The latest kickstarter bonanza? Richard Garriott, aka Lord British, is spawning a new game called Shroud of the Avatar. The game is supposed to herald back to the Ultima approach of computer gaming, where there is more story than level grind.
I'm not saying you should go fund this, that's your business. I want to talk about my own experiences with Lord British.
I entered the Ultima series with Exodus (Ultima III). I spent a couple of years trying to beat it on my Apple ][e, generally getting very little progress, until I found a walkthrough in a magazine that finally let me understand all the crazy stuff. Like lining up moon phases to make a secret town appear, what the marks were for, how to get to Ambrosia, that sort of stuff.
I still have no idea how anyone finished that game without a walkthrough, but despite that it is one of my favorite computer gaming experiences of all time.
A lot of my enjoyment had to do with an esoteric fantasy feeling. The cloth map, the latin-sounding spells (I could cast a Pontori like noone else), the magic secrets, and oh did I mention the cloth map?
No other game I had ever seen had such fun toys and they immersed me. Not long after beating Ultima III, I discovered D&D, and the rest is history. And, yea, I played a couple of other Ultima games along the way.
Years later, when I was working as a developer in the video game industry, I got to meet Richard Garriott because his company hired our company. It was pretty exciting for me and I played it as cool as I could; but, really, how do you react to meeting someone that had such a huge impact on your life? After all, playing Ultima led me to spend much of my life playing fantasy roleplaying games, and even inspired me to join the video games industry for a while.
Unlike many folks we put on pedestals, he was actually a pretty cool guy. His head was in the clouds, but he was a ton of fun to talk with, being both creative and well-spoken.
Of course, then he got to go fly into space in 2008, following in his father's footsteps, who was a NASA astronaut. Space travel is another dream many of us share, and doing that added even more cool points to a guy that already had more than any one person should be allowed.
Good luck on the latest project, Lord British!