Lately most of my extra energy and brain cycles have been put towards assigned work on the writing team for Ultima V: Lazarus, the Dungeon Siege mod meant to adapt Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny. I’ve been officially on the team for almost a month now, and no, I don’t really want to talk much about what I’m doing.
In part because this game has such personal significance for me. I got it for Christmas in 1987, when I was 11 years old. It was the first computer game I ever owned, and I played it on the family’s Apple IIe, which for the longest time was used 90 percent of the time for games. Then we finally got a word processor.
The game is meant to be an adaptation, but it’s not a straight copy, as anyone who’s played the demo should know. The dialogue is closer to Ultima VII standards, and while just about everything from the original Ultima V will be in Lazarus (no flying carpets, though,) there’s going to be lots of other stuff to do, see and experience.
If I had to compare the feeling of what we’re doing to something outside games, it’d probably be something like the film adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark three teenagers from Mississippi did back in the 80s. Including the giant rolling boulder.
The project manager hopes to unveil the finished product at E3 2005, so we’ll see how much can be done by then. It’s taken four years just to get Dungeon Siege to behave well enough to build Ultima onto it, and the team members that have stayed on through the lean spots include some supremely dedicated people.
Hopefully some new screenshots will get added to the site soon. Until then, check the forum for the most up to date stuff.
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