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Game News Underworld Ascension renamed to Underworld Ascendant, to be Kickstarted on February 4th

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    RPG Wokedex 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: Kingmaker
    Tags: OtherSide Entertainment; Paul Neurath; Underworld Ascendant; Warren Spector

    Remember Underworld Ascension, the Ultima Underworld spiritual successor from Paul Neurath's Otherside Entertainment that was first announced all the way back in July 2014? Well, after half a year of silence, there's finally some news about that. Big news. First of all, the game is now called Underworld Ascendant. Traumatized Ultima fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Second, there's going to be a Kickstarter, on February 4th, two weeks from now. The game's new website has a message from Paul:

    When we completed Ultima Underworld II in 1993, I never imagined that this classic fantasy RPG franchise would go dark for the two decades.

    The Underworld’s were arguably the first immersive 1stperson games. Not only were they the first to create a real-time 3D texture-mapped world, they also pioneered player-driven sandbox gameplay. They influenced a whole generation of games: Doom, Thief, Deus Ex, Skyrim, BioShock and more. Today, leading game designers view the Underworlds as still astonishingly modern in design.

    But when released, the games were years ahead of their time and didn't fit into the established genres of that era. This contributed to the franchise falling between the cracks and becoming lost in the publisher’s labyrinth depths. Over the years I’ve tried without success to raise the Underworld series back up. Just now have the stars aligned so this can happen.

    I started OtherSide Entertainment an indie studio to rekindle this classic. Joining me is an incredible team of developers, who will be introducing themselves over the coming weeks. Some worked with me on the original Underworlds, along with Looking Glass favorites like System Shock and Thief. Others contributed to more recent classics including Deus Ex and BioShock Infinite. We have deep understanding of the genre, and share a passion for bringing Underworld back.

    The newest incarnation of the franchise, Underworld Ascendant, will retain the distinctive fantasy RPG gameplay of the originals. We already have an early prototype running on the PC. At that same time we will be pushing forward with new innovations --- I can’t wait to tell you more about what we have planned!

    But this can only happen with your help. As an indie studio, we are looking to our fans to fund a significant portion of the development through our upcoming Kickstarter campaign, which begins on February 4th. We aren't shy about our ambitions to make a great game, but that takes serious resources and effort.

    Beyond funding, we are inviting you in on the making of Underworld Ascendant. Rarely have fans been able to participate in the often unpredictable, sometimes messy creative process that gives birth to innovative games. We hope you’ll join us on this adventure!​

    Want more information? Otherside's PR guys managed to arrange for a little publicity blitz for the game, with articles at GameSpot, IGN and MMORPG.com. The first two articles mention that the Kickstarter will be seeking a million dollars in funding, but it's the latter that has the most details about the actual gameplay:

    One of the goals for the team is to make sure that Underworld truly gives players something different. As with the original game, players could often solve obstacles in a dungeon using multiple ways. Sometimes you can fight, or use a spell, there are even times that stealth will get you through the objective. It was this freedom that fans really enjoyed. For players who like to take on a single style of class in the game, that dynamic is still there. However, you can really create a character that fits any situation. Paul wants to recapture the deep immersion of the original making sure all the monsters and traps have the feel of a true dungeon crawl. They want to bring the player right in and cut out any outside distractions.

    Something new with this title is that there will be three factions working for control in the game. Depending on the choices you make, you can side with one of these factions. This will change the outcome of the game as you journey through the adventure. Paul did not go into too much detail but wants to keep options open. Underworld is still going to be a classic RPG in a fantasy setting. He said that fantasy is a proven genre among fans. Even though there are a lot of these types of game out there, Paul said, “It really is about how you author it.” The player story in the game changes from each RPG even though you have familiar elements. With Underworld, combining classic fantasy with new ways to approach traps and monsters gives the player that minute to minute experience.

    In working on the game now, Paul said that the graphics are just amazing. Things have come a long way since 1993. Paul still says that the major pillar really is game play. Graphics can only get you so far until people really want more. Players will start with a very lose version of a created character but build over time depending on their choices.

    Underworld Ascendant already has a version running. The game is about four months into development. The Kickstarter for Otherside is coming up in about two weeks from now. Paul and his team will continue to work on the game straight through the Kickstarter and beyond. Fans of this classic RPG have a lot to look forward to as development continues to bring the old Underworld IP into the modern era. The website for the title should be live as of this article, so head over and check it out.
    In addition, the IGN article has a few quotes from none other than Warren Spector, who is apparently being employed by Otherside as a "part-time creative advisor":

    Otherside comprises 12 people. Some of them worked on the aforementioned titles at Looking Glass, the development studio that closed in May of 2000, so there's a lot of veteran talent working on the RPG. One name in particular will draw recognition from fans of Epic Mickey, Deus Ex and Thief: Warren Spector.

    He worked as a producer on the original Ultima Underworld, and championed the game from its inception. Now, he's serving as a "part-time creative advisor," Neurath says, and Spector sees potential in the project, despite its long absence from the spotlight.

    "Working on the original Underworld project was important to me, career-wise, as well as to me as a gamer," Spector told IGN. "Today, the world of gaming is different and, I'd argue, Underworld played a big, if under-appreciated role in that. There was a story and a level of player empowerment that most games –– even today –– can't match."

    Spector said the team at Otherside has other plans than just trying to resurrect a past success. And the fact that some of the Otherside developers worked on the original Underworld is a comforting thought.

    "We're still a young medium and there's still plenty left to do if we're going to move away from 'roll-playing' and move toward true 'role-playing,'" Spector said.​

    Ah, Spector. Just like old times, huh?

    UPDATE: The plot thickens! There are now indications that Underworld Ascendant might share its setting with Richard Garriot's Shroud of the Avatar. Kenneth Kully has posted a summary of the evidence over at the Ultima Codex.

    UPDATE 2: Otherside have clarified on Twitter that Underworld Ascendant's minimum funding goal will not be one million dollars, but that it is what they "hope to reach" along with the initial stretch goals. Uh, okay.
     
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  2. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    I HATE this style of interview... "Paul says that he likes chocolate, but only dark ones"... FFS, add the fucking quote, not your dumb interpretation of it!

    He talks about how UU was not "a mass market game", then you just have to guess what Paul said that led to the reporter writing that "now they are going full circle". Are they still going for the hardcore audience? Do they want to be mainstream? Paul replied to that, but the reporter HAD to insert himself into the text and filter every bit of info...

    Fucking vidya-geam journos.
     
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  3. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Cautiously fapping.....
     
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  4. Jack Dandy Arcane

    Jack Dandy
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    Super excited for this. I loved UU.
     
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  5. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Is there any word on what engine they're going to use? It seems very important for a game like this.
     
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  6. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Hopefully Unity.

    :troll:
     
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  7. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    I fear that or Unreal Engine. Reminder that the Rise of Triad game had stuttering problems because UE3 couldn't handle the level complexity. We've come forward so much since 1994 :rollseyes:
     
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  8. General Maxson Arcane

    General Maxson
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    Damn, now I have to wait two more weeks to see what it'll all be about... :negative:
     
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  9. Minttunator Arcane Patron

    Minttunator
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    :takemymoney:

    This could be great! Like I said back in July - if they go to Kickstarter with this and it doesn't look like complete shit, I'll back it for sure.
     
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  10. Weirdstuffinspace Erudite

    Weirdstuffinspace
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    We know what spiritual successor means:

    Old fans pay so we can do what the fuck we want to get the biggest dumbfuck audience.

    Warren spector as creative advisor seals it. Epic Mockery
     
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  11. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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  12. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Cautiously optimistic. More cautious than optimistic. In fact, not optimistic at all because all we have so far is a dusty old license and generic interviews promising to bring the franchise up to date, extendi the original experience in new ways, and deliver an evolved experience.
     
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  13. Zed Codex Staff Patron

    Zed
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    Cautiously optimistic. More cautious than optimistic. In fact, I hate this fucking shit.

    Show Spoiler
    I'm excited about the idea of a modern subterranean rpg romp. Arx Fatalis was cool.
     
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  14. Weirdstuffinspace Erudite

    Weirdstuffinspace
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    The newest incarnation of the franchise, Underworld Ascendant, will retain the distinctive fantasy RPG gameplay of the originals. At that same time we will be pushing forward with new innovations --- I can’t wait to tell you more about what we have planned! (But I will wait two weeks anyway.)

    So it will retain the gameplay of the originals but they will push forward with innovations.. just innovations ? No. NEW innovations. Can't fucking wait.
     
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  15. Zed Codex Staff Patron

    Zed
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    Codex USB, 2014
    new innovations
    to be played on your technological computer
     
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  16. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
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    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire RPG Wokedex Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    OH, PLEASE, OH PLEASE, OH PLEASE really be a new Ultima Underworld... OH PLEASE, OH PLEASE, OH PLEASE!!!

    th.jpg

    I am quite apprehensive about this but glad they are going the KS route. Hopefully that's a good sign.

    Show Spoiler
    and they BETTER have a BOXED COPY PLEDGE TIER!!!!!!!!!!!!! :rpgcodex:
     
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  17. SCO Arcane In My Safe Space

    SCO
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    brace yourselves, the micro-transactions are coming.

    'Press F to get the black sword through our online store'
    'collect delving points for our other games by mining rubies'
    'did you know you can trade with invaders? Just buy these special goblin goggles and you can prepare to die'
     
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  18. Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Arcane

    Tuco Benedicto Pacifico
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    Cautiously optimistic, because what we have here are two outstanding and in many ways yet-to-be-matched dungeon crawlers, with some of the best dungeon design in the business, and leading the project for this spiritual successor there isn't some random wannabe who promises "I want to capture that essence", but the original lead designer of the old ones.
     
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  19. Crescent Hawk Arbiter

    Crescent Hawk
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    Thief, System Shock, Deus Ex, thats the holy trinity right there. The trimurti. Be careful with my heart Paul.
     
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  20. sser Arcane Cuck Developer

    sser
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    I'd like to see a step up from Arx Fatalis, interested to see if that can be done on a slim budget. The idea of a million dollar Kickstarter kinda worries me because I'm not sure UU has that kind of grass roots support.
     
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  21. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
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    Someone needs to combine Gothic, Arx Fatalis, and Exile: Escape from the Pit. Stat.

    Actually, Gothic was originally going to be underground. So I guess someone just needs to make the original Gothic pitch.
     
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  22. Junmarko Arcane Patron

    Junmarko
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    I just hope they go for the zero hand-holding approach the original games had.
     
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  23. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Updated OP.
     
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  24. Dammit, it will be hard to not give them money :argh:... I will not fall for this I will not... :negative:
     
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  25. Weirdstuffinspace Erudite

    Weirdstuffinspace
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    [​IMG]
     
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