Industry Gamers had the chance to score an interview with the famed creator of the Ultima series Richard Garriott, which focuses on his thoughts on game design, and published its first part, in which the man known by many as Lord British tries to explain, among other things, what he's trying to do with his upcoming Ultimate RPG. Here's a quote on that:
IndustryGamers: Do you think we are going to see some advances in game design in the next few years?
Richard Garriott de Cayeux: I sure hope so; I hope I'm working on one myself. It's interesting you talked about going to see someone else's roleplaying game and you went OK, well it's sort of the same as lots of other roleplaying games, maybe actually a few years behind in its presentation style - it might be taking advantage of a few things like asynchronous play, and you're going yeah, but it's not great literature, it's not an art form that 20 years from now we'll look back on and go, "wow, that was one of the most pivotal moments in the growth of our art form." I'm a big believer in there's no excuse for not at least attempting to grow the art form. In fact I think it's not only essential to my personal well-being and happiness to try to make these, it's also the most assured way to make a success. There are tons of free-to-play, beautiful looking MMOs that are feature-complete and challengers in theory to World of Warcraft, they come across from Asia every day. They're all beautiful, they're all full-featured - if you try to go why is this game not as good as World of Warcraft, you'd have a hard time picking individual features as to why, but with all of them you go, "look, it's free to play, free to download, I'll try it!" You go, "OK, kind of looks the same, here's my town, here's my shop, here's my level one monsters I have to fight," and you spend an hour or two going through the play cycle and finishing a quest and leveling up, and you go... well "OK, it works, but why do I care?"
The vast majority of people are making these me-too games, they're quality, there's nothing wrong with them, there's just nothing compelling about them. And I'm hoping that if I look back on my career down through the years, I'm very proud of the fact that with some periodicity, I have truly advanced the art form in some meaningful way.
IG: So you're trying to do that again.
IG: What kind of time frame are we talking about?
RGC: Commercially, maybe not for a year or two. But to see something that shows that promise, probably by next summer.