Interview with Tabula Rasa Producer

You were showing us your display of Asian-culture characters... How do you go about developing a game for multiple cultures?

Garriott: When we first started building the game we thought that since we have such expertise in the Asian market and the US and European markets in the company, we felt that surely we could come up with one game which is powerful for everyone concurrently. Over time, it’s interesting to see what happened.

For example, when we tried to do temples, putting in a curved roofline, which you may think of as an Asian roof-style, we would constantly get commentary back from our Asian office saying “We see what you’re trying to do... but it really doesn’t look right.” Eventually they told us why. Imagine we were trying to make a nice European castle, and instead of giving it straight edges, we gave it marshmallow ones, so it was a little puffy. Puffy battlements. We would look at that as comical, but they would look at it as a castle.

When you’re trying to make things that are Eastern, without the experience of growing up within the culture, you miss by just enough that this problem manifests itself... We ultimately decided we should do games that we know - US games, frankly, that we’re very comfortable and confident with, and make sure that we appreciate it, then go and try and work out how to translate it into other cultures.