Update of the Avatar #236 – 2017.07.14: New Scene Polish, Trailer Contest, Comic-Con and RTX Updates, Free Trial, Key Giveaway, Telethon Qs Answered, New Flash Sale, Community Events, and More!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Aerie Scene Polish

As we are focusing on the Path of Truth we are spending time to not only polish the story elements (dialogue, NPC names, quests, etc.) we are also updating visuals along the path as needed. For Release 44 this includes polishing the visuals for three of the towns you visit along the Path of Truth: Aerie, Vertas, and Jaanaford. Each of these towns is getting updated to include more color (especially blue, the color of Truth), more visuals related to Truth (books, libraries, statues of the Titan of Truth, etc.), and general polish (terrain, foliage, etc.).

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar]

Hey guys! Sorcerous Steve here to give you a look into some of my latest work!
For this release I was tasked with making several cosmetic improvements to the City of Aerie otherwise known as the City of Truth.

Aerie Castle has been rebuilt with a full interior and now stands as a prominent landmark to the city. As Aerie is the City of Truth we made sure to accentuate the color blue throughout the city, every district has now taken on its own color palette, all of which include blue.

One of Aerie’s main city squares demarked by its use of yellow and blue architecture.

The Aerie Portside has also received a makeover, colored tents and awnings now give the portside a distinct look.

To the South, the agrarian district of Aerie has received some Greco-Roman influence from the town of Xenos. Little Xenos as it has come to be known by the locals features arches and statues amidst pink and blue architecture.

The Blue Room inside Aerie Castle.

Library inside Aerie Castle, a place where people come to pursue knowledge and truth.

See ya next time!

Esteben Zaldivar
Level Designer

Making of Hallowed Plains

On the outskirts of the Boundless Forest and to one side of the Broken Road is the Hallowed Plains, a sacred site to humans because of a massive battle once fought in this location. Kobolds do not have the same respect for this land and have begun building along the road despite protests from locals. This scene was temporarily a clone of another scene but is being completely rebuilt. We hope to have the Hallowed Plains ready for Release 44.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Chris “Sea Wolf” Wolf]

Hey folks, I have a few sneak-peek screenshots of Hallowed Plains to share with you today. The area is a sacred site of an old battlefield which has recently been desecrated by Kobolds who are building a new settlement there. The new version of the map is inspired by a mix of Gettysburg and the trenches of WWI. The scene is still in a relatively early state, and I will post more screenshots as it progresses.

No Man’s Land

The Fortress

The Trenches

Chris Wolf
Level Designer


Making of Grannus Colossus

SPOILERS: Now that all three paths (Truth, Love, and Courage) are playable we are finishing work on the Finale part of the plot, aka The Path of the Oracle. Crucial scenes along that path are the Colossus scenes, of which there is one for each Titan and the Oracle. So far we have released the Oracle, Boreas, and Sequanna Colossus scenes. We are now working on the last missing Colossus scene: Grannus Colossus. This scene was temporarily a clone of another scene but is being completely rebuilt. We hope to have the Grannus Colossus ready for Release 44.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski]

Here’s a sneak peak at progress on the Grannus Colossus!

This Colossus map is located in northern Novia, and houses the giant Colossus statue of Grannus, titan of courage. As Boreas was to the path of truth, with solving puzzles and using clues to progress to the colossus, this area is to courage (pitched battle against barbarian cannibal tribes of the north).

More to come soon! Thanks for following our progress!

Travis “Vas Corp Por” Koleski
Level Designer

‘Welcome to New Britannia’ Community Trailer Contest

Get those eye popping video ideas ready, Avatars! Like last year’s trailer design contest, this is your chance to show that Shroud of the Avatar is both the game, and community, that new players will want to play to launch and beyond.

The ‘Welcome to New Britannia’ Community Trailer Contest kicks off this week!

You have from July 13, 2017 to August 18, 2017 (11:59 PM CT) to design a video trailer for all New Britannians to admire. Capture shots of key city districts, bustling player-owned towns, luxurious houses, intense combat, majestic outdoor scenes, crafting of valuable goods, or any of the other amazing features of our game that you think will help sell the game to other players.

[Read More…]

Shroud at Comic-Con San Diego Next Week: Panel Times & Locations

Comic-Con International: San Diego is next week, July 20-23, and the full schedule has been released. As we previously mentioned Richard Garriott and Starr Long will be there with two panels. Richard and Starr will be speaking about Shroud of the Avatar on Thursday while Richard will be talking about his book Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Saturday. We hope to see you there!

Shroud of the Avatar: Richard “Lord British” Garriott (creative director) and Starr Long (exec. producer) will discuss their latest venture, Shroud of the Avatar, currently the second highest crowdfunded video game of all time. Learn how they have developed the game while honing cutting-edge crowdfunding techniques. Thursday, July 20 • 4:30pm – 5:30pm. Room 24ABC

Explore/Create: Richard Garriott’s Adventures from Gaming Pioneer to Space Adventurer – Richard “Lord British” Garriott authored the famed “Ultima” series and coined the term “avatar”. In 2008, he became the first American second-generation astronaut when he flew to the ISS. Learn more from his new memoir “Explore/Create”. Saturday, July 22 • 2:30pm – 3:30pm. Room 24ABC

Panel times and location subject to change! Watch the official Comic-Con website for updates.

Shroud at PAX Dev Next Month – Starr’s Crowdfunding Panel

After Comic-Con, we will be attending PAX Dev in Seattle! Starr “Darkstarr” Long will be speaking on the panel, ‘Evolution of Crowdsharing: Sourcing, Funding, and Equity’:

Working with communities has expanded beyond a mere feedback loop between developers and players. In the last decade this relationship has formalized with the growth of Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and marketplaces like the Unity Asset Store. Most recently communities can even gain ownership via equity platforms like Seed Invest. Using projects like Shroud of the Avatar, 25 year game veteran Starr Long will describe this evolution of Crowdsharing and share techniques.

If you are in the Seattle area next month, swing by PAX Dev to meet Starr!

Photos From Last Week’s RTX Event

We took dozens of photos from our attendance at RTX Austin last weekend! Check them out on the game’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shroudoftheavatar:

Lord British’s Birthday Telethon: YouTube & Missed Questions Answered


YouTube Version of Telethon: Usually we have the YouTube version of our telethon and the missed questions posted the same week as the telethon. However the combination of the telethon being on a Thursday and RTX being the next day meant we did not get those accomplished until this week. Here is the YouTube version of the telethon for those of you who missed it:

Missed Questions Answered: We had 19+ pages of questions left unanswered after the Lord British Birthday Bash Telethon! With assistance from the team we were able to get to those questions and we posted them to the forums yesterday.

Here are the questions that we did not have time to get to during the LB Birthday Telethon. I tried my best to answer these (with help from the rest of the team) but some we just don’t have details yet to provide. I probably won’t have time to do any follow ups to these. The community did a great job assisting us this telethon to make sure we didn’t miss a single question. July is a crazy busy month for us with R43 just having gone live, RTX, Comic Con, and the Seed Invest campaign. So please forgive the brevity of some of my answers.

Also please note I deleted a bunch of duplicated questions and also deleted any questions that we answered with the Q3 post or with the release of R43. I also deleted questions that were super open ended, were super vague or were needlessly confrontational.

Brugas: Will there ever be more spell scrolls added to the game with the current spells system and perhaps new & unique magic and/or ancient spells (similar in nature to old UO spells).
We add new abilities (including new spells) to the game about once per quarter (sometimes more often).

Murphy: Do we have any news on Coat of Arms items ingame?
We hope to return to work on this in Q4.

Billy Bologna: Will we see barbers in the game allowing us to change our appearance? Or maybe a magic mirror?
There are several “New You” salons in the game in major cities like Ardoris where you can change anything about your appearance.

Billy Bologna: Great job on the mail system! Will we see a “sent mail” tab in our mailboxes in the future?

Animosh: Does Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldiva like Iron Maiden and can he shred it on his guitar?
SorcerousSteve said that yes he does and yes he can. This is because of Libris Ruins isn’t it?

[Read More…]

Shroud in the News: VentureBeat, KXAN, Fox7, MMORPG

For yet another week it continues to be quite an exciting time for us and the press. The combination of our SeedInvest campaign, the launch of Release 43, our Q3 Schedule, Richard at Gamelab, and RTX has all generated quite a lot of attention. Here are a few of the best highlights:

The VentureBeat: During Gamelab Dean Takahashi over at the DeanBeat interviewed our very own Richard Garriott, about the entire span of his career (and life) in an interview based loosely around Richard’s book Explore / Create. Dean then transcribed that into an article entitled: “Ultima creator Richard Garriott looks back on nearly four decades making video games”. The article also includes a video of the interview.

Richard Garriott has had a wonderful life in video games. But the founder of Portalarium and creator of the Ultima series has also done quite a bit outside of video games, with enough adventures to last five lifetimes. He coached a featherweight boxing champion. He almost starved during a journey on the Amazon River. He almost had a fatal rock climbing accident. He had to pull a gun on an overly enthusiastic fan who broke into his home in Austin, Texas. Yet, he creates legendary haunted houses for Halloween, welcoming everybody into his home. Like his father before him, Garriott journeyed into space. While he was up there, he showed a secret message to his Tabula Rasa online game fans while on a communications link back to Earth. And he journeyed to the bottom of the sea to get a close-up look at the Titanic.

KXAN News: Local NBC News Affiliate KXAN News aired a piece about RTX where Shroud of the Avatar and Richard “Lord British” Garriott featured prominently entitled “Austin’s annual RTX gaming convention set to be biggest yet”

RTX is underway in ATX and the annual gaming convention is expected to draw its biggest crowd yet. RTX is led by Rooster Teeth Productions, an Austin-based company that created the popular Red vs. Blue web series. The convention is where gaming meets the Internet and where gamers find their great escape. “It’s how you get through bad days, it’s how you get through good days, it’s how you make good days,” said one attendee. Lord British — as he’s known to fellow gamers — created a medieval role-playing game called the Shroud of the Avatar. The game won’t be released until the fall but he recognizes the way Austin ups his animation ante.

Fox7 News: Local Fox News affiliate Fox7 News aired a piece about RTX where they interviewed a gamer who traveled from Wisconsin to visit the show in a piece called “Gamers Paradise”. Shroud of the Avatar and Richard “Lord British” Garriott featured prominently in the text version and in some of the background footage.

Get ready to be schooled on video games. This year’s epic Rooster Teeth Expo attracted thousands of people from across the globe. Gamer Jack Rowell drove all the way to Austin from Wisconsin to attend R.T.X “We drove here 18 hours we got here yesterday. It’s pretty cool here in Austin,” said Rowell. This year’s newest game is set to be a crowd pleaser Shroud of the Avatar Forsaken Virtues. “The controls are pretty simple and it seems like it really has a cool story. I’m going to have to check it out,” said Rowell. It’s a role playing video game that takes you on a mystical spiritual journey. Players will adventure through an interactive world where their choices during ethical paradoxes have consequences. Portalarium C.E.O Richard Garriott came out to greet fans and give some pointers. Garriott said it takes around four years to develop a game. “It’s a game that has a lot more depth than just fighting monsters and collecting treasures,” Garriott said. “You can actually dial up from a solo player game to a traditional mastered multi player game.”

MMORPG.com: Garret Fuller recently interviewed Richard about Shroud’s current status and our goals for the end of this year in an article entitled: “Richard Garriott – Goals, Milestones, and Expectations”

Last week we got the chance to talk with Richard Garriott about the state of Shroud of the Avatar and all the upcoming milestones for the game. Many people continue to watch the progress of the game closely as backers and players get ready for the full release of the game. Early Alpha and Beta phases have been tested heavily by fans. Now Richard explained that they are making the final 20% push into release. It is a time of polish and adjustment which Richard finds to be the best aspect of game making. What will the rest of the world think? Richard said that the goal of the year is to complete work on Episode 1. The milestone would launch the complete story for people to play through. Even though they are no longer wiping characters from the early testing, it may be time to start anew and experience the whole journey. They have had their 43rd monthly release and continue to deliver on time each month based on their schedule. With Episode 1 players can go through the plot lines of Truth, Love, and Courage leading up to the finale.

Free Trial 4 Continues Through July 26!

Welcome to the latest Free Trial Test period for Shroud of the Avatar!

This trial test (#4) runs from July 3rd thru the 26th, and is the longest test so far of the system so that we can gather even more data about uptake, drop-off, conversions, etc. These tests are invaluable for us in order to improve the New User Experience and the Free Trial System.

Free Trial access allows you to play the entire game in any of the Online modes with a few key differences in game play. You will be able to explore hundreds of scenes, talk with thousands of players, adventure through the opening quests, and gain experience and skills as you get used to the world of New Britannia!

Get started in New Britannia for free!

Origin PC’s Steam Key Giveaway – 3 Days Left!origin_giveaway_ourheader_v2

We are excited to announce a new Steam Key Giveaway with Origin PC! We, of course, love the name of their company. We also found out that their community manager and one of their founders are huge Ultima Online fans! Our very own Richard Garriott uses Origin PCs for his desktop and laptop computers, so our continued cooperation is a mutual admiration party.

ORIGIN PC delivers the best gaming experience period, but what does that mean? It means the best parts and technology the computer gaming industry has to offer. It means world class support from day one and ORIGIN PC’s support never ends. It means having a team of people who understand the art of elite system building and maintenance, standing by to assist you when you need it. It means never having to feel you made the wrong choice.

To enter the contest, you can follow Origin’s or Shroud’s social accounts (Twitter, Twitch) or visit one of our sites (Twitter, Facebook, or Website). You can find more detail on the contest page.

Weekend Flash Sale: RTX ‘Returning Home Part 2’ Home Decorations Sale

We’re continuing our celebration of returning home from a successful RTX event last weekend! Do you need something to place in your new home that you bought during last week’s sale? Get a look at all of the items now on sale below!

You can also view each item individually in the addon store:

2017 Replenishing Lord British Birthday Cake (digital)
Ancient Vase 3-Pack (digital)
Ancient Wall Sculptures Set (digital)
Ancients Tabletop Set (digital)
Black Leather Chesterfield Sofa & Chair (digital)
Bolton Maroon Leather Chesterfield Sofa & Chair (digital)
Checkers Set (digital)
Chess Set (digital)
Combat Sigil Set (digital)
Crafting Sigil Set (digital)
Diagonal Muntin Wall Light 3-Pack (digital)
Dungeon Iron Cage (digital)
Dungeon Iron Cage with Skeleton (digital)
Durham Gray Leather Chesterfield Sofa & Chair (digital)
Edwards Natural Leather Chesterfield Sofa & Chair (digital)
Fine Oak Furniture Set (digital)
Fine Red Upholstered Furniture Set (digital)
Fine White and Gold Upholstered Furniture Set (digital)
Geometric Stained Glass Chandelier 3-Pack (digital)
Geometric Stained Glass Oil Floor Lamp 3-Pack (digital)
Geometric Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp 3-Pack (digital)
Giant Ornate Porcelain Vase (digital)
Gift Boxes 3-Pack Assortment 1 (digital)
Hand Painted Dark Maple Coffee Table (digital)
Kobold Ornate Four Poster Twin Bed (digital)
Kobold Ornate Steam Radiator (digital)
Kobold Red Velvet with Nailheads Bench (digital)
Kobold Red Velvet with Nailheads Chair (digital)
Kobold Tiled Long Dining Table (digital)
Kobold Tiled Square Dining Table (digital)
Large Ornate Cast Iron Fireplace 4-Pack (digital)
Large Ornate Cast Iron Fireplace 9-Pack (digital)
Large Ornate Porcelain Vase (digital)
Large Ornate Stone & Wood Fireplace 4-Pack (digital)
Large Ornate Stone & Wood Fireplace 9-Pack (digital)
Large Ornate Stone Fireplace 4-Pack (digital)
Large Ornate Stone Fireplace 9-Pack (digital)
Magic Sigil Set (digital)
Nobles Tabletop Set (digital)
Oak & Glass Display Cabinet (digital)
Obsidian Chandelier 3-Pack (digital)
Obsidian Floor Lamp 3-Pack (digital)
Obsidian Wall Light 3-Pack (digital)
Ornate Cast Iron Fireplace 4-Pack (digital)
Ornate Cast Iron Fireplace 9-Pack (digital)
Ornate Iron & Glass Wall Light 3-Pack (digital)
Ornate Iron Wall Light 3-Pack (digital)
Ornate Moondial (digital)
Ornate Oak Panel Wardrobe (digital)
Ornate Public Cache Chest (digital)
Ornate Shogun Room Divider 3-Pack (digital)
Ornate Skull Candle (digital)
Ornate Stone & Wood Fireplace 4-Pack (digital)
Ornate Stone & Wood Fireplace 9-Pack (digital)
Ornate Stone Fireplace 4-Pack (digital)
Ornate Stone Fireplace 9-Pack (digital)
Ornate Tabletop Moondial (digital)
Ornate Wall Mailbox (digital)
Ornate Wooden 2-Tier Oval Display Table (digital)
Ornate Wooden Display Table (digital)
Ornate Wooden Four Poster Canopy Bed (digital)
Potted Blue Glowing Mushroom 3-Pack (digital)
Potted Green Glowing Mushroom 3-Pack (digital)
Potted Orange Glowing Mushroom 3-Pack (digital)
Reclining Tabletop Statues Set (digital)
Remote Bank Access Device (digital)
Renaissance Bedroom Set (digital)
Shogun Wall Light 3-Pack (digital)
Sigil Complete Set (digital)
Skeleton 6-Pack (digital)
Smaller Ancients Set (digital)
Sphinx Bookend Statues (digital)
Spider 9-Pack (digital)
Spider Aggressive 3-Pack (digital)
Spider Attack 3-Pack (digital)
Spider Still 3-Pack (digital)
Spider Web 6-Pack (digital)Stone Streetlamp 6-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Azalea Bush 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Bamboo Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Bear Statue (digital)
Tabletop Black Elder Bush 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Blue Spruce Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Checkers Set (digital)
Tabletop Chess Set (digital)
Tabletop Common Aspen Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Common Linden Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Creature Statue Pack (digital)
Tabletop Dead Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Elemental Statue (digital)
Tabletop Fountain Palm Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Golem Statue (digital)
Tabletop Grim Reaper Statue (digital)
Tabletop Juniper Topiary Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Juniper Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Kobold Statue (digital)
Tabletop Lich Statue (digital)
Tabletop Oracle Statue Head (digital)
Tabletop Puzzle Tree 3-Pack – Autism Awareness Charity (digital)
Tabletop Saguaro Broken Branch Cactus 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Saguaro Cactus 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Saguaro Multi-Branch Cactus 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Satyr Statue (digital)
Tabletop Skeleton 6-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Stone Dragon Statue (digital)
Tabletop Titan of Courage Statue (digital)
Tabletop Titan of Love Statue (digital)
Tabletop Titan of Truth Statue (digital)
Tabletop Tree Pack (digital)
Tabletop White Oak Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Yellow Cedar Tree 3-Pack (digital)
Tabletop Zombie Statue (digital)
Tan Marble Bench (digital)
Vintage Blue Velvet with Nailheads Furniture Set (digital)
Vintage Cordovan 5 Drawer Curved Dresser (digital)
Vintage Red Velvet with Nailheads Furniture Set (digital)
Windermere Charcoal Gray Chesterfield Sofa & Chair (digital)
Wizard’s Inlaid Leather Buffet with Open Hutch (digital)
Wizard’s Inlaid Leather Round Dining Table (digital)
Wizard’s Leather Covered Wall Shelf 3-Pack (digital)

Visit the Addon Store and select a section’s tab to browse the items!

Make Your SeedInvest Reservation Official!

A few weeks ago we launched the SeedInvest campaign and started taking reservations. Many of you immediately made a reservation (thank you!), but some of you have yet to be converted to campaign investments.

Those of you who’ve made a reservation, please convert it to an investment!

To convert, head to the official SeedInvest website, log in to your account, and from there you will be able to complete your investment. You can also go to the mentioned linked to become an investor!

Thank you Avatars!
Lord British and the Portalarium Team

*Disclaimer: Portalarium is offering securities under Regulation CF and Rule 506(c) of Regulation D through SI Securities, LLC (“SI Securities”). The Company has filed a Form C with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its offering, a copy of which may be obtained here: https://www.seedinvest.com/portalarium/series.b

Upcoming Events Calendar

July 3-26, 2017 – Free Trial Test #4
July 20-23, 2017 – Comic-Con Panels with Richard Garriott and Starr Long
July 27, 2017 – Release 44
Aug 10 – 14, 2017 – Syndcon (Austin)
Aug 29-30, 2017 – PAX Dev Panel
Aug 31, 2017 – Release 45
Sept 1 – 4, 2017 – Dragon Con
Sept 22 – 23, 2017 – Ultima Online 20th Anniversary Party
Sept 28, 2017 – Release 46
Oct 13 – 15, 2017 – SotA Con – Austin 2017
Oct 26, 2017 – 
Release 47

Visit the official Community Calendar to see the great lineup of activities our amazing community has planned for this weekend! And be sure to check out this month’s Release Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.

Community Event: July’s RPOTA Monthly $155 Writing Contest

RPOTA Writing Contest

Hear ye! Hear ye! Biographers, Historians, Diplomats, Journalists, Story Writers, Quest Designers, Videographers and Musicians! RPOTA.COM is in dire need of your amazing talents! Role-Players of the Avatar is hosting a monthly contest to award those most famous with their quill, camera, piano or lute! Simply have your creations submitted by midnight of the last day of every month to be eligible for that month’s contest! See Elgarion for (details)

Community Resources – Players Helping Players


The official SotA New Player Welcome Forum and the Player Created Resources Forum have the best player created resources for Shroud of the Avatar, whether it’s a Player Written Guide, a Video Walk-through, or a Wiki-type Website.

Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community.

Recommended Project to Support

The Bard’s Tale IV

From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera comes The Bard’s Tale IV. Thirty years ago, The Bard’s Tale put Brian Fargo and Interplay on the map and launched a storied career crafting some of the most beloved cRPGs in gaming history.

Today, we return to Skara Brae for the long-awaited dungeon-crawling sequel to the Bard’s Tale trilogy — the games that helped define the genre. The Bards Talke IV it is a single-player, party-based cRPG with dynamic phase-based combat, challenging puzzles and riddles, and a game set to beautiful Gaelic music, where the Bard’s songs and melodies affect gameplay.

Backer Shipping Addresses

SotA_ShippingAddressIn preparation for shipping backers’ physical pledge rewards later this year, we have added Shipping Address fields to your Account Profile page. To enter your shipping address, log in to the SotA website, select “Account” in top right corner, then select “Edit Profile” located in top left corner, beneath your Avatar image.

A reminder to be sure that support@portalarium.com is unblocked from your e-mail account!