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Lord British returns to his fantasy RPG roots with Shroud of the Avatar, hearkening back to his innovative early work. Read more

Austin, TX Video Games
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This project was successfully funded on April 7, 2013.

Lord British returns to his fantasy RPG roots with Shroud of the Avatar, hearkening back to his innovative early work.

Austin, TX Video Games
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Update of the Avatar - 08/14/13: The Making of a Female Avatar, The "Double Down on Community" Mission, the $10,000 Challenge of the Avatar, and More!

We have several exciting topics to cover this update, including a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of our first female avatar, the female ranger concept art, the first Challenge of the Avatar (with over $10,000 in rewards), The Double Down on Community Mission, the new Recruit-a-Friend Reward Program, the Hearth of Britannia Telethon, and a survey for the clothing style you'd like to see in Shroud of the Avatar! So, let's get started!

Since the update on the female avatar is a few sections down, we thought you might enjoy these teaser videos to hold you over until you read that far:

Video Link: Female Avatar WIP Animation

Video Link: Female Avatar WIP Animation (dressed in armor)

The "Double Down on Community" Mission!

We are eternally grateful to you, our amazing community, that have pledged so much support, and are contributing in so many direct ways to help us make this game great! Some have asked why we are continuing to do fundraising and why we are spending time on “special rewards”, wondering if this was delaying core game features.

We believe Shroud of the Avatar (SotA) has a strong unique feature set that will stand out sharply against even the best of the recently announced EQ/WoW clones and sequels. But those games are funded by large corporations and likely have literally 100’s of millions of dollars behind them. To help insure SotA's success in such a market, we want to ship as feature rich as possible, and thus the ongoing fundraising.

Since so many of you have already pledged so much, we intend to keep adding value to your existing pledges while bringing in new sources of funding. We believe the potential size of our community of backers is at least twice the current number, so we ask that you join us in our Double Down on Community Mission! This mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help us double down on our collective efforts to grow our community of SotA backers from our current size of about 24,500 to 50,000 by, or before, May 2014.

The larger our community the more input we will have on game design, the more alpha/beta players we will have helping us find bugs, putting loads on our servers, showing what works and what doesn't. When we first proposed Ultima Online to Electronic Arts so many years ago, the EA execs projected only 30,000 lifetime subscribers. As soon as we announced the game we signed up 50,000 beta testers. EA was forced to revise their estimates.  Those 50,000 beta players insured that we had enough daily players to adequately load-test our servers, and balance our game design. This is one of the reasons why our Double Down on Community target  is to have 50,000 backers signed up by, or before, May 2014. It is only through the powerful word-of-mouth efforts of each and every one of us that we can hope to achieve this mission!

And yes, the effect of a growing community will be additional funds to invest in the development of Shroud of the Avatar: bigger world, more towns, more NPCs, more Avatar types, more weapons/armor/wearables, more scenes/levels, more quests, deeper skills/crafting, etc., etc. SotA will be great even if we don't raise another nickel, but it will be that much greater with every nickel we raise. And you can rest assured that we will invest every nickel available to us into making Shroud of the Avatar the best that it can be!

To kick off our Double Down on Community mission, we're introducing our new Recruit-a-Friend Reward Program...

Recruit Your Friends and Become a Duke!

To help us reach our goal of 50,000 SotA backers by May 2014 we've launched a Recruit-a-Friend program with some pretty awesome rewards!

For every single new backer you recruit that pledges at the $45 Adventure Level (or higher), you will receive a $25 recruitment bonus added to your pledge amount (* these recruitment bonuses only apply toward increasing your pledge level and do not apply toward items in the Add-On Store)! In addition to the $25 recruitment bonus you receive for every single new backer you recruit, you will also receive:

  • 1 recruit = You and every backer you recruit will receive a unique, unteachable emote! Only recruiters and recruitees will ever have this emote (we're thinking a kind of "High Five" emote to acknowledge each other in game)
  • 5 recruits = a special, unique, hunting dog pet (available only through recruiting)
  • 10 recruits = A Darkstarr Moondial (yes, this is another chance at getting a Darkstarr Moondial)

In addition to these ongoing recruitment bonuses and rewards, we are also running a special promotion thru October 31, 2013 where the top recruiters can earn the following:

  • The Top 5 recruiters earn a Citizen Level Pledge value added to their pledge account ($550 additional pledge value!)
  • The #1 recruiter earns a Duke Level Pledge value added to their pledge account ($5300 additional pledge value!)

To be eligible for these recruitment rewards and bonuses you must be a SotA backer at least at the First Responder Level ($25) or higher. When your new recruit pledges at the $45 Adventure level (or higher) they will be prompted to enter the email address of the backer that recruited them. Please provide your recruits with the email address you registered your account with on our SotA website (or the email address of your Kickstarter account you pledged with).

By the time you read this the SotA website will be accepting recruiter email addresses at the point when new backers make their pledge. It won't apply if you try to recruit yourself, as we won't count email addresses that are identical to the account making the pledge.

We're sure there will be more details we'll need to address just as soon as we publish this update and questions come flooding in. We'll create a page on our website this week that outlines the Recruit-a-Friend program details, as well as any additional details of the top recruiter promotion running through October 31, 2013.

The $10,000 Challenge of the Avatar: 48-Hour Scene Creation Jam!

We are also excited to announce our first Challenge of the Avatar: 48-hour Scene Creation Jam! With over $10,000 in rewards! We're still working out the exact details, but the challenge will work something like this:

  • At 6PM CST on a Friday we will announce the details of the challenge for the weekend. We will post a link to a YouTube video and documents revealing the details of the challenge. Think Iron Chef meets game scene creation!
  • You will have until 6PM CST on Sunday to start uploading your completed scene!

There will be 4 challenges on every other weekend starting September 6th and going through October 18th. The Friday after each challenge we will reveal the scenes we have chosen. On October 25th, we will select the overall best scene created during any of the 4 weekend challenges.

The list of rewards will likely keep growing as we attract more sponsors but for now here is what you can receive:

Weekly Rewards

  • Shroud of the Avatar KNIGHT Level Pledge ($800 value! Can be divided into smaller pledge tiers for multi-person teams)
  • Shroud of the Avatar T-Shirt

Grand Reward

  • Shroud of the Avatar DUKE Level Pledge ($5300 value! Can be divided into smaller pledge tiers for multi-person teams)
  • Unity Pro 4 license!! ($1500 value!)
  • UnityVS license!! ($249 value!)
  • Occulus Rift Dev Kit! ($300 value)
  • Shroud of the Avatar T-shirt signed by the dev team

Dates, details, and rewards are subject to change over the next couple of weeks, but as soon as they are locked down we'll publish a special KS Update (and SotA web page) with the final information. So stay tuned!

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice?  Not For Our Female Warriors!

Isaac Oster (character modeler; known as ioster on the SotA forums) has been charting the progress of our first female avatar in a great thread in our Developer+ Forums. Here are some excerpts from that forum thread...

Isaac: "Stephen [lead concept artist) has a lot on his plate right now, so we decided to forego a concept and use google to find what we need. My impulse with this kind of thing is to work towards a balance between athletic and feminine. The first part of the process is to spend some time doing image searches. Looking for photos of pretty girls on the internet is tough, but somebody has to do it."

Isaac: "Once I've collected some reference, and the relevant folks have signed off on the overall direction, its time to build a basic base mesh and start sculpting. Zbrush provides a great set of tools for building base meshes, so that part of the process is pretty easy. The sculpting is the hard part. Here are a few screen shots of the sculpting process."

Isaac: "The base geometry created by zbrush is good for creating an initial form, but the lines of the geometry are arranged in a grid, which doesn't support smaller features like eye lids or nostrils. In order to create these elements, it's necessary to retopologize the model. Topology is what we call the grid lines that make up the edges of the faces. Retopology is creating new geometry that maintains the shape of the mesh with correct edge flow. This is done by clicking on the surface of the original geometry, building a new mesh vertex by vertex. This is a pretty big bottle neck in the modeling workflow, and the folks who make zbrush have put a lot of thought into automating this process. The resulting tools work fairly well, and allow me to push the sculpting pretty far before to having to get in and retopo the whole thing. With something as complex as a face, there's just no substitute for doing it by hand. Here's a shot of the original geometry, the automated retopology, and the final retopology."

Isaac: "In the example above I called out the face, but I end up retopologizing the entire body, to make sure the poly count stays at a reasonable level, capture the silhouette in the low poly, and ensure predictable deformations at the knees, shoulders, and elbows. I also made sure the hands have enough geometry to maintain finger volume. They're just tubes, and tubes like to flatten out when they bend. Here's a shot of the high poly model in its latest incarnation. There's still some sculpting required for the hands and feet, and general subtle tweaks all over. Once the figure is complete, we'll add some underwear - Shroud is a family friendly undertaking : ) - and start building her outfits. We're still planning how our outfit system will work, but the first one is going to be a suit of armor done in the same style as the current avatar. Should be pretty cool."

One of our community members, Phredicon asked: "...how does creating an avatar like this fit in to a design of having character customization (like height, weight or build)?"

Chris Spears explained: "As for the tech behind different sizes, the easy solutions are to do uniform scale on the character for tall/short etc. That works fine. To make players stouter the easy way is to scale only in 2 dimensions to make them thicker. This never really works though. The real longer term plan is that we will likely be using morph targets. Using those we give a thin version and a thick version and interpolate between them. So the above model would probably be 95% of the way to thin and 5% fat."

Here are more works-in-progress (hair and bikini roughed in to see what she looks like):

Yeah, we know, the fingers look a little weird in this version! Isaac fixes them later.

Isaac: "The low poly game mesh is ready and UV'd. Total tri count with the eyes and mouth interior is just south of 7k. I've also finished creating the normal maps and the ambient occlusion bakes. This process essentially captures the way the surface would be lit as though it was surrounded by light. The ambient occlusion will form the foundation of the color texture. I usually create the textures at 2048x2048 and derez on export. You can always go down in resolution."

Isaac: "We're going to need to use the head with different body types, as well as switch out different gloves and shoes. As a result, the model is broken up into individual pieces and assigned unique textures. I will need to add an additional mesh and texture set to handle the hair."

Isaac: "I've been working on the face and hair. These renders are out of 3DS Max, and don't have the spec maps set up. I've applied a global spec setting to the materials, just to get a rough idea of how it'll look. Most materials have a uniform specular highlight, so if you were to assign it to a sphere, you would see a circular highlight between your eye and the light source. Some materials are made up of tiny fibers or grooves running in the same direction, which changes the behavior of the specularity. This results in a more linear highlight, which tends to stretch out along the flow of the fibers. This behavior is called anisotropy, and hair, compact disks, and brushed metal are all examples. Setting this up correctly makes a huge difference in the material looking the way it should, and we're still in the R+D phase. We decided on a pony tail as the starting hair style. We'd ultimately like to have a variety for you to choose from."

Isaac: "...this is getting pretty close to being done. There will be lots of tweaks as the project evolves and we become more comfortable with the engine. For now though, we have a base mesh that Bren [Wilson, animator] can begin animating, and I can get started building armor and outfits for her. I'm about to start a set of armor that looks similar to what the current male avatar is wearing, and I'll keep you posted on the progress. I hope you've enjoyed watching the process, and thanks for your support!"

She's Alive! She's Alive!

Isaac then passed the model over to Bren Wilson (rigger/animator) for animating. Bren rapidly prototyped our new female avatar shooting a bow, which came out pretty darned good! Check out this video:

Video Link: Female Avatar WIP Animation

Video Link: Female Avatar WIP Animation (closeup)

Hey, How About Some Clothes!

Isaac started a follow up thread on the Developer+ Forums, Creating the First Outfit for the Female Avatar. Here are some excerpts:

Isaac: "Hey everyone! I've been working on the high poly geometry for the female avatar's first outfit. I got the thumbs up on it yesterday and have started on the low poly retopology. I've included a few shots below. Stephen [Daniele, concept artist] did a concept for the male that I used as a reference. We modified it to include taller boots, and I added a few extra details to make it as visually interesting and believable as possible. We're treating armor as a separate asset we'll be able to use across a variety of different outfits, so that will come later. There is also an exploded view of the high poly model, with all the various pieces spread out a bit. It's much easier to create a model like this by creating separate pieces than to carve it out of a single mesh. I'll be helping out with Pen of the Avatar later today, and will be happy to answer questions or demo modeling techniques. I hope you like the progress so far!"

Isaac: "The low poly geo, UVs, and bakes are done. I spent some time working on a nice chain mail texture today, so look for a post on that soon. This is the low poly, retopologized in Zbrush and UV'd in 3DS Max. I did the bakes in Max as well. The tri count is around 5300. The torso and skirt on one texture set, and the boots are on another. Currently both are at 1024, but that will probably drop for the boots. We've kept the boots separate so we can use them independently of the torso."

Isaac: "Here's the same geometry with the textures, which are a little lower down in the post."

Isaac: "I'm always kind of amazed at how much difference the textures make. Here's a detail of the low poly geo with and without the textures."

Isaac: "Here are the torso textures:"

Isaac: "Here's a near final version of the first outfit for the female avatar. Hope you like it!"

Bren didn't waste any time hooking up his bow-shooting animation to the newly clothed female avatar:

Video Link: Female Avatar WIP Animation (dressed in armor)

If you'd like to learn more, check out episode 8.6.13 of Pen of the Avatar (PotA) where Isaac gives a live demonstration of some of the techniques used to create the female avatar and her armor:

View PotA on YouTube

Thunder Chicken's Wife Inspires Female Ranger Concept Art!

Those of you following the last couple of Pen of the Avatar (PotA) episodes know that Stephen Daniele (lead concept artist) has been working on the concept art for a female ranger avatar. In the final minutes of the 7.9.13 PotA, Stephen and Gina Dionne (SotA Community Manager, aka firelotus on the forums) requested photos of headshots from our female community members that we could potentially use as models for any of our game characters:

Pen of the Avatar Episode 7.9.13

We received some great photos from our community! One of our members from Dallas, Texas, known on the forums as Thunder Chicken, submitted headshots of his wife, Lisa, which Stephen chose as the facial model for his female ranger concept art. Here is what Stephen had to say about his choice:

"Richard [Garriott] first expressed his idea for 4 avatar archetypes early in the Kickstarter process. These archetypes would be the visual starting point for avatars in Shroud of the Avatar. Fighter-Melee, Fighter-Ranged, Wizard-Offensive, and Wizard-Defensive, both male and female.

"When I started the fighter-ranged character I wanted to concept a woman. Richard’s inspiration for the avatar was a female version of Aragorn; strong, capable, rugged, alone, attractive and someone you don’t want to mess with. My first thought of that kind of character was someone like Xena or Wonder Woman. A raven haired woman with dark expressive eyes. A woman that leaves no doubt she can take care of herself.

"During an episode of Pen of the Avatar, I asked the community to submit photos of those who fit the description that I would base the concept on. We received some excellent examples of strong capable woman. One of our community members, Thunder Chicken, submitted photos of his wife, Lisa, who I felt was the most appropriate for our fighter-ranged avatar."

Here is a sample of Lisa's photos:

Thank you Lisa and Thunder Chicken! Here is Stephen's final concept art for our female ranger:

If you are interested in watching Stephen's creative process for the female ranger concept art, then check out episode 7.23.13 and episode 7.30.13 of Pen of the Avatar:

Pen of the Avatar Episode 7.23.14

Pen of the Avatar Episode 7.30.13

Hearth of Britannia Presents: Telethon of the Avatar!

On August 10th (and completely independent of Portalarium), the great folks over at Hearth of Britannia announced a very ambitious 24-hour Telethon to help bring in new backers and raise more funds for SotA game development! The Hearth is even adding their own rewards to the pledge rewards that we provide! How cool is that!

This is exactly the kind of community support that can help us achieve our Double Down on Community target of 50,000 backers! The Hearth didn't require any help from us regarding special rewards for their Telethon, but we plan to reach out to them and see what we can do to help!

Check out their site, the telethon FAQ page, and Facebook event to learn more! Here's a video of Rustic Dragon telling you more about it:

Video Link: Telethon of the Avatar - Call to Arms

POLL: Vote for the Clothing Style You Want in SotA!

We finally have the first of several polls where you can vote on the Clothing and Armor styles you would like to see in Shroud of the Avatar. Richard ("Lord British") and Gina ("FireLotus") went though all of your submissions and there were so many good ones they decided to break it up into categories rather then just picking the top 3. The first category to be voted on is clothing. Per Lord British himself, "Clothing is meant to provide some, but minimal protection, and would often be worn just for style."

Here is the forum thread to enter your vote!

  • Clothing Style 1 - Colorful Court Clothing
  • Clothing Style 2 - Romantic Renaissance
  • Clothing Style 3 - Aristocratic Victorian
  • Clothing Style 4 - Gothic Highwayman
  • Clothing Sytle 5 - Gypsy Pirate
  • Clothing Style 6 - Tribal Warrior

Please Register on SotA and Link Your Kickstarter Account!

Stay on top of all the latest game development news by registering on our website, https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com. And if you have not already done so, please be sure to Link your Kickstarter Account, so we can ensure that you receive all of your backer rewards as soon as they are ready to roll out!

The Grand Finale!

For all of you that made it to the end of this very long update, here is a special treat! A video of the latest male avatar by Geoff Mellon with a sword attack animation by Bren Wilson! Enjoy!

Video Link: Male Avatar With Sword Attack

[This edition of Update of the Avatar written by Dallas Snell, COO/Co-Founder, Portalarium]

Comments

    1. Creator Brent Ahern on August 17, 2013

      I really hope you continue doing the Armor/Clothing Style/Submissions it's a great way to keep the community involved. Ideally I'd like to see you make the Top Voted Item(s) and then hold another submission keeping the voted runners up 2&3 for the next voting session.

    2. Creator Jalister - OOoE / WoOS / SoSR on August 15, 2013

      Oops, wrong tab. My first time doing that. :P

    3. Creator Jalister - OOoE / WoOS / SoSR on August 15, 2013

      A request to the backers. Please vote for this to be sold on GOG, which is a great DRM free digital seller.
      http://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/balrum

    4. Creator dal on August 15, 2013

      Female model sculptures looks a bit male and something not right with her pelvis. Still amazing works and best of all - animations.

    5. Creator Kevn Pike on August 15, 2013

      great update, but I have a question.

      All your avatars, are all young, and athletic body types. Do you have any plans to allow bigger builds, older looks? the best fun I had playing SWG, as the fact I was the only 'fat old man' in the room, as every one else wanted the young athletic look.

    6. Creator OSullivan LLTS on August 14, 2013

      This game is looking more and more amazing every week. Great update! Can't wait for alpha in Dec!

    7. Creator Nicholas Whipple on August 14, 2013

      Wow, great work on all the assets and animations! Huge update makes me happy :) I have a small suggestion, the archery stance and recoil just seems a little "off" to me. Stance seems a little static/heavy and bows don't recoil like that. Keep up the good work!

    8. Creator Azureblaze on August 14, 2013

      Great update, impressive amount of content. Keep it up you guys, I love how involved with the community Portalarium is.

    9. Creator kjashdk on August 14, 2013

      Pretty sure this is the best run Kickstarter campaign I've ever seen. That isn't just because of the Dev's - though they are great. It is because of the fans, too. The fans and backers of this game are ... something else entirely. Love it. Love getting the email updates, love everything about it.

    10. Creator Dallas Snell on August 14, 2013

      @Michael Frederick Walter, yes, I agree. Just like you, I get kinda bummed out when my past efforts and contributions go unrecognized, unvalidated, and unacknowledged! And that applies to more than just friend referral programs!

      We haven't figured out how to acknowledge, validate, and reward your early recruiting efforts in a way that doesn't potentially undermine the very purpose for which we created the referral program at this point in time, which is to grow the size of our backer community, so we can keep making the game better and better! At the end of the day, that is the ultimate reward that we are all striving to achieve together.

      Anyways, I know there is very little my words can do to ease the disappointment caused by the lack of back acknowledgement in all friend referral programs. Rest assured, that I, and the entire SotA dev team, deeply appreciate all the support and community growth efforts that you have contributed to this cause!

    11. Creator Jalister - OOoE / WoOS / SoSR on August 14, 2013

      I'd like to recruit some friends, but they either don't game, or are too damn broke.

    12. Creator Storm on August 14, 2013

      Dallas-I agree completely. In all honesty I am just elated that this project is doing so well and am more than happy that I chose to contribute.

      Lori - No, it wasn't missed. You are inferring a distinction in motive as the reason for the initiative, while ignoring backer's insatiable craving for rewards. As Dallas said, if everyone knew that they could wait 4 months for (more) rewards by refering friends they most likely would have done so. Anyways, I am not here to argue. This game is going to be great and that the most imporant thing.

    13. Creator ☆Dame Lori☆ on August 14, 2013

      (though I will be seeing if I can bring anyone new on - but hey, if not, that is fine!) :)

    14. Creator ☆Dame Lori☆ on August 14, 2013

      Speaking as a person that has recruited several people, I don't want them back-rewarding because it diminishes the gains they could receive from backer pledge upgrades. The point of pledging in the first place (to fund SotA) has not changed. Incentives for further pledges does nothing but enhance our game experience and that is plenty reward for me.

    15. Creator Michael Frederick Walter on August 14, 2013

      @Dallas Snell - So is that a there will be no support for previous recruits? I'm not annoyed, atm. I am just wondering if y'all are gonna add a spot in the account details so that pre-existing accounts can identify who recruited them. Therefore supporting previous recruiters.

      As a note, I will say that I dislike ALL refer-a-friend programs all the time because it is so rare that they back acknowledge referrals and while I don't think you should be forced to give incentives to people for recruiting I do think you should be fair about it.

    16. Creator Dallas Snell on August 14, 2013

      @michael Frederick Walter @Gregory Ruitenbeck - it is completely understandable to be somewhat annoyed to think you could have waited 4 months after our KS campaign to recruit your friends and received these recruitment rewards. I would feel exactly the same way were I in your shoes!

      However, if all our backers would have waited to recruit their friends until some program such as this was launched, then this project may not have gotten funded initially, and none of us would be having this conversation now.

      The one advantage that all your friends that you recruited early will forever have is they qualified for the Exclusive Founder Rewards. If they waited until now to join, they would not get those rewards. If I was one of the friends you recruited during the KS campaign, I know that I would be more grateful to you for having not waited until now to recruit me.

      In any case, I understand your annoyance and all of us on the SotA Team are eternally grateful for your support and recruiting efforts that helped us get to where we are now!

    17. Creator ☆Dame Lori☆ on August 14, 2013

      Gregory: "(which would not have pledged had I not encouraged them, in response to your assumption)"

      The point is missed again. You recruited those people without needing to be rewarded, other than the reward of your friends getting in on a great game and SotA receiving funds they needed immediately to start the project. This initiative is for the acquisition of backers that would not be gained without further reward incentive.

    18. Creator T.J. Brumfield on August 14, 2013

      @Dallas Snell - The site was only down for me for about 5 minutes. I was getting 503 errors. I'm on it now.

    19. Creator Storm on August 14, 2013

      Great update by the way, it is much appreciated. Every update makes me even more excited about this game!

    20. Creator Storm on August 14, 2013

      Lori - We understand the point of the initiative. That doesn't change the fact that the 5 friends and family that I got to pledge (which would not have pledged had I not encouraged them, in response to your assumption) would have put me 4 reward tiers higher; had I waited. Such is life, but it is slightly annoying.

    21. Creator Michael Frederick Walter on August 14, 2013

      What about Refer-a-friend support for those of us that already recruited our friends and families? I'm not sure I have anyone left to pull into the program because I went out and recruited them back in the kickstarter. Am I now gonna regret that decision because lazy people who didn't recruit are getting bonuses I missed out on?

    22. Creator Dallas Snell on August 14, 2013

      @T.J. Brumfield, I'm able to get into the SotA site okay. Is it still down for you?

    23. Creator T.J. Brumfield on August 14, 2013

      It appears that Portalarium asked everyone to refer their friends to the site, only to have the site crash in the face of said traffic.

    24. Creator Mauro Parro on August 14, 2013

      And, yet again, I find myself (pleasantly) surprised with all the new announcements. Personally, after seeing quite a few projects falling short, I wouldn't mind if SotA lasted a bit longer in development if they thought they could get a more polished final product (if that's what happens if they get more backers and decide to go that another mile).
      Also, I loved the animation and, especially, the armor design: everything looks quite realistic and beautiful without being over the top and "colorful", like many games these days tend to be. Really looking forward to this!

    25. Creator Dallas Snell on August 14, 2013

      @Alex Tromba, Yes, if you pledged $25 for First Responder level during the KS campaign, then when you recruit a friend that pledges at the $45 Adventure level (or higher), you will receive a $25 recruitment reward that is added to your overall pledge amount, bringing you up to the $50 Immortal Adventurer level!

      @T.J. Brumfield, the same for you. You will have $25 added to your pledge amount, bringing your $100 pledge total up to $125, which means your new pledge level will bump you up to the $120 Explorer - All Digital pledge level (with $5 extra).

    26. Creator Portalarium, Inc. on August 14, 2013

      To answer the questions about how referrals work: Yes, each referral would add $25 to the account, bumping you to new tiers as you reach them.

    27. Creator Portalarium, Inc. on August 14, 2013

      @T.J. ~ The Challenge of the Avatar contest will be open to anyone registered to SotA.com, not just Dev+ backers.

    28. Creator Jalister - OOoE / WoOS / SoSR on August 14, 2013

      This is a nice long update. I like how the characters, animation, and clothing look.

      Since there may be some Ultima or Ultima Online players here, you may want to take a look at Balrum before it ends.

    29. Creator Mikhail Aristov on August 14, 2013

      The first FemAvatar looks great, though I personally think that the balance between athletic and feminine tilts towards the former in this case. :-P But hey, if it's better suited for her avatar job...

    30. Creator ☆Mitch the Edelmann☆ ☥Virtuous MGT470☥ on August 14, 2013

      Good Long update! Time to recruit more people!

    31. Creator T.J. Brumfield on August 14, 2013

      Yes, I'd like to see that clarified. I pledged at $100 for Virtual Collector. If I refer someone, do I get the benefits of the $120 tier?

    32. Creator Alex Tromba on August 14, 2013

      Love the idea, trying to get some friends into it. At what level do the First and Second Responders get? I got in at First Responder so if I have 1 friend referral do I go to $50 rank?

    33. Creator T.J. Brumfield on August 14, 2013

      Is Challenge of the Avatar only available to those in the Developer tier or higher then?

      Sadly, I could not afford to pledge that high, but I'd be interested in working with a team on a scene.

    34. Creator ☆Dame Lori☆ on August 14, 2013

      To people moaning about already having their friends signed up... guys... the point is kind of missed if everyone and their friends purposefully did not pledge in the beginning. That would have been a great detriment to the initial development. The point of the push now is for new additional backers- not to gain people that would have signed up regardless.

    35. Creator Koldar on August 14, 2013

      Great update! Thank you.

    36. Creator Shawn Simas on August 14, 2013

      I too had my friends back when the kickstarter was active.
      Shame on me for promoting it early.

    37. Creator Micael on August 14, 2013

      A wonderful update! Looking forward to see the final version land, and installed on my PC. Though, I can't help having that naggin' fear that has been like a plague in my mind. For every update, for every step on the way there seems to be this simple message:

      Pay to Win! The rich gets more!

      I'd gladly spend my money on this game but "Pay to Win!" wasn't really why I backed this game. Why should those with most money recieve the biggest advantages? Why promote greed? I am sure I'll be downvoted, with a hefty roar, but why not promote the ways to land all these steps ingame, and letting it be less about biggest-wallet-in-the-game-cause-I-earn-most-outside-of-the-game!

    38. Creator Darren Wade on August 14, 2013

      "Le sigh" I got all my friends that were interested in this to join during the kickstarter.

    39. Creator Cliff Carpenter on August 14, 2013

      I don't know which clothing style I would choose from those selections...

      Personally I would love a style with more fantasy and beauty to it, but it's probably not where the devs want to take it.

      Here's an example of a female archer that I like: http://trendslister.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Elf-MU-Online.gif

    40. Creator ☆Dame Lori☆ on August 14, 2013

      Wonderful update. Thanks Dallas!

    41. Creator Ajaz on August 14, 2013

      Awesome update, can't wait for this game!