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Richard Garriott, creator of Ultima and space enthusiast, is having his memoir Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark published. The memoir goes on sale on January 10, 2017, but for now you can read a sneak peak on Glixel.com focused on Garriott's experience creating the Ultima games. A couple paragraphs:
From Chapter 7: IV-Play, Or The New Rules of Engagement
"When I wrote Ultima I, I wanted the game to be something more than players wandering around 3D dungeons killing things. But while we had successfully added some pretty cool visual elements and interactions for the era, these fan letters made it clear the game hadn’t progressed as I’d hoped. Two things became obvious to me: First, if there is going to be a bad guy, he needs to actually be bad in a way far beyond what the player is told in the introduction. He has to be an active presence. If I am a player seeking advice from confidants throughout the world, the bad guy should be looking for these people and killing them. He should be responding to my actions and making my journey far more difficult. Rather than simply existing and waiting for me, he should be trying to do terrible things to me and the people I care about as I progress toward a final confrontation.
Second, I was surprised that the people playing these games did not play with the moral compass they followed in the real world. Presumably, they were law-abiding, kindhearted people in their day-to-day lives, but in this fantasy world they enjoyed being someone else. That was understandable, as my games didn’t respond directly to their behavior; there were no rewards for being a moral person and no particular penalties for being an evil wizard.