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What happened to Ultima 9???

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I can''t even get hold of it!!! Not even the demo! I think there is a lot of potential for RPGs of that style, what exactly happened with Ultima 9?? The oficial sites are useless... I''d really like to develop games of that style...

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Ultima 7 was far better than Ultima 9. I don''t like the way the NPC are always stuck at the same place in U9.

But despite of that, it''s still a very good game (too much action-oriented perhaps).

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It lacked the story of the previous Ultimas, it had virtually no plot of any kind (go to dungeon, clean out dungeon, repeat), the ending was complete rubbish, the system requirements were too high for the time(and even on a high end PC it was slooooow), and it was riddled with hoardes of bugs. Poorly designed indeed. You might want to check out some of the people who are remaking previous Ultimas in a 3d world. http://members.aon.at/hacki-ultima/english/links.htm has some info on a few. Haven''t really checked it out.

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Yeah... Ultima 9 was apparently a real let-down. But it was a let-down for the developing team too. Although they were very satisfied with what they achieved - and some of it is really impressive, especially for back when it was released - they couldn''t do everything they wanted to, the storyline was butchered, and so on... mostly through publisher pressure to release the game before it was ready. Now, this may well have been Origin''s fault for taking too long, and many say they should have licensed an existing 3D engine instead of coding their own, which was full of bugs. I don''t think that it''s fair to say it was ''poorly-designed''... more ''poorly-managed''. Ultima games have always tried to be state of the art and to push the boundaries... and in this case, it just happened to be too much for the team.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff ]

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Ooh it''s tempting black_mage_s, but sadly I''m just moving to go study at university which means i have no money and no fixed address so it''d be a bit awkward! Thanx anyway though!

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I was also somewhat dissapointed of U9. I was expecting a "top-down" 2-D ultima a la U7 and U8 but with better graphics and the ultima typical excellent storyline and RPG elements. Something like Diablo II graphics mixed with U7 would have been great. But being the hopeless ultima freak that I am, I bought it anyway and after installing the patch, I didn''t find it as terrible as I heard from most people. Sure, the world is sorta small, Britain consists of about 10 residents and rats appear to be carrying money... but it was beautiful and fun to play anyway. I had absolutely no error related problems with the game.

Look into the german game "Gothic" for what a 3D ultima 9 should have been like: www.gothic.de
It''s absolutely excellent.

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Ahem...

I have played akalebeth, ultima 1-8 and both underworlds...
I rank Serpent Isle as the best, then the Underworlds.
I just wanted to finish off the series ! What i''ve heard about Ultima 9 suggests that it doesn''t conclude it very well after the previous few games.

Ah well.

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ya origin is based here in austin, and from what i hear
they got a rather abrupt notice that the project was to
be finished or cancelled by a certain date.. they were only 60%
complete with the game at that point. it shipped with far too
many bugs, but there was nothing they could do about it (except
have the project terminated and lose all the money they''d already
put into it).

-eldee
;another space monkey;
[ Forced Evolution Studios ]


::evolve::

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quote:
Original post by FiveFootFreak
Sure, the world is sorta small, Britain consists of about 10 residents and rats appear to be carrying money... but it was beautiful and fun to play anyway. I had absolutely no error related problems with the game.

The problem is, it sounds nothing like an Ultima

quote:
Look into the german game "Gothic" for what a 3D ultima 9 should have been like: www.gothic.de
It''s absolutely excellent.

A lot of people have said that Gothic could have been great, but that it was hopelessly flawed. I quote this from a game design mailing list, reporting on the demo:

"That''s the worst UI I''ve seen in a long time, especially for a demo. I had to print out the Readme file and keep referring to it to get anything done. Why I can''t just walk up to a ladder and climb it is beyond me. Oh, and once I knew the magic left_mouse+UP to make it work, it didn''t work but 1 out of 10 times. Everything requires these left_or_right_mouse+cursor_key combos, and it''s just a big pain in the ass. Makes fighting really suck. So, I''m tossing this demo as too painful to deal with. Pity because it otherwise seemed to have a good setup and
production values. That seems to be the pattern with the demos I try lately. They get the eye candy and story stuff going, but they can''t deliver on UI and gameplay."


And a review says this, "Another issue, one that doesn''t go away as you progress in the game, is a terrible interface. Your character is controlled with either the keyboard alone or with a mouse- keyboard combo setup that works like a first-person shooter. Piranha somehow managed to screw this up, though, with a desire to ensure that the real-time engine wasn''t as simplistic as, say, Diablo. Combat requires key combinations that make fighting sort of an arcade challenge that''s bound to turn off conservative RPG players. [...] This is a hit and miss proposition in more ways than one, as the system occasionally doesn''t work. You might pull off a great attack one moment and find the keyboard unresponsive to the same key presses the next. Strangely, these combinations are also required to begin conversations, climb ladders, and pick up items. [...] Compounding things is a quirky inventory system that doesn''t support a mouse cursor. Although you can use the mouse to guide your character, you can''t use it to equip weapons or armor, buy and sell from merchants, and so on. This clunky system really made me appreciate the simple "drag and drop" paper doll interface of the Infinity Engine titles... and wonder what the hell Piranha was thinking here. Is enabling mouse support in the menus really that difficult of a programming task?"

It seems such a shame that someone has gone to so much trouble to make a detailed world and an engrossing story, and put a crap interface on it. In fact, some of the main criticisms of Ultima 8 were to do with the fiddly interface, so I guess there''s a precedent here.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff ]

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Um... I never had problems with the interface in Gothic. It is a little strange, all you got to do is realize that beforfe you can do any action on an object, you have to lock onto it by holding the left mouse button. This is true for everything, be it fighting, talking to npcs, or picking objects up.

Truly, once you get past the interface (which isn''t as bad as it''s made out to be) it is a GREAT action rpg.

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quote:
Original post by Saluk
Truly, once you get past the interface (which isn''t as bad as it''s made out to be) it is a GREAT action rpg.

The problem is, the interface is perhaps the most important part of every game. It''s the only aspect you can guarantee that every player is going to have to deal with. Traditionally games have been at the forefront of interface design, so when one comes along that is worse than the others, it will get a bad reputation.



[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff ]

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I guess U9 isn''t a "real" ultima, but I think that you can have fun with it anyway... even if it''s just for the sake of exploring the beautiful cities and landscapes.

The interface of Gothic is very unusual, I admit. The biggest problem arises with handling items (taking them out of a chest, looking for a specific item, etc.) but once you get used to it, the combat is incredible fun. There are special moves you can execute, they always being different depending on the level you''re at with the weapon you''re wielding, and it looks very good the way characters fight. It''s yet the best close-combat in 3D experience I found. I never had any problems with climbing stairs or getting stuck either. Maybe it was an early problem that got fixed with the patches.

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