Game Development Dictionary
The Ultima series began with Akalabeth (Ultima 0), which was released in 1979. Many sequels followed: Ultima I - IX, and Ultima Online.
One of Richard Garriot's wonderful contributions to game design was introduced in Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (released in 1985). The game kept track of the character's choices and actions. The player's goal was to live a life of virtue. Good actions, such as charity and sacrifice, were rewarded. But evil actions, such as lying or stealing were also taken into account. The player could not complete the game unless he were sufficiently virtuous. While this may sound a bit odd, it was a wonderful innovaiton. It is a rare game which can so successfully boost a player's self-esteem!
The Ultima series has had a profound impact on subsequent games, influencing games such as: Fallout I & II, Baldur's Gate I & II, Icewind Dale, the Final Fantasy series, Neverwinter Nights, Arcanum, Pools of Radiance, and Dark Sun.
Richard Garriot's games usually take advantage of the best available technology. Richard Garriot has recently left OSI, and has founded a new company called Destination Games. This company has formed a partnership with NCSoft, an Asian company.
He is currently working on a translation of NCSoft's Lineage: The Bloodpledge for the U.S. market, a new MMPORPG code-named Tabula Rasa, and the mysterious "Project X".