Shroud of the Avatar

I played Shroud of the Avatar with Richard Garriott: the cult of Lord British is alive and well

Wes Fenlon at

E3 dips into the surreal for me at least once a day. Usually it's because I see someone I recognize in a meeting or walking down the halls, but then I realize I don't actually know them, I just feel like I do because I follow them on Twitter. Today E3 was surreal because I played Shroud of the Avatar with Richard Garriott and Starr Long, the father of Ultima and the director of Ultima Online. We played online, from the E3 show floor, and when Garriott said hi in-game to a Kickstarter backer, I got a glimpse at the cult of Lord British that still exists to this day.

Shroud of the Avatar E3 interview: Lord British speaks to his people

Wes Fenlon at

E3 2014 is the first time that many in the press have been able to see Shroud of the Avatar, the new crowdfunded role-playing game from Ultima creator Richard Garriott. But that doesn't mean its backers are in the dark. Garriott, aka Lord British, says the people who have backed his game are included in every step of the process—some have even created art or music that will be used in the game.

PC Gamer spoke with Garriott and executive producer Starr Long on the E3 floor about the game, and how transparency—and the Unity engine—has changed the game development process for the better.

Shroud of the Avatar introduces "layaway" scheme, pay for reward tiers in instalments

Tom Sykes at

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.

PC Gamer US Podcast #349 - Spiders in Space

PC Gamer at

Podcasting thrusters to max this week, as we discuss leadership changes at EA, BarCrafts, Lord British, Elder Scrolls Online, and the horror of extraterrestrial arachnids. They exist! For real!

Editorial: An Interview, and its Aftermath

Logan Decker at

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.

Richard Garriott on why "most game designers really just suck"

Tyler Wilde at

When Ultima creator Richard Garriott stopped by to show me Shroud of the Avatar, his new RPG which just met its $1M Kickstarter funding goal, he brought along some objects for show and tell. First, he produced a folder containing a stack of loose, lined paper—the first record of Ultima's world, featuring Sosaria, Lord British, and the evil Mondain. Holy crap, that should be in a museum, I thought.

Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar funded, new stretch goals announced

Tom Sykes at

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.

Shroud of the Avatar's lead story designer revealed: it's Dragonlance author Tracy Hickman

Tom Sykes at

Richard Garriott's Avatar gets a little less shrouded in mystery with the announcement of the game's lead story designer. If Lord British's fantasy credentials weren't enough, it's been revealed that Tracy Hickman - of Dragonlance fame - is overseeing Shroud of the Avatar's story. If you're a fan of '80s/'90s RPGs and fantasy novels, you probably just spilled something on your keyboard. Sorry about that.