On Tuesday March 27, Shroud of the Avatar launched! My hope is that we attract a lot more curiosity and discussion about our game... and these days that's bound to include many new folks coming to our community on Reddit: http://reddit.com/r/shroudoftheavatar Why? And what's Reddit? Reddit is a discussion portal that uses an anonymous voting mechanism on content quality to help 'bubble up' personalized content on subjects you may be interested in, which are aggregated by subject via a "subreddit" community. Typically a user of Reddit subscribes to quite a few subreddits including ones on favorite video games, movies, news, science, music, and so on. When they then log into http://reddit.com, they then can see across all their favorite subjects the top relevant content. Shroud of the Avatar has had a community for four years since the start of game development and has 1,150+ subscribers ("subredditors") showing varying interest in discussing the game. Reddit is built upon mechanisms for open and free discussion which is why many new gamers may go to our Reddit community to get an unbiased and/or critical overview of Shroud of the Avatar to assess whether to invest time and/or money into it. In the age of social media many value an alternate discussion gathering point to the reasonable and understandable bias for developer-owned properties like in-game chat, official forums, and the official subreddit at www.reddit.com/r/sota_official. I have heard bad things about Reddit... Whether it's globally across the entire Reddit site, or for Shroud of the Avatar's particular community, yes, there has been craziness. Despite all that, Reddit and our subreddit remain a premiere landing point for thousands of new folks curious about the game and its community. Moreover, the subreddit is undergoing change. For four years the community was lightly moderated with periods of no moderation, which arguably is unhealthy for any subreddit. In January @Freeman a well-spoken critic of the game took over the moderation. And just recently @Preachyr, another thoughtful critic, and myself @hroth, a self-described fan and player of the game, joined @Freeman on the mod team, who retired in April. Together, the two of us are dedicated to providing an open and safe discussion on all aspects of the game, including its open development, the developers, the fundraising campaign, and playing the game. For me personally, it's to provide a 'keep it real' discussion gathering point, in part for new folks curious on whether Shroud of the Avatar is a good fit for them. So why tell me all this? In part because of its unmoderated history, in part because of controversy, our subreddit does not have as active and as broad a discussion as it might. There have been official attempts to jumpstart it, most notably Lord British's "Ask Me Anything" afternoon during the SeeedInvest campaign where many developers came out for a day. At this point we have ended up with a community whose majority are more non-players than players. That's fine, but I think the discussion may be enhanced by having more players involved, if not simply because the game changes quite significantly every month. On one hand, Reddit is not for everyone. Reddit is a mature community, meaning that just like in-person, chatter can become brusque and direct; rational conflict is all part of its open culture. Critical thought is encouraged there whether it's about the game and/or its developers. My personal feeling is that a key market for Shroud of the Avatar are free-thinkers who might listen to for example NPR (US reference to Public Radio), who may not appreciate any hint of pro-corporate or blind bias. Reddit is a great community for them to learn about the game. On the other hand, our job as a moderator team is to quell when rational conflict goes irrational, which happens both for players who enjoy the game and critics of the game. Personal attacks, name calling, flaming, doxing and other disruptive/illegal outbursts are against the rules of the subreddit and are what our little team will be managing. I am interested in trying this... what next? Please get started by opening a Reddit account and joining several *other* communities that interest you to get a feel for the humor and openness of the platform. If you are new it's good to see how more mature subreddits work, including for example: http://reddit.com/r/worldnews (world news and events) http://reddit.com/r/iama (AMA= Ask me anything, a very interesting Reddit phenomena) http://reddit.com/r/earthporn (this is definitely not vulgar porn) http://reddit.com/r/politics (for those who are interested in politics) http://reddit.com/r/rpg (and/or http://reddit.com/r/dnd/ if you like role playing games...) http://reddit.com/r/MMORPG (and computerized versions too!) http://reddit.com/r/lotr (Lord of the Rings, just an example) http://reddit.com/r/starcitizen (another example of a crowdfunded game development community) When you try out these various subreddits, please read their rules and expectations before making your first comments and posts. After you start figuring Reddit out, if Reddit is your style, please subscribe to our community subreddit, read our rules and expectations, and start participating... I'd love to have you there! Ben PS: Hey Ben_Hroth! Who are you? In-game my name is Benjamin Hroth. As a kid I was a big fan when Ultima ][ through Ultima 8 came out but real-life kept me away from Ultima 9 and Ultima Online. I was an instant Kickstarter pledger when Shroud was announced but skipped R1 through R31 and only started playing at Persistence/R32. You will see me in the Novian countryside in various places: Managing Novia Market (south of Brittany), a POT all about a fair and easy purchasing experience for Novian buyers and sellers; Clumsily crafting in Diamond Fields on the Elysium, under the grand tutelage of Lace Delamorte; Relaxing with the rest of Spoon's Lux Rifthikers guild, sometimes in Lux Sanctuary just East of Nightshade Pass; and/or Hosting a beginner's inn (free housing!) in Blood Bay! Come visit for the warm, sunny tropical weather! EDIT: Clarified that we are not an official subreddit (the 'official' sota sub is at www.reddit.com/r/sota_official) and do not represent Portalarium.