Announcing: The Digital Lycaeum!

This is something I’ve been meaning to set up for a while now, and in fact it has been discussed a few times on the site here. It’s one thing to host projects and offer space to would-be Ultima fan project developers who are in need of a website, but let’s face it: the hardest part of making an Ultima project isn’t making it known online or socializing it to the wider Internet.

The hardest part of making an Ultima project…is actually building the damn thing.

That is what this site aims to address.

Rare indeed is the individual who is equally talented with code, music, artwork, 2D pixel art or 3D modelling (as needed), and suchlike. Such a person might indeed be able to build a fan project all on his own…but the rest of us will need some help in one or more of those areas. A coder isn’t necessarily an artist, and a 3D artist isn’t necessarily a musician. Any of these might set out to do something about and for Ultima…but unless he finds people who are, in effect, the other pieces of the development puzzle, he won’t get far.

Enter the Digital Lycaeum.

Over the years, and through many fine projects, Ultima fans have generated a lot of music, artwork, and even 2D and 3D graphical assets. My aim, in launching this Digital Lycaeum, is to bring together in one convenient repository as much of that content as possible, for other aspiring Ultima fan project teams to take advantage of and use in their own works. To that end, this site will allow registered users to upload all manner of game assets which, once they are vetted, can be downloaded and used for free by any and all interested groups. Interested users will also be able to sign up and post reviews of content…and maybe even other Ultima projects; I haven’t decided on that last point just yet.

For now, the site is still very much in its infancy, and will likely see quite a bit of expansion in the coming days, weeks, and months. So for now: check it out! Register if you feel so inclined. For now, registration isn’t protected by a code, but it does require email verification. (And yes: I am deliberately keeping user logins at the Lycaeum separate from those at Aiera.) If I start to see lots of spam registrations, I’ll put up a code, but for now…have at it.

Now…how’s that for a seventh birthday present?

12 Responses

  1. Iceblade says:

    Yeah! This could be very useful… of course I still need a 3D modeler for buildings and such even if I got all of the incidental objects from something like this.

    Awesome gift to the community.

  2. This will be a useful repository. I have a image of Felucca from Ultima 9 that I fleshed out to use in UDK. Trammel is harder, since I don’t have a full image to go on, but I should have it done soon (I need to dig out my U9 cds from storage). Once I get the full day/night cycle with both moons and the sun going in their actual cycles, I’ll post it.

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      Cool!

      I’ve promoted your account at the Lycaeum to have “Author” rights, which should give you access to the download manager in your user dashboard. So whenever you feel like testing it out, feel free!

  3. It will be some time before I have anything like a system ready to submit. I’ll toss the PNG of Felucca up in the 2D assets, just to test out the functionality.

  4. http://lycaeum.ultimaaiera.com/2011/Felucca/

    Not sure how to add the preview image, and getting the big image in there took a bit to figure out. Hehe. I remember why I don’t blog…

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      Wow, that’s sweet!

      There’s a short video I can post showing how to set a featured image. It’s actually quite easy; you embedded an image successfully, and setting a featured image uses a similar but slightly quicker process.

      I will need to produce tutorials for file uploads too. So much to do!

  5. Thepal says:

    Awesome. I was wondering if you were still planning on doing this.

    I might start uploading some of my 3d models from Serpent Isle in the next week.

  6. Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

    I plan to add a lot of stuff from my project. What’s the protocol for submitting content?

    You may wish to consider a way to remind people to post (or force them to choose) a license under which the asset is available. “Free” is a lot more complex than it initially sounds, so attaching a license is always a good idea. Here are some, though I’m sure there are many more out there somewhere:

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#OtherLicenses

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      I will be building tutorials for using the site backend — article posting and content submission — over the next couple days.

      And I think that the download manager actually supports licensing. I’ll have to double-check, but…I think so.

      Regardless, a “licensing options” page sounds like a good add for the site; thanks for the suggestion.

      Update: I’ll also need some help improving the site’s categorization. I’ll try put up a post about that tonight.

      Revenge of the Update: I’ve added a “Licensing Information” page to the Lycaeum. It’s basically just a copy-and-paste of the GNU page, but that’s all it really needed to be anyway.

  7. Gulluoglu says:

    Cool idea, I hope people are able to take advantage of this!

  8. Sslaxx says:

    Perhaps this could be affiliated somehow with http://opengameart.org/ the Open Game Art project.