Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Game News Paul Neurath to develop Ultima Underworld spiritual successor: Underworld Ascension

Infinitron

I post news
Staff Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
97,399
Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Tags: OtherSide Entertainment; Paul Neurath; Tim Stellmach; Ultima Underworld; Underworld Ascendant

Unexpected good news! Paul Neurath, co-founder of the legendary Looking Glass Studios, has announced his intention to create a successor to the Ultima Underworld series, by the name of Underworld Ascension. His new company, OtherSide Entertainment, sent out this press release today:

July 1st, 2014 – Boston, USA – OtherSide Entertainment, a new independent games studio, today announced its formation. Fronted by game pioneer Paul Neurath, OtherSide Entertainment revealed that its first title,Underworld Ascension, will mark the return of the groundbreaking and long fallow Underworld franchise.

Paul Neurath, Founder and CEO of OtherSide Entertainment, is renowned for his creative direction spanning three decades, notably leading the development of such classic franchises as Thief™, System Shock™ and the acclaimed Ultima™Underworld.

Underworld Ascension marks both the series and Paul Neurath’s return to his RPG roots, with OtherSide Entertainment aiming to innovate and revitalize the fantasy genre in the same way that its predecessor did in 1992. “With Underworld Ascension,” said Neurath, “we are excited to be bringing back the Underworldfranchise, making it more vital than ever before.”

The original Underworlds transformed the traditional dungeon crawl into a truly immersive experience. Players felt as if they were actually walking through the great underworld halls; and encountering a living community of underworld dwellers.

Ultima Underworld inspired a generation, and its influence is still seen today in titles as diverse as Deus Ex™,The Elder Scrolls, and BioShock.

OtherSide Entertainment will reveal more details on Underworld Ascension in the months to come. To keep updated, visit our website at www.othersideentertainment.com.
There's some more information scattered across other sites. GameSpot, for instance, has a short interview with Paul that confirms that this is indeed a PC game:

Why is now the right time for Underworld to return?

Paul Neurath: Underworld has been fallow for two decades, isn't that long enough!

A lot has changed since 1992 in the RPG space; how are you designing Underworld Ascension for the modern RPG fan?

PN: We've just gotten underway on the Underworld reboot, so we have a ways to go before reaching a fleshed out design. The team has played many of the modern RPGs; worked on some of them too. So we think we have a good sense of where the genre has evolved over the years, and where there is room for further innovation. We’re definitely going to get the franchise up to date, then push into new territory.

What are some of your overarching ambitions for Underworld Ascension?

PN: More than anything, bring the franchise roaring back and more vital than it ever was. We’d like the game to connect with the fans who have fond memories of the originals, but also draw in a new fans.

The original Underworld games have a special place in many RPG fans' hearts; how are you planning to push the franchise forward while also retaining the essence of what makes it unique?

Some of us worked on the originals and so they hold a special place in our hearts. Also, there was a much done well in the originals that we don't want to mess with. Beyond the now dated visuals, the games hold up surprising well all these years later. the same time, we are explore areas where we can extend the original experience in new ways, and hopefully ways that will feel like natural extensions of the original games, but will make for an evolved experience.

What stage of development is Underworld Ascension in now and when are you planning to release it?

PN: Just got underway a few weeks ago, so still in concept phase. Don't have a release date as yet. We’ll keep you updated.

What platforms are you looking at for Underworld Ascension?

PN: PC for sure. Still sorting out other potential platforms.
It wasn't so long ago that Mr. Neurath was singing the praises of mobile gaming from his position as Creative Director at Zynga. I wonder what's changed since then. Whatever the case, he's off to a good start, with Ultima Underworld 2 lead designer Tim Stellmach already on board. The "immersive sim" first person RPG genre has thus far been overlooked by the Kickstarter retro revival movement, but maybe that's going to change now. We'll be following this project closely.
 

Tramboi

Prophet
Patron
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
1,226
Location
Paris by night
I fear that the technical expectations of modern rendering and animation in games will make it quite hard to make it as immersive as UW with a tight budget.
 

Crooked Bee

(no longer) a wide-wandering bee
Patron
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
15,048
Location
In quarantine
Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Finally, a Western developer picks up the Ultima Underworld torch - and the original dev, to boot. It's been only, what, 20 years? Stale industry is stale.

Too bad they can't have Doug Church join them since he's at Valve.

I just hope they don't even consider porting it to tablets! Or else :argh:
 

Azazel

Arbiter
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
481
Neurath and Stellmach together again? I don't even care if it's a kickstarter.

:takemymoney:
 

Doctor Sbaitso

SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS.
Patron
Joined
Oct 22, 2013
Messages
3,348
Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands
Shank Lick Approves. As revered as Looking Glass is, they are under appreciated. Nothing since UW2 has measured up in the 3D first person RPG space IMO.
 

taxalot

I'm a spicy fellow.
Patron
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
9,668
Location
Your wallet.
Codex 2013 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
Spiritual successor to Ultima Underworld...

Remember when everyone got excited about a spiritual successor to System Shock and how that turned out?
 

jdinatale

Cipher
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
422
Tags: OtherSide Entertainment; Paul Neurath; Tim Stellmach; Ultima Underworld; Underworld Ascension


A lot has changed since 1992 in the RPG space; how are you designing Underworld Ascension for the modern RPG fan?

PN: We've just gotten underway on the Underworld reboot, so we have a ways to go before reaching a fleshed out design. The team has played many of the modern RPGs; worked on some of them too. So we think we have a good sense of where the genre has evolved over the years, and where there is room for further innovation. We’re definitely going to get the franchise up to date, then push into new territory.

.​

Decline. It's going to be an underground Skyrim simulator, I'm willing to take bets.
 

Grim Monk

Arcane
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
1,217
Finally, a Western developer picks up the Ultima Underworld torch - and the original dev, to boot. It's been only, what, 20 years? Stale industry is stale.

Too bad they can't have Doug Church join them since he's at Valve.

I just hope they don't even consider porting it to tablets! Or else :argh:

Isn't Arx Fatalis maker Arkane a "Western Dev"?
 

Crooked Bee

(no longer) a wide-wandering bee
Patron
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
15,048
Location
In quarantine
Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Yup, in my excitement I forgot about Arkane. I kinda gave up on them ever doing a sequel to Arx, though.
 

commie

The Last Marxist
Patron
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
1,865,249
Location
Where one can weep in peace
Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
Spiritual successor to Ultima Underworld...

Remember when everyone got excited about a spiritual successor to System Shock and how that turned out?

No I don't remember that actually. All I remember is a bunch of hipster wannabe 'old school' poseurs talking about a 'spiritual successor' to a game they had never heard of before and how it was going to be 'Awesum!'
 

crawlkill

Kill all boxed game owners. Kill! Kill!
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
674
"mobile gaming" doesn't have to mean anything about the value of the games developed, apart from the fact that you semi-need to have a small install footprint. although that is genuinely limiting. and I haven't read his particular raves, soferalliknow they were him talking about how great match3 games and buy-and-have-gameplay-limiting-microtransactions are, which no.

Arx Fatalis already did this, though, and did it splendiferously. he'd better have at least that much tone in his bones.
 

Jaesun

Fabulous Ex-Moderator
Patron
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
37,248
Location
Seattle, WA USA
MCA
Cautiously fapping.... this just sounds too good to be true.

Are they self-publishing this?

If not, then there really is no hope at all....
 
Unwanted

CyberP

Unwanted
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
1,711
Cautiously fapping.... this just sounds too good to be true.

This. I am highly aroused.

There's also Arkane's Prey 2: IP Shock to look forward to, though as you state there is probably no hope for that title...possibly.
 

DeepOcean

Arcane
Joined
Nov 8, 2012
Messages
7,394
Decline. It's going to be an underground Skyrim simulator, I'm willing to take bets.
It could end being a really shitty game, I dunno, but there isn't proof in the moment that the game will end like a repetitive, shallow, dumbed down piece of crap that needs lots of mods to be somewhat enjoyable.
 

ColCol

Arcane
Joined
Jul 12, 2012
Messages
1,731
Possible good news, but I will be pissed if it's KS. I can deal with KS, but I hate when people announce a project and don't mention that it will be a KS right away.
 

Jaesun

Fabulous Ex-Moderator
Patron
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
37,248
Location
Seattle, WA USA
MCA
The other thing I wonder, is they cannot use any of the characters or setting of Ultima Underworld (because that IP is owned by EA). Unless they made a deal with them, like Fargo did with the Wasteland IP.
 

ZagorTeNej

Arcane
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
1,980
The other thing I wonder, is they cannot use any of the characters or setting of Ultima Underworld (because that IP is owned by EA). Unless they made a deal with them, like Fargo did with the Wasteland IP.

To be honest I find that largely irrelevant, for me it's mainly about making the same type of game (and correctly identifying its best qualities beforehand, in a number of cases even original creators don't realize what made their game so great) not about playing as the Avatar or something. Throwing in a few easter egg references is fine but owning the original IP is hardly that neccesary IMO.

I feel the same way about Gilbert's (relatively) recent musings about what he would do if he owned the Monkey Island IP, just get off your ass, stop making casual games and giving lectures and create a new IP with a similar tone, themes, characters etc.
 

Tramboi

Prophet
Patron
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
1,226
Location
Paris by night
I feel the same way about Gilbert's (relatively) recent musings about what he would do if he owned the Monkey Island IP, just get off your ass, stop making casual games and giving lectures and create a new IP with a similar tone, themes, characters etc.

So true. I've lost faith in Shafer a long time ago. And I've lost faith in Ron now...
 

Jaesun

Fabulous Ex-Moderator
Patron
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
37,248
Location
Seattle, WA USA
MCA
The other thing I wonder, is they cannot use any of the characters or setting of Ultima Underworld (because that IP is owned by EA). Unless they made a deal with them, like Fargo did with the Wasteland IP.

To be honest I find that largely irrelevant, for me it's mainly about making the same type of game (and correctly identifying its best qualities beforehand, in a number of cases even original creators don't realize what made their game so great) not about playing as the Avatar or something. Throwing in a few easter egg references is fine but owning the original IP is hardly that neccesary IMO.

I feel the same way about Gilbert's (relatively) recent musings about what he would do if he owned the Monkey Island IP, just get off your ass, stop making casual games and giving lectures and create a new IP with a similar tone, themes, characters etc.

Oh I agree. I would be very happy (with a NO Publisher involved) Ultima Underworld LIKE game. Hell yes! And as long as they are sticking to a PC platform.
 

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Back
Top Bottom