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Interview "I'm going to reinvent roleplaying games again": Richard Garriott Interview at Gather Your Party

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Crooked Bee, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tags: Portalarium; Richard Garriott; Ultima Online; Ultimate RPG

    Gather Your Party has interviewed Richard "Lord British" Garriott about his forays into social gaming, plans for the future, and related matters. It's a really lengthy interview, and pretty gripping in its own way, demonstrating just how far the emphasis on storytelling in role-playing can get you. I'm going to quote a small bit for you, but I encourage you to check it out in full (and weep):

    Why did you decide to make the change from developing hardcore RPGs and then transition over to social and mobile games?

    Fundamentally I’m trying to constantly refresh what I think are really the best possible roleplaying games. If you go way back to the beginning, I was one of the first players of Dungeons and Dragons. Which I’m sure a lot of role-players, even computer-based role-players are. If you think of those earliest days, the first few people who picked up the monster manuals and such for Dungeons and Dragons were pretty good interactive story tellers and the manuals and instructions were largely meaningless. As it became more popular, the game, in my mind, degraded into being more a game about numbers and statistics than it was about storytelling. But if you look at the earliest Ultimas, the first computer-based based roleplaying games, they were absolutely nothing but statistics if you know what I mean. There wasn’t much storytelling at all. The quest of those early games was to capture some of the best aspects of group-based, interactive storytelling as was possible. For the first twenty years, the best way to do that was in, the only way to do that really, was solo-player Ultimas. Solo-player Ultimas constantly strived to be these deep, immersive, story-based worlds. I think that’s even set them apart from the competition. You know, Wizardry, A Bard’s Tale, Might and Magic, which were all fantastic roleplaying games, but those were generally more combat-based and less story-based than I tried to do with Ultimas.

    Then we discovered Ultima Online which was right with the emergence of the internet. We were the first to cross the bow, to really take a major effort behind creating multiplayer game. Ultima Online is credited with being the first Massively Multiplayer game. That became the best place to try to do the best place to do interactive storytelling. With that preamble, here is what compels me about the new era. If you look at why each of these eras became bigger than their predecessors, solo player Ultimas, and solo player games in general, sell to millions players. Always have. But the bestselling MMOs sell to tens of millions of players and ten times the people are willing to play it, not because it’s cheaper, because it’s not, it’s more expensive. Not because it’s easier to get into, because it’s not, it’s actually a lot harder to get into and figure out how to play it. The reason why ten times more people are willing to play it or want to play it is because you get to play with other real people. That’s the power of playing with other people. But in MMOs, the other people you play with aren’t the same people you go to the movies with and out to dinner with generally speaking. You’re playing in an MMO with people you met online in that game who are equally devoted to logging in every night and six-o-clock and going on raids with you, which is still very powerful compared to playing alone. But the magic of new social media and these casual games, I don’t even like the word “casual”, is really games that operate on top of a “friends graph”, is that now everyone’s real friends are online with some digital identity, with Facebook or whatever.

    The best games I think are being generated right now are building not only synchronous play, where we go on a raid together, but also asynchronous play to where if you are a farmer, you can sell your fruit at your fruit stand and if I run a café, my chef can go buy his fruit from your fruit stand and your farm. So we can make the best of all worlds, I believe, by allowing players to play with not random people equally devoted to a certain game, but with the people who they go to dinner with who hang out all day together anyway, who may not have the same life schedule as each other. I don’t think I’m going to create a game that is lesser than Ultima Online or lesser than a solo player Ultima. I think I’m going to reinvent roleplaying games again by respecting the “friends graph” and leveraging what we’ve already done and done so well with Ultima Online from a multiplayer standpoint, that we did so well with Ultima numeral versions from a storytelling standpoint, and now wrap it with both synchronous and asynchronous features that leverage the “friends graph” and social media to present a powerful new game.

    With your previous work, you were met with a lot of skepticism. People said Ultima IV had too much philosophy. People said that Ultima Online was just too big. It would never happen. Have you been met with the same kind of skepticism as you are transitioning not only to social games, but with making Ultimate Collector and Ultimate RPG multiplatform? Making the exact same game on the computer as you are on a smart phone?

    You hit the nail on the head on the subject. Almost universally, the time that people give me the most resistance, oddly turns out to be the times that turn out to be the best. [...]​

    I'm not sure I'd call it "resistance," more like disappointment or plain disinterest, but maybe that's just me.
     
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  2. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    :hmmm:
     
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  3. Jashiin Arcane

    Jashiin
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    We can all just hope he loses enough money on this shit that he is forced to start creating traditional rpg's again to keep from going broke.
     
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  4. Excidium P. banal

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    Somebody has to take CRPGs forward but I don't think it'll be him with his facebook thing.
     
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  5. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    Thanks but no thanks, Richard, the first time sucked hard enough.

    Also,

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    I wish somebody would have balls to take CRPGs backward, for a change. Like, to 1992.
     
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  7. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    Codex 2012
    Disgusting.
     
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  8. villain of the story Arcane

    villain of the story
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    Garriott: "Hello, gaiiiiiss, I'm back home! I went to space. Now I'm gonna make the bestest RPG evah using SPACE technology!"
    Molyneux: "WHEEEEEEEE Look at my game menus, YOU CAN RUN AROUND IN GAME MENUS HOW IS THAT FOR INNOVATION CAN YOU TOP THAT OLOLOLO"
    Spector: "Deus Ex Inbred Whore is a masterpiece, nobody can top it. Not Loonydeux, not you, spacefart. It's so good, there was no longer any point for me to make similar games so I make shit games now"
     
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  9. SuicideBunny (ノ ゜Д゜)ノ ︵ ┻━┻

    SuicideBunny
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    Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Torment: Tides of Numenera
    :hmmm:
     
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  10. IDtenT Contact me for a good time Patron

    IDtenT
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    Which one is the craziest and why? Discuss.
     
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  11. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Brian Fargo seems to be the only RPG forefather who has respect for the quality of his past work.

    The rest of them...I just don't understand what drives them. They made games that won many fans, but they inhabit a different mental universe from those fans, and probably always have.
     
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  12. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    This interview makes perfect sense if you realise that he's shopping his thing to investors and facebook gamers. Why would he give a fuck about his old audience when he can be lord of social games and have a million more fans? His constant usage of the word 'powerful' merely refers to surface addictiveness/average player return rate and mass-market profitability.

    Maybe he was a businessman first and foremost after all
    Ultima 0-7: Nerds will love this shit, let's do it.
    Ultima 8: I guess action games are cool now, no problem.
    Ultima 9 : Man we gotta work in that threedee, also remember the action thing, I think we can do it better.
    Ultima Online: Okay this internet thing is gonna get us money if we make this thing that plays 'online', as they call it. Edit: Okay let's do a separate no killing other people thing, it'll bring the numbers back up
    Tabula Rasa: Wow, and here I was thinking my old fans would back me up. Never again fuckers.
    UltimaVille: I am going to knock this shit out so far you'll need two moongates to reach it, if you know what I mean hahahahahaha oh mistress space I will return soon to your cold airless embrace oh man I hope that mining asteroids thing works out
     
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  13. Excidium P. banal

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    If he was a businessman he would be on kickstarter with an Ultima Online spiritual sequel already. He's just...Richard Garriott. Who knows what goes on his head.
     
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  14. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    don't worry bro I factored in the Garriotiosity

    Ultima Online 2: Not enough new fans for my cult. Will need to commit more resources for production, plus balance appeal and fight the existing market. Finally If my sci-fi thing didn't work why would another fantasy one? Not even action is enough now. It's all too much, in fact. Hrrmn, I wonder if I can work in that old school text angle to make the new market base feel like nouveau connoisseurs. I'm Richard Garriot and I came back to Earth to make rpgs cool again.
     
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  15. Excidium P. banal

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    Trying too hard.
     
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  16. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    Have fun with your crappy facebook RPG Mr. Gariott. I wont be playing it.
     
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  17. Morkar illiterate

    Morkar
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    He's got Molynausea, too. I wish him a good recovery.
     
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  18. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    But what is the essence of the decline? LARPing, or cinematic storyfaggotry? Because if you think about it, these are two different things, at odds even. An overly strong emphasis on story does not allow you to "LARP", just as it doesn't allow you to "RP" in general.
     
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  19. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    JRPGs put much stronger emphasis on story, and larping / roleplaying on them is much harder (probably impossible) because of that.

    The plan is to keep the genre alive, not to mercykill them.
     
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  20. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
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    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Well, I read the whole interview and all I could think through the whole thing was "This was the guy who made some of my favorite games?!" Everything he talked about left an empty feeling inside me. Not one part got me excited or even mildly interested. I sometimes thought maybe those game-gods from the past will wake-up one day and want to make a game just like the "good old days." Then I read junk like this and realize they actually believe this is what gamers want! At this point all I feel is sadness... the Ultima creator is dead to me... dead...

    edit: At least Brian Fargo seems to get it.
     
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  21. Darkion Augur

    Darkion
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    Who exactly are these "people" they talk about? Yes, there were some gamers that didn't like the Ultimas or Ultima Online, but they are trying to make it sound like Garriott had to fight against a vast horde of angry RPG geeks or something. In my 27+ years of gaming and subsequent internet lurking I have never seen much antagonism for the series until "The Move".

    In my opinion, Garriott lost touch with his fans after he sold his soul to EA. He seemed actually surprised that Ultima VIII: Pagan was not received as the best thing since someone came up with pre-sliced bread and I'll refrain from talking about that thing that came afterwards to end the series. When I was in the Ultima Online Pre-Alpha there was a huge amount of input from the testers regarding the game leaning too much on pleasing the PK crowd and leaving the roleplayers in the cemetery (literally). The basic response was that everything was fine, RPG gamers just don't know what they really want, blah, blah. Yeah, we all know how well that turned out. That same theme came up again when Garriott came up with Tabula Rasa and proclaimed that he knew what players wanted and that was to create and explore new worlds. Yeah, we all know how well that turned out. So here he is again and he knows what the gamers want. I wonder how well that will turn out...
     
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  22. mikaelis Prophet Patron

    mikaelis
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    I thought about reading this derp, but then I recalled his recent achievements...

    "Teladi company wishes you negative profits... Splits are sending fleet to exterminate..."
     
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  23. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    You can't keep alive something that is already dead for a decade.
     
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  24. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    He's basically flawed.

    He dont understand or appear misunderstanding the current crop of players. Harder to get into MMORPG? For fuck's sake! Playing 10 min to get familiar with command and interface. Then take out a web guide, completed with pictures and comments, to learn how. If you are illiterate, asking other players how to play. Compared to ten years ago when all you can do is trying yourself? The bar to get into RPG nowaday is pissing low. And please not even talk about social games.

    And emphasis on storytelling in MMORPG/social games? He must be joking. Who the fuck care about that in those type of games? A minuscule number of players, that's who. All the rest care about farming your newbie ass, or loot, or larping their way,...

    Since I never play Ultima, never found the interest for that series, I dont have such towering respect for this unmemorable developer. And from this shit interview, that has not change. We shall see what he will make.
     
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  25. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    The cardinal rule of storytelling for me is that a good story has a beginning and the end which ties things together, like a good book. The whole beauty of storytelling experience with your bros for me is that it is a kind of experience which then turns into a good memory, a special memory, a small brick of fantasy you've created together.
    These:
    Are not like that, these are repetetive, mindless simulations, which are not story-driven by an imagination of a storyteller who wants people to experience his fantasies. Story _has to GO ON and then END_, not become an activity. Single player RPGs can do that, because they have that kind of narrative where you have an experience of being driven by someone's imagination, an imagination of a person behind that game.
    I don't believe somebody who thinks of himself as a storyteller would ever think of it in a way what R. Garriott says. If he would say - "I am going to revolution RPG's by creating an MMORPG where every dozen of people would have a personal DM" - now that's something which would interest me... or maybe not, because I don't need a game which places emphasis on making me _a more social person_, no thanks.
     
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