Name: Sebastian “Sebi” Dorda
Character Name: Hagish
After a youth spent playing, enjoying, and examining MMOs—Ultima Online among them—Sebastian “Sebi” Dorda knew he wanted to make games for a living. Upon immersing himself in Munich, Germany’s game development scene, Dorda spent several years working on the Iris2 engine—a fan-made client which transposed UO’s 2D world into 3D. After catching the eye of local game designer Alex Zacherl, the duo co-founded Fairytale Distillery and set out to create their own MMO.
Dorda found UO shortly after The Second Age expansion was released, taking to a life of crafting and questing in the digital world.
“A friend of mine showed the game to me,” Dorda recalls. “During that time, using the internet was blocking a phone line at home and was paid per minute. My parents were not very eager to pay for excessive online gaming, so I only had a limited amount of hours that I could spent in Britannia.”
But more than casting spells and fighting dragons, Dorda said it was the game’s attention to detail and numerous crafting systems that truly inspired him.
“[I liked that players] could randomly pick up and interact with things,” Dorda explained. “The fact that you could bake bread felt great. It wasn’t just a video game but a ‘real’ world. It was a little bit like a pen and paper roleplaying game that you could play whenever you wanted.”
Low on pocket change as a kid, UO’s monthly subscription cost became prohibitive for Dorda and he sought his adventure in other games. It wasn’t until college that Dorda came back around to UO. Instead of revisiting the world with a gamer’s eye, he did so with that of a game developer’s.
Read more of Sebastian Dorda’s story in Braving Britannia: Tales of Life, Love, and Adventure in Ultima Online.