Richard Garriott Discusses the Troubled Development of Tabula Rasa

Richard Garriott explains what happened with Tabula Rasa and why it failed after such a short time.

Richard Garriott is already working on his new Ultima-inspired RPG, Ultimate Collector, but the industry icon also has a couple of games to his credit that were not where he would have preferred to have them when they launched.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Garriott offered some insight into the development of the now canceled MMOG, Tabula Rasa.  According to Garriott, Tabula Rasa was not the game that the developer was originally shooting for. Taking a cue from the popularity of Lineage at the time, Garriott set his sights on the Asian games market, but it turns out developing content for that market when you’re not entirely familiar with the art style can be a bit of a challenge.

"The way it was phrased to us was, 'Look, imagine we were going to do a European castle: instead of making the stone walls nice and straight, we'd make them sort of like an inflatable castle, slightly curved, like a marshmallow castle. We might not notice that it doesn't look like a good castle, but you would immediately notice that it was cartoony versus strong and powerful.'

After two years, Garriott’s team scrapped the idea and refocused their efforts on developing a game that they were more familiar with, whcih became Tabula Rasa. Unfortunately, this also meant that the previous two years of expenses and development were pretty much lost and the company wasn’t going to cross that off the development time. Needless to say, the game launched, was cancelled and there was even a lawsuit. The rest as they say is history.

You can read more from Garriott at Eurogamer.

Source: Garriott: what went wrong with Tabula Rasa

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