Shroud of the Avatar: Richard Garriott E3 Interviews at Golem.de and Examiner.com
As part of my earnest effort to work on the news backlog that has accumulated for the Codex, here are a pair of interviews, both with Richard Garriott, both from E3 20151.
The first is a short interview done by the folks at Golem.de, a German-language gaming website. Its main focus is on the community aspect of Shroud of the Avatar’s development:
“Irgendwann wollte die Community eine Internetradiostation starten”, sagt Richard Garriott über die Entwicklung von Shroud of the Avatar. “Wir haben da natürlich gesagt: Klar, macht das.” Wenig später seien die Fans noch einen Schritt weitergegangen und hätten vorgeschlagen, die Radiostation direkt in das Rollenspiel einzubauen. Sie hätten dann die Idee gehabt, ein 3D-Objekt zu entwerfen und den nötigen Code in der Unity-Engine zu schreiben. Garriott und sein Entwicklerstudio Portalarium hätten zugestimmt – und seitdem ist in den meisten Kneipen und Tavernen der Fantasywelt das Communityradio zu hören.
Or, in Google Translate’s rendering of it:
“At some point wanted the community to start an Internet radio station” , Richard Garriott says on the development of the Shroud of the Avatar. “We have since said of course: Clear, do that.” A little later, the fans were still gone a step further and have suggested that radio station installed directly in the role play. Then they would have had the idea of designing a 3D object and write the necessary code in the Unity engine. Garriott and his development studio Portalarium have agreed – and since then in most pubs and taverns of the fantasy world to hear the community radio.
There’s also a short video of Richard Garriott taking a few questions.
The second interview is at Examiner.com, and while Garriott is featured in the title, Starr Long also pops in with a few quotes:
“Electronic Arts still owns Ultima, and all the characters and lands in it, except Lord British. Richard retained ownership of his character when Origin was acquired by Electronic Arts. So we can’t call this an Ultima. It’s not a sequel to Ultima. There will never be another Ultima—not without Richard at the helm. But if you are looking for a genuine Ultima experience, that’s what Shroud of the Avatar is.”
Starr Long, Executive Producer, Shroud of the Avatar
That said, much of the commentary is indeed from Lord British himself:
“In a Lord British-styled game, what separates us from the World of Warcraft model is that if you think about those games, everyone that plays is first and foremost a combatant, and might also have some crafting skills. In our games, while the majority of players get involved in some level of combat, there is a substantial percentage of people that never get involved at combat at all. They live entire, complete role-playing lives in other things—running pubs, being miners, fisherman, or blacksmiths—whatever it might be. “
“If you think about the typical online game,” Garriot tells us, “the best treasure in the game is usually some loot drop off of some big raid—not something a player created. So we decided not to compete against the player economy. In our game, when our monsters need loot to drop, they get it from the players’ shops. So basically all of the loot in the game, with the exception of some starter stuff, is created by players.”
The Examiner article is quite long, and dives into a few different features that Shroud of the Avatar will offer. I don’t think there’s anything particularly revelatory in it, but it still serves as a good re-cap of all the information that has come to light over the last couple years.
 I know that E3 was a while ago; apologies for my tardiness in posting both of these links.