Richard Garriott's Tabula
Rasa isn't your standard massively
multiplayer online game. Under the direction of newly dubbed "General
British" and his crew at Destination Games, style="font-style: italic;">Tabula Rasa has
a title that is set to sweep the MMOG market off its feet with a fresh
and original combat system, a new language for the player to learn, and
a plethora of moral dilemmas that have been integrated into the style="font-style: italic;">Tabula
Rasa game design. Recently, the PR team promoting style="font-style: italic;">Tabula Rasa
a developer's log focused on those moral dilemmas. With a set of eight
screenshots included, we hope you enjoy the article!
Players of most massively multiplayer online role-playing games today
usually aren’t faced with any great variety of missions that
impact your character or how you play. The most you’re faced
what kind of reward you’ll get or, at most, which of the two
you’ll support against the other. It doesn’t really
have any effect on
you in the grand scheme of things and you’ll probably forget
whole thing in a month or so. Instead of that static, boring type of
storytelling, we wanted to create a more immersive story with Tabula
Rasa, one that the players could interact with, where their actions
could have long reaching consequences. We call this form of
story-telling interaction the ethical parable and it is one of the
hallmarks of a Richard Garriott game.
Ethical and moral dilemmas
are something we definitely wanted to incorporate into the design of
from the very start. The entire goal is to give you pause
and allow you to think about the choices that you make in order to
accomplish a mission. This way, at times, you will not be limited to
one single path but may have multiple paths. We want you to think about
the larger story and how your actions can affect this story down the
road. Now you have the ability to play the game the way you want to
play it. This in essence is the parable—a type of story that
to explore moral lessons or decisions.
We won’t be throwing
these ethical parables at the players in every mission, but we
definitely want players to get a taste for them early on in the game.
We’ve placed a few on, the first major landmass that players
encounter in Tabula Rasa.
One of these early missions involves the
delivery of pharmaceuticals to soldiers on the front lines. While the
supply commander, a rather straight-laced and stand-up kind of
individual, would rather these pharmaceuticals be distributed to the
soldiers in a formal, organized system, there’s a man who
stole a whole
bunch and has been selling them to the soldiers for a nice profit. Your
decision to either turn in the thief, or help him distribute the stolen
goods, not only affects the mission outcome but determines how the NPC
soldiers will interact with you from then on.
Another mission of
note is for players with levels in the mid-teens. As you progress
though the game and are redeployed to Foreas Base, you’re
told that the
AFS has a Bane prisoner who is currently undergoing interrogation. This
will start a chain of missions as the Bane prisoner reveals more and
more information, allowing you to attack the local Bane base, kill a
key Bane soldier, deal with some traitors, and possibly even defend the
prison from attack.
At the end of this mission chain, you’re now
left with the choice of what to do with the prisoner. On one hand,
one of the evil Bane, who wiped out most of humanity and forced people
like yourself to fight for survival on a few scattered alien worlds. It
doesn’t deserve to live… or does it? As a mere
soldier, the Bane was
just doing what it was supposed to do, no more and no less, and cannot
really be held responsible for what the leadership of the Bane did to
Earth. What would be the harm in letting him live, and more
importantly, what more could you learn from him? If you were a
prisoner, wouldn’t you want to be treated humanely, instead
executed for telling your captors what they wanted to know?
are a couple of examples of the parables we will present in Tabula
Rasa. Some of them will have little or no long-term impact, and others
may influence the way you experience the game. We want to give you the
choice to play the game the way you want to, without hemming you into
one specific path. This way, we’ve created a better, richer,
immersive game experience for you to enjoy.
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title="An AFS Camp"> src="/image/view/10309/preview"
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To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Tabula Rasa Game Page.