Shroud of the Avatar profiles new zones, hits $600K in SeedInvest round

Shroud of the Avatar’s latest newsletter has plenty of business business business, but the highlights are always the developers’ diaries on various locations and scenes being worked on in the game. Case in point: Today’s newsletter features a wagonload of screenshots of Etceter and South Paladis.

Etceter is referenced in the Tracy Hickman novel attached to the game; it needed more Greco-Roman ruin influences, the roads and walls mentioned in the book, natural paths and hidey-holes, and the general feeling of hard times and post-invasion “developed decay.” South Paladis, on the other hand, is getting two new original scenes in release 45 later this month: Middle Downs, with its burial mounds and abandoned villages, and South Broken Road, with its crumbly, rocky river and creepy quest. We’ve collected all the images down below.

There’s just one more day left to invest in Portalarium’s SeedInvest campaign; the fund broke the $600,000 mark not long after hitting $500,000 earlier this week.

Source: Newsletter
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11 Comments on "Shroud of the Avatar profiles new zones, hits $600K in SeedInvest round"

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Mikka Hansen

I’ve been following this closely, and …they didnt get a single real investor. All the seedinvest achieved was milking their old, regular cash cows for even more dollars. The only people that “invested” in this are the same ones that already are up to the neck into the game, and keep throwing dollars at Port hoping something good will turn out.

Noone with actual investing interests saw any redeeming quality in the project or the company, nor believes this will turn profitable anytime.

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

How do you know this? Do they have a list of investors somewhere?

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Probably little more than an educated guess based on SotE forums and similar sources.

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Jeremiah Ratican

OK so I keep reading on here how this game just keeps making money, and I am confused on why. I played the game on one of the free weekends and was not impressed, of course it is under development and I would like to try it again perhaps after launch. Now I don’t think my opinion is worth much and everyone has different tastes but I really don’t get it. If Project Gorgon got half of the money this game has collected it would be making AAA titles sweat a little. Is it the promise of Ultima Online in 3d? Maybe you already wrote an article explaining this but what am I missing here?

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Cindy M

Right? I totally agree, where is this money going exactly? Because it doesn’t seem to reach the actual game all that fast :S

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Geo Kavu

I kept reading about this game making money. And I kept looking at streams and I keep seeing a plain-looking, out-of-touch game with outdated graphics and overused gameplay that I might have considered AAA 5 years ago. Now it honestly looks like the first attempt of a new Korean studio focused on quantity and unsuccessfully trying to appeal to the west.
And I could not figure out who would fund it and why. I thought it was just a severe case of personal inability to appreciate it and the fact that I generally dislike people so self-centered they have an entire game celebrate their birthday and call them “Lord”.
I would be really interested in a player/investor of this game coming forward here in the comments and briefly explain why they like it.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Apparently you didn’t play in RPGs the 1980s or early 1990s. Sure, Garriott is self-centered but who rich gaming legend wouldn’t be? It’s not a genre for small egos.

When it comes to graphics, we can assume they will get (somewhat) better as always with games in development – and SotE has been sold from the beginning based on its content and the Ultima legacy; it’s never been portrayed as being the Great Next Generation Shared Multiplayer Experience(TM).

In the NA and EU you can see the game as a comfortable retirement home for older gamers who have fond memories of Ultima, I guess.

When it comes to where it will make its money, look at their deepening their work with the so-far rather below par Travian and the intention to take the game to markets that have been little touched: Central and Southern America, North Africa and the Middle East. Slightly dated graphics allowing older computers to run them won’t hurt in that context.

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Geo Kavu

Literally ALL of them.
He is the single director, old or new, who has his entire game revolve around him. It’s distasteful.

And concerning them expanding to virgin markets.. Fair enough, that could or could not be a good idea, but the graphics are not light.
Up until recently many could not play the game with proper FPS even on modern machines and there is so much optimization can do..
It’s not a light game, it’s just that they are not using modern design techniques.

But yeah overall.. this is the era of custom tailored MMOs. You pick your target audience and build for them. And if older gamers (older than the MU era) find this game to their taste, then all power to them.

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

Well the whole Lord British thing goes back to the 80s when he was making Ultimas, and that was the name of the central character in the games, so at least that’s not quite as egomaniacal as it sounds.

As far as the game itself, yeah, you pretty much stated how I feel about it too. The UI is minimal in a bad way, the graphics have the occasional flourish but for the most part are uninspired, and the character models are IMO downright hideous. The main hope I’m holding out is that the storylines have some depth and flair to them. I’m waiting until those are more fully baked and I’ll give it my final attempt to see if I can get some enjoyment out of SoTA.

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Armsbend

Because Garriot is filling his own tip jar to make it look like this game is a success waiting to happen. No one would ever put real money into a game that has so few players – and is being anticipated by so very few people.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

It’s a niche game. Some of the genre niches are pretty big nowadays. People should try to understand that – games like SotE, Chronicles of Elyria, Crowfall, Camelot Unchained, Pantheon etc are not going to or not are intended to take it one vs one with let’s say Bioware’s Anthem.

That doesn’t mean that they can’t be success stories on their own terms. SotE won’t ever be the Next Warcraft – if its the Next Ultima Online, those who do back it will happy.

Yes, it won’t get the kind of investors whose names you can then shout from the rooftops and the whole genre will shook with awe. But it doesn’t make its investors any less real.

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