Hangout of the Avatar ~ 8.5.13

From Richard Garriott:

For Shroud of the Avatar, I have musical goals which include inspiration from Ken Arnolds work in Early Ultima’s, historical style pieces akin to Iolo’s Stones and other work.

I still have a strong affinity for the early Ultima music scored by Ken Arnold, that even with only 3 voices, had great memorable melodies. Don’t listen to the simplicity nor the instrumentation, just the fact that they have memorable simple melodies.

My favorites for inspiration are:
Ultima 3
· Campfire
· Wanderer
Ultima 5
· Captain John’s Hornpipe
· Worlds Below
Ultima VI
· Bootup

Other Music that inspires me while working on SotA
· AWOL Nation – Sail: Love the power, instrumentation and melody, lyrics unrelated.
· Beats Antique – Beauty Beats : Love the instrumentation and melodies
· Beats Antique – Mission: Ditto
· Synthetic Dream Foundation – The One Eyed Maiden: Ditto
· Steam Powered Giraffe – Automatonic Electronic Harmonics: Ditto
· Metallica – Enter Sandman: Metallica Power Ballads fit the melodic, powerful style I would like to achieve for some parts and the “intro” theme song.
· Metallica – Unforgiven
· Metallica – Nothing Else Matters

We would like YOUR feedback!  Get in on the discussion on our forums.


  1. Goblin King

    Question for LB: I enjoy playing Bard type character but I often do not wish to use a musical instrument to trigger Bard type power. Instead, I would like the ability to write poems or tell stories or sing songs for the same affect. Assuming there are musical spells, can I trigger them with words?

  2. twofoldsilencetwofoldsilence

    LB, will you guys be using any remastered old Ultima and Ultima Underworld tunes in SotA? I know I would sure appreciate hearing some of them in SotA. The Ultima ones could be used in the overworld; whereas, the Ultima Underworld ones in the underworld. Also, will there be fully functional real-world music instruments in SotA, and if there is will there be some sort of interface in place that allows other PCs to teach you how to play them?

  3. ErthErth

    Will this mean that all future dev chats will be only 30 minutes (I’ll take every minute I can get!)

  4. SmyrnoSmyrno

    Music composition? It sounds like we’re going to have quite a bit of depth in the game. Can’t wait for the hangout, too bad I can’t make it live with work.

    Question for Lord British:
    Will bard skills still only really be useful for animal taming or will they have a wider use in SoTA? (outside of the social/RPG aspect of course) Will skilled bards give “buffs” to fellow teammates?

  5. MysticMystic

    I am very excited to be part of the music development for SOTA. My questions are on deadlines and specific aspects of production.

    Will there be a certain deadline that submissions have to be in by or will this be an ongoing thing throughout beta where we can continue to submit songs to be considered for addition into the game?

    My second question has to be with the production itself. Will there be any requirements as to which plugins or presets we are using for processing such as equalization or dynamic range in order to give each song an overall similar final sound so they blend well together or is this something that will be handled on your end?

  6. LordEnglishLordEnglish

    Note music composition “FOR” the game, not “IN” the game.

    Either way I’m excited as I’ve already submitted some music on G+.

  7. Goblin King

    Additional Question for LB: Have you considered allowing players to rate each other’s music? Perhaps well liked songs could be purchased at taverns (kind of like iTunes) for personal use, or for establishments like Bars, Inns, and Taverns, that want to attract more customers with good background music. NPC “Vendors” could then play the music, kind of like a jukebox.

  8. FireLotusFireLotus Post author

    From Montesquieu_Paine ~ Will SOTA have different (non-European) instrumentals and vocalizations? Anything from Slavonic choruses, to gamelan orchestration, to African/Caribbean percussion?

  9. Dame LoriDame Lori

    These questions are from Mordecai:

    1)Having players submit music brings up
    a lot of problems. How are you going
    to address issues of continuity on
    a large scale? Are you planning on
    restricting instruments, excluding
    modal, atonal, or modern music, or
    enlisting a music coordinator to guide

    2)If you can remember back to the sound
    produced by double clicking your lute
    in UO, would that theme (and similar material)
    be up for grabs or would EA get.. well I’m sure
    you know how EA is.

    3)How long should songs be? Are you looking
    for neatly fitting pop-sized tunes (3:00)
    or grandiose epics of 10-20 minutes? More importantly,
    are you looking for loopable songs?

  10. timedilation

    I enjoy playing the piano. I think I remember seeing an in-game piano in a former preview video. I am wondering how much that piano will actually resemble real-life and to what extent will I be able to play it? Thanks LB!

  11. Optimos

    Thanks for the update!

    As for feedback on the new format; I don’t mind the shorter hangouts as long as they’re more frequent! :D

    A few quick, 15-30 min updates from Richard or some of the other devs a few times a week would be great! Then once in a while, if need be, go back to the hour-long format (with a panel of peeps) for big news or to showcase something.

  12. LachoneousLachoneous

    Lord British,

    A song that always reminds me of playing Ultima when I was younger is The Cure’s “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep” on their Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me album. Simple, Melodic and totally ambient.

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