The Origin of Shroud of the Avatar

Posted: May 8, 2014 in Commentary, Shroud of the Avatar


Shroud of the Avatar all started out as an idea to create a mobile and social media game in the RPG genre.

Richard Garriot, AKA “Lord British,” wrote a letter titled Ultimate RPG Defined. In that letter, he declared the era of the PC and the MMO to be over, proclaimed himself to be the essential ingredient of the “Ultimate RPG” and announced his intentions to build it as a mobile game and social media game. Previous Portalarium products included Port Casino Poker and Ultimate Collector. The intention was to use those previous projects to build technology which would be reused in their next game, which was to be the “Ultimate RPG.”

What actually ended up happening is Portalarium accepted money from venture capitalists to develop mobile and social media games, failed to gain traction and almost ran out of funds, then did a complete 180 after seeing the success of Chris Roberts’ Star Citizen, a high-end PC game.

After speaking with Chris, they decided to proceed to make a PC game and an MMO, both of which were purportedly part of a dying era, according to Richard Garriot.

With only three months of funds left and little else but a vague idea, they proceeded to make a game demo using Unity and assets purchased from the Unity Asset Store. In all, they spent 45 days on the effort.

Rumors circulated for a while as they attempted to drum up hype. Much of the history of this period is archived here on the Ultimate RPG Facebook page. A countdown timer was published at When the countdown ended at 10 AM CST on March 8th, 2013, the game was formally announced and renamed to Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. At the same time, a 30 day Kickstarter campaign was started, with a goal to raise one million dollars. On April 7th, 2013, the campaign concluded, raising $1,919,275 from a total of 22,322 backers.

“Forsaken Virtues” is right.

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