Richard Garriott Unveils 11-Minute Shroud of the Avatar Demo


Richard “Lord British” Garriott demonstrates crafting, questing and puzzles in a new Shroud of the Avatar demo.

When Richard “Lord British” Garriott announced Shroud of the Avatar, he immediately stoked the excitement of countless fans of classic role-playing hoping for a return to the form he helped to foster in his landmark Ultima series. The new MMO, in turn, looks as though it will be incorporating a number of features that are decidedly old school, several of which Garriott himself demonstrated in a recent video of a “90-days-in” prototype of the game.

The demo begins with Garriott taking his character out into the wild to collect some wood. After fighting off a spider he approaches a tree and starts chopping away at it with an axe. Eventually the tree falls over and Garriott, wood in tow, returns to a nearby village where he uses a sawmill and carpentry bench to craft a chair that he then positions in a house and sits in. Garriott took this as an opportunity to reflect on his philosophy of game world interactivity, “When creating a highly detailed interactive virtual world, it was always a big deal to me … that all the props you see were useful in the way you expect them to be useful,” he said.

Following his adventure in chair making, he heads to a nearby tavern and spoke with the bartender. Rather than selecting from preset text options, Garriott types in questions and text that the NPC was, impressively, able to respond to. The discussion eventually veers toward the subject of a nearby dungeon. Though no quest is explicitly assigned, he directs his character to the mentioned location and explores it. “There is no quest log. It is really up to you as a player to see what is happening a game and make decisions about what you believe is important,” commented Garriott. After a bit of quick dungeon delving and puzzle solving, the demo ends.

While still clearly in an early form, Shroud of the Avatar looks to be shaping up nicely. Granted, some of its more classic sensibilities could limit its user-base. That being the case, things like the impressive success of its Kickstarter would suggest that there’s an audience of gamers hungry for an experience akin to what Garriott is trying to offer.

Source: PC Gamer

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