Richard Garriott's "ultimate" RPG shown off in six-month video

Ultima creator releases new video for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues showing off progress made in six months of development.

Ultima creator Richard Garriott and developer Portalarium have released a new six-month progress video for their upcoming "ultimate" role-playing game Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. The 25-minute video is narrated by Garriott and shows off the fantasy game's various zones, abilities, and combat mechanics.

Check out the full video below.

Shroud of the Avatar came to life through Kickstarter earlier this year. Its month-long campaign raised $1.9 million, with another $702,000 coming in through the game's website since then.

Developed using the Unity game engine, Shroud of the Avatar features a classless skill system, crafting, and housing mechanics. The game also supports solo, friends-only, or open multiplayer.

Shroud of the Avatar goes beyond traditional crowdfunding by allowing fans to create content for the final game. Players can submit Unity compatible content and if approved, the contributor can choose to be compensated in real or virtual currency.

The game will support Windows, Mac, and Linux at launch, scheduled for the end of 2014. Backers will be able to play the game early, beginning at the end of 2013.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

91 comments
PinchySkree
PinchySkree

I'll never forget how stupid the world of warcraft magnetic combat system looked when I created my first character back in 2005, a human warrior called Pincers with a 2 hander, started taking swings whilst standing inside the model of kobold and realised any movement didn't have any effect on the hit, so I used to turn around and start walking away as 90% of the attack animation played out at thin air.

theKSMM
theKSMM

It's also worth pointing out that transcoding video to a format that can be easily streamed through YouTube causes a lot of visual quality to be lost as well. But I was less bothered with the quality of the graphics and more impressed with the expansive landscapes.  Not bad at all for six months of work...

greatsailorman
greatsailorman

I can't understand how you people can judge the graphics and combat animations at this point in development. It looks bad for a game in 2013/2014, but you've got to keep in mind that those are placeholder graphics and animations. The game is still very early in development; I'm willing to bet you just about every game made even nowadays (your original Mass Effects and the Modern Warfare's and all of that other crap) looked just as bad this far into development. Listen to the ideas that are being tossed around to judge it by, and give reasonable feedback. These videos are made so that the developers know what to work on as far as concepts go. It isn't as if they don't know the graphics are bad, that just isn't the focus for games this early in development.

yoda101280
yoda101280

is this going to be like a tablet game or something?  I just ask b/c the graphics are horrendous if this is supposed to be a PC title.

pip3dream
pip3dream

With all the shit that is being talked about this, I expected something gastly - but guys... this really isn't that bad for 6 months of develop.  What's so terrible about this?

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

Really, Bioware should reboot the Ultima franchise using the spirit of Ultima IV as a guide, but replace morality grinding and object hunting with character development and storytelling, with the Eight Companions treated Bioware style, while Britannia can be open world.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

Wow...this game looks bad.

Richard Garriot hasn't made a great game since Ultima VII Part Two.....he has lost it.

And he is to blame, not EA, for Ultima IX's suckage.

hystavito
hystavito

Yeah the game doesn't look good and probably still won't when it's finished.  I'm willing to trade that for a lot of depth.

hadlee73
hadlee73

"Ultimate RPG shown off in six-month video." Sorry I have too many other things to do than watch a video that long :P

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Can I use words of Power in this game? :-)

nurnberg
nurnberg

Was this game made in 2001?

Setho10
Setho10

Six months is a very short time to make something this big. I'm sure they still have a ton of animations to put in and the lighting could use a lot of work. As someone who works with the Unity engine I can assure you that the game is capable of looking better. It just takes a lot of time to make this stuff. In another six months I'm sure visually it will look a lot better. Other than that, a lot of the systems look like classic Ultima which is always a good thing to me.

brxricano
brxricano

OMG am I the only one who thought it was going to take 6 mos. to watch the video??? This here's some good green! Game looks total shit.

codac
codac

Looks fine to me, being a PC gamer I've seen things that make Skyrim look like text document, and played like crap.

Shangelus67
Shangelus67

Looks ok to me. Ultima 4 was what got me interested in  RPG's many moons ago. I also will be keeping my eye on this

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

Ultima is terrible, and this game looks like too. No thanks!

cryofax
cryofax

I have no problem with these graphics. They might not be cutting edge, but they're pleasing, and VARIED. Skyrim looks great but is as repetitive as fuck. And I'll bet your left nut this has an engaging story on a masterful level like an Ultima game. God forbid any of you graphics whores should stumble upon a masterpiece like Gothic 1 or 2.

komuchen
komuchen

You've all got what you deserved by giving money to this asshole, now don't complain it's visually lacking or something like that, you all knew what it will be, it was even shown with kickstarter (which was unnecessary).

Also, Ultima 8 and 9... Showed in kickstarter. They should at least try to pretend those shits doesn't even exist.

young_nasa87
young_nasa87

This game is very ugly, and UNPOLISHED looking.  What graphics tell you in an RPG now a days is EFFORT.   Most rpgs on PC at least TRY to look decent, this game looks like utter crap.    

I bet you any amount of money they focused more on meta-game systems in the game other than combat mechanics and graphics.

BuzzLiteBeer
BuzzLiteBeer

Visually unimpressed. Hopefully the game-play and mechanics make up for the utter lack of technical prowess.

steve_esquire
steve_esquire

Wasn't really looking forward to it but that's very impressive. Looks nice, I'll definitely keep an eye on it now

Raeldor
Raeldor

Why is everybody so hung up on the graphics?  For one thing gameplay trumps graphics EVERYTIME.  For another thing this is not even in beta stage yet, this is an early alpha at best.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"the contributor can choose to be compensated in real or virtual currency" Heck, I'd choose real currency every time, because that way you can either buy virtual stuff or real stuff.

devilzzzwin
devilzzzwin

People please remember that graphics don't make the game. 

brain56
brain56

@yoda101280 Six months, man; it's just six months into development. Pay attention.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@tom2750 How in the hell is it possible to win 160 game of the year awards? And no need to rub anything in other people's faces. And also why do that?

duanis79
duanis79

@tom2750 *Faceplam* "Mr.BillsGates" still better trolling than you, my friend.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@nurnberg Flowing robes are a bit much for 2001.  2004 maybe.  I would call these graphics "passable" - they aren't good enough to help the game but they aren't so bad that they will get in the way of playing, either.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@brxricano I know, how hard is it to word the title so it's not completely misleading? Sometimes I wonder how people's brains function, then I realize I probably don't really want to know.

duanis79
duanis79

@Diegoctba Then go back to military fps, you just act like a loser.

Stiler
Stiler

@Diegoctba Which Ultima are you referring to and when did you play them? Of course if you try to play the old ultima's today some people might judge them based on current games, which isn't really fair. 

Ultima IX was a huge letdown for most Ultima fans and not really the pinnacle of the series. 

Zloth2
Zloth2

@cryofax Gothic 2?  That would be the one where you can stand on a ramp and shoot big, nasty orcs to your heart's content because the AI can't figure out how to get to you?  ;)  Gothic 2 was great fun but I think Skyrim leaves it in the dust.  Not just for the graphics, either.  How many Gothic mods have you played?  How many different characters?

komuchen
komuchen

@cryofax Gothic rox. I don't know if it's just me, but I felt while playing Gothic 1 and 2 I felt like it was Ultima 9 done right

svdbygrce02
svdbygrce02

@Raeldor why do they have to be mutually exclusive?  Besides from what is shown in this video the gameplay looks just as bad

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

@Raeldor I agree.  I think we are getting a lot of console gamers commenting. No offence to them, it is not their fault Pubs tend to push the graphics pitch when it comes to games on console.

Some of the most popular games on PC are visually ugly. That is the huge barrier we still have between PC and Console. PC gamers will try anything, and if they like it will build huge dedicated community around it keeping the game alive. Console gamers, like myself, get a game with little MP capabilities, play it for a few months and then get another AAA shoved down our throats. We do not get access to these gems to find out for ourselves that it is awesome or not so we jump to the visuals because that is all we can relate to.

devilzzzwin
devilzzzwin

@Hurvl They may have it set where you get more virtual currency by choosing that than if you were to use real currency to buy virtual currency in the game.

BuzzLiteBeer
BuzzLiteBeer

@devilzzzwin True, but visual presentation needs to be innovative even if it isn't cutting edge. Many indie games are "low-fi" yet manage to produce visually engaging and innovative experiences. 

Having said that, this alpha build is unimpressive visually and feels extremely dated. Hopefully it looks better down the road and hopefully the gameplay mechanics make up for this shortcoming.

yoda101280
yoda101280

@brain56 @yoda101280 Yes I read that but it does not say how that effects what his current game state is.  If this is just "place holder" to flesh out base features and the like then I understand that but I've also seen games 6 months into development that are using high end graphics all ready, not optimized and all that but still they look similar to what they will look like.  Take star citizen, 6 months to a year in that game was already looking good.


komuchen
komuchen

@Zloth2 @cryofax wow, really, comparing 11 year old game to Skyrim? Also, there are a lot of mods for gothic.

But I agree, AI in Skyrim is as retarded.

Although orcs were hacks in Gothic 2 with it's expansion.

Raeldor
Raeldor

@svdbygrce02 @Raeldor One word... BUDGET.  Assassin's Creed Black Flag has 900 people working on it!  Do you think this guy has 900 people working for him?  Of course not.  This is a game from an indie studio being written by a small bunch of people because they have a passion for what they do.  The have a vision of how they want their game to stand out from the rest, and I can guarantee most of that is based around game mechanics and not graphics.  But, if they are successful and make money then graphics can always be improved later.

komuchen
komuchen

@WingChopMasta @Raeldor MP on console is pretty bad example, because rarely you can create your own server, or there is a lot of screwing around. On PC, you are not limited, you can create your own server and invite friends to that too.

Also, I'm sorry, but what "most popular games on PC are ugly"? Ultima 7 looks good to this day. The only "ugly" games I can think of are old ass DOS games like Ultima first trilogy, and maybe even the second for example, also beginning of 3D era, those can be really ugly today, but popular are in most cases good looking. I don't know what consoles have to do with it though.

_Roo_
_Roo_

@yoda101280 @brain56 Yes but Roberts was working on it for a year before he even demoed the game and even then only had a few ship models and some laser effects.  As opposed to the multiple environments found in an RPG.  Besides SC has taken in 27million to date which has given Roberts access to a MUCH larger team (he built his own motion capture studio and has multiple design teams in the US and Canada.)  To compare the two in terms of time spent on development is unfair.  I'm supporting both projects and although I am much more unsure of Ultima both Garriott and Roberts have given me decades of great gaming and I wish success to both of them (and was willing to put my money where my mouth is.)

komuchen
komuchen

@Raeldor @svdbygrce02 Believe me, it could've ben even AAA and 10 more A with this guy, but he wanted people to give him money, even though he sleeps and wipes with it every day