Ultima Underworld Demo Remake Project

Produced by: mrob76u
Website: mrob76u @ WordPress.com

This project began in 2011 as an attempt to remake the demo for Ultima Underworld — essentially, the first level of the Stygian Abyss — using a modern game engine. The developer looked at a few different 3D engines at the time, including Unity3D, Torque 3D and shiVa 3D, eventually choosing Unity. However, he shifted his focus to the Unreal engine (then at version 3) some time thereafter, and set about building assets and laying out the uppermost region of the Abyss.

Asset creation and level layout, as the above (now dated) screenshots attest, proved to be an easy enough task, but scripting events in the Unreal engine proved to be too daunting a task, which forced the developer to switch back to Unity (which, thanks to its plugin repository, has several excellent visual scripting options that make complex programming somewhat easier for non-programmers). However, the project was put on hold soon afterward, as real life asserted itself.

In 2013, the developer ordered and received an Oculus Rift, and his experiences with it rekindled his desire to complete his remake of the Underworld demo. A few months later, Epic Games released the fourth version of the Unreal engine, which included their powerful Blueprints visual scripting feature. This, coupled with the fact that the Unity engine never could quite deliver the visual fidelity the developer desired, prompted yet another engine change. The project is now progressing using Unreal Engine 4, and promises to deliver an experience of the Stygian Abyss like never before.

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