Also from Billy Cain and Shadow Force comes this twelve-page "Design Document Review." This is the Shadow Force teams' analysis of the now-famous "TCIS Eyes Only" Shadow Force proposal. The most amazing thing here is how much like Arena this game could have been--it would have included both Arena's hated powerups and a more arcade-style "chase camera" gameplay mode, with an automatic targeting feature!
Origin founder Richard Garriott was at the GDC Europe conference this last week to speak on the evolving nature of video games. Gamasutra summarized the keynote speech here. The highlights involve the progression in potential from single player games in the '80s and '90s, to massively multiplayer games in the 2000s and new social games in the 2010s. We've recently heard him speak passionately on this subject, and he's working with his new company, Portalarium, to help push the envelope in this space.
"I want to create a reincarnation and reinvent roleplaying yet again," he said, but "to get there, we're creating a series of products."
Said Garriott, "Hundreds of millions of players who haven/t played a serious roleplaying game and don't know they want to play a real roleplaying game, so we not only need to groom our own skills in understanding the new player, but we have to move the new player along in their evolution."
His company's first stepping stone is its Facebook game Ultimate Collector, which has a similar gameplay loop to popular casual social games but introduces some new elements to prime the player for gaming evolutions.