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The lion's share of this new interview with Portalarium's Richard Garriott on Cultured Vultures focuses on the forthcoming Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, but the veteran designer also tackles a few questions about the Ultima series, his time with NCsoft, and more. Some choice snippets below:
Do you have any regrets about the way the ‘Ultima’ series progressed?
Sure. But not many. Examples would be: Ultima VIII was cut deeply in order to rush it out, Tabula Rasa had numerous restarts as we tried to make our Korean bosses happy and so likewise was shipped rough. But on the whole, I have been pretty happy with all my games.
There are many players who are not a fan of ‘multiplayer only’ games – I was hugely turned off by ‘Titanfall’, for example. Does ‘Shroud of the Avatar’ have a full single-player experience, for those of us who are terrified of human contact?
Absolutely! In fact, I have been playing purely solo player offline for the last two months. This allows me to have a party of friends and hirelings as I play. For people who will play ENTIRELY offline, I would wait to join the game when it is done. At the moment, the solo player mode is too rough for “early access” play.
Do you feel like crowdsourcing is the way forward for innovators within gaming, since it’s difficult to finance a new IP?
It’s at least a new option. As you note, most big publishers are adverse to “new ideas” or new IP. But crowd funding as also hard unless you are a known developer revitalizing games you are known for. Startups still have a hard time of it.