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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Gamasutra - Richard Garriott on the Evolution of Games

Default Gamasutra - Richard Garriott on the Evolution of Games

August 18th, 2011, 20:04
Gamasutra has a summary of the speak that Richard Garriott (Ultima) gave at this years GDC (GamesCom) in Cologne, Germany.

A few relevant quotes:
The "save the kingdom" story of the original games in the series is no longer enough, though it still has traction in the industry, he said. "The first Ultimas were very simple stories… And if you look at most games today they still are. Personally, I don't know about you, after I told that story a few times I was done with it." "That story has no value in the future. It's the antithesis of what I try to do and what we as a development community need to do," said Garriott.
A quote about Ultima Online
When he launched the Ultima Online project, EA's "faith in the team and faith in the project was so low," he said, that "projected sales were 30k lifetime."
"Sales and marketing were not in favor of us working with the game," he said. "It wasn't until we put up a prototype and put up a web page… 50,000 people signed up to be beta testers in the first couple of weeks. When it finally did ship it was the fastest selling PC game in origin and EA history at the time. Within about two years had outsold all of the other previous Ultimas combined."
And here's Garriott's take on the future in games.
The key points of this era, according to Garriott, are:
- Games are free or very cheap to acquire
- Simple to use without instructions
- The people who you meet at first are the people you know really well in the real world
- The ability to engage your friends asynchronously
More information.
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August 18th, 2011, 20:04
Oh Richard Garriott, what can I say? I used to love his games and really treasure them. I thought he had some great ideas and was really pushing the genre forward…until the EA acquisition, then it all went to hell.

I see him as someone who was once relevant and has been struggling to be relevant again for the last 20 years.

All these ideas about MMOs and social gaming he has are nothing new. True UO was really the first big MMO, but EA completely mishandled it and cancelled not one but two follow up projects that would have brought Ultima MMOs into the modern age (you know, 3D and all that).

As it stands, I don't want a social gaming experience. I want single player games. If I want to talk to my friends, guess what? I will call them. If I want an adventure I don't want the real world, I want fantasy.
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August 18th, 2011, 21:11
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
As it stands, I don't want a social gaming experience. I want single player games. If I want to talk to my friends, guess what? I will call them. If I want an adventure I don't want the real world, I want fantasy.
So true. There's a place for both. It's not just one or the other to exclusion.
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August 18th, 2011, 22:09
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
Oh Richard Garriott, what can I say? I used to love his games and really treasure them. I thought he had some great ideas and was really pushing the genre forward…until the EA acquisition, then it all went to hell.

I see him as someone who was once relevant and has been struggling to be relevant again for the last 20 years.

All these ideas about MMOs and social gaming he has are nothing new. True UO was really the first big MMO, but EA completely mishandled it and cancelled not one but two follow up projects that would have brought Ultima MMOs into the modern age (you know, 3D and all that).

As it stands, I don't want a social gaming experience. I want single player games. If I want to talk to my friends, guess what? I will call them. If I want an adventure I don't want the real world, I want fantasy.
So true,so true… Tabula Rasa anyone ??? Thought not.
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August 19th, 2011, 00:30
We owe a lot of what we have today to this guy, sure lately he hasn't done much, but what he did do advanced the rpg.

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August 19th, 2011, 01:00
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
We owe a lot of what we have today to this guy, sure lately he hasn't done much, but what he did do advanced the rpg.
Not really. What he did at the time was great, but no one has really followed Richard Garriott's lead from the 80s and early 90s, including Richard Garriott.

Most 'RPGs' we have today are as far as I'm concerned little more than loquacious action games. It seems everyone has gone the Ultima 8 route so I suppose in that regard then yes he lead the way, though I'm not sure that's something to be proud of.

Bethesda doesn't have anywhere near the writing of something like Ultima 7 pts 1/2 and Bioware of late seems to have more in common with Final Fantasy than classic CRPGs. I'd say Piranha Bytes are probably the closest to carrying on the torch of the pre-EA era Ultimas though their female roles, or lack thereof, could really use some work when compared to the Ultimas.
Last edited by Motoki; August 19th, 2011 at 01:13.
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August 19th, 2011, 01:01
I think Richard lost his way on the tree of evolution.

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August 19th, 2011, 04:33
Lord British was the King…
I started my RPG life with U3 in 84…
But he is lost…truely lost in what matters in gaming and the future of gaming….
I really wish he could find his way…But from his trip to space that is where he seems to be …..
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August 19th, 2011, 04:48
Sad how many of you forget what he did, and at the time that he did it. The ragdoll inventory and integrated storeys really took off under his reign as lord british. Even with failures I think it is fair to say he is a legend in gaming.

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August 19th, 2011, 05:03
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
I think Richard lost his way on the tree of evolution.
He is turning away from us… has been for a while… but that doesn't mean he's wrong. Farmville has made more money than any core RPG released in the last 10 years probably.
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August 19th, 2011, 08:21
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
All these ideas about MMOs and social gaming he has are nothing new.
This. I read the whole article hoping to encounter an interesting new thought, but to me RG sounds more like someone trying to catch up with an industry. Disappointing, but expected. It will be interesting to see the journalists' reaction to this.
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August 19th, 2011, 08:28
he hasn't lost his way he just doesn't relate. inventors rarely stick to the same tract and after his huge contributions to gaming and adding depth to it he never really cared about that experience but instead keeping with the new releavence being the internet he changed course and began dreaming of ways for gamers to have experiences together. unfortunately he failed to realize that those who truly latched on to the games he created valued the non-social aspects of his games in that they were like books with choices, single player experiences, not selfish player experiences, but ones that mattered but still at their core were to be played and thought about by ones self. there's a huge difference between reading an engrosing book and taking part in reading a play, many can enjoy both, but in all honesty anyone who thinks the 2 can be had at the same time fails in understanding the value of each and doing so will just dilute the overall experience to a mediocre compromise.

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August 19th, 2011, 17:45
Richard Garriot used to be the king of rpgs, but sadly he has neither passion nor understanding for the single player games anymore. I respect him for his legacy, but I think his ideas of gaming are horrid and wrong. I dislike how industry is forcing us the social experience like it was part of God's plan or something. I also died a little inside when he mentioned that games must be made more accessible and simpler.
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Default I wrote this a few years ago…

August 20th, 2011, 02:55
Lord British has strayed far from the eight virtues in his quest to satiate his avarice.

Once upon a time, Lord British was the wise and just ruler of not only the kingdom of Britannia, but Origin Systems as well. He personally oversaw the design and construction of his kingdom, and while putting his own life in peril, led his army of knights (henceforth known as the Nerd Herd) on a never-ending quest to slay the green slime, and squash every last bug.

But a new evil threatened the land. Enlisting the help of the Avatar, Lord British sought to prevent an evil cult from finishing the mysterious Black Gate. After putting up a good fight, the Avatar was vanquished to a Pagan world whilst LB was nearly beheaded by a gold plaque. All hope was lost once the malevolent Guardian stepped through the Black Gate from EA Sports, and Lord British was banished from the kingdom he had created.

Broken and beaten, Lord British spat upon the eight virtues, and set forth on a long quest for the fabled Codec of Greed. After years of wandering the land in a wine induced stupor, LB found his Destination with the help of his brother, and formed a partnership with the enigmatic NCSoft from the distant land of Korea. Alas, the time spent wandering the dungeons of Deceit, Despise, Covetous, and Shame had left a mark on LB.

LB turned a deaf ear to the will of his people, and proceeded to construct the futuristic war ravaged world of Tabula Rasa with a new mantra… multiplayer, multiplayer, multiplayer. Alas, the mantra was not new, as many had braved the Blizzard and barely survived. Suffering from failing eyesight and hairy palms, they now chanted an old mantra: single player, single player, single player.
Last edited by Vindicator; August 20th, 2011 at 03:13.
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August 20th, 2011, 09:27
The "multiplayer mantra" was hardly new by the time Tabula Rasa came along. This theme had been developed far earlier during the Ultima Online period. Not to mention the fact that Richard had already forseen the coming of the Blizzard before it was even a rain spot on the horizon.

Thanks for posting the conference; it was an interesting read. I'd also not really heard very much about Portalarium before this. Whilst New Britannia as a concept doesn't really appeal to me very much, I'll watch where it leads (if anywhere) with some curiousity.

Richard has always emphasised role-playing as essentially a social experience. It's no real surprise to see him pursue this trail.

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August 20th, 2011, 14:50
"The Multiplayer Mantra" was brought into game forums since … 10 years ago ? Or even earlier ?
There were always some saying : "it' be great if this was multiplayer !"
And I think this brought that flea into the "game maker's" ears …

Now, I don't mind multiplayer as such - what frightens me is the exclusion. That companies will perhaps stop doing singleplayer modes/games altogether at one point …

“ 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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August 20th, 2011, 23:39
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Richard has always emphasised role-playing as essentially a social experience. It's no real surprise to see him pursue this trail.
I don't think it can be social experience on a mass scale. It would be like asking a whole city of random people to stick to LARP'ing and not deviate. Good luck with that. All you can do on that scale is to put game elements in place. So you can camp out for spawns and look for loot and craft armor and what not on a mass scale sure, but then you are competing with the masses for limited resources and you're really just grinding. There's no roleplaying about it as far as I'm concerned. It's all mechanics.

MMOs are basically just chat and grind, rinse, repeat. Now some people enjoy that and there's nothing wrong with that (in moderation) but I don't see how that dynamic can be changed.
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August 21st, 2011, 02:08
you guys really love to accentuate the negative dont you?

not like anyone cares about him/listens to him beyond the few ultima fans

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August 21st, 2011, 03:57
Originally Posted by SAGO View Post
you guys really love to accentuate the negative dont you?

not like anyone cares about him/listens to him beyond the few ultima fans
Yeah the few fans….hahaha man, it's been a cuople decades since the last ultima and there are still fans. God for people who claim to love RPG's etc it seems many are oblivious to the past of the genre.

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August 21st, 2011, 06:01
they might be a oblivious to a bit more than that

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