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News Updates / BLOG

Almost there with Shroud of the Avatar

Today is the day we have one more week to wait for the biggest event since Ultima Online's opening it's doors out of Beta - Shroud of the Avatar's beginning of persistence! 

This not the final release many Ultima fan's have been waiting for - this is when everything you do in the game matters and means something. The game will still be completed within the next 6 months or so. I am excited as a clam on a sunny day at the beach. 

Call me a fanboy if you want but I know software development does not go always as planned. I know that you have a concept that is shown to people, that concept can change. Sometimes due to scope creep (Player Owned Towns) and sometimes due to expanding an original concept (crafting went from a single piece to many parts to assemble). I am positive for the end gaming result as I have seen first hand from the chicken room where all you could see was a dungeon walled room with a chicken, a chair, and a light in it. I could sit in the chair, turn on/off the light, run around at the chicken who would run away from me.  Cool, right?  Yes, very!

I have been backing Shroud of the Avatar since the KickStarter beginnings. I remember watching all of the video casts they did and when they did it. The only thing I did differently was I pledged directly on the Shroud of the Avatar's page to save Portalarium the Kickstarter fee from my pledge. Money saved to a software developer company means more money to run the business and get qualified designers/programmers. So more money is good. Right now there is just over $9 million of dollars in funding from gamers who believe in this game. 

From what was first shown to us:

The current state of the game is where the "Love" quest is finished. The other virtue quests are not. But this is progress because making a single story line is tough on it's own. In a few months all of the story lines will be completed and we will be testing those while everything we do is saved. Progress I say! 

With this new playing while coding/testing paradigm many gamers will be confused with the changes and development placeholders. If you look at ARK: Survival Evolved, they are in a state like this too. Things are being built while players are playing the game. Portalarium is on the front lines of this style and not every backer will be pleased with the results. There have been times I have not been pleased, but I know the team is busy making changes and they have shown in the end, the dev team comes through. 

Lots of players are offering suggestions and the good ones are being implemented into the game. I don't know of another game company that is doing that. But each time that is done things that were seen in the early videos or hangouts can get delayed or replaced. Some backers will be angry with that decision. In the whole of the game - I feel it is for the best. I think it is for the best. The best game we can get out that enriches our lives and imagination. 

To now:

Exciting!

To many backers this game is personal, an extension of ourselves. An extension of our passion for creativity. I know for myself I can design my house lot to the way I want it. I can express my creativity. Seeing the pride on my face is something others in the game cannot see, but I know they can feel it when I show them. The only other game I have experienced that is Ultima Online. Shroud of the Avatar carries that torch forward.

By now you are probably thinking - this guy really drank all the Kool Aid! Maybe or maybe not. I like the concept and I like the vision. I like the story background (Sword of Midras) and the story in the game that I have experienced so far. Part of it for me is remembering the discovery in the single player Ultimas and what it felt like. Part of it for me is remembering the adventure in each Ultima Online expansion pack and what it felt like. Shroud does that for me - it makes me feel alive in the game. This is something only Lord British can do.

So in a week we can start to see how our decisions affect our avatar. Start to build things that will last a gaming lifetime. See how the world changes with new adventures. I am excited to say. "I have been part of all of this!"

All true Ultima fans have been waiting for this.

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Welcome to the Shroud of the Avatar (SOTA) & Ultima Museum.

We celebrate all of the amazing Shroud of the Avatar and Ultima game series created by Lord British (Richard Garriott). This site is a place to share my vast Ultima and Shroud of the Avatar collection for your enjoyment.
Member since "forever" in Ultima Dragons Internet Chapter as Lord G Dragon

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