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  GDC Wrap Up: On Tabula Rasa  

GDC: Designing Tabula Rasa
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An overview of Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa Lecture

One of this year's highlighted events was Richard Garriott's "Designing Tabula Rasa". While loaded with many very interesting peaks into the design process for creating a large scale MMO, the lecture seemed to focus more on the many problems Tabula Rasa was faced with during its development.

While it is not unusual for a developing game to go back many times to correct minor or even major issues with gameplay, it is unusual for a game to go back and almost completely start over with a very different management structure.

In this situation many might be afraid to point out such failures, but not Richard.

Tabula Rasa started out with what could only have been classified as an all-star line up of developers from games such as Ultima, Ultima Online, Lineage and Wing Commander. Under the NCSoft flag it was thought that this team would be able to accomplish anything. While this may have been true, the same all-star team would also be the games un-doing.

Richard was quick to point out that the team's one major flaw was having to many chefs in the kitchen.

"Tabula Rasa started out with what could only have been classified as an all-star line up ... "

This meant that within the hierarchy of the development staff (from top to bottom) everyone was highly distinguished, making it difficult to criticize each other and delegate work.

Other issues would also bring havoc to the game's development when their Korean partners pointed out that the games art direction with a very Asian look/feel would not appeal to the western markets.

Richard also noted that in the early stages of development of Tabula Rasa there was little need to compete to have the best of graphics or technology to be successful, and instead hoped to focus on the games rich story line.

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For more information, forums and more check out our
Tabula Rasa.

Do you think you'll ever get too old for video gaming?

Absolutely, we all have to grow up sometime.

Maybe, when real life demands more of my time.

No way, video gaming will always be an entertainment option for me.

Never, I'm looking forward to pwning my grandkids.

I don't know


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