I wonder where they went to?
If so, I apologize.
After more than three years in development, massively multiplayer role-playing game Tabula Rasa is in “good hands” according to a spokesperson for its publisher, NCsoft North America. But, as of today, it's not in as many hands. Three of the higher-profile members of the TR team--lead designer Carly Staehlin, lead programmer Bill Randolph, and artist Scott Jones--have left the project and the company.
I wonder where they went to?
Has there ever been a game that lost it's lead designer during it's development cycle that didn't suck upon release? Not that Tabula Rasa was doing anything that interested me in the slightest beforehand.
Quake.Originally Posted by Lokust
Okay, I'll give you Quake. I haven't played Thief 3 though. I was just thinking of designer-switch messes like MOO3, and thinking that an MMO is likely to be as complex as something like a 4x game...
True, but Thief 3 was also essentially finished by that time.Originally Posted by Charles
MOO3. Oh wait, you said didn't suck. :lol:
Ladymoi was lead designer? Holy crap that's insane.
NCSoft is growing too fast too soon, mark my words. They have all this money and absolutely no idea how to spend it... reminds me strongly of eidos circa 1998. Lineage is tomb raider, random MMOGS are ionstorm, get it? When the golden goose runs out of eggs all of these games will be shitcanned. We might even get an entertaining story out of it.
Except NCSoft is making MAD amounts of money, so they afford to hemorrhage a game or two here and there.
I was looking forward to Tabula Rasa myself, but when I saw this last week, I instantly thought that didn't bode well.
That is how I am betting.Originally Posted by stusser
Garriot is an incredible speaker and has some amazing ideas, and I really want to like Tabula Rasa, but I haven't yet seen anything concrete about how the game is fun to play. It also worries me that Destination has been in existence for three years and has nothing concrete to show for it yet (yeah, trailers and screenshots - but ever since the UO2 trailer, I've been kinda leery of trusting such things). The one analogous situation I can think of was Relic with Homeworld - they took forever making that and it ended up being worth it, but that's not a safe model to follow.
Though no one will know the "fun" factor until launch, I'm not sure why you think there's nothing concrete to show on it. It's up and running in private beta and was playable on the floor at E3. Even when I did a big story on it a couple of months before E3 it was playable. In fact, they said it had been playable for nearly two years.Originally Posted by Rollory
Wasn't it really Garriot's project more than anyone else's? Also, Quake's single player was totally crap.
Also Half-life has taken the long road to reach the hands of players. And Half-life 2 aims to follow suit.
Regardless of the hooplah regarding the departure of the lead, I'm still interested in this unusual title. The impact of the separation may even be minor, or none at all, depending on the design involvement of the rest of the TR crew. Beta and the final product should provide a better barometer on the state of the game.
Sounds to me more like Garriott's last company... what was it called again? Orange? Ricin? Something ...Originally Posted by stusser
Ah. I wasn't at E3. Didn't pay much attention to the news coverage from E3 either. Oh well.Originally Posted by steve
Playable is one thing. Sims Online was "playable". What I guess I've been looking for and not seeing is some basic gameplay idea behind it that isn't just tweaks to what's been tried before. (Like, for instance, Sims Online ... atrocious implementation, but some interesting ideas behind it that somebody should revisit sometime) If that's what they're relying on, then they'll get tweaks to what's-gone-before's financial success, which isn't a good thing. "nothing concrete" was poor word choice I guess - concrete in the sense that it's clear to me as a gamer that this game is something I really have to try, as opposed to yet another MMOG with prettier graphics and differently shaped monsters.
Anyway, why dump the designer if it's been playable and fun for two years?
Because the majority of the design work is complete, and now it's all about balancing what's there? I dunno.Originally Posted by Rollory
Anyway, there's some interesting stuff in Tabula Rasa, like having all players battling one common enemy instead of having different warring factions, but I think that what happened is that other games adapted many of the ideas Richard Garriott spoke about when he launched Destination Games: the hub system, instanced worlds for single-player-style missions, etc.
The landscape for MMOs is changing, and the cost of development is nothing compared to the cost of launch and the ongoing service business that surrounds these businesses.
I'm guessing that Tabula Rasa is cool, but you have to wonder if it's going to have the kind of mainstream appeal and/or unique positioning that allows a product to be more than just the next "Anarchy Online".
From what I've seen and read so far is that the game is waaaay to "Nichey". NCSoft has a great record, and there's no reason I can see for them not to take the Blizzard view on this: polish and focus, polish and focus.
I'm also guessing with the success of COH that the stakes on this project have risen greatly, and they probably want someone who's willing to take it in a direction that's more in line with the corporate vision, and also won't cannibalize their existing products.
Yeah, but Mythica and Ultima10 were cancelled.Originally Posted by steve
Like you said, Garriot's idea was about more than instancing in the AO/EQ/etc vein; they simply eliminated player competition for limited resources. Garriot wanted to bring the single-player experience to massively multiplayer gaming and let the players feel like heros. It's a compelling idea, I always thought.
Regarding games losing lead designers and still turning out good, City Of Heroes had a pretty big shake-up somewhere around the end of 2002 - I believe Rick Dakan was lead designer then and is no longer (though he's writing the City Of Heroes comic book and still writes for the game?) And that title turned out nice again, as George Formby would say.
And if I recall correctly, CoH has received a hefty design make-over during this time frame (or thereabouts), changing from an open skill system to a restricted archetype skill system. Despite the ugly protests of some fans, the devs of CoH have forged ahead with their new vision. And now CoH enjoys the success of its launch.Originally Posted by simoniker
I'm the only one who feels Tabula Rasa bordering the vaporware?
It's not about this news but something I think from a very long time. Despite I love the Ultima serie I don't think that Garriott has a lot more to offer. And this without delving in the design of the game, which I consider particularly weak.
I still have to see a MMOG with the design complete. It's like saying that the hardware progress is ended.Originally Posted by steve
If you consider Half-life 2 vaporware, then, yes, I suppose Tabula Rasa, one of the flagship titles of NCSoft, is vaporware.Originally Posted by HRose
Whether or not you prefer the vision that Garriott takes with his titles is a reflection of personal taste, but quibbling about the weakness of the design of TR when the game hasn't been fully revealed to the public - or hasn't even entered beta stage testing - is premature.
After three years (more actually) all that is new in the concept is already happening in other games. And to answer with different words:Originally Posted by Bossanova
Originally Posted by Lokust
Well, okay. The initial design is complete, so now it can be turned over to other people to continue its development based on the feedback of players and such.Originally Posted by HRose
Have most MMOs maintained a single designer through their entire life? (Not that there's a huge sample size here.)
Nah, it's pretty much what I've thought...Originally Posted by stusser
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/v/vaporware.htmlA sarcastic term used to designate software and hardware products that have been announced and advertised but are not yet available.
In other words, definitely vaporware. Thank-you-for-agreeing-with-me-please-come-again.
Hmm, never said it wasn't. Bottoms up.Originally Posted by stusser