Update of the Avatar #41 – 09/27/13: Sigil of Magic, Collector’s Coin, Crafting Stations, Unity Scene Jam Winner, & More

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

More cool stuff to share with you in this edition of Update of the Avatar, including the Sigil of Magic, progress on the crafting stations, results of our first 48-hour Unity Scene Jam, Founder Collector’s Coin, updated FAQ, and more!


Unity Scene Jam #1 Winner

Our first Unity Scene Jam was a great success! This scene challenge involved a design that included a “Lunar Rift” and the ruins around it. We asked for the Lunar Rift to be one up on a plateau or at least on top of a very steep hill (see challenge design description here). We received a total of 48 submissions, with some awesome talent participating!

It was tough to choose the winner from among the top entries, but after much deliberation, Richard, Starr, and Chris unanimously chose Richard Matey as the First Place winner of our first Shroud of the Avatar Unity Scene Jam!  Chris Spears prepared this video walking you through Richard Matey’s sweet looking scene. So crank the quality up to HD, switch to full-screen, and enjoy!

As one of our First Place weekend winners, he will receive a Knight Level Pledge, signed game box, and SotA t-shirt! Congratulations Richard Matey!

Coming in at Second Place is the team of Charles Howell and Mark A. Barros. Check out this cool image from their scene:

SotA_SceneJam1_SecondPlaceWinner

And Third Place goes to Melchior Meijer:

SotA_SceneJam1_ThirdPlaceWinner

We were so impressed with the top entries, that we decided to award pledge credits to the second and third place winners! Congratulations to Charles, Mark, and Melchior!


The Sigil of Magic

SotA_Magic_Sigil_BloodThere are nine schools of magic in Shroud of the Avatar: the eight elemental schools of Fire, Air, Water, Earth, Sun, Moon, Life, and Death with the ninth school of Chaos in the center of them all. Each school has a focus. Fire magic, for example, directly damages your enemies but also has a tendency to light them on fire, prolonging the damage dealt. Water magic on the other hand is about slowing your opponents with ice and healing your allies with soothing rains. The sigil represents how all the schools relate to each other and it will appear inked on parchment, carved into stone, sewn into cloth and minted into metal coins.

Stephen Daniele did an amazing job crafting the image of the Sigil of Magic from Chris Spear’s initial diagram! What follows is the Magic Sigil as it could appear on various materials.

The Sigil of Magic on Parchment:

SotA_Magic_Sigil_Ink

The Sigil of Magic on cloth:

SotA_Magic_Sigil_Tapestry

The Sigil of Magic on stone:

SotA_Magic_Sigil_Stone


Exclusive Founder Collector’s Coin

A couple of our most active backers, Frank Baxley (Sir Frank on the forums) and Joseph Toschlog (Vitralis on the forums, aka Rustic Dragon at Hearth of Britannia), were brainstorming a coin design to be manufactured for their own use, and asked about rights to use the SotA logo and images. Stephen Daniele (lead concept artist) provided a few concept sketches, and the design brainstorming blossomed into an eighty-seven email thread between our team, Frank, and Joseph!  We got so excited about the final design, that we decided to use it as the physical goods “Official Collector’s Coin” included in the Early Founder Collector Pledge Tier (and above) rewards. Check it out:

SotA_Founder_Collector_Coin


Cooking Up Some Crafting Tables

Just as with all Lord British games, crafting plays a big part in Shroud of the Avatar. As described in our recently updated FAQ:

Players will be able to make almost anything in the game including furniture, consumables, and equipment. The results of all crafting elements have value as consumables and components in the combat system, as well as maintenance and upgrade elements for housing and cities.

Also explained in the FAQ, you can allow your friends to enter your property and use your crafting stations. And you can have NPC vendors stationed on your property to sell the goods you craft to other players.

Scott Jones (environmental artist; known as Scottie in the forums) has a great thread in the Dev+ forums (and reposted in the Founder Developer Blog) discussing his ongoing work with the crafting stations. Here are some excerpts:

Scottie: Hello again! Scottie here, with a new thread showing off some of our Crafting Stations that are in-progress as we speak…The idea of these tables is that they are mostly devoid of any tools and ingredients (these get placed on the table’s interface as icons when you begin a crafting “recipe”). Assuming the recipe is a success, the tools will get a little worn and will remain to be placed back into your inventory, the expendable ingredients will all vanish, and these will be replaced by the icon(s) for whatever crafting creation you’ve just made! As you can see below, our first few tables were somewhat simplistic and allowed us to test the look of the things as we barely started dealing with functionality. They are relatively empty of any major table-surface details, but I’ll eventually be going back and adding stuff like stains, splotches of paint, wood chips, sawdust, etc…

Woodworking Table

Milling Table

Scottie: As you can see, somewhat simplistic, and in the case of the Milling Table, quite anachronistic (What exactly is supposed to be in that black box under the table,…gearworks? We’ll never know…)… The final look of these tables is still somewhat under debate…as you can imagine… The Woodworking Table, however, IS based on the age-old designs of tables such as this throughout history… Once they got the basic needs figured out, the essential concept of these types of tables really hasn’t changed… For that one, I’ll just most likely be sprucing up its detail level a bit. As we got further along in the process, though, and I had a chance to sit down with Richard and really hammer the designs out better, we got some MUCH better inspiration for some of the more recent tables, as you can see below…

Here’s the Butcher’s Table, in all its gory glory:

Butcher Table

Scottie: And here’s the Alchemy Table, created by Jay [Jennifer Reichman, artist]:

Alchemy Table

Scottie: Here we have the Cooking Table, with its cheerful fire, and some of the first attached special effects and built-in lighting:

Cooking Table New

Scottie: And here’s the Smelting Table, where you melt down the ore you mine and other metal ingots to pour into the molds used to makes all sorts of stuff later when blacksmithing:

Smelting Table

Scottie: Here’s the newest crafting station,..the Blacksmith Table! We wanted to make sure the table itself decoratively reflected the nature of the blacksmithing craft, so we have a wrought-iron tripod holding the quenching bucket, a horseshoe hanging from a nail below the anvil, and the riveted and cast decoration around the table’s edge and legs…

Blacksmith Table

Ekibyouko, one of our community members, shared this insight with Scottie: “Love the look of these tables! Just one thing though, shouldn’t the alchemy table have some empty glass vials, wooden jars with cork tops and maybe a mortar and pestle? Just a thought.”

Scottie: Great minds think alike Eki! Before we could make a more final prefab for this table, we had to wait for our wonderful artist Jay to create a few alchemy props that Richard approved for us to include with it… We can’t put too much there (there must be room to place the ingredients and tools)…. But here’s what we’re finally getting!

Alchemy Table

Scottie: So here we have the next station, the Tanning/Dyeing Table, where your harvested skins and leather get turned into colorful, tanned fancy pieces of leather which will be used to eventually make awesome outfits and armor at the Tailoring Table! To the left of the tanning/dyeing table we have the grotesque tanning vat, with the dyeing vats on the right, and behind the table are stretching racks and an assortment of hanging leathers and furs…

Tanning Table

 

These crafting stations are works-in-progress, and Scottie plans to go back and touch a few details here and there. A total of eleven crafting stations are planned, so Scottie still has three left to do. The Spinning Table, where rough materials like spider silk, plant fiber, and wool or fur, are spun into a variety of threads that can be used to make cloth. The Weaving Table, where the thread you crafted with the spinning table gets woven into rough and fine cloth, (and possibly even decorative tapestries, and rugs). And, finally, the Tailoring Table, where the cloths you have made and even the leathers you’ve tanned and dyed, get assembled into a variety of clothing and armor.


Dungeon and Cave Kit in the Unity Asset Store

Our Dungeon and Cave Kit is now available in the Unity Asset Store. We combined the dungeon and cave pieces into a single kit that includes more than 200 pieces that snap together seamlessly on an 8x8m grid. Textures have been created such that they blend seamlessly together no matter how they are rotated. Pieces come in narrow and wide widths, wall pieces can be tiled for high ceilings. Connection pieces exist so you can easily connect the crypt like dungeon set with the more natural cave set! Low poly counts (most pieces in the 300-2500 vert range) and heavy material reuse make this set suitable for many mobile devices.

SotA_Dungeon_Cave_Kit_Unity_Asset_Store


New and Improved FAQ

Starr Long (Executive Producer) recently updated and expanded the SotA FAQ. Many of the questions we receive on the forums and in support tickets have been covered in the revised FAQ, so we highly recommend that you check it out if you haven’t seen it lately. Here are a few juicy morsels to whet your whistle:

The Housing section of the FAQ has been greatly expanded, so check it out if you’d like to learn more!


Decor of the Avatar (again)

Some of you didn’t see last week’s update due to an email glitch. In case you were one of those that missed it, Rick Holtrop choreographed an awesome video demonstrating the latest progress in our home decorating system, narrated by Lord British. Enjoy!

Click here to check out the rest of Update #40, including information about the Founder Edelmann Home, The Tower Town & Village Home, The Kobold Attack animation, and more.




25 thoughts on “Update of the Avatar #41 – 09/27/13: Sigil of Magic, Collector’s Coin, Crafting Stations, Unity Scene Jam Winner, & More


  1. DiamondfistDiamondfist

    The coin and Sigil of Magic are absolutely gorgeous. The designers are to be commended. I don’t know why the ‘W’ and ‘K’ of the runic alphabet were changed, but the designs are beautiful nevertheless. I think I get the coin at my pledge level, but if the Sigil of Magic isn’t, I will certainly add it if it becomes available as a physical item for purchase somehow.


  2. ullrich

    OMG what did I support at Kickstarter? I was hoping for a RPG in the line of Ultima, with an amazing, captivating storyline. But all updates make this game look like Ultima Farmville. Buying decor for your house, building a stool, more and more items to buy… Did you have any post about the storyline? I sincerely hope that your updates do not reflect your efforts. The The Sigil of Magic gave me back some hope, but the enormous details on a home decorating system made me shake my head in disbelieve.

    1. The Hairy Man

      most of the backers I’m guessing were UO fans and a huge aspect of Ultima Online was crafting and house decoration and pvp. That’s what we want. i care very little about the story and am more interested in the persistent virtual world and player driven economy.


  3. lonadarlonadar

    Are you changing the runic alphabetical equivalents, or were the errors on the Sigil of Magic accidental? You’ve exchanged H with W, and there’s a noticeable lack of double characters, such as spelling out “EARTW” (sic) instead of “EA R TH”, or “D EA TH”, or “ARE * TH E * CO ST S”, or “TH OSE*HWO*S EE K” (sic).

    1. lonadarlonadar

      …and least I let the rules lawyer in me have total control…the design is very beautiful. I especially like the initial picture with the candles and bloodstains – it is clean and yet radiates power. Very nicely done.

        1. dallasdallas Post author

          I can see how you would be disappointed to see your font used without getting recognition for it. I wrote the section about the Collector’s Coin in a rush, and was wading through 87 emails in a thread between Frank, Joseph, Stephen, Richard, Starr, Gina, and Chris to piece together the story for the update. Your excellent runic font appears to be becoming a common feature of SotA game elements, and I guess all of us are beginning to take it for granted. Please know that your contributions are deeply appreciated. And please accept our apologies, and recognition, and thanks in advance for all future uses (which will probably be many) of your font in SotA game development, should we fail to provide it at the time of use.

          1. Dame LoriDame Lori

            Thanks Dallas! I probably would not have cared/noticed if I wasn’t specifically looking forward to seeing the coin revealed in the update. I’m super thrilled they are being used and don’t want/expect a mention any time they pop up, so no worries. :)

        2. ElbreganElbregan

          @Dame Lori – Amazing work on the font! and you did that so quickly too. I have used it in my practice scenes and assets and think it’s awesome!

          Thanks for doing this.

          Sincerely,

          Charles





  4. Landon

    Thanks for the update, but I have one question: why are all crafting stations tables? Sure for some of the stations tables are the right stuff, but lets take the blacksmithing station, I would expect there a big forge and an big anvil as dominant parts, but not really a table. Also take an place where you have many such stations, I would think it looks a bit boring, because tables everywhere instead of original designed workplaces.



  5. Sir Edreamer _MGT470Sir Edreamer _MGT470

    They did say the Coin would be part of the “Early Founders Collector’s Pledge Tier”
    Does that mean there will be a different trinket with the Benefactor version of the Collectors’ Pledge Tier ?



    1. QuixtarDragonQuixtarDragon

      @Lonadar

      The one-to-one ratio between A-Z chars was more of a desirable notion, (elimination of double letter chars) plus, after a cataclysmic event and 400 years, it can be explained as ‘language drift’. Plus, the alphabet didn’t go through any dramatic change.

      1. lonadarlonadar

        True. To be fair, this is more of a personal adjustment. I taught myself the language 25ish years ago, and read/write runes almost as easily as I read/write english. :-) It was fun messing with my teachers taking notes in class in runic. (It made passing other notes much easier too.)




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