Origin founder and space explorer Richard Garriott has unveiled his newest game, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. After being involved with several massively multiplayer games throughout the early 2000s, Richard dedicated himself to becoming the casual games and has long said that this was to build infrastructure and talent up within his new studio. Portalarium has now announced a full-fledged role playing game. The project's intent is to get away from some of the more linear trends in recent RPGs and deliver a more immersive and free form experience. Here's some of the first screenshots.
To help drive the development of the new game, a new Kickstarter campaign has been launched. Early returns are very promising, and it looks to be on track to earn nearly $500,000 within the first 24 hours. Although the final product is intended to be a digital download, the Kickstarter is also offering a number of physical bonuses, which include a cloth map, collector's coin and printed documentation. Here's Richard to discuss the game.
The CIC gets frequent requests to highlight new Kickstarters, and like many sites recently, we've had to restrict which ones make it into the news. Our primary criteria include a history of contribution to the Wing Commander series, and Lord British certainly qualifies. Aside from his involvement at Origin, Richard has been a supporter of the Wing Commander community for a long time. Did you know he was credited as a designer and a playtester for the Wing Commander CCG? His current team includes staff that directly worked on almost every Wing Commander game, and he even temporarily donated his office space to Chris Roberts in order to help launch Star Citizen last October. If you're interested in supporting Mr. Garriott on in this endeavor, find out more here.
“Richard and I have known each other 26 years when I first joined up with a small little company called Origin Systems. We had a lot fun being the small rebel upstart company and made some games that are still remembered for defining or creating genres even today. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Richard this energized about the world and game he is creating. Shroud of The Avatar, feels like the kind of game we would have made in the old days of Origin when we didn’t answer to anyone and just made the best game we could with no interference. That’s what’s great about Crowd funding. I’m backing and looking forward to being part of Lord British’s next great adventure” ~ Chris Roberts, creator of the best-selling Wing Commander game series
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.
With Shroud of the Avatar, Richard and his team will again reinvent the classic fantasy role-playing experience. Using state-of-the-art tools and technology, the game will focus on what made his seminal Ultima Series great. Once players are introduced to the game, they will discover their own story woven into the immersive world and lore surrounding them. Players may choose to follow the life of the adventurer or, if they prefer, focus on exploration and discovery. Players may even choose the life of a homesteader; either nestled within the safety of the settled lands, or on the dangerous but potentially lucrative frontier. The world is full of opportunities and challenges!
The familiar psychological profiling used to create your character, organically derived game-play responses to player behavior and fundamental virtues and consequence of actions will all play a huge role in Shroud of the Avatar. Players will be free to choose their path, but must then live with the consequences of their actions.
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