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Richard Garriott to Recieve Lifetime Achievement Award 36

GameDev.net has word that Ultima series creator Richard Garriott is set to recieve the Lifetime Achievement award at this year's GDC. From the article: "Son of Skylab and Spacelab astronaut Owen K. Garriott, Richard took an interest in computers at a young age. He began programming games in high school and produced his first published game, Akalabeth, at the age of 19. While attending the University of Texas at Austin, Garriott began developing one of the most successful, longest-running game series of all time: Ultima. Garriott and his brother formed Origin Systems, Inc. to begin publishing their own games, and the company was acquired by Electronic Arts (EA) in 1992."
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Richard Garriott to Recieve Lifetime Achievement Award

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  • Reminds me of the first time Ultima was featured on Player vs. Player
    http://www.pvponline.com/archive.php3?archive=1998 0520 [pvponline.com]
    Hail the Lord.
  • Huh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 09, 2006 @03:59PM (#14885046)
    He's still alive? I remember killing him a few times throughout the years, bad-ass though he might be.

    Truly an American icon.
  • Hail, Lord British! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by egomaniac ( 105476 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @04:11PM (#14885150) Homepage
    He is truly a gaming legend. I still remember an easter egg in... what was it, Ultima III? A townsperson that said "Hi, I'm Richard Garriott. I made this game."

    I always thought that was a classy easter egg.
  • Awesome (Score:3, Interesting)

    by j_kenpo ( 571930 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @04:16PM (#14885193)
    Thats great. I remember a several years ago when I was working for a production company, he hired us to do a laser show for his birthday party in Austin. He had a huge ass ice slide set up in his front yard with ice sculptures, and everyone was in costume. Although I didn't actually witness this firsthand, one of the other production guys told me he had set up a mock "encounter" with his wife where he bursts in with a shotgun and bloew her away. Of course she was wired up with bursts to make it look like she got shot. What a character, too bad I missed it. But I remember being told to keep up a professional demeaner, and although we begged to go up on the slide, we weren't allowed. A second later our boss disapears, only to be spotted coming down the slide with a colored clowns wig and clown nose, gets off the slide and says "Get back to work" barely able to keep from laughing his ass off. That was a lot of fun.

    But its good to see Lord British getting the recognition he deserves. I loved the Wing Commander series (especially Privateer) back in their prime.
    • ... in Austin. ... everyone was in costume.

      Just for the edification of the unaware, these two phrases are redundant.
    • Re:Awesome (Score:2, Informative)

      by terrisus ( 108956 )
      While I haven't spent as much time with them as I may've liked, the Ultima series of games is still one of my favorites.
      Definitely a great line of games. I really like Ultima 4 in particular.

      Also, there's an Ultima Collection CD, which contains Ultima 1-8 and Akalabeth.
      For anyone looking for some of the best of Richard Garriott in one place, this is a great way to get them.
    • I loved the Wing Commander series (especially Privateer) back in their prime.

      Wasn't that Chris Roberts?
  • by Strell ( 877448 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @04:20PM (#14885227)
    Is that he is a huge boxing fanatic, to the point where he appears at local boxing gyms quite a bit, and apparently does some freelance interaction/training sort of things.

    I only know this because my sister, who goes to UT, did a story on a female boxer (who is some sort of champion now, like featherweight or something) for photography class, and talked to Garriot every day, and even still maintains contact. And then one day she off handedly mentions his name, and my eyes popped. I attempted to explain to her the gravity of the situation, and just who she was dealing with, and then asked her to ask him if he had any job openings. :P You would too if you were in the same position. I had to resort to hyperbole, that he's probably within the top 25 people important to gaming for all time. She somewhat got the point at that time.

    He's also really into photography as well. My sister tells me he sports the Rolls Royce of cameras. I'll have to take her word for it.
  • Titled mispelled... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "I" before "E" ... _except_ after "C"!
  • Long time coming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WidescreenFreak ( 830043 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @04:43PM (#14885426) Homepage Journal
    This is so deserving. Richard Garriot almost single-handedly brought fantasy out of the closet spaces of D&D fans into the mainstream gaming realm. Back when most computer games were text adventures or side-scrollers, he brought fantasy gameplay that could last thousands of hours in incredibly detailed and story-rich worlds.

    I remember when Ultima V came out for the Commodore 64. If you booted the same discs on a Commodore 128, you got to listen to music throughout the game. Even small things like that helped to impress me more.

    I still have the boxed editions for several versions of the Ultima series, not only because I just can't seem to part with them (in some vain idea that I might play them again) but because he also included those extras that helped to bring the game to the real world. The cloth map that came with the later Ultima games was unheard of 15 or 20 years ago, and the trinket that was somehow tied to the story always added to the "coolness" factor.

    Even now, two of the ringtones on my phone are the theme from Ultima V/ VI and Stones, which is probably the most memorable of all of the Ultima songs.

    Now, if only EA would give Garriott the honor of letting him go back and redo Ultima: Ascension so that it could live up to its Ultima legacy, instead of being the rushed-to-market, bug-ridden, obviously-taken-over-by-corporate-a**holes piece of crap at it was.

    Congrats, Richard! We miss the stories of the Avatar!
    • I agree. Definitely deserved. I have found memories as a kid playing Ultima 2, 3, 4, and 5 on my old Apple //e. That and Wizardry introduced me to CRPGs.
    • The Gothic series nowadays comes closest to the games U9 should have been, especially Gothic2 is outside of Europe a highly overlooked excellent successor to the Ultima series (and to some degree to Fallout as well given the twisted humor) Most reviewers rated it down because they did not bother to learn the very well working control scheme, and basically just gave it mediocre scores while most if not all die hard RPG fanatics and ex Ultima players simply love the series as being one of the best RPG series
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @04:50PM (#14885487) Homepage
    I remember playing and playing on the apple //e. I had a friend at school and we'd exchange hints. It took a long time to finish that one.

    I can still here the sound fx for a "hit" and the little tune it played for winning a battle.

    I also remember being attacked by the floor on the way to finish the game.

    da da da ..(I can't type sound...)
  • by cswiger2005 ( 905744 ) <cswiger@mac.com> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @05:03PM (#14885618) Homepage
    Lord British and Origin produced some of the finest computer games made, and in particular Ultima III through V, Wing Commander & Privateer, and Moebius. Games which actually had a plot, and significant interaction between player actions and consequences.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtues_of_Ultima [wikipedia.org] ...let's just say it's been a while since I've played a game which made me think as much about such things.
  • Remake of Ultima IV (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    FYI: there is a remake of Ultima IV (considered by many to be the best in the series), for modern machines, called xu4 [sourceforge.net]. Try it, it's fun. No, I'm not one of the devs, just a humble luser.
  • Wasn't Lord British assassinated? They shouldn't be giving awards to dead people.
    • Oh yes. Blown to bits with cannons, poisoned, got a great big plaque on his head, sworded with the leetest weapon imaginable, and also fried to crisp online before the game even got out of beta. Just a couple of things I've heard about, my favorite is still the plaque. =)

  • by cspariah ( 958194 )
    The best way I can describe the impact that Ultima V had on me and my best friend: When he got married, I took the cloth map from the game, framed it and gave it to him as a wedding present.
  • But for this?

    "Garriott will be recognized "for fuelling the presence of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) in the mass market"."

    Yeah, MMORPGs are quite the time-sucker, and Ultima Online was the first good example of what an MMORPG could be. But his contributions to the gaming industry (particularly in the realm of CRPGs) are just as important, if not moreso, than his involvement with UO.
  • Bravo! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Avatar8 ( 748465 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:33PM (#14887012)
    Just look at my handle and you'll get a hint at how much Ultima influenced my life. Garriott deserves this and so much more recognition. He truly was a pioneer and an inovator before all others in this industry.

    I recall playing Ultima IV, my first Ultima, on an Apple ][. I created a notebook to keep up with clues. As later versions came out, I purchased them, played them and stored them away. I went back and found all the previous games (even an original) as well and played them. My wall is covered will all of the cloth maps from all of the Ultima games. I have a bag containing all the trinkets. All the boxes line my bookshelf. I have a certificate signed by Lord British himself stating that I was the first to complete Ultima VI. I'm even immortalized in Ultima VII. You can find my gravestone in Skara Brae stating (in Britannic runes of course)"Here lies Phaltran who is *my real name*."

    Did I mention I'm an Ultima fanatic? I don't fawn over celebrities. When I met Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig and Robert Picardo, I was pleased but not awed. If I ever get to meet Richard in person, I'll likely sound like a blithering idiot for stating something similar to this post.

    The Virtues of the Avatar changed my life. They gave me a belief system that I could never find in religion. Shortly after discovering Ultima, I discovered Renaissance Faires. They went hand in hand. I have several costumes and accessories modeled after Avatar outfits. I bring my Avatar to life when I'm at Faire. I view all of these as positive impact on my life and I thank Richard for creating worlds that provided this.

    Congratulations, Lord British. Well deserved recognition. Kudos all around.

    What would a /. post be without humor? -> I certainly hope at this moment some EA executive is kicking him/herself in the ass for letting Richard leave Origin, for letting UO sink into ruination and for lacking the vision and leadership skills that Richard Garriott possesses.

  • by quag7 ( 462196 ) <deepspace@dataswamp.net> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:56PM (#14887906) Homepage
    Add me to the chorus of admirers. I haven't been a gamer...since Ultima IV.

    Even before that my attention span was too short for many RPGs, including text adventures/IF that was popular in the early 80s.

    I must say though, Ultima IV consumed me for several months. Everything fell to the side - my online activities at the time, my campaign to pester my father into installing a separate phone line in the house so I could put up a BBS, and of course, my schoolwork.

    I have never been so consumed by a single computer-oriented pursuit since Ultima IV: The Quest of the Avatar, on the Commodore 64.

    I'm in my 30s now, and from time to time I try to explain this game to people who haven't seen it, or who can't fully understand the state of the art of computer games in the early to middle 80s, and why this was such a broad leap forward. Most of my friends are not gamers either, or if they are, enjoy what's popular now, which are deathmatch-style games. For some reason I've had a hard time explaining why this game was so, so much better...so much more, somehow...important.

    By the time Ultima IV came out, I was sick to death of hack and slash / shoot-to-kill games, owing to several years of blowing quarters on arcade games like Asteroids and countless hours of wandering around my neighborhood trading Atari 2600 cartridges with friends. I was into D&D at the time, but most of the games I (pirated) just didn't have the rich immersiveness of AD&D itself. As a result of both of these I remember wishing it was ten years in the future, because by then, no doubt, computer RPGs would be approaching the detail and richness of the AD&D experience.

    And then someone gave me a copy of Ultima III, which was fasincating enough to me that I saved up my paycheck from delivering the Asbury Park Press, and bought U4, which came with the aforementioned cloth map, and a medallion/talisman kind of thing.

    And then I didn't see daylight for quite some time.

    I haven't been interested in games at all since the end of U4 with a few isolated (but casual) exceptions - Doom, when it came out (who could have resisted that?), and now and again I'll fire up bzflag for 15 minutes at a time.

    Still, U4 is major part of the patchwork of my teenage years, and still represents to me, in a word, Excellence.

    I usually skip any game-related stories on Slashdot, but I had to make a comment here, because for me, U4 is really the only game that ever mattered to me, in my lifetime.

    Thank you Richard Garriott for firing up my imagination, for the idea that you can make an adventure game which involved actual morality, and for creating a non-linear world that seemed impossibly large; limitless, even.

    I guess ,for me, it wasn't just a game - it was art; no less important to me than some of the best books I've read, and the finest movies I've seen. I can't think of anything I learned in college which was anywhere as stimlating to me, intellectually, as this game. And that says a lot for someone who hasn't been a gamer for 20 years, I think.
  • Congrats Mr. Garriott, and thanks for autographing my Ultima 5 map! You deserve all of this, and I wish you'd snatch Origin back from the clutches of EA and redo the whole 4-6 series back!
  • I've owned every video game system since the Atari 2600, and Ultima IV is still the best RPG I've ever played. It's the only one that's ever made me consider my own virtues in life. It also helped me realize, I don't have a lot of the good ones. ;)

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN