twist that we think will be a real treat for players to experience, taking them into something fresh.
There are an abundance of medieval fantasy games out there—so we asked ourselves how do we set the game apart, how do we create a unique and marketable identity in an oversaturated market? The answer came in Richard’s natural storytelling ability. Over the last few months, Richard developed a complex, rich story in which two worlds collide, the ancient world melding with the modern, and the world art we’re creating will reflect that in a fresh and unique way.
We started with traditional medieval elements and layered in elements of a primitive electro-mechanical future. Our objective is to create a visual aesthetic that is both familiar and unique. And now with the addition of Tracy Hickman to the team, his vision for the story will continue to evolve that world, and in turn, evolve our depiction of that world.
Richard’s attention to detail and sense of direction demands that all characters, weapons, objects, and buildings need to “make sense” and not just exist as eye-candy. We are creating a world that sets Shroud of the Avatar apart from the pack-- but also one where form always follows function. We believe this design process will create believable, fascinating worlds and our art will follow that vision.
Shroud of the Avatar - Sharing Stories
Richard Garriot share stories on the Ultima games, ducks and Shroud of the Avatar.
Tuesday - March 19, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #11, Stretch Goals and Bonuses
Now that Shroud of the Avatar is officially funded it is time for some stretch goals.
$1.1 M PET SYSTEM!
- One word, "Pets!" We're adding both social and combat pets which players can control using simple commands
$1.2 M SEASONAL WEATHER!
- Grab your cloak, because we're adding Weather to the game!
$1.3 M To Be Revealed!
And the following tiers have received one or more additional bonus rewards:
$60 Tier (FOUNDER) - Founder level now contains:
- NEW: Special tunic for your in-game avatar to wear, proudly displaying unique symbology identifying you as an early Founder of the game.
- NEW: 2 starter melee weapons, uniquely identifiable as Founder weapons
- NEW: 1 non-combat pet (out of 3 to choose from; dependent upon reaching $1.1 M Pet System stretch goal)
$100 Tier (VIRTUAL COLLECTOR) - Virtual Collector level now contains:
- NEW: You will receive the box cover art as a digital, uniquely framed, in-game decoration for your house.
- Added 3/12: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Royal Archivist" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
$125 Tier (EXPLORER) - Explorer level now contains:
- NEW: You will receive the new world map as a digital, uniquely framed, in-game decoration for your house.
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Explorer" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
- Added 3/12: Special Collector's Box
- Added 3/12: Recorded media game (format of recorded media TBD)
- Added 3/12: Recorded media game soundtrack (format of recorded media TBD)
- Added 3/12: Old-school style, illustrated, printed manual
$150 Tier (COLLECTOR) - Collector level now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Royal Curator" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
- Added 3/12: Mysterious physical artifact! (Is it an ankh? Is it a serpent necklace? What could it be?)
- Added 3/12: Special Collector's Box
- Added 3/12: Recorded media game (format of recorded media TBD)
- Added 3/12: Recorded media game soundtrack (format of recorded media TBD)
- Added 3/12: Old-school style, illustrated, printed manual
$200 Tier (PATRON) - Patron level now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Patron" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
- NEW: You will receive a digital, framed certificate of your inclusion in the Domesday Book, as an in-game decoration for your house.
$250 Tier (ANCESTOR) - Ancestor level now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Ancestor" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
- NEW: You will receive a duplicate of your digital tombstone as an in-game yard decoration for your house.
$350 Tier (NAVIGATOR) - Navigator level now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Navigator" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
$400 Tier (DEVELOPER) - Developer level now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Tinkerer" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
$500 Tier (CITIZEN) - Citizen level now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Citizen" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
- NEW: Printed Village Property Deed, hand signed by Richard "Lord British" Garriott
$1,500 Tier (LORD) - Lord level now contains:
- NEW: Printed Town Property Deed, hand signed by Richard "Lord British" Garriott
$3,000/$3,500 Tier (BARON/BARON 2) - Baron/Baron 2 levels now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Baron" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
- NEW: Printed Town Property Deed, hand signed by Richard "Lord British" Garriott
$5,000 Tier (Duke) - Duke level now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Duke" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
$10,000 Tier (LORD OF THE MANOR) - Lord of the Manor level now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Lord of the Manor" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
$10,000 Tier (LORDS OF THE MANOR) - Lords of the Manor level now contains:
- NEW: Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of "Lord of the Manor" to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player).
Saturday - March 16, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #10, Selective Multi-player
Update on the modes of play for SotA.
Single player offline:
This is the DRM free, completely off-line version of the game. Your character is stored on your computer and can not be used in any of the online modes.
Single Player Online (SPO)
In the SPO mode you connect to the server, receive content updates, and can see the long term changes others are having on the world. However, you are not visible on anyone else’s screen, nor for grouping, and you don’t see anyone else in the world. You can switch from SPO to FPO or OPO modes whenever you like while in a city or overland map. Some parts of the main storyline quests may temporarily force the player into SPO mode for some parts of the quest.
Friends Play Online (FPO)
In friends play online, you only see people you have flagged as friends in the game and only they can see you. Like single player, this is just a server side filter. For those who prefer the quieter game with friends or maybe for those who prefer a more focused role playing experience, this lets you enjoy a more limited online experience. You can switch to SPO or OPO modes whenever you like while in a city or in the overland map.
Open Play Online (OPO)
In OPO players will see everyone that the server thinks they should see. This will not necessarily be all people in the area but should be people you care the most about based on what we believe is their relevance to you.
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #9, Tracy Hickman
Tracy Hickman joins the team as Lead Story Designer.
“There is a tremendous opportunity to create something meaningful, challenging and wondrous in Shroud of the Avatar,” Tracy said. “I’m thrilled to play a part in it.”
"Tracy is not only a good friend, but also a master storycrafter whose writing I've greatly admired for over twenty years," says Richard Garriott. "Tracy’s talent will add a unique richness and depth to Shroud of the Avatar."
Friday - March 15, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update #8, The Fallen Keep
In the eighth update for the Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues Kickstarter some concept art for The Fallen Keep is shown.
One of the scenarios we are building starts with the player outside of a former keep. The dark forces that lay siege to this keep, eventually overtaking it, now defend their spoils against your attempts to retake it.
Below is the latest concept art from Stephen Daniele depicting the Fallen Keep. If you look closely, you will see that while it was under siege, one of the towers was badly damaged. This will allow the clever player (with ranged attacks) to attempt to drop the drawbridge by destroying the crank seen through the gap at some angles. There are other, less obvious ways, into this keep, to be discovered by the more exploratory player. Those other ways may leave the keep more defensible when the tides are turned yet again!
Thursday - March 14, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update 7
Dual Scale vs Mono Scale Maps in this update by Chris Spears.
Wednesday - March 13, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar From Vision to Virtual Worlds
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”.
Shroud of the Avatar - Update 6
Collector's box and new tiers.
You asked for a box, so you're getting a box! A Collector's Box is one of the most frequently requested reward items, so we're creating a special box to hold your physical goods! We'll update you with more information about the special cover art for the box in a future update!
We're also adding several new bonus rewards to the following pledge tiers:
Tuesday - March 12, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar - Update 5
Some DRM, offline/online and microtransaction questions answered in the latest update for SotA.
First, the game can be played offline, no connection required. The character used for the offline version of the game will not be useable in the online version of the game for obvious exploit/hacking reasons. We are going to investigate ways to export your online character to the single player version of the game but the offline character will not be importable into the online version.Second, the offline single player version of the game for those who purchase it through KickStarter will not use any form of DRM. We had been holding off on committing to that because we don’t know what our final distribution system (Steam, GOG, etc) is going to be and some of them use DRM. We may have DRM of some sort on post-KS sales but we’ll commit to keeping KS versions DRM and “phone home” free for the single player version once launched.Third, the offline single player of the game will not have any microtransactions. We know this is kind of a no-brainer since it is offline but we wanted to be perfectly clear on that since there was some vagueness in a few statements in one of our video chats.
Saturday - March 09, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues - Kickstarter Updates
We are hosting a LIVE Developer broadcast today at 3pm CST at our Portalarium Studio. You can steam it on our Ustream channel (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/portalarium) and will be able to post questions directly to Richard and his team. Hope to "see" you there!
Update: Update 4.
We promised that when we hit the halfway point of our Kickstarter goal, we would post an exclusive Video Interview with Iolo, the beloved Bard, and Companion of the Avatar from the Ultima Series. Here it is!
Friday - March 08, 2013
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues - On Kickstarter
Richard Garriott's new Ultima'ish game is up on Kickstarter.
Richard Garriott, the award winning designer and creator of the Ultima franchise, makes his triumphant return to the genre that earned him a place in the Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Shroud of the Avatar is the first installment of Richard’s new vision and represents the reinvention of the classic, fantasy role-playing which he pioneered. A fantasy role-playing game that will focus more on player choices and discovery than on level grinding.
Shroud of the Avatar general features:
From Lord British's Treatise on "What is an Ultimate RPG?":
- Fully interactive virtual world - If it looks usable, it should do something
- Deep original fiction - Ethical parables, cultural histories, fully developed alternate language text
- Physical game components will be available: Cloth map, fictional manuals, trinkets
- Multiplayer Online Game - which can also be played solo player / offline
Information aboutShroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues
SP/MP: Single + MP
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: Unknown