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KickStarter Shroud of the Avatar - Lord British's Not-Ultima Online 2

Father Foreskin

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Prelude: I wanted as fucking retarded username as i could find and had to settle for this, because somebody was already calling himself Lord British on the internet.
Now i dont have any money in this game. But i have a dream. Someday i wake up with a giant schadenfreude-hardon. Then i will put on my schadenfreude bathrobe and start to read posts by the whales who lost thousands. I wont reply, gloat, troll or anything like that. I just let the warm glow of schadenfreude run through me from head to toe. Am i a bad person? Maybe, even probably. But im no Lord British. Fuck him.
 

Eggs is eggs

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They only have 2 months of operating expenses on hand? And they lost $6 million in the last 2 years?

I wonder what LB is making off of this. It costs $230k a month to sustain the company. Let's say rent, and other stuff is $30k. So that's $200k, divided by 29 employees is ~$7k a month salary per person. But obviously LB and Starr Long and the top people are making the majority of that money. Let's say a typical employee makes $3k a month. $3k * 27 = $81k. That leaves ~$120k PER MONTH for all the top people (LB, Starr Long, Hickman? not sure if there are any others). What a sick venture they have going. I mean how much of that $6 million directly went into LB's pockets?

Also, sales of 64k are REALLY low. The sales of the game will never pick up, even after launch. How many Ultima fans are out there besides the ones who have already either a) bought it or b) decided not to buy it because of what a mess it is?

Such a disappointment. I remember when LB first came out with this and was doing the original Kickstarter. It seemed like it had so much potential. But then they did nothing but release all this expensive, Star Citizen-esque crap to buy and leave it in a perpetual alpha state.
 
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vonAchdorf

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Such a disappointment. I remember when LB first came out with this and was doing the original Kickstarter. It seemed like it had so much potential. But then they did nothing but release all this expensive, Star Citizen-esque crap to buy and leave it in a perpetual alpha state.

I remember him demoing the text parser - but pretty much ignored most of what came after that. It always had a Molyneux vibe.
 

Father Foreskin

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I have located butthurt in following issues

- seedinvest pledges have unique shit that wasnt available during kickstarter. Also golden castle for only 30 000 dollars, so cheap.

- the pitch lies about the games existing features, claims that the game went beta a year ago. The game client still says alpha.

- Kickstarter backers are referred as "voluntary testers" now, while the new ones are investors. (This is the reality kinda)

- Release date leaked, the game will launch unfinished.

- Nothing on physical rewards and other undelivered things

- Mods on official forums deleting posts and locking threads related to seedinvest.

- The insane word twisting by Portalarium staff member about the launch. He claims that they are "launching the story" and not the game soon.

Lord british has been occupied tweeting about climate change and shit, i wonder if he touches this at all
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
:M http://ultimacodex.com/2017/06/correction-shroud-of-the-avatars-full-release-isnt-this-july/

Correction: Shroud of the Avatar’s Full Release Isn’t This July
BY WTF DRAGON · JUNE 2, 2017

libris_firstlook_02-1024x550-1024x550.jpg


It would appear that some incorrect information was conveyed, both by myself and by Portalarium, regarding the release date of Shroud of the Avatar. In a comment on yesterday’s news, Richard Garriott himself sets the record straight:

SORRY, there is an important mis-communication / understanding in what is being interpreted from our docs. We are releasing the STORY content in July. The shipping of the full game is expected LATER in the year, TBD.

Sorry for the confusion!
– Richard Garriott​

And, indeed, the SeedInvest page has been edited a bit to better reflect the expected release timeline for Shroud of the Avatar:

We believe that our prior earnings and cash flows are not indicative of future earnings and cash flows. The software is currently in development and expected to launch between July and November 2017 at which point sales are expected to increase.​

So, there you have it: the story of Shroud of the Avatar should be essentially complete by July of this year, but there will be several additional months of work put into the game thereafter; Portalarium appear to be targeting November as the actual release date.
 

taxalot

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Can't wait for WTF dragon and UltimaCodex to explain me that everything is going great and why is everyone complaining it's got all the features and it's so hard these days and all things considereds it's pretty fun to play and please shut the fuck up else Richard Garriott is not going to talk to us anymore and we plan to have another party and this time he gets to throw the pie at us and *SPLUT* and ha ha ha the UDIC is not awkward at all
 

Father Foreskin

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My expectations for schadenfreude were too high, this is more like sad. On the official forums Lord British made a visit. People are asking about new features and shit while any outsider can see its game over. Even if Portalarium made 5 mil on the seedinvest quagmire there is only so far you can go with a fundamentally shit game built from unity store assests.

What i dont understand is why didnt LB just pitch a single player ultima ripoff. It would probably have made some small amount of money while keeping the lights on. Now that he finally got to make a game without publisher intervention with an experienced team, he made this piece of shit.
 

Eggs is eggs

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He might've been a genius in the 80s, but in 2017 the guy seems to be clueless about game development. The project started as some kind of amorphous single player/MMO game that was designed to appeal to everyone and instead appealed to nobody. They obviously had no clue what the game was going to be like or what features were going to be in it and did a kickstarter anyway. They raised $10 million and started getting feature creep after feature creep. They didn't even have to develop an engine or most of the assets, which they did on virtually every other prior Ultima that he worked on. So all they had to do was implement content and story into the Unity engine. Instead, it seems like they have been trying to raise more money from whales by selling virtual houses, clothing and other dumb shit like that. Go on Steam. There are hardly any good reviews. Everyone says that it's a half baked POS. I went on the forums and someone mentioned that out of the 64k copies sold, there is an average online playerbase of 150 players. 150 out of 64,000. That's how few people are playing the game. It seems like they have gone the F2P route and are trying to cater to whales only at this point.

I would consider the SeedInvest venture to be an idiot test. If you haven't done 5 minutes of google searching to find out how much of a disaster this game is and you invest money in it, you truly are an idiot.
 

commie

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Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
it's going to be a fascinating (and hilarious) experience watching this game's shit hit the fan.

Whilst I have no sympathy at all for Chris Roberts, I can't help but feel disappointed in Richard Garriott. He made my favourite games when I was a child. Not just good, but genuinely life-changing. Although this should have been eminently predictable given the direction his games started heading when the technical limitations of a tile-based, turn-based world were removed.

:negative:

This is a common thing among most of our old heroes. I've said before that their genius lay in them working with the limitations of the times and knowing exactly what is important to the game experience and what is superfluous. Games were lean but crammed with as many features as they could be and the majority enhanced the experience far beyond what was normally possible. Where cuts had to be made, additional information, lore etc. would be in printed form to further increase the 'immersion' into the world etc.

This is all well and good, but if you read a lot of their interviews then and since, they often come up with really shockingly retarded thoughts about what they'd have liked to add (like full VO, cutscenes, simplified gameplay, RT combat etc.) but couldn't due to the limitations they faced hardware wise. So it's a mix of ability and the happy coincidence of low power hardware that helped create the great stuff we grew up with.

'Lord' British is just one in a long line unfortunately...can go to JVC, Molyneux, Meier, Roberts, Spector, Bradley and so on.... :despair:
 

decaf

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This is all well and good, but if you read a lot of their interviews then and since, they often come up with really shockingly retarded thoughts about what they'd have liked to add (like full VO, cutscenes, simplified gameplay, RT combat etc.) but couldn't due to the limitations they faced hardware wise. So it's a mix of ability and the happy coincidence of low power hardware that helped create the great stuff we grew up with.

'Lord' British is just one in a long line unfortunately...can go to JVC, Molyneux, Meier, Roberts, Spector, Bradley and so on.... :despair:
:despair:
 

Hobo Elf

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Also, sales of 64k are REALLY low. The sales of the game will never pick up, even after launch.

Did anyone expect it to not turn out like this? When you make a game that tries to cater to both MMO and singleplayers, you cater to no one. Fans looked at the pitch and they wanted either the Ultima or Ultima Online experience, but when they see Lord British claiming that SotA is going to provide both experiences, no one is going to believe him. This is the end result.
 

Infinitron

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Richard Garriott Reassures Shroud Of The Avatar Backers About Their $11 Million

pdyet2a4yqajghcuxgzn.jpg


Today, Portalarium, the company headed up by Ultima creator Richard Garriott, announced a new equity crowdfunding campaign for its Kickstarted MMO, Shroud of the Avatar. In doing so, it disclosed financials and future plans that caught fans and backers off guard, leaving them feeling uneasy about the game’s future. But Garriott says there’s no reason to worry.

Fans on Reddit and Shroud of the Avatar’s official forums were surprised by the equity crowdfunding site’s disclosure of Portalarium’s financial state, which stands at $528,000 in the bank with monthly expenses of around $230,000. That seems rather low, considering that the game managed to raise $11,614,524 since the initial crowdfunding drive in 2013, via a mix of Kickstarter, early access game sales, pledges, and special events like telethons.

“Where is all the money?” asked the topic starter of a thread on Reddit. “What happened to all our pledge money?!”

Garriott, speaking with Kotaku over the phone today, said that those numbers don’t tell the full story.While the project hit the ground running with nearly $2 million, Portalarium has generally had around the same amount it has in the bank right now at any given moment, he said.

“We earn about the same amount as we spend every month,” Garriott said, “and that has been true for the majority of the existence of this company.”

“Our company has about 30 people in it, some full-time, some contractors,” he said. “We size our company based on the trend lines we see in our revenue growth. We have a great deal of comfort in saying we could continue to develop the game as a small company with a relatively small player base.”

Garriott says the point of this round of funding is not an attempt to save the company from going broke, but to scale Portalarium up to allow it to do marketing and perform the other functions of a publisher—first for the PC version of Shroud of the Avatar, and then perhaps someday, for versions of the game on other platforms.

Beyond that, Garriott told me he’d even like to publish other games, though he has no concrete plans along those lines at the moment.

Fans were also surprised to see the SeedInvest site state that the full game, currently in early access, would launch in July. This, Garriott says, was a mistake that has since been corrected: although the game’s main story mode will launch in July, the full game will launch later in the year.

Fans also raised issue with some of the features described on the new funding page. “What choices? What changes? What game are they describing?” wrote a poster on the game’s forums. “Establish trade routes? Conquer a town? In what game?”

Garriott said that most of those things are indeed in the game in some form, and Portalarium regularly keeps backers abreast of which features are incoming and how and why they’re being implemented. “There was never a plan to ‘conquer a town,’” he says. But he went on to explain that the game’s villain faction, the Obsidian Cabalists, can lay siege to towns, and players can lift those sieges by defeating them.

“The other thing [‘conquer a town’] could be construed with,” he said, “is ownership of a control point. To pass through them, you’ve gotta fight your way through. They can also be cleared.”

It’s definitely a little strange that Garriott himself wasn’t quite sure to what the text on his own game’s funding page is referring. Even if, in the grand scheme of things, a small detail like that isn’t a deal-breaker, it’s easy to see why fans find the game’s messaging to be sloppy.

Some fans fear that Portalarium was deliberately trying to mislead people, and they want to see the funding page taken down. Seeing a game that earned a generous amount of crowdfunding looking for more money is always apt to deal a blow to one’s faith in the project, and to hear recent Steam reviews and discussions tell it, some fans’ faith was already hanging by a thread. It’s been four years, and the game is still pre-alpha. It’s far from feature-complete despite a plan to launch later this year. It’s also running on a tight budget, even if Garriott says it’s self-sustaining.

For his part, Lord British says there’s no cause for alarm.“We keep doing what we’re doing,” he said. “That’s how we’ve been operating for four years. We’ve been continuing to sell stuff online, periodically running telethons, and adjusting the size of our company to match the revenue from contributions. So that’s how we’ll continue.”
 
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Father Foreskin

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BREAKING NEWS!!

I was in Austin for my monthly foot massage at Psychetruth wellness center. Since i had spare time i attempted get an interview from a Portalarium staff member. I finally found a person but he was under NDA and wanted to be called "John" instead of giving his real name. Heres the interview.

FF: it must have been a rough week for you guys, is this seedinvest thing and the negative feedback affecting the development team?

John: All is fine. You gotta make the dough, everything else is just noise.

FF: some backers have paid a lot of money for this, do you think their concerns are just noise too?

John: Let me ask you something. Ever met a fucktard who drops 50k on crowdfunding? They dont have concerns, they have issues.

FF: uuhh ok... there has also been talk about the project being mismanaged. Whats it like to work with Lord British?

John: A great visionary, truly an inspiring person. Finest strain of nigger to walk the earth.

FF: What do you think of the games current condition?

John: I havent played it. I saw some hypevideo on Youtube, the game looked like shit.

FF: So you dont even play the game at all? Do you even intend to?

John: Fuck no. Ive never been high enough to even attempt to play that pile of shit. And ive been high allright, i went to space bitch.

Thats all i got from him.
 
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Sceptic

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Divinity: Original Sin
For his part, Lord British says there’s no cause for alarm.“We keep doing what we’re doing,” he said. “That’s how we’ve been operating for four years. We’ve been continuing to sell stuff online, periodically running telethons, and adjusting the size of our company to match the revenue from contributions. So that’s how we’ll continue.”
The conspicuous lack of "we'll deliver the product we promised in the Kickstarter campaign" is duly noted.

I'm genuinely curious to see what's going to be released this summer, and whether it's in any way similar to what was promised so many years ago, doubtful as that may be.
 

smileyninja

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I'd like to thank everyone here for saving me $80. I had pledged that amount when the kickstarter was in progress. After reading through this forum, I immediately cancelled my pledge- and put half of it into The Mandate instead.
 

Metro

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Browsing through the Steam forum today and saw this:

You have been permanently banned from all Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues discussions.
You were banned by a Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues developer.

I don't even remember posting there... guess it was a long time ago to call it out for the scam it is...
 

Grauken

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For his part, Lord British says there’s no cause for alarm.“We keep doing what we’re doing,” he said. “That’s how we’ve been operating for four years. We’ve been continuing to sell stuff online, periodically running telethons, and adjusting the size of our company to match the revenue from contributions. So that’s how we’ll continue.”
The conspicuous lack of "we'll deliver the product we promised in the Kickstarter campaign" is duly noted.

I'm genuinely curious to see what's going to be released this summer, and whether it's in any way similar to what was promised so many years ago, doubtful as that may be.

From the start they worded a lot of details about the project as vaguely as possible to be read as just about anything (it's single-player like Ultima, also it's an MMORPG like Ultima Online, etc.). At that time I was still pretty trigger-happy when it came to kickstarter projects and this approach even then felt scam-y to me not to support it. Not much pity for people who pledged it expecting another single-player Ultima, when it was obvious the furthest thing on Garriott's mind.
 

Prime Junta

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Yeah this one stank to high heaven from the get-go. Did not pledge, didn't even come close.
 

grimace

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taxalot

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Not to mention the general funding strategy, it is also quite amazing how incredbily ugly this game manages to look. It looks like they went for the AAA stylized look, but the blend of ultra generic fantasy and low budget makes a world where everything looks plastic. It is a game where you don't even need motion to feel in uncanny valley. The lighting is off, the assets look like they are from the unity store even though they are probably not. Amazing. It must have taken some effort to make it look this bad.
 

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