This is the final week of the daily Dev updates. After this we switch to a weekly or bi-monthly update series. However, we should get more frequent updates in the soon to be released Dev forums. It’s pretty clear a lot is going to happen before the end of the month.
For this time around we learned that the world will be bordered by water and there is currently no method of sailing a ship off the continent. This means you can reach the edge, but you can’t cross. Once we get to Episode 2 a new continent will become available through some “event” such as volcano or earthquake and the impassible water tile will be swapped out with a tile we can cross. This will lead us to the next part of the story so the adventure can continue.
Before the end of the month we should also see some more demo content for the game. And each month following that even more of the game should be ready to demo. This will let us see screenshots, quick gameplay sequences and examples of the new features like crafting. Lord British is looking for each month to be a small milestone where he can show off the the work they’ve done so far and get feedback from the community. We should see the game evolve and have a direct impact on the features we like and don’t like and offer suggestions for improvement. And don’t forget, what we’ve seen so far is nothing more than a prototype or proof of concept. None of the SotA team assets have been placed in the game. The world is going to change dramatically right in front of our eyes!
Another thing to expect, perhaps today or by the end of the weekend is a new SotA store where we can buy Swag. From the discussion, not only can we make the layaway purchases for higher tiers, but the usual fair like t-shirts and posters should become available. There was also a hint that once the box cover is done we *might* be able to buy posters of that. It certainly sounds like a lot of the game elements and iconic images will become tangible items. There was no definitive list of what will be in the store at the start, but it sounds like a store is coming and it will build over time.
We also have a lot of new digital assets, especially from Stephen who uploaded his sketches from the 24 hour marathon plus new scenes of the desert and a brand new one of the catacombs. The catacombs will actually link cities together and may even contain their own cities so they will play a big part in the game. We’ll all end up down there sooner or later. We should have some very nice desktop wallpaper to show off!
One of the links back to the original Ultima series will be the use of the Runic Language. Lord British will have three different languages in the game including a phonetic language and a pictographic one. These will be used to guide players and I suspect we’ll need to study up on them so we can understand the “clues” that I’m sure will dot the land and quests. The elements will probably be used in the “treasure hunting” quests that were discussed. Not only can players set up their own little side quests, but the team will make their own so players will have a reason to explore different parts of the world.
Finally, even though it’s a long way off, there is talk of how to test the “endgame”. How can they make sure everything works? Well, some players may actually be teleported to the end for the big reveal to make sure it all works. I’m sure that will be a pretty select group of people sworn to secrecy and threatened with smiting! It will be pretty amazing to see how this episode turns out. If Lord British is reading along, I’d be happy to take up the mantle to see how it all turns out.
We have a lot to look forward to this month. I’m keen to see some new gameplay and get in those Dev forums. Also, Stephen has confirmed he will use Tuesday at 3PM (CST) as his time to work with the community to make new art and get feedback on graphic elements. In his words he will play the part of Bob Ross for the community. I will be tuning in for that!
Onward and upward my friends! The team is back on track, the Kickstarter project is disappearing into the past and the SotA sight is about to burst at the seams with new information. There is TONS of work to be done and soon there will be requests for user submitted content. The beta is scheduled for the end of the year so it’s going to be a fast and furious 7 months. I’m so looking forward to this!
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- Dev Hangout at 4PM CST 5/16/2013
- The new SotA store is in testing and should be available soon!
- Dev Hangout 4-12-2013 – And the Winners Are??
- Welcome to the SotA Travel Guide
- Kickstarter in the rearview mirror, Shroud of the Avatar on the horizon
- The Shroud of the Avatar pledge drive/lock-in was awesome!
- So we can keep upgrading our pledges for a full year?
- Wondering about the SotA story? Progress has been made! Dev Hangout for 4/30 will feature Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott talking about the story
- One Year Shroud of the Avatar Celebration!
- Dev Hangout with Chris Spears and Richard Garriott