It's time for another interview with our favorite veteran game designer, Richard Garriott, though this three-pager on VentureBeat focuses more on his trip to space and the related Man on a Mission documentary than anything. Still, there are a few gaming tidbits to glean:
GB: I know Tabula Rasa was going on at the same time there, but I didn’t really remember much mention of it in the movie. Was that by design?
Garriott: Well, in fact there’s an homage to Tabula Rasa, even during my flight itself. During launch, I had my flight data file in my hand, I had a moment where I knew the camera would be facing me, and so I actually displayed a message written in the symbolic language I created, that only the gamers that follow my work could read. So I tried to include gamers with everything from flying the DNA up into space, the secret message, other things. I’ve tried to remain as well-connected to gamers as possible during my flight.
GB: How about on the game side? Are you interested in making certain kinds of games as a result?
Garriott: My motivations in gaming I don’t think have changed much. I think that I have some new experiences that will hopefully allow me to layer in new levels of experience into the games, orthogonally… What I mean by that is, I’m not going to go make a space simulation game by any means. But to me I think if anything it’s redoubled something that I already knew I believed in.
I’m a devout believer that role-playing is a very powerful experience, and innately has what I’ll call teaching layers inside of it. And I also believe that the very best stories to be told in any medium, whether it’s paper or movies or interactive, are stories that reflect to the reader or to the player something about themselves. They’re enriching to you as a participant. Your time that you’ve spent, that you’ve invested in participating with a game or a book is time that, when you’ve finished, you feel that… “I have grown through my participation.”
That you’ll see me do even more than I have before, although as you know that’s one of the hallmarks of my game creations anyway. I like to put ethical parables, reflect to the player their behavior or their beliefs and challenge aspects of how they play and how they think. If anything, I feel even more strongly in that area.