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Fan-Developed Ultima VI Remake Released

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the serious-dedication dept.

Classic Games (Games) 161

An anonymous reader writes "20 years after the original game launched, a fan-developed Ultima 6 remake has finally been released! The Ultima 6 Project was formed in 2001 by Sliding Dragon to develop a remake of Origin's Ultima VI: The False Prophet with newer graphics and a more immersive engine. Soon assembled under the banner Archon, the team members, who hail from all over the globe, have set about recreating the world of Britannia, adding an enhanced storyline to bolster intraseries continuity and building on the Ultima legacy in a way that will please fans new and old."

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This is great! (4, Interesting)

Redbluefire (1165471) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848962)

The virtues are really where Ultima shines. If you've never played it, essentially, you get bonuses for being virtuous, and not through silly binary GOOD/EVIL choices like most games today.

Let's see how well it flies (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849408)

Well, let's not forget that Ultima 6 was launched at a time when gaming was something for nerds, and often idealistic nerds. Even years before that, when we started getting online FPS, it was a world where you were _expected_ to be polite and say "good game", and where it would be a mark of the antisocial asshole to even frag someone who's AFK or chatting. Yeah, you could stop in the middle of a deathmatch and start chatting about your kids' grades (seen that verbatim happen), and it would be frowned upon if someone fragged you.

Then came Counter-Strike and the whole gang of insecure and/or psychopathic kiddies (and men at midlife crisis) who had to prove their penis size at every step, had to blame everything on someone else (getting shot at was only because the other was a cheater, not his staying still in the open, see?), and had to inform you of your sexual orientation and mother's weight and sexual prowess at least once per round. And that's just skimming it.

In the meantime it seems to me like they multiplied like rabbits. Yeah, good luck floating the idea of acting virtuously to someone who thinks he _must_ prove his penis size and that he has balls by ganking some AFK newbie and teabagging the corpse. 'Cause if god forbid he missed that at least one day, people might start questioning if he even has an Y chromosome at all. Actually obeying all 8 virtues? You'd probably need a panel of experts to prove to him first that the penis police won't show up to his door with a rusty hedge scissors, revoke his right to pee standing, and sentence him to wear a dress for the rest of his life.

Honestly, at times it looks like half the gamers nowadays don't even understand that it's even theoretically possible to play a game other than as a bigger asshole than on goatse, or that someone could even theoretically have a reason to play nice that doesn't boil down to being in denial.

Case study: witness the descent of the Eve idiots upon STO at launch, and the thousands of posts boiling down to "if I can't cause a random newbie to lose his ship and all he owns -- or, hey, as a compromise just his weapons, engines and bridge officers -- then the game sucks and it can't possibly be fun for anyone." Not even for said newbie, see. Why all those newbies must shed bitter tears at the utter disappointment of still having a ship by the time they hit level 5. Ganking them is just some selfless act to make the game fun for them, see? ;)

So, yeah, good luck with selling the idea of a game which gives bonuses for _not_ being an asshole to _those_.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849426)

Gah, I mean we got FPS years _after_ U6, of course.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849660)

>>>Gah, I mean we got FPS years _after_ U6, of course.

We had FPSes in 1990. I don't remember any of them being online, but we did have the single player versions.
\

Re:Let's see how well it flies (2, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849842)

Well, you're right about that, but single player versions don't quite illustrate the rise of the online assholes that I was talking about. Even Doom which came 3 years after Ultima 6, only was realistically playable on a LAN, and even then better not be on the work LAN, the way it broadcast packets. And really, on a LAN the whole thing is a lot less conducive to breeding assholes. What you need, is, well, best illustrated by Penny Arcade's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory [penny-arcade.com] . You can't really skip the middle ingredient. Acting like an antisocial asshole at a LAN party would just get one not invited any more.

(Note however that I would doubt that it just turns a normal people into a fuckwad, like in the comic strip. More likely it's just created a situation where a sociopath can act like his natural self. Sorta like Dave Barry's rule: Someone who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.)

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850212)

Not sure why you would even point to DooM 3 (2004) when compared to Quake 3 (1999). Quake 3 was designed entirely as a multi player game, had no campaign to speak of, just moderately good bots to throw in. DooM 3 has an extensive single player experience and very minimal multi player (like a whole 4 maps worth?). I wasn't big into Unreal Tournament, but that was Q3's biggest competitor and also arrived in '99. Quake 3 had exclusively multi player levels, most designed for more than 4 players. In fact, I think Quake 3 was reasonably playable on good dial-up. And you're right, somehow DooM 3 required a lot more bandwidth for some reason.

So I guess somehow you missed a lot of games there. Shame really due to the player base degeneration it won't ever be quite the same again.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850232)

Oops, from speed reading your post I didn't realize you were probably referring to the original Doom there... I grouped the 3 in the sentence with Doom by mistake.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32850296)

WTF, he was talking about doom 1.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32851664)

Not sure why you would even point to DooM 3 (2004) when compared to Quake 3 (1999). Quake 3 was designed entirely as a multi player game, had no campaign to speak of, just moderately good bots to throw in. DooM 3 has an extensive single player experience and very minimal multi player (like a whole 4 maps worth?). I wasn't big into Unreal Tournament, but that was Q3's biggest competitor and also arrived in '99. Quake 3 had exclusively multi player levels, most designed for more than 4 players. In fact, I think Quake 3 was reasonably playable on good dial-up. And you're right, somehow DooM 3 required a lot more bandwidth for some reason.

So I guess somehow you missed a lot of games there. Shame really due to the player base degeneration it won't ever be quite the same again.

Pretty sure that he didn't say jack about Doom 3....

Stop making stuff up.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850410)

Note however that I would doubt that it just turns a normal people into a fuckwad, like in the comic strip.

I suspect that the difference is that multiplayer gaming over the internet has been democratized. When I started, it was very much an enthusiast thing. The people who went to Quake LAN parties or played on the internet were future (sometimes current) CS majors, engineers, and other IT people, or at least were going to get a degree somewhere. They were the sorts of people you'd expect to see playing chess during lunch time at school. My experience was that people in general behaved themselves, though in the competitive environment I played in you wouldn't wait to see whether someone was AFK or not, you'd just launch a rocket in their direction. But spawn camping was a no-no, as was any sort of "hacking". I guess part of that went with the whole enthusiast aspect - you are doing something new and groundbreaking, a computer-aided sport, why grief?

Nowadays there are way more blue collar adults, regular kids, and young kids (e.g. 13yos with 13yo levels of maturity) playing these games because computers and net access is cheap, and the games are mainstream. As a consequence, it's a more douche rich environment. That's not to say that the average person from any of these demographics is a dick, or even that there aren't exceptions, but you are going to find higher numbers of douches outside of the nerd/geek set.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849890)

Which FPS were those? Wolf3D and Ultima Underworld came out in '92. DOOM was late '93, about 18 months later, and was the first multiplayer beast. (PC depended on IPX/SPX, but NeXTDOOM, e.g., was TCP/IP from the beginning.)

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849914)

Well, not textured FPS, but I seem to remember a couple of non-textured ones before Wolfenstein 3D, so strictly speaking he is right. Of course, they weren't playable either on a LAN or online anyway.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850988)

I think Catacombs 3D (and its stunning EGA graphics) predated Wolf3D by a year or so. Prior to that, Hovertank 3D was probably the closest thing...

Re:Let's see how well it flies (2, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850000)

We had FPSes in 1990. I don't remember any of them being online

Marathon [wikipedia.org] rocked at the time, hands down the best FPS of its day. It featured LAN gaming for up to 8 (or was it 16?) players. There were hacks around that would knit together distant LANs vpn-style for internet play, but the game wasn't designed for that level of lag so it didn't play well over the internet.

(it also had a story line that, in the context of a fps, rivaled that of Ultima. It's a shame that feat is rarely equalled even nowadays)

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

ezakimak (160186) | more than 4 years ago | (#32852432)

Midi-Maze on the ATARI could network up to 16 players with a Midi-loop. Non-textured, but 3-d. Fun as hell in it's day. (Would be boring comparing to the stuff we have today though.)

Re:Let's see how well it flies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32850190)

Doom and forward you could at least play on LANs. We had MANY LAN sessions playing Doom and Duke Nukem 3D...

Castle Wolfenstein was one of the first really playable FPS, and I had a friend who got addicted to the game. PLaying it on any machine available any time that you left him unattended for a few minutes, then impossible to drag off to go whatever it was that we were originally going to do...

Ultima 6 was the second to last(I consider the entirety of 7 to be one game even though it's technically 2 plus 2 expansions(small)) good Ultima game.

Usenet and IRC were like that too (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849910)

At least from what I remember since it's been a long time. When I first started usenet (wow, back in 1990) I never saw flame wars like there are today. (Admittedly on the right boards today it's still ok) And of course IRC was cool at first but broke down as well.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

stobrd (1820042) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850144)

One reason for this may be, that just more people got computers and into gaming. I think it's not that nowadays there are more assholes out there than there were before, but today many (*sigh*) more of them are online and playing games. While in the 90s only people who were into tinkering with new technology, which requires having a at least moderate attention span and a certain amount of education, even knew about the existence of computer games, nowadays literally _everyone_ plays them. Add to that, that assholes tend to be very vocal, especially when they're online and anonymous, and you've got enough people to drag down the quality of multiplayer experiences overall.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850316)

Never said that the internet actually created assholes. TBH, though, I do think that some games ended up drawing more assholes online by, basically, catering to that segment more.

E.g., back when CS was getting more assholes than all other online games combined, it wasn't even a mystery why. You just needed to ask one of the most obnoxious CS-ers if they want to play a round of UT or Quake 3 instead. You'd promptly get told (or even ranted at) that it's simply no fun if his victims can respawn immediately and get right back in the game. They needed to feel like they inflicted _some_ punishment on someone, even if it's just a minute of not playing, or it wasn't fun for them. The goal wasn't to compete (competing for score works there just as well) or prove they're the best (ditto) or anything else, but really to feel like they prevented someone from playing the game. For the first time in FPS history CS gave them even a small possibility to be (or think they are) annoying to someone, and they flocked to it in droves.

And by now more and more games cater to that segment, and/or can be persuaded to do some changes demanded by that vocal minority. E.g., STO actually went against the protests of each players and implemented a penalty for dying, which was demanded by that Eve rejects minority.

So while I would agree that probably at society scale still the same percentage are assholes as before, I do have the impression that online gaming has attracted a higher percentage than that by now.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851280)

FWIW, I enjoyed CS as a victim, because respawning led to very "gamey" kamikaze runs, and altered the playing types significantly. If I couldn't play for 3 or 4 minutes because I ran flat out and got sniped, it at least gave me an opportunity to spectate and think about the next round.

Not to say there weren't assholes in CS, but I never felt like inflicting punishment was the purpose -> making intelligent tactical choices was far more satisfying.

For example, cs_assault was a map that had a nigh impenetrable warehouse camped by terrorists. Typically, the CTs would get wiped again and again on the map, and everyone would change sides to T whenever possible. I had the wonderful experience of turning around an entire server worth of CSers by suggesting that we pick a time (say, 2 minutes and 35 seconds left), camp until then (make the Ts nervous and maybe have them come out of hiding), and simultaneously breach when the time came up. It was a dead simple plan you could type out in the first 5 seconds of the round, and terrifyingly effective. Even when the Ts figured out what we were doing, it was still an open question as to which side was going to prevail during a coordinated assault.

You'd simply never get this kind of teamwork in something like UT or Quake 3, both of which I love, but for significantly different reasons that CS.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (2, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850206)

I still find it entertaining that contrary to public opinion, as gaming has opened up to a wider audience it has become less mature and more low-brow than ever.

The gamers of a generation ago got their share of slanderous nicknames but they seemed to be more respectful, intelligent and mature in general than those found today.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850374)

It's a cultural problem. The fault goes to parents for raising their kids to be self-centered idiots with no respect for anyone or anything.

TBH, I'm not convinced (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851110)

TBH, I'm not convinced that it's a generation thing. Just about every charge against generation Y, I've heard levied against generation X before. We were supposed to be the "me" generation, the self-centered idiots, the louts who grew up with entitlement delusions instead of knowing we must work hard, the ones who don't know how good we have it, the ones who never got taught proper respect, etc. Now essentially I hear that _we_ were the good guys (e.g., here in gaming) while the new generation are the real villains. Bah, humbug. I'll be damned if I let some young whippersnapper steal my spotlight like that. Get off my virtual lawn, damn kids, I still have as much self-centeredness left in me as I did in my teens ;)

Now seriously, I've long maintained that, basically, each game gets the gamers it "deserves", or rather those it caters to. As more and more games bend over backwards to cater to assholes, well, they get more assholes.

It was known at least as far back as, oh, I dunno, Phantasy Star Online, that you can make a game where the l33t killer type just can't do much harm and just leaves for greener pastures. The original COH also mostly lost those because there simply was nothing you could do to another player. Even harassment with tells didn't work well (ignore ftw.) Or even sitting in the town square and shouting crap against them or folowing and stealing their kills, well, in a heavily instanced game neither worked too well.

Unfortunately a lot of games basically try to cater to everyone, including the asshole segment, and occasionally disproportionately to the asshole segment. E.g., because it's the loudest group of players and for a while it can seem like everyone wants, in fact even _demands_ unrestricted PvP and disproportionate penalties for the victim. (See STO again: about two dozen Eve rejects could cause the majority of threads, completely out-posting the hundreds of thousands who formed the rest of the community.) E.g., because some developer is himself the kind who doesn't understand why would anyone play for any other reason than proving penis size, and that throwing references to "care bears" and "hello kitty" players makes him sound more properly manly. E.g., because the publisher comes and says "OMG, we need to copy more from WoW/CS/whatever. Like let's start with features X, Y and Z. And in fact let's turn the knobs to 11 on them, so we can brag we're better than WoW/CS/whatever." Sony is probably the lowest hanging fruit there, as it screwed up so often and hard by trying to copy and outdo features it didn't even understand from WoW, that it's not even funny.

And often in the process it ends up catering more to the assholes.

Basically my take is that really nothing happened between generations in the population at large. We still have a bunch of nice kids and a bunch of bad kids, and a lot in between. It's just that more and more games tried to tap into the asshole segment for extra players, and predictably more of the existing assholes became players. Not even all from the newest generation. Some of the most obnoxious players I've met were middle-aged middle-class gentlemen (well, gentlemen when they weren't anonymous online, anyway.)

Re:Let's see how well it flies (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851028)

I was with you up until EVE. I love the fact that death actually has consequences in EVE.

Re:Let's see how well it flies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32851636)

Please, don't feel like you have to hold back for the sake of propriety. Tell us all what you *really* think.

That is is (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32852344)

Please, don't feel like you have to hold back for the sake of propriety. Tell us all what you *really* think.

That _is_ what I think.

Frankly, after hearing that gang spare no insult in telling me what an abject failure of a person I must be if I play like a "carebear" instead of like them, plus lacking the skill, plus lacking the courage, plus lacking balls, plus obviously self-hating/in-denial/whatever for not playing like them, etc, I don't feel much of a need for propriety in telling them right back what I think of them.

Uhoh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32848964)

In before we get another C&D happening again.

Yes, it may be different this time, but nobody cares about that these days.

Let's just hope that doesn't happen.

Re:Uhoh (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849938)

This is the same team that did an Ultima V remake and didn't get a C&D. They reached out to EA, and former Origin employees. This has been a very visible project.

They also released a blank slate version of their project called Project Britania, which allows you to easily make your own Ultima game.

Re:Uhoh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32851132)

No, it's not the same team.

Ultima V : Lazarus was done by Team Lazarus, Ultima VI Project by team Archon.

Those 2 projects had so many things in common that they shared some resources.

Ultima 4 (5, Informative)

ytm (892332) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848974)

It's worth to metion that Ultima 4 has a remake too: http://xu4.sourceforge.net/screenshots.html [sourceforge.net]

Re:Ultima 4 (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849398)

I think almost all the Ultima's have had a remake or are currently having one made. I'm at work so I can't pull up the list I used to have, but a simple google will bring up a ton of remake projects. One of my favorites, and completed I think 2 years ago, is http://www.u5lazarus.com/ [u5lazarus.com] utilizing the original Dungeon Siege engine. It's pretty impressive if you are into the series. V is my favorite of them all.

Re:Ultima 4 (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849946)

This is an extension of the Ultima V Lazarus code. It is many of the same team members.

Re:Ultima 4 (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850338)

Awesome, thanks for the heads up. DS engine I assume? I'll check it out this evening. U6 was the first Ultima I played on a PC. It made me and my buddy save our money to upgrade to an EGA (maybe VGA) card and a Sound Blaster. We were total computer newbs and couldn't figure out why the game we installed (nasty shades of purple) looked nothing like the back of the box. And it was amazing what the sound card did for the game compared to the PC speaker. Ahh, I know what I will be doing this weekend! Thanks again!

Cue the DMCA takedown in 5, 4, 3... (3, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848976)

I notice there wasn't anything on the site saying/acknowledging the copyrights/trademarks of the original Ultima...

Queue up the DMCA takedown notice, and the inevitable "oh, the evil DMCA takedown notice" slashdot article...

Re:Cue the DMCA takedown in 5, 4, 3... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32849240)

I notice there wasn't anything on the site saying/acknowledging the copyrights/trademarks of the original Ultima...

Queue up the DMCA takedown notice, and the inevitable "oh, the evil DMCA takedown notice" slashdot article...

No need Slashdot took down the site quicker than a DMCA notice ever could.

Re:Cue the DMCA takedown in 5, 4, 3... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32849758)

Which is interesting since on Lunars front page (the hosting agency) they have an ad that states they can handle high demands. I guess that is until they get slashdotted. :)

Re:Cue the DMCA takedown in 5, 4, 3... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32849436)

Heh yeah. My first thought for a comment was "Cease and Desist in 5, 4, 3, ..."

When will fans learn only to consume and never to produce?

Re:Cue the DMCA takedown in 5, 4, 3... (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850384)

Game remakes by fans are fairly common, and few (that I know of) have recieved takedown notices.

http://www.agdinteractive.com/ [agdinteractive.com]

http://www.tsl-game.com/ [tsl-game.com] (This actually did recieve a takedown notice, two weeks before they were supposed to go live, but they worked things out with the copyright holders)

http://www.infamous-adventures.com/home/ [infamous-adventures.com]

http://www.freewebs.com/skimbleshanks/ [freewebs.com]

These are just a few Sierra game remakes.

Will they do VIII? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848988)

I enjoyed Pagan. It's the game that got me into fantasy RPGs.

Re:Will they do VIII? (1)

Zediker (885207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849082)

I dont know. Since u8:pagan was widely critisized and considered uncomplete and a failure compared to U6 and U7. I think it would be one of the more difficult remakes as the team would have to fill in alot of plotholes, content, etc.

Re:Will they do VIII? (2, Interesting)

Bozzio (183974) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849142)

It's funny, as a kid I remember thinking all of those "legends" that kept coming up but that you never encountered were a pretty cool addition to the game. After all, not many games I played at that age took the time to create atmosphere and a background story for the game universe.

Later, when I learned these were parts of the game that weren't accessible due to bugs (or simply not having been developed) it sort of took away the mystique ;)

I remember they eventually issued a patch (I still remember downloading it with our recently upgraded modem!). It was supposed to make additional areas available and fix an end-game bug, but I didn't like it. It took away one of my favorite aspects of the game: The horrible jumping system! I used to LOVE jumping from platform to platform simply because I was good at it and my older brother was not! After the update jumping was just a matter of clicking on your target. This almost doubled the distance you could jump :(

I would love to see U8 remade in highres. I'd also love to see the Ultima Underworld engine remake actually progress (I think the project is near 10 years old). Maybe, now that I know what I'm doing, I'll contribute to the project myself.

Re:Will they do VIII? (1)

Zediker (885207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849238)

In all honesty, I would love to get involved in a project like this. It would be interesting figuring out how to pull apart the old software and remake the game.

Re:Will they do VIII? (1)

Zediker (885207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849284)

Heh, already looks like someone is working on this: http://pentagram.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
Though it appears to be more of an engine port to run the game under modern OSes

Re:Will they do VIII? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849158)

I never knew that. I'm definitely downloading this remake now!

Thanks for the info.

Re:Will they do VIII? (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849968)

All of the Ultima games have massive plotholes and inconsistencies. Heck, in the early Ultima games, you could be a friggin' Hobbit.

Ultima VIII wasn't as much of a massive sandbox as Ultima VII. It was far shorter, more linear, and there was no party. As a stand alone game, Utlima VIII is pretty good actually. As a follow-up to perhaps my favorite PC game of all time, it falls short.

Re:Will they do VIII? (1)

TJamieson (218336) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851340)

Want a fun sandbox experience with U8? Google u8cheat.exe. There were so many cheating and debugging options in that game you could set up just about anything, sandbox-style. I used to have more fun playing around with the cheats than I did with the actual game.

Re:Will they do VIII? (1)

n4f (1473103) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849724)

I enjoyed Pagan, but after enjoying the epic game that is Ultima 7, it just doesn't measure up. I loved the setting and backstory of U8, and I think the magic system was great, but the game as a whole just wasn't executed as well as past Ultimas.

Site down... (1)

King InuYasha (1159129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848990)

Looks like the site is down.... Wanna bet that Electronic Arts shut it down?

Re:Site down... (2, Informative)

GeorgeS (11440) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849008)

Nope...just slashdotted. It's responding again now.
They should probably release a torrent version to cut down on the server loads.

Re:Site down... (1)

shish (588640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849134)

Nope...just slashdotted. It's responding again now.

And now down again :( (Responding, but with a "site is experiencing difficulties at this time" notice)

Dungeon Siege (5, Informative)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848998)

It's implemented as a huge Dungeon Siege mod. An installation of Dungeon Siege is prerequisite

Re:Dungeon Siege (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849014)

Really? /me goes to check before cancelling download...

Re:Dungeon Siege (4, Informative)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849062)

Yup. It's a Dungeon Siege 1 mod, just like the Ultima V - Lazarus remake project. [u5lazarus.com]

Crap. Don't have my Dungeon Siege disks anymore :-/

On a related note, Ultima VII (which you can play on modern PCs w/ shinies using the Exult engine [sourceforge.net] ) is still the best Ultima of all time - its NPC AI was revolutionary for having rotating schedules and jobs, which Oblivion & Fallout 3 copied.

Re:Dungeon Siege (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32849154)

You say that as if Oblivion and Fallout 3 are different games.

Re:Dungeon Siege (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32852194)

The key difference, I think, is that Fallout 3 was good.

(Fallout 3 had some semblance of a plot. Oblivion had a handful of uninspired quest trees)

Re:Dungeon Siege (2, Insightful)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849198)

Rotating schedules and jobs were actually introduced in Ultima V (and enhanced in VI and VII).

Re:Dungeon Siege (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849230)

AVATAR!!!!!

Re:Dungeon Siege (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850218)

I had so many memories of this game when that movie with the blue people came out. I went looking for my 3.5" floppy box.

Re:Dungeon Siege (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849432)

Ultima V had NPC with rotating schedules (I think it was the first Ultima that implemented day/night cycles). At certain hours NPC would leave their post and go to eat or sleep or wander around.

Re:Dungeon Siege (1)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850158)

I've learned to loathe day and night schedules. They were cool at the time when the night facilitated some events, but most of the time, you were forced to find some place to sleep and wait for the day so you could actually do stuff. Some might say that is realistic, but honestly, I don't play video games for realism.

Re:Dungeon Siege (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850348)

Ehh, I liked it. Especially when you were trapped deep in Blackthorn's castle, for example, and had to hide until the guards went to sleep.

Re:Dungeon Siege (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32849480)

Actually the Magic Candle introduced rotating jobs and schedules and was released around the same time as Ultima IV. Magic Candle was hands down a bigger better game than Ultima.

Re:Dungeon Siege (2, Interesting)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850346)

In a related note, Ultima VII (which you can play on modern PCs w/ shinies using the Exult engine) is still the best Ultima of all time - its NPC AI was revolutionary for having rotating schedules and jobs, which Oblivion & Fallout 3 copied.

Oblivion and Fallout III are nowhere near even Ultima V's system, many of the NPCs never really move much and the plot in Fallout III is completely scripted. They have sacrificed this old-time realism and openess for being more accesible. Morrowind was actually critized for being too open, and was the last game that tried to approach anything Ultima like.

Re:Dungeon Siege (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32850696)

You say that as if MUDs didn't have this long before it was "revolutionary" in UO

Re:Dungeon Siege (1)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850700)

Eh, bull shit. Ultima III was better. What other game could you play with an Other Fuzzy Fighter in your party?

Re:Dungeon Siege (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849132)

Awe that's so unfortunate, I really wanted to check this out :/

Re:Dungeon Siege (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32850104)

And getting a copy of dungeon siege is SO difficult and expensive...

http://www.amazon.com/DUNGEON-SIEGE-PLUS-LEGENDS-ARANNA-PC/dp/B000JXPL70/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames [amazon.com]
http://www.amazon.com/Dungeon-Siege-Pc/dp/B00005KBRD/ref=pd_cp_vg_1 [amazon.com]
http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=dungeon+siege&scoring=p [google.com]

Also DS is a decent game in its own right. Fairly linear, but decent for 'OMG I being assaulted by a horde of undead'. Also its pretty fun over a lan with others... Now it does get repetitive very quickly. So if you are not into loot type games you will not find it very fun. But for 2-5 bucks you could have it...

U5 Available too (2, Insightful)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849052)

I think these are the same people who did the Ultima 5 remake, "Project Lazarus".

Wonder if they'll take on U7 next... but I think it will be hard to improve on the original. It doesn't have 3D graphics, but the world in U7 is beautiful and alive even in plain old 2D.

Re:U5 Available too (3, Informative)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849104)

check out Voyager Dragon's Ultima: The Reconstruction [voyd.net] website. It's a little old but lists all the Ultima 2D & 3D (1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9) remake projects that were active a few years back as well as official & fan patches, Ultima Underworld engine recreations, etc.

It's dead, Jim ... (1)

psergiu (67614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849088)

Visitors, we are sorry, however, this site is experiencing difficulties at this time. Please return later.

Webmaster, please contact us by email at support@lunarpages.com or via Lunarpages Helpdesk at http://support.lunarpages.com./ [support.lunarpages.com] Thank you for choosing Lunarpages (http://www.lunarpages.com).

2010 © Lunarpages Web Hosting

A groundbreaking game (5, Informative)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849098)

I have very fond memories of Ultima 6. It was the first RPG game I played that had a real depth. Many feature were groundbreaking for its time, such as the daily and nightly schedules for the NPCs, the non-linear storyline and enormous freedom you had in exploring the world. The plot was very well written, dealing with a powerful culture clash between two races, humans and gargoyles. The gargoyles started out as a seemingly stereotyped enemy, but actually turned out to be a very evolved and intelligent race fighting for their survival, and that you had to befriend in order to reach the common goal: peace. A stunning work of art created by Richard Garriott, Warren Spector and Dr. Cat.

Re:A groundbreaking game (2, Interesting)

yanyan (302849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849204)

I have many many fond memories playing U6 when i was about 10 years old. The game universe was so vast that i played it non-stop for almost 3 years. I always found new things to do in the game, new people to talk to and new things to talk to them about, new spells, new dungeons, everything. It was truly an engaging and enjoyable game with a depth that i find unmatched in more recent games.

Re:A groundbreaking game (1)

MikeDataLink (536925) | more than 4 years ago | (#32852192)

Agreed. I miss the Ultima series terribly. The games today are designed for people without a brain. Lowest common denominator so to speak. If only they still designed such deep, rich complex games today. Kids might actually be more mature if they did.

iPad (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849126)

I would really love for something like this (or Baldurs Gate) on the iPad - I have been waiting for a decent RPG to come out for the iPhone platform since it was released.

Re:iPad (1)

Jorth (1074589) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849152)

I assume from your comment you do not enjoy JRPG's then? As Square Enix have made available a number of classics in Final Fantasy 1 & 2 and even an iPhone exclusive which the name of escapes me now. Whilst this is definitely not teaming with RPG's I too hope that they start to come out more and more.

Re:iPad (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850006)

The Final Fantasy games have never interested me unfortunately.

Site down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32849172)

/.ed - "Visitors, we are sorry, however, this site is experiencing difficulties at this time. Please return later."

Cached version of the announcement (1)

nem75 (952737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849180)

Find it here. [googleusercontent.com]

Alternative chaches welcome, Coral Cache just showed the site down notice, too.

Re:Cached version of the announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32849228)

http://www.lunarpages.com/img/quote.png

conversation system (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849222)

I hope they retained Ultima 6's conversation system, which was completely "free-form" and did not limit you to a fixed set of lines. Would anybody happen to know about that? I haven't seen any other RPG since U6 that has a "free-form" conversation system; even U7, disappointingly, used preset conversation options.

Re:conversation system (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849470)

Which was always great for shortcutting things...

name
job
health
mantra
rune

Sure saved a lot of running around in Ultima IV

Re:conversation system (2, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850056)

Which was always great for shortcutting things...

name
job
health
mantra
rune

Not to mention

spam
spam
spam
humbug

Re:conversation system (2, Funny)

aapold (753705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850974)

Actually it entirely keyed on the first four letters. When asking about virtues, you could ask about: humidity compression sacrilege etc...

Re:conversation system (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849618)

I bet that was dropped because of the i18n problems: First, developing a parser that could handle several languages could be a huge job and the translations themselves would be lot more work -- this might not be evident if you only speak latin languages but this really isn't a trivial task. Second, while you can often sell the english version of a game to people who are not 100% fluent in english, the requirement to "form sentences" raises the bar considerably.

Re:conversation system (1)

euroq (1818100) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851214)

First, developing a parser that could handle several languages could be a huge job and the translations themselves would be lot more work -- this might not be evident if you only speak latin languages but this really isn't a trivial task.

Ultima 4 through 6 only recognized 4 characters. For example, "compassion" was actually just recognizing "comp". I'm not saying it would be a cakewalk, but it would most certainly be possible.

Second, while you can often sell the english version of a game to people who are not 100% fluent in english, the requirement to "form sentences" raises the bar considerably.

Well, honestly I think it's something else. I know a Chinese guy that I worked with who learned English playing Ultima and Sierra games. Playing games like those are one of the best ways, if you're not 100% fluent in English, to improve.

I think the real reason is that games used to be made for much smarter people than they are now. They were also made for more upper-class people, as computers were mostly owned by upper-middle class and above people in the 1980's. (Remember, a PC used to cost thousands of 1980s dollars) Nowadays, seeing how game companies have to sell to a mass market, games are much more dumbed down.

Re:conversation system (1)

Byzantine (85549) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851674)

I have a friend who claims to have learned Spanish by watching Mexican reruns of Baywatch. I'm not sure which approach is better.

Cache? (1)

AnonymousX (1632759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849266)

You would think /. would learn to use cacheing services on small sites likely to be slashdotted by them. Or better yet, they should implement one themselves.

Was anyone else waiting? (2, Funny)

ctchristmas (1821682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849404)

Alright, now that thats done, whos up for creating the Ultima Online 2 [youtube.com] that never came out?

Re:Was anyone else waiting? (1)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849602)

It was technically called Ultima X and it was scrapped. They used the 3d resources they had created in the latest revamp of Ultima Online. If someone sunk a massive amount of money into the project, it could possibly turn out ok. But more likely than not they'd try and make a WoW clone like everyone else and fail miserably.

Re:Was anyone else waiting? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850918)

There were actually two different Ultima Online 2 projects. The first was called Ultima Online 2 and was cancelled after nearly 3 years of development. Then they repeated the whole process with Utlima X.

U6 and Legalities (3, Interesting)

Draconi (38078) | more than 4 years ago | (#32850676)

I just wanted to mention that the U6 remake should generally be safe from legal action from EA, not because of any inherent "rightness" about what they've done, but because of the generally benevolent attitude EA has taken in the past concerning the core Ultima game remakes.

When I was on the Ultima Online team the U5: Lazarus mod for Dungeon Siege came out, and I actually chose a copy of Dungeon Siege II (if I remember correctly) for the weekly developer prize just so I could download the mod and play it. Our producer at the time was asked by the corporate legal department about it, and since it didn't harm UO, and possibly helped boost marketing recognition for Ultima in general, EA decided not to do anything as long as the remake didn't turn a profit.

In general, EA barely remembers the Ultima IP exists - except to co-opt it for brand recognition (such as the new web-game RTS). UO remains an excellent source of revenue for the company, but even with its millions and millions a year is considered extremely minor compared to the core franchises.

As long as the U6 remake team doesn't turn a profit from this, I couldn't imagine EA taking action, especially since the current UO team would still have a minor bit of input at Mythic. For the curious, no, server emulation for UO is not looked kindly upon by the legal department, yet no significant action was taken in all the years I worked there.

Meanwhile, for U6: I pray that the conversation system and scheduling systems have been converted. People remember Ultima 7 as the most "advanced NPC AI" yet U6 had almost all those features before they were perfected in U7, *and* the conversation system was a model for keyword/response recognition for any interactive games to follow. Ultima Online's own NPC speech system was based on U6's, boasting 13,000 unique lines of text before they were scrapped in 1999-2000 during a localization of the game where the translations were projected to cost something like $250k.

As with the Lazarus project, I just want to give my hearty thanks and appreciation to the team who created this. We dreamed of doing updated Ultima remakes at EA, but never gained any traction. Thank you for doing what we couldn't!

Re:U6 and Legalities (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851846)

It is sad in general to see all the Origin IP end up as abandonware except for what remains of UO which is barely on life support.

Origin IP is so different from the modern games which are just about how to frag someone or grief them online. What is even more ironic is the plot about Origin games -- of course, we had the Kill Foozle plotlines in U1/U2/U3. U7-U10 were one big Kill Foozle serial with a "meh" ending. However, U4-6 were unique in the respect that they were not "OMG, evil boss... kill it!" type of games.

There has not been a popular game made in the past 10 years, RPG or FPS, that has not been a game based around gearing up to bump off an evil boss, and this is what makes the Ultima series unique. The funny thing is how the U4-6 games had very good endings without needing a big baddie to confront the players. You never see that in games made today.

Re:U6 and Legalities (1)

euroq (1818100) | more than 4 years ago | (#32852206)

U7-U10 were one big Kill Foozle serial with a "meh" ending.

Eh? You didn't really kill a big boss at the end of U7/U7 part 2. There were big battles at the end, for sure though. You sort of did in U8, but in any case you never killed the Guardian.

Awesome! (1)

euroq (1818100) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851134)

As a person who played all of the Ultima games (actually just starting with U3; I was too young for U1 and U2), I'm really stoked about this.

And, as a side note, I've always thought that Ultima 7: Part II - The Serpent Isle is one of the most underrated PC games of all time. It was, simply put, amazing. A long lost civilization that was built over the ruins of an even longer-lost civilization, with different religions and end of the world scenarios.

The original fatal flaw of Ultima 6 (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851228)

Ultima 6 was created with a fatal flaw in the game.
Normally, you are supposed to be started out on a quest, first you need to take the Book of Prophecies to Mariah at the Lycaeum, then find the two silver tablets to decipher it. Then you go on some kind of long fetch quest to find all the hidden map pieces. Then the map finally tells you how to find to the cave which leads to the gargoyle world.

Or you just use the Orb of the Moons and skip ALL of that stuff, traveling directly to the gargoyle world.

Now if the Orb of the Moons had been restricted to places you have already been, and there were other systems in place to help you navigate the huge world so you could get to all the places, the game would be much better, and less broken.

Re:The original fatal flaw of Ultima 6 (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851672)

I remember that I accidentally broke the whole treasure map plot by finding the treasure cave on accident by just sailing around the world map with my new ship I had just bought. I always wanted to go back an play the game through the correct way after I played U7 and part 2, two of my favorite game of all time, but I never got around to it.

Re:The original fatal flaw of Ultima 6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32852184)

... and it's the case in this remake.

I'll play it if... (2, Insightful)

JoelWink (1846354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851458)

...I can kill Lord British.

slashdotted :( (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32851882)

They aren't coming up, they apparently got slashdotted.
Any mirrors out there?

Re:slashdotted :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32852006)

http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/dungeonsiege/mod/36621.html

The v1.1 in the title is a mistake. There is no 1.1 version.

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