By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Fans of classic computer role-playing games can get to read all about how Origin Systems’ Ultima series came to life. The many hurdles which occurred along the way in the software development cycle are exquisitely explored. It reads like a deeply researched paper. I looked at an early draft of a preview chapter (which is available on www.theira.it). Readers will get to learn more about the creator, Richard Garriott, and how this series developed from its eight-bit days to thirty-two. This book is finished, and just needs support from fans to facilitate translating it from its native language, Italian, to English.
The love for this game is strong despite not having any titles on the latest generation of machines to play. Does anyone want it? No definitive answer exists. This game has seen many sequels and the Avatar returns every time. In this interview, both author Andrea Contato and photographer/artist Enrico Ricciardi talk about their love for this product and how this crowdfunding campaign will go:
Could you please introduce yourselves?
Andrea: Here in Italy, I wrote a lot of articles for computer, technology and videogames magazines. In 2014, I created an online magazine (www.notiziedalfronte.it) whose goal is to document the history of the First World War, as though you were reading events as it unfolded on that day. There is exactly 100 years of delay. That is, on September 20, 2018, you’ll read the news as it would have appeared on September 20, 1918 and so on. This site is followed by more than 3.000 Italian readers. This makes me a historian communicator.
I am a collector of stories. That’s exactly why wrote this book. The Ultima series is special because Richard Garriott was able to change the formula of his games many times. He succeeded at renewing it without losing the loyalty of his fan-base. There are very few video game series that spans their life in decades as Ultima.
Enrico: I am a professional fashion and advertising photographer since 1985 and am based in Milan. Apart from my job, I love all the visual art forms, and I believe the video game medium is one of the new expressions of art. In the last 10 years, the technologies made available to graphic designers and developers has allowed recreating fantastic worlds with extraordinary realism. They are real works of art. One such game is From Software’s Bloodborne (inspired by H. P. Lovecraft). Their amazing use of lighting technique and choice of colours perfectly materialized the gothic atmosphere this great writer described.