The Ultima Codex | The Ultima Codex http://ultimacodex.com The Ultima Fan Network Thu, 24 Apr 2014 04:25:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Portalarium Has Contracted Another 3D Animator for Shroud of the Avatar http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/portalarium-has-contracted-another-3d-animator-for-shroud-of-the-avatar/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/portalarium-has-contracted-another-3d-animator-for-shroud-of-the-avatar/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 04:25:26 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14799 brandon-lackey

I noticed, whilst reviewing the most recent entry in the Standup Corner thread (accessible only by Developler-level backers or higher) at the Shroud of the Avatar forums that yet another new name had been added to the list of those working on the game. This time around, a certain Brandon Lackey had been added to the team roster.

Mr. Lackey is, per his LinkedIn profile, a 3D animator available for contract hire, having previously worked in animation roles at various gaming and other media studios in the Austin area. He is also affiliated with Meta 3D Studios, and it would appear that it is through this gig that he has come to work on Shroud of the Avatar.

It’s probably a good sign that Portalarium is bringing on still yet more artistic talent to work on Shroud of the Avatar. Certainly, it means they’re putting those pledge dollars to good use.

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Shroud of the Avatar Release 5 Instructions and Notes Posted http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-release-5-instructions-and-notes-posted/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-release-5-instructions-and-notes-posted/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:42:01 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14795 SotA_Combat_Skill_Bar

Starr Long has posted the instructions and notes for Shroud of the Avatar’s fifth pre-alpha test release on the game’s website. Here are some of the features that players can look forward to when they log in the the game beginning tomorrow:

  • Combat and Magic Skills: Finally you will no longer be confined to auto attack now that a wide array of combat and magic skills will be at your disposal. To let you test out a wide variety of these skills we will give you a bunch of skill points to allocate up and down as you wish.
    • 35 (of 171) Skills will be present in Release 5. A list of these can be found here.
  • Linear Lighting Model: As part of an ongoing effort to improve our visuals we have have switched from gamma lighting to linear lighting. This makes a lot of the details in our textures more visible but it has required us to touch every shader, texture, lighting setting, etc. in the game. Note that this is still a work in progress.
  • Journal: Results of conversations with the characters in our world will now appear in your Journal. This should aid questing tremendously without going as far as exclamation points overhead.
  • Compass: Navigating through our scenes can be quite challenging so we have added an on screen compass to help guide you around
  • Overland Map Polish: We continued iterating on the overland map. We added panning and zooming, animating objects (waves, windmills, etc.) and visibility of your party members
  • AFK Mode: When you type /afk or you are idle for a while your character will sit on the ground and [AFK] will be appended to the character name
  • New Vale Scenes: We shifted focus to more Vale scenes so we could create a more complete area of the game (replacing placeholder maps) versus proceeding to the main map. Player Housing: We have added 12 new player houses (4 Rustic, 6 Wood & Plaster, 2 Duke Castles) and as mentioned above we increased the number of locations that players can place houses to a total of 13. That raises the number of lots to around 600. With that change we have decided that for R5 we will no longer impose a time limit on ownership.

Sadly, not everything originally planned for Release 5 made the cut; the following features, among others, have been postponed for now:

  • Death System: OooOoooOOOOooo! Death will now turn you into a ghost. Current thinking about the death system will be shared at a later date.
  • Main Continent Scenes: Finally players will get to see their first maps on the main continent including a city that is part of the story, adventuring areas, and a player town.
  • Interactive Areas: Don’t you wish you could move that chair in the tavern to have a better view of the front door? Public areas like taverns will now be flagged as interactive areas. This will allow more freedom in those spaces by allowing the moving but not taking of items.
  • AI Behaviors: NPCs will now start to have schedules and change behavior according to the time. This will include things like going around turning on the lights around town as the sun goes down. NPCs will also now react to players taking and breaking stuff so watch out when you try to steal that loaf of bread!
  • Books: Books will no longer just be decorative objects! Read lovely poems and stories written by our very own community in the game. Try to collect them all!

Complete instructions can be found here.

The Shroud of the Avatar installers can be found at the links below:

If you already have the game client installed — at least for Windows; I’m actually not sure about the other operating systems — you don’t need to reinstall Shroud of the Avatar (unless, of course, you’ve deleted it since Release 4). Simply opening the game client and letting its automatic updates do their thing will be enough to get you ready for Release 5.

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Sixth Circle Gaming: Alive and Well http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/sixth-circle-gaming-alive-and-well/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/sixth-circle-gaming-alive-and-well/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:17:38 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14789 sixthcircle-aliveandwell

Lucifuge Dragon may have stopped work on his board game adaptation of Ultima 7: The Black Gate, but it would seem that his fledgling company — Sixth Circle Gaming — is on the verge of announcing something:

Sixth Circle has become more than just me and my little blog but a passionate team of, currently, three people who all share in the excitement of seeing a very fun project through to the end.

Sixth Circle comprises of myself and two great friends who I’m proud to have known each for many years…

We have a working title, a solid prototype (built in Unity) which is starting to really feel like something, many art assets and pages of concepts, literature and lore. Above you will see a bit of roughed out concept art. It is following in the steps of the Black Gate’s turned based system with RPG mechanics, but it is also being pushed much further and in exciting new directions. Some of the things we have already implemented have really surprised me and I could not have done them on my own. I am extremely excited and optimistic about this project and the adventure it is taking us on.

Please stay tuned as more information will be released in the not-too-distant future.

I, for one, remain curious as to what Colby and his team will be serving up next. It won’t be an Ultima-based game, obviously, though it will doubtless have at its core many of the mechanics that were thought up for the Ultima 7 board game. So it may, at least, seem somewhat familiar to long-time Ultima fans. That, at least, is my hope for it.

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Ultima 1 Mentioned In Spiegel http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/ultima-1-mentioned-in-spiegel/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/ultima-1-mentioned-in-spiegel/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:08:09 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14786 u1title

Dominus spotted an Ultima 1 mention in none other than Spiegel, the foremost German newsmagazine.

I can’t read German myself, and Google Translate seems to be broken, so here’s a bit of an excerpt:

Vor 40 Jahren erschien das einflussreichste Spiel des 20. Jahrhunderts, das Tischrollenspiel “Dungeons & Dragons”. Es hat frühe Computerspiele entscheidend geprägt, zum Beispiel den Rollenspiel-Klassiker “Ultima 1: The First Age of Darkness”. Das Rollenspiel-Klassiker erschien 1981.

Wer tut was: Der Spieler steuert einen Abenteurer durch die Fantasy-Welt Sosaria. Er wurde gerufen, um diese Welt vor einem bösen Magier zu retten – so weit, so üblich. Der Magier Mondain hat allerdings schon gewonnen, der Kristall der Unsterblichkeit macht ihn unbesiegbar. Da gibt es nur eine Lösung: Man muss in der Zeit zurückreisen und Mondain stoppen, bevor er unbesiegbar wird. Also reist man durch Sosaria und sucht die benötigten Kristalle für eine Zeitmaschine zusammen. Jeder der vier Herrscher der Spielwelt besitzt praktischerweise einen, gibt ihn aber nur nach Erfüllung eines Auftrags ab, à la “steige in Dungeon X hinab und töte Monster Y”.

If anyone can translate that, please do in the comments.

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The World of Sosaria…A New Ultima 1 Remake? http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/the-world-of-sosaria-a-new-ultima-1-remake/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/the-world-of-sosaria-a-new-ultima-1-remake/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:45:14 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14784 Ultima1-boxtitle

I was informed of the existence of this site, ostensibly by its operator. The first and only article on it proclaims what I think is the birth of a new Ultima 1 remake:

hello to all ,i created this blog for those who the series of the game like the celebre series of richard garriott .

i work at the moment on the project of ultima 1 THE WORLD OF SOSARIA

in tthis games in the simple graphics tou will have to travel the world of sosaria on the meeting of different monsters and numerous donjons to be investigate so tha some continent .

his prupose is to overcome devilish magician mondain become invulnerable grace in his stone of the sun .

to do it you will have to interrogate the inhabitants of this world ,dicover magic stones and go back up the time by means of the machine .

There isn’t any other information about the project apart from its name; no screenshots or other media have been posted. So for now, I won’t bother setting up a project entry. I will, however, be keeping an eye on this site’s RSS feed for the time being.

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LEGO SotA: Shroud of the Avatar, In LEGO http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/lego-sota-shroud-of-the-avatar-in-lego/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/lego-sota-shroud-of-the-avatar-in-lego/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:37:31 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14779 lego-sota-knight-home

Those of you who follow his posts on e.g. the Ultima Dragons Facebook group, or who have seen him present his creations in Dragonsmeets or Hangouts of the Avatar, will know that Joseph Drasin has taken a lot of inspiration from Shroud of the Avatar, which has fueled his imagination and prompted the creation of several fine renderings of buildings from the game. Or, for that matter, inspired by the game; his first creation in this respect was a rendition of the Hearth of Britannia, as it might appear in Shroud of the Avatar.

He has since gone on to add several more creations to his repertoire, including the Founder Knight’s Home visible above. You can check out images of these, and of his Hearth of Britannia, at the LEGO SotA project entry, or at the new LEGO SotA website. A link to download Joseph’s LEGO Digital Designer templates for many of his creations can also be found in either place.

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Reminder: Shroud of the Avatar Test Release 5 Begins This Thursday http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/reminder-shroud-of-the-avatar-test-release-5-begins-this-thursday/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/reminder-shroud-of-the-avatar-test-release-5-begins-this-thursday/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:31:16 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14776 SotA_Combat_Skeleton_fireball1

The fifth pre-alpha test release — Release 5, as it is colloquially known — of Shroud of the Avatar will begin this Thursday. New features in this release will include:

  • Combat and Magic Skills: Finally you will no longer be confined to auto attack now that a wide array of combat and magic skills will be at your disposal. To let you test out a wide variety of these skills we will give you a bunch of skill points to allocate up and down as you wish. This allocation of points will automatically build your deck. Skills can be locked in your toolbar or left unlocked so they can be used in combos during combat.
  • Death System: OooOoooOOOOooo! Death will now turn you into a ghost. Current thinking about the death system will be shared at a later date.
  • Main Continent Scenes: Finally players will get to see their first maps on the main continent including a city that is part of the story, adventuring areas, and a player town.
  • Interactive Areas: Don’t you wish you could move that chair in the tavern to have a better view of the front door? Public areas like taverns will now be flagged as interactive areas. This will allow more freedom in those spaces by allowing the moving but not taking of items.
  • AI Behaviors: NPCs will now start to have schedules and change behavior according to the time. This will include things like going around turning on the lights around town as the sun goes down. NPCs will also now react to players taking and breaking stuff so watch out when you try to steal that loaf of bread!
  • Books: Books will no longer just be decorative objects! Read lovely poems and stories written by our very own community in the game. Try to collect them all!

The Windows installer for the game should still be available here; the OS X and Linux installers should still be here and here, respectively. And of course, if you already have Shroud of the Avatar installed, there should be no need to re-install it; simply opening the game client to receive the latest patches and updates for it will suffice.

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Here Are Broadsword’s Plans for Dark Age of Camelot. What Do They Have In Mind For Ultima Online? http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/here-are-broadswords-plans-for-dark-age-of-camelot-what-do-they-have-in-mind-for-ultima-online/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/here-are-broadswords-plans-for-dark-age-of-camelot-what-do-they-have-in-mind-for-ultima-online/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:02:50 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14774 Broadsword

The “Grab Bag” feature has, or so I gather, been missing from the Dark Age of Camelot website for quite some time, so apparently everyone is taking the sudden appearance of a new installment in that series of updates from the developers with some surprise. And it contains a few surprising statements about the direction that Broadsword Online Games plans to take the game in.

To wit:

Q: Is Broadsword going to do characters transfers between accounts? If so, do both accounts have to be open, and will it be a free or cost service?

A: This is the plan. Over 12+ years of game-play, players have several characters across multiple accounts and we would like to provide the opportunity to allow consolidation. This will be among the many updates and upgrades to the Broadsword Account Center that is currently underway. Currently, it’s planned as a premium service – but there are no details on the prices as yet.

Here, have another:

Q: I have seen a lot of art changes with the new patch. Have your resources in this department increased?

A: Yes it has! We’re thrilled about this. Those of you who have participated in some previous Grab Bags asked questions to which the reply often started with: “Unfortunately due to art resource constraints we are currently unable to…”

Under Broadsword, we have renewed investment in this area, and we’re really excited about updating art for various features in DAoC. Things we’re currently discussing are: fixes for art-related bugs, new maps, UI skins, new items, monsters, and more!

Oh…have one more:

Q: What does broadsword plan to do after the NNF patch?

A: Great question. I can’t give out too many details yet but we have a lot planned. For the next patch, we’ll be focusing on UI/UX improvements, art bug fixing and improvements (this includes the Labyrinth wall exploits!), and adding in a new long-term Live Event with a very cool surprise! Additionally, we’ll be responding to any feedback on the NF Update and making any warranted adjustments.

After all of that, we’ll be looking at the overarching goals of RvR (read: relics) as well as improving larger scale objectives (read: keeps/towers, and maybe new things!). On the PvE side, we’ll be looking at updating loot tables and mob AI on some of the more memorable encounters and finishing the Hub Quests to 50. Class Balance, as always, is an ongoing endeavor.​

This is all pretty significant; the game is obviously seeing a lot more development under Broadsword than it did under Mythic, whereat it had basically been put out to pasture. Now there are art updates (and more incoming!), planned UI overhauls, planned account transfer capabilities…and, heck, updates about the game’s development that amount to way more than “no comment”.

All of this makes me wonder just what Broadsword has planned for Ultima Online. A UI overhaul, perhaps? They did evidently contract Pinco, developer of a very popular enhanced UI for the game, to do some sort of work for them. Art updates? Those have been hinted at…or, heck, promised outright. There aren’t any details like the above posted on the official Ultima Online website at present…but one has to wonder.

It would seem, at least, that Broadsword is very interested in doing more than simply serving as a caretaker for these games in their present states.

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Easter Reflection http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/easter-reflection/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/easter-reflection/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:36:05 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14764 Open the bag of flour... Spread some flour on a table... Get some water from the well... Use the water and flour to make dough... Put the dough in the oven... BREAD!

The season of Lent, which I observe, came to its usual close yesterday, and gave way to the season of Easter. In a rare confluence, the solemnity was observed on the same date in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars (or in both Eastern and Western Christendom, if you prefer). To my great regret — mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa — I wasn’t able to put together another series of meditations upon one of the Eight Virtues during Lent; my offline life was simply too busy. And even this, my customary Easter post, is coming a day late.

Now…allow me to now shift topics in a sudden, jarring fashion.

In the great debate over world interactivity in computer games, it is arguable that there is no more profound an example of a fully manipulable world than…well, almost all of Ultima 7, if one is honest. But in particular, the example of baking bread in the game stands out as a truly key example of the sort of world interactivity that the Ultima series once, almost uniquely, delivered to its players…which feature has been sorely lacking in most RPGs since and to date. The screenshots above illustrate the bread baking system in (more or less) its entirety: you open a sack of flour, “use” (that is: double-click) the opened sack of flour and spread some on a nearby table, obtain water in a bucket from a nearby well, and use the water in the bucket on the flour on the table to make dough. The dough is then placed on the ledge of a nearby oven, and turns into a loaf of bread after a couple of seconds. All of this is driven by a usecode script running in the background, and it is incredible to think that the developers at Origin even bothered to allow the came to consume the precious bytes of memory necessary for this frivolous and wholly unnecessary system to work as it did.

Because this is Ultima 7 we are talking about, after all; the game was notorious (or legendary) for its memory-intensive nature, and often required players to write custom AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files so as to boot up MS-DOS, and the game proper, in an environment where overhead memory usage was reduced as much as possible. This was a game that forced many players to fight with their own computers, tooth and nail, for every spare kilobyte of memory. And yet, this was also a game that expended quite a bit of that memory — and this in the days when games could only access 640 K of memory, mind — on driving systems that did nothing at all to contribute to or advance the plot of the game. There’s no reason to bake bread in Ultima 7; Britannia and the Fellowship do not rise and fall on the Avatar’s baking prowess.

But Origin wanted to build a game that felt real. It made sense to have a bakery in Britain. It made sense for the baker to be busy about his shop, engaged in the endless task of baking loaf after loaf of bread. It made sense to have all the ingredients of that process visible within the bakery. And it fit the design of the game to allow the players to use those ingredients in the same way as the baker, in pursuit of the same end. Because that — and hundreds of other, similarly pointless interactions that were implemented solely because the relevant parts were there — made Britannia feel real.

And so baking bread has become a kind of punchline — and, indeed, almost an argument unto itself — where world interactivity in computer games is concerned. And precious few games exist which meet this surprisingly exacting standard.

As is my wont, I see an interesting parallel here — it is entirely fitting to me, as a Christian, that the foremost example of a so-called Western RPG can have one of its most important features summarized in the act of baking bread in-game. Like as not, much of the history of the West is the history of Christendom, and much of the philosophical underpinnings of Western society are caught up in Christian philosophy. And Christianity talks about bread a lot. Especially around Easter.

Jesus is tempted by the Devil in the desert to turn stones into bread, and at the time He refuses to do so. But later, He breaks bread with his apostles — at the Last Supper — and asserts it to be His own Body (thereby both completing a lesson He had begun earlier, and instituting a practice that all Christians do well to emulate in remembrance of Him). After His resurrection, He was again revealed in the form of bread, broken and shared, with the disciples He met on the road to Emmaus…which, arguably, hearkens back to an earlier miracle He performed, in the feeding of the 5,000. There too, He broke loaves of bread.

Food — nourishment — is obviously important for all creatures; we are all of us dead without it. But there’s a difference between what is merely nutritional and what is food, I would argue. To cook well is as much art as science, and a flavourful meal is a joy second to very few things. Historic centers of Christendom — France, Spain, Italy — have also been centers of enjoyable, delightful cuisine, and continue to be to this day. And why should this not be? At many different points in the Gospels, the imagery of a banquet is used to symbolize the joy of Heaven. And the process of creating food — of creating, adjusting, and perfecting recipes — has a beautifully meditative quality to it that has animated, among other things, the breweries of many a monastery. I recall reading a story once about a college student at a Catholic university who volunteered, week after week, to bake the unleavened bread that would be used in Masses at the college; she wrote at length of her great joy and somber reflection as her hands wove together simple ingredients to create what would become the very Body of the Lord. Taking the point of her story more generally, I reflect that the act of cooking something connects us to others; there’s a beautiful, and often humble, outpouring of service in working to create a meal for family and friends, and the process brings one closer to them.

Another anecdote: the first time I met my wife’s grandparents (on her mother’s side), I did two things that more or less cemented my acceptance by them, and both of these involved cooking. In particular, I earned a great deal of respect from her grandfather by grilling him a perfectly blue-rare steak, a guilty pleasure of his that he was only rarely able to indulge. Then there is the story of how I became one of the few people who was even allowed to cook anything in my wife’s grandmother’s kitchen…because she is indeed one of those women for whom it is her kitchen. I think I’ll table telling that one for now, however…suffice it to say that my wife is still marvels at the fact, five years on, that I was ever allowed to cook anything in that kitchen.

Cooking connects us…to people, yes, and to places, situations, and experiences. Christian teaching has, for nearly two thousand years, been heavily intertwined with the symbolism of food — bread in particular, and meals in general — and to this day maintains that these things have revelatory significance. And even today, Christian philosophy is a part of the cultural foundation of the West. The symbolism — and poignance — of food persists to this day, both in the sense of its creation and in the sense of it…negation, I guess (there is, after all, a reason that “cooking disaster” reality television is so entertaining, just as there is a reason why articles such as this at once shock and inspire laughter).

So maybe it’s just me, but I find it oddly fitting — especially in this season — that the foremost example of a Western RPG, and indeed one of the most powerful examples of the computer game as a work of art, can be summarized in the fact that it allows you, its hero and protagonist, to bake bread for no reason at all, and in pursuit of no other purpose than that it is only appropriate that you be able to do so in its world, because its world is meant to seem as real as can be.

Just as there is something very real indeed waiting just behind the accidents of a thin wafer of unleavened bread.

Christos voskrese, everyone.

2013-03-30 12.32.18

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Shroud of the Avatar Has Raised $4 Million http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-has-raised-4-million/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-has-raised-4-million/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 03:26:02 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14755 sota-4-million

I’m not quite sure when the fundraising total rolled past the $4 million mark, but a cursory glance at the Shroud of the Avatar website tells the tale: the game’s ongoing crowdfunding efforts have now raised over $4 million to support its development.

Congratulations to all at Portalarium!

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I Missed Last Week’s Shroud of the Avatar Map Piece, So This Week’s Map Update Has Two Of Them http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/i-missed-last-weeks-shroud-of-the-avatar-map-piece-so-this-weeks-map-update-has-two-of-them/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/i-missed-last-weeks-shroud-of-the-avatar-map-piece-so-this-weeks-map-update-has-two-of-them/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 02:42:39 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14746 I dropped the ball last week, owing to the fact that a dishwasher installation consumed an inordinate and wholly unexpected amount of my free time during the week. That, and it’s Holy Week in the Christian faith tradition…always a busy time for me and mine.

As a result, I missed reporting on the map piece revealed in this Update of the Avatar.

SotA_Map_Puzzle_Story25

And because Dallas Snell is evidently a relentless, newsletter-producing robot who never takes holidays, there was another Update of the Avatar posted on Good Friday, with yet another map piece in it.

SotA_Map_Puzzle_Story26

This added…well, a number of new names and places, of both towns and geographical features:

map_11_names

I also had to correct the spelling of Norgard, the astute reader will note.

And remember: the unlabeled map, as well as the original map of Novia, can be found on this page.

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You Can’t Quite Make Out The Serpent Isle Source Code In This Old NBC News Today Clip http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/you-cant-quite-make-out-the-serpent-isle-source-code-in-this-old-nbc-news-today-clip/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/you-cant-quite-make-out-the-serpent-isle-source-code-in-this-old-nbc-news-today-clip/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:53:34 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14743

Okay, “can’t quite” is probably a bit of a stretch; the code (it appears around the 3:55 mark, in case you want to skip past most of Katie Couric’s narration) is far too blurry to read, and is only on screen for a few moments…so it’s not like we get a peek at the entire source tree. In fact, the code we do see evidently just pertains to the control of doors in the engine. Be that as it may: a portion of what is ostensibly the source code for Serpent Isle does briefly appear, accompanied by some narration from Origin Systems programmer Eric Brown (who, if MobyGames can be trusted, is now the CFO at BioWare).

The video is interesting for a number of reasons, actually…beyond the way NBC horribly intercuts footage and concepts from Serpent Isle and The Black Gate. It begins with Richard Garriott discussing his ambition to journey into space, a dream he would not realize for another 14 or so years after this clip was aired (which was in late April of 1993, apparently). The report then gives a brief overview of the history of Ultima, before turning the discussion to a sometimes confused mish-mash of both parts of Ultima 7, although the majority of the focus is placed on Serpent Isle.

A few notable Origin Systems personalities — Warren Spector, among others — pop up, and the game’s impressive technology and interactive story are discussed in some detail.

Well worth a watch if you have a few minutes to spare. Let’s all give a nod of thanks to cs2501x, one of my fellow Shroud of the Avatar moderators; it was he who found this little piece of history on YouTube.

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It’s Only Too Perfect That There’s an Ultima Real Estate in Austin, Texas http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/its-only-too-perfect-that-theres-an-ultima-real-estate-in-austin-texas/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/its-only-too-perfect-that-theres-an-ultima-real-estate-in-austin-texas/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:37:17 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14740 ultima-real-estate

Seriously, how great is this? Ultima Real Estate? Ultima Real Estate…in Austin, Texas?

That, Dragons and Dragonettes, is a sighting.

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The Ultima Dragons Facebook Group Just Hit 750 Members http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/the-ultima-dragons-facebook-group-just-hit-750-members/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/the-ultima-dragons-facebook-group-just-hit-750-members/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:06:35 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14736 udic-logo

A bit of a milestone: the Ultima Dragons Facebook group — a bustling hub of Ultima fan activity, which (dare I say it?) has really become something like a modern-day RGCUD — recently added its 750th member.

Which, granted, is a far smaller number than the count of Dragons listed on the Current Members roster at UDIC.org…but even so, it’s good to see the group grow and flourish as it has.

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Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #69 – 04/18/14: Happy Easter, R5 Coming, D&D#1 Contest, In-Game Crests, LotM Crown, Mortar & Pestle of Prosperity, and More! http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-update-of-the-avatar-69-041814-happy-easter-r5-coming-dd1-contest-in-game-crests-lotm-crown-mortar-pestle-of-prosperity-and-more/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-update-of-the-avatar-69-041814-happy-easter-r5-coming-dd1-contest-in-game-crests-lotm-crown-mortar-pestle-of-prosperity-and-more/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:30:32 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14733

Good Evening and Happy Friday Friends and Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • Only 6 Days Until Release 5!
  • Richard Garriott’s D&D #1 Contest
  • Limited Edition Art Print?
  • College of Arms & In-Game Custom Crests Pledge Reward
  • Founder Lord of the Manor Crown
  • Mortar & Pestle of Prosperity
  • The Enhanced Town Stone Arena Basement
  • Rustic 2-Story with Loft Town Home
  • Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Balcony Town Home
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 18
  • Alienware $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupons
  • Upcoming Events

Happy Easter!

Today is the hosting of the Duke and Lord of the Manor VIP Design Roundtable with Lord British and Portalarium Studio Tour, and tomorrow the visiting dignitaries will be joining the dev team for Portalarium’s Family Easter Celebration in Castleton (Richard’s lakefront property on beautiful Lake Austin).

From everyone at Portalarium, they wish us and our families a Happy Easter!

SotA_Happy_Easter

 

(If you haven’t already reserved (or gifted) your Easter Bunny and Replenishing Confetti Egg Basket, they are available in the Add-On Store through April 30th at 33% off!)


Only 6 Days Until Release 5!

The dev team is burning the midnight oil getting Release 5 ready for launch in just 6 short days! Next Wednesday you’ll receive the full Release 5 Instructions, but here’s a sneak peak at some of the new things you’ll get to experience:

  • Combat Skills using early version of card dealing
  • New player town forest maps without fences and new for sale sign
  • New Dungeon: Sewers with water level changing puzzles and damaging sewer water
  • New Creatures: Chest Mimic
  • New Lighting Model
  • Compass
  • Overland Map improvements: zoom, pan, party members, animations, dotted line

Please join us in playing Shroud of the Avatar Release 5 in just 6 short days! If you have not backed the game yet, you will need to register and login at www.shroudoftheavatar.com, select the “Pledge or Send Gift!” button in the right side-bar, and purchase a pledge at the $45 Adventurer level or above. For a limited time, you can get the Adventurer pledge for only $25 with the Alienware Pledge Upgrade Coupon (see details below).


Richard Garriott’s D&D #1 Contest

 D&D1 Graphics

Predicted simulated original output style

In 1977, Richard’s father, Owen Garriott (former astronaut), told Richard that if he could create a whole working role playing game program, that he would split the cost of an Apple ][ computer with him. The result was D&D #1!

D&D #1 was created on a teletype at Clear Creek High School in Houston Texas, connected via an acoustic modem to a PDP 11 type mini-computer. Richard typed the game on a separate terminal onto paper tape spools, then read the tape strips into the terminal connected to the offsite computer, and ran the resulting program. The resulting program would play a simple Dungeons and Dragons like role-playing game. The player had a character that would explore a dungeon in search of treasure while fighting monsters along the way.

teletypeNo one has seen this game run since the retirement of the teletype in 1979, which is when Richard made the final printout of the game. Richard has been eager to see this simple BASIC program, resurrected in a modern usable form, but remaining true to the original in as many ways as possible.

To achieve this end, Richard is offering a bounty of Shroud of the Avatar pledge rewards for the best reincarnations of D&D #1! Starting April 15th 2014, just past one year into the development of Shroud of the Avatar, and running for 1 month through May 15th, Richard via Portalarium will be accepting submissions of D&D1 Resurrections in each of two versions. Submissions may be a Unity Version, and or a no-plug-in Browser Version. Winners will be announced shortly after the submission deadline.

Best Unity Version & Best no-plug in Browser Versions will receive a Citizen Level Pledge worth approximately $550. Two runners up in both categories will receive $165 Collector level pledge each.

[Click here for more details about the D&D #1 Contest]


Shroud of the Avatar Limited Edition Art Print?

As I have mentioned in a past Ultima Codex post, Portalarium received specific requests for Shroud of the Avatar limited edition art print and they are interested in what the community as a whole thinks of the idea! Since SotA is a community driven project and we all have a voice. Please visit: https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/sota-limited-edition-art-print.9413/ and VOTE for your favorite image today! Voting ends April 30th, 2014.

They are considering; a limited run of a single SotA image printed on archival paper, (will last for generations) numbered, (a limit to the number of prints created from the image increasing their value, 500?) and signed by the artist and or the team if you request it. The actual price is yet to be determined but are estimating $50.00 to $80.00 plus shipping.

SotA_Art_Prints_Poll2


College of Arms & In-Game Custom Crests Pledge Reward

[A forum post by Starr Long]

SotA_OracleHead_Statue_thumb

Greetings Avatars:

Founders receive the following pledge reward at the Virtual Collector Tier:

  • Custom Crest In Game: Get your own Family Crest for display on your shield, tabard and house flag, made from a customized image uploaded by YOU! (Submitted Art subject to Developer Approval).

We are very excited to announce that we have a great tool in development from the College of Arms for all of you to create your Crest. As some of you are aware Lord British recently awarded the College of Arms a Royal Warrant and therefore they are our chosen curator of crests. Please treat them with the respect due their office.

Using this tool is an extremely positive way for us to accomplish this goal. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Performance: Adding 4,000+ more textures to the game would exacerbate our texture memory size issues because we’re already fighting memory overheads. Those of you playing on 32-bit systems have already experienced memory issues. With the College of Arms solution, we can composite the image on the fly from a single image, no matter how many variations there are.
  • Support: As you all know we are trying to keep our budget focused on game content development so we are keeping cost like marketing and support very tight right now. If we were to support a completely open image submission process, we would have to hire staff to review each and every image to make sure it is appropriate.
  • Thematic & Cohesive: The College of Arms generator is loosely based on historically accurate models of heraldry and, in the end, we feel will create a much more cohesive world than if we left this completely open. From a fiction/lore standpoint the Avatars are from a different world, but in-universe these arms are being built for those outsiders by people who are native to New Britannia, meaning that a ‘New Britannian style’ will be common to them, again resulting in a cohesive look.
  • Community: As with other examples like the Bards of Poet’s Circle, doing works like this with the community makes the work we are creating a work created by all of us, not just the professional developers. In the end we feel this makes a better product.

Please note that the tool is still very much in development but as soon as it is ready for official crest creation we will let you know. In the meantime, the members of the College of Arms will be happy to answer any questions you may have and can assist you with creating your arms here on the College of Arms sub forum. Please also note we will not accept any submissions that potentially infringe on copyrighted material.

-Darkstarr

Also, Feel free to check out my earlier Ultima Codex Post on this as well for more information….


Founder Lord of the Manor Crown

Included in the Founder rewards of the Lord of the Manor pledge tier is this august crown, uniquely identifying you as a Founder Lord of the Manor:

SotA_Founder_LotM_Crown


Mortar & Pestle of Prosperity

SotA_Mortar_Pestle_Prosperity

This unique, indestructible, mortar & pestle increases the ability to make higher quality alchemical creations (potions, poisons, etc.). While mortars & pestles with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this particular mortar & pestle never needs repair.

For a limited time it is 33% off! Reserve yours now (or send as a gift) at the Add-On Store!


The Enhanced Town Stone Arena Basement

After introducing the Town Arena basement in Update #64, the dev team decided it needed an upgrade. They added a lower floor that contains the actual fighting arena, which can be observed from the upper floor.

The Town Stone Arena Basement is available at an introductory 25% off in the Add-On Store!

(NOTE: You will need a Town Level Property to place the Town Stone Arena Basement in-game)

SotA_Town_Stone_Arena_Basement_exterior1

 

SotA_Town_Stone_Arena_Basement_exterior2

 

SotA_Town_Stone_Arena_Basement_interior1a

 

SotA_Town_Stone_Arena_Basement_interior2a

 

SotA_Town_Stone_Arena_Basement_interior3a

 


Rustic 2-Story with Loft Town Home

Continuing the line of rustic homes is this picturesque, 2-story, 3-room, 1-closet, village home, now available in the Add-On Store (you may have seen this house in Braemar):

SotA_Rustic_2Story_Loft_Town_home

 

SotA_Rustic_2Story_Loft_Town_home_3row

 

SotA_Rustic_2Story_Loft_Town_home_interior1

 

SotA_Rustic_2Story_Loft_Town_home_interior2

 

SotA_Rustic_2Story_Loft_Town_home_interior3

 

Get Your Rustic 2-Story with Loft Town Home Now for 50% off!

For a limited time it is 50% off this home!  Reserve yours (or send as a gift) at the Add-On Store!


Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Balcony Town Home

Next up in the line of Wood & Plaster homes is this 2-story, 4-room town home, with a second-story front-facing deck, now available in the Add-On Store. The first floor is comprised of a single great room, subdivided into 3 areas:

SotA_WoodPlaster_2Story_Balcony_Town_home

 

SotA_WoodPlaster_2Story_Balcony_Town_home_3row

 

SotA_WoodPlaster_2Story_Balcony_Town_home_interior1

 

SotA_WoodPlaster_2Story_Balcony_Town_home_interior2

 

SotA_WoodPlaster_2Story_Balcony_Town_home_interior3

 

Get Your Wood & Plaster 2-Story with Balcony Town Home Now for 50% off!

For a limited time it is also 50% off this home!  Reserve yours (or send as a gift) at the Add-On Store!


Blade of the Avatar Novel

BotA_smallThe latest installment of the serialized SotA novel, Blade of the Avatar (BotA), written by Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott, is now available for download! If you are a Founder, or you purchased BotA in the Add-On Store, then you will find a download link for the current installment of the novel on your personal SotA account page (log into SotA website and click on “Account” in the top-right corner).  If you are a Kickstarter backer you’ll need to have your Kickstarter account linked to the SotA website (click here for instructions to link your Kickstarter account).

Here is a brief excerpt of the latest installment (illustration by Denis Loubet):


Chapter 18: The Walls

The dawn rose blood red in the east. The high clouds were bathed in the crimson light, coloring the world below. Beneath it, the Westreach Army of the Obsidian Empire marched with purpose in a wide line of advance across the expansive prairie toward the walls of Opalis.

Aren watched their approach from atop the Longwall near the Storm Gate tower. He stood next to Commander Trevan as they watched the approaching army from behind the defensive crenellations. All along the top of the Longwall stood ranks of the city’s longbow archers. Their quivers were situated upright at their feet, filled with arrows, but their enemy was still miles away. There was nothing for them to do but watch their approach with the silent apprehension of the dawn.

“Those look like pikemen in the front center of the line,” Trevan observed.

“They think you have knights or possibly some sort of mounted cavalry,” Aren nodded. “There will be ranks of foot soldiers behind them with archers arrayed behind them.”

Trevan glanced over at the captain. “Anything else you care to tell me?”

“They will have disbursed their special units in block formations down the line separately from the human warriors,” Aren said as he turned his back on the horizon and leaned against the upright stones of the crenellation. The towers of the Citadel rose before him, shining like frozen flames in the morning light. “A third of their mounted knights will be positioned at the flanks with the remainder positioned behind the line. Any heavy siege units they might have will be further back still. They will sweep around the defensive walls of the city – most likely burning the outlying buildings to the ground – and then settle in for the siege.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Trevan asked.

Download your copy of the latest installment of BotA to read the rest of this exciting chapter!


Map Reveal

For your map puzzle collection:

SotA_Map_Puzzle_Story26


alienwareHeader

Alienware Sponsors $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon

Alienware’s powerful gaming rigs are a perfect match for Shroud of the Avatar! To show their support, Alienware is sponsoring $20 SotA Pledge Upgrade Coupons to members of their Alienware Arena community!

These coupons can be used to start a SotA pledge account (for new backers), or to add $20 to an existing pledge account. If, for example, you have a $90 Royal Artisan Pledge, you can use the Alienware coupon to bump you up to a $110 Virtual Collector Pledge.

Pretty sweet deal, right? So, hurry over to the Alienware Arena website and get your $20 Pledge Upgrade Coupon now!

[NOTE: Only one Alienware Pledge Upgrade Coupon can be used per account. Coupon does not apply to Add-On Store items]


Upcoming Events

2014.04.18 – Duke & Lord of the Manor VIP Design Roundtable with Lord British and Portalarium Tour
2014.04.24 – Release 5 Access
2014.05.22 – Release 6 Access
2014.06.26 – Release 7 Access
2014.08.09 – SotA at synDCon
2014.08.29 – SotA at Dragoncon

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The Ultima Games (Among Other EA Titles) Are On Sale at GOG This Weekend http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/the-ultima-games-among-other-ea-titles-are-on-sale-at-gog-this-weekend/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/the-ultima-games-among-other-ea-titles-are-on-sale-at-gog-this-weekend/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:21:57 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14729 gog_logo

GOG have put a number of EA classics on sale for the Easter weekend, including the Ultima series. 60% off is pretty decent; if you haven’t yet added the games to your catalogue, this might be a good time to do so!

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Ultima Online Is On Steam Greenlight (And So Is DAoC) http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/ultima-online-is-on-steam-greenlight-and-so-is-daoc/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/ultima-online-is-on-steam-greenlight-and-so-is-daoc/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:22:55 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14726 Broadsword

A short news update on the Ultima Online website announces that the game has been added to Steam Greenlight; you can go and vote whether the game should be made available in the Steam catalogue.

(The other game that transferred from Mythic to Broadsword Online Games, Dark Age of Camelot, is also on Greenlight.)

I think it’s time to haul out the Veggies again:

veggie-tales-what-does-it-mean

It’s not entirely clear what Broadsword’s angle is here…is this just an attempt to expand the audience of both games? Does a move toward Steam signal a break from EA’s Origin storefront? Will the games — or time codes and assorted bits of content for them, at least — be available via both storefronts? Will one or both games be moving to a free-to-play model?

And what about UO’s dual-client support? One can’t see Steam allowing Broadsword to get away with offering two separate UO game clients for download; are the days of the Classic Client numbered?

Steam does offer a few advantages: a cheaper maintenance and update pipeline, anti-cheating technology, and a lot of visibility. Coupled with an artwork update (which has been planned for a while now) and an overhauled UI, it could be something…and would furnish Broadsword with an additional revenue stream.

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Shroud of the Avatar Challenge: Port Richard Garriott’s First Game to Unity (or Web) http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-challenge-port-richard-garriotts-first-game-to-unity-or-web/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-challenge-port-richard-garriotts-first-game-to-unity-or-web/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:33:45 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14720 DD1-sourceCode

I saw this story first on Polygon yesterday morning, but it has subsequently been given a page on the Shroud of the Avatar website as well.

Most of you are probably aware that Akalabeth, Garriott’s first released game, was actually the 28th dungeon-crawling game he had written, and in fact was an Apple ][-based re-working of the actual 28th game. Until now, the first 27 games have largely been a thing of mystery...but as of yesterday, we have a little more information about the first game he ever wrote. It looked like this:

DD1-Graphics

The game was inspired by a bet between Richard and his father Owen.

Richard had already written many smaller programs and simple games on the teletype he had access to since 1974. His early programs included calculating radio wave propagation in the ionosphere. Variations of this early “ray tracing” code he wrote won him numerous science fair competitions up through international competition. Still games were his obvious early passion.

Richard’s father told Richard, that if he could create a whole working role playing game, that he would split the cost of an Apple ][ computer with him. The result was D&D #1!

D&D #1 was created on a teletype at Clear Creek High School in Houston Texas, connected via an acoustic modem to a PDP 11 type mini-computer. Richard typed the game on a separate terminal onto paper tape spools, then read the tape strips into the terminal connected to the offsite computer, and ran the resulting program. The resulting program would play a simple Dungeons and Dragons like role-playing game. The player had a character that would explore a dungeon in search of treasure while fighting monsters along the way.

So that’s the history of the game. Here’s the challenge Richard Garriott has posed to the Shroud of the Avatar fandom:

D&D #1 represents one of the earliest known computer role playing games. Originally created and refined between the years 1975 – 1977, this game is one of the few true founding efforts of the entire computer gaming genre. Interestingly the ascii based “tile graphics” are a clear forerunner of what followed in Ultima and many other computer role playing games, and thus remains relevant to the genre’s history.

Richard has been eager to see this simple BASIC program, resurrected in a modern usable form, but remaining true to the original in as many ways as possible.

To achieve this end, Richard is offering a bounty of Shroud of the Avatar pledge rewards for the best reincarnations of D&D #1!

Starting April 15th 2014, just past one year into the development of Shroud of the Avatar, and running for 1 month through May 15th, Richard via Portalarium will be accepting submissions of D&D1 Resurrections in each of two versions. Submissions may be a Unity Version, and or a no-plug-in Browser Version. Winners will be announced shortly after the submission deadline. All submissions become property of Richard Garriott.

Best Unity Version & Best no-plug in Browser Versions will receive a Citizen Level Pledge Reward worth approximately $550.

2 runners up in both categories will receive $165 Collector level pledge each.

Additional eligibility requirements can be found on the Shroud of the Avatar website. The deadline for submissions is May 15th, and a scanned print-out of the source code is available, in PDF format, via the link above. Have at, Dragons and Dragonettes!

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Shroud of the Avatar – The College of Arms & Family Crests http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-the-college-of-arms-family-crests/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/shroud-of-the-avatar-the-college-of-arms-family-crests/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:47:41 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14711 Good Morning Friends and Avatars!  A blessed cool weather day here in the Midwest, which is awesome at the moment.  I hope you all checked out the blood red moon last night as well.

200px-College_of_ArmsToday, I am pleased to bring to a post I have been waiting for, for a while now.  As a heraldric artist in the SotA College of Arms, a good post by one of the devs was something I was looking forward to.  Just like in my feelings with the Overland Map, communication between the dev team and the community is important.  In this case, we are now getting more details from the dev team as to why and how they are implementing the family crest system that was a backer reward at the Virtual Collector level on up.

Starr Long writes:

Greetings Avatars:

Founders receive the following pledge reward at the Virtual Collector Tier:

Custom Crest In Game: Get your own Family Crest for display on your shield, tabard and house flag, made from a customized image uploaded by YOU! (Submitted Art subject to Developer Approval).

We are very excited to announce that we have a great tool in development from the College of Arms for all of you to create your Crest. As some of you are aware Lord British recently awarded the College of Arms a Royal Warrant and therefore they are our chosen curator of crests. Therefore we expect them to be treated with the respect due their office.

Using this tool is an extremely positive way for us to accomplish this goal. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Performance: Adding 4,000+ more textures to the game would exacerbate our texture memory size issues because we’re already fighting memory overheads. Those of you playing on 32-bit systems have already experienced memory issues. With the College of Arms solution, we can composite the image on the fly from a single image, no matter how many variations there are.
  • Support: As you all know we are trying to keep our budget focused on game content development so we are keeping cost like marketing and support very tight right now. If we were to support a completely open image submission process, we would have to hire staff to review each and every image to make sure it is appropriate.
  • Thematic & Cohesive: The College of Arms generator is loosely based on historically accurate models of heraldry and, in the end, we feel will create a much more cohesive world than if we left this completely open. From a fiction/lore standpoint the Avatars are from a different world, but in-universe these arms are being built for those outsiders by people who are native to New Britannia, meaning that a ‘New Britannian style’ will be common to them, again resulting in a cohesive look.
  • Community: As with other examples like the Bards of Poet’s Circle, doing works like this with the community makes the work we are creating a work created by all of us, not just the professional developers. In the end we feel this makes a better product.

Please note that the tool is still very much in development but as soon as it is ready for official crest creation we will let you know. In the meantime, the members of the College of Arms will be happy to answer any questions you may have and can assist you with creating your arms here on the College of Arms sub forum. Please also note we will not accept any submissions that potentially infringe on copyrighted material.

-Darkstarr

There has been some questioning of why the process of using the College of Arms as the “go to organization” for community members to design their coat of arms.  Optimization is really the major focus and I think by outsourcing and encouraging community engagement on this front is a brilliant way to do this.

Also, heraldry has always served as a means of identification, especially on the battlefield. In fact, we can date many heraldry back to as early as the 8th century. An artistic style that was always important was the ability for the design to be clear and easily seen both up close and far away on the battlefield. It is a great thing to include in a game, in which the setting would fit the use of such a device in it.  In fact, allowing us the community to have our own, allows just another way to help make New Britannia our own.

For an example of just some of the unique ways coats of arms were made in the past, here is a great chart by Balec Fares de Cani that was posted by the always awesome Sir Frank of both the SotA Forums and the College of Arms.

HeraldicCheatSheetv3

If you are at the Virtual Collector level pledge or higher, please create a thread on the SotA CoA sub forum with what your goals and thoughts are. One of our heralds will work with you to design your coat of arms.

I am also pleased to share that there will be a generator that will be on the CoA website, to help you make your coat of arms yourself  so then you can just submit it directly in a thread on the forum for acceptance.  This will be great because it will help you, the community, get to be even more hands on as you design your coat of arms.  Currently, it has limited charges in it.  Members of the college of the college are continuing to add more charges that can be added into this generator for the community to use. I think when the community sees all the possible charges and variations that will exist, they will be excited for this unique tool.

Personally I would like to thank the CoA Sovereigns, the artists in the CoA, and especially Coren, Grant, and Ronan for their hard work in working towards this great goal of a blazonry generator.  If not for the hard work before I asked to join and help, this would have never gotten as far as it has.  I am just grateful I get to jump in and help take some of the load off of some of these hard working men and women.

As a historian and an artist, it has been a joy to get to know the College of Arms members and I hope to continue to work with them as my busy schedule allows. As a historian, I get to put my study of history to help educate as well as provide guidance to create an awesome identifier in this new world we get to explore together.  As an artist, I get to help create unique charges that will actually be in a published video game that is being developed by an amazing team at Portalarium.  It is a true blessing to be able to use my gifts in the areas of art and history to help the college and the community make some amazing coats of arms.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask here and on the SotA CoA sub forum.

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Why Are There So Few Fan-Made Ultima Music Videos? http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/why-are-there-so-few-fan-made-ultima-music-videos/ http://ultimacodex.com/2014/04/why-are-there-so-few-fan-made-ultima-music-videos/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:04:16 +0000 http://ultimacodex.com/?p=14709 stones

Kevin Fishburne, it would seem, has charitably forgiven my tardiness in reporting on Sanctimonia…or, at least, I infer as much from this comment he left on the recent article about it. Of course, in that same comment, he deflects matters onto what I agree is a far more dire and concerning oversight:

What’s truly embarrassing and unacceptable is that so few have made Ultima Music Videos. AMV is a term unto itself, but UMV? The Space Bards video is the gold standard from what I’ve seen so far, but we need more. Here’s mine, though without original music so it’s more like a traditional AMV but with Ultima:

I challenge all Ultima fans who are able to mix videos of Ultima and music and produce more UMV’s. Let Gundam fans quake at the prospect of their videos being overrun by Ultima!

For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym, “AMV” stands for “Anime Music Videos“, which are — as you can well imagine — fan-made videos that splice together various clips from anime movies and television shows to serve as a music video for a chosen song.

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