This week, we shine our Community Spotlight on an amazing community member, Vitralis, and his very unique tribute to all things edible and Britannia. And I’m not just saying that because he sent us food!
Though he did put together an amazing care package of home backed goodies, with some spectacular SWAG and an amazing hand-detailed shipping crate that made it feel like Christmas around the office. Here is a short video of Richard opening the Runic lettered , wax sealed letters that accompanied the package.
Vitralis has been an active member of the SotA community from the beginning, sharing his passion and excitement with us and other community members in more ways than I can count, but most notably, by hosting live Dragonsmeets, where we can all celebrate and share in the bounty of New Britannia.
Despite his busy schedule, Vitralis was kind enough to extend me a brief interview.
If you were an NPC in Shroud of the Avatar, how would describe yourself?
Vitralis the Blue: He’s an old, salty cook, seldom seen without his worn black fishermans cap. It covers the few remaining strands of stubborn hair on the top while defiant poofs of long, grey locks erupt from the sides and back of his head, held in check by a single leather thong tied neatly into a clove hitch. His days are spent in the kitchen of a tavern that he and his sea faring mates founded together when they retired from the salty life.
When not crafting his foreign, peculiar, yet undeniably popular culinary creations, he’ll hang up his apron and saunter out into the pub. Despite his generous age, he’ll out drink and outlast everyone in tavern, regaling them with adventurous tales from his youth and delighting the crowd with concertina tunes. Yet somehow, he’ll always be up at dawn, preparing breakfast for his guests.
What do you hope to facilitate in the community with Dragonsmeet?
So far, I’ve hosted two hangouts via Rustic Dragon. The first was the Kickstarter Celebration on April 13th and recently, the Inaugural Dragonsmeet on May 1st, which I hope will be the first of many more broadcasts.
The plan moving forward is to have regular semi-monthly (and potentially even weekly) broadcasts at varying times to accommodate international fans, all in the same format as May 1st’s Dragonsmeet. It will consist of talk-show style broadcasts with regular and rotating segments, interviews, facilitated discussions for both pre-determined Ultima related topics and recent SotA development, and an open-ended off-the-air “after party” once the stream ends for everyone to let it all fly.
Additionally, I hope to be able to interview the movers and shakers in the fan community, one per broadcast. I would also love to interview any willing Portalarium folks as well. These wouldn’t be SotA related interviews, however. Rather, I want to know everyone’s Ultima/Lord British story. I want to know how everyone came to jump through a Lunar Rift and end up at Portalarium. I want to know what games inspire them, who their heroes are, and what things excite them as much as SotA excites all of us. I want to give the Port team an opportunity to talk about themselves instead of just their work. Inquiring minds want to know!
Simply put, I want to add relevant content to the community and facilitate interactions between awesome people to the best of my ability. (Maybe I should turn that into a mission statement for rusticdragon.com…)
What are YOU most looking forward to in Shroud of the Avatar?
This may sound silly, but I’m looking forward to everything that happens between now and the end of development of the final chapter. When I’m not knee deep in my Dragonly doings, I’m actually an Interaction Designer by trade. Because of this, I absolutely can’t wait until the developer forums open up and I can sink my teeth into the myriad juicy problems that doubtlessly will be there to solve. Portalarium will get way more than they bargained for when they dreamed up the Developer pledge level. Prepare the inbox for wireframes, affinity diagrams, persona maps, and slews of sketches detailing my visions for item design and interactivity. Will they be used? Maybe, maybe not, but I’m still going to have a great time making them!
As for the game itself, I’m one of those strange people that enjoys MMO’s but doesn’t particularly enjoy playing with people. I’m drawn to games like WoW and Age of Conan due to the sheer vastness of the world. I love exploring and discovering new places. Massive games tend to satisfy this need but I’ve always played solo. Admittedly, however, the few times I’ve had the opportunity to play online games with my real friends, it’s been an amazing experience. Thus given my gaming tendencies, the fact that awesome, like-minded gamers are coming together via the Dragonsmeets, and the proposed model for limiting the people in the world to those most relevant to you, I can’t wait to jump into New Britannia with both feet and travel with my new friends. Hopefully we can have a Dragonsmeet at the Hearth of Britannia in New Britannia. How awesome would that be?
There are many other elements that I’m excited for as well, but anyone still reading at this point deserves a medal. And if you are still reading this and want to continue the conversation, all of my contact information is available at the bottom of www.rusticdragon.com Send me a message and introduce yourself. I’d love to meet you.