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!

Developer Insights – From Concept to Art

Stephen Daniele Reveals The Shroud of the Avatar UnderworldSotA Underworld

Breathtaking locations like the Underworld are destined to inspire Bards to sing songs of bravery and adventure while others whisper warnings of mystery and dangers not meant for the timid.

So tell us adventurer, what story will you tell?

Post your “Tale of the Underworld” to the forums and include an excerpt in the comments. And if you happen to impress this Bard, The Lotus of Fire, your Underworld Story shall be proclaimed throughout the land as the FIRST piece of Fan Fiction featured in our upcoming Community Spotlight!


And if that wasn’t awesome enough, one of the most legendary Bards, Tracy Hickman, will also be reading through your entries!  Taken from our forums, a message to you, from Tracy.

“Greetings, Fellow Bards…

I’ll be following your tales and adventures here with deep interest. As I discover the legends, lore and mysteries of this new land, your own experiences will become a part of that tapestry defining the world.

So come, gathering of bards, and let us weave the fabric of our story from our threads together.

Edvard the Just
The Dragonsbard


And the Winner Is!

The Winner of the SotA Fan Video Contest has been announced and it’s … Space Bards! They’ll find themselves the proud owners of a City Housing Deed!

Our 4 amazing runner-ups are also now landowners, each winning a Village Housing Deed! And finally, everyone who submitted a video will receive the in-game title of Royal Crier!

A Quest From Lord British! Video Finalists Proclaimed!

Hear ye, hear ye!  Lord British hath named the finalists for the Shroud of the Avatar Fan Video Contest!  Based on YOUR votes, the 5 finalists are:

Darkblade 341

Isolte 257

domjohn 173

Tyrael 132

eXtremeJeep 61

We were all absolutely taken back by how many clever, well made-videos were submitted! Bravo to each and every one who submitted their video! They are all worthy of a Royal Award!

We will be announcing the winner, and a very special surprise for everyone that entered our very first Community Contest during Friday’s Live Dev Hangout, so stay tuned! Now go watch these amazing videos again! Seriously… they are all AMAZING!  And feel free to comment on which one of the five YOU think should be proclaimed victorious!