Fans of the Ultima series now finally have a reason to rejoice. Series creator Richard Garriot, aka Lord British, has started a Kickstarter campaign for a new game, dubbed Shroud of the Avatar: Forbidden Virtues. The game is set to be an old-school RPG, much like the older Ultima games, and is set to be the spiritual successor to the Ultima franchise.
Garriot has set a goal of $1 million to make the game, and the campaign seems to be going well. With 27 days to go, the campaign is more than halfway funded, with current funds sitting at $693,441 at the time of writing.
According to the official description of the game, “Using state-of-the-art tools and technology, the game will focus on what made his seminal Ultima Series great. Once players are introduced to the game, they will discover their own story woven into the immersive world and lore surrounding them. Players may choose to follow the life of the adventurer or, if they prefer, focus on exploration and discovery. Players may even choose the life of a homesteader; either nestled within the safety of the settled lands, or on the dangerous but potentially lucrative frontier.”
Will we have a Lord British Postulate this time, I wonder
The psychological profiling to decide a character's starting equipment that was used in the Ultima games will be making a comeback. This basically asks you what you would do in certain scenarios and assigns you a class depending on your answers. According to the description, players will be free to choose their paths as well, but must then live with the consequences of their actions.
Garriot has outlined some guidelines for the RPG. These include a fully interactive world where if something looks usable, it should do something, original fiction that deals with cultural histories, alternate language text and ethical parables, physical game components including a cloth map, fictional manuals and trinkets, and the ability to play the game either solo or in multiplayer.
The game will also feature full-on roleplaying tools such as allowing players to have housing for their characters. The price of the housing will depend on the location, with villages having the cheapest houses. The houses will evolve over time as players accumulate money to expand their modest estates.
In a nod to Garriott's early RPG works, Shroud of the Avatar is split up into a high-level overland map and adventure scenes. Scenes are generally re-playable and can be experienced solo or with others.
The developers’ pedigree is great, with a lot of them having worked on several highly-acclaimed games, including the Ultima series, Dragon Age: Origins, Wing Commander, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Guild Wars II and System Shock.
The game is currently planned to be released for Windows, Mac and Linux.
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