Greetings Fellow Avatars!
It's been a little over three months since we released our 3 Month progress video, and we're excited to share the progress we've made since then. Click on the link below and enjoy our six month progress video, narrated by Richard "Lord British" Garriott!
Here is a time index for the main segments of the video:
- Cities: (0:00) A tour of the scenic waterfront village of Kingsport and the larger, heavily fortified Owl’s Head (1:08). Shows the exteriors of several player houses and the types of property lots to claim for player’s homes.
- Parade of Homes: (2:32) A look inside the Edelmenn and Viking (2:50) homes, Wizard’s Tower (3:19), Druid House (4:22), Town Tower (5:11), Lord’s House (6:12), and Lord of the Manor Keep (6:52).
- Basements: (8:12) An exploration of the sub-levels available for housing and various sample ways to personalize them.
- Home Decorating: (9:38) A demo of item interaction and home decoration using convenient parent/child object manipulation.
- Conversations: (11:38) A peek into the full sentence conversation system for interacting with NPC’s.
- Crafting: (13:13) Richard explains the phases of crafting and walks through the process of creating some items. (Chicken killing 15:06)
- Adventuring and Combat: (15:20) A brief exploration of a prison, known as The Clink by the locals, showing off dungeon mechanics and a look at some very preliminary combat action (16:33). Some further exploration and preliminary combat in the Old Forest (17:03). Afterward, a look into some natural caverns occupied by kobolds, bears, and glowing fungi (18:42). Finally, a look at the Dragon Field (20:28)
- Scene Jam Week 2 Winners (21:10)
- Scene Jam Week 3 Winners (22:58)
Early Access Release Schedule!
Starr Long (SotA's Executive Producer), posted our Early Access Release Schedule on the forums, outlining the estimated dates and content for the first four public releases of Shroud of the Avatar. Here is that posting in it's entirety:
We are incredibly excited to get Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues on your desktops very soon! As you have seen via our updates and progress videos, we have been making steady progress since our successful Kickstarter earlier this year. We have built out sections of the world while also developing housing, combat, crafting, conversations, AI, story and inventory. As our backers, you have a critical role to play in our development by providing feedback on design and soon the game itself.
As a crowd funded and crowd sourced project, we feel it is incredibly important that we provide our backers with information and access well before game studios would normally do so in a traditional development model. Traditionally, the players are given information and access only after the development team has already decided exactly how things will be done and even after it has already been implemented. By the time the public has access to the product, there is usually no time to meaningfully react to the public feedback.
Shroud of the Avatar is different than the traditional model, as we intend to offer our backers extremely early access to information and even the game itself. With that said, we also want to be very careful that we only provide access to portions of the game when they are ready for a wider range of feedback. If we can play it internally and we know it is not ready, then there is nothing to be gained by having a wider audience come to the same conclusion. In fact, it could be quite damaging to do so.
Our strategy over the next few months is to provide you with focused and iterative releases of content. Your feedback during these releases will be critical to making the final product the best it can be and we appreciate that you are all so willing to devote your time to helping us. The first few releases will be very tightly scoped so access will be confined to a few days. With Release 4, we will have a representative game loop and we will likely increase access time. Please note that game data will be wiped periodically during early access.
Below is the currently planned schedule for releases over the next few months. It is important to note that all dates and deliverables are subject to change.
RELEASE 1: December 12 - December 14, 2013
- Install / Patching system: Step one for you guys to play the game is for you to download the game and then patch the game. Since this is the first hands on impression of the product, it is critical.
- Login / Registration: Players should be able to log in using their existing accounts and if they have not yet registered, they should be intuitively led to the steps to register.
- Character Creation: Players should be able to create and customize their character. Creation / Customization options for Release 1 will include: name, gender, head shape, skin tone, hair style, hair color, and eye color.
- Single Player Online: All public releases prior to commercial launch will be online only. For Release 1 and 2, it will be constrained to single player online only.
- First Town: Our first town (perhaps Owl’s Head) will be open for business. This is important for testing purposes so we can better tune our performance metrics on real user machines. For Release 1, exiting the town will just funnel you back into the same town (anyone see Groundhog Day?)
- Conversation: Important that players converse with the townsfolk so we can start expanding the dialog system. As you talk to NPCs, we will be tracking your conversations and using them to add more content based on your input.
- Bag Inventory: This is a hot topic in the forums so we want to get it in your hands for feedback on preferences. Immersion vs. ease of use, let the battle begin!
- Equipment: Players will be provided with several chests full of “ph@t lootz” (armor, clothes, weapons, etc.) for trying on for size.
- House Claiming: Players will be able to select a house from the entire list of player houses (even Lord of the Manor!) for free so that we can test out the various size houses on the lots and allow players to test drive the various houses so they can have a better idea of which they ultimately want to own.
- House Decorating: Chests full of furniture and decorative items will be provided so you can stress test the decoration system and try out various styles of interiors. Help us figure out all the ways you can break things! (Look forward to screenshot contests on this!)
- Metrics: All the while you are playing, we will be stress testing our metrics system. This system is critical to maintaining a balanced economy, tracking exploits, and gathering data to improve the experience.
- Crafting: We will be opening up crafting for testing with more than 100 recipes. Chests full of crafting resources will be provided. Crafting will initially focus on refining and production for smithing, tailoring, and carpentry.
- Shopping: Shopkeepers will be open for business for selling and buying.
- Town 2: An additional municipality (likely village sized) will be open for business! Exiting one municipality will take you immediately to the other municipality.
- List Inventory: For those who prefer spreadsheets to immersion. The inventory battle royale continues!
- Character Customization++: Characters will be wiped, but you will now have even more options when creating your character to make it look unique including: facial features, scaling, and more content (hairstyles, head shapes, skin tones, hair colors, etc.)
- Open Multiplayer Online: FINALLY we will let you see what the other players look like BUT we’ll be taking away your house for the month as we prepare housing to have persistence in the multiplayer space for Release 4.
- Chat: You know, so you can talk to your friends!
- Emotes: More than 30 emotes online so you can look like a clown with your friends.
- Town 3: A third municipality opens up (perhaps the lovely oceanside village of Kingsport).
- Hidden Vale: A hidden island north north east of the mainland with numerous biomes to explore via the overworld map system
- 10 Hidden Vale Scenes: With the opening of the overworld, we need something to do between the cities so we will be turning on the first 10 scenes including wilderness, caves, and dungeons.
- Combat / Magic: Those first 10 scenes might have stuff in them, so we’ve decided we should give you a way to fight back! A wide array of combat and magic skills, along with the ability to assemble these skills into decks, will now become available.
- Advancement and Skill Trees: Players will start earning experience points for fighting, crafting, and questing. This will lead to level increases and skill points which can be spent to learn new skills or improve existing skills.
- Quests: Players will be able to participate in quests that will send them around the world and even change game state in the scenes based on quest flags. Testing this early is important because our quest system operates differently than the current standards (e.g. no exclamation points or convo trees).
- Loot: Creatures and quests will generate loot including gold and resources.
- Crafting: Resource Gathering will be added to crafting including resource nodes placed in the world. Item wear begins happening and in turn, Repair will now be available. Item enhancement will now also be possible, allowing upgrading of items to more powerful versions. On top of all that, more recipes will become available
- Player Housing: The housing system will be relaunched with persistence in the online space. Housing choices will now be based on backer level, add on purchase, or what can be bought in the game. Waterfront housing will also come online.
- Wearable Dyeing: Clothing and Armor will now be dyeable
- Social Systems: The first social systems will come online including Friends and Parties. Safety in numbers!
Thank you again for being such an amazing community who has selflessly given us so much. We are humbled that you have faith enough in us to provide us the financial backing we need to make this game. We cannot wait to share more with you when it is ready.
Sincerely, Starr Long Executive Producer Shroud of the Avatar
We welcome you to join the conversation about our Early Access Release Schedule on the SotA public forums.
Project Update Index
In case you missed any of the project updates we email to all Kickstarter backers and post on the Shroud of the Avatar website, here is an index of project update links:
- Update of the Avatar - 09/13/13: Knight's Home, Village Property Deeds, and the Unity Scene Jam!
- Update of the Avatar - 09/20/13: Decorating Demo Video, Edelmann Home, Tower Homes, & Unity Scene Jam!
- Update of the Avatar - 09/27/13: Sigil of Magic, Collector's Coin, Crafting Stations, Unity Scene Jam Winner, & More
- Update of the Avatar - 10/04/13: Founder Lord Home, Benefactor Edelmann Home, Avatar Outfits, & Scene Jam #2
- Update of the Avatar - 10/10/13: Combat Sigil, Story Sneak Peek, Basements, Druid Home, Bonus Rewards, & More!
- Update of the Avatar - 10/18/13: Lord of the Manor Home, Crafting Sigil, Story Sneak Peek #2, Avatar Outfits, Basements, Scene Jam Results, & More!
- Update of the Avatar - 10/25/13: Unity Scene Jam #3 Winners, Story Sneak Peek, City Basements, Wizard Tower, Baron 3 Pledge, and More!
- Update of the Avatar - 11/01/13: Six Month Progress Video, Story Sneak Peek, Founder Starter Shield, Fishing Pole of Prosperity and More!
- Update of the Avatar – 11/08/13: Scene Jam IV Winners, Story Sneak Peek & Map Reveal, Early Access Release Schedule, and the Baron Home!