Origin Systems Wanted to Make a Star Wars RPG (Based on the Ultima 6 Engine)


Ben Lesnick, formerly of the Wing Commander CIC and currently the community manager for Star Citizen, shared an interesting image on his Twitter timeline recently:
 

 

The image, which you can see in full in this Gallery entry, is of a product development plan circulated by Origin Systems in 1990. To call the plan ambitious would be a bit of an understatement; although the release windows for Ultima 6, Bad Blood, Savage Empire (Dinosaur Valley), and Martian Dreams (Time Travel) were met, Squadron became Wing Commander (although the follow-up car racing game using its engine was not, that I’m aware, ever developed), and Ultima 7 slipped into 1992. And Ultima 8 wouldn’t see the light of day until 1994!

Check out the Gallery!

Perhaps more interestingly, however, is the fact that the plan includes a line item about a Star Wars RPG, using the Ultima 6 engine, that Origin Systems was considering developing. How awesome would that have been? One wonders what the plot and setting would have been…would they have tried to push the Ultima 6 engine to depict several different worlds, or would it have been set on just one planet?

As always, the Ultima Codex is grateful to Ben Lesnick for unearthing and sharing this piece of Origin Systems history. It’s fun to look back on its legacy, note its ambition, and think what might have been had it realized a few more of its plans.

Home Forums Origin Systems Wanted to Make a Star Wars RPG (Based on the Ultima 6 Engine)

This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Sergorn 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • #52859
    WtF Dragon
    WtF Dragon
    Participant

    Origin Systems Wanted to Make a Star Wars RPG (Based on the Ultima 6 Engine)

    A product development plan circulated by Origin Systems in 1990.

    Read more…

  • #52877

    Infinitron
    Participant

    So they were planning on making “Worlds of Ultima”-branded Ultima VII spinoffs at some point.

    • #52881
      WtF Dragon
      WtF Dragon
      Participant

      Well, we sort of already knew that; Arthurian Legends was supposedly slated for the Ultima 7 engine. Which I think is more the point of their use of the term “spinoff” (see: Savage Empire, Martian Dreams, the Ultima 6 spinoffs).

      • #52884

        Infinitron
        Participant

        Sure, but as I recall, the question of whether Arthurian Legends (and also that weird pirate thing Serpent Isle was going to be) was ever branded “Worlds of Ultima” remained somewhat unclear.

      • #52888
        WtF Dragon
        WtF Dragon
        Participant

        I think it’s always been a toss-up where Serpent Isle was concerned. Arthurian Legends, though, was pretty assuredly going to be one. At least from my (admittedly spotty) recollections about how e.g. Sheri Graner Ray has spoken about it, that was the intent of the project.

      • #52936

        Sergorn
        Participant

        Based on Bill Amintrout’s interview, SI did Started as a World of Ultima type game but was mutated early on (ie before UVII was even released) as a direct sequel.

        As far as I can tell, Arthurian Legends wasn’t meant to be an Ultima related game in the end but a separate Arthurian based RPG – at least that’s what I got from description of the game at PC Games Who Weren’t (site is gone now I think). I DO think it started as a World of Ultima game but Evolved into a different thing though.

        I would assume SI and Arthurian Legends are the two “Ultima VII spin off” mentionned there.

  • #52880

    Infinitron
    Participant

    Ultima, Ultima, Ultima. You can tell this was made when it was Origin’s hottest brand. Then Wing Commander was released and changed everything.

    Hey, wait a minute, isn’t that what “Squadron” was?

    • #52882
      WtF Dragon
      WtF Dragon
      Participant

      Yup, realized that a little while ago. Correcting now.

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