Invasion of Mondain: New Screenshot

Red Dragon has sent another screenshot of his work-in-progress remake of Ultima 1, this time showcasing an area of a town. He’s still using many placeholder graphics from Ultima 7, but I think the grass texture may be new.

You can see it above, somewhat cropped by the featured image function. To see the complete image, head on over to the project entry.

12 Responses

  1. cor2879 says:

    I have to say, as much as I love Ultima 7 I would have no problem with him keeping the U7 graphics for this game. I’d be kind of excited about playing an Ultima 1 remake made in a U7 or U7-like engine

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      Admittedly, neither would I.

      But there’d be legal issues with his doing so, I suspect. Generally speaking, EA doesn’t mind most things the remake community does, but they will come down on projects that make unauthorized use of official assets like this…and on any site that would host downloads for same. Releasing something like Exult, which pulls assets from the original game data is one thing…releasing something ELSE that uses those exact same assets is going to cause trouble.

      The use of the graphics as stand-ins is fine; that gets done a lot, both in and outside the gaming industry. But releases will have to either feature only original assets, or else incorporate a way of pulling the needed assets out of the original Ultima 7 data (which, of course, couldn’t be distributed as part of the project download).

      • red dragon says:

        if the project poses problemes,it’is better not to continue ?

      • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

        No, that’s not what I said. I’ll clarify my answer when I reply to cor2879.

      • Micro Magic says:

        I wouldn’t imagine EA will care.

        WTF’s comment is more concise, When he says legal liability, he means they’d likely tell you to change the art assets. Then if you didn’t change the art assets, eventually they might sue you, but I highly doubt it even in that case.

        Like he points out, old Ultima textures are being used all the time and EA hasn’t done anything.

        I’d also suggest using Exult since you could use all the art worry-free.

        I’m excited about this project! I love the old ultima isometric perspective.

      • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

        Technically, I didn’t quite say that. Yes, there are examples of the Ultima 7 assets being used elsewhere, and yes asset re-use in test builds is a known practice in the industry as well as outside of it. That doesn’t mean I think it’s necessarily the best idea to actually release something that uses the Ultima 7 assets that isn’t Ultima 7 or doesn’t at least require its data files, and I can’t say I really encourage it.

        Could Red Dragon release his project, Ultima 7 assets included, and not see legal repercussion for so doing? Yes, probably. Possibly, at any rate.

        But it’s like speeding on the highway. Maybe you pull it off, maybe you get pulled over. It really depends on who’s watching and whether you meet their threshold for action.

      • Micro Magic says:

        Yup, well put. I’d also add, they’d likely give a warning before handing out the ticket.

      • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

        True, the C&D would come first. Not that I want to see that happen either.

      • cor2879 says:

        That’s unfortunate. I mean I understand intellectual property but for EA get all ancy about an a fan made project that reuses assets from a 20+ year old game that EA only cares about when it comes to defending IP rights… that’s EA I guess :-\

        I could see it if he was going to reuse the assets for a for profit game but just a game made for fun that is probably only going to be downloaded and played by Ultima fans… Maybe I’d feel differently if EA hadn’t just sat on the Ultima franchise for 15 or so years but they have – and it remains to be seen whether or not Ultima Forever will do the franchise any justice.

      • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

        Actually, EA’s attitude is one of the more relaxed in the industry. Just try using any LucasArts-derived assets in your fan module and see how long it is before the C&D arrives, for example!

        There is an argument to be made along the lines of whether it’s a fan-made release vs. a for-sale release. This project, for example, applied some graphics from Serpent Isle to Akalabeth, and didn’t require the user to own Serpent Isle to use the graphics. And then there’s this and this.

        So to clarify my statements, let me say instead that it’s better if Red Dragon here doesn’t use Ultima 7 assets in his game. If he does elect to use them, he may or may not get in trouble for it, but his use of the assets leaves open a…let’s call it a “legal vulnerability”…that his using all-original assets wouldn’t. Then again, so does re-making Ultima 1, but it’s very unlikely EA would come down on him just for that.

        Red Dragon, you should continue this project. If you want to continue building your own engine, then by all means do so. If you want to re-create the look and feel of Ultima 7 with your game, and if you plan to use Ultima 7 assets anyway, you might do well to take AgentOrangeGuy’s suggestion and adopt the use of the Exult engine and Exult Studio, since doing so gives you a more mature engine to work with and also gives you the potential of tapping into AOG’s talented pool of scripters and pixel artists.

        And I leave it up to you as to whether you want to use the Ultima 7 assets. I don’t personally encourage it, and I can’t say with certainty that you will or won’t be asked to cease and desist distributing the finished product if you elect to use them. As much as you can, try and use original graphics. But definitely, definitely keep up the work on this project…it has garnered a lot of interest, more than most fledgling efforts usually receive.

      • red dragon says:

        ok,i continue thank’s

  2. agentorangeguy says:

    Doing it through Exult and Exult studio would be much easier… and if they did I could help them with a few things that I learned along the way, saving them time on things that I wish I knew back then 😀