Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #198

Greetings Friends and Fellow Avatars! 

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:


The Making of Harvest (Unclone)

Harvest was a cloned scene using one of the PRT / POT templates based off of the Forest 01 base template (aka PaxLair). It is located in the Verdantis region in the Northwest region of Novia. It is getting rebuilt in Release 35 to show the plot specific elements of the Norgard occupation and also getting a heavily agrarian theme.  I was excited to see the terraced farming which I started to make a fuss about not having by including it in my Cult of Spears lore.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar]

Hey guys, SorcerousSteve here to give you an update on Harvest!

Harvest is located across the channel from Estgard. It is an area primarily focused on agriculture nestled along a red/yellow countryside that has recently come under occupation from Norgard forces. As an occupied town it has taken on some of the symbolism behind the color yellow and Norse influence of its Norgard conquerors.

Inspiration for Harvest was obtained from the Autumn Season and Upstate New York (Letchworth).

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Leaf covered trails cut through a forest of red and yellow.

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Fields of corn just outside of Harvest. Shout out to artist Reid Rollo for his great work on this Scarecrow!

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As an occupied town, Harvest has developed some trench defenses surrounding it, alongside a fort to maintain order.

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NPC Town Center

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South City Gate.

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Wheat Fields as far as the eye can see.

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Apple Orchards in the foreground while the Harvest Wind Farm can be seen off in the distance.

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Terrace farming along the river.

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Alongside being big on agriculture, Harvest also prides itself on fishing along the Norgard Channel.

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Level Designer
Esteben Zaldivar


The Making of Graff Island (Unclone)

Graff Island is located in the Drachvald region. It is in the northernmost reaches of Spindrift Bay across from Port Graff and is central to the gem trade of the region. It is the site of a factory that sculpts the gems into weapons, armor and other goods. It is also the home of the Graff family and their sprawling mansion. One of our new worldbuilders Travis started work on it this release and we hope to have it live in the game in its newly uncloned state in Release 36.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Travis “CorpPor” Koleski]

Hi everyone! Travis here. I’m a new world builder here on SotA, and I’ve been working on the Graff Island map. Here’s a couple of screenshots of how Graff Island is shaping up:

The Cliffs of Graff (to the left is the bay looking towards Port Graff)

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High in the hills of Graff Island

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Update to the Darkstarr Moondial

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Scottie” Jones]

Long ago Stephen Daniele created numerous sketches for a special type of orrery we were wanting to offer called the Darkstarr Moondial… Back then, though Richard and Starr both really loved the idea of this kind of cool decoration, we hadn’t yet had the chance to fully develop our cosmology and astronomy, and so we had Bob create a beautiful placeholder based on Stephen’s concept art, knowing we’d eventually have to go back and change the final 3-D art to match what our sky-scape would become.

Now that we have finally nailed down the basics of what heavenly bodies exist for our world, and essentially how we want them to move, the time has come to update our old efforts to reflect them! Not only was I able to take Bob’s excellent work and maintain it as a basis, but I was also able to update the material and textures a bit to take the most advantage of some of the recent improvements in the Unity shaders! Here’s what the updated Darkstarr Moondial orrery now looks like!

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The earlier version had only three lunar bodies moving around Novia, not including the sun and the shattered moon…so we had complete orbital rings rotating around the old Novia sphere in wildly different directions that didn’t even match the actual orbital plane of rotation around the planet… Now I’ve added all eight of the additional heavenly bodies representing the “anti-virtuous acts”, and they all rotate correctly around Novia along the same broad orbital plane as the sun… The great serpent now rises up through the empty path that the lost moon that shattered our greater moon once traveled. (I’ll add as an addendum here that I’m currently unsure whether this will actually replace the old Moondial version, or whether it will be merely offered as an option for those that would like to have an updated, astronomically accurate model… Some folks might want theirs to remain the way it was, and Portalarium Management will need to decide how they’d like to handle this… ^_^)

The off-kilter crescent-shaped circular arcs piercing the moons are at varying angles compared to the greater orbital plane, and though they don’t describe the actual path of the moons around Novia (since all the moons have now been established as rotating upon the same orbital plane around Novia as the sun does) the arcs DO whimsically represent the fact that each of those rotating bodies has its own individual axis around which it spins in place as it orbits, and that axis is offset from the angle of the greater orbital plane by a factor of degrees (unique to each moon). Those arcs pierce perpendicularly through those various different lunar axes. For the sake of this moving model (as with our actual sky-dome), each of the moons orbits at a different speed (which might eventually match the actual speed of the real moons in-game), which causes the offset arcs to create beautiful, constantly varying configurations that one could imagine describe the greater firmament and its hidden constellations in some arcane manner. Here you can see the moons all having rotated a bit at different speeds, exposing different patterns while still remaining on the single orbital plane.

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Eventually Finn will be tasked with trying to match the speed of the actual heavenly bodies in-game, so that special conjunctions and lunar locations can be recognized and enjoyed even if it’s broad daylight! Though I must admit, I really like the look of it animating more swiftly as it is now, so that it looks like a beautiful piece of slowly swirling kinetic sculpture…. Perhaps there will be the option of either having it move at fast speed, or reconfigure to show the actual lunar locations at their current speed, merely by clicking on the orrery itself! I’ll suggest it and see what they say!…

Anyway,…enjoy! I stayed late getting this done because I’m off to ACL Fest tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!

Scottie ^_^


R34 Postmortem Recap

The Release 34 Postmortem as always did not have time to answer as many the questions as viewers would have liked, but Starr Long and Chris Spears got on the forums afterwards and answered some of the questions that were missed.

Here’s the video for those who missed it:


Policy Change: POT Ownership TransfersSotA_PlayerOwnedTowns

Effective immediately, any ownership transfers of a Player Owned Town on an account with claimed rewards will NOT include Rewards: Lot Markers, NPCs, NPC Buildings, Add On Store Homes, Broadcast Phonograph, Wax Cylinders, etc. Rewards will have to be traded in-game between seller and purchaser. This makes them work identically to pledges, bundles, etc. The devs have made this policy change because of the different states that POTs can be in and how some owners have already claimed those rewards and then used, transferred, or sold them. Thus, players were taking advantage of the system to create duplicate items. Additionally these transfers require a $50 POT transfer fee.

3 Responses

  1. JoshBach says:

    The cities on this game, the player houses around the region, because everything is divided in small pieces of “world” to walk in and out… the mixing of sets is a cloned world with or without polishing.

    I fear the game is doomed in 2 ways:
    – a short life, 2 episodes and a graveyard of decorations, with very few players.
    – a terrible backfire, with backers seeing his money toasted.

    The game is result of pure nostalgia, the comunity love is sometimes close to hypocritical.

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      While I will totally agree that the nostalgia level is high, I’m not quite seeing where the charge of hypocrisy comes from.

      • JoshBach says:

        The hypocritical is for the producers, they are community too, but, in some way, everybody is distorting their own concepts of virtues.

        Considering how nostalgia + attitude reacts the convulsions.