Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues Post-funding Update: Early-Early Access Begins

We have a new update to read through on the official Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues website, which includes another sample from the Blade of the Avatar novel, the "early-early access" they've opened up for Dev+ backers, a sample of the musical work that David "Iolo" Watson is preparing for the game, a look at some of the game's items, and more. A snip from Starr Long's announcement:

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for your patience at our relative radio silence for the past week or two, as we have put our heads down to get Release 1 ready for you. We are on track to deliver the first early access next Thursday December 12 and we are happy to say that we are going to deliver just about every single item (except for head shapes in character creation). As a reminder, here are the deliverables for Release 1:

RELEASE 1: December 12 December 14, 2013

'¢ Install / Patching system: Step one for you guys to play the game is for you to download the game and then patch the game. Since this is the first hands on impression of the product, it is critical.
'¢ Login / Registration: Players should be able to log in using their existing accounts and if they have not yet registered, they should be intuitively led to the steps to register.
'¢ Character Creation: Players should be able to create and customize their character. Creation / Customization options for Release 1 will include: name, gender, head shape, skin tone, hair style, hair color, and eye color.
'¢ Single Player Online: All public releases prior to commercial launch will be online only. For Release 1 and 2, it will be constrained to single player online only.
'¢ First Town: Our first town, Owl's Head will be open for exploration. This is important for testing purposes so we can better tune our performance metrics on real user machines. For Release 1, exiting the town will just funnel you back into the same town (anyone see Groundhog Day?)
'¢ Conversation: Important that players converse with the townsfolk so we can start expanding the dialog system. As you talk to NPCs, we will be tracking your conversations and using them to add more content based on your input.
'¢ Bag Inventory: This is a hot topic in the forums so we want to get it in your hands for feedback on preferences. Immersion vs. ease of use, let the battle begin!
'¢ Equipment: Players will be provided with several chests full of (ph@t lootz) (armor, clothes, weapons, etc.) for trying on for size.
'¢ House Claiming: Players will be able to select a house from the entire list of player houses (even Lord of the Manor!) for free so that we can test out the various size houses on the lots and allow players to test drive the various houses so they can have a better idea of which they ultimately want to own.
'¢ House Decorating: Chests full of furniture and decorative items will be provided so you can stress test the decoration system and try out various styles of interiors. Help us figure out all the ways you can break things! (Look forward to screenshot contests on this!)
'¢ Metrics: All the while you are playing, we will be stress testing our metrics system. This system is critical to maintaining a balanced economy, tracking exploits, and gathering data to improve the experience.

So now that it is clear what you can expect we should also be as clear about what you should not expect:

'¢ Mac & Linux: We are definitely going to support these Operating Systems but we were unable to get them working satisfactorily for Release 1. For Release 1 we will only support Windows. Our goal is to try again for OSX and Linux support for Release 2.
'¢ Performance: Our goal with Release 1 was to build a machine challenging scene with Owl's Head. We have only done rudimentary optimizations and we do not yet have a full suite of fallbacks (LODs, etc.). This means for R1 the game will be quite slow on lower end machines and due to memory usage might be unstable in certain conditions (like densely decorated areas). With each release we will be doing further optimizations and adding to our fallbacks to improve performance.
'¢ Game Loop: Even though we have clearly stated that there will not be a complete game loop (adventure, loot, spend, craft, quest, etc.) until Release 4 there is still some expectation of those activities. For R1 there is just character creation / customization, NPC conversation, and home decoration.
'¢ Advanced Player Housing: There are some advanced features for player housing including basements, home exterior decorations, and ceiling decorations that are not yet integrated. Expect to see these appear in future releases with the goal that by Release 4 they should all be present.

Over the next few days we will release more information about how to install, patch, play, and submit bugs. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with and we are proud to be on this journey with you.