Happy Wednesday to all you people out in Quiz Land. It's that time of the week again, and I'm feeling a little melancholy. In a little under three months, it will mark the 2 year anniversary of the abrupt, but somehow inevitable, termination of the Tabula Rasa servers. Tabula Rasa struck me as a game with infinite potential that could have done much better than it actually did. What could go wrong with everyone's favorite eccentric game designer and producer at the helm, Richard Garriott? Somewhere along the way, however, everything just fell apart.
In honor of the dearly departed, I hope you will all enjoy this week's edition of The Quiz, or, as I like to call it, THE GARRIOTT ASSESSMENT!!!
Q: Shortly before NCSoft announced the closure of Tabula Rasa's servers, Garriott himself posted an open letter on the game's official website announcing his departure. What were the reasons given? And, hey, for bonus points, he later claimed that he was forced out of his position and sued NCSoft. Did he win or lose?
The open letter seemed a friendly notice from Garriott, informing the game's player base that he would be leaving NCSoft to follow new interests that had been kindled by his trip into space. He did later claim that the letter was a means through which NCSoft could force him from his position in the company, and he filed suit. Earlier this year, he was rewarded a significant amount of money from a Texas court, finding NCSoft did not properly handle his leaving the company.
Q: Which game, on which Garriott served as Executive Producer, was originally based on a fantasy IP in which a usurper is defeated?
Lineage is based on a comic book series of the same name, by Shin Il-sook . Fun fact!: The Lineage servers share their names with characters from the comics.
Q: What company, in 2004, filed suit against Cryptic Studios, NCSoft and NCI for problems it had with City of Heroes (on which Richard's brother Robert Garriott was an Executive Producer)?
Marvel, of course! In their claims, they alleged that the game (CoH) not only allowed, but actively encouraged copyright and trademark infringement. Fun fact!: Despite all of this lawsuit brouhaha filed only two years previous, Marvel sought out Cryptic Studios to develop its ill-fated Marvel Universe Online MMO in 2006.
Q: How many years was Tabula Rasa, on which Garriott was once again credited as Executive Producer, in production before its launch in November of 2007?
The game had been in production for nearly seven years when it launched, the start date hovering in May of 2001.
Q: A year before its release in 1997, producers of Ultima Online had hoped to include an engine in the game that served as dynamic content, long before people were throwing that term around. What was it called?
The Artificial Life Engine was the brainchild of the developers and would create a reactionary world. As explained in a quote from Associate Producer Starr Long: "If the rabbit population suddenly drops... then wolves may have to find different food sources (e.g., deer). When the deer population drops as a result, the local dragon, unable to find the food he's accustomed to, may head into a local village and attack. Since all of this happens automatically, it generates numerous adventure possibilities.
Q: Richard Garriott has had characters/alter-egos in two of the games that he has worked on. What are their names, and which two games do they appear in?
Lord British walks the earth in Lineage, while General British stalked the battlefield in Tabula Rasa.
Thanks for joining me on this walk down memory lane. Be sure to join me next week and I'll be sure to have another batch of MMO-Trivia all hot and steaming like a nice mug of hot chocolate. Enjoy your week!