An Interview with Richard Garriott – Part One
So, here it is, part one of the three part interview with Richard Garriott.
And there it is.
It’s a good interview, and Richard Garriott is pretty inspiring to listen to.
You can discuss the interview on our forums, here: http://stratics.com/community/threads/273409/
But, if for whatever reason you don’t fancy watching through the whole thing, I’ll be nutshelling it below:
Richard Garriott is currently working on several related projects with his latest company, Portalarium.
I say latest company, because before this there was Destination Games (which became part of NCSoft), and before that there was Origin (under the Electronic Arts flag).
Past products for Portalarium include several casino gambling type games, which might seem out of character, actually fit into a grander scheme.
As Richard Garriott explains, there are a lot of elements to a massively multiplayer online game, which need to be developed, which is especially true considering the move towards social and mobile platforms. So the casino games were literally the first piece in the bigger picture, of Portalarium’s roadmap, with the added bonus of being able to monetise it.
From the gambling games, we come to Ultimate Collector, which adds another piece to the bigger picture. Social aspects, interactivity, inventory management, kleptomania, and so on. All the while trying to introduce social gamers to a deeper experience than they’re used to without alienating them.
The link to sign up for the Ultimate Collector beta is here: http://www.facebook.com/UltimateCollector/app_241412915925109
They then move on to discuss how MMOGs have changed gaming. That even with the same initial costs of a single player game, plus subscription fees, plus a necessary investment of time, they still drastically increased the popularity of gaming. And by extension of that, social and mobile gaming can offer the same experiences with a much lower barrier to entry, as well as allowing the majority of players to play “with” their actual friends, rather than with strangers.
Then they discuss around the subject of engaging the player, from user interface that are intuitive and fun to use, to the difference between “coiled metal spring toy” and “Slinky”, and adding story and character wherever possible.
Also, Richard discusses the importance of Synchronous and Asynchronous features, to allow the user to play with their friends, but also the option to play without them, allowing the player more options of how to play the game.
He then moves on to Ultima Online, primarily discussing the spectrum of roles a player can fill in that game.
Whereas in most MMOGs, players are primarily combatants (or whatever the primary focus of the game is), Ultima Online allowed players to play literally as butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. Each of these careers somewhat reflect the careers in social games, in which you manage a farm or a cafe, but with interactivity between them.
There really is more to the interview than I can sum up in not-many-words, and the many-words transcription is going to take some time.
I strongly recommend listening to it.
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