One of the latest Kickstarter games comes from one of gaming’s most venerable legends: Richard Garriott de Cayeux, better known as Lord British.
Today, the man behind the Ultima series, an RPG series dating from the 1970s which broadly influenced RPG design in North America, Japan, and Europe, launched a Kickstarter for a project currently known as Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. It is not an Ultima title, strictly speaking, since Electronic Arts holds the copyright to the Ultima series and Garriott is no longer involved with EA. Portalarium, Lord British’s current development studio, has set a goal to raise US $1,000,000 within 30 days on Kickstarter. As of this writing, 6,344 backers had raised a total of US$344,837, after one day. The game’s primary platform is the PC, although Portalarium has also expressed interest in making it playable on mobile platforms.
The game will be an episodic fantasy RPG with 3-D graphics, however, the developers promise that within the fantasy world, you will not be limited to cracking skulls and racking up loot, as the game will eschew the traditional class system. A robust crafting system, inspired by Minecraft according to Garriott de Cayeux’s video feed, is planned. The game is described as a multiplayer RPG with a persistent world in which your friends can join you, but is not an MMORPG as it is traditionally understood by most gamers.
As with most Kickstarters, larger pledges earn larger rewards. Smaller pledges earn beta access and digital copies, larger pledges earn physical trinkets and cameos in the game, and the truly dedicated ($10,000!) will be treated to a tour of Britannia Manor, Garriott’s home in Austin, Texas with Garriott himself, and an ultra-rare physical copy of Garriott’s first RPG, Akalabeth.
The estimated release date, according to the game’s Kickstarter page, is October 2014.