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Join the original creators of Ultima Underworld on a 
quest to rekindle this legendary fantasy RPG series.
Join the original creators of Ultima Underworld on a 
quest to rekindle this legendary fantasy RPG series.
Join the original creators of Ultima Underworld on a quest to rekindle this legendary fantasy RPG series.
13,987 backers pledged $860,356 to help bring this project to life.

Those other games are green with envy

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As some of you already know, Underworld Ascendant has been Greenlit on Steam! Only took a week. Not sure if that’s a record, but mighty fast. Huge thanks to all the fans who gave the game a big YES and helped bring us to the attention of the tens of millions of players on Steam. We are still in early prototype development, so many months to go before we’d have a build for Steam. But sweet that we’ve got a slot warmed up and waiting, for when we do.

Wanted to introduce you two more on the OtherSide team. Chris Siegel is the Senior Producer on the project. His job is to keep the rest of us in line, and wrestle any stray raccoons that wander in from the street. Chris worked with me at LookingGlass on Thief and several other projects, and then did an extended stay at Turbine working as producer on several of their leading MMOs. Steve Pearsall is our jack-of-all-trades, wearing a half-dozen hats at any time. Steve also worked with me at LookingGlass, including as Producer on Thief Gold. Between these two they have shipped over a dozen award-winning games, so they know how to deliver.

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 Also wanted to share what we’ve learned so far from the forum polls:

  • 74% have played the Underworlds before - glad so many enjoyed the originals!
  • 28% have some or a lot of interest in VR - lower than we anticipated
  • 8% play their games on Mac or Linux - actually more than we anticipated  
  • 42% have some or a lot of interest in Co-Op - about what we anticipated
  • 97% have been playing PC games for a decade or longer - where are the young’uns?

I suspect that the lack of VR interest is partially reflective of VR not yet being a mature technology. Sooner or later there is going to be a killer VR game, and then interest will grow. Clearly we need to find way to reach some of the younger gamers, who otherwise are missing out on a wonderful game.

We reached 9,000 Backers this morning!!! Welcome all the new fans to the wonderful ride we’re on to rekindle the Underworld franchise! Now let’s see if we can get over 9,100 Backers by this Sunday noon, so that the Dark Elf Sling will come with bonus purple Splatter Seeds…

Sharing this fan submission from Sark, where he becomes caretaker of his very own faction, when he was a kid no less: “In the first levels of the Stygian Abyss there was a faction of green goblins living inside a big hall that was locked by an iron gate. I loved to charm them, fill the room up with summoned Creatures, bring my treasures there, and lock them in by lock picking the iron gate. I called it my Stronghold and thought I was their King.

Finally, the team is going to catch their breath this weekend. The campaign has been 7 long days a week so far. We need a day over the weekend to recharge our batteries for the final week-and-a-half push. As such, no Update this weekend. We will have an extra big Update first thing Monday morning.

Paul Neurath

Mhoo, Chad Woyewodzic, and 42 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Jake Almond on February 22, 2015

      This is amazing! Can't wait! Super! Awesome! Brilliant! (+A Million Other Positive Adjectives!)

    2. Missing avatar

      Duncan Bond on February 20, 2015

      I hope you have already added into Chris Siegel's job description "The need to wrestle any stray raccoons that wander in from the street in a cost effective and safety oriented way". :)

    3. Kal Kynrir on February 20, 2015

      Week or depends what you mean by young, I'm 20 years old but I've been playing video games since I was six, diablo 1 but it had already been out for a few years. Any way just because we've been playing games for over a decade doesn't mean we're not young.

    4. Missing avatar

      coder1000 on February 20, 2015

      ...and those kids playing Minecraft might just as well be playing Underworld with a level editor, really that seems like the history if you consider what titles like Doom and related did in the 90s and 00s...

    5. Missing avatar

      coder1000 on February 20, 2015

      Why less VR interest: My opinion (not that you asked for it!): if you went back in time to before Ultima Underworld 1 came out, and asked people if they were interested in a 1st person immersive environment, they'd reply with something like, "Oh, you mean, like what? Wizardry? Wizard and the Princess? Something like that? Yeah ok I guess but it's kind of been done..." Looking Glass it seems to me was about helping to break the idea of what we thought a video game could be, reaching into new experiences, making them happen, not waiting for them to happen.

      Also, not that I own a console system, but why close that door forever? Isn't there some new Windows to Xbox development stuff going on to make such ports realistic? I mean, if you're already doing Windows, why not consider, at least for later on?

    6. Leewelo Lorekeeper
      Superbacker
      on February 20, 2015

      I'm not interested in VR because I'm not willing to pay the current price required to enjoy it.
      I'm still a fan of engagin my own imagination when playing. I feel VR would get in the way.
      Although a game like UA would be on the top of my list to try it.

      Any Karma in UA? Mistreating goblins like that should come back to bit you!

    7. T.J. Brumfield on February 20, 2015

      PC gamers don't spend money?

      PC game revenue surpasses console game revenue.

      PC game hardware is more expensive. And then there are projects like Star Citizen where the average backer has spent $100 on the game, and it hasn't even released yet.

    8. Missing avatar

      Sean Corrigan on February 20, 2015

      Leaving a bunch of enthralled goblins locked in a room with no way to feed themselves? IS THAT VIRTUOUS, AVATAR?

      Also, VR headsets are too spendy for the PC crowd, which hates spending money on things aside from their yearly graphics card and only buys things when the Steam sale hits five bucks.

      I play games on my Mac when I absolutely can't find them on Xbox. Frankenputers and Steamboxes... just aren't the same, guys.

      And the kids aren't on Kickstarter funding stuff, obviously. Crowd funding is for the olds.

    9. Codernova | AoUA on February 20, 2015

      I'd have voted for VR if I'd know about the poll (just discovered this kickstarter yesterday and backed it). Underworld Ascendant COULD be that killer game for VR if they took it that direction.

      With the freedom to solve obstacles creatively in the game combined with the freedom to experience the world first hand through VR this could be quite the unique experience. Another aspect that VR could help bring out is that of the atmosphere. Imagine looking around in wonder at the grandeur of a large mushroom cave or dwarven hall, or perhaps the claustrophobia of working your way through a maze of tight tunnels...

    10. Missing avatar

      FreeJon
      Superbacker
      on February 20, 2015

      The answer to "where are the young’uns?" is - playing minecraft. ;)

    11. Rondar | AoUA on February 20, 2015

      As far as the games demographic goes, I expect that to get quite a bit younger when we get on Steam.

    12. Rondar | AoUA on February 20, 2015

      The problem with VR other than cost which is not trivial, is the UI. How do we control our environment if we can't see out keyboard or other gaming devices? I suppose we can devise custom control interface devices, but then we have even more added costs.

    13. Phreeze on February 20, 2015

      Younger people care less about forums etc, and even more less about kickstarting. They look more at a finished product later on ;)

    14. Peter Ostrowski on February 20, 2015

      There is definitely demand for VR games The FPS Strafe is VR only and just got fully funded https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/strafegame/strafe

    15. Trent DeRoc on February 20, 2015

      I'm really interested in the prospect for Co-op, and I know that with Co-op as a feature it will be much easier to get more of my friends interested and backing the game too. Hopefully it is fated for inclusion, because for me adding co-op to RPGs like the Ultima series means a huge increase to replayability.

    16. T.J. Brumfield on February 20, 2015

      @Peter Ostrowski - I think part of the VR interest being low is that not many people own an OR or have access to one. And those that do have learned quickly that UI in games doesn't translate well. It is a feature that is difficult to pull off and only a very small percentage of players would be able to use.

    17. Peter Ostrowski on February 20, 2015

      I think lack VR requests is that most people with Oculus Rift do not know about the game . You should be posting this on reddit.com/r/oculus/ and forums.oculus.com. Also the only way to can vote it to go to page that requires you to login with out even seeing the page first!

    18. Jason T. Reimche on February 20, 2015

      Maybe the children are actually truly not allowed on the Internet, and/or to participate, or something? That's hardly universal, though. At the fansites I've been a member of since 2001 or sooner, the youngest known members were 13, that I can ever recall.

      Man, this Meet the Team was surprising. For the others, I'd known much of what they said of themselves, but Chris, I had no idea. I mean, I've looked stuff up for compiling Looking Glass/Blue Sky encyclopedic-like stuff, as well as mountains of esoterica, and all I could find back then were the misspellings of Siegel, never knowing what the correct one was, and Thief. And to both of you--nay, all of you former LGS--welcome Home.

      I saw Mike Chrzanowski's pix in the vid. Hope his game development is going okay.

    19. Missing avatar

      Revisor on February 20, 2015

      I think I forgot a couple of games, for example Stalker; nevertheless those games are simply too rare, maybe one every few years...

    20. Missing avatar

      Revisor on February 20, 2015

      Mr. Siegel, Mr. Pearsall, great to have you back!

      I absolutely agree with you, Mr. Siegel, that what you started in Looking Glass is absolutely unfinished business. Unfortunately few developers have picked up and embraced what you started, living, immersive worlds. There was Dark Messiah, Arx Fatalis and Dishonored by Arkane, E.Y.E. by Streum On, the first two Bioshocks, Deus Ex HR... and I think that's pretty much it in the whole genre of (first-person) immersive sims.

      All those past years when crowdfunding was growing, I was eagerly awaiting any sign of you.
      I'm so happy to see you all coming back!

    21. Kyle Schleich
      Superbacker
      on February 20, 2015

      " 97% have been playing PC games for a decade or longer - where are the young’uns?"

      Playing mainstream crappy shovelware games from EA and Activision because they dont know how great gaming was and how far its fallen. =)

    22. Distilled Creations on February 20, 2015

      I suspect that the lower interest than expected in VR might have to do with the current low market penetration of current VR products. Most haven't even tried any of the current generation tech. I've got a Gear VR and I've had the frequent experience of putting it on someone who wasn't really interested in VR becoming suddenly *very* interested. The current generation of VR tech really has to be tried to be believed and provided a serious 'WOW' moment when it's actually experienced.

    23. Missing avatar

      Helge Volkening on February 20, 2015

      Hello there,

      I hope for a 4-person Coop. I meet every month for a day with my "old men Lan Party" and we are 4 men playing. ATM we love playing Dying light with all their fun ideas and quests.

      As I remember Underworld had also some strange and funny quests and to solve this as a 4 men team would be awesome.

      Keep up the good work and Info-Tainment!

    24. Missing avatar

      Kudos on February 20, 2015

      "97% have been playing PC games for a decade or longer - where are the young’uns?"

      I'd be suprised that anyone over 15 that identifies as a gamer hasn't been playing for a decade. Also, I doubt you have many very young people as backers because they don't have the money to gamble.

      I'd expect this project to have an older demographic but I wouldn't panic too much about that stat.