Portalarium has announced the first release of Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar fantasy role-playing game. Backers of the crowd funded project today can log in to their accounts, download the client, create a character and begin to wander and explore the streets of Owl’s Head, the game’s first town open for business. The release comes only nine months since the project was announced by Portalarium in early March.
“We are pleased with our progress and we are excited to show our fans what we’ve created in the short amount of time we’ve been working on the game. It’s still very early in development, and this is not your traditional development model. Since the game is crowd funded and crowd sourced, we feel it’s important to give our community an early glimpse of the game’s progress…earlier than what you’d normally see in traditional game development. But this is important because player feedback at this stage will be utilized in helping us understand any changes we need to make and to possibly reaffirm that we are on the right track.”
In Release 1, players will also be able to converse with non-player characters (NPCs) and try out the game’s dialog system. Players will also be able to equip their avatars with different clothing, armor and weapons and they’ll be able to select a house from the entire list of player houses, even the vast Lord of the Manor estate. There will also be chests of furniture and decorations all over Owl’s Head for players to pick up and outfit their newly established homes. This early release is single player online only. In later releases, the Shroud of the Avatar team will roll out multiplayer online modes.
Executive Producer Starr Long added:
“These early systems are ready for players to try out and test for us. We hope the community understands how critical they are to helping us make Shroud of the Avatar the game that we all want it to be. Throughout 2014, we’ll be rolling out even more features and systems on a monthly basis for players to try out including crafting, combat, questing, multiplayer and of course many other towns, dungeons and lands to explore.”
Shroud of the Avatar is a multiplayer fantasy RPG for the PC that is the spiritual successor to Richard Garriott’s previous works in the genre. It is expected to launch at the end of 2014. It is a crowd funded and crowd sourced game built in Unity that has raised more than $2.8 million from backers to date.