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Redoing Ultima

Lewd Beholder

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I've been on a retrogaming kick as of late and I realized something.

I respect the hell out of bethesda for allowing fan fixes and mods.

From the fan expansions of fall out 2, to the survival dust for fallout new vegas to the new california republic and the upcoming fallout florida.

I then started replaying a series of old games from my youth: Ultima.

I have a feeling EA would never allow something similar, but since it's my thread, I would like to see an update on ultima I to IX so it flows better, fixes crucial issues with the story, and fixes misteps.

so how would you re-release such a game using modern design?
 

Knockwood

Trying to figure it out.
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Just off the top of my head:

If you want to keep the top-down view, you have something similar to Diablo or Dungeon Siege, you'd just need to tweak the story a bit.
Then again, having something like the Ultima story done in a Bethesda-style first person game might be interesting as well.

Come to think of it, we should check and see if there isn't an Ultima mod somewhere in the Steam workshop...

EDIT: sure enough, there's Project Brittania, which is porting Ultima V and VI to the Dungeon Siege engine.

If you really want the old-school experience, though, computing has advanced enough that someone could probably port them to your tablet or phone. I played them originally on my Commodore 64, with its whopping 64 kilobytes of addressable space!
 
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Lewd Beholder

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This is an amazing find, ty kindly. :)

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What set this off was going through Serpent Isle and (spoilers on the off chance somebody doesn't want from a game from the 90s)









Shamino being from the continent was a brilliant callback that started strong and then petered out.

the linear nature of the game is both kinda awesome, but also feels super limiting in the number of companions.

and then we get Gwenno about a minute before the game ends.

There are also a number of hanging threads (regaining kendra's insanity), that would have been relatively easy to add with a patch.

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Then we get to Ultima II.

It takes place in time shifting our world, but should it be shifted to Sosaria?

Plus the fact that dungeons are completely avoidable, to say nothing of the obliviousness of trying to find certain pieces of equipment (and this was the era where I believe you couldn't save in space).

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and part of me wants to see if Ultima VIII is salvageable. It's a solid enough premise, but it's hampered heavily by game play. It's a relative short game, so it should be transferable to a single person experience if using the same engine.

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Plus with wisps being alien information brokers would be fun to work with in the ultimas before they are revealed.
 

Gogmagog

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Figure out how to handle the different races thing. They vanished between 3-4(The Fuzzies were trademarked by someone else)

I believe U5 was done in Dungeon Siege/NWN (Ninjaed)

Bring back the Quickblade(Dropping the pun name if need be)
 

Ranmyaku

Gone Snake
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It continues to bother me immensely that Bioware, that studio that does great character work and ethical questions but can't write a plot to save their lives, has yet to touch that series that is, at its best, light on plot and heavy on ethics.
 

Lewd Beholder

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Figure out how to handle the different races thing. They vanished between 3-4(The Fuzzies were trademarked by someone else)

I believe U5 was done in Dungeon Siege/NWN (Ninjaed)

Bring back the Quickblade(Dropping the pun name if need be)
Gargoyles should be foreshadowed before 6 before they become regular companions for the rest of the games.

Gwani have serious potential as well.

Emps I think replaced Fuzzies.

The quicksword should have been the big weapon for ultima 9
 

R-90-2

Can it be SNEK TIEM?
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It continues to bother me immensely that Bioware, that studio that does great character work and ethical questions but can't write a plot to save their lives, has yet to touch that series that is, at its best, light on plot and heavy on ethics.
It may seem odd on the face of it, but the Ultima games are really outside of the way Bioware likes to do things, especially in the vein of 4-6 (and maybe 7), in that there really isn't another road. Being a dedicated jackoff in the Ultima games at a minimum makes the classic games extremely difficult to progress and in a few cases actually impossible to complete, so, at some point, you're going to have to spend quite a bit of effort to be the good guy in order to win.
 

Polychrome

Internet Pacifist
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You might want to look at what Spiderweb Software has been doing for the last 25 or so years.
 

Lewd Beholder

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oooh, I'm thinking I have a ton of more games to hunt down. :)
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Finally going through ultima VIII and just in the first few minutes they should do the following and it improves the game drastically:

1. get rid of the "experience by doing" method and replace it with a training choice in the same option menus as rest that can be done for every day cycle to allow incremental improvement.
2. get rid of the jumping, instead clicking allows you to do whatever action because the platforming really takes away from the game. Possibly with keyboard backup for fine-tuning game. Still, it could be a lot worse and seems to have been improved since the patch. If jumping is to be included, I'd setup a jungle gym outside of town where you can practice before heading on.
3. I'd setup a rudimentary encounter where the pc gets to witness one of those magical cops appear and kill somebody whose a thief as a cut scene in the first few minutes so you know the penalties of theft (because on average, the avatar is a kleptomaniac and we can't blame iolo) :p
4. Inventory management, while easier then previous games due to being a single player, still kinda stink. I prefer a more grid format like wasteland 2.
5. I'd include an in game journal for quests, and things you've figured out, something that became standardized in later rpg.
6. I'd add a local guide, that's part of your equipment. Since ultima VII introduced Jaana with a hawk as a weapon, it's shouldn't be that hard to add a talking crow or owl that's treated as something similar. Use as a help menu to reduce frustration.

heck, an alternative style would be the super mario rpg or mario and luigi style of game engine so fighting actually could be fun. you appear in a crystal ball where the guardian acts as your heckler. :D :p
 
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