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Tabula Rasa wiped clean

RPG legend Richard Garriott's new MMO about to unveil a clean slate

Tabula Rasa, the new game from the creator of the legendary Ultima RPG series has undergone a substantial redesign and is about to be revealed again (re-revealed?) ahead of next month's E3.

Tabula Rasa has been in development at Destination Games, the new studio founded by RPG legend Richard Garriott (also known as Lord British and proud owner of a purpose-built castle), since 2000 and was originally scheduled for a late 2004 release. Over the last year it has gone through several high-profile development problems, including the departure of its lead designer and a total re-think of its direction.

Now a posting from Garriott himself on Tabula Rasa's official website reveals more about his plans for the new and improved MMORPG - and it's refreshingly honest.

"Simply put, our team felt that the first incarnation of Tabula Rasa was not the game we felt it should be," says Garriott. "We felt this way from our own reactions playing the game as well as others external to the team playing it."

While Garriott does not go into details about the changes made to Tabula Rasa he does promise that more will be revealed soon. "Over the next few weeks you can look forward to new creatures, new features, and new information."

A large Tabula Rasa presence at E3 is promised, and Garriott understandably reassures fans that the game will be the warthog's nuts: "This project is shaping up to be a truly outstanding massively multiplayer online game."

Well, he would say that wouldn't he? Still, this is the man who helped shape the videogame RPG amd MMORPG as we know them through the epic Ultima series, so when he speaks we should pay attention. Also, his dad was an astronaut and he owns the original moon buggy used in the Apollo missions. You can't really argue with that.

In fact, the change of direction is rather fitting for a game that takes its title from the Latin phrase for 'clean slate'. We've got an in-depth rundown of the issues affecting Tabula Rasa's troubled development and Garriott's plans for the game here, and you can check out the official website here.

More on Tabula Rasa's clean slate soon.