Posts Tagged ‘richard-garriott’

The RPG Scrollbars: Richard Garriott’s autobiography

Explore/Create isn’t your average autobiography. Certainly, not your average developer one. There aren’t many that jump from 1980s corporate wranglings to literally being in space, nor which start not with the subject in the middle of a D&D game, but about to be crushed by the actual, literal Titanic. But that’s Richard Garriott for you – a man who has always stood for what I personally believe is the finest goal in life. To earn vast amounts of money doing what you love… and then use it to buy a castle.

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You Can Buy Richard Garriott’s Blood For $5000

Would you like to own a “Lord British Blood Reliquary” containing Richard Garriott’s actual blood? Now is your chance! The Tabula Rasa developer is selling artwork containing his blood for the low-low price of $5000 (around £3852) via eBay alongside a selection of items from his new MMO, Shroud of the Avatar.

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Shroud Of The Avatar’s Raised Over $3 Million

There’s an awful lot of money floating around out there. Richard Garriott’s determined return to the world of RPGs with Shroud Of The Avatar: Forsaken Virtues has now raised over $3m, with an epic $1.1m having been tacked on after the successful Kickstartering of $1.9m. (Spotted by Massively.) Would anyone like to crowdfund a holiday for me?

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Peeling Back The Shroud Of The Avatar

I’m watching a twenty five minute video of Shroud of the Avatar, with commentary from bearded spacefarer Lord British. I was going to take in the whole thing, making the occasional note when something caught my interest, but I’m four minutes in and I’ve become rather distressed. So far, Garriott has shown a couple of settlements and the player housing within them. There’s a pokey wizard’s tower, with a teleporter instead of a staircase, and Viking and Germanic themed dwellings. The problem is, they’re all crammed full of blatant fire hazards. Wooden houses containing enormous braziers, flames hungrily dancing and spilling from within. The druid is slightly more careful, possibly because he lives in a tree, but he’s still plonked an open flame next to a case of precious books. Very concerning. Oh, there’s conversation, combat and crafting as well but it’s mostly Rightmove Britannia.

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Castle Mania: Decorating Homes In Shroud Of The Avatar

If anyone knows how to decorate a medieval-style home, it’s Richard Garriott. He does, after all, have a reputation for taking up residence in actual, factual castles. And so it seems all-too-right that the man, the myth, the (tarnished, due to a perhaps not entirely needed Kickstarter) legend is now walking us through the Hoarders-worthy halls of his Shroud of the Avatar abode. Like snowflakes, however, every nigh-impregnable war fortress is different – an expression of its owner’s most delicate soul. Ponder your own plans as Garriott indiscriminately stacks everything with masterful finesse after the break.

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Shroud Of The Avatar Solicits Players For Game Assets

Real talk: SOTA's, um, not exactly a looker. Maybe you can do better!

Where there are fans, there is also fan art. This is one of nature’s most time-unsullied processes, painting our planet in mighty strokes since it first sang itself into existence. For example, what are alligators if not fan art of the dinosaurs? And ancient Rome? Just a fan recreation of ancient Greece. I rest my case. Richard Garriott and his merry band of Garriettes are clearly aware of this, which is why they’ve decided to directly ask fans to make art for Ultima spiritual successor Shroud of the Avatar. They’ve even provided custom tools with which to do it and the promise of a rather hefty payday – if fans’ completed submissions get accepted, that is.

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Die Shard: First Footage Of Shroud Of The Avatar


The resolution of this first video of Richard Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is so bad that I thought I’d time-traveled back to the 90s. However deductive reasoning on my part eliminated that notion quickly enough: I wasn’t wearing an X-Files t-shirt, and I wasn’t pining over [name redacted], [name redacted], [really, Craig?], nor Gillian Anderson (a message to lank-haired teenage me: you’ll eventually live your lifelong ambition of traveling, working in the games industry, and squeezing a bit of any girl. Please, get a haircut). No, it’s just low-res. It’s part of an hour-long presentation Garriott and his team gave at RTX 13, talking about his adventure in crowd-funding, the many eras of multiplayer games, before finally showing off early footage. Video is below.
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British Invasion: Shroud Of The Avatar Raises $2 Million

Moneysplosion

Shortly after Torment: Tides of Numenumenumenuma-BATMAN claimed its title as the most-funded Kickstarter game in the short history of Kickstarted games, Richard Garriott’s definitely-not-an-Ultima sequel, Shroud of the Avatar has raised over two million dollars. The Kickstarter campaign, which had a one million dollar goal, finished just shy of doubling the target but direct pledges through the RPG’s website pushed it to a current total of $2,057,992, a figure which will almost certainly be out of date by the time you click on the link. Understandably, recent updates have been focused on clarifying and altering reward tiers, although as is increasingly common, I find the whole system cumbersome in the extreme. There were details about crafting last week though and some of that information is below.

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Garriott On Shroud Of The Avatar, Why He Needs KS

Like so many role-playing pioneers before him, Richard Garriott has joined the boom-or-bust gold rush that is Kickstarter. However, unlike literally all of those same pioneers, Garriott’s kinda, you know, been to space. He also owned an actual, factual castle at one point. The fates, in other words, haven’t been unkind to his rather formidable fortune, and it stands to reason that he’s not in what mere mortals like ourselves would refer to as “dire straits.” So then, why all this Kickstarter hoopla for Shroud of the Avatar? Moreover, how will its episodic structure work? And Garriott’s gone on about how the pseudo-MMO is actually single-player at heart, but how will the teeth of one puzzle piece interlock with the sawblade edges of another? Click past the break for Garriott’s best attempts at explaining some of his Ultima successor’s stickier issues.

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Revealed: Richard Garriott’s Massive Ultima Successor

Rounding out the Kickstarteriest week in gaming history, Richard “Lord British” Garriott has emerged from his castle of silence to reveal his oft-hinted-at Ultima spiritual successor, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. It’s chugging along quite nicely, too, already having charmed more than $300,000 (of a hopeful $1,000,000) out of wary wallets in a mere few hours. But how will it actually work? Sure, Garriott’s promising he’ll essentially combine single-player storylines and sandbox-y MMOs, but what does that entail? I recently met up with the ex-ruler of Britannia himself to see an early prototype of the game in action and find out all about his plans for world-building, questing, combat, real-estate, farming, and duck-economy-despising skeletons. All (and I do mean all) will be revealed after the break.

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“Theoretically”: Garriott On Ultima Comeback

Can they put the Ultimas on the Chrome Web Store thingy please

It’s no secret that Richard ‘King English’ Garriott is working on a spiritual sequel to Ultima, having left the series’ rights locked in an EA basement somewhere. It’s no secret because he’s said so, repeatedly. But what’s more surprising is that he apparently isn’t resigned to never getting them back – and he’s even talking about working with EA again. The lion and the lamb! Cats sleeping with dogs! THE END TIMES.

More specifically, he told Eurogamer that “We’ve had discussions at very high levels with Electronic Arts about access to the property [and]…a possible marketing and distribution relationships and things of this nature.”

Which is rather promising, presuming he’s not just making wild public declarations in the hope of changing minds. More below.
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Richard Garriott Wants To Rebuild Ultima

REPLICANT!
Lord British, aka Richard Garriott, aka the creator of clasic RPG series Ultima: he’s been to space, which makes me instantly worry about him being some sort of replicant. It seems that since he’s been back on Earth he’s been pondering his next game. In a lenghty post on Facebook, he’s announced his intention to make the “Ultimate RPG”, distilling everything he’s learned in 36 years of game design into the new project, his New Britannia.
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How I Nearly Starred In Ultima Online 2

Better posture than I have in real life

This is by far the most egomaniacal RPS post I’ve ever written (and that’s even though I’ve found plenty of vague excuses to run pictures of my cat and my girlfriend here previously). But I can’t pass this one up. I can’t. Massively’s investigation into what the long-cancelled (OR IS IT?) (It is. That version of it, anyway). Ultima Online 2 would have been like turns up a key fact. The game would have contained just three playable races at launch, a step down from UO1. However! These races were to be bog-standard humans, the warrior-like Juka and the magical Meer. Man! That would have done so much good for RPS’ Google rank.

Now, you must call me The Magical Meer. The Magical Meer demands it.
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Ultima’s Lord British Returns, Without Ultima

He doesn't look like this now. I'm not going to say what the main difference is. That would be very rude.

You can take the Lord British out of Ultima, but you can’t take the Ultima out of Lord British. Does that make sense? Probably not, but it sounded good, which is essentially the story of my career.

EA still jealously guards the Ultima license, despite not doing a whole lot with it outside of an only tangentially related free to play strategy game. However, it appears Ultima creator Richard Garriot has managed to personally retain the rights to sometime alter-ago and in-game ruler Lord British, which he now intends to use as the cornerstone of a new online game. “Lord British’s New Britannia” awaits…
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Garriott Says We’ve Not Mastered Storytelling

He's lived on the moon.

Interviewed in the latest episode of Game Theory with Scott Steinberg (below), Lord Richard Garriott of Britain explains that as far as game narratives may have come, be believes they’re still falling far short of those in books and films. He says,

“I don’t think we’ve yet mastered the techniques of true interactive storytelling.”

You can see the full interview, along with contributions from Charles Cecil, Jane Jenson, Bob Bates and others, in the third episode of this new series, this time focusing on game narrative. Oh, and I have a little rant, too.

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Richard Garriott Plans “Ultima-Esque” Games

All in, by any chance, ROBERT?

It seems worth noting what Mr Richard Garriott has been up to since his trip to outsidespace. Back in January Alec noted that the deposed Lord British would still very much like to work within the Ultima license. Since then he’s announced his involvement with Portalarium – an online gaming doodah that intends to create social media type stuff. (Hard-hitting analysis.) Which is to say, he’s planning on making more games, this time for social networking sites like Facebook, mobile phones, browser-based affairs, and they say for the PC. So far Portalarium has launched the bizarrely named Sweet @$! Poker for Facebook. But yesterday, speaking to Kotaku, Garriott revealed his ambitions to create an “Ultima-esque” game for the service.

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Operation Immortality – DNA In Spaaaaaace

Please don't save humanity.

Need your DNA in space? Yeah, we thought so. Thankfully Richard Garriott is here to help. Well, if you’re in the US anyway. (Apparently EU law prevents it taking place – any lawyers out there know why?) “What,” you ask incredulously, “are you on about?”

Well, it seems that in a deeply peculiar promotion for the middling NCSoft MMO, Tabula Rasa, players are being offered the chance to have their DNA sequenced, digitised, and fired off into space as part of the “Immortality Drive”, to accompany Lord “Richard Garriott” British’s expedition to the International Space Station in October 2008. You know, in case the human race gets wiped out and we needs spares.

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Korean Times claims Tabula Rasa Blanks Out

Well, we like it.

Cho Jin-seo of the Korean Times has started internet grumblings with his latest piece where he reports that Tabula Rasa, “has proven to be a financial disaster”. With information taken from an investor conference call, he claims that it’s only seen 5 million in revenue when TR was believed to cost 100 billion. It also claims that Garriott started the project more than twice, the studio is now to be downsized, while the project leaders, “will keep their position”. However Robert Garriott has been replaced by Chris Chung from his position as head of the organisation and the-not-ex-Lord-British Garriott is, “free from day-to-day operations”. More here.

The article’s already been strongly argued as misleading from NCsoft Sources, noting the reporter in question had previously written reports from conferences he never even attended.
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The Making Of: Harvey Smith

[At this point in these postmortem features, I decided to mix it up a little for PC Format. Since they were integrated into the mod-section of the magazine – with the subtext that they were inspirational things for readers thinking about becoming games developers – I thought a look at how a designer got to be a designer could be fun. Luckily, Harvey, who’s previously worked on landmark games including Deus Ex and System Shock, was up for it. The interview was done after the end of Ion Storm Austin, but before he’d joined Midway to work on Blacksite.]

He doesn't always wear shades.

We all look back, in an unholy mix of nostalgia and self-analysis. It’s what this column is all about. This time, however, we’re going to take an alternate route through this terrain. Rather than follow the path of a game, and what went right and wrong, instead we’re going to follow a career. How it started, how it moved on and what was learned at each step. And, indirectly, one of the most common questions that arrive in our inbox: “How do I get into the games industry”. Here’s a case study of how one man did. The man in question? Harvey Smith, who started back in 1993 in Quality Assurance at Origin and continues to this day at Midway.
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