Award-winning game designer Richard Garriott and creator of the highly successful Ultima® series of games announced today that he plans to reinvent the fantasy RPG genre during a simultaneous live stream on Rooster Teeth and the Shroud of the Avatar website.
The game is being backed on Kickstarter, where supporters will have a chance to help fund the project. One of the most anticipated pledge levels will include access to in-game player houses, which are available in multiple sizes and styles. The houses provide players a chance to own their own virtual property in the game.
Shroud of the Avatar on Kickstarter!
Lord British adds, “We couldn’t be happier to be introducing the game on Kickstarter, which has really changed the landscape for game developers. It allows us to connect directly with our fan base and it keeps us from being so dependent on the traditional publishing model. There’s now a direct feedback loop with people who like our game and have decided to back it. With Kickstarter we can listen to what our fans are saying about how we are developing the game and make changes and additions based on that feedback, before the game launches. We hope people will like what they are seeing and hearing about Shroud of the Avatar and back the project on Kickstarter.”
Last edited by Sir Funk; 03-08-2013 at 04:37 PM.
Like his necklace, very Gaige
Bnet - istrtedajoke#1960
steam- old gregg
Ultima was always on the cutting edge of visuals, this game looks like it was made in 2002.
So, just was able to start watching this...Is this an MMO? It sounds like one of those quasi-lobby games?
So... after Camelot Unchained from MJ; our dear Brad; and now is this guy, the Lol British :
Richard Garriott, the award winning designer and creator of the Ultima franchise, makes his triumphant return to the genre that earned him a place in the Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Shroud of the Avatar is the first installment of Richard’s new vision and represents the reinvention of the classic, fantasy role-playing which he pioneered. A fantasy role-playing game that will focus more on player choices and discovery than on level grinding.
Last edited by Tearofsoul; 03-08-2013 at 05:01 PM.
Updated OP a little bit, will try to grab some of the gameplay footage they showed. Looks pretty cool for being so early on in development, although there haven't been many details quite yet.
Mods please change title name to "Shroud of the Avatar" or some such.
It does look bad...I figured they fucked the graphics because they were making a really modifiable MMO, like Minecraft-UO, or something where graphics come secondary. But it's not even an MMO, the fuck is this?
Well it's not like it's even an alpha really. Niggas just need some cash and I'm sure the graphics will be better.
Dude is worth tens of millions of dollars is he not?
Bro delete this man, its not MMO and there is thread already in games.
Watched a documentary on Garriott a while back. He had a spot booked on the original russian space flight in the early 2000s, but the dotcom crash of the late 90s damn near broke him, and he had to sell his seat to someone else. Obviouslly he made some money back and was able to buy a seat a few years later for double the original price(think it upped from 5 to 10 mil, or 10 to 20, something like that), so he's definitely doing well now. Him and his dad became the first American Father/Son duo in space(his dad was a NASA astronaut back in the 60s and 70s).
That being said, I love the Ultima series, the first one I ever played was 4(Quest of the Avatar), and my favorite was probably 7(Black Gate). Ultima really shit the bed with 8 and 9 but both of those were made after Origin was acquired by EA, so I'm not sure if it was EAs influence that shitted them up, or if Garriott has lost touch with the gaming community. I hope it's the former.
Also Ultima Online is still the best sandbox MMO to date, I still play it occasionally on free user-run servers, a good 15+ years after the original release. I definitely can't say that about EQ or WoW or any other MMO I spent a lot of time with.
Cause he is so rich and famous they probally raise 2 million and some and only asking for 1 million, hell they are already at 150k almost in few mins lol.
Rich people don't get and stay rich by spending their own money on risky business ventures if they can help it. Why would he spend even a dime of his own money in capital when he can leverage the cult of personality and his past successes to fund his new venture?
On the other hand, it is also a way to get feedback on what the public wants to see.
A poll wont really get answers.
It removes the risk as noted. for better or worse..
Imagine Curt, had put up a kickstarter saying he needed $400m to make an mmo.
Well that would have avoided a GIANT cockup, wouldn't it have?
Game looks like it could be a breath of fresh air in the current rpg market. Hopefully this kickstarter succeeds, I'd like to see how this turns out.
"In a nod to Garriott's early RPG works, Shroud of the Avatar is split up into a high-level overland map and adventure scenes. Scenes are generally re-playable and can be experienced solo or with others."
What does this even mean? and is that good or bad?
It sounds like another phrasing for overworld with dungeons attached, not that I have much of a clue about it really.
Lord British should forget doing a kickstarter for this shitty game and focus instead on developing the Brain Wipe technology he used to make people forget that the last social-living-community-immersive-customizey-RPG-with-your-friends he made was Tabula Fucking Rasa: possibly the worst online game I ever had the misfortune of buying. If this was strictly a single-player RPG in the style of the classic Ultimas I might be willing to forgo previous transgressions. But as it is - no fucking way!
I don't really get the hate, but I didn't buy Tabula Rasa. For me Gariott is Ultima 7 and UO, and even if Tabula Rasa sucked or Ultima 8 was meh, it doesn't matter much.
Not giving money for an unfinished product as usual though, fuck kickstarter unless it happens to be an insanely interesting project which in this case it is not, but don't get all the hate, especially when he's no trying to make a wow killer mmo kind of shit and instead is basically going back to old school rpgs without hand holding and cool story/world.
Yeah. I don't really get the hate. doubt, I can understand.
Its been a good while since hes made a good game.
Ultima online 1997
Produced lineage in 98. Directed Ultima 9 in 99, produced Lineage 2 in 2003, Produced City of Heroes in 2004, villains 2005, Tabular Rasa in 2007.
And yeah. Im passing on this one for sure. Beta access is the only reason for it. and meh to that. Its not even a promise of cash in the cast store post release.
I'm in for sure. I worked for the guy for awhile, and grew up with his games.
I just hope he finds some good people. In the early days he had some legendary mega-brains working for him. Ken Demarest, Zack Simpson, and Tony Bratton are the ones I know, really brilliant people they really were lucky to have. The later Ultimas really were missing some superstar programming (8 and 9).
I bet that its a lot easier to get additional funding if you have a massively over-funded kickstarter to help convince people that the final product will sell.
Let me be very clear as someone who worked at NC soft from 2k3 to 2k11 RG, had next to nothing to do with anything concerning Lineage and beyond. That production credit is complimentary and meaningless. At best his name generated money but thats it. TR originally was some unicorns in disc-world with bards that killed by music. What you got in TR was Long, Sage and crew from Ultima 9 fumbling in the dark to understand a genre they pretty much universally hated. RG was going to space, there is no time for games! SPACE. I doubt the man has spent a single week obsessed over playing a game since the early 90s, its all been space ships and nonsense. This is a last ditch effort for him to continue funding Portalarium so he doesnt have to go get a real job. The game will be incredibly metrics driven and will be a bore.
It appears as if the new challenge is can a PC RPG be made without the aid of kickstarter.
This looks.. terrible. I'm okay with simple, stylized graphics but these aren't even styled well. It looks like they are trying to do realistic graphics from 2000.
The gameplay looks like MMO combat? It wasn't really clear, but it looks bad all around.
Feel like i'm being trolled here.
How the fuck has this raised over half a mil already.. I mean I played the hell out of the Ultima series and still hold UO as my favorite MMO of all time.. but that doesn't mean i'm going to throw money at this crackpot because he knows how to create a kickstarter. What have you done for me lately Garriot? Tabula Rasa? You don't fucking say bro.
Lord British indeed. This guy is so far disconnected and needs to just disappear from the industry entirely, the last thing he needs to be doing is trying to grub more money from Ultima.
this and the camelot thread should be merged
I'm not so quick to judge his understanding of current games though. frankly we have no idea. its not like hes come out and said something stupid, or has actually made a game that has shown a lack of understanding. there is simply nothing. I can't say he out of touch, if there is nothing to base that on.
Its not like he said something crazy like, " I love skyrim, but sometimes feel like I was running on one direction for days, and not finding anything to do". You say THAT, then release an open world rpg, that is based on closed zones and thus not really open world at all. yeah, now that is something you can make judgments on.
ps, I am aware THIS game appears to be zone based.
Last edited by Caliane; 03-10-2013 at 01:10 PM.
If this takes me back to that feeling of playing the old Ultima's then it will be a fun game. A chance to play it multiplayer with your buddies as well could be fun.
I don't get the anger, you don't have to contribute to the Kickstarter.. just wait it out and see what release looks like. I am kind of reminded of the old NHL vet that is picked up by a team looking to make a deep playoff run.. you get all excited looking back at what he has done but when the time comes to perform all you see are flashes of former brilliance, but soon realize the player has long lost whatever 'it' was.
Prove me wrong Lord British.
I hope this is cool, but I'll wait until it actually materializes to decide whether or not to spend money on it.
To be honest I'm not very inspired by this, but I'm a huge fan of the old Ultima games (I actually owned 1-10, didn't finish the last couple though), so I gave him a chance with $30. The way I look at it is that I will probably get more enjoyment out of it than the $40 I mistakenly gave to EA for SimShitty, and if I'm really lucky it will be awesome and my old-school friends will play it with me.
Garriott has not had a decent evolved idea in well over 20 years. You guys think he has some mythical importance due to UO and Ultima, both of which are games long gone and his work on UO is overstated by a large margin. The last game the man actually worked was probably Ultima 7. His production credits after that are shakey at best; they are his worlds so of course he gets random credits. However it's not being a producer in any realistic capacity.
Shroud of the Avatar is nothing more then a cash-in\money grab. It will be so much less than you hope that you will be surprised at how disappointed you really are.
Last edited by dechire; 03-13-2013 at 01:19 AM.
Lord British is the "George Lucus" of RPG's. It's the same unoriginal, boring shit over and over and it just gets worse and worse.
"Sorry I tried to spit roast your mom."
Many here may not be familiar with the genesis of the original Everquest team. Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover, and Milo Cooper got their start making a game called WarWizard. Cooper would later get a job working for John Smedley at SISA (Sony Interactive Studios America) and when Smed was looking to put together a development team for a MMORPG, Cooper showed him WarWizard and got McQuaid and Clover an interview, after which they were hired and we all know the rest. What does all of this have to do with Garriott? If you've never seen or played WarWizard, saying it was inspired by Ultima would be putting it mildly.
how is everything from him now shit?
he hasn't made a game in 15 years.
That is the disconnect for me, where I don't understand where the hell you guys are coming up with this.
the last time he actually MADE a game was ultima: online.
Maybe he his out of ideas, or has outdated ideas. but how would we know that, when we have nothing to base that on. There is no body of work, showing this.
I have seen what he "worked" on during the 2000s both versions of TR in fact, both were outright shit and the released product bore his fucking name like a talisman. I know his work ethic now; I've seen it. BESIDES that's all moot, he's not going to work on this one either. hes a wolf whistle to get people to back his company so he can continue.
Last edited by dechire; 03-17-2013 at 06:22 PM.
I can't believe so many people drank that dirty-space-hippy-nerd's kool aid.
Kickstarter does seem to be abused somewhat by these "famous" people. Most of them aren't lacking funding or any such thing, they're just looking for the easiest and safest way to explore their ideas. Which in most of the cases that I've seen, and this is one of them, means that they use their popularity with the nostalgic crowd so that they don't have to either put some of their own skin in the game or do any work on the financial side of things.
Has there been any product released by these famous kickstarter users? I don't follow it very closely but it seems like the most popular ones are based on prior games or started by someone that video game players know. I would like to see some of the games that have been released from these kickstarters.
I don't mind the kickstarter "abuse" as its also giving us quite a few possible "old school" games that look like they will live up to the hype. Obsidian, star citizen, that successor to planescape: torment, etc. I'm sure quite a few people are willing to roll the dice with 5-20 dollar donations. Even if you donate to three different games at 20 dollars a piece, and two suck donkey and one is really amazing, compared to today's pricing that's still a good deal.
Kickstarter allows devs to cut shitty publishers out of the loop. While I think it's still too early to say if it's a viable alternative(I don't think any of the major Kickstarter games are done yet), I am all for it so far. I think the key is to temper expectations and seriously pad your release date. You think gamers get whiny when games are delayed now? Imagine if they already donated cash!
I'm surprised there's so much hate for Garriott though. Tabula Rasa didn't seem that much worse than most lame MMO's(the genre, in general, is terrible) and most of his previous games were well received. Also, he has a castle. That has to count for something.
About the only Kickstarter I fully support at the moment if Chris Robert's space game. Everything else is bullshit.
The fact that publishers tell their dev houses to go to Kickstarter and see what they can raise first before their full (gauranteed I might add) funding kicks in shows the abuse has already started.
It is a fantastic idea. And it took this shithole of an unethical industry about 6 months before it is being exploited behind the scenes left and right for risk free funding.
Last edited by Utnayan; 03-19-2013 at 02:17 PM.
I don't think Lord British is really a strong brand. He should drop that terrible handle and just use his name.
I love Wing Commander and Privateer as much as the next person, but Roberts is in roughly the same situation as Garriott, he hasn't put out a decent game in over a decade, and hasn't put out a great game in closer to 2.
At least what Robert's has shown actually looks like a game designed in this decade though, and he has always been known to push the envelope. Even back in the day of Strike Commander. Garriott's game looks like something that could run on my Atari 2600.
Garriott: 'I think most game designers really just suck'
Richard Garriott has some harsh words and a bit of tough love for game design professionals in a new interview at PC Gamer. Lord British, more visible in the press these days as a result of his successful Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter project, sat down with the mag to talk at length about what ails gaming and who he thinks is capable of doing something about it.
"I think there's really very few great game designers," Garriott says. "I think Chris Roberts is one of them, Will Wright's another, Peter Molyneux is another. They clearly exist, but on the whole, I think that the design talent in our industry is dramatically lower than we need, as an industry. It's a very hard skill to learn."
Garriott cites a lack of education and a lack of extra-design skills as problems plaguing many designers and the industry at large.
If you're not a good artist and not a good programmer, but you still like games, you become a designer, if you follow me.
You get into Q&A and often design. And the most valuable part of creating a game is the design, which the programmers are technically executing. And they'd be happy to just execute some of them. But in my mind, most artists and programmers are just as much of gamers as the designers, and I usually find in my history that the artists and programmers are, in fact, as good of designers as the designers. They're often better, because they understand the technology or the art.
So we're leaning on a lot of designers who get that job because they're not qualified for the other jobs, rather than that they are really strongly qualified as a designer. It's really hard to go to school to be a good designer."
Source: PC Gamer
I totally agree with them sucking.
Last edited by AlekseiFL; 03-20-2013 at 02:16 PM.
Why do you link to massively instead of pcgamer who actually published the interview instead of cherry-picking it for the most catchy quote ?
That guy is a colossal douche, if anyone wasn't convinced until now:
Originally Posted by Richard Garriott
wow. ok. yeah, "out of touch" does come to mind.
I wish this would go away so this jackass wouldn't get anymore attention than he's already garnered, but I'm sure the gaming news sites will blow it up.
A guy that dresses up as a Lord British, crown, scepter, and all...out of touch?
Probably. But then again, this guy and Chris Roberts practically invented the fucking industry when most of you were in diapers or not yet born. It's like a Beatle saying music today sucks. They're wrong. But they have forgotten more about their industry than you'll ever possibly know.
And he's right about Roberts.
You know when you are a king, you have alot of wenches so you need alot of castles to keep them all in chains.
Not to mention you probably never see the likes of Blizzard, Bioware, and other great American/Western developers without the influence of the guys I listed above.
Japanese developers didn't solely make the video game industry what it is today, it was the work of great people on both sides.
Last edited by joeboo; 03-20-2013 at 06:02 PM.
Anyways, he's back now. And his next IP will blow everyone away. His engine for WC1 was analogous to building a gasoline engine in 1450AD. No one came close, and then this teenager does it like it's taking out the trash. We'd still be playing 2D iso scrollers if it wasn't for Roberts.
You guys may LOVE your current games, and that's great. I do too. But if you weren't a part of watching these games evolve from '79-'92 you just can't fathom how companies like Origin and Id changed EVERYTHING. They took an industry that said 3D engines with Earth Physics were impossible, and made it happen. That type of innovation and evolution doesn't occur today, because we're far more limited by technology? So were they. If we saw that innovation through the 00's, we'd all be playing virtual reality games that could feed us and give us handjobs from Mila Kunis.
Name one company today that isn't about the bottom line AND makes best sellers? That's the real problem. Chris Roberts was out programming what would eventually become a billion dollar IP using a fucking Commodore at 13. Where is that today?
Last edited by Jait; 03-20-2013 at 08:06 PM.
Valve is not about all about the money? Might want to rethink that. The core of that argument is that sure in '85 people wanted to make money with their games too, but they also wanted to make a good game and apparently had some say in it. Today, there's always a bigger fish in the megacorp hierarchy that strangles any apparently wasteful innovation out of the team. Movies are the same actually.
Luckily Kickstarter and indi gaming are a growing part of the industry, that's the best hope for gaming in the long run imo.
It's a far cry from the 1 man project days of the 1980s, but I don't begrudge them for making money and growing. I will begrudge them when they start the same bullshit antics that EA and ActiBlizz pull.
Gamebreaker has the same story I posted about Garriot but the are always trolling in titles to get more peps to read the stories lol.
The Title is
Last edited by AlekseiFL; 03-20-2013 at 10:32 PM.
To kill two birds with one stone, I figured I'd start an original UO thread and link the PC Gamer article featuring Garriott and his very Utnayan'ish views, which is pretty strong given what a mediocre game Tabula Rasa turned out to be.
After showing me Shroud of the Avatar, which he hopes meshes the best of classic RPGs with modern ideas, he moved on to talking about the classic principles of game design—the results of which he’d just been showing me—and what it means to be a great designer. He thinks the latter is rare in the industry.
“I’ve met virtually no one…who I think is close to as good a game designer as I am.”
“You know, I go back to the day when I was the programmer, I was the artist, I was the text writer, etcetera,” said Garriott. “Every artist we’ve ever hired ever is infinitely better at art than I ever was. I was never a good artist, or audio engineer, or composer. I was a pretty good programmer, but now all of our programmers are better than I am—but if I’d stayed in programming I could probably keep up.
“But other than a few exceptions, like Chris Roberts, I’ve met virtually no one in our industry who I think is close to as good a game designer as I am. I’m not saying that because I think I’m so brilliant. What I’m saying is, I think most game designers really just suck, and I think there’s a reason why.”
“It’s really hard to go to school to be a good designer”
Chris Roberts, who worked with Garriott back when Origin Systems was producing both Ultima and Wing Commander, isn’t Garriott’s only exception—he also identified Will Wright and Peter Molyneux as examples of quality game designers. The majority, however, become designers because they lack other skills, according to Garriott’s analysis.
Garriott’s love of detail in a world, its characters, and their backstories has been evident in the Ultima universe since the ’80s. His method hasn’t gone away—he’s been working on Shroud of the Avatar’s story and design on paper, just like he always has—and he thinks this skill, or something comparable, is lacked today, replaced by lazy rehashes of old ideas.
“I think that the design talent in our industry is dramatically lower than we need.”
“And every designer that I work with—all throughout life—I think, frankly, is lazy,” said Garriot, adding “to give you another zinger” in reference to my ribbing him earlier over his “game designers suck” line.
“But if you follow, they generally say, ‘You know, I really like Medal of Honor, but I would have bigger weapons, or I would have more healing packs, or,’ you know. They go to make one or two changes to a game they otherwise love versus really sit down and rethink, ‘How can I really move the needle here?’
“You know, even if it’s just a map. I really push my team on how to make a scenario map. How do you really think about the whole thing holistically, to go, ‘yeah, it’s fine to wander through and kill a few things and get a treasure at the end, but why? What’s your motivation for being into it? What are the side stories? If you have these characters in there, what were their lives before they showed up on this map? If you didn’t think of one, go back. Do it again. I want you to know it.’”
"I think there’s really very few great game designers,” he continued. “I think Chris Roberts is one of them, Will Wright’s another, Peter Molyneux is another. They clearly exist, but on the whole, I think that the design talent in our industry is dramatically lower than we need, as an industry. It’s a very hard skill to learn.”
Last edited by Gecko; 11-13-2013 at 12:18 AM.
Last edited by AlekseiFL; 03-20-2013 at 10:55 PM.
I swear reading your posts gives me headaches, aleksei.
I was more into Bard's Tale and SSI's Gold Box Series of games than Ultima. Garriott's screed on "... what makes a great role playing game ..." is short on substance and long on "I am Lord British and I am fucking awesome."
What did Richard Garriott do exactly? He allowed people to play something similar to Dungeons and Dragons on their computers, that's about it. And he wasn't even the only person doing that, ever hear of a little franchise called Wizardry? I'm sure there were others too.
The point is that the guy is big headed. He hasn't made anything good since Ultima Online and based on what the people in this thread are saying he probably didn't even do any work on that game. There's no way that he deserves all of those people giving him what is going to equal to millions of dollars. I find it abusive toward and disrespectful of video game players, players like myself who have purchased, played and enjoyed several Ultima games.
Even if he didn't do the work, it isn't illogical to assume that something that he's completely at the helm of (which many of the later projects he wasn't) he could piece together similar teams to those that he helped put together in the past.
It's the same reason why a CEO from corporation X is hired by corporation Y even when they can be completely different products, because the ability to put together an all star team below you to get things done is a skillset even when you are responsible for little directly.
(Not that I'm supporting this, but the reasoning behind supporting it is trivial to comprehend)
I lack the will to bash RG further even though "“And every designer that I work with—all throughout life—I think, frankly, is lazy,” said Garriot" that incenses me even more than the suck remark. To say this man lives in a bubble is an understatement.
edit. Oh sweet someone else sums it up for me
Last edited by dechire; 03-21-2013 at 02:38 AM.
He's right up there with Cliffy B and Molywhatever when it comes to overrated game designers. That said, many of his points are valid when it comes to the state of game design these days.
Counter proposal: I go home and jerk-off
Its just that imo they are mostly about steam and cornering the digital distribution market and less so about regular game releases (when was the last half life episode?). Imo steam the way it is today is about money (you might argue otherwise but thats my take). Regardless, I like Steam since I'm getting good deals and have my gaming library managed/available in one spot, and I can throw a couple of bucks at something that I wouldnt take notice of otherwise that turns out great (last one was FTL). Thats not the "making games" side of Valve though and that they are also a developer seems so secondary to me these days.
On the topic of naming a company that puts game quality before the bottom line, I cant think of any. Imo Bioware and Blizzard used to be like that a decade ago, but that ship has sailed. I obviously dont know all game companies so maybe someone else has an idea.
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