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[Community News] The Syndicate 20/8/2009

- - - - - community news syndicate

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This past weekend marked the 8th Annual <a href="http://www.LLTS.org">Syndicate</a> World Conference. Taking place
in Austin, Texas the event brought in a host of guests and Syndicate
members totaling more than 170 people. Guests this year included John
Smedley and Nathan Pearce (SOE), Curt Schilling (38 Studios), the team
at KingsIsle Entertainment, Prima Games, Playxpert, Bioware, G4TV's MMO
Report, Pure West Media (the Second Skin movie guys), the Beef and Pie
film documentary team, Ten Ton Hammer, Microsoft, Alienware (sponsoring
a LAN party), Dell, and the legendary Richard Garriott (aka: Lord British).

The event lasted 5 days and included tours of development studios, round
table discussions with developers, play testing some new products
coupled with feedback sessions, interviews, panel discussions and a
massive annual meeting with guest speakers. One of the featured
speakers at the meeting was Lord British himself. Richard spoke for
about an hour and has a simply amazing story to tell.

From a UO standpoint he went back to the very earliest days and
discussed how it all began. He shared one anecdote that went something
like this: 25 years ago when his father was an active astronaut earning
$60K per year while flying in space, Richard was just getting into
programming. He worked for 7 weeks in his after school hours and came
up with his very first marketable game Akalabeth. Akalabeth is the
father of the Ultima series. The game sold about 50,000 units and he
earned $3 per unit. So when all was said and done, he had earned
$150,000 for 7 weeks of afternoon work and clearly learned you can make
a killing designing good video games.

It was indeed an honor to meet and talk to the legendary Lord British
without whom <a onclick="pageTracker._trackPageview ('/outgoing/http_www_LLTS_org');" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.LLTS.org">The Syndicate</a> probably
wouldn't have come into existence nor would this website or Ultima
Online. Richard was a very genuine person taking the time to pose for
pictures, sign various Ultima artifacts and tell anecdotes going back
many years. And while he did not reveal any news about a future game he
also was clear not to rule it out saying instead that for the next year
or so he is focused on his space related work but that there is plenty
of interest out there to work with him again on something new.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: community, news, syndicate