Richard Garriott, also known to fans as Lord British
, or LB
), is one of the most venerable
game designers in computer gaming
history. He is responsible for the Ultima
series, and founded Origin Systems
. The history of Garriott's work is best found elsewhere
; here I am just outlining the kind of impact he has had on the computer gaming industry
- The first installment in the Ultima series came in 1979 with Akalabeth. That makes Ultima older than Pac-Man.
- Ultima is the first proper CRPG*. Hence, every other CRPG can claim Ultima as it's ancestor. This includes old PC favorites like Might & Magic and Bard's Tale, and console RPG's like Zelda, Final Fantasy, etc. Richard Garriott invented the CRPG.
- Richard Garriott founded Origin Systems, which was arguably the best development house for a long period of time. Origin released several other ground-breaking games/series in addition to Ultima, including Chris Roberts's Wing Commander series which were the first of the space combat games.
- Richard Garriott worked with Warren Spector on Ultima 7 (one of the best of the Ultimas). It was Spector's first experience in game design. Warren Spector then began producing/designing: Ultima Underworld 1 & 2, System Shock, Shadowcaster, Thief, and Deus Ex. Quite a resume.
- John Carmack (Wolf3D, Doom, Quake...) cites Ultima Underworld (the first game to feature a true 3D first-person perspective) as the inspiriation for Wolfenstein 3D, the granddaddy of the first-person shooter genre.
- Garriott is also (in my opinion) one of the first designers to see the real potential of computer gaming as an art form. When Ultima IV came out with it's ground-breaking plot and ethical theme, very few games really had a plot, much less tried to get a message across.
- Ultima Online was the first successful MMORPG and is (unless it's been surpassed by EverQuest) the most financially successful electronic game ever.
Richard Garriott recently left Origin
(sick of Electronic Arts
) now works for NCSoft
, a Korean
company that develops the MMORPG Lineage: the Blood Pledge
. He is rumored to be working on a new original project (formerly called 'X
') that will combine the benefits of current MMORPGs and single-player RPG
predate it, but weren't ported to the PC until 1984
and weren't really influential until much later.
/msg me if any of this is wrong. I'm basing it mostly on what I know and have heard than facts I can back up here.