A hefty new gameplay demo for Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues surfaced this week, giving us a look at a "90-days-in prototype" of the in-progress RPG. As Garriott himself points out in the video, the gameplay represents the initial steps into developer Portalarium's 18-month plan for the Kickstarter-funded project.
Shroud of the Avatar's Kickstarter drive may have closed with a moderately whopping $1.9m to its name - nearly double the amount Portalarium were asking for - but Richard Garriott isn't done asking for your money just yet. You can still purchase, and upgrade, cash pledges for the project over on the website - and pretty soon you'll be able to do so in instalments. Thanks to the new 'Layaway plan', you can support SOTA with regular monthly payments rather than with one giant lump sum - for example, to afford the $11,000 necessary to become a 'Lord of the Manor'. The catch, however, is that there will be a monthly service fee associated with the scheme, meaning that overall you'll end up paying more.
Richard Garriott has posted a follow-up to our interview with him published on Tuesday ("Richard Garriott on why 'most game designers really just suck'") which he titled "Words Taken Out of Context."
I agree with him - they were. When he says that "Behind the inaccurate inflammatory headlines extracted from a longer dialog..." he's clearly referring to a number of news sources that chose to repeat his provocative statement, but failed to take the time to fully examine and independently interpret the whole story, or even follow up on their own with Garriott to ask what he was getting at rather than just blurting out the most provocative thing they could. That's tacky.
In inevitability news, Richard Garriot's Shroud of the Avatar has sauntered past its Kickstarter goal, perhaps twirling a cane and singing a jaunty tune as it walked over the line. It was accompanied by the announcement of a bunch of new reward tiers and stretch goals, with pets and weather being added to the game if it hits $1.1m and $1.2m respectively. The pets will come in "social" and "combat" varieties, while the weather will be "seasonal". As, I'm told, it is in real life.