Tabula Rasa - Richard Garriott Interviews
A site called Develop Mag has a short interview from a conference in the UK with NCsoft's Richard Garriott on the genre as a whole but Tabula Rasa is obviously used as an example:
What can you tell us about Tabula Rasa's design philosophy and how that plays into those online changes?
RG: Tabula Rasa makes major forward leaps in MMO design in four essential areas I can mention here.
Firstly there's combat – Tabula Rasa has fast paced, tactical, RPG combat. While the combat is fundamentally based on characters' attributes and equipment, players must also consider environmental conditions. Hiding behind cover is a massive aid in survival, as is crouching to assist in targeting accuracy. In most MMO’s you just stand toe to toe and trade blows with your opponent and ignore what is happening in real time around you. In Tabula Rasa, players and creatures will continue to jockey for optimal positioning in real time, adding greatly to the excitement. [more]
Likewise, Tabula Rasa pops up in another interview at The Escapist:
TE: When you set out to create this new universe for Tabula Rasa, what was your larger goal in that world?
RG: What's interesting about Ultima is that when I first started down this path, the state of the art of gaming was relatively simple, and so the sophistication of these systems was relatively minimal. If you look at the intellectual property that you might consider the bedrock of the Ultima series now, that bedrock evolved over 10 or 15 years, starting really with Ultima IV, but all the way through Ultima IX, those systems become more and more sophisticated, more and more consistent, more and more in depth over time.
One of the real tricks with Tabula Rasa [was] that we were really ready to start a whole new world over from scratch. It wasn't going to be Tolkein-esque; we were going to avoid medieval fantasy, because we've done it for 20 years. It might be sci-fi, but it was not going to be Star Wars-ian or any other obvious touchstone you can pick up. We're going to invent our own reality from scratch. But as games have become more sophisticated now, we basically had to accomplish 10 or 20 years of Ultima all in one cycle. It's one of the things that have taken us such a long road to really get things done right, especially here with Tabula Rasa. We really wanted to create a living, breathing, complete reality from scratch, to the depth of the later Ultimas, but all in one fell swoop.
Information aboutTabula Rasa