Matt Chat 187: Lord British on Shroud of the Avatar

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This week, I'm pleased to present a very special guest: Richard "Lord British" Garriott, the father of computer role-playing games. I'm sure this man needs no introduction with you guys. We talk mostly here about his Shroud of the Avatar kickstarter, which you definitely don't want to miss if you're a fan of Ultima and Ultima Online. The game will offer some really neat innovations, including a scalable multiplayer option and tons more interactivity than we've grown accustomed to. I'm in at the $125 tier for the box and cloth map.

Download the mp4.

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ruthan
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Joined: 01/22/2012
Few points from me:1) I dont

Few points from me:
1) I dont believe in time 2 minutes thesis, i could works for simply platformer, but not for prg, especialy game not for game with intro :) Its like teach drive cars in 2 minutes, its nonsense.

2) New level of roleplaying, narration etc.. such he describing that, will not work, because this only about army of designers and better quality of old school method, there simply isnt way out (too many combination, so even tons of designer will not fix that).. progress in game dialogs, narative, interactivity and immersity is blocked of AI, these zillions of combinations should be handled by code and npc behavior system, not by zillion of if, or switches in dialog.
Before 2,3 years already designed such system.. it should work.. but i never have money, time to implement it. I my option, isnt such big problem design such system (i mainly convert known psychology stuff, with reasonable depth limits into game mechanism), but testing and balancing such system will very time consuming (=expensive).

3) About porting on consoles and linux with Unity, here i can see how naive he is, because Unity "supports" consoles, but only few small console gamse are actualy shipped and Linux is even worse, we already tried and this is realy lots of works and bugs here. It is still very complicant.

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

Matt Barton
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I had some of the same

I had some of the same thoughts. I EXPECT a good CRPG to take awhile creating a party of characters. I don't mind; that's part of the fun seeing how the character's type and skills have been implemented. Sometimes you start off playing a mage or bard, for instance, and find out later you would have been better off with a fighter. That's just part of the learning experience for me.

Also, while I do enjoy an automapper, I don't require a journal. If they want to put in a blank one that *I* can fill in, or perhaps write stuff on the map, that's enough for me. That said, it is nice to get plenty of feedback from the game when I'm on the right track. Ideally, doing quests should occasionally feel like discovery. Like--you kill a giant pig just on a whim. Later on you find out it was plaguing a village, and the villagers give you a big reward for it. I like that a lot better than (a) kill the pig (b) get the quest (c) go back and kill the re-spawned pig (d) collect reward. BORING.

Regarding consoles, I think you have to design FOR a console from the get-go for that to be successful. It's definitely not a matter of just pushing a button and getting a console version. Linux--I have no experience with that, but I'm surprised it's more difficult than a console port.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
The discovery thing is HUGE

The discovery thing is HUGE to me.. one of the reason the Elder Scroll games appeal to me so much.. While the older ones where random generated and basicly the same 100 pieces.. if you saw 10 tress in the form of a cross.. or 3 by a rock with a dungeon by it.. it was like exploring for real.. I know Skyrim gets some flack.. its not endless. But the game world is HUGE and you can find stuff almost in all corners.. that Huge Ice berg way out in water.. some tricky moving and you get to it.. nothing.. but you notice a smaller one just behind it.. hid if you handt came to this one.. you explore it, a polr bear .. (not a easy enemy) and.. some bones, hte polor bears lunch.. a campfire.. and.. wow a cave.. deep in a DWARVEN RUIN!!!!! sure its just some items.. no story , no grand loot, a few enemies.. but you know many people (who dont read every cheat on the net) have never seen it.. Or (personal favorite) a jail in the side of cliff that is all wreaked and caved in.. a story in notes about the jailers knowing it was going to flood and htey left the inmates.. yet the inmates escaped.. (almost) all told in story, bits and pieces..and only people who want to know will figure it out.. as if you miss some of the pieces you wont know.. and they are not reauired in any way for anything.. no exp. no quest.. nothing but a little bit of lore. How a keep you clean out of bandits will be taken over by one of the two opposing ffactions sometimes..

that ring of mushrooms.. you stand in the middle and Dryad attacks you.. that dog at the abonondon hut.. that cave behind a waterfall (or that chest).. the Yeti camp.. again.. none have any meaning to the story.. but they make the world feel lived in.. Ilike that ever person isnt part of quest.. but many do have some problems.. its cool to see a guy wandering by himself.. talk to him and he spouts gibberish.. you make your own story up or wonder why.. thats part of that ROLE PLAY thing.. it dont need to be spelled out..

The Ultima's had that HUGE thing going.. and the explore.. how many times did you entered a walled city.. check every room, then go outside and go around the town.. he knew to stick stuff in odd places to make you explore.. If he can make the world see m lived in.. and make it BIG he has me hooked..

I could play a SKyrim or fallout if the guys didnt shoot back.. if i could just explore and talk to them.. try to find all the locations, the weird stuff. I would be happy.. of course i like it much better when i can KILL!!!!!

its like real life in a big city.. you find that little store out of the way that still had new NES games in boxes for some reason.. or some odd pop you have never seen.. its not about how grand the discover is.. but about he discovery itself.. TV , internet, thre is just not anything you can discover yourself anymore..

Matt Barton
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I'm sure I'll get around to

I'm sure I'll get around to playing skyrim again at some point. My whole dislike for it was mostly tongue-in-cheek anyway. I probably find the ice world a bit boring since I basically live in that most of the year, but I can see why someone from another climate would find it interesting. I do love the little vignettes like you're talking about with the polar bear.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
have at thee

Matt Barton wrote:
I'm sure I'll get around to playing skyrim again at some point. My whole dislike for it was mostly tongue-in-cheek anyway. I probably find the ice world a bit boring since I basically live in that most of the year, but I can see why someone from another climate would find it interesting. I do love the little vignettes like you're talking about with the polar bear.

hehe matt that wasn't directed at you.. I know you have a different point of view on Skyrim then me.. (i have always said it.. respect and disagree) There is no doubt it has big flaws.. combat is bad in many ways and should have been changed long ago in the series.. While the Archer part works, and magic (not quite as good) the melee is so flat.. I love the ability to swing in different ways and the BLOCK is good.. but the simple fact isa swing and a miss is no different then a swing and hit .. there is no "feel" to it.. sure the mobs sometimes have some kickback.. or stun thing.. but its just.. not good. The whole color thing.. im like your local political guy.. i twist and change.. I think when EQ II came out with is amzing graphics (for the time) and people said "its so drab" and it was.. or ID and its games.. "do they know any other color then brown and gray"? realistic can be colorful but often its not.. Skyrim does tend to be dreary.. but for me i was thinking i was changing it.. (the game in no way implies this) i just made it up in my mind, the world is screwed, iM going to make it better.. some time in the future it will be colorfull again with my help.. so for me.. bleak is good.. this world needs a hero to make it better.. fable is colorful ( and i think it gets far less respect then it deserves) but the gore and world of skyrim just doesn't lend to that colorful style to me.. Alumar had great color (and again got some bad press "to WoW like").. surprisingly I liked um all, just like Skyrim the best.. less crashing, different Melee combat (what I wish i knew.. Alumar was a nudge in the right direction, but flawed badly too (the dodge system trivialized pretty much any battle).. I dream of a Skyrim, with a Fallout like VATS (but not FPS style).. maybe more, New Xcom style..which is almost impossible.. but dang wouldn't it be cool to pause skyrim, zoom to a 3/4 over shoulder view and go turn based? ( of course with a well done turn based combat system).

I really, really want a X-Com fantasy kingdom remake. Thin Dungeon Keeper.. but teh X-Com engine.. you control a dungeon.. and hear about hero's exploring a abanondon temple, a swamp, an old castle, a hunted town, or.. just her they are traipsing around the countryside.. you send your minions out (via a dragon?).. and turn based fantasy combat.. afterwords.. swords and Armour can be melted down for minion upgrades, magic can be learned, and dungeon can be upgraded.. maybe a captured hero could tell you a new place to hunt ( or a dead one could feed minions, to over the top?), a way to counter a fireball, etc..

or for you goodies two shoes.. a castle , you are the knight and you rid dungeons of mobs.. and build your castle up..

oh well i hear the roumurs are starting on X-COM II already.

Matt Barton
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I'm a little bummed they

I'm a little bummed they didn't mention my interview on their latest kickstarter update. Wonder if they didn't like it for some reason? The bump in views would have been great.

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ruthan
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Joined: 01/22/2012
I saw 2 weeks ago GDS Doom

@Matt:I saw 2 weeks ago GDS Doom postmortem video, where you was mentioned, dont worry you are already super famous :)

@Clock: I realy hate these overcolored games, for example difference between Diablo 1 and Diablo 3, because they breaking my immersion, my fell that im in game.. In old games, it was simple technological limitation, small numbers of colors, but became more and more matter of choice.. Game doesnt need to but whole dark, but should be realistic.. We now working on game which is now actually very dark, brown and grey are most often such in Fallout, System Shock, Diablo,Deus Ex or, Quake 1, S.t.a.l.k.e.r.

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

Jacob Marner
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RPG Codex

Matt Barton wrote:
I'm a little bummed they didn't mention my interview on their latest kickstarter update. Wonder if they didn't like it for some reason? The bump in views would have been great.

Well at least it is posted on the news page for http://www.rpgcodex.net/index.php

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