As unlikely as it might seem, it’s actually a pretty good time to be a fan of classic PC role-playing-games. from the upcoming Torment: Tides of Numenera to Pillars of Eternity to the recently released Wasteland 2, there’s plenty of titles to get excited about, and Shroud of the Avatar is one of such titles.
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is in fact the first game being developed by Portalarium Games, a new studio headed by Ultima creator Richard Garriott. The game itself is being hailed as a spiritual successor to the Ultima series, which is probably why the game achieved a jaw-dropping $1,919,275 in funding on Kickstarter, nearly double its original $1 million goal.
Recently, the game’s Kickstarter page and official website were updated with a very thorough list of details on the latest pre-alpha release, titled Release 11, along with news that Shroud will be making its way to Steam Early Access on November 24.
The move to Steam comes as a result of better-than-expected reception on Steam Greenlight, which encouraged the studio to make its decision. Shroud can still be played without Steam, though, but Portalarium are hoping that their backers will play the game with Steam in order to give feedback on bugs and such.
Release 11 of Shroud also comes with a bevy of additions, such as new maps, more diverse wilderness locations, tweaks and changes to spells and skills, new recipes, clothes, decorations, and other miscellaneous tweaks.
Thanks to its generous level of funding, Portalarium have the budget to make Shroud a fully-featured RPG, with features like pets, player housing, crafting, both online and offline play, NPC conversations in which replies are typed instead of selected from a series of choices, and so on. The studio is hoping to put out a full release sometime next year for the Windows, OS X and Linux systems.