Underworld Ascendant: Much News about the Lizard Men; Underworld Overlord Preview at GDC

OtherSide Entertainment recently published another Stygian Sentinel, a news update letting us all know what progress they’ve made on Underworld Ascendant over the last month or so:

As you know, we’ve shared several rounds of work-in-progress screens, footage, and prototypes, as part of our promise to give a deep look at the game development process. Recently our focus has been improving both our look and core gameplay of the game.

We’ve also been hard at work honing the Improvisation Engine — the bevy of tools that empower you to come up with your own creative solutions to problems — in an effort to make Underworld Ascendant the next step in player-authored gameplay. That’s involved progress with combat, stealth, magic, in-world interactables, and AI.

There is a LOT that goes under the hood to make it all work. We’re close to having something ready to share, but still need to do some further balance and polish.

Much of their focus over the last month has, however, been on the Lizard Men, and the update introduces us to the people that have been working on bringing that race to life:

We recently spoke with character artist Jed (BioShock, Rock Band) Wahl about his current modeling work on Underworld Ascendant’s Lizard Men, his early efforts on the BioShock series, and how he got his start.

For the next stage in bringing the Lizard Man to life, we stepped into the studio with talented voice performer, Liam O’Brien.

One of the reasons why we enjoy collaborating with Liam is the care and depth he brings to every role, whether he’s playing a narcissistic citizen of Rapture in BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea or the shrieking, chittering Infected seen in The Last of Us. He’s equally at home with both dramatic roles and monsters.

We checked in with Liam to talk about his career and recording for Underworld Ascendant’s Lizard Man.

And yes, the fan community continues to help grow and expand the language of the Lizard Men:

Speaking of… Last month, we mentioned how the Lizard Men — who were part of a particularly well-loved sequence in the original Ultima Underworld — will play a big role in Underworld Ascendant.

We invited fans to help us expand their vocabulary even further and the response so far has been phenomenal.

Oh, and there was also a bit of Underworld Overlord news that came out recently, by way of a press release:

Less than a week from GDC in San Francisco, and I wanted to try and slide one last appointment into your busy schedules. If you are going to be at the show this year, please drop by the Google or Unity booths and have a look at the acclaimed virtual reality game from Otherside, Underworld Overlord (UO). The game is made exclusively for Daydream, Google’s mobile VR platform.

You’ll get a chance to see the latest build for UO (including some major upgrades), currently scheduled for a post GDC launch. The game, an innovative action/strategy hybrid, will be on display in the Unity booth, South Hall, booth 1402 and the Google booth, South Hall, booth 1424. You can drop by anytime during expo hours, or send me a note and I’ll set you up with an appointment. Several members of the team including Executive Producer Brandon Laurino and Narrative Director Joe Fielder will be there to take you through the game that launched late last year.

Other members of the Otherside team including Paul Neurath and Warren Spector will also be at the show. Their schedules are by appointment only, so if you are interested in speaking to either or both of them, please let me know.

GDC is on now, so if you’ve at all been curious about OtherSide’s VR take on the Underworld, be sure to look for them thereat.