Community Spotlight ~ Shroud of the Avatar Google+ Community

One of the most active SotA Fan sites is also our Official Google+ page, Shroud of the Avatar Google + Community. They are a great place to get updates and meet other SotA fans, so if you haven’t checked them out yet, be sure to do so. :)

The site’s main moderator, Matthew Garbett, took some time out of his busy schedule to write up some information for those of you who have not yet visited the site:

The Shroud of the Avatar Google+ Community is always growing and there are now over 400 members. We believe “The more the merrier!”, so our next goal is to reach 500 members by the end of August! I post frequent updates, as does FireLotus, including news, videos, interviews, and links. In addition to being a great place to make new friends, the G+ Community is also an awesome place for all your Shroud of the Avatar needs.

Read more…

Hangout of the Avatar ~ 8.5.13

From Richard Garriott:

For Shroud of the Avatar, I have musical goals which include inspiration from Ken Arnolds work in Early Ultima’s, historical style pieces akin to Iolo’s Stones and other work. http://www.moongates.com/music/

I still have a strong affinity for the early Ultima music scored by Ken Arnold, that even with only 3 voices, had great memorable melodies. Don’t listen to the simplicity nor the instrumentation, just the fact that they have memorable simple melodies.

My favorites for inspiration are:
Ultima 3
· Campfire
· Wanderer
Ultima 5
· Captain John’s Hornpipe
· Worlds Below
Ultima VI
· Bootup

Other Music that inspires me while working on SotA
· AWOL Nation – Sail: Love the power, instrumentation and melody, lyrics unrelated.
· Beats Antique – Beauty Beats : Love the instrumentation and melodies
· Beats Antique – Mission: Ditto
· Synthetic Dream Foundation – The One Eyed Maiden: Ditto
· Steam Powered Giraffe – Automatonic Electronic Harmonics: Ditto
· Metallica – Enter Sandman: Metallica Power Ballads fit the melodic, powerful style I would like to achieve for some parts and the “intro” theme song.
· Metallica – Unforgiven
· Metallica – Nothing Else Matters

We would like YOUR feedback!  Get in on the discussion on our forums. https://shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/dev-feedback-request-music-in-shroud-of-of-the-avatar.2893/

Update of the Avatar ~ 07/29/13: Build Your Own Dungeon with SotA’s Dungeon Kit Unity Assets!

Greetings SotA Backers!  We’re making history this month by being one of the first (if not the first) game developer/publishers to make game assets available to other developers for use in their own games, before the release of our own game! Traditionally, most big publishers would never allow the public release, or use, of game assets before, during, or after a game launches, for fear it would impact their sales or IP value.  We believe just the opposite! We believe that by pre-releasing game assets for other creator/developers to use we will increase our own game’s success, while helping our fellow developers at the same time!

We first wrote about crowdsharing our game assets in SotA Update #21 (Apr 3):

  • “With Shroud of the Avatar, our team is breaking new ground in…the crowdsharing of assets to help build a powerful community! During the prototyping phases of SotA we found the Unity asset store immensely valuable.
  • “Our goal is…the addition of monthly Unity asset packs that include a variety of SotA in-game art assets…to get professional game assets in the hands of our most ravenous fans and indie game developers…this gives them access to a stream of top quality fantasy content for their own creations.
  • “The assets will be usable and royalty free in any project the backer is directly involved in and will only carry the requirement that Portalarium is listed in the credits!”
  • [*These game assets are include in the basic rewards for all backers at the Developer Pledge Tier, or higher]

SotA Dungeon Kit Unity Assets Now Available for Download

Our first game assets for crowdsharing is the Dungeon Kit used for the prototype we demonstrated during the RoosterTeeth eXpo earlier this month. Check out this Dungeon Kit video that our very own Tech Director Chris Spears put together (the video starts playing in the final minute to showcase the finished look of the assets; Reset the 6-minute video to the beginning for a more complete walkthru of the assets and how to use them in Unity):

View Dungeon Kit Video on YouTube

Dungeon Kit Available Now for Developer+ Backers!

If you pledged at Developer level or higher ($400+), you can visit the Developer+ Depot to immediately download your Dungeon Kit.

There is still time to upgrade your pledge to Developer+ and receive these FREE Asset kits which can be used in your own personal or professional Unity projects. There will be more kits coming, so it’s a great way to get your hands on some GREAT assets!

Show us your Dungeons!

We’re looking for dungeons that could potentially be used in some fashion in SotA, so we’d love to see the dungeons you create with our Dungeon Kit! Here is the link where you can submit your work: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1278170/Shroud-of-the-Avatar-Crowd-Sourcing.

Check out these Dungeon Kit testimonials from some of our Dev+ Backers:

More Dungeon Kits Please! No, wait, more Characters & Creatures! Oh, and Houses too!

Over a hundred Dev+ Backers downloaded the Dungeon Kit in the first couple of days, which required them to complete a short survey. In answer to the question “How likely are you to use the assets?” a staggering 80% stated they plan to use the assets in some way, with 46% stating they wish to make content for SotA!


In response to the question “What kind of assets are you most interested in seeing going forward?” there was an almost equal split between Dungeon Kits, Characters/Creatures, and Houses/Decorations, with Code systems trailing the pack:

Dungeon Kit Available Soon in the Unity Asset Store!

Some of the game assets available to Dev+ Backers will also be made available to the general public in the Unity Asset Store. The Dungeon Kit has been submitted to the Unity Asset Store and is awaiting their approval. Look for it in the store sometime this week (Category “3D Models:Environments:Dunegons”)!

I’m a Unity Noob! How Do I Get Started?

If you don’t already have Unity, you can download a free Windows version. Once you have Unity installed, Chris Spears recommends watching this Unity tutorial video, Part 1 and Part 2.

Our own Dungeon Master Bill Kirkman (level designer) put together this Google doc that provides tips for planning your dungeon layout and scene editing, as well as a “Unity Editor How To Mini-Guide

There is also a great thread going on the Developer+ Forums where community members are providing more tips and tricks for using the SotA Dungeon Kit assets.

Less Than Three Days Left To Get Your Darkstarr Moondial and Metronome!

As reported in previous updates, we celebrated Starr Long joining the SotA team by memorializing his Darkstarr online persona with some cool, in-game stuff, most notably the Darkstarr Moondial and Darkstarr Metronome!

These exclusive Darkstarr rewards are only available thru July 31st (less than 3 days)!. The Darkstarr Moondial is included in the Citizen Pledge Tier and the Darkstarr Metronome is included in the Virtual Collector Pledge Tier, only available to Backers who pledge any amount by July 31, 2013. These items are also available in the new Add-On Store until July 31, 2013.

The Darkstarr Moondial 3D Model (WIP)

Video of Animating Darkstarr Moondial (WIP)

The Darkstarr Metronome Concept Art

The Darkstarr Metronome 3D Model (WIP)

Checkout Update #34 for in-depth coverage of the inspiration, brainstorming, and collaboration that went into the crafting of the Darkstarr Moondial and Metronome.

Show Us the Armor/Wardrobe You Want to See!

Geoff Mellon, one of our character artists (known as Qball on the forums), is running a community collaboration event over on the forums, asking members to post images of the armor/wardrobe types they would like to see in the game. You will have until this Friday, August 2, to post your suggestions, then Richard “Lord British” Garriott will select all the pieces that will go into a survey for our community members to vote on. We will then create concepts inspired by the top 3 winners in each category.

Please Register on SotA and Link Your Kickstarter Account!

Stay on top of all the latest game development news by registering on our website, https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com. And if you have not already done so, please be sure to Link your Kickstarter Account, so we can ensure that you receive all of your backer rewards as soon as they are ready to roll out!

[This edition of Update of the Avatar written by Dallas Snell, COO/Executive Producer]

Hangouts of the Avatar ~ 7.27.13

This week, we are bringing the Hangouts to YOU, our community! Instead of hosting our own Hangout of the Avatar, this Saturday, our some of our Devs made special guest appearances on two different Community Hangouts.

Markee Dragon chatted with Shroud of the Avatar’s executive producer Starr Long during his Shroud of the Avatar Roundtable.  If you missed the broadcast, you can catch it right here:

And later that evening, Scott Jennings, Lum the Mad, made an appearance on Rustic Dragon’s popular Dragonsmeet. You can catch the replay right here as well.

Dev+ Dungeon Kit is now available for download!

We have some exciting news for Dev+ backers! Our first Downloadable Asset Kit is up and ready for you to download! Log into the Dev+ Forums for more information and to get your Dungeon Kit Assets today! *Note* ~ The Dungeon Kit and Dev+ Forums are available only to backers who pledged at Developer level and above.

If you are a Dev+ Backer, you can visit the Developer Depot to download your assets kit. And if you are curious about what kinds of stuff is IN the Dungeon Kit, you can check out this short video intro that our very own Tech Director Chris Spears put together.

Remember, there is still time to upgrade your pledge to Developer and receive these FREE Asset kits which can be used in your own personal or professional Unity projects. There will be more kits coming, so it’s a great way to get your hands on some GREAT assets!

Update of the Avatar ~ 7/23/13: The Making of a Moondial and Keeping the Beat!

As reported in Update #32, in celebration of Starr Long joining the SotA Dev Team, we are memorializing his Darkstarr online persona with some cool, in-game stuff! This special update showcases some of those items!

The Darkstarr Moondial!

The Darkstarr Moondial is an in-game, home and yard decoration that will track the heavens both day and night! A very useful invention when planning strategies in-game, as this device lets you explore the mists of Revelations and Prophesy, unveiling astronomical events and revealing bits of lore to astute adventurers. The Darkstarr Moondial is included as a reward at the Citizen level pledge.

Our concept artist, Stephen Daniele (aka caravaggiosWolf on the forums), started a thread in the Community Announcements area of the Forums, tracking the work-in-progress of the moondial. It is a popular thread, already at 6 pages long and growing!

Read more…

Shroud of the Avatar 3 Month Demo

Note: For the sake of brevity in the Demo, travel shortcuts were used to expedite our movement from area to area. Also, combat, lighting and SFX are still in a prototype stage and not fully implemented in this demonstration.