Richard Garriott announces Shroud of the Avatar

Richard Garriott's spiritual successor tot he Ultima series has finally gotten a name, and is well on its way to becoming fully crowd-funded. Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is coming from Garriott's Austin-based game studio, Portalarium. It will be a digital PC title, with planned downloadable episodes to follow.

The announcement promises the ability to weave your own personal story into the overarching narrative--for example, you could be an adventurer on the frontier, a safe-and-sound homesteader, or an explorer. It also aims to "profile" you akin to the Ultima titles, and will then react to your behavior and decisions. When you make a choice, you'll have to live with the consequences.

The game is seeking crowd-funding on Kickstarter, and in only a few hours has raised nearly $150,000 of its $1 million goal. The official site answers some questions and solicits feedback.

"Shroud of the Avatar will include what I think are the keys to an ultimate role-playing experience," Garriott said in the announcement. "These important tenets include things like a fully interactive virtual world, deep original fiction with ethical parables such that players' choices are relevant, cultural histories and fully developed alternative languages and text. Also we want our players to have physical game components like cloth maps, fictional manuals and trinkets. These are all things that people came to expect in my earlier works and we plan on bringing them all back to create Shroud of the Avatar."