Underworld Ascendant: Boston Festival of Indie Games; New Team Members


The latest Underworld Ascendant update from OtherSide Entertainment tells of new team members:

We’ve been woefully remiss in publicly welcoming the latest members of the OtherSide team, who joined over the last few months to help with Underworld Ascendant and Underworld Overlord.

CHRIS MAIRE – A programmer with a background on AAA and indie games (including his own Gravity Ghostand more), Chris combines hard-fought wisdom and can-do spirit. He’s an active member of the local Boston game community and an aficionado of metal.

CARL AHLUND – As the Design Director of Underworld Overlord, our “be-the-bad-guy” dungeon management game for the Google Daydream mobile VR platform, Carl works with our external mobile developers to define the player experience, tune the fun of each level, and balance the game’s ramping difficulty.

THOMAS SCHLAPP – Our new QA Team Lead, Thomas comes to us with experience working on RPGs likeDungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online, as well as creating his own card games. He is also a CSM and CSPO, and has a Masters of Science in Forensic Psychology

JT KUCERA – The latest add to the team, who began just last week, JT is a senior QA tester who has endured such grueling OtherSide hazing rituals as eating lunch in the building cafeteria, learning about the history of Concord grapes, and everyone generally being nice, polite, and respectful.

They were also present at the Boston Festival of Indie Games recently, showing off the latest build of Underworld Ascendant:

Many thanks to everyone who stopped by the OtherSide booth at the recent Boston Festival of Indie Games, the first public showing of Underworld Ascendant. Attendees reported they had a great time playing the Pre-Alpha Prototype build and provided valuable feedback, which will be applied to the game’s upcoming Vertical Slice.

As a nod to the past and an example of before/after, Ultima Underworld was on-hand at the booth as well. A few attendees (adorably) mistook it for a retro-style indie game, while others exclaimed, eyes-wide, how it was their all-time favorite game. (One even offered to hug all present when we mentioned that our Austin studio is making a new System Shock game.)

Perhaps most interestingly, however, is the look they offer us at the design of monsters in the game…not so much the visual appearance of them as the systems behind them, how different classes of monsters fill different niches within the Abyss’ ecosystem:

When you interact with a denizen of The Stygian Abyss in Underworld Ascendant, you’re encountering many hours of work involved in bringing it to life… Modeling, animation, AI, and — what we’ll cover a bit today — a core set of underlying design principles that dictate its role in the game.

The inhabitants come in three main forms:

  • CATALYSTS – Beings who possess robust behaviors, advanced combat tactics, and, if intelligent, can converse, trade, or engage with the player. (Ex: The Lizard Men.)
  • CONFOUNDERS – Creatures who enhance or detract in combat, like The Wailing Haunt or Lich, or act as environmental hazards, like The Ripper or Lurker.
  • COLLABORATORS – Inhabitants with useful behaviors that the player can exploit, like the Earth Clot, a bulky, gelatinous mass that can be prodded down hallways to break traps or act as cover.

As always, there is still yet more to read; click on through to check it all out.