Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 14 – New Project Britannia
by WtF Dragon · Published · Updated
Tagged: Apple, Linux, Microsoft, Morrowind, Neverwinter Nights 2, Oblivion, OS X, Portalarium, Project Britannia, Return to the Serpent Isle, Richard Garriott, shroud of the avatar, The Elder Scrolls, Ultima, Ultima 5, Ultima 6, Ultima 6 Project, Ultima Return, Ultima V: Lazarus, Unity, Windows
July 23, 2015 at 7:44 am #36878
July 23, 2015 at 9:37 am #36883
T. J. Brumfield
The nice thing about Unity is that it isn’t a static platform the way Dungeon Siege was, or even NWN2.
Unity grows and evolves. Unity 5 is already working on DirectX 12 and Vulkan support.
I’ve never tried world building, terrain editing, etc. I’m not a visual artist. My primary skillset would be writing and I’m assuming this project is meant to be more of a blank slate than a specific narrative. I don’t know if you intend to include in game books, NPC dialogue or the like.
If you need writers, I’d contribute. If not, then I just wish you great luck.
July 23, 2015 at 9:43 am #36884
If you need writers, I’d contribute. If not, then I just wish you great luck.
It’s something we can keep in mind, certainly. If projects start to emerge, writers will be needed.
But from an asset-development standpoint, a writer could be of use as well. No doubt people would enjoy having a ready-to-go set of books and scrolls that could be dropped into their project. If we can find someone to supply the in-game assets (the actual objects AND the UI), could you provide the text for a whole series of lore-appropriate written works?
July 23, 2015 at 10:58 am #36890
Oooh, now that’s something I’d get in on, too. I’d love to get in on an Ultima-related fan project at some point (I have Ideas!), but I’m in much the same boat – words I can handle (there’s a reason my Dragon name is what it is), coding not so much, and forget anything visual. Lorebooks have been a staple of the series since U6, and those’d be good assets to have down the line.
It strikes me that a few musical assets would be useful too, whether they’re remixes of Ultima tunes or Ultima-esque new compositions.
July 23, 2015 at 11:01 am #36891
I, for one, think this is an excellent idea. if i may make a proposal:
work should be done, first and foremost, on implementing the engine coding necessary to add the traditional ultima features: Day/night, NPC conversation, NPC inventories, containers, NPC schedules, AI behaviors for good, evil and animal characters, weather, item interactivity, item volume and weight. The two reasons are:
-lack of these features are what impedes a lot of modders in other engines
-modders might have a very wide ranging opinion of what quality level and style are appropriate for an Ultima remake. Example: I think the SotA art assets are amateur, and I don’t like a lot of the map design decisions from the Dungeon Siege based Ultimas.
To help overcome B, I recommend selecting, early on, viable existing free content packs as initial place holders.
These are just some thoughts.
July 23, 2015 at 11:04 am #36892
Good ideas all. I’m in the middle of readying some documents that Browncoat Jayson put together for publication on the NPB site, which include lists of needful things and design goals/milestones we want to target.
I’ll be sure to add in what you list, above, if it isn’t already in the material I have on hand.
July 23, 2015 at 11:07 am #36894
WtF, that shoutout/introduction is making me blush :).
I greatly appreciate that you’ve taken my suggestion so seriously, and I eagerly anticipate seeing how you address the topic in a future podcast.
I will also say that it’s Linguistic’s fault that I started playing Ultima at all, and I don’t regret it. He even persuaded me to do vocals for his piano version of “Stones”, which was really my introduction to the games (but that’s another story).
Keep up the great work on the podcast; I truly enjoy listening.
July 23, 2015 at 11:47 am #36897
It was a good suggestion…we’ll be glad to explore it. It’ll be a few episodes still; I’m not sure what next week’s will be (I’m away all weekend, so whatever topic it is, it’ll be something off-the-cuff), and we’ve got an episode on combat in RPGs and whether it is necessary slated for Episode 16.
But I’m going to create a template document in Quip for the team to review and add to, and when we’ve collected enough thoughts therein, we’ll record an episode. I’m going to aim for Episode 17, but it’ll depend on the amount of research we end up pulling in.
I will also say that it’s Linguistic’s fault that I started playing Ultima at all, and I don’t regret it.
What would there be to regret, anyway? (I mean, apart from the fact that the series has come to a halt.)
He even persuaded me to do vocals for his piano version of “Stones”, which was really my introduction to the games (but that’s another story).
Ah, so this was you!
July 26, 2015 at 4:51 am #37050
This is very exciting! I would love to contribute anything I can, the issue is I’m not really a designer or coder. Perhaps I could go out and learn some knowledge in areas of weaknesses or grunt work or something. The jist is that I would be thrilled to be part of this in any way.
I will try to follow along!
July 26, 2015 at 9:10 am #37060
We could definitely use a few UnityScript coders (essentially it’s Java) to handle the grunt work of coding the large numbers of object “usecode” and simple triggers.
July 26, 2015 at 5:34 pm #37091
AvatarAcid, do you still have the raw heightmap file that you used to generate the Pagan Minecraft map? That would be something that could be included in this community asset project.
Terrains in Unity are fairly easy to setup. You can import the raw grayscale heightmap, setup some texture layers (grass, dirt, rocks…) and start painting. Unity Terrain Settings
I’m interested in helping out with this Project Britannia community effort. I have done some work with Unity before and have been learning Unreal Engine for another side project. They are both nice engines, and can build cross platform games for playing. I started looking into Unreal because its editor runs native on Linux, but Unity is planning to bring their editor to Linux sometime in the future also. I’m a coder for my day job and enjoy doing world building, hence Pagan in Minecraft. I’m not good at art though. I can model simple things in Blender and texture them, but they would only be placeholder quality.
Pagan is not exactly on Britannia but it could kind of be one of the Islands and could use many of the same Ultima style assets and scripts. Eg. The Virtues could possibly be added to Pagan. If i switch the Pagan remake from Minecraft to Unity i would be creating scripts and assets which could be useful for Britannia projects. I do not have time to work on two remakes though and would like to get the Minecraft remake to at least Milestone 2 and release that so all that time was not lost.
July 26, 2015 at 6:44 pm #37095
Ken has the U8 heightmap, so no worries, it hasn’t become lost to the web. It’s cool that you want to create an U8 remake within Unity. Actually, I’ve been designing (just some preliminary notes on code structure) the magic system to allow for a broader variety of magic setups without a significant amount of additional work.
What sort of coding experience/knowledge do you have?
– Unofficial NPB Co-producer
July 26, 2015 at 7:31 pm #37099
I’ve written small apps and games in many languages. My current day job is PHP, but I used to do all my game dev in C/C++ and later C#. My Unity mobile game scripting was done in C#, but i’m happy to use UnityScript if that is preferred.
July 26, 2015 at 8:20 pm #37102
Yes, I’ve sent him over the one I used and a slightly older one I did for the Ultima VI Gargoyle Realm.
Pagan is generally accepted as one of the four continents of Sosaria correct? It should be a destination, I always enjoyed Ultima VIII quite a bit.
July 27, 2015 at 9:58 am #37137
July 28, 2015 at 12:00 am #37173
I had a look and I couldn’t find anything actually, I think I greatly overstated the word “accepted” there. I just always thought it(Lands of the Dark Unknown) looked a bit like Pagan from the old map. Also, one could speculate that “dark” could be related to Pagan’s eternal twilight issue after the Titans?
July 26, 2015 at 8:42 pm #37103
From the Forgotten World code design-side, we’ll probably use a mixture of C# and UnityScript. C# for the more traditionally hardcoded elements – underlying systems for handling conversations and npcs and other elements like weather and day/night. Unityscript would mainly be used for the more surface, worldbuilder/designer level work – object usecode, spell effects, npc schedules, conversation scripts, etc.
Just to clarify, while I imagine this is will be the general rule of thumb applied for the rest of NPB, we haven’t gotten to discussing it much yet – let alone making final decisions.
July 27, 2015 at 11:54 pm #37171
July 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm #37085
Great news 🙂 Good luck to you guys!
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