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Richard Garriott of NCSoft and Destination Games took the time to sit down and answer our barrage of questions on Tabula Rasa, his latest project in development. The legendary designer behind the Ultima series goes in a radically different route with this project and we uncover just where that leads him.
| MMORPG.com: Your game seeks to marry the character growth of an RPG with the action of a shooter. Can you explain how this works in a practical sense and why you chose this route?
Richard Garriott: While TR wants the sense of tension of a shooter we are not trying to make an arcade game. We do not want arcade style combat where personal dexterity wins the day. We are still a game about attributes and advancement. We have a sticky targeting system that makes shooting at a target hopefully easy, and then its a die roll to determine outcome, just as in a traditional MMP. But each foe has unique movement, armament and AI approaches to deal with, so opponents are far more interesting than the traditional stand and see who has the best DOT (damage over time) that most MMPs have at their core. With that said, there are a few shooter mechanics thrown into the mix to keep things interesting. One of my favorites is movement penalties for accuracy which is even different for each weapon. So in one case you may have a rocket launcher or sniper rifle that would require the character to stay very still for a certain amount of time in order to achieve maximum effect, while in another case you might have a flame thrower where the player can run around with almost no penalty to accuracy.
Take a moment and read the full interview here.
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios