Posts Tagged ‘Ultima’

Richard Garriott Plans “Ultima-Esque” Games

All in, by any chance, ROBERT?

It seems worth noting what Mr Richard Garriott has been up to since his trip to outsidespace. Back in January Alec noted that the deposed Lord British would still very much like to work within the Ultima license. Since then he’s announced his involvement with Portalarium – an online gaming doodah that intends to create social media type stuff. (Hard-hitting analysis.) Which is to say, he’s planning on making more games, this time for social networking sites like Facebook, mobile phones, browser-based affairs, and they say for the PC. So far Portalarium has launched the bizarrely named Sweet @$! Poker for Facebook. But yesterday, speaking to Kotaku, Garriott revealed his ambitions to create an “Ultima-esque” game for the service.

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You’re Not Going To Like This: Ultima’s Back

After all that Garriotian goodwill generated by Kieron’s welcome ‘hey! Remember Ultima?‘ nostalgia-tickle over the weekend, brace yourself for a shock. EA have brought Ultima back at last! Yipee yahoo hooray! Except… it’s not Ultima.
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Holy Go Blighty: Memories of Ultima?

No, don’t get over excited. No news of any new Ultima. But before I do the Sunday Papers, I thought this may make a worthwhile talking point. I was chatting with Paul Barnett of EA Mythic on Friday about Ultima, specifically people’s memories of it. As in, it’s one of the series which a towering thing in the PC history, but what it actually means to you can vary enormously. In its original golden age, I’d argue it was particularly American-centric in terms of its appeal. And then there’s a second, seismic impact with Ultima Online. And some of you reading will never have actually even played any of the things, and it lives on sheer reputation. Anyway – that’s the question for the comments thread. What was the first time you became aware of Ultima? What did it mean to you?
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Lauded British: The Ultima 6 Project Beta

Someone should do a Dungeon Siege tribute in the Ultima 6 engine, sez I.

Brian RPGWatch brought news that The Ultima 6 Project has reached the public beta stage and is, by all accounts, pretty stable. The idea, much like the previous Ultima 5 Lazarus, is to reincarnate these seminal games in a more modern engine. In this case, Dungeon Siege. You can go and download the beta from here if you fancy a trip to Britannia. To see it in action… well, the only footage I could find is from Milestone 5. So bear in mind, the full Beta is 3 milestones along from this. Though, to be honest, this looks pretty nifty to me.
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What Would The Avatar Say?

I'm reminded of the Barbarian cover. Fondly, worryingly.

Who can tell? But Lord British has given his blessing, apparently. As picked up via Game Set Watch who picked it up from Armchair Arcade. Italian photographer Enrico Ricciardi has created an Ultima-themed calender, showcasing the 12 virtues. Which sounds like a euphemism, if I’ve ever heard one. Anyway, skimming through the images, it seems like it’s probably one for the Witcher fans. Oh yeah. I went there. Oh yes – ladies and/or gay men! You’re not left out. You’re just – er – marginalised. Check out Courage, eh? Pwoooar! (Are you sure? – Ed).

Richard Garriot Still Loves His Ultima

Just a quickie about GameDaily’s fairly candid interview with Lord British hisself. The sometime space voyager mostly shares about his thoughts on the upcoming Tabula Rasa closure. He seems saddened but not devastated; perhaps that’s because the old boy’s seen plenty of his games suffer in the past, or perhaps it’s endemic of how TR was never what it should have been.

The bombshell, such as it is, comes at the interview’s close, where he says he would gladly work on a new Ultima game for EA given the chance: “I think that if, by hook or by crook, I had access to that property, either in solo-player or multiplayer, I would absolutely love to continue to play in the Ultima universe.” EA has this nasty habit of jealously guarding its old franchises yet doing nothing with ‘em, but lately we’ve heard rumours of new Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper titles. Maybe now there is a chance the Avatar will get to lock horns with that big red guy again after all…

Project: Origin (No, Not That One)


Gaming archaeology: now there’s an idea. It can only be better than Bonekickers, anyway.

Upon hearing that EA Mythic had received several crateloads full of Origin Systems (the long-dead studio behind the Wing Commander and Ultima games, plus System Shock, and once home to the power duo of Warren Spector and Richard Garriot) archive materials, a group of fans arranged to catalogue the treasure trove. It turned out that EA seems to have hung onto an incredible amount of stuff, making this find perhaps the PC game equivalent of discovering all those fossilised folk in Pompeii. Best of all, there’s a good chance all these historical goodies will be released to the public.
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The Making Of: Harvey Smith

[At this point in these postmortem features, I decided to mix it up a little for PC Format. Since they were integrated into the mod-section of the magazine – with the subtext that they were inspirational things for readers thinking about becoming games developers – I thought a look at how a designer got to be a designer could be fun. Luckily, Harvey, who’s previously worked on landmark games including Deus Ex and System Shock, was up for it. The interview was done after the end of Ion Storm Austin, but before he’d joined Midway to work on Blacksite.]

He doesn't always wear shades.

We all look back, in an unholy mix of nostalgia and self-analysis. It’s what this column is all about. This time, however, we’re going to take an alternate route through this terrain. Rather than follow the path of a game, and what went right and wrong, instead we’re going to follow a career. How it started, how it moved on and what was learned at each step. And, indirectly, one of the most common questions that arrive in our inbox: “How do I get into the games industry”. Here’s a case study of how one man did. The man in question? Harvey Smith, who started back in 1993 in Quality Assurance at Origin and continues to this day at Midway.
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