Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- $5M Raised!
- Release 11 Impressions
- R11 Community Events
- R11 Stays Open! Get Your Carnival Mask Tricorn Hat!
- Steam Access Keys Now Available for All Backers
- Zack’s ELEMENTUM Wins the Captivate Conference Finals
- Get Your 15% Bonus
- Holiday Specials
- Last Chance Exclusives: Scissors of Prosperity and Combat Sigil Cape
- Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon
- Upcoming Events
We reached $5M in total pledges raised yesterday, a year and a half after starting down this incredible journey! Congratulations to our community for making Shroud of the Avatar one of a very small handful of games that have crossed the $5M mark in crowdfunding! It is a testament to this incredible community and the incredible game we are creating together!
All of us at Portalarium continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that all of you so generously contribute! Because of you, and with you, we are able to make Shroud of the Avatar so much more than we could have ever imagined. We are honored to be able to share this once-in-a-lifetime journey with each and every one of you, and we will never be able to thank you enough!
Several of our community members were dancing all night in celebration of this amazing community achievement, such as this party at Avatar’s Radio Tower in Port Phoenix:
Release 11 Impressions
Wow! Where do I start with R11? While I think the team did some great work for this release, the real joy of R11 for me came by seeing what the community was doing with the resources you have been given. I was thrilled to observe simulcast events such as the Bear Tavern Brawls. Sadly I missed the Chaos Sermon, though I would likely have objected or walked out had I attended. I ran, and completed 3 amazing mazes, a record for me! These were all elegant, complex, subtle and huge fun. The player designers have learned a great deal over the last few releases. The clever “jump” across lot boundaries, and multi-floor construction was phenomenal. When a group of us stood atop a wind generator atop a Dukes Keep in Ardoris to watch the sun rise…
Wow, just Wow.
I visited player run cities, like the always amazing PaxLair, but also saw how our largest structures could indeed be decorated in a manner worthy of their fine stature. This is something I was worried about, as some homes are really, really big, so this was great to see.
Finally, with advancement and leveling, we are seeing people invest more carefully in their skills and glyph deck building. And we are beginning to see level gradation between zones, demanding either a party or high level characters to tackle them. This made the Tour Quest particularly fun!
While the team still has a lot of work to do (many dozens of maps to build, skills to flesh out, recipes to integrate, ingredients to build, etc.), we can definitely see now what this game is becoming. And while our fine team has done a lot of heavy lifting, it is clear that it is ultimately your world and it will be what you make of it. So far, I love what you are making!
I am eager to get MUCH more crafting in the game for R12, I feel we have not made nearly the progress in this area as some others. I am also happy to see more interactive obstacles as well, for similar reasons. The Obsidian Keep is evolving into a showcase for players needing to solve (not just battle) their way through maps.
There is indeed more great stuff to come!
– Lord British
During this week’s Hangout of the Avatar, Richard, Starr, and Chris chatted about Release 11, recounting their favorite moments, while also looking ahead to Release 12.
R11 Community Events
As Lord British expressed in his impressions, “…the real joy of R11 for me came by seeing what the community was doing“, and boy, was the community busy! It was another event-filled weekend as community members packed their schedule with some pretty awesome activities! Here are a few samples:
FireLotus Release 11 Party
The FireLotus Release Party has now become a monthly tradition. The R11 party was held at Fire Lotus Tavern in Owl’s Head. Community member Myrcello created this very touching video of the party, complete with meaningful quotes. Myrcello said “Do not ask me why I made this. I do not know.”
I can only guess as to your motivation, Myrcello, but I can tell you that I’ve watched this video several times now, and I get emotional every time. The scenes you captured, and the wisdom contained in many of the quotes you shared, awakened in me the realization that this game is accomplishing the very purpose for which we founded Portalarium, which is to make a difference in the world by fostering community, good will, and people playing together. – dallas
Britannia Theater Troupe, Performing “They who dwell in darkness”
During a recent video Hangout, Richard Garriott suggested it would be awesome if Avatar’s Radio could play a pre-recorded theatrical production to which in-game players could synchronize their actions. The New Britannia Theater Troupe undertook just such a challenge for Release 11:
Towards the end of the R10 Post Hangout, Richard Garriott mentioned in sort of a passing remark that Avatar’s Radio playing something live, that people in game where able to put actions to would be pretty neat. Ok – No I am not quoting him here, its a loose paraphrase/interpretation that im using my own words to relay
Now, who would be the best group of people to do something like that? Hmm.. Well, How about the New Britannia Theater Troupe? A group of voice actors, writers, audio editors, agents, public relations, community leaders, etc… from the community that Amber Raine of Avatars Radio also happens to be a member of and works closely with? Sounds like that might be the right group!!
So some members of the New Britannia Theater Troupe came together and did what they do best.
Author – Gabriel NightShadow
Voice Actors – Amber Raine, Asclepius, Static Grazer, and Lady Adnor
Editor and producer – Asclepius
They have recorded a play that shall air on Avatars Radio on Saturday 10/25/14 at 10am CST, 11am EST. This is NOT an Echoes from the Caverns Podcast this time though, this is something more! Because when this airs on Avatars Radio those same voice actors shall meet in game, and perform it for you!
Paxlair will be building the theater troupe a stage for the production. Invites are being sent to Lord British, Lord Darkstarr, Firelotus, and others. Community leaders are being contacted.
The full combined resources of Avatars Radio and The Caverns, Dungeons, and Beyond are being applied to get the word out to every community member possible. For they are attempting to honor and meet the request of Lord British himself!
For those of you that missed this amazing production, we can thank the The Mad Hermit for producing this video:
Congratulations to Archaon Avenguard for winning this release’s Bear Tavern Brawl, 1 vs 1 PvP Tournament!
The tournament was held at the Battle of Solace Bridge, and what a fitting scene for such glorious combat (the following images posted by players):
Release 11 Screenshot Gallery
There were many, many more wonderful community events and unique player experiences in R11, and many of those moments were shared by players on the Release 11 Screenshot Gallery forum. Here are some samples:
Release 11 Stays Open! Get Your Carnival Mask Tricorn Hat!
As we have mentioned previously, we intend to maintain continuous up-time (versus 4-day access windows) once Shroud of the Avatar launches on Steam Early Access on November 24th. In preparation for that event we decided to leave Release 11 open to see how the game handles up-time longer than the usual 4 days. So far so good!
The Grand Tour Quest
Just as in our last release, we’ve included a Grand Tour Quest designed to guide you through all the new content. And just in time for Halloween, you will be able to get the Tricorn Hat with Carnival Mask by completing the Release 11 Grand Tour Quest. This reward can only be unlocked until we launch Release 12 (did someone say rares?), so be sure to log in to R11 and talk to all the Tour Guides!
Steam Access Keys Now Available for All SotA Backers
SotA will launch on Steam Early Access on November 24, but we’ve made Steam Access Keys immediately available to all our backers as part of their basic pledge rewards! Once you’ve redeemed your Steam Access Key you’ll have the option of playing SotA either with the Steam client or the regular client (or both).
Pen of the Avatar: The Tower of the Shuttered Eye!
Join Concept Art Lead, Stephen Daniele and Community Manager/Writer, Gina Dionne, on November 4th at 1:30 pm CST, for Pen of the Avatar: The Tower of the Shuttered Eye! As always, Stephen shares his passion for creating art through insightful demonstration of tools and techniques in a fashion easily accessible for novices and professionals alike. Pen of the Avatar is live and unscripted, and community involvement is a must as input and commentary are shared throughout the show. We will be focusing on the Tower of the Shuttered Eye, so join us for our next show and add your voice to the creative vision of Shroud of the Avatar!
If you missed any of the Pen of the Avatar episodes, you can watch them all at: https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?cat=9
Zack’s ELEMENTUM Wins Captivate Conference Finals
Congratulations to SotA programmer, Zack Sheppard, whose student project, ELEMENTUM, won the Captivate Competition Finals! ELEMENTUM is a 2.5d puzzle/platformer where the character harnesses elemental powers to explore the world. Hats off to Zack and the entire ELEMENTUM team!
Only 32 Days left to get your 15% Black Friday Bonus!
If you were thinking of pledging your support to the development of Shroud of the Avatar, upgrading your existing pledge, or purchasing an add-on item, player owned town, or stretch goal item, now’s a great time to do it! From now thru Black Friday Weekend we’ll add an additional 15% bonus to your Store Credit! Here are the details:
For all new purchases (including pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, player owned towns, and stretch goal items) between 12:00 am CST October 10, 2014 and 12:00 am CST December 2, 2014, we will add an additional 15% bonus to your Store Credit! You can use your Store Credit toward any additional purchase (including pledges, pledge upgrades, add-on items, and player owned towns).
[NOTE: The 15% bonus is calculated every day at 1:00 pm CST and added to your Store Credit account; Store Credit cannot be applied toward stretch goal items]
For example, if you have the $45 Adventurer pledge and really want to upgrade to the $90 Royal Artisan pledge which includes Episodes 2 and 3 as pledge rewards, you would normally pay the extra $45 for the upgrade. But using the 15% bonus you can immediately save $5. To do so, you would first purchase $40 worth of Store Credit Gift Coupons (via PayPal, Amazon, Bitcoin, or credit card; excluding existing Store Credit) then use the “Convert to Credits” option on your account page to transform the Store Credit Gift Coupons back into Store Credit. Within 24 hours an additional $6 bonus ($40 x 15%) would be applied to your Store Credit account, bringing it up to $46. You would then use $45 of your Store Credit to upgrade to the $90 Royal Artisan pledge.
Yep, it’s that time of the year again. Halloween marks the beginning of the Fall holiday season, so it’s time for our seasonal specials!
The Black Cat is our most popular pet, and in celebration of Halloween you can get your very own Black Cat for an additional 20% off! Better hurry because this offer only lasts one week!
Need a turkey for your Thanksgiving feast, or maybe you’ve always wanted your very own pet turkey? Then you need the Taming Turkey Call! This unique indestructible item can be used to call a Turkey which is then automatically tamed. While items with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this particular call never needs repair. Get your Taming Turkey Call in the Add-On Store now at 33% off!
No holiday table would be complete without its own cornucopia centerpiece! But it is more than just an attractive table decoration, this Horn of Plenty generates a random edible item or ingredient per day (food, fruit, berries, mushrooms, flour, egg, etc.). During the Fall and holiday seasons there is a percentage chance of other kinds of items being generated. Get your Cornucopia in the Add-On Store now at 33% off!
Last Chance Exclusives
Every week going forward we are removing select items from the Add-On Store, so if you want them you better get them before they are gone! Over the past few weeks we’ve phased out the Shingle-Roof Village Homes, Cubit Measure of Prosperity, Crafting Sigil Cloak, and the Rustic 2-Story with Balcony Village Home. This week, the following items are available for an additional 20% off, and then will no longer be available in the Add-On Store.
These unique, indestructible scissors increase the ability to make higher quality items, enhance existing items and repair damaged items. While scissors with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game, these particular scissors never need repair.
If you loved the Combat Sigil, then you’re especially going to love it adorning this beautifully crafted cloak!
Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon
Alienware’s powerful gaming rigs are a perfect match for Shroud of the Avatar! To show their support, Alienware is sponsoring $20 SotA Pledge Upgrade Coupons to members of their Alienware Arena community!
These coupons can be used to start a SotA pledge account (for new backers), or to add $20 to an existing pledge account. If, for example, you have a $90 Royal Artisan Pledge, you can use the Alienware coupon to bump you up to a $110 Virtual Collector Pledge.
Pretty sweet deal, right? So, hurry over to the Alienware Arena website and get your $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon now!
[NOTE: Only one Alienware Pledge Upgrade Coupon can be used per account. Coupon does not apply to Add-On Store items]
2014.10.31 – SotA at PAX Australia
2014.11.03 – SotA at GDC Next
2014.11.14 – Duke & Lord of the Manor VIP Design Roundtable with Lord British and Portalarium Studio Tour
2014.11.15 – HoBLotH II: Legends of the Hearth
2014.11.20 – Release 12 Access
2014.11.24 – SotA launches on Steam Early Access
2014.11.26 – Monthly Video Hangout: R12 & R13 Discussion
2014.11.27 – SotA at Dreamhack (Sweden)
2014.12.18 – Release 13 Access
2014.01.22 – Release 14 Access
2014.02.19 – Release 15 Access
2014.03.13 – SotA at SXSW Interactive
2014.03.26 – Release 16 Access