Richard Gariott returns to medieval fantasy with Lord British’s Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.
In a special livestream from South By SouthWest, Richard Garriott — lovingly known by gamers as Lord British — spoke with the guys from Rooster Teeth about his latest project. The project, titled Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, is a return to his medieval fantasy roots.
Garriott, the designer and creator of the Ultima franchise officially announced Shroud of the Avatar along with it’s Kickstarter campaign earlier today. His intention with SotA is to bring back the classic fantasy role playing experience that he feels a lot of games have strayed from.
What’s the plan?
Once in the game, players will be able to choose how to live within Shroud of the Avatar. They can choose the life of warrior, and explorer or even a homesteader.
Garriott intends for Shroud of the Avatar to have a good amount of features. Some of them — pulled from the Kickstarter page — are listed below.
- Fully interactive virtual world – If it looks usable, it should do something
- Deep original fiction – Ethical parables, cultural histories, fully developed alternate language text
- Physical game components will be available: Cloth map, fictional manuals, trinkets
- Multiplayer Online Game – which can also be played solo player / offline
- Classless character system
- Player housing
- A Crafting system that avoids busy work
- Meaningful PvP that also minimizes griefing
- Scene based encounters
The game will have two views, much like old-school RPGs. First there his the high-level overland map, where players will be able to explore and move from town to town. The second view is what are being called “adventure scenes” where the map will move in to a more normal perspective. From his description in the video, it appears that this will include battle encounters, random encounters with other players or NPCs and time spent in towns.
Working with the players.
As mentioned above, Garriott announced the Shroud of the Avatar kickstarter along with the game itself. One of the reasons he elected to go the kickstarter route is to allow his team the opportunity to work with players to create a game they want to play.
It will be interesting to see what kind of game results from this plan. Luckily, Richard Garriott isn’t new to the whole ‘making a video game’ thing. He’s done this a few times before. And, he’s been paying attention to what works and what doesn’t work in games other than his. So some interesting things should happen here.