BackerKit

Underworld Ascendant

Created by OtherSide Entertainment

Underworld Ascendant
Thumb uploads 2fb5efd321d4028ca2e1760141786b80dd 2fua youtube cover picture
13,987 backers pledged $860,356.93 on Kickstarter

Join the original creators of Ultima Underworld on a quest to rekindle this legendary fantasy RPG series.

Raised in Kickstarter
$860,356.93 / 13,987 backers
Raised in BackerKit
$53,767.00 / 15,366 backers

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Dec 2017: End of the Year Update
about 1 month ago – Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 11:09:15 PM

Hello everyone,

It's been a month since our last update, and we wanted to reflect on our progress over the last year with all of you, along with some "behind the scenes" screenshots.

You can read our latest update here on our site.

If you're already subscribed to our newsletter, you should have received an email with the update.

Happy Holidays everyone! See you all next year!

Cheers,

The OtherSide Team

REMINDER: Developer Roundtable, Brainstorm Call, and Forums
about 2 months ago – Fri, Dec 01, 2017 at 12:15:56 AM

Hi backers,

Just as a reminder, the next Developer Roundtable and Design Brainstorm Call are next week

Developer Roundtables are available for Digital Protagonist tiers and above ($125+)

Design Brainstorm Calls are available for Enlightened One tiers and above ($1000+)

Please check your email to make sure that you received your invitation to the events and have filled out any missing information requested in the email.

Last but not least, we'll be posting for weekly updates on our forums before the next newsletter, so be sure to check in if you're hungry for more information!

If you receive a login error on our forums, make sure that you are NOT using the simplified login box at the top, especially if you haven't logged in for awhile. Please login using the entry field, which can be opened by clicking on the "login" link option above the login box. (see attached image):

 

If anyone has trouble logging into their forum accounts of if you haven't received an email, please notify us at support@otherside-e.com as soon as possible to resolve it.

Cheers,

The OtherSide Team

Nov 2017: Newsletter and Backer Rewards Update!
2 months ago – Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 12:38:54 AM

Hi everyone,

We just posted a newsletter update with visuals of the Deep Slug, a sneak peek at a map of Upper Erebus, and more. Click here to read it on our website. 

Important Notice:

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 support@otherside-e.com

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

Hello everyone,

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.

Paypal pledges can be made here:  http://www.underworldascendant.com/store/index.php

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! 

Cheers!

The OtherSide Team

Autumn 2016 Underworld Ascendant Update
about 1 year ago – Sun, Nov 06, 2016 at 09:54:45 PM

Hello backers,

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 this link

Here are a few highlights from recent newsletters:

A Special Word from OtherSide’s Paul Neurath

 It 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.

Our 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.

Innovating 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 progress.

 “We 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 gifts…

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.

Early concept art of The Necropolis, where the Arch Lich Tyball rules.
Early concept art of The Necropolis, where the Arch Lich Tyball rules.

We’ll also 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.

Visit your BackerKit account to access your wallpaper collection now.
Visit your BackerKit account to access your wallpaper collection now.

 

A Look Inside the Underworld Ascendant Bestiary                                                  

When you 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.

The 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.

The Ripper definitely counts as an “environmental hazard.
The Ripper definitely counts as an “environmental hazard.

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.

For 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 attention.

·         TIER 3 - Challenge the player.

·         TIER 4 - Provide a fight to remember.

In the 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.

The Vorpal Bunny has a few useful talents.
The Vorpal Bunny has a few useful talents.

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.

Those that came before…
Those that came before…

 We 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.

 But 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.

 In 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.

 As 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…)

Great moments in human/Lizard Man relations
Great moments in human/Lizard Man relations

Another 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 quest level.

 

Garg -- Not really a fan of goblins, per se…
Garg -- Not really a fan of goblins, per se…

 As 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.

 As 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.

Tyball: Before and after.
Tyball: Before and after.

 Beyond 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 every day.

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.

Again, thanks for your support!

Best,

The Team at OtherSide