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Default Ultima IV - Remake from BioWare Mythic?

January 12th, 2011, 23:45
I'm surprised we apparently missed this previously and, franky, it all seems a little bizarre but it looks like Mythic might be working on a web-based remake of Ultima IV, which they are about to present to BioWare boss Ray Muzyka. It all comes via Ultima fansite Ultima Aiera and a tweet from BioWare Mythic's Paul Barnett. To backtrack, here's a snip from last October:
But there’s the long and short of it: Paul Barnett has a small team at BioWare Mythic working on a browser-based Ultima game. And no, it’s not another Lord of Ultima; it’s the real deal, a full-on RPG. I’ve seen some of the artwork that will accompany and be used to promote the game; it’s impressive, and despite its modern flair it manages to capture some essential elements of what could be called “classic Ultima.”
My saying as much will probably make some Ultima fans balk, roll their eyes, or otherwise scowl and wonder whether EA is just willing to let its various studios savage and abuse the good name of Ultima with reckless abandon. It’s an understandable sentiment; we got burned by EA Phenomic, after all. But let me just stick my neck out here and say that what’s happening here, under Paul Barnett’s supervision, is not going to be a cheap exploitation of a classic gaming franchise.
Fast-forward to the present and Paul Barnett tweeted this yesterday:
Dr ray of bioware plays my secret project tomorrow, pray to the 8 gods!
Is it the same project? I have no idea, but Ultima Aiera thinks so.
Thanks, Omega.
More information.
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January 12th, 2011, 23:45
I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

Aw, crap. Too late. Well, I can hope…
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January 13th, 2011, 00:06
This is HUGE news if it's true.
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January 13th, 2011, 00:12
Angelic figure on my right shoulder: Oooooohhhh! Shiny! That sounds really interesting.

Devilish figure on my left shoulder: Bah!! They'll butcher it anyways. It'll be a travesty. Have they no respect?! Heathens!

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January 13th, 2011, 00:20
Interesting. You know, last year a German gaming magazine indeed published an old Ultima game … sadly I've forgotten the version number … And the copyright notice mentioned both EA and Mythic …

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January 13th, 2011, 00:28
my brains hurt….
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January 13th, 2011, 01:32
Although I have a hard time getting excited about a browser-based game, if done as a traditional Ultima it would at least be a step in the right direction. If nothing else, I applaud the effort. The Ultima franchise needs some champions within the EA collective. Nothing would please me more than to see a return to greatness for this once excellent series…
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January 13th, 2011, 01:33
Would be nice!

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January 13th, 2011, 01:48
It will be interesting to see if this is in fact a 'real' ultima game. Though I hope 'browser based' is not the planned format.

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January 13th, 2011, 01:49
Wouldn't it be correct though that Lord British wouldn't be in it unless they make arrangements with Garriot?
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January 13th, 2011, 02:02
Originally Posted by RampantCoyote View Post
I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…

Aw, crap. Too late. Well, I can hope…
Jesus Christ, this.
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January 13th, 2011, 02:22
I already played Ultima 4. Why not make a new game? Oh yeah, Bioware has no actual creativity in their entire corporation.
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January 13th, 2011, 03:59
Okay, goofing around aside, here's where my glimmer of hope is coming from:

There's precedent. Not from EA, but there's precedent:

Monkey Island.

The "remakes" were excellent. They were literally the same games, running on the same scripts, but with new graphics, sound, and voice-overs. And commentaries, even, from some of the original developers.

But - more importantly - while development was pretty much in tandem, the Monkey Island 1 Special Addition was followed up by Tales of Monkey Island, a brand new series in a "dead" franchise by Telltale Games. And of course, MI2E. From what I've heard, Tales sold really well and they are planning another series.

Could this happen with Ultima?

Maybe. If people had the same level of care and dedication to the source material as has been reported for the folks who have worked on the Lazarus and the Ultima 6 Project (My copy of DS is buried somewhere and I haven't dug it out to reinstall it to play these games yet… so my opinion is second hand). This would be a good thing.

As I joked above, I'm trying not to get my hopes up. Chances are against it, and the likelihood that that Barnett was talking about something else entirely (the "8 gods" reference notwithstanding) is still high. And even if they do go this direction, with a chance at reviving the franchise, my trust in Bioware isn't what it once was. And even if they DID do a fantastic job of it, there's the chance that the suits at EA would still shoot it down or corrupt it… though I think they are still giving Bioware a pretty long leash on these kinds of things. But the Lords of EA screwed up Ultima before, I'm sure they can do it again.

Anyway - that's my thought process. A lot of 'ifs' blocking the glimmer of hope. I won't even say I'm cautiously optimistic, especially after the Lords of Ultima BS. (Whoever thought that was a good idea should be sent back to their former job marketing off-brand breakfast cereals). But I won't assume it's doom & gloom, either.
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January 13th, 2011, 05:05
can someone point out to me an in-depth quality based browser game in the first place?
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January 13th, 2011, 05:22
The browser part doesn't bother me at all. Have you seen Utlima IV: Flash Version? It's the whole Ultima IV game on flash.

For now though I'll keep chanting Rampant's mantra:
I will NOT raise my hopes, just to see them dashed underfoot…..
Originally Posted by RampantCoyote View Post
(My copy of DS is buried somewhere and I haven't dug it out to reinstall it to play these games yet… so my opinion is second hand.)
Please, don't install it. You will never finish Frayed Knights then.

Seriously though, you really should load it up. It's amazing what they did with the DS engine.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
Last edited by skavenhorde; January 13th, 2011 at 07:55.
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January 13th, 2011, 06:16
Ultima IV! The best one along with 7 and online!

As for money island…. Guybrush sounds nothing like a pirate and everything like an American WoW player talking on vent to me. They should have got Jonny Depp to voice act it! xD
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January 13th, 2011, 07:04
While there is certainly nothing wrong with making a game like this on a browser if it has the technology to support an entire Ultima remake, hearing that an Ultima game is being made for this format makes me think that it is only a quick cash-in on the popularity and legend of the Ultima name… I hope I am wrong of course, but it just seems like a "proper" remake would use a different format…
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January 13th, 2011, 09:06
You know, I'm also always sceptical about browser games in general. As I am with mobile games, IPad games etc.

But I'm beginning to think that it's simply because I'm getting older.. and thus less and less willing to try new things - and more importantly *accept* new things Games… that's something you install from a CD to your harddrive.. and THEN you can play, right?!?

But the truth is that the technology now allows you to do really cool stuff in a browser (as well as on mobile phones etc). The fact that a game is running in a browser window says nothing about the quality or depth of the game! Just check some of the stuff made with the Unity engine for example. It might not be AAA titles, but it can look pretty damn nice. I think the browser is actually just a way to distribute the game content. You still have to download the game data to play. And once the game is running it can still be using your nice fast CPUs and graphics card to do cool 3d graphics - if that's what they want to do with the game.

For an Ultima 4 remake - this could definitely work!
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January 13th, 2011, 09:23
An ultima game without Garriot………. like bread without butter…..
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