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Default General News - Richard Garriot Interview @ The Critical Bit

June 24th, 2012, 05:22
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June 24th, 2012, 10:21
So, Garriot - the creator of the Ultima series - names Plants versus Zombies as his favorite modern game (despite having played games like Skyrim), and he thinks tablets are the future of serious gaming (despite having played games like Skyrim).

I'm trying to be excited about an Ultimate RPG by such a person - but somehow, it's not happening.

I think it's motivated reasoning by a person who's given up being part of a major production, like a true AAA RPG.
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June 24th, 2012, 10:41
I think guy lost it.It's highly unlikely that he will make ever another legendary game or even good game.
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June 24th, 2012, 10:50
From a gameplay perspective Plants versus Zombies is far far far superior to Skyrim… hmm, well actually from any perspective so I totally agree with him.

Plants versus Zombies is not an RPG ( so it perhaps doesn't make sense to compare those two ), but from a gameplay perspective if Skyrim had gameplay anywhere near as good as Plants versus Zombies it'd have been a really great game.
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June 24th, 2012, 10:57
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
From a gameplay perspective Plants versus Zombies is far far far superior to Skyrim… hmm, well actually from any perspective so I totally agree with him.

Plants versus Zombies is not an RPG ( so it perhaps doesn't make sense to compare those two ), but from a gameplay perspective if Skyrim had gameplay anywhere near as good as Plants versus Zombies it'd have been a really great game.
Agreed that PvZ is excellent game but I don't see any connection with AAA RPG.
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June 24th, 2012, 12:58
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
Tabula Rasa sucked
I found it rather okay-ish, for the short time I played it (only 1 or 2 days). I think that all of the Watch's screenshots came from my session.

If it had been an offline game it imho would have been far better, because - and this is my purely own opinion - it imho did contain a lot of elements an good Action-RPG would have. And since it was rather Sci-Fi-themed, I still believe that it would have had some sort of success - if you consider how few Sci-Fi themed Action-RPGs are out there.

But it was far too much combat-oriented for my taste. From Richard Garriott I had expected something more mystical … _ And there were a few vague hints of that in the game, rather in form of the natives and their quests …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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June 24th, 2012, 14:02
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
From a gameplay perspective Plants versus Zombies is far far far superior to Skyrim… hmm, well actually from any perspective so I totally agree with him.

Plants versus Zombies is not an RPG ( so it perhaps doesn't make sense to compare those two ), but from a gameplay perspective if Skyrim had gameplay anywhere near as good as Plants versus Zombies it'd have been a really great game.
PvZ is a fine little Tower Defense rip-off, but it's about as challenging to design as Tic-Tac-Toe. Ok, exaggerated - and it does have cute powers and strong visuals for such a low-budget title.

I can't even begin to describe how much more entertaining and engaging I find Skyrim to be - but to each his own.

All I can say is that I'm not too interested in anything Garriot puts out, if PvZ is his idea of a best game.
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June 24th, 2012, 14:40
Originally Posted by Gokyabgu View Post
We're talking about a guy who published one of the first CRPGs in history, influenced JRPGs with Ultima 3, showed what interactivity is with Ultima 5,6 and 7, influenced FPS-RPGs like Elders Scrolls with Ultima Underworld, increased the popularity of MMORPGs with Ultima Online and also made first TPS-RPG with Ultima 9.

In short we're talking about a guy who set the standarts for nearly every RPG styles out there. Although I'm not a fun of social games, I'm curious about this Ultimate RPG thing.
We're talking about a has-been. He should co-found a new studio with Peter Molyneux.

I grew up with his games and his star was fading even then. Ultima Pagan wasn't greeted with universal acclaim and it was downhill from there. I think I was about 19 when I first played that one. I'm 37 now, so yeah … 18 years of nothing notable from him? That's because he has nothing to give.
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June 24th, 2012, 14:52
Lord British is a legendary rock star who puts out nothing but electronic music now, and cites Lady Gaga and Pink as his latest influential favorites. He's confirmed to be working on a rap cd, and cautions his fans to "listen before judgement"
Last edited by xSamhainx; June 24th, 2012 at 17:51.
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June 24th, 2012, 15:04
Good comparison.
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June 24th, 2012, 23:15
I might be too much of an optimist but here's my thoughts on it. This will be the first time in a long while that he'll have full creative control over the project, his company Portalarium being both developer and publisher. For Tabula Rasa, the publisher NCSoft probably exerted a large influence in the direction that went. Even in the later Ultimas and UO I'm sure EA had a large say in what happened.

This time, he has to answer to no one but himself and his own company. Look past the "social media" aspect for a second, and you'll see he's getting back to his roots in a way. Having full creative control like he did with the early Ultimas. And the avoidance of the AAA scene might actually be a good thing, if it lets them focus on the core gameplay and not spending millions on high-end graphics. He talks about this in the interview, even mentioning he'd love to make games like the old Ultimas again.

It sounds like Ultimate RPG will be a lot like Ultima Online but with asynchronous interaction made possible through social media. UO was a lot of fun in the early days so if they pull this off with a reasonable amount of depth it might be good.

And yes, he took some years off from game dev to do what he wanted (go into space, etc). Wouldn't you do what you want if you were a millionaire? He earned it - why shouldn't he enjoy life? Maybe this also lets him return to game dev with a renewed energy.
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June 24th, 2012, 23:16
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
But it was far too much combat-oriented for my taste. From Richard Garriott I had expected something more mystical … _ And there were a few vague hints of that in the game, rather in form of the natives and their quests …
As I wrote before, Garriott was probably more of a frontman here but not the head behind it.

From Wikipedia

In the works since May 2001, the game underwent a major revamp two years into the project. Conflicts between developers and the vague direction of the game were said to be the causes of this dramatic change. Twenty percent of the original team was replaced, and 75% of the code had to be redone.[17] Some staff working on other NCsoft projects were transferred to the Tabula Rasa development team, including City of Heroes' Community Coordinator April "CuppaJo" Burba.[18] First re-shown at E3 2005, the game then transformed into the current science fiction setting and look.
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June 25th, 2012, 00:04
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
I think Tabula Raser was much of a result of "Fan Feedback" and Push from the publisher.

Leading to a product, most people deemed "ok". But which attracted not enough people who really wanted to play it in the end.

Tabula Rasa is not a genuine "Lord British Product" but has merely a "Lord British Stamp" on it.
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
As I wrote before, Garriott was probably more of a frontman here but not the head behind it.

From Wikipedia

In the works since May 2001, the game underwent a major revamp two years into the project. Conflicts between developers and the vague direction of the game were said to be the causes of this dramatic change. Twenty percent of the original team was replaced, and 75% of the code had to be redone.[17] Some staff working on other NCsoft projects were transferred to the Tabula Rasa development team, including City of Heroes' Community Coordinator April "CuppaJo" Burba.[18] First re-shown at E3 2005, the game then transformed into the current science fiction setting and look.
I have a hard time believing he shouldn't be held responsible . Projects do take a life of their own especially when you are pushing the boundaries of technology - at least their understanding of it.

That said, this guy has done more for PC's between 1978 and 1996 than almost anyone alive. U3 was a killer app for the Apple ][ but he didn't stop there. He even coined the modern use of the word Avatar that is so prevalent in today's language.

Social Gaming is something he's been fixed on since Ultima Online. That he wants to start small, now that he's alienated all his former pals, is smart business sense. He could pull a Schilling and throw all his good money after bad.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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June 25th, 2012, 00:09
Well, that depends on what you call "responsible". Of course he is responsible for the game. And if he was completely against it, he should have quit it. On the other hand with all the stocks in NCSoft I don't know if that would have been an option. But I am not very deep into that.

What I wanted to say is, that Tabula Rasa wasn't his idea of an "perfect mmo" or something like that. He influenced it's outcome, but that's probably it.
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June 25th, 2012, 00:12
Besides, he also worked on Lineage 2 and City of Heroes.
But he is not exactly on the cover, didn't "represent" the games. So nobody associates these games with him.

Edit: And here is some interview I found about it on Eurogamer
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20…th-tabula-rasa

"In both of those games it was immediately after selling a company to a larger company who had very strong opinions about how and why I should do the games that I was working on in a particular way.

"So Tabula Rasa started its two-year late restart under exceptionally unusual pressures and with understandable corporate discontent, which made it very difficult to finish."

"In the case of Ultima 8, that was the first game I did as part of Electronic Arts," Garriott said, "

"We shipped Ultima 8 more or less on time, but the only way we got there was by really cutting out huge swathes of the game all the way to the point where the cloth map was completely unrelated to the map of the real game because we threw out so many bits and pieces of it. So Ultima 8 was, frankly, unfinished - I mean dramatically unfinished. And in hindsight I look at it and go, if we'd really just finished it properly - even the movement, the jumping that was in the game - had we done it less hacked and more accurately, we would have had a Diablo-style success a year or so before Diablo.
Last edited by Kordanor; June 25th, 2012 at 00:23.
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June 25th, 2012, 12:11
Interesting stuff. He reminds me of Jon Van Caneghem. Similar story really, such incredible heights and then.. nothing. It's as if they don't even want to touch games similar to the ones they used to make. No idea why, maybe they simply want to do something else for a change. Ah well.

And yes, Mitsoda should be interesting.
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