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November 16th, 2010, 12:31
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
I'm one of the people who have been messing around with reverse-engineering UW and creating a new engine for it (and I'm also one of the guys who lost steam in the process ).

The thing is that UW is actually a very complex game for its time. On the surface it might seem like a doable thing to remake the game (and it might be, for the right person) but there are just *so* many little details in the game. I'll risk my neck by saying my own remake attempt is probably the one that got furthest in getting both gameplay and visuals working, but it still has a long way to go.

One small sub-project that might be doable is trying to increase the texture resolution somewhat in the original UW1 game. The textures for floors and walls are extremely low-res and the engine might actually support a somewhat higher resolution. We (the UW reverse-engineering "community") have fully decoded the file formats for the graphics, so it would be a fairly easy task to pack a new set of textures for the game. But that would of course require an artist to actually do the texture work

Personally I'm unsure whether or not such a visual upgrade of the textures would do much for the overall presentation of the game though. It would not affect interface or the other technical limitations of the engine (such as the very limited ability to look up or down).
I think the trick is not to be overly faithful.

UU had a "tricksy" 3D engine, as it "cheated" with certain things - and naturally you wouldn't want to do that, you'd just go full 3D. Possibly with Unity or another free engine.

I wouldn't reuse ancient assets, apart from the 2D portraits and things like that. I'd redo textures and bitmaps for objects, or rather do away with bitmap/sprite objects and remodel them in true 3D. Not an easy task, especially not for the monsters/NPCs - but everything else would look like crap and out-of-place in a modern engine with modern assets.

Then there's the whole level layout - which (IIRC) is somewhat seamless - and pretty hard to create without an engine suited for that.

The CRPG mechanics, like the combat system, should be modernised - and I don't mean dumbed down. Just more akin to games like Oblivion/Gothic - and not the slow and clumsy UU system. The magic and skill system should remain mostly intact, but with a smarter interface for the spells and what not.

I'm not sure what other things would be particularly challenging - but there's no doubt the project would be a gargantuan undertaking for non-professionals.

Sadly, industry people would probably find it unprofitable - or they'd go and change it altogether and make it into an action RPG instead of the relatively deep CRPGs that the Underworlds actually were.
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