Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 6 – The Manuals Were Beautiful

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Ben Stephens, who re-broadcasts podcast episodes on Avatar’s Radio ( every week.

Podcast Topic(s)

Kotaku — which, granted, is not the most historically literate gaming-focused website — posted an article recently which purported to discuss The Beauty of the Game Instruction Manual ( The manuals — digital and physical — for games like Minkomora, Tomb Raider, We Love Katamari, Mojib-Ribbon (the manual for which is, admittedly, both beautiful and something of a rarity), Final Fantasy 7, Bangai-O, and even Space Assault are discussed in the article. A few other games are mentioned in the comments.

Notably absent from both the article and the ensuing discussion? Ultima. What was I saying above about historical illiteracy?

In Other News

Rock, Paper, Shotgun ran an article by Richard Cobbett recently, in which various cancelled games are discussed ( It talks about Fallout 3 Van Buren, an early attempt at The Witcher, and a few other titles…and also mentions Ultima X: Odyssey and Ultima Online 2.

There are a couple of companion applications in the works for Shroud of the Avatar, one of which was given a shout-out in a recent Update of the Avatar ( That app, created by one Brenton (, is in development for iOS at present (and will thereafter be ported to Android). Beta version 6.1 of it has just been released (

The other companion app is being developed by a team led by one Matterio, and is targeting both iOS and Android from the get-go (

The apps have different focuses: Brenton’s app is very much about Shroud of the Avatar, and contains lots of information about information relevant to those playing the game. You’ll find maps, crafting recipes, a bestiary, and an adventuring guide therein, along with the ability to take notes about creatures and characters.

Matterio’s app, on the other hand, focuses on the community surrounding Shroud; it connects to the Avatar’s Radio stream and the official IRC channel, pulls Shroud-related news from a handful of fansites, and offers a calendar of community events. Planned features include a view of SotAWiki (, and also maps of Novia and its points of interest.

Neither app is available on an app store (iTunes or Google Play) yet; both are still in beta. But the developers will happily add you to their respective beta programs if you send them an email address.

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