And Lest Ye Forget: Serpent Isle’s Original Design

I wish I could say that I had something new and exciting to show all of you on this, the 20th anniversary of the release of Ultima 7 Part 2: Serpent Isle. Alas, that is simply not the case. Still, it was a very good excuse to move these sixteen photographs of world design documents from the game’s original plot (which Bill Armintrout talks about, just a little bit, in our interview with him) from Old Aiera to their new and proper home at the Origin Gallery.

For those of you having a hard time recalling what I’m on about, Sheri Graner Ray’s summary of the game’s original design remains the best source of information about it, at least for the time being:

Originally Bill Armintrout and I were doing the initial design on Serpent Isle. The mandate we were given by Richard and Jeff George (the producer at that time) was that it was to be about the conflict between Brittanian magic and VoDun (VooDoo) magic. And that the island was to be called Serpent Isle because it we were suppoesed to make it in the shape of the snake necklace that Richard wore (and still does, I think.) So I spent a month at the UT LIbrary checking out and reading books on VoDun as that was my side of the design. We’d been in design about three or four months when there was a “re-org.” Jeff George quit and the game was given to Warren Specter to produce. We were told to essentially toss everything out and start over. I recently gave the maps and docs from the earliest part of that design to the Origin Museum.

The rest, of course, is history. Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum photographed the maps, and I posted them to Old Aiera. It seemed fitting, then, to prioritize moving them from there to their new home here on a day like today.

Thus: click on through and enjoy!

1 Response

  1. Thepal says:

    Damn. I should have had something planned for this. Oh well.