Video: Redefining the RPG with Shroud of the Avatar (and a million dollars)

Richard Garriott, who designed and created the Ultima franchise, is asking for a million dollars on Kickstarter to fund a new game titled Shroud of the Avatar.

According to Garriott (aka Lord British), Shroud of the Avatar represents the reinvention of classic, fantasy role-playing game that will focus more on player choices and discovery, rather than level grinding.

“While advancements in graphics and sound have been phenomenal, in many ways the virtual worlds we play in have become less real. Less open. Less immersive,” Garriott explained on Kickstarter.

“Once players are introduced to Shroud, 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.”

Additional in-game features are expected to include:

  • Fully interactive virtual world – If it looks usable, it should do something.
  • Deep original fiction – Ethical parables, cultural histories, fully developed alternate language text.
  • Physical game components will be available: Cloth map, fictional manuals, trinkets.
  • Multiplayer Online Game – which can also be played solo player / offline.
  • Classless character system.
  • Player housing
  • Villages and towns
  • Scene-based encounters

When complete, Shroud of the Avatar will be available for download on the PC, Mac OS X, and Linux. The game is expected to go live in October 2014. Additional info can be found here.