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Default Tabula Rasa - Garriott Interview @ CVG

July 12th, 2007, 08:32
Richard Garriott has popped up at CVG for an interview on Tabula Rasa:
Games often end up being either stereotypical or unfathomable. Do you worry about people not 'getting' it?

Garriott:
We had one substantial false start for the first 18 months of development. While the gameplay principles persisted throughout, the visual and historical wrapper we put around it was completely scrapped - specifically for the reason you describe.

We originally set out to have one universal visual and historical archetype… and it really was so new and so different, you couldn't even cursorily tie it to contemporary Earth, or Star Wars or Star Trek. What we came up with was so missing in important touchstones it wasn't really successful. We unwound being quite that different, then rebuilt.

We were originally much further in the future with much more Eastern philosophy. Instead, we backed up to something more contemporary, in terms of military and interpretations of science fiction. Start with things they find familiar like pistols and rocket launchers… then move onto the more exotic weapons. We still have them, but you grow into them.
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July 12th, 2007, 08:32
PC Gamer: So, Richard. What are you trying to do with Tabula Rasa that is different than your previous work but still has all of the "fun" of the Ultimas?

Richard Garriott: Well for starters, I hypothesized that the coefficient of the manifold continuum would have to be considered before any other elements. I then interjected a retro fanatsy style imagined in the future…

PC Gamer: Umm, Richard.

Richard Garriott: …to that end, I summarized that the whole system had to be scrapped in favor of the simulation of a virtual simulation that I developed…

PC Gamer: Excuse me, I uh…

Richard Garriott: …because I want the player to feel as if they are playing a game within a game that is not quite real but still feels like a game they would play if they were playing a game…

PC Gamer: <leaves the room>

Ricahrd Garriott: …so that brought me to the dilemma I am currently facing; do I re-think the structure of the theorized MMO sandbox model or…
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July 12th, 2007, 09:06
Cute, very cute!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 17th, 2007, 06:27
Excuse my poor attempt at wit. I had an hour at work to burn.

Feel free to interchange the name of the interviewee with another "icon" of game development. To be fair, some of them still produce solid games. Will Wright, Sid Meier, Bill Roper and John Carmack among others still seem, in the press at least, level headed and interested in making enjoyable games.

Folks like Garriott, McGee, Romero, McQuaid and Molyneux believe their own hype way too much. Maybe its a mad scientist-insane genius thing.

Vanguard Saga of Heroes is a good, recent example. All that hard work, money and star power behind the game and gamers were left discombobulated by the finished product. In layman's terms people were like, "WTF is this?" after playing a few weeks.

Garriott made Akalabeth and Ultima I in his garage. He was hungry and focused. In comparison, here is a real quote from the above interview:

However, once you're sharing your games, it's quite reasonable that people will grow to appreciate certain bits of art. Then, while there's a downside to the homogenisation of the cultural aspects of gameplay, you now have twice as many innovators in the metapool of creators - both groups are becoming experts in each other's fields - and there are twice as many opportunities for advancement and learning from each other. I actually think that in many ways the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts
WTF is he talking about? Make a game, Ricahrd. We want to be entertained, not lectured to.

Just my opinion.
Last edited by Reyla; July 17th, 2007 at 09:24.
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