Shroud of the Avatar's Impressive Stability & Beautification - Richard Garriott Interview

By Published March 08, 2015 at 11:23 am
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Richard Garriott is one of the industry's most experienced designers, and that's doubly so for RPGS, a genre he's managed to remain in for nearly the entirety of his career. Having started the Ultima series after inspiration from tabletop D&D games, Garriott is now focusing on Shroud of the Avatar under Kickstarted developer Portalarium. The team, which is independently publishing, has managed to sustain 24/7 uptime since November. That's an impressive feat.

At PAX East 2015, we had a chance to sit down with Garriott to talk Shroud of the Avatar, its current news, and the forthcoming release schedule. Here's that interview:

The game moved to Unity 5 just days ago -- a fresh release of the Unity engine -- and uploaded Release 15 of the game's backer-only build. Portalarium's game has remained stable with 24/7 uptime since November, making Shroud of the Avatar one of the most constantly online pre-release games we've worked with in recent years. Of the game's stability, Garriott proudly noted:

"We're up to release 15. As soon as we even had an avatar walking around on the map, every month -- on the third thursday of the month [...] -- we have released the next iteration to all of our backers. Starting in November, we've now left the game running 24/7 as if it's a final service, which it's not, and [...] we've had zero server failures. We're very proud of our track record."

The Unity 5 switch is also big news for the fantasy RPG title, enabling greater visuals with improved shaders, feeding into Garriott's plans for the next release:

"Beautification is the next piece for us. We were worried we were going to break our record for stability -- as in ruin it -- when we made the switch from Unity 4 to Unity 5 because there was so much to do just to have the art not look worse. [...] This next iteration, [beautification] is going to be one of our big focuses."

Gameplay enhancements to Shroud of the Avatar include a deeper crafting system with Maker's Marks and weapon histories, alongside backer reward implementation for supporters.

Learn more about Shroud of the Avatar on its official website. Keep in mind that this is an unreleased title so, as always, we urge readers to fully investigate and research the game before making financial contributions in a pre-release manner.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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