October 13 2017

Helen Garriott Auction Spotlight + SotA Bonus Golden Moon Dial Auction Spotlight


This was an exciting auction to come across my radar, as while I have heard a lot of the Garriott stories I had never heard of this one!

Story or not the photo is fantastic. You can see the pure wonderment on Helen’s face, and Owen in the background has a huge grin!

$10.00 Starting bid with reasonable shipping, this is a cool addition to someone’s collection!

1973 Press Photo Helen Garriott aboard Skylab II capsule-1st Woman in Space | eBay


Since I hate doing auction spotlights for just 1 item, I figured I will use some of my own blog space for a couple of auctions I am running for Shroud of the Avatar items, one in particular.

If you didn’t Seed invest but are a collector, then you may have your eyes on many of the Seed invest items. Currently, I have an auction that just started, running just a tad over two weeks, for a Golden Lord British Moondial, taking place on Caveloot.com.

Auctions – Caveloot.com

The Moondial to rich for your blood? Do you have some house decorating you need to do or having trouble keeping your vendor stocked and need goods to sell for profit?

I also have an auction running for a “Massive House Decorating kit” that comes with hundreds of items that should allow you to at least get a fairly decent start on the job, including storage! Current bid is $55.00 and that is CHEAP for this kit!

Auctions – Caveloot.com

Have item’s you want to auction? We only charge a 10% commission and do all the work, while you tell us how to run it! Contact stile@thecaverns.net for more information. Also, have a nice layout with the details on the Shroud of the Avatar forums here: Online Auction Services at Caveloot.com – Perfect for Selling Golden Items! | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

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September 29 2017

Waking Up To Castletown In the News Makes Me Sad

As a child, I remember waking up to the sounds and the smell of a coffee pot percolating in the kitchen, people rustling newspapers. As an adult today I wake up with a Mountain Dew, a Movie, doggies in my lap, and by going through the last 8-10 hours of emails, which also tends to determine my day’s work.

Today was both exciting and sad to me, as I saw an article had landed in my box about Richard Garriott’s land in Texas. Exciting as I have spent time on some of his property, sad because it is being sold.

Conserving land in Austin as the skyline grows | khou.com

This particular article talks a lot about the land development in Austin. What was of particular interest to me, that caused me to want to spotlight this piece, was this quote.

“This piece of property cannot be split up and developed, said Garriott. “It is now permanently set aside as a nature preserve.”

This is the first time I am aware of this and it pleases me greatly. I still have a lot of personal concerns about this piece of land whose history has touched me a bit. One of my largest is what will happen to the Theater, as it will be up to the new owners of Garriott’s land what happens to that. The Theater – The Baron's Men

Well, I certainly don’t have the $45 million dollars laying around, or I would most definitely purchase this fine parcel and would be content to spend the remainder of my life being a caretaker for it!

Enjoy the article, I did and found it informative!

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September 26 2017

Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Community, and It’s Developers in the News

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September 26 2017

Helen Garriott Auction Spotlight


Once again, I must painfully pass onto my readers the availability of this fine piece of Helen Garriott artwork which I have been lamenting for, for a long time! I try to always remind myself to be happy I already own one of her pots!

With her recent passing, these will only become more sought after, harder to find, and costly. So if you ever wanted one, now may be a good time to grab this.

Signed Helen Garriott Solar Candy Jar Dishes with lid | eBay

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September 25 2017

Garriott Auction Spotlight


Up for auction on eBay is a press photo of Owen Garriott with Richard Garriott as a child. I’ve not only seen this photo before in various articles about the Garriott’s, I think I’ve linked to a few of them that used this cover photo.

It’s definitely an iconic piece, as it reaches out and touches the family in you. Personally, If I had the funds for this I would buy it and mail it to Richard. As I don’t, I instead pass it on to you my fellow collectors!

Did I say auction? It’s actually a buy it now, for a reasonable $20.00 with standard shipping rates.

1967 Press Photo Scientist and Astronaut Owen Garriott With His Son Richard | eBay

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August 30 2017

Portalarium, Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Dev’s, and It’s Community

CONGRADUUUUUULATIONS SHROUD OF THE AVATAR

Shroud of the Avatar has now successfully raised over Twelve Million in funding. That’s worth taking note of! My congratulations to everyone involved in that, something to be proud of.

Let’s take a look at some of the recent going on’s that are involved in that, shall we?


With Richard Garriott having opportunities to talk about it a bit at a Gaming Convention with over 350K people, I hope we will see a few new players!

Gamescom 2017 Keynote Speakers Announced; Includes Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene, Richard Garriott, and More

GamesCom 2017 – Preview

More than 350,000 attend Gamescom 2017 – Thumbsticks

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Panel Coming To Gamescom – GameSpot

Gamasutra – Press Releases- From Playerunknown's


Speaking of Richard Garriott and conventions.

Devcom to return in 2018 | GamesIndustry.biz


A community continuing to create resources for each other!

Travel journal about the South entrance to Dragomir Mori – Part 1 | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Travel journal about the South entrance to Dragomir Mori – Part 2 | Shroud of the Avatar Forum


The Rest…

Shroud of the Avatar works on replacing placeholder scenes – Massively Overpowered


Also if you did not see one of my new projects, I am running an online auction site now. Located in my store, Caveloot.com, where you can also find Shroud of the Avatar Items listed under the “virtual Games” category, under the “shop here” menu tab. More products being added all the time!

What’s great about this project is that we sell for the community for a fairly low commission. If you want to learn more about it why not just drop my an email at customerservice@thecaverns.net?

I also have a nice write-up detailing the program over here in the forums:
Online Auction Services at Caveloot.com being offered | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

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August 2 2017

Shroud of the Avatar, Portalarium, and it’s Developer in the News

Richard Garriott, as always, has been in the news a lot of late. Seriously, when is he not?

Both Portalarium and Shroud of the Avatar are also seeing a lot of increase in the news, with their Seed Invest campaign! Speaking of which, that is drawing to a close so if that interests you, get in on it!

A Lot of articles are being syndicated around on the bigger websites, as well as original pieces coming out. Here are some of those for you to check out!

Gamasutra – Press Releases – Travian Games and Portalarium Partner for Shroud of the Avatar as it Reaches Story Complete Milestone

Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar gets publishing help from Travian Games | VentureBeat | PC Gaming | by Jason Wilson

Travian Games to publish Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar | GamesIndustry.biz

Shroud Of The Avatar Team Gets New Partner | MMOExaminer

Portalarium Inks Deal with Travian for EU Publishing – Shroud of the Avatar – MMORPG.com

Update of the Avatar #235 – 2017.07.07: New Elves, Scene Polish, Shroud at RTX, Free Trial Live, Telethon Results, Your Questions Answered, New Flash Sale, Contest Winners, Community Events, and More! | Shroud of the Avatar

NEVERDIE Creates Interoperable Teleport Token to Use Across VR Worlds and Create Gamified Virtual Reality Jobs – CoinSpeaker

Portalarium Partnership with Travian Games | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Bullock Museum Scores Video Game Exhibit: “Pong to Pokémon” traces gaming’s Texas ties and rapid evolution – Screens – The Austin Chronicle

From "Pong to Pokemon," explore 50 years of electronic gaming at the Bullock Museum exhibit in Austin, opening Saturday, July 29 | Community Impact Newspaper


Want to hear how some things are going from the Developers themselves? Grab a bag of popcorn!

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July 25 2017

Ethereum & NEVERDIE Walkthrough Published by Browncoat Jayson

I saw this posted by Browncoat over in the Shroud of the Avatar forums and got permission to do a piece on it.

It’s a great article and I figured if I could get it out to those that don’t use the forums in the SotA community, as well as perhaps out past the SotA community, that would be great! The great individual he is, he said yes for the same reason. The more it’s helpful to the better!

So here it is in its fullness and if you are able, you may want to pop over to the forum thread and give him a thank you!
Walkthrough of Ethereum & NEVERDIE Block Chain Token Purchase | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

 

Since there is only a week left to purchase coins during the ICO, I went through the process and created this guide in order to help others who might be interested. However, first there are a few disclaimers:

1. I am not a financial advisor. If you are not comfortable transferring funds, or do not want to expose yourself to risk, I would not recommend you continue. Digital currency is not backed by the standard federal protection that banks and credit cards enjoy, so you will likely not have recourse if they are lost or stolen.

2. This is not a simple process. It involves setting up your own digital account, which may be too complicated for some. Again, if you are not comfortable with the concepts of block chain operation, cryptocurrency mining, and transfer of digital currency, I’d advise against continuing.

3. While not explicitly stated, there is a minimum amount you must convert to purchase the ICO. This amount is equal to 0.07 ETH (Ether, the currency of the Ethereum block chain) per coin type. The value of this flucuates, but is currently about $225 per 1 ETH, so this means you will need at around $16 worth of ETH (but you will need to convert more than that to cover charges for transactions and transfers). If you want both NeverDie Coins (NDC) and Teleport Tokens (TPT), you will need to convert around $40 to Ethereum.

If those have not scared you off, and are still wanting to continue, here is the steps for getting your own cryptocurrency. This guide assumes you have no cryptocurrency available; however, if you already have BitCoins (BTC), you should be able to use your existing wallet rather than signing up anew and can purchase Ether by converting BitCoin. If you are not interested, you can skip these steps and I’ll describe my impressions in the next section.

Walkthrough to Purchase NEVERDIE ICO

1. Download and install Chrome. Not only is it the only browser that you can use to get into the NEVERDIE wallet to make purchases, it allows you to install extensions to make monitoring your wallet easier.

2. Download and install an Ethereum Wallet client. NEVERDIE recommends using the MetaMaskParity, or Mist Browser wallets. I signed up for Parity, but they all function similarly. Parity also has a Chrome extension so I can see if Parity stops running for some reason.

The biggest issue I had was keeping it running. This is because Parity only installs to the C:\Users\ path and doesn’t want to be moved. I found a workaround, since my SSD is small enough that I kept running out of room with 30+ GB of bitchain info on it constantly being written. I didn’t want that anyway, so I moved it to my secondary SATA drive, and it worked fine.

3. The client should start automatically once it is installed (it runs in a command prompt window; don’t close it). Once it syncs, it will open a local site in your browser window where you can administer the application. If not, you can open it manually (https://127.0.0.1:8180/#/home for Parity).

4. Add an Account. Select an icon and enter a secure password. Note the long string (starting with 0x); this is your Ethereum wallet.

5. Purchase Ethereum. There are several places to do this, but I use (and recommend) CoinBase. You will either need to use a credit card, PayPal, or bank transfer to purchase Ethereum. Remember, you will need about $20 per coin type, minimum. Once you sign up at CoinBase and make a purchase, you will see another wallet string. You can click the button to the side of it to start a transfer; send it to your Ethereum wallet address. Note that this will invoke a transfer fee (variable depending on several factors, but not insignificant).

6. Once the Ethereum appears in your wallet (should take about 3 minutes), you can do to the NEVERDIE website. Click Wallet at the top to open the NEVERDIE Wallet; if all goes well you should see your icon and the Parity (or other wallet) logo at the bottom. If not, you will get a message that says No Account Found; verify that Parity is running and you can access it at the local site. You will get a short tour of the wallet before you can continue.

7. Click Get Neverdie Coins at the top. It will show you the amount of Ethereum you have at the top of the page. Enter much much ETH you want to use below the type of coin you want; minimum of 0.07 (~$16.00). Click “Get Neverdie Coin” or “Get Teleport Coin”, depending on which you want. Again, this will invoke a transfer fee in addition to the coin purchase amount. Repeat the process for the other coin type, if you want both. To get a nice round number of coins, bump up the ETH amount. For example, at 1 ETH = $224.93 USD (current), here are some numbers:

  • 65 NDC = 0.07221 ETH
  • 160 TPT = 0.07114 ETH

Last comes the waiting. My coins took around 20 hours to appear, but the Neverdie support says up to 48 hours is not uncommon. You can play around in the Neverdie Wallet, but until you have coins, there isn’t much to do.

My Experiences

So, I went through the process, and you can do it too. Now what?

Um… nothing?

Really, the NEVERDIE ICO is very early on. What it is designed to do is allow game companies to utilize the same currency across multiple games, which all have real world value. This means that NDC can be the “prestige” currency in different games. You can easily link these, transfer them between players, and then cash them out if you want. Sounds great, however its a little premature.

Why? Well, here is what I’ve found (which you can probably tell, based on the instructions above):

1. Its a pain to sign up and maintain your own wallet. Players won’t go through the effort.

2. Getting the money out of the bitchain and back into cash is expensive. Expect at least 3% charge to get money into Ethereum, and 6%+ to get it back out again.

3. It can take up to 48 hours to get new coins. Gamers are not that patient. See also, instant gratification.

4. The games available are… lacking? Only Neverdie’s own ROCKtropia game is currently available, with two more (AmeVRica and Asgard VR) in funding phases.

5. I think game makers, especially ones like Portalarium who already have a successful Add On Store, can easily “roll their own” method to allow players to move cash in/out of the game. This can already be done to some extent, but just one more step would make this 100% possible. I’ll quote myself from the other thread:

6. There are other successful digital currencies that I’d rather see explored that a complicated cryptocurrency. Put Gold CotOs up for purchase with Razer’s zGold, where players get credit toward buying Razer hardware. Amazon Coins are another option.

I’m glad to see Richard joining Neverdie Studios in exploring what this type of currency can do, and looking toward the future of gaming. However, I’m just not convinced that it is a mature enough field for gamers to jump into. Maybe some day, when our operating systems are virtualized and creating digital accounts is par for the course, but not today.

Hope this helps those who want to give it a shot. Let us know if your experiences are different than mine!

Do you have an article appropriate for this website that you would like me to publish? I would love to take a look! Just send that to stile@thecaverns.net

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July 24 2017

Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Players, and It’s Developer’s in the News

This is another one of those summary pieces. Oozes and Blobs that have crossed my path fairly recently that I hadn’t passed along yet and all that.

You may remember a little while back that Protalarium was doing an AMA on Reddit for Shroud of the Avatar. Red Thomas has a nice summary piece set-up over here on MMORPG if you missed it!

Mainly, there’s a lot of questions about what’s going on in development and how it impacts them. So, the Shroud of the Avatar team set up a Reddit AMA to answer their questions.

Shroud of the Avatar Team Hosts Reddit AMA | MMOExaminer

Not the only recent Article from Red Thomas, you may also want to catch this one about Offline mode for Shroud of the Avatar

Shroud of the Avatar – Offline is On – MMORPG.com


Richard Garriott is certainly no stranger to Interviews. I also doubt this is the first time he’s been interviewing while playing a game.

In this episode of Antwand Pearman Vs The Interview, Antwand interviews game developer and explorer Richard Garriott over a very special game of “Save Matt Damon.” They talk about how Richard developed the Ultima series, weird things about space travel and much more! Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues


How about those Lunar rifts? When do they go where?

Duke Gréagóir has a fantastic link to a spreadsheet posted over in the forums that help with just those sort of questions!

It is a google doc and starts 6/29 at 4:151:15 pm central time / new britannian time. It is easy to modify as the forumla is adding 8 minutes and 45 seconds for each stop. If you see it is off, Let me know or you should have access to edit it too (if the setting works in google docs).

SOTA Lunar Rift schedule

Duke Greagoir's Lunar Rift Schedule Worksheet | Shroud of the Avatar Forum


Heres Some Article links to check out!

NEVERDIE Partners with Richard Garriot – The Merkle

Neverdie and Lord British partner to develop VR infrastructure – Gamereactor UK –

Gamasutra – Press Releases – Portalarium & Lord British (Famed developer of Ultima & Shroud of the Avatar) Joins Forces with NEVERDIE in Support of Their ICO to Provide Millions of Gamers Universal Ethereum-Based NEVERDIE & Teleport Gaming Tokens

Shroud of the Avatar – My Journey to New Britannia (Part II) iMMOsite – Get your gaming life recorded – my.mmosite.com

Partnering with NEVERDIE on their ICO for Etherium Block Chain Tokens | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Partnering with NEVERDIE on their ICO for Etherium Block Chain Tokens | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Ultima's Famed Lord British Joins Forces with Jon NEVERDIE Jacobs to Unite Millions of Gamers in Ethereum-Based Gaming with NDC and TPT Tokens

Shroud of the Avatar – Richard Garriott – Goals, Milestones, and Expectations – MMORPG.com

'Welcome to New Britannia' Community Trailer Contest Submissions | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Ultima creator Richard Garriott looks back on nearly four decades making video games | VentureBeat | PC Gaming | by Dean Takahashi

Austin’s annual RTX gaming convention set to be biggest yet | KXAN.com

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July 19 2017

Ultima’s Famed Lord British Joins Forces with NEVERDIE

Well, one thing is for sure, as soon as Richard Garriott’s name hits the news, it starts exploding fast.

This one seems like it could be a rather big deal and I have already had two sources cross my desktop.

Here’s a snippet from the post over at Marketride., although it looks like both sites are hosting the same article.

The Teleport token will be used to transport across worlds, seamlessly from one game to another while the NEVERDIE Coin will be used to buy new lives. Both coins will ultimately be used to create a monetized infrastructure that will drive the growth of the virtual goods economy, thus supporting gamified jobs as a way to offset traditional jobs lost to AI and VR advancements. The endeavor between Lord British and NEVERDIE will underscore this effort by championing avatar rights and creating economic opportunity for gamers and longevity for games and virtual worlds.

Here’s links to both websites with the article.
Ultima's Famed Lord British Joins Forces with Jon NEVERDIE Jacobs to Unite Millions of Gamers in Ethereum-Based Gaming with NDC and TPT Tokens | Benzinga

Ultima's Famed Lord British Joins Forces with NEVERDIE to Unite Millions of Gamers in Ethereum-Based Gaming Under NDC Token

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