Tabula Rasa - All News
Wednesday - June 28, 2017
Tabula Rasa - Looking Back
RPS looks back at Tabula Rasa, the MMO Richard Garriott worked on before the MMO/MP/No-SP game he is working on now.
Tabula Rasa cost NCSoft a fortune, so sure were they that combination of a legendary developer and spaceguns in a World of Warcraft structure would be the MMO to end all MMOs. It didn’t exactly work out like that (and we’d see remarkably similar folly from them half a decade later, with WildStar). Which is a shame, as the fault was less with the game and more with impossible expectations – both from the people behind the game and from the millions of people they spent a couple of years convincing it would be the answer to their every prayer.
What a strange time 2006-2008 was. So many of us were so desperate for a World of Warcraft alternative, specifically because we spent our every waking hour for months playing World of Warcraft, loving it to bits, then burning out of it. How could any game using the same approximate structure somehow achieve that? We had all seen Oz behind his curtain by that point, and no self-proclaimed WoW-killer stood a chance.
Saturday - February 28, 2009
Tabula Rasa - Finishes with a Bang
A huge, apocalyptic event to finish off Tabula Rasa:
To All AFS Personnel;
Special Intelligence units throughout AFS territory have been monitoring an escalation of Bane assaults and communications in the recent weeks. Some of the communications have been intercepted and decoded, and we have reason to believe that the Bane are planning a massive, multi-front assault sometime in the coming days. The most disturbing transmission appears to have originated from the center of Bane controlled space, and it appears that the Neph are getting directly involved in the upcoming Bane offensive.
We know that the Neph are an offshoot of the Eloh race, and they sided with the Thrax in their campaign against the rest of the universe. The Neph seek to subjugate and control the races of the universe, and as we know from Machina and the Forean infection, they don't require that we are willing.
The Neph are extremely powerful and dangerous; they are not only aggressive like the Thrax, they are also shrewd and cunning commanders. Our intelligence sources tell us that the Neph are no longer fully organic beings, having completely fused themselves with a form of bio-metallic technology unlike anything we have ever seen. Like the Eloh, they are all proficient in a form of Logos powers, and have assimilated technologies to amplify these powers significantly.
From this intercepted transmission, we also know that they now have full use of wormhole technology. For a long time, this technological disadvantage forced the Bane to transport their troops through space, but now we may have to face wave after wave of Bane troops without rest or respite. We also know that the Neph will be on the battlefield to lead and rally the Bane troops against us on Arieki and Foreas with the sole purpose of complete and absolute genocide. Any Neph that is seen on the battlefield must be eliminated, and quickly, before they can transport a large enough Bane force to overrun us.
We request that all military personnel begin fortifying defenses at every AFS base in preparation for a massive Bane assault. If enemy troop movements are as large as we fear, and the Neph are truly prepared to lead all out war against us, this may be our last stand. Penumbra has been informed of the situation and is standing by on the use of their last resort weapon. We can not afford to be complacent or uncertain, but if it is truly our destiny to be destroyed, we are taking them all with us.
Good luck and godspeed
AFS High Command
Wednesday - February 11, 2009
Tabula Rasa - Mechs
Eurogamer's Oli Welsh tips on the introduction of Mechs; for the last fortnight of the games life.
In an an example of either impressive dedication or bizarre futility, NCsoft's Tabula Rasa team has made a major and long-promised addition to the game - mech suits - just two weeks before it's due to close for good.
The time-limited mechs, detailed in the latest patch notes, come in five models themed around various character classes - but any class can use any mech.
You've only got a shade over two weeks to try them out, however, as the science-fiction MMO's servers are due to close on 28th February - a scant 16 months after they opened. At least Tabula Rasa is currently entirely free to play, so you may as well have a look, and give the fallen game a good send-off.
Thursday - January 29, 2009
Tabula Rasa - What Makes Games Die?
Editorial at TTH on the death of TR.
Early in development we clearly see the first of several reasons of why Tabula Rasa never made it into it's full potential. The game was completely revamped from the original design premise and while this isn't completely unheard of, the lack of direction amongst the ranks was clearly effecting the quality of the game being produced. Bringing in new devs to work on the project and redoing so much of the game showed a weakness that really is hard to overcome. Dev teams need to work closely together in a connective unity in order for a game to find their groove and I believe that lacking clear direction and having a team that was less than committed to their project goals hurt TR irrevocably.
Source: Blues News
Wednesday - November 26, 2008
Tabula Rasa - The Death of
Massivegamer have an article on the death of Richard Garriott's latest MMO.
Some have blamed everyone’s favorite millionaire astronaut Richard Garriott, once known as Lord British and more recently as General British. His name’s above the title, after all. Yet, reports on this are inconsistent at best. Some completely uninformed voices have posited that he couldn’t have done much for the game while he prepared to board a Russian rocket and head to outer-space. Paradoxically, other equally uninformed voices suggest that he lost the magic that made the Ultima franchise such a legend, and NCsoft followed his lead too closely.
Odds are, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Personally, I think that the company may have relied too heavily on his name and resumé to sell the product. To big giant nerds like me, he’s a hero and a giant among men. But time and time again, it’s been proven that you cannot make money off of giant nerds alone. To achieve success in this competitive market, a video game needs to appeal to people who don’t know who the hell Garriott is.
Source: Blues News
Friday - November 21, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Closing in February
Message from the team confirms servers to close early next year.
To the Tabula Rasa Community,
Last November we launched what we hoped would be a ground breaking sci-fi MMO. In many ways, we think we've achieved that goal. Tabula Rasa has some unique features that make it fun and very different from every other MMO out there. Unfortunately, the fact is that the game hasn't performed as expected. The development team has worked hard to improve the game since launch, but the game never achieved the player population we hoped for.
So it is with regret that we must announce that Tabula Rasa will end live service on February 28, 2009.
Before we end the service, we'll make Tabula Rasa servers free to play starting on January 10, 2009.
We can assure you that through the next couple of months we'll be doing some really fun things in Tabula Rasa, and we plan to make staying on a little longer worth your while. For more details about what we are doing for Tabula Rasa players, please click here.
Stay tuned for more information. We thank you for your loyal support of the game and encourage you to take us up on the benefits we're offering Tabula Rasa players.The Tabula Rasa Team
Tuesday - November 11, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Richard Garriott leaves NCsoft
Has new interests apparently;
Fellow Soldiers of the AFS,
I am happy to finally be able to write the players and community of Tabula Rasa. We've been on quite a journey together. First in creating a game unlike any other on the MMO market, then growing a loyal community and finally launching the game and its players into space with Operation Immortality. It has been quite an unforgettable journey, one that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
I am very grateful to you loyal players for sticking around through what I think we can all honestly say was a rough launch. I thank the development team for pushing hard to get polish, updates and new content out every month since launch...a feat that I think is unusual in MMO development. They have a lot to be proud of.
Many of you probably wonder what my plans are, now that I have achieved the lifelong dream of going to space. Well, that unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to. As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests.
This news is difficult for me to deliver. I am honored to have worked with the team I've had and I'm grateful to the community who makes this game so unique and fun.
Thank you and farewell.
Richard "General British" Garriott
Monday - November 03, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Goes First Person & Deploys 14
The developers of Tabula Rasa has revealed that first person view is going to be implemented in the foreseeable future. Screenshots of the new feature is available alongside the announcement:
We all hope that these upcoming changes make TR more fun and immersive for you. Now go crack some skulls and bring me more candy!
- New camera system
- FPS mode
- Weapon scopes
- Mech cockpit view
- Increased camera distance from character (some love to the support classes)
Deployment 14 has also been launched. Go here for the release notes.
Monday - October 27, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Returns to Earth with RG
Deployment 15 looks to be set in NYC, and Richard Garriott has landed safely in Kazakhstan. Read the article over at Eurogamer.
In the latest post on the Tabula Rasa website, lead designer Susan Kath has revealed that the next major update to the science-fiction MMO, Deployment 15, will take players to Earth for the first time.
Tabula Rasa's setting has humans fighting for survival on an alien world after Earth was invaded and presumed destroyed by the Bane race. However, the next update will see players return to a ravaged Caprica, sorry Earth, and fight alongside a resistance force formed by the humans left behind.
Screens show combat in a ruined urban landscape, apparently "one of the most iconic cities on Earth" (New York City, going by the skyline silhouette, and the label on the minimap which reads "New York City").
Friday - September 19, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Deployment 12 Live
Tabula Rasa has been updated with Deployment 12 now live. Word is "it features a new version of the tier selection process, our Series 2 Physical Chaingun and Laser Pistol, our level 50 "Omega Labs" instance located in the Abyss, and much much more".
Source: Blues News
Friday - September 12, 2008
Tabula Rasa - NCsoft: Here to Stay
Despite the recent rumours and office closures, according to Edge Online, NCsoft remains resolute on the future of Tabula Rasa:
NCsoft North America underwent significant restructuring last week, prompting rumors that its latest major MMO, Tabula Rasa, would soon be canned.
But a company rep claimed otherwise, in a Thursday interview with Edge.
Asked if NCsoft is still committed to the sci-fi MMO, David Swofford, PR director for NCsoft North America assured, "Absolutely. [The restructuring] has no impact on Tabula Rasa. ... I don't know where the rumors are coming from, but with [marketing blitz] Operation Immortality in full swing, the team's very dedicated to that game, and they are still working on it."
He admitted that an MMO company always would like a larger subscriber base for its games, but added, "Support for that game is not going away."
Wednesday - August 20, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Dev Corner
Starr Long talks about TR's deployment 11.
We've seen a lot of attention focused on Tabula Rasa® within the last few months, culminating with the release of Deployment 11 last week and the launch of Operation Immortality™ in July. The influx of new players from our promotions has been great, and with the monthly updates we're continually keeping our veteran players happy with new and interesting content. While we push forward with continuing to develop and promote Tabula Rasa, it's important to examine how we're accomplishing this and there's no better example than Deployment 11.
Source: Blues News
Monday - June 30, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Feedback Friday
Preview of the latest update coming to TR.
Two new incendiary shotguns will be making their way to you in Deployment 10. These aren’t your grandpa’s shotguns - they are equipped with not one, but two and three barrels for the ultimate Bane killing experience.
These new shotguns are just a thin-slice of our overall goal to improve player customization. We will be releasing more and more weapon upgrades like these shotguns in future deployments.
- Double-barrel shotguns: Will appear at Level 23. These shotguns do more damage that standard shot guns, but don’t get too trigger happy just yet. These shotguns fire slower, consume twice the ammo, and gain heat faster.
- Tri-barrel shotguns: Will appear at Level 34. These shotguns do more damage as well, and have a wider arc. And just like the double-barrel shotguns, you must be wise with your shots, because in addition to their awesome fire power, these shotguns fire slower, consume triple the ammo, and gain heat faster than standard shotguns.
Thursday - June 12, 2008
Tabula Rasa - NCsoft Talks @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has talked with NCsoft on the success of Tabula Rasa and the outcome was this:
"Tabula Rasa has a dedicated player base, which is growing month on month," said an NCsoft Europe spokesman.
"Tabula Rasa offers players a different kind of MMO experience, enhancing our portfolio of game titles. The game play mechanics are very different to that of a typical MMO - those who have experienced the game have recognised these innovative features and applauded them.
"A recent European trial promotion was met with great demand; we will be doing a similar promotion later in the year."
Source: Blues News
Thursday - May 29, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Richard Garriott Interview @ The Independent
Talks about his childhood and involvement with NASA as he trains for his Space Flight promoting TR.
I was at Webster Elementary from the age of five to 11 and then I went to Webster Intermediate for three years and after that to Clear Creek High School.
One of the particularly visionary things at high school was that personal computers had come out and, although it was too soon for the school to develop a place for them on the curriculum, they saw my early interest and allowed me to have my own class – with no teacher, no fellow students, no assignments and no tests.
I would develop my own plan at the beginning of the semester and at the end I would make a presentation of what I had done, which was to develop a programme, consisting of mostly creative games.
These would be more sophisticated than the commercial games available.
Right after I left high school, the last game I had written there was good enough for the owner of a local computer store to sell it. One of my discs found its way to a national distributor and this game sold 30,000 copies, earning me $150,000 (£76,000). I produced three games in total for other publishers, until my brother said: "Why don't we form a company?"
Tuesday - May 27, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Interview with Tom Potter
TR's new Lead Designer interviewed at MMORPG.
If you had told me when I was eight years old, "hey kid, you're gonna be making games someday", I think my head would have exploded.
Whether it was making my own rules for Axis and Allies, or actually sending Nintendo proposals in the mail (which were all kindly rejected), I always knew I wanted to be a game designer. But back then it really didn't seem like a viable career path. So I took a long detour through some other fields before realizing that is was in fact possible to make games and make it a career. I was a chemist for a while, but it just wasn't really fulfilling personally. So I made the decision to switch careers, and through a lot of blood, sweat and tears I finally got a chance to join the industry. Prior to joining NCsoft I worked at Iron Lore Entertainment as Lead Content Designer. While there I worked on Titan Quest, Titan Quest: Immortal Throne, and a little bit of Dawn of War: Soulstorm. I joined NCsoft initially as a Senior World Designer and was responsible for making maps and instances. I just recently transitioned to the Lead Designer role which is really a whole new set of challenges. But the team is really fantastic and we're making strides towards making TR better and better with every update.
Monday - April 21, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Re-review @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer seem to like doing re-reviews since they opened up the MMO portion of their site. This time Tabula Rasa gets 7/10.
Yet it's also, by many accounts, a commercial disaster. Server populations are low, there was talk of guilds defecting from the game within months of launch, and despite a strong denial from publishers NCsoft, a Korean newspaper piece slamming the game as an expensive failure for the firm elicited a nod-and-wink "no smoke without fire" response from many quarters.
In public, NCsoft remains completely supportive of Tabula Rasa - dedicated to a programme of ongoing improvement and upgrades, and even to an expansion pack down the line. Privately, however, the company must be asking itself where it all went wrong.
Sunday - March 30, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Patches to Ashes Video Preview
WarCry does the writing:
The Tabula Rasa team has created a new video on an instance in the game called Patches to Ashes. Mission designer Jason Ford explains how to get around this area, shows some of the enemies players will confront and gives suggestions on defeating Patch, the AI that has become (dangerously) self-aware.
I provide the link.
Monday - March 10, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Preview of Patch 1.6
TR's friday feature is a look at the coming 1.6 patch.
With 1.6 in the works right now, we thought we’d give you a sneak peek of what you will able to experience for yourself once 1.6 goes live. These are but a couple of those handy little features that were requested at some point or another and we would be happy to get your feedback on some of the changes
Thursday - March 06, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Starr Long public message and status update
IncGamers have posted this statement from the TR Producer.
I would be remiss if I don’t clarify the matter of rumored “massive layoffs” within NCsoft North America and the Tabula Rasa team. While the game has not taken off as quickly as we had hoped, we also launched in an insanely competitive time frame, with several well-known intellectual properties launching follow up products at the same time. However, the fact of the matter is that we are transitioning from a pre-launch crunch-mode development team to a live service team. This is standard in our industry—you ramp up to launch a game and then ramp down once it’s live. This is what we are doing over the next several weeks, and it only affects the Tabula Rasa team. Once all is said and done, we will still have a substantial live team for industry standards. As you can see by the new features we’re working on, we’re still planning on lots of great content and updates all year long.
Tuesday - January 29, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Hybrid Races Video & Q&A @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com catches up with Paul Sage, Lead Designer for Tabula Rasa, to discuss the addition of hybrid races to the sci-fi MMO.
MMORPG.com: Can you explain how the concept of hybrids came about? What made you decide to put them in the game?
Paul Sage: Community feedback had a lot to do with this. Richard felt strongly that the story of Tabula Rasa was a human story. Throughout the history of his games, it has been about the player actually being in the world. So it seemed natural that at launch we told the human story. The internal and external community feedback was that they wanted to play alien races as well. So now it is time to tell the story, still human, but with a twist, or a splice, if you prefer, of alien DNA.
Wednesday - January 23, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Peek #5 @ RPG Vault
David Vargo, World Builder for Tabula Rasa, talks about the creation of a new instance for the game, Fault's Lever.
It was pretty clear how to begin Fault Lever's design because the associated shared map, Thunderhead, had all of the relative environmental features I wanted to incorporate. The design document called for an underground instance map connected to the north face of the massive Ligo Fault Rift. The players' ultimate mission within this instance is to turn off the four hammers (shockwave inducers) found within the shared map's rift. Because the mission objectives were closely connected to the shared map, I felt it important to integrate visually the rift and accompanying elements into the instance map. However, this design direction presented unique layout challenges.
Source: RPG Vault
Monday - January 07, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Review @ AtomicGamer
AtomicGamer reviews Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
Tabula Rasa does a lot of things right and only a few things really wrong, but I still find it tough to recommend this one except to those anti-fantasy RPG fans who feel they must be holding a gun rather than a sword in their games. No matter your tastes, Tabula Rasa does offer a new experience over World of Warcraft and the nice part is that the players are generally proven to be more mature than those who live in Blizzard's games. While the developers haven't really laid out long-term plans for the direction of TR beyond balance changes and fixes, there's a lot of potential here for them to add a ton of stuff and really make it shine. Until then, this game is not the MMO killer it was hyped to be, but it's still a fine game with a solid technical background and just enough action to make it feel a lot more explosive than the many online RPGs out there.
Friday - January 04, 2008
Tabula Rasa - Review @ The Game Reviews
The Game Reviews awards Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa an overall score of 8.0 and concludes:
To wrap things up, Tabula Rasa is just an all around a fun MMO to play and is chock full of neat sci-fi tech for us to play around with. The combat system is quite intuitive and easy to understand, the environments are beautiful, you can find quests and hidden areas everywhere you go, and perhaps most importantly there’s no risk of getting randomly beaten up during a quest. Try it: if you like MMOs and you like sci-fi you’ll find yourself drawn in quite easily.
Friday - December 14, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Peek #4 @ RPG Vault
Sam Gebhardt, a Concept Artist working on Tabula Rasa, talks about what inspired his design of Maligo Tower.
I wanted to portray the feeling of a massive excavation of an ancient Eloh artifact. In this case, the Bane are trying to crack into the technology of this new discovery. The environment was supposed to be barren, harsh and sharp, yet the Eloh were so far advanced that attempts to scratch the surface seem to be failing, as can be seen by the fact that some sort of power seems to be emitted from the interior.
Source: RPG Vault
Thursday - December 13, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com chats to Starr Long, the Producer of Tabula Rasa.
MMORPG.com: What kind of high end content is slated for Tabula Rasa? Will there be raids, and if so, can you give us some examples?
Starr Long: We have already begun adding new maps starting with patch 1.3 with a new level 50 instance. We are hoping to get another couple in with patch 1.4. We also are going to work on multi-squad maps sometime “soon.” These will be maps that multiple groups can enter (instead of just one group).
Monday - December 10, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ WarCry
Richard Garriott (and friends) talk to WarCry about Tabula Rasa.
WarCry: Have we asked "Why did you pick "Logos" to describe the psionics and language in the game? Are you referring to the ancient Greek philosophical concept or to the more Biblical connotation"?
Richard Garriott: The word "Logos" is used in our game both for the symbolic language and for the force-like super powers our players learn to wield. "Logos" is often used to describe god-like powers that manifest reality with the power of your mind and spoken words, such as "Let There Be Light and there was." Added to this is the concept of a logogrammatic language, which uses pictographic symbols for communication.
Wednesday - December 05, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ Gamasutra
Richard Garriott has some interesting things to say about the launch of Tabula Rasa in an interview with Gamasutra.
“We burned out some quantity of our beta-testers when the game wasn’t yet fun," he said, adding, "As we’ve begun to sell the game, the people who hadn’t participated in the beta became our fast early-adopters.”
He continued, “And the people who did participate in the beta, we’ve had to go back to and say ‘look, look, we promise: we know it wasn’t fun two months ago, but we fixed all that. Really, come try it again.’ We’ve had to go out and develop free programs to invite those people back for free before they go buy it. So the beta process, which we used to think of as a QA process, is really a marketing process.”
Saturday - December 01, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Feedback Friday @ Official Site
The Community News section of the official Tabula Rasa site has been updated with a new Feedback Friday feature. Topics covered include:
Currently, you cannot resurrect a fellow player involved in a clan war. This is by design to prevent exploiting during a clan war by having outside healers. We are addressing this issue however, since it may cause problems when you are in an instance with a group. We plan to add a PvP Combat Timer that will recognize when your character is in PvP or PvE combat.
Source: NC Soft
Tabula Rasa - Peek #2 @ RPG Vault
Concep Artist Chris Anderson talks about one of the environment concepts he was inolved in developing for Tabula Rasa.
One of the environment concepts I worked on was called the Wardenbot Main Assembly room. The premise for this area was to make a massive robot assembly chamber that was created and completely controlled by sentient machines. My job was to design this room and all of the assets inside, including the massive assembly machine.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - November 28, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Review @ PlayTM
PlayTM awards Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa a respectable score of 82% and concludes:
Tabula Rasa is far from complete, but no MMORPG ever is when it is first released. As it stands though, it forms a good solid basis for what deserves to become an extremely popular online offering. Despite the strong competition of World of Warcraft and Everquest 2, Tabula Rasa manages to add some unique and innovative features to the genre such as the cloning system, and hopefully with a few more patches under its belt (adding extra features); it will be guaranteed a strong player base for many years to come. Although perhaps not a great MMORPG for a newcomer to begin with, due to its slightly sparse tutorial, it is a good example of the genre and deserves to be played by many who fancy something a bit different from the relatively simplistic World of Warcraft. Go out and give it a try.
Tuesday - November 27, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Review @ Games32
Games32 takes Tabula Rasa out for a spin and summarises it's findings thusly:
As in many other MMORPGs I wasn't impressed at all by Tabula Rasa in the beginning, but it slowly grew on me and I can safely say that if you are open minded and give it a chance you won't be disappointed. I still dislike the low-res textures they found for the ground in most areas, and the fact that Anti-Aliasing doesn't work, no matter how hard you try to enable it. It does *something* but polygons still have rough edges, and let's not mention 2D bitmaps. And what's that big bitmap "forest" that you can't pass through all about, come on! Animations don't seem to fit well with the environment, and music is dull. However, music grows on you in time...
Tabula Rasa - Rage Changes @ Official Site
Tabula Rasa may not yet be ready to run, but it's sure walking with the community already crying 'nerf' at the upcoming changes to the Rage ability.
When Rage went out, it went out with a large bug. If you look at the tooltip for the ability, it lists out a different buff than what is actually given out. Right now, the real damage bonus amount is 105% with the first pump alone. That was too much. As a team, we know what the “nerf bat” is, and we are very reluctant to swing it. However, what is currently active is a bug, and so we have to fix that bug. We understand that fixing it will greatly impact the way the game is played for many of our players. In order to mitigate some of the initial shock, we changed Rage in many good ways.
Source: NC Soft
Friday - November 16, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Review @ YouGamers
In a mixed review YouGamers gives Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa a score of 75/100.
As is unfortunately common with MMOs, Tabula Rasa has launched woefully incomplete. Granted, it's much better than it was a month ago in beta, and lot of the broken things in the early portions of the game have been polished and completed - up to a point where you could call the early leveling portion of the game (Level 1-30 or so) as complete and mildly entertaining. The problem is, what's after that? With shallow combat and limited abilities, there seems to be a definite lack of an endgame. Grinding up multiple characters can be fun for a while, and the cloning system takes out the worst bits of that, allowing you to experiment with both available class options at each specialization point, but in MMOs, leveling is generally just there to offer you a fun road to the end, and with Tabula Rasa, the "end" bit seems to be still under development.
Thursday - November 15, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Referral Program @ Official Site
NCSoft has kicked off the Tabula Rasa referral program over at the official site.
The AFS is looking for new recruits, and now YOU can aid in the war effort, and get a FREE Month Credit* to Tabula Rasa! If you refer a friend and they purchase a standard account and pay for one month of subscription to Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa®, you will be automatically credited with one month of free game time!
Source: NC Soft
Tuesday - November 13, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Review @ GameZone
GameZone awards Richard Garriott's latest MMO venture a very respectable score of 8.6 in its review of Tabula Rasa.
First and foremost, TR plays off a familiar theme – invasion of the Earth. In TR’s universe, the Earth was not only invaded, but defeated. The Bane are the world-hopping force that will subvert what it can, and destroy what it cannot. The governments of Earth saw it coming and though the world was lost, some were saved. You are one of the survivors. As part of the AFS (a rag-tag allied force of the survivors from conquered worlds; AFS stands for Allied Free Sentients), you begin the stand against the Bane on Foreas, a forest-covered world where the inhabitants lived in harmony with the land … well, until the Bane showed up. Now the pristine landscape is dotted with twisted shapes and blood-red vines. Even some of the tribal members are … well, let’s leave that for you to discover as you play the game.
Tuesday - November 06, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Trivia Contest @ Official Site
NCSoft has announced it will be holding an in-game Tabula Rasa trivia contest. The official site has the details.
Do you pride yourself as a Sci-Fi guru? Well, today you have your chance to prove it to the entire universe! Join us in game for the AFS Sci-Fi Trivia Challenge! General British himself will be there to ask the questions, and you can get a chance to meet the General and win some credits just by demonstrating your Sci-Fi prowess. So be sure to log in and listen up to win!
Source: NC Soft
Monday - November 05, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ NY Times
The New York Times catches up with Richard Garriott to discuss Tabula Rasa.
“I’ve been doing medieval fantasy for 25 years in a row, and it was just time to do something new,” Mr. Garriott, in his customary uniform of denim shirt, jeans, white tube socks and sneakers, said here at the offices of NCsoft, the South Korean company publishing the game. “The first element we wanted to focus on was fast-paced tactical combat. No. 2 was creating a dynamic battlefield where the player feels there is action going on around them all the time. And third was creating a story line that includes ethical parables and problems.”
Tabula Rasa - Overview @ MMORPG.com
Laura Genender offers some updated impressions of Tabula Rasa based on the launch version of the game.
While I’m still leveling up and making a lasting decision on TR (yes, I will do a review!), my first few days were nothing short of fun. The changes were apparent right out of the tutorial. The missions were more appealing, with more guidance, voiceovers, and rewards that were actually useful to my Recruit. While drops and rewards still quickly replaced my original color palette chosen in character creation, the replacements were a neutral slate-blue instead of the former pink and orange eyesores. And all over the newbie world I found dye recipes to fix my armor up at a crafting station.
Sunday - November 04, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ GamersGlobal
GamersGlobal has a very short and to the point interview with Richard Garriott about his latest MMO outing, Tabula Rasa.
GG: How big was your involvement in the creation of Ultima Online?
Richard Garriott: The producer and director of UO was Starr Long, who really is the person that deserves the most credit for Ultima Online. However, I was still very involved throughout that project as a designer. And we have a very similar relationship on Tabula Rasa, where it is Starr who’s managing the team, managing the purse and the process of getting the game done. But even as I am the so called spiritual figurehead of the team or in the role of creative director, I am also a designer directly on the project itself. For example, I designed the Logos language that we use in the game. And also some of the main story threads.
Friday - November 02, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Launch Announcement
NCSoft has published a press release announcing the launch of Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
AUSTIN, Texas, November 1, 2007— NCsoft®, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announced today that Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa®, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game for the PC where players are thrust into an exciting intergalactic struggle, launches commercial service in North America and Europe on November 2, 2007.
“Now the fun begins! I can’t wait to join thousands of other players in this exciting galactic war,” said Richard Garriott, the game’s executive producer. “It is time for us to release Tabula Rasa to the players. I am eager to see player reaction to the game, and am ready to build on what we’ve started here. We’ve got plans for new features and expansions for the foreseeable future and I’m hoping the players will enjoy the game and get excited about what’s in store for them next!”
Tabula Rasa, one of the most anticipated PC titles of the year, is the vision of gaming legend Richard Garriott. The game combines a rich game world and deep storyline with military combat and fast paced action. Set in a near-future science fiction backdrop, players must fight to save humanity against hostile alien enemies trying to gain control of the universe.
“Dell and NCsoft have worked together closely over the past few years,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Inc. “I think Richard has really created a compelling game in Tabula Rasa. This game gives those who enjoy role-playing a rich and deep experience, while appealing to action gamers too. He’s taken this game beyond being the next MMO entry into the field. It really is a fun, fast paced combat game that provides even more depth for players who want it. I’m excited to join the fight!”
The game introduces several innovative elements to massively multiplayer online games, including a Character Cloning System™ that allows players to explore different character classes without having to create a new character, and dynamic battlefields where players feel the frenetic action of combat in an ongoing war.
“We are all very excited about the addition of Tabula RasaTabula Rasa’s science fiction background and military combat action proves to be enjoyable to many types of gamers.” to our catalog of games,” stated Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft’s North American operation. “One of NCsoft’s goals is to provide different types of online gaming products – both within the ‘proven’ fantasy genre and outside the genre, as well. This game is truly unique; we hope that
The standard edition box of Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasahttps://secure.plaync.com/cgi-bin/Store.pl). Customers will be able to purchase the Limited Collector’s Edition box from major retailers at an expected retail price of $69.99. Both products include the first month of online game play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99. Sixty-day game time cards will also be available at many North American retailers for an expected retail price of US$29.99. The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Source: NC Soft
Sunday - October 28, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Launch Screen #2 @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com's 7-day build up to the launch of Tabula Rasa continues with another exclusive screenshot.
Saturday - October 27, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Peek #1 @ RPG Vault
April Burba, the Community Manager for Tabula Rasa, offers some insight into how the 'kill General British' end of beta event was conceived.
Of course, that created a small problem. In the Tabula Rasa universe, General British is a hero; he's one of the founders of the Allied Free Sentients, and someone who plays a key role in the survival of humanity. So, we had to figure out why players would want to kill him in the first place.
This is where our writing staff came in, creating the fiction behind the game and immersing the players in events like this one. They wove a story of corruption and enemy infiltration that has been slowly leaked out to players in the form of top secret transmissions from key members of the AFS.
Source: RPG Vault
Thursday - October 25, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Team Q&A #3 @ RPG Vault
The third installment in RPG Vault's Tabula Rasa team Q&A is now online.
Jonric: Since we've asked started the previous Q&As in a similar manner, what facets of your work on Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa did you find most rewarding?
Client Technology Programmer
As part of the client technology team, one of our main focuses is bringing the best possible performance to the players. With the highly detailed art and high concurrency on the servers, we needed a way of scaling this detail based on what is relevant to them. From this need, I developed the relevance system, which scores objects in-game based on their visual impact and importance to the player, and can reduce its load on the system. I think it is great that this system has been adopted by other programmers and has helped Tabula Rasa give players a fast and fun experience.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - October 24, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Team Q&A #2 @ RPG Vault
Part two of RPG Vault's Q&A with the Tabula Rasa team is now online.
Jonric: To start within the scope of your work on Tabula Rasa, what are one or two things that stand out for you, perhaps as personal points of pride?
I'm proud of a lot of things, mostly the great team here in Austin and the amazing artists I got to work with over the course of this project. I think the intro cinematic was a challenging project, and bringing all the great talent together and getting such a great result was a real thrill.
Source: RPG Vault
Tuesday - October 23, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Team Q&A #1 @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault kicks off a new Q&A series with the Tabula Rasa development team.
Jonric: With respect to your personal contribution to Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, what things stand out most, and what are you most proud of?
Lead World Builder
I'm very proud of my work on the Concordia Divide region, as this was one of our first maps, and we learned so much there. I feel the end result is a great blend of nice places untouched by war, and scorched battlefields ravaged by battle. There's a great spread of missions here, and it's also where your character really 'comes into his power' as your Tier 3 classes become available. If you notice Susan's answer and mine are alike on this, it's because we worked together on this map and it was a defining region for the game in general.
Source: RPG Vault
Monday - October 22, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault chats to the Tabula Rasa team about the music, sound and voice acting in Richard Garriott's latest outing.
Jonric: Who composed the music for Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, and what experience did you bring to the assignment, both related to games and in general?
Tracy Bush: The music in Tabula Rasa was composed by me, Curse Mackey, and Chris Vrenna with Clint Walsh. My stuff was done internally, while Chris and Curse worked from their home studios.
Previously, I was at Blizzard, where I worked on sound design for StarCraft, Brood War, and the cinematics for Diablo II. I did sound design and composition for WarCraft III, WarCraft III: Frozen Throne, and sound design as well as a few tracks for World of WarCraft. I have also recently written the score for Dungeon Runners, which I'm continuing to work on as the game is live.
Source: RPG Vault
Thursday - October 18, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Dev Dairy & Video @ MMORPG.com
One of the first instance maps players can explore off Wilderness is Caves of Donn. When it came time for me to start creating the missions on this map, I had a little bit of a challenge on my hands, as it is one of the smaller instance maps. It is laid out as three primary large outdoor rooms connected by a smaller cave system. These connecting caves are rather enclosed, so the battles in Caves of Donn needed to be smaller in scale (but not in intensity) and a little more intelligent. In order to be successful in this area, the goal is to pay attention to your environment. Do you see creatures you previously thought long dead back in the picture? Ask yourself, “Where are they coming from?” Think you’re getting sniped? You probably are, so search out that sneaky guy and take him out!
Tabula Rasa - Screenshots @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault has five exclusive high resolution screenshots of Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
Source: RPG Vault
Sunday - October 14, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Screenshots @ Gameinfowire.com
Also in the screenshot business this today is Gameinfowire.com with a fine selection of Tabula Rasa images.
Saturday - October 13, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Dev Diary @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com has the latest developer diary from the Tabula Rasa team which looks at control points.
One of the fundamental goals for Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa was to simulate a war by creating what we call a dynamic battlefield. One of the ways we did that was to have the NPCs fight each other, but we wanted to take these battles a step further where they didn’t just fight each other sporadically as they encountered each other. Instead, we wanted them to actually fight over key pieces of territory which could alter the game environment in that area. These key territories are control points, and they are an integral part of what defines our dynamic battlefields.
Tuesday - October 09, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Screenshots @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com has added twelve new screenshots to its Tabula Rasa gallery.
Tabula Rasa - Halloween Event @ Official Site
NCSoft are holding an in-game Halloween event for players of Tabula Rasa.
Join us in-game on October 31st during our 3 day Pre-Order headstart to celebrate that special spooky time of year, Halloween! Players will run missions spreading Halloween goodies and receive special Halloween masks as a treat from the Dev Team. There are 9 special masks to collect and keep, but you can only get them if you are in-game on Halloween day as part of our Pre-Order Headstart. Pick up your Tabula Rasa Pre-Order Bonus pack today and join us in game on Halloween to get your treats!
Source: NC Soft
Wednesday - October 03, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ MPOGD
MPOGD talks to April Burba from the Tabula Rasa team about what players can expect from this upcoming MMO.
Jason: Tabula Rasa is departing from the usual fighting mechanics, in that it isn't so much the auto combat of a World of Warcraft, and is instead much more action oriented and involving. Some players are taking to the new control scheme without issue, but others are having difficulties using the mouse in a more FPS reticule type way. Why, ultimately, was the more action system decided upon, and do you think that the gamers more weaned on traditional MMOs will be able to casually jump in and enjoy the game, having to conform tradition in a way to adopt a more FPS control scheme.
April: I think so – we actually added a more MMO-style control scheme as an option, however you have to aim and control your camera with your mouse with either control scheme and some people really don’t like that. It seems that people who play a ton of games, not just MMOs, get it much easier than people who mainly play MMOs. I think that is because if you play a wide variety of games you don’t come into TR with as much of an expectation of how the controls are ‘supposed’ to work than a heavy MMO player. Instead, you just learn the controls and the rules to the game and you go play. It’s about a 15 minute learning curve for some, but once you learn it suddenly you are much more immersed in the action than any other MMO I have ever played. My least favorite MMOs are the ones where you click on a target and then wait for the computer to finish the combat for you. TR is the opposite of that type of gaming.
Tuesday - October 02, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Delayed @ Official Site
The official Tabula Rasa site has word that the game will be delayed.
Many of you have heard my mantra for game development: "Stable, Fast, Fun. In that order." We need a little more time to make that happen.
To this end we are moving our Pre-Order headstart date to 10/30/07 and our commercial service start date to 11/2/07. This short but critical amount of time will give us time to address several issues including stability and balance as well as allowing our players to test the continent of Ligo (L38+) and our major changes to crafting for a few weeks rather than a few days. Our entire development staff feels this extra time is needed as does our beta community. We feel confident that this extra time will make a difference on launch day.
Source: NC Soft
Wednesday - September 26, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Beta Preview @ Stropp's World
Stropp's World previews a beta edition of Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
The problem I think is that the gameplay will turn out to be fairly one dimensional. There seems to be only one real style of play, and that is using guns with some Logos action in the mix. Games like WoW, LotRO, and the like have a number of classes which allow a player to mix it up. Mages can be Frost, Fire or Arcane. There are Tanks, Rogues, Hunters with lots of variations. Tabula Rasa does allow specialisation of your character into a Guardian, Ranger, Demolitionist, Medic and the like later in the game, so it’s hard to say for certainty on this, but I’m not sure it will really make all that much of difference to mix up the gameplay.
Tuesday - September 25, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Beta @ FilePlanet
Bluesnews reports that FilePlanet is hosting the Tabula Rasa beta client and seems to be making it available to registered users as well as subscribers.
Monday - September 24, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Snipers & Spys @ IGN
IGN previews the Sniper and Spy classes from Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
Ranger Class, Spy Division
This expert of subterfuge excels in moving into enemy territory undetected, and wreaking havoc through deception and misdirection. While still an expert with a gun, this class specializes in the stealthy aspects of war. Any soldier who wants to learn how to move unseen, how to gather vital enemy information, as well as how to silently eliminate threats should look to train as a Spy.
Thursday - September 20, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Beta Preview @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com's Laura Genender shares some impressions of the beta version of Tabula Rasa.
TR combat is a sort of mix between traditional MMO and FPS. Players don't exactly have to aim - the targeting reticule is sticky, and can be locked onto a target as long as you keep them in your forward line of sight. There's a lot of fast paced action though: movement, shooting, and killing, and how can that not be fun? I had a lot of fun in TR just going out to a field of Bane and killing them dead. This is actually encouraged, to an effect, by the kill multiplier: the more enemies you kill without stopping to rest, the higher your EXP modifier will go, multiplying your experience gain up to 6x normal!
Monday - September 17, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Screenshots @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com has updated its Tabula Rasa gallery with nine new screenshots.
Sunday - September 16, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Previews @ RPG Land & The MMO Gamer
RPG Land and The MMO Gamer spends some hands-on time with Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
Tabula Rasa is shaping up to be one of the most innovative mainstream additions to the MMORPG genre in awhile. This is sorely needed. While there are some minor issues, Tabula Rasa as of today would be one of the more complete MMO releases, which is known to be plagued with release date patches and game stopping bugs. It is nice to see developers straying away from the tired "swords and sorcery" fantasy worlds. Players interested in a “next-gen” MMO experience that strays away from standard genre conventions while holding on to those that made it an industry powerhouse would be advised to keep an eye out for Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, set for release October 19th, players who preorder will be allowed earlier admitance starting October 16th.
When all is said and done, after over a week of playing and getting two characters to level 15, I tried very, very hard to like the game, but came up short.
The overall feeling I got was that TR is severely lacking in meat on its bones. It strikes me as the type of game that will be worth playing a year down the line, after it gets an expansion and a dozen patches under its belt, but one that isn’t going to have enough content at launch to last all but the most “one-hour-a-night casual” players longer than a month.
Saturday - September 15, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ RPG Vault
RPG Vault chats to NCsoft's Victor Meinert and John Mueller about the art direction on Tabula Rasa.
Jonric: To get started, how did the art direction function on Tabula Rasa come to be split? What are the advantages and pitfalls, and what's the actual division of responsibilities?
Victor Meinert: When Starr Long and I were originally drafting out the structure for Destination Games, which was acquired by NCsoft in 2001, we had each had our own experiences with large teams that compelled us to try for a structure that allowed for production and creative leadership to be held by a partnership. This approach made sense on two levels, one offering checks and balances, the other relief from the sheer scale of it all. So philosophically, I've held that view since we started the company. In a lot of ways, my relationship with John is a lot like the one between Richard Garriott and Starr.
Source: RPG Vault
Wednesday - September 12, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Preview @ Games32
Games32 previews Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
Then there is the "shooter" aspect. Like all respectable MMORPGs, Tabula Rasa uses a 3rd person camera perspective. But the similarities end here, because the fighting system is more than skill buttons pressed in some order, and each player taking turns in using their abilities. Being a sci-fi game, players use guns to fire instantly. But that's not all. Even if the game calculates odds and does dice rolls for each hit, you actually have to aim the target you shoot, or else you will miss. Like in a shooter game, you can strafe around your target to become harder to hit, or you can use terrain to your advantage.
Thursday - September 06, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Release Date @ MMORPG.com
The release date for Tabula Rasa was confirmed yesterday at a press event at the home of Richard Garriott. MMORPG.com was on hand to gather the details.
Austin, Texas, September 6, 2007-- NCsoft®, the world's leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announced today that Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa® has reached gold master status and will launch commercial service in North America and Europe on October 19, 2007. Pre-order customers will begin their three-day head start on October 16.
Saturday - September 01, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ TenTonHammer
TenTonHammer has an interview on Tabula Rasa with NCSoft community manager CuppaJo:
TTH: So what is there to do in Tabula Rasa besides kill stuff?
April: We have a waypoint teleporter system for explorer types. You need to walk past them to add them to your teleporter list. As you explore, you increase your travel options for getting around the world.
We also have a customizable chat system with a tabbed chat interface. You start with three default tabs and can then customize them, color code them, et cetera. Voice chat functionality is build right into the client, which is nice with the faster gameplay, and we have the clan system and taverns to kill time in.
Tuesday - August 21, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Screenshots @ MMORPG.com
Eight new screenshots have been added to the Tabula Rasa gallery at MMORPG.com.
Source: K2 Network
Monday - August 20, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Hands-On Preview @ GamingExcellence
GamingExcellence gets hands-on with Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
Tabula Rasa is, let's say, a TPS- a third-person shooter. But, even that isn't entirely accurate. Unlike the traditional FPS, your shots aren't exact but instead are calculated using a number of different stats and positions. The game has a feature that has come to be known as "sticky" targeting. Once you target over an enemy, your aim is "stickied" to it. Seems pretty easy then, doesn't it? Well, not quite. Your damage is calculated also by your character stats and how you hit your target. As you aim at an enemy, your cursor becomes target with a bull's eye. The closer to the bull's eye you hit, the more damage you do. If you begin to fire wildly, you'll not only do less damage, but the enemy NPCs will be dodging most of your shots. Find yourself facing multiple targets? You can tab between them or just begin firing at another enemy, forcing your stickied target to switch.
Tuesday - August 14, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Preview @ GameShark
GameShark previews Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
For the uninitiated, Tabula Rasa describes a universe in which Earth has been destroyed, along with most of the human race. Survivors, of which there are few, struggle to exist with the aid of a benevolent alien race called the Eloh. Select survivors chosen by the Eloh join in their fight against the galactic menace known as Bane. Combating this evil demands wielding logos, rare and powerful forces that the Eloh’s anointed warriors are capable of using. You are to become one of these warriors, harnessing the latent power of logos to battle against Bane and allow humanity's hope to endure.
Thursday - August 09, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ EuroGamer
EuroGamer talks to Richard Garriott about his vision for the future of MMOs. The future being Tabula Rasa, of course.
"From a fiction standpoint, the one thing we didn't want to do was medieval fantasy," he says. "We've all been doing medieval fantasy for 25 years, and almost every MMO is medieval fantasy - so that was the one thing we weren't going to do."
Wednesday - August 08, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Preview @ Gaming Nexus
Gaming Nexus previews a beta version of Tabula Rasa.
Randy: In the spirit of "first impressions," what are some of the good, bad, and ugly things you've run across so far in Tabula Rasa?
Chuck: I'm at level eight right now, and it's got some promise -- I've played almost every game Richard Garriott released over the years -- but I'm not sure there's any way they could release Tabula Rasa this year. There are too many bugs and too many things need ironing out that I think it will be tough to have a good launch before the end of the year.
I'm enjoying the game a lot though. I really like the real-time strategy aspect of taking territory away from the Bane(the bad guys in the game). But it's currently very buggy and rather frustrating that we aren't able to get a feel for some of the back and forth so far. I dig the run-and-gun style, but it feels a lot like Auto Assault. What do you think?
Tuesday - July 31, 2007
Tabula Rasa - LOGOS Info @ MMORPG.com
NCSoft has released some additional information about LOGOS in Tabula Rasa and MMORPG.com has kindly boxed it up for us.
In Tabula Rasa, you are a LOGOS-receptive soldier of the AFS, and are able to learn the language of LOGOS at shrines throughout the worlds you travel to. Not only can your knowledge of LOGOS be used to activate special abilities that can help the AFS win this war, but the ancient symbols you uncover can also unlock hidden locations where you can further your training and enhance your skills. Ancient secrets will be revealed to you as you collect more and more LOGOS to your tablet. - The Tabula Rasa development team.
Monday - July 23, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Signature Character Contest @ Official Site
NCSoft is holding a signature character contest to name a new Tabula Rasa NPC. Sadly, the contest is available to US and EU residents only.
6 finalists will then be selected by NCsoft (3NA/3EU) and the Development team will pick the First and Second Place winners from the group of finalists. Although there is only one set of prizes, different terms and conditions apply to US and Canadian Residents on the one hand and European Union residents on the other hand. The terms and conditions for the European Union entrants are located here. The First and Second Place winners will then be flown to Austin, Texas, United States, for the Tabula Rasa Pre-Launch Party happening at Britannia Manor sometime in the week starting on Monday 3rd September and ending on Sunday 9th September!
Source: NC Soft
Thursday - July 19, 2007
Tabula Rasa - E3 Preview @ Ten Ton Hammer
Ten Ton Hammer checks out Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa at this year's E3.
In a nutshell, the game is a science fiction, massively multiplayer game that takes place in what could be the world of tomorrow. An alien race called The Bane have arrived and appear intent on tearing us up and spitting us out. Earth has been invaded and humanity has dispersed to the stars where we are fighting for our lives.
Source: Ten Ton Hammer
Thursday - July 12, 2007
Tabula Rasa - E3 Screenshots @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com has added eight new E3 screenshots to its Tabula Rasa gallery.
Wednesday - July 11, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Garriott Interview @ CVG
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.
Tuesday - July 03, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Preview @ CVG
CVG has a new Tabula Rasa preview courtesy of one of their print mags, PC Gamer. Here's a snip:
It's an interesting game. Starr Long, original Project Director of Ultima Online, talks about their desire to go back to first principles, imagining what an MMO could be like without the detritus of influences. No fantasy setting. No taking turns to bash monsters. At it's heart, Tabula Rasa is a third-person shooter, like Gears of War. It is, as one of the beta-testers said on the open chat channel when we were playing, "a breath of fresh air."
The biggest difference in approach is combat. Based around your character's abilities rather than your own ability to point a cursor over someone's head, Tabula Rasa's combat is more about situations than bare number-crunching.
Wednesday - June 20, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Richard Garriott Interviews
A site called Develop Mag has a short interview from a conference in the UK with NCsoft's Richard Garriott on the genre as a whole but Tabula Rasa is obviously used as an example:
What can you tell us about Tabula Rasa's design philosophy and how that plays into those online changes?
RG: Tabula Rasa makes major forward leaps in MMO design in four essential areas I can mention here.
Firstly there's combat – Tabula Rasa has fast paced, tactical, RPG combat. While the combat is fundamentally based on characters' attributes and equipment, players must also consider environmental conditions. Hiding behind cover is a massive aid in survival, as is crouching to assist in targeting accuracy. In most MMO’s you just stand toe to toe and trade blows with your opponent and ignore what is happening in real time around you. In Tabula Rasa, players and creatures will continue to jockey for optimal positioning in real time, adding greatly to the excitement. [more]
Likewise, Tabula Rasa pops up in another interview at The Escapist:
TE: When you set out to create this new universe for Tabula Rasa, what was your larger goal in that world?
RG: What's interesting about Ultima is that when I first started down this path, the state of the art of gaming was relatively simple, and so the sophistication of these systems was relatively minimal. If you look at the intellectual property that you might consider the bedrock of the Ultima series now, that bedrock evolved over 10 or 15 years, starting really with Ultima IV, but all the way through Ultima IX, those systems become more and more sophisticated, more and more consistent, more and more in depth over time.
One of the real tricks with Tabula Rasa [was] that we were really ready to start a whole new world over from scratch. It wasn't going to be Tolkein-esque; we were going to avoid medieval fantasy, because we've done it for 20 years. It might be sci-fi, but it was not going to be Star Wars-ian or any other obvious touchstone you can pick up. We're going to invent our own reality from scratch. But as games have become more sophisticated now, we basically had to accomplish 10 or 20 years of Ultima all in one cycle. It's one of the things that have taken us such a long road to really get things done right, especially here with Tabula Rasa. We really wanted to create a living, breathing, complete reality from scratch, to the depth of the later Ultimas, but all in one fell swoop.
Tabula Rasa - Screens @ MMORPG.com
Week Three of MMORPG.com's Tabula Rasa screens feature is up with three new shots on offer.
Tuesday - June 12, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Screenshots @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com has some exclusive Tabula Rasa screenshots available for your viewing pleasure.
Thursday - June 07, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Preview Interview Part 2 @ WarCry
The second half of WarCry's hands on Tabula Rasa preview and interview with Richard Garriott is now available.
"Each time someone starts at level one is an opportunity to exit [the game]," Garriott explained. Most MMOs (now I'm doing it!) ask players to start from scratch if they don't like the choice they made with the character. In Tabula Rasa, players can simply retreat to a previous clone (a brother or sister as the game casts them) and pick the opposite branch of the tree. The advantage to the player is that he is never forced to play huge chunks of content over and over just to experience the game in a slightly different way, while the advantage to the developer is that players are more likely to experience the full breadth of content created for the game. As Garriott's quote alludes to, the sense of investment in the game is maintained. If a player needs to start at level one to try something new, they could just as easily start at level one in a competing game. If he can start at exactly the point where his path diverged in a way he did not enjoy, then he's more likely to stick with the product.
Thursday - May 10, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Richard Garriott Interview @ GamesIndustry.biz
This is actually the second part of an interview with Richard Garriott on the MMO market but it deals substantially with Tabula Rasa, so we'll file it that way:
Tabula Rasa has been in development for over five years. What's been taking it so long? Has there been a game play feature, technology, or business plan that has been dominating your team's focus?
We looked at online games that [NCsoft] have developed across the globe, and we think three years is minimum [development time] for a big MMO, and five years is the longer end. Obviously, Tabula Rasa has been longer than that.
One of the reasons why it ended up being quite so long has to do with a change we did about two years in. For the first two years, we had built a team to try to find this "hybrid" game design that would have equal amounts of mass appeal in the Western territories as well as the Eastern territories.
What we discovered was for all practical purposes an unsolvable problem, going back to the character iconography I was describing. We ended up making so many compromises that neither group thought that [the game] was compelling.
We're [now] going to make a game we here in the US understand well. And once the game is finished, then we'll make modifications for the Eastern territories.
Wednesday - May 02, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Closed Beta Begins @ Official Site
The Tabula Rasa closed beta is underway and the official site has details .
Austin, Texas, May 2, 2007—NCsoft® today announced that closed beta testing is beginning for the company’s highly anticipated online computer game, Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa™. The start of closed beta marks the game’s final development stages as Tabula Rasa approaches an anticipated launch this fall in North America and Europe.
Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) role playing PC game that places players in an epic sci-fi story where they will be challenged by dynamic and fast-paced adventures on alien worlds.
Garriott’s signature creative vision introduces several fresh features to the MMO genre such as a character cloning system, role-playing on the battlefield and a mystical “Logos” language and powers system. They are the types of touches that players have come to expect over the years from a Richard Garriott game.
“This is an exciting time for the Tabula Rasa team,” says Garriott, executive producer at NCsoft and the Austin, Texas-based Destination Games™ development team. “With closed beta testing now in progress, we’re excited to hear more what our players think. With fast-action and tactical combat in an RPG setting, a deep and interesting fictional universe, and many feature innovations, we think we’ve created a game that represents the next generation of MMO games and will revolutionize the way people play online games.”
Garriott is best known for creating the best-selling Ultima® computer game series, including the first commercially successful MMO game, Ultima Online. In 2006, he was presented with two industry honors for his work in the games industry. That year Garriott was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame and later was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards.
Source: NC Soft
Wednesday - April 18, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Preview @ Games Radar
Head over to Games Radar for one of their typical screen-heavy previews of Tabula Rasa, with some input from Richard Garriott:
“When you play a single-player game, you’re the hero, the central character in a story. When you play an MMO game, the average player, it turns out, is pretty darned average.” The battlefields of Tabula Rasa address this directly. Rather than offering fields of monsters randomly stalking the plains, waiting for you to bash them over the head, each sector is under constant threat of invasion. To reach quest-givers and vendors, and to accrue experience, players have to drive the Bane back. But whenever they gain ground in one sector, the Bane will strike back in another. The battle is never-ending.
Saturday - April 14, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Preview @ CVG
Richard Garriott provides input to a new Tabula Rasa preview at GDC that presumably originated from GDC:
Tabula Rasa is built on two ideas. The first is to provide a context and reason for your fighting. Garriott, when questioned, appears to take almost personal offence to the 'grind' MMOs suffer from.
"When you play a single-player game, you're the hero, the central character in a story. When you play an MMO game, the average player, it turns out, is pretty darned average." The battlefields of Tabula Rasa address this directly. Rather than offering fields of monsters randomly stalking the plains, waiting for you to bash them over the head, each sector is under constant threat of invasion. To reach quest-givers and vendors, and to accrue experience, players have to drive the Bane back.
But whenever they gain ground in one sector, the Bane will strike back in another. The battle is never-ending.
Wednesday - April 11, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Logos Translations @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com and NCSoft have translated two new Tabula Rasa logos.
Wednesday - April 04, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Logos Translations @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com has a Tabula Rasa lore update in the form of two new logos ideogram translations.
As readers may or may not be aware, Tabula Rasa, the upcoming MMORPG from NCsoft and Richard Garriott will include a special, translatable, in-game language called logos. Currently, the folks over at Tabula Rasa are running a contest to see who can be the first to decode their message, which can be found here . Here is what their official website has to say about the contest:Nearly 50 years ago, an archeologist found an unusual artifact during a routine research project in Machu Picchu, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It was a small disk with a metallic triskelion in the center and strange ideograms along the edge. The unusual disk was dubbed "The Mystery of Piedra de las Acianos" and received very little attention for many years.
Wednesday - March 14, 2007
Tabula Rasa - GDC Impressions @ FiringSquad, GameInformer
FiringSquad has posted the latest GDC preview of Tabula Rasa:
The game's concept has gone through some changes between the original announcement and today (indeed Tabula Rasa was supposed to be a working title but later the team decided to adopt it as its real name). At the time Garriott said that it would be developed completely as a digital download title and that it wouldn't be a science fiction based game. When details of the game were finally revealed in 2004 it was shown at E3 as a sci-fi game with more than a few fantasy elements. Shortly after E3, Garriott announced on the game's web site that they decided to go in a different direction and at E3 2005 that direction was revealed as a more traditional sci-fi game with lots of action. That concept seemed to have clicked for Garriott and the designers; they have stuck with that concept for the rest of Tabula Rasa's develpment.
GameInformer's preview has input from Richard Garriott:
“In Tabula Rasa, we create missions where receiving a mission is in a fairly traditional way, talking with NPCs, but missions are far more sophisticated, and you actually have to pay attention to what you’re doing. You’ll often receive missions that are by multiple subfactions that run counter to each other. You can complete one, but at the cost of being able to complete the other. You have to not only pay attention to what you’re doing, but there are many ethical parables built into that, and depending on how you choose to finish those missions, they’ll affect the way people respond to you further into the game. These mission threads—these arcs—ultimately build up to climaxes that we conclude inside of instances.”
Saturday - March 10, 2007
Tabula Rasa - GDC Previews
With Tabula Rasa having been in development for some time and completely redesigned at one point, this GDC presents a good opportunity to get a grip on how it is turning out. Here's the current list:
...and a snip from Shack:
"It's still an RPG," Garriot said overtop the cracks of laser blasts and sounds of marching soldiers. Garriott's team had wasted no time, dropping its saved spaceman straight into an instanced scenario. The basic premise of Tabula Rasa is fairly straightforward: a world-destroying alien race called the Bane has invaded, and players--each representing survivors of their home world--must unite to bring them down. Anyone who has ever read a comic book can probably skip that portion of the instruction manual.
Yet while some games focus on over-arcing stories, the emphasis in this case seems is placed on smaller-scale encounters. Garriott described a method that involves presenting the player with moral choices, reminiscent of a game like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and indeed the instance portion of Tabula Rasa felt very much like a rich single-player experience. Garriott likes to refer to these situations as "ethical parables," and the particular parable that he was sharing with us apparently involved a lot of alien ass-kicking. An isolated Bane research facility is turning dead soldiers into human-killing monstrosities, and the player is tasked with infiltrating the premises and "ethically" blowing it up.
Friday - March 09, 2007
Tabula Rasa - GDC Previews @ GameSpot, GameZone
Garriott walked us through a demonstration of the beta version of the game, which has apparently been up and running in a tightly knit "family & friends" testing group since December of last year. The game previously went through radical changes some years ago to become a futuristic sci-fi adventure that pits players against a race of invading aliens known as the Bane. The aliens have apparently gone on a large-scale campaign of conquest, attacking planets by pelting them with meteorites that infest the planets with alien growth and pave the way for invading forces. According to the game's story, you'll play as part of an alliance of surviving races that have escaped enslavement and are now fighting to push the aliens back.
Sunday - February 18, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Richard Garriott Interview @ VE3D
Titled An Audience with Lord British, VoodooExtreme has an interview with Richard Garriott that roams across a few issues but primarily discusses Tabula Rasa. Here's a bit on solo content:
So, the shared spaces are non-static. Enemies may start at their bases and work their way out along these Control Points. You can cut off supply lines at the source versus just having them appear in the field beside you. We think it makes a much more realistic world. So that's what I call the improvements in the shared spaces—in the group activities.
But then the instances we use for storytelling. If you think about [typical] solo-player games, they did a great job of making you feel special, but you had to play alone. In most MMOs, they don't really try to do a lot of storytelling, because it's frankly hard to do in a shared space. In most MMOs, instances are used for when you're fighting the big dragon and going for the big drop. You're not competing with all the other players for the once-in-a-thousand-times-it's-going-to-drop-something something special—but it's just a random collection of monsters and treasure.
We use our instances as a storytelling space, so it becomes much more like a solo player game. There are lots of puzzles and traps, and NPCs that advance you through the story. There are some instances meant for you to play by yourself, but many of them you can play with your party of friends. You and your friends together will be accomplishing some great goal that will give you the feeling you've accomplished something very special as a group.
Thursday - January 04, 2007
Tabula Rasa - Beta Sign-ups @ Official Site
Destination Games and NCsoft are looking for a few good testers – and now is the time to enlist for the early rounds of Tabula Rasa beta testing. We will be selecting testers based on system specifications, game experience, location, and date submitted. Please note that processing your beta application will take some time and we have a limited number of beta slots available. Closed beta slots are limited to players over the age of 18 and require acceptance of a Non-Disclosure legal agreement.
Source: NC Soft
Monday - November 06, 2006
Tabula Rasa - Beta Olympics @ TR Stratics
TR Stratics is holding a Tabula Rasa Beta Olympics contest.
Welcome to the TR Stratics Beta Olympics extravaganza! Tabula Rasa is currently undergoing internal testing, but the closed beta will be here before you know it. Do you want to be among the first to forge the future of Tabula Rasa? Well we want to give you that opportunity!
Tuesday - October 31, 2006
Tabula Rasa - Trick or Treat @ Stratics
Thursday - October 26, 2006
Tabula Rasa - Dev Profile @ MMORPG.com
MMORPG.com: Take us through a typical day of work at NCSoft, what is it like when you show up at the office?
April Burba: The thing I like most about my job is that there is no 'typical day' as a community manager. Depending on where your game is at in its life cycle (My games are MMOs) you could be coordinating a beta if the game hasn't launched, or you could be throwing a large in-game event for a holiday.
Community is part networking, part party planning, part emergency response team. It's also about anticipating consumers demands and feedback, one of the most notoriously frustrating and difficult things to do reliably. Community at its core is sifting through a million data points and pulling out what is most important and communicating that to developers and publishers.
Wednesday - October 25, 2006
Tabula Rasa - Clan Page @ Official Site
Source: NC Soft
Friday - October 20, 2006
Tabula Rasa - Interview @ Killer Betties
Killer Betties has an interview with the Tabula Rasa team - let's take a snip from the beginning:
1. Tabula rasa refers to the thought that "human beings are born with no innate or built-in mental content, in a word, "blank", and that their entire resource of knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the outside world." How does the meaning of tabula rasa apply to the game?
In the game players actually have a Tabula Rasa, a “blank slate” that they use to record found logos knowledge. This allows them to create powerful logos abilities based on this found knowledge.
The idea is further explored in the game via ethical parables and choices players make that determine who the players turn out to be since every player begins basically the same. Other games have you make choices about skills or races before you know anything about how those choices will affect your game. Tabula Rasa gives you a chance to make informed choices about your character.
Wednesday - October 04, 2006
Tabula Rasa: Tier 3 Class Screenshots @ TR Stratics
Source: TR Stratics
Sunday - October 01, 2006
Tabula Rasa: Gameplay Movie @ TR Stratics
Source: TR Stratics