We Claim This New Land As…

As you know, we moved into our new offices on Sunday. They looks swanky, and the view is amazing, but the best part is they cost even less then our old Downtown offices.  That means more money goes directly into the development of Shroud of the Avatar!

Many of you requested pictures, so I’ve created a photo album on our Tumblr site so you can get a peek at our new lair!  Most of the pics were taken as we were settling in on Monday, but Brekken (the last Werewolf, as some of you may remember her) was kind enough to share a few she snapped on Sunday, including a great shot of Rick, SotA’s Project Manager! Yes, that’s him on the back of the moving truck!

Moving Album

We’ve had a caption contest going over on Facebook for our first photo of Richard in his new office. My challenge to you is to come up with even more captions for the remaining pictures.

I’ll even include a link to a meme generator for you!

You can submit your captioned photos on Tumblr when your done and I will feature the best ones! So what are you waiting for? Get captioning!


Shroud of the Avatar Dev Hangout ~ 4.30.13

Listen in as Richard “Lord British” Garriott and renowned author and SotA Lead Story Designer Tracy Hickman discuss the story behind Shroud of the the Avatar.

You can find a full written summary and discussion of the Hangout on the Shroud of the Avatar forums following the broadcast.

Community Spotlight – A Tale of Rob and Some Leet Video Editing Skills!

This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on Rob, a dedicated SotA community member who decided to take on the task of editing our Kickstarter Live Video Streams into something a bit less… ehem… free-form!  Not an easy task, I assure you. :)

He has 5 videos currently up on his YouTube channel, and has been generous enough to provide me with the remaining videos, which I will be adding as a playlist on our own YouTube channel this week.  So if you missed the tales of Bob the Raccoon Wrangler, Dippy Bird’s first on-camera appearance, or the Epic D&D Adventures of Gorn, now you can discover (or re-discover) the magic of locking 10 Devs together for an entire weekend with nothing but some games, plenty of finger foods, and some pretty big bottles of Scotch!

Here is a sample!

You can watch the remaining videos on Rob’s YouTube Channel. And if you would like to know more about Rob, he has been kind enough to permit me an short interview.

If you were an NPC in Shroud of the Avatar, how would describe yourself?

My NPC is an extension of myself.  I am a teacher, I am an artist.  As an NPC, you would find me in the woods, surrounded by green, bustling, babbling, and breathing scenery.  This place would be serene, but talkative, much like me.  The prodigious war axe lashed to my back would resemble its wielder – slow to anger, quick to rise.  My dialogue would be extensive, but in it, you would find wisdom, humor and explicit facts seemingly unrelated to the topic being discussed.

By default, I am alone, but not lonely.  The Avatars I most commonly cast my lot with would embody the tenants in which I hold dear.  Wisdom, reverence, prudence, restlessness and amusement are the qualities of our fellowship.  Our attire would be comfortable, our aspects would be pensive and our silhouettes would be robust.  My quests are not often followed, but if adhered to, they will bring prosperity to yourself and those around you.

What do you enjoy most about the SotA Community?

What I enjoy most about the SotA Developers and community is what we are.  We are Avatars.  We are sincere, charitable, helpful and humble.  We act with conviction, integrity, reverence and righteousness. We are fans of Richard Garriott, who has demonstrated these qualities over his many years of service.  The SotA community loves the work of RG.  We revere and cherish it as if it were a living and breathing thing.  The greatness of this community is truly inspiring!  Many of us have been influenced heavily by the wisdom and knowledge Ultima has revealed.  I love that no matter what, Richard and the community fight for what we all believe in to make the best game we can.  I love the principle and the devotion of our community.  Most of all, I love the possibilities of what we can accomplish.

What are YOU most looking forward to in Shroud of the Avatar?

In game, I’m looking forward to the creations, the rituals and the conventions cultivated by the players from the seeds planted by the Developers.  I can’t wait to find the individual personality of the things created by my friends and by the Developers in Shroud of the Avatar.  I’m looking forward to being inspired by Shroud of the Avatar, its creators and its community again and again and again.

I just want to thank Richard, Dallas, Chris, Tracy, Rick, B. Cotton, Loren, Stephen, Bob, Gina,  Tassilo, Erik, Justin and the rest of the Developers on SotA which I have yet to meet or see at the Dev chats.  Thank you all for this opportunity and thank you all for being awesome.  I wish I had room to individually list at length why you are all so inspiring!  Suffice it to say, I really appreciate the participation, candidness, honesty, enthusiasm, and wisdom I have had the pleasure to witness from you all.  Good luck, good will and good fortune to you all. The community and I are behind you and all that you decide.


SotA Translated to German First! New EDELMANN House Tier Available! Grace Period Available for Duration of Quo Vadis Conference This Week!

In celebration of the thirteenth annual Quo Vadis German game conference, Portalarium announces that German will be the first non-English language supported by Shroud of the Avatar!

Richard Garriott is delivering a keynote speech at this year’s Qua Vadis conference, and as a special nod to our German backers, SotA introduces a new pledge tier, the “Edelmann” Housing Pledge Tier, which includes a special German village house, the unique, in-game title of “Edelmann,” a unique Deutsche Dogge pet (or should it be a Dachshund…we’ll let the community decide), and a special ability to brew (and teach) a unique German beer that adheres to the Reinheitsgebot, or “German Beer Purity Law” of 1516. SotA will engage the community to submit and vote on visual images for the German Village house, with the team selecting the most popular image to integrate into the game.

In conjunction with the German game conference, we are extending the grace period for the original Kickstarter Pledge Tiers and prices through the rest of this week! We’re also adding an entirely new pledge tier designed specifically for our German community! Check out these awesome rewards:

$550 EDELMANN TIER – The Edelmann Village House Tier contains the following:

  • Your in-game avatar will receive the honorific title of “Edelmann” to be proudly displayed for all to see (title visibility controlled by player)
  • Rent free, Village Level House Deed, transferable between players
  • A special, commission free Vendor!
  • An upscale, German Edelmann’s home (German home styles to be submitted and voted on by community)
  • A waterfront, German-style Cabana, sitting on stilts, in the water, attached to your Village property by a bridge (**Village waterfront lots available to Village, Town, or City property deed holders; higher value pledges have lot selection priority over lower value pledges**)
  • Unique Beer Brewing Ability adhering to the German beer purity law, Reinheitsgebot.  Only you will be able to teach this unique beer formula to others!
  • An animated, German Automaton house decoration (we are inspired by the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Munich)
  • Unique, in-game, Deutsche Dogge house pet (or maybe a Dachshund)
  • Special Founder Level plaque as a digital, in-game decoration for your house
  • Printed Shroud of the Avatar novel signed by Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott!
  • Printed Village Property Deed, hand signed by Richard “Lord British” Garriott

There will also be an all digital version of the Edelmann tier available for those that do not want physical goods shipped to them:

$545 EDELMANN – ALL DIGITAL TIER – Contains only the digital rewards of the Edelmann Tier

Art Time with Stephen Daniele 4.23.13

Join Stephen Daniele and FireLotus for another Art Hour! We’re looking for a groovy new title for our weekly art hangout, so come prepared to offer some suggestions!

Community Spotlight ~ Forsaken Virtues: A SotA Fansite

Today we kick off our weekly tribute to YOU, the members of our community that have made this journey so memorable for all of us here at Shroud of the Avatar.  Whether it’s a fabulous Fansite, Fan Art, SotA Guild, or a piece of Fan Fiction, the Community spotlight is a place for us to share some of the amazing things going on in the community, and show off what a talented, passionate group of fans we have!

This week’s Community Spotlight shines on Forsaken Virtues: A SotA Fansite and the incredibly dedicated Dame Lori! Forsaken Virtues Fansite

If you have spent any time on either the forums or following us during the Kickstarter Campaign, they you already know Dame Lori.  She has been an inspiring force in the community, sharing her talent with us in so many ways!  Not only did she design our Kickstarter Reward Tier Image, she often cheers us on during our Live Hangouts, then provides the community with summaries of those broadcasts.  And she’s always willing to help out on the forums, answering player questions in her own upbeat style.  But in case you want to know a bit more about her, Dame Lori was generous enough to allow me a brief interview.

1. If you were an NPC in Shroud of the Avatar, how would describe yourself?

I’m a jack of all trades type, so I think my alter-ego would be a villager that has her hands in something different each time you pass by. One day she’ll be tinkering with some gadgets, another she’ll be sitting outside painting. A week later she’ll be brewing up some strange concoctions (you’ll probably see a blast or two shoot out her windows). You’ll certainly catch her trying to out-drink the adventurers at the tavern some nights. Oh, and she’ll always have animal companions looming around – probably more so than human ones!

In short… she’d be the local kook, I guess. :)

This is all before the computer and internet comes around and takes over her life, of course.

2. What do you think sets your Fansite apart from the rest?

I started my site in hopes of helping the Kickstarter campaign by gathering all of the available game information into one place. I saw that many people were not aware of the wealth of info that was within interviews, videos, Kickstarter comments and so on, and I wanted to guide them so they would understand what a promising project it is!

Now that the KS is over, my site continues to be a hub for updates and news as the SotA team releases information. Developer video summaries are now being posted and I try to keep up with the forums to stay on top of the latest issues. It’s great to hear from fans that decided to pledge higher after seeing the rewards chart, or others that are pleased to see concise information because they do not have the time to watch the videos or browse the forums.

I try to remain objective in my posts, though occasionally I have a little fun with it… like my gallery of shots downed by the team during the 24 hour live stream… :)

I’m hoping the site will grow with the game and will continue to be a place folks can quickly find the information they need.

I also must add that I think all of the SotA fansites out there are great assets, as are the people who contribute awesome ideas in the forums. I’m just one of many people that are doing what we can to help Shroud of the Avatar be a great success!

3. What are YOU most looking forward to in Shroud of the Avatar?

Oh, so much! I quite literally danced around the house the day Richard announced a spiritual successor to Ultima. Non-gamers would think it is silly, but Ultima fans understand – Lord British’s work is life changing. His earlier games are part of my fondest childhood memories. The virtue system is relevant in real life and something I still hold close to my heart. I met people in Ultima Online over a decade ago that continue to be my very best friends to this day.

Shroud of the Avatar is set to combine the best features of Lord British’s worlds. I’m looking forward to traveling to another land with characters I will truly care about, and to be left to my own devices to find my way through the adventure without the game holding my hand each step of the way (a game feature I sorely miss.) The crafting and sandbox features will be easy to get sucked into. LB got this right even long before UO – I am not the only one who can speak of the fun of mixing water and flour!

The idea of being able to choose single or multiplayer depending on your mood is also very intriguing and I wouldn’t be surprised if LB paves the way for a whole new game genre… again!

The community and interaction with the Portalarium team has also been heaps of fun and we still have 18 months to go before launch. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Art Time with Stephen Daniele 4.16.13

In today’s Art hour, Stephen Daniele breathes life into a brand new player gathering place and safe haven for all weary travelers, FireLotus Tavern! I’ll be relaying your feedback and suggestions during the broadcast straight from the SotA Chatroom and may even raise a glass to commemorate our new Tavern, so be sure to join us right here!


Shroud of the Avatar Dev Hangout ~ 4.15.13

Curious about the Dual Map in Shroud of the Avatar? Richard Garriott and Chris Spears delved deeper into the overland map in today’s Live Dev Hangout. But don’t worry if you missed it; just check out the archived footage below!

And a thank you goes out Lori for putting together posting a summary of the chat on the forums!