Shroud of the Avatar developer Portalarium will pay backers to create custom assets.
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is no stranger to involving its fans. The in-development MMORPG was the beneficent of a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $2 million and, since then, has managed to raise half a million more via fundraising through the game's official website. That being the case, the game's developers at Portalarium recently took the time to detail some of the ways it will be drawing on its community of fans and backers moving forward.
Lord British - otherwise known as Richard Garriott, the designer of Ultima and Tabula Rasa - returns to his fantasy RPG roots by Kickstarting Shroud of the Avatar, hearkening back to his innovative early work.
Included among these methods is a "Unity Asset Store Loop" and crowdsourced art. On the Unity front, the developers will "start with the normal path of purchasing assets from the Unity Asset Store." These assets will then be modified and improved for use in the game by Portalarium. Afterward "we then give the improved versions back to the original creators for free" so those parties can further profit from them. "We only request that they add 'as seen in Shroud of the Avatar' to the asset," said Shroud of the Avatar developer Starr Long.
Qualifying users will also be able to submit their own art directly to the developers. If their content winds up being used in the game, Portalarium will pay them for their efforts or offer them double the commission fee "if the submitter chooses to apply the payment to [a Shroud of the Avatar] pledge." Content submission is being restricted to backers with a minimum Developer-level pledge. The studio is currently also releasing tutorials to give users pointers on the production of concept art, game art and the use of Unity.
Other efforts will include a series of planned game Game Jams, the first of which included a 48-hour Scene Jam the developer launched last week. To help execute these, the developer is providing participants with game assets to help in their efforts. High-level backers are also being given access to a "Build Your Own Dungeon" program to create custom content that the developer will take off their hands for cash. Finally, backers at all levels will have access to a private forum where they can discuss the game with the team, vote on art and help flesh out the game's FAQ. All of these efforts are meant to help push Shadow of the Avatar forward while also involving its community in its ongoing development.