It took 10 days, but they reached the $1 million mark. The game is on! I’ve read the site and a story designer has been brought on. The guy who did the DragonLance series will be at the helm. It sounds like Garriott is getting the band back together and they are busting a nut to work with him. It must be pretty damn amazing to have the funding already at hand so you can develop a game the way you want. As they said, they aren’t beholden to a publishing company to develop and put this out. This is their story, their creation, their world. It’s like Minecraft on a much bigger scale. They have 30 years of experience, a budget and a skilled team to bring it all together. This is truly exciting as hell. I made my contribution. We won’t go into the monetary value, but I will receive some trinkets. I look at it as an investment. I watched as Ultima created a whole new game genre, this time I will be helping to change it again.

I have such wonderful memories of that game. I first saw several months after it came out and thought it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. In fact, I think I saw it on the Commodore 64 first. I may have been in Australia. But anyway.

I have such wonderful memories of that game. I first saw several months after it came out and thought it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. In fact, I think I saw it on the Commodore 64 first. I may have been in Australia. But anyway.

I’d just gotten interested in role playing, D&D and adventure games and here it was in color and sound on the computer. I’d moved from my first computer, the TI 99/4A to the Apple ][ and was just astounded with what computers could do. The “Choose Your Own Adventure” books were wonderful fun, but here they were brought to life in front of me. My interest in computers was solidified and if you would have asked me, I would have declared I wanted to be a game designer when I grew up. Although the game designer aspect never materialized, here we are 30 years later and computers are the mainstay of my life.

Ultima III was amazing and I remember spending every lunch and recess playing that game. In monochrome no less. You could visit towns, buy items, fight guards and get the marks. It was was a grand adventure and at that time and at that age, it was easy lose yourself in the story.

When Ultima IV came out I saw it on the Apple IIGS and I was riveted. The grand journey and I was completely drawn in by the Virtues and how certain decisions would change what type of character you ended up with. It wasn’t just hack and slash, you goals to achieve, people to meet, items to collect. This also brought out spells, reagents, resting, building a party, runes and quests. It was a complex and rich story that took you all over the place. Who cares if it only took 2 5 1/4 inch floppies, it was a massive world. It was fantastic and utterly engaging. It would also define that genre so it was exciting to see it develop.

I miss those games. They were pure joy. You had your quest and your goals and set off in order to slay the monsters and save the town. No level grinding, just open as many chests as you could and find all the pieces.

Ultima faded over the years. I set out in Ultima V, but high school jobs and trying to graduate took most of my time. Britannia would have to wait a few years. Unfortunately, I’ve never completed the series. I have no idea how the story ends.

But Ultima lingers on. Electronic Arts may have the right to the name and it may not have had the same magic as the first few, but that doesn’t change what it was. And soon, the spirit will live on. The Shroud of the Avatar will get made and I’m going to join a piece of history. I was barely a teen when I first saw those original games, but I’ve never forgotten them. The graphics may be simple by today’s standards, but for their time they were all you needed. And quite frankly all you had. I still played. And I will again. Richard Garriott all but invented this style of gameplay and from the pieces I’ve seen he’s going to do it again. I can’t wait to see this unfold. It will once again be a piece of history and will shift the way we play these style of games. Maybe I’m a little sentimental, but even as an adult who’s been around the block a few times, seen my fair share of games and wiled away a few hours in a dungeon, to see the spirit of Ultima return makes me smile. I feel the thrill and excitement of something wonderful and new. There is the anticipation of whole new world waiting to be explored full of familiar faces and all new dangers.

The wheels have been set in motion. A great storyteller has gathered us around to tell of the dangers that await and the riches we can have. The lights are dim, the ale is cold. The lute plays a faint melody.

And so we begin.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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