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[TGN STRATICS EXCLUSIVE] Ultima Online received GDC Hall of Fame Award

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Andrasta, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Andrasta

    Andrasta Goodman's Rune Library
    Governor Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Blue Crane Society

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    Ultima Online received GDC Hall of Fame Award


    Many know Jeremy Preacher as a former Community Manager at Ultima Online. While her path has taken her on to other projects, we asked if she would contribute her input as she attended the GDC Online Awards as a guest writer for Stratics. Ultima Online has garnered a lot of attention lately with good reason. We'd like to thank Jeremy for giving us a glance at the evening:



    [​IMG]

    By Jeremy Preacher
    Website: Neighborlygames.com

    The huge auditorium is dim and half-full - it’s party night at GDCO and a lot of folks have gone to fortify themselves against the inevitable free drinks. The people who did show up are suspiciously well-dressed for game developers. I’ve taken care of the queso-and-margarita requirement early, and I’m ready with pen and paper to do this the old-fashioned way - tipsy and in shorthand.

    The Game Developers Choice Online Awards are a brand-new spinoff of the long-running Game Developers Choice awards. The Hall of Fame award, specifically, is awarded by the Advisory Committee itself - and it’s probably a testament to the justice of the award that four of the eleven members work or worked on UO, and another is an old-school Ultima designer.

    There are a few awards before the Hall of Fame award presentation. There are no runners-up or anything, which makes sense when I see the logistics involved in the acceptance. First Mythic’s General Manager, Eugene Evans, comes up to start things off. Eugene was my boss for part of the time I worked there - he’s a sweet, sincere guy, and knows his business. He says, "It’s an honor to be the current torchbearer of this bright flame burning for 14 years." He mentions that UO is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Longest Running MMORPG.

    The man everyone was expecting to see, Richard Garriott, is in... Kuala Lumpur. (Hey, at least it’s not space!) He did record a video congratulating everyone on the award, to be played in his absence. In the video, he’s wearing a very Lord-British-esqe black button-down with embroidered cuffs (what, it’s an awards show! I have to talk about the clothes.) He modestly (and accurately, from what I understand) disclaims credit in favor of Starr Long and Raph Koster.

    Next up are the aforementioned luminaries as well as Rich Vogel, who was the producer starting about seven months before launch. Starr Long is credited as the director. Raph Koster, of course, was the lead designer. Starr’s wearing a jacket and tie - and plaid pants. He’s dapper, but still a game dev. They line up neatly and take the mic in turn. Rich wants to thank Chris Yates, who was a VP of Technology at EA at launch. He also says what everyone I talked to all week agreed on, that running that first year of UO was "the wild, wild west."

    Raph: "Wow." He lets that hang there for a minute. He talks about bringing his daughter in a baby carrier to the office - "Now she’s a teenager and doesn’t want to talk to me." He also says, "For me, it’s about the stories people tell. The people who got married." He was at a guild conference, and there were kids there younger than the game. "It’s great to make a game and know that it really touched people’s lives."

    Starr sounds like he’s seen an awards show or two, and reels off a list of thank-yous - he thanks Richard Garriott, Larry Probst, Rick (doesn’t give a last name - maybe Zinser?) the players, including Rainz, who assassinated Lord British and "showed us the players were in control," all the devs who came after, his parents, his wife, and his baby daughter, who he brought in a baby carrier "to complete the cycle".

    They then formally recognize all the producers of UO:- Rich Vogel, launch and The Second Age- Bryan Walker, Third Dawn and Renaissance- Rick Hall, Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge- Anthony Castoro, Age of Shadows and Samurai Empire- Jessica Lewis, Mondain’s Legacy- Aaron Cohen, Kingdom Reborn- Calvin Crowner, Stygian Abyss and High Seas.

    Nearly all of these people are in the audience, but for one or two who couldn’t make it. All of them are still active and influential in the video game world. They ask everyone in the audience who worked on the game to stand up. About a quarter of the crowd does. They ask everyone who played the game to stand up, and it’s closer to three quarters. It’s a quick visual representation of just how much influence UO has had on the industry. These are the people giving awards and winning them in online games, and the vast majority were touched by UO early on in their careers.

    They close on a video of the really important part - players talking about the game. Everyone loves to tell stories of the good old days, even when those stories involve "being mugged in-game!" Over the next couple of days, we’ll bring you some of those stories from ex-UO players and developers who are still active in the industry - stay tuned!


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Nok

    Nok Lore Master
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    Big thanks to Jeremy and TGN Stratics for arranging this coverage!
     
  3. Magdalene

    Magdalene Stratics Legend
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    Hi Jeremy!
    Thanks Jeremy!
     
  4. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    We'll be adding some interviews Jeremy snagged while at GDC Online as well. She said she had a great time and we appreciate the first hand account!
     
  5. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Thank you for the report, I look forward to reading more details about the Ceremony.

    And.............


    :party: :dunce: :cheerleader: :party: :dunce: :cheerleader: :party: :dunce: :cheerleader: :party: :dunce: :cheerleader: :party: :dunce: :cheerleader: :party: :cheerleader:
     
  6. Nok

    Nok Lore Master
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    Looking forward to it Airmid!
     
  7. Luma

    Luma Guest

    Congratulations!!
     
  8. sle1977

    sle1977 Guest

    The longest running MMO, I would like to know how that is, and they may have changed hands but they have never stopped running, Im talking about...

    Realm Online that was released in the United States in 1995 and was the first graphical mmo which is still up and running today and Meridian 59 was released a few months shortly after in 1995 also and still receives updates, Ultima Online wasnt even in release until almost 2 years later.

    Not to hate on anything they have to say, this is the one game that has always made me come back, but facts are facts.

    Noted MMORPG.COM doesnt even list UO in the Top 5 longest running.
     
  9. Derium of ls

    Derium of ls Slightly Crazed
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    they might be classed differently, kinda like how MUDs are.

    EDIT: wait, wasn't Meridian 59 taken down for a while? If so that right there would negate the longest running MMO.
     
  10. Derium of ls

    Derium of ls Slightly Crazed
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    "3DO shut down the game on August 31, 2000 and it was re-released by Near Death Studios, Inc. in 2002."


    So if that's correct Meridian 59 beat us, but we overtook them in years active.

    as for Realm Online I dug this up:

    "On the other hand a MUD is typically text-driven, played on a bulletin board or in a chat room system. Actions, settings and people are described to the players. The reason The Realm Online is considered in
    this category is because while players can see all the action on the screen, it is also shown in text format in the lower left portion of the screen, under the Room tab (there are six tabs in the Realm chat screen; Room, which shows the action happening on the screen; Gossip, which is where the chat room conversations are contained; Group, a tab for conversations between characters linked together in a hunting group; Friends, similar to a Buddy List on AOL, contacts list on MSN or any other list of people with whom you wish to keep in contact; Mail, which is self-explanatory and Tells, where you can have private conversations, or instant messages, with individual people). Because the actions of the game can be seen on screen as well as in the chat box, the Realm Online would be considered a type of Graphic MUD."


    and this:

    The Realm Online was another successful early Internet MMORPG, launched by Sierra Online. Although released just after Meridian 59, the beta was active several months before. The Realm Online had fully animated 2D graphics, both in and out of combat situations, which made it accessible to a wider audience compared to more text-based games or the graphical MUDs on which it was based. Also, its gameplay and interface were already familiar to those accustomed to the graphical adventure games earlier popularised by Sierra. Like many of its predecessors, The Realm Online only featured simple turn-based combat, however, it did feature a huge number (for the time) of visual character customization options. It, too, is still running.




    and interestingly how the word this:

    The first commercial MMORPG (although what constitutes "massive" requires qualification when discussing mid-1980s mainframes) was Islands of Kesmai designed by Kelton Flinn and John Taylor. Still roguelike, this game became available to consumers in 1984 for $12.00 per hour via the CompuServe online service.[3].

    so glad we no longer have to pay $12 an hour haha.
     
  11. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    Longest continuously running MMORPG. They forgot the continuously part.

    Records are based on sustainability, you cant set the record for the longest holding breath if you take a break for 5 minutes then continue.
     
  12. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    It is in the BOOK
     
  13. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    As I recall from the press releases at the time, it was the longest continuously running subscription based game.

    -Galen's player
     
  14. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    the link is coded wrong for the Neighborlygames site in top post

    Didn't someone say we have a new Community Manager now? Guess it's a 'only when I Have to' attitude
     
  15. sle1977

    sle1977 Guest

    Searching the Guinness Book of World Records website came across this....

    Longest running role playing game franchise:
    Details

    The Ultima franchise is the longest-running RPG series, at 29 years. Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness was released in 1980 while the most recent entry to the series, Ultima Online: The Stygian Abyss, came out in 2009.

    And this...
    Longest-running social MMORPG
    Details

    The longest-running social MMORPG is Furcadia (Dragon's Eye Productions, 1996), which has been active for 13 years 345 days as of 28 November 2010.