Greetings Fellow Avatars!
Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:
- The Making of Solace Bridge Outskirts (update)
- Release 40 Postmortem Recap
- Autism Awareness Month Sale
- Telethon Goal: New Flame Pattern Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp!
- Patterns Weekend Flash Sale
- Upcoming Events Calendar
- Community Livestream: The Making of Verdantis Mines
- Community Event – The Great Wood Duck Hunt
- Community Event – Prism Presents a Grandmaster Tutoring Event
- Community Resources – Players Helping Players
- New Job Openings!
- Recommended Projects to Back
The Making of Solace Bridge Outskirts (update)
For several years now our backers have been providing us feedback that the first few hours of our game have several major issues. Those issues include too many loading screens, scenes that are too small, and starting towns that include player housing / vendors. As we shift our focus to improving the New User Experience (NUE), and as we are able to measure new player progress through events like our recent free trial, we realize that we must address these issues sooner versus later.
As we announced during the Spring Telethon, our solution to this is to add three new maps to the game that we are calling “Outskirts”. These scenes will be very close to the three starting scenes and players will go directly there after finishing those starting scenes. Outskirts will be very large scenes, similar in scope to some of our recent big scenes like Blood Bay. This will allow them to be large enough that players can base themselves in a single scene for adventuring, resupply for their first couple of hours without having to go through multiple scene loads, or having to use the Overworld. Each scene will have a small outpost that will include some shopkeepers, trainers, crafting stations, and a few quest givers (and no player housing!). The scenes will also include plenty of adventuring areas (forests, ruins, bandit camps, etc.).
Our first Outskirts scene is Solace Bridge Outskirts. It is downriver from Solace Bridge where the Solace River meets the ocean. The small army that was defeated at Solace Bridge has retreated here and sent on the villager refugees to Soltown. They have made camp in a ruined tower overlooking the swampy shoreline. However they are not getting to rest in their retreat for a nearby bandit camp is preying on them, stealing supplies. Plus across the river lie the ruins of an ancient village infested with the very undead they just retreated from! We hope to have this scene live in Release 41 or 42.
Update to The Ruined Village & Graveyard
Release 40 Postmortem Results
Our R40 Postmortem was this past Tuesday. We answered a ton of questions and gave away lots of in-game prizes, including a Hot Air Balloon Decoration, Gold Crowns, and a 2017 Lepus Mask.
While we did not have time to answer all the questions, Starr “Darkstarr” Long got on the forums afterward and answered the remaining questions here.
The livestream recording for those who missed the postmortem:
Autism Awareness Month Sale
April is Autism Awareness Month so we are putting all the Autism Make a Difference items on sale for 20% off until Monday May 1. Portalarium will donate 50% of the net purchase price of these items split equally between The National Autism Association, (a parent-run advocacy organization and the leading voice on urgent issues related to severe autism, regressive autism, autism safety, autism abuse, and crisis prevention) and The National Autistic Society, (the leading UK charity for people on the autism spectrum [including Asperger syndrome] and their families). Both provide information, support, services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism.
- Puzzle Pattern Cloak – Autism Awareness Charity (digital)
- Puzzle Tree Cloak – Autism Awareness Charity (digital)
- Puzzle Tree 6-Pack – Autism Awareness Charity (digital)
- Puzzle Package – Autism Awareness Charity (digital)
- Tabletop Puzzle Tree 3-Pack – Autism Awareness Charity (digital)
- Epic Puzzle Tree – Autism Awareness Charity (digital)
Telethon Goal: New Flame Pattern Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp!
Check out this just added Flame Pattern Stained Glass Oil Table Lamp to the list of Telethon Stretch Goal Rewards! The Summer Telethon is set for May 31st:
Patterns Weekend Flash Sale
We added over 100 new patterns to the game in Release 40! Half of those were added as in-game loot drops, but a few got added to the store as well! To celebrate we are putting all new Release 40 patterns on sale this weekend for 20% off.
Here is a complete list of the Release 40 patternss that you will find on sale this weekend:
- Ornate Chainsword Pattern Pack (digital)
- Ornate Kimono Pattern Pack (digital)
- Ornate Floral Kimono Pattern Pack (digital)
- Ornate Short Kilt Pattern Pack (digital)
- Ornate Long Kilt Pattern Pack (digital)
- Fancy Riding Outfit Pattern Pack (digital)
- Flechier Tapestry Formal Suit Pattern Pack (digital)
- Wedding Dress Pattern Pack (digital)
- Wedding Tuxedo Pattern Pack (digital)
- Satin Bodice Bundle Pattern Pack (digital)
- Ornate Marching Band Shirt & Hat Pattern Pack (digital)
- Brown Tricorn Hat Pattern Pack (digital)
- Brown Top Hat Pattern Pack (digital)
- Brown Bycocket Hat Pattern Pack (digital)
- Brown Highwayman Hat Pattern Pack (digital)
- Brown Plague Doctor Mask Pattern Pack (digital)
- Brown Plague Doctor Hat Pattern Pack (digital)
- Brown Bowler Hat Pattern Pack (digital)
Upcoming Events Calendar
Apr 27, 2017 – Release 41
May 25, 2017 – Release 42
June 29, 2017 – Release 43
July 27, 2017 – Release 44
Aug 10 – 14, 2017 – Syndcon (Austin)
Aug 31, 2017 – Release 45
Sept 1 – 4, 2017 – Dragon Con
Sept 22 – 23, 2017 – Ultima Online 20th Anniversary Party
Sept 28, 2017 – Release 46
Oct 13 – 15, 2017 – SotA Con 2017 (Austin)
Oct 26, 2017 – Release 47
Visit the official Community Calendar to see the great lineup of activities our amazing community has planned for this weekend! And be sure to check out this month’s Release Events thread in the SotA forums for additional events.
Community Livestream: The Making of Verdantis Mines
Chris “Sea Wolf” Wolf (World Builder/Level Designer on the team) is back to show you live the Making of Verdantis Mines, a new uncloned scene he’s working on!
Verdantis Mines is in the northern tip of the Mariah Mountains in the Verdantis region which can be found in the northwest of Novia. The elves of the region have been mining these mountains for many years and recently they broke through to an ancient underground city full of rich ore nodes and other treasures. It is also full of undead and in its deepest places Fire and Earth Elementals.
Verdantis Mines started as a clone of Graff Gem Mines but is being completely rebuilt and will hopefully go live in Release 41 or 42.
Community Events of the Week
The Great Wood Duck Hunt – Now thru 4/19
Vyrin & Womby’s new store has been infested by migrating wood ducks. If you can travel to New Britannian Market and help us find them all, we would be most appreciative! “Wooden ducks” have been hidden around the store. They could be in any spot on the property. Some are hidden in tough spots! Your job is to find them all. Once you think you have, PM @Vyrin and @Womby on the forum with the total number you found and the /loc location of each one. The /loc only has to be close, not exact. We only ask it to prevent guessing.
There are no metaphorical ducks, duck patterns or encoded ducks. You only have to find the literal wooden duck decoration items. The winner will be selected at random from all the correct entries. Entries are due by APRIL 19, 2017 @ 11:59 PM.
Prism Presents a Grandmaster Tutoring Event in Diamond Fields – Apr. 15th @1pm CT
We invite all grandmaster Crafters to come and share their knowledge to new and would be grandmasters! If more grandmasters donate their time then even more can be mentored. You must bring your own materials to this event. There are merchants very near by the crafting pavilion in Diamond Fields but prices may increase due to turn out (other sub pots have merchants in case this happens). A banker is also near buy so you can shuttle in your raw materials and squirrel them away ahead of time for the event.
You can teleport to Lace Delamorte, or zone into Port Phoenix and take the first boat on the left to Diamond Fields. Hope to see you there!
Community Resources – Players Helping Players
The official SotA New Player Welcome Forum and the Player Created Resources Forum have the best player created resources for Shroud of the Avatar, whether it’s a Player Written Guide, a Video Walk-through, or a Wiki-type Website.
Visit the official Community Resources page for a complete listing of all things community.
Job Openings: Quest Writer / Designer and Localization Coordinator / Quality Assurance
We currently have openings for a junior-level to senior-level Quest Writer / Designer, and a Localization Coordinator / Quality Assurance agent for Shroud of the Avatar. All jobs are full time contract positions onsite here in Austin, Texas. Qualifications for the “ideal candidates” are:
Quest Writer / Designer
- Preferred 2 years industry experience for junior-level (preferably on a shipped game but experience working on mods will be considered as well)
- Preferred 5 years industry experience for senior-level (minimum of at least 1 shipped game)
- Strong writing skills with an ability to craft believable characters
- Scripting ability
- BONUS: Unity3D proficiency
- BONUS: Level design experience
- BONUS: Experience with Quest design and implementation specifically for RPGs and MMOs
Localization Coordinator / Quality Assurance
- Strong communication skills
- Avid game player
- Experience with RPGs and MMOs
- Willingness to also do Customer Service tasks as needed
- Desire to expand into other areas of game development long term
- BONUS: Experience with Quality Assurance
- BONUS: Can speak and write two languages
- BONUS: Experience with Game Localization
If you’d like to join the Portalarium Tribe working on the ground-breaking Shroud of the Avatar, please submit your resume to email@example.com. Provide links to your work (if possible), including actual game play, videos footage, and documents (images, maps, and event descriptions).
Recommended Projects to Back – Wasteland 3
Our friends over at inXile have successfully completed their Kickstarter for Wasteland 3! The game is a party-based role-playing game with complex story reactivity and strategic combat. It also features a deep and engaging story utilizing a newly-revamped dialog tree system from the celebrated writers of Torment: Tides of Numenera!
By including vehicles, environmental dangers, and a revamped, more fluid action system, inXile is evolving on Wasteland 2’s deep tactical turn-based combat and unique encounter design. Play by yourself or with a friend in story-driven synchronous or asynchronous multiplayer. Choices open up (or close off) mission opportunities, areas to explore, story arcs, and lots of other content.
Backer Shipping Addresses
In preparation for shipping backers’ physical pledge rewards later this year, we have added Shipping Address fields to your Account Profile page. To enter your shipping address, log in to the SotA website, select “Account” in top right corner, then select “Edit Profile” located in top left corner, beneath your Avatar image.
A reminder to be sure that firstname.lastname@example.org is unblocked from your e-mail account!
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