The Ultima Dragons 25th Anniversary Bash
February 25-27, 2017 Disneyland, California, USA
More than just a party, the Ultima Dragons 25th Anniversary Bash is a celebration of an entire online culture. We were one of the first communities to emerge from the early Internet, and our roots go even further back! It is this beginning, as a gaming club of Prodigy, that we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of today. Many factions of Ultima fans formed there in 1992, but only the Ultima Dragons survived.
In 1994, the Ultima Dragons Internet Chapter became global. For the first time in history, people from all over the world could communicate instantaneously and share ideas on a large scale. The Dragons grew in number and diversity, and before long had thousands of members from many countries and backgrounds. Since no one person owned the UDIC, anyone could make up a custom! Much of our lore was inspired by the Ultima games, but almost anything could catch on and become part of our culture. Cinnabons, bows, beards, and pie-throwing remain popular.
We still enjoy talking about the game series that is our namesake. Shamino, Iolo and Dupre are household names. The games have a lot of depth that many are still discovering many years after the release of the final game of the series, Ultima IX, in 1999. But unlike many other groups on the Internet, we're not limited to any one subject. Randomness is our lifeblood. We've formed bonds over discovering other shared interests, too. Many of us have been friends for decades or met and gotten married through the club.
Today we have over 16,000 members all over the world. Our most popular venue is the lively Facebook group, but we also have a G+ group and even a Twitter feed. Our old-school Internet roots survive on the Weyrmount MOO. The old UDIC FAQ gives a great deal more of our story.
Twenty-five years after a 13-year-old boy called Gold Dragon decided to form a club about "Playing Ultima For Fun", we're poised for our biggest celebration yet.
"We're going to Disneyland!" This decision was as random as the UDIC itself. We're bringing together Dragons from all over the world, many of whom are friends but have never met in person before, at the Happiest Place on Earth. The party will be kid-friendly, and all Dragons, their friends and family, and fans of the Ultima Dragons are invited. Those who have made the games we're fans of have also been fans of US for almost as long as we've been around, so we're inviting everyone who worked for Origin Systems or who currently works for Portalarium, the company currently making Shroud of the Avatar, the Ultimas' spiritual successor.
To that end we're renting a "Fellowship Hall" in the Disneyland Hotel for the weekend of February 25th and 26th. You'll get to meet Origin Systems veterans Richard Garriott, Denis Loubet, and Dr. Cat, play games with Dragons and by Dragons, try out various Ultima games, and participate in some Ultima-inspired activities.
- A rare in-person appearance by our elusive founder Gold Dragon, Doug Ricket himself!
- A musical performance by the Dragons' new favorite band, Space Bards aka Recap!
- Ex-Originite panel!
- Learning with Linguistic: Linguistic Dragon teaches Gargish!
- Spun Virtues: Auora, expert yarn crafter, demonstrates her spinning skills, and creates a keepsake for one pledger to take home!
- Guardian Sound-alike Contest: Try your pipes at recreating the Ultima series' baddest villain!
- Dragon-themed crafts for kids!
- A special presentation with Lord British, aka Richard Garriott!
- A live marimba performance by Jarrod Kailef, Guildmaster of the Poets' Circle and Shroud of the Avatar music composer!
- And more!
Additionally, many Dragons will choose to spend much of Sunday in Disneyland itself, and Monday in its sister park, California Adventure. We'll also meet in the Disneyland Hotel picnic area for lunch on Sunday to partake in our traditional repast of Cinnabons (along with some tasty Schlotzsky's sandwiches) as well as a pizza picnic there on Saturday, included for free to all those pledging "Dragon" or above, and now unlocked for "Serpent" level.
Kids 13 and under admitted FREE with paying parent, but please let us know how many children you are bringing.
One adult (14+) ticket to Fellowship Hall included in "Serpent", "Dragon", "Greybeard Dragon", "Whitebeard Dragon", "Greater Dragon", "Dragon Artisan", and "Elder Dragon" levels. Two admissions to the Hall are included in "Double Dragon" and "Royal Dragon" levels. If pledging at a different level and planning on attending, or if you wish to bring more adults in your party, please add $50 for admission for each person 14+ years old.
Even if you can't go, there will be plenty of photos and video, and all media and memories will be shared on a website after the party. We want to tell our story to the world. The Dragons are significant, not just to gaming or Internet history, but to human history, being in the right place at the right time to become the first truly international culture. May the Ultima Dragons live on forever.
Stretch goals we've reached!!
- UNLOCKED 10/17/16! $17,000 - The Avatar himself, JC Shakespeare who played the role of the Avatar in Ultima IX, will be joining us! He will offer free 15-minute "Counseling of the Avatar" sessions as he is a real-life counselor! JC will be at the party!
- UNLOCKED 10/18/16! $18,000 - Free Schlotzsky's/Cinnabon feast on Sunday (served in Disneyland Hotel picnic area) for all ticketholders and their children! If you haven't included an add-on for this already, you don't need to. If you have, thank you! Your add-on helps feed others in attendance.
- UNLOCKED 10/18/16! $18,500 - Pizza picnic on Saturday (served in Disneyland Hotel picnic area) for everyone who attends! All you need is a Fellowship Hall ticket, or be 13 or younger and a child of one who has one, and you will get to partake of pizza.
- UNLOCKED 10/19/16! $20,000 - Goody bags for everyone in attendance, all ticketholders and their children!
- UNLOCKED 10/19/16! 100+ Ankhs claimed - The Ankh normally comes on a black leather cord, but once 100 ankhs are claimed a brown leather option opens up! Choose Black or Brown cord for your necklace!
- UNLOCKED 10/20/16! 150+ Stickers claimed - everyone receiving a UDIC car sticker will get TWO - one in RUNIC!
- UNLOCKED 10/20/16! 200+ backers - We'll throw extra UDIC branded items in the shipments of those who are unable to attend and getting mailed their rewards!
- UNLOCKED 10/20/16! $23,000 - Gourmet buffet dinner (served in Fellowship Hall) on Saturday night for everyone who backed the Kickstarter!
- UNLOCKED 10/21/16! $23,500 - Every kid attending gets "deluxe" activities!
Other stretch goals include:
- (Possibly) more special guests!
- 36+ Kids in attendance - every kid gets a free t-shirt! (Kids must be accompanied by their parent or guardian.)
- $25,500 - We provide breakfast for everyone on Saturday!*
- $27,500 - Everyone attending partakes of all five meals no matter what level they backed at!
- Anything above that - prices of future tickets go down & more loot for everyone!
*Meal location may be in a nearby venue.
Risks and challenges
If the Kickstarter is unsuccessful, some Dragons are still planning to gather at Disney, but could be far more expensive and fewer would be able to attend. We won't have the Fellowship Hall to meet and play games in. Plus we'd have no Lord British presentation, no Origin panel, no goodies, no musical performance, no crafts for the kids, fewer special guests, and no great content to share with everyone who can't go.
I'm also taking on a significant challenge in handmaking one of what is essentially an unlimited item. Every silver ankh necklace will be made by me, and therefore I will have my work cut out for me if I sell hundreds of them. But I want each attendee to have something personal, even if I haven't met you yet, to know how much love went into this party.
I'm confident I can make this event a success. I've held a number of successful Dragon get-togethers in the last year or so, including Seattle Area Dragons Soiree and Convention - SADSAC, Dragons Explore!, Do you want a Date at Avatar's?, Dragons Redux, Disney Sneak Peek, Southern California Ultima Dragons Blather and Gather - SCUDBAG, and Southeast Pennsylvania Ultima Dragons Gathering & Eating Together - SPUDGET! Not to mention my own wedding last year, to my spouse whom I'd met through the Dragons, where I did all the planning and made all the decorations myself. Among our friends and family, sixteen Dragons and four Origin alumni attended!
I joined the Dragons 22 years ago February and they have been part of my life ever since. This is my chance to do something bigger than I have ever done, bigger than has EVER been done in the history of Dragons, and I'm counting on the community to help me do it. We can do this together.
- (30 days)