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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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Shroud of the Avatar Release 1 Instructions

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Hello Everyone,

Thank you for being a loyal backer of Shroud of the Avatar. Early access for all backers at First Responder level and above begins with Release 1 tomorrow, Thursday December 12 at 10:30 AM Central Time. Release 1 access will end on Saturday December 14 at 10:00 PM Central Time. Starting today you can begin installing and patching (see instructions below) but login will not be enabled until Thursday morning.

We are happy to say that we are going to deliver just about every single Release 1 item (except for head shapes in character creation). Here are those deliverables again (along with a few extra notes about each):

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. NOTE: To thoroughly test login we will be kicking everyone off periodically and making them log back in to stress the servers. We will do our best to broadcast in game prior to when we do this.
  • 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. NOTE: Character wipes will happen periodically prior to launch so name choice during these early releases is not final.
  • 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, Owl’s Head will be open for exploration. 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. NOTE: Character wipes will happen periodically prior to launch so lot choice during these early releases is not final.
  • 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.

So now that it is clear what you can expect we should also be as clear about what you should not expect:

  • Mac & Linux: We are definitely going to support these Operating Systems but we were unable to get them working satisfactorily for Release 1. For Release 1 we will only support Windows. Our goal is to try again for OSX and Linux support for Release 2.
  • Performance: Our goal with Release 1 was to build a machine challenging scene with Owl’s Head. We have only done rudimentary optimizations and we do not yet have a full suite of fallbacks (LODs, etc.). This means for R1 the game will be quite slow on lower end machines and due to memory usage might be unstable in certain conditions (like densely decorated areas). With each release we will be doing further optimizations and adding to our fallbacks to improve performance.
  • Game Loop: Even though we have clearly stated that there will not be a complete game loop (adventure, loot, spend, craft, quest, etc.) until Release 4 there is still some expectation of those activities. For R1 there is just character creation / customization, NPC conversation, and home decoration.
  • Advanced Player Housing: There are some advanced features for player housing including basements, home exterior decorations, and ceiling decorations that are not yet integrated. Expect to see these appear in future releases with the goal that by Release 4 they should all be present.

Below my signature you will find instructions and known issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with and we are proud to be on this journey with you.

Sincerely, Starr Long, Executive Producer

PS We have included some surprises around Owl’s Head so be sure to explore thoroughly.

RELEASE 1 INSTRUCTIONS

Most up to date information: http://tinyurl.com/katly8r

Setup:

1. Download and run SotAInstaller.exe here: http://goo.gl/KVYzpF

2. We recommend having at least 4GB of free disk space on the drive you install to, though the game will only download about 650MB of data.

3. Either allow the installer to auto-run on complete, or run either the desktop shortcut named “Shroud of the Avatar” or the “Launcher.exe” located in your installed Portalarium directory.

4. Once the launcher is finished, the game will start.

5. (optional) Leaving the launcher running will help us and others by providing some of your bandwidth to assist others in downloading the client.

Login:

1. Enter your www.shroudoftheavatar.com registered login information - If you have not yet linked your kickstarter pledge to your account, you will not be able to gain access (Kickstarter account link instructions here).

2. Choose your play mode - Currently, the only valid option is Single Player Online.

3. Click Enter Game to enter Avatar creation, and begin playing.

Controls:

  • 'w-a-s-d’ keys control Avatar movement
  • Double tap ‘w’ key to engage in auto-run
  • Mouse movement + holding right click controls the camera view
  • The top right menu contains icons that can be left-clicked to perform the following actions:
    - Crossed swords & shield: Access Avatar character information
    - Bag: Open up inventory
    - Gears: Options menu
    - Question Mark: Bring up help page
    - Sealed Letter: File a bug report
  • Avatar character management:
    - ‘c’ key or left-clicking the crossed swords & shield icon in the top right menu will bring up your Avatar’s character information
    - ‘b’ key or left-clicking the bag icon in the top right menu will toggle open/close your inventory bags
    - ‘escape’ key exits all open interfaces
  • Double-left click objects to interact with them (the cursor will highlight when hovering over valid interaction objects). Some examples of interactions:
    - Doors can be opened through interaction
    - Chests can be opened and looted through interaction
    - Light sources can be toggled on/off through interaction
  • Decorative items and equipment can be moved via holding left click+dragging items to their new desired location and releasing the left mouse button.
    - To wear equipment, open the Avatar information screen (‘c’ key) and drag equipment onto the display avatar or corresponding highlighted equipment slot and release the left mouse button.
    - To decorate, make sure the avatar is within a housing lot (denoted by a runic sign post) then left click+drag objects from the Avatar’s inventory into the world then release the left mouse button when the object is green to place it in the world. A red object will not be placeable. The ‘q’ and ‘e’ keys will rotate the object.
    - To remove decorations, left click+drag an item from within the world back into the Avatar’s inventory.
  • To converse with NPCs, simply stand near the NPC you wish to converse with, and hit the ‘enter’ key to bring up your chat log. Type what you wish to say to the npc within the chat box, and hit ‘enter’ again to converse.
    - The chat log can be scrolled through by left click+dragging the slider on the right side of the chat window
  • To report a bug, either left-click the sealed letter icon in the top-right menu or open up your chat log (‘enter’ key) and type in ‘/bug’ followed by your bug report and the ‘enter’ key. This will copy your bug report and game information to the clipboard and bring up the SotA bug forum where you can paste the clipboard into a post for us to receive. Before posting in the forums please follow these guidelines: http://tinyurl.com/q5r3jnd
  • The ‘f11’ key will take a screenshot of the game and save it to your installed SotA directory
  • To find out the current position of the Avatar in game open up the chat log (‘enter’ key) and type in ‘/loc’ followed by the ‘enter’ key. This also copies out the location to your clipboard so that it can be pasted elsewhere as needed.
  • You can click the green triangular gems in the corner of the chat window and the top right button panel to lock or unlock the auto-hiding of those UI elements. To move or re-size the chat window, left-click + drag the window borders as desired (left border to move the window and right border to resize).
  • The ‘f4’ key or left-clicking the options menu “Quit” tab will exit the game.

RELEASE 1 KNOWN ISSUES

Most up to date information: http://tinyurl.com/o9c7olj

Graphical:

  • LODs (level of detail) objects are still being implemented so players may occasionally experience objects visually ‘popping’ out of existence or between visual states
  • Camera will occasionally clip through walls when near them
  • When using a multiple monitor setup there may be issues with the default window placement in windowed mode
  • Quitting the game will remove the player Avatar before fully quitting, this will be fixed in future releases.
  • Logging into the game takes a little while to load in characters and geometry, there will be some visual popping and general framerate issues for a short duration after logging in.

Gameplay:

  • Combat is turned off - will be enabled in Release 4
  • Crafting is turned off - will be enabled in Release 2
  • Female Avatars can equip cloaks but they have no visuals
  • Changing the house on a lot will clear out and delete currently placed decorations, there is a warning that will ask before clearing.
  • The map will reset upon entering/leaving Owl’s Head (either through quitting or returning to login)
  • Not all items are interactable at this time (most notably the majority of items in NPC housing is currently locked in place)
  • Some doors are only opened by using a switch (sometimes hidden)- currently there isn’t yet a visual accompanying a locked door, but there is a locked door sound that will play when attempting to open
  • Some staircases and ramps will allow the player to walk off the sides, placing the player instantly on the ground
  • If the Avatar is idle for an extended period of time (roughly 30 minutes or so) the game will auto-logout. In the future this may be accompanied by an idle warning msg.

Dialogue:

  • Dialogue is still in an early state and conversations are still being fleshed out - responses are still somewhat limited. We are logging player interactions and Release 2 will see considerable improvement.
  • Line of sight for non-player characters is not implemented for Release 1 so you will be occasionally greeted by a character through a wall.

User Interface:

  • Bags and inventory are still in development and more options for sorting and visual representations will be added in a later release
  • Changing hairstyle and hair color while creating an Avatar sometimes does nothing to the portrait but ultimately still affects player’s Avatar
  • When playing full screen using multiple monitors, the user can move the mouse cursor outside of the game window- this functionality is only intended to work in windowed mode or borderless windowed mode (which has yet to be implemented).

Performance:

  • FPS counter is not always accurate
  • There may be framerate issues and slowdown in game, optimizations are still in progress

Patching:

  • If the patcher process is terminated while updating (e.g. computer/patcher crashes) user may need to uninstall and reinstall to finish the patching.

We welcome you to join the conversation about our Release 1 Instructions on the SotA public forums.

Remember, You Will Need to Register on the SotA Website and Link Your Kickstarter Account to Play Release 1

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!

john moeun, Van Cheng, and 21 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator BBkick4 on December 12, 2013

      n/m, hadn't linked my Kickstarter account on their webpage! problem solved.

    2. Creator BBkick4 on December 12, 2013

      Won't let me log in, says username/pw mismatch. Even after changing my PW. frustrating!

    3. Creator Brian Young on December 12, 2013

      Is there a way to invert the mouse?

    4. Creator KFC on December 12, 2013

      60KB? Thats ultra fast man! I've got around 10 on 20MB line...

    5. Creator Matt Salem on December 12, 2013

      Are we allowed to post any screenshots or anything like that?

    6. Creator Matthew Bear-Fowler on December 12, 2013

      It installed for me but then the update freezes and nothing else will happen.

    7. Creator Carlos Hung on December 12, 2013

      Does anyone else got the problem in the last 99% of the patching process? Because when it gets at 99%, it gets an error, patching error, I've retried 3 times already.

    8. Creator Owen Lambert on December 12, 2013

      4mb line at home but only 60k download -seems rather slow - P2P port strangeness?

    9. Creator Manolis Krestas on December 12, 2013

      250 kb/sec uploading 0 kb/sec .... is the P2P working ?

    10. Creator SteveW on December 12, 2013

      Looking forward to Linux support with Release 2!

    11. Creator Rolan Storm on December 12, 2013

      Not only installation froze about 80% progress, but after some time my USB mouse stopped working and a few other USB devices as well. Had to restart system.

    12. Creator Ronny Bangsund on December 11, 2013

      This will be an exciting login simulator. Oh, what fun we'll have attacking the epic boss, the login form!

      But seriously, happy to see something to test already. I'll give the Windows test a spin if I remember (got it installed and patched). I hope you can do a release 2 before the month is over too, with OS X and Linux versions. Actually, scratch that. I hope you fail miserably at that, because then I can stay productive for a little while longer ;)

      (All my work is done in OS X and Linux…more games would be a terrible thing.)

    13. Creator Stefan Giesen (Igor[Rock]) on December 11, 2013

      Some constructive critic: When you want to change the directory (e.g. because you want your games not on drive C:), the SotAInstaller.exe just drops the whole path name. It would be much nicer if he would actually keep the last part of directory "\Shroud of the Avatar" - as most other installers do (I install all my games below "S:\Games"). Additionally, it would be nice if you could select the program group in which the short cuts are installed (e.g. I have all my games below the sub folder "Games" to keep my start menu smaller, so I should be able to tell the installer to use "Games\Shroud of the Avatar") and, last but not least, the installer should ask if I want an icon on the desktop or not. Basically these are all things which most installers use for over a decade already as a standard... this installer behaves like it's still 1999... 8-)

    14. Creator Darren Wade on December 11, 2013

      Shepard is yours successfully torrenting or did it get stuck into the fallback http mode?

    15. Creator Ze Commander Shepard on December 11, 2013

      Patching seems to be glacially slow... anyone else experiencing this issue?

    16. Creator kjashdk on December 11, 2013

      An example:

      Installer Screen 3, Select Installation Folder > If you click the Browse... button, the Cancel and OK buttons are juxtaposed.

    17. Creator kjashdk on December 11, 2013

      Where do I write up defects? Noticing a few things in the installer. Do you actually want QA on this, or should I just play around with it?

    18. Creator Donald M Pollack on December 11, 2013

      Seems like the download and patcher has gone smoothly for me.

      See you all tomorrow.

    19. Creator Ho-Sheng Hsiao on December 11, 2013

      Ahh. Release 2. Ok, see you guys then.

    20. Creator Ho-Sheng Hsiao on December 11, 2013

      So ... where's the OSX binary?

    21. Creator AstralWanderer on December 11, 2013

      Good to see a milestone being reached, but when will offline play be available? (I have no interest in online). Thanks!