Garriott Challenges Public to Update His Game

Got the coding chops for something 37 years old?

Gaming forefather and Austinite Richard Garriott has been in a nostalgic mood of late. Not only is he revisiting his trademark series, Ultima, with the upcoming release of Shroud of the Avatar, but he’s going way back for a recently announced contest.

You can avoid all this hassle if you just have one of these lying around.

How far back, you ask? Garriott's harkening back to a time before his DIY days sending out Ziploc bags with floppy discs labelled Akalabeth. Back to his work with a teletype machine at a high school in Houston. Using other awesomely dated equipment like paper tape spools, an acoustic modem, and a PDP 11 type minicomputer the teenaged Garriott made Dungeons and Dragons-esque maps for would-be players to explore. The ASCII maps looked a little something like this:

This asterisks – bitchin' 70s asterisks at that – represent walls. Letters and symbols are monsters and treasure. The games were named and numbered D&D #1 through 28 with the 28th map becoming the blueprint for Akalabeth.

In an effort to bring those maps to a new generation of role-playing-game fans, Garriott is looking for people to use his original BASIC source code and recreate the D&D series for PCs, browsers, and mobile devices. If you think you can handle the task read the complete rules and download the original code on the contest website. Entries must be received before May 15.

More Richard Garriott
Own a Piece of Richard Garriott's World
Own a Piece of Richard Garriott's World
Space and gaming pioneer is auctioning off 500-plus items

Monica Riese, Sept. 12, 2013

Hallo, Spaceboy! 'Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission' Returns to Earth
Hallo, Spaceboy! 'Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission' Returns to Earth
Local doc with stellar ambitions opens at Alamo

Marc Savlov, Jan. 19, 2012

More by James Renovitch
ACL Fest Transportation Guide
ACL Fest Transportation Guide
Minimize the hassle of getting to and from the fest

Sept. 21, 2016

Fantastic Arcade Announces 2016 Lineup
Fantastic Arcade Announces 2016 Lineup
Interactive arm of Fantastic Fest probes video games' outer limits

Aug. 10, 2016


Richard Garriott, teletype, Akalbeth, Ultima, Shroud of the Avatar

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)