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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.
13,987 backers pledged $860,356 to help bring this project to life.

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Looking Ahead...

Posted by OtherSide Entertainment (Creator)
41 likes

Well, things have settled down a bit here at OtherSide HQ.  A much needed weekend off for most folks, some time to gather our thoughts and shift out of Kickstarter mode and into development mode.  

Now, as things start to energize again, it's important to start laying out the plans for the future.  As producer of the project, it's part of Chris' job to start molding that future into a workable schedule for the game's development.  Here are some of his thoughts as we look ahead.  

Oh, and he also went to PAX East this weekend instead of relaxing like he was told!

Chris Talks Development Outlook for 2015

We made it! What a strange and wonderful ride the past few months have been. What an amazing community we have. It is so refreshing to see a community full of positive energy and genuine excitement about what we are embarking on over the next couple of years.

As producer guy, I now have to step up to the plate. My job, well my primary job, is to keep the whole thing on track. I know people have already been asking for release dates for the game and alpha builds. There is no set in stone dates yet. Let me explain why.

We will use agile principles for development. Everyone on the team is familiar with them already, so we should be able to jump in pretty quickly. Also with the size of our team we should be able to stay really lean when it comes to some of agile’s busy work…i.e. I’ll be doing the paperwork.

Now according to agile principles, the worst day to make a decision is the first day. Why? Think about it; This is the day we have the least amount of information. We know what the project is, but we don’t know much else. We don’t know peoples workload, we don’t know all the systems we need to build, etc. etc. The more you know, the more concrete a decision you can make.

Makes sense right? That is not to say a line in the sand is a bad idea. Of course it’s not. If you don’t have one you end up in the dreaded endless development cycle. That is no fun for anyone.

So, I’ll put two lines in the sand:

Prototype build sometime during Q4 2015.

Pre-Alpha build sometime during Q1 2016.

Now, I can hear a couple of my developers going ‘pfft, we can be ready before that’ but my job is to plan for every eventuality, including the unexpected and unknown. The prototype is at the end of this year because I want the team to not feel any stress while in pre-production. This is one of the most important phases of development. What are we building? What are we trying to achieve? What is the backstory of our races and how does that effect development? 1000 exciting questions we have to answer in the next few months before we put pixel to program.

And going forward we'll try to keep you in the loop as much as possible about just what those answers are.

Chris Talks PAX East

What a good show. I met a number of backers which was really cool, some which then showed me their projects, some of which are still super top secret. There is this device that….

Anyways, two things stood out at the show:  VR/AR is going to be a game changer, and indies are the future.

This was the first time I’ve been to a game show where the indies had more floor space than the ‘big guys’. Sure EA, WB, and Blizzard were there and the games looked good. But 2/3rds of the show was indies. Platformers, driving games, interesting takes on FPS shooters, point and click. The variety was amazing. 

Also in the indie space- and in their own booth- Oculus Rift was a very noticeable presence. And it works.  Well, it mostly works. There are still some very big questions about control scheme, and being able to play for any length of time without feeling sick. Promising none the less. 

If I am going to call out any single title that looked very cool, I’m going with Gigantic. It’s a 3rd person competitive MP game that oozes personality, great character classes and frankly is really fun to play in Alpha state. That team should be very proud.

'Til next time!

Thanks, Chris.  Now get some rest!

Lizardman Vote!

As part of moving forward with game development, we want to nail down the art direction of the Lizardmen, a new intelligent race added to the game via an unlocked stretch goal.  Just as we did with the Shamblers during the Kickstarter, we'd like YOU to help us decide just how the lizardmen will appear in game!

Above are two different looks for these crafty reptilians.  Which do you prefer?  Head on over to our forums and vote in our online poll for your favorite.  We'll close the voting in a week or so and announce which look has won.  Head on over to the forums and vote now!

Forum T-Shirt Contest Winners

As we announced last week, we are giving away Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter Exclusive T-shirts to 50 random forum members who signed up as of 9am EST yesterday morning (3/10/2015). Well, we've drawn the names from a (virtual) hat and now it's time to announce the winners!

Aragato   AvatarFACE   baltham   BobRudy   crloken   D-Rock   Darish   DMKW   DonnelPerk   enderandrew   ET3D   EvilTwin   Faravid   gjbmb1946   Gooler   hvsa   Jerry Blade   jm11744     JoelF847   Juris Storm   Kainshibo   KernelPanic   Krisko   lifk   markitect   MasterOfVDL     Maximlyalin   MonkeyFinger   Morisey   nakori   Pentreion   pseudodog   Ringtraeger   Ryu T.     Seafort   Skrivener   Skullduggery   Sounge   Specimn   spoken_starfish   swooshxx   tgmiker     theForgotten   Timlorde   Tralen   Tybress   vandermar   Wintermute_of_CoF   Yogi   zod000

Congrats to the soon to be swankily clad! And thanks to ALL our forum members for making our boards a fun place to hang out and discuss our favorite game (and some other stuff too)!

If you haven't signed up to our forums yet, be sure to do so!  Lots of fun stuff going on over there.  And who knows when we might have our next forum contest?

(If your forum name is on this list we will be contacting you soon-ish for your T-shirt size and mailing address.)

Thank You!

Posted by OtherSide Entertainment (Creator)
61 likes

As our Kickstarter campaign comes to an end, we cannot express enough how grateful we are to you, our fans and our community, for having faith in us, backing us, and helping us mold Underworld Ascendant into the game we all want it to be. This experience has been truly amazing for every one of us, something we will never forget!

Now, moving forward, this grand party will head over to our website, where we will continue to keep you updated, continue to have live events, keep the chatter going on our forums, and have new votes for you to share your voice. Together, we will roll forward with the adventure of bringing Underworld Ascendant to life!

We’re also going to continue to crowd-fund the game, so that we can reach at least a few more of the Stretch Goals that are not reached during this Kickstarter. Moving the funding to our website means that we will now begin accepting pledges via PayPal. For those of you who use PayPal and were unable to pledge during the Kickstarter please head over the our online store and join us at last!

Managing Your Pledge and Add-Ons

Over the next month or so, we’ll receive the information from Kickstarter regarding your pledges and this information will become available in our system. We will notify you when this transfer is complete. We expect this process to take several weeks – we appreciate your patience.

Some time after that, you'll be receiving a backerkit survey from us asking you a bunch of questions such as which add-ons you may have selected, get your address information for sending you any physical goods, and many other questions related to your pledge.

While we know many of our existing backers will wish to up their pledges over the coming months, please do not do so until the backerkit survey has gone out. At that time we will have all the information about you in our database that we need for you to begin adjusting your pledge amount.

If you have any questions about this process, please don't hesitate to reach out to us via our website or forums.

What's Next?

After we here at OtherSide take a few brief moments to collect ourselves and perhaps raise a toast in celebration, it will be right back to work with the continued development of Underworld Ascendant.

The first thing we want to do is outline for you, our backers, just what our outlook is for development through the rest of this year. On Monday we will be posting this outline to all members of our forums. We think this will give all our backers the confidence that we mean it when we say we WILL deliver this game in a timely manner, we WON'T get bogged down in feature creep and this WILL be the best CRPG since the first Underworlds.

In addition, sometime in the next week or so, we will be having our first post-Kickstarter community vote. This time we want to lock down the look of the Lizardmen and we know you want to help us. Stay tuned to our website for information on what the looks we are debating are, and how you can help us determine another important design point in the game!

Join Our Forums, Get a Sweet T-Shirt

All the great stuff outlined above is happening on our website and in our forums, and we want you to join us for it all! But, you can't participate if you don't register. And we want to give you that last nudge to do so.  For all who have already registered, or do so by Tuesday 9am ET, March 10th, you’ll be eligible for getting one of 50 Underworld Ascendant t-shirts we’ll be randomly giving away. Now that's some swag! Head over to our forums and sign up now!

Dire Berries and Silver Pennies

Finally we want to let everyone know how the Dire Berry event ended up. On Thursday at 9am we had earned roughly $771,000, and we said for every $10,000 we earned past that by 9am this morning that we would give all backers 1 Dire Berry, a magic fruit grown deep in the Underswamp. Well, this morning we ended with $859,056 which means everyone will get 8 Dire Berries and be able to enjoy their healing and energetic properties. Congratulations, and thank you all for being such a spectacular group of fans!

Also, last Monday, we issued a different sort of challenge.  We asked our community to raise our average pledge per user amount over $57 dollars. For every dollar over that amount we reached by the end of the campaign, we would add a Silver Piece into an in-game purse for all of our Kickstarter backers at the PIONEER tier or higher. 

Well, we reached an average of $61.48!  That means 4 Silver Pieces for everyone (who pledge at PIONEER or higher)!  This increase in average pledges really helped us hit those last stretch goals, and we can't thank you enough!  Enjoy your silver, and don't spend it all in one place!

Dynamic Music and SFX and Resonant Cave Unlocked!

Posted by OtherSide Entertainment (Creator)
47 likes

You guys continue to be simply amazing! With less than 1 hours to go, we have passed $850,000! This incredible achievement means Dynamic Music and Sound Effects have been unlocked, as well as the Resonant Cave!

Now we will be able to add more sound effects to the game, as well as a more sophisticated dynamic contextual in-game audio system. These additions will help make the Stygian Abyss a world of audio wonder.

And, to show off these new features, the Resonant Cave will enchant us with soft sounds and starkly enchanting melodies that seem to hang in the air like a warm breeze. It is said that those adventurers who listen and learn to play these melodies will gain a certain magical sway over the subterranean airs.

Next Up Language Localization

When this stretch goal is hit we will have the funds to hire translators to localize the game in French, German, Italian and Spanish. Our foreign speaking fans will be able to play Underworld Ascendant more easily without the need for Google Translate!

Even if we don't hit this very important milestone in the hour or so before the Kickstarter ends, don't forget that we will be continuing the funding for the game over on our website and will still be working towards reaching those stretch goals!

The OtherSide Team

Companion Creatures and Enhanced Music Unlocked!

Posted by OtherSide Entertainment (Creator)
63 likes

The Stygian Abyss just became a friendlier place! With Companion Creatures ready to tag along, your adventures you can take comfort in knowing there is at least one creature in the Abyss that doesn't want to eat you.

In addition, when we send out our backer survey once the Kickstarter is over, all backers at the Adventurer tier and higher will be able to choose which Companion Creature they would like for free, the huggable but acerbic Vorpal Bunny, or the aloof yet loyal Mini-Brain.

Along with our furry friends, this Stretch Goal also unlocked Enhanced Music for the game. This will help ensure that more music tracks and more elaborate scores are added to Underworld Ascendant. The music of the original Underworld games are memorable even to this day, and now we will be able to create music to inspire the next generation of CRPG gamers!

And, for passing the $775,000 mark along the way, the Necrotic Graveyard will be added to the Stygian Abyss! This dark and foreboding locale seems to hold an allure for the various monsters and creatures of the Stygian Abyss who, upon arriving at the graveyard, pass away only to be reanimated as the undead. Don't let your Companion Creatures too near this cursed place!

Next Up, Dynamic Music and Sound FX and the Resonant Caves!

For the ultimate immersion in a video game, sound is as important as visuals. We remember how scared we got in the original Underworlds when we could hear strange creatures out in the dark. Not being able to see them just made it worse!

With this next $850,000 stretch goal, we will be able to add more sound effects to the game, as well as a more sophisticated dynamic contextual in-game audio system. These additions will help make the Stygian Abyss come more alive… and our dreams at night more troubled.

When this Stretch Goal is reached we will also build in the Stygian Abyss a new area, the Resonant Caves. This natural wonder seems always to have subterranean airs wafting through it chambers, which softly sound starkly enchanting melodies. It is said that those adventurers who listen and learn to play these melodies will gain a certain magical sway over the subterranean airs.

And, as an added bonus, if we reach $825,000, halfway to the Dynamic Music and Resonant Caves stretch goal, we will add another new area to the Underworld, one that is both beneficial and extremely dangerous, The Forsaken Webway!

This extensive series of tunnels and passages, once known simply as the Webway, connects disparate parts of the Underworld and long ago were the main thoroughfares of the Stygian Abyss. But now they have become infested with spider hordes and clogged with webs as strong as rope. Travelers no longer use the Forsaken Webway as the risk of becoming spider food is too great. Can you reclaim these lost tunnels for the people of the Underworld, allowing trade and commerce to once again flow free?

The OtherSide Team

Final Day!

Posted by OtherSide Entertainment (Creator)
52 likes

As we post this update, we have a little less than 24 hours to go (officially the campaign ends at 8:55am ET Friday) in the Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter campaign. We've come so far, and made so many new friends! It's hard to believe it will all come to an end...

…So, we've decided that it won’t!

On Friday, over at the Underworld Ascendant site the party will continue!

There, we will keep you updated, continue to have live events, keep the chatter going on our forums, and have new votes for you to share your voice. Together, we will roll forward with the adventure of bringing Underworld Ascendant to life!

We’re also going to continue to crowd-fund the game, so that we can reach at least a few more of the Stretch Goals that are not reached during this Kickstarter. Understand that when other developers have done crowd-funding following a Kickstarter that the pace of funding nearly always slows way down. So it will likely take many fold longer for us to move through the upcoming stretch goals than the pace we’re on now.

A slower pace is fine. Nearly all of our efforts have gone into running this campaign the past month, and it’s time to shift focus to actually making the game now. The other consideration is that we want to do our best to get the game released by November 2016. Doing so means not extending out beyond the end of this year trying to reach new stretch goals, as otherwise we’d keep adding new features to the game and just extend the release date. So we’ll see what Stretch Goals we can reach before the end of this year, then lock things down, and focus on balancing and polish and refinement --- which take considerable time to get right.

Join Our Forums, Get a Sweet T-Shirt

We’re inviting all of you who’ve not already done so to come over to our forums and register. For all who have already registered, or do so by Tuesday 9am ET, March 10th, you’ll be eligible for getting one of 50 Underworld Ascendant t-shirts we’ll be randomly giving away. Now that's some swag! Head over to our forums and sign up now!

Papal!

Starting on Friday, March 6th, we will begin accepting PayPal as a form of payment for pledges to the game.  This will be done via our website.  So for those of you who use PayPal exclusively and have not been able to pledge so far to Underworld Ascendant, be sure to head over tomorrow and get on board the pledge train!

Dungeons and Dire Berries

At 9am this morning we were just over $771,000 in funding.  For the next 24 hours, until the Kickstarter ends, for every $10,000 additional that gets pledged during the day, we will give all Kickstarter backers one of the famed Dire Berries. These berries, which grow on the strange swamp willows of the Dire Grove, give those who eat them a modicum of healing and a boost to energy. Used by wizards and warrior alike to prepare themselves for battle, these berries are coveted throughout the Stygian Abyss.

In addition, starting today (Thursday) at 12pm EST, our very own Chris Seigel will be running a MUD-like dungeon crawl in the Comments section of our Kickstarter page. All backers are invited to join us for this old-school romp, as Chris GMs a fun text adventure of tricks, puzzles and danger.

Chris' dungeon, The Labyrinth of Dreams, holds great treasure that will be shared with the entire community if it is found. If the players succeed in reaching the end of the dungeon and overcoming the final obstacle before 9pm EST, they will uncover the lost Chalice of Cabirus, a magical artifact which grants any who drink from it a temporary increase to intellect and knowledge of the Stygian Abyss! If the community finds the chalice during Chris' adventure, all Kickstarter backers will be given this in-game, Kickstarter exclusive item!

So, be online Thursday at 12pm EST to begin your adventure, and bring back treasure for everyone!

Announcements

We have another celebration besides the final day of the campaign. One of our own teammates is getting married tomorrow! Brandon is wedding Saedis, in Iceland no less! Please join us in congratulating them on the start of their new adventure!

Finally, we wanted to call out some other games currently on Kickstarter that are also reviving franchises from long ago.

First up is Zoombinis, a fantastic looking revamp of an old classic.  Please check them out if puzzles and adventure are your thing!

Toejam and Earl are some of our favorite game characters from the '90s, and now they are back!  If you like funk, and fun, please give their Kickstarter a look!