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Lord British Kickstarter coming up - "Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues"

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Lord British Kickstarter coming up - "Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues"

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 2 March 2013, 23:17:48

Tags: Kickstarter; Portalarium; Richard Garriott; Shrouds of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues; Ultimate RPG

As reported by the Ultima Codex, Richard "Lord British" Garriott, creator of the Ultima series, recently launched a website titled "Lord British Presents", with a countdown that ends on Friday. What could this mean?

Let's look at the facts. We know that Garriott has been talking about making a game he humbly calls "The Ultimate RPG" since late 2011. We also know that Garriott's studio, Portalarium (developer of fine titles such as Port Casino Blackjack and Port Casino Poker) was recently hit with layoffs. Portalarium's main partner, the almighty Zynga, hasn't been doing too well either.

I guess you can guess what's coming. Some technically proficient users found this image on a cloud hosting service used by the Lord British Presents website, confirming that this is indeed going to be a Kickstarter game, with the allusive name of Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.

But wait, isn't Richard Garriott incredibly rich? Some say that he spent most of his fortune on his quixotic trip to outer space in 2008. Others retort that he immediately earned that fortune back in a successful lawsuit against his former employer, NCsoft, who ignominiously fired him after the dismal failure of his MMO Tabula Rasa, while he was in Earth's orbit. Whatever the case, the fact is that Lord British Wants Your Money.

What for, you ask? We know that Portalarium's Ultimate Collector garage sale simulator social game was meant to be the "backbone" of the Ultimate RPG. And I think it's clear what sort of game a company like Zynga would get behind. Kenneth Kully of the Ultima Codex says:

It will almost certainly be a social game, unless Portalarium have heavily overhauled their business model.​

It will be “fair handshake”-based free-to-play, as Garriott has stated in several interviews.​

It’ll likely be multiplayer to some extent, possibly with PvP.​

And it may or may not also target mobile. Garriott is a fan of mobile, which is actually quite versatile and makes an excellent gaming platform. But that’s rather more speculative than the rest of the above.​

So, what it'll it be? A Torment vs Ultima oldschool RPG deathmatch? If what Kenneth says is true, it'll probably be more of a curbstomp. But please feel free to surprise us, Mr. Garriott.

UPDATE: In a new post on his blog, Kenneth not-so-subtly hints that the game will not be what he thought it was going to be in his initial appraisal:

It’s the calling out of Linux — playing off the Mac/PC reference — that catches my attention the most. Could that be a subtle hint concerning the game engine that the Ultimate RPG will make use of? Will the Ultimate RPG eschew the social and mobile frontier and be revealed as a decidedly “first era” game: a standalone, single-player RPG, albeit one that might support some sort of optional multiplayer component?​

And furthermore, will the game be revealed at SXSW next Friday, in the special announcement Richard Garriott will be making in conjunction with a Descendants of Erdrick performance?​

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