Mitch Gross: Writing Samples

Tabula Rasa First View

Posted in Samples by Mitch on January 2, 2009

– Led by veteran developers Richard Garriott and Starr Long, NCsoft’s in-house Destination Games team in Austin TX is hard at work on Tabula Rasa. A massively multiplayer science fiction game incorporating elements of first-person shooters and role-playing, it will transport players to the front lines of an intergalactic war against an alien enemy, the Bane.

Featuring fast action using a variety of melee and ranged weapons plus mystical powers, Tabula Rasa will offer diverse quests and battlefields, thereby supporting both solo and group play. Players will be able to join their friends almost instantly via teleportation, while a unique “character cloning system” will allow them to try out different options without making choices they will later regret. Integrated voice chat will make group coordination easier, and players will especially appreciate it when they participate in large-scale battles for control of planets. Content will be updated frequently in reaction to the players’ efforts, and there will be a number of rare and collectible items as rewards.

Tabula Rasa has changed considerably during development, including revision of the original vision. Vehicles, space combat and player housing won’t be included, and only humans will be playable at launch. Characters will be class- and level-based, possibly deterring fans of more open-ended progression. Crafting and player vs. player combat won’t be very important. There are questions about how instancing will work and how much there will be. The system requirements will be fairly steep, with a 3.5 GHz processor, 2 MB of RAM and a high-end video card currently recommended.

Tabula Rasa appears to have an interesting backstory and mix of elements. It remains to be seen how successful focusing on combat above other aspects will be. We certainly hope to learn much more, perhaps after beta begins, which seems likely to be next year.

Originally published at


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