Lord British Presents… Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues

Forefather of computer-based RPGs announces new project.
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Following a tantalising three-day countdown at www.lordbritishpresents.com, the breathless anticipation of millions of wizard be-hatted roleplaying game fans has been sated with the announcement of Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.

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Richard Garriott, speaking live to the presenters of Roosters Teeth, announced the crowd-sourced Kickstarter project in which he plans to go back to his roots of deep storytelling in an RPG game environment, but with a multiplayer element.

In the presentation on Rooster Teeth, he showcased working gameplay in a dynamic fantasy world with grand story events, a property system and many other elements first introduced in Ultima Online, now developed for a modern audience.

Garriott described his experiences in many of his earlier works from a teletype tape driven prequel to his first digital RPG foray, Akalabeth, through to engaging players directly in Ultima Online.

Interestingly, he also claims responsibility for the entry of the words “avatar” and “shard” into gaming lexicon.

He plans an “episodic campaign” for release toward the end of the year for alpha-beta testers. Yearly episodes are planned to be produced (5 currently planned), each of which “will effectively double the size of the world”.

A question from Twitter asked: Most kickstarter campaigns for old games returning trade on nostalgia – what can you do to interest new players?

“I can make a pretty darned good case to say I’ve invented roleplaying games over and over again … Most solo games are ‘you’re the hero – min/max your way to the top’… WoW/EQ follow the arrows gameplay… My history has shown that we can create something far deeper… we can bring back the discovery aspect of RPGs.”

“Every time there’s a radical upheaval in technology, games reset to basic shooters.” Garriott then describes this cycle of shooters being an initially competitive implementation of new technology, then depth is added after, introducing classes, storyline and other elements.

We’re in a great golden age of technology.. Creativity is what is going to win the day.”


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Mat Westhorpe
Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.