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The OtherSide Team
Nov 2017: Newsletter and Backer Rewards Update!
2 months ago
– Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 12:38:54 AM
Backers eligible for the Developer Roundtables, Brainstorm Design Call, and Name an Item/Thing in the Underworld rewards will also be receiving separate emails today. If you did NOT receive an email and belong to the appropriate tier, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Important Update: 505 Games to Publish Underworld Ascendant and Closing Pledges November 1st
3 months ago
– Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 11:58:56 PM
It has been awhile since we posted our last Kickstarter update, but we are pleased to announce that our work on Underworld Ascendant is finally ramping up!
One of the most exciting updates is our partnership with 505 Games. We think 505 is a great fit for Underworld Ascendant and for us as a studio, as they’ve published a number of noteworthy and unique indie games, like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Abzu, Terraria, Portal Knights, and upcoming games like Last Day of June and Indivisible.
Partnering with 505 will allow us to focus on what we do best – make games – while they help us get the game in the hands of more people. OtherSide will continue to develop the game and retain creative control over the project. And we of course remain firmly committed to honoring our Kickstarter commitments to you and ensuring you receive all of the rewards you are due.
We are starting to lock down our lists for physical rewards from our Kickstarter and will no longer be accepting pledges after November 1st!
If you or your friends have not signed up as a Backer yet, you have until the end of this month to do so.
Note that existing backers will still be able to edit their pledges from BackerKit.
We couldn't have made it this far without all of your support, patience, and enthusiasm. Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and join our forums for more updates!
The OtherSide Team
Autumn 2016 Underworld Ascendant Update
about 1 year ago
– Sun, Nov 06, 2016 at 09:54:45 PM
Don’t forget! We’ve been posting regular updates via a monthly
email newsletter, so if you’d like more frequent updates than you’re getting on
Kickstarter, you can sign up through thislink.
Here are a few highlights from recent newsletters:
A Special Word from OtherSide’s Paul
probably comes as no surprise, but it’s taking longer than we’d hoped for Underworld Ascendant to come together. The
release will extend beyond the original November 2016 date.
goal is to make a game that’s not only wonderfully fun and super polished, but
also genuinely innovative. We’re pushing hard on the Improvisation Engine,
going deep with making The Stygian Abyss feel like a living and breathing
dynamic environment, on achieving the subtle interplay with the Faction
politics, and more.
is hard work, and not an entirely predictable process. The team learned this
lesson on the original Underworlds,
and with Thief: The Dark Project and
other games that pushed the envelope. We do feel that taking the time to make
the game great is the right call.
Before we will be ready to share an updated release date, we want to get over
the hump on the key innovations and know that they are working smoothly. In
February, we expect to share a new Prototype build with Backers that shows much
are hugely appreciative of your patience and support, and in being part of
seeing this game come to life.
A Rewarding Announcement
To thank our
fans for their patience as we work to ensure Underworld Ascendant is everything it can be, we’re providing two
First off, we’ve
gone ahead and unlocked the current Stretch Goal for The Necropolis of The Ancients, a foreboding lower level location
where the game’s most powerful Undead, hidden secrets, and rarest arcane
treasure can be found.
be providing to all Backers who have pledged for a digital copy of the game a
bonus collection of seven, hi-res Underworld
Ascendant wallpapers spotlighting the work of concept artist Robb (SHODAN,
Garrett, Sander Cohen) Waters.
A Look Inside the Underworld Ascendant Bestiary
interact with a denizen of The Stygian Abyss in Underworld Ascendant, you’re encountering many hours of work
involved in bringing it to life… Modeling, animation, AI, and -- what we’ll
cover a bit today -- a core set of underlying design principles that dictate
its role in the game.
inhabitants come in three main forms:
CATALYSTS – Beings who possess robust
behaviors, advanced combat tactics, and, if intelligent, can converse, trade,
or engage with the player. (Ex: The Lizard Men.)
CONFOUNDERS– Creatures who enhance or detract in
combat, like The Wailing Haunt or Lich, or act as environmental hazards, like The
Ripper or Lurker.
COLLABORATORS– Inhabitants with useful behaviors
that the player can exploit, like the Earth Clot, a bulky, gelatinous mass that
can be prodded down hallways to break traps or act as cover.
One of the
core design principles of Underworld
Ascendant is to educate the player about the rules of the simulated dungeon
world without overt hand-holding. The
goal of “teaching players to teach themselves” underlies the game’s level
design, narrative, and even the combat design.
instance, there are four tiers of CATALYSTS, whose roles in combat…
TIER 1 - Teach the player the basic moves
& skills of the CATALYST.
TIER 2 - Make sure the player is paying
TIER 3 - Challenge the player.
TIER 4 - Provide a fight to remember.
Vertical Slice, the player will not only face creatures from each category,
he/she will find that a mix or an entrant from a higher tier can make for a
much different encounter.
Ultima Underworld influences in Underworld Ascendant
Ultima Underworld and Ultima Underworld 2 were ground breaking RPGs that influenced
dozens of games – including, not surprisingly, our own. With Underworld Ascendant, our goals have
been to do justice to those original games and
be as innovative as they were at the time.
have a number of innovative new features that we’ve yet to reveal (including a
narrative system that our producer Chris Siegel calls “Looking Glass 2.0.”),
though intend to show in detail farther down the line.
for many basic questions, like how survival elements should be handled or
letting the player increase difficulty by descending to lower levels, we often
look to the original Ultima Underworld
for guidance. There’s simply so much those games did right.
an earlier update, we mentioned that the Green Lizard Men will be found in the
neutral zone of Marcaul, an area featured in our upcoming Vertical Slice.
That’s a direct connection to one of our favorite moments in Ultima Underworld -- a game that, a year
and a half before Edge Magazine
famously said, “lf only you could talk to these creatures…” about Doom, let you decipher the language of a
race of creatures, talk to them, and
make alliances with them.
you can imagine, we find this sequence pretty inspiring and intend to feature the
Lizard Men prominently in the Vertical Slice. (We’ll even drop the name
“Ishtass” as a hint…)
one of our favorite moments in the series? In Ultima Underworld 2’s Prison Tower of Tarna level, the player
could: 1) fight your way through several levels full of goblins or 2) talk your way through past all the
guards, access the jail on the top floor, and release a captured troll, who
would then proceed to wipe out every single goblin in the place. Both were fun
ways of solving the same challenge and allowed a large gameplay choice on a
we’ve said before, in Underworld
Ascendant, we provide players with a large toolbox and let them choose how
to solve a challenge. While that’s mainly meant on a moment-to-moment level,
we’re also seeing some interesting opportunities to feature Tower of
Tarna-style quest choices as well.
far as other direct connections go, you’ve heard the game will feature Ultima Underworld characters Cabirus,
who attempted to found a utopia in The Stygian Abyss, and Tyball, the “big bad”
wizard… who is returning as a lich. One of the two? Has a very major role to
play in Underworld Ascendant.
that, we’ll save additional details about inspirations and links from the
earlier games for future updates, but it’s safe to say that they influence us
But, Wait --There’s More!
Want to read
up more about the making of Underworld Ascendant?
You can find
updates posted on our website here, including a look at the creation of the Lizard Men, word
about the role popular voice actor Stephen (Thief,
Fallout 4) Russell will be playing in the game, and more.