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Game News Underworld Ascendant Update #22: Skeleton screenshots, prototype update coming later this month

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Nate Wells; OtherSide Entertainment; Paul Neurath; Underworld Ascendant; Warren Spector

    Nearly 13 months after being funded on Kickstarter, Underworld Ascendant recently finally reached its $925K stretch goal, adding a new kind of undead monster called the Wailing Haunt to the game. Appropriately, in yesterday's update, OtherSide published two screenshots of Underworld's undead - skeletons, to be precise - rendered in art director Nate Wells' signature "authored look". I quote:

    As you may've already seen, we revealed Underworld Ascendant's new "authored look" to the public today. Again, the art style is the brainchild of our art director Nate Wells, who joined the team last fall and worked previously on the BioShock series, The Last of Us, and System Shock 2.

    In Nate's own words: "I want to recapture a retro sense of fantasy, fantasy the way our inner child remembers it. For Underworld Ascendant, I thought, 'What if the world bore the authorship of a tabletop game?' Think of the old lead figures, the miniature play fields. What if the game used that philosophy of everything looking and being hand-crafted? Natural, man-made. All of it looks like it was sculpted by an artist."

    We gave backers an early glimpse before, but these latest shots show the first look at creatures in this style. Specifically, some of Underworld Ascendant's bony undead.​

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Nate Wells went into further detail about his "authored look" in a press release posted at GameWatcher, with commentary from Paul Neurath and Warren Spector:

    "There’s a ‘reality bug’ going around in TV, film, and games," says Wells, "where fantasy has become inundated by gritty photo-realism. With Underworld Ascendant, I want to bring back more whimsy and less brooding."

    "I asked myself, ‘What if the world bore the authorship of a tabletop game?'" Wells says on the look’s stylistic origins. "Think of the old lead figures and miniature play fields… Everything appears hand-crafted, as if sculpted by an artist, with a genuine sense of levity and naiveté to the art."

    "The authored look is a unique counterpart to Underworld Ascendant’s Improvisation Engine," says OtherSide creative director and founder Paul Neurath. "It’s a look that invites the player to interact and explore with the world in a more tangible way."

    "This will be an Underworld for the 21st century," notes OtherSide Austin studio director Warren Spector, who worked with Neurath on the original Ultima Underworld and System Shock games. "It’s a modern continuation of Looking Glass’ design tenets, where players are empowered to tell their own stories."
    Personally, I think the environments look swell, but the 90s CGI-style skeletons are maybe a bit much. From looking at reactions to these screenshots across the web, it seems that lots of people have the same impression, so I wouldn't be surprised if OtherSide scramble to change them now. It is possible that they'll look better in motion, though. According to the update, the game's prototype is set to receive a new area called the "Beautiful Corner" later this month, featuring these environments and presumably, the skeletons who live in them.
     
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  2. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Yeah, I like the idea, but it seems very conflicting right now. The lava feels cartoonish, the rest of the environments looks like a PS2 game and the skeleton just looks weird...
     
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  3. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    I think a major issue that makes the skeletons look goofy is their big blue eyes. Find some way to make them look "squintier" and meaner and just that change will make a big difference. On the other hand, the look they have right now could turn out to be pretty creepy in practice, when seen in motion.
     
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  4. mutonizer Arcane Patron

    mutonizer
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    ...it's all look'n feel really so each his own but..but...

    Do they really need an "art director" for this?
    Do they really feel so good about it as to make an update and dare call it "authored look".

    I mean, this look more like a mashup of random "programmer's art" than anything else for now, with the floor taken from some assets, walls from others, skeletons another, lava yet from somewhere else. I thought an "art director" was supposed to give some fucking direction to..you know..artists so that people don't go "wtf is this patchworky shit" when they play.

    Hopefully they'll improve as the project comes along.
     
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  5. Junmarko Arcane Patron

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    "the art style is the brainchild of our art director Nate Wells" - Not to sound like a dick or anything, but I can't see any semblance of style. Everything looks like stock assets.
     
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  6. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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  7. mutonizer Arcane Patron

    mutonizer
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    Well it's just as weird, minus the weird skeleton :)

    Hopefully it's just because they're still early, it's very badly lit, the texturing was made by the kids of one of the artist and he doesn't know how to tell his boss and the screenshots are very low quality.

    I mean wtf. That doorway screenshots looks like it's taken from the intro of the original baldur's gate, just with less taste.


    edit:
    k, double checked, and just prototype stage. These shots don't mean shit really.

    Will see once the art style seems more final in a year or so.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
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  8. Branm Learned

    Branm
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    Wow looks like shit....
     
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  9. Durandal Arcane

    Durandal
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    i can't take those skeletons seriously, because they remind me too much of Mumbo-Jumbo from Banjo and Kazooie than an actual fearsome undead creature
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. karnak Arcane Patron

    karnak
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Strap Yourselves In
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    :what:
     
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  11. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    That's an extraordinarily garish color scheme.
     
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  12. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
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    inb4 zep zepo
     
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  13. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    Ugly shit.
     
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  14. karfhud Savant

    karfhud
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    These screenshots look really awesome. Obviously they're wip, but the color palette is just spot on if that's what they're trying to achieve:

     
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  15. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    Color palette is ok. Inconsistent at times. See yellow piss room in the previous screen shots.
     
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  16. Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Arcane

    Tuco Benedicto Pacifico
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    I can appreciate the intent (to move away from realism aiming for a "plastiline" look) and to some degree I was even a bit hyped to see it in practice the first time they talked about it... but yeah, I would agree that the execution isn't exactly impressive so far and it needs some work to match their previous elevator pitch.
     
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  17. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    So now we know prosper's real name.
     
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  18. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    Why can't this faggot just make it look like the original games. Nobody asked for Ultima Plasticworld.
     
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  19. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    No one said "Don't make Ultima Plasticworld" either. At least not when they gave Otherside all the monies. :M
     
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  20. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    I just watched that video today with the Shadow Sentinel or w/e it's called and this game looks like it belongs on the XBox.
     
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  21. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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  22. United Nations Legion

    United Nations
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    Otherside should drop this ugly ass shit and quit while they are ahead.
     
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  23. United Nations Legion

    United Nations
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    I wonder how System Shock 3 will be trashed?
     
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  24. Volrath Arcane Patron

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    Dunno, I think this looks pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
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  25. imweasel Guest

    imweasel
    Looks good. Pretty much how I expected it to look with the budget it has. Just not as colorful.
     
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