MEETING JONATHAN "OAKS" LeCRAFT - DESIGNER

Team Comment - Comments from Oaks - June 1, 2001
For exactly one year now, I've been working at Origin Systems as a designer for Ultima Online. As these are my first comments, I believe introductions are in order. My online name is Oaks, and, had I known how many times I'd be called Oats or Oak, there's a good chance I may have picked something else. But I like it, gosh darn it! Anyhow... who's seen the cool magic effects in Third Dawn? I designed almost all of them, as well as worked on the Ilshenar map, dungeon Khaldun, and many bug fixes, including the change to cutting bandages.

Right now, I'm focused on making the journey to whatever goals you are trying to reach in UO more enjoyable - more fun. In life, finally reaching a goal and reaping the benefits is sometimes the only reward, but there's no reason is has to be like that in our game. Imagine if you had to climb a bleak mountain to find a treasure cache. It's nothing but a long haul up a boring landscape, where you are driven only by your (admittedly greedy) desire for loot. What if, instead, you had to solve stimulating intellectual challenges or trek through a dangerous forest filled with traps and monsters, both with the same end reward? If the difficulty were balanced, very few people would climb the mountain.

Anyway, I've got my own ideas, but why don't you tell me yours? Pick a skill, quest, or even your own goal that makes you cringe at the thought of achieving it. How can we make it more fun to arrive at that goal? What would make you actually look forward to the journey, rather than just the end reward?

In the past, I may have been scarce on the boards, as I read much more than I post. This may still be the case to a point, but I do want to become more active in the community - especially the Development Board, since thatís where I hope to find the most discussion on what really makes UO tick. So tell me those ideas and thoughts about what you hope to see as the way we build our characters and our world, and not just what we hope to gain at the end. As a team, we bounce ideas and designs off one another constantly, and I feel we can gain even more from you.

See ya there!

Jonathan "Oaks" LeCraft
Designer, Ultima Online