Greetings Fellow Avatars! Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
The Latest Game Progress
- Dev+ Asset Pack Program Reinstated
- R44 Postmortem Mini-Telethon Aug 7!
- R43 Raffle Winners
- Free Trial Test #5: Aug 9 – 30
- DragonCon Gaming Schedule Announced
- Shroud at PAX Dev Next Month – Starr’s Crowdfunding Panel
- Shroud In the News: The Gaming Gang, Austin Chronicle
- Origin PC’s July Bundle Promo – Free Copy of Shroud!
- SeedInvest: Time is Running Short to Join Portalarium!
- Upcoming Events Calendar
- ‘Welcome to New Britannia’ Community Trailer Contest
- Community Livestream: A New Look to Aerie and Vertas Scenes
- Community Events: Rift’s End Festival and R44 Welcome Quest
- Community Resources: Players Helping Players
- Recommended Project to Support: VISITOR in Blackwood Grove
Release 44 successfully launched yesterday, July 27, with thousands of backers downloading, patching, and logging in to check out the changes! There’s lots of new content to explore, including:
- Story Complete
- Grannus Colossus
- Hallowed Plains
- Cities of Truth Polish (Aerie, Vertas, Jaanaford)
- Path of Courage Polish
- Guards Fines for Stealing
- Dread Artifacts and Dread Spells
- Shroud of the Avatar
- Combat Balance
- Healing Blast (New Life Spell)
- Titan of Truth Boreas
- Female Elves
- Elite Elven Gear
- New Emotes
- Shogun Ship Water Home
- Clothing as Decorations
- Recipes as Loot
- R43 Lot Deed Raffle Winners
…and much more
Check out the Release 44 Instructions update for detailed information about all the new content.
We need all your help with testing the new patches, putting more stress on our multiplayer servers, and testing the new game content, so please join us in playing this Release!
Previously, the color variations of the Dragons in the game were done as simple color overlays but that resulted in unnatural monochrome and overly bright tones. We spent Release 44 creating color variations that are much more natural and then updated all the existing Dragon variations in the game like The Sisters.
Have a look at the current lineup!
Making of Grannus Colossus (cont.)
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 was completely rebuilt for Release 44.
Two weeks ago Vas Corp Por revealed the very first few images of this gauntlet of courage and last week he showed even more!
First of the Cannibal Camps
Poisonous Bog Approach
Failing a land assault against the cannibal tribes, Norgarders attempted to land on the beach approach. It is rumored they were delicious. (Remember, our friends here the Bandits will be art-swapped for ‘Northerner’ character art, which is looking cool so far i.m.o.!)
Dev+ Asset Pack Program Reinstated
Greetings Dev+ Avatars,
With the original Kickstarter pledges there was a pledge level called Developer. At that pledge level (or higher) backers received periodic delivery of Asset Packs of Shroud of the Avatar original art assets and were granted a perpetual non-exclusive license to use however they wished.
The program was slightly complex because we could not use assets that we purchased (Unity Asset Store, Turbosquid) or any assets that included purchased textures (we sometimes build unique objects but use textures from purchased assets).
Even with that complexity, while the Asset Pack Program was active we delivered over a dozen Asset Packs which included hundreds of individual assets. Here is a list of those asset packs that were part of the original program:
- Clockwork Pets
- Chess & Checkers Set
- Wind and Geothermal Power
- All Avatar Animations
- Male/Female: Leather and Cloth Armor
- Platemail and helms
- Female Plates and Helm
- 3ds Max Rigged Avatar model
- Furniture Pack
- Unity Asset House Pack #1
- Unity Asset House Pack #2
- Crafting Table Pack
- Dungeon Kit
- Dungeon Props
We would like to apologize that we were not clear that the Asset Pack Program expired when we expired all the pledges in the Summer of 2016. That is why delivery of Asset Packs has stopped completely, until now.
Even though the Asset Pack Program reward has been fulfilled, we are going to temporarily reinstate it as a thank you for the amazing support we get from our Developer+ level backers and those backers who have access to the Dev+ forums through Bundle purchases. We are truly humbled by everything you do for the game.
Please note that we will deliver these as often as we can but we cannot commit to any particular frequency of delivery.
The first Asset Packs are:
Weapons (note pictures are only partial representation)
R44 Postmortem Mini-Telethon Aug 7!
Traditionally our Telethons have been held quarterly and lasted 12 hours (and in some extreme cases 24 hours!). While these lengthy telethons allowed us to cover a very wide range of subjects, they also led to a bit of meandering at the end due to fatigue (and maybe a bit of overindulgence). Recently we had a much shorter telethon (6 hours) for Lord British’s birthday, discovering that we spent more time answering questions and remained much more focused and alert. Your response was also quite positive in both pledges and feedback after the telethon!
So, starting with Release 44, we are going to experiment with extended Postmortems that are also Mini-Telethons. This will increase the frequency of our telethons to monthly but also keep them short (4 hours). We are confident that this will both allow us to focus more time on development while at the same time provide a higher frequency of direct interaction with you, our community.
Since this is a shorter telethon we want to make sure as many people can participate in the stretch goals. We are going to extend the amount of time that your purchases can be eligible for the stretch goals to be 12 hours from 12:00 PM CDT to Midnight. NOTE: We will still stop tracking towards stretch goals at the end of the telethon at 7:00 PM CDT, but everyone will have another 5 hours to spend $5 to get the stretch goals.
We hope you find this change an improvement! Now, onward to the telethon’s details!
TELETHON SCHEDULE (Central Time Zone)
Telethons are livestreamed on Twitch and include answers to your gameplay questions, world building tours, prize giveaways, sales on items, and more! See what we have planned below beginning at 3pm CT on August 7:
- 3:00 PM: Introductions and R44 Postmortem Q&A
- 4:30 PM: World Building Tour
- 5:30 PM: Postmortem Q&A Continues
- 7:00 PM: End of Mini-Telethon!
As part of the R44 Postmortem, at 7:00 PM CDT, August 7, 2017, we are expiring the following content from the Add On Store (and the in-game Crown Merchants). This means that these items will no longer be available in our store after this date.
- Blackened Metal Baby Clockwork Dragon
- Black Squirrel
- Elven Elder Fighter Armor
- Elven Elder Archer Armor
- Elven Elder Mage Robe
- Elven Elder Fighter Armor Pattern Pack
- Elven Elder Archer Armor Pattern Pack
- Elven Elder Mage Robe Pattern Pack
- Silver Clockwork Armor
- Silver Clockwork Armor Pattern Pack
- Vintage Red Velvet Nailheads Furniture Set
- Vintage Blue Velvet Nailheads Furniture Set
- Ye Olde Hot Tub
As a special bonus, we are offering telethon funding rewards to any backer that pledges a minimum of $5 at any time on August 7 from 12:00 PM to 11:59 PM. (Spending Store Credit to make $5 minimum purchase does not apply.) NOTE: We will still stop tracking towards stretch goals at the end of the telethon at 7:00 PM CDT but everyone will have another 5 hours to spend $5 to get the stretch goals.
- $10,000: Oracle Eye Sparklers
- $25,000: Oracle Eye Mirror: Home decoration with the Oracle Eye on top
- $35,000: Oracle Eye Helmet: Fencing Mask with Oracle Eye painted on mesh like the Obsidian Cabalist masks
- $50,000: Oracle Eye Throne
- $65,000: Oracle Cable “Wings” + /juggleoracleeyes
CHEER ON THE DEVS!
For every $2,500 donated, all developers on camera have to either dance, sing, or drink a shot of alcohol.
Additionally, we will be spinning the Wheel of Fortune! The wheel will have 12 different categories of sales plus the Lord British and Darkstarr wildcards where they get to choose any category! Each time a category comes up it will go on sale at approx. 20% off for 1 hour.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE FLASH SALES:
- Viking Bundles
- Obsidian Bundles
- Kobold Bundles
- Elven Bundles
- Shogun Bundles
- Make a Difference
- Home Decorations
- Outdoor Decorations
- Property Deeds, POT Upgrades, Homes and Basements
- Pets and Music
- Emotes and Fireworks
- Wearables, Dyes, and Patterns
WIN THESE GREAT PRIZES!
- All of the above Expiring Items
- Bank Upgrades
- Store Credit
- RelicsbyRild.com merchandise
- and more!
We will be giving prizes away on an hourly basis with many being given away multiple times. If you wish to win prizes during the Telethon event, be in Discord chat! We will be active on Twitch and YouTube chats as well, but they will not be our portal for prize giveaways.
SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS!
We will be answering questions throughout the telethon so submit them in the comments section of the original post here or on Discord chat during the Telethon. Please keep in mind that questions and feedback related to each segment will be given priority and really verbose questions may be skipped, as they can be a challenge to shorten and summarize live on the air. Please keep it to 3 total questions in the comments section below!
R43 Lot Deed Raffle Prize Winners
The latest Lot Deed Raffle was drawn with deeds awarded to the following lucky winners!
There were two raffles, one for each lot type:
Place Anywhere Deeds: 10 Total
- Row: 5
- Village: 3
- Town: 1
- City: 1
Player Owned Town Deeds: 10 Total
- Row: 5
- Village: 3
- Town: 1
- City: 1
Raffle tickets grant the holder a chance to win deeds of any size (Row, Village, Town, or City). Raffles will be held monthly (total deed numbers may vary each month). Winners can claim their deed(s) simply by logging into the game and claiming rewards at any bank.
Release 44 Lot Deed Raffle has begun! Details in the forums.
We are excited to announce the next test of our Free Trial system for Shroud of the Avatar!
This trial test (#5) will run from August 9th thru the 30th, and will let us continue to gather 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 ready to join us in New Britannia for free!
Dragon Con has announced the schedule for the Videogame track and Shroud is represented on four different talks! Stay tuned for more schedule updates as Richard is slated to appear on the Space track too.
- Friday Sept 1: 10:00 AM EDT
- Future of Video Gaming: What’s next in video games? What new technologies are on the horizon and who’s making it happen?
- Panelists: Starr Long
- Friday Sept 1: 05:30 PM EDT
- An Hour with Lord British: A deeper dive into the past and future adventures of Lord British covering subjects like the Ultima franchise, space travel, deep sea exploration, IP development, and game design principles. There will also be a discussion of Richard’s new book, “Explore and Create”
- Panelists: Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux, Jason Gonding
- Sunday Sept 3: 01:00 PM EDT
- Shroud of the Avatar Q&A: Lord British will provide a development update and host an open Q&A on the current status of his latest project.
- Panelists: Starr Long, Richard Lord British Garriott de Cayeux
- Monday Sept 4: 10:00 AM EDT
- Crowdfunding – How to Successfully Kickstart Your Game: Join industry professionals who have successfully kickstarted games in a discussion on what worked and didn’t work for them, followed by Q&A.
- Panelists: Starr Long, David Haddock, Mark Jacobs
Starr “Darkstarr” Long will be giving a talk entitled, ‘Evolution of Crowdsharing: Sourcing, Funding, and Equity’ at PAX Dev August 29-30 in Seattle:
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’re in the Seattle area next month, swing by PAX Dev to meet Starr!
Shroud in the News: The Gaming Gang, The Austin Chronicle
The Gaming Gang: Jeff McAleer interviewed Richard Garriott and Starr Long at Comic Con in a post entitled: “SDCC 2017: Richard Garriott and Starr Long Talk ‘Shroud of the Avatar’”:
Legendary game designer Richard Garriott and famed developer Starr Long join me to discuss the MMORPG Shroud of the Avatar. SotA is currently in early access, with an estimated launch later this year, and promises to blend multiplayer community with sandbox RPG elements from the classic Ultima series of single player games.
The Austin Chronicle: Richard “Lord British” Garriott loaned several of his personal game artifacts to the Texas History Museum’s upcoming videogame exhibit opening this weekend. The Chronicle’s Tucker Whatley wrote about it in an article entitled: “Bullock Museum Scores Video Game Exhibit”:
One hundred rare artifacts of gaming history will be on display, many of them on loan from personal collections and never before shown to the public. Visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of the Apple II workstation Austin-based developer Richard Garriott used to create the first computer role-playing game, Akalabeth; a page from the Doom “bible,” the blueprint for the legendary first-person shooter; and even a prototype Brown Box, engineer Ralph Baer’s late-Sixties invention that is the grandfather of all video game consoles.
Origin PC’s July Promo Bundle – Free Copy of Shroud!
SeedInvest: Time is Running Short to Join Portalarium!
Time is running short to join Portalarium on a journey from being just a developer to also becoming a full fledged publisher! We are currently using the SeedInvest platform to take investments in the company that will make it possible to expand our marketing resources for Shroud of the Avatar and future products.
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 above link to become an investor! A reminder that there are now several new in-game gold perk additions, including detailed images of the perks, and entire new perk tiers for more investing options.
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
Aug 7, 2017 – R44 Postmortem Mini-Telethon
Aug 9 – 30, 2017 – Free Trial 5
Aug 10 – 14, 2017 – Syndcon (Austin)
Aug 22 – 23, 2017 – Gamescom (Cologne)
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
Sept 29 – Oct 1, 2017 – IgroMir Expo (Moscow)
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.
‘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 is in full swing!
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.
Community Livestream: A New Look to Aerie and Vertas Scenes
For more livestreams, be sure to subscribe to www.youtube.com/portalarium
Community Events: Rift’s End Festival and R44 Welcome Quest
Rift’s End Festival of Persistence – Saturday, July 29
Moongate Travelers invite you to Rift’s End as they celebrate one year of Persistence, featuring:
– A PVP special event from The Blackgate Dojo!
– Crafting Master-classes with our experts!
– Complete the Rift’s End Tour and get gift bags containing very valuable items!
– All this and much more!
Starting at 2pm CT (NBT). More details to follow!
Release 44 Welcome Quest – Saturday, July 29 at 12pm CT
You are invited to join the Welcome Quest in Release 44! Event will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2017 starting at 12pm (noon) central time/new britannian time and lasting an hour. It is added on the Avatar’s Circle community calendar, and it is in your in-game Events book.
This time we are traveling to a wonderful town called Elementum! The town is west of Jannaford along the Bay of Storms and the Ash Coast. Teleport to Greagoir Pendragon. Are you with us?!
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 – VISITOR in Blackwood Grove
Mary Flanagan has launched her latest Kickstarter that is a co-op boardgame that has an ET vibe to it and we are super excited! We supported her last game, Monarch, and Richard is even the “Unwelcome Visitor” in it! Mary Flanagan’s work explores the anxious and profound relationship between technological systems and human experience, with an ongoing exploration of rule systems, games, and what she calls ‘critical play.’
Summary: A spacecraft crashes in Blackwood Grove, and the Kid is the only one watching. Federal agents hunt down the signal, but no one can get near the craft due to its crushing forcefield. Why can some objects pass through the forcefield, but others are repelled? Hiding in the craft, the Visitor hopes the Kid can figure out the rule before the Agents and help it escape. The Agents want to dissect the Visitor and keep the ship…
Backer Shipping Addresses
In 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 firstname.lastname@example.org is unblocked from your e-mail account!