Kickstarter

Wow, the excitement builds as we hit the last 48 hours of the Kickstarter campaign for Underworld Ascendant. Not only has the game been fully funded with room to spare, it’s pushed through a couple of the stretch goals. The Underswamp will be added and we have set into motion another Tracy Hickman novel. Not only that, we are within striking distance of the Lizardmen, a new race to be added to the game. And speaking of added to the game, several new digital items have been added such as Chattering Bart (and his counterpart Chattering Bertha in SotA), shields, faction banners and t-shirts. And there’s plenty of fun to be had at each pledge level with digital copies of the game, alpha access, design sessions, signed boxes, parchments, art and behind the scenes videos.

But the real fun is about to begin. The underworld has been raised and we will forge ahead with sculpting and creating a fantastic adventure game. Shroud of the Avatar is a great world with lots of adventure and interaction. Underworld should shape up to be a fantastic experience that is ever changing and dynamic. From the videos and descriptions, these guys want this world to be alive and vibrant, not just some game you farm over and over again. It seems like it will react and change. And just because something worked the first time doesn’t mean it will work the second time.

What lies beyond the Underworld? Who knows, but my pledge is locked in, the game has been funded, the ideas and art are flowing and the community has shown some great support. Over 12,000 people think this is going to be a great game.

In mere hours we will put this exciting phase behind us and get down to the real work. I can’t wait to see the first build!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to jump in and support Underworld Ascendant. It looks like this is going to be a great game full of some amazing technology and great game play. If you haven’t already looked at the Kickstarter site, there are plenty of videos to get a behind the scenes look at what the developers are planning and where they want to take the game. Their vision sounds so exciting and really makes me think of how great the old single player Ultima games were. But the new Underworld will go even further.

Although the details haven’t been completely worked out, Underworld and Shroud of the Avatar will share some ties and they will most likely share some of the same backstory.

The game is so close to being funded, but needs just a little more to make it over the top. There’s two weeks left and this is the slack time. There is usually a big lull in pledges before the final couple of days and the excitement builds again. However, there’s no reason to hold back. There are some great stretch goals to reach and some nice pledge tiers on offer.

I’m already invested in this game as well and can’t wait to see it get developed. Shroud of the Avatar is looking great and is only going to get better, but I have to say, my true love is still the single player adventure so I desperately hope this game succeeds. These guys did so much work to wrestle Ultima out of the hands of EA, we can’t let them down! 🙂

 

Update: Tracy Hickman has come on board to write a novel for Underworld Ascendant!

We will need the help of our Backers to make this happen. Tracy’s novel is being rolled into our first $750,000 stretch goal. Let’s bring Tracy aboard!

Tracy’s talents as a fantasy author, together with his deep experience with gaming and close collaboration on Shroud of the Avatar, a world connected to ours, make him ideally suited to write the Underworld Ascendant novel. The novel is going to be set several generations before the game takes place, and tell the story of how a band of Dark Elves from the land of the Shroud of the Avatar passed through a magic portal to make an exodus into the Stygian Abyss. It will tell of their trials in this harsh and dangerous underworld, and of how they carved out a place for themselves.

The other exciting news is that both Mac and Linux clients will be supported in the base funding.

So… we have decided to roll Mac and Linux support into the base funding goal.

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It’s Friday the 13th, so let’s see what’s going on in the Underworld shall we?

Underworld Ascendant is off to a fantastic start wherein they are well over halfway to their goal with 20 days left to go. I’m quite excited to be a backer of this project not only because of the tie-in to the old Ultima series and a new tie-in to the Shroud of the Avatar series, but because this looks to have the makings of a great single player adventure game.

However, this doesn’t sound like a stale or static single player dungeon crawl. It sounds like the game will be ever changing and will indeed react to you explorations and interactions. From the description it sounds like you can spend vast amounts of time in the game and it won’t always be the same old thing. Also, this little snippet from the KS page sounds most intriguing:

Improvisation Engine – Delight in player-authored gameplay taken to a whole new level, with a suite of technologies that empower you to solve challenges with astonishing ingenuity. Be the ‘MacGyver’ of a fantasy world.

Hmm, does this mean we get the ability to add all new content right from the start? That sounds fantastic.

Also, Underworld will almost be the opposite of Shroud of the Avatar. SotA is an instanced MMO full of other players, housing, economy and crafting. Underworld will be single player and focused exclusively on the story. There is no multiplayer (although there might be a co-op function later), no housing, no crafting and certainly no housing. It’s a hack and slash loot fest and that alone sounds excellent.

If you haven’t checked it out already, there is a lot of information on the KS page and the Devs are showcasing a lot of information. Right now they’re introducing the team and laying out where they’re headed with the game. They also have some neat pledge rewards. Clearly, you’re not getting a house or special armor out of the deal, but you can still get some nice stuff like limited edition copies of the game, developer roundtable access, early access to the game and a couple interesting in-game items.

I think this is going to be another exciting game project. I haven’t jumped into their forums yet, but I plan on reading over as much as possible this weekend. Plus, there are tons of videos they’ve already put out which I haven’t watched yet. So, one way or another it’ll be an Ultima based weekend.

So head on over, read over the offerings and at least pledge a few dollars to get this game off the ground.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

In 1992, Ultima Underworld changed the rules of what a fantasy RPG could be. It introduced the concept of 3D immersion, a player-authored experience, and a richly dynamic world to explore. Its influence led to a whole generation of games such as Thief, Deus Ex, BioShock, Skyrim, and Dragon Age.

Underworld has been hidden away in the deepest vaults of its publisher for two decades. Only now have the original creators unchained the franchise, freeing it to innovate yet again.

Backing the game grants you unprecedented front row access to the creation of the next epoch of this storied masterpiece, Underworld Ascendant. With your help, here’s a glimpse at what we can together build:

  • Exquisitely Realized Underworld – Plunge into The Stygian Abyss: dark, ripe with dangers, full of ancient secrets to discover. A vast subterranean fantasy world made startlingly real and alive.
  • Dynamic Factions – Become embroiled in an epic plot, as rival factions vie for dominance in struggles that ebb and flow across The Stygian Abyss. Your choices will alter the outcome in subtle and dramatic ways. 
  • Improvisation Engine – Delight in player-authored gameplay taken to a whole new level, with a suite of technologies that empower you to solve challenges with astonishing ingenuity. Be the ‘MacGyver’ of a fantasy world. 
  • Hero to Call Your Own – Jump right in as a Fighter, Thief or Mage. Then as your Avatar grows, freely mix and match across any skills to develop a unique hero, tailored to your style of play.
  • Pushing Boundaries – Stretch Goals will innovate on co-op play with a friend; letting you build your own corner of The Stygian Abyss; and more.

Underworld Ascendant by OtherSide Entertainment

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

There’s a lot going on with Shroud of the Avatar including a new female character. If you’ve been watching, Stephen and Isaac have been building this character over the past few Pen of the Avatar sessions. It’s been pretty cool to watch it develop and now you can see it in action. There is a new video of her shooting a bow and arrow.

 

 

The Pledge drive continues to try and recruit more backers. The goal is to double the community size to 50,000 before May 2014. Everyone can help and there are prizes and rewards for the effort.

And this sounds interesting:

The $10,000 Challenge of the Avatar: 48-Hour Scene Creation Jam!

At 6PM CST on a Friday we will announce the details of the challenge for the weekend. We will post a link to a YouTube video and documents revealing the details of the challenge. Think Iron Chef meets game scene creation!

You will have until 6PM CST on Sunday to start uploading your completed scene!

Another creative endeavor that should yield some very interesting results. This will definitely be something to look forward to. And since it runs right into the Halloween season I’m sure the mood of the events will coincide accordingly.

There is a lot to this latest update so check out the full article!

Update of the Avatar – 08/14/13: The Making of a Female Avatar, The “Double Down on Community” Mission, the $10,000 Challenge of the Avatar, and More!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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